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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Weekly Second-Hand Brews News Update: 8/31/13

I long ago lost the ability to keep up with even half the beer news out there in the wild and wacky world of craft beer. There was a time I attempted daily (or even more frequent) updates with interesting tidbits from around the brewniverse along with small contributions of my own thoughts.

That has yielded to my weekly updates that you'll find here every Saturday morning with some of what I consider to be some of the more interesting news out there that you might like to add to your weekend reading list (or Monday morning at work, depending upon your preference).

Enjoy.

PHILADELPHIA
Tell me something good about something new or different going on in Philly. Did I really miss the Philly news this week?

EASTERN PA, NJ, DE, AND OTHER NEARBY PARTS OF MID-ATLANTIC
~ How hard do you work for your beer?

~ Pretty cool story from Weyerbacher.

THE REST OF PLANET BEER
~ A few notables discuss the "renaissance" of craft beer.

~ Interesting developing news from Duvel Moortgat.

~ How 21st Amendment from San Francisco continues to grow.

~ Speaking of 21A means speaking of Cold Spring Brewery in Minnesota and here's interesting background information.



Friday, August 30, 2013

Beer Calendar: What To Do in September 2013

Well, another summer has come and gone. And the beer events calendar keeps on. Breweries have once again shipped off beer and are anticipating the annual Great American Beer Festival in another month. Festival season doesn't end with back to school; you'll find plenty of big events, and small alike, lining up day after day throughout the month of September. Have at it...

Of course, here's my regular plug for when you find that one event and want to know what's on tap to check out PhillyTapFinder.com for a full rundown of the event's pourings. Currently, they've got seven events listed over the next month or so for your consideration. Cheers to the ongoing labor of love over at PTF.

As always, 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
Mon. 9/2 - Wendy Littlefield of Vanberg & DeWulf @Strangelove's, Philadelphia, Pa. (12 p.m.; $PAYG)
Mon. 9/2 - Labor Day Brunch with Yards @Memphis Taproom, Philadelphia, Pa. (All Day; $PAYG)
Mon. 9/2 - Labor Day Maine Beach Picnic @Local 44, Philadelphia, Pa. (All Day; $PAYG)
Tue. 9/3 - Beer School @Strangelove's, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.; $Free)
Wed. 9/4 - Beer School (September subject: TBA) @Memphis Taproom, Philadelphia, Pa. (12 p.m.; $Free)
Thu. 9/5 - Movie Night (Point Break and Ommegang) @City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa. (8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 9/6 - Philly Grown and Raised @Iron Hill, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 9/6 - Stone Tap Takeover @Bottle Bar East, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 9/6 - First Friday Festival @Arden Theatre, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.-9 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 9/6 - Returning the Banner/Belgium Comes from Pottstown @Grey Lodge, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sun. 9/8 - The Big Lebowski Quizzo and Movie Night @City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.; $5)
Wed. 9/11 - High Gravity @Side Car Bar & Grille, Philadelphia, Pa. (3 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 9/11 - Beer School (September subject: TBA) @Resurrection Ale House, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.; $Free)
Thu. 9/12 - Green Flash Night @Barcade, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 9/12 - ShawneeCraft Brewing Company @Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 9/12 - Yards Tap Takeover @Earth Bread + Brewery, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 9/12 - Weyerbacher Comes To The Barrel House @Bainbridge Street Barrel House, Philadelphia, Pa. (7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 9/12 - Bear Republic Invades @Kite & Key, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 9/13 - Friday The Firkinteenth @Grey Lodge, Philadelphia, Pa. (12 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 9/14 - Zwanze Day @Monk's Café, Philadelphia, Pa. (12 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 9/14 - Pils Picnic @Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia, Pa. (12 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sun. 9/15 - Hop Model Pageant @Varga Bar, Philadelphia, Pa. (8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Mon. 9/16 through Mon. 9/23 - Oktoberfest @Brauhaus Schmitz, Philadelphia, Pa. (See website for all of the weeklong details.)
Wed. 9/18 - Beer School (September subject: TBA) @Bottle Shop at Local 44, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.; $Free)
Wed. 9/18 - Attack of the Pumpkins @Bainbridge Street Barrel House, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 9/19 - Tröegs Scratch Night @Barcade, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 9/19 - Yards get PYNK With Big Red’s Return @Kite & Key, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 9/21 - Oktoberfest Street Festival @Brauhaus Schmitz/South Street, Philadelphia, Pa. (12 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free)
Sat. 9/21 - Weyerbacher & Lego Build Off @The Institute, Philadelphia, Pa. (12 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 9/21 & Sun. 9/22 - Pumpkinfest @Hop Angel Brauhaus, Philadelphia, Pa. (2 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sun. 9/22 - Savage Sixtel Sunday @Kite & Key, Philadelphia, Pa. (7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Tue. 9/24 - Goose Island Migration Week and Tap Takeover @City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Tue. 9/24 - 4th Anniversary @Resurrection Ale House, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 9/25 - A Killer Shade of Pale Ale @Bainbridge Street Barrel House, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 9/25 - Goose Island Migration Week and Tap Takeover @Side Car Bar & Grille, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 9/27 - Oktoberfest Celebration @Iron Hill, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 9/27 - Finally Friday Beer Tasting (Weyerbacher) @Trolley Car Diner, Philadelphia, Pa. (5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; $Free)
Sat. 9/28 & Sun. 9/29 - Oktoberfest @Hop Angel Brauhaus, Philadelphia, Pa. (2 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 9/28 & Sun. 9/29 - Oktoberfest @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, Pa. ($PAYG)
Mon. 9/30 - Bell's Brewing Night @Local 44 & The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)


Philadelphia's close suburbs (within 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Thu. 8/30 through Sun. 9/1 - Hopfest Weekend @Iron Abbey, Horsham, Pa. ($PAYG)
Fri. 8/31 through Mon. 9/2 - Tröegs Sampling & Delco SPCA Fundraiser @Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa. (2 p.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday; $PAYG)
Sun. 9/1 - Labor Day Clambake @Forest & Main, Ambler, Pa. (4 p.m.; $PAYG)
Tue. 9/3 - Tasty Stout Tuesday @Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, Pa. (12 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 9/5 - Who's Your Yeti? @Hulmeville Inn, Hulmeville, Pa. ($PAYG)
Sat. 9/7 - Welcome, Great Pumpkin @Iron Hill, Maple Shade, NJ (12 p.m.-5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 9/12 - Help Pinnochio's Battle MS @Pinocchio's, Media, Pa. (4 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 9/12 - September in the Sierra Tap Takeover @Flanigan's Boathouse, Conshohocken, Pa. (6 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 9/12 - Victory Beer Promo @High Street Grill, Mount Holly, NJ (7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 9/13 - Great Lakes Night @Pinocchio's, Media, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 9/19 - Sly Fox Tap Takeover @Maggie O'Neill's, Drexel Hill, Pa. (6 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 9/19 - Talk Like a Pirate Day @Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, Pa. ($PAYG)
Sat. 9/21 - Dark Humor Rising @Iron Hill, Media, Pa. (1 p.m.-5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 9/25 - Weyerbacher Tap Event @PJ Whelihans, Cherry Hill, NJ (8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 9/27 - Oktoberfest Celebration @Iron Hill, North Wales, Pa. (5 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 9/28 - Ziggy Zaggy Oktoberfest @Neshaminy Creek Brewing, Croydon, Pa. (4 p.m.-9 p.m.; $10 entry + PAYG)


Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other (beyond 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Sun. 9/1 - Beer Sampling (Sly Fox) @Wegmans, King of Prussia, Pa. (12 p.m.-2 p.m.; $Free)
Wed. 9/4 - Charity Cask Night (WDIY Public Radio) @Allentown Brew Works, Allentown, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 9/4 - Belgian Tripel Beer Release @Iron Hill, Wilmington, Del. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 9/5 - Charity Cask Night (Teed Off At Cancer) @Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 9/6 - Incubus Friday @Sly Fox, Phoenixville and Pottstown, Pa. (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 9/6 - First Friday Firkin @Iron Hill, Phoenixville, Pa. (5 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 9/6 - Beer Tasting (Philadelphia Brewing) @Whole Foods, Glen Mills, Pa. (4 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 9/6 - Friday Night Tasting (Dos Equis) @Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 9/6 - Beer Tasting (Dogfish Head) @Washington House, Sellersville, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 9/7 - Beer Sampling (Sly Fox) @Wegmans, Collegeville, Pa. (2 p.m.-4 p.m.; $Free)
Thu. 9/12 - Tröegs Brewery a la carte Food Pairing @Ulysses Gastropub, Wilmington, Del. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 9/12 - Evil Twin/Mikkeller Double Tap Takeover @Bistro On Bridge, Phoenixville, Pa. (7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 9/13 - Friday Night Tasting (Starr Hill) @Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Sat. 9/14 - Saturday Tasting (Boxcar) @Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Thu. 9/19 - Full Moon Firkin @Tröegs Brewery, Hershey, Pa. (11 a.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 9/19 - Boxcar Brewing Tasting @Rino's, Exton, Pa. (6 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 9/20 - Third Friday Firkin Fest @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa. (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 9/20 - Friday Night Tasting (Stoudt's Oktoberfest) @Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free)
Sat. 9/21 - Oktoberfest Celebration @Iron Hill, Phoenixville, Pa. (2 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 9/25 - Evolution Craft Brewing @Ulysses Gastropub, Wilmington, Del. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 9/26 - Goose Island Happy Hour @TJ's, Paoli, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 9/26 - Evil Genius Tasting @Rino's, Exton, Pa. (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 9/26 - Forest & Main Tap Take-over @Isaac Newton's, Newtown, Pa. (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 9/27 - Friday Night Tasting (Evil Genius Pumpkin) @Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 9/27 - Oktoberfest Celebration @Iron Hill, Lancaster, Pa. (5 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 9/28 - Can Jam Festival @Sly Fox, Pottstown, Pa. (12 p.m.; $PAYG to attend, $50 per team to play)
Sat. 9/28 - Octoberfest Opening Weekend @Stoudt's, Adamstown, Pa. (12 p.m.; $PAYG)


Events Over $20

Philadelphia
Thu. 9/5 - Brew and Chew (Wolaver's and Otter Creek) @Cavanaugh's Headhouse, Philadelphia, Pa. (8 p.m.-10 p.m.; $20-$25)
Wed. 9/11 - Brew and Chew (Bell's) @Cavanaugh's Rittenhouse, Philadelphia, Pa. (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $25)
Fri. 9/13 - Beer and Brewing 101 @The Beer School, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; $39.97)
Sat. 9/14 - Beer Fest & BBQ at the Ballpark @McFadden's Ballpark, Philadelphia, Pa. (2 p.m.-8 p.m.; $20-$55)
Tue. 9/17 - The Bridge Beer Dinner @Iron Hill, Philadelphia, Pa. (7 p.m.; $75)
Sun. 9/22 - Smoke 'Em If Yous Got 'Em @Yards Brewing Company, Philadelphia, Pa. (12 p.m.-4 p.m.; $20-$50)
Mon. 9/23 - Brooklyn Brewery Beer Dinner @Lemon Hill, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:30 p.m.; $60)
Sat. 9/28 - Xtoberfest 2013 @Xfinity Live!, Philadelphia, Pa. (2 p.m.-8 p.m.; $25-$55)


Philadelphia's close suburbs (within 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Sun. 9/1 - Hopfest Brunch @Iron Abbey, Horsham, Pa. (8 a.m.-12 p.m.; $TBA)
Fri. 9/6 - Oktoberfest @Campbell's Field, Camden, NJ (7:05 p.m.; $35)
Sun. 9/8 - 9/11 Heroes Run @Gretz Beer Company, Norristown, Pa. (9 a.m.; $15-$25)
Wed. 9/18 - The Bridge Beer Dinner @Iron Hill, Maple Shade, NJ (7 p.m.; $75)
Wed. 9/18 - Rare Belgium Trappist Beer Dinner @Broad Axe Tavern, Ambler, Pa. (7 p.m.; $85)
Sat. 9/21 - MGK Brew Blast on the Battleship @The Battleship New Jersey, Camden, NJ (1 p.m.-5 p.m.; $40-$45)
Sun. 9/22 - Jenkintown Brew Fest @Jenkintown Town Square, Jenkintown, Pa. (12:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.; $5-$35)
Wed. 9/25 - Weihenstephan Oktoberfest Beer Dinner @Iron Abbey, Horsham, Pa. (7 p.m.; $60)
Thu. 9/26 - Unibroue Dinner @High Street Grill, Mount Holly, NJ (7 p.m.; $TBA)


Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other (beyond 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Sat. 9/7 - McCoole's Beer Festival @Arts and Events Place, Quakertown, Pa. (12 p.m.-4 p.m., 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; $10-$40)
Sat. 9/7 - Lancaster Craft Beer Fest @downtown Lancaster, Pa. (1 p.m.-5 p.m.; $12-$55)
Sat. 9/7 - Brews in the Barn @Millbrook Playhouse, Mill Hall, Pa. (4 p.m.; $35)
Sat. 9/7 - Berks County ARL Food & Beer Pairing Event @Bistro on Bridge, Phoenixville, Pa. (6 p.m.-10 p.m.; $30)
Wed. 9/11 - Beer and Food Pairing Event (Tröegs) @The Rising Sun Inn, Telford, Pa. (6:30 p.m.; $40)
Thu. 9/12 - Beer and Cheese @Iron Hill, Lancaster, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $35)
Sat. 9/14 - Capital City Invitational Beer Fest @Appalachian Brewing Company, Harrisburg, Pa. (2 p.m.-5 p.m., 6 p.m.-9 p.m.; $15-$40)
Tue. 9/17 - Weyerbacher Beer Dinner @Ott's, Medford, NJ (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $35)
Wed. 9/18 - Harvest Dinner @The Yardley Inn, Yardley, Pa. (7 p.m.; $55)
Sat. 9/21 - Newtown Beer Fest @The Stocking Works, Newtown, Pa. (12:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.; $10-$75)
Sat. 9/21 - Maysie's FarmFest @Maysie's Farm Conservation Center, Glenmoore, Pa. (1 p.m.-11 p.m.; $20-$25)
Sun. 9/22 - Bike Fresh Bike Local @Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, Pa. (7 a.m.; $40-$45)
Sun. 9/22 - Wyebrook Farms & Vollemecke Orchards Dinner @Station Taproom, Downingtown, Pa. (6 p.m.; $75)
Fri. 9/27 - Beer Dinner @Vic & Anthony's (Golden Nugget), Atlantic City, NJ (7 p.m.; $70)
Sat. 9/28 - Harvest Hop Fest @World Café Live, Wilmington, Del. (12 p.m.-4 p.m.; $40)
Sat. 9/28 - Craft Beer Tasting @Golden Nugget, Atlantic City, NJ (7 p.m.; $49-$59)
Sun. 9/29 - Downingtown Fall Fest @downtown Downingtown, Pa. (12 p.m.-4 p.m.; $TBA)
Mon. 9/30 - At The Bar Beer Dinner @Side Bar, West Chester, Pa. (7 p.m.; $35)




Saturday, August 24, 2013

Weekly Second-Hand Brews News Update: 8/24/13

I long ago lost the ability to keep up with even half the beer news out there in the wild and wacky world of craft beer. There was a time I attempted daily (or even more frequent) updates with interesting tidbits from around the brewniverse along with small contributions of my own thoughts.

That has yielded to my weekly updates that you'll find here every Saturday morning with some of what I consider to be some of the more interesting news out there that you might like to add to your weekend reading list (or Monday morning at work, depending upon your preference).

Enjoy.

PHILADELPHIA
~ Now this should be interesting as Philly and its local environs prepare for some front-and-center attention.

~ Yards has got style.

EASTERN PA, NJ, DE, AND OTHER NEARBY PARTS OF MID-ATLANTIC
~ Can Jam is returning to Sly Fox.

~ First learned of this Brooklyn Brewery happening on Beer Sessions Radio. Can't wait to learn more about the Philly excursion in November.

~ California has 4,000 wineries; the country can handle 4,000 breweries.

THE REST OF PLANET BEER
~ Rather than bring attention (and page views) directly to the offending (offensive?) source, I'd instead direct you to the very well-considered rebuttal which should give you all the information you need, particularly considering the qualified contributors. Plus, how can you ignore a comment like "...she’s probably dabbing beaver anal gland extract behind her ears daily..."

~ How many ways can I count that I love this article? Let's begin with Chateau Douchebag! Thanks to Stan for pointing it out.

~ More talk (and numbers..you know that'll get me every time) of The Bubble.

~ Lew's back with more session material.

~ Coincidence, my.....



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: August 22 - August 31

As the summer unofficially winds down after August, the beer calendar is officially as hot as ever. Check out the free samples, homebrew, fundraisers, movie nights, festivals, and dinners all ready to serve up your favorite adult beverage.

Check out the entire August 2013 calendar over here. If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, don't hesitate to let me know.

And don't forget the hard work being put forth over at PhillyTapFinder.com. They recently launched a new Events page. So, when you see an event here, you can easily hop over there to see if there's a fresh tap list being produced for noted event.

Check out, for example, Flying Fish Night at Barcade and Carton Night at Bainbridge Street Barrel House, both next Thursday, 8/29.


Tastings/Samplings/Freebies
@Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 8/23 - Friday Sampling (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free tasting samples from Tröegs and a special appearance by Joe Sixpack.)
@Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 8/30 - Friday Sampling (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free tasting samples from Brooklyn Brewing.)

@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 8/22 - Movie Night (Point Break and Lagunitas) (8 p.m.; $PAYG for an outdoor patio night of craft beer from Lagunitas, Point Break on the big screen, popcorn, and other classic movie fare.)

@Dock Street, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Tue. 8/27 - Movie Night (8 p.m.; $PAYG for beer and food specials with Avatar on the big screen.)

@Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa.--- Fri. 8/23 - Friday Night Tasting (4 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples from Long Trail.)
@Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa.--- Sat. 8/24 - Saturday Tasting (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of Shock Top.)
@Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa.--- Fri. 8/30 - Friday Night Tasting (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples.)
@Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa.--- Sat. 8/31 - Saturday Tasting (12 p.m.-2 p.m.; $Free tasting samples from Oskar Blues.)

@Grey Lodge, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 8/23 - Sixpoint-y End First Night (7 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG for a night of dart playing and Sixpoint beer. Jersey Dan will have prizes.)

@Trolley Car Diner, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 8/30 - Finally Friday Beer Tasting (5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; $Free tasting samples from Yards Brewing Company.)


Brewery Promos and "Takeovers"
@Bainbridge Street Barrel House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 8/29 - Carton(s) of Fun Night (7 p.m.; $PAYG for Carton's Boat Beer, B.D.G., Digger Gose, Carton of Milk, Monkey Chased the Weasel, Intermezzo, and Red Rye Returning.)

@Barcade, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 8/29 - Flying Fish Night (4 p.m.; $PAYG a draft list including Abbey Dubbel, ESB, Exit 4, Exit 16, Extra Pale Ale, Farmhouse Summer Ale, Hopfish, Oktoberfish, and Red Fish.)

@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 8/29 - Movie Night (8 p.m.; $PAYG for an outdoor patio night of craft beer from Dogfish Head, What About Bob on the big screen, popcorn, and other classic movie fare.)

@House of Brews, Turnersville, NJ--- Thu. 8/29 - Weyerbacher Night (7 p.m.; $PAYG for Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin, White Sun Wit, 18th Anniversary, Last Chance IPA, and Merry Monks.)

@King's Liquor Outlet, Sicklerville, NJ--- Thu. 8/29 - Weyerbacher Growler Tap Takeover (4 p.m.-6:30 p.m.; $PAYG for a growler station filled with Weyerbacher's 18th Anniversary, White Sun Wit, and Verboten. Pint glass giveaways, too.)

@The Pour House, Exton, Pa.--- Thu. 8/22 - Tröegs Takeover (6 p.m.; $PAYG for at least fifteen beers on tap from Tröegs including Scratch 96 (Porter), Scratch 97 (Rye IPA), Scratch 101 (Session IPA), Scratch 103 (Dark Fest Lager), Scratch 104 (Triple Golden Ale), Scratch 105 (IPA), Scratch 107 (Saison), Scratch 108 (Triple), Naked Elf, Mad Elf, Flying Mouflan, Troegenator, Dreamweaver, Sunshine Pils, Perpetual, Javahead, and Hopback on cask.)

@World Café Live, Wilmington, Del.--- Thu. 8/22 - Weyerbacher Happy Hour Tap Takeover (4 p.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG for a happy hour with music by Jason Ager and a tap takeover by Weyerbacher.)


Special One-offs or Debuts, Anniversaries/Parties, Festivals, and other noteworthy events
@Dock Street, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 8/22 - Sixth Anniversary in the Old Firehouse ($PAYG for souvenir glass, half-priced drafts, and special beers on tap like Trappist IPA and the re-release of Firehouse Saison.)

@Jose Pistola's, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 8/29 - 6th Anniversary Jawn (9 p.m.; $PAYG to celebrate with the bar as they turn six.)

@Stoudt's, Adamstown, Pa.--- Sat. 8/24 - Microfest (12 p.m.-4 p.m., 6 p.m.-10 p.m.; $35-$40 for beer tastings, food, and live music.)


Food and Beer events
@Iron Hill, West Chester, Pa.--- Wed. 8/28 - Summer Beer Dinner (7 p.m.; $75 for a six-course meal paired with Ginger Saison, Belgian Pale, Belgian Tripel, German Pilsner, Berliner Weisse, and Peach Wit.)

@Pickering Creek Inn, Phoenixville, Pa.--- Thu. 8/22 - Neshaminy Creek Beer Dinner (6 p.m.; $35 for a four-course meal paired with Neshaminy Creek's Trauger Pilsner, County Line IPA, Neshaminator, and Leon Imperial Stout.)

@Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, Pa.--- Tue. 8/27 - Tasty New England Tuesday ($PAYG for Hill Farmstead's Everett, Oxbow's Farmhouse Pale Ale and Loretta, and Allagash's Confluence, Yakuza, Blonde, and Bourbon Black. Expect interesting pairing concepts from the kitchen as well.)

@Two Stones Pub, Newark, Del.--- Mon. 8/26 - Beer Dinner (6:30 p.m.; $TBD for a dinner that's not yet set, but why wait... you know they are always awesome...and sold out..hint hint.)

@World Café Live, Wilmington, Del.--- Tue. 8/27 - Grilled Cheese and Craft Beer Tasting (6 p.m.; $38 for two of the best things on earth paired together – Grilled Cheese and Craft Beer. Bring your vegetarian friends, too – we can accommodate them on all pairings.)


Homebrewing, Charity, Schooling, and Miscellanies
@Allentown Brew Works, Allentown, Pa.--- Fri. 8/23 - Be Our Brewer For A Day Festival (6:30 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG for an evening of tastings, samplings, and judging homebrewed craft beers from the Valley’s best homebrewers. Be a part of the fun – you, the fans, get to judge the winning brew. Enjoy food sampling from Lehigh Valley restaurants.)

@Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa.--- Fri. 8/31 through Mon. 9/2 - Tröegs Sampling & Delco SPCA Fundraiser (1 p.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday; $Free samples from Tröegs plus $PAYG as proceeds benefit the Delaware County SPCA. Plus, great food cooked by Teresa's Next Door.)

@Bulls Head Public House, Lititz, Pa.--- Mon. 8/26 - Beer School 101 (6:30 p.m.; $24.95 for four delicious beers from Liquid Hero (York, Pa.) paired with four delicious dishes from our kitchen.)

@Philly Homebrew Outlet, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 8/24 - Summer Sizzle (4 p.m.-8 p.m.; $20-$25 for a family-friendly event with activities for the kids and a commemorative PHBC tasting glass and endless supply of homebrewed samples (being judged during the day) for the adults. You will also receive $5 in food coupons to spend as you wish at our food truck partner – The Guerrilla Truck’s Robert Legget.)

@Total Wine, Claymont, Del.--- Thu. 8/22 - Dog Days of Summer beer class (6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; $15 for a class all about the many craft beers that have "dog" in their name.)



Saturday, August 17, 2013

Weekly Second-Hand Brews News Update: 8/17/13

I long ago lost the ability to keep up with even half the beer news out there in the wild and wacky world of craft beer. There was a time I attempted daily (or even more frequent) updates with interesting tidbits from around the brewniverse along with small contributions of my own thoughts.

That has yielded to my weekly updates that you'll find here every Saturday morning with some of what I consider to be some of the more interesting news out there that you might like to add to your weekend reading list (or Monday morning at work, depending upon your preference).

Enjoy.

PHILADELPHIA
~ The Earth Bread + Brewery audio tour stop is now up on Basic Brewing Radio. And, so too is the video version of the grand Tour in case you missed it.

~ William Reed and Tom Peters show up in the New Yorker.


EASTERN PA, NJ, DE, AND OTHER NEARBY PARTS OF MID-ATLANTIC
~ Couple of heady news nuggets coming out D.C. and immediate locales.

~ How Boxcar got rolling.

~ Lot of Downingtown love and shout-outs.

~ More about the new digs for old Flying Fish friend, Casey Hughes.


THE REST OF PLANET BEER
~ Jack Curtin shared a pretty cool link.

~ Good hunches say that there will be some pretty darn good beer made here in the future.

~ Civility? Online? Oh, the snark. Make it stop!

~ So speaking of civility, this is one of the more civil and informative string of forum comments to a reasonable question than I've seen in some time.



Thursday, August 15, 2013

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: August 15 - August 21

Hope you brought your hunger this week because local event planners have got your food covered with your beer at many of these events following below. The weather's been pretty gosh darn great, so get out there and enjoy it while it lasts.

Check out the entire August 2013 calendar over here. If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, don't hesitate to let me know.

And don't forget the hard work being put forth over at PhillyTapFinder.com. They recently launched a new Events page. So, when you see an event here, you can easily hop over there to see if there's a fresh tap list being produced for noted event. Check out, for example, Sour Fest on Saturday at Devil's Den.


Tastings/Samplings/Freebies
@Hop Angel Brauhaus, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 8/15 - Bitburger Keep the Glass Night (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for a night of German beer and a take-home piece of glassware.)


Brewery Promos and "Takeovers"
@Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa.--- Fri. 8/16 - Third Friday Firkin Fest (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG as we'll be featuring firkins of two classic British styles that taste fantastic through a beer engine, as Jake's ESB joins Chester County Bitter on the hand pumps.)

@Tuckahoe and Cape May Brewing Companies, Cape May, NJ--- Sun. 8/18 - Beer For Babes Field Trip (11 a.m.-5 p.m.; $PAYG for a fun day to visit both of Cape May County's breweries: Tuckahoe and Cape May, plus lunch and optional sunset happy hour on the water - for women only.)


Special One-offs or Debuts, Anniversaries/Parties, Festivals, and other noteworthy events
@Devil's Den, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 8/17 through Fri. 8/23 - Pucker Up Sour Fest ($PAYG for the best of the sour, tart, funky, and anything that makes your lips pucker. We will be pouring a tower of sour all week. There will be wild Ales, Guezes, Lambics, fruit Ales, Berliner Weisses, etc.)

@Fonthill Castle and Mercer Museum, Doylestown, Pa.--- Fri. 8/16 - Eat & Drink Local (7 p.m.-10 p.m.; $28-$35 for a celebration of local food, beer and spirits. We invited our favorite neighborhood breweries, homebrewers, farm to table groups, cheese makers, and musician Dallas Vietty to the beautiful outdoor setting of Fonthill to share the freshest craft brewed beer and homegrown food.)

@Tussey Mountain Ski Resort, Boalsburg, Pa.--- Sat. 8/17 - State College Brew Expo (5 p.m.-9 p.m.; $40-$60 to follow the original motto and add our new slogan "Good Beer, Good Music, Great Cause!" The expo will continue to benefit Penn State Coaches vs. Cancer.)


Food and Beer events
@Iron Abbey, Horsham, Pa.--- Wed. 8/21 - Dogfish Head Ancient Ales Beer Dinner (7 p.m.; $60 for a five-course meal paired with the famed "Ancient Ales": Chateau Jiahu; Theobroma; Birra Etrusca Bronze; Sah'tea; and Midas Touch.)

@Iron Hill, Newark, Del.--- Tue. 8/20 - Summer Beer Dinner (7 p.m.; $65 for five-course meal paired with Belgian Wit, German Pilsner, Dela Where? IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, and Hefeweizen.)
@Iron Hill, Wilmington, Del.--- Wed. 8/21 - Summer Beer Dinner (7 p.m.; $65 for a five-course meal paired with Samurai Saison, Hans Gruber Imperial Pilsner, American Brown Ale, Red Headed IPA, and Raspberry-Vanilla Witbier.)
@Iron Hill, Phoenixville, Pa.--- Wed. 8/21 - Midsummer Night's Tasting (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $50 for a five-course meal paired with Lodestone Lager, Witbier, Saison, Brown Ale, and Basil Hefeweizen.)

@Cavanaugh's Rittenhouse, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Mon. 8/19 - Brew and Chew (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $25 for a four-course craft beer pairing where we will pair four Terrapin beers with four different apps.)

@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 8/17 - Crabfest (1 p.m.-4 p.m.; $30 for for all-you-can-eat Maryland Blue Crabs and live music by Red Team Go. Featuring one-of-a-kind beers specifically crafted for the day by Yards Brewing Company.)

@Grey Lodge, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 8/16 - Lawless Jerky: Get Your Jerk On (7 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG as they serve up free samples of handcrafted beef jerky perfect when consumed alongside fine craft beer. As you hopefully know, we at the Grey Lodge have fine craft beer. So we will be teaming up with Lawless Jerky to make some perfection by finding great beer/jerky pairings.)

@Strites' Orchard Farm Market, Harrisburg, Pa.--- Sun. 8/18 - Farm To Table Dinner (4 p.m.; $150 for an inspired open air dining experience, based around ingredients sourced directly from local farm and farmers' markets. Wine pairings from Waltz and beer pairings from Tröegs. Benefits the American Cancer Society.)

@The Institute, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 8/17 - Avery Ice Cream Experiment 3.0 (12 p.m.; $PAYG for sixteen tap takeover of Avery brews and using them to produce some amazing rare beer ice creams.)

@World Café Live, Wilmington, Del.--- Tue. 8/20 - Grilled Cheese and Craft Beer Tasting (7 p.m.; $45 for two of the best things on earth paired together – Grilled Cheese and Flying Fish Craft Beer. Bring your vegetarian friends, too – we can accommodate them on all pairings.)


Homebrewing, Charity, Schooling, and Miscellanies
@Bottle Shop at Local 44, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 8/21 - Beer School (5 p.m.; $Free to get some in-depth beer training right along side our staff.)

@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 8/15 - Movie Night (Beeradelphia and Victory) (8 p.m.; $PAYG for an outdoor patio night of craft beer from Victory, Beeradelphia on the big screen, popcorn, and other classic movie fare.)

@Dock Street, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Tue. 8/20 - Movie Night (8 p.m.; $PAYG for beer and food specials with Apollo 13 on the big screen.)



Saturday, August 10, 2013

Weekly Second-Hand Brews News Update: 8/10/13

I long ago lost the ability to keep up with even half the beer news out there in the wild and wacky world of craft beer. There was a time I attempted daily (or even more frequent) updates with interesting tidbits from around the brewniverse along with small contributions of my own thoughts.

That has yielded to my weekly updates that you'll find here every Saturday morning with some of what I consider to be some of the more interesting news out there that you might like to add to your weekend reading list (or Monday morning at work, depending upon your preference).

Enjoy.

PHILADELPHIA
~ Nice coverage of The Dude over at Philly Beer Scene.

~ Express your artsy side and win cool stuff.

~ Sixpack abroad. Next up, Russian diplomacy and relationship-building.


EASTERN PA, NJ, DE, AND OTHER NEARBY PARTS OF MID-ATLANTIC
~ DC Beer Week is upon us. Their beer game in the capital has certainly stepped up over the past few years.

~ This is perfectly welcome news, particularly if you're a fan of the Perpetual. I confirmed with brewery that target release is October.

~ Here's an informed take on BCTC 2013.

~ BeerPulse.com has the Dogfish Head-related video and a link to an important brewery safety story at Reuters.

~ This was such a fun day last year; I can't wait to see how they make it even better this year.


THE REST OF PLANET BEER
~ Pretty much in line with my own personal history on the subject.

~ Lew makes some excellent points in this conversation that I'm sometimes surprised continues to grow more divided.

~ Tap lists and their presentation matters.

~ Since you probably know my love of numbers and the endless things you can do with them, you can imagine that I like this article with supporting graphs. Though, one that I'm quick to point out that an "average beer drink" is 12 ounces at 5-ish% alcohol while an "average wine drink" comes in around 5 ounces and more than double the strength in alcohol. Point being you can't say that based upon per capita consumption (measured in gallons) that beer is "by far" the country's most popular alcoholic beverage. I could over several hours drink a gallon of beer, but likely only half that same amount of wine.

~ And finally, good friend Brian Yaeger brings attention to the growing issue of a-holes in the industry. In doing so, he called back another favorite posting, this one from Jeff a couple of years ago over at Beervana on a similar strain and talking cheap lager drinking too. Good stuff from both.



Thursday, August 08, 2013

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: August 8 - August 14

Last week was a bit of overload here in the weekly beer events calendar — even by Philly standards — with over forty events. This week, a more modest baker's (brewer's?) dozen or so.

Check out the entire August 2013 calendar over here. If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, don't hesitate to let me know.

And don't forget the hard work being put forth over at PhillyTapFinder.com. They recently launched a new Events page. So, when you see an event here, you can easily hop over there to see if there's a fresh tap list being produced for noted event.

For example, this one at City Tap House, this one at Sidecar Bar & Grille, and this one at Prohibition Taproom.

This just in (update): Three more events by way of PhillyTapFinder.com. One from Pinocchio's, one at Philadelphia Bar & Restaurant, and one at The Pour House (in Exton) tonight the 8th.

So now it looks like we're up to nearly two dozen events over the next seven days. Carry on my friends. (I'd say, stay calm, but that line was so played out months ago.)

Tastings/Samplings/Freebies
@Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 8/9 - Friday Sampling (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free tasting samples from Penn Brewing and a special appearance by Joe Sixpack.)

@Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa.--- Fri. 8/9 - Friday Night Tasting (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free tasting samples from Belfast Bay in Maine and their Lobster beer and Oatmeal Stout.)
@Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa.--- Sat. 8/10 - Saturday Afternoon Sampling (12 p.m.-3 p.m.; $Free tasting samples from Moosehead.)


Brewery Promos and "Takeovers"
@Jose Pistola's, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Tue. 8/13 - Left Handed Genius (9:30 p.m.; $PAYG for a live tribute to Jimi Hendrix with Left Hand Brewing.)

@Mad Mex, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 8/8 through Thu. 8/22 - Exclusive beer from featured brewery ($PAYG for Mad Mojo, a new brew made especially for Mad Mex by Boulder Beer Company. It's a special batch of Mojo IPA with an extra double dry hopping of Amarillo. ABV: 7.2%.)

@Pinocchio's, Media, Pa.--- Wed. 8/14 - Founders Tap Take-over (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG as John from Founders will be here with Mango Magnifico con Calor, Imperial Stout, Old Curmudgeon, Rubaeus, Centennial IPA, All Day IPA, and Double Trouble IPA on tap.)

@Philadelphia Bar & Restaurant, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 8/10 - Dog Days of Summer Block Party (1 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for the annual party featuring Dogfish Head and some of the brewery's best beers. Games, hot dog eating contest, and prizes too.)

@Prohibition Taproom, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 8/10 - Southern Cali Cookout (12 p.m.; $PAYG as SoCal Punk records will be spinning all day long. Ballast Point Dorado (Nitro), Sculpin, Victory At Sea, Three Sheets, Big Eye IPA, Brother Levonian, Pescadero Pils, and Reef Rye on the taps with SoCal/Mexican staples on the grill.)

@Sabatini's, Exeter, Pa.--- Wed. 8/14 - Saucony Creek Tap Takeover (7 p.m.; $PAYG as the Kutztown brewery's founder, Matt Lindenmuth, will be in attendance with his Honey Blossom Saison, North Ramp Stout, Imperial Crystal IPA, Saucony Sessions, Cucumber Kolsch, Lord of Misrule, Captain Pumpkin's Maple Mistress Ale, and Dry-Hopped Stonefly IPA from the firkin.)

@The Pour House, Exton, Pa.--- Thu. 8/8 - Victory Takeover (6 p.m.; $PAYG to meet Victory founders Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet with Oaked Horizontal, Prima Pils, HopDevil, Golden Monkey, Headwaters, Storm King, Ranch Double IPA, Braumeister Pils, Mad Kings Weiss, Helios, Sunrise Weiss, Golding Glow, St. Victorious, Squeeky Wheel, 4 Hop Bock all on tap, and Summer Love on cask.)


Special One-offs or Debuts, Anniversaries/Parties, Festivals, and other noteworthy events
@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 8/10 - Sour Saturday (1 p.m.-3 p.m.; $30 for a Sour Saturday glass and ten tokens to taste styles ranging from Lambics & American Wild Ales to Flemish Reds & Berliner Weiss. $PAYG option also available.)

@Emlen Physick Estate, Cape May, NJ--- Sat. 8/10 - Craft Beer & Crab Festival (11 a.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG for an all-day festival featuring local and regional craft beers to wash down favorite summer picnic foods. All-day music on outdoor stage.)

@The Lancaster Liederkranz, Manheim, Pa.--- Sat. 8/10 - Smokin' Blues Brews Fest (1 p.m.-4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m.; $30-$40 for Blues music, smoked meats from PBR Dining, and great brews from 20 breweries.)

@Side Car Bar & Grille, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 8/14 - High Gravity (3 p.m.; $PAYG for select high gravity, hard-to-find craft beers.)


Food and Beer events
@Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 8/10 - Kenzinger Clambake (4 p.m.; $PAYG for a tasty Clambake alongside some refreshing Kenzinger and other tasty drafts from Philadelphia Brewing Co. DJ DNA, David April, will be spinning beach songs, surf tunes, rockabilly, soul, and jump blues from until 8 p.m.)

@Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, Pa.--- Sun. 8/11 - Beef & Beer (12 p.m.-4 p.m.; $20-$40 for a beef and beer fundraiser, where we will honor the memory of sweet Declan. Proceeds benefit Team Declan/The Lemon Ride for the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.)


Homebrewing, Charity, Schooling, and Miscellanies
@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 8/8 - Movie Night (8 p.m.; $PAYG for an outdoor patio night of craft beer from Ommegang, Dirty Dancing on the big screen, popcorn, and other classic movie fare.)

@Dock Street, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Tue. 8/13 - Movie Night (8 p.m.; $PAYG for beer and food specials with Batman on the big screen.)

@Resurrection Ale House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 8/14 - Beer School (4 p.m.; $Free to get some in-depth beer schooling along with our staff.)



Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Breastfest Beer Festival in San Francisco continues its excellence as one of the best regional fests


(Natalie Cilurzo of Russian River and Mike "Tasty" McDole showing off the proper colors representing the meaning behind the annual Breastfest Beer Festival in San Francisco)


For a full gallery of pictures, please link here over to Facebook. And, while you're there, here's a shameless plug for you to hit "Like" if you've not already done so. Thanks as always for your support.


The 2013 Breastfest may now be three weeks in our rear view mirrors, but when we are talking about a well-executed beer festival — one of the best regional showcases of beer on the West Coast, and a charitable fundraiser to boot — it's easy (and deserved) to share with you still today.

The annual Breastfest beer festival serves as a fundraiser for the Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic, which assists low-income women with cancer. This year, the host brewery and organizer, Marin Brewing Company, happily announced that they made a $40,000 donation to the Clinic due to the success of the festival that saw roughly 2,000 pass through the gates.

The festival returned to the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center, perfectly situated at one of the northernmost points in the visually-stunning City By The Bay. Over seventy breweries were in attendance along with four wineries and three cider companies and complimented by plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverage options as well.

Beer festivals are as popular as ever with the constantly widening base of the craft beer pyramid. While I and others like me that have been around "the scene" for quite some time may have long ago tired of the mostly typical beer festival format, Breastfest has found ways in which to make it enjoyable both for newbies and veterans alike.

Attractive venue: This is the fourth year that the Festival Pavilion has hosted Breastfest after having moved from Marin Brewing Company in Larkspur in favor of a larger venue. Not only is the location much larger (much!), instead of a suburban parking lot as a backdrop, attendees have the pleasure of looking out over San Francisco Bay, Coit Tower, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge. In addition to these permanent fixtures, this year's festival-goers had the unique opportunity to witness preliminary stage racing in the America's Cup/Louis Vuitton Cup yacht racing event which is ongoing into September. After the festival, folks could make the short walk to the America's Cup Village, Crissy Field, Ghirardelli Square, Fisherman's Wharf, or the Embarcadero. No doubt that Breastfest definitely has the attractive venue checked off the list.

Volunteers: For any event of significant undertaking, the value that volunteers add to the successful execution of the event can never be emphasized nearly enough. Breastfest has volunteers successfully pulling off their duties beginning with the quick and efficient entry to the festival all the way through to serving and constant venue cleanup.

Attending brewers: This is a big one for me. Obviously, with craft breweries (and their supporting staffs) more in demand than ever, it's impossible for key brewery personnel to be at all events, particularly concurrent ones. So when you see a majority of brewery tables at a festival with owners and/or brewers and/or other key sales or other brewery personnel milling around, chatting, or serving, you must know that the event draws a deserving respect that adds to the overall quality and karma of the event. You can see from the pictures I've included here that the Breastfest certainly does get the love and respect from Bay Area brewers.

Available food: You know how too many beer festivals put out a lame attempt at satisfying some perceived level of responsibility for providing food to paying/drinking attendees? And how that food typically falls woefully short in both quality and quantity? How the supplies run short barely half way through the event? Or how at many events, food is available at an extra charge? At Breastfest, there are no such worries. Marin Brewing Company, Moylan's Brewery and Restaurant, Ross Valley Kitchen, Kama Food Lab, and Three Twins Ice Cream took care of the pasta salad, Caesar salad, nacho chips, sandwiches, and ice cream that were available in plentiful supply and right up until the closing bell. The ice cream had a beer tie-in as one was made with Marin's Abbey Special and one was called Black and Blue made with San Quentin's Breakout Stout and Bluebeery Ale.

Non-alcoholic beverages: If I might (and it's a very soft 'might') give an event a break for dropping the ball on making decent food, and enough of it, available throughout the festival, I will not (emphasize, will never) tap dance around how irresponsible festival organizers are for not supplying non-alcoholic beverages. Plenty of it. And, here's the big one, Included In The Admission Price. I don't care if it's donated or if the organizers pay for it. Charging an extra buck or two for each bottle of water is greedy and irresponsible. If I used profanity here at The Brew Lounge, this diatribe would get even nastier. Oh, but wait. This piece is about Breastfest. At this year's installment of Breastfest, waters, teas, seltzers, energy drinks, and vitamin-fortified beverages were all available. Not on a small table in a corner served up in small cups by volunteers. On large, main center tables as well as scattered throughout at occasional brewery tables. In plentiful supply until attendees were walking out the door at the closing of the event. Well done, Breastfest, well done indeed.

Music and Miscellaneous: While music may not be the most critical component in a well-run beer festival, when it's a cover band that provides a ton of fun singalong party songs for people to swing and sway (there was some jumping and jiving as well), it can take on a life of its own and add a really fun element to the event. This year, it was Wonder Bread 5 replete in their outrageously colorful outfits covering party hits from the 80s through the 00s. In addition to the live music, raffles, skee ball, photo booths, and probably other miscellaneous fun 'n' games were available to keep the crowd happy and energetic.

Event duration: Four hours to take in everything I've shared with you here. That's enough time to take in the scenery, socialize with friends, learn a bit from brewers, eat, rock out to live music, and drink great beers. Five hours is plenty of time to get your buzz on, but it's also the right amount of time to take your time in doing so. The first hour or two builds slowly and a bit quietly to a crescendo that occurs somewhere in the second half when the fun cover party band takes it home in the last couple hours. But, for as much fun as most are appearing to have, seeing people falling over drunk or embarrassing themselves in other ways is just something I have not seen. I must believe that it's due, in part, to the five hour duration and contributed to by the ample food and non-alcoholic beverage supply.

p.s. and The Beers: I should probably not leave this piece unfinished without a few shout-outs to some of the best-slash-most-interesting beers that I encountered during Breastfest 2013. Everyone always seems to want to ask my opinion, so without going into a ton of detail, the following deserve to be heard from - and tasted - based upon my impressions at Breastfest 2013:

  Moonlight Reality Czeck Pils (and really most anything else this northern California gem/staple is pouring);

  Ale Industries Uncle Jesse (because Session IPAs usually work for me and this one, at a few ticks over 5%, did not disappoint);

  Strike Brown (believe I've said plenty my piece about these South Bay new guys on the block doing mostly session-able beers);

  Sonoma Springs Slownoma Saison (quite possibly one of my best-in-shows from the fest);

  Iron Spring Kent Lake Kölsch (one of these excellent bottles made its way back east with me, that's how very good this is);

  Linden Street Hop Candi (what a pleasant surprise this "Heavy Hop Aroma, Light Sweet Taste", 4.5%/9 IBU beer was; truly a delight and a hop myth buster);

  Bear Republic Café Racer 15 (perhaps this is a different approach than the aforementioned Hop Candi, but oh my juicy, Citra, hophead friends, this is a big tasty treat);

  and Russian River Brewing Company (do I have to say their name? well, of course I do, when they are consistently one of the best).

After having attended for the second consecutive year, you can probably read me correctly if you hear me saying that Breastfest is a beer festival model. How they continue to keep the festival affordable (by today's rapidly escalating admission price standards) at $50-$60 is an accomplishment as well. If there is behind-the-scenes scuttlebutt that I'm not privy to, that may be possible. But, from this side of the table, I hope to return again in the future to taste some of the best from northern California and support a great cause and encourage you to do so as well.



Saturday, August 03, 2013

Weekly Second-Hand Brews News Update: 8/3/13

I long ago lost the ability to keep up with even half the beer news out there in the wild and wacky world of craft beer. There was a time I attempted daily (or even more frequent) updates with interesting tidbits from around the brewniverse along with small contributions of my own thoughts.

That has yielded to my weekly updates that you'll find here every Saturday morning with some of what I consider to be some of the more interesting news out there that you might like to add to your weekend reading list (or Monday morning at work, depending upon your preference).

Enjoy.

PHILADELPHIA
~ And, with this, my tour business is launched.

~ I know a lot of you (okay, me too) look forward to the release of this beer.

~ Wondering if the beer news angles will ever run out. Great to see another week go by and in the Philadelphia Inquirer, there's still more continuing coverage.


EASTERN PA, NJ, DE, AND OTHER NEARBY PARTS OF MID-ATLANTIC
~ And yet more Victory beer for the people.

~ DC Beer Week coming atchya again this August.


THE REST OF PLANET BEER
~ These crazy guys were in the area not long ago gathering footage for the TV show. It's coming soon to a TV near you.

~ Thanks to Keystone Homebrew for sharing this very cool link.

~ There's been great beer at the home of the Giants for many years. Now they're adding an "edible garden". Interesting.



Friday, August 02, 2013

If it's mid-summer, it must be time to visit Belgium via Cooperstown

I've apparently tagged Ommegang in 83 postings (oops, now 84) here in The Brew Lounge's neck of the woods over nearly eight years. I don't tag my postings willy-nilly. That means I must have written something of substance about this wonderful upstate NY Belgian-spirited brewery in the foothills of the Adirondacks nearly on a once-a-month average since the inception of The Brew Lounge.

For whatever that means.

The point, which I sometimes get around to, is that a decent portion of those postings revolve around one of the favorite annual festivals for beer lovers: Belgium Comes To Cooperstown, or more lovingly known as BCTC.

From its quite humble beginnings ten years ago to a continually evolving and growing amazing display of Belgian beer and all of the sideshow antics that go on around the 48 hours of fun 'n' games, BCTC still holds a place as one of the country's best.

Here's a link to the 83, give or take, spots where Ommegang shows up in TBL's history. Particularly when you get into the BCTC highlights, it's quite evident the path that this brewery has traveled and how it's grown into quite the destination brewery.

A good deal of talking about beer has changed on line since Ommegang began its summer festival. Facebook went from niche-y type website for young people and was later joined by Twitter in becoming full-fledged and viable business marketing tools.

Even around here, you've likely noticed less postings here on The Brew Lounge in favor of quicker/shorter blasts on one or both of these "social" media tools. Not that I am particularly happy about it nor does it make me a better writer (in my opinion...maybe it does for others), but it seems to have generally worked sorta, kinda well. Still, though, it takes some effort for me to figure out what works and what is right for these types of communications in varying situations.

To that point, in the last couple of days leading up to this year's BCTC, I took primarily to Facebook to make the following observations about this year's installment.

As much as I do plan to continue putting up new content here, particularly when it comes to in-event communications be sure to follow me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Collection of Facebook posts from The Brew Lounge during the week of 7/29

If you're heading to Ommegang BCTC this weekend, I've uncovered some interesting tidbits in my sneak peek of this weekend's festival guide. I'll share with you that....

....The theme is "a beer festival about nothing" (a Seinfeld reference in case you missed it). I can't wait for all the Seinfeld references to pop up (I'm out!) throughout the weekend.

....the Hop Chef showdown on the big stage for all the marble ryes! (there's my second Seinfeld reference...keep 'em coming!) This was a great addition to last year's festival and looking forward to this year's finale.

....there's a "Duvel Art Competition" of some kind. Sounds interesting with appropriate prizes.

....the VIP dinner music will be from the The Hop City Hellcats, which contains a member of the Horseshoe Lounge Playboys that some of you will recall from past BCTCs.

....there'll be a 70-foot ferris wheel from which to observe all the craziness down below. Why is it called "ferris"? As anyone ever asked that question? (oh, Great Google!)

....there's a cigar tent, a massage tent, a cheese producers tent, a phone-charging and wifi tent, other vendors. Wow how they festival has changed/grown over the years.

....Sunday will be sportin' a full brunch; a welcome sight indeed before hitting the road!


If you're heading to Ommegang BCTC this weekend, a sneak peek of this weekend's festival guide is turning up some tasty treats like....

...somewhere around 55 breweries and importers. Just shy of 200 beers. I count 9 breweries that I've never heard of before. Looking forward to finding out what they're all about.

....I have no idea what a Cloak of St. Martin Quad is but they mention blackberries, chocolate, and coffee, so I'm definitely game for it. It's gonna be cool sleeping weather, so a couple of these at 13% sounds like just the ticket.

....Gulden Draak 9000 is making an appearance and it comes highly recommended.

....I've had beers from Silly before, but pretty sure never their sour. Good weekend to rectify that.

....I tasted the Golden Brett and James Bean from Allagash at different points in the past three months and with them on tap during BCTC, you can bet it'll happen again.

....Brooklyn Brewery can bring Local 1 and Sorachi Ace to as many festivals as they'd like. Through the years, I still count them as two of the most interesting and satisfying beers they make outside of the core brands.

....looking forward to Empire from Syracuse to impress as they typically have in the past.

....hm, Lil Opal from Firestone Walker as a 4.3% "Belgian Saison aged for 17 months". Oh my, can't wait.

....Matilda from Goose Island is a very fine enough beer indeed. But, Matilda Lambicus, now what is this?!

....Flander's Drive (sour red) from Green Flash. All signs point to yes please.

....a Belgian strong pale ale from lager-loving Gordon Biersch? Hey, why not? The more the merrier

....Ithaca's got the Brute going on..and also a "mystery beer". Bring it on.

....speaking of Ithaca, Jeff O'Neil's new home over at Peekskill is bringing one called Simple Sour and one called Share The Rainbow.

....Perennial is now in NY and will be showcasing four of its beers.

....can't wait for you guys to try Sly Fox's Grisette, if you've not yet. One of the summer standouts in the mid-Atlantic/northeast.

....only one beer pouring from Victory? It's Helios, so that bodes well. If not more, then I'll be searching out their campsite!

....more folks are finding the tasty goodness with each passing year at White Birch's table.

....and what the heck is a Fuku? Is it FUBAR? I love me a Kölsch. Wit's pretty decent. And don't get me started on my fondness for Rauchbiers. Apparently, they've come up with some type of a hybrid of the three at Kelso. Don't think I won't be trying it.



Thursday, August 01, 2013

A chouffe-ing we will go

One little guy (and one big one) is ready to head north for the weekend.


Weekly Beer Calendar Update: August 1 - August 7

This is a typical weekly beer event calendar around the Philly region. True or False? *head spinning*

Check out the entire August 2013 calendar over here. If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, don't hesitate to let me know.

And don't forget the hard work being put forth over at PhillyTapFinder.com. They recently launched a new Events page. So, when you see an event here, you can easily hop over there to see if there's a fresh tap list being produced for noted event.

Tastings/Samplings/Freebies
@Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa.--- Fri. 8/2 - Friday Night Sampling (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples from Founders including Dry Hopped Pale Ale, Centennial IPA, All Day IPA, and Double Trouble.)

@Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 8/2 - Friday Sampling (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free tasting samples from Victory.)

@Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa.--- Fri. 8/2 - Friday Night Tasting (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free tasting samples from Evolution Brewing in Delaware.)

@Grey Lodge, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 8/2 - Shawnee Summer Sipping (6 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for Biere Blanche (a session white beer), Double Pale (an IPA), Raspberry Blanche (fruity version of their blanche), and Session IPA (a brewpub exclusive))

@Isaac Newton's, Newtown, Pa.--- Thu. 8/1 - National IPA Day (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG as they kick the day off with Anderson Valley Heelch O’ Hops Double IPA, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, Terrapin Hopzilla Double IPA, Russian River Pliny the Elder, Firestone Walker Union Jack, and Green Flash Green Bullet Triple IPA. Numerous other IPAs tapped throughout the day.)

@Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 8/2 - Happy Hour with Flying Fish (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $PAYG dollar off Flying Fish drafts including FU Sandy, Exit 16, Exit 4, and Farmhouse Summer Ale.)

@Washington House, Sellersville, Pa.--- Fri. 8/2 - Beer Tasting (5 p.m.; $PAYG for a lineup of beers from Chicago's Goose Island.)


Brewery Promos and "Takeovers"
@Blue Dog, Lansdale, Pa.--- Fri. 8/2 - Tröegs Tap Takeover (6:30 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG for Mad Elf, Naked Elf, and Scratches 82, 97, 98, and 99.)

@Iron Hill, Lancaster, Pa.--- Fri. 8/2 - Hop Stinger Beer Release (5 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for the release of this golden American IPA, loaded with citrusy hops for flavor and aroma. Brewed with 60 pounds of locally-sourced honey from Green Meadow Farm in Gap, PA.)
@Iron Hill, North Wales, Pa.--- Fri. 8/2 - Summertime IPA Beer Release (5 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG for an early release of our Summertime IPA. This is a refreshing summer beer made with wildflower honey and Citra hops. Plus, a special house-made ginger ice cream.)
@Iron Hill, Phoenixville, Pa.--- Fri. 8/2 - First Friday Firkin (5 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG for Simcoe IPA.)
@Iron Hill, West Chester, Pa.--- Fri. 8/2 - Intergalactic IPA Beer Release (12 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for the hoppy, citrusy deliciousness that is the Intergalactic IPA. We’re also tapping a special cask-conditioned version.)

@Mad Mex, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 8/7 - Sly Fox ($PAYG to hang with Patrick and enjoy Rt 113 IPA, Royal Weisse, and more. Enjoy some great Mexican fare as well.)

@Pinocchio's, Media, Pa.--- Wed. 8/7 - Boaks Tap Takeover (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG when New Jersey's own Boaks Beer will be featured. Check back soon for the line-up.)

@The Pour House, Exton, Pa.--- Thu. 8/1 - Tröegs Tap Takeover (6 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for as many year-round, seasonal, and Scratch beers we could come up with for one great event.)


Special One-offs or Debuts, Anniversaries/Parties, Festivals, and other noteworthy events
@2nd Street in Northern Liberties between Spring Garden and Germantown Avenues, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sun. 8/4 - 2nd Street Festival (12 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG for over 100 vendors, local food and art, and beer gardens.)

@Bainbridge Street Barrel House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Tue. 8/6 - Ballast Point and Barrels (7 p.m.; $PAYG for eleven beers from Ballast Point including Sea Monster Imperial Stout, Brother Levonian Saison, Chipotle Black Marlin Porter, Pescadero Pilsner, Dorado Double IPA (nitro), Barrel-aged Three Sheets Barleywine, Barrel-aged Barmy, Barrel-aged Indra Kunindra, Barrel-aged Victory at Sea - Mole, Bourbon Barrel Piper Down, and Bourbon Barrel Navigator.)

@Harrah's Philadelphia Casino, Chester, Pa.--- Sat. 8/3 - Craft Beer Festival on the Waterfront (3 p.m.-6 p.m.; $20 to sample over 35 of the area’s best craft beers, enjoy 2 live cover bands, take a ride on the mechanical bull, and take a bite out of some great food prepared by Harrah’s highly-regarded chefs.)

@Pinocchio's, Media, Pa.--- Thu. 8/1 - Brewer's Alley Debut Night (8 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG as Brewer's Alley is making their PA debut. Line-up to be finalized soon.)

@Sly Fox, Phoenixville and Pottstown, Pa.-- Fri. 8/2 - Incubus Friday (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG for the Belgian-style Tripel that pours until the keg kicks, usually by 7 p.m.)

@The Churchville Inn, Churchville, Pa.--- Fri. 8/2 - 1st Anniversary Rare Beer Bonanza (12 p.m.; $PAYG for Cantillon, KBS, Goose Island Bourbon County, and many more.)

@Tria (Washington West), Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 8/1 - This Little Blind Pig (12 p.m.; $PAYG for Blind Pig, everything that an IPA should be—hoppy, citrusy, piney, and perfect.)

@Varga Bar, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sun. 8/4 - Neshaminy Creek Tap Takeover (12 p.m.; $PAYG for the start of Shark Week with an 11-tap takeover by Neshaminy Creek Brewing's Bourbon Barrel-aged Leon RIS, Leon RIS, Concrete Pillow Barleywine, Tribute Tripel, Mudbank Milk Stout, Churchville Lager, Trauger Pils, Croydon Cream Ale, County Line IPA, Highwater Hefeweizen, and Dunks Ferry Dunkelweizen.)


Food and Beer events
@Cavanaugh's Headhouse, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 8/1 - Brew and Chew (8 p.m.-10 p.m.; $20-$25 for an Anchor Brewing beer tasting with paired appetizers.)

@High Street Grill, Mount Holly, NJ--- Fri. 8/2 - 9th Anniversary Dinner (7 p.m.; $75 for a four-course meal (plus hors d'ouerves) paired with Unibroue La Fin Du Monde, Goose Island Sophie, Allagash Curieux, Lagunitas Lucky 13, and Firestone Walker Sucuba.)

@Iron Hill, Newark, Del.--- Fri. 8/2 - Hops & Hot Wings (4 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG for a spicy summer chicken wing pairing featuring IPAs from Iron Hill and 6 guest breweries including Bear Republic, Green Flash, 21st Amendment, Sierra Nevada, Yards, and Tröegs.)
@Iron Hill, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 8/2 - Philly Grown and Raised (5 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG for an opportunity to taste some of the freshest ingredients available in Philadelphia and sourced within 5 miles of Chestnut Hill.)

@Jose Pistola's, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sun. 8/4 - Shark Week Brunch (10:30 a.m.; $PAYG for Dogfish Head's 2007 Raison D'extra and "The Randall" with a bunch of sharky stuff.)

@White Dog Café, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Tue. 8/6 - Stoudt's Beer Dinner with Carol Stoudt (6:30 p.m.; $45 for a four-course meal served with Stoudt's "Leg Lifter" American Pale Ale, Pils, Scarlet Lady, and Fat Dog Imperial Stout.)


Homebrewing, Charity, Schooling, and Miscellanies
@Allentown Brew Works, Allentown, Pa.--- Wed. 8/7 - Charity Cask Night (5 p.m.; $PAYG as proceeds from cask sales will be donated to March of Dimes.)
@Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, Pa.--- Thu. 8/1 - Charity Cask Night (5 p.m.; $PAYG as proceeds from cask sales will be donated to The Cancer Action Network.)

@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 8/1 - Movie Night (Jaws and Narragansett) (8 p.m.; $PAYG for an outdoor patio night of craft beer from Narragansett, Jaws on the big screen, popcorn, and other classic movie fare.)

@Dock Street, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Tue. 8/6 - Movie Night (8 p.m.; $PAYG for beer and food specials with Goldfinger on the big screen.)

@Growlers Bar, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 8/7 - Beer School 101 (7 p.m.; $PAYG for a class that will include a short session covering the listed topics, beer tastings, food pairings, gift bags, and Q&As with local brewery reps.)

@Iron Hill, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 8/1 - First Responders Night (9 p.m.-11 p.m.; $PAYG for a night of honoring Philadelphia Area’s First Responders with $3 house beers.)
@Iron Hill, Wilmington, Del.--- Sat. 8/3 - Beer and Bocce (12 p.m.-6 p.m.; $PAYG to enjoy some of the summer’s best beers while cheering on Iron Hill and local breweries as they compete to become the bocce champion. Beers from 21st Amendment, Allagash, Green Flash, Schlafly, Stewart’s, and of course Iron Hill.)

@Jose Pistola's, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Tue. 8/6 - Jimmy Meiers and the Biers ($PAYG as Jimmy Meiers from Origlio will be performing with the Biers. Check out some Sly Fox specials and come heckle Corey as he sits in on the drums as a guest of The Biers.)

@Memphis Taproom, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 8/7 - Beer School (12 p.m.; $Free to get some in-depth beer training right along side our staff.)

@Paradise Farm Camps, Downingtown, Pa.--- Sat. 8/3 - Chester County SPCA BrewBQ (12 p.m.-4 p.m.; $Free to attend this two-category BBQ cook-off. Each team will compete to see who can make the best chicken and ribs according to our judges. This year you will also be able to taste and vote on the People’s Pork award for our restaurant vendors.)