Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Independence Brew Pub in Philadelphia, PA

Now that Adam has spurred me to writing (well, first drinking, now writing), it looks like I'm back on the posting trail. Don't ask where I've been. The answer is probably somewhere between Nip/Tuck episodes, Lew Bryson's website, reading magazine back issues that have piled up, and the holidays. Of course, you can always blame the holidays. Whatever....I'm back in the saddle and here to tell you a little bit about Independence Brew Pub in the heart of Center City Philadelphia. I've been to Independence many times, and have never before written on the subject. Why? Oh, who knows, maybe it reflects my general feeling about the place and its beers. My feelings have ranged from love to hate, from respect to ambivalence, from anxious curiosity to deflated pessimism. Sorry for the drama, it's just that I still don't know if I can nail down my feelings for Independence. My last time at Independence was in November. You may remember me posting about The Foodery. Well, the day started with me taking the train to the Market East station and coming to street level to have lunch at the Reading Terminal Market and a beer at Independence.....then on to The Foodery....then on to Ludwig's (future post), eventually winding up at the Monday Night Football debacle that the Eagles participated in :( So, what if I instead list some pros and cons that I've come up with over my many visits to Independence. I'd be interested to hear other's reactions since I can't seem to commit to one point-of-view :-/ Pros - Located above the Market East train station; no need to walk outdoors after disembarking train - Large space for comfortable dining and drinking - Upstairs with pool tables and additional space for drinking, etc. - Relative to other breweries (is that unfair?), these are non-imaginative, unaggressive brews; i.e. easy drinking, inoffensive and can please anyone in your group - Food is acceptable and suitable to a group outing Cons - Respectable beers, but not wildly impressive beers - Service staff not very outgoing, friendly, knowledgeable, or helpful (I suppose sometimes you do want to be left alone) - Relative to other breweries (is that unfair?), these are unimaginative, unaggressive brews; i.e. easy drinking, inoffensive ....no, this isn't a typo! - The size of the place, as well as two entrances on either side of the building, adds to some of the impersonal feel....and the lack of coziness. On one hand, it's nice that the pub is in the middle of everything and easily accessible in Center City, but that can also be a detriment. So, where do we go from here? Trust me, I'll go back again....and again. It's especially convenient because we'll occasionally do shopping at the Reading Terminal Market and the brew pub is right across the street. Plus, it's not as if the beer is bad or offensive. It's just that if I have time on my hands, I'm making my way to Monk's, Standard Tap, Bridgid's, Eulogy, TenStone, Tavern on Green, North Third, Druid's Keep, Triumph (coming soon to Old City), Ludwig's, Grey Lodge, etc. etc. etc. Just, when you go, keep your expectations within reason.

Beer Tasting: Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout

Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout Ummmm...I don't remember, but, it was good ;-) I'll post more next time I have some. Two more bottles in the fridge. Have you tasted this beer? Let us know what you think. As a suggestion, try to keep it to five words or less for each of the following; appearance, smell, taste, mouthfeel and drinkability. Appearance Adam: Bryan: Dark as night, with a medium-copper head Matt: Smell Adam: Bryan: cocoa Matt: Taste Adam: Bryan: slightly bitter, dark chocolate Matt: Mouthfeel Adam: Bryan: smooth, silky Matt: Drinkability Adam: Bryan: like a good dessert, you don't want to share! Matt:

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Holidays

Where ever you are out there and what ever holiday you are celebrating, I wish you the best! Thanks for visiting our site this year. :-) -Adam (beer tree in on the bank of the Rhine)

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Site Changes: Categories Added

We have almost 100 posts in brewlounge! We have written about so many things, but, they can be really hard to find. I'm in the process of categorizing all our posts. This should make it a bit easier to find that review of Burp Castle that Bryan wrote ;-) I'm done! Look for "Categories" on the right side of the page.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Beer Sighting: Seasonals & Warmers

Thanks again Bryan for inviting me to the holiday beer exchange. This year I was able to participate in the big bottle and the twelve ounce exchanges. Most of the following beer is from that exchange. Twelve Ouncers (left to right) North Coast Brewing Old Stock Ale Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale Bell's Winter White Ale High Point Ramstein Winter Wheat (Weizenbock) Thirsty Dog Siberian Night Russian Imperial Stout River Horse Belgian Frostbite Winter Ale Victory Hop Wallop Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout Not appearing in this picture... Harpoon Winter Warmer Big Bottles (left to right) Young & Co's Brewery PLC Winter Warmer Middle Ages Brewing Co. Wailing Wench Rogue Ales Brewery / Brewer's on the Bay Santa's Private Reserve Ale Rogue Ales Brewery / Brewer's on the BayFestiveAle Left Hand & Tabernash Brewing Company XXXmas Ale Brouwerij De Smedt / Brouwerij Affligem - Affligem Paters Vat Christmas Bryan & Adam's Holiday Ale ;-)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Tasting: Harpoon Winter Warmer

Harpoon Winter Warmer Appearance: brassy, head disapates quickly Smell: gingerbread Taste: tangy hops, light gingerbread, white grape sweet? Mouthfeel: not thin, carbonated Drinkability: holiday beer with spice, surprisingly drinkable Have you tasted this beer? Let us know what you think. As a suggestion, try to keep it to five words or less for each of the following; appearance, smell, taste, mouthfeel and drinkability.

Good Beer Blogs: Links Added

Here are a few blogs that you might like, if you like our blog. They have been added to the links section.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Brewing Progress: Barleywine, Wee Heavy, Imperial Stout

The Barleywine is bottled. Just one problem though. I forgot the priming sugar. I'm hoping that there's enough sugars left in there to feed the extra yeast I pitched. I did check a bottle a couple days ago and it seamed to make a little pffssst when I uncapped it. I still can't believe I did this with the barleywine. It could prove to be a quite the expensive mistake. All that malt....sheesh. Both the Wee Heavy and Imperial Stout (aka Stoutenporter ;-) are still fermenting in my basement. It has been consistently cold here providing a nice cool environment for fermentation. Ahhh...waiting...it can be the hardest part of brewing. That and making stupid mistakes like forgetting the priming sugar. Above Image from this Wikimedia Commons entry. "foam on the bunghole from a barrel...on april 4th 2005 in brewery Timmermans" user Henna

Monday, December 19, 2005

Site News

Pictures... Beer Blogging is hard work! Let us know... Site Changes: Brew Lounge Adam, where are you? Site Changes: What's new?

Restaurants

Monk's Beer Dinner 1/24/06 : Pizza Port & Russian River Monk's Beer Dinner 9/13/05 : St. Feuillien Dave Alexander's Regional Food and Drink (aka D.A.'s RFD) in Washington, D.C.

Misc

Thirsty? What's in the fridge? Beer Bottle: Grolsch Birthday Weekend in Review Video: History Channel - Modern Marvels - Brewing

Equipment

Jockey Box Chiller ProMash: Home Brewing Software

Culture

Some Good Growler Time Belgian Beer Personal: Homebrewer's Blues

Calendar

Philly Beer Calendar - What to do in September 2011
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  • Upcoming Beer Events




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  • Brewing

    Beer Words

    Beer Words: Bottle Conditioned Beer Words: Fermentation Beer Words: Hops Beer Words: Real Ale Beer Words: Reinheitsgebot Beer Words: Small Beer Beer Words: Wort

    Beer Sightings

    Beer Sighting: Seasonals & Warmers Dogfish Head on the Cape May Ferry Philadelphia Eagles: We won! Yards, Victory, Flying Fish

    Beer Reviews

    Lager/Bock/Maibock New Glarus Yokel River Horse Lager Firestone Lager St. Nikolaus Bock Bier General Lafayette Double Fest Samuel Adams Boston Lager Capital Blonde Dopppelbock Harpoon Kellerbier Rogue Dead Guy Ale Smuttynose S'muttonator Stoudt's Blonde Double Maibock Summit Maibock Anchor Bock Bethlehem Brew Works Maibock Ybor Amber Lager Samuel Adams Winter Lager Pale Ale/ESB/IPA Morland's Old Speckled Hen Moylan's Hopsickle Founders Devil Dancer Founders Pale Ale Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Organic Amber Ale Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale River Horse Hop Hazard Clipper City Heavy Seas Winter Storm "Category 5" Ale Sly Fox Odyssey Imperial IPA Left Hand Warrior IPA Sand Creek English Style Special Ale Left Hand XXXmas Ale (2005) Victory Hop Wallop Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale (2006) Rock Art IPA Rock Art Whitetail Golden Ale Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA Three Floyds Alpha King Otto's Double D Dogfish Head Burton Baton St. Peter's English Ale Sly Fox Cascade IPA Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale Sly Fox Phoenix Pale Ale (can) Sly Fox E.S.B. Black Sheep English Pale Ale Russian River Pliny the Elder Stegmaier Anniversary IPA (by Lion Brewing) Middle Ages Wailing Wench Ale Barley Creek Super Hop IPA Rogue - Brutal Bitter Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA Lake Placid Ubu Ale & 46’er I.P.A. Brown Ale/Red Ale Bison Reunion Imperial Brown Ale Rogue Santa Private Reserve (2006) New Glarus Fat Squirrel Rock Art American Red Ale Legacy Hedonism He'Brew Messiah Bold Sly Fox Seamus Irish Red Stout/Porter Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout Hopback Entire Stout Deschutes Black Butte Porter Iron Hill Pig Iron Porter Iron Hill Bourbon Barrel-Aged Baltic Porter McKenzie Brew House Empress of the C Imperial Stout Iron Hill Russian Imperial Stout Anchor Porter St. Peter's Old-Style Porter Great Divide Oak-Aged Yeti Imperial Stout Erie Drake's Crude Oatmeal Stout Victory Storm King Stout Stegmaier Porter (by Lion Brewing) Weyerbacher Old Heathen Imperial Stout O'hara's Celtic Stout Wheat Middle Ages 11th Anniversary Double Wheat Victory Moonglow Weizen Bock 21st Amendment Watermelon Wheat Sly Fox Black Raspberry Reserve Ramstein Winter Wheat Stoudt's Weizen Various Styles/Mixed Cases/Misc. East End Ugly American Stoudt's Smooth Hoperator Appalachian Grinnin' Grizzly Erie Red Ryder Yards Poor Richard's Spruce Ale 21st Amendment Holiday Spiced Ale Anderson Valley Winter Solstice Brooklyn Winter Ale [2006] Founders Dirty Bastard New Glarus Engima General Lafayette Holiday Cheer Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale Dogfish Head Punkin Ale McKenzie Brew House Purple Haze Blackberry Biere de Garde Founders Red Rye Heavyweight Biere d'Art Shiner Kolsch Dogfish Head Immort Ale Victory Tripilsner Sly Fox Pikeland Pils (can) Victory Ten Year Alt Wexford Irish Cream Ale Budweiser B-to-the-E Sly Fox Rauchbier Stoudt's Double IPA, Stoudt's Fat Dog Stout, & Victory V-12 Summit & Southampton Yards Mixed Case & Victory Moonglow Weizenbock Southampton Publick House tasting at Beer Yard Southern Tier Mixed Case Flying Fish Mixed Case Dogfish Head Boom Box Mixed Case Saison Brooklyn Local 1 Southampton Publick House Saison Harpoon Saison Sly Fox Saison Rogue FestiveAle Belgian/Belgian-style Anderson Valley Brother David's Triple Anderson Valley Brother David's Double River Horse Belgian Frostbite Winter Ale River Horse Tripel Horse 't Smisje Calva Reserva Maredsous 10 St. Bernardus Abt 12 (special edition-60th Anniversary) New Glarus Belgian Red St. Bernardus Abt 12 Avery The Reverend Chimay Grande Réserve Chimay Cinq Cents Chimay Première Brouwerij Huyghe Delirium Nocturnum Rogue FestiveAle Iron Hill The Cannibal Sly Fox Ichor Affligem Dubbel Sly Fox Incubus (2002) Barleywine/Strong Ale/Winter Warmer Speakeasy Old Godfather [2006] Great Divide Hibernation Ale [2005] Weyerbacher Winter Ale Middle Ages Kilt Tilter Scotch Style Ale Left Hand Snowbound Ale Rock Art Ridge Runner Barleywine Left Hand Double Sawtooth Chainsaw Ale Lagunita's Brown Shugga' General Lafayette Olde Curmudgeon Young's Winter Warmer Harpoon Winter Warmer North Coast Old Stock Ale Thoughts on Tastings Don't forget the food!

    The Brewer's Art in Baltimore, MD

    Although this visit to The Brewer's Art was made all the back in the first week of August, it made such a favorable impression on me that I feel compelled to write about it even now. And, of course, the more I dwell on it the more I want to schedule a follow-up visit a.s.a.p.! My visit came before we got this site up and running, so I don't have any pictures to post except for the ones that I lifted off of their site. I was in Baltimore on a day trip for business and I didn't complete my business day until around 4pm. So, what to do? Of course, I could get on the road and try to get a jump on rush hour traffic. Eh, boring. Or I could reward myself for a good presentation with a trip to The Brewer's Art to sample their beers which I've only flirted with from afar in Philly. I believe until that point, I only had their beers at the Bishop's Collar bar in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia. Plus, the reputation of the Ozzy beer and the Resurrection are well documented. The only thing I'm left curious about is the name of the brewery and their website name.......Brewer's Art and belgianbeer.com. Hm, I just can't get comfortable with the use of those names, but I digress. I can get way comfy with their beers, so here goes :) I was their first customer of the day as they opened their doors at 4pm. They are a bit off the beaten path, north of the downtown area of Baltimore and on the way to the Johns Hopkins University. I was a little skeptical of the area, not in a scared kind of way, but there's really nothing else in the area to draw you there except for the bar.....so, I park the car and inside I go. It was a sweltering hot day, so the frigid air conditioning was a relief. The "front of the house" (actually, it is a converted rowhouse) is a comfy bar/lounge area, perfect for grabbing some after work brews and light food. Natural light (no, not the beer) pours in through large windows facing Charles Street. The middle room provides some more comfortable seating while the back room serves as the dining room. Downstairs is a dark and cozy bar area which reportedly gets quite popular later in the evening. As you probably tell from this paragraph, my overall impression of the ambience is....comfortable! Well now on to the beers. I got quite a bit of attention in my first hour as the only customer at the bar. As the bartender was prepping the bar for the evening, he was pleasant to chat with me about the brewing operations, the beers, the food, and the Baltimore beer scene (which I believe is greatly improving as of late). I started with the Ozzy because I have such fond memories of it. It most certainly is a good start as a full-flavored belgian ale. (Think how quickly this beer disappeared since I had been speaking all day long!) I then moved on to a couple of unknowns, the Wit Trash (witbier) and Sluggo (APA). Both lacked in flavor and body and were otherwise forgettable. I then moved to another that I had only heard of previously....the Proletary Ale. While I remember it being a dark and heavy beer, I don't recall much else about it. However, it was still a major improvement over the previous two. Then, I figured if I was going out, then I was going out with a bang.....with the Resurrection and the Ozzy (again, ha!) I've had the Resurrection (dubbel) in Philly and was so happy to again have this mouthful of barley malt bursting with flavor. It's a tough call between this ale and the Ozzy for my favorite beer from The Brewer's Art. Oh, and in the middle of all this beer, I did manage to have some food! Dinner hadn't yet started but I tried some bar food. Actually, a bit better than typical bar food, I had an overflowing, seemingly bottomless, bowl of plump mussels in a delicious broth. Also, an order of fries (regular and sweet) and leeks with a tasty side of aioli dipping sauce. Unlike my experience at Dogfish Head Alehouse in Montgomery County, MD, I was able to take growlers of beer home with me. Fortunately, I had called ahead on this topic and learned that they'll fill your growler for you.....but they don't supply any of their own. So, phew, I brought two growlers with me for some more Ozzy and Resurrection at home, woohoo! Soooo, the moral of the story here is when in Baltimore, leave the Inner Harbor and head north to The Brewer's Art. This is definitely beer that I wish we had better access to in Philly. I suppose, though, that it makes it all the better when I do finally get the chance to have some of their brews. And from what I understand, the relatively new chef is making high marks by turning out decent dinners from the kitchen. You should not be disappointed.

    Highlights from Beer Events

    Thursday, December 15, 2005

    Dogfish Head Alehouse, addendum

    ugh, I can't believe the one comment I forgot to make about Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg, MD and their takeout policy. Adam reminded me in a comment to my original post. I enjoyed our visit to DFH, but went home a bit disappointed because they're in the only county in Maryland that does not allow beer carry-out from a bar like theirs. So, the growler I brought with me went home empty :( Just a word of advice in case you ever try to do the same. ALSO, in response to Baba's comment from beerrag.com, the owner of the DFH Aleshouse in Gaithersburg mentioned that one of the next locations they're scouting for expansion of the DFH concept is Leesburg, VA. Sounds like a further push into the D.C./Northern VA market.

    Wednesday, December 14, 2005

    Brewing: Wee Heavy, Imperial Stout & Barleywine

    They are both doing very well. I put a regular airlock on the Wee Heavy now that its fermentation has settled down a bit. The Imperial Stout is still using a blow off tube. I really want to get that barleywine bottled too. Bryan supplied the remaining beer bottles that I need. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

    Blog: A Good Beer Blog

    Yep that's what it is called, "A Good Beer Blog". I would say I pretty much concur. I don't know the Canadian, Alan, that runs it, but, I like hearing from up North and getting another perspective. Check it out when you get a chance :-)

    Philly Beer Calendar - What to do in the remainder of 2005

    Just a few things that might be interesting to do in the Philly area over the last half of this month. Fri. 12/16/05 - Rock the Dock, Reel the Fish - Grey Lodge Pub; Philadelphia, PA (6-10; pay as you go) Fri. 12/16/05 - Beer Tasting: Legacy - The Beer Yard; Wayne, PA (5-7; free) Fri. 12/16/05 - Third Friday Firkin Fest - Sly Fox Brewery & Pub; Royersford, PA (5:30-?; pay as you go Tues. 12/20/05 - A Night at the Brewhouse Dinner - Victory Brewing; Downingtown, PA (6:30; $50pp) Thurs. 12/22/05 - End of Year Big Beer Extravaganza - John Harvard's; Wayne, PA (6:00-?; pay as you go) Fri. 12/23/05 - Beer Tasting: Troegs - The Beer Yard; Wayne, PA (5-7; free) Sat. 12/31/05 - New Year's Eve Beer Dinner at Monk's Cafe - Philadelphia, PA (6:30, 9:30 seatings; $50pp)

    Tuesday, December 13, 2005

    Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg, MD

    Holy 's' batman! I'm looking back over my reviews and realize that I still haven't posted my thoughts and experience with Dogfish Head Alehouse from our recent trip to Washington D.C. This should not be confused with my work-related trip to D.C. that came only 3 days later from this trip. Patty and I took the day off from work on a Friday two weeks ago to visit the new panda cub, Tai Shan, at the National Zoo in Washington. After our best zoo experience ever, we headed out of the city and decided to stop at the DFH location for a bit of sustenance to carry us back home ;-) So, while I still haven't visited the Delaware operations of DFH, we couldn't pass up the opportunity of visiting the new DFH location in Maryland. It's only 10 miles off the D.C. beltway. And, as anyone knows from driving the beltway, any diversion off the beltway is usually a welcome distraction. And, when the distraction is DFH, then it's a no-brainer! It's an easy location to find just off of route 270, exit 10. For one last landmark, it's directly across from the entrance to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)......creates a lively happy hour crowd ;-) Where to begin? I suppose I could say that the location had me a bit skeptical at first. It's along a very busy road in suburban D.C. and on the edge of a corporate/retail mall area. I suppose it's kind of like the King of Prussia area along route 202 (for all of my Pennsylvania friends). The parking lot is ample and when you walk inside you instantly feel isolated from all of the craziness of the outdoor environs that you just left behind. It's impressive how quickly they have hung recent press clippings about their new location. Inside you will find dining room seating scattered around two floors. One unique aspect of the dining operations is a private eight-seat table above the main entrance. I could definitely see spending a few hours eating and drinking in the privacy of this room. Anyone else??? The only bar area is located on the first floor. The area is sufficient, but not ample. But, who cares, we got two seats at the bar. It was only 3pm on a Friday afternoon, so we definitely beat the happy hour crowd. However, we knew for sure that we lost any chance of beating the rush hour traffic north out of D.C. (we won't even discuss the 4 hour trip back to Pennsylvania, ugh!) So, given the time of day, we had the complete attention of the very friendly and talkative bartender. We ordered some decent sandwiches and appetizers along with a Chicory Stout and Indian Brown Ale for starters. The food menu is quite restaurant-oriented. In other words, they are striving very hard to be recognized as a quality restaurant that also happens to serve Dogfish Head beer. More on that later. The beer is delivered straight from the Delaware operations of DFH and managed tightly under DFH standards. My second beer was the Raison D'etre. These first three beers were all up to expectations. No surprises, fortunately....just great beer. Then, came the surprise. The person responsible for the beer operations here was trying to get the Pangaea settled down and ready for the weekend. He poured off a couple of glasses for us to try (gratis). This is a beer I've heard of but never before tried. It had just been released a couple of weeks prior in Delaware and is reportedly made with an ingredient from every continent. The name pangaea refers to the.....oh, forget it....just follow the link instead! It was odd how complex it seemed but how easy it was to drink. I was surprised, though, to see the ABV only around 7%, because I thought that I tasted more alcohol presence than that. Oh well, try it if you get the chance. I'm not sure where you'll find it on tap, but I don't believe that they'll be bottling it. I mentioned that I discuss more about the food. The only pecularity that I registered regarding the restaurant was that this was a business owned by a D.C. area restauranteur, with the permission of DFH. I'd suppose that there's some type of ownership by Sam and DFH, however it was obvious from talking with the owner here that his primary background and skills are in food and the restaurant business, sales, and marketing. I don't doubt that he has an interest in beer. And, obviously, Sam and DFH most likely wouldn't make this type of investment if they weren't convinced that it could work under this gentleman's guidance. Oh, anyway, I'm probably reading too much into it. In any case, it's an interesting story. So, my only recommendation (other than to make sure you visit the new DFH in Gaithersburg when you're in the D.C. area) is that you keep an eye on the clock and rush hour traffic! Otherwise go, drink, and be merry. And, try to stay in a local hotel if possible. p.s. the Shady Grove Metro stop is close by.....cabs are available. p.p.s. they also have an outdoor dining/drinking area that is open, weather permitting. last p.s. I couldn't resist, here's a couple pictures of baby Tai Shan and mother Mei Xiang at the Zoo.

    Brewing Beer: You Name it Imperial Stoutenporter

    I know I know there's nothing called a Stoutenporter. Well you read on and then tell me what I should call it. The following is a list of beer ingredients I had sitting around the house; 10.6 lbs of dark malt, 14 oz. of brown sugar, 11 oz. of molases, 4 kinds of left over hops and some fresh espresso. Hey, I was tired of looking at those cans of extract in my basement. I mean what good are they doing us there? ;-) One was from 1997 {wince} don't worry I taste tested it. Some call this a Kitchen Sink beer or Frankenstein beer...I call it MINE! Muhuwahahah! Seriously if it works out I think the ABV will be around 10% or so depending on the attenuation. Is it an imperial stout? Who the heck knows? I'll tell you one thing. It is gonna kick your butt! From Barley Wine to Wee Heavy Scotch Ale to Imperial Stoutenporter...sheesh I think it is safe to say we like BIG beers. But where do we go from here?

    Monday, December 12, 2005

    Beer Words: Small Beer

    "Small Beer" is a new term to me. On the way to work I was listening to WXPN and heard it mentioned as the word of the day. So here I am passing it on to you. You can find references at Wikipedia and Dictionary.com. It's similar to "small potatoes", meaning; of little or no significance. Of course when used literally it means beer of low alcohol content.

    Sunday, December 11, 2005

    Brewing Beer: Wee Heavy, Scottish Ale, 80 or 90 Shilling Ale

    Matt, friend of ours, chose this style for our next batch. Wee Heavys are known for being higher in alcohol content, very malty and somewhat sweet. 10 lbs. of liquid amber malt extract, 1 lb. brown sugar, and 8 oz. of molases should get us there! We're aiming for 8-9% avb. Hey do you remember the exploding fermenter problem? Well this time I remembered and used a blow off tube again. The picture here is of last time. This time I'm using a glass carboy as the primary. Oh yeah, and the barleywine is doing fine.

    Saturday, December 10, 2005

    McKenzie Brew House in Frazer, PA - Construction Update 12/10/05

    I'm sure they don't appreciate the snow, but construction can still progress indoors. Fortunately, the roof is mostly finished. And, just think that maybe in a few months we can be enjoying a nice stout, abbey, tripel, or export ale indoors while the snow is coming down outside. mmmmm.... :)

    Friday, December 09, 2005

    Mixed Case: Dogfish Head Boom Box

    Dogfish Head has a mixed case that is totally awesome. It contains the following...
    Raison D'Etre 60 Minute IPA Shelter Pale Ale
    Picked up a case tonight. Mmmmm...something to enjoy playing pool tonight. Dogfish Head must think very highly of "Raison D'Etre" they gave it quite a name in French. Translate it yourself here.

    Wednesday, December 07, 2005

    Site Changes: What's new?

    There's all these Web 2.0 apps out there that look so interesting. I just had to try some... New RSS Feed Feedburner makes it easier to subscribe to each of the most popular feed readers. So check out the RSS Newsfeed on the right. Let me know what you think. Email Newletter If you don't like to fire up the browser to visit the Brew Lounge site and you don't want to use the RSS feed then maybe you would enjoy a Brew Lounge email delivered to your inbox. Enter your email where it says Email Newsletter. Enjoy!

    Tuesday, December 06, 2005

    Dave Alexander's Regional Food and Drink (aka D.A.'s RFD) in Washington, D.C.

    So what are two hard working business people with a bit of time to spare who just put in a long day of presentations to do in Washington, D.C. on their way to Union Station? Well, of course, stop at Dave Alexander's R.F.D. for a couple of celebration brews! I've been here before and have read plenty about the place, but I still can't get a good handle on the name. Is it D.A.'s R.F.D.? Is it Dave's R.F.D.? Is it Dave Alexander's R.F.D.? Technically, for those who care, R.F.D. stands for Regional Food and Drink. Personally, I think this is one of the stranger names for what is hands-down one of the best beer bars that I've ever been to. While there is a good representation of regional beers, the other couple hundred of beers are well outside the region and the country. Ok, so let's move past the name issue, right? (I hear you: "Get over it!") The draft list is nicely varied with different styles of beer. The bottle beer list is phenomenal, boasting over 300 varieties. My colleague, Melissa, and I had some time to kill before our Amtrak train left Union Station. For anyone who knows her, they understand that it did not take any arm twisting to get off the Metro train at the Gallery Place/Chinatown stop (under the MCI Center, home of the Wizards and Capitals). From there, it's just a short walk down the block on 7th street to Dave's. Many people will often list Dave's and Brickskeller as the two best beer bars in D.C. I tend to favor Dave's. For one thing, your first step in the door you realize that the bar area seems more spacious and inviting. We were quite comfortable dragging our baggage and shoulder bags to the bar and stashing them while we had drinks. The second reason that I favor Dave's is for the ample selection of draft beer, as opposed to just bottles at Brickskeller. Lastly, Dave's is in a convenient location where you can easily walk between the Metro station, retail shops, restaurants, and other bars. Brickskeller, on the other hand, leaves you feeling a bit out there with not as many other options within walkable distance. Without getting into naming specific beers available at Dave's (since just about any that you might be looking for are on the list :), I'll just mention that Melissa had this year's Anchor Christmas ale and Unibroue Maudite. I started with the Unibroue and finished with Ommegang's Three Philosophers (don't believe I've ever had it on tap). Melissa and I both agreed that the Maudite is a strong ale, although so very smooth and drinkable with flavorful hop notes. It has some of the characteristics of a belgian but with a bit more hops than you'd expect in a typical belgian beer. So far, Dave's had not disappointed me in my visits. I highly recommend a visit if you're ever bopping around D.C., at the MCI Center for a game or concert, at the convention center just blocks away, or simply passing through like we were with some time to spare. Did I mention, it's only 2 stops on the Red Line from Union Station?

    Beer Words: Real Ale

    Hmmm...interesting. Didn't know it was such a big deal to have the yeast still present and active in the beer. In this respect Real Ale is like home brew.

    Sunday, December 04, 2005

    Brewing Beer: Kolsch is gone :-( What's next?

    What can I say? A holiday party did a number on my homebrew keg! I was happy to have so many people try it and like it :-) Now, I really need to get my butt in gear. I don't have any homebrew left. Well, I do have the barleywine, but, supposedly that shouldn't be ready until sometime in the summer. I think I need to bottle it and have a tasting to be sure ;-)

    Thursday, December 01, 2005

    Thirsty? What's in the fridge?

    We've been lagging here for the past week. So, since I don't have anything intelligent to say at the moment, I thought I'd let you peak into my refrigerator and see what tasty beverages await.

    Hm, looks like some beers from Clipper City in Baltimore: Peg Leg Imperial Stout; Winter Storm Category 5 Ale; Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale. How about some Winter Ale from Blue Point on Long Island. There's a few leftover Oktoberfests like Erdinger, Paulaner, and Spaten. Then there's some two year old Rudolph's Reserve and last year's Rude Elf Reserve, both from Bethlehem Brew Works. And, of course, some old standbys like Amstel Light and Rolling Rock for the less adventurous. Whoa, wait a minute, where did those Wexford Irish Cream Ale's come from?!?!

    Then, upstairs sneaking into our wine cooler are some quality brews from Dogfish Head (60 minute IPA and 120 minute IPA); Rochefort 10; Chimay (all 3 varieties); La Trappe Quadrupel; and Abita Turbodog.

    Oh, and just for good measure there's some Sly Fox Christmas Ale, Sly Fox Saison Vos, and Southampton Saison hanging around, but too lazy to join in the picture.

    Well, that's all that I have to amuse you with for the time being. Stop by if you're thirsty ;-)