Wednesday, July 11, 2018

New ingredients at Sly Fox's kitchen


Haven't been to Sly Fox in Phoenixville since Robbie Burns Night back in January (actually have driven farther, many times, though to the HQ in Pottstown). Sounds like these updates, particularly the kitchen menu, are perfect reasons to get there soon. Here's the brewery's press release describing the recent changes.



Region’s first brewery retools original pub

Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery freshens up with brewery rebrand

JULY 10, 2018— Phoenixville, PA
— In late 2017, Sly Fox Brewing Company evaluated their twenty-plus year old offering and instituted some seriously creative innovations including a revised portfolio of beers featuring all new packaging and an updated brand with an exciting new logo. Only one brewpub in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania was first. In 2018, the small southeastern Pennsylvania town of 16,440 ranks in the national top 10 for most breweries per capita, but it all started twenty years ago with the Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery.

MEET THE NEW SLY FOX PHOENIXVILLE!

Pennsylvania's original brewpub, the Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery, recently applied the exciting modifications to the restaurant, overhauling the inside with a fresh new look that underscores what Beer Advocate called, "America's third best brewpub." Beyond a new coat of paint, the Phoenixville restaurant modified the bar and dining room layouts and opted to use brewery event and product promotion in the interior decoration plan. All new carpeting and a decluttering of the pub has created a new, inviting space.

Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery, the only Sly Fox outpost that offers full table service, also upgraded their exterior facade—incorporating an aesthetic that complemented the brewery rebrand. Outside, inviting cedar fencing now encloses a charming outdoor patio and tasteful signage summons passersby to acres of free parking, while a long list of award-winning fresh beer and an original pub menu with rotating specials await inside. The East Pikeland Township pub also offers Penn's Woods select and premier red and white wines.

"The Eatery is unique even within our own company," says Pete Giannopoulos, brewery founder and manager of the first pub—one of the longest-lasting brewpubs anywhere. "With the rebranding of the brewery and excitement generated by the new beers added, it was a logical time to examine what we were doing on the restaurant side."

Sly Fox recently announced a new pub coming online in Wyomissing, PA as well as plans for several other locations and it's expected that Trainer will consult on those menus while maintaining the creative new style of the Phoenixville food offering.

MEET THE NEW CHEF!

Besides the rebranding and the interior and exterior upgrades, Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery has retained a new chef with a first class pedigree. Chef Jim Trainer, who last ran the kitchen at the Kimberton Inn for twenty-seven years, has revamped the Sly Fox menu and introduced daily specials as inviting as the new decor. 
Trainer has been a fan of Sly Fox beer since the beginning, sitting on the other side of the bar after long shifts preparing wonderful cuisine. He'd often commiserate with the bartender so, in true Sly Fox style, we enlisted a part-time bartender to introduce you to the new head chef. Corey Reid, part-time beer-slinger at the Brewhouse & Eatery and full-time sales manager has come to know a lot of customers well, and he recently sat down to interview the man who is reshaping the food offering in Phoenixville.

Click here for a fun Q&A with Head Chef Jim Trainer conducted by Corey Reid


© 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, July 06, 2018

Philly Beer Week 2018. Complete.


Feel free to read on for my half-baked attempt at wrapping up Philly Beer Week 2018 more than a month after it began. Or just click the picture above for a pictorial walk down memory lane as seen through my personalized schedule of attended events.

Still here? Ok, let's see how I do with this. What can I tell you? Did I give it the ol' college try? Depends what you call trying. I was absolutely prepared for PBW '18.

I was at inbox-zero. All computer and apps and phones were updated and backed up. All summertime power equipment fired up and working perfectly. Hot tub water chemistry spot on. Lawn and garden producing nicely. Office tidied up; printer toner replaced; papers filed; old documents shredded; (most) everything in its place. Contractor work on front of house/sidewalk finished. Gutters cleared; house and walkway powerwashing complete. Beer inventory squared away. Beer writing duties up-to-date and next deadline in mid-June after PBW.

I shared a bunch of stuff with you here in these pages leading up to June 1. I social media'ed the crap out of the events I attended. (You do know where to find me out there, right? On Facebook and on Twitter.)

24 events to be exact if you're counting or if you care. Pretty much like what I do every year to get a feel for the energy and the pulse of PBW. One year, I hit something like 35-ish events. Granted, it can be just for a beer, to get a headcount, and get a sense for overall effort that an establishment put into conducting a PBW "event".

So, yeah, I put in the effort as I always do out there on the street. But, here on the ol' Brew Lounge blog? Worse than last year, I not only did not post up a timely recap, but did no daily wrap-ups either.

That's what this post will endeavor to do. I don't really have many words to share at this point. Don't know that it really matters. Lots of "events" (see how I keep putting "events" in quotes?). Lots of beers. People? Yeah, there were people, mostly at the uber-dorky (I mean geeky, I mean geeky, in its most endearing sense, of course) beer releases/tap takeovers. To me, there were not enough creative events promoting at the median between mad-sick-yo-bro beers to the run-of-the-mill brewery feature. We do this year-round in the Philly region. We can do even better for ten days in June.

But where did I feel the "best energy"? Opening Tap for starters. It had something this year that I can't exactly articulate. But, it was there. Like I haven't felt for at least a few years. If I have a say, I'd like to see much better emphasis on local/regional breweries. For Opening Tap, this is our one chance to showcase the best of the region. Allow no other events to be posted during the time of Opening Tap. Make it the grandest showcase that serves as the appropriate kickoff for Philly Beer Week. The rest of the week can feel free to mix it up as much as consumers want with out-of-market features, but at least for one night under one roof, the locals should dominate.

And Monk's Cafe on Tuesday. Dogfish Head sent not just owner Sam Calagione but also his reunited former head brewer, Bryan Selders, area sales manager Wendy Domurat and brand development manager Jennie Hatton-Baver. It was a lunch befitting Philly Beer Week. There was talk of the past and talk of the present. It was a nice mix of industry folk and the consumer off the street willing to take an afternoon off work, plunk down upwards of $100, after tip. For the record, it was out of my own pocket as well, before anyone gets any ideas of bias. Then, the lunchtime soiree made its way down Sansom to Fergie's where Calagione and Selders recreated the days of their brewery rap group - The Pain Relievaz. Lunch, learning, eating, drinking, and capped off with some good ol' fashioned laughs. A very well-rounded day that lived up to the lunch's name - Olde School.

On Thursday, there was an educational type of event. I can not be quite certain that any non-industry folk showed up for it, even though it was absolutely open to the public. It was nicely attended for a Thursday afternoon by around 25 industry people listening to a panel discussion about quality beer, quality processes, and quality presentation for great beer. It was hosted at Urban Village which coincidentally was celebrating its first anniversary of getting its root down on Philly's brewing scene in the Northern Liberties neighborhood. Feels like there have been more panels, stuff that gets closer to educational, special guests, and events that have just that little something extra than just shoveling in a tap takeover's worth of beer. Eh, maybe the jury is in and beer drinkers aren't looking for that? Or did I miss a part of this year's schedule?

Everything else, to me, felt like just drinking (mostly) great beer. Something that we've done around these parts for many more years than many places in this country and something that has become even easier to do in just about every corner of this country in recent years from Alabama to Nebraska, not to mention Florida and Texas, also once considered vast beer wastelands, but no more. Philly Beer Week is still a great excuse to showcase what we make and what we have the pleasure of being sent to our blessed region and should have absolutely no reason to continue strong into the future. But, oh, that one other thing that I kept hearing (yet again)...

March. Think about it. What I heard from more than ever in at least the last five years was — March.

Link to Google Photos for a gallery of PBW '18 pictures.



© 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, July 02, 2018

Can Yards can beer? Yes, they can and they are (let me know if you need more can jokes)


Yards invited me and some others in various forms of media to check out the new canning line, have a few beers, and get an updated tour of the brewery at the new location of 5th & Spring Garden. I hadn't been on site since Yards was a part of my never-ending post-Super Bowl parade party back in February. So I figured it'd be a timely opportunity to see how things have developed since then.

I think it's pretty clear that the Yards crew is settling quite nicely in to their new digs. Early visits of mine seemed to show a staff humming along as if they'd been working in this new space for years. In addition to the well-tuned beers that the brewery has trained its fans to expect, the kitchen was turning out some creative food from the get-go, taking the brewpub experience up a notch.

What's changed since then? Some of the empty space that I recall from early visits has been filled with more stainless steel and, most recently, a canning line. They've accomplished quite a bit in the last six months since making the official transition from the scenic home along the Delaware River up on to the western edge of the Northern Liberties neighborhood. The new location certainly gives it more of an integrated city feel and the hustle in the 70,000 square foot brewery and taproom shows that Yards is reaching its steady state and, likely, ready for some new growth. That's just me attempting to read tea leaves (or hop leaves, if you prefer); there've not been any new markets opened, nor has there been public talk of such.

They're currently running at a pace of around 42,000 bbls/year with the potential to ultimately go to 100,000, though the talk is not currently that aggressive (or reckless?) But, with more equipment (there's room) and more brewing hours (they currently have a 5 day/week schedule), there is support for potential growth. And some of that is being seen in the new cans coming off the line. They're doing Philly Pale, IPA, and Brawler first, three of the most popular brands and, not to mention, smart choices for this hot summer. Pounders too! The bold, clean, and distinctive design works well too for the ever more crowded retail shelves.

By the way, the tour? Yeah, you should do that too. You'll get plenty of information, plenty of laughs (expect a good dose of irreverent humor woven in with the brewing bits), and a parting gift.

Here's a bit more from the brewery's press release.




First Chance for Beer Fans to View New Brewery and Canning Line
This Summer, Yards Brewing Company invites Philly area locals, as well as visitors to this great city, to come have a beer in their distinct outdoor seating area located directly underneath towering steel brewing tanks along Spring Garden Street in the city’s bustling Northern Liberties neighborhood. The new Yards taproom and brewery at 5th and Spring Garden Streets offers patrons 20 taps of fresh, quality Yards ales and a full dining menu crafted by Chef Jim Burke. Curious folks can opt for up-close brewery tours to see how Yards beers are brewed, bottled, canned and kegged for the hard-working people of Philadelphia and beyond.

Founder, President and Brewmaster Tom Kehoe and the Yards crew have been brewing in the City of Brotherly Love since 1994. For the first time in Yards’ 24-year history, the regional craft producer has started canning their flagship beers: Philadelphia Pale Ale, Brawler, and Signature IPA. These go-to brews are available in traditional 12-oz. and 16-oz. pounder cans that can be found in the Yards Taproom and wherever Yards beers are sold – just in time for summer barbecues, ball games and weekends down the shore.

For those who don’t want to go too far to get away this summer, Yards Brewing Company’s front yard is the perfect spot to throw back a can or two in the shade of the tanks. Big round tables encourage friends to get together under the tanks and watch the day go by while enjoying everything Yards has to offer, like their behind-the-scenes brewery tours offered daily.

Brewery tours provide thirsty guests a behind-the-scenes look at how Philly’s Beer is made. Tour goers will learn about the brewing process and hear the Story of Yards, with plenty of comedy, beer samples, and giveaways throughout. Tours last approximately 45 minutes and cost just $5. Tours must be booked in advance through an online reservation system at yardsbrewing.com/tours. Tours run Monday through Friday at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, with 12 tours per day, from 11:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

About Yards Brewing Company…Yards has proudly brewed Philadelphia’s beer since 1994. The regional craft producer has grown from a garage-sized operation in the Manayunk section of Philly to a 38,000-square-foot facility along the city’s Delaware River waterfront to a 70,000-square foot facility in the thriving Northern Liberties neighborhood. Philadelphia Pale Ale and Brawler, both nationally-recognized ales, lead a balanced portfolio of quality, handcrafted beers, including eight year-round offerings and several seasonal and limited releases. Founder Tom Kehoe and the Yards crew share a commitment to supporting the good people and organizations making their backyard a better place to live and work. It’s all about working hard, having fun and giving back. Brew Unto Others.


© 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, June 28, 2018

Meeting of the Malts returns to Bethlehem on August 23, 2018


Titans of the craft brewing industry will reconvene where the once-titans — Bethlehem Steel — of its own industry, called home. This multi-faceted event, now in its seventh installment, has turned into quite a nice evening of discussion, pairing, and tasting at a unique venue. A couple new out-of-state brewers join the panel this year alongside Pennsylvania brewers and the sampling portion of the evening will showcase 15 PA breweries.

The event is conducted by Brewers of Pennsylvania and its press release follows below.



2018 Meeting of the Malts

Brewers of Pennsylvania Welcomes First-time Participants Founders and Cigar City

HARRISBURG, PA (6.20.18) — The Brewers of Pennsylvania (BOP), the state’s official brewers guild, has released its event details and list of panel participants for the 2018 Meeting of the Malts, the association’s popular annual event that gathers the most acclaimed breweries to discuss the state of the craft beer industry.

Presented by Gold Sponsor Micro Matic USA , Meeting of the Malts VII will take place Thursday, August 23 from 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. EST at Artsquest Center at SteelStacks, and will feature a powerhouse panel including Bill Covaleski (Victory Brewing Company), Tom Kehoe (Yards Brewing Company), Wendy Yuengling (D. G. Yuengling & Son), Mike Stevens (Michigan-based Founders Brewing Company), and Joey Redner (Florida-based Cigar City Brewing ). The panel discussion, which will run from 6-7 p.m., will be emceed by industry icon, Bump Williams. Dick Yuengling and Jim Koch (Samuel Adams) will provide the opening remarks.

“Craft beer is thriving in Pennsylvania, and Meeting of the Malts, now in its seventh year, continues to serve as the state’s primary meeting place to discuss the industry’s important successes and challenges from legislative issues to craft beer trends,” said Dan LaBert, Executive Director of the Brewers of Pennsylvania. “If you are a brewer or simply a fan of the craft beer scene, Meeting of the Malts is a must-attend event. We expect as strong a turnout as last year, which welcomed hundreds of attendees who listened to and learned from our industry’s most successful brewers, as well as promising peers who are in the trenches producing the very best craft beer in the United States.”

Draft Magazine has named Meeting of the Malts as the #12 (out of 101) rated beer experiences on the industry bucket list. While several panelists have participated in previous Meeting of the Malts, new to this year is Mike Stevens, Co-Founder and CEO of Founders and Joey Redner, Founder of Cigar City. Founders has been ranked in the top breweries in the world by Ratebeer.com for the last five years. The brewery has won six World Beer Cup medals, four European Beer Star medals, and three Great American Beer Festival medals.

“Founders has been a part of the industry now for twenty-one years, and when I first got into the business breweries like Sam Adams and Yuengling inspired me to follow my passion,” said Stevens. “I’m truly honored to be a part of this event and share the stage with such accomplished brewers, and I look forward to a spirited conversation.”

Cigar City has won a Gold Medal for its Humidor Series IPA at the National Beer Championships and a Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival for its Minaret ESB.

Following the panel discussion will be a four-course dinner from 7:15 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., each course being paired with a beer from select panelist’s breweries. During the meal, the BOP will host a Beer Silent Auction , an opportunity to bid on unique and collectible items from a variety of breweries including autographed, one-of-a-kind items from the country’s finest breweries.

After the dinner comes the Pennsylvania BrewPub Festival from 9:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. Participating BOP members include: Barley Creek Brewing Co., Berwick Brewing Co., Boneshire Brew Works, Brewery at Hershey, Collusion Tap Works, Covered Bridge Brewhaus, Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks, Hop Hill Brewing Co., Round Guys Brewing Co., Roy-Pitz Brewing Co., Saucony Creek Brewing Co., and Wolf Brewing Co.

For the second consecutive year, Meeting of the Malts will also include the Legislative Growler Awards, an honor that recognizes a person or organization the BOP considers a partner in the industry, one who continually strives to promote and protect Pennsylvania’s craft beer industry. Honorees will be announced at a later date.

Artsquest Center at SteelStacks is located at 711 First St., Bethlehem, PA. Accommodations deadline for the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem is August 9.

About the Brewers of Pennsylvania - The Brewers of Pennsylvania is a 501c6 trade association that brings together leaders of Pa.-based breweries in order to promote and protect the brewing industry in the state. The Brewers of Pennsylvania, a strong and influential organization, serves the consuming public of Pa. by encouraging brand diversity in the market. BOP members employ an estimated 10,000 employees earning $296 million in wages and generating $1.1 billion in direct economic benefits to communities throughout the state. Its signature annual event is the popular Meeting of the Malts. #supportPAbeer



© 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, June 14, 2018

A growing CANarchy is afoot. Deep Ellum joins the team.


I'll admit that when I saw the multi-day, outdoor CANarchy event in Nashville during the Craft Brewers Conference last month, I thought it was just a marketing play on words to promote an event. Then, after a little extra effort and scrutinizing the participating breweries (Oskar Blues, Cigar City, Perrin, Wasatch, and Squatters), I came to learn that it was the umbrella name for their new company collective.

Now they have one more on Team CANarchy — Deep Ellum. I've drank the beers while elsewhere in Texas, but haven't been to the rollicking Deep Ellum neighborhood in Dallas for nearly 15 years in the time that it was just growing up.

Take it away, press release.


Deep Ellum Brewing Company Joins CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 12, 2018 - Deep Ellum Brewing Company is the latest craft brewery to join the CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective. For Deep Ellum, a craft brewery with rough edges and deep roots in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas, Texas, the move to join the disruptive collective of independent brewers will immediately provide resources for increased production and distribution.

Founded in 2011 by John Reardon, Deep Ellum Brewing Company quickly grew to become the third largest independent craft brewery in Texas, led by its flagship brews, Dallas Blonde and Deep Ellum IPA. In 2017, Deep Ellum grew 37% to produce more than 45,000 bbls in Texas only, with the vast majority being consumed within 20 miles of the brewery.

“It’s been a hell of a ride for all of us at Deep Ellum and I believe this is just the beginning,” said John Reardon. ”We’ve been looking for the right partner to grow the Deep Ellum brand and I believe we’ve found that with CANarchy. They’re a group of like-minded people that have not conformed to the status-quo and have hit critical mass on the path of coming together and remaining independent. We’re all in.”

CANarchy provides a platform from which rapidly growing craft breweries seeking high level resources can expand and compete in the increasingly competitive craft beer segment, while maintaining independence. The platform is driven by individual brewery culture, giving brewers control of their businesses and brands, while providing resources and support to scale their respective operations.

“Deep Ellum Brewing has created a strong community and now they’re facing next-level challenges that we’ve seen before. Within CANarchy, we can solve those problems in our own way,” said Joey Redner, founder of Cigar City Brewing, who joined CANarchy in June of 2016. After immediately addressing capacity issues, CANarchy was able to assist Cigar City Brewing to expand distribution and increase shipments 43% from 65,000 bbls to 92,000 bbls in 2017.

“CANarchy’s culture thrives on collaboration among craft breweries blazing their own path and doing things their own way. John and the Deep Ellum crew light the fire of craft beer in DFW and will bring that same fire to our collective,” Dale Katechis, Soul Founder of Oskar Blues, said about the new partnership.

“During my time at the University of Colorado I specifically remember my first can of Dale’s Pale Ale, and that experience is part of the reason I’m in this business. Joining a collective of such irreverent and disruptive founders and leaders is exactly what Deep Ellum has been looking for,” said John Reardon.

Deep Ellum is currently undergoing a large expansion, including a 60-barrel brewhouse at the company’s primary facility that is expected to come online within the next few months. The brewery is operating at maximum capacity and is projecting 55,000 bbls of production in 2018. Deep Ellum is also constructing a taproom in Fort Worth, Texas, that will incorporate a 5 bbl Brewhouse and retail space that is scheduled to open in late fall of 2018.

CANarchy was recently ranked #9 on the Brewers Association’s list of the 2017 Top 50 U.S. Craft Brewers as ranked by sales volume. The portfolio includes Oskar Blues Brewery, Perrin Brewing Company, Cigar City Brewing, Squatters Craft Beer and Wasatch Brewery. The collective is the #1 provider of American craft beer in a can and has driven Cigar City Brewing’s Jai Alai IPA and Oskar Blues’ Dale’s Pale Ale to the #1 and #2 sold craft can six packs in U.S. Grocery.

Terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

About Deep Ellum Brewing Company
In 2011, Deep Ellum Brewing Company set up shop in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas, Texas - the first craft brewery to open in Dallas in over a decade. Since then, Deep Ellum has become as well known for its innovative brewing and exceptional quality as it has for its healthy disdain for the status quo. Like the notorious neighborhood it calls home, the brewery is bold, fearless, and unapologetic. The idea of “blending in” was never part of the plan - at the bar or on the shelf. With a commitment to staying true to their reckless streak, their rough edges and their roots, Deep Ellum has quickly grown to become the 3rd largest independent craft brewery in Texas and the 65th largest brewery overall. Led by its flagships, Deep Ellum IPA and Dallas Blonde, the brewery has amassed an extremely devoted fan base across Texas and beyond.  @deepellumbrewing #LoveRunsDeep

About CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective
Founded in 2015, CANarchy is a disruptive collective of like-minded brewers dedicated to bringing quality and innovative flavors to beer drinkers in the name of independent craft beer. The portfolio of craft breweries, partially funded by Fireman Capital Partners, including Oskar Blues Brewery, Deep Ellum Brewing, Perrin Brewing Company, Cigar City Brewing, Squatters Craft Beer and Wasatch Brewery and newly added Deep Ellum Brewing Company, is challenging corporate convention to preserve independent craft beer culture. CANarchy is the #1 provider of American craft beer in a can by bringing value to distributors, retailers and beer drinkers. CANarchy was recently ranked #9 on list of the 2017 Top 50 U.S. Craft Brewers as ranked by sales volume. Cigar City Brewing Jai Alai IPA and Oskar Blues’ Dale’s Pale Ale are currently the #1 and #2 sold craft can six packs in U.S. Grocery. The CANarchy platform brewed over 350,000 bbls in 2017, reaching all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., parts of Canada, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, the U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Brazil, and South Korea.


© 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, June 13, 2018

A nod to brewing history is back on display in Reading, PA

(photo credit: Brewers of Pennsylvania)

There are casualties during every Philly Beer Week. Often times they are related to missed e-mails and missed events. This one was out in the home turf of my youth, Berks County. Sorry to have missed the unveiling, but still nice to hear of this happening. Cue the press release. (and also, a nice news video from WFMZ)


Frederick Lauer Monument Restoration Complete
Rededication Ceremony Set for Friday, June 8th

HARRISBURG, PA (6.4.18) – After more than two years of committed work, the Brewers of Pennsylvania, the state’s official brewers guild, announces today that the Frederick Lauer Monument in Reading’s City Park has been restored. Lauer, the first national president of the U.S. Brewers Association (BA) is considered to be one of the early driving forces in establishing what would eventually become modern day brewing.

To commemorate the brewing pioneer’s trailblazing leadership and dedication to the local community, the BA constructed a monument in his honor in 1885 and gifted it to the City of Reading. It was the city’s very first statue. In early 2015, the monument was vandalized, and four bronze plaques were removed from its base. In 2016, the BA, the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, donated $25,000 to Reading to restore the statue and the Brewers of Pennsylvania (BOP) collected donations from local breweries for repair work. In 2018, the BOP also donated $3,000 to the restoration project. The final round of fundraising came in the spring of 2018 when members of the Berks Brewers Guild produced a collaboration brew, Lauer’s Fellowship Ale. For each pint sold, participating breweries donated $3.50 to complete the restoration. The group raised over $5,000.

To celebrate the completion of the project, members of the Berks Brewers Guild, including BOP members Broken Chair Brewing Company (West Reading), Chatty Monks (West Reading), Oakbrook Brewing Company (Reading), Saucony Creek Brewing Company (Kutztown) as well as Schaylor Brewing Company (Shillington) will be hosting a free rededication ceremony of the monument on Friday, June 8th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the monument in Reading’s City Park (Washington Street & N 11th Street).

The event will include a Lauer's Fellowship Ale toast for those 21 and over, and a rereading of the speeches from the original monument dedication in 1885. The historic Ringgold Band, formed in 1852 and proud to be one of America’s first community bands, will provide entertainment. The Ringgold Band played at the original dedication in 1885.

“As the state’s official brewers guild, the BOP felt it was our duty to do our part in helping restore the
monument honoring Frederick Lauer, a local and national icon whose dedication to the craft of brewing beer helped pave the way for so many of our members as well as those beyond our Association from coast to coast,” said Chris Lampe, President of the Brewers of Pennsylvania and Co-owner and Production Manager at Weyerbacher. “Those who understand the craft beer industry know we all stick together, and we consider it a privilege to have teamed up with the Brewers Association and the Berks Brewers Guild in restoring this important piece of history.”

The first phase of the restoration project was completed in 2016, and involved replacement of the stolen bronze plaques and preservation work to the statue. This second phase focused on releveling the stone post and pier base, which had settled unevenly over the years, as well as replacement of the soil at the base, improvement in the drainage inside the base, and replanting the area with Sweet Woodruff, which will eventually spread and provide an attractive and low-maintenance groundcover. In addition, decorative stone was set in place to beautify what had previously been unattractive exposed stone aggregate beneath the statue.

Born in Germany in 1810, Lauer immigrated to the United States at age 12. He learned the brewing
process at an early age from his father. By age 16, he was foreman for his family’s brewery, and at 25, he became the brewery’s proprietor. For decades to follow, through innovation, hard work and business savvy, Lauer established himself as a brewing pioneer not only locally, but throughout the country.

Lauer’s commitment to pioneering the brewing industry was matched by his devotion to Reading. As
noted by the Berks History Center, Lauer was a key figure in changing Reading from the status of a
borough to a city in 1847. He helped to organize the Berks County Agricultural Society and the Board of Trade. Lauer also helped finance the Reading and Columbia Railroad, and he was a member of several charity groups, including the Reading Dispensary, Reading Relief Society and Reading Benevolent Society. His dedication to civic involvement led him to donate part of his seven-acre lot so that it could made into a park for community recreation.

About the Brewers of Pennsylvania - The Brewers of Pennsylvania is a 501c6 trade association that brings together leaders of Pa.-based breweries in order to promote and protect the brewing industry in the state. The Brewers of Pennsylvania, a strong and influential organization, serves the consuming public of Pa. by encouraging brand diversity in the market. BOP members employ an estimated 10,000 employees earning $296 million in wages and generating $1.1 billion in direct economic benefits to communities throughout the state. Its signature annual event is the popular Meeting of the Malts. #supportPAbeer


© 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


Saturday, June 02, 2018

Dogfish Head - still going and still growing


While Dogfish Head is on my mind, particularly after dabbling in its Philly Beer Week annual collaboration with a Belgian brewer — in this year's case, it was Browerij De Brabandere — it reminded me to pass along one of the more recent press releases I've received. This one announcing the current status of DFH's growth in its home state of Delaware over the last three years. If you visit Rehoboth Beach, you likely are already aware. If not, read on.


Dogfish Head Celebrates Completion of Three-Year Journey Bringing Together all the Goodness in Rehoboth
Opening of new courtyard, merchandise store and brewing and distilling systems
Rehoboth Beach, Del., May 29, 2018 – After 23 years of serving original beers and spirits, wood-fired food and world-class music, Dogfish Head is embarking on a new era of creating more goodness as they celebrate the completion of a three-year journey at the location where it originally began on Rehoboth Ave.  The beautifully landscaped courtyard, new brewhouse and distillery operations, and Off-Centered EmPOURium store is the final stage in bringing together the downtown restaurants,  Brewings & Eats – an off-centered brewpub, and Chesapeake & Maine – a geographically inspired seafood restaurant, and establishing it as the heart for all things Dogfish.
The project commenced in 2015 when they first began construction on Chesapeake & Maine, then went on to build a new, world-class Brewings & Eats in the former parking area. Dogfish then tore down the original pub to make way for the new courtyard and operational enhancements. “From the world-class stage to the killer brewing and distilling program, guests can truly experience 360° of Dogfish in the same place we first began our story in 1995 as the smallest craft brewery in America,” says Sam Calagione, CEO and founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. “I’m most proud that over the years we’ve been successful in building our Rehoboth restaurant brands as top beer destinations in the Mid-Atlantic region, and by coming together, and connecting our beer, food, spirits, music and merchandise – we can provide a world-class, panoramic, multi-sensory experience for folks to enjoy at our downtown properties.”
The charmingly landscaped, dog-friendly outdoor patio area seats 36 guests and serves as a passageway connecting Brewings & Eats and Chesapeake & Maine. The menu offers a full selection of food and drink offerings from the pub.  With a rustic wooden exterior and large glass windows framing the courtyard, the gathering space offers behind-the-scenes views into the brewing and distilling production areas along with allowing guests to see bartenders and mixologists serving drinks and chatting up customers through the windows of both restaurants.  Nestled in the corner of the patio is a beautiful, 14-barrel mash tun dating from the late 90s.  Handcrafted in the UK, this wooden relic was Calagione’s dream mash tun back in the day when he first opened the doors for business in Rehoboth.  When the opportunity to purchase the brewing equipment became available, Calagione jumped at the chance to bring it home to Dogfish and plans to incorporate it into the off-centered outdoor garden as a beer-inspired rain barrel of sorts.
The new, fully-manual five-barrel brewhouse system includes five fermentation tanks and five serving tanks.  These enhancements allow for increased brewing production capacity enabling Bryan Selders, Dogfish Head Brewing Ambassador, the ability to create a significantly higher volume of ingredient-driven, inventive brewpub exclusives. The new 50-gallon still allows Graham Hamblett, Lead Distiller at Dogfish Head Distilling Co., to experiment with creating culinary-inspired spirits which will be served at the Rehoboth restaurants.
To celebrate the opening, Dogfish Head Distilling Co. is debuting Lemon & Peppercorn Vodka, a spirit that captures the essence of both restaurants as it contains the quintessential seafood seasoning found at Chesapeake & Maine, with a wood fire smoked twist done at Brewings & Eats. Using Analog Vodka as the base, they distill dried lemon peel and a medley of peppercorns. This citrus-peppery spirit is used to macerate hand-sliced, wood-fire grilled lemons from Brewings & Eats. Lemon & Peppercorn Vodka will be exclusively available in the restaurants.
For those looking to take a little bit of the Dogfish Head universe home, guests can swing into the Off-Centered EmPOURium to purchase Dogfish merchandise, including exclusive Rehoboth t-shirts, hoodies and hats. Folks can also find keychains, stickers, coasters and glassware.  Keeping the spirit alive from the original Brewings & Eats, the counter top in the Off-Centered EmPOURium is the old bar top from the 1995 pub.  Bike racks and stroller parking are also available.
For more information about Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, Chesapeake & Maine and the Off-Centered EmPOURium, visit dogfish.com.

Dogfish Head:
Dogfish Head has proudly been focused on brewing beers with culinary ingredients outside the Reinheitsgebot since the day it opened as the smallest American craft brewery 23 years ago. Dogfish Head has grown into a top-20 craft brewery and has won numerous awards throughout the years including Wine Enthusiast’s 2015 Brewery of the Year and the James Beard Foundation Award for 2017 Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional. It is a 300+ coworker company based in Delaware with Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, an off-centered brewpub and distillery, Chesapeake & Maine, a geographically enamored seafood restaurant, Dogfish Inn, a beer-themed inn on the harbor and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, a production brewery and distillery featuring a tasting room and food truck.  Dogfish Head supports the Independent Craft Brewing Seal, the definitive icon for American craft breweries to identify themselves to be independently-owned and carries the torch of transparency, brewing innovation and the freedom of choice originally forged by brewing community pioneers. Dogfish Head currently sells beer in 42 states and Washington D.C. and will expand into additional states in 2018. For more information, visit www.dogfish.com, Facebook: @dogfishheadbeer, Twitter: @dogfishbeer, and Instagram: dogfishhead.


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