Friday, October 21, 2016

October 2016: News update, part 2

Some big macro news accompanies the local news for the second half of October's round up of brews news. Grab a Beer and Enjoy. In no particular order...

~ Brooklyn Brewery sells 24.5% equity to Kirin from Japan. [Link to Wall Street Journal.] and [Link to The Full Pint]

~ ABIBGI is opening next to The Fillmore in Philly. [Link to]

~ Stone's layoffs a harbinger of sobering up or a hangover? [Link to The Full Pint]

~ Very cool news from Sterling Pig in Media, Pa. where I've been enjoying watching their growth [Link to The Town Dish]

~ Oktoberfest at the 23rd Street Armory sounds/looks like a success. [Link to Philadelphia Business Journal]

~ Is Urban Village Brewing Company still coming to Northern Liberties? Might need to do some additional sleuthing. [Link to]

~ Beer fests. Underage attendees. The controversy continues. [Link to Draft Magazine]

~ I used to live in Manayunk in the 90s pre-brewpub. Lot of time has passed since then and they're still there. [Link to Yours For Good Fermentables]

~ Grey Lodge's Mike "Scoats" Scotese added a fourth home-away-from-home to his roster. [Link to Philly Mag/Foobooz]

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Weekly Beer Event Calendar Update: October 20 - October 26

I know you're all thirsty and looking to drink with some like-minded folks. Here are a couple dozen or so recommendations how to do just that.

As you review beer events, don't forget 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.

Adamstown, Pa.
Sun. 10/23; 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. — Oktoberfest – The Joe Weber Band at Stoudts Brewing Company [A fun-filled family festival featuring live German polka music by The Joe Weber band, dancing, pig roast, authentic German food, and Stoudts hand-crafted lagers and ales.  $10-$50]

Berwyn, Pa.
Tue. 10/25; 3 p.m. — Grand Opening at La Cabra Brewing Company [Getting things off the ground with eight or nine beers on draft and a Latin American-themed kitchen menu.  $PAYG]

Downingtown, Pa.
Thu. 10/20; 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. — Harvest Beer Dinner at Victory Brewing Company [A five-course meal served with Headwaters Ale, Selene Saison, Harvest Ale, Moonglow, and Zeltbier.  $55]

Exton, Pa.
Thu. 10/20; 5 p.m. — Takin' Over The Taps with Alpine at The Drafting Room [A special tapping of three awesome beers from Alpine Beer Company. Plus, souvenir glassware.  $PAYG]

Kulpsville, Pa.
Fri. 10/21; 5 p.m. — Weyerbacher Tap Takeover at CJ's Doghouse [Some great stouts and big beers to warm you on a nice, cool autumn evening.  $PAYG]

Lahaska, Pa.
Sat. 10/22; 12 p.m.-6 p.m. — Grand Opening at Free Will Taproom at Peddler's Village [Our newest Taproom features 8 taps, multiple seating areas, and is located overlooking the main green of Peddler's Village.  $PAYG]

Lancaster, Pa.
Fri. 10/21; 5 p.m. — Evil Genius Tap Takeover at Isaac's Pickle Bar [All taps will be from Evil Genius Beer Co., October's featured brewery.  $PAYG]

Malvern, PA
Sat. 10/22; 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. — Homebrewing Demo at Fancy Camper Home Brew Supply [Join us at the shop for a free homebrewing demo. It's fun, educational, and informal.  $Free]

Maple Shade, NJ
Sun. 10/23; 9 p.m.-10 p.m. — Helles on Earth Beer Release at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant [Join us a for the limited release of Helles on Earth, a blood orange infused Munich Helles. We will have The Walking Dead season 7 premiere on the big screen, so dress up as your favorite character or zombie.  $PAYG]
Tue. 10/25; 7 p.m.-10 p.m. — Halloween Beer Dinner at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant [Join us for five courses of spooky, Halloween themed cuisine from Head Chef Scot Seher Jr. perfectly paired with Helles Highwater, Ghost Pepper Mahalo, Apollo!, Oktoberfest, Out the Gate IPA, and Trubbel with Monks.  $65]

Mount Holly, NJ
Sat. 10/22; 12 p.m.-10 p.m. — 2nd Anniversary & Imperial Stout bottle release at Spellbound Brewing Company [The beer is the biggest we have ever brewed in our 20bbl brewhouse. Weighing in at 11.5% ABV, extremely heavy bodied with notes of chocolate, roasty malts, and deliciousness.  $PAYG]

Norristown, Pa.
Thu. 10/20; 12 p.m. — Box Of Hops at Capone's [Ithaca's newest Box Of Hops.  $PAYG]

Philadelphia, Pa.
Thu. 10/20; 4 p.m. — Pumpkin Head at Standard Tap [We're tapping 8 different pumpkin beers and pouring them into hollowed out gourds.  $PAYG]
Thu. 10/20; 6 p.m.-9 p.m. — TerraPink:Sound Czech Yourself For Breast Cancer at Brü Craft & Wurst [Featuring our friends from Terrapin Beer Co. All proceeds from Sound Czech beers bought will be donated to a local non-profit that fights comprehensively against breast cancer.  $PAYG]
Thu. 10/20; 7 p.m.-9 p.m. — Beers, Brewing, and Boos at Evil Genius Beer Company [Partnering with local FemALES on Broad: Barley’s Angel’s Philadelphia chapter to host a women only homebrew class and guided tasting to brew a beer and learn all about the process.  $25]
Thu. 10/20; All Day — Franconian Lager Gravity Kegs at Local 44 [Pair a pint with a German brat sandwich for just $16.  $PAYG]
Fri. 10/21; 3 p.m.-6 p.m. — Friday Night Tasting at Bell Beverage [Free tasting samples of beers from Saint Benjamin Brewing Company.  $Free]
Fri. 10/21; 6 p.m.-11 p.m. — Friday Sixtel: Sam Adams & Flounder Devil’s Nectah at Grey Lodge Pub [Devil’s Nectah is a limited-edition cranberry-honey helles lager brewed by Sam Adams in conjunction with New Jersey-based brewery Flounder Brewing Co.  $PAYG]
Sat. 10/22; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. — Brunch en Tie Dye at McCrossen's Tavern [Join us for Brunch en Tie Dye, where you can drink four great Weyerbacher beers on draft, eat delicious food, and make your very own tie dye shirt. All proceeds from Weyerbacher t-shirts will go to the Morris Animal Refuge.  $PAYG]
Sat. 10/22; 12 p.m.-10 p.m. — Evil Genius Brew Garden: Final Pop-up at Evil Genius Beer Company [Attendees will enjoy happy hour pricing for anyone in costume, a special beer tapping, a Halloween costume contest, and DJ ElectroBecker.  $PAYG]
Sat. 10/22 & Sun. 10/23; 4 p.m.-11 p.m. — Harvestfest Weekend at Hop Angel Brauhaus [Harvestfest celebrates freshly harvested food as well as wet-hopped harvest beers.  $PAYG]
Sun. 10/23; 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. — Eagles Tailgate with Iron Abbey at Lincoln Financial Field [Leave the cooking to us and enjoy.  $25]
Tue. 10/25; 8 p.m.-11 p.m. — Tuesday Tapping at Lucky's Last Chance [A night with Allagash beers.  $PAYG]

Pottstown, Pa.
Sat. 10/22; 12 p.m.-4:30 p.m. — Pottstown Brew Fest at Manatawny Park [Come join the fun, as we sample over 150+ beers and ciders from 65+ of the best craft brewers from the Mid-Atlantic and across the United States.  $10-$75]

Reading, Pa.
Sun. 10/23; All day — PA Tap Takeover at Liberty Taproom [We plan on having 32 different Pennsylvania breweries on draft.  $PAYG]

Sellersville, Pa.
Fri. 10/21; 5 p.m. — Beer Tasting: Pumpkin Brews at Washington House [Join us to taste an assortment of this year's best pumpkin beers.  $PAYG]

Voorhees, NJ
Fri. 10/21; 4 p.m.-7 p.m. — Undead Black IPA Beer Release at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant [In conjunction with Voorhees Town Center’s Thriller Night, we are releasing an IPA that is lightly roasty and toasty with moderate bitterness and enough American hop character to bring back the dead.  $PAYG]

West Chester, Pa.
Sat. 10/22; 5 p.m.-9 p.m. — Ride The Rails II at Boxcar Brewing Company [Come out for an event to remember as we board 1930’s style train cars and head down the historical West Chester Railroad to Glen Mills picnic park. We provide the food (a rockstar spread), Boxcar beer (all of our best brews), and live music (stellar West Chester talent of course).  $25-$45]

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Construction Update 10/15/2016: La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa. is set to open

(Eight to nine drafts to be available on opening day, October 25, with more to come in the days and weeks after.)

Let's get this breaking news out of the way first thing — La Cabra Brewing Company is cleared to open its doors to the public for the first time at 3 p.m. on October 25.

They've come a long way in the last few months and since I last visited a little over a month ago. Now all the powers-that-be have given had their say and the beer lines have been hooked up to the brite/serving tanks. All that's left are some remaining construction touches and final staff prepping.

I stopped by yesterday morning to find brewer and operating partner Dan Popernack and chef John Hearn busy at work but willing to take time to show me a bit of what's changed, give me an update on the remaining week's work, and slide a few tastes of beer and food my way.

They plan to open La Cabra's doors on Tuesday, October 25 as if it was just another day of business. This way, they hope to be able to gently break in the staff, work out any kinks, and give customers the smoothest introduction in the early days and weeks to one of the area's most anticipated new brewpub ventures.

While the second floor and mezzanine room will eventually be available for private party rentals, the entire facility (total capacity around 240) will be open and available for all customers to explore in the first weeks. There's a full bar on both the first and second floors and Popernack expects to have eight or nine of his taps flowing with a variety of his beers on opening day.

(Flights of great taste at La Cabra.)

My initial samplings confirm that there will be a diverse representation of quality beers for customers to look forward to both at the bar by themselves as well as paired together on the dining room tables. The Coquette (3.5% ABV) is a wonderful display of berries in a barrel-aged fruit beer. Should work well as a light refreshing interlude (i.e. not overwhelming with fruit) or in pairings as a breakfast or dessert beer.

Belma (5.7% ABV) is a Belgian Pale Ale that takes advantage of a new experimental hop from the Pacific NW. It helps bring out a light fruit character, strawberry for one, in a very drinkable Belgian Pale. Juno (4.8% ABV) is an American Blonde Ale with Rosemary and Lime that I expect to work very well with some entries on Hearn's Latin American-themed kitchen menu.

Two IPAs should please the hop heads. One is the Tabula Rasa, deemed a Session IPA, which will be different from batch to batch and always feature a single hop. The one I tasted (4.4% ABV) showcased the always enjoyable Mosaic. The second is Leo (6.3% ABV) that Popernack is still working to find the balance in malt and hops that he is most happy with. I think he's nearly there and this will be turn out to be a great go-to IPA.

(Sneak peek, and taste, of the excellent Crispy Pork Belly to be on the menu at La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

Finally, the Cassiopeia (4.8% ABV) is an "Amber Kölsch" that Popernack is looking forward to making his own style and one that I'm looking forward to sampling more of. It definitely bucks the traditional Kölsch style guidelines but yet when I drank it along with the Crispy Pork Belly that Hearn brought out of the kitchen for me, I found myself not giving that a second thought. The roasted nature of the Cassiopeia worked nicely with the pork belly (great ratio of meat-to-fat -- very important to me) as I would imagine so too would the Roggenbier that Popernack says will be coming up in the near future.

Lots of intriguing promise awaits in Berwyn. Just a little over a week until we get to see the full production. By the way, in case you didn't pick up on it in my last update, if you're coming out from Philly by train, get off at the Berwyn station and simply cross over Lancaster Avenue that parallels the train tracks and you're there.

(First floor interior of La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

(First floor bar of La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

(First floor interior of La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

(First floor interior of La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

(Cemetery gates over the second floor bar at La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

(Second floor interior of La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

(Second floor interior of La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

(Memento from the now-shuttered Fritz Lumber, since 1863, across the street.)

(Back door entrance of La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

(Back staircase and brewhouse entrance of La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

(Fear not, there will be available parking in Berwyn.)

(Soon there will be a much larger sign announcing the new La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

Friday, October 14, 2016

More of my writing in more places; need more beer (?!)

Seems like there's always something new going on around here.

For the past year, I've been doing a beer column for the striking County Lines Magazine in Chester County, Pa. Here's a link to my last column that served as a pre-GABF 2016 look at some local brewers such as Sly Fox, Nodding Head, Conshohocken, Iron HillTröegs, McKenzie Brew House, and Stoudts and their past and present experience with the massive GABF competition.

Then, for my newest thing. I never made an official announcement, so this might as well be it. Woody Chandler has moved on from his column at Ale Street News. For over ten years, he's been tracking down and reporting on the beer news all around Pennsylvania (excluding Philly, which is covered by Lee Porter).

Now I've got the keyboard. Here's a link to my first column in the Oct./Nov. 2016 issue. In it, I covered the latest news at Columbia Kettle Works, Fegley's Brew Works, Four Seasons, Free Will, Iron Hill, La Cabra, Marzoni's, Spring House, Stickman, Stoudts, Tröegs, and Victory.

If you know me well, you should know that I'm going to enjoy this gig.

Obviously in such a large state, it's impossible to cover even a quarter of the breweries and breweries-in-planning in each issue. So I'll be talking about interesting brewery news around a theme. In this issue, on such short notice 'til deadline, I simply began with Woody's home turf of Lancaster, looped out west and back to the east and the soon-to-be-brand-new La Cabra in Berwyn.

In the next issue, I'm looking to shape a theme of football in the state (high school powerhouses, college programs, pro football legends, and any crossover of football into the brewhouses). I've got a pretty good head-start on this, but if you have any insights that you'd like to see me touch on, as always, feel free to drop a note to me.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Weekly Beer Event Calendar Update: October 13 - October 19

The kids are back from GABF with some new well-deserved medals. 2SP, Flying Fish, Iron Hill, Neshaminy Creek, Two Rivers, and Yards, to be exact, and hearty congratulations to them all. You should find some of their beers at events in the area amongst the couple dozen listed below. More great stuff from a great beer drinking region. Enjoy...

As you review beer events, don't forget 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.

Adamstown, Pa.
Sat. 10/15; 12 p.m.-4 p.m. & 6 p.m.-10 p.m. — Breast Cancer Awareness Brewfest at Stoudts Brewing Company [Join us for a great cause, fantastic beer, a gourmet buffet, and live music.  $$TBA]
Sun. 10/16; 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. — Octoberfest – Alex Meixner at Stoudts Brewing Company [A fun-filled family festival featuring live German polka music by Alex Meixner band, dancing, pig roast, authentic German food, and Stoudts hand-crafted lagers and ales.  $10-$50]

Allentown, Pa.
Sat. 10/15; 5 p.m.-8 p.m. — Fegley's Whisky Festival  at Allentown Brew Works [WIth a vast selection of the finest whiskies, scotch and bourbons from America, Canada, Ireland, and Scotland, we're prepared to have our biggest festival to date.  $25-$45]

Bear, Del.
Mon. 10/17; 6:23 p.m. — Stewart's Beer Dinner at Stewart's Brewing Company [A six-course meal served with Stewart's Anniversary Ale, Kolsch, Oktoberfest, Pumpkin Ale, Barleywine, and Highlander Stout.  $55]

Cherry Hill, NJ
Sat. 10/15; 12 p.m. — 2-Year Extravaganza and 5 can releases at Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing Company [The Conductor, Mr. Watson Come Here I Want To See You, White IPA Variants, and more will be added.  $PAYG]

Conshohocken, Pa.
Thu. 10/13; 6 p.m. — Sly Fox & Free Will Tap Takeover at Flanigan's Boathouse [Showcasing some of the finest lagers and ales that Pennsylvania has to offer.  $PAYG]
Sat. 10/15; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. — Conshohocken Beer Fest at A. A. Garthwaite Stadium [The event will feature over 50 local, regional and national craft beers, plus local food, tailgate games, and live music.  $10-$50]

Croydon, Pa.
Sun. 10/16; 10 a.m.-1 p.m. — Manayunk 20th Anniversary Brunch at Dog and Bull [We will be featuring beers on draft along with some tasty brunch specials. Andrew from Manayunk will be here to talk beer and he'll have some cool giveaways if you're nice to him.  $PAYG]

Downingtown, Pa.
Sat. 10/15; 9 a.m.-10 a.m. — Beer & Yoga at Victory Brewing Company [An hour of relaxing yoga followed by a food and beer pairing.  $35]

Easton, Pa.
Sun. 10/16; 1 p.m.-4 p.m. — Lehigh Valley Brewers Guild Beer Festival at Two Rivers Brewing Company [A beer festival featuring beer only from Lehigh Valley craft brewers. Weyerbacher, Two Rivers, Fegley's, Funk, Hi Jinx, Sole, Lost Tavern, Colony Meadery, Yergey's, Cave, and Bonn Place are all confirmed participants.  $30]

Emmaus, Pa.
Sat. 10/15;  7 p.m.-10 p.m. — Funkin' Halloween at Funk Brewing Company [Switchback Pizza Company will be here with their mobile pizza oven of goodness. Costumes are strongly encouraged.  $PAYG]

Ewing Township, NJ
Sat. 10/15; 7 p.m.-10 p.m. — Oktoberfest at River Horse Brewing Company [Raise your mug and celebrate the most wonderful time of year with a new Märzen we brewed just for our Oktoberfest. Throughout the night we will also be unveiling six special casks to indulge your tastebuds.  $15+$PAYG]

Exton, Pa.
Sat. 10/15; 12 p.m.-5 p.m. — WOBtoberfest at World of Beer [We’re pouring no fewer than 50 brews, with music from more than a few local artists.  $PAYG]
Sat. 10/15; 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. — Beer Sampling at Exton Beverage [Free tasting samples of beers from Oskar Blues.  $Free]
Wed. 10/19; 5 p.m.-8 p.m. — Goose Island Hombre Variants at The Pour House [The draught list includes Hombre Secreto Belgian Strong Pale Ale aged in Tequila Barrels, Hombre Secreto with Mangos, Experimental, Sofie, and Four Star Pils.  $PAYG]

Kennett Square, Pa.
Thu. 10/13; 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. — Harvest Beer Dinner at Victory Brewing Company [A five-course meal served with Zeltbier, Selene Saison, Vital IPA, Festbier, and Moonglow Weizenbock.  $55]
Sat. 10/15; 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. — Funktoberfest at The Stone Barn [Two drinks from either KBC, Rebel Seed, or Harvest Ridge and all you can eat Oktoberfest food.  $40]
Wed. 10/19; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Wine. Beer. Food. Pairing with Penns Woods Winery at Kennett Brewing Company [Enjoy a four-course fall themed dinner, each course paired with a KBC beer and a Penns Woods Wine.  $50]

Lancaster, Pa.
Sat. 10/15; 3 p.m.-5 p.m. — Evil Genius Saturday Brew Review at Isaac's Pickle Bar [Enjoy a four-course meal of Isaac's favorites paired with four brewmaster picks from Evil Genius Beer Company.  $30]

Media, Pa.
Wed. 10/19; 5 p.m.-7 p.m. — Stone 20th Anniversary at Pinocchio's [A full lineup celebrating Stone's 20th anniversary.  $PAYG]

New Hope, Pa.
Sat. 10/15 & Sun. 10/16; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. — OktoberFeast at Peddler's Village at Free Will Taproom [This family friendly festival will feature German-inspired food, live music, and a Free Will Beer Tent. We brewed a special Marzen-style lager exclusively for OctoberFeast and our Taproom in Peddler's Village.  $PAYG]

Newark, Del.
Sat. 10/15; All Day — Fall Fest at Argilla Brewing Company [Live music, killer house brews, outdoor fun, smoked meats, season-inspired eats, and games for all.  $PAYG]
Sat. 10/15; 1 p.m.-4 p.m. — Hallowed Pumpkin Hill Multi-Tap at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant [Eight pumpkin beers, one large pumpkin tapping, and a crazy pumpkin pie eating contest.  $PAYG]

Newtown, Pa.
Sat. 10/15; All Day — Pumpkinfest at Isaac Newton's [We will be tapping no less than 10 pumpkin ales while also tapping additional selections throughout the afternoon. Plus we will be featuring food specials created to complement these delicious beers.  $PAYG]

Norristown, Pa.
Thu. 10/6; 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. — Captain Lawrence at Capone's [Meet Dan Conway from Captain Lawrence who will bring their limited featured beer, Flaming Fury Sour, and much more.  $PAYG]

Pennside, Pa.
Sat. 10/15; 12:30 p.m.-5 p.m. — Carsonia Craft Beer & Wine Amusement at Carsonia Park [Featuring local and national craft beers, wines, and ciders, local food vendors, cigars, and live music.  $35-$40]

Philadelphia, Pa.
Thu. 10/13; All Day — Franconian Lager Gravity Kegs at Local 44 [Pair a pint with a German brat sandwich for just $16.  $PAYG]
Fri. 10/14; 3 p.m.-6 p.m. — Friday Night Tasting at Bell Beverage [Free tasting samples of beers from Anchor Brewing Company.  $Free]
Fri. 10/14; 6 p.m.-11 p.m. — Friday Sixtel: Saint Benjamin Rum Aged Export Stout at Grey Lodge Pub [Saint Benjamin's Export Stout aged in Pettys Island Oak Rye Rum barrels from Cooper River distillery in Camden, NJ.  $PAYG]
Sat. 10/15; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. — Homebrew Festival at Strangelove's [Tickets include unlimited home brew samples and an open buffet.  $40]
Sat. 10/15; 2 p.m.-6 p.m. — Boulevard Brewing Road Trip & BBQ Benefiting the Morris Animal Refuge at Devil's Den [Boulevard Brewing Company has packed their bags and converted their truck into a mobile tasting room, which will roll into South Philly.  $PAYG]
Sat. 10/15; 3 p.m.-11 p.m. — 5th Anniversary Party at Evil Genius Beer Company [We're dusting off some classics from our cellar, as well as putting on some fresh and delicious fall beer.  $PAYG]
Sat. 10/15 & Sun. 10/16; 4 p.m.-11 p.m. — Apple/Baconfest Weekend at Hop Angel Brauhaus [Apple ciders, apple dinner specials, and apple fun.  $PAYG]
Sun. 10/16; 12 p.m.-7 p.m. — Tappin' The Trucks- Brews n' Bites Block Party at Tap Room On 19th [We have partnered with Philly Mobile Food Association to bring some of the best food trucks to South Philly. In addition, We will have some awesome local breweries pouring tasty beers for you to enjoy.  $PAYG]
Sun. 10/16; 1 p.m.-4 p.m. — Ten Yards with Tom Kehoe at Jose Pistola's [It's time once again for our annual Eagles tailgate with the gang from Yards Brewing Co. We will be pouring some amazing Yards beers.  $PAYG]
Mon. 10/17; 8 p.m. — New Belgium Brewing Wood Cellar Night at McCrossen's Tavern in Philadelphia, Pa. [Join us we host Hal Doss, Wood Cellar Brewer from New Belgium Brewing.  $PAYG]
Mon. 10/17-Thu. 10/20; All Day — 20th Anniversary Kickoff at Manayunk Brewing Company [This day will mark the beginning of specials running through October 20th, including original 1996 menu items and prices, firkins, and birthday cake.  $PAYG]
Tue. 10/18; 4 p.m.-11 p.m. — Manayunk Brewery 20th Anniversary Party at American Sardine Bar [Celebrate 20 years of beers from Manayunk Brewing Company.  $PAYG]
Tue. 10/18; 8 p.m.-11 p.m. — Tuesday Tapping at Lucky's Last Chance [Hardywood Park beers on tap and…a collaboration burger?  $PAYG]
Wed. 10/19; 7 p.m.-9 p.m. — U Buy The Glass at The Abbaye [Keepsake refillable pint glass of Ninkasi Brewing raffle prizes and giveaways.  $PAYG]

Phoenixville, Pa.
Sat. 10/15; All day — Goose Island Rare Takeover at Bistro on Bridge [We're cracking open our stash of Goose Island Rare and bringing out the Bourbon and Vintage Ale varieties.  $PAYG]

Sellersville, Pa.
Tue. Oct. 18 & Wed. Oct. 19; 5 p.m. — Oktoberfest Buffet at Washington House [Our buffet showcases delicious, traditional dishes such as German sausage, sauerbraten, pork schnitzel, spaetzle, a variety of hot and cold sides, salads and desserts. Our bar will also feature some of our German style beer and wine selections.  $28]

West Chester, Pa.
Sat. 10/15; 5 p.m.-9 p.m. — Ride The Rails I at Boxcar Brewing Company [Come out for an event to remember as we board 1930’s style train cars and head down the historical West Chester Railroad to Glen Mills picnic park. We provide the food (a rockstar spread), Boxcar beer (all of our best brews), and live music (stellar West Chester talent of course).  $25-$45]

Westmont, NJ
Sat. 10/15; 2 p.m.-8 p.m. — Haddon Avenue Pub Crawl at The Pour House [Participating bars include P.J. Whelihan's Pub & Restaurant, The Pour House, treno pizza bar, The Irish Mile, Keg & Kitchen, and The Taproom & Grill.  $PAYG]

York, Pa.
Sat. 10/15; 12 p.m.-5 p.m. — Yorktoberfest at The York Fairgrounds [We extend an invitation for you to join us for a family-friendly weekend of frothy ales, PA wines, unique vendors, local food, and live bands.  $15-$40]

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Great American Beer Festival 2016: The Results are in

This last weekend saw the annual Great American Beer Festival and judging competition come to Denver again. This weekend was also my 45th birthday. When it came down to it, I could really only choose one to sink my energy into. Mrs. Brew Lounge and I spent the weekend eating and drinking our way around Philadelphia. Went to a 20-year favorite Italian restaurant of ours for dinner. Saw the Violent Femmes in concert. And I ran in the inaugural 5000 Yards Dash at the Yards Brewing Company.

Given all that, most of the time, my phone stayed away and I simply enjoyed the weekend. However, you know I couldn't help but take a few peeks at social media and the post-announcement e-mail that was sent with all the winners listed.

I'll keep this short since I'm confident that those of you who really geek out about this kind of stuff already know about the local winners. For the benefit of those that have not yet seen the list, here's a quick rundown of the local breweries to Philadelphia that came home with some new shiny medals for their brewhouses.

First up, a few quick stats to set the stage. 1,752 breweries from 50 states plus DC submitted 7,227 beers for judging. The beers were judged in 96 categories by 264 judges from 12 countries. 254 different breweries from 37 states were awarded at least one medal. The most medals (four) were won by Überbrew in Billings, Montana. 41 breweries of 464 first-time submitting breweries won a medal. The American-style IPA continued its run as the most-entered category with 312 entries; it was won by Georgetown Brewing Company in Seattle, WA. The average number of entries per category was 75 beers. Oh, and an estimated 60,000 were in attendance at the festival in the convention center which was run with the help of 3,600 volunteers.

As a sidenote, I wonder (and would like to dig into this more) if a suggestion previously tossed around might be getting some revival. That is, as GABF continues to grow seemingly without bound if it's time to breakout regional style GABF festival and judging. That's enough for now....on to the local winners.


New Jersey
  Flying Fish Brewing Company
    **Silver** - Red Fish (category: Extra Special Bitter; 71 entries)
    **Bronze** - HopFish (category: Classic English-style Pale Ale; 38 entries)
      MY NOTES: Great to see this long-time brewery from NJ just across the river from Philly winning for a couple of its tried-and-true year-round beers. Red Fish won a GABF bronze last year and a silver in 2014. The HopFish brought home both a GABF gold and a WBC bronze in 2014.

  2SP Brewing Company
    **Gold** - The Russian (category: Imperial Stout; 91 entries)
    **Bronze** - Antonym (category: Belgian- and French-style Ale; 27 entries)
      MY NOTES: There's been little doubt that 2SP will be a star on the Philly regional stage for some time to come. That brewer Bob Barrar came over from Iron Hill where he won scores of awards through the years (plus Small Brewpub of the Year at the Media location) and recreated The Russian is another interesting aspect to the story.

  Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant (Phoenixville, PA location)
    **Bronze** - Bridge Street Bock (category: Bock; 36 entries)
      MY NOTES: Iron Hill takes home at least one award in the 20th consecutive year. Now 'bout that?

  Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company
    **Bronze** - Churchville Lager (category: Vienna-style Lager; 67 entries)
    **Bronze** - Croydon Is Burning (category: Smoke Beer; 65 entries)
      MY NOTES: Our lager-winning ways continue. And Neshaminy Creek is well-deserved to carry the mantle. The excellent Churchville Lager took home a GABF gold in 2013.

  Two Rivers Brewing Company
    **Gold** - Six Finger Sam Saison (category: Specialty Saison; 92 entries)
      MY NOTES: Funny how back when I was writing my book, I couldn't tell for sure whether Two Rivers in Easton would ever come to fruition. They were serving other commercial beers with the promise of someday having their own brewhouse. That day has come and now a lot more people are aware of it and searching for a way to Easton.

  Yards Brewing Company
    **Silver** - Love Stout (category: Classic Irish-style Dry Stout; 41 entries)
      MY NOTES: Just the other day, I vented about wanting more high quality Irish Dry Stouts. Good thing I have access to this great one in my backyard. Always have. And, when at Yards on Sunday, was even more compelled to pick up another six-pack. Maybe a sixtel is in order next time.

Friday, October 07, 2016

October 2016: News update, part 1

Let's go with this quick and easy format for a twice-monthly news update so that I can look like I'm staying on top of things around here.

~ Harrisburg has a new brewery. Hoping to stop by there later this month. Jeff Musselman, formerly of Tröegs, is involved. [Link to Millworks]

~ Selling out? I prefer to simply call it selling. A well-reasoned approach to the never-ending debate. [Link to Modern Times]

~ Can't say I saw this one coming. Roy Pitz from south-central PA (Chambersburg, to be exact, in Franklin County) opening up an outpost in Philly. [Link to]

Stone is finally up and running in Berlin. Pretty cool stuff. [Link to Stone on YouTube]