St. Boniface Brewing – Paideia Pale Ale – Pun intended

Paideia Pale Ale
St. Boniface Brewing Company (Ephrata, PA)

Style: American Pale Ale
Hops: Single Hop brewed with Citra
Malts: Blend of Malts
Availability:  Year Around Cans and Crowlers (Tap Room)
5% ABV, 55 IBUs
Glassware: Pint Glass

The name Paideia (pai·deia – (/pˈdə/;[1] Greek: παιδεία) is a Greek word to define the Culture and Education of a Society, Members of the polis. Which was valued for its effect on the body alongside the moral education which the Greeks believed; what was said to be a well-rounded Greek.  It “moulded” to the ideal of  kalos kagathos, “beautiful and good.”

The name is a perfect description for this well-rounded and beautifully brewed Pale Ale.

St. Boniface did an excellent job getting amazing flavors in the Paideia. This 5% ABV beer is definitely a successful brew that will make even hard core Hop Heads happy. It looks and tastes good.  Paideia, along with many other great beers St. Boniface is brewing, shows why they have had a steady growing brewery and the reason they came a long way from their small space in the old 1 Barrel brewery downtown Ephrata to their new 15 Barrel Brew House and Tap Room not very far from their old location.


Pour this from the can into a glass and with its wonderful golden color and nice frosty thick head this beer looks worthy of a beautiful Greek Goddess.


The Aroma has some biscuit malts and a nice pull of citrus with Clementine and nectarine notes and fruity hop from the Citra, it feels like a Greek Island summer.


It’s not too sweet and still has a very tropical fruit flavor that reminds me of Clementine and peach with a balanced back of biscuit and English Malts and bittersweet finish.


It is a good medium, between American and English Pale Ale. This beer was sure to change Dionysus mind and name beer as the new drink of the gods. Its light to medium body with a nice amount of carbonation makes it very drinkable.

Overall Impression:

As the name Paideia denotes. It’s a well-rounded beer of the polis that would certainly receive a hop wreath on its Odyssey.

St. Boniface offers Crowlers and Growlers pour so you can always enjoy their seasonal or one Offs.



photo by: Gil Melo




Friday Night Hangout – #IPAday

FNH - IPAday

Friday Night Hangout – #IPAday – We’re Still Celebrating

Thursday, August 6, 2015 is #IPAday and we are in celebration mode on our #FridayNightHangout episode 170.

Back in late March through early April we explored the Ale, from Pale Ale all the way up to the big Imperial IPAs.  And now it’s looking like that was just a homework assignment, a training session for #IPAday 2015.

IPA is always a great style of craft beer to dive into and we’re super happy #IPAday is here so we can dive right back into the style.

For a breakdown of the India Pale Ale you can click the links below to our previous shows.

Friday Night Hangout

Join us Friday, August 7, 2015 for #FridayNightHangout Episode 170.

Share Your Thoughts

Are you an IPA fan?  Are you newer to craft beer and haven’t yet made the leap into hoppy gloriousness?

Share with us your IPA experiences. Drop us a comment below or head on over to our Google Plus Event Page or our YouTube Page and comment there and look for us to share your comments on air.

We love sharing our new craft beer experiences and love to hear from others.

#FNHBeer Style: #IPAday

What To Watch

Friday Night Hangout Posts:

Friday Night Hangout YouTube Playlist

Craft Beer Nation Ale Series




Friday Night Hangout – Lambic

FNH - LAMBIC - CBNFriday Night Hangout – LAMBIC

It’s time to take a virtual visit to the Pajottenland region of Belgium and explore the Lambic.

Brewing Process

Lambic is produced by spontaneous fermentation, by exposing the beer to wild yeast and bacteria.  This unpredictable process gives the Lambic its distinctive flavors.

Lambic runs the gambit from dry and cidery to funky and sour and might be a good and interesting way to introduce your red wine drinkers to beer.

Lambic is mostly wheat, a combination of malted barley and unmalted wheat (approx. 60-40 percent).  The wort is cooled overnight in a flat pan and left exposed to the elements so all of those wonderful microorganisms can perform their magic. Here you will find, amongst a horde of other microorganisms the wonderful Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces pastorianus and Brettanomyces bruxellensis.

You can find Lambic being brewed and fermented in the colder parts of the year.

Where are the Hops?

The Lambic is interesting is how hops play a role.  Unlike many other beer styles where the hop can be an aromatic or flavor star, here they are used mainly for their natural preservative qualities.  The bittering, aroma and flavors imparted are still there but in the background.


One key component of the Lambic that makes it into the bottle is it is a blend of multiple Lambic beers.

There are currently 9 breweries brewing the Lambic wort within the Senne Valley and four lambic blenders who buy the wort from breweries to age in their own barrels and then make their custom blends.

The brewers take their various Lambic batches and blend them to get just the flavor they want and that is what goes into the bottle.

Lambic comes in a few different variations these days.


Cantillon_Classic_Gueuze - photo by Doug Nolan

Cantillon_Classic_Gueuze – photo by Doug Nolan

A mixture of a young and an old Lambic.  The younger Lambic undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle.  A gueuze can ferment up to a year before being shipped out for sale.  This version of the Lambic can often have a shelf life of up to 20 years.  The gueuze is also carbinated and champagne like.  Expect something dry and musty and barnyard with some acidic sour thrown in for good meausure.


Popular versions of the style


Lindemans Faro - photo by Gil Melo

Lindemans Faro – photo by Gil Melo

A sweetened beer featuring a blend of Lambic and a young beer with brown sugar added in, this low-alcohol beer is meant as an easy day drinker.



Lambicx_2011_2013 – photo by Charles Dunkley

This a Belgian beer was traditionally created by fermenting Lambic with sour Morello cherries. These days many breweries will use different cherries or even things like cherry juice and sugar.

Popular versions of the style:

There is a debate amongst some regarding the Kriek and the turning away of some brewers from cherries to fruit juice.  This is to be expected whenever time honored brewing traditions come face to face with market realities.  An interesting experiment might be to gather up a group of Kriek Lambic and divide them into the various categories of real fruit vs. juice and do a taste test to see if there is any discernable difference.

Even better, do a blind taste test and then see which ones came out on top.

Either way, finding interesting ways to go out and try more beers sounds like a science experiment just waiting.

Friday Night Hangout

Join us Friday, July 31, 2015 for #FridayNightHangout Episode 169.


Share Your Thoughts

Have you explored the Lambic yet? Have you been fortunate enough to find yourself in that region and stopped in and had any at their source?

Share with us your Lambic experiences. Drop us a comment below or head on over to our Google Plus Event Page or our YouTube Page and comment there and look for us to share your comments on air.

We love sharing our new craft beer experiences and love to hear from others.

#FNHBeer Style: LAMBIC

What To Watch

Friday Night Hangout Posts:

Friday Night Hangout YouTube Playlist



Friday Night Hangout – Hybrid Beers

FNH - HYBRID - YouTube - CBN

For episode 165 of our Friday Night Hangout we are exploring the Hybrid Beer Category, which consists of the following:

  • Kolsch
  • Altbier
  • California Common

Hybrid beers are just that, a hybrid of Ale and Lager.  Sometimes these are Lagers with Ale yeast or Ales with Lager yeast.  Either way, they provide flavor profiles and brewing techniques from both sides of the fermentation spectrum.

If you have a favorite or an opinion on the style drop us a comment below or join us Friday, July 03, 2015 at 10:00PM Eastern for our live Hangout On Air, hosted on our Google+ Event Page and on our YouTube Page. Drop us a note here or G+ or YouTube letting us know your thoughts on the HYBRID. Do you have a favorite? Or do you walk right past them on the shelves?  We will be keeping an eye there to share comments live on air.

We want to hear from you.

#FNHBeer style: Hybrid

We’ll see which selections show up for tonight’s show.  And if you’re wondering what would be a prime example of a Hybrid Beer?

Perhaps one of the most famous Hyrbids falls under the California Common. style: Anchor Steam Beer:

Anchor Steam Beer (linked from Anchor’s website)



Avery Brewing – 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!



Friday Night Hangout – Double IPA

Craft Beer Nation - Friday Night Hangout - Ep. 153 -DIPA

Craft Beer Nation – Friday Night Hangout – Ep. 153 -DIPA

Friday, April 10, 2015 we wrap up our Pale Ale journey with Episode 153 and the Double India Pale Ale. This is also become known as the Imperial IPA as some breweries package theirs as Triple IPAs.

We were going to break Double and Triple out into their own Episodes but since Triple IPA isn’t really a recognized style (that and the availability of the few marketed that way isn’t widespread enough for our Panel to all get their hands on) we’re combining them for this episode.

While the IPA may be the rock star of the Craft Beer world, for hop heads it is the DIPA that really reigns supreme. The IPA today is more like the Pale Ale of yesteryear. If we are in the mood for Hops. We are in the mood for HOPS!

Pack them in there. We want the nose to send us off to some tropical paradise. We want the citrus and mango and pineapples to rampage across our palate.

But that doesn’t mean we want only hops. A big Imperial IPA needs to have a robust Malt backbone to balance it out. A DIPA that’s only Hops quickly fades into an unbalanced mess. A proper Malt presence really is key to a great beer.


In the world of the DIPA or Imperial IPA there is The Big Three:

Russian River – Pliny the Elder
Alchemist – Heady Topper
Bell’s – Hopslam

Whenever talk makes it way around to the DIPA these are the three beers most often spoken of. Personally I’ve only ever had Hopslam out of the three so I can’t speak for whether or not they are all deserving of this accolade.

Note: Anyone interested in sending me some Pliney or Heady to see if they are worth the hype, feel free to let me know.

I’ve had Hopslam twice. The 2014 Hopslam was my first taste. I could see why this beer had the hype surrounding it but was underwhelmed. And then I had the 2015 Hopslam and it blew me away. I’m guessing last year must have been an off year because the 2015 is phenomenal.

Now, that said, I have a DIPA and an Imperial IPA marketed as a Triple that I would both rank above Hopslam, but this is personal preference on my part.

Sixpoint Resin – IIPA

Sixpoint - Resin - DIPA

Sixpoint – Resin – DIPA


Sixpoint Hi-Res – IIIPA

Sixpoint - Hi-Res - IIIPA

Sixpoint – Hi-Res – IIIPA


I will drink these two beers over Hopslam any day. Where Hopslam gets its unique spin on the Imperial IPA with its addition of honey, Resin and Hi-Res are all about that big piney, resin. That bitter citrus. But both have a strong malt backbone that keeps either from going over the cliff.

Side By Side

Sixpoint Hi-Res and Bells Hopslam

Sixpoint Hi-Res and Bells Hopslam

I recently did a side by side comparison with Hi-Res and Hopslam and they were strikingly similar.  Hi-Res wins out for me with its far more enjoyable finish.  Hopslam leaves my palate with an odd aftertaste whereas Hi-Res leaves it clean and wanting more.

Noteable Double / Imperal IPAs

Lagunitas – Lagunitas Sucks
Dogfish Head – 90 Minute IPA
Dogfish Head – 120 Minute IPA
Surly – Abrasive
Firestone Walker – Double Jack IPA

There are way too many great DIPAs to list here. Your mission: go and seek them out. If you like Hops but haven’t made the deep dive into these waters yet now is the time to go for it.

Join us Friday, April 10, 2015 at 10:00PM Eastern for our live Hangout On Air, hosted on our Google+ Event Page and on our Ep. 153 YouTube Page. Drop us a note here or G+ or YouTube letting us know your thoughts on the DIPA.

We want to hear from you.

You can watch the replay here:

#FNHBeer style: DIPA

Related Articles:

Friday Night Hangout – Pale Ale
Friday Night Hangout – India Pale Ale




Friday Night Hangout – India Pale Ale

FNH - IPA - YouTube - CBN


Friday, April 3, 2015 will be Craft Beer Nation Friday Night Hangout Episode 152 – IPA.

INDIA PALE ALE is perhaps the most well known style of craft beer.  Or at least it is the one with the most name recognition.  From the dedicated craft beer drinker to the macro beer drinker wondering what this “craft” beer thing is all about, to the hipsters who don’t really know a lot about craft beer but order it because that’s what they feel they should be doing, the IPA is probably the most selected style.

Especially here in America.  The American Pale Ale dominates the craft beer market.  If you brew beer you had better brew an IPA because that is going to be a big seller, if, of course, you brew a good one.

There’s many a history lesson out there about the India Pale Ale.   Born out of the old colonial British Empire this style has morphed into what it is today.  The IPA is another great example of American ingenuity and desire to put our stamp on something that’s been around as long as we have as a nation.

Today, the IPA falls into two main camps:  English IPA and American IPA

English IPA

The English IPA is characterized by a more balanced presence between Hop and Malt and is often little lower in ABV% than the American IPA.  While the hoppy bitterness is there, the caramel malts are right there with it.

English IPA examples:
Commodore Perry IPAGreat Lakes Brewing Co.
Brooklyn East IPABrooklyn Brewery
Harpoon IPAHarpoon Brewery

American IPA

In contrast the American IPA is a big bold beast of a beer.  These are bitter beers with a strong floral or citrus hop character.  The west coast IPA in particular is known for it’s grapefruit and other citrus elements.

American IPA examples:
Lagunitas IPALagunitas Brewing
Sculpin IPABallast Point Brewing
Jai Alai IPACigar City Brewing
Stone IPAStone Brewing
60 Minute IPADogfish Head Brewing


Join us Friday, April 3, 2015 at 10:00PM Eastern for our live Hangout On Air, hosted on our Google+ Event Page and on our YouTube Page.  Drop us a note here or G+ or YouTube letting us know your thoughts on the IPA.  Do you have a favorite?  Do you hate the style and think it is way over blown?  Has the market just become way over-saturated with IPAs?

We want to hear from you.

You can watch the replay here:

#FNHBeer style: IPA

Editors note: This is for the Single IPA.  Upcoming Episodes 153 and 154 will feature the Double IPA and the Triple IPA



Friday Night Hangout – Pale Ale

FNH - Pale Ale (1)







On Friday, March 27, 2015 Craft Beer Nation will be celebrating Friday Night Hangout Episode 151 with the Pale Ale and a slightly revamped FNH 2.0 formula. For the most part the show will be what it has been: drinking and discussing a different style of Craft Beer each week. However, we’ve decided to concentrate a bit more on providing useful and interesting content and less shenanigans.

Going forward throughout the week we will be posting about that week’s FNH style leading up to our show on Friday evenings. We also want to hear from you. We want you to share your thoughts, pics, reviews on each week’s FNH beer style.

We’re also very interested in hearing your feedback. What do you like or dislike about the show?  Without us hearing from you we don’t know if we are delivering content you find interesting and useful.  And if you have any suggestions for a segment please let us know.  Also, very soon we will be giving you the chance to choose an upcoming FNH craft beer style. Bottom line: we want to know what you like or dislike about each week’s style. We want you to be involved and have your comments shared.

So, we’ve had a blast finishing up 150 episodes and now we look forward to many more.

Reminder: This week’s #FNHbeer is PALE ALE.  So share with us your thoughts on the style.



Fruit Beer


Fruit beer is a style that takes on a lot of different meanings. It also gets a pretty rough reputation from beer-to-beer and person-to-person. I’ve run into people who claim they do not like fruit beer as they are finishing pint after pint of an IPA with an apricot addition or something similar. It is another style that many people just do not fully understand.

Do we need to start by defining what goes into a fruit beer? The BJCP makes one thing pretty clear on just a quick glance at the 2008 guidelines:


To truly get a grasp on this “style,” you must really have a base understanding of all the other styles. You must understand the nuances of the listed style and see how the fruit addition either complements or contrasts the base beer. What is important to judging and brewing a fruit beer is first taking the base beer into consideration. You cannot have a good fruit beer with a bad base. One thing that should be considered with any fruit additions to a style of beer is that some combinations may work really well, while others do not make very good beer at all.

While in the 2008 BJCP guidelines, Fruit Beer was a catchall for any beer brewed with fruit that wasn’t already classically defined, the 2014 Draft Guidelines break Fruit Beer into three subcategories. Fruit Beer, Fruit and Spice Beer, and Specialty Fruit Beer essentially account for any variation of fruit additions that can be made.

Let’s take a look at each of the new subcategories and see what fits into them:

The Fruit Beer category is for beer made with any fruit or combination of fruit under the definitions of this category. The culinary, not botanical, definition of fruit is used here – fleshy, seed-associated structures of plants that are sweet or sour, and edible in the raw state. Examples include pomme fruit (apple, pear, quince), stone fruit (cherry, plum, peach, apricot, mango, etc.), berries (any fruit with the word ‘berry’ in it, currants), citrus fruit, dried fruit (dates, prunes, raisins, etc.), tropical fruit (banana, pineapple, guava, papaya, etc.), figs, pomegranate, prickly pear, etc. It does not mean spices, herbs, vegetables, nuts (anything with ‘nut’ in the name, including coconut), coffee, chocolate, ginger, roses, rhubarb, or botanical fruit (squash, chiles, beets, etc.) that are treated as culinary vegetables (see the definition of spices, herbs, and vegetables in Category 30 for detail). Basically, if you have to justify a fruit using the word ‘technically’ as part of the description, then that’s not what we mean. (BJCP Guidelines, 2014)

In subcategory 29A (Fruit Beer), what is really important to a fruit beer is overall balance. That is not to say you cannot have a big fruit flavor in your favorite style of beer. What it means is that the fruit should not overwhelm the character of the original beer you are trying to brew (though you need to take into consideration that certain elements of a beer will take a different form with the addition of fruit.) Your bitterness may seem different, your malt character might be a touch muted or accentuated, your hops and yeast can also become a different animal. Judging this style can be tricky based on these facts. You have to understand how the fruit addition will play in the finished product. The biggest thing that you want to avoid is the addition of fruit to where its character becomes artificial.

In 29B (Fruit and Spice Beer), we have the same characteristics of a fruit beer; the colors in lighter beers can mimic the fruit to a degree. The fruit is evident in the aroma—though the intensity of said aroma can vary or be nondescript—as well as the fruit flavor in the beer. But we also get an addition of spice to accentuate the fruit and base beer style. This can lead to a number of harmonious marriages that awaken a new sense of lust on the palate. This subcategory also shares a bit of space with 30A, SHV Beer, so take into consideration how you would differentiate a beer placed here, vs 29A or 30A.

Subcategory 29C gets a little complex. What is a Specialty Fruit Beer? Isn’t a fruit beer a specialty all in its own? Well, if your fruit beer has an additional process or ingredient added, such as the addition of honey or brown sugar, this is where your beer belongs. Though, if you cannot pull out what makes your beer fit into this category, despite what your recipe says, throw it into 29A for best results. Your addition of invert sugar may sound good on paper, but if it fails to come through in the final product, an otherwise good beer may be discounted for not living up to expectations.

Fruit can really bring out some interesting characteristics in beer. It can brighten up dull flavors and bring a new layer of complexity to already great beers. Adding fruit can prove difficult at times, and some fruits work better than others. Some fruits work well in one style but not so well in another. There is a wide range of enjoyment that can come from doing something so basic as combining a few of your favorite things, but going over all of that is better suited for another time.



The Old Ale

by Allen Huerta

Old Ale…what is it? A beer? Old beer? Old IPA? English Barleywine? Small Stouts? A beer at all? Dark & malty? Sweet & sour? The basis of the IPA we know today?

Some home brewers that are out there brewing this style don’t even know. The BJCP, in 2008, defined the style as:

“An ale of significant alcohol strength, bigger than strong bitters and brown porters, though usually not as strong or rich as a barleywine. Usually tilted toward a sweeter, maltier balance.”

In the 2014 BJCP Draft Guidelines, the text is cleaned up a bit, but reads essentially the same. There has been a better definition as to what characteristics are acceptable, even if they may normally be considered faults. Some of the commercial examples that are on the market today taste amazing, but they miss out on key characteristics of the style.

The Old Ale is a somewhat historic style. Ales of this magnitude were typically brewed for special occasions and used the best ingredients that brewers could get their hands on. At this time strong ales were a direct representation of the best beer a brewery could make. They were often preserved for special occasions: weddings, anniversaries, and even coronations. Some of these beers were put into casks and cellared for quite a long time. These beers came to be known as “Old”, “Stale”, “Stock”, or “Keeping” ales. Some versions were just aged Mild Ales from a time when a Mild was of considerably higher alcoholic strength. These versions of Stock Ales were often blended with young mild ale at the bar to suit individual consumer taste.

Some of these beers would pick up the character of spontaneously fermented ales; notes that are associated with other well-known styles that were wood-aged and “Lambic-like.” A way some brewers would distinguish their Old Ale from other strong ales was by the introduction of adjuncts. Higher proportions of sugars, molasses, treacle, or invert sugar would be added along with ingredients such as flaked barley, wheat, or maize to enhance the body of the beer.

There are a few out there that say you can’t make an Old Ale without treacle. Others think that it only lends a distinct flavor profile in the finished beer and it is not required for a great example of the style. The 2014 Draft Guidelines make no specific mention of treacle as a required element. However, what they do point out is that an impression of age is a key factor, regardless of how the brewer decides to interpret that.

Common characteristics of age, as listed, are: complexity, lactic, Brett, oxidation, leather, vinous quality, etc. It is also noted that, “Even if these qualities are otherwise faults, if the resulting character of the beer is still pleasantly drinkable and complex, then those characteristics are acceptable. In no way should those allowable characteristics be interpreted as making an undrinkable beer as somehow in style.”

Between the two versions of the guidelines, the Old Ale has just been better defined, not changed. The only notable difference is the OG has been adjusted a few points, and the ABV as well to stay in line. Hopefully the clarification of the style will lead everyone to further enjoy Old Ales and lead both brewers and drinkers to branch out and try something new. In the words of the late Michael Jackson, “It should be a warming beer of the type that is best drunk in half pints by a warm fire on a cold winter’s night.” Consider that the next time you are looking at bottles on the shelf or deciding what style you want to brew.