Introducing Narrowback

By on November 2, 2016
Drawing on their lineage to the Emerald Isle, Lancaster’s Tellus360 wanted a house beer that represented them. So, General Manager Donal Lally contacted the St. Boniface Brewery in Ephrata earlier this year asking if they could collaborate on a brew. After a series of taste tests, Narrowback was born. (Photos by Michael Upton)

Drawing on their lineage to the Emerald Isle, Lancaster’s Tellus360 wanted a house beer that represented them. So, General Manager Donal Lally contacted the St. Boniface Brewery
in Ephrata earlier this year asking if they could collaborate on a brew. After a series of taste tests, Narrowback was born. (Photos by Michael Upton)

The definition of the word narrowback* is twofold. The word can mean a person of slight build who is unfit for hard labor, and it can be used as a disparaging term used to refer to an Irish-American. The term was ultimately used by Irish immigrants to refer to the first generation of Irish-Americans born in America. Now, thanks to the folks at St. Boniface Craft Brewing and Tellus360, Narrowback is an Irish Red Ale.

Drawing on their lineage to the Emerald Isle, Lancaster’s Tellus360 wanted a house beer that represented them. So, General Manager Donal Lally contacted the Ephrata brewery earlier this year asking if they could collaborate on a brew. After a series of taste tests, Narrowback was born.

The beer first appeared on Thursday and quickly sold out. The ceremonial tapping of the “first keg” happened on Sunday, Oct. 30, at the Lancaster bar/nightclub/meeting house.

Hoisted up on the shoulder of the bartender, the keg made its way into the street-level bar accompanied by bagpipes played by James Diener. Diener played several tunes on the pipes after Lally made the official introduction of the brew, which he hopes will be a staple at Tellus360.

The beer is in tune with what one would expect from a red ale. It has a malty-but not overwhelming-flavor up front. It has a beautiful hue of amber. The presence of grain is welcoming and overall the beer is easy drinking. Both brewer Jon Northup and the bartender at Tellus360 were eager to talk about the beers taste after it dropped a couple degrees. As the beer warmed it presented a more complex flavor of vanilla, something I might have missed if it weren’t pointed out.

If you haven’t been to Tellus360, you should check it out, maybe just for this new beer, but the place offers so much more. It’s much more than a bar. On Sunday Lancaster artist Aaron Shiflet of Fulton Street Arts Cooperative put up an easel and continued work on an ongoing painting of the bar scene.

The ceremonial tapping of the “first keg” happened on Oct. 30. Hoisted up on the shoulder of the bartender, the keg made its way into the street-level bar accompanied by bagpipes played by James Diener. Diener played several tunes on the pipes after Donal Lally, general manager, made the official introduction of the brew, which he hopes will be a staple at Tellus360.

The ceremonial tapping of the “first keg” happened on Oct. 30. Hoisted up on the shoulder of the bartender, the keg made its way into
the street-level bar accompanied by bagpipes played by James Diener. Diener played several tunes on the pipes after Donal Lally, general
manager, made the official introduction of the brew, which he hopes will be a staple at Tellus360.

Coming up on Thursday, Philadelphia-based comedian Chip Chantry will bring his award winning comedy show to the bar’s back stage. The show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets cost $10. On Friday, the popular Lancaster-based band Vinegar Creek Constituency will take the stage with their Americana sound.

So, back to the beer. Monday is Guinness night at this Irish pub, and they are only $4. Tuesday’s $4 beers are anything “craft” from 7 till 10 p.m. Alongside Narrowback, Tigh Mhary — a.k.a. the first floor bar — offers Guinness, Harp, Magners Irish Cider, Smithwick’s (which is also deemed an Irish Red Ale), Wacker Kolsch, Starr Hill Grateful Pale Ale, St. Boniface Berliner Weisse, and Tröegs Perpetual IPA. On Thursday’s from 9 p.m. till midnight, $10 will get you “a pint and a short one.” That’s Guinness and a shot of Jameson… woo hoo! Cheers and thanks for reading!

*Silly fact: “narrowback” is not an acceptable word in Scrabble competition.

Michael C. Upton is a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure. He welcomes comments at somepromcu@gmail.com and facebook.com/SomebodiesProductions.

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