Release the beer dogs, this brew is good!
Bloodhound Brown Ale from Attic Brewing Co. is so tasty, in fact, that it was recently named the second best English-style brown ale in the U.S. by the Great American Beer Festival.
It has been three years since Philadelphia produced a medal-winning brew from within the city limits. (Yards and Dock Street both won in 2017). But it’s especially impressive considering co-owners Laura and Todd Lacy only opened their Germantown brewery in January inside the late-19th century building that was once the Blaisdell Pencil Factory.
The handsomely converted space is a welcome addition to the neighborhood with its beer garden, roll-up garage doors, weekly craft market and a new location for Deke’s Bar-B-Que sharing half the space. Attic, which is named for the owners’ love of nostalgia, is done up with vintage touches, from the old Tiffany lights to an 1890s cherry wood back bar that was originally in a pub in Camden.
There’s a full range of styles among the dozen beers on the blackboard menu overseen by head brewer Bogdan Lisachenko, who’s worked at Tröegs, Forest & Main, and Trillium. And the focus has been on refining classic beer styles like this brown ale, a recipe Laura has been working on for years while she was still in retail as a manager for H&M.
She adds a Pennsylvania twist by incorporating locally-malted rye from Deer Creek Malthouse in Glen Mills, where she worked previously. The rye adds a refreshing shade of dry spice to a style that can sometimes trend sweet, with a pumpernickel roastiness in the balance along with hints of dark fruit and coffee. Bloodhound’s complex, autumnal flavors would make a fine pairing for the Thanksgiving meal, which is timely, since Attic’s latest batch is expected this week.
The beer’s name is also a nod to history, which comes natural for Todd, an interpretive specialist at Independence National Park who is a re-enactor with the 2nd British light infantry group that fought during the Battle of Germantown in 1777. “Bloodhound” was the Philadelphians’ nickname for those British soldiers as the Americans went on the attack, “Have at the bloodhounds!”
It seems like a perfect toast to Germantown’s patriots, and the beginning of Philly’s new beer medal winning streak.
— Craig LaBan
Attic Brewing Co. Bloodhound Brown Ale, $5 for a 16oz. can or $18 for four-pack, 137 Berkley St., 267-748-2495; atticbrewing.com