Resurrected Historic Beer Lands in Philly
By Danya Henninger
October 28, 2013
Russian Imperial Stout is a relatively common beer in the U.S. these days - BeerAdvocate lists over 800 different labels in the style, which is characterized by a huge roasted malt flavor, low carbonation and a high ABV. The very first beer in the style - brewed in the 1700s for none other than Catherine the Great of Russia - was Courage Russian Imperial Stout, a label that survived through the 1980s but subsequently disappeared.
Now, the beer has been resurrected thanks to a late night of brainstorming during Philly Beer Week 2009 at appropriately named Resurrection Ale House, and the new Courage Russian Imperial Stout will be making its cask debut in Philadelphia this week. Brewmaster Jim Robertson of Wells and Young’s, which ended up with the rights to the Courage brands, is traveling with the special beer and will make stops at five different bars over Monday and Tuesday.
On Monday, Robertson will be at The Dandelion in the downstairs bar to provide samples of the 2013 vintage of the beer, which is carefully conditioned for months before it's ready to drink. Starting at 7 PM, happy hour pricing on food will accompany pint glass giveaways and a brief discussion of the beer’s history.
Tuesday, Robertson goes back to the source and leads a “Courage Russian Imperial Stout Express” tour through four of Leigh Maida and Brendan Hartranft’s bars. You can follow the brewmaster or simply await his arrival at any of the locations while enjoying Russian food specials and pours of the beer. His schedule brings him to Local 44 at 5 PM, Resurrection Ale House at 6:30 PM, Strangelove’s at 8 PM and Memphis Taproom at 9:30 PM. It looks to be a night worthy of a czar, one who loves good, strong beer.