Friday, May 25, 2018

Major change at Sly Fox: Brewmaster Brian O'Reilly to depart

(Brian O'Reilly, far left, on a panel with Philadelphia area peers at Johnny Brenda's during the Craft Brewers Conference in 2016.)

Without consulting my records, my hunch is that the last significant, publicly recognizable departure at the Head Brewer/Brewmaster position at a Philadelphia-area brewery was somewhere between Iron Hill (Bob Barrar at the Media location leaving to start up 2SP) and Rock Bottom (Brian McConnell pulling up long stakes in King of Prussia to open Sterling Pig). Those were both, I'm thinking, in the 2015 timeframe. (I know, I know, I could just consult my handy lil spreadsheet; but my memory isn't too shot yet, so let's go with that.)

Now, Brian O'Reilly is off on a brand-new venture in Philly from Sly Fox, with which he's become rather synonymous since joining them 15+ years ago from New Road Brew House in CT (Collegeville, thanks for the correction to Jack Curtin), and before that John Harvard's in Cleveland and Brewer's Bier Haus. The press release below tells all. And, congratulations to Tim Ohst, also a long fixture of the brewery for now formally being recognized as Director of Brewing Operations. As many know, he's been the top dog in the day-to-day brewing for many years and, as O'Reilly mentioned somewhat humorously in a quote to Forbes, "To be honest I haven’t really made wort in many years."


(photo courtesy Sly Fox Brewing Company)

O'Reilly to Start New Philly Venture
Sly Fox Positioned to Maintain Quality and Innovation

May 24, 2018 — Pottstown, PA—The brewmaster responsible for transitioning Sly Fox Brewing Company into a regional independent craft brewing competitor will leave the brewery in early July, the company announced today.

Brian O'Reilly came to a fledgling Sly Fox in February 2002 when the small operation, one of the first in the Philadelphia region, consisted of a single small brewpub in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. O'Reilly immediately began transforming the Sly Fox beer portfolio into what has since become one of the most respected portfolios of new- and old-world styles available anywhere.

Sly Fox's enduring success has been due, in large part, to O'Reilly's award-winning beers and careful go-to-market style. The brewery won a Great American Beer Festival (GABF) medal for its Helles Golden Lager in O'Reilly's inaugural year and has accumulated more than a dozen since, including four medals in five years for its Grisette Summer Ale. O'Reilly was also instrumental in championing craft beer in cans and, in 2006, oversaw Sly Fox's transition as the first craft brewery in the mid-Atlantic region to install a canning line.

Sly Fox Brewing Company, with the main brewery and tasting room in Pottstown, the newly renovated Phoenixville pub and the anticipated Wyomissing and Malvern locations in development, is well-known for pairing its beer releases with compelling events.

When O'Reilly first came to Sly Fox, he proposed a spring celebration that would feature racing goats, and now in its 18th year, the Sly Fox Bock Festival and Goat Races hosts more than 5,000 guests and is named best beer event in Philadelphia year after year. The brewery hosts a packed schedule of other uncommon events that all started as O'Reilly ideas, including a huge outdoor music festival and Robert Burns birthday celebration, but it's beer making that motivates the brewer.

"I'm most proud of the actual growth of the brewing operation," reflects O'Reilly.

"When we look back at where we came from, scrambling to make beer in the little brewpub to the 30,000-square-foot, 50-hectoliter production brewery, it's pretty amazing. I'm thankful the Giannopoulos family always strives to provide the resources needed to continually evolve and brew quality beer."

As the brewery grew, O'Reilly trained a small army of capable brewers, many of whom have gone on to noteworthy brewing positions elsewhere, while some of the very best remain a part of the innovative team at Sly Fox. Although the brewery does not plan to immediately replace O'Reilly, as many as five brewers came of age under his tutelage and are poised to contribute to the brewery's ongoing innovation, sustainability and growth.

Former Operations Manager, Tim Ohst will be named director of brewery operations and will oversee production at the regional brewery that currently enjoys distribution in six states.

"Brian and I grew up together in the beer business over the last 17 years," Giannopoulos continued. "We're like brothers, and we're excited for Brian, but we're also confident that he's leaving us in good hands."

"There are team members in the brewhouse who have an opportunity to step up," he added.

"It won't be a radical change in the brewery, where there are collaborative efforts every day," adds O'Reilly. "The [Sly Fox] team of lead brewers has been managing brewing day to day for years now, efficiently and professionally."

Next up for O'Reilly is a new brewing venture in partnership with Philadelphia change agent and restaurateur Avram Hornik in the space formerly occupied by Yards Brewing.

About Sly Fox Brewing Company
Since its inaugural brew in 1995, Sly Fox has crafted more than 100 different top-notch craft beers. Its critically acclaimed year-round lineup and highly anticipated seasonals are available in its brewpubs in Phoenixville and Pottstown, as well as top bars and restaurants in PA, NJ, NY, MD, VA and Washington, DC. Sly Fox was the first craft brewery in the mid-Atlantic to put in a canning line, adding it to the facility in 2006, and with it, earned the first-ever Great American Beer Festival (GABF) medal awarded to a canned craft beer, in 2007. Sly Fox has earned GABF medals virtually every year since and is widely recognized as among the region's best and most enduring craft breweries.


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


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Weekly Beer Event Calendar Update: Philadelphia & beyond: May 24 - May 31

Closing out May with just a few events around here because everyone knows what's on the horizon—Philly Beer Week, June 1-10. My beer calendar listings will take a pause during the month of June as we wait for everything to "get back to normal" in the post-PBW world in and around Philly.

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

Ardmore, Pa.
Sat. 5/26; 5 p.m.-7 p.m. — Neshaminy Creek Tasting at The Beer Shoppe [Neshaminy Creek will be here sampling beer and we will be discounting all Neshaminy Creek takeout six packs.  $Free]

Croydon, Pa.
Sat. 6/9; 12 p.m.-7 p.m. — Six Year Anniversary Party at Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company [Details on the beer release, vendors, food trucks and more coming soon. Plus, three tiers of VIP access.  $PAYG]

Horsham, Pa.
Mon. 5/28; 3 p.m.-8 p.m. — Memorial Day BBQ & Brews at Iron Abbey [Enjoy 2 and a half hours full of all the barbecue and brews you can have.  $25]

Philadelphia, Pa.
Thu. 5/24; 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. — Beef, Bourbon, & Beer at Philly Beer School [In this class, we select our top beers and bourbons from our cellar, and then build a beef-centric tasting menu around them. In this class, you will get to experience the recipes and pairings from our bestselling cookbook as well as brand new dishes and pairings.  $81-$109]
Fri. 5/25; 2 p.m.-9 p.m. — Towel Day at Grey Lodge Pub [Continuous readings from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and a special Evil Genius beer just for the event, So Long and Thanks for All the Fish, made with Swedish fish.  $PAYG]
Mon. 5/28; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Bottle Shop Happy Hour at Local 44 [Join us for brewery representative led complimentary tastings and specials on bottle selections from Foreign Objects.  $Free]
Thu. 5/31; 6 p.m. — Founders Tap Takeover at Kraftwork [Founders is taking over all 20 of our draft lines. All their classics plus CBS, KBS, and vintage kegs.  $PAYG]
Fri. 6/1; 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. — Craft Beer and Cheese Pairing at Philly Beer School [This class combines the talent of one of Philadelphia’s top beer geeks and beloved cheesemongers for the ultimate class on beer and cheese pairings.  $51-$89]
Fri. 6/1 through Sun. 6/10; Times vary — Philly Beer Week at Too many establishments in and around Philly to count [As always, the schedule will be in a near state of flux, growing on a daily, almost hourly, basis. Try to keep up with the country's original 10-day Beer Week.  $Varies]
Sat. 6/9; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. — Roy-Pitz Inaugural Brewers Bash Disc Golf Tournament at Sedgley Woods [Food trucks on site, and a chance to win great beer and prizes and challenge your fellow disc golfers and brewers.  $50 entry fee]

West Chester, Pa.
Fri. 5/25; 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m. — Blues 'n' Brews at Uptown Knauer Performing Arts Center [This event is festival-inspired, highlighting Pennsylvania’s favorite blues-styled musicians, paired with two of our favorite local breweries — Locust Lane & Yards.  $45-$50]

Wildwood, NJ
Sat. 6/9; 12 p.m.-4 p.m. & 6 p.m.-10 p.m. — Wildwood Beer Fest at Fox Park [A ticket into the event grants you access to 100+ brews, a commemorative tasting cup, live tunes, delicious food, craft vendors and special exhibits.  $5-$35]

Yardley, Pa.
Sat. 6/2; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. — Yardley Beer Festival at Delaware Avenue [Every year our community gathers to celebrate craft beers and the art of brewing. We take great pride in showcasing both local and national breweries at our event.  $40-$50]



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



Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Philly Beer Week 2018. Untangling the schedule of events.


I'll get right to the meat of it. After pulling down the calendar of events last night before dinner and deleting duplicates, fixing erroneous times, and trying to guess where an event is being held when no establishment name was filled in (yes, really), here's how the Philly Beer Week schedule of events looks to me as of this morning.

Of course, from experience we all know that this thing is a constantly moving target and events will get added, deleted, modified right up until go-time during the week. Also, my standard disclosure, while I stand by my own data integrity, for the official calendar of events, please visit the official PBW '18 website.

   >> 52 establishments now list events, up from 23 last week. 44 of them are in the city. While it's not a stretch to see people taking a train to Berwyn (La Cabra) or scootin' out Germantown Pike to Plymouth Meeting (Whole Foods) for an event, this is Philly Beer Week and I'm pretty sure an "event" (actually just a standard tour listing) at Allentown Brew Works should be listed on Lehigh Valley's Beer Week instead. But, that's just me?

   >> These 52 establishments have 222 events listed (after I deleted 28 duplicates), which is just slightly more than double from my analysis last week.

   >> Five of the events are focused on cider. That's your call.

   >> The daily count breakout, as of last night is as follows. Following this PBW event calendar very closely since the inception in 2008, the pattern is nearly identical to past daily counts, i.e. a spike on the first Saturday and then again on Thursday, with a petering out on the last day, Sunday.
  • Fri, Jun 01 - 20
  • Sat, Jun 02 - 26
  • Sun, Jun 03 - 20
  • Mon, Jun 04 - 19
  • Tue, Jun 05 - 22
  • Wed, Jun 06 - 24
  • Thu, Jun 07 - 31
  • Fri, Jun 08 - 22
  • Sat, Jun 09 - 24
  • Sun, Jun 10 - 14
   >> Cinder has taken full advantage of its membership, listing 21 events (so far). The Lucky's two bars combined have 22 events. Interstate Draft House has 12, Grey Lodge has 11, and the P.O.P.E. has 10. Devil's Den, Khyber, and Strangelove's with 8 each. If you want a full spreadsheet-based listing of all events, drop an e-mail to me requesting one.

   >> Memphis Taproom also has 10 events listed (one event per day) and to the semi-educated eye is looking like on a per event/per day basis, no one might have more beer dork drool-inducing lineups than the good folks on Memphis Street. Love you dorks, no offense intended 😎

   >> 6 Whole Foods locations are showing 14 events. Off significantly from past years. Also missing from the "chain" listing of events is Uno. Only showing one brunch at one location right now.

   >> Only three dog-related events thus far. Seems a bit light and I'm betting that number will grow over the next week.

   >> Yuengling's hitting the week with a Golden Pilsner Pre-Release event, once each at Morgan's Pier, 12 Steps Down, and Field House.

   >> Here's a quick rundown of solid-looking new events popping on to the calendar since last week that have caught my attention. Maybe yours too?
Fri, Jun 01 - I'm sticking with some undetermined dosage of HOG and, no doubt, Opening Tap (as it should be, and I described why earlier). But if I need any other pre-gamers for this opening day kickoff, Burial at Memphis looks like a swell idea. As does Hops and the Half Shell at Cinder.
Sat, Jun 02 - Uh-oh. Beer and Dogs. Yup, right in my ol' wheelhouse. Plus, Morris is where Patty and I found our first dog together. And, the P.O.P.E.? Still one of my favorite bars in the city and they're doing the fundraiser with Fat Head’s And Tröegs. Cool.
Sun, Jun 03 - Could begin the day with an Oxbow Brunch at Khyber, which sounds great both from a glass and plate perspective. Then, I heard that this was coming and now it's officially been announced - "Who The Hell Let Tom In The Brewery?!" at Monk's. Might be epic.
Mon, Jun 04 - If I didn't get some drops of Burial's beers during the weekend, Clarkville is serving 'em up on Monday.
Tue, Jun 05 - Uh-oh, the first day of "do-I-take-off-work-for-this"? Dogfish used to do its lunchtime thing for PBW at Nodding Head. Now it looks like they've got something fun on tap at Monk's. Hhhmmmm.
Wed, Jun 06 - Wednesday will be a tough night for me as I'll be at the Mann Music Center for Nathaniel Rateliff concert. But, could possibly pull off dinner at nearby-ish Local 44 for its "Locals Only" event before the concert.
Thu, Jun 07 - I'd mentioned the panel discussion Urban Village earlier and I think I'll stick to that plan. But after? Free Will sours at Varga. Could be. Une Annee And Hubbards Cave? Another one to keep in mind.
Fri, Jun 08 - You know what? I've never seen the Sly Fox Canwood Derby in action. Sounds like fun at Good Dog Bar. Or the "West Philly Tricycle Championship" at City Tap House in University City?! Wow, picturing this is amusing, perhaps making this a must-see.
Sat, Jun 09 - Sours and brunch at Cinder. Sam Smith beers at Grey Lodge. Wood beers at Strangelove's. All new event listings and contending for my attention on Saturday.
Sun, Jun 10 - Believe I'll still be sticking with the La Cabra event in Berwyn, but there is also Sour Sunday at Devil's Den and Russian River at Local 44. Options are always welcome.
   >> Good Dog loves exclamation points!!!

   >> Oh, and re my comment earlier about establishments not listing their names, if anyone can help with the location of these events, that'd be, well, helpful.
  • Fri, Jun 01 Evil Twin/Against The Grain/Gigantic
  • Sun, Jun 03 Weyerbacher Tap Takeover
  • Mon, Jun 04 Sour Monday Tap Takeover
  • Tue, Jun 05 Sarene Takeover
  • Wed, Jun 06 Avery & Dogfish Head
  • Thu, Jun 07 Saison Jawn
  • Thu, Jun 07 Belgium Comes To Hamilton
  • Fri, Jun 08 Saison Jawn
  • Fri, Jun 08 Big Wood
  • Sun, Jun 10 Jersey Only
  • Sun, Jun 10 It'S A Ruff Life Rescue Fundraiser w/ Terrapin


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


Philly Beer Week 2018. More details.

Philly Beer Week 2018 is firing up for an 11th consecutive year. What's new? What's returning? What's changed? What's a must-do? When's it happening? All reasonable questions and a good bit of what is addressed in the organization's press release (portions deleted, but nothing edited, for brevity) pasted below. Some new faces, some old faces, and some missing faces are on the list thus far. The calendar of events continues to evolve as per usual, so try to keep up. And, I'll do my usual bit to keep you informed of what I sleuth out along the way. Then, we'll meet up for some beers and debrief. Cheers to the never boring Philly beer scene.


PHILLY BEER WEEK HITS JUNE 1-10, 2018.
Often Imitated, NEVER Duplicated: The nation’s first, biggest and best Beer Week – with nearly 100 copycats worldwide – will celebrate their 11th anniversary in 2018, kicking off with Opening Tap on June 1.
Philadelphia PA — (May 2018) Philly Beer Week (PBW) will celebrate their 11th year on Friday, June 1 with Opening Tap, their signature kick-off party featuring more than 60 breweries and cideries, at The Fillmore Philadelphia. Opening Tap will be followed by 10 days of lively beer-soaked events in America’s Best Beer-Drinking CityTM. Hosted by 501(c)(6) non-profit Philly Loves Beer (PLB), PBW2018 is the culmination of 11 years and nearly 11,000 events, and remains the 10 most important days on Philadelphia’s beer calendar. 
PBW stands alone as the largest beer celebration of its kind in the United States. The 10-day festival (seven days weren’t enough for America’s Best Beer-Drinking CityTM, a name trademarked in 2012) features hundreds of dinners, tours, pub crawls, tastings and meet-the-brewer nights, and highlights the region’s top-notch breweries, neighborhood taverns, trendsetting restaurants and masterful home brewers. PBW is the “Founding Father” of Beer Weeks, and continues to evolve and grow amid a crowded field of friendly imitators, with 77 Beer Weeks held annually in the United States, and almost 100 worldwide. 
“Looking back at 10 years, I have to admit Philly Beer Week has exploded beyond my wildest expectations,” says Tom Peters, PBW Co-Founder and Proprietor of Monk’s Cafe. “The first year I remember saying I’d be really happy if we had 20 participants and 30 events. Now, there are Beer Weeks all over the world and we are proud Philadelphia once again was leading the charge. It’s been a remarkable ride and stunning achievement!” 
Opening Tap
Opening Tap is PBW’s signature event, bringing the entire craft beer community together for a ritualistic “first tapping” of the festival – followed by a raucous party with endless samples. A highly-anticipated night, Opening Tap features rare and limited pours from 50+ breweries and cideries and live entertainment. 
In addition, guests will have the opportunity to sample the country’s best ciders and chat with cider makers. Hard ciders have been gaining popularity in recent years, thanks to new fermenting methods, including the use of big, bold hops and dry hopping. 
Opening Tap will take place on Friday night, June 1, from 7:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. 

General Admission: $46 includes a souvenir glass and complimentary beers from 50+ local and national breweries in 4-oz. tastings, including the debut of Saison de Pale, a collaboration saison brewed with Pilsner, blended with 15% Petrus Aged Pale, and balanced with Saaz Hops created by Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton DE, and Brouwerij De Brabandere in Belgium. 
VIP Admission: $66 includes a specialty souvenir glass, and an additional hour of access, beginning at 6:30 p.m featuring rare pours from brewery members. There will be live DJ sets, and a live performance from Philadelphia favorite Chill Moody!

Leading Up to Opening Tap: The Hammer of Glory and HOG Relay
The official mascot of PBW, the Hammer of Glory (HOG) is a custom, hand-forged keg hammer that travels throughout the region and across the United States as an ambassador for Philadelphia beer throughout the year. Starting in the wee hours of the morning on June 1, the HOG will be passed Olympic torch-style from venue to venue along the HOG Relay, a day-long, beer-fueled carnival that visits 40 bars, breweries and restaurants across the city. 

The HOG Relay will conclude with the HOG’s arrival at Opening Tap for the ceremonial first tap of PBW2018: the newly nickel-plated keg mallet will strike a firkin of Brotherly Suds, a collaboration beer from local breweries Troegs, Victory, Yards, Sly Fox, Stoudts, Iron Hill and Flying Fish. This year’s collaboration will feature a Hoppy Saison.

PBW2018: MUST DO
Art on Beer
Are these labels making you thirsty? Be honest, have you bought a beer just because the label caught your eye? Explore with us on Wednesday, June 6 at U-Bahn why the artists and the breweries make the decisions they do - be it an entire redesign, flavor series, or one-off, for the second installment of our Art on Beer moderated panel discussion. Not only does this ticket get you in on a super cool art & beer panel discussion, it includes $5 beers from all breweries represented on the panel, as well as, a specifically designed menu for the event!

Don’t F*#k Up The Beer - A Industry Panel Discussion about Quality Control
Philly Loves Beer is proud to present the Industry Education Panel on Quality Control taking place at Urban Village on Thursday, June 7th from 2-4PM. Explore the best quality control practices, common lab errors, overlooked QC practices and the best route to achieve happy, healthy fermentation. A panel of experts will share their unique perspectives to create an interactive experience for anyone who wants to brew better beer. After the panel discussion, mix and mingle with other top brewing industry folks before hitting your evening events!

Philly Loves Beer Garden: Sip on your favorite local brews every night (except Wednesday; including weekends) of PBW2018! Uptown Beer Garden (1735 Market Street) will host the official Philly Loves Beer Garden, with special attention devoted to breweries located within 100 miles of downtown Philadelphia.

PBW2018: Greatest Hits
In addition, PBW will also celebrate the return of long-established and much-anticipated favorites:

  • It’s A Firkin’ Riot (Johnny Brenda’s)
  • Fishtown FestivALE (various bars in Northern Liberties)
  • 11th Annual Extreme HomeBrew Challenge (Jose Pistola’s)
  • Secret Lair Burlesque (Evil Genius)
  • The Wild Brunch (Cinder)
  • Wayne Music Festival (Teresa’s Next Door)
  • Canwood Derby (Good Dog Bar)
  • Pils & Pierogies (Grey Lodge Pub)
  • Tailgate Olympics (Devil’s Den)
  • Beer and Boats on the Schuylkill River (Bartram’s Garden)
About Philly Loves Beer (PLB)
Formerly Philly Beer Week, PLB was established in 2017 and is a non-profit 501 (c)(6) organization overseen by a community of like-minded beer professionals whose aim is to “grow the pie” and promote the entire Philadelphia region’s top-notch beer-drinking culture. Through a membership network, PLB works to promote and educate consumers about beer 365 days a year, celebrating Philly’s proud brewing culture by highlighting local brewers and progressive national trends.


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


Monday, May 21, 2018

Philly Beer Week 2018. Hammer of Glory update

(The legendary Fergie during the Hammer of Glory stop in 2016 outside his Belgian Cafe.)

Good timing on the part of Scoats. Within hours of my inaugural PBW '18 post last week, Mike "Scoats" Scotese (of Grey Lodge, Hop Angel, SawTown, Bonk's, and Philly Beer Week ambassadorship fame) reached out to let me know that my comment about the Hammer of Glory tour on June 1 for Philly Beer Week could be updated with a schedule that had just been completed. At least the participating establishments. The times were close enough to publish, but he ask that they be taken with an understanding that they may be tweaked in these two weeks leading up the Friday, June 1 kickoff of PBW '18.

Even though still  are a lot of gaps in terms of what each establishment will be doing to showcase their creativity and their dedication to the local bar and brewing scene, if 2018 is anything like past years, then you can bet it will be worth taking some part, or all, of your day to check out the roaming festivities on the way to Opening Tap at The Fillmore.

Here's a link to the Google Doc that is currently hosting the only version of this schedule that I've seen thus far and I've static-pasted it below as it stands as of today. 4 city breweries and 20 bars.

10:00 AM Hop Angel Brauhaus (7980 Oxford Avenue)
10:40 AM SawTown Tavern (4717 Princeton Avenue)
11:08 AM Grey Lodge Pub (6235 Frankford Avenue)
11:39 AM Bonks Bar (3467 Richmond Street)
12:10 PM Philadelphia Brewing (2439 Amber Street)
12:33 PM Evil Genius Lab (1727 North Front Street)
12:53 PM Saint Benjamin Brewing (1710 North 5th Street)
 1:29 PM Belgian Cafe (601 North 21st Street)
 2:04 PM Grace Tavern (2229 Grays Ferry Avenue)
 2:35 PM 12 Steps Down (767 South 9th Street)
 2:58 PM Garage Passyunk (1231 East Passyunk Avenue)
 3:33 PM Jose Pistola's (263 South 15th Street)
 4:00 PM Opa & Drury Beer Garden (1311 Sansom Street)
 4:14 PM Time (1315 Sansom Street)
 4:28 PM Fergie's (1214 Sansom Street)
 4:49 PM Varga (941 Spruce Street)
 5:11 PM Craftsman Row Saloon (112 South 8th Street)
 5:38 PM Yards (500 Spring Garden Street)
 6:04 PM Standard Tap (901 North 2nd Street)
 6:23 PM El Camino Real (1030 North 2nd Street)
 6:48 PM Frankford Hall (1210 Frankford Avenue)
 7:02 PM Garage Fishtown (100 East Girard Avenue)
 7:16 PM Johnny Brenda's (1201 Frankford Avenue)
 7:34 PM The Fillmore for Opening Tap (29 East Allen Street)



© 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, May 19, 2018

PA Cider Fest is back for a third year


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To purchase tickets, visit paciderfest.com


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


Friday, May 18, 2018

Landmark Americana making a new mark in New Jersey


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


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


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


Thursday, May 17, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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