Saturday, September 30, 2006

Iron Hill Brewery 'the VI' in Phoenixville, PA - Soft Opening 9/29/06

Don't look now, Philadelphia, but the once-sleepy, downtrodden western suburb of Phoenixville has a nightlife. This has been a slow, growing revolution in P'ville over the years. Leaving the new Iron Hill at one end of Bridge Street and driving to the other end left us simply with 'Wow! What a change.' Whether you're looking for retro movie theater, hip coffee house, Spanish, American, or quality crafted beer, Phoenixville has slowly become a destination in the western suburbs of Philly. Iron Hill has taken their tried-and-true formula and applied it to the new and relatively smaller location in Phoenixville. On this last weekend of September, Iron Hill is doing "practice dinners" by invitation only. All of the Iron Hill family of usual suspects were brewed on premises and available for consumption. The only upcoming beer outside of the typicals is the Pumpkin Ale, due somewhere around the middle of October. Between the three of us (Scott played third wheel to Patty and your's truly.....aw shucks Scott, we enjoyed your company....really!), we hit many of the styles on the tap list. Pig Iron Porter, Raspberry Wheat, Oktoberfest, and Saison all met expectations. We all seemed to agree that the Oktoberfest was the most pleasantly surprising and drinkable. It had hints of being lager-ish (noble bite?) but was balanced nicely with a soft malt taste and medium body. Will certainly seek this out again. The food menu will look familiar to Iron Hill regulars. For the practice dinners, the menu was broken up into thirds and distributed amongst the tables. This was to help ensure that the kitchen would see a variety of appetizer and entree orders. We enjoyed sweet potato fries with dipping sauces, bruschetta, salmon filet, mushroom lasagna, and pizza (my, do they do pizzas well, or what?) Overall, the opening night here in Phoenixville was an enjoyable evening. There was nothing overstated about it. The typcial food menu, beer menu, and a pleasant staff that we've come to expect from Iron Hill. As they go through their full opening to the public, scheduled for this upcoming week, they should be well on their way to successfully anchoring the north end of Bridge Street.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Brewing News: Fall Beer Brewing!

Wow, it seems like there's something in the air that makes me want to brew in the Fall. Here are some of the posts that I'm working on.
  • Beer Swap with the crew. (Just got back and we had some great beer!)
  • Harvesting the Hops
  • Wet Hopping/Dry Hopping
  • Kegging the Oktoberfest
I think I'm back on the wagon. I had a bit of a lull there for a while if you couldn't tell. Fortunately for me and YOU Bryan picked up the slack. I'm looking forward to some of the posts he is working on. I hope you like them.

Marin Brewing Co. in Larkspur, CA

After a great start to our Northern California brewery tour at Moylan's in Novato, we drove 15-20 minutes south to Larkspur where we found Marin Brewing Co. Seemed like an obvious next choice, as Marin begat Moylan's in the form of Brendan Moylan (who is still heavily involved with Marin). Like Moylan's, Marin was another easy find, just off route 101 and in a shopping area with an accompanying large parking lot. Inside the brewpub is just as spacious. And once inside, it didn't take long for Jay to find Arne Johnson, brewmaster, who was onsite taking care of brewing operations. We grabbed a table for a much-needed lunch and Arne stopped by a few times to check in on us, get our reactions to his brews, and talk (also, like James over at Moylan's) of his recent experience at hop school in Yakima. Arne was most interested in our take on his Quad, a new recipe added to his arsenal of award-winning brews. You can see from the picture with the jeroboam, that he was anxious for us to take some with us for another tasting. But, alas, I was bequeathed with a bomber to take home with me because I didn't rank as high as Jay (just kidding...but it's true :) Fortunately, a 22oz. bottle fit a lot easier in my suitcase for the flight home than the 3 liter bad boy would have! For food, we each chowed down on a well-made, tasty chicken sandwich, each with different accompaniments. Sampling the beers was another difficult proposition, like at Moylan's. Each brew on its own was at least above average. But, if you forced me to pick my top three (sorry, four), it would go something like this: Mt. Tam Pale Ale; Double IPA; Blueberry Wheat; San Quentin Stout; Port Reyes Porter; Albion Amber. Did I say 3, 4.... or 6?! Did I mention the barleywine? Yeah, that too! Awesome and spot-on interpretation of the style. I think you get the picture. This probably sounds like a broken record. But, the beer, the brewer and staff, the food, and the atmosphere get high marks here, just as at Moylan's. If they're going for consistently all-around high quality at these two establishments, they certainly have not failed to hit the mark. Thanks, Jay, so far 2-for-2.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bottle Conditioned Beer at Flying Pig Saloon in Malvern, PA

I suppose earlier today I said that we're gonna get a bit locally bent on the Flying Pig in Malvern, PA. Sorry, it continues some more this afternoon. Though, after spying the list of 'Flying Pig Cellar Aged Bottle Conditioned Beer,' I thought it had to be shared. If you're in southeastern Pennsylvania and passing through Chester County with a thirst, it's certainly worth checking out. In addition to a very nice draft list, these bottles round out a quality beer bar experience at 'the Pig'. Specialty Bottle List as of 9/27/06 Achel 8 Brun 2004 Chimay Grande Reserve 2004 De Dolle Stille Nacht 2004 J.W. Lees Harvest Ale 1999 J.W. Lees Harvest Ale in Port/Sherry Casks 2003 Kulmbacher Eisbock 2004 La Trappe Quadrupel 1999 Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout 2001 North Coast Old Stock Ale 2004 Ommegang Three Philosophers 2004 Orval 2004 Rochefort 10 2004 St. Bernardus Abt 12 2004 Westmalle Tripel 2004

Tap List at Flying Pig Saloon in Malvern, PA - 9/27/06

We're gonna try an extremely local idea here. Maybe it will "fly," maybe it won't. The Flying Pig Saloon in Malvern, PA typically has a fresh and interesting lineup of brews on tap. But, the publicity of the tap list is lacking (i.e. no website, etc). So, on an attempted regular basis, we'll post the tap list here. If you like this idea, please drop us a note and let us know. On Draft as of 9/27/06 Ayinger Oktoberfest Felinfoel Wales Double Dragon Ale Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest Legacy Midnight Wit Magic Hat Circus Boy Wheat Maredsous 8 Middle Ages Wailing Wench Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale Paulaner Oktoberfest Warsteiner Oktoberfest

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Iron Hill Brewery in Phoenixville, PA - Opening Update 9/27/06

Excerpted from today's e-mail from Iron Hill regarding their new location opening date in Phoenixville, PA. Opening Soon! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The staff and owners of Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant wanted to thank all of our customers for being so patient as we worked to open our newest restaurant in Phoenixville. We are very excited to be opening in Phoenixville and hope to see you soon! The contractors are almost finished and we are in the home stretch! We have been diligently training our staff, preparing our soups and sauces and fermenting our beer. Our goal is to open next Monday Oct 2 or Tuesday Oct. 3 at 5 pm. We will notify you via email as soon as the date is finalized. Help Us Out and Eat On Us! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Iron Hill Phoenixville is almost open and we are asking you for your help! Our staff needs to practice, and we are inviting you to come to one of our practice lunches or dinners this Friday Sept. 29, Saturday Sept. 30 or Sunday Oct. 1. We are taking reservations for Friday dinner, Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner and Sunday dinner. You need a reservation to attend and reservations are on a first come, first served basis. To make a reservation call the restaurant between 9 am and 5 pm at 610-983-9333. If you choose to participate, all food and soft drinks are complimentary. There will be a cash bar for beer only. Gratuities are not included.

Moylan's Brewing Co. in Novato, CA

I've been around the City of San Francisco and have been exposed a bit more to the better beer available south and east of the city. So, what's the most logical next step for exploration? Of course...head north. Wine geeks, be not offended. In case you weren't aware, the region to the north of San Francisco in Marin, Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties are overflowing with great suds of the barley and hop variety. Hey, I love wine too and it is a bit difficult to drive by beautiful wineries (ok, Napa's not too hard to drive through, given their Disney-ification over the past couple of decades) and the allure of the grape. However, greater expectations beckon. The first stop along this magnificent northern tour involved picking up Jay Brooks as he offered to escort us around his stomping ground of Marin County. The first stop was at Moylan's in Novato. Located just off route 101, Moylan's is extremely easy to find. And, judging from the lunchtime crowd already building at 11:30am, it's quite a popular destination as well. Moylan's is a brewery that I've previously been experienced with only while visiting California. If it's distributed to Pennsylvania, I've either overlooked it or simply passed on it out of ignorance. No longer. I was already aware that their beer was preceded by an award-winning, top-notch reputation, but now that I've been able to match the people and personalities behind the brewing, I'm a devoted fan. We chose to put off our hunger for our next stop, Marin Brewing, and opted instead for a sampler. Ok, stop for a minute here. I've had samplers of 5, 6, 7, even 8 beers. Moylan's takes the prize for largest beer sampler ever...10 beers. Yowzah, what a start to the day (which, by the way, was due to end at Russian River...so...must...pace...self...control!) The sampler was all over the style map from IPA to Scotch to Wheat to IPA to Barleywine to IPA. Ha, get the picture?! And, if you check out the picture, you'll see that we did not step timidly into the lunch hour. Worse yet, there was not a bad one in the batch. Not a wimpy, flavorless, hop-deprived, or bland one. James Costa, head brewer, was onsite wrestling with temperatures of a new batch and spent some time chatting with us. He had just returned from hops school in Yakima armed with all sorts of new information about the science of hops utilization. He beamed with pride as I listed my favorites of the sampler. First, the Hopsickle Triple IPA. Oh, for the love of all that is sweet and hoppy goodness! The Hopsickle has got to be one the tastiest hopped up beverages mankind will ever impart to its lips. Ok, I'll settle down now. Seriously, though, the freshness of the hop wallop that it delivers is truly magnificent. James, who cut his mashing teeth at Bear Republic, is certainly a shining star at Moylan's. Following in very close order of favorites were the Moylander (double IPA), Moylander (cask), Kiltlifter (scotch ale), Old Blarney (barleywine), unfiltered Wheat, Tipperary (pale ale), Pomegranate Wheat (yes, folks, I said Pomegranate and don't you forget where you heard it first!). Wait, how can I possibly put an Imperial Stout last?! Afterall, it's one of my favorite styles. It was such a rich and sinful stout with hints of roasted coffee and sweet chocolate. Ugh, trying to rank these is a futile effort. Do yourself a favor and make sure to try some of Moylan's fine brews when you're out West; you'll understand my dilemma here. The layout of the brewpub is very comfortable with a spacious bar area bordered by a large, open air dining room. Paraphernalia ranging from sports to beer to patriotic decoratively fills in the space on the walls and from the rafters. Pair this with a friendly brewer and staff (oh yeah, and great beer too), you've got a recipe for success. It's no wonder they've gathered countless awards for their many excellent brews. There was more to see of James on the next day's Lagunita's Skunk Beer Train further up north. Yes, I promise...those notes, pictures, and videos will be forthcoming....soon....I promise!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Beer Tasting: Heavyweight Biere d'Art

Biere d'Art is a Biere de Garde "farmhouse" style brewed by the now-defunct (or so they say) Heavyweight Brewing of Ocean Township, NJ. This 22oz. bomber was purchased from the brewery during their last open house on the first weekend of July 2006. It was since stored at room temperature and refrigerated to the low 40 degrees fahrenheit prior to serving. We did this "remote" tasting with Adam on the western side of Pennsylvania spending quality time with his father and Bryan on the eastern side of Pennsylvania spending quality time.....in his desk chair! In any case, it's a shame to see these beers disappear with the closing of the brewery. Though, we have a sneaking suspicion (and optimism) that we'll see some of these recipes reappear at sometime in the near future. Adam's Notes:
  • good malt nose upfront
  • hazy burnt orange
  • well carbonated
  • good level of yeast present in taste/nose
  • some lighter fruit flavors
  • malt there as a backdrop for all this
  • a tinge of spice toward the end
  • hops not very detectable as such
Bryan's Notes:
  • a huge shaving cream head that doesn't quit, leaving behind some serious lacing
  • solid copper colored brew
  • a slightly earthy and musty, but not offputting, aroma
  • sweet and malty upfront
  • slowly turns over to some alcohol warming (almost 8% ABV) and slight hop bitterness in the end
  • prefer colder temperature
  • such a pleasant drinking beer; no problem finishing the bomber all by myself!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Beer Calendar: What to do in October 2006

Here's just a sampling of upcoming events over the next several weeks, mostly in the Philadelphia area, that look interesting to check out. Let us know if you think you might be heading to one of these events or have been to one of them in the past. Thu. 9/28-Sat. 9/30 - 25th Annual Great American Beer Festival @Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO (5:30pm-10:30pm; $35-$145) Fri. 9/29 - Friday Night Tasting (Victory) @Beer Yard, Wayne, PA (5pm-7pm; Free) Fri. 9/29-Sun. 10/1 - Oktoberfest "Big Weekend" 2006 @Stoudt's Brewing Co, Adamstown, PA (5pm-7pm; $8/$30) Sat. 9/30 - 3rd Annual Lehigh Valley Brewfest @Riverside Park, Easton, PA (1pm-5pm; $30/$35) Sat. 9/30 - Victory Fall Fest @Victory Brewing Co, Downingtown, PA (2pm-9pm; pay as you go) Wed. 10/4 - Oktoberfest @Ortino's Northside, Zieglersville, PA (1pm-5pm; $35/$40) Thu. 10/5 - Weyerbacher Tasting @The Drafting Room, Spring House, PA (6pm; pay as you go) Sat. 10/7 - Kennett Square Microbrew Festival Kennett Square, PA (2pm-6pm; $30) Sun. 10/8 - Chester County SPCA Wine & Beer Festival @Duling-Kurtz House & Country Inn, Exton, PA (12pm-4pm; $30/$35) Tue. 10/10 - Oktoberfest Beer Dinner @Monk's Cafe, Philadelphia, PA (5pm-7pm; $55) Fri. 10/13 - Friday the Firkinteenth XIV @The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA (all day; pay as you go) Sat. 10/14 - Great Eastern Invitational Microbrewer's Festival @Stoudt's Beer Garden, Adamstown, PA (12pm-4pm; 7pm-11pm; $26) Sat. 10/14 - Oktoberfest @General Lafayette Inn & Brewery, Lafayette Hill, PA (12pm-4pm; pay as you go) Wed. 10/18 - Rogue Beer Dinner @The Drafting Room, Exton, PA (6:30pm; $49.95) Thu. 10/19 - Rogue Beer Dinner @The Drafting Room, Spring House, PA (6:30pm; $49.95) Sat. 10/21 - Chesapeake Real Ale Festival @Wharf Rat/Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD (1pm-6pm; $25/$30) Sat. 10/21 - Newtown Brewfest @Stocking Works parking lot, Newtown, PA (2pm-6pm; $25/$30) Mon. 10/23 - Van Steenberge Beer Dinner @Monk's Cafe, Philadelphia, PA (7pm; $60) Fri. 10/27 - Oktoberfest Beer Dinner @The Farmhouse Restaurant, Emmaus, PA (7pm; $80)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Beer Tasting: Sly Fox Black Raspberry Reserve

This raspberry fruit beer is a wheat ale style brewed by Sly Fox Brewing of Phoenixville, PA. This 25oz. bottle was purchased from the brewery during and was since refrigerated to the low 40 degrees fahrenheit. The label boasts "unforgettable fruit ale" and let's just say it got close. I also sampled it on draft and it was just as memorable. Brian O'Reilly continues to impress. Bryan's Notes:
  • brilliant, reddish-purple glow
  • substantial head that settles to a nice lavender crown
  • hints of strawberry and raspberry in the nose; some barley too?
  • easy-drinking wheat with significant raspberry flavor
  • but not overly sweet or tart, just right
  • effervescent, fresh flavor and mouthfeel
  • swirl up a few chunks from the bottom for extra texture
  • 8% ABV? Hard to believe
  • perfect after a late summer day of hard outdoor work

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Monument Wine & Spirits (Concord, CA) & Jackson's Wine and Spirits (Lafayette, CA)

If you're in the East Bay area of San Francisco, CA and are looking for a good retail beer selection you can't go wrong at either of these locations. Both are managed by the same ownership (in addition to Moraga Wine and Spirits in, that's right, the city of Moraga) and carry a decent selection of high quality beers, wines, and liquors.

Generally speaking, the Concord location (Monument) has a greater emphasis on beer, while the Lafayette location (Jackson's) has a greater emphasis on wine. But, really, when you browse the inventory the difference is almost imperceptible. Following is a rundown of the stash I came away with from these locations. Oh, for a Pennsylvania boy like me, I surely appreciated the single bottle option...and not with the accompanying price penalty that we experience here back home. Not too shabby, eh? (And I didn't even really get into the rare stuff.)

Bear Republic Red Rocket; Russian River Salvation; Fantome Saison; Lagunitas IPA; Pyramid Thunderhead IPA; Firestone Double Barrel Ale; Deschutes Butte Creek Porter; Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA; Anchor Steam; Sierra Nevada Pale Ale; Sacramento Sac-Squatch

Friday, September 22, 2006

Beer Tasting: Anchor Porter

This porter is from Anchor, brewed in San Francisco, CA. This beer was purchased from Total Wine & More in Claymont, Delaware at room temperature and refrigerated in the low 40s since then. It was allowed to warm approximately 10 degrees before serving. Bryan's Notes:
  • dark as night
  • hefty tannish-cream head
  • rich, toffee, molasses aroma; bit of alcohol presence
  • fig, caramel, a bit woody
  • somewhere between medium and fuller bodied, but not overwhelming; very nice
  • serves better on the cooler side, but not ice cold
  • loses some of its flavor as it warms
  • a pleasant reminder of fun times in San Francisco

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Thursday, was it saved? ;-)

Considering we haven't posted anything yet today, I'm not so sure. ;-) I am thinking of going to the Stoudt's Oktoberfest this year. I also heard that Victory is holding Octoberfeast to benefit the Brandywine Valley Association. Also note, it is not in Downingtown at the brewery. I should probably look at Bryan's calendar, huh? BTW, Friday is saved! I have the day off to visit with my Dad. I hope you have something good planned as well.

Monk's Beer Dinner 9/19/06 : St. Bernardus

The skies were threatening, but the promise of another great beer dinner event at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia was way too great to keep us at home. We were fortunate enough to take an earlier train into Philly which allowed us first to stop off at Tria (review-3/06) for a pre-Monk's beer and cheese plate. The skies were clearing up by this point and the windows at Tria were open to create a nice after-work atmosphere. Around the table, we enjoyed an Allagash White, Victory Kölsch, and Jolly Pumpkin Wit with a plate of soft Brie-like cow's cheese from France. Fast forward a few blocks over to Monk's where we socialized with others before we were sat at our center booth table for dinner. We eased our way into dinner with a Gaffel Kölsch, Monk's "house" Gueuze, and a Stoudt's Fat Dog Stout (how's that for variety?!) Tom, Fergie, and some of the usual suspects were on hand as the dinner got started near 7pm. The dinner began with a quick intro from the usual emcee, George Hummel. He quickly turned things over to the good folks from St. Bernardus who filled the crowd with some stories and clarifications about the history of the brewery. Marco Passarella described the sequence of events in the 1940s as St. Sixtus beers were brewed with the assistance of Westvleteren to the 1960s and an agreement to brew with Deconinck to 1992 when St. Bernardus came to be the name we know it as today. He also cleared up any confusion regarding the smiling face that graces many of the St. Bernardus bottles. It is not that of a monk, but rather, as he put it, a counselor. No monks are involved in the brewing of St. Bernardus beers (nor were any animals harmed ;-) So, on with the dinner we went. A look over the menu had me believe that I would be look equally forward to the food as much as the beer. The kitchen, as usual, did not disappoint. For simplicity, I've listed the 5 course pairings of beer and food below. In short summary, my favorite food item of the evening was the opening Red Mullet and Scallop. Though, the Lobster Creme Brulee was a very nice dish of lobster chunks. My favorite brew was the St. Bernardus 12. (I went into the dinner with this expectation, so hopefully I didn't predispose myself to this judgment!) Though, a very close second (and a bit of a surprise) was the Wit. This was a very nicely made, not overstated, Witbier with subtle notes of honey, ripe banana, and coriander. And, my favorite pairing of the night was not actually a prearranged pairing. But, with the way pourings go at Monk's dinners, it is quite possible to make your own pairings as the night goes on, if you catch my drift! It was the Tripel with the Cornish Hen. The saltiness of the meat, the richness of the fat, and the sweetness of the peach/raisin compote made for an even better pairing with the Tripel than with the St. Bernardus 8. Finally, a simple creme-filled chocolate eclair with the 60th Anniversary was a real pleasurable way to conclude the dinner. It also was fun to have the 12 and the Anniversary 12 both in front of us at the same time to compare. For as much as I enjoy the Anniversary, at least on this particular evening it was better as a food pairing with the creamy filling of the eclair than by itself. Something about the scrubbing bubbles of the Anniversary made it pair better with the dessert. Though, all by itself, the smooth and lush 12 took the blue ribbon prize of the night! Thanks to Tom, Fergie, Adam, and staff for another fine Tuesday evening at Monk's.
  • Course 1
  • ~St. Bernardus Wit ~Red Mullet & Scallop au Vert
  • Course 2
  • ~St. Bernardus Tripel ~Lobster Creme Brulee with Sea Salt Sweet Glaze and Micro Greens tossed in a St. Bernardus Tripel Vinaigrette
  • Course 3
  • ~St. Bernardus 8 ~Cornish Hen marinated in St. Bernardus 8, Herbs, and Garlic with Peach & Raisin Compote
  • Course 4
  • ~St. Bernardus 12 ~Lamb Loin with Truffled Pesto, Roasted Potato, and Baby Vegetables
  • Course 5
  • ~St. Bernardus 60th Anniversary ~Chocolate Enrobed Eclair with Coffee Creme Filling
      p.s. Adam took a couple of pictures and will put them up for you with his own review of the event. I will link it here.

      Wednesday, September 20, 2006

      Flickr: Beer Growlers of the World Updated

      I added most of my collection to the Flickr photostream. Check it out. If you want to subscribe to the photostream you can via this feedburner link. You'll get notified when new photos are added. Click here to subscribe to the photo feed.

      Beer Commercial: Guiness - 125 calories

      I was watching ESPN and saw a Guinness commercial called Suntan. You can view it on their site here. In the commercial they mention that Guinness Draft has 125 calories. Pretty cool eh? Somebody there clued into the same thing we discussed. Guinness is not as "heavy" as people think. :-)

      Quick Update: Monk's St. Bernardus Dinner Last Night

      We had a great time at Monk's last night for their St. Bernardus dinner. We'll fill in the details as we get them typed up. We also stopped at Tria along the way. All in all a very enjoyable night. BTW, not sure if Wednesday can be saved ;-) And we were doing so well with Monday and Tuesday.

      Tuesday, September 19, 2006

      Beer Event: Monks St. Bernardus Dinner tonight!

      Now that Monday was saved by Bryan. Well, almost, but, he couldn't prevent the Steeler's loss. He did provide some great beer from Weyerbacher though :-) Here they are.
      • Black Hole
      • Hops Infusion
      • House Ale
      • HefeWeizen
      Tuesday will be saved by Monk's in Philadelphia, PA. I'm really looking forward to the St. Bernardus Dinner tonight.

      Monday, September 18, 2006

      Half Moon Bay Brewing in Princeton-by-the-Sea, CA

      As tough as it was to leave the beach town of Santa Cruz, it was necessary. On the bright side, we were looking forward to our drive up the coast to Half Moon Bay. I suppose to be more specific, we actually wound up driving through the town of Half Moon Bay to Princeton-by-the-Sea. And, a more pleasurable drive it could not have been. Just check out the panoramic display above for an idea of the stunning visuals that we enjoyed along the 50+ mile drive up the coast. Unbelievable! The last 1/2 mile on approach to Half Moon Bay Brewing (not in the town of Half Moon Bay, mind you!) told us that this might turn out to be one of the country's most scenic settings for a brewery/brewpub. As we drove down a winding road off of Route 1, we passed a marina full of boats, other restaurants, and entertainment. The brewpub sits just across the street from the water that leads out to the ocean and just down the road from the Half Moon Bay airport. When we arrived in the mid afternoon, the crowd of patrons was already in full, lazy holiday afternoon mode. HMB has an ample amount of outdoor seating and just as much, probably more, indoors. The outdoor seating was in high demand on this beautiful afternoon. Dogs are permitted outdoors, so you can just picture the people, some with their dogs, sitting around under a picturesque sky and adjacent to a waterfront marina sipping on beer and noshing on food from the restaurant's menu. Only drawback here I must say is the increased chance of skunked beer out in the open glare of the sun. We were able to secure a table outdoors where we enjoyed our lunch (fish tacos are a must!) and some beer sampling. However, between the heat of the sun and the skunking of a couple beers, we decided to move indoors to the bar area to finish off our afternoon sampling at HMB. We made our way through a standard sampling of nine beers and a couple of pints. For future assessment, we took along a growler full of the IPA with us. We gave the highest marks out to Paddle Out Stout (everything you'd expect in a full-bodied, roasty stout), Mavericks Amber (nice solid, slightly sweet ale), Double IPA (what the 'regular IPA' should have been), and Bourbon Soulstice (because that's what you get when you put a big ale in with oak and bourbon...very nice indeed!) But the IPA left us quite perplexed. For a style that, especially on the West Coast, is typically marked by its extraordinary level of hops (both aroma and flavor), this thin interpretation certainly came up light on both hops and malt backbone. Generally speaking, the overall experience was good at HMB. As I led off with, the real experience here is in the location and the ambience. The various beer styles scored moderately well, with a couple falling on either side of average and the rest in between. The service appeared to be a bit spotty, and not just for us according to other personal reviews. Though, given what might come off here sounding like a tepid review, I would still strongly recommend adding HMB to a beer tour if you're heading up or down the CA coast. And, who can complain with another strikingly unique growler added to his collection? Unfortunately, we needed to leave before the late afternoon live jazz sessions began. But, it was a yet another scenic drive for us east on Route 92 back to the SF Bay Area...where our adventures continued. p.s. Speaking of scenery, no sooner did we begin our travel back down Route 1, then we spotted a young beached elephant seal that was looking for a place to rest.

      Good morning! Er...mornin'...grumble...grumble..

      Well here it is again, Monday. The only thing that might save this Monday is a good beer at Monday Night Football :-) Hmmm...Bryan? Are you out there? Wanna break out the Weyerbacher tonight for MNF? UPDATE: :-) Bryan has saved Monday! This one at least. Excellent! Beer night has returned. Thanks Bryan.

      Saturday, September 16, 2006

      Beer Event: Weyerbacher tasting at Beer Yard in Wayne, PA

      Matt certainly got the fall underway in a big way by hosting Weyerbacher for the first post-Labor Day 'Friday Night Tasting.' Gene traveled down from Easton to share the Eleven (Triple IPA), Hops Infusion, Imperial Pumpkin, and AutumnFest. The big draw for me was to see if the Imperial Pumpkin lived up to the sixtel version that Scott and I tasted at the Brew at the Zoo event back in July. Verdict? Absolutely! And, I now have a bottle (thank you very much Gene) to enjoy some time in the next couple weeks. Should be interesting to check it out against the Punkin from DFH. It was my first time trying the Eleven and, boy, did it leave a happy hops explosion in my mouth. Actually, was reminiscent of some the big, juicy hop brews that I was sampling just last week in California. (Yes, I believe that I'm finally over my palette fatigue that trip laid on me!) I will definitely need to keep alert for more of this nice brew. Thanks to Beer Yard for yet another fun Friday night happy hour!

      Friday, September 15, 2006

      Beer Event: John Rehm's Farewell Party at John Harvard's Brew House in Wayne, PA

      John Rehm is leaving the Main Line John Harvard's Brew House in Wayne, PA. John is a big reason that the Main Line JHBH improved in huge way over the past couple of years (in California-speak, it no longer sucks). His crowning achievement was the Gold Medal for his Altbier at the GABF in 2005. Along the way, he's served up a wide variety of high quality, tasty brews from his Maibock, to the Wheat Wine, and Bourbon Sue...just to name a few. John will be joining the team over at Yards in Philadelphia, beginning September 18th. (In his place at JHBH will be a former assistant brewer at the Monroeville, PA location of JHBH; so, they're keeping it in the family. That should bring good things, we might think.) John says he's looking forward to the hectic schedule of production brewing every day and the bottling aspect, too. It sounds like there's no doubt that he enjoyed his time in Wayne, but is probably looking forward to a shorter commute across town from where he lives in Philly to Yards. Back to last night...He was serving up his last releases of Wheat Wine, Bourbon Sue (both CO-2 and cask), Barleywine, and Scotch Ale. Let's see, for a quick breakdown: ~Black Eagle Scotch Ale (Holy Smoke!! seriously, Holy Peat Smoke...we'd say it again, but you get the point; simply awesome) ~Old Eagle Wheat Wine (50/50 barley and wheat; so, so extremely good with a smooth mouthfeel and full of fruit and wheat flavors.) ~Bourbon Sue (the CO-2 version, great! the cask version? stratospheric; John please don't leave!!) ~Skull Splitter Barleywine (just a sample before we hit the road, oh how we wish we could have stayed for more; such a nice smooth, rich, bourbon-warming barleywine...too many adjectives for this space!) In addition to all of these wonderful concoctions, also on tap were All American Lager; John Harvard's Pale Ale; American Stout; Double Wheat Ale; Keller Kolsch; Dortmunder Amber; and the aforementioned Altbier. And, bottles currently available to take home include Belgian Tripel Threat and King Hop Kick Double IPA. John, thanks for being real...really good! Good luck at Yards. Thanks for the advice on the Wheat Wine recipe; Adam's going to try to make a batch in the next month or so.

      Beer Tasting: Stoudt's Weizen

      Stoudt's Weizen brewed by Stoudt's Brewery in Adamstown, PA . This beer was graciously donated for our consumption by Dennis who lives fortuitously close to Stoudt's headquarters in Adamstown. He made the mistake of telling me he has more in his refrigerator. **evil laugh** Adam's Notes:
      • strong yellow like late day sunshine
      • yeasty fruity nose
      • clean start
      • wheat malt round finish
      • not spicey...and therefore an alternative to Celis or Hoegaarden
      • better than Blue Moon
      • no corn/rice flavors
      • good cold
      • good as it warms too
      • not a "light" wheat
      Bryan's Notes:
      • Slightly hazy, light golden color
      • Bit of a head, fades fairly quickly to a thin ring
      • Pleasantly sweet, wheat aroma
      • Solid medium body
      • Taste very similar to Hoegaarden
      • Moderate carbonation helps kick the faint orange-clove taste around the mouth
      • Slightly bubble-gummy too?
      • Why didn't I drink this sooner?
      • Thanks Dennis

      Thursday, September 14, 2006

      Beer Tasting: Shiner Kolsch

      Shiner Kolsch is brewed by Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas. This beer was purchased from Total Wine & More in Claymont, Delaware at room temperature and refrigerated in the low 40s since then. We were interested to see how similar or different the Kolsch varied in its quality and adherance to style compared to Shiner Bock. Adam's Notes:
      • Straw Orange
      • half inch head that disapates quickly
      • well carbonated
      • clean
      • crisp hops
      • slight malt finish
      • slightly flowery fruity nose
      • my kinda "light" beer ;-)
      Bryan's Notes:
      • Very clear, light golden colored
      • Small, soft and creamy head
      • Light-medium body
      • Something faintly sweet that I just couldn't place, but barely noticeable
      • Otherwise, kinda dry and clean
      • Easy drinking, not phenomenal, but not bad
      • A good "lawnmower beer"

      Wednesday, September 13, 2006

      Beer Calendar Update: September 2006

      Our calendar for September is missing a few local (Philadelphia) events that have since been announced. Figured they needed a special mention in this space, just in case you haven't heard of them and may be interested in checking them out. They are definitely an intriguing set of events, eh? Starting with tomorrow evening, we have... Thu. 9/14/06 - John Rehm Farewell Party - John Harvard's Brew House - Wayne, PA (8pm-???; pay as you go) ~ On tap will be six-month old Skull Sealer Barleywine (10% abv), one-year old Old Eagle Wheat Wine (8.7% abv), 21-month old Black Eagle Scotch Ale (6.7% abv) and A Beer Named Sue Doppelbock (6.5% abv). ~ John's heading to Yards and it will certainly be their gain and JHBH's loss. Fri. 9/15/06 - Friday Night Tasting (Weyerbacher) - The Beer Yard - Wayne, PA (5pm-7pm; free) ~ Autumn Fest, Imperial Pumpkin, Eleventh Anniversary Ale, & Hops Infusion IPA Wed. 9/20/06 - 5 Course Dinner & Beer Pairing - Manayunk Brewery - Philadelphia, PA (6pm; $32) Fri. 9/22/06 - Russian River Night - Union Jack's On The Manatawny - Boyertown, PA (8pm-12am; pay as you go) ~ Pliny the Elder; Pliny the Younger; Deification; Damnation ~ also for your pleasure: Weyerbacher Eleven Triple IPA; Southern Tier Unearthly Imperial IPA; Union Jack's Hoptimus Prime And one news event fresh from the Beer Yard news desk: Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant’s founding partners Kevin Finn, Kevin Davies, and Mark Edelson will gather in the brewhouse at their original location at 147 East Main Street in Newark, Del. this Thursday, Sept. 14., to brew their first ever collaborative beer in honor of Iron Hill’s 10th Anniversary. The beer will be a Belgian-style Trappist ale, similar to a Rochefort 10, they say, and it will be bottled and ready for consumption on November 14 for Iron Hill’s 10th anniversary celebration. It is an addition to the recently developed Iron Hill bottling program under which the brewers at all six locations bottle small lots of their most popular and award winning beers. Finn, Davies and Edelson have built up one of the East Coast’s most successful chains of brewery-restaurants since 1996 and their joint brew will be an historic event, according to Edelson, who is Director of Brewing Operations. "After 10 years, I’ve finally convinced my partners to join me in the brewhouse," he said. "It will be a significant occasion, because it’s our first attempt at this type of Trappist ale and the first time the three of us have brewed together.” Click Here for our calendar of selected Philadelphia-area events in September.

      99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall in Santa Cruz, CA

      99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall. With a name like this, it's just begging to be visited, no?! Now if I could only get out of there without singing a verse or two from their namesake song! We visited 99BOBOTW on the way out of Santa Cruz. From the locals we talked with, the place seems to have a decent reputation as a bar with a whole lot of good beers and ambiance going on. Downtown Santa Cruz is set approximately 1 mile back from the beach and it's kind of a long mile of walking distance if you're at the beach, boardwalk, or pier. However, the downtown district does have a smattering of restaurants, shopping, bars, and nightlife to give a bit of diversity to the available options. There's a parking lot and garage adjacent to the building, so getting there by car is not too difficult. Once inside, there's a medium-sized L-shaped bar with all sorts of beer and miscellaneous paraphernalia on the walls. The bricks behind the bar are inscribed with names of patrons who have consumed the aforementioned "whole lot of beer." The program goes something like this, though I may have the numbers wrong. You're given a card, with room for 99 punches. Eventually, after drinking 99 beers (they don't need to be unique), you've completed one punch card and get something somewhat trivial like a tiny little plaque on the wall underneath of the proverbial 99 bottles of beer on the wall. At least something trivial compared to what comes next. Oh yeah, and a new punch card. Fill up 10 of said punch cards and you get an inscribed brick in the wall behind the bar. Fill up 25 and get your caricature drawn above the outside entrance to the bar. We just so happened to be there when two of the five gentlemen whose caricatures on the wall were there. Now, hold on, let me think....yes, I see how their strategy has worked out! Bar's been around for about 11 years. They've been going there from the beginning and have drunk close to 5 beers a week there. Now, drinking a five beers a week in one place is not all that impressive....but keep that up for years, heck even months, and you've got to admit.....Well, I don't know what you have to admit, but..... :) So, I could go into the various styles and brands of beer that they carry. But, that would get kind of monotonous. They have around 40 taps and advertise over a hundred bottles. The staff that we met was friendly and knowledgeable. The crowd seemed to be enjoying themselves. The food menu appears as attractive as the beer menu. The place just generally seems to have a good karma and always interesting beer to choose from California and beyond. According to the bartender, they get a decent and knowledgeable beer crowd and rotate inventory frequently. We selected the Firestone Double Barrel Stout (ooooh, before noon too!) and Big Sky Moose Drool. Also, tried a sample of the Kona Fire Rock Pale Ale, but left it at just a sample. (97 bottles of beer on the wall...just doing our part ;-) Unfortunately, there is an upstairs "Biergarten" that was closed and we didn't get to check out. Apparently, though, the beer selection is no different. Check it out if you have a chance as you're heading up or down the California coast. Take one down and pass it around....Bet you'll find a good time and good brew to while away the day and night. And, get a punch on your card as you aspire to seeing your likeness on the wall.

      Tuesday, September 12, 2006

      Traveling Around California's Bay Area and Beyond

      Do you know the way to San Jose? or Santa Cruz, San Francisco, San Rafael, Santa Clara, Santa Rosa? After our trip last week through the Bay Area region, we now know much better ourselves. Especially Santa Rosa, where we found a mighty good time at Russian River Brewing. Over the coming weeks, I'll have more to say about the many different stops we made, the beers that were drunk, and the people we met. It was truly a brew-tastic way to make a business trip more rewarding into a longer personal vacation. (Oh yeah, and the business stuff got done very well too, thank you :) This was my first time exploring the beer scene outside of the city of San Francisco in this much detail. Basically, I'll just say that the city's got a great thing going on, but the region is ten times more rewarded. We tasted beers that exemplified what west coast hoppy beers are all about (Hopsickle, Racer5, Red Rocket, Pliny the Elder, Pale Ales, DIPAs, TIPAs). And, then we discovered that these guys know what to do with malted barley and wheat too (Quadrupels, Barleywines, Stouts, Porters). And, the people; we certainly met some great people along the way too. I am looking forward to sharing this all as I get my notes together. Then there was the Lagunitas Skunk Beer Train event. Oh boy, wait 'til you hear about the fun and frivolity aboard the train through the great redwoods (no, the beer wasn't skunked ;-) What fun... In the meantime, here's a quick map of our traversals across the region. There may be better mapping tools out there for this type of thing, but I use this pedometer website for my running routes, so that's what you're getting today :) http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=430168 Along this route we hit up the following breweries: Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing (Santa Cruz); Half Moon Bay (Princeton-by-the-Sea); Pyramid Alehouse (Walnut Creek); Moylan's (Novato); Marin Brewing Co. (San Rafael); Iron Springs (Fairfax); Russian River Brewing Co. (Santa Rosa); North Coast Brewing Co. (Fort Bragg, CA); Anderson Valley Brewing Co. (Boonville)

      Seasonal Beer: Its that time of year!

      I just had to write something about this. Here in Pennsylvania we're getting a taste of autumn and boy am I ready. Some people get excited for the leaves to fall. Some enjoy that crisp air during a football game. Some people can't wait for the full flavored beer that comes with these cooler times of year. That's me. Don't get me wrong, I've been drinking big beer over the summer. Remember Heavyweight? It's just that during those cool autumn days a little more flavor and a little more punch are so much more appreciated. I can't wait to taste our Oktoberfest! Somehow I have a feeling there just won't be enough of it ;-) I was thinking of writing something about Autumn beer, but, I thought you might have an opinion too. What is your favorite beer this time of year?

      Monday, September 11, 2006

      Traveling with Beer: A Success Story (Part 2)

      Figured if I took some bottled beer out to California for an exchange, then I surely should bring some home too. Make it a round-trip success. (Or push my luck!) I'm happy to report that four 12-ounce bottles and two 22-ounce bottles made it safely home in my checked suitcase. What tasty beverages are in these wrapped beauties? You'll just have to wait and see. But, I promise at least one goodie!

      Brewing: Conical Fermenters

      Um...anybody ever use something like this? I was recently looking through Norther Brewer's catalog and WOW! These look so cool. Pricey too...but, I guy can dream can't he? http://www.northernbrewer.com/conical.html

      Saturday, September 09, 2006

      Home Brew: Lager fermentation at full steam!

      Well there you have it! A picture of the Oktoberfest lager fermenting. Now it looks more like beer. Hmmm...that reminds me, I'll have to rack the ale version of the Oktoberfest to the secondary.

      Friday, September 08, 2006

      Home Brew: You're gonna DRINK that?

      To that I say. I sure am! So this is what a lager looks like when it ferments. So this is my first lager. I thought there was fungus on the top of the beer. Then I looked more closely and its little islands of bubbles coming up from the bottom. At least I hope that's all it is! :-)

      Thursday, September 07, 2006

      Beer Travel: Where are you Bryan?

      Well, I think he's out there somewhere. I'm looking forward to hearing about his trip. You should stay tuned to hear about one of his excursions :-) Also, I'm going to San Diego in October. Anybody want to tell me where to go...um...that didn't come out right. Rather, are there any must see beer places I should visit while I'm there? I'm thinking of picking up some souvenirs while I'm there. Anybody want me to pick up something for them? Sorry they won't be of the liquid kind. I'm not as daring as some of you.

      Wednesday, September 06, 2006

      Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing in Santa Cruz, CA

      Take a fun California beach town like Santa Cruz, add a forward-thinking brewer like Chad Brill, put up a tasting room in the front of the warehouse space, have a supportive wife, Emily, to help run the business, Kelly in charge of the tasting room, and a brewery dog named Wonder and what do you get? Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing is what it is and what you get is some mighty fine beverage. Rewind to our flight landing in San Francisco and us arriving in Santa Cruz a couple of hours later. Santa Cruz is a beach town with a certain vintage feel to it. Perhaps it's the boardwalk with the old wooden roller coaster. Or, perhaps it's the long wharf that serves as a fishing pier for hundreds of recreational anglers. Maybe it's the omnipresent Woodies on t-shirts and other memorabilia that help flash you back several decades. A little research turned up a couple of breweries and few decent beer bars in Santa Cruz. Also, a homebrewing cooperative which looked rather intriguing to check out. But, we were only there for approximately 24 hours, so we needed to make smart choices. While Patty was getting ready for our evening plans with her sister's family, I said I would "very quickly" go and check out Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing. After all, it was only a two block walk and it closed at 5:30. Uh, it's 4:10 and we need to be at her sister's at 5-ish. Chop, chop... Tucked away in the Swift Street Courtyard on Ingalls street behind Mission Boulevard and Swift Street, the brewery's operations and tasting room is sandwiched between Pelican Ranch Winery, Bonny Doon Winery, and Kelly's French Bakery...among other shops as well. It's quite an eclectic scene, but yet easy to miss if you're not looking closely enough. The brewery has been around for a little over a year. Apparently the first batches of Amber Ale were concocted during college years by Emily and there was a bathtub involved, or so I hear :) Well, they've moved up quite a bit from the college days, I'd say. Twenty-five minutes was all I needed to determine that these folks at SCMB are on to something good. Five tastings, which included Wheat, Amber, Stout, and Brown (oh yeah, the Brown!), were all very good representations of their respective styles and bursting with lively flavors. The IPA left me a bit disappointed as I was looking for a bit more of the legendary west coast hop presence. Instead, the brew was a bit on the thinner side with not such a hop profile as I might have expected. Otherwise, add that the brewing philosophy is organic and you have a recipe for success. Now I don't know organic all that well, I don't know Chad or Emily at all, and I'm only vaguely familiar with the Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay area. But, from what I learned of all these in my short visit to SCMB, it sure seems like these guys will be around for quite a while. In fact, they recently won a California State Fair award for their Brown Ale and have plans to grow the number of accounts serving their beer up from the almost 100 current accounts. (Did I mention that the Brown and the Stout were my two favorite of the day?) In addition to getting kegs, sixtels, and bombers of beer to go, they also carry a line of merchandise (t-shirts, bumper stickers, coasters, postcards, glassware etc.) and their own mustard creation. To sign off on this posting, as their motto states: "Think Organic, Drink Organic"

      Home Brew: Brew Your Own Beer - Havertown, PA

      Well I finally did it. Jeremy told me about Brew Your Own Beer in Havertown PA almost a year ago, but, I just never made it there. I can't believe I waited this long. My son and I took a drive down to Havertown last Saturday afternoon. It was a perfect day for beer stuff. Ernesto was raining down on the East coast and the whole three day weekend was ahead. When we walked in we were greeted cordially by John Reynolds the owner. We talked about a bunch of topics including brewing beer, making wine and roasting your own coffee beens. There's no doubt John can get you going in the right direction. Today I was looking for ingredients for an Oktoberfest/Marzen style beer. If you know me, you know I have a hard time making up my mind about things. Today was no different. I didn't have a recipe in mind and I was spending too much time researching so I just asked John if he would help me with a recipe. He was more than happy to help. In a few minutes we decided on 7 lbs of malt, bittering hops, finishing hops and two types of yeast. (see this post) I decided that I'm going to split this batch. One half will be fermented with a typical Ale yeast and the other will be with a White Labs lager yeast. That reminds me I purchased a Johnson Controls Refrigerator Thermostat as metioned in a June, 2001 RealBeer article. This is allowing me to use my spare fridge to lager half of my Oktoberfest at 45 degrees. Seems like John has lots of gadgets like that around. When I left I had all my ingredients, the controller and a case of bottles for Gabe. All in all I really enjoyed myself. It isn't exactly close, but, I'd be willing to make the trip now that I know what a great place it is! :-) John, I'll bring a homebrewed barleywine to share next time. Here are some more pictures my son took while he was waiting for me. The little guy needed something to do while Dad was shooting the breeze with the beer guy ;-)

      Tuesday, September 05, 2006

      Topic of the Week: When "The Beer Geek" comes to visit.

      "What kind of beer should I get for you? I know you like different kinds of beers." "You like those heavy beers, right. What kind should I get for you?" "Are you bringing your own or do you want me to pickup something for you?" I'm sure you've heard these types of questions before or maybe your the one asking them. As "The Beer Geek" I usually feel awkward and pleased at the same time. It is really awesome my hosts are so thoughtful. At the same time I don't feel like I should be suggesting a harder to find or more expensive beer. I'm likely to say things like...
      • I'll drink whatever you have.
      • Don't worry, I'll bring something for us to try.
      • Surprise me.
      • Yeungling
      • Sam Adams
      The way I see it, I'm a guest in their house so I'll be courteous and drink what they offer me. On the other hand, they genuinely want to offer something I like. I understand what a wonderful gesture that is, but, it gets complicated. Do I tell them that I'd love a hard to find Rochefort or St Bernardus? Do I send them off to the local brew pub for a growler? I also have the problem of wanting to spread my beerness to everybody. I like to take interesting beer with me so I can share it with people. I'm worried that they may take this the wrong way and think their beer isn't good enough. Do you have the same problem or do you know a beer geek you are trying to please? What does one do when "The Beer Geek" comes to visit?

      Traveling with Beer: A Success Story

      Ok, without being too dramatic...Mission Accomplished! Five beers successfully transported via checked luggage on US Airways to San Francisco. I'm only excited because I've never done this before and was quite skeptical that at least one bottle wouldn't arrive either broken or stolen. I'd previously only ever carried beer on to a flight with my carry-on luggage. But, after a thin layer of styrofoam and bubble wrap, each bottle was inserted and sealed into a sandwich bag. Then, each bottle was shoved into a shoe and covered over by a piece of clothing. (Except for the bomber, which had to be placed between clothing items. Now, I'm looking forward to trying this again on the return home with a new stash for personal consumption. Stay tuned...

      Monday, September 04, 2006

      Brewing Recipe: Oktoberfest Split Batch -Ale & Lager

      A bunch of us are brewing Oktoberfest beer styles now. I'm the last one to get around to it. I decided to try lagering this time. In fact I'm performing a little experiment. I'm going to ferment half the batch with a lager yeast and the other half with an ale yeast. Fermenting half as an ale will also help me have something for tasting with the group in a few weeks. The lager will have to wait two months or so. So here's the recipe...er as much of it as I can remember :-) Extract Recipe
      • 8 oz. 60L crystal
      • 2 oz. chocolate malt
      • 4 lbs Pale Malt Extract Alexander's Sun Country
      • 3.3 lbs Golden Light Briess CBW
      • 2 oz German Hallertau Bittering 3.3% acidity
      • 1/2 oz German Hallertau Aroma 3.3% acidity
      • White Labs Oktoberfest/Marzen Lager Yeast WLP820
      • Nottingham Brewing Yeast (Ale Yeast)
      Steps
      • Boiled a little less than 5 gallons of water
      • Steeped Grains at 160 deg for 30 min
      • Dissolved extract
      • Brought to boil
      • Added bittering hops 2 oz
      • at 45 min put in the chiller
      • Boiled for 55 minutes
      • Added aroma hops
      • at 60 min chilled (took a while...tap water wasnt cold enough)
      • siphoned 1/2 to bucket and 1/2 to carboy
      • pitched the lager yeast to the carbody (I just like saying "pitched" ;-)
      • pitched the ale yeast to the bucket
      • added the airlocks
      • put the lager in the fridge with the temp controller at 45
      • put the ale in the dining room for now
      Oh yeah, Kyle asked what the Original Gravity was. OG 1.061
      So that's it. It's a waiting game now :-) The plan is... Ale
      • ferment for 5-7 days or so
      • bottle...cause I'm using my secondary for the lager :-(
      Lager
      • ferment at 45 degrees for two weeks
      • store for six weeks at 35 degrees