Septembeerfest!

Septembeerfest was REALLY awesome this year. For those who are not familiar with it, Septembeerfest is Corvallis Oregon’s large beer festival held each year in September. For an entry fee you get a shaker pint glass and some tokens to try tastes of beers presented there.

This year, Septembeerfest was held at Avery Park, which is a lovely tree filled park. We enjoyed great beer, great food, and great music!

Here are four of my favorite brews that were served at the event!

I’d like to thank all the people who gave their time to volunteer for this event whether it was running a tent, serving drinks, answering questions, or picking up trash. Corvallis is very community oriented with a strong vision of ecological responsibility. It’s a real pleasure to live here.

Proceeds went to assist Corvallis Benton County Food Share, who helps distribute food around the county. Their service is invaluable to us!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusFacebooktwittergoogle_plus

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeinstagram

Lancaster County is Bursting with Beer along Philly

When I tell people I live in Lancaster County, PA, people will shout, almost without thinking, “Amish.” The correlation of Amish and the Lancaster area is somewhat of a cultural/psychological experience ingrained in the minds of people in US.amish-buggy 

If someone comes to Lancaster and doesn’t experience the Amish tours, or drive to Philly and doesn’t climb the stairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Arts or stand on the top to pose like Rocky, a great disappointment will take over. Some might even imagine having done things they didn’t. Instead, they merely read about it or conceptualized it based on the things they fantasized doing while they were younger. It could be considered a type of “Paris Syndrome”. This is something much more common than people realize. You may catch spouses disagreeing about what one says they did on their vacation and the other will firmly disagree, saying “no, we didn’t”. There isn’t a deception here, both truly believe what they are saying. One just imagined doing it because of a lifetime of expectations.

Victory_Brewing_factory_2

Now when it comes to beer, the places that come first to peoples’ minds are places like San Diego, Denver, Michigan, Asheville…any place but the peaceful and bucolic, horse-pulled buggy lands of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. For the past decade, something new has been taking over of the eastern population of Pennsylvania. Craft Beer! Within 30 to 90 minutes of driving, one can find a more than a handful of breweries, bottle shops, and restaurants dedicated to delivering quality craft beer libations. The beer Scene in Eastern PA has grown so much, it surprises me a stronger beer tourism business in the area has not been developed. Because of taxes and regulations, Pennsylvania is far from being a “cheap” state to get a pint of your favorite brew. Never the less, the craft beer followers are multiplying and are being very faithful to the local breweries and craft beer bars.

There are some well-known breweries in the area or close to Lancaster/Philly that date back to the mid-1990s and the late 1980s:  Victory, Tröegs, Sly Fox, Stoudt’s, Weyerbacher, YardsIron Hill and some much older like Yuengling, operating since 1829. Among a newer class are some that are making some amazing beer and gaining momentum: Spring House, Lancaster Brewing Co., St. Boniface and and Tired Hands. I love knowing that I can have some friends over for a few days and the Tap Room Spring House Brewing Co.diversity of beer available will leave everyone satisfied.

Still skeptical? Eastern Pennsylvania has much more to offer when it comes to craft beer. You can experience more than just what the locals offer. With excellent beer distribution to a sizable number of bottle shops and craft beer bars, you can get brews from Stone to 21st Amendment, from Ale Smith to Six Point, from Lost Abbey to Firestone Walker…you get the idea.

One of my favorites to visit is the Federal Tap House in Lancaster. They offer more than 100 beers on tap. Also in Lancaster, is The Fridge (amazing pizza), or Hunger’n’Thirsty (great food), and a great bottle shop that you will find me in regularly, The Friendly Greek (more than 500 beers!). Take a drive through the country side toward Philly and enjoy more places with great beer. The Abbaye, The Belgian Café, and TJ’s Restaurant and Drinkery (with more than 250 beers on their list) are just some examples of this craft beer culture that has TJ'sdeveloped in Eastern Pennsylvania. (I could mention so many more bars and Breweries like Dock Street that are amazing). You can even take to the small town of Mount Joy and visit the Catacombs of Bube’s Brewery (pronounce Boobs) an intact historic 19th century brewery and museum complex and their Ghost Tours. In any case, the craft beer enthusiast won’t be disappointed in a visit to the Keystone State, and for those like me that will often travel with the wife and kids, Pennsylvania provides some great craft beer places that have wonderful food and very family friend environment. You want more. Just head to the Harrisburg?York where you will find lots of great places to enjoy craft beers.

You will enjoy the beautiful scenery and have fun exploring the numerous places to drink some wonderful craft beer. And don’t forget to take home some real whoopie pies. Cheers!!!

Brewery List

Sly Fox – Potstown
Stoudt’s – Adamstown
Weyerbacker – Easton
Yards – Philly
Iron Hill – Philly / Lancaster
Yuengling – Potsville
Victory – Downintown
Tröegs – Hershey
Spring House – Lancaster
Lancaster Brewing
St. Boniface – Ephrata
Tired Hands – Ardmore
Liquid Hero – York
Appalachian Brewing Co. – Harrisburg/Lititz
Bube’s Brewery – Lancaster
Dock Street – Philly
Philadelphia Brewing Co. – Philly
Triumph Brewing – Philly
Fegley’s Brew Works – Bethlehem
Rumspringa Brewing – Lancaster
Saucony Creek Brewing – Kutztown
Als of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing Co – Enola
Manayunk Brewery – Philadelphia
Crime and Punishment – Philadelphia
Conshohocken Brewing Co. – Conshohocken
Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery – King of Prussia

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusFacebooktwittergoogle_plus

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeinstagram

Avery Brewing – Tweak

Tweak
Beer Name: Batch No. 1 TWEAK (Formerly known as Meph Addict and Coffeestopholes)
Brewery: Avery Brewing Co.
Style: Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Coffee Stout
Availability: Rotating – 12oz Bottles
17.81% ABV, 107 IBUs

Glassware: Snifter

Tweak is Avery Mephistopheles Imperial Stout, with Avery adding 1.6 pounds of Ozo Coffee Co.’s Organic Isabelle Espresso to every barrel of beer . The brewery aged this beer for four months in bourbon barrels.

Appearance: Pours like 10,000 miles past due for an oil change 0W 20. The beer has a grappling hook and will not let go of the sides of the glass. Holds on for dear life. Like tears that won’t stop.
Aroma: Oak and Bourbon leaps out like Bruce Lee with a vengeance. Beautiful aromas of vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Playing joyfully on the playground with an already Imperial Stout.
Taste: Boozy, real boozy, but what did you expect from 17.81%? Yet, smooth. Doesn’t make sense right? Oh well, you don’t have to take my word for it.
Mouth feel: Coating and luxurious. Sin in a glass. Bourbon flavors exploding with all the characters you’d expect from a rich imperial stout. Deep roastinees, strong malt flavors, cloying (welcoming if you know what to expect). Homerun
Overall Impression: When I first met this Avery Tweak, I can remember that damn thing like yesterday. The way she drank reminded me of a brown stallion horse with skates on, you know. Smooth like a hot comb on nappy ass hair. Her aroma had me almost paralyzed, smelling like a glass of malt with extra bourbon. Sheen beaming like four carats, just blinding a drinker. Felt like I drank a whole case of Heady, my heart was beating so fast. Never knowing this moment would bring another love into this world. Funny how stuff comes together sometimes, you dig?

Okay, so the inspiration for all that was from Outkast (SpottieOttieDopalisciousAngel…look it up), but it is more than appropriate. WORTH THE PRICE!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusFacebooktwittergoogle_plus

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeinstagram

Put the Hops in the Beer

ShEvo

Photo by Sheila Dee and Evo Terra – ShEvo from shevo.wtf

 

Most of us have to go to the “import” section of the bottle shop to get the more worldly beers, but instead, Evo Terra and Sheila Dee went to the beers.

Of course I’m sure that’s not the only reason this couple traveled to Europe, and will be going to Asia and Australia. There are probably museums, and natural landmarks, and what not, but I choose to focus on priorities. Beer is one of the highest priorities a human can value.

When I first emailed Evo in early February (when I was supposed to write this article), he wasn’t sure what to expect from Danish beers. He mentioned not being a fan of their well-known Carlsburg. However, my choice to be lazy strategically delay the publication of this post paid off. ShEvo found success in Copenhagen!

Per this February blog post, the duo “rounded out the list of ‘must drink at’ craft beer places” in the Danish capital. They went to Fermentoren and Lord Nelson, and in Evo’s estimation, they were both “quite excellent.” Evo gave a bonus point to Fermentoren for giving them a free bottle of beer—a Hip Hops Beats You – IPA from Ghost Brewing.

Lord Nelson’s website describes itself as “a small bar located in the heart of Copenhagen [specializing] in draught Danish microbrewery beers and ciders.” Once 3D beer printing is perfected, I’ll be able to give you more than my impressions of the pictures. Currently all I can really say is that the cider farmhouse looks pretty, and that I don’t know what pork scratchings are.

Sheila also had praise for the Danish’s beer making ability, saying they produced “a mighty fine beer.” Not Carlsburg, and more than just Mikkeller and To Øl. Specifically, she and Evo referred to Ølsnedkaren, where they were finally happy to pay 10 bucks for a beer. The website text is all in Danish, but the pictures show a nice place with people enjoying themselves. Of course, so do Bud commercials, so I guess we’ll have to take ShEvo’s word on it.

Despite illness, Evo managed to drag himself out into the Belgian craft beer world and get himself a Trappist Westvleteren 1 (Brouwerij De Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren.) Maybe it was cold medicine, but his take on it is that it’s either the best beer in the world or the best Belgian beer.

The next stop was England. They weren’t thrilled with the beer selection in general, but Sheila called the beer at Brew Dog “flavorful.” Evo was ecstatic to have hoppy beer again, as you can see from their video.

I’d asked Evo (you know, back when I was supposed to have published this) if what they say about the English is true…that they drink their beer warm. Back then he’d said that no one drinks warm beer, unless it’s a “Hot Scotchy.” I don’t know what that is. I’m not worldly like that. Evo had said that pilsners and lagers were typically served cold, so maybe I won’t have to bring my own mini fridge if I ever go back.

English pubbery definitely seemed like a mixed bag of goodness and alrightness.  Sheila’s impression of the pub The Brewery Tap was “decent.”  ShEvo had good things to say about The Bull’s Head in Mobberly, calling it a “lovely pub.” Sheila found an excellent beer selection at A Bar Called Pi (along with the pies, of course.) Generally, they noted that while they love “craft beer,” the “real ale” of England had yet to grab them.

Watch them during an 11-hour drinking stint at a pub (The Builders Arms) that looks like it came straight out of one those British murder mysteries I like. I looked, but I didn’t see Inspectors Lewis, Morse, Barnaby or Foyle.

All in all, since beginning their adventure, they’ve had 90 new beers. Notice in their latest podcast that Sheila didn’t say 90 good beers. Still, that’s a few notches on the ole’ Untappd belt!

Read about/listen to/watch ShEvo.

Support ShEvo (and get stuff).

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusFacebooktwittergoogle_plus

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeinstagram

Pints and Quarts Ep. 030 | Spring House Brewing Co.

Spring House

Live on Thursday (1/22/15) night at 9:30pm EST (and available anytime afterwards right here too), we will spend some time with Rob Tarves of Spring House Brewing Co. in Lancaster, PA Area. Rob is the Head Brewer of Spring House and we will be talking about their history, their beers, and their plans for the future.  We interviewed them a few years back, and are excited to see what delicious concoctions they have come up with since.
IMG_1568

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusFacebooktwittergoogle_plus

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeinstagram

Stone Brewing Hibiscusicity Review

Hibiscuscity (Randy (1)

Beer Name: Hibiscusicity
Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Style: Belgian-style ale
Hops: Magnum, Sterling
Special: Orange peel, Hibiscus flowers
Malts: Pale Malt, Wheat Malt
Availability: Nationwide
7.4% ABV
Glassware: Tulip

Appearance: Pours a bright amber with rich, pink overtones. More than likely from the Hibiscus flowers.

Aroma: Citrus, definitely citrus. They used orange peel and you get orange peel.

Taste: The orange peel and the Hibiscus play so well together! That said, this is not orange peel/citrus some people get from wheat beers, this is orange peel in it’s truest essence. The didn’t spare any here (sidenote: wonder what they did with that metric ton of leftover oranges they obviously used to get the peels). Although the oranges are present, the flowers definitely ain’t no pansies. They’re at the party and damn it they want you to know it. They deliver the taste equivalent of an aromatic punch to the snot box. This beer is well done.

Mouth feel: Very dry, but based on how this is drinking, it needed to be dry. Sweetness with all this aroma would have been a little overwhelming.

Overall Impression: This beer is VERY well done. I admit that I am a Stone fanboy, but normally that’s the case because I am a hop head. However, this beer is totally not a hop head’s delight. In fact, it is a welcomed departure from a ton of hops and in my opinion it definitely highlights brewing versatility in the Stone Brewery. Yep, going back to the store to get another bomber…or two.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusFacebooktwittergoogle_plus

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeinstagram

World of Beer, Jacksonville, Florida

 

World of Beer Jacksonville, FL

I used to live near the World of Beer location in Jacksonville, Fl. Going for the first time was a bittersweet experience. I’d spent hours in that corner space sipping mochas, sitting on a fluffy purple chair, and looking out the window. That was back when it was a Starbucks. I get oddly sentimental about where I spend dozens of hours of my time (and more than a dozen dollars of my money). I still haven’t gotten over the two Starbucks downtown closing.

The blow softened, though, when I found out it was a World of Beer. Starbucks never served beer. I made sure to go on a week night, early in the evening, so as to avoid the drunk crazy yuppies. There were still yuppies, but they were just hitting on buzzed, and they were behaving.

We went on a trivia night, which meant we were there for close to four hours. My butt hurt after sitting so long in a hard chair. I had a nice time, though. The server was kind, and fairly attentive (even after we were there so long). She’s not in danger of becoming anyone’s go to expert on beer, though. My other half, Clint, asked for a black and tan with Newcastle and Guinness, but they didn’t have Newcastle. She couldn’t recommend a good replacement. I can’t remember what she brought instead, but it wasn’t even the same style as Newcastle.

Our friend, who isn’t originally from the U.S., expected more international choices from a place called “World of Beer.” She was disappointed.

I had some fantastic beer, so I was happy. I’d never had Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. They had it on tap, and it was the smoothest, creamiest beer I’d ever had. Even the head was tight.

I also had a Cigar City Homemade Apple Pie. I love cider, but I generally don’t like mead. This combination tasted like honey apples. It also tipped me over the tipsy cliff. Just for experiment’s sake, I mixed some with the chocolate stout. Oh my goodness. Mixing them was fantastic. It was like adding chocolate syrup to apple pie.

The food was good, too. I had a flat bread, which was quite good, and only eight bucks.

The restaurant was full, but it wasn’t too loud. I have a hard time hearing, but I didn’t have to shout too much, or endlessly mouth “What? What did you say?”

I’m not sure that my experience would be as favorable on a weekend night, but that’s why I do online podcasts on the weekend. No crowds, and the bathroom’s usually free.

Website

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusFacebooktwittergoogle_plus

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeinstagram

Dark Horse Nation Hits The Small Screen

Dark_Horse_Nation_About_the_Series_2-E

If you are like me you probably try to read and watch as much stuff as possible about the craft beer world. If you do, you’ll probably remember
Sam Calagione (founder and owner of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery) 2010 Brew Masters on The Discovery Channel. It was cancelled with no explanation to its viewers and Sam abstained from any comments, but In March 2011, Anthony Bourdain (TV Star Culinary Chef), who shares a production company with Brew Masters, wrote on his Twitter that Brew Masters was cancelled due to pressure by a large beer company who threatened to pull advertising. (You can watch old episodes of Brew Masters at Netflix.com)

But, craft beer advocates have come a long way since 2010, and with a consistent growth on social media, it has urged a new Channel owned by NBCUniversal and Hearst Corporation, Esquire Network (which is focused on travel, food and fashion segment) to jump start a new project in 2013. A show called Brew Dogs is hosted by the Founders/Owners of Brew Dog Brewing Co. in Scotland.  They travel the US trying to convert what they call the “Craft Beer Virgins” into drinking craft beer. The owners/stars James Watt and Martin Dickie do crazy, one of a kind brewings, with some of the stars brewers from around the US. Their success has landed them a second season that is currently airing.

Now, The History Channel has decided to start their own craft brewery style show and tonight (tuesday, July 29th) @ 10pm EST is the series premiere of “Dark Horse Nation”.

Brew DogsDifferent from Brew Dogs, The Dark Horse Nation will be a more familiar format used by The History Channel. Watching the Sneak Peak of the Show you can get a vibe of Duck Dynasty and American Chopper where they will follow the daily happenings of the brewery and Founder/Owner of Dark Horse, Aaron Morse.  His real friends and crew bring their passion to life while managing their Michigan base business on more of a “reality show” format.

I’m very excited to see another Craft beer show on a main-stream channel in prime-time. Hopefully the show will be as good as Brew Masters and Brew Dogs. I’m Keeping my fingers crossed since I’m skeptical about reality shows. Best of luck to the Dark Horse folks. We are all happy to see them hitting the small screen.

  • History Channel Show Description: In small town Marshall, Michigan, there is a group of life-long friends living out their version of the American dream. Led by rebel entrepreneur and fearless visionary, Aaron Morse, Dark Horse is a thriving business set amongst a rural paradise. Morse and his team have been making a name for themselves since 1997, when Dark Horse started bottling their unique line of craft beers. Now distributed in 12 states, the Dark Horse crew is determined to turn their business into a household name. Its die-hard fan base even has its own nickname: Dark Horse Nation. However, DARK HORSE NATION is not only about crafting great beer, it’s a way of life. Their recipe for success is as much about experimentation and trouble-shooting as it is self-taught skill and determination. Every week, there’s some new project, from creating outlandish inventions to building additions to their ever-growing compound. Around there, everything is done by hand, the old-fashioned way, or as they like to put it, “The Dark Horse Way.” source: History Channel

 

Watch the Sneak Peak at:

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusFacebooktwittergoogle_plus

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeinstagram

Folio Weekly Beer Festival

Last month I went to the Folio Weekly Beer Festival, featuring regional beer choices and food trucks. I should have gotten the all-you-can-drink pass because each pour was only 4 ounces. I spent time in a few long lines, and then gravitated to the shorter ones.

I liked the two I had from Green Room Brewing Company: Diamond and Pablo Beach Pale Ale. I had an Aardwolf that I really liked, but I unfortunately can’t remember the name or type. For the first time ever, I had a Founders I *didn’t* like (All Day IPA). I’ve loved every other Founders I’ve had, though. This one was a bit rough—a bit too harsh.

I liked the Big Storm Brewing I had (Arcus IPA). I had a Unibrou I liked (Ephemere Pomme). It was light and fruity. The Big Nose IPA was a solid choice from Swamp Head Brewing Company. I was quite happy with the Southern Tier selection, “Live.”

The food was really good; I love me some food trucks. I had a carnita and a sausage dog with Duke’s Brown Ale sauce, onions and peppers.

Of course, this being Florida, it had to storm for 20 minutes. That thinned out the crowd, though, which meant I could go back for more beer with little time waiting.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusFacebooktwittergoogle_plus

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeinstagram

What’s Next for Washington

otwoa1Washington DC was late into the brewery game, but that is not stopping it from being a hot bed for brewing today. One of the most well known breweries in the area and in the District is DC Brau. Their well known and widely popular flagship beer is On The Wings of Armageddon. Released in 2012 for the Mayan Apocalypse, this is a single hopped beer made using the Falconer’s Flight hop that clocks in at 9.2% ABV that packs a pungent aroma and blistering bitterness, but manages to remain quite balanced. It has been said by some, mainly myself, that this beer can stand toe to toe with Heady Topper. With a highly sought after beer that can legitimately be compared to Heady, you would think the echelon on brewing in DC would end there, but not so fast.


Right Proper Brewing Company:

right-proper-brewing-logo
Located the Shaw Community of Washington, DC, Right Proper is the relatively new kid on the block, but they are making plenty noise with their beer. According to their website, their purpose is to make good beer, but also to fill a void that the District has been missing. From their website:

“We built Right Proper to be a brewery with heart and soul, a neighborhood gathering place that makes and serves fresh beer alongside delicious food that won’t break the bank. The brew pub is the creation of DC beer guru Thor Cheston, head brewer Nathan Zeender and John Snedden, founder and owner of Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company.

We picked a location that would be part of a community, where those who live nearby will stop in to meet friends for a beer and a bite. Established on the spot where Frank Holiday’s Pool Hall once stood — and where Duke Ellington learned how to play jazz as a teenager – Right Proper next to the Howard Theater stands proud as part of the real Washington.”

Right Proper seems to lean more towards Belgian styles such as Saisons and Farmhouse and they are doing a fantastic job with it. They brew classic styles via classic methods and brew using various fermentation techniques along with secondary and tertiary fermenting. With no beers that lean toward being too big, everything at Right Proper is very approachable and is true to the style in which they were intended. Refreshing and appropriate is the name of the game with these guys.

Along with great beer, they are serving up killer food. According to them:

“Right Proper’s kitchen turns out comfort food with a Southern accent. Led by Head Chef Robert Cain, the kitchen crew focuses on the marriage of food and beer. Some dishes are made with beer; some dishes are made for beer. All are made for your enjoyment.”

I can speak from first hand experience that their grilled cheese sandwich is absolutely KILLER, not only in taste, but also in looks. If you want yours dripping with cheese down the sides and would make grilled cheeses in every elementary school from Portland, ME to San Diego, CA jealous, then this is your place. Being from South Carolina, I did not think that finding good chicken livers in Washington, DC would be possible, but to my chagrin, Right Proper proved me wrong. Great beer being served up with great food in a neighborhood that provides the quintessential “just hanging out with friends this evening drinking beer” feel is where Right Proper seems to be excelling. If you find yourself in Washington, DC, make it a point to check out this brewery and you will not be disappointed.

Other Notable Area Breweries:

Atlas Brewing (DC)

Three Stars (DC)

Chocolate City (DC)

Port City (Alexandria, VA)

Mad Fox (Falls Church, VA)

Adroit Theory (Purcellville, VA)

Lost Rhino (Leesburg, VA)

Forge Brew Works (Lorton, VA)

BadWolf Brewing (Manassas, VA)

Heritage Brewing (Manassas, VA)

Old Bust Head (Fauquier, VA)

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusFacebooktwittergoogle_plus

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeinstagram