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Monday, July 15, 2013

The Brew Lounge has been as busy as ever as the Spring turned to Summer

The last two months or so have been more busy than usual around these Brew Lounge parts. Someone remarked to me the other day that I've really "been on a roll lately". Or something to that effect. And others that have commented that I should do more to toot my own horn.

While I don't typically feel comfortable doing such a thing, I will present to you here a quick rundown of some of the more noteworthy things happening all up in this Brew Lounge.

~ I began writing for Origlio's Draught Lines magazine, found all around the greater Philadelphia region at many of their retail accounts. My first article submission was on the topic of taking a "beer-cation" and can be found on pages 9-10 through this magical little web link. The next issue is due out shortly. It's a quality magazine of beer information and suggest you keep your eyes open for it next time you're out buying beer.

~ Around the same time, I was nominated (for the fourth year, but who's counting?) for a Philly Beer Scene award for Beer Writer of the Year. Actually, I take the nomination even more seriously than winning (or not) since the process of getting nominated is through an anonymous polling of industry folk not in your category (i.e. writers can't nominate writers, brewers can't nominate brewers, etc.) Ultimately, through public voting, Suzanne Woods won, but as the old saying goes, I'm honored to be nominated and amongst such good company. Here's a link to Philly Beer Scene where the all the winners were announced.

~ Also just around the same time, I was asked to join the Philadelphia Inquirer's annual Brew-vitational judging of beers from around the region. In the spirit of full disclosure, I should mention that I was the second choice when Jack Curtin could not make himself available for the arduous task of working our way through 49 submitted beers in two categories, one very specific (Pilsners) and one much more broad ("new" beers). I was rather pleased that I had ranked both the Tröegs Sunshine Pils and Weyerbacher Riserva in the first place on my ballot in their respective categories and they both went home with the top honors. A full rundown, plus links to insightful videos about the esteemed judges can be found via this link.

~ Then there was Philly Beer Week. While it was the first PBW where I did not undertake my own event (the annual running event with Dock Street, that didn't stop me from partaking as much as my schedule would allow this year. As with every other year, I kept a running tally of everything I saw and heard and wrapped it up over where you'd expect it.

~ The Brew Lounge went a bit of course with a Simi Winery dinner in Valley Forge at Viviano in the VF Casino Resort. But knowing that quite a few of you like the grape-y stuff too, I took the winery and casino up on their offer to come out for the dinner. Now, if you know me as well as you should by now, you know that this in no way guarantees a favorable review of the evening. Since I don't have time to dabble in the negative, I simply would not write about a dinner that didn't have enough positives to mention. But, this one had plenty from the wines, to the cooking of Tony Clark, to the pairings. Here's a link to the dinner review and a link to some recipes and pairings that the winery sent along as well.

~ On the heels of the Craft Brewers Conference in Washington, DC back in March that I attended, I took in the National Homebrewers Conference (NHC) in Philly (of course, why would I not?) in late June. The month of June was quite busy for Philly what with Philly Beer Week in the early June and the NHC capping off June at the end. While I didn't do a full-blown write-up on either, it reminds me that you should really be following The Brew Lounge on both Facebook and Twitter where occasionally coverage of events (and accompanying pictures) may be limited solely to these social media behemoths. With that suggestion, here's a link to my Facebook page and a link to my Twitter feed.

~ Lastly, with that note about the NHC in Philly, there's a ton of developing content over at Basic Brewing (both radio and video) of the tour that I put together for James, Steve, and Andy who came up from their Arkansas headquarters to cover the NHC as they do every year. On the day prior to the conference, I escorted them around the region on a 130-mile, 12-hour tour of some of the best of the non-City based breweries. We hit up Iron Hill-Maple Shade, Victory, Forest & Main, Earth Bread + Brewery (ok, that's a city one), and Tired Hands. So far, Basic Brewing Radio has the interview with Chris LaPierre (Iron Hill-Maple Shade) up on its website and over the coming weeks more audio and video content will be forthcoming.

Was there more that happened over the past couple of months? Sure, probably, of course. These are the main highlights and as always, I appreciate and respect your support and reading through these voluminous pages of The Brew Lounge.

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