Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Beer Calendar: What To Do in September 2016

Back to school, back to beer. Plenty to keep you interested around these parts as summer draws to end and we all get back to our "regular schedules".

As for my so-called regular schedule, I've got my own event on the calendar for tomorrow, September 1, in Elkins Park. Check it out below and then come check me and the bookstore out. Plus it doubles as a free beer tasting as well. I'll be bringing some and you're invited to as well.

If you somehow have still not seen the book, check it out over at my publisher's site. Or to buy, send a note to me, ping, or drop by your local bookstore such as Barnes & Noble or Open Book Bookstore!

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

Thu. 9/1; 7 p.m.-8 p.m. — The Majestic Lodgedales Meet the Magnificent Clydesdales at Grey Lodge Pub in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 9/1; 5 p.m. — New Kegs On The Block at Strangelove's in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 9/2; 11 a.m. — Pils Picnic at Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 9/2-Sun. 9/4; All Weekend — Belgian Beer Weekend at Eulogy in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Mon. 9/5; 12 p.m. — Wicked Weed Lucky 13 Labor Day Extravaganza at Monk's Café in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Mon. 9/5; 12 p.m.-7 p.m. — Labor Day Crab Fest and BBQ at Tap Room On 19th in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Wed. 9/7; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Allagash Fluxus 2016 Release with Caledonia Spirits at Martha in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Wed. 9/7; 7 p.m. — SingleCut Beersmiths Event at The P.O.P.E. in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 9/9; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — First Friday Tasting Event at Bottle Bar East in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 9/10; 9 p.m. — Oskar Blues Rocks at McCrossen's Tavern in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 9/10; 4 p.m.-7 p.m. — Blackstone Comics Launch with 2SP at Interstate Drafthouse in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 9/11; 4 p.m.-8 p.m. — Pop-up Beer Garden at Rockledge Car Show with River Horse Brewing at Hop Angel Brauhaus in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Tue. 9/13-Fri. 9/16; 5 p.m. — Oktoberfest - Week of Events at Brauhaus Schmitz in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Wed. 9/14; 7 p.m.-9 p.m. — U Buy the Glass at The Abbaye in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Wed. 9/14; 9 p.m.-12 a.m. — Global Grooves, Bella Brews at The Trestle Inn in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 9/15; 5 p.m. — One Year Anniversary Bash at Coeur in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 9/16-Sun. 9/18; All Weekend — Oktoberfest Weekend at Strangelove's in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 9/16-Thu. 9/22; All day — Sausage Fest at Standard Tap in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 9/17; 2 p.m.-4 p.m. — Farmer's Market Happy Hour at Clarkville in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 9/17; 12 p.m.-10 p.m. — PHLOktoberfest at Frankford Hall & Fette Sau in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 9/23; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Jacks Abby Tasting at Bottle Bar East in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 9/23-Sun. 9/25; All Weekend — Oktoberfest at Alla Spina in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 9/24 and Sun. 9/25; 4 p.m.-11 p.m. — Pumpkinfest Weekend at Hop Angel Brauhaus in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 9/24 and Sun. 9/25; All Weekend — Uptown Celebrates Oktoberfest with UpToberfest at Uptown Beer Garden in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Wed. 9/28; 7 p.m.-9 p.m. — Stoudts Keep the Glass Night at Hop Angel Brauhaus in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Wed. 9/28; 6 p.m. — Goose Island Secrets and Sours at The Cambridge in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 9/30; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Weyerbacher Sampling at Bottle Bar East in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]

after September in Philadelphia
Sat. 10/1; 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. — Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin Beer Festival at The Institute in Philadelphia, Pa. [$45-$55]
Sat. 10/1; 12 p.m. — Zwanze Day 2016 at Monk's Café in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 10/1-Sun. 10/2; 4 p.m.-11 p.m. each day — Oktoberfest Weekend at Hop Angel Brauhaus in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]

Philadelphia's close suburbs (within 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Thu. 9/1; 7 p.m.-8:45 p.m. — Books 'n' Brew BYO at Open Book Bookstore in Elkins Park, Pa. [$Free]
Thu. 9/1; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Founders New DIPA at Pinocchio's in Media, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 9/1; 4 p.m.-9 p.m. — Celebrating Our 20th Anniversary at Flying Fish Brewing Company in Somerdale, NJ [$PAYG]
Sat. 9/3; 12 p.m. — Pumpkin Ale Release at Spellbound Brewing Company in Mount Holly, NJ [$PAYG]
Sun. 9/4; 12 p.m.-5 p.m. — Punk O'Lantern Release Party at Village Idiot Brewing Company in Mount Holly, NJ [$PAYG]
Thu. 9/8; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Draai Laag at Pinocchio's in Media, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 9/9; 7 p.m.-9 p.m. — Charity Movie Night: Office Space at Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company in Croydon, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 9/10; 11 a.m. — Sour Beer Day at Fingers Wings & Other Things in Conshohocken, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 9/10; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. — Welcome, Great Pumpkin! Multi-Tap at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Maple Shade, NJ [$PAYG]
Sun. 9/11; 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. — 2SP & Yoga at 2SP Brewing Company in Aston, Pa. [$20]
Thu. 9/15; 5 p.m.-7 p.m. — Devil's Backbone Night at Pinocchio's in Media, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 9/29; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Port/Lost Abbey Night at Pinocchio's in Media, Pa. [$PAYG]

after September in Philadelphia's close suburbs
Sat. 10/1; 12 p.m.-7 p.m. — NCBC Oktoberfest Celebration at Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company in Croydon, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 10/1; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. — Brewhouse of Horrors Multi-Tap at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Media, Pa. [$PAYG]

Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other (beyond 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Thu. 9/1; 5 p.m.-10 p.m. — Almanac Beer Co. Tap Invasion at Hunger N Thirst in Lancaster, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 9/1; 5 p.m.-9 p.m. — Swinging Thursday Beer Release at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in West Chester, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 9/1; 5 p.m.-8 p.m. — Charity Cask Night at Bethlehem Brew Works in Bethlehem, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 9/2; 5 p.m.-8 p.m. — Rosie Park Release Party at Fordham & Dominion Brewing Company in Dover, Del. [$PAYG]
Fri. 9/2; 5 p.m. — Manayunk Brewing 20th Anniversary Celebration Tap Invasion at Federal Taphouse in Lancaster, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 9/2; 5 p.m. — First Friday Firkin Cask Conditioned Beer Release at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Phoenixville, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 9/2; All Day — Incubus Friday at Sly Fox Brewing Company in Phoenixville, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 9/2; All Day — Incubus Friday at Sly Fox Brewing Company in Pottstown, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 9/2; 5 p.m. — First Friday Tasting at Washington House in Sellersville, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 9/2; 4 p.m.-6 p.m. — Free Samples at Goshen Beverage in West Chester, Pa. [$Free]
Fri. 9/2; 4 p.m.-6 p.m. — Magic Hat Sampling at Exton Beverage Company in Exton, Pa. [$Free]
Sat. 9/3; 8 p.m.-11:30 p.m. — Fresh Batch with Hoppin' Boxcars at Other Farm Brewing Company in Boyertown, Pa. [$10+$PAYG]
Sat. 9/3; All day — Skeg Release at Cape May Brewing Company in Cape May, NJ [$PAYG]
Sat. 9/3; 11 a.m.-2 p.m. — AdHOPtion at Fordham & Dominion Brewing Company in Dover, Del. [$PAYG]
Sat. 9/3; 1 p.m.-4 p.m. — Annual Providence Animal Center Fundraiser at Beer Yard in Wayne, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 9/8; 6 p.m.-10 p.m. — Shangy's Showcase at Liberty Taproom in Reading, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 9/8; 5 p.m.-10 p.m. — St. Boniface 3LB Can Release at Barley Mow Craft Beer House in West Reading, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 9/8; 5 p.m.-10 p.m. — SingleCut Beersmiths Tap Invasion at Hunger N Thirst in Lancaster, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 9/8; 6 p.m.-10 p.m. — Liberty Taproom & Shangys Human Hungry Hungry Hippo Tournament at Liberty Taproom in Reading, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 9/9; 4 p.m.-10 p.m. — Release Party Sundancer White IPA at 3rd Wave Brewing Company in Delmar, Del. [$PAYG]
Fri. 9/9; 4 p.m.-6 p.m. — Friday Night Sampling at Exton Beverage Company in Exton, Pa. [$Free]
Fri. 9/9; 4 p.m.-6:30 p.m. — Free Samples at Goshen Beverage in West Chester, Pa. [$Free]
Sat. 9/10; 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. — Craft Beer & Food Truck Fest at Good Ta Go in Chambersburg, Pa. [$30 (VIP) or $PAYG]
Sat. 9/10; 12 p.m.-8 p.m. — South Philly Sausage Fest at West Passyunk Avenue & Broad Street in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 9/10-Sun. 9/11; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. & 11 a.m.-6 p.m. — Atlantic City Seafood Festival at Bader Field in Atlantic City, NJ [$5+$PAYG]
Sun. 9/11; 11 a.m. — Ballast Point 20th Anniversary Tap Takeover at Liberty Taproom in Reading, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 9/15; 5 p.m.-10 p.m. — Tröegs Food Pairing and Happy Hour at The Side Bar in West Chester, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 9/16; 5 p.m. — Sixpoint Tap Takeover at Isaac's Pickle Bar in Lancaster, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 9/16; All Day — Third Friday Firkin Fest at Sly Fox Brewing Company in Pottstown, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 9/17; All day — 5th Anniversary Customer Appreciation Celebration at The Fridge in Lancaster, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 9/17; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. — Harvest Brew Fest at Emlen Physick Estate in Cape May, NJ [$PAYG]
Sat. 9/17; All Day — Victory Sour Monkey & Tart Ten Tap Night at The Fridge in Lancaster, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 9/18; 10 a.m. — Tails, Trails, and Ales at Weyerbacher Brewing Company in Easton, Pa. [$5+$PAYG]
Mon. 9/19; 3 p.m. — 3rd Annual Homebrew ColaBEERation at 3rd Wave Brewing Company in Delmar, Del. [$PAYG]
Thu. 9/22; 5 p.m.-10 p.m. — Trinity Brewing Co. at Hunger N Thirst in Lancaster, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 9/22; 6:30 p.m. — Dogfish Head Tap Takeover and Trip Giveaway at Stanley's Tavern in Wilmington, Del. [$PAYG]
Sat. 9/24; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. — Oktoberfest at Levante Brewing Company in West Chester, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 9/24; All Day — Rare Beer Event at Bistro on Bridge in Phoenixville, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 9/24; 12 p.m. — Can Jam at Sly Fox Brewing Company in Pottstown, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 9/25; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. — Downingtown Fall Fest at Green Street & Pennsylvania Avenue in Downingtown, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 9/25; 12 p.m.-6 p.m. — Oktoberfest – Bavarski at Stoudts Brewing Company in Adamstown, Pa. [$PAYG]
Tue. 9/27-Sun. Oct. 2; All Night — Got Jerk Week With Pizza Boy Brewing Company at Liberty Taproom in Reading, Pa. [$PAYG]

after September in Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other
Sat. 10/1; 2 p.m.-7 p.m. — Out of Our Gourds Multi-Tap at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Wilmington, Del. [$PAYG]
Sat. 10/1; 7 p.m.-10 p.m. — River Horse Oktoberfest at River Horse Brewing Company in Ewing Township, NJ [$PAYG]
Sun. 10/2; 12 p.m.-6 p.m. — Oktoberfest – Mädel-Jäger at Stoudts Brewing Company in Adamstown, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 10/6; 5 p.m.-10 p.m. — Bullfrog Brewery Tap Invasion at Hunger N Thirst in Lancaster, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 10/6; 5 p.m.-8 p.m. — Charity Cask Night at Bethlehem Brew Works in Bethlehem, Pa. [$PAYG]

Events Over $20

Thu. 9/15; 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. — Yards Brews Cruise at The Spirit of Philadelphia (at Penn's Landing) in Philadelphia, Pa. [$49.9]
Fri. 9/16; 7 p.m.-11 p.m. — City Kitties Fundraiser at Yards Brewing Company in Philadelphia, Pa. [$40]
Sat. 9/17; 12 p.m.-8 p.m. — Oktoberfest Street Festival at South Street in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG or VIP for $115]
Sat. 9/17; 4 p.m.-6 p.m. — Beer & Brewing 101 at Philly Beer School in Philadelphia, Pa. [$39.98]

after September in Philadelphia
Fri. 10/7-Sun. 10/9; All Weekend — Armory Oktoberfest at 23rd Street Armory in Philadelphia, Pa. [$45-$65]

Philadelphia's close suburbs (within 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Mon. 9/5; 3 p.m.-8 p.m. — Labor Day All-inclusive BBQ & Brews at Iron Abbey in Horsham, Pa. [$25]
Sat. 9/10; 7 p.m. — Fall Beer Fest at Geraghty's Pub in Burlington, NJ [$25]
Sat. 9/10; 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. — New Belgium Beer Dinner with Eric Salazar at Iron Abbey in Horsham, Pa. [$60]
Sat. 9/10; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. — MGK Brew Blast at Battleship New Jersey in Camden, NJ [$35-$45]

after September in Philadelphia's close suburbs

Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other (beyond 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Thu. 9/1; 5:30 p.m. — The Farmer & The Chef-South at The Clubhouse at Baywood Greens in Long Neck, Del. [$45-$55]
Wed. 9/7; 5:30 p.m. — Avery Brewing Beer & Food Tasting at Bulls Head Public House in Lititz, Pa. [$35]
Sat. 9/10; 3 p.m.-5 p.m. — Saturday Brew Review at Isaac's Pickle Bar in Lancaster, Pa. [$30]
Sat. 9/10; 12 p.m.-6 p.m. — Historic Odessa Brewfest at Historic Odessa Foundation in Odessa, Del. [$15-$70]
Sat. 9/10; 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. — Brews By The Bay Craft Beer Festival at Cape May Ferry Terminal in Cape May, NJ [$40-$70]
Sat. 9/10; 4 p.m.-8 p.m. — Brews By The Bay Craft Beer Festival at Lewes Ferry Terminal in Lewes, Del. [$40-$70]
Sat. 9/10; 2 p.m.-5 p.m. and 6 p.m.-9 p.m. — Capital City Invitational Beerfest at Appalachian Brewing Company in Harrisburg, Pa. [$15-$35]
Sun. 9/11; 9 a.m.-12 p.m. — Red White & Brew Festival Weekend at The Foundry in Phoenixville, Pa. [$20-$175]
Tue. 9/13; 6:30 p.m. — Kickoff to Fall Beer Dinner at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Phoenixville, Pa. [$65]
Tue. 9/13; 7 p.m.-9 p.m. — Back to School Beer Dinner at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Voorhees, NJ [$65]
Thu. 9/15; 5 p.m. — The Farmer & The Chef at Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, Del. [$45-$75]
Sat. 9/17; 4 p.m.-10 p.m. — Zombtember at Mispillion River Brewing Company in Milford, Del. [$25-$30+$PAYG]
Sat. 9/17; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. — Pints In The Square at Ellis Preserve in Newtown Square, Pa. [$10-$65]
Sat. 9/17; 12:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. — Newtown Beerfest at The Stocking Works in Newtown, Pa. [$10-$75]
Sat. 9/17; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. — Lake Augusta Wine & Brew Festival at Riverfront in Sunbury, Pa. [$35]
Sat. 9/17; 1 p.m.-10 p.m. — Analog A-Go-Go at Bellevue State Park in Wilmington, Del. [$75-$115]
Sat. 9/10-Sun. 9/11; 12 p.m.-5 p.m. and 12 p.m.-4 p.m. — Pennsylvania Brewers Festival at Camelback Resort in Tannersville, Pa. [$15-$99]
Sat. 9/24; 1 p.m.-4 p.m. — Mercersburg Beer and Wine Festival at Mercersburg Lions Club Park in Mercersburg, Pa. [$10-$25]
Sat. 9/24; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5 p.m.-9 p.m. — Tapped Philadelphia at Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, Pa. [$39-$59]
Sat. 9/24; 12 p.m.-5 p.m. — Glassboro Craft Beer Festival at College Avenue in Glassboro, NJ [$5-$50]
Sun. 9/25; 2 p.m.-5 p.m. — Lititz Craft Beer Fest at Main Street in Lititz, Pa. [$40]
Mon. 9/26; 6 p.m.-10 p.m. — 2SP Beer Co. Beer Dinner at Two Stones Pub in Kennett Square, Pa. [$TBD]
Thu. 9/29; 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. — Harvest Beer Dinner at Victory Brewing Company in Parkesburg, Pa. [$55]

after September in Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other
Sat. 10/1; 12 p.m.-5:30 p.m. — Kennett Brewfest at South Broad Street in Kennett Square, Pa. [$15-$75]
Sat. 10/8; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. — Cheesetoberfest at Fordham & Dominion Brewing Company in Dover, Del. [$20-$60]
Thu. 10/13; 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. — Harvest Beer Dinner at Victory Brewing Company in Kennett Square, Pa. [$55]
Sat. 10/15; 5 p.m.-8 p.m. — Fegley's Whisky Festival  at Allentown Brew Works in Allentown, Pa. [$25-$45]
Sat. 10/15; 5 p.m.-9 p.m. — Ride The Rails I at Boxcar Brewing Company in West Chester, Pa. [$25-$45]
Sat. 10/22; 12 p.m.-4:30 p.m. — Pottstown Brew Fest at Manatawny Park in Pottstown, Pa. [$10-$75]
Sat. 10/22; 5 p.m.-9 p.m. — Ride The Rails II at Boxcar Brewing Company in West Chester, Pa. [$25-$45]

Monday, August 29, 2016

Writing This Ship: Part 9 - Speaking of growth, how about Tröegs?

(photo credit: Tröegs Independent Brewing)

The other day, I shared the continued growth of the Iron Hill family and their newest location in Huntingdon Valley, Pa.

On yet a larger scale, out in Hershey, Pa., Tröegs has unveiled its spectacular new addition, the Splinter Cellar. They sure have come a long way from the humble beginnings in Harrisburg. Ordinarily I wouldn't simply repost a press release, but since I have yet to develop any first hand experience at the Splinter Cellar, it makes more sense just to get this out there for you.

Read the interesting and information-filled blog post and hang in there until the end where they discuss plans for 2017. Yes, I get excited for both greenspace and parking.

I haven't been to the brewery since earlier in 2015 just as they were breaking ground for the Splinter Cellar. When I return there later in October, I'm sure I'll have plenty more to share. Until then...


MEDIA ADVISORY: (July 14, 2016) Tröegs Independent Brewing has opened the doors to its wood-aging dream space, the Splinter Cellar. With three new 9,300-gallon foeders, the Splinter Cellar is a home for wild yeast and a wide-open canvas for creative cellaring. To celebrate the opening, Tröegs is releasing a limited amount of Wild Elf, a Pennsylvania Wild Ale made with local cherries and the microflora that hitchhiked in on them.


Our wood-aging dream space, a little something we’re calling the Splinter Cellar, is now open, and to help celebrate this milestone, we’re releasing a Pennsylvania wild ale called Wild Elf.

Back in 2010, brothers Chris and John Trogner were sketching their vision for a new brewery on the back of a napkin. If you’ve been to Tröegs, you know what they came up with: a large central Tasting Room, an open brewhouse, a self-guided tour path around a Quality Control lab, plenty of room for fermentation and a General Store for beer and goods to-go.

They also pictured a space dedicated to wood-aging. It would be a sanctuary for strong ageable ales, a home for wild yeast and bacteria, and a wide-open canvas for creative cellaring. From this space would grow a new series of Pennsylvania wild ales brewed with the fruit and microflora from our backyard.

Over the years we’ve given a home to nearly 300 wine, bourbon and virgin oak barrels, as well as three small oak tanks called foeders, but the dedicated wood-aging space kept getting shelved for another day.

That day has arrived. [Read more at the brewery's blog]

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Writing This Ship: Part 8 - Iron Hill still has more mountains to climb

(From left, co-owners Kevin Finn and Mark Edelson and Huntingdon Valley veteran Head Brewer Doug Marchakitus)

(A familiar front exterior visual for Iron Hill)

It can be difficult to say much new about the ever-expanding Iron Hill family. If you live anywhere in eastern/southeastern Pennsylvania, northern Delaware, or southern New Jersey, it's hard to think that you haven't at least heard of them. If you're from other parts of the country but have been to the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver, there's no way you don't know their name from either being called year after year on the awards stage or in the dozens of employees that descend upon the GABF to represent the company of nearly 1,300 employees.

They've become so good over the years at implementing their vision of beer and food that the expectation of failure, or even shortcomings, is not typically part of the discussion. From the first brewpub location in Newark, Del. back in 1996 to the most recent location in Pennsylvania having been opened in Ardmore in 2014, Iron Hill's high expectations are routinely met or exceeded in both the brewhouse as well as the kitchen.

Now with a bit more equity infusion, the objective thrown around slightly more-than-loosely is to have 20-25 locations by 2020, expanding the footprint even farther abroad in the northeast/mid-atlantic from its home base of Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. But even with its growth, Iron Hill's aim is to continue to please beer geeks hunting down a special one-off beer as well as families out for an evening meal.

(At the exterior of Iron Hill in Huntingdon Valley, an outdoor beer garden in the making with its own service bar)

Just this month (August 2016), the newest Iron Hill on the block is in Huntingdon Valley. In keeping with the company's model, some beers from the brewery and some plates from the kitchen will be standard across all locations and other beers and food options will be custom to Huntingdon Valley. The one most striking difference at Huntingdon Valley is the beer garden that just opened in the last week and is the first of its kind in the Iron Hill family. A convenient touch is the outdoor cold box and serving bar built for serving those seated in the beer garden.

Where next for Iron Hill? I've heard some places discussed but am not yet at liberty to share. They will, needless to say, be created in the company's mold that balances both standard and unique identity and be well received as usual by the hungry and thirsty local masses.

(Diverse beer menu meets expectations at Iron Hill)

(Interior seating in keeping with Iron Hill standards)

(Very well-made German Pilsner at Iron Hill)

(An all-time favorite - the "house" Pig Iron Porter at Iron Hill)

(Voodoo Shrimp with tri-colored pepper rice, green onion, spicy beer-barbeque sauce, and sour cream drizzle, served with garlic bread)

(Pan Seared Nantucket Sea Scallops with exotic mushroom risotto, asparagus spears with pecorino romano, and roasted tomato vinaigrette)

(Grilled Ahi Tuna Salad with mesclun greens, grilled red and yellow peppers, avocado, orange segments, toasted almonds, crispy wonton strips, and ginger-sesame vinaigrette)

(Nashville Hot Chicken Sliders, spicy-hot fried chicken, bread-and-butter pickles, and mayonnaise on brioche buns)

(Soft Pretzel Sticks with Vienna Lager cheese sauce and Ore House IPA mustard)

(Mark Edelson in the brewery ensuring all is good)

(Cans to go, yes please)

(Standing out on this marquee)

(Now Open, no doubt. We're gonna need a bigger sign.)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Writing This Ship: Part 7 - Speaking of Beer Writing

If you've been even half awake these last few weeks while reading my stuff, you should have gleaned that this Writing This Ship "series" has been all about getting some semblance of caught-up going on around here. So far I've been sticking to the plan of posting 3-4 of these per week with the ultimate goal of somewhere between 15-20 that take us eventually back to late Spring/early Summer timeframe when the Craft Brewers Conference/World Beer Cup and Philly Beer Week completely consumed and tsunami'ed me.

After sharing with you a couple days ago a bit of an update and an event announcement related to my book (translation: come out and see me at Open Book in Elkins Park next Thursday!), it got me to thinking about some other published material of mine that you might find interesting. The kind of material that is reaching for the mass/newbie market. But, that's important (before you discount it) because there's still a great big wide world of untapped and recently tapped consumers thirsting for more information about our favorite beverage. As my aim has forever been, this fits perfectly in my quest to continue spreading as much useful information as possible to help as many as possible feel comfortable learning about the sometimes simple, more often complex world of beer.

Case in point, for the past year on a quarterly basis, I've had an article published in the print magazine, County Lines. Headquartered out of West Chester, Pa., the magazine is a substantially color-filled stack of pages focused on the diverse Chester County. My beer articles have covered How To Taste Beer (Jan. 2016), Celebrate With Beer (Apr. 2016), and Beer Is Hot (Jul. 2016). The Oct. 2016 article yet to have a title has been submitted and covers the award-winning breweries of the region. It will be timely as it releases on Oct. 1 with the Great American Beer Festival awards being doled out on Oct. 8.

Over in the pages of Main Line Today, the June issue had a small sidebar from me covering three places along (loosely speaking) the Main Line with great bottle shops for backyard and beach beer to go. The Beer Shoppe in Ardmore, The Beer Store in Malvern, and Pinocchio's in Media each got props for doing what they do so well.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: August 25 - August 31

No doggin' it on the beer events calendar here as we try to kick the dog days of summer outta here. Ready for your next installment of beer events around Philly? Have at it!

As you review beer events, don't forget They host an impressive listing of beer event draft lists to help better inform your beer event planning.

Click through here for a look at the full monthly calendar of beer events around the Philadelphia region.

Ardmore, Pa.
Thu. 8/25; 5 p.m. — Summer Flavors Beer Series at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant [Join us as we release Paper Cut, a Blood Orange Berliner.  $PAYG]

Doylestown, Pa.
Sat. 8/27; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. — Fonthill Castle Beer Fest at Fonthill Castle [Sample high quality drafts from 25+ local and regional breweries pared with light fare and music in the beautiful outdoor setting of Fonthill Castle.  $25-$100]

Exton, Pa.
Fri. 8/26; 4 p.m.-6 p.m. — Lancaster Sampling at Exton Beverage Company [Tasting samples of beers from Lancaster Brewing.  $Free]

Huntingdon Valley, Pa.
Fri. 8/26; 5 p.m.-9 p.m. — Summer Crush Beer Release at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant [Say goodbye to summer with the release of Summer Crush, the delicious Grapefruit Hefeweizen. Our version of a German Radler, blended with Rio Red grapefruit juice for a refreshing summer treat.  $PAYG]

Lancaster, Pa.
Thu. 8/25; 5 p.m. — Highway Manor Launch Party at Hunger N Thirst [Head brewer Johnnie Compton will be in the house to discuss his process along with six of their beers on draft.  $PAYG]
Sat. 8/27; 3 p.m. — Diplomat Dunkel 2016 Beer Release at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant [Join us as we celebrate Franklin & Marshall’s move in weekend with the release of Diplomat Dunkel.  $PAYG]
Sat. 8/27; 3 p.m.-7:30 p.m. — Lancaster Craft Beerfest at Lancaster Square & Binns Park [We use the entire block surrounding Lancaster Square and Binns Park as the beer garden. You can drink, eat, and listen to music all in one place.  $12-$55]

North Wales, Pa.
Thu. 8/25; 5 p.m. — Summer Flavors Beer Series at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant [Join us as we release Paper Cut, a Blood Orange Berliner.  $PAYG]

Perkasie, Pa.
Sun. 8/28; 12 p.m.-7 p.m. — Sour Sunday at Free Will Brewing Company in Exton, Pa. [10+ sour and wild beers on tap. Fan favorite Taza Egyptian Cuisine will be here, serving up some stellar dishes. Plus, rumor has it we may even do a bottle release of something super awesome just because we can.  $PAYG]

Philadelphia, Pa.
Thu. 8/25 through Sun. 8/28; Times vary — Brooklyn-Philly Mash Tour at Various locations  in Philadelphia, Pa. [A beer dinner. A concert. A mansion event. A neighborhood community event.  $Varies]
Thu. 8/25; 7 p.m. — Ballast Point's 20th Anniversary at City Tap House-Logan Circle in Philadelphia, Pa. [Come out to enjoy 20 of Ballast Point's best draughts including never before distributed beers.  $PAYG]
Thu. 8/25; 5 p.m.-8 p.m. — Newport Storm Happy Hour at Taproom on 19th in Philadelphia, Pa. [Rhode Island's finest craft brewery is coming down our way and sharing three of their best beers with us for an extended Happy Hour.  $PAYG]
Thu. 8/25; 7 p.m. — Sole Draft Event at Jon's Bar & Grille in Philadelphia, Pa. [Featuring Euro Spliff, Kushy Clouds, Giant Juicebox, Muur, and Gypsy Tears.  $PAYG]
Fri. 8/26; 3 p.m.-6 p.m. — Harpoon Sampling at Bell Beverage [Tasting samples of beers from Harpoon.  $Free]
Sat. 8/27; 4 p.m.-7 p.m. — Craft Beer CarnivAle with Manayunk & Wyndridge at Hop Angel Brauhaus [Games and attractions including a fortune teller and more. No cover. Fun for the whole family.   $PAYG]
Sat. 8/27; 5 p.m.-11 p.m. — Brooklyn Brewery Beer Mansion at Mount Pleasant Museum [Come with us on an immersive multi-room journey through the gorgeous Mt. Pleasant Mansion in its first party in years and explore the foibles and oddities of the wide world of beer. Get ready for food, music and beer from Yards, Brooklyn, Forest & Main, Sly Fox, Evil Genius and St. Benjamin Brewing Company.  $20]
Sun. 8/28; 3 p.m.-10 p.m. — 9th Anniversary Party at Jose Pistola's [We'll be rocking the alley all day with an outdoor bar, live DJ, and complimentary roast pig tacos.  $PAYG]
Mon. 8/29; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Bottle Shop Happy Hour at Local 44 [Tasting samples of beers from Manayunk Brewing.  $Free]
Wed. 8/31; 7 p.m.-9 p.m. — Keep the Glass Night with Double Nickel at Hop Angel Brauhaus [Located a stones throw from Tacony Palmyra Bridge, and named for its old nickname, Double Nickel is one of the Philly metro area's newest breweries.   $PAYG]

Phoenixville, Pa.
Fri. 8/19; All Day — Third Friday Firkin Fest at Sly Fox Brewing Company [Stop by the Brewhouse & Eatery to see which delicious brews will be on the hand pumps next to our stalwart Chester County Bitter.  $PAYG]

Quakertown, Pa.
Sat. 8/20; 12 p.m.-5 p.m. — Upper Bucks Brewfest at Quakertown Train Station [The Upper Bucks Brewfest was created by Quakertown Alive! in 2013 as a fundraising event to help support the revitalization efforts in downtown Quakertown.  $10-$70]

Reading, Pa.
Thu. 8/25; 5 p.m.-10 p.m. — New Belgium Sour Ales & Charcuterie Pairing at Liberty Taproom [We will have four sour ales on draft from New Belgium including: La Folie, Transatlantic Kriek, Tart Lychee and a very limited fourth offering.  $PAYG]

Voorhees, NJ
Thu. 8/25; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Summer Beer Month Series at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant [Start your weekend right with the release of a special one-off keg, the Mango Bedotter.  $PAYG]

Wilmington, Del.
Thu. 8/25; 5 p.m.-8 p.m. — Allagash Tap Takeover at Ulysses Gastropub [Come check out one of the country's finest and the pride of Maine, Allagash Brewing Company.  $PAYG]

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Writing This Ship: Part 6 - Beer Lover's Mid-Atlantic; update and more to come

It's now been over two years since I finalized the first draft of my book - Beer Lover's Mid-Atlantic - for submission to the editors at the publishing house. And fifteen months since it was released. Very hard to believe how long it's been. In the intervening months, I've had 56 appearances at book signing events in bookstores, bike shops, Beer Weeks, markets, festivals, breweries, and bars from Pittsburgh to Baltimore to Philly and small towns in between.

And while I'm certainly not pushing the book as hard as I had in the first year of its release, I'm looking at a few events in the next couple of months around the Philly/South Jersey area.

Next week, first up is a return visit to Open Book Bookstore in Elkins Park, Pa. This was the site of a very successful "after-hours" tasting, talking, and signing where a few dozen or so beer fans came out for the book and a beer tasting.

On Thursday, September 1, join me and the staff at Open Book. I'll bring some bottles/growlers of beer; you feel free to do the same.

Oh, and as a bit of BTW, one of my unabashed points of pride in the book project was the due diligence that I put into vetting the establishments to be included in the book. It was never set out to be an all-encompassing directory of every beer and brewing establishment. Rather, the more significant and interesting ones in PA, NJ, MD, and DE. The original list of roughly 500 places was whittled down to 379 in-person visits and just shy of 320 were ultimately included in the book.

I bring this up because book's of a nature like mine (i.e. guidebook-ish) can tend to be viewed as outdated after a period of time. But, after nearly two years since finalizing the manuscript (and in the spirit of full disclosure), the following is a list of closed establishments that were included in the book.

  - Twin Lakes (chapter 1; Northern Delaware) - Open. Maybe? Doing (have done?) decent stuff. Then some drama on the Dupont Farm Property leaves Twin Lakes closed and without a home. Reportedly are back up and running in Newport, Del. I need to follow-up on this.

  - Always Ron's (chapter 4; Other Maryland) - Very popular place doing great stuff as a proponent of "better beer" and they were also a "Raven's Nest". But, after ten years, ultimately sounds like it came down to the owners being ready to just go off and do something different.

  - Baying Hound (chapter 4; Other Maryland) - Even though I didn't have a 100% warm-and-fuzzy about them, their trajectory seemed strong enough and in the right direction that I was a bit surprised by the closure announcement. Sounded like a "time-to-get-out-of-it" decision sort of like Boaks in northern New Jersey - on the other hand, one that I did have a gut feeling would eventually run out of steam.

  - Gamble Mill (chapter 8; Central Pennsylvania) - They've been looking to sell as a turn key brewing establishment, but that time might be running short. Sounds like the locals were fans and disappointed to see them go. Such a beautiful historic property so I'm surprised a deal hasn't been done yet. But that's me on the outside looking in.

  - Barren Hill (chapter 9; Philadelphia suburbs) - Unfortunately, the collateral damage of a divorce. Apparently has been sold and a new brewing establishment is set to take over the property in 2017.

  - 34 East (chapter 9; Philadelphia suburbs) - This was just a short blurb included in the "Ambler Pub Crawl". Didn't have any real attachment to the place, but if any of the places on the list for Ambler could have been dropped without regret, it would have been this one.

  - Nodding Head (chapter 10; Philadelphia) - I included them if for no other reason than the role they, and owner Curt Decker, have played over more than 15 years even though I knew they were closing/relocating. Question is: are they still reopening? Thanks to Philly Brewing, you can still find select Nodding Head brews around town.

Finally, I'm very happy to report the following that are included in my book that since experienced setbacks and challenges have recovered.

  - Judge's Bench (chapter 4; Other Maryland) - Nothing catastrophic happened at this excellent bar in Ellicott City compared to the rest of the town during the epic flood, but they had their own issues and cleanup to deal with before reopening more than three weeks later (update: that'd be today, Aug. 24)

  - Quarry House Tavern (chapter 4; Other Maryland) - The wonderful subterranean dive bar was a victim of flooding from a fire in the upstairs Indian restaurant in March 2015. They've been operating a temporary "pop-up" type of QHT across the street since then and have had great support from their industry brethren and consumers alike. I need a local confirmation of their reopening status in the original location.

  - Blue Canoe (chapter 7; Western PA) - Another devastating fire in an adjoining property, this one also in March 2015. Took a while to re-open a year later in March 2016, but along the way, experienced the tremendous support from their fellow brewers in the NW PA brewing scene.

In a future posting, I'll look at some forward-looking statements that were made about brewery expansions, openings, etc and see how they panned out. We'll see which ones I concluded were legitimate enough to include and which ones I more/less got snookered into including.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Writing This Ship: Part 5 - Burgers, Beers, and Yards at Shake Shack

(Shake Shack in University City, Philadelphia from Drexel University across Chestnut Street.)

This Shake Shack model seems to be working, you think? Last week the company opened its 100th location (in Boston) and the same night in Philadelphia they worked with Doug Mashington from Yards Brewing Company to put on a beer dinner featuring some of both company's finest.

(Four courses of Yards beer and Shake Shack sandwiches.)

As a testament to both Yards' and Shake Shack's popularity and drawing power, around 60 pre-ticketed reservations had been made at the restaurant's University City location. Given the number of beer events that dot the calendar and landscape these days, that's quite an impressive showing without a doubt for a sticky Tuesday night in August?

First up was the High Heat Dog with cherry peppers, cheese sauce, and crinkle fries. The Yards IPA, a beer that's been inexcusably off my radar for some time, did a mighty fine job cutting through the cheese sauce.

The second course featured Yards' ESA, darker and more malty than I ever recall. Yet, in this way, was perfect aside the Bacon CheddarShack - an Angus Beer burger topped not just with Wisconsin aged Cheddar, but also smoked Niman Ranch bacon. This was my comfort food course. The fourth course was a beer float made with Yards Love Stout. It was fine, but maybe that was because I was still riding the high of the third course.

The third course pairing of the relatively new Chick'n Shack (with an herbed buttermilk mayo and generous layer of pickles) stole the night as it was paired perfectly with the Philadelphia Pale Ale. Mashington said something to the effect of "...what more do I need to say about Philly Pale?" On paper, the description read " more drinkable than bitter, more aromatic than aggressive". I couldn't agree more and only left me wondering which was superior - the tender chicken sandwich or "the city's" 4.6% ABV pale ale.

Oh, and for my Philadelphia locals, you might already be aware that the 101st location has landed inside the new addition to the King of Prussia Mall.

(Hot dog and IPA)

(Burger and ESA)

(Chicken and Philly Pale)

(Chicken and Philly Pale)

(Love Stout beer float)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Writing This Ship: Part 4 - The Grey Lodge turns 20

(New tile work at Grey Lodge Pub)

Six beer events and one concert in barely two weeks is sure a lot for an aging guy. An aging beer guy like me, though, knows no quit but getting caught up around here continues to be quite a challenge. There's still a lot of beer-y goodness out there, despite many cries of growing mediocrity. My job is to point you in the direction of quality new stuff happening as well as those that continue to do it well through the years.

(Panel discussion with, from left - Nancy Rigberg; Gene Muller; William Reed; Brian O'Reilly; Lew Bryson; and Scoats)

Grey Lodge Pub in Philadelphia falls into the latter grouping. Last Saturday, August 13, owner Mike "Scoats" Scotese and his team celebrated the legendary bar's 20th anniversary. The party began in the afternoon with a panel of folks that were part of the beer scene twenty years ago. In the video below, from left to right, you'll see Nancy Rigberg (Home Sweet Home Brew store), Gene Muller (founder of Flying Fish), William Reed (co-owner of Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda's restaurants, as well as President of Philly Beer Week), Brian O'Reilly (Brewmaster of Sly Fox Brewing Company), and Lew Bryson (renowned beer and whiskey writer). The panel discussion lasted for approximately 45 minutes and covered both the serious and the silly. The ten minutes I included below capture Scoats' introduction of each panelist.

(New tile work at Grey Lodge Pub featuring annual special events)

(New tile work at Grey Lodge Pub featuring annual special events)

For the oft-decorated bar ("Best bar" this, "Best bar" that) that has built a reputation of having some of the most uniquely themed events through the years (many coinciding with the calendar - 1/20 Day; Groundhog Day; 4/20 Day; Xmas in July; Beer/Deer Season; etc.), this 20th anniversary celebration was rather tame by comparison. A fun, but thoughtful, look back over the last 20 years by the panel. A gathering of familiar faces telling stories of firkinteenths and groundhog days past. A special (but special-as-always) draft beer list. Live music. And an extended kitchen out front on Frankford Avenue. No Hawaiian shirts, feats of strength bar games, or other hilarity that typically ensues. But, maybe just maybe that's another part of the secret to the success of the Grey Lodge - no need for a huge, over-the-top, attention-grabbing celebration event. They've already got the regional (and neighborhood) beer loving public's attention at the quintessential neighborhood Philly bar. Congratulations again to the whole Grey Lodge team and thanks for all the beers.

p.s. This could be the most useless post script to share with you. Though, if you should ever by chance again see the kitchen serving up a special deer sausage sandwich with mushrooms and onions (and presuming you're not giving the vegan lifestyle a try), do not turn it down. It was one of the menu items being cooked up by the chef on the front sidewalk and I took one along for the ride down the Boulevard. One of the most excellent things I've had to eat; a touch of irony that this came the day prior to the S.E.E.D. Vegan Food and Beer Festival that I shared with you yesterday.

(Brewing buds, Jon Defibaugh-Evil Genius and Ben Potts-Tired Hands)

(Slideshow memories. Casey Hughes, formerly of Flying Fish, now with Coppertail in Tampa, Fla.)

(Yours truly with Gene Muller, Flying Fish founder)

(Live music into the evening)

(Crowd swelling into the dinnertime hour at Grey Lodge's 20th Anniversary Party)

(No matter the attribution controversy, still a very nice sentiment)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Writing This Ship: Part 3 - Philly S.E.E.D. Festival, August 14, 2016 - Vegans can come to the party too

Attend a beer festival or beer pairing dinner lately? If so, you're no doubt familiar with the culinary tendency to pair beer (deservedly so, I might add) with all types of animal-related food items. If you, like me, resemble nothing of a 100% dedicated vegan lifestyle, then you have had the pleasures of beer paired with everything from beef to pork to fish and wild game to cheese, eggs, and on and on.

The point of this posting, however, is not to get into the political fray around animal-friendly practices. Rather to open our eyes a bit wider on the merits of pairing beer with non-animal based food and the potential for the satisfying experience that results.

Enter the Philly S.E.E.D. festival (Sustainable Everyday Edibles & Drinkables) that I was invited to on August 14 at the Sugarhouse Casino along Philadelphia's Delaware River waterfront. The invitation immediately piqued my curiosity because I couldn't recall hearing of such a thing in the Philly region in the past. Co-organizer Ryan Mullins-Hudak confirmed that there are "...some vegan festivals on the west coast...and one in NYC, but certainly nothing like it in the area". Not just as a curious food seeker, but also as a runner, I'm always open to new ideas for fueling my body with foods of any kind that yield optimal results. Particularly of interest to me are the ones that have positive impact on the environment, the animal kingdom, and, well, simply offer a different option than the tried and true.

As it turned out, on an oppressively hot and humid dog day of August, inside a casino with super-charged air conditioning at a beer festival was the perfect place to be. With the tasting tables and live music setup in the casino's event space far away from the gaming floor and with a sweeping view of the Delaware River and the Ben Franklin Bridge, one would be hard-pressed to remember that the festival was taking place inside a casino.

The organizers had an impressive lineup of beverage options from breweries (Allagash, Broken Goblet, Conshohocken, Evil Genius, Firestone Walker, Forgotten Boardwalk, Great Lakes, Neshaminy Creek, Oskar Blues, Peak Organic, Samuel Adams, St. Benjamin, Saranac, 2nd Story, Sly Fox, Stone, and Weyerbacher), wines from Breakthru Beverage, cideries like 1911 Hard Cider, kombucha brewers like Baba's Brew, and coffee roasters. Fortunately, our winnings at the casino downstairs were enough to cover our $50 of coffee-related purchases from the Bowie, Md.-based Brewing Good Coffee Company. Great backstory, coffee, and charitable business growth plan. So much so that we passed the story along to our niece in Seattle, where they send their coffee to exactly one location.

The beer, for many who have asked, is already technically vegan is it not? Well, at many breweries, yes, but not technically in certain cases. While not as prevalent a practice as it used to be, beers that are fined - or filtered - using Isinglass (aka fish guts), while not leaving animal matter behind to speak of, are not considered vegan by the most strict of those that practice. And there are beers considered maybe more experimental in nature, such as those adding roasted goat brains or rocky mountain oysters, that no doubt fall outside the vegan classification, but those are certainly more so the extreme exception rather than the rule.

So in that way, the S.E.E.D. festival to me was more about the creative food items being served (and finding beers to pair them with) rather than learning about a "vegan beer". This concept seemed to work well and the event appeared (judging from comments both overheard and directed to me) to be attended by a rather balanced amount of both strict vegans and non-vegans. It would seem to work better next year, however, to guide the attendees into suggested pairings where the food and beverage tables are positioned next to each other similar to the proven Brewer's Plate approach. In the first year of this festival, while laid out comfortably in the event space in addition to an outdoor patio overlooking the river, it was up to the attendees to hopscotch between beverage and food vendors to find the best pairings. I'm looking forward to even more pairing selections as they promise to learn from mistakes this year and grow larger and better next year.

I was able to find a handful of pairings that were satisfyingly flavorful and, served at a party, would not leave you hungry. Suzy Woods from Allagash was pouring the new year-round cage-and-cork bottled Sixteen Counties (the name refers to the brewery's ingredient sourcing practices from farms around the sixteen counties of Maine) and the herbaceous and hop-forward nature of the beer paired nicely with cups of curry from Shankara Vegan Restaurant. The Mushroom Crostini with Rosemary Lemon Cashew Cream also did well with the Allagash beer.

Over by the St. Benjamin table, the brewery's kitchen was serving up chips and salsa that complemented the easy-drinking Bayside Saison. They also brought a personal favorite, the Foul Weather Jack English Mild, whose light roasty malt notes went beautifully with Soy Cafe's potato-based mac 'n' cheese.

Desserts were not to be left out of the vegan options either. In this case, I was able to track down a chocolate and salted pistachio cookie from Love Chunk which went quite nicely with Broken Goblet's Yin Yang Oatmeal Stout. This was inexcusably my first taste of Broken Goblet's beers, which somehow have escaped me (and a visit to the Bristol location) since they opened nearly two years ago.

Going out a winner in more ways than one, Patty and I won $52 on the slot machines after the festival, had a credit for free food (we chose Taconelli's storied pizza, which I was surprised to learn had a spot inside the casino), and parked for free. What a day!

(Enter the casino and up to private event space to Philly's first vegan food and beer festival)

(A room spacious enough to hold a crowd of a few hundred)

(Broken Goblet, Conshohocken, Firestone Walker, and Evil Genius sharing their goods)

(Allagash and 1911 Hard Cider)

(Ivy Hunter traded in her Victory employee shirt for the day to help David Bronstein at Forgotten Boardwalk's table)

(Jackie Cusack representing St. Benjamin)

(Sly Fox - the first brewery seen through the event's entryway)

(S.E.E.D. - Sustainable Everyday Edibles & Drinkables)