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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Beer Calendar: What To Do in February 2014

And just like that, there goes one month of the new year. If you've been able to get through this below average month of freezing temps, then you've likely been able to find yourself some good beer floating around out there as the beer events calendar did not relent. Come zero degree weather, snow, sleet, blowing winds, or whatever Mother Nature will throw at us, the brewers and reps will carry on and continue bringing you the best of their best. They're doing their part, now, get to it and do your part. It'll do the economy some good too ;-)

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
Sat. 2/1 - Chili Cook-off @Pub On Passyunk East (P.O.P.E.), Philadelphia, Pa. (12 p.m.-3 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 2/1 - Vegan Wing Bowl @The Abbaye, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $20)
Sat. 2/1 - World’s Best Beer Trip Welcome Party @City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sun. 2/2 - Groundhog Day Hawaiian Shirt Beer Breakfast & Lucky Cat Beer Prognostication @Grey Lodge, Philadelphia, Pa. (9 a.m.; $PAYG)
Sun. 2/2 - Groundhog's Day: The Brew Forecast @Perch Pub, Philadelphia, Pa. (12 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sun. 2/2 - Brunch with Founders @City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa. (11 a.m.; $PAYG)
Sun. 2/2 - Super Fowl Competition @Varga Bar, Philadelphia, Pa. (5:30 p.m.; $PAYG)
Mon. 2/3 - Happy Hour (Stone) @Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free)
Mon. 2/3 - Stone Brewing Night @Local 44, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.; $PAYG)
Tue. 2/4 - Beer School @Strangelove's, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 2/5 - Beer School @Memphis Taproom, Philadelphia, Pa. (12 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 2/5 - Sour Face Night @Bainbridge Street Barrel House, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 2/5 - Flying Fish Tasting @Hawthornes, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 2/5 - U Buy the Glass @The Abbaye, Philadelphia, Pa. (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $10)
Thu. 2/6 - DuClaw Brewing Night @Barcade, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 2/6 - Flying Fish Tap Takeover @Varga Bar, Philadelphia, Pa. (8 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 2/7 - Friday Night Sampling (Bell's) @Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 2/7 - Beer Tasting (Firestone Walker) @The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; $Free)
Sat. 2/8 - Beer Tasting (Left Hand) @The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Mon. 2/10 - Tsarpower @Khyber Pass Pub, Philadelphia, Pa. (11 a.m.; $PAYG)
Mon. 2/10 - Happy Hour (Great Lakes) @Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free)
Wed. 2/12 - High Gravity @The Sidecar Bar & Grille, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 2/12 - 50/50 Eclipse @Hawthornes, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 2/14 - Get Your Strange Love On With Oxbow @Strangelove's, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 2/14 - Friday Night Sampling (Susquehanna) @Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 2/14 - Beer Tasting (Fegley's Brew Works) @The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Sat. 2/15 - Dogfish Head Barroom Blitz @Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia, Pa. (12 p.m.; $PAYG)
Mon. 2/17 - Happy Hour (Victory) @Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free)
Tue. 2/18 - Sly Fox In The House @Resurrection Ale House, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 2/19 - Beer School @Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 2/20 - Beer Tasting (Tröegs) @The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 2/21 - Friday Night Sampling (Flying Fish) @Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free)
Mon. 2/24 - Happy Hour (Flying Fish) @Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free)
Wed. 2/26 - Long Live Johnny Cash @City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 2/26 - DC Brau Brewing @Local 44, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 2/28 - Friday Night Sampling (American Craft Ciders) @Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free)


Philadelphia's close suburbs (within 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Sat. 2/1 - Super Bowl Saturday Event @Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, Pa. ($PAYG)
Fri. 2/7 - Friday Night Sampling (Evil Genius) @Goshen Beverage, West Chester, Pa. (4 p.m.-6:30 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 2/7 - Sly Fox Tasting @The Beer Shoppe, Ardmore, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 2/7 - Beer Sampling (Flying Fish) @The Greeks Next Door, Narberth, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 2/7 - Polar Bear Plunge Patio Party @Iron Hill, Media, Pa. (5 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 2/12 - Flying Fish Event @Pinocchio's, Media, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 2/14 - Bourbon Chocolate Porter Firkin @Iron Hill, Media, Pa. (5 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 2/21 - Friday Night Sampling (Widmer, Kona, and Red Hook) @Goshen Beverage, West Chester, Pa. (4 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 2/21 - Yards Tasting @The Beer Shoppe, Ardmore, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 2/21 - Coffee Stout Firkin @Iron Hill, Media, Pa. (5 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 2/21 - Smuttynose Tasting @The Greeks Next Door, Narberth, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 2/28 - Flying Fish Tasting @The Beer Shoppe, Ardmore, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 2/28 - American IPA Firkin @Iron Hill, Media, Pa. (5 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)


Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other (beyond 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
each Wednesday through 3/12 - St. Patrick's Day Boot Camp @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa. (See website for all the details.)
each Thursday through 3/13 - St. Patrick's Day Boot Camp @Sly Fox, Pottstown, Pa. (See website for all the details.)
Sat. 2/1 - Book Signing @Tröegs Tasting Room, Hershey, Pa. (1 p.m.-4 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 2/5 - Bell's Brewing Happy Hour @TJ's, Paoli, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 2/5 - Charity Cask Night (GMO Free PA — Lehigh Valley Chapter) @Allentown Brew Works, Allentown, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 2/5 - Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale Release Party @Penn Taproom, Doylestown, Pa. (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 2/6 - Charity Cask Night (Miller Keystone) @Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 2/6 - IPA Fantasy @Total Wine, Claymont, Del. (6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; $15)
Fri. 2/7 - First Friday Firkin @Iron Hill, Phoenixville, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 2/7 - Beer Tasting (Southern Tier) @Washington House, Sellersville, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 2/7 - Incubus Friday @Sly Fox, Phoenixville and Pottstown, Pa. (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 2/7 - Cherry Dubbel Beer Release @Iron Hill, Wilmington, Del. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 2/7 - Tröegs Beer Tasting @Blue Dog, Lansdale, Pa. (6:30 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sun. 2/9 - Chili Challenge @Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, Pa. (12 p.m.-3 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 2/12 - Lincoln Day @Vault Brewing Company Yardley, Pa. (4 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 2/13 - Love Potion #9 Beer Release @Iron Hill, Newark, Del. (5 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sun. 2/16 through Sun. 2/23 - Lehigh Valley Beer Week @dozens of establishments across the region (See website for all the details and current event listings.)
Wed. 2/19 - Evolution Craft Brewing Happy Hour @TJ's, Paoli, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 2/19 - Victory Steal the Pint Night @Penn Taproom, Doylestown, Pa. (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 2/21 - Third Friday Firkin Fest @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa. (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 2/21 - Roy Pitz Tap Takeover @Isaac's Pickle Bar, Lancaster, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 2/22 - Wood? @Union Jack's On The Manatawny, Boyertown, Pa. (1 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 2/22 - The Dark Side @Iron Hill, Wilmington, Del. (3 p.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 2/28 - Cask Festival @River Horse Brewery, Lambertville, NJ ($15 + $PAYG)


Events Over $20

Philadelphia
Sat. 2/1 - Winterfest @Xfinity Live!, Philadelphia, Pa. (2 p.m.-7 p.m.; $20-$55)
Tue. 2/4 - Beer and Chocolate Pairing @Iron Hill, Philadelphia, Pa. (7 p.m.-9 p.m.)
Tue. 2/4 - Tomme Arthur and Lost Abbey Beer Dinner @Monk's Café, Philadelphia, Pa. (7 p.m.; $90)
Thu. 2/6 - Brew and Chew @Cavanaugh's (Headhouse), Philadelphia, Pa. (8 p.m.-10 p.m.; $25)
Wed. 2/12 - Grilled Cheese and Craft Beer Tasting @World Café Live, Philadelphia, Pa. (8 p.m.; $45)
Fri. 2/14 and Sat. 2/15 - Candlelight Dinner @Paris Wine Bar, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:30 p.m.; $30)
Sun. 2/16 - A Russian River Valentine @City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.; $90)
Sat. 2/22 - Beats, Brews, and BBQ @World Café Live, Philadelphia, Pa. (12 p.m.; $45-$60)
Sat. 2/22 - Lancaster Brew Fest @Cactus, Philadelphia, Pa. (12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.; $35)
Sat. 2/22 - Bierfest @The German Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa. (12 p.m.-5:30 p.m.; $20-$65)
Thu. 2/27 - Beer and Beef Jerky Extravaganza @The Foodery (Roxborough), Philadelphia, Pa. (7 p.m.-8 p.m.; $25-$35)


Philadelphia's close suburbs (within 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Tue. 2/4 - Love Bites Beer Dinner @Iron Hill, Maple Shade, NJ (7 p.m.; $75)
Mon. 2/10 - Beer School @Keg & Kitchen, Westmont, NJ (6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; $25-$30)
Tue. 2/11 - Beer & Chocolate Pairing @Iron Hill, North Wales, Pa. (6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; $35)
Fri. 2/14 - Valentine's Day Celebration @Forest and Main, Ambler, Pa. (6 p.m., 7 p.m., and 8:30 p.m. seatings; $TBA)
Fri. 2/14 - Hearts & Hops: Valentine’s Day Beer Tasting @Cairnwood Estate, Bryn Athyn, Pa. (8 p.m.-11 p.m.; $30)


Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other (beyond 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Sat. 2/1 - Salon du Chocolat- A Benefit for United Way of Southern Chester County @The Home of State Representative Chris Ross and Cecelia Ross, Unionville, Pa. (6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; $75-$125)
Thu. 2/6 - River Horse Brewing Company Beer School 101 @Rino's, Exton, Pa. (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $29.95)
Thu. 2/6 - Beer Dinner with B. United International @Hunger 'n' Thirst, Lancaster, Pa. (6 p.m.-9 p.m.; $60)
Sat. 2/8 - Saturday Brew Review @Isaac's Pickle Bar, Lancaster, Pa. (3 p.m.-5 p.m.; $25)
Thu. 2/13 - Anniversary Beer Dinner @Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, Pa. (6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; $65)
Thu. 2/13 - Goose Island Beer Dinner @Buttonwood Grill, Lahaska, Pa. (7 p.m.; $40-$45)
Sat. 2/15 - Grilled Cheese and Craft Beer Tasting @World Café Live, Wilmington, Del. (3 p.m.; $40)
Sun. 2/16 - Victory for Young Hearts Beef N’ Beer @Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, Pa. (12 p.m.-4 p.m.; $20-$40)
Tue. 2/18 - Wild Game Beer Dinner @Union Barrel Works, Reamstown, Pa. (6:30 p.m.; $45)
Sat. 2/22 - Kennett Winterfest @downtown Kennett Square, Pa. (11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; $20-$85)
Sat. 2/22 - FriendFest @Beltzner Hall at Kutztown Fairgrounds, Kutztown, Pa. (3 p.m.-6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; $10-50)
Sat. 2/22 - Winterfest @Stoudt's, Adamstown, Pa. (6 p.m.-10 p.m.; $TBA)
Mon. 2/24 - February Beer Dinner @Two Stones Pub, Newark, Del. (6:30 p.m.; $72)




Monday, January 27, 2014

The Most Memorable Beers of 2013, plus a side note

This January has not been particularly kind to me and my emotions. The latest blow, which I've finally conceded to is the loss of my 2013 year-end wrap of beer. It was another epic epistle of great beer encountered in my travels both around my home turf and around the country.

Like last year's rundown, it was a list built not to try and dictate the conversation of what is a best beer. It was a month-by-month review of my travels and great beers found along the way.

I don't know what to say about lists any more. There seems to be a growing chorus groans, yawns, and shoulder shrugs when it comes to year-end best of lists. Anyone can write one, but don't ever let someone tell you what is a best beer, or best anything for that matter when it comes to a matter of taste. Whether it be artwork on a canvas or artwork in a glass, we all differ in our appreciation of what makes something great in each of our respective opinions.

The great thing about it is if you can back up your interpretation of greatness and personal preference with a few words of justification, then no one can tell you that you're wrong — even if you think that Bud Light is the best beer in the world. Hold on, let me double-check that position of mine ;-)

That never stops me though, from sharing with you what are my most memorable beers of the year. I always attempt to put some context around the beers that I encountered throughout the year to give my own justification for what makes them so great in my opinion. I'd started this prior to year-end and put some edits to it early in the year. But it's gone off to the great white space.

At this point, I'm not trying to recreate it. I do recall most of the beers that made the list, so I have that going for me. I have no idea what became of the original version; even plugged through backups to try and find it. Plus, as a sidenote, the place I was planning to publish it, as in past years, parted ways with The Washington Times. So I will no longer be putting articles up in the Communities section of The Washington Times. More on that to come in the weeks ahead.

So what I'll do instead is give you a quick run through and tell you how I was planning to call special attention to:

(as you can likely tell, these are in no particular order other than I saved my most memorable for last)

Yards Trubbel de Yards and Left Hand Stranger Pale Ale. Here were two very good beers that accompanied a very good weekend in the mountains to kick off the new year. They were not by far the only two beers of the weekend, but the unique 9.3% Tripel Dubbel (say what? say yes!) and the satisfyingly session-worthy pale ale (5%) were the most memorable.

Stone Suede Porter and Mikkeller SpontanAle Seabuckthorn. Two beers at quite polar extremes from each other but each delightfully flavorful and impressively served by the friendly, attentive, and well-trained staff at the new Mikkeller Bar in San Francisco. The Suede was Stone's collaboration with the ladies behind the mash paddle at 10 Barrel and Bluejacket and the result was a rich and soft porter with complex floral flavors. The SpontanAle version that I had incorporated Seabuckthorn, which was an education for me and a happy tart one at that.

Magnolia Maiden Voyage. While my mind's on San Francisco, I should also point out the inaugural brew from the new production facility of the city's wonderful Magnolia Brewery. It's long-time pub in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood is getting a production partner facility across town in the burgeoning Dogpatch neighborhood. Not only is the name of the first beer, Maiden Voyage, very cool (you do ge the Grateful Dead reference, yes?), this wonderful English Bitter was served on one of the cask engines on Haight Street and it was so good, I ordered a second..and then one on regular CO2 draft as well. Prescription Pils would be filling this slot if it wasn't for Maiden Voyage. Year-round, you can't go wrong with the excellent Prescription on draft or the hand pump.

Iron Hill Cocoa-Nut Single, Penn Pilsner, Strike Blond. These three beers are grouped together for their impact they had on me at the intersection of running and beer in 2013. The Belgian Singel was my post 5-mile race beer at Iron Hill in Media, Pa. and was excellently done with not-overwhelming flavors of chocolate and coconut. Penn Pilsner aided in my pre-marathon carb-loading the night prior to the Pittsburgh Marathon. The following day, I finished in a personal best time of 3:59:36. Coincidence, nah! And, the Strike Blond, ah the Strike Blond. I wrote glowingly of these new guys in the San Jose area when I first met them during San Francisco Beer Week in February 2013 and wore their awesome t-shirt ("You Get Beer When It's Over") throughout the year. They love being active and they love their session beer. So do I. Firestone Walker Pivo Pils, which finally came to Pennsylvania in 2013 and Gunpowder Falls Pils, discovered during a York County new brewery tour with The Beer Yard would be excellent candidates for this beer and running category as well.

Ommegang Wild at Heart. The brewery's first 100% brettanomyces beer was served to me off the fermenter as a sneak peek/taste during its annual Belgium Comes To Cooperstown event (BCTC) at their home in Cooperstown, New York. Since then, the beer has been released in 750ml bottles and should age nicely for a few years. This beer shines in its example of how "brett" is not only about the funk, but the fruit flavors too.

Singlecut 19-33 Queens Lagrrrr. This new brewery from Queens showed up at BCTC for the first time in 2013 and when I was in NYC later in the year, it was their 19-33 Lagrrrr that floored me as a very well-made lager. Saddled up along with a Short Rib sandwich at Pony Bar made for a perfect pre-show meal.

Tired Hands Wachu Saison, Swamp Head Saison du Swamp, Forest & Main Three Tuns Ale, Ship Bottom Double Overhead IPA. A few other new-ish breweries landed some tasty offerings in my glass this year and that bodes well for the future of the industry. The Tired Hands beer was a collaboration with Danish and Belgian hands and at least a year in the bottle when I finally cracked it. The Wachu Saison incorporated Szechuan peppercorns and citrusy tart yuzu fruit and made for one of the most interesting saisons I've had in quite some time. I first drank Swamp Head Saison du Swamp on tap in Orlando at The Imperial Wine Bar and Beer Garden and finally cracked open a bottle nearly a year later that I'd brough home with me from Florida. Saison has long been one of my consistently favorite styles of beers and Swamp Head's version is merely one illustrative reason why. While doing a feature piece on Ambler, Pa. for Origlio's Draught Lines magazine, the very last beer on the last day that I spent in Ambler was the Three Tuns Ale at Forest & Main and it blew me away with such a full flavored presentation of a low-alcohol (4.2%) chocolate almost-stout-like beer. It was a night at the lauded Capone's in Norristown, Pa. where I ran into Rob Zarko who was featuring a few beers from his new Ship Bottom brewery in Wallingford, Pa. It took me but a few sips to put his Double Overhead IPA one my list of top ten IPAs I'd drunk in 2013. But speaking of drunk, be careful because not only was it one of the tastiest of the year, it's also one of the sneakiest 10.4% ABV double IPAs I've come across in a while.

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery Sidamo Coffee Stout. Also a relatively new brewery, Hardywood Park is turning many heads and palates with many extraordinary beers. Nice people too. Good mix, you think? It was almost a year ago when I was at the Craft Brewers Conference in Washington, DC and I was able to point several people in the direction of these guys from Richmond, Va. based upon my brewery visit in late-2012. This coffee stout became the latest addition to my list of reasons why these guys will be around for a while.

Evolution Rise Up Stout. While we're talking coffee, I shouldn't forget this beer that I bumped into twice this year. The second time was at the "morning-after" TJ's brunch. As in, the morning after their 10th Anniversary Party throw down in December. I'm a big fan of well-made coffee beers (Victory and Dieu Du Ciel are two that come quickly to mind) and this one is right up there with its deft balancing of bitter coffee and chocolately stout.

Ballast Point Indra Kunindra. Trust me that when I say it's an utmost compliment to be called the strangest beer that passed my lips in 2013. If you read the label and see words like Madras Curry, Cumin, Cayenne, Coconut, and Kaffir Lime Leaf, embrace it and drink it up. Ballast Point hits a home run with its careful melding of these unusual ingredients - or, shall I say, unusual for a beer.

Craftsman's Edgar Russian Imperial Stout and Oak-aged Saison. On one last note about big flavors, big wonderful flavors, I present to you two beers from Craftsman in Pasadena, Calif. They were both consumed at the Library Alehouse in Santa Monica (which if you follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter, you know of my fondness for this beachside joint) and with excellent food pairings that only served to further enhance the experience. First there was the oak-aged Saison along with the out-of-this-world Allagash Truffled Salad and then, for dessert, was the brewery's Edgar Russian Imperial Stout and a chocolate cupcake. Great beer and food served by nice people in a beach town like Santa Monica is what life should be more about more of the time.

Courage Imperial Russian Stout. How about something from afar, like the UK? The newest incarnation of the Hartranft/Maida takeover, Strangelove's, debuted this rich stout in Pennsylvania during Philly Beer Week in June. It was deservedly one of the standouts on most attendee post-PBW report cards.

Tröegs Sunshine Pils. Much closer to home, the Hershey-based brewery has really been hitting its stride the last couple of years since moving into its dramatically larger and quite impressive new operations. With the brewery, Hershey has continued to grow into a really well-rounded family destination with recreational offerings for everyone in the family. The Nugget Nectar could have easily been on this list as the 2013 version seemed to strike a hoppier (sorry, couldn't resist) chord with me than in the past few years. Could be that I had a sixtel on tap at home? But, I voted the Sunshine Pils the best regional Pilsner-style offering in the blind Brewvitational Awards conducted by The Philadelphia Inquirer and that was a very easy claim to stick by for this world-class beer. I can't leave the topic of Brewvitational Awards dangling without a mention also of the other first place judgement that I placed upon a beer, the Weyerbacher Riserva. I gushed (it's on video too for posterity) of this wonderful beer's bursting profile of aromas even before you get into the wide and complex flavors.

Victory Hop Ranch. While DirtWolf was getting much of the attention, released at nearly the same time was this beer that presents itself in such a balanced way for a double IPA. I'd say I like the name Hop Ranch better than DirtWolf, but that would just sound superficial. The beer traces its roots to the amazing Liberty Bell Ringer IPA (draft or cask, didn't matter) that was released around the time of Philly Beer Week. The similarity in the recipe is just another reason for Hop Ranch to make my year-end list.

Bear Republic Cafe Racer 15, Deschutes Chainbreaker IPA, Tröegs Perpetual IPA, and Yoho Aooni IPA. Sticking with the hops theme, the Racer "series" continues to blow me away. It started with (and still continue to wow still today) with the Racer 5. Then there was Racer X. Cafe Racer 15 keeps it going with the pedal to the medal. Deschutes finally committed to Pennsylvania full-time in 2013 and that meant I could take Black Butte Porter off my list of beers to seek out when I travel to bring back with me to PA. The Chainbreaker IPA changed my perception of IPA with their version as a white IPA. The citra hops probably helped convince me as well. Then, I could tell you about the now-year-round-produced and year-round excellent Perpetual (and, now in cans) from Tröegs. The most memorable 2013 bump-in with this beer is sort of a complicated story, but the salient points are that Andy Dickerson (Teresa's Next Door) served up a Double Dog Deluxe (all Angus beef hot dog from Burt's Meats topped with pulled pork) at The Beer Yard's annual SPCA event and the Perpetual IPA was in the cup and, voila, another great beer and food moment. Clear on the other side of the country, Los Angeles' Little Tokyo neighborhood is home to Far Bar where the beer menu has a full page dedicated to Japanese craft beer, quite a burgeoning landscape. Ask the bartender for a recommendation, as I did, from the list of mostly unrecognizable names, and you might come away as impressed was I with Yoho Aooni IPA. I wrote of the bleak beer scene in Los Angeles six years ago. Far Bar and many dozens other similar places demonstrate that they are finally catching up in the City of Angels.

Sly Fox Grisette. This beer has been around for a number of years, being served on draft almost exclusively at the suburban Philadelphia brewery's pub locations. This year, they canned and distributed it for the first time and no less than three cases of this refreshing beer passed through my cooler and made their way into my backyard, along on train rides, and on to tailgate parties. It sat on my desk as I wrote and it filled my glass during Philly Beer Week debauchery. It is flavorful but not overly full of anything to tire your palate. It's got a bready malt base with wheat to lighten the load. It's got the slightest bit of hops to get your attention. There's a touch of citrus and fruity sweetness. There's a noticeable yeastiness to the beer, but not overwhelming. It's moderate in alcohol at 5.6%. For my body composition, that qualifies as sessionable. And, if you don't want to take my word for it, consider the silver medal it took home from the 2013 Great American Beer Festival.

So this "quick run through" of a memorable list of beers was almost as epistle-like as the original copy I no longer have. But to bring this finally to an end...Amongst tough competition from all corners of the country, for the reasons of portability, all-around pleasing flavor, and dare I say drinkability, the Sly Fox Grisette was the most memorable beer of 2013 in my little nook of the beer world.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: January 23 - January 31

This list of beer events around Philadelphia seems a pretty strong way to close out the first month of 2014. Are you inclined to agree? Maybe get a beer while you ponder.

Check out the entire January 2014 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 and Special One-offs or Debuts
@Brew, Philadelphia, Pa. — Fri. 1/24 - Free Tasting (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of beers from Philadelphia Brewing Company.)
@Brew, Philadelphia, Pa. — Fri. 1/31 - Free Tasting (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of beers from Firestone Walker.)

@Iron Hill, Philadelphia, Pa. — Fri. 1/24 - Hop Stinger Double IPA Beer Release (5 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG for the release of our first double IPA of the year—made with local honey.)
@Iron Hill, North Wales, Pa. — Fri. 1/24 - Peanut Butter Porter Beer Release (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG to celebrate National Peanut Butter Day with the release of our delicious Peanut Butter Porter.)
@Iron Hill, Lancaster, Pa. — Sat. 1/25 - Make It Funky! (12 p.m.-5 p.m.; $PAYG to groove to the ’70s with eight funky beers and far out food features.)
@Iron Hill, Maple Shade, NJ — Tue. 1/28 - Luca Brasi Beer Release (5 p.m.; $PAYG for the re-release of the 2010 Iron Brewer competition winner, Luca Brasi—our coffee infused milk stout. Also on tap, Half Caff and Decaf.)

@Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. — Mon. 1/27 - Happy Hour (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free for a for brewery representative led complimentary tasting and specials on bottle selections from Evolution Brewing Company.)

@Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, Pa. — Fri. 1/24 - Cut Out Of Work: The Ed Friedland Way ($PAYG for a special menu of food that Ed likes to eat and beers Ed likes to drink. Tripel Van De Garre will be four euros, or the equivalent exchange rate.)

@The Beer Shoppe, Ardmore, Pa. — Sat. 1/25 - Tröegs Tasting (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of beers from Tröegs.)

@Trolley Car Diner, Philadelphia, Pa. — Fri. 1/31 - Finally Friday Beer Tasting (5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of beers from Flying Fish, including the newly re-released Exit 1.)


Brewery Promos and "Takeovers"
@Bistro On Bridge, Phoenixville, Pa. — Thu. 1/23 - West Coast Tap Takeover (7 p.m.; $PAYG for beers that were stored in our Cellar all year round.)

@Isaac Newton's, Newtown, Pa. — Thu. 1/23 - Tap Take-over with Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for a night with Dogfish Head's 120 Minute, Bitches Brew, American Beauty, Noble Rot, Kvasir, Hellhound on my Ale, and Olde School Barleywine.)

@Pinocchio's, Media, Pa. — Fri. 1/24 - Penn Brewing Tap Takeover (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $PAYG for Penn Brewery from Pittsburgh.)

@Red Owl Tavern, Philadelphia, Pa. — throughout January 2014 - Brewer Of The Month ($PAYG for month-long specials on Sly Fox beers, including Helles Golden Lager and Route 113 IPA.)

@Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, Pa. — Thu. 1/23 - River Horse Night ($PAYG for Dunkel Lager, Hop Hazard, Tripel Horse, and Hopalotamus on draft and the firkins will be a ninja-like surprise.)

@The Sidecar Bar & Grille, Philadelphia, Pa. — Wed. 1/29 - The Greatest Bear Republic Show on Earth (3 p.m.; $PAYG for a special event draft list that can be found at PhillyTapFinder.com.)

@Varga Bar, Philadelphia, Pa. — Thu. 1/30 - Long Thaw Party (8 p.m.; $PAYG for a night with beers from Harpoon Brewery.)


Anniversaries/Parties, Festivals, and other noteworthy events
@Bar-ly, Philadelphia, Pa. — Sat. 1/25 - Barly Beer Festival ($25-$30 as beer reps serve and educate on flagship and seasonal beers from 12 different breweries. Complimentary apps will also be served.)

@High Street Grill, Mount Holly, NJ — Sat. 1/25 - Winter Beer Fest (12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.-5 p.m.; $10-$35 for over forty craft beers from over twenty different breweries. Meet local craft brewers and snack on our delicious food. Benefits the Burlington County St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee.)

@Iron Hill, West Chester, Pa. — Sat. 1/25 - Belgium Comes to West Chester (1 p.m.; $PAYG as regional breweries showcase more than 30 of their best Belgian-style beers.)

@Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa. — Sat. 1/25 - Robert Burns Birthday Celebration (5 p.m.-11 p.m.; $PAYG for Gang Aft Agley Scotch Ale and Burns Scottish Ale, bagpipes piping, and the arrival of the Haggis (6:30 p.m.) will be marked by Ian Turnbull's reading of Burns' Ode to a Haggis. Celtic Spirit will play music throughout the evening.)

@The Victoria Freehouse, Philadelphia, Pa. — Sat. 1/25 - Robert Burns Night (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for a Robert Burns Night in true Scottish Fashion- Haggis, Bagpipes, and Scotch Whisky.)


Food and Beer events
@Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery, Lafayette Hill, Pa. — Thu. 1/30 - Beer & Tulips Belgian Beer Dinner with Joe Sixpack (7 p.m.; $40 to learn more about this fantastic cruise with a special four-course Belgian beer-paired dinner with Joe Sixpack.)

@Fair Food Farmstand at Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia, Pa. — Thu. 1/30 - Chocolate and Beer Pairings (6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; $35 for a one-of-a-kind tasting event with John Doyle of John & Kira's Chocolates talking artisanal chocolate making, sourcing fresh local herbs, running a sustainable small business, and, of course, the art of pairing fine chocolate with a variety of craft beers from Yards Brewing Company.)

@Iron Hill, Phoenixville, Pa. — Tue. 1/28 - The Beer and Whiskey Experience (7 p.m.; $65 for a four-course meal paired with Santory Yamazaki 12-year & Sorachi Dry Hopped IPA, Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or & Wee Heavy, and Koval 4 Grain & Imperial Witbier.)

@South Philadelphia Tap Room, Philadelphia, Pa. — Sun. 1/26 - 5th Annual Beef and Beer (4 p.m.-8 p.m.; $45-$75 for all-you-can-drink specialty firkins, including an exclusive beer from our pals at Founders, and all-you-can-eat beef and other fixins.)


Homebrewing, Charity, Schooling, and Miscellanies
@Bulls Head Public House, Lititz, Pa. — Mon. 1/27 - Beer School featuring Peabody Heights Co-Op Brewery (5:30 p.m.; $27.50 to meet the brewer and a four-course food menu paired with RavenBeer -The Raven Special Lager, RavenBeer - The Cask Dopplebock, RavenBeer - Hearty Ale IPA, RavenBeer - Pendulum Pils, and a special tapping of Full Tilt - Baltimore Pale Ale.)

@Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa. — each Wednesday through 3/12 - St. Patrick's Day Boot Camp (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG to earn chances to win a trip to Ireland. See website for all the details.)
@Sly Fox, Pottstown, Pa. — each Thursday through 3/13 - St. Patrick's Day Boot Camp (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG to earn chances to win a trip to Ireland. See website for all the details.)




Thursday, January 16, 2014

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: January 16 - January 22

The beer events calendar is heating up and must be having some effect on the recent temperatures as well. Check out all the stuff you don't want to miss over the next seven days.

And check out the entire January 2014 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 and Special One-offs or Debuts
@Barcade, Philadelphia, Pa. — Thu. 1/16 - Winter Beer Night (4 p.m.; $PAYG for a special event draft list that can be found at PhillyTapFinder.com.)

@Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa. — Fri. 1/17 - Friday Night Sampling (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of Stoudt's Four Play IPA and Yards Rye IPA.)

@Brew, Philadelphia, Pa. — Fri. 1/17 - Free Tasting (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of beers from Samuel Smith.)

@Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa. — Fri. 1/17 - Friday Night Sampling (4 p.m.-6:30 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of Yards' Rye and Ales of the Revolution.)

@Goshen Beverage, West Chester, Pa. — Fri. 1/17 - Friday Night Sampling (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of beer from Sly Fox.)

@Iron Hill, North Wales, Pa. — Thu. 1/16 - The Grand Inquisitor Beer Release (6 p.m.; $PAYG for the release of our award-winning Russian Imperial Stout, aged in bourbon barrels with whole vanilla beans.)
@Iron Hill, Voorhees, NJ — Fri. 1/17 - Titus 2XIPA Beer Release (5 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG for the release of Titus 2xIPA, an Epic American IPA.)

@Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. — Mon. 1/20 - Happy Hour (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free for a for brewery representative led complimentary tasting and specials on bottle selections from Brooklyn Brewery.)

@Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa. — Fri. 1/17 - Third Friday Firkin Fest (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG for firkins of Christmas Ale and London Calling Porter alongside our year round Chester County Bitter.)


Brewery Promos and "Takeovers"
@Bishop's Collar, Philadelphia, Pa. — Thu. 1/16 - Russian River Tap Takeover (5 p.m.; $PAYG for a special event draft list that can be found at PhillyTapFinder.com.)

@Grey Lodge, Philadelphia, Pa. — Mon. 1/20 - 120 on 01/20 (10 a.m.; $PAYG for tapping/defusing of Dogfish Head's extremely extreme 120 Minute IPA; weighing in around 18% ABV, we expect this sixtel to last all day.)

@Iron Hill, Media, Pa. — Sat. 1/18 - Sour Saturday Beer Release (1 p.m.-5 p.m.; $PAYG to Pucker up for this multi-tap event with the release of seven barrel-aged sour beers, including Le Brett Blue.)

@Kite & Key, Philadelphia, Pa. — Fri. 1/17 - Ben Franklin's Birthday with Evolution Brewing ($PAYG for a special lineup of Evolution brewing to celebrate this momentous occasion. Founder Tom Knorr and the Evolution brew crew will be here to celebrate.)

@Kraftwork, Philadelphia, Pa. — Wed. 1/22 - Rustic Country Pickin' Soiree-An Evening with Jolly Pumpkin Artisanal Ales (12 p.m.; $PAYG for a special event draft list that can be found at PhillyTapFinder.com.)

@Red Owl Tavern, Philadelphia, Pa. — throughout January 2014 - Brewer Of The Month ($PAYG for month-long specials on Sly Fox beers, including Helles Golden Lager and Route 113 IPA.)


Food and Beer events
@Kildare's, all Philadelphia locations, Pa. — Wed. 1/22 - Yards Beer Dinner (6:30 p.m.; $25 for beer pairing events at all area Kildare locations.)

@World Café Live, Wilmington, Del. — Sat. 1/18 - Grilled Cheese and Craft Beer Tasting (3 p.m.; $40 for two of the best things on earth paired together in unexpected and delicious ways. Bring your vegetarian friends, too – we can accommodate them on all pairings.)
@World Café Live, Philadelphia, Pa. — Mon. 1/20 - Grilled Cheese and Craft Beer Tasting (7 p.m.; $45 for two of the best things on earth paired together in unexpected and delicious ways. Bring your vegetarian friends, too – we can accommodate them on all pairings.)


Homebrewing, Charity, Schooling, and Miscellanies
@BRÜ Craft & Wurst, Philadelphia, Pa. — Sat. 1/18 - Allagash Beer Bingo (3 p.m.; $PAYG for some gems on the draftlist: White, Black, Dubbel, Hugh Malone, James Bean, Midnight Brett, Grand Cru, Confluence, and Very Spéciale Belge Saison. We will have four rounds of bar bingo with Host Suzy Woods, declaring the winners through social media.)

@Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa. — each Wednesday through 3/12 - St. Patrick's Day Boot Camp (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG to earn chances to win a trip to Ireland. See website for all the details.)
@Sly Fox, Pottstown, Pa. — each Thursday through 3/13 - St. Patrick's Day Boot Camp (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG to earn chances to win a trip to Ireland. See website for all the details.)

@Tröegs Tasting Room, Hershey, Pa. — Sat. 1/18 - Book Signing (11 a.m.-4 p.m.; $PAYG to meet author John Holl and purchase his book, The American Craft Beer Cookbook.)

@Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, Pa. — Sat. 1/18 - Beer & Yoga (9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; $25 to unwind after the holidays with a yoga class and post-class selection of light appetizers paired with Victory beers.)




Thursday, January 09, 2014

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: January 9 - January 15

Got the holiday hangover and monkey off your back yet? Here's a couple dozen events of varying shapes and sizes to help you get back in the regular swing of things early on in 2014.

Check out the entire January 2014 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 and Special One-offs or Debuts
@Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa.--- Fri. 1/10 - Friday Night Sampling (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of Dogfish Head's 60 Minute IPA, India Brown Ale, 61 Minute IPA, and the new Piercing Pils.)

@Iron Hill, Lancaster, Pa.--- Fri. 1/10 - Russian Imperial Stout Beer Release Party (5 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for this year’s release of our top award-winning seasonal beer, Russian Imperial Stout.)
@Iron Hill, Wilmington, Del.--- Fri. 1/10 - Belgian Reserves Beer Release (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG for this limited release of two of our favorite Belgians, Commodus and Bedotter.)
@Iron Hill, Maple Shade, NJ--- Tue. 1/14 - The Situation Beer Release (5 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG for the release of The Situation, our biggest, hoppiest IPA. Featuring boardwalk-inspired fare.)

@Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Mon. 1/13 - Happy Hour (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free for a for brewery representative led complimentary tasting and specials on bottle selections from Sixpoint.)

@Total Wine, Claymont, Del.--- Thu. 1/9 - Styles & Smiles (6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; $15 to encounter your favorite beer flavors while enjoying a tasting tour of different brews from the style categories in this easy-reading book.)

@Tröegs Tasting Room, Hershey, Pa.--- Wed. 1/15 - Full Moon Firkin (11 a.m.; $PAYG as we tap special firkins to coincide with the full moon.)


Brewery Promos and "Takeovers"
@High Street Grill, Mount Holly, NJ--- Thu. 1/9 - Heavy Seas Promo (6:30 p.m.; $PAYG for Loose Cannon IPA, Peg Leg Imperial Stout, and Yule Tide Imperial Red aged in Jamaican Rum Barrels.)

@Red Owl Tavern, Philadelphia, Pa.--- throughout January 2014 - Brewer Of The Month ($PAYG for month-long specials on Sly Fox beers, including Helles Golden Lager and Route 113 IPA.)

@Stanley's Tavern, Wilmington, Del.--- Thu. 1/9 - Yards Tap Takeover (6 p.m.; $PAYG to celebrate some of the delicious beers we have made throughout the year.)

@Tangier Bar and Restaurant, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Mon. 1/13 - Quizzo (9 p.m.; $PAYG for a Yards-sponsored night of Quizzo and Yards beer and prizes.)

@Varga Bar, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 1/15 - Brooklyn Tap Attack (8 p.m.; $PAYG for a night with beers from Brooklyn Brewery.)


Anniversaries/Parties, Festivals, and other noteworthy events
@Earth Bread + Brewery, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 1/11 - Cask Beer Festival (12:30 p.m.-4 p.m.; $30-$35 for specialty casks from Zero Gravity, Sly Fox, Victory, Brewers Art, Earth, East End Brewing, and Forest & Main. Buffet lunch is included.)

@Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 1/11 - The Trouble with Trippels V (11 a.m.; $PAYG for a special event draft list that can be found at PhillyTapFinder.com.)

@South Philadelphia Tap Room, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 1/9 - Belgian Beer and Frites (5 p.m.; $PAYG as they tap as many Flemish sours, Brett-y pale ales, spiced winter ales, and traditional Trappist ales as they can and paired with copious amounts of Belgian-style frites.)

@The Sidecar Bar & Grille, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 1/15 - High Gravity (5 p.m.; $PAYG for a special event draft list that can be found at PhillyTapFinder.com.)


Food and Beer events
@Fin at Tropicana, Atlantic City, NJ--- Tue. 1/14 - Flying Fish Beer Dinner (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $75 for a five-course dinner expertly matched to seven beers and also includes an exclusive reception with live entertainment at Tango’s Lounge immediately following.)

@Forest and Main, Ambler, Pa.--- Sun. 1/12 - Family Dinner (6 p.m.; $60 for a menu and special beers that is expected to become a monthly event.)

@Kildare's, all Philadelphia area locations, Pa.--- Wed. 1/15 - Yards Beer Dinner (details TBA.)

@MaGerk's Pub and Grill, Fort Washington, Pa.--- Mon. 1/13 - Yards Beer Dinner (7 p.m.; $50 for a five-course meal served with five beers from Yards Brewing Company.)


Homebrewing, Charity, Schooling, and Miscellanies
@Federal Taphouse, Harrisburg, Pa.--- Sat. 1/11 - Detox Retox (Beer & Yoga) (12 p.m.-3:30 p.m.; $27-$30 for some beer and yoga.)

@Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 1/15 - Beer School (5 p.m.; $PAYG to learn a little something about the beer we love to serve and you can "pay what you wish", but you have to pay something. 100% of your Beer School donation goes directly to Share Our Strength.)

@Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa.--- each Wednesday through 3/12 - St. Patrick's Day Boot Camp (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG to earn chances to win a trip to Ireland. See website for all the details.)
@Sly Fox, Pottstown, Pa.--- each Thursday through 3/13 - St. Patrick's Day Boot Camp (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG to earn chances to win a trip to Ireland. See website for all the details.)




Friday, January 03, 2014

Saying goodbye to 2013 and those lost along the way

Since I've been doing year-end tributes to those significant players in the beer industry, the list of those deceased has included some rather prominent names. (see: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007)

In 2013, I noticed that going into December, the running list I keep throughout the year was empty. In December, however, the longtime employee and leader of South African Breweries (SAB) and later SABMiller, Graham Mackay, passed away at the age of 64 after a battle with a brain tumor. Here is a series of links to more information about Mackay's life and death.

    Washington Post (profile)

    New York Times (profile)

    MillerCoors (profile)

    MillerCoors (video tribute)

    Lew Bryson (thoughts from a few years back)

I polled a handful of other writers to ensure that I wasn't missing anyone on this year's short list of deaths in the industry and Stan Hieronymous recommended, and for that I thank him, that I include Matthew Courtright, a 27-year-old Stone brewer and operations guy who died on the job while operating a forklift.

I appreciated this recommendation because it caused me to pause and consider that while the easily-recognized leaders of industry get the headlines, it is the thousands upon thousands of employees of these executives who truly get the final product into our, the consumer, hands. And, for that, they too deserve recognition and the raising of glasses.

Here's a link to an article out of San Diego that covered the tragedy. And, a link to Brewbound which also covered the news.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Beer Calendar: What To Do in January 2014

Each year, the January calendar tends to take a bit longer than any other month in taking full shape. Understandable, given the last sixty days of frantic event and holiday planning at our favorite beer venues. Here's what is being reported thus far. Apologies to events that took place yesterday at Monk's, Local 44, Devil's Den, and no doubt other places around the area. Enjoy.

One event that couldn't find a specific home on this calendar involves the wandering brewery tour by author Ben Keene. He'll be hitting up at least 18 of the 62 breweries (including Cape May, Carton, Dock Street, Dogfish Head, Flying Fish, Roy Pitz, Tröegs, Turkey Hill in the Philly-wide region) that he covers in his forthcoming book on his book promotional tour and the full list can be found over at his Facebook event page.

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
throughout January 2014 - Brewer Of The Month (Sly Fox) @Red Owl Tavern, Philadelphia, Pa. ($PAYG)
Fri. 1/3 - Dogfish Head's Shiny New Year @Grey Lodge, Philadelphia, Pa. (10 a.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 1/3 - First Friday with Bell's @Bottle Bar East, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Mon. 1/6 - Happy Hour (Philadelphia Brewing) @Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free)
Tue. 1/7 - Beer School (January subject: TBA) @Strangelove's, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 1/8 - Yards Firkin Night @Standard Tap, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 1/9 - Belgian Beer and Frites @South Philadelphia Tap Room, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 1/11 - The Trouble with Trippels V @Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia, Pa. (11 a.m.; $PAYG)
Mon. 1/13 - Happy Hour (Sixpoint) @Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free)
Mon. 1/13 - Quizzo @Tangier Bar and Restaurant, Philadelphia, Pa. (9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 1/15 - Beer School (January subject: TBA) @Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 1/15 - High Gravity @The Sidecar Bar & Grille, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 1/15 - Brooklyn Tap Attack @Varga Bar, Philadelphia, Pa. (8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 1/16 - Winter Beer Night @Barcade, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 1/16 - Russian River Tap Takeover @Bishop's Collar, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 1/17 - Ben Franklins Birthday with Evolution Brewing @Kite & Key, Philadelphia, Pa. ($PAYG)
Fri. 1/17 - Free Tasting @Brew, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of beers from Samuel Smith.)
Sat. 1/18 - Allagash Beer Bingo @BRÜ Craft & Wurst, Philadelphia, Pa. (3 p.m.; $PAYG)
Mon. 1/20 - 120 on 01/20 @Grey Lodge, Philadelphia, Pa. (10 a.m.; $PAYG)
Mon. 1/20 - Happy Hour (Brooklyn Brewery) @Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free)
Wed. 1/22 - Rustic Country Pickin' Soiree-An Evening with Jolly Pumpkin Artisanal Ales @Kraftwork, Philadelphia, Pa. (12 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 1/24 - Hop Stinger Double IPA Beer Release @Iron Hill, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 1/24 - Free Tasting @Brew, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of beers from Philadelphia Brewing Company.)
Sat. 1/25 - Robert Burns Night @The Victoria Freehouse, Philadelphia, Pa. (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Mon. 1/27 - Happy Hour (Evolution Brewing) @Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free)
Wed. 1/29 - The Greatest Bear Republic Show on Earth @The Sidecar Bar & Grille, Philadelphia, Pa. (3 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 1/30 - Long Thaw Party @Varga Bar, Philadelphia, Pa. (8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 1/31 - Finally Friday Beer Tasting (Flying Fish) @Trolley Car Diner, Philadelphia, Pa. (5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 1/31 - Free Tasting @Brew, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of beers from Firestone Walker.)


Philadelphia's close suburbs (within 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Sun. 1/12 - Family Dinner @Forest and Main, Ambler, Pa. (6 p.m.; $TBA)
Tue. 1/14 - The Situation Beer Release @Iron Hill, Maple Shade, NJ (5 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 1/15 - Full Moon Firkin @Tröegs Tasting Room, Hershey, Pa. (11 a.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 1/16 - The Grand Inquisitor Beer Release @Iron Hill, North Wales, Pa. (6 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 1/18 - Book Signing @Tröegs Tasting Room, Hershey, Pa. (11 a.m.-4 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 1/18 - Sour Saturday Beer Release @Iron Hill, Media, Pa. (1 p.m.-5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 1/24 - Penn Brewing Tap Takeover @Pinocchio's, Media, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 1/24 - Peanut Butter Porter Beer Release @Iron Hill, North Wales, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 1/25 - Tröegs Tasting @The Beer Shoppe, Ardmore, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Tue. 1/28 - Luca Brasi Beer Release @Iron Hill, Maple Shade, NJ (5 p.m.; $PAYG)


Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other (beyond 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Thu. 1/2 - Charity Cask Night (Lehigh Valley Beer Week) @Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 1/2 - Stoudt's Brewing Promo @High Street Grill, Mount Holly, NJ (6:30 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 1/3 - Incubus Friday @Sly Fox, Phoenixville and Pottstown, Pa. (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 1/3 - First Friday Firkin @Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 1/3 - Beer Tasting @Washington House, Sellersville, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 1/4 - Happy 371st Birthday @Isaac Newton's, Newtown, Pa. (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG)
each Wednesday through 3/12 - St. Patrick's Day Boot Camp @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa. (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG)
each Thursday through 3/13 - St. Patrick's Day Boot Camp @Sly Fox, Pottstown, Pa. (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 1/8 - Charity Cask Night (South Side Film Institute) @Allentown Brew Works, Allentown, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 1/9 - Yards Tap Takeover @Stanley's Tavern, Wilmington, Del. (6 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 1/9 - Styles & Smiles @Total Wine, Claymont, Del. (6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; $15)
Fri. 1/10 - Russian Imperial Stout Beer Release Party @Iron Hill, Lancaster, Pa. (5 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 1/10 - Belgian Reserves Beer Release @Iron Hill, Wilmington, Del. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 1/17 - Third Friday Firkin Fest @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa. (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 1/17 - Friday Night Sampling (Sly Fox) @Goshen Beverage, West Chester, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 1/17 - Titus 2XIPA Beer Release @Iron Hill, Voorhees, NJ (5 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 1/25 - Make It Funky! @Iron Hill, Lancaster, Pa. (12 p.m.-5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 1/25 - Belgium Comes to West Chester @Iron Hill, West Chester, Pa. (1 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 1/25 - Robert Burns Birthday Celebration @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa. (5 p.m.-11 p.m.; $PAYG)



Events Over $20

Philadelphia
Sat. 1/11 - Cask Beer Festival @Earth Bread + Brewery, Philadelphia, Pa. (12:30 p.m.-4 p.m.; $30-$35)
Mon. 1/20 - Grilled Cheese and Craft Beer Tasting @World Café Live, Philadelphia, Pa. (7 p.m.; $45)
Wed. 1/22 - Yards Beer Dinner @Kildare's, all Philadelphia locations, Pa. (6:30 p.m.; $25)
Sat. 1/25 - Barly Beer Festival @Bar-ly, Philadelphia, Pa. ($25-$30)
Sun. 1/26 - 5th Annual Beef and Beer @South Philadelphia Tap Room, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.-8 p.m.; $45-$75)
Thu. 1/30 - Chocolate and Beer Pairings @Fair Food Farmstand at Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; $35)


Philadelphia's close suburbs (within 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Mon. 1/6 - Beer School @Keg & Kitchen, Westmont, NJ (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $25-$30)
Mon. 1/13 - Yards Beer Dinner @MaGerk's Pub and Grill, Fort Washington, Pa. (7 p.m.; $50)
Sat. 1/25 - Winter Beer Fest @High Street Grill, Mount Holly, NJ (12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.-5 p.m.; $10-$35)


Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other (beyond 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Sat. 1/4 - Craft Beer & Bacon Bash @Federal Taphouse, Harrisburg, Pa. (3:30 p.m.-7 p.m.; $25-$30)
Sat. 1/11 - Detox Retox (Beer & Yoga) @Federal Taphouse, Harrisburg, Pa. (12 p.m.-3:30 p.m.; $27-$30)
Tue. 1/14 - Flying Fish Beer Dinner @Fin at Tropicana, Atlantic City, NJ (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $75)
Sat. 1/18 - Beer & Yoga @Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, Pa. (9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; $25)
Sat. 1/18 - Grilled Cheese and Craft Beer Tasting @World Café Live, Wilmington, Del. (3 p.m.; $40)
Mon. 1/27 - Beer School featuring Peabody Heights Co-Op Brewery @Bulls Head Public House, Lititz, Pa. (5:30 p.m.; $27.50)
Tue. 1/28 - The Beer and Whiskey Experience @Iron Hill, Phoenixville, Pa. (7 p.m.; $65)