Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, the mid-Atlantic’s best-loved food and drink destination, serves some of the area’s best hamburgers. In honor of National Hamburger Month, throughout the month of May, Iron Hill invites customers to enjoy one of the eight delectable burgers on the menu and offers home cooks a few tips for producing top-quality burgers.
“National Hamburger Month falls right at the start of grilling season,” says Executive Chef Dan Bethard. “We can’t wait for our guests to join us for a beer and a burger, and we’re happy to offer them our advice for creating Iron Hill-style burgers at home, too.”
Diners at any of Iron Hill’s seven locations can enjoy a variety of delicious hamburgers, all crafted from 10 ounces of Angus beef and grilled to order. Tempting options include: Hickory BBQ Burger, with bacon, sharp cheddar cheese and honey-barbecue sauce; Alpine, with sautéed onions and Swiss cheese; Kennett Square featuring the region’s prized mushrooms and muenster cheese; Brewski, a behemoth burger with mushrooms, bacon and choice of American, sharp cheddar, Swiss, provolone or muenster cheeses; and Southwestern, topped with guacamole, tomato, bacon, pepper jack cheese and ancho-honey mayonnaise. Iron Hill also offers guests a Salmon BLT Burger and a Turkey Burger. All burgers are served with a choice of field green salad or French fries, and include coleslaw and a pickle.
For a classic springtime combo, diners can choose from any of Iron Hill’s much-lauded lagers and ales. Perfect burger pairings include: Vienna Red Lager, an amber Austrian lager with distinct bready malt aroma and flavor and a crisp, clean finish; Pig Iron Porter, a roasted, chocolate-y porter that is well balanced with a slight bitterness; and Raspberry Wheat, a summertime favorite among Iron Hill brewers for its refreshing natural fruit notes and smooth character.
Critics have heaped praise on Iron Hill; in 2008, 10 regional publications honored the company, including The Wilmington News-Journal, which called them “Best in the Business.” Other recent critical accolades have included: “Best Bar in Montgomery County” from the Philadelphia Inquirer; “Best Upstate Beer Selection” from Delaware Today, along with inclusion in their “Hall of Fame” feature; “Best Kids Menu” from Main Line Today; “Best Brewery” from The Montgomery County Record; “Best Bar & Grill / Microbrewery” from County Lines; and “Best Beer Selection” from The Daily Times’ “Best of Delaware County” feature, an honor they have earned every year since 2003.
It’s not just the critics who are charmed by Iron Hill’s winning combination of stellar beers and flavorful fare. Readers of local publications have flocked to vote for Iron Hill in a number of “Best of” categories, including recent wins for: “Best Microbrew” from Main Line Today; “Best Late Night Menu” from Delaware Today; and “Favorite Brewery” from Lancaster’s Sunday News.
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant has seven locations, in Newark, DE (147 East Main Street, 302-266-9000); Wilmington, DE (710 South Madison Street, 302-472-2739); Media, PA (30 East State Street, 610-627-9000); West Chester, PA (3 West Gay Street, 610-738-9600); North Wales, PA (1460 Bethlehem Pike, 267-708-2000); Phoenixville, PA (130 East Bridge Street, 610-983-9333) and Lancaster, PA (781 Harrisburg Pike, 717-291-9800). All seven locations are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Their eighth location, in Maple Shade, NJ (124 East Kings Highway, 856-273-0300), will open in July 2009. For more information about Iron Hill, or to make a reservation at any of their locations, please visit their website at www.ironhillbrewery.com.
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Chef Dan Bethard’s Burger Tips
* Ground chuck is the best type of beef for burgers
* Look for 80/20, rather than 90/10; otherwise, the meat will be too lean to create a perfect patty
* When forming patties, use cold beef and cold hands to avoid melting any of the flavorful fat away
* Be gentle; a firm, dense patty makes a rotten burger
* Heavily season the patty with Kosher salt and black pepper just before grilling; any sooner, and it will dry out
* Sear the burger over the hot part of the grill, then flip and sear the other side
* Move the burger to a cooler part of the grill, and cook to desired temperature
* Only flip the burger once, and never, ever press the burger, it will loose it’s juiciness and flavor