Monday, October 31, 2016

Around South-Central Pennsylvania

(Click for a full gallery of pictures)

Is it possible, these days, to know every brewery there is out there? Particularly in Pennsylvania, as vast a state as it is? Many, many years ago, I'd pride myself on knowing them all by name, even if I hadn't visited in person or had their beers. Nearly three years ago, when I began my book research and it took me to places like Titusville, Mansfield, Butler, Selinsgrove, and Tunkhannock, to name a few (yes, all places in PA), I knew it was a more daunting challenge than ever, but still one that was not out of reach. Consider that at year-end 2013, the Brewers Association counted 2,917 breweries in the country.

As of 6/30/16, that number was around 4,656 and likely touching 5,000 by this year's end. Pennsylvania ranked eighth in states at the end of 2015 (178 brewing establishments). I'm not sure if there's any one person or organization who can say beyond the shadow of a doubt that they have the definitive list of all operating and in-planning breweries. Therefore, the answer now to that problem, I declare: No. It is not possible to know them all nor visit them all.

Which brings me to the south-central PA counties of Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, and York. Back in early 2013, the missus and I traversed the area on a simple day trip with Mr. Matt Guyer from The Beer Yard and visited a few: South County, Gunpowder Falls, Mudhook Brewing Company in the Public Market, and Liquid Hero. Snuck a stop into the high-quality Holy Hound Taproom in downtown York as well. In hindsight, not so simple at all.

All those places are still around, but now look a bit like veterans. Last weekend, anchored around a show at the Hershey Theatre, we planned a three-day visit to some breweries I've not previously seen in person. A lot to get to here, so with that as background, let's get to it......

Millworks – What a beautiful re-use of an old saw mill adjacent to the Broad Street Market (on the National Register of Historic Places and cited as one of the oldest continuously-operated farmers markets in the country - since the 1860s) in the midtown neighborhood of Harrisburg. From a beer perspective, just a few blocks from the classic dive bar Shady McGrady's.

But, the two could be no different. Millworks began as a home for at least a couple dozen artist galleries. A restaurant was added in 2015 and in summer 2016, the brewhouse was added. Bolstering the reputation right out of the gate was the hiring announcement of Jeff Musselman to lead the brewing. He came with a resume that included Tröegs and the quality is already obvious.

At first glance, a draft list of seven in-house beers (amongst a total of 20 on the tap tower) that included Session IPA, Farmhouse IPA, IPA, and Double IPA concerned me. Pleased, on the other hand to see some solid and straightforward ones like Oktoberfest, Oatmeal Stout, and Saison. After some significant sampling where I detected no noteworthy flaws, I settled into a Farmhouse IPA. Then another Farmhouse IPA. Then, finally, a crowler of Farmhouse IPA to go. More often than not, I find that beers trying to showcase both yeast and hops - Belgian IPA, if you will - end up getting it wrong to the point of not being overly enjoyable. In this case, the balance of yeast and hop profile is so perfect that this could wind up on my best-of list for 2016.

In addition to the building's gallery space and the comfortable bar area, restaurant seating, and outdoor patio, there's a rooftop Biergarten open during cooperative weather. The brewery is new, so this may not have made it to your radar yet. It should. They've got all sorts of events, including a "Holiday Bizarre", coming up. That could be your excuse to check it out, as if you need one.

Wyndridge Farm – Wow. Wyndridge Farm is everything that it looks to be on their website. In the country at the corner of a winding road. A large facility capable of hosting all sorts of events. A hub-bub of activity where there's plenty of food, beer, and cider to go around.

We showed up unannounced, so I didn't get any sort of tour around or poke my nose anywhere uninvited. Would have been difficult anyway since not only was there some sort of homecoming event taking place, but also a full-size-looking wedding. So there was that....and they were able to still keep the bar and restaurant open to the public.

Plus, an apparent abundance of staff to ensure that no one goes unserved. Pleasant hour-and-a-half spent at the bar with attentive service. Skipped any food service since we had that waiting in store for us in Columbia. However, menu looked solid and plates of food coming out of kitchen were not skimpy and attractive presentation was paid attention to as well.

Got myself into a variety of both ciders and beers. The Oaken Wild (barrel-aged cider was quite nice). I've had quite a few of their standard ciders before in the market and always been at least moderately impressed. Can't say that I recall ever having one of their beers before, so I dove right into that side of the menu. Maybe it was the punishing winds and cold temperatures outside, maybe I was having a bit of palate fatigue, so I mixed it up by first ordering a Nitro Pumpkin Latte.

Pause for a second while you process that. Yes, I too, was surprised at ordering something I likely would never consider ordering. Yet, like at Millworks, I was so pleased with the deft balancing of pumpkin, spices, and coffee delivered on a smooth nitrogen pour. Very, very good. Too bad nitro beers don't travel well.

Then it was on to Peaches & Plum Sour Ale (6.9% ABV), a nice a soft sour - not overly bracing, which we need more of please. And then the Snow Owl, this roasty and big Imperial Stout (10% ABV). Again, a great balance of roasted malt and spice. I had a taste of the barrel-aged version called Dulce de Brevas, an incredibly decadent and recliner-worthy imperial stout with Columbian sugar, Mission figs, and aged in whiskey barrels. Two bottles to go please.

Honestly, with knowing very little about these guys other than their name and rough location, I went in with very little expectation and came up impressed enough to want another visit where I can dive a bit deeper.

Big Hill Ciderworks — Proving that bigger never means better, Ben Kishbaugh and Troy Lehman launched Big Hill Ciderworks near Gettysburg a few years ago. I can't tell you where exactly since they're not open to the public and they actually have had incidents in the past of curious cider travelers showing up on their doorstep, only to be turned away.

Their neighboring family farms are between 20-25 acres and filled with around 40 varieties of apples. They pick and carefully screen and process the apples prior to making and aging their variety of ciders. They've built the business to where their bottles can now be found at roughly 85 retail accounts in southeastern PA and down to Washington, DC.

Here in my neck of the Philadelphia suburbs, they can be found at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne and Rino's Restaurant in Exton. In fact, there'll be a seven-course meal paired with their ciders at TND later in November. What a great opportunity to have perhaps one of the broadest samplings of ciders around.

Back at the farm, Ben and Troy are down-to-earth guys with hopes of turning the barn into a tasting room some day so that they can actually entertain those guests that they've had to turn away in the past. After seeing the property, the barn, and feeling the passion and knowledge for cider making, I'd certainly make the trip to this beautiful rolling landscape part of the state to drink their ciders at the source without hesitation.

Columbia Kettle Works – This is kind of a fib to say I've never been to CKW before. However, it was my first visit of significant length. Dinner, a few beers, and some live music were part of the visit this time over a couple hours. Last time was a Friday afternoon, if I recall correctly, and this time was a Saturday night in the thick of things. Last time, they'd barely been open to the public, this time they've got more than two years under their belts and an expansion within their building.

I really like the vibe at CKW in this riverside town. Though, it's struck me that it seems that in Central PA, every town is aside the Susquehanna River! They've got a great thing going on there and I'm surprised that no one else has given them a run for their money yet with a similar concept.

Until then, head to Columbia for the Turkey Hill Experience, the trailhead along the river for a walk/ride/run, and to CKW for well-made sandwiches, accompanying small plates of food like olives, pickles, jerky, cheeses, and popcorn, a diverse lineup of beer styles, and live music on a regular basis. The Back Slap IPA and Sticky Fingers Belgian Tripel were home runs on my palate. If you run into either of the owners Bill Collister or Rod Smith, you'll be treated to a genuinely friendly encounter as well.

Well, it would be a mistake for me not to make a couple repeat visits and here they are:

Tröegs – After a tour of the Indian Echo Caverns tucked away off the bank of the mighty Susquehanna River just minutes from the brewery, we spent a few high-quality hours at the brewing pride and joy of Hershey—Tröegs.

Seeing their phenomenal growth continues to amaze even the most experienced beer traveler. Even as they grow their markets, the brewing still fits within 24x5 production schedule. New to their headquarters is a space that's been dubbed the Splinter Cellar in what used to house a loading dock and storage area leading to the grain room.

Now, that space instead holds three roughly 300-barrel oak foeders. A variety of Splinter Series beers are slated to eventually find their way into the foeders. At the time of my visit, two of three tanks were aging Mad Elf later to be called Wild Elf upon release in a couple years while the other was being swelled with water in preparation for the next beer.

The Splinter Cellar also serves as the registration and starting point (complete with three taps) for the guided brewery tours. Self-guided tours are still available. There's plenty of room to mill about in the Cellar along with a mezzanine overlook that includes a gallery showcasing various pieces of winning artwork from the brewery's Art of Tröegs annual contest.

Elsewhere around Tröegs, the seasonal menu continues to impress, this time with a Fish Fry Wrap standout that found its way to my table. The draft list continues to be a well-rounded representation of year-round, seasonal, Scratch Series, and Splinter Series beers. The retail shop seems to have an ever-increasing amount of brewery-branded merchandise from glassware to beer to clothing to coasters and playing cards. And the seating (including outdoors) and service round out an always rewarding visit to Hershey. All well-traveled beer hunters should make this a must-stop. Hopefully, the promised expanded parking is next on the improvement list at one of Pennsylvania's finest.

Pizza Boy/Al's of Hampden – Choosing from 100 beers on tap is not usually something interests me. But when the lineup is as diverse as it can be at Al's and when they can include upward of 40 or so from the in-house Pizza Boy Brewing and Intangible Ales beers, I'm about as happy as I need to be. Plus, throw in some excellent pizza and there's no doubt that this too is a must-stop for beer lovers when traversing the Harrisburg, Pa. area.

Though the service at each of my visits is typically decent, I've always found the ordering process a bit awkward, particularly the part of "no bar service" where every customer including those sitting at the bar must queue up to order everything from food to beer. Minor complaint, perhaps, but when it's crowded and the growler and crowler orders are demanding a lot of server time and attention, it can become frustrating.

Nonetheless, if I could ever get past the pizza I might learn more about the rest of the menu. But the "Hot, Hot, Hot", the "Porky", and the "Buffalo Chicken" continue to entrance me, so that might not be happening anytime soon! On the beer side of the menu, after checking out Rubber Soul's Temporada Saison (a new one to me from Salisbury, Md.), I quickly fell into not one, but two glasses plus a crowler to go of Pizza Boy's Crucial BBQ, described as a lemon, pepper farmhouse ale. The Afternoon Delight "hoppy sour" delighted as well.

That's all for this trip folks. Looking to make these excursions more of a regular item. If you like it, let me know.

© Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Contact Kolesar at

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Beer Event Calendar: What To Do in November 2016

2016 is rapidly coming to a close and the beer events calendar is as full as ever. Trust you can find something interesting to do with your beer buddies on this ever-diverse list of events from free tastings to grand festivals and dinners. Even free beer on election day—well-deserved no doubt!

And it's that special gift-giving time of year again, so I'm inclined to remind you again of my book, Beer Lover's Mid-Atlantic. To buy, send a note to me for personal signing and delivery, ping, or drop by your local bookstore such as Barnes & Noble.

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

Tue. 11/1; 8 p.m.-10 p.m. — Tuesday Tapping at Lucky's Last Chance in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Wed. 11/2; 3:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m. — Rare Beer for Books Swap for Mighty Writers at Dock Street Brewing Company in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 11/3; 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. — Quizzo vs. Yards Brewing at The Industry in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 11/3; 3 p.m.-10 p.m. — Doctor Strange Release Party with Avery Brewing at The Institute in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 11/3; 7 p.m. — Terrapin Brewing Tap Takeover at Union Tap House in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/4; 6 p.m.-10 p.m. — Friday’s Sixtel: Heavy Seas Red Sky at Morning at Grey Lodge Pub in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/4; 7 p.m.-9 p.m. — Ballantine Bar Spend at Grey Lodge Pub in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/4; 12 p.m.-3 p.m. — Joe & Casey's "European Spoils" Lunch with Cantillon at Sancho Pistola's in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 11/5; All Day — 4th Anniversary at Bainbridge Street Barrel House in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 11/5; 1 p.m.-8 p.m. — The Great Harvest Cider and Beer Festival at Hawthornes in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 11/5; 12 p.m. — Framboise For A Cure at Monk's Café in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 11/5; 6 p.m.-11 p.m. — Oktobefest at Cannstatter Volksfestverein in Philadelphia, Pa. [$10-$12]
Sat. 11/5; 2 p.m.-5 p.m. — Chili Cook-Off for the LLS at Dawson Street Pub in Philadelphia, Pa. [$25 to enter, $PAYG to attend]
Sat. 11/5; 1 p.m.-8 p.m. — The Great Harvest Cider and Beer Festival at The Cambridge in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 11/6; 5 p.m.-10 p.m. — New Belgium Cookie Smack Down at Devil's Den in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 11/6; 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. — Goose Island Beer: Sofie & Matilda Go to Brunch at For Pete's Sake Pub in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 11/6; 3 p.m.-6 p.m. — Chili Cook-Off at The Cambridge in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Tue. 11/8; 8 p.m. — Black & White Party at Varga Bar in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Tue. 11/8; 5 p.m.-9 p.m. — Booze & Brews featuring Bell's Brewery at Lucky's Last Chance in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Tue. 11/8; All Day — Free Beer Election Day at Brauhaus Schmitz in Philadelphia, Pa. [$Free]
Tue. 11/8; All Day — Free Beer Election Day at Whetstone Tavern in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Wed. 11/9; 9 p.m.-12 a.m. — J the Audiophile and Bella Vista at The Trestle Inn in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/11; 6 p.m.-10 p.m. — Friday’s Sixtel: Evil Genius 2015 I'll Have What She's Having at Grey Lodge Pub in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/11; 4 p.m. — 20th Anniversary Celebration at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/11; 7 p.m. — Bullfrog Tap Takeover and Bottle Takeaway at Jon's Bar & Grille in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/11; 7 p.m.-11 p.m. — Veteran's Day fundraiser with 2SP & Friends at Devil's Den in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 11/12; All Day — Wet Hop Rodeo & Ranchero Brunch at Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 11/12; 1 p.m.-10 p.m. — 3rd Anniversary Block Party at Tap Room On 19th in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 11/17; 6 p.m.-9 p.m. — PBW Raffle Live Drawing at City Tap House-Logan in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/18; 6 p.m.-10 p.m. — Mad Elf, Happy You Night at Grey Lodge Pub in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 11/19; 5 p.m.-11 p.m. — Freigeist Bierkultur Meet & Greet at Devil's Den in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Tue. 11/22; All Day — Annual Dog Photo Contest Entries Due at Good Dog Bar in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Wed. 11/23; 4:30 p.m. — Goose Island Black Wednesday at Alla Spina in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Wed. 11/23; 4 p.m. — Five-Year Anniversary Party at American Sardine Bar in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Wed. 11/23; 5 p.m.-11 p.m. — Thanksgiving Eve with Yards Brewing Company at Devil's Den in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/25; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. — Black Friday Beer Brunch at Devil's Den in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/25; 6 p.m.-10 p.m. — Friday’s Sixtel: Weyerbacher Sunday Mole Stout at Grey Lodge Pub in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]
Wed. 11/30; 3 p.m. — Allagash vs. Dogfish Head Night at Barcade in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]

after November in Philadelphia
Sun. 12/4; 7 p.m. — 13th Anniversary Party at Good Dog Bar in Philadelphia, Pa. [$PAYG]

Philadelphia's close suburbs (within 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Thu. 11/3; All Day — International Stout Day at Fingers Wings & Other Things in Conshohocken, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 11/3 through Sun. 11/6; All Weekend — Annual Fresh Hops Draft Event at Capone's in Norristown, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 11/5; 3 p.m.-6 p.m. — GABF Party at 2SP Brewing Company in Aston, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 11/5; 12 p.m.-4 p.m. — Philly Blind Dog Rescue Fundraiser at The Greeks Next Door in Narberth, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 11/10; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Oskar Blues Black Out at Pinocchio's in Media, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/11; 4 p.m. — 20th Anniversary Celebration at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Ardmore, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/11; 4 p.m. — 20th Anniversary Celebration at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Huntingdon Valley, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/11; 4 p.m. — 20th Anniversary Celebration at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Maple Shade, NJ [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/11; 4 p.m. — 20th Anniversary Celebration at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Media, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/11; 4 p.m. — 20th Anniversary Celebration at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in North Wales, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 11/17; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Peak Night at Pinocchio's in Media, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/18; 5 p.m. — Voldemort's Wrath IPA Beer Release at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Media, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/18; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Ship Bottom Night at Pinocchio's in Media, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sun. 11/20; All Day — One-Year Anniversary and Bottle Release at Sterling Pig Brewery in Media, Pa. [$PAYG]

after November in Philadelphia's close suburbs
Thu. 12/1; 5 p.m.-7 p.m. — Allagash Night at Pinocchio's in Media, Pa. [$PAYG]

Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other (beyond 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Tue. 11/1; 5 p.m.-8 p.m. — Six Fingers Sam GABF Gold Medal Celebration at Two Rivers Brewing Company in Easton, Pa. [$PAYG]
Tue. 11/1; All Day — Last Alarm IPA Beer Release at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Wilmington, Del. [$PAYG]
Thu. 11/3; 5 p.m.-8 p.m. — Charity Cask Night at Bethlehem Brew Works in Bethlehem, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 11/3; 5 p.m.-10 p.m. — Toolbox Brewing Company at Hunger N Thirst in Lancaster, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/4; 6 p.m.-9 p.m. — Evan Pugh Vanilla Porter Official Release at Bog Turtle Brewery in Oxford, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/4; All Day — Incubus Friday at Sly Fox Brewing Company in Phoenixville, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/4; All Day — Incubus Friday at Sly Fox Brewing Company in Pottstown, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/4; 5 p.m. — Beer Tasting: Bell's Brewery at Washington House in Sellersville, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/4; 5 p.m.-7 p.m. — Free Samples at Goshen Beverage in West Chester, Pa. [$Free]
Sat. 11/5 & Sun. 11/6; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. — Beer For Breakfast Launch Brunch at Chesapeake & Maine in Rehoboth Beach, Del. [$PAYG]
Mon. 11/7; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — The New Wave of British Beer at Bulls Head Public House in Lititz, Pa. [$PAYG]
Tue. 11/8; 5 p.m. — Long Trail Tap Takeover at Isaac's Pickle Bar in Lancaster, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 11/10; All Day — F.B.I.A. Limited Release at Allentown Brew Works in Allentown, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 11/10; All Day — F.B.I.A. Limited Release at Bethlehem Brew Works in Bethlehem, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/11; 4 p.m. — 20th Anniversary Celebration at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Lancaster, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/11; 4 p.m. — 20th Anniversary Celebration at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Newark, Del. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/11; 4 p.m. — 20th Anniversary Celebration at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Phoenixville, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/11; 4 p.m. — 20th Anniversary Celebration at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Voorhees, NJ [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/11; 4 p.m. — 20th Anniversary Celebration at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in West Chester, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/11; 4 p.m. — 20th Anniversary Celebration at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Wilmington, Del. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/11 through Sun. 11/13; All Weekend — Glass Pours of Anchorage Brewing at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 11/12; 12 p.m.-5 p.m. — Fantastic Beers and Where To Find Them at Mispillion River Brewing Company in Milford, Del. [$PAYG]
Sat. 11/12; 12 p.m.-8 p.m. — 2016 Homebrew Contest at Weyerbacher Brewing Company in Easton, Pa. [$Free]
Sun. 11/13; 8 a.m.-4 p.m. — Sly Fox Cyclocross at Sly Fox Brewing Company in Pottstown, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/18; All Day — Third Friday Firkin Fest at Sly Fox Brewing Company in Phoenixville, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/18; 5 p.m. — Voldemort's Wrath IPA Beer Release at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Voorhees, NJ [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/18; 6 p.m. — 10th Annual Tröegs Mad Elf Event at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 11/19; 5 p.m.-11 p.m. — Third Birthday Party at Mispillion River Brewing Company in Milford, Del. [$PAYG]
Wed. 11/23; All Day — Dark Wednesday at Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 11/25; All Day — Black Friday Stout Invasion at Hunger N Thirst in Lancaster, Pa. [$PAYG]
Sat. 11/26; All Day — Back In Black Stout Fest at Union Jack's On The Manatawny in Boyertown, Pa. [$PAYG]
Wed. 11/30; All Day — SingleCut Beersmiths at TJ's in Paoli, Pa. [$PAYG]

after November in Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other
Thu. 12/1; 5 p.m.-8 p.m. — Charity Cask Night at Bethlehem Brew Works in Bethlehem, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 12/2; 5 p.m. — Cookies with Santa Beer Release at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Phoenixville, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 12/2; 5 p.m. — Beer Tasting: Holiday Brews at Washington House in Sellersville, Pa. [$PAYG]
Fri. 12/9; All Day — Anniversary Party at Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery in Phoenixville, Pa. [$PAYG]
Thu. 12/15; 6 p.m.-9 p.m. — Beer & Brownie Pairing at Liberty Taproom in Reading, Pa. [$PAYG]

Events Over $20

Sat. 11/5; 2 p.m.-7 p.m. — Brawlerfest at Yards Brewing Company (500 Spring Garden St.) in Philadelphia, Pa. [$20-$55]
Sat. 11/5; 12 p.m.-5 p.m. — Beer Brewing Program, Level One at Philly Beer School in Philadelphia, Pa. [$150]
Sun. 11/6; 2:30 p.m.-5 p.m. — Bacon and Beer Festival at 23rd Street Armory in Philadelphia, Pa. [$50-$85]
Thu. 11/10; 6:30 p.m.-11 p.m. — Craft Rum & Beer Cocktail Party at Manayunk Brewing Company in Philadelphia, Pa. [$25]
Sat. 11/12; 2 p.m. — Beer Tasting at Earth Bread + Brewery in Philadelphia, Pa. [$27]
Wed. 11/16; 7 p.m. — Vegan Beer Dinner at Strangelove's in Philadelphia, Pa. [$60]
Fri. 11/25; 12 p.m. — Into The Black at City Tap House-University City in Philadelphia, Pa. [$35]
Sat. 11/26; 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. — Winter Beer Fest at 23rd Street Armory in Philadelphia, Pa. [$10-$50]

after November in Philadelphia
Fri. 12/2; 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. — Beer & Brewing 101 at Philly Beer School in Philadelphia, Pa. [$39.98]

Philadelphia's close suburbs (within 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Tue. 11/1; 7 p.m. — Fall Beer Dinner at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Maple Shade, NJ [$75]
Sat. 11/5; 12 p.m.-5 p.m. — Hot Rods & Hops at Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company in Croydon, Pa. [$20-$25]
Mon. 11/7; 7 p.m.-10 p.m. — Long Trail Cigar Dinner at Dog and Bull in Croydon, Pa. [$50]

after November in Philadelphia's close suburbs
None yet

Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other (beyond 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Tue. 11/1; 6:30 p.m. — Frightening Food Beer Dinner Lite at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Lancaster, Pa. [$55]
Fri. 11/4; 6 p.m.-10 p.m. — Autos & Ales at AACA Museum in Hershey, Pa. [$20-$50]
Fri. 11/4; 7 p.m. — Beer Dinner at Hotel du Pont in Wilmington, Del. [$60]
Sat. 11/5; 3:30 p.m.-8 p.m. — Reading Craft Beer Festival at Santander Arena in Reading, Pa. [$45]
Wed. 11/9; 7 p.m.-9 p.m. — Six Degrees of Bacon Beer Dinner at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Wilmington, Del. [$75]
Sat. 11/12; 3 p.m.-5 p.m. — Long Trail Brew Review at Isaac's Pickle Bar in Lancaster, Pa. [$30]
Sun. 11/13; 6:30 p.m. — Dogfish Head IPA Beer Dinner at Caffé Gelato in Newark, Del. [$79]
Sun. 11/13; 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. — Vertical Ageable Ales Dinner at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Rehoboth Beach, Del. [$65]
Wed. 11/16; 7 p.m.-9 p.m. — The Thankful Brewer's Feast Beer Dinner at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in West Chester, Pa. [$65]
Sat. 11/19; 12 p.m.-5 p.m. — Hibrewnation at Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pa. [$20-$55]
Sat. 11/19; 3 p.m. — Grilled Cheese and Craft Beer Tasting at World Café Live in Wilmington, Del. [$40]
Sat. 11/19-Sun. 11/20; 12 p.m.-4 p.m. — Great Brews Classic Beer Festival at Split Rock Resort in Lake Harmony, Pa. [$10-$70]
Mon. 11/28; 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. — Big Hill Cider Dinner at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, Pa. [$80]
Wed. 11/30; 5:30 p.m. — Carton Beer and Food Tasting at Bulls Head Public House in Lititz, Pa. [$35]

after November in Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other
Sat. 12/3; 12 p.m.-4 p.m. and 5 p.m.-8 p.m. — Craft Beer Festival at Allentown Brew Works in Allentown, Pa. [$10-$35]
Wed. 12/7; 7 p.m.-10 p.m. — Avery Beer Dinner at Trapp Door in Emmaus, Pa. [$75]
Wed. 12/7; 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. — Festivus Part 2 Beer Dinner at Pickled Pig Pub in Rehoboth Beach, Del. [$TBA]

© Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge, 2016. All content is owned and uniquely created by Bryan J. Kolesar. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Kolesar is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, images, and links may be used with advance permission granted and only provided that full and clear credit is given to Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Weekly Beer Event Calendar Update: October 27 - October 31

Been a busy month of beer events. Here are twenty more plus a look into early November.

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.

Cape May, NJ
Fri. 10/28; 6 p.m.-10 p.m. — Halloween Bash at Cape May Brewing Company [Join us in our Tasting Room for a Halloween Bash created for craft beer lovers.   $PAYG]

Carlisle, PA
Sat. 10/29; 12 p.m.-11 p.m. — Hoptoberfest at Molly Pitcher Brewing Company [Our taps will be full of seasonal brews, as well as a Firkin and a Randall Infusion.   $PAYG]

Conshohocken, Pa.
Thu. 10/27; 6 p.m. — Goose Island Hombre Secreto and The Sour Sisters at Flanigan's Boathouse [Goose Island will be pouring some super rare, limited, and awesome beers.  $PAYG]
Thu. 11/3; All Day — International Stout Day at Fingers Wings & Other Things [We saved some of our favorites for an occation like this one.  $PAYG]

Croydon, Pa.
Mon. 11/7; 7 p.m.-10 p.m. — Long Trail Cigar Dinner at Dog and Bull [Enjoy a three-course meal, which includes a hummus/cheese tray, buffet style entree, dessert, two of Long Trail's finest beers, dessert cocktail, and a cigar.  $50]

Easton, Pa.
Sat. 11/12; 12 p.m.-8 p.m. — 2016 Homebrew Contest at Weyerbacher Brewing Company [The first 20 entries will be selected to compete. Registration deadline is October 8th.  $Free]

Exton, Pa.
Thu. 10/27; 7 p.m.-9 p.m. — Beer School 101 at Rino's Restaurant ["Back To Basics" features a five-course meal paired with special beer and cider.  $42.95]
Fri. 10/28; 8 p.m.-11 p.m. — WOBoween or Leighboween – Take your pick at World Of Beer [Come out for a stellar night of costumes, beer, and debauchery. $4 pumpkin drafts and $3 Spring House Big Gruesome cans.  $PAYG]

King of Prussia, Pa.
Fri. 10/28; 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m. — Conshohocken Beer Dinner at Sullivan's Steakhouse [Four-course meal paired with Conshohocken's Island in the Sun Double IPA, Oktoberfest/Märzen, IPA, Puddlers Row ESB, and Burn Everything Porter  $60]

Malvern, PA
Sat. 11/5; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. — Learn To Homebrew Day at Fancy Camper Home Brew Supply in Malvern, PA [ We'll have demos, food, homebrew samples, and camaraderie.  $Free]

Milford, Del.
Fri. 10/28; 7 p.m.-10 p.m. — Halloween at Mispillion River Brewing Company [Here is the official list of reasons you won't want to miss out: Hooverville will be playing all night long; Haass' On the Go is serving up delicious food; Chipped Teeth will be releasing; and There will be prizes for the best costume and best couple's costume.  $PAYG]

Norristown, Pa.
Thu. 11/3 through Sun. 11/6; All Weekend — Fresh Hops Draft Event at Capone's [More details to come.  $PAYG]

Perkasie, Pa.
Sun. 10/30; 12 p.m.-8 p.m. — Sour Sunday at Free Will Brewing Company [Costume contest every hour. Come dressed up, and each hour, on the hour, a winner will be chosen. 10+ Sour and Wild Beers on Tap.  $PAYG]

Philadelphia, Pa.
Thu. 10/27; 12:15 p.m.-2 p.m. — Kehoe's Crossing Of The Delaware (Ave.) at Yards Brewing Company [Please join the Yards Crew in a celebratory procession from our current home at 901 N. Delaware Ave. to the future brewery's loading dock at 456 N. 5th St.  $PAYG]
Thu. 10/27; 5 p.m. — Stone Brewing's 20th Anniversary at City Tap House-Logan [Come out to enjoy 8 of their beers on tap.  $PAYG]
Thu. 10/27; All Day — Franconian Lager Gravity Kegs at Local 44 [Pair a pint with a German brat sandwich for just $16.  $PAYG]
Fri. 10/28; 3 p.m.-6 p.m. — Friday Night Tasting at Bell Beverage [Free tasting samples of beers from Allagash Brewing Company.  $Free]
Fri. 10/28; 6 p.m.-11 p.m. — Friday Sixtel: Boaks Monster Mash at Grey Lodge Pub [This may be the last sixtel of this beer ever. Boaks closed up shop early this year. We were told we bought the last Monster Mash. It seemed appropriate to wait and tap it around Halloween.  $PAYG]
Sat. 10/29; All Day — Halloween Party at Barcade [Scary draft list, spooky cocktail specials, dark music, and prizes for best costumes.  $PAYG]
Thu. 11/3; 7 p.m. — Terrapin Brewing Tap Takeover at Union Tap House [Terrapin is commandeering a few draft lines to promote their brews and give away some free swag.  $PAYG]
Sat. 11/5; 2 p.m.-7 p.m. — Brawlerfest by Yards at 500 Spring Garden Street [Old school beer & music festival celebrating all things Brawler and Philly's love for the underdog. Event proceeds benefit XPN's Musicians on Call and Beat the Streets Wrestling.  $20-$55]
Sat. 11/5; 2 p.m.-5 p.m. — Chili Cook-Off for the LLS at Dawson Street Pub [All entry and judging fees will go directly to the LLS. There will be raffle items and drink specials to help raise as much money as possible for the Dude Hates Cancer benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  $25 to enter, $PAYG to attend]
Sat. 11/5; 12 p.m.-5 p.m. — Beer Brewing Program, Level One at Philly Beer School [You will learn how to brew great beer. Even better, you will be brewing your own beer. A brewer-instructor will guide you through the process step by step: from brew to boil to bottle.  $150]
Sat. 11/5; 1 p.m.-8 p.m. — The Great Harvest Cider and Beer Festival at The Cambridge [Spotlighting hard ciders, toasty lagers, pumpkin ales and more.  $PAYG]
Sat. 11/5; 6 p.m.-11 p.m. — Oktoberfest at Cannstatter Volksfestverein in Philadelphia, Pa. [Enjoy the last Oktoberfest of the season with the GTV Almrausch Schuhplattlers. So authentic, you'll think you need a passport to get home.  $10-$12]
Sat. 11/12; 2 p.m. — Beer Tasting at Earth Bread + Brewery in Philadelphia, Pa. [Taste four house beers, Victory’s Earth + Flame, salads, and flatbread buffet.  $27]
Wed. 11/16; 7 p.m. — Vegan Beer Dinner at Strangelove's [This four course Vegan feast is paired with Vegan beers.  $60]

Reading, Pa.
Thu. 10/27; 6 p.m.-9 p.m. — Southern Tier Pumking & Benchwarmers Doughnut Pairing at Liberty Taproom [Our goal is to bring you and unforgettable pumpkin beer & doughnut pairing to get you ready for Halloween.  $PAYG]

Wayne, Pa.
Fri. 10/28-Sun. 10/30; All weekend — Italian Beer at Teresa's Next Door [Wonderfully crafted with a multitude of ingredients to celebrate Italian Heritage Month.  $PAYG]

West Chester, Pa.
Sun. 10/30; 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. — Craft Beer Mile at Levante Brewing Company [Feel like running around Levante Brewing four times (1 mile) while chugging beers?  $40]

Wilmington, Del.
Fri. 11/4; 7 p.m. — Beer Dinner at Hotel du Pont [A five-course meal served with Midas Touch, Namaste, Kvasir, Bitches Brew, Chateau Jiahu, Indian Brown Ale, and Pumpkin Ale.  $60]

York, Pa.
Fri. 10/28; 6 p.m.-11 p.m. — 1st Annual Halloween Bash at Collusion Tap Works [Beer Releases. Stuff your face with Dough Heads waffle sandwiches. Come dressed in a costume and get a chance to win some brewery swag, beer vouchers, and a top prize of a private brewery tour and tasting with the brew staff of Collusion.  $PAYG]
Sat. 10/29; All Day — Bottle Shop Grand Opening Extravaganza at Holy Hound Taproom [Breakfast served, KBS and Bourbon County bottles (limited and starting at 9 a.m.) in Bottle Shop. We will have high-profile beer tappings throughout the day.  $PAYG]

Friday, October 21, 2016

October 2016: News update, part 2

Some big macro news accompanies the local news for the second half of October's round up of brews news. Grab a Beer and Enjoy. In no particular order...

~ Brooklyn Brewery sells 24.5% equity to Kirin from Japan. [Link to Wall Street Journal.] and [Link to The Full Pint]

~ ABIBGI is opening next to The Fillmore in Philly. [Link to]

~ Stone's layoffs a harbinger of sobering up or a hangover? [Link to The Full Pint]

~ Very cool news from Sterling Pig in Media, Pa. where I've been enjoying watching their growth [Link to The Town Dish]

~ Oktoberfest at the 23rd Street Armory sounds/looks like a success. [Link to Philadelphia Business Journal]

~ Is Urban Village Brewing Company still coming to Northern Liberties? Might need to do some additional sleuthing. [Link to]

~ Beer fests. Underage attendees. The controversy continues. [Link to Draft Magazine]

~ I used to live in Manayunk in the 90s pre-brewpub. Lot of time has passed since then and they're still there. [Link to Yours For Good Fermentables]

~ Grey Lodge's Mike "Scoats" Scotese added a fourth home-away-from-home to his roster. [Link to Philly Mag/Foobooz]

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Weekly Beer Event Calendar Update: October 20 - October 26

I know you're all thirsty and looking to drink with some like-minded folks. Here are a couple dozen or so recommendations how to do just that.

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.

Adamstown, Pa.
Sun. 10/23; 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. — Oktoberfest – The Joe Weber Band at Stoudts Brewing Company [A fun-filled family festival featuring live German polka music by The Joe Weber band, dancing, pig roast, authentic German food, and Stoudts hand-crafted lagers and ales.  $10-$50]

Berwyn, Pa.
Tue. 10/25; 3 p.m. — Grand Opening at La Cabra Brewing Company [Getting things off the ground with eight or nine beers on draft and a Latin American-themed kitchen menu.  $PAYG]

Downingtown, Pa.
Thu. 10/20; 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. — Harvest Beer Dinner at Victory Brewing Company [A five-course meal served with Headwaters Ale, Selene Saison, Harvest Ale, Moonglow, and Zeltbier.  $55]

Exton, Pa.
Thu. 10/20; 5 p.m. — Takin' Over The Taps with Alpine at The Drafting Room [A special tapping of three awesome beers from Alpine Beer Company. Plus, souvenir glassware.  $PAYG]

Kulpsville, Pa.
Fri. 10/21; 5 p.m. — Weyerbacher Tap Takeover at CJ's Doghouse [Some great stouts and big beers to warm you on a nice, cool autumn evening.  $PAYG]

Lahaska, Pa.
Sat. 10/22; 12 p.m.-6 p.m. — Grand Opening at Free Will Taproom at Peddler's Village [Our newest Taproom features 8 taps, multiple seating areas, and is located overlooking the main green of Peddler's Village.  $PAYG]

Lancaster, Pa.
Fri. 10/21; 5 p.m. — Evil Genius Tap Takeover at Isaac's Pickle Bar [All taps will be from Evil Genius Beer Co., October's featured brewery.  $PAYG]

Malvern, PA
Sat. 10/22; 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. — Homebrewing Demo at Fancy Camper Home Brew Supply [Join us at the shop for a free homebrewing demo. It's fun, educational, and informal.  $Free]

Maple Shade, NJ
Sun. 10/23; 9 p.m.-10 p.m. — Helles on Earth Beer Release at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant [Join us a for the limited release of Helles on Earth, a blood orange infused Munich Helles. We will have The Walking Dead season 7 premiere on the big screen, so dress up as your favorite character or zombie.  $PAYG]
Tue. 10/25; 7 p.m.-10 p.m. — Halloween Beer Dinner at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant [Join us for five courses of spooky, Halloween themed cuisine from Head Chef Scot Seher Jr. perfectly paired with Helles Highwater, Ghost Pepper Mahalo, Apollo!, Oktoberfest, Out the Gate IPA, and Trubbel with Monks.  $65]

Mount Holly, NJ
Sat. 10/22; 12 p.m.-10 p.m. — 2nd Anniversary & Imperial Stout bottle release at Spellbound Brewing Company [The beer is the biggest we have ever brewed in our 20bbl brewhouse. Weighing in at 11.5% ABV, extremely heavy bodied with notes of chocolate, roasty malts, and deliciousness.  $PAYG]

Norristown, Pa.
Thu. 10/20; 12 p.m. — Box Of Hops at Capone's [Ithaca's newest Box Of Hops.  $PAYG]

Philadelphia, Pa.
Thu. 10/20; 4 p.m. — Pumpkin Head at Standard Tap [We're tapping 8 different pumpkin beers and pouring them into hollowed out gourds.  $PAYG]
Thu. 10/20; 6 p.m.-9 p.m. — TerraPink:Sound Czech Yourself For Breast Cancer at Brü Craft & Wurst [Featuring our friends from Terrapin Beer Co. All proceeds from Sound Czech beers bought will be donated to a local non-profit that fights comprehensively against breast cancer.  $PAYG]
Thu. 10/20; 7 p.m.-9 p.m. — Beers, Brewing, and Boos at Evil Genius Beer Company [Partnering with local FemALES on Broad: Barley’s Angel’s Philadelphia chapter to host a women only homebrew class and guided tasting to brew a beer and learn all about the process.  $25]
Thu. 10/20; All Day — Franconian Lager Gravity Kegs at Local 44 [Pair a pint with a German brat sandwich for just $16.  $PAYG]
Fri. 10/21; 3 p.m.-6 p.m. — Friday Night Tasting at Bell Beverage [Free tasting samples of beers from Saint Benjamin Brewing Company.  $Free]
Fri. 10/21; 6 p.m.-11 p.m. — Friday Sixtel: Sam Adams & Flounder Devil’s Nectah at Grey Lodge Pub [Devil’s Nectah is a limited-edition cranberry-honey helles lager brewed by Sam Adams in conjunction with New Jersey-based brewery Flounder Brewing Co.  $PAYG]
Sat. 10/22; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. — Brunch en Tie Dye at McCrossen's Tavern [Join us for Brunch en Tie Dye, where you can drink four great Weyerbacher beers on draft, eat delicious food, and make your very own tie dye shirt. All proceeds from Weyerbacher t-shirts will go to the Morris Animal Refuge.  $PAYG]
Sat. 10/22; 12 p.m.-10 p.m. — Evil Genius Brew Garden: Final Pop-up at Evil Genius Beer Company [Attendees will enjoy happy hour pricing for anyone in costume, a special beer tapping, a Halloween costume contest, and DJ ElectroBecker.  $PAYG]
Sat. 10/22 & Sun. 10/23; 4 p.m.-11 p.m. — Harvestfest Weekend at Hop Angel Brauhaus [Harvestfest celebrates freshly harvested food as well as wet-hopped harvest beers.  $PAYG]
Sun. 10/23; 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. — Eagles Tailgate with Iron Abbey at Lincoln Financial Field [Leave the cooking to us and enjoy.  $25]
Tue. 10/25; 8 p.m.-11 p.m. — Tuesday Tapping at Lucky's Last Chance [A night with Allagash beers.  $PAYG]

Pottstown, Pa.
Sat. 10/22; 12 p.m.-4:30 p.m. — Pottstown Brew Fest at Manatawny Park [Come join the fun, as we sample over 150+ beers and ciders from 65+ of the best craft brewers from the Mid-Atlantic and across the United States.  $10-$75]

Reading, Pa.
Sun. 10/23; All day — PA Tap Takeover at Liberty Taproom [We plan on having 32 different Pennsylvania breweries on draft.  $PAYG]

Sellersville, Pa.
Fri. 10/21; 5 p.m. — Beer Tasting: Pumpkin Brews at Washington House [Join us to taste an assortment of this year's best pumpkin beers.  $PAYG]

Voorhees, NJ
Fri. 10/21; 4 p.m.-7 p.m. — Undead Black IPA Beer Release at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant [In conjunction with Voorhees Town Center’s Thriller Night, we are releasing an IPA that is lightly roasty and toasty with moderate bitterness and enough American hop character to bring back the dead.  $PAYG]

West Chester, Pa.
Sat. 10/22; 5 p.m.-9 p.m. — Ride The Rails II at Boxcar Brewing Company [Come out for an event to remember as we board 1930’s style train cars and head down the historical West Chester Railroad to Glen Mills picnic park. We provide the food (a rockstar spread), Boxcar beer (all of our best brews), and live music (stellar West Chester talent of course).  $25-$45]

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Construction Update 10/15/2016: La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa. is set to open

(Eight to nine drafts to be available on opening day, October 25, with more to come in the days and weeks after.)

Let's get this breaking news out of the way first thing — La Cabra Brewing Company is cleared to open its doors to the public for the first time at 3 p.m. on October 25.

They've come a long way in the last few months and since I last visited a little over a month ago. Now all the powers-that-be have given had their say and the beer lines have been hooked up to the brite/serving tanks. All that's left are some remaining construction touches and final staff prepping.

I stopped by yesterday morning to find brewer and operating partner Dan Popernack and chef John Hearn busy at work but willing to take time to show me a bit of what's changed, give me an update on the remaining week's work, and slide a few tastes of beer and food my way.

They plan to open La Cabra's doors on Tuesday, October 25 as if it was just another day of business. This way, they hope to be able to gently break in the staff, work out any kinks, and give customers the smoothest introduction in the early days and weeks to one of the area's most anticipated new brewpub ventures.

While the second floor and mezzanine room will eventually be available for private party rentals, the entire facility (total capacity around 240) will be open and available for all customers to explore in the first weeks. There's a full bar on both the first and second floors and Popernack expects to have eight or nine of his taps flowing with a variety of his beers on opening day.

(Flights of great taste at La Cabra.)

My initial samplings confirm that there will be a diverse representation of quality beers for customers to look forward to both at the bar by themselves as well as paired together on the dining room tables. The Coquette (3.5% ABV) is a wonderful display of berries in a barrel-aged fruit beer. Should work well as a light refreshing interlude (i.e. not overwhelming with fruit) or in pairings as a breakfast or dessert beer.

Belma (5.7% ABV) is a Belgian Pale Ale that takes advantage of a new experimental hop from the Pacific NW. It helps bring out a light fruit character, strawberry for one, in a very drinkable Belgian Pale. Juno (4.8% ABV) is an American Blonde Ale with Rosemary and Lime that I expect to work very well with some entries on Hearn's Latin American-themed kitchen menu.

Two IPAs should please the hop heads. One is the Tabula Rasa, deemed a Session IPA, which will be different from batch to batch and always feature a single hop. The one I tasted (4.4% ABV) showcased the always enjoyable Mosaic. The second is Leo (6.3% ABV) that Popernack is still working to find the balance in malt and hops that he is most happy with. I think he's nearly there and this will be turn out to be a great go-to IPA.

(Sneak peek, and taste, of the excellent Crispy Pork Belly to be on the menu at La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

Finally, the Cassiopeia (4.8% ABV) is an "Amber Kölsch" that Popernack is looking forward to making his own style and one that I'm looking forward to sampling more of. It definitely bucks the traditional Kölsch style guidelines but yet when I drank it along with the Crispy Pork Belly that Hearn brought out of the kitchen for me, I found myself not giving that a second thought. The roasted nature of the Cassiopeia worked nicely with the pork belly (great ratio of meat-to-fat -- very important to me) as I would imagine so too would the Roggenbier that Popernack says will be coming up in the near future.

Lots of intriguing promise awaits in Berwyn. Just a little over a week until we get to see the full production. By the way, in case you didn't pick up on it in my last update, if you're coming out from Philly by train, get off at the Berwyn station and simply cross over Lancaster Avenue that parallels the train tracks and you're there.

(First floor interior of La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

(First floor bar of La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

(First floor interior of La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

(First floor interior of La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

(Cemetery gates over the second floor bar at La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

(Second floor interior of La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

(Second floor interior of La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

(Memento from the now-shuttered Fritz Lumber, since 1863, across the street.)

(Back door entrance of La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

(Back staircase and brewhouse entrance of La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

(Fear not, there will be available parking in Berwyn.)

(Soon there will be a much larger sign announcing the new La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, Pa.)

Friday, October 14, 2016

More of my writing in more places; need more beer (?!)

Seems like there's always something new going on around here.

For the past year, I've been doing a beer column for the striking County Lines Magazine in Chester County, Pa. Here's a link to my last column that served as a pre-GABF 2016 look at some local brewers such as Sly Fox, Nodding Head, Conshohocken, Iron HillTröegs, McKenzie Brew House, and Stoudts and their past and present experience with the massive GABF competition.

Then, for my newest thing. I never made an official announcement, so this might as well be it. Woody Chandler has moved on from his column at Ale Street News. For over ten years, he's been tracking down and reporting on the beer news all around Pennsylvania (excluding Philly, which is covered by Lee Porter).

Now I've got the keyboard. Here's a link to my first column in the Oct./Nov. 2016 issue. In it, I covered the latest news at Columbia Kettle Works, Fegley's Brew Works, Four Seasons, Free Will, Iron Hill, La Cabra, Marzoni's, Spring House, Stickman, Stoudts, Tröegs, and Victory.

If you know me well, you should know that I'm going to enjoy this gig.

Obviously in such a large state, it's impossible to cover even a quarter of the breweries and breweries-in-planning in each issue. So I'll be talking about interesting brewery news around a theme. In this issue, on such short notice 'til deadline, I simply began with Woody's home turf of Lancaster, looped out west and back to the east and the soon-to-be-brand-new La Cabra in Berwyn.

In the next issue, I'm looking to shape a theme of football in the state (high school powerhouses, college programs, pro football legends, and any crossover of football into the brewhouses). I've got a pretty good head-start on this, but if you have any insights that you'd like to see me touch on, as always, feel free to drop a note to me.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Weekly Beer Event Calendar Update: October 13 - October 19

The kids are back from GABF with some new well-deserved medals. 2SP, Flying Fish, Iron Hill, Neshaminy Creek, Two Rivers, and Yards, to be exact, and hearty congratulations to them all. You should find some of their beers at events in the area amongst the couple dozen listed below. More great stuff from a great beer drinking region. Enjoy...

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.

Adamstown, Pa.
Sat. 10/15; 12 p.m.-4 p.m. & 6 p.m.-10 p.m. — Breast Cancer Awareness Brewfest at Stoudts Brewing Company [Join us for a great cause, fantastic beer, a gourmet buffet, and live music.  $$TBA]
Sun. 10/16; 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. — Octoberfest – Alex Meixner at Stoudts Brewing Company [A fun-filled family festival featuring live German polka music by Alex Meixner band, dancing, pig roast, authentic German food, and Stoudts hand-crafted lagers and ales.  $10-$50]

Allentown, Pa.
Sat. 10/15; 5 p.m.-8 p.m. — Fegley's Whisky Festival  at Allentown Brew Works [WIth a vast selection of the finest whiskies, scotch and bourbons from America, Canada, Ireland, and Scotland, we're prepared to have our biggest festival to date.  $25-$45]

Bear, Del.
Mon. 10/17; 6:23 p.m. — Stewart's Beer Dinner at Stewart's Brewing Company [A six-course meal served with Stewart's Anniversary Ale, Kolsch, Oktoberfest, Pumpkin Ale, Barleywine, and Highlander Stout.  $55]

Cherry Hill, NJ
Sat. 10/15; 12 p.m. — 2-Year Extravaganza and 5 can releases at Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing Company [The Conductor, Mr. Watson Come Here I Want To See You, White IPA Variants, and more will be added.  $PAYG]

Conshohocken, Pa.
Thu. 10/13; 6 p.m. — Sly Fox & Free Will Tap Takeover at Flanigan's Boathouse [Showcasing some of the finest lagers and ales that Pennsylvania has to offer.  $PAYG]
Sat. 10/15; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. — Conshohocken Beer Fest at A. A. Garthwaite Stadium [The event will feature over 50 local, regional and national craft beers, plus local food, tailgate games, and live music.  $10-$50]

Croydon, Pa.
Sun. 10/16; 10 a.m.-1 p.m. — Manayunk 20th Anniversary Brunch at Dog and Bull [We will be featuring beers on draft along with some tasty brunch specials. Andrew from Manayunk will be here to talk beer and he'll have some cool giveaways if you're nice to him.  $PAYG]

Downingtown, Pa.
Sat. 10/15; 9 a.m.-10 a.m. — Beer & Yoga at Victory Brewing Company [An hour of relaxing yoga followed by a food and beer pairing.  $35]

Easton, Pa.
Sun. 10/16; 1 p.m.-4 p.m. — Lehigh Valley Brewers Guild Beer Festival at Two Rivers Brewing Company [A beer festival featuring beer only from Lehigh Valley craft brewers. Weyerbacher, Two Rivers, Fegley's, Funk, Hi Jinx, Sole, Lost Tavern, Colony Meadery, Yergey's, Cave, and Bonn Place are all confirmed participants.  $30]

Emmaus, Pa.
Sat. 10/15;  7 p.m.-10 p.m. — Funkin' Halloween at Funk Brewing Company [Switchback Pizza Company will be here with their mobile pizza oven of goodness. Costumes are strongly encouraged.  $PAYG]

Ewing Township, NJ
Sat. 10/15; 7 p.m.-10 p.m. — Oktoberfest at River Horse Brewing Company [Raise your mug and celebrate the most wonderful time of year with a new Märzen we brewed just for our Oktoberfest. Throughout the night we will also be unveiling six special casks to indulge your tastebuds.  $15+$PAYG]

Exton, Pa.
Sat. 10/15; 12 p.m.-5 p.m. — WOBtoberfest at World of Beer [We’re pouring no fewer than 50 brews, with music from more than a few local artists.  $PAYG]
Sat. 10/15; 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. — Beer Sampling at Exton Beverage [Free tasting samples of beers from Oskar Blues.  $Free]
Wed. 10/19; 5 p.m.-8 p.m. — Goose Island Hombre Variants at The Pour House [The draught list includes Hombre Secreto Belgian Strong Pale Ale aged in Tequila Barrels, Hombre Secreto with Mangos, Experimental, Sofie, and Four Star Pils.  $PAYG]

Kennett Square, Pa.
Thu. 10/13; 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. — Harvest Beer Dinner at Victory Brewing Company [A five-course meal served with Zeltbier, Selene Saison, Vital IPA, Festbier, and Moonglow Weizenbock.  $55]
Sat. 10/15; 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. — Funktoberfest at The Stone Barn [Two drinks from either KBC, Rebel Seed, or Harvest Ridge and all you can eat Oktoberfest food.  $40]
Wed. 10/19; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. — Wine. Beer. Food. Pairing with Penns Woods Winery at Kennett Brewing Company [Enjoy a four-course fall themed dinner, each course paired with a KBC beer and a Penns Woods Wine.  $50]

Lancaster, Pa.
Sat. 10/15; 3 p.m.-5 p.m. — Evil Genius Saturday Brew Review at Isaac's Pickle Bar [Enjoy a four-course meal of Isaac's favorites paired with four brewmaster picks from Evil Genius Beer Company.  $30]

Media, Pa.
Wed. 10/19; 5 p.m.-7 p.m. — Stone 20th Anniversary at Pinocchio's [A full lineup celebrating Stone's 20th anniversary.  $PAYG]

New Hope, Pa.
Sat. 10/15 & Sun. 10/16; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. — OktoberFeast at Peddler's Village at Free Will Taproom [This family friendly festival will feature German-inspired food, live music, and a Free Will Beer Tent. We brewed a special Marzen-style lager exclusively for OctoberFeast and our Taproom in Peddler's Village.  $PAYG]

Newark, Del.
Sat. 10/15; All Day — Fall Fest at Argilla Brewing Company [Live music, killer house brews, outdoor fun, smoked meats, season-inspired eats, and games for all.  $PAYG]
Sat. 10/15; 1 p.m.-4 p.m. — Hallowed Pumpkin Hill Multi-Tap at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant [Eight pumpkin beers, one large pumpkin tapping, and a crazy pumpkin pie eating contest.  $PAYG]

Newtown, Pa.
Sat. 10/15; All Day — Pumpkinfest at Isaac Newton's [We will be tapping no less than 10 pumpkin ales while also tapping additional selections throughout the afternoon. Plus we will be featuring food specials created to complement these delicious beers.  $PAYG]

Norristown, Pa.
Thu. 10/6; 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. — Captain Lawrence at Capone's [Meet Dan Conway from Captain Lawrence who will bring their limited featured beer, Flaming Fury Sour, and much more.  $PAYG]

Pennside, Pa.
Sat. 10/15; 12:30 p.m.-5 p.m. — Carsonia Craft Beer & Wine Amusement at Carsonia Park [Featuring local and national craft beers, wines, and ciders, local food vendors, cigars, and live music.  $35-$40]

Philadelphia, Pa.
Thu. 10/13; All Day — Franconian Lager Gravity Kegs at Local 44 [Pair a pint with a German brat sandwich for just $16.  $PAYG]
Fri. 10/14; 3 p.m.-6 p.m. — Friday Night Tasting at Bell Beverage [Free tasting samples of beers from Anchor Brewing Company.  $Free]
Fri. 10/14; 6 p.m.-11 p.m. — Friday Sixtel: Saint Benjamin Rum Aged Export Stout at Grey Lodge Pub [Saint Benjamin's Export Stout aged in Pettys Island Oak Rye Rum barrels from Cooper River distillery in Camden, NJ.  $PAYG]
Sat. 10/15; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. — Homebrew Festival at Strangelove's [Tickets include unlimited home brew samples and an open buffet.  $40]
Sat. 10/15; 2 p.m.-6 p.m. — Boulevard Brewing Road Trip & BBQ Benefiting the Morris Animal Refuge at Devil's Den [Boulevard Brewing Company has packed their bags and converted their truck into a mobile tasting room, which will roll into South Philly.  $PAYG]
Sat. 10/15; 3 p.m.-11 p.m. — 5th Anniversary Party at Evil Genius Beer Company [We're dusting off some classics from our cellar, as well as putting on some fresh and delicious fall beer.  $PAYG]
Sat. 10/15 & Sun. 10/16; 4 p.m.-11 p.m. — Apple/Baconfest Weekend at Hop Angel Brauhaus [Apple ciders, apple dinner specials, and apple fun.  $PAYG]
Sun. 10/16; 12 p.m.-7 p.m. — Tappin' The Trucks- Brews n' Bites Block Party at Tap Room On 19th [We have partnered with Philly Mobile Food Association to bring some of the best food trucks to South Philly. In addition, We will have some awesome local breweries pouring tasty beers for you to enjoy.  $PAYG]
Sun. 10/16; 1 p.m.-4 p.m. — Ten Yards with Tom Kehoe at Jose Pistola's [It's time once again for our annual Eagles tailgate with the gang from Yards Brewing Co. We will be pouring some amazing Yards beers.  $PAYG]
Mon. 10/17; 8 p.m. — New Belgium Brewing Wood Cellar Night at McCrossen's Tavern in Philadelphia, Pa. [Join us we host Hal Doss, Wood Cellar Brewer from New Belgium Brewing.  $PAYG]
Mon. 10/17-Thu. 10/20; All Day — 20th Anniversary Kickoff at Manayunk Brewing Company [This day will mark the beginning of specials running through October 20th, including original 1996 menu items and prices, firkins, and birthday cake.  $PAYG]
Tue. 10/18; 4 p.m.-11 p.m. — Manayunk Brewery 20th Anniversary Party at American Sardine Bar [Celebrate 20 years of beers from Manayunk Brewing Company.  $PAYG]
Tue. 10/18; 8 p.m.-11 p.m. — Tuesday Tapping at Lucky's Last Chance [Hardywood Park beers on tap and…a collaboration burger?  $PAYG]
Wed. 10/19; 7 p.m.-9 p.m. — U Buy The Glass at The Abbaye [Keepsake refillable pint glass of Ninkasi Brewing raffle prizes and giveaways.  $PAYG]

Phoenixville, Pa.
Sat. 10/15; All day — Goose Island Rare Takeover at Bistro on Bridge [We're cracking open our stash of Goose Island Rare and bringing out the Bourbon and Vintage Ale varieties.  $PAYG]

Sellersville, Pa.
Tue. Oct. 18 & Wed. Oct. 19; 5 p.m. — Oktoberfest Buffet at Washington House [Our buffet showcases delicious, traditional dishes such as German sausage, sauerbraten, pork schnitzel, spaetzle, a variety of hot and cold sides, salads and desserts. Our bar will also feature some of our German style beer and wine selections.  $28]

West Chester, Pa.
Sat. 10/15; 5 p.m.-9 p.m. — Ride The Rails I at Boxcar Brewing Company [Come out for an event to remember as we board 1930’s style train cars and head down the historical West Chester Railroad to Glen Mills picnic park. We provide the food (a rockstar spread), Boxcar beer (all of our best brews), and live music (stellar West Chester talent of course).  $25-$45]

Westmont, NJ
Sat. 10/15; 2 p.m.-8 p.m. — Haddon Avenue Pub Crawl at The Pour House [Participating bars include P.J. Whelihan's Pub & Restaurant, The Pour House, treno pizza bar, The Irish Mile, Keg & Kitchen, and The Taproom & Grill.  $PAYG]

York, Pa.
Sat. 10/15; 12 p.m.-5 p.m. — Yorktoberfest at The York Fairgrounds [We extend an invitation for you to join us for a family-friendly weekend of frothy ales, PA wines, unique vendors, local food, and live bands.  $15-$40]