Thursday, February 04, 2016

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: February 4 - February 10

And just like that, it appears that the beer events calendar has gone from good to great. It's as if the post-holiday, post-blizzard schedulers have come roaring alive here in the beginning of February. Here below are almost 50 ways to find great beer all around the greater Philly region in the next 7 days and nights.

While I don't envision any book events for at least the next month, I'll continue to stick a quick plug here pointing you to: a) my publisher; b) Amazon.com; c) BarnesAndNoble.com. As always, I thank you for your continued support.

As you review beer events, don't forget PhillyTapFinder.com. They host an impressive listing of beer event draft lists to help better inform your beer event planning.

Click through here for a look at the full monthly calendar of beer events around the Philadelphia region.

Bethlehem, Pa.
Thu. 2/4; 5 p.m.-8 p.m. — Charity Cask Night at Bethlehem Brew Works [100% of cask proceeds will be donated to Miller-Keystone Blood Center.  $PAYG]

Conshohocken, Pa.
Wed. 2/10; All day — Stone Brewing Rare Gems at Fingers Wings & Other Things [Serving an assortment of limited releases from Stone.  $PAYG]

Dover, Del.
Fri. 2/5; 5 p.m.-8 p.m. — Not Your Daughter's Thin Mint Release Party at Fordham & Dominion Brewing Company [Join us for the 14 barrel release of Not Your Daughter's Thin Mint, a milk stout brewed using fresh mint and cocoa nibs. We'll have music from Emily Moses and food from The Wandering Chef.  $PAYG]

Kulpsville, Pa.
Fri. 2/5; 6 p.m. — Stable 12 Tap Takeover at CJ's Doghouse [We will have over 5 beers from Stable 12 on draft.  $PAYG]

Kutztown, Pa.
Fri. 2/5; 3 p.m.-10 p.m. — First Friday, Firkin, & Flatbread Night at Saucony Creek Brewing Company [We celebrate the First Friday of each month with a feature of a local artist, a specialty cask conditioned Firkin from our brewing team led by head brewer Nick Micio, and some tasty Flatbreads from Chef Tim Howells.  $PAYG]

Lancaster, Pa.
Thu. 2/4; 5 p.m. — Almanac Tap Invasion at Hunger N Thirst [Tapping a bunch of amazing beers from Almanac Beer Co. We will also have Mick Kalata in the house shucking oysters.  $PAYG]

Lancaster, Pa.
Sat. 2/6; 12 p.m.-4 p.m. — Make It Funky Multi-Tap at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant [Groove to the ’70s with 8 funky beers at our Barrel-Aged and Sour Beer Release Party  $PAYG]
Sat. 2/6; 7 p.m.-10 p.m. — New Belgium Brewing's Lost In The Woods Sour Beer Release Party at The Fridge [For one night only, we will be hosting a special release party full of beers, food and an array of entertainment to introduce the newest iterations of New Belgium vintage sours.  $50]
Sun. 2/7; 12 p.m.-5 p.m. — Super Beer Sunday at The Fridge [Join us Super Bowl Sunday for our annual pre-game party.  $PAYG]

Media, Pa.
Thu. 2/4; 5 p.m.-7 p.m. — Stone Night at Pinocchio's [A night of beers from Stone.  $PAYG]
Wed. 2/10; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Firestone Walker Milk & Cookies Event at Pinocchio's [Pair some cookies with beers from Firestone Walker.  $PAYG]

Milford, Del.
Sat. 2/6; 12 p.m. — Rise Or Shine Beer Release at Mispillion River Brewing Company [Come by for a mug of Rise or Shine or coffee and you'll be able to get your hands on a special edition coffee mug created just for this event.  $PAYG]

Milton, Del.
Thu. 2/4; 4:30 p.m. — Vintage & Vinyl at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery [We're digging into our Vintage Stash and spinning some groovy Vinyl for one fantastically awesome Happy Hour at our Milton brewery.  $PAYG]

Narberth, Pa.
Sun. 2/7; 3 p.m.-5 p.m. — Superbowl Sunday Free Beer & Bread Sampling at The Greeks Next Door [We'll be having a pre-superbowl party with Starr Hill Brewery in for a free beer sampling with loads of giveaways and growler fill specials along with Jerry the Baker who will be brining in delectable flatbread pizzas and freshly baked Bavarian pretzels.  $Free]

Oxford, Pa.
Mon. 2/8; 5 p.m. — Two Stories Blonde Ale Launch Night at Bog Turtle Brewery [Two Stories Blonde Ale is the fourth of Bog Turtle Brewery's four introductory beers, a perfectly balanced ale with just the right blend of Pilsner malt and classic Bavarian hops.  $PAYG]

Philadelphia, Pa.
Thu. 2/4; 5 p.m.-7 p.m. — A Pink Elephant in the Room: Brewery Huyghe at Tria Taproom [A special Delirium happy hour in honor of a visit from their export manager Stefaan Naeyaert, as well as their national director. Join us for special prices on Delirium Tremens, Nocturnum, and more.  $PAYG]
Thu. 2/4; 7 p.m. — Karneval Kostume Party at Brauhaus Schmitz [1/2 price Kölsch Bier for Ladies Night. Enter to win a free kegerator. Costume contest. Fasnachts sold 2/4-2/9.  $PAYG]
Fri. 2/5; 3 p.m.-6 p.m. — Friday Night Sampling at Bell Beverage [Tasting samples of Super Bowl-themed beers with Joe Sixpack.  $Free]
Fri. 2/5; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — 1st February Event: New Belgium Tasting and Taps at Bottle Bar East [List of beers from New Belgium Brewing Company.  $PAYG]
Fri. 2/5; 7 p.m. — Terrapin Brewing Tap Takeover at Jon's Bar & Grille [A night of beers from Terrapin Brewing Company  $PAYG]
Fri. 2/5; 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. — Beer & Brewing 101 at Philly Beer School [This is our introduction to how beer is made, major beer styles, and brewing history.  $39.98]
Sat. 2/6; 12 p.m. — Nugget Nectar Firkin Tap at Bottle Bar East [Come enjoy the Nugget Nectar as a firkin by Tröegs.  $PAYG]
Sat. 2/6; 12 p.m. — Lost in The Woods with New Belgium Brewery at Monk's Café [Monk's Café is proud to offer the debut of the New Belgium 2016 Lost In The Woods Series.  $PAYG]
Sat. 2/6; 5 p.m. — Catch A Fire: A celebration of the Music of Robert Nesta Marley at City Tap House-University City [Join City Tap House and Firestone Walker for our annual expression of gratitude and one love to the music and life of Bob Marley.  $PAYG]
Sun. 2/7; 11 a.m. — Blind PigSkin Sunday at Bierstube [NFL Superbowl on our Four large screen televisions and Russian River Brewing Company Blind Pig IPA on tap.  $PAYG]
Sun. 2/7; 6 p.m. — Super Bowl Party at Brauhaus Schmitz [Watch the game on the big screen in our Brauer Bund Beer Hall. Bottomless beer specials paired with a huge buffet of pork rinds, roast beef, meatballs, wings, and more.  $50]
Sun. 2/7; 6 p.m. — Super Bowl 50 at Brü Craft & Wurst [Catch Super Bowl 50 on our giant projection wall while you kick-it with food and drink specials and the debut of our killer monster sandwich.  $PAYG]
Sun. 2/7; 6:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. — Super Bowl Sunday at Dock Street Brewing Company [We'll have food and beer specials throughout, and good old-fashioned friendly neighborly vibes, which is really what watching the game is all about, at least to us here at Dock Street. That and the commercials, we admit.  $PAYG]
Sun. 2/7; 6:30 p.m.-11 p.m. — Super Bowl Party at Hop Angel Brauhaus [Dream about the future when the Eagles are back in the big game. Enjoy the present with great beer and free sandwiches and appetizers at half time.  $PAYG]
Sun. 2/7; 7 p.m. — Superbowl of Draft Lists at Bottle Bar East [Come and enjoy the finest beer or beers.  $PAYG]
Sun. 2/7; All day — The Elder Bowl - Peyton vs. Pliny at Eulogy [We'll tap a keg of Russian River Brewing Company Pliny the Elder at 11 am opening time, serve our delicious brunch menu up until 3 pm, and then have some food specials for the game.  $PAYG]
Mon. 2/8; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Bottle Shop Happy Hour at Local 44 [Complimentary tastings and specials on bottle selections from Søle Artisan Ales.  $Free]
Tue. 2/9; 12 p.m. — Cocktail Jawn 3: Founders vs. Left Hand at U-Bahn [Each brewery will have a slate of four contestants crafting a cocktail using a different featured beer, and our panel of celebrity guest judges will evaluate and declare a finalist from each side.  $10 + $PAYG]
Tue. 2/9; 6 p.m. — Beer School at Coeur [Featuring Tim Roberts, Head Brewer at Yards Brewing, talking all about Yards Love Stout and so many more of his great beers.  $Free]
Tue. 2/9; 6 p.m.-11 p.m. — Mardis Gras at Interstate Drafthouse [Sin the night away with $5 hurricanes and Abita drafts. We'll bring the beads.  $PAYG]
Tue. 2/9; 7 p.m.-9 p.m. — Beer and Chocolate Beer Dinner Lite at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant [Six chocolates paired with Saison, Winter Warmer, Hopewell Furnace IPA, Bourbon Wee Heavy, Russian Imperial Stout, and Munich Dunkel.  $55]
Tue. 2/9; 7 p.m. — Dinner with Tomme Arthur - Lost Abbey Brewery at Monk's Café [A six-course meal paired with Lost Abbey's Carnivale, Duck Duck Gooze, Red Poppy, Veritas 14, Lost & Found, Cuvee de Tomme, and Angel’s Share.  $125]
Tue. 2/9; All Day — A Blast of Barleywine Past: Ballantine Burton Ale, or "The Greatest Beer Never Sold" at Tria Taproom [The legend of this great beer lived on. Anchor Old Foghorn, the first modern Barleywine, and Dogfish Head Burton Baton were both inspired by the original version of this beer. Pabst, the current owner of the Ballantine brand, revived the beer for one small batch, replicating the original as closely as possible.  $PAYG]
Wed. 2/10; 9 p.m. — Bella Vista Beer Night at The Trestle Inn [Featuring Winter Farmhouse Ale, Winter Warmer and Honey Crisp Farmhouse Apple Tripel from Pizza Boy Brewing.  $PAYG]

Phoenixville, Pa.
Fri. 2/5; 11:30 a.m. — Incubus Friday at Sly Fox Brewing Company [Belgian-style Tripel pours until the keg kicks.  $PAYG]
Sat. 2/6; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. — British Invasion Multi-Tap at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant [We will be featuring eight English style beers and a traditional British-inspired menu.  $PAYG]
Sat. 2/6; 6 p.m. — Long Trail/Otter Creek Tap Takeover at Bistro on Bridge [First 50 customers to order from the above selections will receive a complimentary glass.  $PAYG]

Pottstown, Pa.
Fri. 2/5; 11:30 a.m. — Incubus Friday at Sly Fox Brewing Company [Belgian-style Tripel pours until the keg kicks.  $PAYG]

Reading, Pa.
Thu. 2/4; 5 p.m. — Dogfish Head Big Beer Weekend at Liberty Taproom [We will be tapping four high ABV beers including 120 Minute IPA, Higher Math, Fort, and Miles Davis Bitches Brew.  $PAYG]

Rehoboth Beach, Del.
Thu. 2/4; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — RAR launch party at Pickled Pig Pub [Very excited to welcome these guys to Delaware.  $PAYG]

Sellersville, Pa.
Fri. 2/5; 5 p.m. — Beer Tasting: New Belgium at Washington House [Taste a lineup of beers from New Belgium Brewing Company.  $PAYG]

Wayne, Pa.
Sat. 2/6; All Day — Super Bowl Saturday at Teresa's Next Door [We will pour some hoppy stuff, some sour stuff, some dark stuff, some fruity stuff, and some other dusty old stuff.  $PAYG]

West Chester, Pa.
Thu. 2/4; 5 p.m.-7 p.m. — Free Samples at Goshen Beverage [Tasting samples of beers from Ballast Point.  $Free]
Sun. 2/7; 10 a.m. — Kegs 'n' Eggs at Levante Brewing Company [Don't sweat what you look like, just brush your teeth, put a hat on or do the ponytail thing, put on some slippers or show up with what your wore last night. We don't judge.  $PAYG]

Wilmington, Del.
Sat. 2/6; 3 p.m. — Grilled Cheese and Craft Beer Tasting at World Café Live [We have taken two of the best things on earth and paired them together in unexpected and delicious ways. Bring your vegetarian friends, too — we can accommodate them on all pairings.  $40]



Sunday, January 31, 2016

Beer Calendar: What To Do in February 2016

So here we are; one-twelfth of the way through 2016. From the Super Bowl to Love Day to Leap Year, February has a lot going on it, especially for its 29 days. The beer event calendar takes full advantage of it.

While I'm on somewhat of a book signing event hiatus, I'll still get my plug in here for you to check it out. If you somehow have still not seen the book, check it out over at my publisher's site. Or to buy, send a note to me, ping Amazon.com, or drop by your local bookstore such as Barnes & Noble.

As always, if I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, let me know.


$20 and under, down to and including FREE...Pay As You Go (PAYG) also included here

Philadelphia
Mon. 2/1; 6 p.m.-9 p.m. — An Evening with Garrett Oliver & Friends at City Tap House-Logan in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Mon. 2/1; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Bottle Shop Happy Hour at Local 44 in Philadelphia, Pa. [$Free]
Tue. 2/2; 7 a.m. — Groundhog Day Hawaiian Shirt Beer Breakfast and Lucky Cat Beer Prognostication at Grey Lodge Pub in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Tue. 2/2; 5 p.m.-7 p.m. — Have a Blast With a Ballast Point Happy Hour at Tria Taproom in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Tue. 2/2; 6 p.m.-10 p.m. — Annie Are You Oak-Aged? at Hawthornes in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Tue. 2/2; 12 p.m. — Meet Jeffers - BarrelMeister at Firestone Walker at Monk's Café in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Wed. 2/3; 4 p.m. — Grand Opening at Bar Hygge in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/4; 5 p.m.-7 p.m. — A Pink Elephant in the Room: Brewery Huyghe at Tria Taproom in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/4; 7 p.m. — Karneval Kostume Party at Brauhaus Schmitz in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/5; 3 p.m.-6 p.m. — Friday Night Sampling at Bell Beverage in Philadelphia, Pa. [$Free]
Fri. 2/5; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — 1st February Event: New Belgium Tasting and Taps at Bottle Bar East in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/5; 7 p.m. — Terrapin Brewing Tap Takeover at Jon's Bar & Grille in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/5-Mon. 2/8; All day — Chinese New Year - Year of the Monkey at Devil's Den in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 2/6; 12 p.m. — Nugget Nectar Firkin Tap at Bottle Bar East in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 2/6; 12 p.m. — Lost in The Woods with New Belgium Brewery at Monk's Café in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 2/7; 11 a.m. — Blind PigSkin Sunday at Bierstube in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 2/7; 7 p.m. — Superbowl of Draft Lists at Bottle Bar East in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 2/7; 6 p.m. — Super Bowl 50 at Brü Craft & Wurst in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 2/7; 6:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. — Super Bowl Sunday at Dock Street Brewing Company in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 2/7; All day — The Elder Bowl - Peyton vs. Pliny at Eulogy in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 2/7; 6:30 p.m.-11 p.m. — Super Bowl Party at Hop Angel Brauhaus in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Mon. 2/8; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Bottle Shop Happy Hour at Local 44 in Philadelphia, Pa. [$Free]
Tue. 2/9; 6 p.m. — Beer School at Coeur in Philadelphia, Pa. [$Free]
Tue. 2/9; 6 p.m.-11 p.m. — Mardis Gras at Interstate Drafthouse in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Tue. 2/9; 12 p.m. — Cocktail Jawn 3: Founders vs. Left Hand at U-Bahn in Philadelphia, Pa. [$10 + $PAYG]
Tue. 2/9; All Day — A Blast of Barleywine Past: Ballantine Burton Ale, or "The Greatest Beer Never Sold" at Tria Taproom in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Wed. 2/10; 9 p.m. — Bella Vista Beer Night at The Trestle Inn in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/11; 7 p.m.-10 p.m. — River Horse Keep the Pint Night at Hop Angel Brauhaus in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/11; 7 p.m. — Two Roads Rye 95 Release Party and Tap Takeover at Interstate Drafthouse in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/11; 6 p.m.-9 p.m. — 2SP Brewing Meet & Greet at Old Eagle Tavern in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/12; 3 p.m.-6 p.m. — Friday Night Sampling at Bell Beverage in Philadelphia, Pa. [$Free]
Fri. 2/12; 7 p.m. — Speak Easy Takeover Valentine's Day Event at Bottle Bar East in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/12; 5 p.m. — Victory Brewing 20th Anniversary at City Tap House-University City in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/12-Sun. 2/14; All weekend — Anti-Valentine's Weekend at Devil's Den in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 2/13; 12 p.m. — Terrapin Wake 'n' Bake Off at City Tap House-Logan in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 2/13; 5 p.m. — Cupid is Stupid, Suds for our Buds at City Tap House-University City in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 2/14; All day — Valentines Day Savage Sixtel Sunday at Kite & Key in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 2/14; 5 p.m. — OrValentines Day at Monk's Café in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Mon. 2/15; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Bottle Shop Happy Hour at Local 44 in Philadelphia, Pa. [$Free]
Thu. 2/18; 4 p.m. — Midwest Beer Night at Barcade in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/18; 7 p.m. — In The Garden Beer Night at Jerry's Bar in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/19; 3 p.m.-6 p.m. — Friday Night Sampling at Bell Beverage in Philadelphia, Pa. [$Free]
Fri. 2/19; 5 p.m. — River Horse Brewing Taps and Tasting at Bottle Bar East in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/19; 7 p.m. — Firestone Nitro Merlin & Cookies Night at Devil's Den in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Mon. 2/22; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Bottle Shop Happy Hour at Local 44 in Philadelphia, Pa. [$Free]
Wed. 2/24; 12 p.m. — Sour Beer Event at Bainbridge Street Barrel House in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/25; 7 p.m. — Weyerbacher Insanity & Riserva Vertical Tastings at Devil's Den in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/26; 3 p.m.-6 p.m. — Friday Night Sampling at Bell Beverage in Philadelphia, Pa. [$Free]
Sat. 2/27; 12 p.m. — Peche Mortel Day at Monk's Café in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Mon. 2/29; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Bottle Shop Happy Hour at Local 44 in Philadelphia, Pa. [$Free]

Philadelphia's close suburbs (within 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Tue. 2/2; 5 p.m.-7 p.m. — Terrapin Meet & Greet at Barren Hill Brewing Company in Lafayette Hill, Pa. [$PAYG]
Wed. 2/3; 7 p.m. — Sierra Nevada Tap Takeover at Geraghty's Pub in Burlington, NJ [$PAYG]
Wed. 2/3; 6 p.m. — Stoudts Brewing Tap Takeover at Dog and Bull in Croydon, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/4; 5 p.m.-7 p.m. — Stone Night at Pinocchio's in Media, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 2/7; All day — Super Bowl Sunday at Hulmeville Inn in Hulmeville, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 2/7; 3 p.m.-5 p.m. — Superbowl Sunday Free Beer & Bread Sampling at The Greeks Next Door in Narberth, Pa. [$Free]
Wed. 2/10; All day — Stone Brewing Rare Gems at Fingers Wings & Other Things in Conshohocken, Pa. [$PAYG]
Wed. 2/10; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Firestone Walker Milk & Cookies Event at Pinocchio's in Media, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/11; 6 p.m. — Oompa Loompa Chocolate Stout Beer Release at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Ardmore, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/12; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Flying Fish Tasting at The Beer Shoppe in Ardmore, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 2/13; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Half Acre Tasting at The Beer Shoppe in Ardmore, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 2/14; 4 p.m.- 8 p.m. — Love is Bitter, Love is Sweet Beer Release at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Media, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/18; 5 p.m. — Beer & Food Pairings at Crooked Eye Brewery in Bristol, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/18; 5 p.m.-7 p.m. — Magic Hat Night at Pinocchio's in Media, Pa. [$PAYG]
Wed. 2/24; All day — One-off The Dock with Ballast Point at Fingers Wings & Other Things in Conshohocken, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/25; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Victory Event w/Java Cask at Pinocchio's in Media, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 2/27; 2 p.m.-6 p.m. — Barrels, Big Beers and a Polar Bear Multi-Tap at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Media, Pa. [$PAYG]

Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other (beyond 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Mon. 2/1; 7 p.m. — 2SP and Terrapin Beers at Two Stones Pub in Kennett Square, Pa. [$PAYG]
Mon. 2/1; 5 p.m. — Victory Wing Night at Liberty Taproom in Reading, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/4; 5 p.m.-8 p.m. — Charity Cask Night at Bethlehem Brew Works in Bethlehem, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/4; 5 p.m. — Almanac Tap Invasion at Hunger N Thirst in Lancaster, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/4; 4:30 p.m. — Vintage & Vinyl at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Del. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/4; 5 p.m. — Dogfish Head Big Beer Weekend at Liberty Taproom in Reading, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/4; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — RAR launch party at Pickled Pig Pub in Rehoboth Beach, Del. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/4; 5 p.m.-7 p.m. — Free Samples at Goshen Beverage in West Chester, Pa. [$Free]
Fri. 2/5; 5 p.m.-8 p.m. — Not Your Daughter's Thin Mint Release Party at Fordham & Dominion Brewing Company in Dover, Del. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/5; 6 p.m. — Stable 12 Tap Takeover at CJ's Doghouse in Kulpsville, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/5; 3 p.m.-10 p.m. — First Friday, Firkin, & Flatbread Night at Saucony Creek Brewing Company in Kutztown, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/5; 11:30 a.m. — Incubus Friday at Sly Fox Brewing Company in Phoenixville, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/5; 11:30 a.m. — Incubus Friday at Sly Fox Brewing Company in Pottstown, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/5; 5 p.m. — Beer Tasting: New Belgium at Washington House in Sellersville, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 2/6; 12 p.m.-4 p.m. — Make It Funky Multi-Tap at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Lancaster, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 2/6; 12 p.m. — Rise Or Shine Beer Release at Mispillion River Brewing Company in Milford, Del. [$PAYG]
Sat. 2/6; 6 p.m. — Long Trail/Otter Creek Tap Takeover at Bistro on Bridge in Phoenixville, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 2/6; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. — British Invasion Multi-Tap at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Phoenixville, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 2/6; All Day — Super Bowl Saturday at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 2/7; 12 p.m.-5 p.m. — Super Beer Sunday at The Fridge in Lancaster, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 2/7; 10 a.m. — Kegs 'n' Eggs at Levante Brewing Company in West Chester, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/11; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Victory 20th Anniversary Celebration/Tap Takeover at Bulls Head Public House in Lititz, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/11; All Day — Nugget Nectar Event at Ulysses Gastropub in Wilmington, Del. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/12; 5 p.m. — Starr Hill Brewery Hearts and Hops Night at Federal Taphouse in Lancaster, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/12; 5 p.m. — Rose Tripel & Chocolate Stout Beer Release at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Phoenixville, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/12; 5 p.m. — When Ballast Point Gives You Lemons at Union Jack's On The Manatawny in Boyertown, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/12-Sun. 2/14; All weekend — Valentine's Weekend at Stewart's Brewing Company in Bear, Del. [$PAYG]
Sat. 2/13; 4 p.m. — Beer and Chocolate at CJ's Doghouse in Kulpsville, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 2/13; 7 p.m. — A Chocolat Pairing Party at The Other Farm Brewing Company in Boyertown, Pa. [$10]
Sun. 2/14; 11 a.m. — Sunday Morning Sex at Porters' Pub in Easton, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 2/14; 12 p.m.-4 p.m. — Chili Challenge at Victory Brewing Company in Parkesburg, Pa. [$Free Admission & $PAYG]
Sun. 2/14; 12 p.m. — Anti-Valentine's Day at ShawneeCraft Brewing Company in Shawnee-on-Delaware, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/18; 12 p.m. — Queen of Wands Bottle Release at Mispillion River Brewing Company in Milford, Del. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/18; 6 p.m.-9 p.m. — Faithful and Fearless Beer Release at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in West Chester, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/18; 5 p.m.-10 p.m. — Ballast Point Victory at Sea Day at Barley Mow Craft Beer House in West Reading, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/19; 11:30 a.m. — Third Friday Firkin Fest at Sly Fox Brewing Company in Phoenixville, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/19; 5 p.m. — Night of the Czar Beer Release at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Wilmington, Del. [$PAYG]
Sat. 2/20-Sat. 2/27; All week — Lehigh Valley Beer Week at Establishments around in Lehigh Valley, Pa. [$Varies]
Sat. 2/20; 11 a.m. — Wood? at Union Jack's On The Manatawny in Boyertown, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 2/21; 11 a.m. — Dark Beer Day at Liberty Taproom in Reading, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/25; 7 p.m. — Firestone Brewing Event at Isaac Newton's in Newtown, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 2/25; All Day — Free Will Brewing Unleashes their Cool Stuff at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 2/26; 11 a.m. — Toss Back the Taps Happy Hour at The Side Bar in West Chester, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 2/27; All day — Cham-Beers-Burg Homebrew Competition at Good Ta Go in Chambersburg, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 2/27; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. — Girl Scout Beer & Cookie Event at 16 Mile Brewing Company in Georgetown, Del. [$20]
Sun. 2/28; 12 p.m.-8 p.m. — 2nd Anniversary Celebration at Barley Mow Craft Beer House in West Reading, Pa. [$PAYG]


Events Over $20

Philadelphia
Fri. 2/5; 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. — Beer & Brewing 101 at Philly Beer School in Philadelphia, Pa. [$39.98]
Sun. 2/7; 6 p.m. — Super Bowl Party at Brauhaus Schmitz in Philadelphia, Pa. [$50]
Tue. 2/9; 7 p.m.-9 p.m. — Beer and Chocolate Beer Dinner Lite at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Philadelphia, Pa. [$55]
Tue. 2/9; 7 p.m. — Dinner with Tomme Arthur - Lost Abbey Brewery at Monk's Café in Philadelphia, Pa. [$125]
Sun. 2/14; 5 p.m. — Valentine's Day at Bottle Bar East in Philadelphia, Pa. [$TBD]
Sat. 2/20; 12 p.m. — Beats, Brews, and BBQ at World Café Live in Philadelphia, Pa. [$45-$60]
Sun. 2/21; 12 p.m.-4 p.m. — Band of Brewers at World Café Live in Philadelphia, Pa. [$20+$PAYG]
Sat. 2/27; 12 p.m.-5:30 p.m. — Bierfest at German Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pa. [$20-$78]
Sat. 2/27; 4 p.m.-7 p.m. — Winter's Warmers 2016: A Homebrew and Chili Competition at Skybox Event Center in Philadelphia, Pa. [$30-$40]

Philadelphia's close suburbs (within 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)


Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other (beyond 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Sat. 2/6; 7 p.m.-10 p.m. — New Belgium Brewing's Lost In The Woods Sour Beer Release Party at The Fridge in Lancaster, Pa. [$50]
Sat. 2/6; 3 p.m. — Grilled Cheese and Craft Beer Tasting at World Café Live in Wilmington, Del. [$40]
Mon. 2/15; 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. — Anniversary Beer Dinner at Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown, Pa. [$65]
Mon. 2/15; 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. — Anniversary Beer Dinner at Victory Brewing Company in Kennett Square, Pa. [$65]
Mon. 2/15; 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. — Anniversary Beer Dinner at Victory Brewing Company in Parkesburg, Pa. [$65]
Tue. 2/16; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Beer and Chocolate Pairing Multi-Tap at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Voorhees, NJ [$25]
Sat. 2/20; 12 p.m.-5 p.m. — Hibrewnation at York Expo Center in York, Pa. [$20-$55]
Sat. 2/20; 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. — Beer & Yoga at Victory Brewing Company in Kennett Square, Pa. [$35]
Sat. 2/20; 11 a.m.-12 p.m. — Detox & Retox: Brew Yoga Series at Saucony Creek Brewing Company in Kutztown, Pa. [$30-$35]
Sat. 2/20; 6 p.m.-9 p.m. — Bottoms Up For Prostate Cancer at The Desmond in Malvern, Pa. [$60-$209]
Sun. 2/21; 10:30 a.m. — BrewAsana Beer & Yoga at Free Will Brewing Company in Perkasie, Pa. [$27.37]
Sun. 2/21; 9 a.m.-12 p.m. — Craft Beer & Yoga at Chatty Monks in West Reading, Pa. [$30]
Sat. 2/27; 6 p.m.-10 p.m. — Mardi Gras Brew Fest at Stoudts Brewing Company in Adamstown, Pa. [$35-$40]
Sat. 2/27; 12:30 p.m.-4 p.m. — Kennett Winterfest at Downtown in Kennett Square, Pa. [$20-$100]
Sat. 2/27; 3 p.m.-6 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. — Friend Fest at Beltzner Hall at Kutztown Fairgrounds in Kutztown, Pa. [$10-$35]
Sun. 2/28; 9:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m. — Stretch and Sip at Levante Brewing Company in West Chester, Pa. [$25]
Mon. 2/29; 5:30 p.m. — Beer Dinner at Bulls Head Public House in Lititz, Pa. [$35]




Friday, January 29, 2016

ShawneeCraft and Brigantessa hit all the right notes in South Philly

In keeping with my new year don't-call-it-a-resolution, I gladly took Brigantessa's invitation to join them as a guest for dinner at their southern Italian-themed restaurant in South Philly last Thursday, January 21. Pardon the delay here with my follow-up thoughts and review as The Brew Lounge was, maybe not completely shut down, but at least slowed down since the Great Blizzard of January 2016. Brew Lounge HQ received a reportedly official 30.1" of snow. Measured in stacked beer cans, it was approximately 4.5-5.0 cans of beer in my driveway. (scroll for pictures below)

Back to the topic of last Thursday. As I'd mentioned last week, these early months of 2016 will see me returning to a much more normal mode of engaging live and in person at beer events and related "stuff" after a frantic last couple of years related to the book.

Brigantessa is owner/chef Joe Cicala's second place behind his celebrated Le Virtù, also nearby in South Philly. With this invitation came my expectation that I'd find a relatively new restaurant (to me, at least, given that it's been open since the fall of 2014 and is widely talked about with high praise) and a brewery that I certainly don't see/taste enough of.

For the dinner, bar manager Elliotte Samartino teamed up with Cosmo Iacavazzi from ShawneeCraft Brewing Company to put on dinner with what appeared on paper to be a well-conceived set of pairings. Brigantessa seems to roughly translate to "female bandit" and I'm not sure which stole the show more at this dinner.

The dishes of food showcased a wide variety of kitchen talent at Brigantessa — from pasta to pizza and savory meat to sweet dessert. If this was to be a representation of what I can expect from a return visit, the beer dinner did a very good job in nudging me in that direction. In addition to a solid kitchen, the beer side of the bar program is managed well with a lineup of sixteen draft lines pouring imported Italian beers along local/regional favorites.

ShawneeCraft Brewing Company is located on the same property as the Shawnee Inn and The Gem & The Keystone and co-owned by the same family. You can imagine what type of fantastic getaway weekend that this makes for.

As for the ShawneeCraft beers that Iacavazzi was representing from the Pocono-region based brewery, from my book research (the brewery is in the book, if it wasn't already assumed), I'd been quite familiar with the Apiarius (which, in the book, I described as a "very food-friendly beer, particularly with lighter fare" and was sourced with honey from hives on the brewery's property) and the Double Pale (named a "Beer Lover's Pick" and "...delightful floral aromas with easy-going bitter flavors...pair with a bowl of spicy chili or gazpacho..."). But I'd not run across the Farmhouse, the Sub Rosa, nor the Imperial Cacoa Porter.

After the Farmhouse light awakening of our palates, the Apiarius was being served from the can (love seeing this!) and was a perfect accompaniment for the light croquette antipasto introduction to the dinner. The Double Pale, a signature beer from ShawneeCraft that I mentioned above, provided an excellent hop-forward pairing with the pizza, bursting with incredible flavors of its own from the artichokes, olives, and chilies.

The Sub Rosa, a Quad, was good, but the fantastic handkerchief pasta (the Fazzoletti) and lamb ragu could have been paired with muddy water and I wouldn't have noticed. An excellent dish of food that I don't see on their website's menu. Hopefully, trusting, that this comes up from time to time on their specials menu.

For all the goodness that proceeded them, the most excellently executed pairings of the night, in my opinion, were saved for the last two. Pork Shank and Altbier? Words escape me; an absolute stunningly seamless integration of flavors from plate to glass and back to plate again. Off-the-bone meaty goodness and a light tinge of smoke from the beer went together like Jack and Diane. Where that reference came from, I have no idea.

The dessert was a fun tease from the printed menu — what? Arancini for dessert? — to the presentation. Cutting into these balls of tender rice revealed sticky sweetness in just the right portion size along with the perfect wingman — the Imperial Cacoa Porter — that capped off a very well conceived and executed dinner.

An overuse of superlatives is not typically my thing. But when a dinner like this worked out in every way hoped for, well, it seems appropriate. Can't wait for our next, non-event, dinner at Brigantessa.

Following here is the menu from the ShawneeCraft Beer Dinner at Brigantessa on January 21, 2016.

Intro Beer: ShawneeCraft Farmhouse Ale

Antipasto course: ShawneeCraft Apiarius served with Pancetta-celery Croquettes, 'nduja stuffed olives, and peperoncino

Pizza course: ShawneeCraft Double Pale served with Mozzarella di Bufala pizza with sheep's milk ricotta, artichokes, olives, and Calabrese chilies

Primo course: ShawneeCraft Sub Rosa served with Fazzoletti with whey-braised lamb ragu, pecorino, and fennel pollen

Secondo course: ShawneeCraft Altbier served with Braised Pork Shank with polenta, Piennolo tomato agrodolce, and caper berries

Dolce course: ShawneeCraft Imperial Cacoa Porter served with Gianduja Arancini - fior di latte arancini with a nutella ganache center


(Brigantessa's well-conceived menu to pair with ShawneeCraft's beers on January 21, 2016)

(ShawneeCraft's Apiarius)

(Brigantessa's Pizza with ShawneeCraft's Double Pale)

(Brigantessa's Braised Pork Shank with ShawneeCraft's Altbier)

(Brigantessa's Fazzoletti pasta with lamb ragu with ShawneeCraft's Sub Rosa)

(A trio of ShawneeCraft's finest from Shawnee on Delaware, Pa.)

(Brigantessa's Gianduja Arancini)

(This is what pre-gaming a beer dinner on Amtrak looks like with a mighty fine altbier and girl scout cookies.)

(This is what pre-blizzard shopping at 11:30 p.m. after a beer dinner looks like.)

(And, finally, this is what roughly 30" of snow looks like, measured in beers.)



Thursday, January 21, 2016

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: January 21 - January 31

Let's close out January's weekly calendar of events here with the last 11 days of the month. As usual, plenty to do from the cities to the mountains. Soak it up!

While I don't envision any book events for at least the next month, I'll continue to stick a quick plug here pointing you to: a) my publisher; b) Amazon.com; c) BarnesAndNoble.com. As always, thank you for your continued support.

As you review beer events, don't forget PhillyTapFinder.com. As always, they host an impressive listing of beer event draft lists to help better inform your beer event planning.

Click through here for a look at the full monthly calendar of beer events around the Philadelphia region.

Ardmore, Pa.
Fri. 1/22; 5 p.m.-7 p.m. - Ommegang and Boulevard Tasting at The Beer Shoppe ($PAYG for a lineup of beers to sample from Ommegang and Boulevard breweries.)

Conshohocken, Pa.
Thu. 1/21; 5 p.m.-7 p.m. - Stoudts Sampling at Fingers Wings & Other Things ($PAYG for sampling with Joe from Stoudts.)
Wed. 1/27 - Warm Up With Weyerbacher at Fingers Wings & Other Things ($PAYG for Weyerbacher's 20th Anniversary, Heresy, Quad, Sunday Morning Stout, Tango, and Winter Ale.)

Kulpsville, Pa.
Fri. 1/29 - Terrapin at CJ's Doghouse ($PAYG for Terrapin's Wake N Bake, Cinnamon Roll, and plenty of other goodies from Terrapin on tap.)

Lancaster, Pa.
Fri. 1/22; 5 p.m. - Victory Tap Takeover at Isaac's Pickle Bar ($PAYG as all taps are dedicated to beers from Victory Brewing Company.)

Maple Shade, NJ
Wed. 1/27; 6 p.m.-10 p.m. - Luca Brasi Beer Release at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant ($PAYG for the re-release of the 2011 Iron Brewer competition winner, Luca Brasi, our coffee-infused English stout.)

Media, Pa.
Thu. 1/21; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. - New Belgium Night at Pinocchio's ($PAYG for a night of beers from New Belgium.)
Thu. 1/28; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. - Captain Lawrence Night at Pinocchio's ($PAYG for a night of beers from Captain Lawrence.)

Newark, Del.
Thu. 1/21; 5 p.m.-8 p.m. - A Wee Bit of Scotland Beer Release at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant ($PAYG for Wee Heavy, a full-bodied Scotch-style ale with a distinct malty-sweet character and The Highlander, an assertive malty sweetness with just a touch of roasted character in the aroma and flavor.)

Oxford, Pa.
Mon. 1/25; 5 p.m.-9 p.m. - Bog Turtle Rochambeau Rouge Red Ale Release at SawMill Grill ($PAYG for the release of the young brewery's Rochambeau Rouge - a caramel, malty, toasty Red Ale.)

Perkasie, Pa.
Sun. 1/31; 12 p.m.-7 p.m. - Sour Sunday #1 2016 Edition at Free Will Brewing Company ($PAYG to celebrate being sour with this super fun and rare opportunity.)

Philadelphia, Pa.
Thu. 1/21; 4 p.m. - Winter Beer Night at Barcade ($PAYG to shake off the winter’s chill with some tasty brews.)
Thu. 1/21; 6:30 p.m. - ShawneeCraft Beer Dinner at Brigantessa ($65 for a five-course dinner served with ShawneeCraft's Apiarius, Dubble IPA, Sub Rosa, Altbier, and Imperial Porter.)
Thu. 1/21; 7 p.m. - Fat Head's Release Party at Devil's Den ($PAYG for specials on all Fat Head's drafts.)
Fri. 1/22; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. - Heavy Seas Tasting at Bottle Bar East ($PAYG for a tasting of beers from Heavy Seas.)
Fri. 1/22; 6 p.m.-9 p.m. - Sly Fox 20th Anniversary Party: Yes We Can at Grey Lodge Pub ($PAYG for all the Sly Fox cans we can get our hands on, plus Sly Fox 20 on tap. Canwood Derby, Can Craft Contest, and more.)
Sat. 1/23 & Sun. 1/24; 1 p.m.-4 p.m. and 5 p.m.-8 p.m. - Winterfest Brewfest at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest ($PAYG for a weekend full of local and regional beers and music.)
Sun. 1/24; 4 p.m. - Band Of Brewers: Opening Act at Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia, Pa. ($5 as last year's winners HueMan of Forest & Main and newcomers this year, House Plant of Tired Hands perform. Beers from both breweries will be featured on tap.)
Tue. 1/26; 8 p.m.-11 p.m. - Tuesday Tapping at Lucky's Last Chance ($PAYG for a lineup of beers from Stoudts.)
Thu. 1/28; 5 p.m. - Bella Vista Night at The Trestle Inn in Philadelphia, Pa. ($PAYG for new drafts from Naked all night long.)
Sun. 1/31; 11 a.m. - Sour Bowl II at Brü Craft & Wurst ($PAYG for a full 32-tap takeover including 28 Sours and 4 IPAs.)
Sun. 1/31; 11 a.m. - Stout Bowl at U-Bahn (11 a.m.; $PAYG for 14 over the top stouts, plus a firkin of something hoppy.)
Sun. 1/31; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. - "Heady" Fat Head's Brunch at McCrossen's Tavern ($PAYG for four beers from Fat Head's, including Bumble Berry, which pairs quite well with our blueberry waffles. Live Grateful Dead/jam band music by Looseleaf.)

Phoenixville, Pa.
Sat. 1/23; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. - British Invasion Multi-Tap at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant ($PAYG for eight English style beers and a traditional British-inspired menu.)
Sat. 1/23; 5 p.m.-11 p.m. - Robbie Burns Night at Sly Fox Brewing Company ($PAYG for Gang Aft Agley Scotch Ale and Burns Scottish Ale pouring from the taps, the bagpipes piping, and the arrival of the Haggis (6:30 p.m.) will be marked by Ian Turnbull's reading of Burns' Ode to a Haggis. Celtic Spirit will play music throughout the evening.)
Thu. 1/28; 7 p.m. - Fat Head Brewery Tap Takeover at Bistro on Bridge ($PAYG for Fat Head's Head Hunter, BumbleBerry, Sunshine DayDream, Trail Head, and Shakedown.)


Stroudsburg, Pa.
Sat. 1/30; 6:15 p.m. - Pocono Winter Beerfest at Sherman Theater ($35-$50 for over 75 taps of your favorite stouts and ales, live music, and tasty food.)

Voorhees, NJ
Thu. 1/21; 4 p.m.-7 p.m. - Bandana Extravaganza Beer Release at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant ($PAYG for Bandana IPA, an American IPA with a delicious lemon, melon, citrus and a subtle pine character.)

West Chester, Pa.
Fri. 1/22; 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m. - Friday Night Sampling at Goshen Beverage ($Free tasting samples of beers from Lancaster Brewing.)
Fri. 1/29; 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. - Friday Night Sampling at Goshen Beverage ($Free tasting samples of beers from Leinenkugel.)
Sat. 1/30; 1 p.m.-6 p.m. - Belgium Comes To West Chester at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant ($PAYG as regional breweries to showcase the best locally craft-brewed, Belgian-style beers.)

West Reading, Pa.
Thu. 1/21; 5 p.m.-10 p.m. - Spring House Tap Takeover at Barley Mow Craft Beer House ($PAYG for a night of beers from Spring House Brewing Company.)



Wednesday, January 20, 2016

St. Benjamin Brewing celebrating the statesman at City Tap House


On one hand, I wouldn't call it a resolution. However, I did come down the home stretch of 2015 seeing a planned slowdown in my book events as the perfect opportunity to getting back out there on the brewery, bar, and event beat. It's something I'd built my reputation on - that is, getting to know the breweries, their beers, the bars they're served in, the events they're poured at, and the people behind them all and serving up to you the sights, sounds, tastes, and information to help you with your own beer journeys.

The book gave me a perfect platform to highlight some of the best around PA, NJ, MD, and DE. But, the content hosted here at The Brew Lounge certainly took a hit in favor of the book project. With that slowly moving from the forefront, I'm getting back to the old business as usual and doing it with two things in mind. First up, I'm getting back out there to bring you the best of the beer world as I experience it first hand. Second, work on a second edition of the book could begin as early as next year so staying on top of the new breweries and bars/events that their beers are served at will be of extreme importance so I can hit the ground running if and when that time comes.

So when the e-mail came reminding me of City Tap House's event this past Monday in Philadelphia just off Logan Circle to commemorate Ben Franklin's birthday with a special holiday lunch and beers from, naturally, St. Benjamin Brewing Company, I immediately bumped it up my priority list of things to do - after getting my painting chores done first.

(I should also add - and, going forward, intend to make an overt practice of disclosing such matters - that I paid for my own parking, my beers, and my food. These days, with seemingly more chatter than ever about selling out, vested interests, and other grey area topics, I plan to make sure that there's no question as to my independent status. When a tab is paid for by a brewer, bar owner, a PR firm, or otherwise, I'll be sure to make note of it so that you can calculate your own measure of my bias. Not that I haven't made this effort in the past, but I plan to be much more disciplined about making the point.)

Why would I "immediately" bump the event up? It wasn't that I haven't been to City Tap House before. Well, back to my opening comments. Especially during the last year of marketing and selling my book, I've really let new-ish things slide. That is, keeping up on new brewery openings, brewery expansions, and sharing information in this ever-confusing and changing beer scene.

In this case, the subject is St. Benjamin. They've been creeping up into a larger presence on the city's brewing scene since opening back in 2014. They were in the appendix of my book as "Open Now" with a short description that read: "A 3-barrel brewery bringing uniquely flavored, quirky, and well-crafted beers to the beer drinkers of Philadelphia. Planning to add a pub room in 2015." But with a small portfolio of beers and slow ramp-up into the market, I couldn't get them into a space within the body of the book. With the exception of occasionally running into their beers at Standard Tap or Johnny Brenda's, that was the last I really had on St. Benjamin.

Until now. And boy have I missed out on the progress of the last year. This week's event was primarily to unveil the brewery's new Franklin's Abbey line of Belgian-themed beers. For me, though, it was much more. Call me a slacker - of course I am, I already admitted as much - but I learned that the brewery has expanded from the original 3-barrel brewhouse setup to a 10 hectoliter (roughly 8.5 barrels, which I love the introduction of the math, thanks). Speaking of brewing, also heard first-hand that former consultant, Gordon Grubb, has moved back full-time to Nodding Head which, yes wait for it, is apparently very close to getting that first brew in the tanks in South Philly.

I learned that St. Benjamin has a core set of beers - that'd be the Hopligation (east coast IPA), Transcontinental (California common ale), Liaison Saison, Junto (German Kolsch), Inca (Indian Cream Ale), and Foul Weather Jack (English Mild). That they do special series such as the Saison du Jour (ranging from 5.6%-8.2% ABV after nine versions thus far) and the Troubleshooter Pale Ale (six installments to-date experimenting with a wide variety of aroma, flavor, and bitter hops).

And that the tasting room/pub is on track to be open to the public in the spring, most hopefully in time for the Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) which descends an estimated 10,000+ brewing industry professionals to the city for its annual convention.


Owner/brewer, Tim Patton, and sales/events manager Jackie Cusack were on hand Monday at City Tap House along with six of their beers on tap. Hopligation (7% ABV) and Franklin's Abbey Triple stood out to me, with Hopligation earning its way into a full pour for me after sampling the rest of the lineup. The Franklin's Abbey Stout and Foul Weather Jack English Mild (4.5% ABV) also did an excellent job representing their respective styles.

The last on that list got me into a conversation with brewer/owner Tim Patton about how we can go about providing all the support possible to help keep classic styles alive, such as his English Mild that I truly believe belongs on every beer lover's list of beers to drink in Philly. Oh, and I might make mention as well of the Pork Belly Benedict that accompanied these beers, particularly the stout, quite nicely. BEN-edict, get it? As you were...

Friday, January 15, 2016

Post-Christmas gift: Tröegs Nugget Nectar is back


It's back — the one major release in the Mid-Atlantic that beer lovers have been setting their post-New Year's calendars to each year. And the Tröegs team, along with their distributing partners Penn, have blanketed the region with "First Squeeze" events from their home turf of Hershey, Pa. to Philadelphia, the Lehigh Valley, and beyond to newer markets of MD, VA, OH, NC, NY, and MA. At the events, they are handing out Nugget Nectar art prints, bottle openers, and stickers.

Pouring from the taps include the Nugget Nectar (often both on CO2 and on handpumps) along with fan favorites like the dependably solid Hopback Amber Ale, seasonally appropriate Blizzard of Hops, chart-topping newcomers Solid Sender Pale Ale and various Scratch beers, and the big burly monsters Mad Elf and Impending Descent.

In Philadelphia, the kickoff event was on January 13 at Kite & Key, longtime friend and supporter of the brewery. As such, brothers/owners/brewers Chris and John Trogner drove an old Chevy truck proudly flying their corporate flag and delivering the first keg to be served. Check out the brewery's Instagram feed for fun pictures of the truck, the commute, and the tapping.

It's been a busy 2016 thus far for Tröegs, with news breaking this month of the brewery's continuing expansion plans. Quite an odyssey for these guys, first with their move from Harrisburg to Hershey (announcement in 2010) to the building of the new brewery (my coverage of it) to the unveiling in late 2011 (more full coverage from me in addition to a full set of pictures).

Hershey was a destination for many other reasons before Tröegs came along. Now, with the continually growing world-class brewery, there's more reason than ever to visit them in person if you've not yet done so. I can't wait to see what the remainder of 2016 holds for these guys. In the meantime, I'll be enjoying my own sixtel (and probably some cans too, who am I kidding?!). Stop by if you can.

(inside Kite & Key on Jan. 13, there was definitely no stopping the Nugget Nectar revelry)

(the good stuff flowing from Kite & Key's taps on January 13)

(Brothers Trogner — Chris and John — have certainly made good on their promise of world-class beer in Central Pennsylvania through the years, first from Harrisburg and the last four years from Hershey)

(Jim Kirk, co-owner Kite & Key, had the honor of hosting Chris Trogner and his brother at the only First Squeeze event that the brothers will be attending in Philly to roll out the 2015-16 Nugget Nectar.)

(John Trogner pours fresh Nugget Nectar for a thirsty crowd at Kite & Key.)

(A wall-to-wall crowd came out to find Chris Trogner and a handful of Tröegs beers on tap at Kite & Key.)

Then on Thursday, January 14, Regional Sales Manager, Nick Johnson, and Sales Representative, Matt Hasson, dusted themselves off from the Wednesday night kickoff and continued at The Pour House in Exton, Pa. Here, the happy hour crowd swelled by 6 p.m. and the handpumped firkin kicked barely an hour later. The Nugget is loose; go getchyer self some.




Thursday, January 14, 2016

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: January 14 - January 20

Looks like you're going to have plenty of opportunity in the next seven days to eat well, drink well, fest well, and find new beers in the greater Philadelphia market. Go get 'em!

While I don't envision any book events for at least the next month, I'll continue to stick a quick plug here pointing you to: a) my publisher; b) Amazon.com; c) BarnesAndNoble.com. As always, I graciously thank you for your continued support.

As you review beer events, don't forget PhillyTapFinder.com. As always, they host an impressive listing of beer event draft lists to help better inform your beer event planning.

Click through here for a look at the full monthly calendar of beer events around the Philadelphia region.

Ardmore, Pa.
Fri. 1/15; 5 p.m.-7 p.m. - Tröegs Tasting at The Beer Shoppe ($PAYG for a lineup of beers to sample from Tröegs.)

Boyertown, Pa.
Fri. 1/15 - Aloha Sculpin! at Union Jack's On The Manatawny in Boyertown, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG for a special firkin tapping of Ballast Point Pineapple Sculpin IPA and other Ballast Point brews on tap including Grunion, Even Keel, Peppermint Victory at Sea, and Peanut Butter Victory at Sea.)

Chalfont, Pa.
Thu. 1/14; 5 p.m. - Fat Head's Tasting Event at Blue Dog Tavern ($PAYG to welcome Fat Head's to Bucks County.)

Croydon, Pa.
Tue. 1/19; 7 p.m. - Nugget Nectar First Squeeze at Dog and Bull ($PAYG as Dog & Bull will be the very first bar in Bucks County to tap Nugget Nectar. We will also have Tröegs Dreamweaver and Scratch beer Impending Descent on tap, as well as Troegenator, Perpetual IPA, and brand new pale ale, Solid Sender in bottles for you to sample.)

Downingtown, Pa.
Sat. 1/16; 9 a.m. - Beer & Yoga at Victory Brewing Company ($30 for a yoga class taught in our Downingtown brewpub, then treat yourself to a tasty menu paired perfectly with our delicious seasonal Victory brews.)

Ewing, NJ
Sat. 1/16; 10 a.m. - Bottle Release at River Horse Brewing Company ($PAYG for the limited release of the new Imperial Chocolate Porter.)

Exton, Pa.
Thu. 1/14; 5 p.m.-8 p.m. - Tröegs Tap Takeover at The Pour House ($PAYG for the annual release of Nugget Nectar, plus HopBack Amber, Impending Descent, Solid Sender, and Scratch #213.)

Gettysburg, Pa.
Sat. 1/16; 12 p.m.-5 p.m. - Hibrewnation at Allstar Complex ($20-$55 for an uncompromising exploration of beer with a side of rare and hard to find.)

Lancaster, Pa.
Sat. 1/16; 3 p.m.-5 p.m. - Saturday Brew Review at Isaac's Pickle Bar ($25 for a four-course meal paired with four brewmaster picks from Victory Brewing Company.)

Lansdale, Pa.
Fri. 1/15; 7 p.m.-9 p.m. - River Horse Tap Takeover at Blue Dog ($PAYG for some of our limited release Barrel-aged Barleywine, along with other favorites like our IPA, Special Ale, and Belgian Freeze.)

Media, Pa.
Thu. 1/14; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. - Bell's Night at Pinocchio's ($PAYG for a night of beers from Bell's.)
Fri. 1/15; 11 a.m. - Fat Head's Launch at Pinocchio's ($PAYG for special release of Fat Head's beers.)

Philadelphia, Pa.
Fri. 1/15; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. - Manayunk Tasting at Bottle Bar East ($PAYG for a tasting of beers from Manayunk Brewing.)
Fri. 1/15 & Sat. 1/16; 7 p.m.-11:30 p.m. both nights - Big Philly Beerfest at Pennsylvania Convention Center ($45-$75 for two big nights of 100+ breweries with over 300 beers to benefit Animal Rescue Partners.)
Sun. 1/17; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. - Ben Franklin Sixtel Sunday Birthday Celebration at Kite & Key ($PAYG to celebrate the birthday of our country's greatest citizen with one heck of a tap list.)
Mon. 1/18; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. - Ballast Point Brunch at City Tap House-University City ($PAYG for a very unique pairing for your MLK holiday.)
Tue. 1/19; 6 p.m. - Coppertail Beer Dinner at Pizzeria Vetri-Chancellor Street ($50 for a four-course meal paired with beers from Coppertail Brewing Company.)
Tue. 1/19; 7 p.m. - Fat Head's Release Party at The Cambridge ($PAYG to meet the brewers, drink some great beer, and enjoy some great "headwiches".)
Tue. 1/19; 8 p.m.-11 p.m. - Tuesday Tapping at Lucky's Last Chance ($PAYG for a lineup of beers from Peak Brewing.)
Wed. 1/20; 10 a.m. - 120 on 1/20 at Grey Lodge Pub ($PAYG for a sixtel of Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA.)

Phoenixville, Pa.
Fri. 1/15; 11:30 a.m. - Third Friday Firkin Fest at Sly Fox ($PAYG as at least one other beer joins our ever popular Chester County Bitter on the handpumps.)

Rehoboth Beach, Del.
Thu. 1/14; 7 p.m. - Dogfish Head Beer Dinner at Salt Air ($60 for a five-course meal paired with Dogfish Head's Namaste, 75 Minute, Pennsylvania Tuxedo, Midas Touch, and Fort.)
Wed. 1/20; 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. - East vs. West Beer Dinner at Pickled Pig Pub ($TBA for a night of great East Coast and West Coast food and beer and help us welcome the west coast breweries who have set up shop in the east.)

Wayne, Pa.
Sat. 1/16 - Fat Head’s is Here at Teresa's Next Door ($PAYG for a few super fresh beers from a brewery that will be sure to please that winter hoppy craving.)

West Chester, Pa.
Fri. 1/15; 4 p.m.-6 p.m. - Friday Night Sampling at Goshen Beverage ($Free tasting samples of beers from SweetWater.)
Tue. 1/19; 9 p.m. - Firestone Walker 19th Anniversary Tapping at The Side Bar ($PAYG for Firestone Walker's 19th Anniversary Ale tapped right before Mystery Box Trivia starts.)

West Reading, Pa.
Thu. 1/14; 5 p.m.-10 p.m. - St. Boniface/Columbia Kettle Works Tap Takeover at Barley Mow Craft Beer House ($PAYG for the new collaboration with St. Boniface & Columbia Kettleworks Double Dry-hopped Kettleface.)

Wilmington, Del.
Thu. 1/14; 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. - Tap Takeover at Ulysses Gastropub ($PAYG to enjoy some wonderful food with some even better beer from Yards. Golden Hop IPA makes an early appearance in Del.)
Fri. 1/15; 5 p.m.-8 p.m. - The Return of Riverfront IPA Beer Release at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant ($PAYG for the release of Riverfront IPA, our most popular seasonal beer.)
Sat. 1/16; 3 p.m. - Grilled Cheese & Craft Beer at World Cafe Live ($40 for two of the best things on earth paired together in unexpected and delicious ways. Bring your vegetarian friends, too — we can accommodate them on all pairings.)