Saturday, March 31, 2012

Beer Calendar: What To Do in April 2012

Not long before Philly Beer Week rolls around in June. However, April and May will have something to say first. Let's get in to yet another busy calendar month of beer events in and around Philadelphia.

One event that spans the globe (or at least the U.S.) on April 7 will be the Session Beer Day. Promoted heavily by our good friend and true beer advocate, Lew Bryson, for the past 5+ years, "session" beers (not to be confused with "sessionable") are popping up in a bar and brewery near you. Learn more here…or here at this link.

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

Sun. 4/1 - Anniversary Party @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, Pa. (4:00pm-7:00pm; $PAYG)
Sun. 4/1 - St. "FOOL"lien, Part Trois, with Dominique Friart @Kraftwork, Philadelphia, Pa. ($PAYG)
Wed. 4/4 - Quad Day @The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa. (11:00am; $PAYG)
Wed. 4/4 - 5th Birthday Bash @Triumph Brewing, Philadelphia, Pa. ($PAYG)
Wed. 4/4 - Monthly Beer School (April theme: TBD) @Memphis Taproom, Philadelphia, Pa. (12:00pm; $Free)
Wed. 4/4 - Four draft night with Lost Abbey @The Belgian Café, Philadelphia, Pa. (4:00pm; $PAYG)
Wed. 4/4 - Red-headed Hussey Release Party @Varga Bar, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 4/5 - Keep the Pint Night (Alesmith) @Earth Bread + Brewery, Philadelphia, Pa. (4:30pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 4/5 - Sunshine Pils and Phils @The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa. (1:35pm; $PAYG)
Fri. 4/6 - First Friday Free Tasting (Lancaster Brewing) @Trolley Car Diner, Philadelphia, Pa. (5:30pm-7:30pm; $Free)
Fri. 4/6 - Friday Night Tasting (Bock beers with Joe Sixpack) @Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa. (4:00pm-6:00pm; $Free)
Fri. 4/6 - Dogfish Head Good Fish Friday @City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa. (5:00pm; $PAYG)
Fri. 4/6 - Beer Sampling (Great Lakes) @Craft Beer Outlet, Philadelphia, Pa. (5:00pm-7:00pm; $Free)
Fri. 4/6 - Get Your Goat On @The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:00pm-8:00pm; $PAYG)
Fri. 4/6 - Sixpoint Sabotage @The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa. (8:00pm-10:00pm; $PAYG)
Sat. 4/7 - Split Thy Skull @Tatooed Mom's, Philadelphia, Pa. (1:00pm-5:00pm; $PAYG)
Tue. 4/10 - Miss Sweet Action with Sixpoint Brewery @The Trestle Inn, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:00pm; $PAYG)
Wed. 4/11 - Four draft night with Dogfish Head @The Belgian Café, Philadelphia, Pa. (4:00pm; $PAYG)
Wed. 4/11 - Monthly Beer School (April theme: B. United Imports) @Resurrection Ale House, Philadelphia, Pa. (4:00pm; $Free)
Wed. 4/11 - Beer and Food specials with Quizzo Game Night @The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:00pm-10:00pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 4/12 - Happy Hour with Flying Fish Brewing Co. @Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia, Pa. (5:00pm-7:00pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 4/12 - Sly Fox Night @Barcade, Philadelphia, Pa. (4:00pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 4/12 - Flying Fish "Buy The Glass" Night @Revolution House, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG)
Fri. 4/13 - Friday Night Tasting (Old Dominion) @Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa. (4:00pm-6:00pm; $Free)
Fri. 4/13 - Friday the Firkinteenth @The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa. (12:00pm; $PAYG)
Fri. 4/13 - Beer Sampling (Sly Fox) @Craft Beer Outlet, Philadelphia, Pa. (5:00pm-7:00pm; $Free)
Fri. 4/13 - Beer & Cheese Pairings @Iron Hill, Chestnut Hill, Pa. (5:00pm-8:00pm; $PAYG)
Sat. 4/14 - Tröegs Beer Sampling @The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:00pm-8:00pm; $Free)
Mon. 4/16 - Mad Monday with Duvel/Ommegang @Monk's Café, Philadelphia, Pa. (11:30am; $PAYG)
Fri. 4/20 - Friday Night Tasting (Oskar Blues) @Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa. (4:00pm-6:00pm; $Free)
Fri. 4/20 - Brew & Chew with Arcadia Ales @Cavanaugh's Rittenhouse, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:00pm-9:00pm; $20)
Fri. 4/20 - 420 Everybody Must Drink Stone @The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:00pm-10:00pm; $PAYG)
Fri. 4/20 - Beer Sampling (Sierra Nevada) @Craft Beer Outlet, Philadelphia, Pa. (5:00pm-7:00pm; $Free)
Fri. 4/20 - Dogfish Head Ballroom Blitz @Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia, Pa. (4:00pm; $PAYG)
Sat. 4/21 - Earth Day with Long Trail @The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG)
Sat. 4/21 - 4th Anniversary & Opening of Beer Garden @Memphis Taproom, Philadelphia, Pa. ($PAYG)
Sat. 4/21 - Long Trail Tap Takeover @The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:00pm-9:00pm; $15)
Mon. 4/23 - Mutha Firkin Monday (Southampton Brewing) @TIME, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:00pm; $PAYG)
Fri. 4/27 - Friday Night Tasting (Spring beers with Joe Sixpack) @Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa. (4:00pm-6:00pm; $Free)
Fri. 4/27 - Goose Island Tap Takeover @City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa. (5:00pm; $PAYG)
Fri. 4/27 - Beer Sampling (Stoudt's) @Craft Beer Outlet, Philadelphia, Pa. (5:00pm-7:00pm; $Free)

Philadelphia's close suburbs (within 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Sun. 4/1 - Blowin' It Up For Cancer @Paradise Farm Camps, Downingtown, Pa. (12:00pm-5:00pm; $5/$15)
Sun. 4/1 - Naked Brewing Release Party @Hulmeville Inn, Hulmeville, Pa. (12:00pm; $PAYG)
Tue. 4/3 - Tasty Tuesday: [Saint] [foo] [YEN] @Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, Pa. ($PAYG)
Thu. 4/4 - First Thursday Beer Sampling @Whole Foods, Plymouth Meeting, Pa. (6:00pm-8:00pm; $Free)
Wed. 4/4 - Shangy's Tap Takeover for Charity (benefiting Abington Health) @Iron Abbey, Horsham, Pa. ($PAYG)
Thu. 4/5 - Victory Tap Takeover @Pinocchio's, Media, Pa. (7:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 4/5 - Phightin Phils Season Opener @Iron Hill Brewery, North Wales, Pa. (12:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG)
Fri. 4/6 - Friday Night Sampling (Evil Genius) @Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa. (5:00pm-7:00pm; $Free)
Fri. 4/6 - Firkin Friday (Irish Red Ale, hopped with Citra) @Iron Hill Brewery, Media, Pa. (5:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG)
Fri. 4/6 - Victory Beer Tasting @Blue Dog, Lansdale, Pa. (6:30pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 4/12 - Central Waters tasting @Hulmeville Inn, Hulmeville, Pa. ($PAYG)
Thu. 4/12 - Patio Opening Luau @Iron Hill Brewery, Media, Pa. (5:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG)
Fri. 4/13 - Friday Night Sampling (Southampton) @Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa. (5:00pm-7:00pm; $Free)
Wed. 4/18 - Sam Adams Tap Takeover @Fingers Wings and Other Things, Conshohocken, Pa. (6:00pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 4/19 - Stoudt's firkin and tap takeover @Hulmeville Inn, Hulmeville, Pa. ($PAYG)
Fri. 4/20 - Earth Day Beer Release @Iron Hill Brewery, North Wales, Pa. (5:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 4/26 - Dogfish Head Tap Takeover @Pinocchio's, Media, Pa. ($PAYG)

Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other (beyond 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Thu. 4/5 - Phightin Phils Season Opener @Iron Hill, Lancaster, Pa. (12:00pm-5:00pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 4/5 - Phightin Phils Season Opener @Iron Hill Brewery, Wilmington, Del. (12:00pm-5:00pm; $PAYG)
Thu. 4/5 - Charity Cask Night (April cask: "Chocolate-covered Cherry Stout, to benefit the March of Dimes organization) @Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, Pa. (5:00pm-10:00pm; $PAYG)
Fri. 4/6 - Incubus Friday @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa. (11:30am; $PAYG)
Sat. 4/7 - Easter Hopfest @Union Jack's on the Manatawny, Boyertown, Pa. (11:00am; $PAYG)
Mon. 4/9 through Sun. 4/15 - Phightin Phils Home Opener Week @Iron Hill Brewery, West Chester, Pa. ($PAYG)
Tue. 4/10-Sat. 4/14 - Featured Brewery Week (Southern Tier) @TJ's, Paoli, Pa. ($PAYG)
Fri. 4/13 - Friday Night Tasting (Great Lakes) @Goshen Beverage, West Chester, Pa. (5:00pm-7:00pm; $Free)
Sat. 4/14 - Southern Tier Brewery Promotion @The Drafting Room, Exton, Pa. (12:00pm; $PAYG)
Sat. 4/14 - The West Chester Beer Ladies brew day @Iron Hill Brewery, West Chester, Pa. (9:00am-3:00pm; $PAYG)
Sun. 4/15 - Beer Sampling (Flying Fish) @Wegmans, Malvern, Pa. (1:00pm-4:00pm; $Free)
Wed. 4/18 - Firkin' Off, Tale of the Tape @The Drafting Room, Exton, Pa. (6:45pm; $PAYG)
Fri. 4/20 - Friday Night Tasting (Ruckus) @Goshen Beverage, West Chester, Pa. (4:00pm-6:00pm; $Free)
Fri. 4/20 - Third Friday Firkin Fest @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa. (11:30am; $PAYG)
Mon. 4/23-Sun. 4/29 - Suburban Beer Week 19468 @4 Fun Bars of the 19468 ($PAYG)
Tue. 4/24 - Main Line Animal Rescue, Give 20 @Iron Hill, Phoenixville, Pa. ($PAYG and use the coupon from the MLAR website)

Events Over $20

Mon. 4/2 - St. Feuillien Beer Dinner @Tapestry, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:00pm; $75)
Tue. 4/3 - Russian River Beer Dinner @Memphis Taproom, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:00pm-9:00pm; $90)
Tue. 4/3 - Victory Beer Dinner @Devil's Alley, Philadelphia, Pa. (8:00pm-11:00pm; $25)
Thu. 4/5 - Brews & Bowties @Ethical Society of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:00pm-9:00pm; $60)
Thu. 4/5 - Ice, Ice (Baby) Beer, with Tom Baker @Tria, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:30pm-8:00pm; $55)
Tue. 4/10 - The Beers of the Cellar @Monk's Café, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:00pm; $95)
Thu. 4/12 - Skillshare Class: Become One With Your Beer @Drink Philly, Philadelphia, Pa. (7:00pm-8:30pm; $25)
Fri. 4/13 - Greensgrow Farms Whole Hog @Philadelphia Brewing Company, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:00pm-9:00pm; $50/$75)
Sat. 4/14 - Bockbierfest @Cannstatter Volksfest Verein, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:00pm-11:00pm; $10/$25)
Mon. 4/16 - Brooklyn Brewery Tap Takeover and Beer Dinner @Lemon Hill, Philadelphia, Pa. (5:00pm, 6:30pm, 8:30pm; $PAYG for happy hour and $60 for dinner)
Fri. 4/20 - The British Invasion @Tria, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:30pm-8:00pm; $60)
Sat. 4/21 - BeerBQ Spring Festival @City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa. (12:00pm-4:00pm; $TBD)
Sat. 4/28 - 14th Annual Brew Fest @Manayunk Brewery, Philadelphia, Pa. (1:00pm-5:00pm; $25/$45)

Philadelphia's close suburbs (within 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
throughout Apr. '12 - Beer Making, Cheese Making, and Wine Making classes (throughout the month) @Keystone Homebrew, Bethlehem & Montgomeryville, Pa. (See website for all the class details)
Thu. 4/12 - Brews & Bowties @Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, Del. (6:00pm-9:00pm; $60)
Wed. 4/18 - Weyerbacher Beer Dinner @Iron Abbey, Horsham, Pa. (7:00pm; $60)
Sat. 4/28 - Cricket Crafts and Brew Fest @Cricket Lane, Ardmore, Pa. (2:00pm-8:00pm; $TBD)

Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other (beyond 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Thu. 4/5 - Magic Hat Beer Dinner @Rino's Restaurant & Pizzeria (6:00pm-9:00pm; $35)
Sat. 4/7 - Spring Craft Beer Tasting @Crest Tavern, Wildwood Crest, NJ (12:00pm-4:00pm; $25)
Fri. 4/13 - Eclat Chocolate & Beer tutored pairings @Eclat Chocolate, West Chester, Pa. (6:30pm, 8:30pm; $45)
Mon. 4/16 - Girls Just Wanna Have Suds: Beer & Cheese @Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, Pa. (6:00pm; $30)
Tue. 4/17 - Love Thy Neighbor (Weyerbacher) Beer Dinner @Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, Pa. (7:00pm-10:00pm; $50/$95)
Wed. 4/25 - Brewer's Dinner @Stewart's Brewing Company, Bear, Del. ($40)
Thu. 4/26 - Tröegs Beer Dinner @Fireside Tavern, Strasburg, Pa. (6:00pm; $50)
Sat. 4/28 - PA Flavor 2012 – The Ultimate Beer and Food Pairing @State Farm Show Complex, Harrisburg, Pa. (1:00pm-5:00pm; $20/$50/$75)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekly Brew Bits Update: 3/26/12

Did you miss any of these noteworthy newsy, brewsy bits from the past week (or so)?

~ Wanna go to Brews & Bowties for $10 less ($50 instead of $60)? Use promo code "BOWTIE2012" when purchasing tickets at their website to get the discount.

~ A leading wine sommelier leaving town may not sound like news for The Brew Lounge, but since I shared a couple of fine beers with her at Teresa's a couple of years ago, I thought I'd pass along this newsy bit from Michael Klein about a Melissa Monosoff.

~ Also in that last link was a small bit about The Farmers' Cabinet crew, which apparently can't sit still. I was in Center City yesterday when they made their official soft opening, but opted to stop by some other day instead. Here's some related news from Foobooz.

~ Local 44's new bottle shop opened this past week. With the proliferation of bottle shops across the city over the past year or two, this hopefully portends competitive and fair prices for consumers. A win for all.

~ Homebrew with a cheesesteak angle? Now I'm no expert, but I'll keep an open mind.

~ Doesn't this sound like fun?

~ One more from The Full Pint. This one noting the return of Saison du BUFF, which should be a very good thing.

~ Our old friend (and by old, I mean...ah, never mind) Jack Curtin checks in with some news about long time Southampton brewer, Phil Markowski, and his next plans.

~ And, where to begin with some of the biggest news of the week? Victory's expansion plans. I, along with many others, mentioned it early Tuesday morning. Brewbound has a bit more detail. Plus, some nice recognition from CBS local news as well. Fun times ahead, for sure.

~ If you know me even slightly -- or even slightly follow me around these parts -- you knew I'd be eventually pointing out the new "marathon beer" from Boston Beer/Samuel Adams. Looks to be limited to the Greater Boston area for distribution.

~ Yeah, this doesn't make a whole lot of sense. But, required, if not frustrating, reading nonetheless.

~ And now, it seems as we've come to this. Maybe it's the best way to handle situations of consumer madness. Maybe not. Jury's still out.

~ Wow, hard to believe SAVOR is five. Philly Beer Week is also five years old and mostly explains why I've still not made the trek south for this fine showcase of great beer in the nation's capital. Tickets go on sale April 5 (with special presale April 3).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: March 22-March 31

Not quite sure what to say about the following 10 days of beer events in and around Philadelphia to close out the month of March 2012. Other than: it's a very long and distinguished list! Take it away. Grab a beer first, though, there are over 40 events of vary heft to wade through.

Check out the entire March 2012 calendar over here.

If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, let me know.
Brewery Promos and Samplings
@American Sardine Bar, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 3/22 - Dogfish Head Drafts (5:00pm; $PAYG for Aprihop, Tweason'Ale, Red & White, Noble Rot, and more)

@Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa.--- Fri. 3/23 - Friday Night Sampling (5:00pm-7:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Southampton beers)
@Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa.--- Fri. 3/30 - Friday Night Sampling (5:00pm-7:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Elysian beers)

@Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 3/23 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Victory Brewing with Joe Sixpack)

@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 3/23 - Sam Adams Tap Takeover (7:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG for New World Tripel, Whitewater IPA, Chocolate Bock, & more)

@Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa.--- Fri. 3/23 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Lancaster Brewing)

@Goshen Beverage, West Chester, Pa.--- Fri. 3/23 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Evil Genius beers)

@The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 3/22 - Flying Fish Beer Sampling (6:00pm-8:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Flying Fish beers)

@The Foodery, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 3/22 - Thursday Night Sampling (6:00pm-8:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Widmer's new seasonals)
@The Foodery, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 3/29 - Thursday Night Sampling (6:00pm-8:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Leinenkugel's Big Eddy Series)

@Tonelli's Pizza Pub, Horsham, Pa.--- Thu. 3/22 - Ommegang Tap Takeover (4:00pm-8:00pm; $PAYG for Three Philosopher's, BPA, Witte, Rare Vos, Hennepin, and Abbey Dubbel.)

@Whole Foods, Devon, Pa.--- Fri. 3/23 - Beer Sampling (5:00pm-8:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Oskar Blues Deviant Dale's IPA)
@Whole Foods, Devon, Pa.--- Sat. 3/24 - First Saturday of Spring Kegstravaganza (1:00pm; $PAYG)

Big Brewery "Takeovers", Debuts, Festivals, and other events with chutzpah
@Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, NJ--- Fri. 3/30-Sat. 3/31 - Atlantic City Beer and Music Fest: Celebration of the Suds (See website for all the details)

@Brauhaus Schmitz, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 3/29-Sun. 4/1 - Starkbierfest ($PAYG for a weekend of the only Starkbier celebration in Philadelphia. Several specialty draft and bottled Bock beers will be featured.)

@Earth Bread + Brewery, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 3/29 - Keep the Pint Night (4:30pm; $PAYG for a night of Allagash beers and to keep the glass)

@Fingers Wings and Other Things, Conshohocken, Pa.--- Wed. 3/28 - Tröegs Tap Takeover (6:00pm; $PAYG for a special tasting menu to pair with Nugget Nectar, Mad Elf, Scratch #55 (Imperial IPA), Scratch #57 (Weizenbock), DreamWeaver Wheat, Pale Ale, and JavaHead Stout)

@all Iron Hill locations in PA, DE, & NJ--- Sat. 3/24 - Firkin March Madness (1:00pm-5:00pm; $PAYG and see website for all details and maddening details)
@all Iron Hill locations in PA, DE, & NJ--- Sat. 3/31 - Firkin March Madness (4:00pm-8:00pm; $PAYG and see website for all details and maddening details)

@Isaac Newton's, Newtown, Pa.--- Thu. 3/22 - Yards Tap Takeover (7:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG for Bourbon Barrel-Aged George Washington Tavern Porter, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Love Stout, Love Stout, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Olde Bartholomew, and Trubbel De Yards. Plus maybe a few other late additions. Each draft of Yards you order gets a chance to win a growler filled with your choice of Yards beer.)

@Khyber Pass Pub, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 3/24 - Tsar Power Russian Imperial Stout Fest (12:00pm; $PAYG for a lineup that will include at least Avery The Czar, Mikkeller Black Hole, PBC Shackamaximum, Mission Dark Seas, Arcadia Imperial Stout, Ballast Point Sea Monster, Iron Fist Velvet Glove, Weyerbacher Old Heathen, and Dark Horse Plead The 5th)

@Kite & Key, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sun. 3/25 - Savage Sixtel Sunday (7:00pm; $PAYG for a lineup that is sure to impress)

@Monk's Café, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Mon. 3/26 - Mad Monday (11:30am; $PAYG for Malheur 6, Malheur 10, Malheur 12, barrel-aged Malheur 12. Plus, a very special treat from Andy at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne....Bruges' De Garre Tripel)

@Old Eagle Tavern, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 3/29 - Clown Shoes Night (7:00pm-10:00pm; $PAYG for Blaecorn Unidragon, Hoppy Feet 1.5, Tramp Stamp, and Eagle Claw Fist. Food Specials. Enjoy $1 off Clown Shoes Drafts. Clown Shoes Brewery from Massachusetts is our brewery of the month for March. We will be dedicating a draft line to Clown shoes all of March. Then join us every Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday for Clown Shoes draft specials. Also enter our design your own Tramp Stamp Contest. Visit our facebook page for more details.)

@Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, Pa.--- Tue. 3/27 - Local Tuesday Night ($PAYG for a night of plenty with Tröegs Nugget Nectar and many more. Plus, come out to congratulate new father, Nick Johnson.)

@The Belgian Café, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 3/28 - Debut (7:00pm; $PAYG for Samuel Adams New World Tripel, a specialty Barrel Room Collection brew)

@The Drafting Room, Exton, Pa.--- Thu. 3/22 - Goose Island Tap Takeover (6:30pm; $PAYG as TDR helps continue the unveiling of one of Chicago's best with 312 Urban Wheat, Honker's Ale, IPA, Matilda, Sofie, and Pere Jacques)
@The Drafting Room, Exton, Pa.--- Sat. 3/24 - Hopfest: A Celebration of Hops (12:00pm; $PAYG for a lineup that's due to include Tröegs Nugget Nectar, Russian River Redemption, Bell’s HopSlam, Oskar Blues GUBNA, Dock Street Dark Hoppy Jawn, Sly Fox Oyssey, Iron Hill IPA, Clown Shoes Hoppy Feet, Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA, Mananyunk St. Alpha IPA, Port Brewing Wipeout, Victory Ranch R IPA, Boulder Mojo Risin’, Iron Fist the Uprising, Earth, Bread & Brewery IPA, and a cask of Yard’s Dry Hopped IPA)

@The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 3/30 - Abbeys, Angels, Ports, & Serpents (6:00pm-10:00pm; $PAYG for Lost Abbey's Deliverance, Serpent Stout, Brandy-Barrel Angel Share, Bourbon-Barrel Angel Share, Port Brewing's Older Viscosity and Midnight Expressions, and one or two Port IPAs. Among the festivities will be a Tomme Arthur look alike contest at 8pm. We will likely have some Port/Lost Abbey goodies too.)

@The Institute, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 3/24 - Bell's Big Banging Tap Takeover (2:00pm-8:00pm; $PAYG for 10 Bells beers flowing from the taps & one special deal. Drink any 3 Bell's beers on tap and your glass of HopSlam is on us. We will also have some specials on the menu that the great state of Michigan is known for.)

@The Trestle Inn, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Tue. 3/27 - Flying Fish Night (7:00pm; $PAYG for a night featuring Flying Fish beers, including Red Fish and a firkin of Exit 4.)

Food and Beer events
@Bulls Head Public House, Lititz, Pa.--- Sat. 3/24 - Sly Fox Bus Trip and Beer Dinner (10:45am; $110 for a day trip that ends with a dinner at General Sutter Inn back in Lititz. See website for all the details.)

@Dock Street, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Tue. 3/27 - Movie Night, Pizza, and Beer (9:00pm; $PAYG for discounts on food and beer and "We Jam Econo" on the big screen)

@General Sutter Inn, Lititz, Pa.--- Sat. 3/24 - Sly Fox Beer Dinner (5:00pm; $65 for a dinner (only) at the conclusion of the day-long bus trip to Sly Fox. See website for all the details.)

@Iron Hill Brewery, North Wales, Pa.--- Sat. 3/24 & Sun. 3/25 - Brewmaster’s Spring Brunch (12:00pm-3:00pm; $40 for a five-course brunch paired with Irish Dry Stout, Pig Iron Porter, Abbey Dubbel, Saison, and Hefeweizen)

@Sette Luna, Easton, Pa.--- Wed. 3/28 - Beer vs Wine Pairing Dinner (6:30pm-9:30pm; $40 for a five-course dinner face-off between beer and wine pairings)

@The Farmers' Cabinet, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 3/29 - De Struise: A Special Visit for a VIP Pig and Beer Dinner (7:00pm; $75 for a multi-course pig dinner paired with Black Damnation III, Black Damnation IV, Black Damnation VII, Shark Pants, ‘t sjeeses reserva 2010 {bottle}. Also available on tap during the evening will be Pannepot, Pannepeut, Elliot Brew, Black Damnation II, Witte, and Svea IPA)

@Union Barrel Works, Reamstown, Pa.--- Tue. 3/27 - Louisana Style Beer Dinner (6:30pm; $40 for a six-course meal paired with UBW's beers)

Cask gets its own category
@Allentown Brew Works, Allentown, Pa.--- Sat. 3/31 - Cask Beer Festival (3:00pm-6:00pm; $15/$20/$25/$28/$30/$35 for an event that includes cask beers from over a dozen brewers, local jerky, and entertainment)

@Yards, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sun. 3/25 - Real Ale Invitational (1:00pm-5:00pm; $20/$50/$65 for cask beers from over 20 brewers, food, live music, and a commemorative mug)

Homebrewing and Education
@Keystone Home Brew, Montgomeryville, Pa.--- Wed. 3/28 - Brew with De Struise's Urbain Coutteau (7:00pm; $75 for an amazing night of brewing information exchange with a Belgian icon. See website for all the details.)
@Keystone Homebrew, Bethlehem & Montgomeryville, Pa.--- throughout Mar. '12 - Beer Making, Cheese Making, and Wine Making classes (See website for all the class details)

@Drink Philly, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 3/22 - Skillshare Class: Become One With Your Beer (7:00pm-8:30pm; $20 for a great assortment of brews, instructor-led steps of beer tasting, sampling of a variety of different styles and labels. We’ll discuss how to review a beer, how to store your brews, and what “ABV” means. We’ll also offer a general overview of beer terminology and provide a guide to "Never Drinking Skunked Beer Again.")

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Victory (and many more) for great beer

Sometimes it's better to let the press release speak for itself. Victory will be formally announcing later today their big plans for the next couple of years. I, like many of you, will be looking forward to adding this to my list of brewery construction projects to track and seeing even more of my Chester County-local beer in the market.

Victory Brewing Announces Expansion Plans
Second brewing facility will create more beer and more jobs.

DOWNINGTOWN, PAVictory Brewing Company is opening a second brewery in Chester County, Pa., which will allow the company to continue to create new, innovative beers and additional employment opportunities.

In 2012, Victory’s current brewery in Downingtown, Pa. will reach capacity. In order to keep up with consumers’ demand for full-flavored, high quality beer, Victory is forging ahead with expansion plans.

“Our thirsty fans have been asking us for more,” said Bill Covaleski, President and Co-Brewmaster of Victory Brewing Company. “In order to give them what they want, we need more space to make it happen.”

The new brewery location was chosen because of its similarities to Victory’s home in Downingtown. Just as the home brewery recycled an old Pepperidge Farm factory, the expansion brewery is being built within an existing complex in Parkesburg, Pa. The Downingtown location is situated a mere 14 miles from the headwaters of the east branch of the Brandywine Creek and the Parkesburg brewery will be just 17 miles from the headwaters of the west branch.

Environmental impact and water quality were major considerations for this expansion. Nearly eight months of water-quality research found that the mineral composition of the west branch water is nearly identical to the east branch.

In keeping with Victory’s “locally brewed, locally loved” motto, the choice to expand was not made lightly. The Parkesburg location will allow Victory to produce even more locally brewed and locally loved beer.

“Growing into a new facility will have some growing pains,” said Ron Barchet, CEO and Co-Brewmaster of Victory Brewing Company. “But once we are up and running, it will allow us endless opportunities to experiment with new flavors and re-create old favorites.”

Monday, March 19, 2012

Weekly Brew Bits Update: 3/19/12

Some must-read news from across this fine world of great beer.

~ Opening today at 3 p.m. Local 44's new bottle shop has passed inspection and is set to open at 44th and Spruce. Some friendly hours, never closing earlier than 10 p.m. "Our bottle list is a loveingly curated one" is something you can never hear enough of.

~ Here's an upcoming unique beer event that proves it's still not out of style to get dressed up. Plus, the Leukemia & Lymphoma benefit is a good reason to as well.

~ Hey homebrewers! You've got two more weeks to get your registration finalized for the 2nd Annual Homebrew Competition during Philly Beer Week. Homebrewers can register via this link. Deadline
for registration is March 31.

~ Bunch of interesting things in Dogfish Head's latest newsletter. If you know me, you know that I particularly zeroed in on the registration of the Dogfish Dash (to be run on Sun. 9/30), a race that I swear I'll run one of these years.

~ A whole bunch of stuff, too much to detail here, is happening up in northern PA at the soon-to-be Susquehanna Brewing Company. Their blog tells all the details and an insider tip from reader, Mark, adds "He did say they received shipment on three noble hops, Hallertau, Saaz, and I didn't catch the third but probably Tettnang. I am assuming the first brew will be some type of European beer or lager."

~ The man sometimes known as The NonConFermist and formerly the first half of The Brew Lounge passed along that the far-flung Whip Tavern may be looking to open a location a bit closer to civilization. Or, at least a bit closer to a lot more competition. Good for hungry and thirsty folks of northern Chester County.

~ Sprecher Brewing Company is hosting the 5th Annual Brewing Up A Cure in the Fight Against Cancer, a benefit for Gilda’s Club of Southeastern Wisconsin, on Sunday, April 29th. If you're near the brewery in Wisconsin, this is sure to be a fun and rewarding night.

~ Jay Brooks reports on what I consider to be a sad piece of news. The somewhat-underappreciated (by "beer geeks" anyway) Gordon Biersch looks to be out of their current location (the one with the beautiful view of the bay and the Bay Bridge) in San Francisco. After twenty years. They'll resurface somewhere else, presumably in the city. I can only hope for a trip later this year to San Francisco, when I'll need a Märzen or a Schwarzbier.

~ Next year's release will be three times the size? Oh well, there goes another beer off the crazed-beer-geek-list.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: March 15-March 21

If you're not in to all that green beer garbage for St. Patty's Day, you're in luck. Check out the events around the Philadelphia region over the next 7 days and nights for all the real beer you can handle.

Check out the entire March 2012 calendar over here.

If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, let me know.
Brewery Promos and Samplings
@Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 3/16 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Magic Hat beers)

@Earth Bread + Brewery, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 3/15 - Keep the Pint Night (4:30pm; $PAYG to drink Cricket Hill beers and keep the glass)

@Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa.--- Fri. 3/16 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Weyerbacher beers)

@Pinocchio's, Media, Pa.--- Thu. 3/15 - Oskar Blues Beer Tasting (11:00am; $PAYG to check out the newest Oskar Blues beer "Deviant Dale's". Caitlin, our awesome rep from O.B., will be here giving out samples of all the amazing beers this wild & crazy Colorado brewery produces.)

@Rino's, Exton, Pa.--- Thu. 3/15 - Flying Fish Night (6:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG for several Flying Fish beers on tap in the bar, including Red Fish and Exit 4. For those who can’t stay, all 6 packs of Flying Fish will be discounted for take out. The new Exit 8 (Chestnut Brown Ale) will be available in large format bottles as well.)

@Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa.--- Fri. 3/16 - Third Friday Firkin Fest (12:00pm; $PAYG for Chester County Bitter, Seamus' Irish Red Ale, and Brewer's Select Pale Ale)

@Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, Pa.--- Tue. 3/20 - Local Tuesday Night ($PAYG for a night of Flying Fish beer and a special food pairing menu)

@The Institute, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 3/15 - Yelp Movie Club (7:00pm-10:00pm; $PAYG for a Yelp Movie meet up and Founders beer specials throughout the movie)

@The Trestle Inn, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Tue. 3/20 - Brooklyn Tap Attack (7:00pm-10:00pm; $PAYG for Mary’s Maple Porter, Pennant Ale ’55, Dry Irish Stout, and the delicious East India Pale Ale. Keeping to Brooklyn Brewery’s motto of promoting the proliferation of good beer and good food, our Executive Chef, Travis Messman will pair each beer with a special dish.)

@TJ's, Paoli, Pa.--- Sat. 3/17-Fri. 3/23 - Featured Brewery Week ($PAYG for Dogfish Head's Noble Rot, Aprihop, Namaste, Red & White, Burton Baton, World Wide Stout, Palo Santo Marron, Indian Brown Ale, and 120 Minute IPA)

@Whole Foods, Devon, Pa.--- Thu. 3/15 - Beer Sampling (5:00pm-8:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Tröegs Nugget Nectar)

Other Special Tastings
@Barcade, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 3/15 - Ides of March with Avery and Weyerbacher (4:00pm; $PAYG for Avery's Collaboration Not Litigation Ale, IPA, Mephistopheles’ Stout, Old Jubilation, Out of Bounds Stout, Samael, The Beast and Weyerbacher's Double Simcoe, Heresy, Insanity, Merry Monks, Quad 2008, Sixteen, and Uniform)

@Iron Hill, Newark, Del.--- Sat. 3/17 - St.out Patrick's Day — Stout Celebration (2:00pm-5:00pm; $PAYG for Dry Stout, Russian Imperial Stout, Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout, Chocolate Dry Stout, Cask Conditioned Vanilla Oatmeal Stout, and Irish Red Ale)
@Iron Hill, Wilmington, Del.--- Sat. 3/17 - St.out Patrick's Day — Stout Celebration (2:00pm-5:00pm; $PAYG for Chocolate Leprechaun, Russian Imperial Stout, Oompa Loompa Chocolate Stout, Bourbon Russian Imperial Stout, Shokolad Stout, Bourbon Shokolad Stout, Cask-Conditioned Coffee Chocolate Leprechaun, and Irish Red Ale)
@all Iron Hill locations in PA, DE, & NJ--- Sat. 3/17 - Firkin March Madness, First Round (1:00pm-5:00pm; $PAYG and see website for all beers and locations)

@The Belgian Café, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 3/21 - Three Draft Ports (3:00pm; $PAYG for Port Brewing's Shark Attack, Midnight Sessions, and Older Viscosity)

Food and Beer events
@Allentown Brew Works, Allentown, Pa.--- Sat. 3/17 - Jameson Whiskey and Beer Dinner (7:00pm-10:00pm; $50/$95 for a five-course meal paired with Monkey Wrench Saison, Nutso Nut Brown Ale, RyePA, Gold Rush Steam, and Bourbon Barrel Insidious. Hosted by Master of Jameson Whiskey, George Reppart, and Brewmaster Beau Baden)

@Hawthornes, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 3/17 - St. Patrick's Day Dinner (5:00pm-10:00pm; $22 for a traditional Irish Feast with house cured corned beef and cabbage, red bliss potatoes, carrots, Irish soda bread, and a lovely pint of Guinness.)

@Iron Hill, West Chester, Pa.--- Thu. 3/15 - Brewmaster’s Irish Beer Dinner (7:00pm; $70 for a five-course meal paired with Irish Red Ale, Ironbound Ale, Russian Imperial Stout, Belgian Wit, Abbey Dubbel, and Old Tom Barleywine)
@Iron Hill, Media, Pa.--- Tue. 3/20 - Brewmaster’s Spring Beer Dinner (7:00pm-10:00pm; $75 for a five-course meal paired with Irish Red Ale, Saison, Honey Do Wit, Hopilicious IPA, and Irish Dry Stout)
@Iron Hill, North Wales, Pa.--- Tue. 3/20 - Beer and Chocolate Pairing (6:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG for six-course pairing including English Stout on Nitro, Coffee Porter, Vienna Red Lager, Pig Iron Porter, Abbey Dubbel, and Russian Imperial Stout)
@Iron Hill, Chestnut Hill, Pa.--- Tue. 3/20 & Wed. 3/21 - Brewmaster’s Spring Beer Dinner (7:00pm-10:00pm; $65 for a five-course meal paired with Dortmunder, Kamikaze, Cannibal, Biere de Garde, and Oompa Loompa Chocolate Stout blended with Flemish Red)

@McCrossen's Tavern, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 3/21 - Beer/Cheese/Food Pairings (6:30pm; $32 as Miles Moser of Brooklyn Brewery joins us with Rocco Rainone of DiBruno Bros.)

@Monk's Café, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Mon. 3/19 & Tue. 3/20 - Lost Abbey Dinner with Tomme Arthur (7:00pm; $85 for a five or six course legendary beer dinner at Monk's Café)

@World Café Live, Wilmington, Del.--- Tue. 3/20 - Grilled Cheese & Craft Beer Tasting (6:00pm; $34 for four delectable cheese and beer courses and finished off with a dessert to die for. Bring your vegetarian friends, too – we can accommodate them on all pairings)

Fun and Games and Movies
@Dock Street, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Tue. 3/20 - Movie Night, Pizza, and Beer (9:00pm; $PAYG for a night of Kan Dun on the big screen and food and beer discounts)

@Hulmeville Inn, Hulmeville, Pa.--- Sun. 3/18 - Charity Beer Raffle (get your tickets before 3/18) (6:00pm; $PAYG and see the website for all the details and prizes)

@Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa.--- Sat. 3/17 - St. Patrick's Day Party (12:00pm; $PAYG as the drawing for the winner of the Ireland Trip will begin at 9 p.m. Ted the Fiddler will be playing from around 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Our specials for the night are Bangers and Mashers with a Stout gravy and Corn Beef and Cabbage. Come enjoy some O'Reilly's Stout, Seamus Irish Red, and all of our other great beers.)

pickup at either Limerick or Lansdale, Pa. and bus cruising to The Blue Dog Pub, Crabby Larry's and Prism--- Sat. 3/17 - St. Patty's Day Beer Tour (12:00pm; $80 for a great excuse to do a St. Patty's Day Craft Beer Bus Tour! Join us for a trip to The Blue Dog, Crabby Larry's, and Prism Brewing. It'll be a St. Patty's Day you'll never forget!)

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

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A couple of goodies for you Homebrewers out there

This first one takes a bit of planning for the next couple of months leading up to Philly Beer Week.

The second should get your beer geek juices flowing but requires you to act a bit faster.

This first one will give you a chance to showcase your award-winning Homebrew in a competition hosted by Triumph Brewery in Philadelphia during Philly Beer Week. If you don't care for Facebook, here's a link directly to the entry form.

Keystone Homebrew has long been a fixture in the homebrewing scene of the northern city suburbs and up into the Lehigh Valley. They've conducted all sorts of events around wine making and beer brewing.

Now they've pulled off what seems to be a major coup of an event. All the beer geeks surely know of Urbain Coutteau from Belgium's De Struise brewery. Now homebrewers will have the chance to learn directly from Coutteau and brew a beer with his guidance.

Enough from me, go read the details over at Keystone Homebrew.

And....get brewing!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekly Brew Bits Update: 3/12/12

The last few weekly updates here have been rather overflowing with all sorts of craft beer bits and bytes. Take a breather this week and catch up with these few nuggets of interesting news from around the bar.

~ Seasonal beers. Tough to say exactly anymore what a seasonal beer is and is not. It's not like this is the first go-round on this topic. This time around, it seems that Chris Lohring got things going at Notch Brewing, with the dropping of BSA Harvest, which used to be considered a seasonal of theirs. Around Philly, here's what Lew Bryson said next. Then said Jack Curtin. Back to Lew again.

~ One of the region's top beer (and food) events wrapped last night, too late for publication here. Expect to hear more from me about The Brewer's Plate in coming days. Spoiler alert: It was a tremendous event as expected.

~ Victory has a neat little 2012 "state of the brewery" at its website and it reminded me that they also have this cool new smartphone app. Which then reminded me that I met the developer, Mike (@PhillyBeerGuy), at TJ's during the Pliny The Younger madness a couple of weeks ago.

~ You know how I like my beer and my running. Sometimes in that order. Sometimes the other way around. Here's news that Sly Fox will be the official brewery of this summer's ODDyssey Half Marathon in Philly.

~ News from the old General Lafayette Inn bubbles up every few months or so. This time, it's a listing of the property, currently owned by Sovereign Bank.

~ A worthwhile 20-minute interview with Sam Calagione at Better Beer Authority.

~ Speaking of discontinued beers (see Notch Brewing above), New Belgium apparently has dropped Mothership Wit from its lineup. Stan Hieronymous noted the company's Twitter feed.

~ It may not be that gift-giving time of the year, but if you need a gift, this from Brooklyn Brewery seems like a pretty cool idea.

~ With (most of) the Pliny The Younger madness behind us for 2012, here are some more geek-worthy newsy notes and stats from Russian River Brewing Company.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Italian Craft Beer in Philadelphia

I began taking note of the Italian craft beer movement four years ago (wow, really, it's been that long?) when I was invited to a tasting at Tria. Chestnuts, Baladin, numerous other Italian breweries, and even a couple of sours were the theme of the day.

Forward to 2012, another election year, and more Italian brewers are crashing the shores with their take on better beer. Case in point: Iacopo Lenci, owner and brewmaster from Birrificio Brùton in Lucca, Tuscany. He estimates that roughly 35% of his production is exported to North America and a couple of handfuls of states. Nevulis Beverages is responsible for importing and distributing the beers locally around Philadelphia.

('s General Manager Todd Rodgers, Chef Bryan Sikora, and Birrificio Brùton's owner/brewmaster Iacopo Lenci)

This week, Lenci was making his third trip to Philadelphia when we met up with him at the relatively new just off Rittenhouse Square. That we chose to take up PR Profile on their suggestion to stop by turned out to be one of the best decisions of the week.

(Birrificio Brùton's Bianca and Lilith)

After deciding to make a couple of other first stops (Franklin Mortgage and Dandelion —yes, I really am that far behind), we were sat at a perfect window seat for two at

The format for the evening allowed customers to either order à la carte food items and beers or purchase four-course meals with the food selections in each course paired one of Brùton's beers.

We opted for à la carte in an effort to keep the visit, at least in our minds, as brief as possible. Of course, one piece of food leads to a beer, which leads to a conversation with Lenci and restaurant GM Todd Rodgers, which leads to a bump-in with wine (and more than a once-in-a-while beer) guy David McDuff, which leads to more food and beer, which leads to chatting with Nevulis' Jeff Banet, which leads to trying to leave and bumping into Monk's Café's Tom Peters, who said Pliny the Younger was still on tap more than 24 hours after tapping it. Of course it was a half keg, not a sixtel like most others received, and there were plenty of other great beers pouring during his very special event the day before, so it's not surprising. Or, PtY has jumped the shark; you be the judge ;-)

(Was there a run-on sentence in that last paragraph? Did that last paragraph make any sense at all? Hey, I'm writing again, so cut me some slack.)

Rodgers and Chef Bryan Sikora came up with a spectacular pairing menu. Each dish and each beer could easily stand on its own. Together, the flavors did not battle each other for palate supremacy. And, if there was one thing we said about each beer, it was "I could drink this beer all night".

And we probably could have. Well, perhaps with the exception of the Dieci, which weighs in at around 10% ABV. But, yet again, it was beer whose aroma and flavors stole the show, leaving us slackjawed that it could be a 10% beer.

A quick rundown of the food and beer we enjoyed includes:

  • Potato-Gruyere Gratin with Speck (three words there tell you everything you need to know about the savory sumptuousness of this dish) paired quite well with Lilith (5.5% ABV) and its mild Cascade hop citrusy flavor and bitterness.

  • (Potato-Gruyere Gratin with Speck and Birrificio Brùton's Lilith)

  • Seared Sea Scallops with Blood Orange (could have been some of the most perfectly prepared scallops I've ever come across as too many kitchens suffer from either over- or under-doing them) with the wonderful Bianca (5% ABV), which exhibits pleasant and refreshing flavors of orange citrus, pepper spice, and fragrant lemongrass.

  • (Seared Sea Scallops with Birrificio Brùton's Bianca)

  • Lamb Bolognese over Tagliatelle (how I love this sturdy noodle, and with the meaty bolognese the dish became so succulent) paired nicely with the heftier Momus, whose 7.5% ABV is masked by its smooth and tasty profile of sweet caramelized malts.

  • (Lamb Bolognese with Tagliatelle and Birrificio Brùton's Momus)

  • Finally, the pièce de résistance was delivered in the form of Goat Cheese Cake with a Hazlenut Crust and Vanilla Honey. I'm not sure that any further description is necessary, since it truly was as good as the words suggest. And, with the Dieci (10% barleywine) riding shotgun, the night ended on as equally-perfect a note as the preceding courses had also struck.

  • (Goat Cheese Cake with Hazlenut Crust, Vanilla Honey, and Birrificio Brùton's Dieci)

    During this extremely worthwhile Tuesday night in Philly, there were two primary takeaways. If is still a bit under, or even off, your radar, you should really consider bumping it up. It's not as if the restaurant has not been gathering critical acclaim both locally in Philadelphia and beyond. From what I gather from talking with many both in and out of the city, is not yet a household name for foodies. My gut tells me, though both figuratively and literally), that this is changing, and changing quickly. The awarding of "three bells" by local critic, Craig LaBan, won't hurt either.

    The other takeaway is Brùton's beers. They're available by the case in Pennsylania and will soon be also by the 30-liter keg, according to Nevulis. As I mentioned above, these beers (particularly Bianca and Lilith, which will become even more appealing in the warmer months) stand very well on their own at the same time as being extremely food-friendly.

    (Birrificio Brùton's owner/brewmaster Iacopo Lenci and his lovely Lilith)

    Word has it that if you've missed Lenci and his Brùton's beers in the past, there continues to be more of it coming stateside and he's due to return personally in just a few short months for Philly Beer Week.

    Thursday, March 08, 2012

    Weekly Beer Calendar Update: March 8-March 14

    Ah, March. That long ago, far away place that Philly Beer Week used to call home. No matter, June can have it because around here, by the looks of this next week's schedule, the calendar doesn't matter and the calendar doesn't lie. It's a great place and a great time of year to be a lover of great beer.

    Check out the entire March 2012 calendar over here.

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

    Special Tastings, Brewery Promos, and Samplings
    @Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 3/9 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Appalachian Brewing)

    @City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.-- Thu. 3/8 - Flying Fish Happy Hour (7:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG for your Flying Fish favorites like Exit 8, Exit 4, ESB, Abbey, Hopfish, Red Fish, XPA, and more TBA.)

    @Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa.--- Fri. 3/9 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Stoudt's)

    @Iron Hill Brewery, North Wales, Pa.--- Wed. 3/14 - Winston's Wee Heavy Release Party (5:00pm-9:00pm; $PAYG for the release of Winston's Wee Heavy, in honor of Head Brewer Vince DesRosier's rescued dog Winston. Also, bring a photo to submit into the cutest dog contest. Great prize for the winner.)

    @Nodding Head, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 3/10 - Three's Company (3:00pm-6:00pm; $PAYG for 3 different versions of 3 beers, including: Rudy's Kung Fu Grip, Rudy's Icy Grip, Rudette, Ostap, Cherry Ostap, Dry-hopped Ostap, Grog, and 2 crazy cask versions of Grog, probably with stupid names.)

    @Pinocchio's, Media, Pa.--- Thu. 3/8 - Half Acre Beer Tasting (11:00am; $PAYG for at least four of Half Acre's on tap including Daisy Cutter, Alpen Glo, Over Ale, and Callow Knife)

    @Railroad Street Bar & Grill, Limerick, Pa.--- Sat. 3/10 - Shangy's Tap Takeover (2:30pm; $PAYG for a lineup that includes at least the following: Southern Tier Unearthly, Fort Collins IPA, Brew Works Hopsolutley, Blue Point Toxic Sludge, Lost Coast Barrel Aged Fogcutter, Left Hand Sawtooth (Nitro), Bell's Best Brown, North Coast Le Merle Saison, New Holland Dragon's Milk, Flying Dog Cujo Imp. Coffee Stout, New Holland Night Tripper, Cuvee de Jacobins, Carocole Nostradamus, Hopus Belgian IPA, La Trappe Isid'or, and Ichtegems Grand Cru)

    @Resurrection Ale House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 3/14 - Monthly Beer School (12:00pm; $Free to learn all about Allagash's beers alongside Resurrection's staff and brewery rep, Suzanne Woods)

    @Shaving Grace Barbers, Doylestown, Pa.--- Fri. 3/9 - Local Brewery Launch (6:00pm-9:00pm; $Free for some tastes of Doylestown's new Brewing Company)

    @Station Taproom, Downingtown, Pa.--- Wed. 3/14 - Goose Island (6:00pm; $PAYG to drink the likes of Sofia, Pere Jaques, 312, Matilda, and IPA)

    @TJ's, Paoli, Pa.--- Tue. 3/13-Sat. 3/17 - Featured Brewery Week ($PAYG for Arcadia's Sky High Rye, B-Craft, Brigids Irish Red, Hopmouth, Hop Rocket, Shipwrecked, Loch Down, and Lake Superior)

    @Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, Pa.--- Tue. 3/13 - Local Tuesday Night ($PAYG for a victorious night with plenty of Victory's victories)

    @The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa.-- Sat. 3/10 - Oskar Blue Beer Sampling (6:00pm-8:00pm; $Free tasting samples from Colorado's favorite canner)

    @Whole Foods, Devon, Pa.--- Thu. 3/8 - Beer Sampling (5:00pm-8:00pm; $Free tasting samples of Stone's Old Guardian)

    Food and Beer events
    @Eclat Chocolate, West Chester, Pa.--- Fri. 3/9 - Eclat Chocolate Lager Tasting Party (6:30pm-9:30pm; $25 for free samples of the amazing Eclat Cocoa Lager, Eclat's whimsical and daring "Eclat dog" - inspired by New York's Crif's Momofuku dog and Wylie dog - and of course some of Bon Appetit's favorite Eclat chocolates.)

    @Iron Abbey, Horsham, Pa.--- Wed. 3/14 - Celtic Beer Dinner (7:00pm; $60 for a five-course meal paired with Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted, Bulmers Magners, Traquair Jacobite, Brew Dog Storm, Porterhouse Oyster Stout, and Redbreast Irish Whiskey)

    @Iron Hill Brewery, Phoenixville, Pa.--- Sun. 3/11 - Brewmaster's Breakfast of Champions (1:00pm-3:00pm; $60 for a five-course meal paired with Belgian Wit, The Cannibal, Galena Bomb, Rauchbier, Coffee-infused Oatmeal Stout)

    @National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sun. 3/11 - The Brewer's Plate (5:00pm-9:00pm; $65/$75/$125)

    @Revolution House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 3/8 - Weyerbacher Beer Dinner (7:00pm; $40 for a six-course meal paired with Merry Monk's Ale, Hops Infused, Blithering Idiot, Double Simcoe, Verboten, and Old Heathen)

    Beer with Music, Movies, and other assorted whatnot
    @Dock Street, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Tue. 3/13 - Movie Night, Pizza, and Beer (9:00pm; $PAYG for a night of discounted beer and pizza and the movie, Spirited Away, on the big screen)

    @Jose Pistolas, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Tue. 3/13 - Tuesday Night Funk Series (9:30pm-12:00am; $PAYG for some of the best local funk and Jazz musicians you can find anywhere. Dollar-off Allagash beers.)

    @The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 3/14 - Pi(e) Day (4:00pm-10:00pm; $PAYG for a three pie dinner. Pie, it's not just for dessert any more. Yards Entire Porter, Yards Bourbon Love Stout, Yards Chocolate Love Stout, Yards Brawler gravity pour firkin, and Yards ESA. Plus, the Pi Contest: Whoever can recite Pi to the most places (correctly) will win a nice prize.)

    Pub crawls, bus tours, boot camp and other craziness
    @12 Participating Bars, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 3/10 - Craft Beer Express (11:00am-9:00pm; $PAYG, see website for all the details)

    @7 Participating Bars, Phoenixville, Pa.--- Sat. 3/10 - Phoenixville Pub Crawl (12:00pm; $PAYG, see website for all the details)

    @Bulls Head Public House, Lititz, Pa.--- Thu. 3/8-Sat. 3/10 - 2nd Anniversary Party ($PAYG for special beers, food, and events. Great raffle prizes available to win as well.)

    @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa.--- Wed. 3/14 - St. Patrick's Day Boot Camp ($PAYG for the culmination of 2012's Boot Camp)

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

    Wednesday, March 07, 2012

    Bryson's beer blog on the boob tube

    Watch. Set the DVR. Make a call/donation. Support beer and the Big Guy.

    Tomorrow night. Watch Lew Bryson and his new American Beer Blogger on PBS-WLVT.

    Who's in charge of the drinking game that goes along with this?

    Tuesday, March 06, 2012

    Craft Beer Express rolls into March

    This Craft Beer Express really doesn't need much help from me anymore. This thing has grown so wildly popular that there are now two installments per year, mkaing it a good thing that it was broken apart from Philly Beer Week.

    Here's a quick synopsis from its website. Enjoy!

    541 East Girard Avenue
    (215) 739-1700
    Gettin' Loose with Goose Island, from Chicago, IL
    We’ll be lining the taps with 7 to 10 of Goose Island’s flagship barrel series! This Midway Giant is not to be missed on your tasting journey. Starting with Brunch – opening at 10:30 am.

    Johnny Brenda's
    1201 Frankford Avenue
    (215) 739-9684
    Back for the 4th year! Starts at 11am! Brunch served from 11-3:30. Stouts on tap all day and evening! We will have an awesome Full Irish Breakfast on the menu in addition to our regular brunch menu, plus a Smorgasbord, and an array of delicious oysters!

    Standard Tap
    901 North 2nd Street
    (215) 238-0630
    Big Wood Weekend
    Wake up to our 2-day celebration of wood- smoked and barrel-aged beers!

    The Institute
    549 North 12th Street
    (267) 318-7772
    3rd Annual Barleywine Bonanza
    Get your hands on 10 of the most highly sought after barleywines out there!

    Bishop's Collar
    2349 Fairmount Avenue
    (215) 765-1616
    Six Point Brewing Company
    Featuring Jersey Dan "Cornelius" spinning tunes and a complete tap take-over with a firkin or two from Six Point Brewing.

    Kite & Key
    1836 Callowhill Street
    (215) 568-1818
    A Change of Events with Firestone Walker
    Firestone Walker has decided to ship out to the Kite & Key an AMAZING array of beers!! You CAN NOT MISS THIS!! We will guarantee this may be your only chance to try it!!! We cannot divulge the tap list yet, but you will be thrilled!!

    Jose Pistola's
    263 South 15th Street
    (215) 545-4101
    Chuck Norris Day
    In Honor of Chuck Norris' birthday we tried to tie craft beer to Chuck Norris. We soon realized that chuck Norris won't be tied to anything. We then decided it would be best for everyone involved if we just poured all bad ass beers with bad ass names. Beers include iron fist gauntlet, clown shoes eagle claw fist, evil twins yin and yang, dark horse Scotty karate, and a firkin of yards brawler dry hopped with Sirachi Hops.

    The Sidecar
    2201 Christian Street
    (215) 732-3429
    IPA's Greatest Hits - Volume III
    Around the World in three whole days, Sidecar brings you the best IPA and DIPA offerings from around the globe – and we’re lining the “Lucky 13” with an individual line up each day, 36-40 total…maybe even a firkin or two. HOP HEADS UNITE! Details to come…mark the date and the stop in SWCC!

    Pub on Passyunk East
    1501 East Passyunk Avenue
    (215) 755-5125
    POPE visits Colorado
    Hosting beers from the rockies including Avery, Left Hand and many more.

    Devil's Den
    1148 South 11th Street
    (215) 339-0855
    Stop out for the Spring Craft Beer Express and try some of local beer guy, Cameron Saunders', favorite beers. Tap list to include Bell's Special Cream Stout, Avery Mephistopheles, Moylans Hopsickle, Southern Tier Oak Aged Pumpking and what ever else he wants. You have seen him in Philly Beer Scene Magazine now meet him in person!

    Brauhaus Schmitz
    718 South Street
    (267) 909-8814
    Was ist Das? 10 German beers you never heard of.... Seriously most of these beers have never been poured in Philly before.

    Race St. Cafe
    208 Race Street
    (215) 627-6181
    Winter Wrap Up
    Have one last rendezvous with all of your favorite bocks, browns and barleywines before you have to kiss them goodbye for the next 6 months.

    Monday, March 05, 2012

    Weekly Brew Bits Update: 3/5/12

    It's March. Does that mean lion...lamb...dunno. What I do know is that, as usual, there's more than enough to share with you that I've never got around to writing about. Come to think of it, there hasn't been much true writing around here at all lately. So here, once again, is a synopsis with all the requisite links to those doing the real work for your enjoyment and education.

    ~ Terry Hawbaker, formerly of Bullfrog Brewery, now with Cabinet Artisanal Brewhouse aka Farmers' Cabinet out of Philly/Alexandria, Va. (yes, it really is almost that confusing) caught the attention of The Washington Post in a nice article.

    ~ More kudos and well-deserved attention for William Reed and his Standard Tap in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of the city.

    ~ Well, this certainly took a while, but it looks like the long time and hard work will be paying off for Tim Patton at his future Saint Benjamin Brewing Company in the city's Fishtown neighborhood.

    ~ To market, to Reading Terminal Market, to buy a great beer.

    ~ Foobooz caught wind of Alla Spina, a new Marc Vetri venture where Victory will be brewing a house beer for them.

    ~ Bethlehem Brew Works continues to grow its brewing operations. was onsite for the delivery of new fermenters.

    ~ On 3/9, a barber shop will be hosting a brewery launch. Is this a first? Quite possibly. Check out the details about Doylestown Brewing Company at Philly Beer Scene.

    ~ Lew Bryson is off and blogging and taping for his American Beer Blogger. Here's one of the first steps he took last week at Stoudt's.

    ~ And since I first drafted this page, here's a new link with some very important information about the first upcoming episode airing this week.

    ~ Weyerbacher is the next brewery in the region to plan a major expansion. Their website has the news in pictures and video. And, a more recent update from the brewery with lots of geeky numbers and factoids and answers to questions.

    ~ Remember a few weeks back when the Cicerone membership hit 10,000? The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) recently registered its thirty thousandth member.

    ~ The midwest, particularly Missouri, is still one unexplored area for me. Once I do, Schlafly will be high on my list of top-notch breweries to seek out. They've got new developments in the works and here's a link from them with more details.

    ~ Filed under fwiw: there are some commemorative pint glasses in the works for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    ~ Rick Lyke's Pints for Prostates organization has been around for a few years. Now, there's a beer festival to go along with it. Pints for Prostates' Portland Pale Ale Invitational will be held in July in Portland, Oregon. Until then, check out their website to learn more.

    Sunday, March 04, 2012

    Brewer's Plate 2012: Why you should be there

    If you haven't purchased tickets yet for next Sunday's Brewer's Plate bonanza at the National Constitution Center, what are you waiting for?

    You're in luck, because for some odd reason, tickets are still available. The event sells out every year, so at some point this week, you will be out of luck.

    You'll be asking yourself why you didn't buy tickets to one of the region's top annual events (certainly top food/beer events).

    Here's the link. I don't have nearly the space here (well, really I do, but as I'm sure you can tell, writing's not been coming real easily to me of late) to tell you all the good things about this festival.

    Go check out the lists. Check out some of words and pictures from last year (plus, a link to more pictures as well). Or all the way back to the second year 2006 (and my much more amateurish writing).

    If you see me next Sunday, say hello....and thank me for reminding you about this.