The fall 2005 Beer Appreciation class had a memorable beer experience with John Rehm, brewmaster at John Harvard’s Brew House in Wayne, Penn. John met the class and ushered us to a private room for an introductory beer and a free flowing question and answer session. He talked of his education at nearby La Salle University and his attraction to brewing as “… the most fun and best job I could think of.”
John toured the class through the brewery – from the mill room to the brewing tanks, the cold room and finally the fermenting tanks. He described the challenges of brewing a seemingly plain but high quality light American Lager (“there’s no where to hide any faults,”) and his passion for using only the freshest and purest ingredients including exotic imported malts and fresh fruit. John’s complex and tasty Alt Bier, which exemplifies his dedication to perfection, was recently awarded a gold medal at the Great American Beer Fest in Colorado.
After the tour, our class was escorted back to the private room for a special tutored tasting of 10 (!) of John’s wonderful brews. Along with sipping the award winning Alt Bier, the class tasted apricot and pumpkin ales, a dry Irish stout, the ever reliable pale ale and his killer IPA, “Bitter Insanity.” John Harvard’s kitchen pitched in with some great food to keep us on an even keel throughout the tasting. John saved the best and most exotic for last — his cask conditioned wheat wine, a deceptively smooth but powerful (over 10% ABV) wheat beer brewed in the barley wine style. This very special beer will be available to the public at John Harvard’s in Wayne in January.
John was a great host. In sharing his passion and knowledge with the Beer Appreciation class, he went above and beyond. Recently he has also begun brewing at John Harvard’s in Springfield, Penn. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. John Rehm and John Harvard’s make remarkable freshly brewed beers accessible to all beer appreciators in the Philadelphia area. Thanks for everything and continued success, John