Saturday, May 19, 2018

PA Cider Fest is back for a third year


I make extremely rare exceptions for non-beer content here at The Brew Lounge. Not that I don't routinely fill my other glass with wine, spirits, and the like. Hard cider, as well. But, for the written content here, it's almost exclusively beer.

I make an exception, however, for the annual PA Cider Fest. It's a well-run event, I know the good people behind it, I attended last year, and it so fittingly perfect in how it showcases the significant agricultural output of south-central PA. (I should also disclose that my admission has been comp'ed.) I figure that you, too, may like a brief interruption here in the beer content and that's fine. I hope to attend this year again. If the perfect weather and scenic backdrop can be duplicated and paired again with many interesting ciders like last year, I and everyone else in attendance should have another excellent experience. And now to the press release.


Hard Cider Back on Tap for the Third Annual PA Cider Fest in Gettysburg

More than 25 cider makers, food vendors and entertainment will converge on the Pennsylvania countryside

GETTYSBURG, Pa. — May 2, 2018: Hard cider newbies and aficionados, alike, will flock to the third annual PA Cider Fest in Gettysburg on Saturday, June 23. Pennsylvania’s premier cider-tasting event is set to feature more than 65 cider varieties from 25+ hard cider makers, showcasing ciders and their makers from all across the Commonwealth. Plus, PA Cider Fest also features Pennsylvania cheese makers and artisans, and there will be plentiful food offerings and live entertainment.

“Cider Town” — historic Gettysburg and the surrounding countryside — has gained national popularity, thanks to its solid lineup of local cideries, in addition to its role in hosting the PA Cider Fest. Ben Wenk of Ploughman Farm Cider and Pennsylvania Cider Guild board member says, “To me, Adams County is one of the best apple growing areas in the United States if not the world. It's a premier apple growing region and the PA Cider Fest shines a beautiful light on the entire area.”

Wenk and more than 1500 anticipated attendees look forward to the annual PA Cider Fest in Gettysburg. Wenk says, “Not only is there natural beauty, with the rolling hillsides and apple trees, but folks get to try ciders from small craft producers in our state. It's one of the days on my calendar that I look forward to most every year.”

Mary Bigham of Cider Culture, an online cider publication from Pennsylvania-based Dish LLC, says, “Each year the festival brings hundreds of cider enthusiasts to Adams County … My favorite part? To see new people try hard cider — and love it. It’s a chance to sample first, and then if interested, to bring your favorites to take home.”

Festival goers may purchase cider directly from the participating cider makers, in addition to taking part in cider tasting at the event. Among the other activities scheduled to take place at the event are special seminars and workshops from cider and cheese experts. The list of this year’s workshop/seminar topics includes apple pressing, cider apples, cider and cheese pairings, and cider tasting tips.

PA Cider Fest is held at the home of Jack’s Hard Cider at Hauser Estate Winery, located at 410 Cashtown Rd. in Biglerville, Pa. “I love bringing people to our home to learn about hard cider and have a great day out,” said Jonathan Patrono, President of Jack’s Hard Cider. “We are proud to host this event and bring some of the best ciders on the market for everyone to sample."

Tickets to PA Cider Fest are $25 in advance and $30 at the gate. Interested participants may use the “plan your visit” tool. Accommodation packages are available, and festival transportation will be provided from select locations.

Once again this year, PA Cider Fest will raise money for the Pennsylvania Cider Guild, which works to bring together cider makers, cideries, cider enthusiasts and associated businesses to represent and promote the cider industry in Pennsylvania with a united voice. The guild’s mission is to protect, promote, represent and educate its members and consumers.

PA Cider Fest is sponsored by PA Preferred, a program by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture that encourages Pennsylvanians to support fellow state farmers by purchasing products made throughout the state.

"As an event planner, this is my favorite event to plan of the year,” said Richard Ashenfelder, PA Cider Fest event planner. “Where else can you find such an array of cider varieties, live music, orchard views and Pennsylvania artisan cheese all in one place? We have more cider makers than ever — more than 25 this year — spanning the entire state from east to west. I'm excited about the new food trucks that will be joining us this year! And we've got some really interesting artisan vendors as well — from artisan mustard, to elk and venison jerky, to cider-themed tea towels."

To purchase tickets, visit paciderfest.com


© Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge, 2018. All content is owned and uniquely created by Bryan J. Kolesar. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Kolesar is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, images, and links may be used with advance permission granted and only provided that full and clear credit is given to Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Contact Kolesar at TheBrewLounge@gmail.com


Friday, May 18, 2018

Landmark Americana making a new mark in New Jersey


Good crew behind Landmark Americana and its lively bar/restaurant atmosphere. Been to the West Chester and the University City locations. Done pretty well mixing in the craft beer as well, though if my recollection holds up, the city location excels beyond the West Chester spot. The same management team was behind the opening of Urban Village Brewing Company last year in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia. They already are in NJ (southern) and have now announced that later this year, they'll be pushing up into northern NJ, specifically just outside Trenton. Announcement follows:


On May 8th Landmark Americana Tap & Grill hosted a sneak peek celebration to unveil plans for its newest location at Campus Town at The College of New Jersey. Founder Dave Goldman and local elected officials, as well as members of TCNJ administration, were on hand. The fifth Landmark Americana will feature a combination of entertainment with a sports bar atmosphere, boasting an impressive lineup of 40 taps featuring local craft brews, HDTV screens, and delicious pub fare. Landmark Americana will be bringing approximately 70 full and part-time jobs to the location. The 9,200 square feet location will open in Campus Town, which was developed by the PRC Group, and plans to open early Fall 2018.


© Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge, 2018. All content is owned and uniquely created by Bryan J. Kolesar. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Kolesar is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, images, and links may be used with advance permission granted and only provided that full and clear credit is given to Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Contact Kolesar at TheBrewLounge@gmail.com


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Weekly Beer Event Calendar Update: Philadelphia & beyond: May 17 - May 23

If you can't find a place to drink a good beer on Saturday, you must be doing something wrong. Here's everything you need to know.

Click through here for a look at the full monthly calendar of beer events around the Philadelphia region and over here for a look at Philly Tap Finder's event draft lists.

Ardmore, Pa.
Thu. 5/17; 6 p.m.-9 p.m. — Sly Fox Tasting at The Beer Shoppe [Stop by to enjoy some delicious Sly Fox beer samples and take advantage of discounted to go beer.  $Free]

Collingswood, NJ
Sat. 5/19; 6 p.m.-10 p.m. — Handcrafted at Perkins Center for the Arts [During this award-winning tasting event, our guests will enjoy tastings from microbreweries and regional wineries. This evening features gourmet food by Not Your Ma’Ma’s Tacos and Mary’s Mobile Diner.  $60-$80]

Douglassville, Pa.
Wed. 5/23; 5:45 p.m.-8:45 p.m. — 5K Race to Benefit the ARL at Fork & Ale [Benefits the Animal Rescue League of Berks County. Includes a free beer for each runner who is 21 years old and older.  $15]

Downingtown, Pa.
Sat. 5/19; 11 a.m. — Anniversary Party at Station Taproom & Bottle Room [Join us for a day filled with live music, beer, and food as we celebrate our 8th anniversary and Bottle Room's 2nd.  $PAYG]

Georgetown, Del.
Sat. 5/19; 6 p.m.-9 p.m. — Truffle and Brew Pairing Murder Mystery at 16 Mile Brewing Company [Join us for a one-night-only Vegas-themed murder mystery event with an international celebrity chef serving four delicious beers paired with four truffle dishes.  $40]

Harrisburg, Pa.
Sat. 5/19; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. — Anniversary Fest at Appalachian Brewing Company [Brew Tour with Head Brewer Adam Cole, kids inflatable and face painting, free BBQ in parking lot, Keg Olympics (Keg Throw and Keg Spin), and discounted beers.  $PAYG]

Jennersville, Pa.
Thu. 5/17 through Sat. 5/19; 5 p.m. — Goin' Fishin' — Dogfish Head & Seafood Weekend at Two Stones Pub [We're tapping 10 brews from one of our fave breweries...Dogfish Head and the chefs are getting in on the act with a whole long weekend of seafood features to pair with these delicious brews.  $PAYG]

Lancaster, Pa.
Sat. 5/19; All day — 5th Anniversary Celebration at Hunger N Thirst [Join us as we tap a bunch of rare beers as a huge thank you to all of our loyal customers. There will be food specials all day in the restaurant and the specialty retail store and a few other surprises.  $PAYG]

Media, Pa.
Sat. 5/19; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. — Brandywine Valley Craft Brewers’ Festival at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant [Enjoy food, games, music, and craft beer from over 20 local breweries. The festival continues to grow into the premier showcase of handcrafted products from the region's craft breweries. Proceeds will benefit the Media Youth Center.  $5-$45]

Milton, Del.
Sat. 5/19; All day — America the Brettiful Limited Bottle Release at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery [We’re releasing 700 bottles of a new, limited-edition sour beer – America the Brettiful.  $PAYG]
Mon. 5/14 through Sat. 5/19; All day — American Craft Beer Week Celebration at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery [Each day we’ll have a different theme, with different featured beers to match.  $PAYG]

Philadelphia, Pa.
Thu. 5/17; 7 p.m. — Fishtown Beer Runners & Avery Brewing at City Tap House-University City [FBR is running to City Tap House University City and Avery and City Tap House will provide a complimentary Go Play IPA from Avery per runner. The beer is designed to have the same electrolyte kick of popular sports drinks.  $PAYG]
Sat. 5/19; 2 p.m.-7 p.m. — All-Star Craft Beer, Wine, and Cocktail Festival at Citizens Bank Park [New this year, almost double the space to sample, relax, and enjoy yourself including a 50,000 Sq Ft Craft Beer, Wine, and Cocktail Garden.  $19.95-$16.95]
Sat. 5/19; 12 p.m.-7 p.m. — Wheat Beer Fest at South Philadelphia Tap Room [Details to come, but if you've been to this event before, you know what's up.  $PAYG]
Mon. 5/21; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Bottle Shop Happy Hour at Local 44 [Join us for brewery representative led complimentary tastings and specials on bottle selections from Fegley's Brew Works.  $Free]
Wed. 5/23; 5 p.m. — Beer School at Local 44 [Free samples of each beer we will discuss are offered as our treat to you during the class. You can "pay what you wish", but you have to pay something. 100% of your Beer School donation goes directly to No Kid Hungry, an organization that aims to end childhood hunger in our community and across the country.  $Free]

Pottstown, Pa.
Sat. 5/19; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. — Taps, Tunes, & Trucks at Sly Fox Brewing Company [Kick off your day with the Fox Trot 5k, then grab a beer and some food truck grub and enjoy music from a few great bands.  $PAYG]

Reading, Pa.
Thu. 5/17; 6 p.m.-9 p.m. — Fish Taco Pairing With Evil Twin at Liberty Taproom [This May we will be pairing delicious fish tacos with some hazy, dank, and dark brews from Evil Twin. This pairing will feature three tacos and three beers.  $PAYG]

Rehoboth Beach, Del.
Fri. 5/18; 4 p.m. — Firefly Ale Release at Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats [To celebrate the release of this year’s Firefly Ale, we’ll be jamming out to a Firefly playlist and giving away tickets to the festival.  $PAYG]

West Chester, Pa.
Sat. 5/19; 2 p.m. — Brews for Bassets at Levante Brewing Company [Celebrate the spring season by coming out and having some craft beers to benefit Tri-State Basset Hound Rescue.  $PAYG]




© Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge, 2018. All content is owned and uniquely created by Bryan J. Kolesar. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Kolesar is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, images, and links may be used with advance permission granted and only provided that full and clear credit is given to Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Contact Kolesar at TheBrewLounge@gmail.com



Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Wrap-up: Craft Brewers Conference 2018

(Click above for a full gallery of mostly, but not totally, beer-related pictures in Nashville at both the Craft Brewers Conference and World Beer Cup)

Am I late getting to you on the topic of the Craft Brewers Conference and the biennial World Beer Cup that accompanies it? Depends. If you follow me on the socials, then you'd likely seen me two weeks ago chattering about bars and breweries around Nashville - the host town in 2018 - and newsy bits from the conference itself, as well as "live-Tweeting" the area breweries of interest as they won awards during the ceremony on Thursday evening.

Last week, I shared the local highlights from the World Beer Cup awards. And above you'll find a picture link to a photo gallery of around 200 pictures, mostly beer-related, capturing the week in Nashville. Sounds like a lot, but at least I whittled it down from nearly 800. That's the kind of work I put in for you 😊

The Brewers Association briefly wrapped up its take on the week. Here are some of my own takeaways from what I heard, saw, and tasted during five days in Nashville.

- Diversity. This message came through loud and clear whether it was in a keynote address, in a breakout session, or in the off-site gathering of beer writers for a three-panel symposium presented to the North American Guild of Beer Writers. Cliff Notes version? Even if we don't have the solution for the still mostly white straight male dominated industry, if we're not attempting to take steps in the proper direction, then we're still part of the problem. For myself, wheels are already turning how I can be a part of the improvement.

- NashVegas. What the heck is that? Well, it didn't take long for it to be explained to me that Nashville is a much bigger party city that I'd realized. And, as a result, bachelorette parties what seems like every night. And, "pedal taverns". Shut down Broadway to show the Predators playoff hockey game, mix in beautiful weather, 15-20 square blocks of music and "regular" debauchery (though, I quickly learned, too, that Printer's Alley is not what it used to be), and it goes to another level. Might considering tossing Orleans in the name as well to capture the party essence. Oh, and rooftop parties atop every other bar.

- Stronger Together, and Independent Craft Beer logo. This mantra and this logo were repeatedly announced loudly as antidotes to both macro tampering as well as slowing growth in the craft segment. While I've long held that the craft segment has grown as much as it has and as quickly as it has over the past 10-20 years because of the support that brewers provide each other, as well as the role of suppliers, wholesalers, media (traditional as well as social)...anyone associated with the process of getting beer from tank to glass... I've been a somewhat slowly enthusiastic adopter of the Independent Craft Beer logo that the Brewers Association created and distributed in 2017. They announced that it's been used by over 3,300 breweries (on websites, marketing, and/or packaging) and had signed up another few hundred during the conference. I *do* believe in the message, yet a label does not ultimately convey quality; not really sure there is anything that actually can do that in a decisive and conclusive manner. But, for my part, I will continue to highlight only (or, at least, mostly) the positive with the idea that there are enough forums for scuttlebutt and that the weak can fall to the wayside with their help or on their own. Also, thinking of someway to emphasize the role of Independent Beer Media as well.


- Shout-out to the local Nashville beer scene. I discovered plenty of Nashville's beer scene, but gotta say it was mostly due to my own sleuthing skills. For past CBCs, I've been contacted as part of media outreach to familiarize people such as myself with the local brewing scene by way of tours, invitations, samplings, and the like. This year, not so much. (Could be my ranking has been downgraded?!) Though, hats off to TailGate Brewery for the personalized welcome bag of beer and related accessories. What did that inspire me to do? After unpacking at the condo, TailGate was my first stop for my first beer in Nashville, coinciding with the Predators playoff Watch Party. In addition to enjoying the four canned beers - Naked Statue Blonde, Peanut Butter Milk Stout, Southeast IPA, and Welcome to Nashville Hazy IPA - later back home, while on-site at the Music Row pub location, not only did I find the Barn Out Back Altbier remarkable and the Jasmine Saison, Sake Kolsch, and Farmhouse Rye very good, I had an accidental crossing of paths with the owners/brewers from Something Wicked in Hanover, Pa. First time meeting them even though they're in my Ale Street News coverage area. Some honky-tonkin' ensued from there through late into the night. So, I won on several fronts. But otherwise I was on my own. Brewery-wise, I found my way to Bearded Iris (great, if you're into IPAs, DIPAs, DDH-IPAs, NEIPAs, seriously that's pretty much it), Tennessee Brew Works (a few great classic styles including an Extra Easy ESB "English pub style" and an American Brown called King Chestnut), Jackalope (check out their Thunder Ann Pale and Bearwalker Brown), and Yazoo (great Pilsner that paired nicely with the Beer Writers Guild meeting and in lieu of spending more time there, brought some special bottles home with me). And on the bar front, Craft Brewed, City Tap, Acme Feed & Seed, Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint, and Kuchnia & Keller stood head and shoulders above and demonstrated that it's a year-round thing for them and not just a CBC week condition. (The Germantown neighborhood, on the whole, is an excellent destination for eating, drinking, and walking.) You want these on your short list when exploring the Nashville beer scene. Oh yeah, and of course a few honky tonk bars were on the docket each night!

That's about it for the big headlines. Much more and I'd be getting into insider baseball territory.

The 2019 Craft Brewers Conference was announced to take place in Denver. Will I be there? Will I see you there?


© Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge, 2018. All content is owned and uniquely created by Bryan J. Kolesar. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Kolesar is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, images, and links may be used with advance permission granted and only provided that full and clear credit is given to Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Contact Kolesar at TheBrewLounge@gmail.com


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Triple Bottom is ready to get down to business


I can't recall exactly when I first heard of Triple Bottom Brewing Company. Feel like it was around two years ago, give or take. Got on their media distribution list. Then, didn't hear much for quite a while. That changed earlier this month. As you'll see below, they'll be setting up shop just around the corner from Love City, Roy Pitz Barrel House, Prohibition, The Institute, and the can't-come-soon-enough Rail Park.

Here's what you need to know for now from their latest notice.


Triple Bottom Brewing Company is coming to 915 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA

We are so excited to share that we have found our home in a historic Reading Railroad building on Spring Garden Street. We can't wait to pour you beers in this beautiful space! We're a short walk from Chinatown, Northern Liberties, Temple, and the Broad Street Line, so once we're up and running, we hope you'll stop by. There's still a lot of work ahead of us before we can start brewing, but we are overjoyed to be one huge step closer to that big day.

We're also feeling really grateful that so many people have been sharing in our excitement! If you haven't seen them, please check out the thoughtful articles below:

Billy Penn: Triple Bottom Brewing is bringing beer + social justice to Spring Arts
WHYY: In Spring Garden, trio plan to serve up social justice along with craft beer
Generocity: Triple Bottom Brewing Co. finally found a home: 915 Spring Garden

We'll send periodic updates your way, but don't want to clog your inboxes. For more regular info please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter — or check out our new blog!

Thank you so much for all you've done to support us. Looking forward to seeing you on Spring Garden!

Cheers,
Tess, Bill, & Kyle


© Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge, 2018. All content is owned and uniquely created by Bryan J. Kolesar. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Kolesar is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, images, and links may be used with advance permission granted and only provided that full and clear credit is given to Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Contact Kolesar at TheBrewLounge@gmail.com


Philly Beer Week 2018. What's Up?

(A top 5 PBW 2017 event. What will be at the top of this year's list? Click the picture for more from 2017.)

Well, a little bit of this and little bit of that, but not a whole lot of anything as of yet, judging by the official events calendar over at PhillyLovesBeer.org

With just a bit more than two weeks until showtime, the Hammer of Glory, and Opening Tap, the calendar shows just around 100 "events" as of this afternoon. If I were to apply my expert eye, I'd say the unique, significant, PBW-worthy style events number significantly less.

So far, BAR, Bartram's Garden, Bonk's Bar, Christopher's, Devil's Den, Good Dog Bar, Grey Lodge Pub, Hop Angel Brauhaus, Interstate Draft House, Johnny Brenda's, Jose Pistola's, La Cabra Brewing, Lucky's Last Chance - Manayunk, Lucky's Last Chance - Queen Village, Manayunk Brewery, Memphis Taproom, Monk's Cafe, The Fillmore, The Pub on Passyunk East (P.O.P.E.), Twisted Tail, U-Bahn, Urban Village, and Victoria Freehouse are on the board — with 21 events belonging to the Lucky's family, 19 to the Scoats family of Bonk's, Grey Lodge, and Hop Angel, 10 to Memphis Taproom, 7 to Devil's Den, and 6 to Interstate Drafthouse together comprising more than 60% of the total events scheduled thus far. Some solid bars on this list to-date, but yet a far cry in number from years past. However, if the past is any useful guide, these next two weeks could show a flurry of event additions. If not, it could be an interesting conversation.

Putting all that aside, here's what looks interesting to me at this point. Not enough information about the Hammer of Glory tour yet, so can't really speak to that. Opening Tap is back on Friday night where it belongs and that's a good thing. Another good thing is that it's still being held at The Fillmore, an excellent venue for it. Though, why any other events are allowed to advertise concurrent events with Opening Tap continues to be beyond me. That's Friday.

Saturday is Firkin Riot at Johnny Brenda's, which is always a solid bet. At Monk's Cafe, John Kimmich of The Alchemist and a handful of his beers will be in the house. And I can imagine what Fluff Ed and Russian River means at Memphis Taproom even though it still says Details Coming Soon. It starts at 4:20 so that's helpful! Bar Olympics on Sunday is a perfect fit for Grey Lodge and a good way to put a bow on the first weekend.

On Monday, there's a homebrew challenge event at Jose Pistola's and the annual Omme-gash, It's Alla-gang just down the street at Good Dog. Tuesday? I feel like a suburban visit to Christopher's could be a good call for a beer dinner with 2SP.

Dad Joke Face Off on Wednesday at Devil's Den has all the makings of a debaucherous night. And Thursday at Urban Village, I'd prefer to hear first who's on the panel, but the Don’t F*#k Up The Beer industry panel discussion about quality control sounds like a great afternoon diversion to Northern Liberties. There's a tap takeover at London Grill, but no description. Do we go with blind faith, or ask more of event planners listing these things? But I trust London Grill for a good meal and beers.

To close out PBW 2018 on the second weekend, Friday looks like a good time to check out Mikkeller at Memphis Taproom and then Love City, Singlecut, and Hermit Thrush at The P.O.P.E. On Saturday, it's a party in the street for Fishtown FestivAle on Frankford Ave. outside Johnny Brenda's and Sour Beer Saturday around the corner at Interstate Drafthouse. And on Sunday, sticking near home and La Cabra seems like a good idea, particularly given their Suburban Love Pop-Up Beer Garden featuring breweries of DelCo and ChesCo.

If and when the schedule starts to beef up some more, I'll be back to share the what's-what and maybe even share one of those good ol' fashioned Excel spreadsheets to help navigate the tricky schedule waters.


© Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge, 2018. All content is owned and uniquely created by Bryan J. Kolesar. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Kolesar is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, images, and links may be used with advance permission granted and only provided that full and clear credit is given to Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Contact Kolesar at TheBrewLounge@gmail.com


Monday, May 14, 2018

Sat. May 19 is a big day for you, if you like great beer


Every month is a good month for beer, but each year there's something special about the May calendar of events at Philly area bars and breweries. Warmer weather certainly plays a part as outdoor events become much more popular. Started last week with the Bock Fest & Goat Races at Sly Fox and continues this week.

In Philly? check out the All Star Craft Beer & Wine Festival at the magnificent venue — Citizens Bank Park. I attended last year (on a comp'ed media pass, for the record) and fully endorse this as a top-notch festival with an impressive backdrop as well as the ability to walk the bases, and dugout, at the home of the Phillies.


And when in the city on Saturday, do as I do (and as I did last year) and make a pit stop before the ballpark at South Philadelphia Tap Room for the og hazy — Wheat Beer. They're listing more than 30 wheat beers, many local, some from farther away. It's also an outdoor festival, complete with live music and special food options. Again, highly recommended.


Finally, the awesome suburban town of Media is home to Iron Hill's 18th annual Brandywine Valley Craft Brewers' Festival. It's one of the region's most eagerly anticipated beer events of the spring and is a fundraiser for Media Youth Center. And thinking of the weather, if it should rain (as it has in the past), Iron Hill does a great job of covering the entire festival in large canopy tents. No excuses!

See you at one of these I trust?



© Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge, 2018. All content is owned and uniquely created by Bryan J. Kolesar. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Kolesar is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, images, and links may be used with advance permission granted and only provided that full and clear credit is given to Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Contact Kolesar at TheBrewLounge@gmail.com


Heavy Seas Expansion Plan details

(future taproom rendering courtesy of Heavy Seas)

Long been a fan of Heavy Seas and their pioneering ways for better beer in the Baltimore region since the early-to-mid-90s. Owner Hugh Sisson grew into Heavy Seas from his early days in brewing at Sisson's, then at Clipper City, which morphed into Heavy Seas. And nearly five years ago, former Philadelphian Chris Leonard (General Lafayette) was brought on as Heavy Seas' head brewer. Good people there. Full disclosure: they hosted me for a book signing event in their taproom back in 2015, complete with a custom brewed firkin of Loose Cannon.

Speaking of Loose Cannon, they could leave me with that beer alone and I'd be happy. But, other core beers are just as fine including Cutlass Vienna Lager, Powder Monkey Pale, and Peg Leg Imperial Stout. If the Uncharted Waters series of specialty beers released during the year are any indication of the new "freedom" that brewers will have in the 15-bbl brewhouse described below where "no beer style will be off limits", I think the Baltimore area beer lovers will be in for a treat at the new Heavy Seas.


Heavy Seas Beer Announces Tap Room Expansion Details and New Small-Batch Brewhouse

BALTIMORE (May 8, 2018)—Baltimore-based independent brewery, Heavy Seas Beer, has officially begun a renovation and expansion project, due to be completed June 2019. The endeavor will include a full Tap Room renovation and the addition of a new component to the business, a 15 bbl small-batch brewhouse.

“With these renovations, our new guests, along with loyal customers, will now be able to enjoy their beer in a much larger, livelier setting that truly represents Heavy Seas,” said Director of Marketing & Hospitality at Heavy Seas, Sarah West. “Craft beer enthusiasts from all over will be able to visit and sample award-winning favorites like Loose Cannon as well as new, limited-edition beers from the small-batch brewhouse. There will always be something new to try.”

The renovated Tap Room will be seven times larger than the current space and will feature a private event room. The new setting will be transformed into a sleek, modern destination that embodies the Heavy Seas brand.

It’s very important to Heavy Seas to support the local community since Baltimore has been the brewery’s home for the past 23 years. Therefore, local craftsmen are creating one-of-a-kind tables made completely from reclaimed wood, and Maryland-based designers will be enlisted to design imagery for the expanded space and new product offerings.

The addition of the 15 bbl brewhouse will give the team of brewers the creative freedom to develop a series of beers unique to the Tap Room. These limited releases will break away from the more classic styles Heavy Seas is best known for and include beers that experiment with new hop varieties and different yeast strains. No beer style will be off limits, anything and everything is possible. The first releases will be available for tasting as early as June 2018.

About Heavy Seas Beer
Heavy Seas Beer was founded in 1995 and underwent a major expansion in 2010 with the installation of 11 new fermentation vessels and three new brite tanks, expanding brewery capabilities by 160 percent. Heavy Seas Beer now produces 23 different beer styles, distributes to 20 states as well as Washington D.C. and has become one of the most respected and award-winning craft breweries on the East Coast. Heavy Seas was named Beer Connoisseur Magazine’s 2017 Brewery of the Year.

Experience Heavy Seas Beer
The Tap Room will remain open during renovations, allowing guests to watch the transformation as it unfolds. Weekend and insider brewery tours, starting at $7 per person, will continue to be offered with new themes rotating throughout the year. All tours include a souvenir pint glass and beer sampling.

To learn more about Heavy Seas Beer, visit www.hsbeer.com or follow Heavy Seas Beer on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for announcements and special event details.


© Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge, 2018. All content is owned and uniquely created by Bryan J. Kolesar. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Kolesar is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, images, and links may be used with advance permission granted and only provided that full and clear credit is given to Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Contact Kolesar at TheBrewLounge@gmail.com


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Look out Wine Country, Stone's bringing more great beer to Napa County making it harder to ignore as a beer destination


In keeping with my promise to pass more beer news and press releases along to you, here's one I recently received and is a significant one from California - specifically the southern Calif.-based Stone Brewing (though, can we say that with a brewery in Richmond, Va. and Berlin, Germany?) has infiltrated the north with an opening of a relatively small (10-bbl) brewpub in downtown Napa. Wine country? Let's say, wine & beer country.


Stone Brewing – Napa Opens in California’s Wine Country
Bold craft beer now brewing in the historic 1877 downtown Napa Borreo building

ESCONDIDO, CA (May 7, 2018) – The beer is brewing and the doors are officially open to the new Stone Brewing – Napa, a 9,500 square-foot restaurant and 10 barrel brewery in an iconic 1877 stone building. Stone brings its flavorful craft beer to the region well-known for its amazing wine and cuisine, offering visitors locally-brewed beers, a dining experience, growler fills and Stone merchandise.

“Restoring this historic building has been a complex process which we have been careful to steward with the utmost respect,” stated Greg Koch, Stone Brewing executive chairman & co-founder. “So it is with much pride, and no shortage of relief, that we finally open the doors knowing that we took the time to do it right. Seven years after I first stepped foot in the Borreo building, this place is just what I dreamed of – a top-notch destination devoted to celebrating craft beer.”

Stone’s 10-barrel brewing system will enable the company’s brewers to continue the longstanding tradition of innovation and creativity. The brewing program will be led by Steve Gonzalez, Stone’s six-year veteran Small Batch Senior Manager of Brewing & Innovation. Fortuitously, Steve also had a former career as a winemaker, making him uniquely qualified to bring together the two industries in unique and special ways. This will manifest itself in brewing techniques that include wine-barrel aging, beer recipes that include wine grapes, as well as interesting botanicals from the region’s diverse ecology.

Stone Brewing - Napa will fill growlers and serve Stone’s year-round beers as well as special releases brewed onsite. Guest beers from fellow craft brewers will be featured in a future rotation among 24 taps of beer. Wine by the bottle, glass and on tap will also be available alongside locally-roasted coffee and all-natural craft sodas.

The Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens food philosophy will carry over to the new Napa location with a dining experience that incorporates artisanal products, a focus on environmental responsibility and high-quality ingredients. Stone will purchase local and small-farm organic produce from the Napa region to support its eclectic menu of world-inspired cuisine. The casual yet distinctive menu items include Spent Grain Soft Pretzels, Choripán Argentinian Sausage Sandwich, a Poke Fire Bowl, and The Stone Brewing Impossible Burger. Chef Chris Kurth will manage the Stone Brewing - Napa kitchen. Kurth is a San Diego native who has graced the esteemed kitchens of The US Grant, L’Auberge Del Mar and The Lodge at Torrey Pines.

The brewery and restaurant features two stories including an upstairs seated bar and downstairs tasting/growler fill bar, a fireplace lounge and outdoor seating overlooking the Napa River. Glass walls offer views into the brewery and expansive doors and windows create an indoor/outdoor feel overlooking Downtown Napa. The interior incorporates stone, steel and glass and embraces the imperfections of the historic building. The Borreo building, named for the family that formerly owned the stone structure, is an Italianate Renaissance design made from native-cut stone. It was completed in 1877 and has been vacant since 2001.

Stone’s new outpost is located on 3rd and Soscol Avenue serving lunch and dinner daily. Parking is available across Soscol Ave., less than two blocks away on 3rd street. Its May 6 opening is a preview of the full offering, with menu items and draft beer selections expanding over the following month. Admittedly, putting a brewery and kitchen inside a 141-year-old building posed unexpected delays and the team is ramping up service with a full experience expected in early June.

Stone’s Napa project is the first of three upcoming destinations on a mission to fight the good fight for independent craft beer. Just one week prior to the opening of Stone Brewing – Napa, the Stone Brewing Tap Room – Prenzlauer Berg opened in the Berlin city center, 53 minutes by bike from the brewery and Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Berlin. Also underway, Stone Brewing Tap Room – Shanghai is scheduled to open in China this June.

QUICK FACTS
Address: 3rd and Soscol Avenue, Napa
Phone: 707-252-2337
Hours:
  Sunday – Thursday: 11am – 11pm
  Friday – Saturday: 11am – 12pm
Reservations: By phone and via OpenTable.com beginning in June
Chef: Chris Kurth
Lead Brewer: Steve Gonzalez

ABOUT STONE BREWING
Founded by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner in 1996, the groundbreaking San Diego-based Stone Brewing is the 8th largest craft brewer in the United States. Recognized as an award-winning industry leader, Stone has been listed on the Inc. 500 | 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies list 12 times and has been called the “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine twice. The multifaceted company was the first American craft brewer to build, own and operate its own brewery in Europe (Berlin, Germany), and also opened a production brewery in Richmond, Virginia in 2016. Known for its bold, flavorful and largely hop-centric beers, Stone has earned a reputation for brewing outstanding, unique beers while maintaining an unwavering commitment to sustainability, business ethics, philanthropy and the art of brewing… and pledging never, ever, sell out to the man. For more information on Stone Brewing, please visit stonebrewing.com or the company’s social media sites: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.



© Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge, 2018. All content is owned and uniquely created by Bryan J. Kolesar. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Kolesar is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, images, and links may be used with advance permission granted and only provided that full and clear credit is given to Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Contact Kolesar at TheBrewLounge@gmail.com