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Monday, April 30, 2012

Beer Calendar: What To Do in May 2012

The weather has turned and spring is in full force. More outdoor beer events will be popping up on the Philadelphia regional beer calendar. Perhaps no where will spring be more signaled than at the annual Sly Fox Bock Festival and Goat Races in Phoenixville, Pa.

If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, let me know.

And it will also be a busy month across the country. Kicking off the month is the Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego from May 2-5, then the Big Brew day to mark National Homebrew Day, and finally American Craft Beer Week from May 14-20. Check the websites for plenty of details on how to participate.


$20 and under, down to and including FREE...Pay As You Go (PAYG) also included here

Philadelphia
Every Thursday through Sunday during May 2012 - Spargelfest @Brauhaus Schmitz, Philadelphia, Pa. ($PAYG)
Every Saturday throughout May 2012 - Liters for Litters @Brauhaus Schmitz, Philadelphia, Pa. ($PAYG)
Tue. 5/1 - Movie Night (Movie: The Artist) @Dock Street Brewing Company, Philadelphia, Pa. (9:00pm; $PAYG)
Wed. 5/2 - Monthly Beer School (May theme: Widows & Orphans from our bottle list) @Memphis Taproom, Philadelphia, Pa. (12:00pm; $Free)
Wed. 5/2 - IPA Tap Takeover @Interstate Draft House, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:00pm-10:00pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 5/3 - 12 Percent Imports Beer Sampling @The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:00pm-9:00pm; $Free)
Fri. 5/4 - First Friday Free Tasting (Philadelphia Brewing) @Trolley Car Diner, Philadelphia, Pa. (5:30pm-7:30pm; $Free)
Fri. 5/4 - Beer Sampling (Lancaster Brewing Rumspringa) @Craft Beer Outlet, Philadelphia, Pa. (5:00pm-7:00pm; $Free)
Fri. 5/4 - First Friday (with The Boilermaker) @Drink Philly, Philadelphia, Pa. (5:00pm-9:00pm; $Free to only Drink Philly subscribers)
Sat. 5/5 - Saucy Saturday & Cinco de Mayo @The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:00pm-10:00pm; $PAYG)
Sat. 5/5 - IPA Block Party @Hawthornes, Philadelphia, Pa. (12:00pm-8:00pm; $PAYG)
Sun. 5/6 - Big Bottle Release @Dock Street Brewing Company, Philadelphia, Pa. (12:00pm-4:00pm; $PAYG)
Sun. 5/6 - 9th Anniversary Party @Old Eagle Tavern, Philadelphia, Pa. (12:30pm-3:00pm; $PAYG)
Mon. 5/7 - Mutha Firkin Monday (Stone Brewing) @TIME, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:00pm; $PAYG)
Tue. 5/8 - Philly Beer Geek Preliminary Round @The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:30pm; $PAYG)
Tue. 5/8 - Oskar Blues Tap & Can Takeover @Lucky's Last Chance, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:00pm-10:00pm; $PAYG)
Wed. 5/9 - Monthly Beer School (May theme: Dogfish Head) @Resurrection Ale House, Philadelphia, Pa. (4:00pm; $Free)
Wed. 5/9 - Ommegang Goes to the Opera @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:00pm-11:00pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 5/10 - Dinner, Beer, & A Movie (Movie: Monty Python's Holy Grail) @Old Eagle Tavern, Philadelphia, Pa. (9:00pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 5/10 - Flying Fish Tap Takeover @Tapestry, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:00pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 5/10 - Founder's Tap Takeover @12 Steps Down, Philadelphia, Pa. (9:00pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 5/10 - Allagash Tap Takeover @Chestnut 7, Philadelphia, Pa. (4:00pm-8:00pm; $PAYG)
Fri. 5/11 & Sat. 5/12 - Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta – “Love Local” Beer & Wine Garden @Kelly Drive/Schuylkill River, Philadelphia, Pa. (11 a.m.-5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 5/12 - Don't Block the Bocks @Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia, Pa. (All day; $PAYG)
Sat. 5/12 - Monkey Madness @Nodding Head, Philadelphia, Pa. (3:00pm-6:00pm; $PAYG)
Tue. 5/15 - Fegley's Brew Works Night @Old Eagle Tavern, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:00pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 5/17 - Brooklyn Brewery Beer Sampling @The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:00pm-9:00pm; $Free)
Thu. 5/17 - Beer Garden Blast with Sixpoint Brewery @Wedge + Fig, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:00pm-9:00pm; $6)
Sat. 5/19 - Mayfair May Fair @The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa. (5:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG)
Sat. 5/19 - Kona Tap Takeover @The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:00pm-9:00pm; $15)
Tue. 5/22 - Philly Beer Scene Best Of Awards Show @World Café Live, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:30pm-10:30pm; $10/$15)
Thu. 5/24 - Night Market @2nd/Poplar in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:00pm-10:00pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 5/24 - Philly Beer Week Pre-game Party @Triumph Brewing, Philadelphia, Pa. (All day; $PAYG)
Thu. 5/31 - Victory Baltic Thunder Vertical @Earth Bread + Brewery, Philadelphia, Pa. (5:00pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 5/31 - Lex Lurhor IPA Release Party @Iron Hill, Chestnut Hill, Pa. (5:00pm-8:00pm; $PAYG)


Philadelphia's close suburbs (within 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Tue. 5/1 - Smuttynose Tap Takeover @Pinocchio's, Media, Pa. (5:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 5/3 - First Thursday Beer Tasting and Pig Roast @Whole Foods, Plymouth Meeting, Pa. (6:00pm-8:00pm; $Free)
Fri. 5/4 - Friday Night Sampling (Sierra Nevada) @Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa. (5:00pm-7:00pm; $Free)
Fri. 5/4 - Widmer Brothers Tasting @Blue Dog, Lansdale, Pa. (6:30pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 5/10 - Weyerbacher Tap Takeover & Firkin @Hulmeville Inn, Hulmeville, Pa. (6:00pm; $PAYG)
Fri. 5/11 - Friday Night Sampling (Ommegang) @Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa. (5:00pm-7:00pm; $Free)
Wed. 5/16 - Founders Tap Takeover @Fingers Wings and Other Things, Conshohocken, Pa. (6:00pm; $PAYG)
Fri. 5/18 - Friday Night Sampling (Southampton) @Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa. (5:00pm-7:00pm; $Free)
Fri. 5/25 - Friday Night Sampling (Yards) @Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa. (5:00pm-7:00pm; $Free)


Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other (beyond 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Tue. 5/1 - May Day, Play Day @Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, Pa. (11:30am; $PAYG)
Tue. 5/1 - Mayday Mayday! @Iron Hill, West Chester, Pa. (5:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 5/3 - Charity Cask Night (Fruit Lover's Wit to benefit WDIY Lehigh Valley Community Public Radio) @Fegley's Brew Works, Bethlehem, Pa. (5:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG)
Fri. 5/4 - Barnstormers Tailgate Party @Iron Hill, Lancaster, Pa. (5:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG)
Fri. 5/4 - Incubus Friday @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa. (11:30am; $PAYG)
Fri. 5/4 - Friday Night Tasting (Victory) @Goshen Beverage, West Chester, Pa. (4:00pm-6:00pm; $Free)
Fri. 5/4 - Tim –vs– Matt Cask Challenge @Iron Hill, Phoenixville, Pa. (5:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG)
Sat. 5/5 - Saturday Tasting (Dos Equis) @Goshen Beverage, West Chester, Pa. (12:00pm-2:00pm; $Free)
Sun. 5/6 - Bock Fest & Goat Race @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa. (11:00am-6:00pm; $PAYG)
Sun. 5/6 - SPCA Walk for Paws @Hibernia County Park, Coatesville, Pa. (11:00am-2:00pm; $PAYG)
Mon. 5/7-Sun. 5/13 - 6th Annual Homebrew Contest @Appalachian Brewing Company, Harrisburg, Pa. (see website for details)
Fri. 5/11 - Meet The Brewer (Beau Baden from Fegley's Brew Works) @Pearly Baker's, Easton, Pa. (5:00pm-7:00pm; $PAYG)
Mon. 5/14 - Storm King Monday @Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, Pa. (11:30am; $PAYG)
Sat. 5/19 - 15th Anniversary Party @Appalachian Brewing Company, Harrisburg, Pa. (3:00pm; $PAYG)
Sat. 5/19 - Home Brew Festival/Expo @Appalachian Brewing Company, Camp Hill, Pa. (12:00pm-4:00pm; $20)
Sat. 5/19 & Sun. 5/20 - Yorktoberfest Beer Garden @York Fairgrounds, York, Pa. (1:00pm-6:00pm; $15)
Thu. 5/24 - Flying Fish Tap Takeover @Goodnight Irene's, Wildwood, NJ. (7:00pm; $PAYG)
Fri. 5/25 - Third Friday Firkin Fest @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa. (11:30am; $PAYG)
Fri. 5/25 - Hop Attack! @Iron Hill, Lancaster, Pa. (11:00am-10:00pm; $PAYG)
Fri. 5/25 - Mahalo, Apollo! Release Party @Iron Hill, West Chester, Pa. (1:00pm-10:00pm; $PAYG)


Events Over $20

Philadelphia
Thu. 5/3 - 5-course Beer Dinner @Jon's Bar & Grille, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:00pm-8:00pm; $40)
POSTPONED UNTIL LATE JUNE Thu. 5/3 - Yards Beer Dinner @Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:00pm-9:00pm; $99)
Sat. 5/5 - Beer Fest at the Ballpark @McFadden's at the Ballpark, Philadelphia, Pa. (2:00pm-7:00pm; $20/$40/$50)
Wed. 5/9 - Belgian Beer Dinner @Barbuzzo, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:00pm; $55)
Sat. 5/19 - Wheat Beer Fest @South Philadelphia Tap Room, Philadelphia, Pa. (12:00pm; $TBD)
Sat. 5/19 - Northeast Philadelphia Beer Festival @Cannstatter Volkfest Verein, Philadelphia, Pa. (1:00pm-5:00pm; $30/$35)
Sat. 5/19 - Beer Barons to Homebrewers: Tour The Past. Taste The Present. @West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pa. (1:00pm-5:00pm; $25)
Tue. 5/29 - Russian River / Sierra Nevada Collaboration Dinner @Monk's Café, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:00pm; $95)


Philadelphia's close suburbs (within 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
throughout May 2012 - Beer Making, Cheese Making, and Wine Making classes (throughout the month) @Keystone Homebrew, Bethlehem & Montgomeryville, Pa. (See website for all the class details)
Sat. 5/5 - Spring Craft Beer Fest @High Street Grill, Mount Holly, NJ (1:00pm-6:30pm; $40/$60)
Sun. 5/6 - Bus Trip to Sly Fox Bockfest & Goat Race @Iron Abbey, Horsham, Pa. (9:00am-5:00pm; $50)
Thu. 5/10 - Artisan Cheese and Beer Pairing @Iron Hill, Media, Pa. (6:00pm & 8:00pm seatings; $35)
Sat. 5/19 - Brandywine Valley Craft Brewer's Festival @Iron Hill, Media, Pa. (1:00pm-5:00pm; $5/$45/$50)
Sat. 5/19 - Hampton BrewFest @Phoenix Sports Club, Feasterville, Pa. (1:00pm-5:00pm; $10/$35/$40/$45)
Tue. 5/29 - Spring Beer Dinner @Iron Hill, Maple Shade, NJ (7:00pm-9:00pm; $70)


Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other (beyond 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Sat. 5/5 - S.I.P. Firkin Fest @Canal Street Pub, Reading, Pa. (6:00pm-10:00pm; $40)
Tue. 5/8 - Ocho de Mayo Beer Dinner @Iron Hill, Phoenixville, Pa. (7:00pm; $70)
Wed. 5/9 - BackYARDS BBQ Beer Dinner @Uno's, Exton, Pa. (7:00pm-9:00pm; $55)
Fri. 5/11 - Stoudt's Epic Anniversary Party @Stoudt's, Adamstown, Pa. (6:00pm-11:00pm; $35/$145/$290)
Sat. 5/12 - Brewfest at Mount Hope @Mount Hope Estate, Manheim, Pa. (11:00am-3:00pm, 4:30pm-8:30pm; $15/$20/$40/$45)
Sat. 5/12 - Washington Crossing Brewfest @Washington Crossing Historic Park, Washington Crossing, Pa. (12:30pm-4:30pm; $10/$40)
Wed. 5/16 - Lancaster (England) Beer Dinner @Sands Casino Resort, Bethlehem, Pa. (6:00pm; $50)
Sat. 5/19 - AC Beer vs. Wine @Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ (7:00pm-11:00pm; $40/$70/$75/$80)
Tue. 5/29 & Wed. 5/30 - Spring Beer Dinner @Iron Hill, Lancaster, Pa. (6:00pm-9:00pm; $70)

Weekly Brew Bits Update: 4/30/12

More tasty news bits and bytes.

PHILADELPHIA
~ Bainbridge Street Barrel House, you say? Sounds like an idea to be cautiously interested and optimistic about. Sounds like a late summer/early fall target opening.

~ Joe Sixpack did Phillies fans a solid nearly 20 years ago with pour-cheating at Veterans Stadium. Maybe he can do something now about the skyrocketing cost of a beer. Interesting graphic of per beer costs around the league.

EASTERN PA, NJ, DE, AND OTHER NEARBY PARTS OF MID-ATLANTIC
~ Peter Van Allen at Philadelphia Business Journal loves talking about beer, really good craft beer to be specific. Here he talked recently about the expanding operations of several Philadelphia-region breweries.

~ They (PBJ) also have a little "ale trail"-related slide show up at their site recently as well.

THE REST OF PLANET BEER
~ Look at what was found at Pittsburgh's Penn Brewery! They posted a picture on Facebook. Very cool find, eh?

~ Speaking of Penn. I knew of the management ins/outs of the past several years, but forgot the details of Pastorius' return until I came across this article from a couple years back.

~ Reading this quote the other day reminded me of the quote I shared with you a couple of weeks back where I asked you to insert the word "beer" for "tea". Here, I think you can do it "beer" for "hockey". Agree? "I believe in the game of hockey, and there is so much opportunity in the United States to grow the game," Shannon said. "Sometimes, we don't do a very good job of growing it because we only cater to the hard-core fan first. [Sunday] was a cater-to-the-hard-core-fan day."

~ Several nuggets of news here in this update of this past weekend's Gordon Biersch closure in San Francisco make it worth your reading. Difficult to believe that I first had some SF-based Gordon Biersch beer roughly 12 years ago and I wrote about them almost 6 years ago. Still stand by my assertion that a trip to downtown San Francisco should always include Magnolia on the west side of town and Gordon Biersch on the east side along the bay. Certainly a loss for the Embarcadero waterfront.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: April 26 - April 30

Five days to close out April and bring on May flowers, Mothers Day, Goat Races, and a whole bunch of other great reasons to drink great beer around the Philadelphia region.

But first...

Check out the entire April 2012 calendar over here. If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, don't hesitate to let me know.

Brewery Promos and Samplings
@Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/27 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Spring beers with Joe Sixpack)

@Brauhaus Schmitz, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 4/26 - Master Brewer Hans-Peter Drexler Meet & Greet (7:00pm-10:00pm; $PAYG to meet Drexler and have choose from several Schneider Weiss beers on draft and a wooden-barrel of the Nelson Sauvin Weizenbock! Chef Nolen will feature several delicious dishes.)

@Craft Beer Outlet, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/27 - Beer Sampling (5:00pm-7:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Stoudt's beer)

@Goshen Beverage, West Chester, Pa.--- Fri. 4/27 - Beer Sampling (4:00pm-6:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Miller 64)

@Khyber Pass Pub, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Mon. 4/30 - Smuttynose Night (4:00pm-10:00pm; $PAYG for eight drafts from the Smuttynose "Short Batch" series including #13 Noonan Black IPA and #10 Oak-aged Belgian Stout. Cult classics such as Gravitation will also be making an appearance alongside other "Big Beer" ales like the Wheat Wine Ale and Farmhouse Ale for the event. Shoals Pale Ale will be on tap as well.)

@The Farmers' Cabinet, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/27 - Evil Twin Showcase ($PAYG to hang out with the Danish brewer/owner Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø and drink from at least 22 of his beers on tap like Yin, Yang, Soft Xmas, Xmas in a NYC Hotel Room, Freudian Slip, Biscotti Break, Ale 404, Hop Flood, Katz Pis, Monk Suffers, Ron and Beast Ryan, Nurse Pepper, Sodermalm Hipster Ale, Disco Beer Red Cap, Soft Dookie, Weird Grape, Melvin Brew, Femme Fatale, An Uncommon IPA, Imperial Biscotti, Phat Porter, “Soured” Bikini Beer and at least a firkin or two of cask-conditioned beer)

@Weyerbacher Visitor Center, Easton, Pa.--- Fri. 4/27 & Sat. 4/28 - One-off release (Fri. 4:30pm-7:00pm & Sat. 12:00pm-3:00pm; $Free tastings of the latest 40-bbl one-off batch of Victor, an IPA clocking in at 5.8% ABV and 42 IBUs.)


"Takeovers", Debuts, Festivals, and other noteworthy events
@4 Fun Bars of the 19468--- Mon. 4/23-Sun. 4/29 - Suburban Beer Week 19468 ($PAYG and see individual bar websites for all the details: Craft Ale House; French Quarter Bistro; Lucky Lab Tavern; Railroad Street Bar & Grill)

@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/27 - Goose Island Tap Takeover (5:00pm; $PAYG to root for the Phillies over the Cubs, enjoy eight Goose Island Beers on draught including Matilda, 312 Urban Wheat, & Sofie, and win a chance at Cubs vs. Phillies tickets for Sunday, April 29 game at 1 p.m.)

@Cricket Lane, Ardmore, Pa.--- Sat. 4/28 - Cricket Crafts and Brew Fest (2:00pm-8:00pm; $PAYG for ten local craft beers, live music all day, craft area for kids, local craft vendors selling specialty items, and a variety of hand-crafted food choices from local restaurants. This outdoor event will be located on Cricket Avenue in Ardmore, between Cricket Terrace and West Athens Avenue.)

@Manayunk Brewery, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 4/28 - 14th Annual Brew Fest (1:00pm-5:00pm; $25/$45 for a craft beer tasting event featuring two dozen breweries and over 50 craft beers all outside on the banks of the Schuylkill River. Tickets will be available at the door the day of the event.)

@Pinocchio's, Media, Pa.--- Thu. 4/26 - Dogfish Head Tap Takeover ($PAYG for at least a dozen Dogfish Head beers on tap including the likes of Noble Rot, 120 Minute IPA, World Wide Stout, and Dogfish Head’s version of their collaboration with Victory and Stone— Saison du BUFF.)


Food and Beer events
@Black & Blue, Easton, Pa.--- Sat. 4/28 - Shelton Bros. Beer Pairing Dinner (5:00pm-7:00pm; $65 for a five-course meal paired with Jolly Pumpkin La Roja, Kapuziner Weisse, De Struise Witte, Achel Extra, and DeRanke Guldenberg. We’ll finish with De Struise Black Damnation III on tap.)

@Fireside Tavern, Strasburg, Pa.--- Thu. 4/26 - Tröegs Beer Dinner (6:00pm; $50 for a five-course meal paired with Sunshine Pils, Dreamweaver Wheat, Troegenator Doppelbock, Flying Mouflan, and Nugget Nectar)

@For Pete's Sake Pub, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 4/26 - Suds & Sliders with Sierra Nevada (6:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG for Torpedo, Summerfest, Pale Ale, and Ovila Dubbel on tap. Pork, chicken, and beef sliders from the kitchen.)

@State Farm Show Complex, Harrisburg, Pa.--- Sat. 4/28 - PA Flavor 2012 – The Ultimate Beer and Food Pairing (1:00pm-5:00pm; $20/$50/$75 to sample from 40 Pennsylvania breweries along with 20 PA Preferred food producers and 20 PA Preferred restaurants and be able to purchase take home items from all food producers.)

@The Farmers' Cabinet, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 4/26 - Italian Beer & Local Cheese (6:30pm-10:00pm; $PAYG for bottled offerings from Italian brewer Birrificio del Ducato and local cheesemakers Birchrun Hills and Calkins Farms. Beers to include (flights available) L’Ultima Luna, L’Ultima Luna '09, La Luna Rosa, Nouva Mattina, Sally Brown Baracco, Chimera, Via Emilia, and Verdi Imperial Stout on draft)


Homebrewing, Charity, and Education
@Keystone Homebrew, Bethlehem & Montgomeryville, Pa.--- throughout Apr. '12 - Beer Making, Cheese Making, and Wine Making classes (See website for all the class details)

@The Farmers' Cabinet, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 4/28 - Gypsy School (1:00pm; $40 to get a personal tour from Evil Twin brewer/owner Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø through his portfolio of interesting and diverse beers. The price includes samples of 7 beers and offer you some cheese, meats, etc, to fittingly wash down the beer. This will be structured as a classroom with interactive dialog and plenty of opportunities to ask questions.)

@Yards Brewing Company, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/27 - All About Ales — The Science of Beer (7:00pm-10:00pm; $35 to interact with the Yards brewers as they explain the science of the brewing process and the chemistry behind some of their favorite brews. In the tasting room, explore some great beer and food pairings and find out from taste experts the chemistry that makes them go together. Dr. Marcia Pelchat, Monell Chemical Senses Center, will also be participating.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Exton Square Mall is getting a "taproom"?

This one is for the locals — northern Chester County, Pa. locals, that is.

I'd heard whispers a while ago about something "beer-related" going in the vacated Houlihan's space in the Exton Square Mall. Now, I see that it's the Brewstone Beer Company, proclaimed a restaurant and taproom. But, don't let the name fool you, they're not making their own beer there.

Doing no other research than a quick perusal of the corporate website, it looks to be offering up standard, well I suppose Houlihan-ish type, fare. The beers run the gamut of very-very-standard/bland to sort-of-scratching-the-surface of craft-adventure.

Perfect scenario would be if they realize, beer-wise, that the Philly regional market is a bit to the right of the curve when it comes beer. The imperfect scenario will be if they're merely attempting to capitalize on the craft beer "wave" by incorporating "beer company" into their name.

The only other location appears to be in Indianapolis (1/2 hour north of downtown) with one on the way in each western PA and Ohio. Apparently, the one in Indianapolis only opened in the past few months and is boasting at least 50 beers on tap. At least one source claims perhaps up to 120?

Anyone know something more about this?

Cast your votes for Best of the Philly Beer Scene

You've got a few days left if you've not yet cast your votes for the Best of the Philly Beer Scene.

If you have ever benefited from the 7 years of information at The Brew Lounge that I've collected and shared with you from around Philadelphia, the country, and sometimes even the world or like what I do at The Washington Times,

then please consider ticking my name as Best Beer Writer.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tired Hands, Construction Update #4


As is the way with many new breweries today, Tired Hands has worked the social (and free) media quite well to its advantage.

Owner Jean Broillet has kept up via a website/blog and Facebook with details and pictures of his progress from various assistant brewer/cellarman/server positions to owner of a barn-kept brewery to proud proprietor of a suburban brew cafe, due to open (pending final inspections, of course) sometime around the middle of May.

Jean posted two days ago just how very close he is to opening the doors of his dream to share with all.

I'll be away during that time and Broillet mentioned that he won't be able to hold back the opening until I return, so I stopped in this past weekend for a last look. Though, with the Cricket Lane festival on 4/28, I may yet get one more last look with even more final-looking pictures to share with you.

To keep this brief — I know how many of you snicker in my attempts to do so — I'll leave you with my impression that this will be one of the Philadelphia area's most comfortable meeting places for socializing amongst friends, noshing on small plates of honest food, and downing some high-quality beers - particularly Saisons.

Jean and his core team (Collin Farrell- (mostly) of Iron Hill and Manayunk fame, Jeff McCracken- recently departed Manayunk Brewery after a few years of solid service helping turn around their reputation, and Colin "The Magick Man") have all been working tirelessly at creating a very warm, comfortable, and inviting space.

This should be no where more evident than in the second floor space, with plenty of exposed brick and ceiling, handcrafted tap handles, and repurposed barn beams and staircases in a bar area that might have turned out to be double the original anticipated size. Once finished, I think many of you will agree that this is the perfect hideaway from the troubles of the outside world.

They've also been brewing up a storm in the rear of the long cafe space with the "typical" Chico-based fermentations taking place on the first/main floor and the "funky Saison"-based fermentations being secluded in the basement where all kinds of wonderful things can happen. They've just brewed the 10th batch of beer, Tabel ("a riff on a wit bier and brewed with lemon verbena and green peppercorns") and also have a batch of FarmHands Saison bubbling away in the brewhouse.

Tactile will be served at the Ardmore festival on the 28th, so you'll have one more chance to try this beer before you'll have the pleasure of sitting at his cafe on Ardmore Avenue. Jean describes the Tactile as an "exceedingly aromatic rye-based pale ale". I had a chance to try it at the 2nd anniversary party of Station Taproom in Downingtown, Pa. just this past weekend and I think that many will find this to be quite a pleasant and refreshing 5%-ish beer. And, if you define your session (yes, you're allowed to do that all by yourself — I'm an Oxford Comma guy too, whatchya gonna do?!) in the 5% range as I do, then you'll be likely to see many of these disappearing over the course of a night spent at the future Tired Hands.

Enough for now. Check out the pictures. Follow Tired Hands as they come down the home stretch and welcome them to Ardmore.

Oh, yes and that one more thing (Columbo reference?). If you want to get in on the ground floor and say that you were a part of getting Tired Hands up and running, Jean mentioned that Believer's Club memberships are still available to those that wouldn't mind being a part of the club, receive its benefits, and drink beer at a prepaid discount. Check out the link with all the details.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekly Brew Bits Update: 4/23/12

Some brew bits and bytes from the past week or so that you may have missed and may find interesting.

PHILADELPHIA
~ My 2012 Philly Beer Run is back again this year for Philly Beer Week as a real, and an official, 5-K race — the 5-K Dock Street Philly Beer Run. This excites me, as many of you can imagine. And, I hope you're excited enough as well to sign up and join the fun on June 10, 2012.

~ Ortlieb's is back.....as a Lounge. You know we like Lounges around here at The Brew Lounge.

~ Speaking of Lounges. Last Monday, I was at the release event in the Swann Lounge for the next Dock Street/Four Seasons Hotel collaboration beer, Caliente Golden Ale. I proclaimed it pretty gosh darn good. So did Rich Isaacs, who was also in attendance and wrote about it.

EASTERN PA, NJ, DE, AND OTHER NEARBY PARTS OF MID-ATLANTIC
~ Susquehanna Brewing Company gets things underway in the brewhouse, with a target to open in May 2012.

~ Suburban Beer Week, in the vicinity of 19468, is off and running. See my posting from a few days ago which has a full schedule of tasty events at Craft Ale House, French Quarter Bistro, Lucky Lab Tavern, and Railroad Street Bar & Grille.

~ I haven't talked all that much about the Flying Fish expansion in New Jersey because, well to be honest, it's a bit of hike from where I am on the map, but primarily because Jeff Linkous does a fine job at keeping us up-to-date. Now he's got some more expansion news from a younger brewery, Cape May Brewing Company, further southeast Down-the-Shore and their expansion plans.


THE REST OF PLANET BEER
~ Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week is underway just in time for Penguins and their fans to drown their sorrows.

~ And now for your healthy dose of laughter...or if you need to scratch your head. I can't imagine anyone getting wealthy off this invention, but who knows.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

5-K Dock Street Philly Beer Run set for June 10, 2012

Over these past four years of Philly Beer Week, some of you may know of my desire to turn the annual Philly Beer Run that I've done with Dock Street Brewing Company into a real honest-to-goodness, bona fide race.

Today, after months of planning, Dock Street and I made the announcement public of our Dock Street Philly Beer Run for the last day of Philly Beer Week. What better way to cap off ten days of PBW debauchery than with a 5-K race?

Well, how does a free music festival that this year will feature headlining acts O'Death and Hoots & Hellmouth sound?

Each registered runner gets a pint glass, snacks, and free beer/pizza coupons to be used during the music festival. Here are all the details following below.

And, click here for the all-important link to get yourself registered and a free event t-shirt if you're one of the first 50 registrants.


June 10, 2012
On-Site Registration Opens @ 12:00 PM, Race Starts @ 2:00 PM
Packet pickup at Philadelphia Runner University City on Saturday June 9.

Celebrate Philly Beer Week by running in the annual Dock Street Philly Beer Run.

This year’s beer run promises to be better than ever as Bryan Kolesar of The Brew Lounge returns as Race Director for a 5-K race beginning and ending at Dock Street Brewing Company in University City.

All runners receive a token limited-edition Dock Street pint glass, refreshments from Vita Coco, and food/beer coupons. Plus, a free Dock Street Philly Beer Run t-shirt to the first 50 registered runners.

Beer prizes to top finishers and much more followed by the Annual Free Dock Street Music Festival featuring amazing local music including O'Death and headliner Hoots & Hellmouth!

A portion of the proceeds benefit Cedar Park Neighbors Scholarship Fundraiser.

Official B-Tag timing and race management by Run the Day.

Visit dockstreetbeer.com for all the details.

https://www.runtheday.com/app/find/register/841

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: April 19 - April 25

No time for my superlatives this week. The calendar speaks for itself.

Check out the entire April 2012 calendar over here.

If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, let me know.
Brewery Promos and Samplings
@Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/20 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Oskar Blues beer)

@Cavanaugh's Rittenhouse, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/20 - Brew & Chew with Arcadia Ales (7:00pm-9:00pm; $20 for a 4-course, 2-hour craft beer open bar where we will pair four Arcadia Ales Craft Beers with four different dishes.)

@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 4/19 - Rich & Dan's Rye IPA (9:00pm-11:00pm; $PAYG for this new hoppy delight from Harpoon)

@Craft Beer Outlet, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/20 - Beer Sampling (5:00pm-7:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Sierra Nevada beer)

@Goshen Beverage, West Chester, Pa.--- Fri. 4/20 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Ruckus beer)

@Iron Hill Brewery, North Wales, Pa.--- Fri. 4/20 - Earth Day Beer Release (5:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG for the release of Something Hoppy, Honey. American-style Double IPA with a full bodied malt flavor that balances the strong citrus flavor and aroma.)

@Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/20 - Dogfish Head Ballroom Blitz (4:00pm; $PAYG for Namaste, Ta Henket, Chateau Jiahu, Pangaea, Faithfull Ale, and Aprihop)

@Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa.--- Fri. 4/20 - Third Friday Firkin Fest (11:30am; $PAYG for Chester County Bitter, Chester County Brown, and the debut of Brewer's Select Zythos Pale Ale.)

@The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 4/21 - Earth Day with Long Trail (7:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG to celebrate Earth Day with Long Trail Brewing. Buy a pint of Long Trail, keep the glass, plus a seedling to plant.)

@Tria, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/20 - The British Invasion (6:30pm-8:00pm; $60 as Rich Morillo from DiBruno Bros. and Daniel Endicott from Forest & Main lead attendees through a tour of beer and cheese from both sides of the pond)


"Takeovers", Debuts, Festivals, and other noteworthy events
@4 Fun Bars of the 19468--- Mon. 4/23-Sun. 4/29 - Suburban Beer Week 19468 ($PAYG and see individual bar websites for all the details: Craft Ale House; French Quarter Bistro; Lucky Lab Tavern; Railroad Street Bar & Grill)

@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 4/21 - BeerBQ Spring Festival (12:00pm-4:00pm; $TBD for all-you-can-eat barbecue, Great Lakes beer, and live music by Red Team Go On The Patio)

@Hulmeville Inn, Hulmeville, Pa.--- Thu. 4/19 - Stoudt's firkin and tap takeover ($PAYG for a lineup due to include Fat Dog Stout, '10 Old Abominable, House Fest, Rauschbier, Abbey Double, Abbey Tripel, Pils, Scarlet Lady, Gold Lager, Double IPA, and APA)

@Memphis Taproom, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 4/21 - 4th Anniversary & Opening of Beer Garden ($PAYG for Beer, hot dogs, and good times for all)

@Station Taproom, Downingtown, Pa.--- Sat. 4/21 - 2nd Anniversary Party (12:00pm; $PAYG for great times and a list of beers like Tröegs Nugget Nectar, Russian River Pliny the Elder, Russian River Supplication, Russian River Temptation, Ithaca Flower Power (firkin), Founders Backwoods Bastard, Port Older Viscosity and more beers from Jolly Pumpkin, Hill Farmstead, Tired Hands, and Victory)

@The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 4/21 - Long Trail Tap Takeover (7:00pm-9:00pm; $15 gets you unlimited refills and you keep the glass)

@The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/20 - 420: Everybody Must Drink Stone (7:00pm-10:00pm; $PAYG for Citruelle Celeste de Citracado, '11 Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout, Vertical Epic 11-11-11, and Arrogant Bastard)

@TIME, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Mon. 4/23 - Mutha Firkin Monday (6:00pm; $PAYG for a special firkin from Southampton Brewing)


Food and Beer events
@JG Domestic, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 4/25 - Sly Fox Beer Dinner & Crawfish Boil (6:30pm; $55 for a memorable meal to be served with Pikeland Pils, Royal Weisse, Ichor, Dunkel Lager, Saison Vos, Black Raspberry Reserve)

@Stewart's Brewing Company, Bear, Del.--- Wed. 4/25 - Brewer's Dinner ($40 for a four-course meal paired with Wind Blown Blonde Kölsch, Columbus IPA, Abbey Hoffman Abbey Dubbel, '11 Barleywine)


Homebrewing, Charity, and Education
@Iron Hill, Phoenixville, Pa. Tue. 4/24 - Main Line Animal Rescue, Give 20 ($PAYG and use the coupon from the MLAR website)

@Keystone Homebrew, Bethlehem & Montgomeryville, Pa.--- throughout Mar. '12 - Beer Making, Cheese Making, and Wine Making classes (See website for all the class details)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Beer Week in the Philly Suburbs, April 23 - April 29

The 19468 is getting its own Beer Week. Other suburban areas around Philly may want to consider the same.

I've become a bit more certain over the past year or so about tightening down Philly Beer Week to be enclosed strictly within the city border. On one hand, through the years I've been fond of defining the Philly beer landscape extending from Harrisburg to Cape May and the Lehigh Valley to Delaware.

But, for the magnitude of Philly Beer Week, that definition is just not practical. It seems to make more sense to draw some lines in terms of who can participate and how far visiting brewers/owners/reps must be flung to undertake special events during Philly Beer Week.

This keeps everyone from Montgomeryville to Wilmington to Limerick out of the mix, but you know what? They're gonna do just fine without whatever modest bump they might see from the special PBW event(s) they would conduct.

So here we have four bars within a few miles or so of each other in the shadows of the Limerick cooling towers in the western Philly exurbs. They have loyal followings (some may say rabid — in a good way, of course) and typically carry an above-average selection of beer.

The schedule has beefed up to a solid looking list of events where the participating foursome — Craft Ale House, French Quarter Bistro, Lucky Lab Tavern, and Railroad Street Bar & Grille — are cooperating to bring their customers the best that seven days of beer events in the 'burbs can offer.

Check out the list below. And, by all means, please be safe out there. Philly Beer Week works very well because, for one (really significant) thing, there are plenty of public transportation options, taxis, and sidewalks to keep revelers from getting behind the wheel. Again, use your best adult judgement.

Monday, April 23, 5 p.m. — at Craft Ale House — Dogfish Head Tap Takeover
Beers on Tap from Dogfish Head: 60 Minute IPA ('12); 75 Minute IPA firkin ('12); 90 Minute IPA ('12); Aprihop ('12); Black & Blue ('11); Fort ('11); Immort Ale ('11); Indian Brown Ale ('12); Midas Touch ('12); My Antonia ('12); Namaste ('11); Old School Barleywine ('12); Palo Santo Marron ('11); Red & White ('11); Sah'tea ('11); Saison Du BUFF ('12); and World Wide Stout ('08, '09, '10, '11).
Tuesday, April 24, 6 p.m. — at French Quarter Bistro — Clown Shoes Brewing Tasting

Wednesday April 25, 5 p.m. — at All Four Locations — IPA & Cajun Throwdown, Host Choice IPA Event paired with "Cajun Style Tapas"
Go for a short drive to each bar (they are all very close) and get involved as they all host a Throwdown Challenge. You be the judge as each place offers their best Cajun-inspired dish with a 5 ounce pour of an IPA of their choosing (something good, don’t worry). You will receive a card that will get stamped when you order the pairing, take it with you to the next place and get stamped again. Only those cards with all four bar stamps will qualify to pick the winner of the throwdown.
Thursday, April 26, 6 p.m. — at French Quarter Bistro — Fruit Beer/Chocolate Beer Tasting

Friday, April 27, 4 p.m. — at Lucky Lab Tavern — Tröegs Tasting and Firkin Event

Saturday, April 28, 2 p.m. — at Railroad Street Bar & Grille — Spotlight on Colorado Breweries: Boulder, Avery, Left Hand, Breckenridge, Great Divide, and more

Sunday, April 29, 5 p.m. — at Craft Ale House — Last Call: "Barrel-aged" Beer & Food Pairing Dinner
Reservations required for this five-course meal paired with unique barrel-aged beers. Beers scheduled to include: Goose Island Sofie; Allagash Curieux; North Coast Grand Cru; Lost Abbey The Angel's Share ('09); and Russian River Consecration ('09). Doors open at 5 p.m. Dinner served at 6 p.m. $75 per person. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Humane Society of Berks County

See each establishment's webpage or social media account for up-to-date details.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dock Street and Four Seasons Hotel are en fuego with Caliente Golden Ale


Now I shouldn't suggest that the latest in the series of collaborative brewing between the hotel's kitchen and the West Philly brewhouse is overly spicy.

Layered right through the beer, though, is a noticeable pepper spice kick that catches you ever-so-pleasantly in the finish. A bit more noticeable, in my opinion, than the last beer they did together, the Truffled Old Ale, which was a delight all of its own but a bit more subtle.

And that has been the common thread between the first two beers in this seasonal collaboration series, a deft balance of potentially strong flavors that still allows the beer to first and foremost be a beer.


Last night, the hotel at Logan Square hosted Dock Street to unveil the new Caliente Golden Ale. Rosemarie Certo (owner), Scott Morrison (brewer), and Marilyn Candeloro (sales, marketing, and public relations) were all on hand to share the new beer and its background.

The beer, at roughly 7.5%, gets some of its ABV kick from the highly fermentable blue agave nectar which leaves barely any hint of sweetness. The pepper heat comes from Guajillo and Ancho chiles on which the beer "rested" for a few weeks.

For the release event last night, the kitchen whipped up some perfect accompaniments in the form of a citrusy shrimp ceviche and adobo chicken soft tacos.


Fifteen cases are available at the hotel where I suggest you stop by for a try. At $14 per 750mL bottle, it is quite the reasonable offer and you get to experience one of the city's finest hotel restaurants/bars.

More of this second beer made it through production than the first, so if you care to try it on draft, Dock Street will have a limited amount of it as well at its 50th/Baltimore location.

You'll want to get this one while you can, because the third in the series — the summer seasonal — is just around the corner.

They're not ready to talk publicly about the brew yet, which gets underway this week. But, I've got some inside scoop where I'm safe to say that it should turn out to be a refreshingly flavorful beer (and, dare I say the word "session" without giving too much away?) perfect for a hot summer June 8 release during Philly Beer Week at one of the planned Four Seasons beer garden/brewery promo events.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Weekly Brew Bits Update: 4/16/12

Another round of interesting bits of brewing news from the Philadelphia area and beyond.

PHILADELPHIA
~ From the solid Philadelphia region Metropolis, read through this article about tea drinkers and see how many times you find yourself substituting the word beer.

~ A nice piece of tourism business drummed up with William Reed of the way-awesome Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda's, two establishments that stand alone in Philly. Shame on you if you've never been.

~ I love these little snippets from Uwishunu. Here's another one, this time featuring Home Sweet Home Brew's Nancy Rigberg...sharing what is also one of the city's secrets that I too share with friends and tourists. Kids love it too.

~ Another "beer garden". I guess now that gastropubs have peaked, we've moved on to beer gardens. A comment found buried within the link was a reference to how Delaware Avenue doesn't look anything like it did to 30-year-olds or 40-year-olds many years ago. Really? Again, call me a unappreciative 40-year-old cynic, but have you seen Delaware Avenue lately? That's a curious spin. What, I ask, happened to the Vision?

~ There's a big championship bike race in Philly too. Maybe New Belgium would like to come for that?

EASTERN PA, NJ, DE, AND OTHER NEARBY PARTS OF MID-ATLANTIC
~ Well, duh. It certainly helps, I'd imagine, that they have one of the best supermarket beer selections as well...and in-store pubs....management that respects and appreciates staff and customers. Wegmans, yes Wegmans is tops, no doubt.

~ The West Chester Beer Ladies got together with Iron Hill in West Chester to brew their Sparrow Saison which will be unveiled May 10 at the pub.

~ It's Dogfish Head and since it was not uploaded on 4/1, I can only assume that this informercial offering is true. Fun and worth your click.

~ Last night, Lew Bryson snuck out a recap of Session Beer Day.

THE REST OF PLANET BEER
~ If you haven't heard the story of Wendy Littlefield and Don Fienberg at Vanberg & DeWulf before, GreatBrewers.com has an article worth reading up on its site.

~ Interesting article with meaningful points to ponder about drinking habits.

~ It's getting more difficult to stand out and survive in the craft brewing world. Here's an interesting take on parallels in the wine world and how they could take cues from the beer industry.

~ And the big micros keep getting bigger. First it was Sierra Nevada, Victory, and New Belgium. Now comes Lagunitas' big announcement.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: April 12 - April 18

Easter has passed, so has baseball's opening day. The cherry blossoms have come and gone, but the beer calendar rocks on. Here's a look at the next seven days in and around the wonderful beer region of Philadelphia.

Check out the entire April 2012 calendar over here.

If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, let me know.
Brewery Promos and Samplings
@Barcade, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 4/12 - Sly Fox Night (4:00pm; $PAYG for a sick lineup of healthy beer from Sly Fox like: Belgian Blonde, Belgian Dubbel, Dunkel Lager, Foxtrack Ale, Gang Aft Agley Scotch, Helles Lager, Oatmeal Stout, Odyssey Imperial IPA, O’Reilly’s Irish Stout, Phoenix Pale, Pikeland Pils, Pughtown Porter, Route 113 IPA, Royal Weiss, Saison Brune, and Seamus Irish Red)

@Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa.--- Fri. 4/13 - Friday Night Sampling (5:00pm-7:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Southampton beers)

@Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/13 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; $Free tsting samples of Old Dominion beers)

@Craft Beer Outlet, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/13 - Beer Sampling (5:00pm-7:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Sly Fox beers)

@Goshen Beverage, West Chester, Pa.--- Fri. 4/13 - Friday Night Tasting (5:00pm-7:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Great Lakes beers)

@Hulmeville Inn, Hulmeville, Pa.--- Thu. 4/12 - Central Waters Night ($PAYG for drafts of Brewhouse Coffee Stout, Glacial Trail IPA, Illumination Double IPA, Peruvian Morning (BBl aged Brewhouse), and Bourbon Barrel Stout. Bottles of Bourbon-barrel Barleywine and Bourbon-barrel Cherry Stout)

@Iron Hill, Media, Pa.--- Thu. 4/12 - Patio Opening Luau (5:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG to usher in Spring with the opening of our patio! We’re bringing the islands to Media with luau-themed food features, best Hawaiian dressed contest, and hourly raffles for Mug Club members. On tap will be a special Chocolate-Coconut Belgian Single, a 4.8% ABV Belgian single brewed and aged on chocolate and roasted coconut chips.)

@Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 4/12 - Happy Hour with Flying Fish Brewing Co. (5:00pm-7:00pm; $PAYG for your first taste of Farmhouse Summer Ale (firkin tapping at 5 p.m.) for the season, Exit 8 (Chestnut Brown Ale), Exit 4 (American Tripel), Extra Pale Ale, and Hopfish IPA)

@Revolution House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 4/12 - Flying Fish "Buy The Glass" Night (7:00pm-9:00pm; $12 for two hours of unlimited Flying Fish drafts, bar snacks and a Flying Fish pint glass. We will be featuring Flying Fish E.S.B., Hopfish IPA, & Farmhouse Summer Ale Seasonal.)

@The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 4/14 - Tröegs Beer Sampling (6:00pm-8:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Tröegs beers)

@Wegmans, Malvern, Pa.--- Sun. 4/15 - Beer Sampling (1:00pm-4:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Flying Fish beers)


"Takeovers", Debuts, Festivals, and other noteworthy events
@Cannstatter Volksfest Verein, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 4/14 - Bockbierfest (6:00pm-11:00pm; $10/$25 for unlimited Maibock beer, music, dancing, food, and prizes.)

@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 4/21 - BeerBQ Spring Festival (12:00pm-4:00pm; $45 for all-you-can-eat Barbeque, Great Lakes Brews, and Live Music by Red Team Go on the Patio!)

@Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, Del.--- Thu. 4/12 - Brews & Bowties (6:00pm-9:00pm; $60 to sample specialty beers from the region's finest craft breweries, nosh on tasty hors d'oeuvres, listen or dance to live music, and, if you like, learn how to tie a bowtie like a proper socialite. All net ticket sales are donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.)

@Fingers Wings and Other Things, Conshohocken, Pa.--- Wed. 4/18 - Sam Adams Tap Takeover (6:00pm; $PAYG for some of the rare limited release beers from this pioneering craft brewer and some of their now classic beers. You can also count on some tasty Sam Adams inspired treats from the FWOT kitchen. Griffin’s Bow Oaked Blond Barleywine, Imperial White Double White Ale, New World Belgian Tripel, Chocolate Bock, Cherry Wheat, Boston Lager, Summer Ale, and more)

@Iron Hill, West Chester, Pa.--- Sat. 4/14 - The West Chester Beer Ladies brew day (9:00am-3:00pm; $PAYG as the West Chester Beer Ladies have their opportunity to brew their collaboration beer with the crew at Iron Hill in West Chester.)

@Manayunk Brewery, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 4/28 - 14th Annual Brew Fest (1:00pm-5:00pm; $25/$45 for two dozen breweries and over 50 craft beers all outside on the banks of the Schuylkill River.)

@Monk's Café, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Mon. 4/16 - Mad Monday with Duvel/Ommegang (11:30am; $PAYG for Duvel Single, Ommegang Hennepin, Ommegang Aphodite, and Ommegang Seduction. PLUS, Tickets to our Sierra Nevada / Russian River dinner also go on sale at 11:30 today.)

@The Drafting Room, Exton, Pa.--- Sat. 4/14 - Southern Tier Brewery Promotion (12:00pm; $PAYG for Iniquity Imperial Black Ale, Imperial Choklat, Unearthly Imperial IPA, Oak Aged Pumking, Gemini, Imperial Oat, Eurotrash Pilz, Oak Aged Backburner, and a firkin of 2 XIPA)
@The Drafting Room, Exton, Pa.--- Wed. 4/18 - Firkin' Off, Tale of the Tape (6:45pm; $PAYG for a matchup of Sly Fox Brewer’s Select Zythos and Victory HopDevil)

@The Four Seasons Hotel, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Mon. 4/16 - A Beer Four All Seasons (6:00pm; $PAYG for the latest in the collaboration series with the prestigious hotel, a Caliente Golden Ale brewed with Agave Nectar and chiles.)

@The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/13 - Friday the Firkinteenth (12:00pm; $PAYG for the one and truly only celebration of cask beer on every Friday the 13th.)

@TJ's, Paoli, Pa.--- Tue. 4/10-Sat. 4/14 - Featured Brewery Week ($PAYG for Southern Tier's Gemini, Unearthly, Oak Aged Unearthly, Iniquity, Oak Aged Back Burner, Oak Aged Pumking, Choklat, Oat, 2XIPA, and IPA)


Food and Beer events
@Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, Pa.--- Tue. 4/17 - Love Thy Neighbor (Weyerbacher) Beer Dinner (7:00pm-10:00pm; $50/$95 for a four-course meal paired with Weyerbacher's Blanche, Slam Dunkel, Heresy, and Fifteen and Fegley’s Brew Works' Space Monkey, Chain Link Pilsener, Black Friday Bourbon Barrel Wee Heavy, and Smoked Doppelbock)

@Eclat Chocolate, West Chester, Pa.--- Fri. 4/13 - Eclat Chocolate & Beer tutored pairings (6:30pm, 8:30pm; $45 for four delectable pairings)

@Iron Abbey, Horsham, Pa.--- Wed. 4/18 - Avery Beer Dinner (7:00pm; $60 for a five-course meal paired with White Rascal, Ellie's Old Brown, The Maharaja, Salvation, and The Czar)

@Iron Hill, Chestnut Hill, Pa.--- Fri. 4/13 - Beer & Cheese Pairings (5:00pm-8:00pm; $PAYG four of our beers with cheese selections from Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop located just across Germantown Avenue.)

@Lemon Hill, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Mon. 4/16 - Brooklyn Brewery Tap Takeover and Beer Dinner (5:00pm, 6:30pm, 8:30pm; $PAYG for happy hour and $60 for a happy hour and two dinner seatings featuring Brooklyn Brewery's Dry Irish Stout, Mary's Maple Porter, Sorachi Ace, Pennant Ale '55, Summer Ale, and Brooklyner Weisse and Local 1 and Local 2 bottles)

@Philadelphia Brewing Company, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/13 - Greensgrow Farms Whole Hog (6:00pm-9:00pm; $50/$75 for an expansive whole hog head-to-tail buffet menu from local Riverward restaurants and chefs and includes vegetarian options and dessert. The meal will be accompanied by some of Philadelphia's finest beers on tap, wine, and live swing/rockabilly band-Delco Nightingale.)

@Tria, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/20 - The British Invasion (6:30pm-8:00pm; $60 for British-style and British-inspired ales presented by Daniel Endicott, co-brewer/owner of Ambler, PA's brand new Forest & Main Brewing Company and cheeses presented by Rich Morillo from Di Bruno Bros.)

@Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, Pa.--- Mon. 4/16 - Girls Just Wanna Have Suds: Beer & Cheese (6:00pm; $30 to hang out with local women cheese makers and a few other guests to bring you a ladies-only night complete with appetizers available early on and plenty of beer and cheese to sample and discuss.)


Trying to turn the Phils first week around
@Iron Hill, West Chester, Pa.--- Mon. 4/9 through Sun. 4/15 - Phightin Phils Home Opener Week ($PAYG for Phillies-inspired, Beers and Dogs all week long. Eight special beers inpired by and named for the team’s starting lineup will be on tap along with seven Ballpark style 1/4 pound dogs.)


Homebrewing and Education
@Drink Philly, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 4/12 - Skillshare Class: Become One With Your Beer (7:00pm-8:30pm; $25 to be led through the steps of beer tasting, sampling a variety of different styles and labels. We’ll discuss how to review a beer, how to store your brews, and what “ABV” means. We’ll also offer a general overview of beer terminology, and provide a guide to “Never Drinking Skunked Beer Again.”)

@Keystone Homebrew, Bethlehem & Montgomeryville, Pa.--- throughout Mar. '12 - Beer Making, Cheese Making, and Wine Making classes (See website for all the class details)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Victory collaborates with German hop farmers on Terroir des Tettnangs

Some of the more astute of you out there may take on look at this title and wonder what kind of a time warp you're in. Yes, this event did occur over two months ago. And, yes, I am just sharing it with you all now.

The full writeup is over in The Communities section of The Washington Times.

More pictures are included here in the space below.








Monday, April 09, 2012

Weekly Brew Bits Update: 4/9/12

Here's what you might have missed out on over the past week or two in the great big wide world of beer.

PHILADELPHIA
~ The last two years, a non-blogger won for "Best Beer Blogger" in the annual Philly Beer Scene awards. Now the category is "Best Beer Writer"; I can only imagine how this will go. I am humbled to be nominated in a group of deserving folks. If you think what I do adds value and betters the Philly beer scene (lower case), then I would be honored if you Voted For Me. Here's a link to the poll.

~ German is as Brauhaus Schmitz does on South Street. No other purported German joint in the Philly region compares.

~ Ryan Hudak, of In Search Of Beer, went to the Yards Real Ale Invitational a couple of weeks back and liked what he tasted. Though, he would have liked more food stations and few less ABVs or ounces, or both.

~ You know I love Philly, but, c'mon, did you really expect New Belgium to locate in the city not exactly known for innovation, forward-thinking, can-do attitude, make-it-happen-now, cooperation (see: Convention Center, Delaware Avenue, or myriad other undertakings too lengthy to list here), etc.? Doing business in the City is not for the faint of heart, or impatient. Philadelphia Business Journal, amongst many others, reported the news this week.

EASTERN PA, NJ, DE, AND OTHER NEARBY PARTS OF MID-ATLANTIC
~ Forest & Main officially opens to the public on Friday, April 13. I wouldn't blame you if you missed my announcement this past holiday weekend.

~ Jeff Linkous shares the comings along of Flying Fish's big plans just across the bridges in New Jersey.

~ Jack Curtin brings us up-to-speed on Sly Fox's construction progress this side of the river, actually all the way out in Pottstown. Though, I guess if you live in Pottstown, it's really not "all the way out there", now is it?

~ Suburban Beer Week 19468, April 23 to 29

THE REST OF PLANET BEER
~ I guess this can be filed under "wow", if this is as accruate and complete as they are hoping it is. Seek-A-Brew has put together what could turn out to be a pretty useful (and intuitive, very important) tool for finding beer and how it's distributed around the country. I'd like to see more specific distributor information, but this seems to be a step in the right direction.

~ Love seeing Sprecher Brewery recognizing and taking on this all-too-important topic of physical fitness and obesity (and all-too-often ignored topic while in the pursuit of great beer).

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Forest & Main - Grand Opening 4/13/12

(Apropos sign, though has been there longer than the new arrival, Forest and Main, has been)


Ambler, are you ready?! You've heard about it coming now for over a year. Owner-brewers Daniel Endicott and Gerard Olson have got all of the pre-opening grunt work out of the way and they're now ready to serve you at the intersection of Forest and Main Streets in downtown Ambler, Pa.

I'm pleased to share with you that Forest & Main Brewing Company will be open for business beginning April 13, 2012. Their brewpub creation should evoke the feeling of going to a friend's house for dinner and beers. With two dining/gathering rooms downstairs and two upstairs — not to mention a front porch with trained hop bines and a picnic table in the nicer weather — residents within walking distance should find F&M to be one of the most comfortable pub experiences in the region. Of course, this isn't to say others won't drive to the brewpub, but many will quickly find that this is the kind of neighborhood pub that many wish for in their own community.

Now, I say this without having seen the operation in effect, but with the location, the solid beers, and the ambiance, the guys certainly have a head start at meeting high expectations.

I'll leave the words at that for now. Following below are pictures from my last visit almost two months ago and reviews of three beers that you should find on tap at the pub in the first weeks of operation. Dan and Gerard expect to have eight new brews available when they open the doors on April 13, with the hopes of always keeping the three hand pumps for cask-conditioned beer in use.

THE BEER
(from left: Underground Brown; Kinch The Knifeblade; Poor Yorick)


Underground Brown: A 4% ABV brown ale that busts all dark beer myths. A nice roasted maltiness and a touch of sweetness that is light on the palate helps this beer go down quite easily. Did some say session? Of course they did; that's what the environment at F&M screams for.

Kinch The Knifeblade: The bottle I had was noted estimated at 9% ABV, though the version I had during my last visit was reportedly more like 7% — though somewhere between those two markers is just where you'd expect a double IPA like this one to be. If you like a pleasant citrus bitterness and nice hop aromas, without the weighty feel of a "big" IPA, this might be the one for you.

Poor Yorick: Another 4% ABV beer and much like the Underground Brown in its darkness. Similar in flavor and mouthfeel but with an additional undercurrent of chocolate.

(Exterior of Forest and Main - like you're visiting a friend's house)


(A view from the front porch of Forest and Main)


(From the front door of Forest and Main, you can go left, right, or upstairs)


(The main bar at Forest and Main)


(Gerard Olson, left, and Daniel Endicott are co-owners and brewers)


(One of four dining/gathering rooms)


(Warm colors and decor exudes throughout Forest and Main)


(A view from behind the bar and the three hand pumps that should also be in use)


(Five of the eight anticipated opening day taps)


(A brewhouse where every inch is accounted for)


(A back room of Forest and Main can double as a servers' station as well as spillover for guests who may be waiting for a table)


(Looking toward the front of the house)


(A dining room upstairs will occasionally serve as a room for private parties and beer dinner/special events)


(This barn beam bench looks awfully familiar to me. If you read these pages closely enough, you'll know why)


(More upstairs gathering space at Forest and Main)

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: April 5 - April 11

April's coming in like a lion, or at least it is in terms of the beer event calendar around these Philly parts. Read on...

Check out the entire April 2012 calendar over here.

If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, let me know.
Brewery Promos and Samplings
@Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa.--- Fri. 4/6 - Friday Night Sampling (5:00pm-7:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Evil Genius)

@Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/6 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Bock beers with Joe Sixpack)

@Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, Pa.--- Thu. 4/5 - Charity Cask Night (5:00pm-10:00pm; $PAYG for "Chocolate-covered Cherry Stout", to benefit the March of Dimes organization)

@Blue Dog, Lansdale, Pa.--- Fri. 4/6 - Victory Beer Tasting (6:30pm; $PAYG for Victory Dark Lager, Braumeister Pils, and Ranch R IPA. Buy a pint get a free pint glass.)

@Capone's, Norristown Pa.--- Wed. 4/11 - Anderson Valley meetup (6:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG for a few limited specialities plus some of the usual suspects as the owner of AVBC joins in on the fun.)

@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/6 - Dogfish Head Good Fish Friday (5:00pm; $PAYG for several Dogfish Head seasonals, rarities, and specialties. Dogfish Head's off-centered ales will be complimented by a small bites menu capturing the Goodfish spirit).

@Craft Beer Outlet, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/6 - Beer Sampling (5:00pm-7:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Great Lakes)

@Earth Bread + Brewery, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 4/5 - Keep the Pint Night (4:30pm; $PAYG for a night of Alesmith beers and glassware to take home)

@Iron Hill Brewery, Media, Pa.--- Fri. 4/6 - Firkin Friday (5:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG for a cask of Irish Red Ale, hopped with Citra)

@Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa.--- Fri. 4/6 - Incubus Friday (11:30am; $PAYG for draught version of Sly Fox's incredible Belgian-style Tripel pours until the keg kicks, usually by 7pm.)

@Trolley Car Diner, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/6 - First Friday Free Tasting (5:30pm-7:30pm; $Free tasting samples of Lancaster Brewing beers)


"Takeovers", Debuts, Festivals, and other events with gusto
@Ethical Society of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 4/5 - Brews & Bowties (6:00pm-9:00pm; $60 to sample specialty beers from the region's finest craft breweries, nosh on tasty hors d'oeuvres, listen or dance to live music, and, if you like, learn how to tie a bowtie like a proper socialite. All net ticket sales are donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.)

@Pinocchio's, Media, Pa.--- Thu. 4/5 - Victory Tap Takeover (7:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG for Ranch R, St. Boisterous, Éclat Lager, and several more)

@Tatooed Mom's, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 4/7 - Split Thy Skull (1:00pm-5:00pm; $PAYG for this annual day of pre-Easter excess focused primarily on barleywines.)

@The Belgian Café, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 4/11 - Four draft night with Dogfish Head (4:00pm; $PAYG)

@The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/6 - Get Your Goat On (6:00pm-8:00pm; $PAYG for the super-rare Genny Bock as well as Genny 12 Horse Ale bottles, one of the original good beers back in those dark days before microbrews, Genny Cream Ale bottles, and Genessee lager bottles too.)
@The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 4/6 - Sixpoint Sabotage (8:00pm-10:00pm; $PAYG for Sixpoint Diesel, Bengali Tiger, Harbinger Saison, Mad Scientist Cran-Porter, Mad Scientist, and more.)

@The Trestle Inn, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Tue. 4/10 - Miss Sweet Action with Sixpoint Brewery (7:00pm; $PAYG for what promises to be a memorable event)

@TJ's, Paoli, Pa.--- Tue. 4/10-Sat. 4/14 - Featured Brewery Week (Southern Tier) ($PAYG for Gemini, Unearthly, Oak Aged Unearthly, Iniquity, Oak Aged Back Burner, Oak Aged Pumking, Choklat, Oat, 2XIPA, and IPA)

@Union Jack's on the Manatawny, Boyertown, Pa.--- Sat. 4/7 - Easter Hopfest (11:00am; $PAYG for Avery Maharajah, Ballast Point Sculpin, Bell's Hopslam, Clown Shoes Supa Hero, Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree, Firestone Walker Double Jack, Founders Double Trouble, Ithaca Flower Power, Moylan's Hopsickle, Russian River Blind Pig, Russian River Pliny the Elder, Sixpoint Resin, Terrapin Hopzilla, Victory Ranch R, Wild Onion Hop Slayer, and a firkin of Firestone Walker Union Jack)

Food and Beer events
@Crest Tavern, Wildwood Crest, NJ--- Sat. 4/7 - Spring Craft Beer Tasting (12:00pm-4:00pm; $25 for tastings from at least a dozen different breweries and beer distributors)

@Leaf Cigar Bar, Easton, Pa.--- Wed. 4/11 - Weyerbacher Beer Dinner (6:00pm-9:00pm; $69.99 for a four-course meal paired with Verboten, Merry Monks, Heresy, Insanity, and Riserva)

@Monk's Café, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Tue. 4/10 - The Beers of the Cellar (7:00pm; $95 for a beer dinner that will feature from among the following: 1987 JW Lees Harvest Ale, 1996 Samichlaus, 1996 Cantillon Iris, 1997 Liefmans Kriek, 1998 Dupont Avec Les Bon Veoux, 1999 Victory Old Horizontal, 1999 Chimay Grand Reserve, 1999 Cidre Bouchre De Normande, 2004 Cantillon Grand Cru, 2007 Cantillon Kriek, and/or Port Brewing Mother of All Beer)

@Rino's Restaurant & Pizzeria, Exton, Pa.--- Thu. 4/5 - Magic Hat Beer Dinner (6:00pm-9:00pm; $35 for a five-course meal paired with beers from Magic Hat)

@The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 4/11 - Quizzo Game Night (7:00pm-10:00pm; $PAYG for Beer and Food specials during Quizzo night)

@Tria, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 4/5 - Ice, Ice (Baby) Beer (6:30pm-8:00pm; $55 for great beers that undergo "fractional freezing," meaning they're brewed in the usual manner and then chilled to 24 to 28 degrees. Tom Baker will take us on four Earth beers in both before and after guises. Plus we'll throw in a German Eisbock, the style that inspired this whole creative adventure.)

POSTPONED UNTIL MAY '12 @Valley Tavern, (inside the Valley Forge Casino Resort) King of Prussia, Pa.--- Tue. 4/10 - Guinness Beer Dinner (6:00pm-9:00pm; $TBD for a four-course meal paired with Smithwick's, Harp, Guinness, and Black Lager.)


Baseball season here again
@The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 4/5 - Sunshine Pils and Phils (1:35pm; $PAYG for the Fightin' Phils on our all of our TVs, $3 cans of Pikeland Pils, Hot Dog specials, and Sly Fox giveaways.)

@Iron Hill, North Wales, Pa.--- Thu. 4/5 - Phightin Phils Season Opener (12:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG for the special release “So Cuttered” Hoppy Wheat for Mug Club Members only and enjoy it with one of our specially-prepared “Phillies inspired” hot dogs.)
@Iron Hill, Lancaster, Pa.--- Thu. 4/5 - Phightin Phils Season Opener (12:00pm-5:00pm; $PAYG for the newly-released Phightin Phils Pils and specially-prepared “Phillies inspired” hot dogs.)
@Iron Hill, Wilmington, Del.--- Thu. 4/5 - Phightin Phils Season Opener (12:00pm-5:00pm; $PAYG for the newly-released Phightin Phils Pils and specially-prepared “Phillies inspired” hot dogs.)
@Iron Hill, West Chester, Pa.--- Mon. 4/9 through Sun. 4/15 - Phightin Phils Home Opener Week ($PAYG for Phillies-inspired, Beers and Dogs all week long. Eight special beers inpired by and named for the team’s starting lineup will be on tap along with seven Ballpark style 1/4 pound dogs.)


Homebrewing and Education
@Keystone Homebrew, Bethlehem & Montgomeryville, Pa.--- throughout Mar. '12 - Beer Making, Cheese Making, and Wine Making classes (See website for all the class details)

@Resurrection Ale House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 4/11 - Monthly Beer School (4:00pm; $Free for some in-depth beer training right along side our staff. Small pours of B. United Imports' beer we will discuss are being offered as our treat to you during the class.)