Weyerbacher Brewing Company
When it comes to craft beer today, the need to stand out from the pack is more important than ever before. Back in 1995 when Dan and Sue Weirback opened the doors to their new brewery however, there wasn’t that much of a crowd to stand out from. With a total of 858 breweries in the United States when the Weirbacks started selling beer, it was a much different world than today’s world of more than 5,000 breweries.
That doesn’t mean the beer coming out of their livery stable in Easton, PA wasn’t impressive. As with most early craft breweries, Weyerbacher started by making more mainstream styles like ESB and Pale Ale. Even though there wasn’t nearly the number of breweries there are today, the need to stand out from the crowd was still important. Dan and Sue found their way to stand out thanks to their first big beer, Raspberry Imperial Stout. This hefty beer definitely got attention, so much so that the following year the pair brewed their Blithering Idiot Barleywine along with their first foray into the world of Belgian style beers.
With the success of these big, flavorful brews the future of Weyerbacher took shape and they haven’t looked back since.
Much like the beer they brew, the Weyerbacher name has quite a bit of history attached to it as well. The brewery name actually comes from the original spelling of the Weirback family name as it was spelled by the first immigrants in their family that came to America from Germany almost 200 years ago. Oh, and in case you need a little help with the name, it’s pronounced Wey•er•bach•er.
While Weyerbacher may have made their mark with big beers, it’s not the only beers they brew. With a mix between big and little beers, Weyerbacher’s lineup really does have something for everyone.
Blithering Idiot – One of the first beers Dan ever brewed, Blithering Idiot comes in at 11.1% ABV and just as much flavor. This big barleywine style ale is a deep copper color that features notes of date and fig. Blithering Idiot is brewed with hearty British beers in mind to give you a big beer that’s focused less on bitterness and more on well-rounded flavor.
Last Chance IPA – What’s better than a great IPA? A great IPA that does some good for the world, too. Weyerbacher’s Last Chance IPA is a 5.9% ABV ale with tons of Centennial, Cascade, Citra, and Mosiac hops that give the beer citrus aromas with tangerine and grapefruit flavors. Last Chance IPA goes a step further than most beers by giving a portion of the proceeds for the beer to local animal rescues to help these animal’s last chance at a happy life to be the best it can be.
Merry Monks – Another one of the earlier beers brewed by Weyerbacher, Merry Monks is a big 9.3% ABV Belgian-style tripel with a surprisingly complex flavor profile with all the notes of spice, banana, and pear you’d expect with a dry finish and overall medium body. In short, a really great example of a Belgian-style tripel.
Mellow Monks – For those of us looking to have more than one beer in a sitting, Weyerbacher brews their Mellow Monks, a 4.5% ABV Belgian-style golden ale that’s reminiscent of Merry Monks, just a little more mellow.
Speaking of the Monks, be on the lookout for Funky Monks, too. A funky take on the Belgian style beer, this is one that’ll be hard to find but well worth the search! This special release hit shelves in January and will be around until it’s all gone.
Sexy MotherPucker – A newer beer from Weyerbacher, Sexy MotherPucker is a homage to the classic blending of iced tea and lemonade with a definite beer twist. This 7.5% ABV sour ale has bright citrus notes along with a sour, tangy body and a nice dry finish. Not one to fall short on any side, this beer also features a late addition of Citra hops for some extra citrus flavor and aroma without too much added bitterness.
Tiny – Just like the biggest kid on the block with the same nickname, Tiny is one of the biggest beers offered by Weyerbacher, coming in at 11.8% ABV. This big little beer is a Belgian inspired imperial stout that features huge notes of chocolate and roasted malt that go along harmoniously with traditional Belgian beer flavors thanks to the Abbey yeast strain used in the fermentation process. Surprisingly smooth, Tiny lacks the astringency often found in stouts of its caliber.
The best things in life are often limited, and for good reason. It’s the limited nature of things like seasonal beers that help to make them as interesting as they are. Weyerbacher loves seasonal beers, brewing at least one for every time of the year so there’s always something to look forward to.
Wingman – Just like that friend that’s there for you when you need him or her, Weyerbacher’s Wingman is ready to step in and help out when you’ve had enough big beers for the day. This 4.5% ABV pale ale is most definitely hop-forward in aroma and flavor thanks to the unique hop profile of Calypso, Ekuanot, and Denali hops. Available in cans right now, this is one pale ale that never pales to comparison. Available starting in January until it’s gone.
Insanity – If big beers are your thing, then Insanity is perfect for you! Clocking in at 11.1% ABV< Insanity is everyone’s favorite Blithering Idiot Barleywine that’s aged in whiskey barrels. This time spent in wood gives the barleywine definite notes of vanilla, oak, and warm whiskey for a much fuller flavor than you could have thought possible. You can find Insanity starting in March. Sunday morning Stout – A personal favorite of mine, Sunday Morning Stout puts Weyerbacher’s other big beers to shame by coming in at a hearty 12.7% ABV. This American Imperial Stout is aged in bourbon barrels to help it get a full flavor profile that is second to none in my humble opinion. In it you’ll find aromas of roasted coffee and bourbon as well as flavors of chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla, and even caramel. While probably not the best beverage for an early Sunday morning, it’s just about perfect for a late Saturday night. Sunday Morning Stout is available starting in February.