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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weekly Second-Hand Brews News Update: 9/28/13

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
~ Tom Kehoe talks Yards.


EASTERN PA, NJ, DE, AND OTHER NEARBY PARTS OF MID-ATLANTIC
~ Say it with me Austin Powers, one beeelion dollars.

~ Not only has Brew Dogs debuted on Esquire Network, the Philly episode is slated for October 1.


THE REST OF PLANET BEER
~ A tantalizing forward from BeerPulse.com.

~ The September 12 episode was one of the most coherent (verbal) articulations I've heard on the subject of "session" beer.

~ This is a fun companion to the kickoff of the NFL season.

~ Oft times, I'm at least one or two of the people on this fun list. Who are you?




Thursday, September 26, 2013

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: September 26 - September 30

You'd be forgiven if you took one look at this list and thought it was a full week of beer events. Nope, around here, even the last five days of the month can fill a beer events calendar like no other region.

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


Tastings/Samplings/Freebies
@Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa.--- Fri. 9/27 - Friday Night Tasting (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of Sly Fox's Oktoberfest Lager, Phoenix Pale Ale, Helles Golden Lager, and Pikeland Pils.)

@Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa.--- Thu. 9/26 - Thursday Night Tasting (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of the new Victory Dirt Wolf beer.)
@Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa.--- Fri. 9/27 - Friday Night Tasting (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of Evil Genius Pumpkin beer.)

@Goshen Beverage, West Chester, Pa.--- Fri. 9/27 - Friday Night Tasting (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of beer from Stoudt's Brewing Company.)

@Rino's, Exton, Pa.--- Thu. 9/26 - Evil Genius Tasting (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for wing and appetizer specials, prizes, memorabilia, and more.)

@Trolley Car Diner, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 9/27 - Finally Friday Beer Tasting (5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; $Free tasting samples from Weyerbacher)


Brewery Promos and "Takeovers"
@Isaac Newton's, Newtown, Pa.-- Thu. 9/26 - Forest & Main Tap Take-over (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG as Marketing Director Brian Nerney will be on-site to tap a variety of Forest and Main ales including Enfant Terrible, Douteux, and a firkin of Isis. Plus we might have a surprise or two.)

@Local 44 & The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Mon. 9/30 - Bell's Brewing Night (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG for Black Note, Best Brown, Two Hearted, Oarsman, Kalamazoo Stout, and Midwestern Pale.)

@TJ's, Paoli, Pa.--- Thu. 9/26 - Goose Island Happy Hour (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $PAYG for drafts of Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout, Bourbon County Coffee Stout, Night Stalker, Big John, Madame Rose, Matilda Lambicus, Sofie Paradisi, The Illinois, 25th Anniversary, Harvest, and Oktoberfest. By the glass from bottles of their Juliet and Lolita. VERY VERY VERY limited tastes of their RARE, King Henry, and Vanilla.)


Special One-offs or Debuts, Anniversaries/Parties, Festivals, and other noteworthy events
@Four Seasons Hotel, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 9/26 - 1983: Beer of Excellence (5 p.m.-8 p.m.; $35-$50 for great food, wine, and beer in our outdoor courtyard while the top tunes of the '80s will be spinning. Be the first to try our new fall beer Four All Seasons anniversary brew with Dock Street Brewing Co....1983: Beer of Excellence.)

@Golden Nugget, Atlantic City, NJ--- Sat. 9/28 - Craft Beer Tasting (7 p.m.; $49-$59 for over 99 seasonal craft beers from 40 different breweries paired with delicious bites and live entertainment.)

@Sly Fox, Pottstown, Pa.--- Sat. 9/28 - Can Jam Festival (12 p.m.; $PAYG to attend, $50 per team to play. Day-long music festival featuring the likes of Toy Soliders, The Lawsuits, Swift Technique, John Train, Travel Lanes, and Ataloft.)

@Stoudt's, Adamstown, Pa.--- Sat. 9/28 - Octoberfest Opening Weekend (12 p.m.; $PAYG for food, oompah, and beer.)

@Tired Hands, Ardmore, Pa.--- Thu. 9/26 - A FareWell to FarmHands (4 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG to celebrate the life of FarmHands and see it through to its next stage of existence.)


Food and Beer events
@High Street Grill, Mount Holly, NJ--- Thu. 9/26 - Unibroue Dinner (7 p.m.; $TBA for a very special four-course meal in which we pair a unique menu designed by our chef with four different beers from the Quebec brewing company including three Éphémères, La Fin Du Monde, Maudite, and Grand Reserve.)

@Hawthornes, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sun. 9/29 - Friends of Hawthornes Beer Dinner (8 p.m.-10 p.m.; $65 for a four-course meal served with beers from Maui Brewing Company.)

@Lucky's Last Chance, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sun. 9/29 - Southern Tier Brunch Tap Takeover (11 a.m.-2 p.m.; $PAYG for new brunch items including Southern Tier Pumking Pumpkin Pancakes and Southern Tier drafts including Compass, 2X Rye, Live, Plum Noir, Pumking, and one more to be announced.)

@Side Bar, West Chester, Pa.--- Mon. 9/30 - At The Bar Beer Dinner (7 p.m.; $35 for a five-small-plate meal served with five beers from Yards.)

@Vic & Anthony's (Golden Nugget), Atlantic City, NJ--- Fri. 9/27 - Beer Dinner (7 p.m.; $70 a four-course meal served Ommegang beers selected perfectly to enhance each course. A representative from the Cooperstown, NY brewery will be there on hand.)


Breaking Bad gets a category because it's some of the best television.....ever.
@Growlers Bar, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sun. 9/29 - Breaking Bad series Finale Party (8 p.m.; $PAYG to celebrate the series finale of a fantastic show. TVs will be airing the episode with sound in our main bar room, with specials themed around the series characters, like Allagash "Walter" Whites, Yards "Jesse" Pynkman bottles, and Heisenbergs Principle, a blue colored Moscow Mule.)

@Old Eagle Tavern, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sun. 9/29 - Dinner, Beer, and a Movie (11 a.m.-11 p.m.; $PAYG as specials will run all day and Breaking Bad, season 5 playing all day up to the season finale at 9 p.m. (with a short break for the Eagles games). Special dinner with a Chicken Dinner from Los Pollos Hermanos and beers inspired by main characters from Breaking Bad like Walter White - Special TBA beer, Sklyer White - Flying Dog Raging Bitch, Jesse Pinkman - Two Brothers Sidekick Pale Ale, and Drug Trade - Boulder Beer Hazed & Infused. $1 off featured beers during airings of Breaking Bad.)


Oktoberfest and other seasonal extravaganzas
@Devil's Den, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 9/28 & Sun. 9/29 - Oktoberfest ($PAYG for a special German-inspired food menu, handmade sausages along with a draft list that includes Schneider Aventinus, Weihenstephaner Vitus, Paulaner Salavator, Stiegl Radler, Julius Etcher Hefe Weisse, Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest, Two Brothers Atom Smasher, Wurzburger Pilsner, Hacker Pschorr Hefe Weisse, and Freigeist Hibiskuss.)

@downtown Downingtown, Pa.--- Sun. 9/29 - Downingtown Fall Fest (12 p.m.-4 p.m.; $TBA for a fall festival and access to Victory Beer Garden.)

@Hop Angel Brauhaus, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 9/28 & Sun. 9/29 - Oktoberfest (2 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG for a variety of Oktoberfest beers, sausage sandwiches, and house made pretzels.)

@Iron Hill, Lancaster, Pa.--- Fri. 9/27 - Oktoberfest Celebration (5 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for classic Bavarian fare and the Oktoberfest beer release in addition to Berliner Weisse, Vienna Red Lager, German Pilsner, Munich Helles, Maibock, Oktoberfest, Kölsch, and Hefeweizen. Traditional German dancers at 5 p.m.)
@Iron Hill, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 9/27 - Oktoberfest Celebration (5 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG for classic Bavarian fare and the Oktoberfest beer release and also Rauchbier, Oktoberfest, Munich Helles, Kölsch, German Pilsner, and Dortmunder.)
@Iron Hill, North Wales, Pa.--- Fri. 9/27 - Oktoberfest Celebration (5 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for classic Bavarian fare and the Oktoberfest beer release in addition to Konig Goldene, Kölsch, The Big German IPA, German Pilsner, and Hopfenweizen.)

@Neshaminy Creek Brewing, Croydon, Pa.--- Sat. 9/28 - Ziggy Zaggy Oktoberfest (4 p.m.-9 p.m.; $10 entry + PAYG for lagers, pilsners, and weizens. Food from Brauhaus Schmitz. Live music from Jeff Baker and the Keine Django Bande. Proceeds donated to Croydon Volunteer Fire Department.)

@Xfinity Live!, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 9/28 - Xtoberfest 2013 (2 p.m.-8 p.m.; $25-$55 for beer gardens, German Oktoberfest beer tents, food, music, and much more.)

@World Café Live, Wilmington, Del.--- Sat. 9/28 - Harvest Hop Fest (12 p.m.-4 p.m.; $40 to sample offerings from over 30 breweries. All styles will be represented including special fall varieties.)



Saturday, September 21, 2013

Weekly Second-Hand Brews News Update: 9/21/13

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
~ Bringing four women together from around the Philadelphia region, Free Will (Perkasie, Pa.) is brewing up a charitable beer.

~ Speaking of Erin Wallace (of Devil's Den and Old Eagle Tavern), the new Barren Hill (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) has Scott Morrison on board as brewer and he's announced some of the initial beers planned to come out of his new brewhouse.

EASTERN PA, NJ, DE, AND OTHER NEARBY PARTS OF MID-ATLANTIC
~ Anyone know what Iron Abbey Brewing is? Anything more than special one-off brews from Manayunk? I probably didn't get the memo.

~ More exciting growth in Delaware.

THE REST OF PLANET BEER
~ If you've got some friends with plumbing and tech skills, this could happen to you too.

~ Whether you think it's time or not, this should be a fun and charitably worthwhile event.

~ Too funny. Or not, depending upon the circumstances.

~ Some solid thinking continues.



Thursday, September 19, 2013

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: September 19 - September 25

Somehow I never tire of sharing with you the dozens of events that load up each and every week's beer calendar all around the Philadelphia region. Have at it...

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


Tastings/Samplings/Freebies
@Bainbridge Street Barrel House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 9/25 - A Killer Shade of Pale Ale (4 p.m.; $PAYG to celebrate the resurgence of the work horse of American craft beer.)

@Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa.--- Fri. 9/20 - Friday Night Tasting (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of Stoudt's Oktoberfest beer.)

@Rino's, Exton, Pa.--- Thu. 9/19 - Boxcar Brewing Tasting (6 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for wing and appetizer specials, prizes, memorabilia, and more.)

@Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa.--- Fri. 9/20 - Third Friday Firkin Fest (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG for 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.)

@Tröegs Brewery, Hershey, Pa.--- Thu. 9/19 - Full Moon Firkin (11 a.m.; $PAYG for full moon fun with Tröegs.)


Brewery Promos and "Takeovers"
@Barcade, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 9/19 - Tröegs Scratch Night (4 p.m.; $PAYG for a lineup of beers TBA.)

@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Tue. 9/24 - Goose Island Migration Week and Tap Takeover (4 p.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG for a draft list that you can find over at PhillyTapFinder.com.)

@Fingers Wings and Other Things, Conshohocken, Pa.--- Sat. 9/21 - Great Lakes Tap Takeover (11 a.m.-4 p.m.; $PAYG for the the exciting beers of Denver, Colorado's Great Divide Brewing Company, including Rumble IPA, 19th Anniversary Ale, Colette Farmhouse Ale, Orabelle, Titan IPA, Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti, and Heyday.)

@Iron Hill, Media, Pa.--- Sat. 9/21 - Dark Humor Rising (1 p.m.-5 p.m.; $PAYG for this limited, multi-beer release featuring dark beers aged in second use barrels from wine, bourbon, and rum. Vintage Dark Humor, Rum Barrel Aged Dark Humor, Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Humor, Sherry Barrel Aged Dark Humor, Tawny Port Barrel Aged Dark Humor, and Ruby Port Barrel Aged Dark Humor. Bottled Reserves available in limited quantities.)

@Maggie O'Neill's, Drexel Hill, Pa.--- Thu. 9/19 - Sly Fox Tap Takeover (6 p.m.; $PAYG as the Eagles take on Andy Reid and the Chiefs while enjoying some rare Sly Fox drafts along with our favorite flagships.)

@PJ Whelihans, Cherry Hill, NJ--- Wed. 9/25 - Weyerbacher Tap Event (8 p.m.; $PAYG for Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin, Merry Monks, Last Chance IPA, and Verboten. Trivia and pint glass giveaways starting at 8 p.m.)

@Side Car Bar & Grille, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 9/25 - Goose Island Migration Week and Tap Takeover (5 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for a draft list that you can find over at PhillyTapFinder.com.)

@Ulysses Gastropub, Wilmington, Del.--- Wed. 9/25 - Evolution Craft Brewing (5 p.m.; $PAYG for a tap takeover from Evolution.)


Special One-offs or Debuts, Anniversaries/Parties, Festivals, and other noteworthy events
@Jenkintown Town Square, Jenkintown, Pa.--- Sun. 9/22 - Jenkintown Brew Fest (12:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.; $5-$35 to sample a variety of options either by purchasing all day passes or choosing single servings. For the first time, this year's Brew Fest will involve a Home Brew Competition.)

@Jose Pistola's, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sun. 9/22 - Sour Sunday (10:30 a.m.; $PAYG for a draft list that you can find over at PhillyTapFinder.com.)

@Kite & Key, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 9/19 - Yards get PYNK With Big Red’s Return (5 p.m.; $PAYG for the Kite & Key release of Yards' PYNK. We will have an awesome array of your favorite Yards brews for an evening of fun with the crew and watching the Eagles.)
@Kite & Key, Philadelphia, Pa.-- Sun. 9/22 - Savage Sixtel Sunday (7 p.m.; $PAYG for an impressive list revealed at 7 p.m. as always.)

@Resurrection Ale House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Tue. 9/24 - 4th Anniversary (5 p.m.; $PAYG for an Allagash lineup of Broken Elevator, Fluxus 2012, Confluence 2012, FV-13, Blonde, White, Midnight Brett, James Beam, Golden Brett, Curieux, and Interlude 2012. Complimentary passed nibbles, as well.)

@The Battleship New Jersey, Camden, NJ--- Sat. 9/21 - MGK Brew Blast on the Battleship (1 p.m.-5 p.m.; $40-$45 to meet the MGK jocks, enjoy live music from the MGK house band, experience a tour of the Battleship, eat great food, and sample over 50 craft beers.)

@The Stocking Works, Newtown, Pa.--- Sat. 9/21 - Newtown Beer Fest (12:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.; $10-$75 for beer tasting, live music, food, and fun.)


Food and Beer events
@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 9/21 - The Best Wurst Saturday Ever (1 p.m.-4 p.m.; $PAYG for a German-inspired menu, live music by TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb, and a draft list that you can find over at PhillyTapFinder.com.)

@Iron Abbey, Horsham, Pa.--- Wed. 9/25 - Weihenstephan Oktoberfest Beer Dinner (7 p.m.; $60 for a five-course meal served with Weihenstephan's Festbier, Hefeweissbier Dunkel, Hefe-Weissbier, Korbinian, and Vitus.)

@Lemon Hill, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Mon. 9/23 - Brooklyn Brewery Beer Dinner (6:30 p.m.; $60 for a four-course meal served with some awesome brews from the Brooklyn Brewery.)

@Station Taproom, Downingtown, Pa.--- Sun. 9/22 - Wyebrook Farms & Vollemecke Orchards Dinner (6 p.m.; $75 for a six-course meal served with beers to be announced shortly.)

@Yards Brewing Company, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sun. 9/22 - Smoke 'Em If Yous Got 'Em (12 p.m.-4 p.m.; $20-$50 a festival with random smoked beers (and a selection of some beers that we just plain love) from around the world paired with some of the best local BBQ and smoked food in the area.)


Homebrewing, Charity, Schooling, and Miscellanies
@Maysie's Farm Conservation Center, Glenmoore, Pa.--- Sat. 9/21 - Maysie's FarmFest (1 p.m.-11 p.m.; $20-$25 for a daylong "Conservation Concert" and local beers, cider, and foods.)

@Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, Pa.--- Thu. 9/19 - Talk Like a Pirate Day ($PAYG to dress as a Pirate and talk away. The best impersonation judged by our staff will get you a 9L bottle of Piraat.)

@The Institute, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 9/21 - Weyerbacher & Lego Build Off (12 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG for a full 16 tap takeover of our draft lines and a The Great Lego Build Off competition with the winner getting a case of Weyerbacher and a gift card to the brew pub.)

@Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, Pa.--- Sun. 9/22 - Bike Fresh Bike Local (7 a.m.; $40-$45 for a fabulous bike tour (10 to 75 mile options) of the Chester County countryside and a celebration of local foods.)


Oktoberfest and other seasonal extravaganzas
@Brauhaus Schmitz/South Street, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 9/21 - Oktoberfest Street Festival (12 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free admission and a $100 VIP option as they shut down South Street and party all day with live oompah music, a pig roast, and lots of great German beer.)

@Hop Angel Brauhaus, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 9/21 & Sun. 9/22 - Pumpkinfest (2 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG for a variety of pumpkin beers, a variety of pumpkin foods, and some pumpkin fun.)

@Iron Hill, Phoenixville, Pa.- Sat. 9/21 - Oktoberfest Celebration (2 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG for classic Bavarian fare and the Oktoberfest beer release in addition to German Pilsner, Roggenbier, Oktoberfest, Hefeweizen, Rauchbier, and Berliner Weisse.)



Saturday, September 14, 2013

Weekly Second-Hand Brews News Update: 9/14/13

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
~ Shame to hear since Kimpton hotels are solid and we know that Tellez is a supporter of great beer, particularly his hometown Victory.

~ Did you know the most recent Draught Lines is out from Origlio. Check it out, particularly (and selfishly) since you'll find a piece from me featured prominently on page 3.

EASTERN PA, NJ, DE, AND OTHER NEARBY PARTS OF MID-ATLANTIC
~ Our old friends from Philly, Mike Fava and Casey Hughes, have brewed up a collaboration beer.

~ Thought-provoking article.

~ DC Brau made the list.

THE REST OF PLANET BEER
~ Joe Sixpack offers up additional proof that beer, for better or worse, may in fact be the new wine. Particularly if we're going down this path.

~ I like this story about brewing in Santa Cruz as much because I've been there (love it) as the emphasis on the outdoors, brewing, and session beers

~ It's just beer marketing being marketing, of course, but in light of Patriot Day, it's pretty good video tribute to NYC.

~ Now cleared for takeoff.

~ A look at what's happening around some of Colorado's finest breweries during recent devastation. An inside look from "Chipper Dave".



Thursday, September 12, 2013

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: September 12 - September 18

Are you in to your post-Labor Day routine yet? Vacations over. Kids back to school. Cooler weather. Well, scratch that cooler weather comment. Seems we got a bit of weather mixup with September/October weather hitting us in October and now a bit of August in September.

Nonetheless, the beer events calendar around Philly is as consistent as ever. Full of great-looking events ranging from free and simple to expensive and complex.

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


Tastings/Samplings/Freebies
@Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa.--- Fri. 9/13 - Friday Night Tasting (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of Starr Hill beer.)
@Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa.--- Sat. 9/14 - Saturday Tasting (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of Boxcar beer.)

@Whole Foods, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.--- Thu. 9/12 - Smuttynose Tasting (5 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free & $PAYG for a pumpkin ale tasting, free glassware, and a tap takeover of Smuttynose usual suspects and Big Beers, too.)


Brewery Promos and "Takeovers"
@Bainbridge Street Barrel House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 9/12 - Weyerbacher Comes To The Barrel House (7 p.m.; $PAYG for a special event draft list that you can find over at PhillyTapFinder.com)

@Barcade, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 9/12 - Green Flash Night (4 p.m.; $PAYG for a special event draft list that you can find over at PhillyTapFinder.com)

@Bistro On Bridge, Phoenixville, Pa.--- Thu. 9/12 - Evil Twin/Mikkeller Double Tap Takeover (7 p.m.; $PAYG for a Double Tap Takeover with Evil Twin's Yang, Yin, Ryan and the Beaster Bunny, Low Life, Lil’ B, Imperial Biscotti Break, Naked Lunch in a Copenhagen Heavenly Restroom, and Justin Blåbær and Mikkeller's Double Eye IPA, US Alive, Walk on Water, and Yeast Series 2.0: Saison.)

@Earth Bread + Brewery, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 9/12 - Yards Tap Takeover (5 p.m.; $PAYG featuring PYNK and all things Yards.)

@Flanigan's Boathouse, Conshohocken, Pa.--- Thu. 9/12 - September in the Sierra Tap Takeover (6 p.m.; $PAYG for a special event draft list that you can find over at PhillyTapFinder.com)

@High Street Grill, Mount Holly, NJ--- Thu. 9/12 - Victory Beer Promo (7 p.m.; $PAYG as the beer begins to flow at 7 and trivia begins at 8.)

@Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 9/12 - ShawneeCraft Brewing Company (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG for a bottle release party of their Bourbon Barrel Porter.)

@Pinocchio's, Media, Pa.--- Fri. 9/13 - Great Lakes Night (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG for Silver Anniversary India Pale Lager, Octoberfest, Commodore Perry, and more will be on draft, and Besty of all Betsy from Great Lakes will be here to drink beer with us.)


Special One-offs or Debuts, Anniversaries/Parties, Festivals, and other noteworthy events
@Appalachian Brewing Company, Harrisburg, Pa.--- Sat. 9/14 - Capital City Invitational Beer Fest (2 p.m.-5 p.m., 6 p.m.-9 p.m.; $15-$40 as they hoist the maypoles and get the polka party on to kick off Oktoberfest. We are shooting for 25+ breweries from Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic region as well as some awesome brew friendly vendors.)

@Bainbridge Street Barrel House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 9/18 - Attack of the Pumpkins (4 p.m.; $PAYG to celebrate the pumpkin harvest with 25 lines of pumpkin beer goodness.)

@Brauhaus Schmitz, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Mon. 9/16 through Mon. 9/23 - Oktoberfest (See website for all of the weeklong details.)

@Grey Lodge, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 9/13 - Friday The Firkinteenth (12 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG for 25-30 firkins of cask-conditioned beer on tap throughout the day, seven at a time. You can find the draft list over at PhillyTapFinder.com. At 10 a.m., we will have a special breakfast menu, a sort of greatest hits from our weekend brunch menu.)

@Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 9/14 - Pils Picnic (12 p.m.; $PAYG for a special event draft list that you can find over at PhillyTapFinder.com)

@Kite & Key, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 9/12 - Bear Republic Invades (5 p.m.; $PAYG for a special event draft list that you can find over at PhillyTapFinder.com)

@Monk's Café, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 9/14 - Zwanze Day (12 p.m.; $PAYG and see website for all the details and a special event draft list that you can find over at PhillyTapFinder.com)

@The Pour House, Exton, Pa.--- Thu. 9/12 - Great Lakes Brewing (6 p.m.; $PAYG for a special event draft list that you can find over at PhillyTapFinder.com)


Food and Beer events
@Broad Axe Tavern, Ambler, Pa.--- Wed. 9/18 - Rare Belgium Trappist Beer Dinner (7 p.m.; $85 for a five-course meal featuring Orval ['11], Chimay Blanche (Cinq Cents), Westmalle Tripel, Rochefort 8, and Achel 8° Blond.)

@Iron Hill, Lancaster, Pa.--- Thu. 9/12 - Beer and Cheese (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $35 for five cheeses paired with Vienna Red Lager, Saison, Raspberry Berliner Weisse, Oktoberfest, and Belgian IPA.)
@Iron Hill, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Tue. 9/17 - The Bridge Beer Dinner (7 p.m.; $75 for a six-course collaboration beer dinner with the company's Maple Shade location featuring Kölsch, Whitesbog Blueberry, Beer Sorbet, The Bridge, Rauchbock, and Cowabunga Porter.)
@Iron Hill, Maple Shade, NJ--- Wed. 9/18 - The Bridge Beer Dinner (7 p.m.; $75 for a six-course collaboration beer dinner with the company's Chestnut Hill location featuring Kölsch, Whitesbog Blueberry, The Cannibal, Beer Sorbet, The Bridge, Rauchbock, and Cowabunga Porter.)

@McFadden's Ballpark, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 9/14 - Beer Fest & BBQ at the Ballpark (2 p.m.-8 p.m.; $20-$55 to sample over 50 different beers from 30+ craft breweries all while listening to live band & DJ music, indulging on great ballpark & outdoor BBQ food, and much more.)

@Ott's, Medford, NJ--- Tue. 9/17 - Weyerbacher Beer Dinner (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $35 for a four-course meal served with Weyerbacher's Verboten, Merry Monks, Last Chance, and Imperial Pumpkin.)

@The Yardley Inn, Yardley, Pa.--- Wed. 9/18 - Harvest Dinner (7 p.m.; $55 to take a tour of the Inn’s gardens and farmland, continuing with actual harvesting of some ingredients for the evening’s courses, and concluding with a fine spread of food, beer, and wines, all sourced locally and many grown on the Inn’s own soil.)

@Ulysses Gastropub, Wilmington, Del.--- Thu. 9/12 - Tröegs Brewery a la carte Food Pairing (5 p.m.; $PAYG for a special menu to pair with some of Troegs' best beers like Dreamweaver Wheat, Perpetual IPA, Dead Reckoning Porter, and Hop Back Amber.)


Homebrewing, Charity, Schooling, and Miscellanies
@Bottle Shop at Local 44, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 9/18 - Beer School (5 p.m.; $Free to get some in depth beer training right along side our staff.)

@Pinocchio's, Media, Pa.--- Thu. 9/12 - Help Pinnochio's Battle MS (4 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG to come out and join Megan in fighting MS. $1 from each draft sold will help support the MS Society.)

@The Beer School, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 9/13 - Beer and Brewing 101 (7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; $39.97 for an introduction to how beer is made, major beer styles, and brewing history. Eight different brews will be sampled.)

@Varga Bar, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sun. 9/15 - Hop Model Pageant (8 p.m.; $PAYG as they are looking to judge based on evening wear, talent, interview, and beer gear. Everything is gonna revolve around craft beer obviously.)



Saturday, September 07, 2013

Weekly Second-Hand Brews News Update: 9/7/13

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
~ TV Brew Dogs is coming soon.

~ Brauhaus Schmitz recently welcomed Andechs to Philly and Jack Curtin reminisced.

~ I like that McGillin's is a great place to drink great beer with friends (not to mention the place's history), but that it's also a curator of Philadelphia's history.

~ Certainly looks like an interesting addition to Chinatown.

EASTERN PA, NJ, DE, AND OTHER NEARBY PARTS OF MID-ATLANTIC
~ Former Dogfish Bryan is moving on again.

~ This one sounds pretty baseless and frivolous.

~ Whereas, the big bad brewery needs a bit of comeuppance in this case.

~ And on a nicer note, solid Weyerbacher reppin' from Natalie DeChico.

THE REST OF PLANET BEER
~ The dialogue about growth at Russian River continues.

~ I begin by applauding the opening sentences and cringing at the last.

~ A well-reasoned discussion of growth and quality from someone qualified to do so.

~ Parallels drawn in the ugly side of the beer business related to a story with a sad outcome.

~ When old becomes new and sometimes old again.



Thursday, September 05, 2013

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: September 5 - September 11

The seasons change, the school year calendar turns over, and sports seasons come and go. But, one thing never changes — the beer events calendar covering the Philadelphia region keeps on doing what it's always been doing: giving you great reasons to drink great beer with great people at great places. Phew, that sounds, well, great. As you were...

Check out the entire September 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. For example, of the events listed below, they've got a tap list for Sidecar's High Gravity event, a list for The Pour House's Founders event, a draft list for Cedar Point's special Brett Night, and an event listing for the Stone event at Bottle Bar East.


Tastings/Samplings/Freebies
@Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa.--- Fri. 9/6 - Friday Night Tasting (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of Dos Equis beer.)

@Washington House, Sellersville, Pa.--- Fri. 9/6 - Beer Tasting (5 p.m.; $PAYG to taste some fabulous Dogfish Head beers from Delaware.)

@Wegmans, Collegeville, Pa.--- Sat. 9/7 - Beer Sampling (2 p.m.-4 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of Sly Fox Oktoberfest and Helles 360.)

@Whole Foods, Glen Mills, Pa.--- Fri. 9/6 - Beer Tasting (4 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of fresh beers from Philadelphia Brewing Company.)


Brewery Promos and "Takeovers"
@Bottle Bar East, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 9/6 - Stone Tap Takeover (5 p.m.; $PAYG for at least a half dozen goodies from one of southern California's finest. See event draft listing at PhillyTapFinder.com)

@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 9/5 - Movie Night (8 p.m.; $PAYG for Point Break on the big screen, beer from Ommegang, popcorn, and classic movie fare.)

@Grey Lodge, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 9/6 - Returning the Banner/Belgium Comes from Pottstown (6 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for Sly Fox's Belgian Blonde, Sasion Vos, and Oktoberfest)

@Hulmeville Inn, Hulmeville, Pa.--- Thu. 9/5 - Who's Your Yeti? ($PAYG for Great Divide Oaked Yeti ['12], Great Divide Chocolate Yeti ['11], Great Divide Oatmeal Yeti ['13], and Stoudt’s Old Abominable ['11].)

@Iron Hill, Phoenixville, Pa.--- Fri. 9/6 - First Friday Firkin (5 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG for Amarillo IPA with pickled hop shoots.)
@Iron Hill, Maple Shade, NJ--- Sat. 9/7 - Welcome, Great Pumpkin (12 p.m.-5 p.m.; $PAYG as the Great Imperial Pumpkin Ale is on draft and on sale in 750ML Bottles. Pumpkin-inspired fare will be served up with Iron Hill's Pumpkin Ale, Cinderella’s Carriage, and Bourbon Imperial Pumpkin Ale and three Pumpkin Ales from guest breweries including Dogfish Head, Weyerbacker, and Elysian.)

@Sly Fox, Phoenixville and Pottstown, Pa.--- Fri. 9/6 - Incubus Friday (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG for the Belgian-style Tripel that pours until the keg kicks, usually by 7pm.)

@The Pour House, Westmont, NJ--- Thu. 9/5 - Founders Night (6 p.m.; $PAYG for a Founders Brewery spotlight featuring at least a half dozen treats from Michigan. See event draft listing at PhillyTapFinder.com)


Special One-offs or Debuts, Anniversaries/Parties, Festivals, and other noteworthy events
@Arden Theatre, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 9/6 - First Friday Festival (5 p.m.-9 p.m.; $Free with RSVP and suggested $5 donation for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation as Drink Philly celebrates three years of drinks, lite bites, and local artists.)

@Arts and Events Place, Quakertown, Pa.--- Sat. 9/7 - McCoole's Beer Festival (12 p.m.-4 p.m., 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; $10-$40 for over 70 unique beers, live music, great food, craft vendors, beer trivia, and a homebrew competition.)

@Campbell's Field, Camden, NJ--- Fri. 9/6 - Oktoberfest (7:05 p.m.; $35 for two hours of unlimited food and drinks in the air-conditioned Diamond Café.)

@Cedar Point Bar & Kitchen, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 9/5 - What the Brett! (Snobby Beer Night) (5 p.m.; $PAYG for a celebration of high-brow beers brewed with brettanomyces, sours, and tons of other good stuff. See event draft listing at PhillyTapFinder.com)

@downtown Lancaster, Pa.--- Sat. 9/7 - Lancaster Craft Beer Fest (1 p.m.-5 p.m.; $12-$55 for dozens of options of craft beer, in addition to great food and live music to enjoy as well.)

@Millbrook Playhouse, Mill Hall, Pa.--- Sat. 9/7 - Brews in the Barn (4 p.m.; $35 for hors d’ oeuvres and samplings of more than 50 varieties of craft, home, and nationally distributed beer.)

@Side Car Bar & Grille, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 9/11 - High Gravity (3 p.m.; $PAYG for a lineup of especially high gravity, tasty, and in some cases hard-to-find beers. See event draft listing at PhillyTapFinder.com)


Food and Beer events
@Cavanaugh's Headhouse, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 9/5 - Brew and Chew (8 p.m.-10 p.m.; $20-$25 for an appetizer pairing with beers from Wolaver's and Otter Creek.)

@Cavanaugh's Rittenhouse, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 9/11 - Brew and Chew (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $25 for a four-course craft beer pairing where we will pair four Bell's beers with four different apps.)

@Iron Hill, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 9/6 - Philly Grown and Raised (5 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG as the restaurant partners with Weavers Way Co-op, Philly CowShare, and Henry Got Crops to create a special menu showcasing Philly’s farm-to-table finest sourced within 5 miles of Chestnut Hill.)

@The Rising Sun Inn, Telford, Pa.--- Wed. 9/11 - Beer and Food Pairing Event (6:30 p.m.; $40 for four courses of food to complement four beers from Tröegs.)


Homebrewing, Charity, Schooling, and Miscellanies
@Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, Pa.--- Thu. 9/5 - Charity Cask Night (5 p.m.; $PAYG as 100% of cask sales will be donated to Teed Off At Cancer/The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.)

@Bistro on Bridge, Phoenixville, Pa.--- Sat. 9/7 - Berks County ARL Food & Beer Pairing Event (6 p.m.-10 p.m.; $30 for pairings with Allagash White, Goose Island Fall Harvest Ale, Twisted Pine Triple Espresso Stout, Neshaminy County Line IPA, Round Guys Bout Damn Time Double IPA, and Outta Hands Belgian Ale.)

@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sun. 9/8 - The Big Lebowski Quizzo and Movie Night (5 p.m.; $5 entrance donation (benefits Leukemia and Lymphoma Society) to receive drink specials. Quizzo hosted by Johnny Goodtimes. The movie starts at 7:30 p.m., popcorn included.)

@Gretz Beer Company, Norristown, Pa.--- Sun. 9/8 - 9/11 Heroes Run (9 a.m.; $15-$25 for either a 1-mile or 5-kilometer run/walk benfitting the Brad Fox Foundation & the Hero Fund of MontCo. Post-event meal is included and catered by Victory.)

@Resurrection Ale House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 9/11 - Beer School (4 p.m.; $Free to get some in depth beer schooling along with our staff.)



Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Belgium Comes To Cooperstown 2013 at Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY

(This pretty much pulls the whole of BCTC at Brewery Ommegang into one image.)

2013. Yes, 2013. This is not a typo. While BCTC 2013 is now over four weeks in our rear view mirrors, I'm not here to write about 2014 quite yet. Nope, still must wrap up the 2013 edition.

I've started, been interrupted, re-started, got distracted, had a hard drive issue, and yadda yadda yadda. It's finally time to put the bow on the annual extravaganza that is Belgium Comes To Cooperstown at Brewery Ommegang. Every year on the outskirts of the quaint and lovely throwback of a village called Cooperstown, the brewery puts on what has without much argument turned into a bucket-list type of beer festival.

You may have caught up with the pictures that I loaded immediately in the days after BCTC '13. The words, though, have taken me longer to get around to. Remember how I've always boasted that the words come easier to me than the pictures? Hm.

Anyway, to get this all properly shared with you and to close out this tenth anniversary chapter of BCTC at Brewery Ommegang, I'll again thank the brewery for their hospitality and get on with the sharing in abbreviated bullet format. Also, for the sneak peeks and tastes of new beers from Ommegang soon to be hitting retail shelves, look below for where I mention them.

(a-Chouffe-ing we will go)

  Theme - Always the clever theme-setters at BCTC, the brewery played up the Seinfeld theme in ways big and small (and probably some I didn't even notice) throughout the weekend. From the episodes being projected on the side of the building for late-night viewing entertainment, to VIP dinner menu and table decorations, to Costanza's infamous Timeless Art of Seduction (see pictures for the full picture if you dare)

  Weather - Other than a quick storm on Friday evening, Mother Nature offered up a nice respite from last year's heat. If you've been to BCTC multiple times over the years, or followed along with The Brew Lounge's annual chronicle of the event, you know this is always a wild card element of the weekend given the wacky microclimates of the region.

  Organization - More than ever, the brewery has battened down the hatches and turned this festival into a well-run and organized event. Keeping the total attendance under 3,000 seems to have helped the brewery find its sweet spot in terms of optimal crowd control and event management. This year, that included expanded parking, the registration tent pushed out into the field, and golf cart transportation hospitality for campers arriving on Friday with all of their campsite gear. That last feature scored big points with many of the VIP guests, including me, who have asked in past years for a more accommodating option to set up campsites in lieu of being permitted to drive on to the property in order to drop off their cargo.

(Brewery Ommegang, resplendent in red)

  Hop Chef - I love this thing called Hop Chef that they coordinate around the country for a few months leading up to BCTC. The culinary competition, which involves beers from the Ommegang/Duvel family (natch), culminates with the finals during BCTC but I hesitate to say that it's everything that it can/should be. The celebration of food and beer is played up big time in the regional showdowns and would seem to be deserving of a grander culmination. Whether it was the tasting tables running short of samples or the rather tepid gathering by the main stage for the winning chef announcement, there seem to be elements — and I'm not able to put a finger specifically what those one or two things are — missing that would make the Hop Chef competition finals a more wildly successful conclusion than it currently is.

  Extracirriculars - Each year, BCTC offers up a little something new to add to the well-rounded nature of the weekend. This year, it was a bit larger than just a "little something". A ferris wheel gave rides late into the evening and was quite popular with a seemingly never-ending line of eager riders. Our campsite neighbors even found their way up there for a memorable wedding proposal (and acceptance!). Congratulations to Jen and Jeff!! Adding to the extracirriculars, as well, was an ever-expanding vendor area that included everything from homebrew equipment to massage chairs to a phone-charging station. Food options plus plenty of free bottled water were readily available too. If you follow me closely enough around here, you know how big that last bit about abundantly available free/included water is to me.

  Brewery shout-outs - It's easy to give props to the recurring great work on display from long-timers like Allagash, Brooklyn, Dogfish Head, and, of course, host Ommegang/Duvel. And then there are the ones not quite as old, but almost as familiar, like Captain Lawrence, Ithaca, Peekskill, Smuttynose, and White Birch. More interesting, still, every year to me is the emergence of the new guys on the scene. This year, I counted nine breweries that not only have I never had a beer of theirs, I've never heard of them. Notable amongst the ones I did have this year came from the likes of Good Nature (Hypocritte Witte — refreshing with chamomile), Hopshire Farm (Zingabeer — a Belgian pale with a zing of ginger), Port Jefferson (H3 Trippel — nicely balanced for a 10.1%), and Singlecut Beersmiths (Le Von La Saison D'Falle).

(Tastes of more great stuff to come from Brewery Ommegang)

  New beers from Ommegang - Brewery Ommegang plans to keep the hits coming with four new beers that will be hitting the market in coming months. I'm betting that they'll be big hits. I was invited to take a quick sample of them with Innovation Manager, Mike McManus. First up, for you Game of Thrones junkies, Take the Black will be released throughout September as the second beer in the series with serious thematic ties to the HBO show. While the first Iron Throne was a pretty good Belgian ale, I'm liking this one even more as it strikes a very nice balance with licorice root and anise. These are two flavors, when in beer, I'd typically be cautious of. However, back to the word balance, the brewery has done such a nice job with a deft balancing of these flavors in a 7% imperial stout.

I've been high on Grisette this summer, particularly from Sly Fox, as perfect summer thirst-quencher. The Grisette presented by McManus from Ommegang was similarly refreshing, but with a bit more of a pepper spice kick, mostly likely thanks to the pink peppercorns used in the recipe.

Wild At Heart is the 100% Brettanomyces fermented beer due out by around Thanksgiving time in 750ml bottles. This was a "bonus beer" that McManus unveiled at the end of the "new beer" presentation and I could not have been more pleased. The beer was undergoing its house yeast conditioning and was exhibiting wonderful tropical and slightly tart fruit flavors without laying on too much Brett funk that you might expect to find when you hear the word Brettanomyces. The brewery employed two relatively new hops from New Zealand, Topaz and Motueka. You should find this beer to be quite the crowd pleaser, full of flavor and delivering plenty of thirst-quenching refreshment. A small taste of this has me looking forward to grab several bottles of this in November for both fresh drinking and a bit of storage.

Last, but certainly not least, while the retirement (or, at least, retirement from year-round production) of the BPA will come as sad news to many of you (myself included), the Hop House is shaping up to be a very fine replacement. Resplendent with a really nice hop flavor and aroma, the 6% dry-hopped pale ale should be entering the fold by end of 2013.

  That's all? To close with some nuggets from Larry Bennett, who graciously sat with me to discuss his ten years of involvement in both planning and executing the festival, "...drinking really great beers with old friends that make up the 'community' is truly one of the high points of every year. Meeting new friends and meeting old brewer friends in 'tent city' is a fun part of the weekend". I couldn't agree more.

Bennett was one of the four original compatriots that conspired to put together this little beer festival on the brewery grounds on a shoestring budget of not even $10,000 and less than three months of planning in 2004 shortly after he joined the company. Tickets were $25 — sold over the phone and in person — and around 800 locals and people from around the region showed up to camp and drink great beer.

These days the health department and fire marshal complete thorough inspections for two days prior to the event and the total undertaking runs into the six digits and people travel from far and wide to attend with tickets that sell out with minutes (VIP) and hours (general). Now, a staff of three headed up by Tara Aitchison (who also oversees the store and café) begins planning around the winter holidays with the construction of an overall theme.

Having Duvel Moortgat USA President & CEO Simon Thorpe, previously a Stella exec, on board certainly doesn't hurt given his enthusiastic support of the annual event as well as other events throughout the year like concerts (which can draw 3,000-5,000), family-oriented events, and old-time baseball games. Bennett says that Thorpe loves throwing events such as these, even if they barely break even, because they "bring people in, especially a more diverse group, including more women, than ever, to reach new audiences to experience new beer, but profitability is not the first goal in mind when event planning."

I concurred on the point of introducing new people to new beer. If we still like the term "gateway beer", I suggested that Wild At Heart (see above) will be a great gateway for all of Bennett's and Ommegang's new friends that visit the brewery.

With that, Larry went off to taste some Wild At Heart and I went off in search of the rest of the day's events at one of the country's best beer events/festivals.

(Fireworks at Midnight light up the Cooperstown sky to close out BCTC '13)

(Probably an apt illustration of the love festival-goers feel for BCTC and Brewery Ommegang)