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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: September 30th-October 6th

It's staggering to look at this calendar in an attempt to understand how good we have it around these parts. Do we have proportionately more access to more beer or are we just louder and more clever marketers looking for any reason for a good time? Either way, enjoy the next 7 days. Check out the entire October 2010 calendar over here. If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, let me know. Tastings and Samplings @Bell's Beverage, Philadelphia, PA--- Fri. 10/1 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free tasting samples of Bell's beer from Michigan, not Bell's Beverage) @Blue Dog, Lansdale, PA--- Fri. 10/1 - Friday Night with Victory (6:30pm-8:30pm; PAYG for beers from Victory like: Village Coffee Brown Ale, Pursuit Pale Ale Simcoe, Moonglow Weizenbock, & Hop Wallop Double IPA) @Dos Segundo, Philadelphia, PA--- Tue. 10/5 - Brewsday Tuesday (PAYG for Founders Breakfast Stout and Centennial IPA) @Exton Beverage, Exton, PA--- Fri. 10/1 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free tasting samples of Ithaca) @Exton Beverage, Exton, PA--- Sat. 10/2 - Saturday Tasting (1:00pm-3:00pm; Free tasting samples of Svyturys from Lithuania and Grieskirchen from Austria) @Grey Lodge, Philadelphia, PA--- Fri. 10/1 - Brooklyn Night (6:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG for big Brooklyn boppers like: Oktoberfest, Detonation Ale, Cookie Jar Porter, and Chocolate Stout) @Hawthornes, Philadelphia, PA--- Wed. 10/6 - Spaten Oktoberfest Sampling (6:00pm-8:00pm; Free tasting samples of Spaten Octoberfest, Spaten Premium Lager, Franziskaner Dunkel, Franziskaner Weisse, and Spaten Munich Dunkel) @Iron Hill, West Chester, PA--- Sat. 10/2 - Chuck Norris’ Beard Release Party (2:00pm-5:00pm; PAYG for a paper red beard and a taste of this Belgian IPA roundhouse kick to your tongue) @Perk Valley Pet Eatery, Trappe, PA--- Sat. 10/2 - Perk Valley Pet Eatery's Barktoberfest (10:00am-5:00pm; Free tasting samples from Sly Fox) @Sly Fox, Phoenixville & Royersford, PA--- Fri. 10/1 - Incubus Friday (all day; PAYG for this tripel delight) @Triumph, New Hope, PA--- Fri. 10/1 - Brewer's Reserve Barrel Tappings (6:00pm; PAYG for an October selection still TBD) @Triumph, Princeton, NJ--- Wed. 10/6 - Brewer's Reserve Barrel Tappings (6:00pm; PAYG for an October selection still TBD) @Whole Foods, Plymouth Meeting, PA--- Fri. 10/1 - First Friday Beer Tasting (6:00pm-8:00pm; Free tasting samples of Flying Fish) A handful of cask-conditioned samplings @Iron Hill, Media, PA--- Fri. 10/1 - Firkin Friday (5:00pm; PAYG for Perfect 10 from the cask) @Iron Hill, North Wales, PA--- Fri. 10/1 - Firkin Friday (5:00pm-8:00pm; PAYG for Pumpkin Ale from the cask) @Standard Tap, Philadelphia, PA--- Tue. 10/6 - Wednesdays are for Firkins (6:00pm; PAYG for a selection still TBD) Oktoberfests continue... @Appalachian Brewing, Harrisburg, PA--- Mon. 9/20-Sat. 10/2 - Oktoberfest (PAYG for food, German beer styles like our special Kipona Fest Märzen Lager, Hinterland Hefeweizen, Dom Blonde Kölsch and Dortmunder-styled Mountain Lager, and on the weekends, we liven up the stage with Polka music.) @Dock Street Brewing, Philadelphia, PA--- Sun. 10/3 - Docktoberfest (2:00pm; PAYG for live and local music, fresh artisanal beer, tunes, brats, and pizza) @all 8 Iron Hill locations--- Fri. 9/17-Sun. 10/3 - Oktoberfest Celebration (PAYG for German Fare and German Beers in celebration of the world's largest festival) @Issac Newton's, Newtown, PA--- Sat. 10/2 - Oktoberfest (12:00pm-3:00pm; $25 includes a Glass mug, 2 draft beers, authentic German food, an Oktoberfest shirt, and live accordian music) @McKenzie Brew House, Malvern, PA--- Thu. 9/30-Sun. 10/3 - McKenzie-fest (a $39 dinner on 9/30, see below, but otherwise PAYG all weekend long gets you special festival beers, music and authentic German fare-- all with a unique McKenzie spin) @McGillin's, Philadelphia, PA--- Thu. 9/2-Sat. 10/2 - Month-long Oktoberfest (PAYG for German food and Oktoberfest beers like Flying Fish's Oktoberfish, Victory's Festbier, Old Dominion's Oktoberfest & more. Mussels steamed in Oktoberfest lager, Grilled Pork Loin in Sweet & Sour Cherry Sauce & more) @Ship Inn, Exton, PA--- Thu. 9/30 - Ocktoberbest Beer and Wine Festival (6:30pm-9:00pm; $30 to sample some of Germany's finest wine and beer. Plenty of appetizers, give aways and more) @Stoudt's, Adamstown, PA--- Sun. 10/3 - Oktoberfest continues... (1:00pm-6:00pm; PAYG) @Triumph, New Hope, PA--- Sat. 10/2 - Oktoberfest (1:00pm-1:00am; PAYG) As do other such festivals @downtown Downingtown, PA--- Sun. 10/3 - Downingtown Fall Fest (presented by Victory Brewing) (12:00pm-4:00pm; Free community street festival to celebrate the harvest. Enjoy area restaurants, crafts, live music, BMX aerial show, and a Victory Beer Garden) @downtown Kennett Square, PA--- Sat. 10/2 - Kennett Brewfest (2:00pm-6:00pm; tickets currently sold out) @Penn's Landing, Philadelphia, PA--- Sun. 10/3 - Sippin' by the River (1:00pm-5:00pm; $30/$35/$40 to enjoy food from local restaurants, cooking demonstrations, and live entertainment from the band DAME. Attendees can sample a huge assortment of beers while learning all there is to know from beer expert Gary Monterosso) @12th to Juniper-Chestnut to Locust, Philadelphia, PA--- Sat. 10/2 - Midtown Village Fall Festival (12:00pm-8:00pm; PAYG to celebrate the beginning of fall with great food, drinks, music and shopping from this neighborhood diverse and stylish businesses) @The Institute, Philadelphia, PA--- Sat. 10/2 - Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin Beer Event (12:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG as they are giving out 22oz bottles of either Southern Tier or Breworks to the first 10 people that show up and then the next 5 people will receive a free bus ticket to the Craft Beer Express. Draft list includes Dock Street, Dogfish Head, Elysian, Arcadia, Weyerbacher, Southampton, Roy Pitz, New Holland, Southern Tier, Smuttynose, Sixpoint, River Horse, BrewWorks, Blue Point, Rock Art, Brooklyn, and Wolaver's) Amongst all the craziness, a square meal is recommended @Chifa Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA--- Thu. 9/30 - Yards Beer Dinner (7:00pm; $65) @Jose Pistolas, Philadelphia, PA--- Fri. 10/1 - Lunch with Victory (12:00pm; PAYG for a lunch with liquids including: Kölsch, Pursuit Pale Ale Simcoe, Victory Village on tap and Storm King Stout bottles) @McKenzie Brew House, Malvern, PA Thu. 9/30 - Anti-Reinheitsgebot Oktoberfest Beer Dinner (7:00pm; $39 for several courses of Oktoberfest fare, each complemented by a German-influenced beer made with non-traditional ingredients) @Spinnerstown Hotel, Spinnerstown, PA--- Wed. 10/6 - Meet the Brewer Series ($40 for a Ramstein-themed night) @Wegmans, All Pennsylvania locations--- Sat. 10/2 - Oktoberfest Beer and Food Event (11:00am-3:00pm; Free to meet brewery reps and our culinary experts while tasting the flavors of fall matched with the perfect beers) Three very interesting-looking events that defy categorization...maybe, "other"? @various locations, Philadelphia, PA--- Sat. 10/2 - Brews for Boobies ($25 for a beer-filled stroll through Philadelphia, featuring 8 bars in 12 hours. Participants receive an exclusive t-shirt plus food & drink discounts at most participating bars) @Victory Brewing, Downingtown, PA--- Tue. 10/5 - Meet the Brewers of PA (6:00pm-9:00pm; $35 ticket price includes a signed copy of the book, hors d'oeuvres and two beers. Carol Stoudt of Stoudts, Kurt Decker of Nodding Head, Chris and John Trogner of Tröegs, Ron Barchet of Victory, and Brian O'Reilly of Sly Fox will all be in attendance.) @West Chester to Glen Mills, PA--- Sat. 10/2 - Ride the Rails (5:45pm; $30/$35 for food, beverage, and entertainment as you ride the rails from West Chester to Glen Mills)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Where I've been and What's Happening, sort of

My recent duties around The Brew Lounge have been shirked a bit, without much good excuse except that of how "hectic" life has been. The addition of writing a column over at The Washington Times has added some load as well, but basically all facets of life have lately been full for me. This has led even--gulp--to the near non-existence of any physical activity, including my beloved running program. As such, here addeth the 15-20 pounds since this past springg. Things must change...and soon, they will. But, until then... If you haven't stopped by After Hours over at The Washington Times in its Communities section, it may be something you'd like to do. You may not have noticed that there are now 9 articles over there with the promise of a handful more in October. It's still a schedule, and content for that matter, that I'm working on routinizing to the point that it doesn't create undue or debilitating stress and work. Plus, there's the Exton Beverage Center's newsletter, or shall I say Brewsletter. You can catch up on some of the archived material over there via this link. Greg Ramirez and the crew just celebrated their 36th anniversary last weekend with a Customer Appreciation Day. While I certainly have not been on the breaking edge of news lately, there are two events that caught my eye that I haven't shared with you. They both involve closures. First, for anyone living in or visiting Texas, Fort Worth's award-winning brewpub, The Covey, closed this month. It has been seven years since I've been to Fort Worth and, with all of my trips to the Dallas area, had been looking forward to finally carving out some time to make the short trip over to Fort Worth to visit these guys. The Covey strung together an almost five year history of creating award-winning beers, both at GABF and WBC (an '08 WBC gold, two '09 GABF silvers, a '10 WBC silver, and a '10 GABF bronze). They haven't cited any specific cause for closure other than to note that brewer/Owner Jamie Fulton is taking his talents to Washington, DC to help get a new project, currently called Farmers and Brewers, off the ground. Closer to home, the long-churning rumor mill finally came to a stop when Chris Leonard announced on his blog that they were finally closing shop on the General Lafayette Inn & Brewery as we've come to know and love it over the past 14 years. Well, many of 'we' at least, but not enough to keep the lights on. My interactions with Chris Leonard, his restaurant, and his beer have always been at least above average...particularly with regard to my fondness for hunkering down in the cozy pub and drinking of the Chocolate Thunder porter. But, a poor economy, in addition to some persistent market dissatisfaction in recent years with inconsistent food and service, has forced Chris to re-examine the future. The good news is that Chris will continue brewing and former assistant brewer Russ Czajka will be involved as well--as owner--in the new venture, which will be called Copper Crow Beer Company. Here, they will concentrate solely on brewing, which includes plans for significant growth in the local market. That should make fans of Leonard's and Czajka's beers happy for the foreseeable future. For all of the details, check out Chris' blog and/or Jack Curtin's additional thoughts.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Beer Calendar: What To Do in October 2010

October, I like it for many reasons. In addition to my birthday, when good things and fun times tend to cluster around, the beer calendar is as full as it ever is during the year. Go ahead, tell me what's missing from this month's calendar. That said, if I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, let me know. $20 and under, down to and including FREE...Pay As You Go (PAYG) also included here Philadelphia Thu. 9/2-Sat. 10/2 - Month-long Oktoberfest @McGillin's, Philadelphia, PA (PAYG) Fri. 10/1 - Friday Night Tasting (Bell's) @Bell's Beverage, Philadelphia, PA (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free) Fri. 10/1 - Brooklyn Night @Grey Lodge, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 10/1 - Lunch with Victory @Jose Pistolas, Philadelphia, PA (12:00pm; PAYG) Sat. 10/2 - Midtown Village Fall Festival @12th to Juniper-Chestnut to Locust, Philadelphia, PA (12:00pm-8:00pm; PAYG) Sat. 10/2 - Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin Beer Event @The Institute, Philadelphia, PA (12:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG) Sun. 10/3 - Docktoberfest @Dock Street Brewing, Philadelphia, PA (2:00pm; PAYG) Tue. 10/5 - Brewsday Tuesday (Founders) @Dos Segundo, Philadelphia, PA (PAYG) Wed. 10/6 - Spaten Oktoberfest Sampling @Hawthornes, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm-8:00pm; Free) Tue. 10/6 - Wednesdays are for Firkins (TBA) @Standard Tap, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm; PAYG) Thu. 10/7 - Brewer's Reserve Barrel Tappings (October's selection: TBD) @Triumph, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm; PAYG) Thu. 10/7 - Smuttynose Special Firkin @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, PA (PAYG) Thu. 10/7 - Dogfish Night @Kite and Key, Philadelphia, PA (PAYG) Fri. 10/8 - Friday Night Tasting (Flying Dog) @Bell's Beverage, Philadelphia, PA (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free) Fri. 10/8 - Victory takes over the taps @Varga Bar, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm; PAYG) Sat. 10/9 - 2nd Year Anniversary @Earth Bread + Brewery, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm; PAYG) Sat. 10/9 - Thirstoberfest 2010 @Memphis Taproom, Philadelphia, PA (12:00pm-6:00pm; PAYG) Tue. 10/12 - Brewsday Tuesday (Weyerbacher) @Dos Segundo, Philadelphia, PA (PAYG) Tue. 10/12 - Tuesdays with Randall (Dogfish Burton Baton) @Resurrection Ale House, Philadelphia, PA (PAYG) Tue. 10/13 - Octoberfest Samplings @Hawthornes, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm-8:00pm; PAYG) Tue. 10/13 - Wednesdays are for Firkins (PBC Harvest from the Hood) @Standard Tap, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm; PAYG) Thu. 10/14 - Brewery Promo (Left Hand Brewing) @Earth Bread + Brewery, Philadelphia, PA (PAYG) Thu. 10/14 - Meet Dominique Friart of St. Feuillien @Monk's Café, Philadelphia, PA (5:30pm; PAYG) Thu. 10/14 - Home Brew Legalization Day @Grey Lodge, Philadelphia, PA (7:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG) Thu. 10/14 - Beer Tasting (Victory) @The Foodery, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm-8:00pm; Free) Thu. 10/14 - Pennsylvania Breweries Meet the Author Night (Lew Bryson) @Grey Lodge, Philadelphia, PA (7:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 10/15 - Friday Night Tasting (Lancaster Brewing) @Bell's Beverage, Philadelphia, PA (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free) Fri. 10/15 - Friday the Fifkinteenth @Grey Lodge, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm-12:00am; PAYG) Tue. 10/19 - Brewsday Tuesday (Sly Fox) @Dos Segundo, Philadelphia, PA (PAYG) Tue. 10/19 - Spaten Keep the Growler Night @Hawthornes, Philadelphia, PA (7:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 10/22 - Friday Night Tasting (Organic Beers) @Bell's Beverage, Philadelphia, PA (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free) Tue. 10/26 - Brewsday Tuesday (Sixpoint) @Dos Segundo, Philadelphia, PA (PAYG) Thu. 10/28 - Brewery Promo (Victory Brewing) @Earth Bread + Brewery, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 10/29 - It's the Greater Halloween @Grey Lodge, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 10/29 - Friday Night Tasting (GABF Medal Winners) @Bell's Beverage, Philadelphia, PA (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free) Philadelphia's close suburbs Fri. 9/17-Sun. 10/3 - Oktoberfest Celebration @all 8 Iron Hill locations (PAYG) Thu. 9/30-Sun. 10/3 - McKenzie-fest @McKenzie Brew House, Malvern, PA (a $39 dinner on 9/30, see below, but otherwise PAYG all weekend long) Fri. 10/1 - First Friday Beer Tasting (Flying Fish) @Whole Foods, Plymouth Meeting, PA (6:00pm-8:00pm; Free) Fri. 10/1 - Firkin Friday (Pumpkin Ale) @Iron Hill, North Wales, PA (5:00pm-8:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 10/1 - Incubus Friday @Sly Fox, Phoenixville & Royersford, PA (all day; PAYG) Fri. 10/1 - Friday Night Tasting (Ithaca) @Exton Beverage, Exton, PA (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free) Fri. 10/1 - Firkin Friday (Perfect 10) @Iron Hill, Media, PA (5:00pm; PAYG) Sat. 10/2 - Perk Valley Pet Eatery's Barktoberfest @Perk Valley Pet Eatery, Trappe, PA (10:00am-5:00pm; Free) Sat. 10/2 - Saturday Tasting (Svyturys from Lithuania and Grieskirchen from Austria) @Exton Beverage, Exton, PA (1:00pm-3:00pm; Free) Sat. 10/2 - Chuck Norris’ Beard Release Party @Iron Hill, West Chester, PA (2:00pm-5:00pm; PAYG) Sun. 10/3 - Downingtown Fall Fest (presented by Victory Brewing) @downtown Downingtown, PA (12:00pm-4:00pm; Free) Thu. 10/7 - Firkin Thursday (Sixpoint) @Hulmeville Inn, Hulmeville, PA (6:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG) Thu. 10/7 - Oktoberfest Craft Brew Night @Pickering Creek Inn, Phoenixville, PA (6:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 10/8 - Firkin Friday (Pumpkin Brown Ale) @Iron Hill, North Wales, PA (5:00pm-8:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 10/8 - Brewery Promo (Great Lakes) @Hulmeville Inn, Hulmeville, PA (8:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG) Sun. 10/10 - Firkin Friday (re-release of Perfect 10) @Iron Hill, Media, PA (2:00pm-5:00pm; PAYG) Mon. 10/11 - The Great Artisanal Autumnal Homebrew Competition @Artisan Homebrew, Downingtown, PA (free to enter, see website for all the details) Fri. 10/15 - Friday Night Tasting (Sierra Nevada) @Exton Beverage, Exton, PA (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free) Fri. 10/15 - Firkin Friday (Pumpkin Ale with Chocolate Nibs) @Iron Hill, North Wales, PA (5:00pm-8:00pm; PAYG) Sat. 10/16 - A Night of Ithaca @TJs, Paoli, PA (4:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG) Thu. 10/21 - Yappy Hour @Sly Fox, Royersford, PA (6:30pm-8:30pm; PAYG) Thu. 10/21 - Blues Brews 'n' BBQ @Ron's Original, Exton, PA (PAYG) Thu. 10/21 - Craft Beer Happy Hour with Joe Sixpack @PJ's Pour House, Westmont, NJ (5:00pm-7:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 10/22 - Firkin Friday (Pure Evil Pumpkin Imperial Porter) @Iron Hill, North Wales, PA (5:00pm-8:00pm; PAYG) Sat. 10/23 - Beer Barons to Homebrewer @West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, PA (3:00pm-5:00pm; $5 to enter, $10 to attend, see website for all the details) Fri. 10/29 - Firkin Friday (Cask Challenge-Media’s Super Secret Surprise Beer Fun Time versus North Wales’ Vanilla Bean Pumpkin Ale) @Iron Hill, North Wales, PA (5:00pm-8:00pm; PAYG) Sat. 10/30 - Lew Bryson & Andy Crouch Book Signing @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, PA (4:00pm-6:00pm; PAYG) Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania Fri. 10/1 - Brewer's Reserve Barrel Tappings (October's selection: TBD) @Triumph, New Hope, PA (6:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 10/1 - Friday Night with Victory @Blue Dog, Lansdale, PA (6:30pm; PAYG) Sat. 10/2 - Oktoberfest @Triumph, New Hope, PA (1:00pm-1:00am; PAYG) Sat. 10/2 - Oktoberfest Beer and Food Event @Wegmans, All Pennsylvania locations (11:00am-3:00pm; Free) Sun. 10/3, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24 - Oktoberfest continues... @Stoudt's, Adamstown, PA (1:00pm-6:00pm; PAYG) Wed. 10/6 - Brewer's Reserve Barrel Tappings (October's selection: TBD) @Triumph, Princeton, NJ (6:00pm; PAYG) Thu. 10/7 - Charity Cask Night (October's selection: TBD) @Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, PA (5:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 10/15 - Friday Night with Yards @Blue Dog, Lansdale, PA (6:30pm; PAYG) Wed. 10/20 - Get Randallized with Victory Village @Spinnerstown Hotel, Spinnerstown, PA (6:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 10/29-Sun. 10/31 - Real Ale Festival @Bulls Head Public House, Lititz, PA (PAYG) Events Over $20 Philadelphia Sat. 10/2 - Brews for Boobies @various locations, Philadelphia, PA ($25, see website for all the details) Sun. 10/3 - Sippin' by the River @Penn's Landing, Philadelphia, PA (1:00pm-5:00pm; $30/$35/$40) Thu. 10/7 - Yards Beer Dinner @Rembrandt's, Philadelphia, PA (7:00pm; $50) Wed. 10/13 - St. Feuillien Beer Dinner @Parc, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm-10:00pm; $75) Wed. 10/20 - Beer for Winos @Tria Café, Philadelphia, PA (6:30pm-8:00pm; $60) Sat. 10/30 - Philadelphia Beer Experience, Special Halloween Edition @Center City, Philadelphia, PA (11:30am-4:00pm; $35) Philadelphia's close suburbs Sat. 10/2 - Oktoberfest @Issac Newton's, Newtown, PA (12:00pm-3:00pm; $25) Sat. 10/2 - Ride the Rails @West Chester to Glen Mills, PA (5:45pm; $30/$35) Tue. 10/5 - Meet the Brewers of PA @Victory Brewing, Downingtown, PA (6:00pm-9:00pm; $35) Thu. 10/7 - Brewmaster's Five Course Fall Beer Dinner @Iron Hill, Newark, DE (6:30pm; $60) Fri. 10/8 - Sly Fox Beer Dinner @georges', Wayne, PA (7:00pm; $65) Tue. 10/19 - Harvest Beer Dinner @Victory Brewing, Downingtown, PA (6:00pm; $50) Wed. 10/20 - Fall Beer Dinner @Iron Abbey, Horsham, PA (7:00pm-9:00pm; $50) Thu. 10/28 - Fall Beer Dinner with Sierra Nevada @The Drafting Room, Exton, PA (6:45pm; $59) Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania Mon. 9/20-Sat. 10/2 - Oktoberfest @Appalachian Brewing, Harrisburg, PA (PAYG) Sat. 10/2 - Kennett Brewfest @downtown Kennett Square, PA (2:00pm-6:00pm; tickets currently sold out) Wed. 10/6 - Meet the Brewer Series (Ramstein) @Spinnerstown Hotel, Spinnerstown, PA ($40) Sat. 10/9 - Harvest Fest @downtown Bethlehem, PA (1:00pm-4:00pm; $20/$25)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: September 23rd-September 29th

I know many of you count my Thursday morning weekly beer calendars to post up so that you can go about planning the next week or so of your beer life. It's been one of the busiest weeks in recent months for me, so this morning's posting got a bit delayed along the way. Boy, you thought last week's calendar was stuffed with a bunch of beer goodies? Check out this week's. Check out the entire September 2010 calendar over here. If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, let me know. Tastings and Samplings @Beer Yard, Wayne, PA--- Fri. 9/24 - Friday Night Tasting (5:00pm-7:00pm; Free to taste and cast your vote for either Samuel Adams Belgian-style IPA or Samuel Adams American Rye Ale) @Bell's Beverage, Philadelphia, PA--- Fri. 9/24 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free tasting samples of German and German Oktoberfest Beers) @Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, PA--- Thu. 9/23 - Charity Cask Night (5:00pm; PAYG for Carbomb, an Irish Creme Oatmeal Stout) @Blue Dog, Lansdale, PA--- Sat. 9/25 - Wealth of Riches (PAYG for "riches" like Founders CBS, Founder KBS, Founders Breakfast Stout, Russian River Supplication & Consecration, Lagunitas Fusion 3, Victory Village Coffee Brown Ale, & Cantillon Rose De Gambrinus) @Dos Segundo, Philadelphia, PA--- Tue. 9/28 - Brewsday Tuesday (PAYG for Mischief and Autumn Maple from The Bruery) @Exton Beverage, Exton, PA--- Fri. 9/24 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free tasting samples of Tröegs) @Exton Beverage, Exton, PA--- Sat. 9/25 - Customer Appreciation Day (12:00pm-4:00pm; Free for an afternoon of grilled hot dogs and fall seasonal beers like Oktoberfests) @Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA--- Fri. 9/24 - Boulder Night (6:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG for an avalanche of Boulder beers) @Hawthornes, Philadelphia, PA--- Sat. 9/25 - Victory Village Sampling (11:00am-1:00pm; PAYG for a glorious coffee brown ale that all beer and coffee lovers should enjoy) @Hawthornes, Philadelphia, PA--- Sun. 9/26 - Sam Adams 6th Annual Beer Lover's Choice (11:00am-1:00pm; PAYG to taste and cast your vote for either Samuel Adams Belgian-style IPA or Samuel Adams American Rye Ale) @Issac Newton's, Newtown, PA--- Thu. 9/23 - Brewery Promo Night (7:00pm-9:00pm; Free/PAYG for Duck-Rabbit beers like Amber and Russian Imperial Stout) @PJ's Pour House, Westmont, NJ--- Thu. 9/23 - Craft Beer Happy Hour (5:00pm-7:00pm; PAYG for a bunch of good beer and a Joe Sixpack appearance) Beer Education @Chester County Historical Society, West Chester, PA--- Tue. 9/28 - Wild About Beer Class Series #3 ("I Can't Believe That's Beer) (6:30pm-9:00pm; $49.95 for an opening reception, light snacks, and a tutored beer tasting) @General Sutter Inn, Lititz, PA--- Sat. 9/25 - Book Signing (4:30pm-6:00pm; PAYG for a couple of beers while you hang out and get your copy of Pennsylvania Breweries IV signed by Lew Bryson) @Philadelphia Brewing, Philadelphia, PA--- Sat. 9/25 - Weisbrod & Hess brewery Now and Then with Rich Wagner (12:00pm-3:00pm; Free for a presentation by Rich Wagner and brews by Philadelphia Brewing Company) Oktoberfests @Frontier Saloon, Folsom, PA--- Sat. 9/25 - Octoberfest (1:00pm-5:00pm; $20/$25 for their first annual Octoberfest celebration) @Stoudt's, Adamstown, PA--- Sat. 9/25-Sun. 9/26 - Oktoberfest Opening Weekend (all day; PAYG for the kickoff of weekly Oktoberfest celebrations....this one with the Alex Meixner band) Beer Dinners @Iron Hill, North Wales, PA--- Tue. 9/28 - Brewmaster's Five Course Beer Dinner (7:00pm; $65 for a five course meal paired with Smokin' Blonde, Honey Double Wit, Wee Heavy, Saison, Black Cherry Baltic Porter) @Le Virtu, Philadelphia, PA--- Wed. 9/29 - Ommegang Beer Dinner (7:00pm; $65 for a four course meal paired with Duvel, Rare Vos, Abbey Ale, and Three Philosophers) Get fit with Beer @Victory Brewery, Downingtown, PA--- Sun. 9/26 - PASA's 3rd Annual Bike Fresh Bike Local Ride (7:00am; $35/$40 for 25, 50, or 75 mile ride starting and ending at the Brewery) Festivals and other such @City Tap House, Philadelphia, PA--- Sat. 9/25 - Philadelphia Magazine's Craft Beer Experience (12:00pm-4:00pm; $80 for over 80 locally brewed craft brews, food pairings, guest educators, brewers, and more) @Iron Hill, Maple Shade, NJ--- Sat. 9/25 - F.red Bottling Party (12:00pm-4:00pm; PAYG to be able to sample a draft version at the bar and watch us bottle the beers. 750ML bottles for sale) @Newtown Stocking Works Complex, Newtown, PA--- Sat. 9/25 - Newtown Beerfest 2010 (12:30pm-5:30pm; $10/$40/$75 for Beer Tasting, Live Music, Food, & Fun) @Union Jack's, Boyertown, PA--- Sat. 9/25 - Funky Sour Saison Saturday (12:00pm; PAYG for 1809 Berliner Weisse, Bells Oarsman, Cuvee Des Jacobins Jong Lambic, Cuvee Des Jacobins Oud Lambic, Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge, Ichtegems Grand Cru, Ommegang/Liefmans Zuur, Petrus Aged Pale, Pretty Things Jack D'or, Russian River Consecration, St. Feuillien Saison, Urthel Saisonierre)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Flights and Bites at Savona

A few leading ladies of the beverage world team up with a leading Philadephia-area restaurant to create what looks to be a mighty fine night in Gulph Mills. Wendy Domurat of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Suzanne Woods from Sly Fox Brewery will be stopping by to visit renowned Master Sommelier, Melissa Monosoff, at Savona Restaurant tonight, Tuesday, September 21st. The executive chef and Melissa constructed a six course tasting menu of small plates to pair with the beers from Dogfish Head and Sly Fox. Stop in from 5:30pm-10:00pm and pick and choose a la carte from the menu below or get the whole lineup for $49. The event will be conducted on the Bar side of the house so that guests can join in the full menu or dine casually at the bar. Savona is one of our favorite restaurants in the Delaware Valley and one that we do not get to nearly as much as we would like. This could change that. Check out the 6-course menu and decide for yourself. ~Golden Fried Artichokes, Lemon, Parsley paired with Sly Fox Saison Vos ~House Made Bavarian Pretzel Bites paired with Sly Fox Octoberfest ~Prosciutto, Figs, Bleu Cheese, and Caramelized Onion Pizzetta paired with Dogfish Head Raison d'Etre ~Lime and Chile Marinated Shrimp Skewers, Citrus Arugula Salad paired with Sly Fox Route 113 IPA ~Wuxi Pork Belly with Horseradish Celery Root Purée paired with Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale ~Selection of International Cheeses paired with Dogfish Head Midas Touch Golden Elixir

Monday, September 20, 2010

Das Oktoberfest? Ja.

The official Oktoberfest is underway. Short of going to Deutschland, there isn't much better way of experiencing the annual German tradition celebrating the arriving fall season and the marriage of King Ludwig to Princess Therese of Bavaria. Here in the States, everyone seems to want a piece of it. A few of you have asked about Oktoberfest and what's going on a little closer to home. From special dinners, to weekend-long affairs, to a full two weeks of stein-clinking gemuchlichkeit, here are just a few of the events across the mid-Atlantic region that have crossed my desk....er, e-mail. And, just remember, even if a date below is in the past, doesn't mean that they still don't have some of those great German beers and American interpretations on tap. Prost! Fri. 9/17-Sun. 10/3 @all 8 Iron Hill locations--- Oktoberfest Celebration (PAYG for German Fare and German Beers in celebration of the world's largest festival) Sat. 9/18 @Devil's Den in Philadelphia, PA--- Devil’s Den Oktoberfest Sat. 9/18 from 1:00pm-5:00pm @High Street Grill in Mt. Holly, NJ--- Oktoberfest Party in the Tent $45 for a schedule that includes German Beers and Wines, US "German Inspired" Beers, Oktoberfest Buffet, OmmPahPah Live Music Sat. 9/18 to Sun 9/19 all day and night at Standard Tap--- Sausage Fest! Oktoberfest beers and $5 sausage plates Mon. 9/13 to Sat. 9/18--- Brauhaus Schmitz Oktoberfest – Daily events throughout the week and capped on Saturday with the 2nd Annual Oktoberfest Celebration where they take over part of South street to set up tents and have a 7 hour festival. Fri. 9/24 from 4:00pm-6:00pm at Bell Beverage--- German/German Oktoberfest Sampling – Taste free samples of German beers with Joe Sixpack. Sat. 9/25 from 1:00pm-5:00pm at Frontier Saloon in Folsom, PA--- First Annual Octoberfest Roughly 50 different bottles, quite a few expensive ones too. $20/$25. Sat. 9/25 to Sun. 9/26 at National Harbor in National Harbor, MD--- 3rd Annual Das Best Oktoberfest at National Harbor $20/$25/$30/$45/$55/$80– The show features over 200 International Beers and Wines, Oompah bands, live music, German food, German performers including cultural dancing, accordion sing-alongs and carnival games. The show has hundreds of arts, crafts and other exhibits. Sat. 9/25 to Sun. 9/26 all day at Stoudt's Brewery in Adamstown, PA - Oktoberfest Opening Weekend PAYG Thu. 9/30 to Sun. 10/3 at McKenzie Brew House in Malvern, PA--- McKenzie-fest Capped with a $39 dinner on 9/30, otherwise PAYG all weekend long Thu. 9/30 from 6:30pm-9:00pm at The Ship Inn in Exton, PA--- Ocktoberbest Beer and Wine Festival $30 Fri. 10/1 to Fri. 10/8 at Iron Abbey in Horsham, PA--- 2nd Annual Oktoberfest Performing on October 1st: "Heimat Klange Orchestra" and performing on October 8th: Wooden Wire. Come and Enjoy bavarian pretzel, the Abbey beer maids and traditional german food and drink. Beer on tap during Oktoberfest: Spaten Oktoberfest, Paulaner Oktoberfest, Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest, Ayinger Oktoberfest, Sly Fox Oktoberfest, Great Lakes Oktoberfest, Harpoon Oktoberfest, Twin Lakes Oktoberfest, Saranac Oktoberfest, Heavy Seas Imperial Oktoberfest, Victory Festbier, Erdinger Oktoberfest, Rogue Maierfest Sat. 10/2 at The Headliner in Neptune, NJ--- Jersey Shore Oktoberfest, Lots of beer, food, and entertainment for $35/$45. Seasonal beers from Spaten, Jever, Schlenkerla Marzen, Einbecker, Sam Adams, Dogfish Head, River Horse, Weyerbacher, Flying Fish, Brooklyn, and East Coast Brewing. Sat. 10/2 from 12:00pm-7:00pm at The Village at Shirlington in Arlington, VA--- Shirlington Oktoberfest – Beer, food, music, fun, lederhosen. Noon to 7pm a the Village at Shirlington in Arlington. $25. Sun. 10/3 at Dock Street in Philadelphia, PA--- DOCKtoberfest PAYG as they celebrate live music and artisanal craft beer Sat. 10/9 from 11:00am-6:00pm at Fairgrounds in Timonium, MD--- 9th Annual Maryland Brewer’s Oktoberfest, Timonium Fairgrounds – The best of Maryland brews and lots of Oompah bands $15/$20/$25/$35. Mon. 10/11 from 4:00pm-10:00pm at ChurchKey in Washington, DC--- Franconian "Oktoberfest" Anstich Draft Night – Featuring 10 different rare and delicious German lagers from 10 different small Franconian breweries, all dispensed on the bar from gravity poured kegs.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

GABF 2010. More states, more brewers, more beers, more awards...more of the same from California and Colorado

California and Colorado must be especially proud this year. Granted they are usually proud this time of year during post-GABF wrapup and analysis every year, but this year Northeast brewery operations must be scratching their collective brew kettles a little more than in recent years. Proportionately, California and Colorado took home more medals compared to the rest of the country...along the lines of what they formerly accustomed to. Roughly 40% of all 245 awards went to California- and Colorado-based breweries. Still, more states are represented with an award-winning brewery than last year (38 versus 30), which means there's more diversity out there, yet more awards disproportionately went to CA and CO this year. Interesting, I suppose. From my local perspective comprised of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, the latter two states were shut out. That includes the venerable and highly vaunted Dogfish Head from Delaware. Though, interesting too that Russian River only took home one medal this year. First, a list of PA/NJ/DE winners (oops, make that just PA--even though Iron Hill is headquartered out of Delaware, their two golds this year were brewed in Pennsylvania by "medal machine" Bob Barrar). And then, following is a bit of a wonk-ier breakdown. Do you want to see the full list? Head over to Great American Beer Festival's official listing of all winners. Bullfrog Brewery- Williamsport, PA- The Jaspers (Bronze: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer) ~~I've only been to Bullfrog once...gosh, I wish I lived closer to Williamsport. Iron Hill- Media, PA- Pig Iron Porter (Gold: Robust Porter) Iron Hill- Media, PA- Russian Imperial Stout (Gold: Imperial Stout) ~~"Medal Machine" Bob Barrar from Media location brewed both and continues his path to world brewing dominance McKenzie Brew House- Malvern, PA- Saison Vautour (Gold: French- and Belgian-Style Saison) ~~3 golds in the last 4 attempts for this beer ain't too shabby for Ryan Michaels and Gerard Olson Stoudt's Brewing- Adamstown, PA- Heifer-in-Wheat (Gold: South German-Style Hefeweizen) ~~I like to see these guys continuing to win awards 25 years after blazing a new path for Pennsylvania brewing Triumph- Philadelphia, PA- Dunkel Lager (Silver: European-Style Dunkel) Triumph- Philadelphia, PA- Kellerbier (Silver: Kellerbier/Zwickelbier) ~~The beer is by Patrick Jones, recently departed from Triumph. Has there been a faster unemployed double-winning GABF brewer? Potentially more to come on this story front. Oh, and they've got a new website too. Tröegs- Harrisburg, PA- Flying Mouflan (Gold: Barley Wine-Style Ale) Tröegs- Harrisburg, PA- Troegnator (Silver: Bock) Tröegs- Harrisburg, PA- Hopback Amber (Silver: American-Style Amber/Red Ale) ~~Speaking of dominance, this makes 2 in 3 years for the Flying Mouflan and 4 GABF and 1 WBC medals for the Troegenator in the past 5 years Weyerbacher- Easton, PA- Imperial Pumpkin (Bronze: Field Beer) ~~Are my records wrong or has Weyerbacher never been on GABF stage in Denver before? Congratulations!!! Breweries with Restaurant/Brewpub-oriented businesses and more than 1 award Pizza Port 12 (Carlsbad with 8, San Clemente 3, Ocean Beach 1) Rock Bottom 7 Gordon Biersch 2 Iron Hill 2 Ram Restaurant & Brewery 2 The "non-craft" brewhouses AC Golden 3 Blue Moon 3 Miller 3 Pabst 3 Michelob 1 By state (38 states with at least one medal, up from 30 in 2009. Diversity?) California 56 Colorado 42 Oregon 19 Michigan 10 Pennsylvania 9 Utah 8 (!) Illinois 7 Virginia 7 Washington 7 Wisconsin 7 Remaining interesting notes - only one for Russian River - none for Dogfish Head - Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing back on top for first time at GABF since '05

Saturday, September 18, 2010

GABF 2010 Winners, PA/NJ/DE

I missed the first 23 categories and obviously a much more complete review and analysis of 2010's GABF awards will be forthcoming. Today, though, I'll attempt to capture in as real-of-time as possible the local PA/NJ/DE winners for the remaining categories. I know you're all on Twitter anyway, but humor me :) LATE UPDATE: I've just learned that we have what may turn out to be the quickest unemployed double-winning GABF brewer. Patrick Jones and Triumph (Philadelphia) parted ways approximately 10 days ago. Here goes.... 4. Field Beer Bronze: Weyerbacher- Easton, PA- Imperial Pumpkin 22. Kellerbier/Zwickelbier Silver: Triumph- Philadelphia, PA- Kellerbier 34. European-Style Dunkel Silver: Triumph- Philadelphia, PA- Dunkel Lager 37. Bock Silver: Tröegs- Harrisburg, PA- Troegnator 49. American-Style Amber/Red Ale Silver: Tröegs- Harrisburg, PA- Hopback Amber 61. South German-Style Hefeweizen Gold: Stoudt's Brewing- Adamstown, PA- Heifer-in-Wheat 64. French- and Belgian-Style Saison Gold: McKenzie Brew House- Malvern, PA- Saison Vautour 70. Robust Porter Gold: Iron Hill- Media, PA- Pig Iron Porter 76. Imperial Stout Gold: Iron Hill- Media, PA- Russian Imperial Stout 79. Barley Wine-Style Ale Gold: Tröegs- Harrisburg, PA- Flying Mouflan

Friday, September 17, 2010

Iron Hill goes to the dogs, arf-ARF

This seems to be the month for beer events for animal organizations. After Tröegs' involvement in a couple of promotions for local SPCAs at the beginning of the month, an upcoming one at Sly Fox, and now Iron Hill is up to their own good next week with ARF SEPA. That's the Animal Resource Foundation of Southeastern Pennsylvania, for those of you acronym-haters out there. Convenient for many of you, Iron Hill of both Media and Phoenixville will donate 20% of your food bill to ARF SEPA and the great work that they do. Have dinner anytime between 5pm-10pm on Wednesday, September 22, present the coupon that you can print from ARF SEPA's website, and everyone will win. Here's a direct link to the Media Coupon and one to the Phoenixville Coupon. From its website: ARF SEPA is based out of Media and is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the welfare of orphaned and at-risk companion pets. Volunteers rescue orphaned pets from public shelters that must euthanize to create space. All rescued pets receive complete veterinary care, including an examination, vaccinations and testing, medications and spay/neuter prior to adoption. Pets reside in a foster home until adopted, as long as that takes. ARF SEPA does not euthanize animals to create space for new ones. Having a foxhound at home with us, I found the story that I've pasted below to resonate just a little bit more than usual. Henry, a foxhound, tested positive again for heartworm so he'll need to undergo his 3rd $850 heartworm treatment to eradicate the worms (heartworms are fatal if left untreated). We treated him while he was in foster care and that usually does the trick but this poor guy was so infected that it's taken multiple treatments to get rid of his heartworms. This time should do it. That's where all the funds that we raise go, to help dogs like Henry!"

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: September 16th-September 22nd

Just because you can't have a beer with your favorite brewer this weekend (as they're in the Rockies hopefully winning some awards for their labor and creativity), that doesn't mean there's any shortage of great stuff to do in the great wide world of great beer here in the Philadelphia region. Ready? GREAT! Check out the entire September 2010 calendar over here. If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, let me know. Tastings and Samplings @Bell's Beverage, Philadelphia, PA--- Fri. 9/17 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free tasting samples of Sam Adams) @Dos Segundo, Philadelphia, PA--- Tue. 9/21 - Brewsday Tuesday (PAYG for Terrapin Rye Squared and Hopsecutioner) @Hawthornes, Philadelphia, PA--- Tue. 9/21 - Keep the Growler Night (7:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG for featured brews from Sixpoint like Bengali Tiger IPA, Righteous Rye Ale, Sweet Action Cream Ale, Brownstone and highly anticipated Pumpkin Seasonal) @London Grill, Philadelphia, PA--- Wed. 9/22 - Beer Camp versus Beer Camp (6:30pm-9:30pm; PAYG for Beer Camp #25 Exporter, Beer Camp #26 Almond Marzen Project, Sierra 30 Jack & Ken's Ale, Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale, and Pale Ale) Going to the dogs, and other charitable benefits @Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, PA--- Thu. 9/16 - Charity Cask Night (5:00pm; PAYG for a cask of Carbomb, an "Irish Creme Oatmeal Stout") @Iron Hill Brewery, Media and Phoenixville, PA locations--- Wed. 9/22 - Fundraiser for Animal Rescue Foundation of SE PA (5:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG and when you pay for dinner and present the coupon at either location, 20% of your food bill will be donated to ARF!) @Sly Fox, Royersford, PA--- Thu. 9/16 - Yappy Hour (6:30pm-8:00pm; PAYG for a night where Perk Valley Pet Eatery will be passing out free treats, as well as The Berks County Humane Society on site with their mobile RV unit) GABF too big a festival for you? How 'bout something smaller and closer to home? @Appalachian Brewing Co., Harrisburg, PA--- Sat. 9/18 - Capital City Invitation Beer Festival (2:00pm-5:00pm, 6:00pm-9:00pm; $15/$35/$40 for thi annual favorite which includes over 20 great regional breweries, live music, a German buffet, vendors, and live brewing demonstrations) @High Street Grill, Mt. Holly, NJ--- Sun. 9/19 - Halfway to St. Patrick's Day (12:00pm-4:00pm; $10 gets you 5 Irish Bands playing continuously, Irish Beer and Food for sale and a great time for a great cause. $5 of each ticket goes directly to the parade.) @Kite and Key, Philadelphia, PA--- Thu. 9/16 - Sour Fest (PAYG for sours like: Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge, Duchesse De Bourgogne, Ommegang Zuur, Monk's Flemish Sour, Petrus Aged Pale Sour, Russian River Consecration, Bell's Oarsman, Jolly Pumpkin Weizen Bam Biere) @Tap and Table, Emmaus, PA--- Thu. 9/16-Sat. 9/18 - Saison Fest (4:00pm; PAYG for Drafts to include: jolly pumpkin es bam, st. somewhere saison athene, jandrain iv, jandrain v, nuova mattina, blaugies la moneuse, dupont avec les bons voeux, bruery saison de lente, glazen toren d’erpe mere, cigar city guava groove, lost abbey red barn ale, hopfenstark saison de repos, bullfrog fran-tastique, hop ten dormaal blonde, nogne-o saison, pretty things jack d’or, saison dupont and Casks to include: bullfrog busted lawnmower wet hopped, sly fox grisette, st. somewhere “surprise”, stillwater saison) @The Drafting Room, Exton, PA--- Sat. 9/18 - Hop Fest VIII (all day; PAYG for hop delights like Green Flash West Coast IPA, Sierra Nevada Celebration, Lagunitas a Little Sumpin’ Wild, Tommyknocker Hop Strike, Drafting Room 16th Anniversary, Brooklyn Detonation, Flying Fish Exit 16we, Southern Tier Hop Sun, Tröegs Nugget Nectar, River Horse Hop-a-Lottamus, Flying Fish Exit 6, Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen, ABC Outta Focus, Prism Bitto Honey IPA, Tea Party Pale Ale (Cask Conditioned), Ommegang Biere de Mars 2008, Ithaca Excelsior alpHalpHa, Smutty Nose IPA "Finest Kind") Doe, a deer, an Oktoberfest celebration @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, PA--- Sat. 9/18 - 200th Anniversary of Oktoberfest Celebration (10:30am; PAYG for German food specials that will run for the week or possibly longer and a draft beer lineup including Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest, Schneider Aventinus, Ayinger Celebrator, Spaten Lager, Franziskaner Hefeweisse, Kostritzer Schwarz, Bitburger Pilsner, Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen) @High Street Grill, Mt. Holly, NJ--- Sat. 9/18 - Oktoberfest Party in the Tent (1:00pm-5:00pm; $45 for a schedule that includes German Beers and Wines, US "German Inspired" Beers, Oktoberfest Buffet, OmmPahPah Live Music) @all 8 Iron Hill locations--- Fri. 9/17-Sun. 10/3 - Oktoberfest Celebration (PAYG for German Fare and German Beers in celebration of the world's largest festival) Dinners and Homebrew, it's all cooking @Brauhaus Schmitz, Philadelphia, PA--- Mon. 9/20 - Left Hand Beer Dinner (7:00pm-10:00pm; $65 for a 4-courses paired with 5 beers from Left Hand: Milk Stout; Polestar Pilsner; Oktoberfest; Haystack Wheat; Ju Ju Ginger Beer) @High Street Grill, Mt. Holly, NJ--- Sat. 9/18 - Fall Homebrew Contest (12:00pm-4:00pm; entries were due by 9/11; judging takes place during the Oktoberfest celebration) @Iron Abbey, Horsham, PA--- Wed. 9/22 - Tröegs Beer Dinner (7:00pm; $50 for a 5-course pairing dinner) @Savona, Gulph Mills, PA--- Tue. 9/21 - Sly Fox Dogfish Head Night (5:30pm-10:00pm; $49)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Beers from the past



This story started originally over at The Washington Times where I write this little beer column for The Communities section called After Hours. Instead of loading up on too much beer description and photos over there, I decided to put together more of the details here in this space, complete with (not quite) stunning photos of each beer, and link the two articles together. So, do the old click here to see the back story to this story and then come on back to read about all the fun I had with this concept. It would probably be even more revealing to have done this little experiment in a more true blind tasting fashion. But, none the less, frankly, I think it's something that many of us should do from time-to-time.



Amstel Light- Admittedly, I originally drank this many years ago for two reasons: "it's an import" and "it's low calorie". Two of the less-proud reasons that I could have for drinking a beer. How does it drink today? My experience with mass-produced light beers is as weak as it's ever been, but I'd have to say that this Amstel Light was the thinnest, most water-like, beer on the table. It had an unfortunate slight metallic taste to it. At 95 calories, I suppose you might say you get what you pay for. Though, remember, image should never be one of those things that you pay for.



Bass- My father-in-law always had this available when my wife and I would pay him a visit. It was one of his favorites, and that bode well for me since it was one of the first English ales that I really enjoyed. I'm glad to see that, though I rarely am heard ordering this beer, it still drinks much like I recall. Basically, this beer still was a pleasant drinking beer, if not a tad too sweet for my liking. Hm, English ales, that reminds me I'd like to track down John Courage and see what I would think of that here almost twenty years later.

 



















Guinness- The "meal in a glass" thing? At 125 calories, the Guinness Draught is not nearly as filling as many believe it to be. With the widget in the bottle, it certainly does deliver the creamy softness when served on nitrogen draft. The Extra Stout version does weigh in a bit beefier at 176 calories. In both cases, this has always been, and continues to be, a very drinkable roasty stout. Though, it was interesting to note the smokey characteristic in the Draught version and a bit of an nicer balance between the malt and hops in the Extra Stout big-boy version.



Molson Canadian- Here is another qualifier in my early days due to its import status. Put it up there, I suppose, with the Mooseheads and Becks of the world that I used to think were important to have in my fridge. Come to think of it, it was more likely the Molson Golden, but we're probably splitting hairs at this point. Tasting this nowadays, I can't imagine why I ever liked this beer. It had the ever-so-tiniest hint of pleasing malt, but not much else.



Pilsner Urquell- This Czech beer hearkens back to my father's heritage and a time in my life, as I mentioned with Amstel Light, when I ascribed a bit more quality to (untasted) beers that came from anywhere but the States. This Pilsener style beer goes down easily, but many American-crafted Pilsners are tasting much better to me these days. Plus, they're made much closer to home; always a plus for beer. A true Pilsener, I should note can only originate from the town of Pilsen in the Czech Republic. All others are referred to as Pilsner-style; notice the subtle spelling difference.\ This beer ranked as one of my favorites on the table during this evening sampling. It smelled and tasted like I just walked into a brewpub and the brewers were beginning their brew day. How awesome is that, right? And, on the hops side of the equation, it definitely had a bigger hop presence than I recall in my early days of drinking this beer. But, then again, it's been so long since I've ordered and drank this beer that I probably don't accurately recall much about this beer. This has definitely moved up my list of beers to try again soon.



Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale- My wife and I went through a period where we loved this beer and always picked up at least a six-pack of it when out beer and wine shopping. I can't recall whether the clear bottles ever resulted in a skunked Nut Brown Ale from this English brewery. Between the clear bottle and the lengthy trip from brewery to U.S. retail shelves, it would not be unexpected. Fortunately, the bottle that I sampled for this column came in a brown bottle. How did it stack up? It's still as roasty and pleasant of a brown ale as I recall and would gladly have another bottle of it.





















Yuengling Lager and Lord Chesterfield Ale - Ah, here in Pennsylvania we've been the envy of the beer drinking world ever since Yuengling took on an almost cult-like status fifteen, or so, years ago. Was it the unique name? I'm not quite sure, but I never took much of a liking to the flagship beer, simply called Lager. And that opinion still holds today. All I wrote on my tasting notes was simply "Nothing". As in, I got absolutely nothing from this beer. I'll admit I was a bit surprised by this reaction as I certainly did not expect the beer to be so vapid. Lord Chesterfield, however, was a totally different story. This beer and the Black 'n' Tan from Yuengling were two of my early favorites from this Pottsville-based brewery. This particular tasting I did was from the can and it made for a real pleasantly balanced beer with just a little extra kick of hops to keep things interesting.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: September 9th-September 15th

As local brewers, owners, and reps are getting ready to head to the annual GABF soiree in Denver, those of us stuck behind this year will have no shortage of great-looking events to choose from to keep us entertained until they return. Take the next week, for example. Check out the entire September 2010 calendar over here. If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, let me know. Tastings and Samplings @Beer Yard, Wayne, PA--- Fri. 9/10 - Friday Night Tasting (5:00pm-7:00pm; Free tasting samples of Magic Hat) @Bell's Beverage, Philadelphia, PA--- Fri. 9/10 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free tasting samples of Pumpkin Ale & Fall Beers) @Blue Dog, Lansdale, PA--- Sat. 9/10 - Stoudt's Beer Tasting (6:30pm; PAYG for delicious beers from one of Pennsylvania's original craft breweries) @Dos Segundos, Philadelphia, PA--- Tue. 9/14 - Brewsday Tuesday (PAYG for Great Lakes Brewing's Oktoberfest and Commodore Perry IPA) @Exton Beverage, Exton, PA--- Fri. 9/10 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free tasting samples of beers from Southampton Publick House) @Grey Lodge, Philadelphia, PA--- Fri. 9/10 - Meet the Monk (4:30pm-6:30pm; PAYG to meet Brother Christian from Abbey of Christ in the Desert and Berkeley Merchant, General Manager of the Abbey Bev Co. Their Monks Ale will be on tap.) If they have 5 events in one week, and it's not PBW, then I'm going to give them their own category @Allentown Brew Works, Allentown, PA--- Sat. 9/11 - Malt Madness Homebrew Competition (4:30pm; see website for all the details) @Allentown Brew Works, Allentown, PA--- Wed. 9/15 - Bière de Garde Release (PAYG) @Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, PA--- Thu. 9/9 - Charity Cask Night (5:00pm; PAYG for Banshee from the cask) @Brew Works on the Green, Allentown, PA--- Mon. 9/13 - Microbrew U (7:00pm; PAYG to explore the better beers from our local region, from around the country, the world…and straight from our tanks. In addition to the tastings, we’ll be bringing in brewers and other beer experts) @all Fegley's Brew Works locations, Allentown & Bethlehem, PA--- Thu. 9/9 - Imperial Pumpkin Release (PAYG) Beer Fests, Dinners, and other such Gatherings @Appalachian Brewing Co., Harrisburg, PA--- Sat. 9/18 - Capital City Invitation Beer Festival (2:00pm-5:00pm, 6:00pm-9:00pm; $15/$35/$40 gets you over 20 great regional breweries, live music, a German buffet, vendors, and live brewing demonstrations) @Monk's Café, Philadelphia, PA--- Tue. 9/14 - Local Beer / Local Food Dinner (7:00pm; $45 for a dinner where all beers and food served will be sourced from within 50 miles) @Spinnerstown Hotel, Spinnerstown, PA--- Sat. 9/11 - 3rd Annual Cask Festival and Pig Roast (12:00pm-5:00pm; PAYG for a pig roast and cask beers from Manayunk, Fegley's Brew Works, Victory, Weyerbacher, Sly Fox, and more)

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

See your Face in the Place

I've been on Facebook for a couple of years, give or take. My approach to finally getting a Brew Lounge persona going over there was instigated by my column at The Washington Times and a desire to carve out a niche on FB where I could talk exclusively about beer and leave the folks who are "friends" with me for other reasons (yes, believe it or not!) out of the beer superhighway. The "soft approach" that I've taken over the past couple of weeks has netted 65 'likes' which means that I know that there are still many of you who have not done so as of yet. This isn't a popularity contest; however, if enough of you get on board with The Brew Lounge over at The Phace Book, then may be we can splurge on a group outing, happy hour, or something like it. Who knows where these things might go... For now, go henceforth to Facebook and "like me" (I mean, The Brew Lounge). You'll be really, really glad you did....or not. (OR...just look over there to the right at the handy-dandy Face book thing that I put there to make it even easier.)========>>>

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Good Kind of Dog Days at Beer Yard

(Saturday of Labor Day weekend 2010 brought great weather and a great excuse to be at Wayne's Beer Yard)
(from L-R: Nick Johnson, Tröegs; Andy Dickerson, Teresa's Next Door; Matt Guyer, Beer Yard; Frances Franchi, Delaware County SPCA; Owner, Famous Kirby's Chile Pretzels)
I'm failing at time management and must move on from this point. So today, I'll be letting the pictures do most of the talking. Later this week, I'll have a more complete column up at The Washington Times about this past weekend's event/fundraiser at The Beer Yard. For now, it should suffice that when I say there were a bunch of 'locals' hanging out at The Beer Yard on Saturday being fed 'locally'-produced chile pretzels and grilled meat products, tossing back samples of 'local' craft beer from Tröegs, and making contributions to a 'local' organization (DelCo SPCA), it was a truly beautiful afternoon behind the Starbucks in Wayne, PA. UPDATE 9/10: BeerYard.com reported that the final tally came to 96 cases and a $1,091 donation to the SPCA. Great job to all involved!
(Beer and Man's Best Friend....or Beer IS Man's Best Friend..how is it?)
(Nick Johnson, Tröegs, loves his job and it shows)
(A cutie like this shouldn't be too difficult to adopt)
(Plenty of faithful companions were in attendance with their beer-loving parents)
(finally! A good use is found for a 30-pack of Natural Light)

Monday, September 06, 2010

Lawnmower beer. Still have a couple of months before you put these away for the year.

Here on Labor Day weekend, the so-called 'End of Summer', is it the appropriate time to bring up Lawnmower Beers? Well, we still have two months of lawn mowing and plenty of leaf collection to do before we put away the lawn and garden equipment for the year, right? And, I'm betting that your local beer distributor (you know what those things are if you're here with me in Pennsylvania) still has some cases of tasty, relatively lower alcohol beer on the shelves. They may even be discounting them as we begin to see the fall and winter seasonals showing up. If you haven't already this summer, go out and grab some beer from 21st Amendment (Hell or High Watermelon Wheat), Sly Fox (Phoenix Pale Ale), Lancaster Brewing Company (Kölsch), Yuengling (Lord Chesterfield), or Bavik (Wittekerke) and taste how refreshingly, uh, refreshing--but yet still tasty--these can be on a hot summer or warm fall day after a day of yard work.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Vaynerchuk scores a Victory

I have a pretty solid history of wine appreciation and consumption. In the world of podcasts, I began watching Gary Vaynerchuk 3-4 years ago and stopped roughly a year later. Somewhere across the brew-niverse, I'd heard that he'd done a couple beer-related podcasts recently. One with Garrett Oliver and a more recent one with Bill Covaleski. Needless to say, I checked in and found that Gary still applies pretty much the same schtick to his show. Got me on the edge of thinking that I might begin subscribing again to the podcast version. I like what Bill, Ron, and the Victory crew have been doing lately with their gravitation toward video. I'm not sure many other breweries are taking it upon themselves to put out as much video content as are they...in addition to keeping up on a written blog. Check it out for yourself. There's some good material, both on the brewing side as well as the fun banter between Gary and Bill, that should make the hour-long two-part video pass quickly. Part 1 & Part 2

Friday, September 03, 2010

Mas Cerveza por favor at Dos Segundos. Gracias.

Looks like Jeremy Thomson is off and running at Dos Segundos in Northern Liberties. This posting from the good folk at Foobooz reminded me that I bumped into Jeremy at Friday the Firkinteenth at Grey Lodge a few weeks back. He'd told me about his moving on from The Khyber (Pass) and how he'd been planning to get the good beer and events flowing soon. All the more reason to stop in and see for myself very soon. When checking back in with Jeremy this week to confirm our conversation, I got just that (a confirm, that is) as well as a sneak peek at some of his upcoming events that he's calling "Brewsday Tuesday". In addition to highlighting various breweries at discount prices, they'll be serving up dollar Pork Belly Tacos that were prepared in one of the evening's select brews. They're trying to make it a lot of fun, while being easy on the wallet. Thanks, Jeremy, and best wishes. Now I've got some work to do to update my monthly calendar! 9/7/2010 "Welcome Back Joe" with Philly Brewing Joe Coffee--Porter- 5.00% ABV Kenzinger--Kölsch- 4.50% ABV 9/14/2010 "Taco-toberfest!" with Great Lakes Brewing Oktoberfest--Märzen/Oktoberfest- 6.50% ABV Commodore Perry IPA--American IPA- 7.50% ABV 9/21/2010 "Turtle Tacos" with Terrapin Beer Company Rye Squared--American IPA- 9.50% ABV Hopsecutioner--American IPA- 7.30% ABV 9/28/2010 "Maple Mischief" with The Bruery Mischief--Belgian Strong Pale Ale- 8.50% ABV Autumn Maple--Belgian Strong Dark Ale- 10.50% ABV 10/5/2010 Founders Brewing Breakfast Stout--American Double/Imperial Stout- 8.30% ABV Centennial--American IPA- 7.20% ABV 10/12/2010 Weyerbacher Hops Infusion--American IPA- 6.20% ABV Imperial Pumkin Ale--Pumpkin Ale- 8.00% ABV

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: September 1st-September 8th

Any of my concerns last week about a paucity of beer events to close out the Month of August have been quickly allayed with a review of the next 8 days of beer events around the Philadelphia region. Holiday? Our good folks around here take no such thing from the pursuit of better beer. Be safe during the extended holiday weekend and enjoy! Check out the entire September 2010 calendar over here. If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, let me know. Small tastes, sometimes free, can be the best ones @Beer Yard, Wayne, PA--- Sat. 9/4 - Tröegs/Teresa's/Beer Yard Event for Delco SPCA (1:00pm-4:00pm; $5 plus donations gets you Tröegs award-winning beers that will be available for sampling in front of the Beer Yard. The beer samples will be accompanied by a variety of tasty food treats from Teresa's Next Door.) @Bell's Beverage, Philadelphia, PA--- Fri. 9/3 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free tasting samples of American Fest Biers) @Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, PA--- Thu. 9/2 - Charity Cask Night (5:00pm; PAYG for Sling-Load Ale) @Brew Works on the Green, Allentown, PA--- Mon. 9/6 - Cask Night on the Green (5:00pm; PAYG for a selection still TBD) @Dos Segundo, Philadelphia, PA--- Tue. 9/7 - Brewsday Tuesday (PAYG for dollar tacos and Philadelphia Brewing's Joe Coffee Porter and Kenzinger Kölsch) @Hawthornes, Philadelphia, PA--- Wed. 9/8 - Belgian Beer Sampling (6:00pm-8:00pm; Free tasting samples of Blanche de Bruxelles, Malheur, Barbar, and Hopus) @Iron Hill, Media, PA--- Fri. 9/3 - Firkin Friday (5:00pm; PAYG for the Rye Not Roggenbier) @Iron Hill, Maple Shade, NJ--- Wed. 9/8 - Pete's Celebration Release Party (5:00pm; PAYG for a Belgian Quadrupel brewed/named in honor of the guy, Pete, that got assistant brewer Jeff Ramirez into brewing) @Sly Fox, Phoenixville & Royersford, PA--- Fri. 9/3 - Incubus Friday (all day; PAYG for the usual First Friday Tripel antics) @Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, PA--- Tue. 9/7 - Tasty Tuesday (PAYG for not-the-usual-suspects from Anchor Brewing: Humming Ale, Anchor Steam, Liberty Ale, Summer and Xmas '09..okay, maybe just one usual suspect) @Triumph, Princeton, NJ--- Wed. 9/1 - Brewer's Reserve Barrel Tappings (6:00pm; PAYG for a selection still TBD) @Triumph, Philadelphia, PA--- Thu. 9/2 - Brewer's Reserve Barrel Tappings (6:00pm; PAYG for a selection still TBD) @Triumph, New Hope, PA--- Fri. 9/3 - Brewer's Reserve Barrel Tappings (6:00pm; PAYG for a selection still TBD) Food, beer...tomato, tomatoe @Iron Hill, Lancaster, PA--- Wed. 9/8 - Beer and Cheese Pairings (7:00pm-9:00pm; $25 for beer and cheese pairings conducted with Town Clocke Cheese Shoppe) @McGillin's, Philadelphia, PA--- Thu. 9/2-Sat. 10/2 - Month-long Oktoberfest (PAYG for beers like Stoudt's Fest, Flying Fish's Oktoberphish, Victory's Festbier, Ramstein's Oktoberfest, Warsteiner's Oktoberfest & more local and international Oktoberfest beers. Plenty of authentic German cuisine as well) @Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA--- Sat. 9/4 - BBQ at the Ballpark (3:00pm-7:00pm; $80 for an all-inclusive pass including a ticket to the game (sections 412 & 413, rows 1-5 ), access to our tailgate party, two-hour bar-b-que buffet, complimentary beer from our brewery partners, non-alcoholic beverages, passes to our “Brewmaster’s Tent” to sample specialty beers, and a keepsake tee shirt and plastic mug.) @Spinnerstown Hotel, Spinnerstown, PA--- Wed. 9/1 - A Summer Crab Boil (7:00pm; $45 for a night of beer and crabs co-hosted with The Brew Works) @Tria Café, Philadelphia, PA--- Wed. 9/1 - British Invasion (6:30pm-8:00pm; $50 for cheeses like English Farmhouse Cheddar and Stilton with British-style ales like IPA, Stout and Barleywine from innovative American breweries.) Festivals and weekend-long fun @Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia, PA--- Fri. 9/3 - Pils Picnic (12:00pm; PAYG for great picnic-style beers like Dock Street Bohemian Pils, Manayunk Bill's Pils, Tröegs Sunshine Pils, Southampton Keller Pils, Stoudt's Pils, Victory Prima Pils, Sly Fox Pikeland Pils, Sly Fox Keller Pils (firkin), Victory Braumeister Pils-Saaz, Victory Braumeister Pils-Spalt) @Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, PA--- Fri. 9/3-Sun. 9/5 - Labor Day Weekend Port / Lost Abbey Extravaganza (all weekend; PAYG for Avant Garde, Carnevale, Gift of the Magi, Serpent Stout, 4th Anniversary, Mongo, Summer Pale Ale, 2009 Brandy Angel's Share and 2010 Bourbon Angel's Share all on tap... possibly more...like Hop15 and WipeOut...plus food and cheese and beer pairings all weekend long) @The Drafting Room, Exton, PA--- Fri. 9/3-Sun. 9/5 - West Coast Brewery Weekend (all weekend; PAYG for Sierra Nevada Beer Camp ExPorter, Russian River Consecration, Hair of the Dog "Blue Dot", Left Coast Hop Juice, Bear Republic Racer X, Stone 14th Anniversary, Port Brewing Wipe Out IPA, Green Flash Grand Cru, 21st Amendmant Back in Black IPA, Russian River Supplication, Lagunitas A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale, Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, Lost Abbey Avante Garde, Rogue Captain Sig’s Northwestern Ale (Firkin), & More To Be Announced)