Archive for the ‘Beer’ Category

GABF – Local Winners

Monday, October 13th, 2008

Congratulations go out to all the local boys in representing another great year at the Great American Beer Festival!

 GABF

Category: 5 Herb and Spice or Chocolate Beer – 72 Entries
Silver: Pangaea, Dogfish Head Brewery, Milton, DE

Category: 7 Specialty Beer – 21 Entries
Gold: Red & White, Dogfish Head Brewery, Milton, DE
Bronze: Palo Santo Marron, Dogfish Head Brewery, Milton, DE

Category: 8 Rye Beer – 24 Entries
Gold: Roggenbier, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Phoenixville, PA
Silver: Right On Rye, Rock Bottom Brewery – Bethesda, Bethesda, MD

Category: 18 Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer – 27 Entries
Gold: Beekeeper, Bullfrog Brewery, Williamsport, PA
Silver: Cherry Dubbel, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – North Wales, PA

Category: 21 Smoke-Flavored Beer – 31 Entries
Gold: Rauch Bier, Sly Fox Brewing Co., Royersford, PA

Category: 23 German-Style Pilsener – 44 Entries
Gold: Kaiser Pilsner, Pennsylvania Brewing Co., Pittsburgh, PA
Bronze: Prima Pils, Victory Brewing Co., Downingtown, PA

Category: 26 Dortmunder or German-Style Oktoberfest – 16 Entries
Bronze: Penn Oktoberfest, Pennsylvania Brewing Co., Pittsburgh, PA

Category: 30 Vienna-Style Lager – 28 Entries
Gold: Vienna Red Lager, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Newark, DE
Bronze: Clipper City MarzHon, Clipper City Brewing Co., Baltimore, MD

Category: 31 German-Style Märzen – 48 Entries
Gold: Dogtoberfest, Flying Dog Brewery, Frederick, MD

Category: 32 American-Style Amber Lager – 43 Entries
Silver: Old Scratch Amber Lager, Flying Dog Brewery, Frederick, MD

Category: 40 German-Style K̦lsch Р42 Entries
Gold: Wind Blown Blonde, Stewart’s Brewing Co., Bear, DE

Category: 52 Scottish-Style Ale – 24 Entries
Gold: Highland Courage, Rock Bottom Brewery – Bethesda, MD
Bronze: Railbender Ale, Erie Brewing Co., Erie, PA

Category: 60 French- and Belgian-Style Saison – 37 Entries
Gold: Saison, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – West Chester, PA
Silver: Saison, Nodding Head Brewing Co., Philadelphia, PA

Category: 62 Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale – 29 Entries
Gold: Lambic de Hill, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Media, PA
Bronze: Cassis de Hill, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant – Wilmington, DE

Category: 69 American-Style Stout – 23 Entries
Bronze: Troegs Dead Reckoning, Troegs Brewery, Harrisburg, PA

Category: 73 Strong Scotch Ale – 38 Entries
Bronze: Bag Pipe’s Scotch Ale, Allentown/Bethlehem Brew Works, Allentown, PA

Category: 75 Barley Wine-Style Ale – 55 Entries
Bronze: Scratch #4 “The Flying Mouflan”, Troegs Brewery, Harrisburg, PA

2008 Michael Jackson Beer Journalism Award Winners:
Trade and Specialty Beer Media – Lew Bryson

So on Saturday (10.11.08) was the GABF and it looks like there was a lot of Mid-Atlantic action in there, especially from our local favorite Iron Hill Brewery – all of their locations! A couple to me that are stand outs are Sly Fox taking a gold in the smoked beers, which notoriously goes to Alaskan Brewery’s Smoked Porter year after year, Victory taking a bronze in the German-Style Pilsner for their Prima Pils where they have usually done really well but were beaten last year by Sly Fox with their Pikeland Pils, Stewart’s going two years in a row with a gold in the German-Style Kolsch which is awesome especially on the system they brew on it makes it really sick, and Iron Hill taking three in the Saison, Lambic or Sour beers (I know I combined two categories), WOW that was inpressive.

Very good job all around, and I can’t wait to sample and re-sample many of these beers. Congrats to Lew Bryson too for winner one of the Journalism Awards there too, nice local writer/beer geek.

2008 Dogfish Head Bocce Tournament

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

So last Saturday (09.27.08) I was down at Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, DE for the 4th Annual Intergalactic Bocce Tournament, and it was ridiculous.

If you want to see the rest of my pictures click here.

This is one of those events where I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s see here. We were invited down again for the entire weekend, Friday and Saturday, but because we all have jobs we were only able to go for Saturday so the band could play, but we did leave Friday night to head down early since Dogfish Head had hooked us up with a hotel room for the weekend. This year the rooms were in the Brighton Suites which is where we stayed last NYE and this coming one also. It’s funny, the rooms are never in the same hotel two years in a row, I wonder what that says about the bocce teams. When we got to the room it was probably close to 10PM, and after checking everything out discovered that there were two 4-packs of DFH Palo Santo Marron beer in the fridge – shweet! So we cracked a beer a piece and then went on down to the brewpub, about three blocks away or so and chilled out for a while.

When Saturday came we all hopped in the van and went on over to the brewery in Milton, about a 30 minute drive. We showed up at just about noon and started unloading the equipment. This year DFH had two tents set-up outside and they had kind of reserved one of them for the band, really cool. So after the band was set-up and sound-checked they began their first of four sets. Each set was probably about an hour and fifteen minutes, so it was about five hours of playing interspersed with beer breaks, including 60 Minute, Black & Blue, and World Wide Stout. While the band was playing I mostly just hung out with the freaks and watched bocce, but as more and more teams dropped out of the tournament (double elimination) there was more and more stuff to do. By the end we had my Cornhole set set-up in the brewery and had almost a mini Cornhole tournament going on.

Some of the other side stuff DFH had set-up this year to keep everyone entertained was a graffiti contest with sidewalk chalk, a breakdancing competition, and a very heated costume contest. In the past all the teams had themes and most of them wore costumes, but it had started to get a little lax with teams just wearing like T-shirts with their team names on them and stuff. So supposedly in the email that went out to the teams they stressed that it was going to be much more important this year to roll with their themes, and boy did some of the teams bring it. Some of the team names I can remember are: El Borracho Mariachi (mariachi theme), Beer Junta (army theme?), Bocce Beer Monks (monks), Mama’s Roast Beef (purple freaks), Alpha Males (Jimmy Buffet), Midas Touch My Balls (old guys), Bonsai Bocce (Karate Kid), Holy Rollers (religious figures), Pallino Pimps (pimps), Punkin Drublic (pumpkin/punks), Catbird Ass Brewery (chicken chokers?), Don’t Touchdown There (Eagles), and Sam’s Team (Village People). The freakin’ old guys from MTMB were ridiculous. Not only were they in costumes, but they were in full character, especially two of them. They had gone so far as to shave the tops of their heads so they looked like old guys with major receding hair lines and wore Depends adult diapers – they were just out of control.

At one point the band had sent out an email saying if any of the teams were interested in requesting a song that they would take it into consideration and see what they could do. They received one email back with one request. The Bonsai Bocce team requested any song from the Karate Kid movies. The Erik Mitchell Band thought it was great and went through the effort to learn Joe Esposito’s “You’re the Best Around“. It’s so funny, this song keeps getting stuck in my head ever since they learned it. They did a great job pulling it off in there own way, and everyone at the bocce tournament loved it. It was funny to later on hear people singing it. The band also did the 2008 version of the Bocce Song which is basically an off-the-cuff song Mitchell pulls out of his ass which is freakin’ hilarious. This year he basically gave props to Audrey (the person who organizes the tournament) and then systematically went through each team and several individual players and ripped them. It might sound a little mean, but he does it in good humor and everyone is laughing, so I think all are on the same page.

Near the end of the tournament the band was just wrapping up their fourth set when the cops showed it. It was pretty funny to see Sam walk down to talk to the cop wearing his tight Village People police outfit talking to the real cop. Basically from what I can gather the cops came on a noise complaint because of the band, but he was cool and let the band play one more song. So, for their final song they played “Every Rose Has a Thorn” and invited up anyone who would like to sing along (see above photo). It was too funny seeing everyone singing along, pimps, Jebus, old dudes, monks, Eagles, the band – too funny. After that we packed up the band gear and put the van and gear away for the night. It was just in time to watch the last two games of bocce between Sam’s Team and the Bonsai Bocce crew. Sam’s Team actually beat Bonsai Bocce twice in a row (remember, double elimination), so theoretically they were the winners, but Sam announced that they would not accept the awards (four cases of vintage DFH beer) and gave them to Bonsai Bocce and basically pimped the praises of Bonsai Bocce all night. After that we all loaded into two buses and went back to the brewpub for dinner and the awards ceremony.

To say what I tried to describe is just the tip-of-the-iceberg is about all I can say. Go through the pictures, read the set list, watch the videos – this weekend is simply retarded in the best way possible. And I think as long as there isn’t any trouble that follows from the police showing up, I think the band (and me) will be invited back next year for the five year anniversary. This is my favorite beer event that I get to participate in every year.

If you want to check out more on the band go to Erik’s MySpace page here. There is plenty of band information plus if you look on the left side where he posts his set lists you can see the full scoop of what they played. There is also a video of the band playing “You’re the Best Around” on his page or here. Also, the “Unofficial Dogfish Head Photographer” Jess Daleiden was kind enough to forward links to the pictures she took and has given me permission to post links to her photos. So if you want to see a couple hundred good photos and not just my crappy drunken ones, then here are the Friday pictures and the Saturday pictures from Jess, thank you!

Dogfish Dash 2008

Sunday, September 28th, 2008
OK, so I’m a little behind in any new posts, but I am going to try and make that up this week and play a little catch-up.
Dogfish Dash 2008

So last weekend (09.21.08) was the 3rd Annual Dogfish Dash. The Dogfish Dash is a 5k/10k charity run that aids the Delaware Nature Conservancy and is set-up/run-by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Above is the front and back of the shirts that were given out, as far as running shirts go these were pretty cool. Robert and I have run the 10k the last three years, so that’s pretty cool. The first year we both were in no shape to run because of a long night the night before, and the second year we both were in great shape and got to really enjoy the after run festivities back at the brewpub. This year, well, we still haven’t learned our lesson.

So we went down on Saturday so that I could pick up my race packet since I pre-registered and stop by the pub and have a couple beers then call it an earlier night. And, that’s how it started. After we had already left the pub and were waiting for a NIc-o-boli to eat and then head back to the beach house, that’s when things changed. We received a phone call that one of our friends, Steve “the Hammer” and his new wife Monica (congratulations), was having their wedding reception like three blocks from where we were and that we were welcomed to swing by. I’m not going to go into details here, but let’s just say in the long run that heading back at 8PM tuned into 1AM and the additional five hours of drinking in between – long night.

So, the next morning, the morning of the race, came way to early. We were out of the beach house and heading back to Dogfish Head by 7AM. To say I wasn’t feeling well is putting it mildly and was reminded in the car ride over what it was I ate the night before if you catch my drift. After we parked and walked up we had about two minutes before the race started, I decided I was going to go for it anyway. Very slow pace, but I did run the whole 10k without a re-run of the car ride over. The other exciting thing that happened during the run was between like mile 1 and 2 some how a bee hive got disturbed and there were some seriously pissed off bees on the trail. I made it by them OK, but Robert got jacked up! I think the final count was that he got stung 11 times and still had to run 4 miles! No one really knows what happened, but to say he’s a little bee shy now is an understatement.

After the run we went back to the pub and thought about having some breakfast and beers, but between the pain he was in and the state I was in we decided against it. OK, not true, I got one beer, got about three sips in and had to take a fast walk outside and around the corner to find some room to relieve myself of that beer. So we basically left and came home at that point, one of the longest rides home ever, for both of us.

So, on a side note, hopefully some things to look forward to me posting on this week are more kegging, more beer gun information, up coming competitions, new “fermentation chamber”, magazine reviews, DFH Bocce Tournament, and after this weekend Kennett Square Brewfest.

Iron Hill Oktoberfest Dinner

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

So last night (09.17.08) Karen and I were invited to sample Iron Hill’s new seasonal themed dinner, their Oktoberfest dinner.

Iron Hill Oktoberfest 1

All of the Iron Hill locations do a rotating two course seasonal dinner. During the summer they had a lobster clam bake and now for the fall it’s there interpretation of an Oktoberfest meal. I believe the normal routine is for it to be two courses, an appetizer and a main entrée, for typically $20 with suggested seasonal beer pairings for an additional $2.50 a piece. I think the beer used to be included and the price used to be slightly higher, but I’m not positive.

So for the Oktoberfest dinner the first course was a German “salad” and looked delicious. It was a large helping of lentils that were seasoned very nicely, some sort of bitter greens (thus the salad), and two different sausages all lightly drizzled in a sweetened course mustard sauce. The lentils, sausage, and mustard all went together well, I especially enjoyed the lighter colored sausage, I meant to ask what style it was but it slipped my mind. The greens for me were too a little too bitter, but Karen seemed to enjoy them a lot, yet I discovered that if eaten with enough lentils they went down just fine. I believe the suggested pairing with this course was Iron Hill’s newest house beer the Vienna Lager. Good beer, I’ve had it several times, but they had their Pig Iron Porter aged with vanilla beans on cask condition, and well, I enjoyed that very much.

Iron Hill Oktoberfest 2

The second course arrived shortly after the first course and looked a little hurried. It was a large serving of home-made mashed potatoes, a bunch of purple cabbage, and a moist thick-cut piece of pork tenderloin all served with an amazing ginger-snap gravy. I’m sure no chef wants to be told the high-light of the dish was the gravy, but that gravy was ridiculous, I couldn’t get enough of it. The purple of the cabbage was a nice visual accent to the dish which was otherwise shades of brown, yellow, and white, but otherwise the cabbage (or maybe a light kraut) was just OK. The mashed potatoes had potential, the flavor was quite nice and buttery, but the consistency reminded me of when you mix potatoes too long and the starches get gummy. Then there was the pork tenderloin, which was the highlight of the dish for me. It was approximately four thick slices of pork tenderloin that appeared to be seasoned and pan seared, probably finished in the oven, which retained a lot of moisture. Plus the combination of the pork and the gravy was just right. I believe the suggested pairing with this course was the seasonal Oktoberfest beer. Karen got an Oktoberfest and it was quite malty and clean, I couldn’t resist and had another Cask Vanilla Porter.

For dessert we split a single serving of vanilla ice cream. It was from Hy-Point farms, and we found out the rest of their ice cream is from Woodside Creamery, my local favorite. Toward the end of the ice cream and the end of my beer I decided to combine the two and enjoy a delicious Double Vanilla Porter Ice Cream Float – yum! Overall it was another great night at Iron Hill Brewery.

AHA Rally at Iron Hill

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

So the American Homebrewing Association (AHA) held another rally at Iron Hill in Wilmington, and it was another blast.

 AHA Rally at Iron Hill

So, I was looking for another partner in crime for the AHA event at Iron Hill in Wilmington on Friday 08.08.08. The trick is, you either had to be an AHA member or join that day before entry. The discounted entry price was $33, not too cheap, but for what you get in return not too bad. Basically you get to go to local events like this, a magazine subscription for a year, and up to 20% discount at local beer places through the AHA pub discount program, plus other random beer shwag – it’s actually pretty rad, I’ve been a member for I think 7 or 8 years. Anyway, I talked Robert into it, and helped buy him beer all night to compensate for him having to pay to get in and not me.

It was pretty cool again. Stewart’s and Ric and Eric were there, Dogfish Head and Sam and some of his brewers were there, Twin Lakes and Sam, Matt, and Jack were there, and of course Iron Hill and Mark, Brian, and Justin plus many others were all threre. I was a little surprised to not see Fordham at the event, but didn’t feel like we were missing anything, sorry Walter. Anyway, everyone was very talkative and social which made it much more fun. We got to try an early release of Stewart’s ’08 Barleywine, DFH’s Red & White and Midas Touch, Twin Lakes Route 52 Pilsner, and Iron Hill’s Heywood and Oak Aged Old Tom Old Ale. Pretty cool. After the event we hung for a while drinking Iron Hill’s West Coast Golden Ale – yummy!

Here’s what the AHA posted up before hand (abbreviated): “Dear Homebrewers and Beer Enthusiasts, The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) wants you to join us for a fantastic fun-filled event with prizes and an opportunity to meet and mingle with other beer enthusiasts at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant- with guests Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Stewart’s Brewing Co. and Twin Lakes Brewing Co. Friday August 8, 2008. Bring a friend to the event. The cost is $33 for new and renewing members. Entrance is free for current AHA members. Entrance to the event includes these opportunities: • $33 One-Year Membership to the AHA (reg. $38). • All beer proceeds will be donated to homebrew clubs in the area. • Bocce Ball Tournament.  • Special Release on tap. With your AHA Membership you also receive a Zymurgy magazine every other month, discounts at pubs across the U.S. and much much more!”

The Big LeBREWski

Monday, August 4th, 2008

Just returned from this years Belgium Comes to Cooperstown (BCTC) beer fest at Brewery Ommegang, August 1 & 2, 2008, and once again it was awesome!

The Big LeBREWski

This year the fest even had a theme/nickname, The Big LeBREWski – crazy. Anyway, last year Robert and I went up and volunteered at this even and had a really great time. So this year we wanted to volunteer again. After several unforeseen turn of events we almost didn’t get to go, we didn’t even get an affirmative answer about volunteering until only four days before the event. But, we got in and had a blast, and I guess that’s really what matters. Sorry folks, no new pictures really this year, I forgot to take pictures worse than last year. There are only about five pictures and they are all of Robert and I drinking.

So Friday morning we packed up and made a few short stops and were on the road by 8AM. No real major delays and no real time restraints on the way up since our first (and only) volunteering shift wasn’t until 4PM on Saturday. We were hoping to be able to camp in the same area as last year, but instead we camped a little bit further away. In the long run this worked out just as well with us actually camping between Empire Brewing and a campsite full of local (PA) beer writers. Friday’s pace was way lazy because we didn’t have anything we had to do. We ate some lunch, we walked around, we drank some beer, we played cornhole, we walked around, we drank some beer, we played cornhole, we ate some dinner, we walked around, we drank some beer – – are you feeling the pace of the day yet? Good times to say the least. At 10:30ish they had planned on showing The Big Lebowski on a giant blow-up 60ish foot screen outside. It was ridiculous how big this thing was. So we brought up some lawn chairs, a box of Cheez-Its and a 2007 Three Philosophers to enjoy the movie. Now, I’ve seen the movie a few times before and have always thought it to be OK, but this was just freakin’ hilarious to watch the movie in this manner. After the movie we wound up doing the same: eatin’, walkin’, drinkin’ and wound back at out tent for the night.

Saturday morning came early being awoken to the sound of some idiots setting up three tents practically on top of ours at 5AM. If I would have had any energy at that point I would have strangled them, instead I was half passed-out and basically just drifted in and out listening to them talk loudly. Then around 6AM the rain started. Now, no one likes rain when they camp, it just changes things, but I am also not afraid of the rain, but I’ll tell you what – rain never sounds louder than when you are in a tent, for real. So it basically rained from 6-9AM, just enough to make everything pretty wet and for us to try and figure out what we would do if it kept raining (being trapped in your tent is also typically very boring). So, Saturday morning and early afternoon saw a lot of the same as Friday: eatin’, walkin’, drunkin’, and cornhole. The cornhole set was a huge hit. This year we set it up closer to our tent versus last year it was closer to the car, so there was a lot more foot traffic and a lot more, “can we get winners?” kind of thing. We actually left the sets set-up during the actual fest so that others could play from 6-8PM while we were stile volunteering if they wanted to, and they did.

Around 2PM we got ready to go in to the beer fest, there were so many good breweries we actually tried to strategically go to the booths we wanted to since we only had two hours and didn’t want to get blitzed before our shift. We got to try a lot of good stuff, I’ll try to remember some of my favorites, but for now just Russian River’s beers are standing out like a sore thumb. When we got on our shift, both Robert and I were suppose to poor for a brewery by the name of Old Burnside Brewing Company. Just about when we started one of the people we know from Stewart’s asked if one of us would pour for them since their volunteers didn’t show up and supposedly there is some law in NY about employees not being able to pour their own beer or something. So Robert stayed there and I poured for Stewart’s which I was actually more comfortable with, I knew the people and I knew their beer so I felt I could chat it up properly. It was actually quite fun pouring beer and feel like I missed out on that aspect a little bit last year. At 6PM we started breaking down the equipment and hauling it up to Stewart’s camp which was ridiculous. They had hooked up with several people and had a freakin’ compound. Several tents and RVs with lights, and disco balls, and a 20 foot projection screen that they were showing The Muppet Show and live Grateful Dead shows on, and had the Axis Munde in place – a 20 foot pole wrapped in lights – you couldn’t miss this place. Anyway, we helped Stewart’s and Stone Brewery breakdown and then the momentum kind of fell short. It was about 7PM and we couldn’t see another volunteer and there wasn’t anyone directing anyone on what to do next. We basically hung under the brewer’s tent for the next hour helping where we could, which wasn’t much.

After our shift, we scooped up our beer vouchers for our case of beer payment, which we couldn’t pick up until the following morning, and headed on back to the tent. Guess what we did? You got it: eatin’, walkin’, and drinkin’. We were just deciding on what to do for dinner, make it or buy it, when we were told that Iron Hill Brewery had cooked up a large amount of BBQ and that anyone in the area was invited. We headed down a little unsure, but sure enough Mark asked us to grab a plate and help ourselves. So a burger, beans, and some ribs later I was feeling much better. After that we hooked up with a few folks who met last year at BCTC and later have talked to on BeerAdvocate, MugHugger and HombreWing and went and bowled with them for a while. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that a local bowling alley had donated pins and balls for lawn bowling to help flush out the Lebowski theme? After bowling I think we headed up to the Stewart’s compound and hung there for a few hours to finish the night.

Sunday morning was not my friend with me waking up not feeling like sunshine and with a long drive home still. After breaking down camp, sort of finding my face, and collecting our beer (Three Philosophers for Robert, Ommegang Abbey for me) we hit the road about 12PM. I was so “exhausted” that I couldn’t keep my eyes open and was half sleeping half not for most of the ride home. We stopped for food at one point and I figured that was going to be the make it or break it moment with the food either helping or hurting me. Fortunately for me I started to feel better, but also still couldn’t keep my eyes open which meant Robert was stuck driving all the way up and back. I felt like an ass, but I would have done the same for him. Plus, with traffic, rain, and accidents out five hour drive home took almost seven, lucky us.

To say that this is my favorite beer fest is an understatement. For the second year in a row I had a really great time and wish I had this kind of opportunity more often. Thanks Brewery Ommegang, and thanks Tara for helping us get in.

One Guy Brewing

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

So this weekend we went ‘up the mountains’ with some of our friends to their mountain house in Eagles Mere, PA.

One Guy Brewing

The long weekend break at the mountain house was great; nice weather, good company, lots of laughs, long walks – – all that happy mountain stuff. BUT I’m not really about to write about that, I am about to write about a quick stop we made on the way home.

One down side to going up the mountains is that there is no where close by to buy good beer, actually beer at all. There used to be a small shack that sold cases and thirty packs of mass produced BudMillerCoors and of course Yuengling (the best they had). Now there is a time and place for these beers, but when you want something better, well, you want something better. So I started searching the InterWebs for something reasonably close that had decent beer. My options were either 45 minutes further than we were going in Williamsport or 60 minutes before we would reach our destination in Berwick. Since I was really the only one concerned with beer I decided to bring a case up with me of a mixed variety and try to stop by the 60 minute away location since it was sort of on the way home.

The name of the place is One Guy Brewing, and it is just that. It is in a small town called Berwick and Guy Hagner is the owner/operator/brewer. Guy runs the show on his home-made custom two barrel system. Yes, you heard that correctly, two barrels at a time – that’s only four full size kegs! I asked about distribution and he said he only sells out of his place though he has sold a couple kegs for special friends. He is only open two days a week, Saturday and Sunday from like 1-6PM. He says he brews once or twice a week. His prices were fair and the beer was good. He also had enlisted a B.Y.O.F. policy in his tasting room (maybe 25ish seats), that’s Bring Your Own Food – which I wish I would have known about. Karen and I stayed for a couple beers and chatted Guy up since we were the only two in there until the end. We tried the Pilsner, Hefeweizen, and Stout. The Pils was good, clean, and crisp. The Hefe was good, real mild on the clove and banana thing which is the way I like it. And the Stout was OK, a little bit  of light carbonation and body, it could have really been helped out by a nitro pour in my opinion. Anyway, we left with two growlers, one of the Pils and one of the Hefe. He also had a Lager and a “Christmas in July” kind of Wheat Beer thing that I never asked to try, should have.

It was a pretty easy detour that ran parallel to the highway that would probably add 15 minutes plus however long you stay at One Guy’s. Next time we go up I’d consider stopping again and I suggest that other do too. One Guy Brewing, 328 W. Front St, Berwick, PA 18603, (570) 709-1056.

Delaware Small Brewers Need Your Help TODAY!

Friday, June 27th, 2008

I received th following email from the Brewer’s Association today and thought I’d pass it on to all my Delaware homies.

Dear Delaware Beer Activists and Homebrewers,

Delaware small brewers need your help! Please read the following information provided by the small, independent breweries of Delaware:

A proposal currently moving in the legislature would raise the state tax on beer almost 50%. The small brewers of Delaware are asking you TO CALL YOUR STATE SENATOR TODAY to ask him/her to oppose this unprecedented increase as an extremely harmful measure to the state’s small craft breweries.

At this point, this proposal has not been formally drafted as legislation, but will be amended into an existing bill and voted on Monday, June 30.

NOW IS THE TIME TO CALL YOUR SENATOR – CALLING IS THE QUICKEST, MOST EFFECTIVE METHOD AS TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!

For contact information for your Senator, click here.
You will find links to the Senate roster of members. Simply find your Senator and click on their link for contact information.

Following are several suggested points to make to your elected representatives:

* Delaware has one of the most vibrant and varied craft brewing communities on the east coast.
* Delaware’s small breweries are good for the economy and very good for tourism. Thousands of visitors journey to the state every year to visit these breweries and experience their unique products where they are made.
* Small brewers are facing astronomical costs increases across the board – from malt and hops to energy and packaging materials – nearly 40% over last year. If a further tax burden is placed upon Delaware’s small breweries in this challenging economy it will surely put many of those small businesses at risk.
* A tax increase of this magnitude will deter start-up breweries from considering locating in Delaware, as it will affect existing breweries’ ability to expand, stalling job growth and possibly forcing Delaware breweries to relocate to states that have more competitive tax structures.
* The small, independent breweries of this state need their legislator’s support now more than ever.

Thanks for supporting Delaware’s small breweries!

Sincerely,
Charlie Papazian
President Brewers Association
charlie@brewersassociation.org

Gary Glass
Director
American Homebrewers Association
gary@brewersassociation.org
www.beertown.org

So I went online and looked up the local Senator. Of course I was a little bit stupid and tried to call Joe Biden the federal senator first, but eventually I found my man. He wasn’t there when I called, so I wrote the following email

To: ‘Harris.McDowell@state.de.us’
Subject: Delaware small brewers need your help!

Senator McDowell – I am a member of your district, so I thought I would bring this to your attention. I was just informed by the Brewer’s Association that there is a proposed tax increase of 50% on beer for the state of Delaware. Supposedly at this point this proposal has not been formally drafted as legislation, but will be amended into an existing bill and voted on Monday, June 30. That is this Monday. I tried to call you momentarily ago to make sure you were aware of this increase but was not able to reach you, so I am writing this email instead. Please do not vote to pass this tax increase. The local beer scene really can not afford to be hit with a huge tax increase like this. After one of the largest increases in raw materials , packaging material , and energy costs with an overall 40% increase to make the same product as a year ago, the last thing the local brewers need is to receive a huge 50% tax increase. Do you remember before we had local beer, before Dogfish Head started in 1995? I do, and look how much things have changed now! We have Dogfish Head, Stewart’s, two Iron Hill locations, Fordham and Twin Lakes. The local beer scene is only getting bigger and better, to the point of people choosing their vacation destinations based off our beer scene and others being presented the opportunity of starting new and growing beer businesses in our local community.

The small, independent breweries of this state need their legislator’s support now more than ever. Please do NOT vote for the 50% tax increase on beer. I thank you for your time.

Brian Moore

I suggest that anyone that reads this before Monday June 30th who is a Delaware resident do something similar. For all I care you can just cut and paste sections of this entry. This tax would be outrageous and ridiculous. Thanks for listening.

Ring of Fire

Monday, June 9th, 2008

I got to try a new beer AND a new beer-style for me tonight, awesome!

Ring of Fire

This is the Ring of Fire Porter from Iron Hill Brewery. I bought three bottles yesterday, one for myself soon, one for myself later, and one for a trade. I also happened to be at Iron Hill again today and bought another bottle to split with the people I was with, Todd, Carrie, and Karen. The bottle is 13oz and 9 dollars, so to split between four you don’t get much to sample but at a good price.

This is what the bottle has to say: Ring of Fire Porter  – Aged and Finished in a Tabasco Pepper Mash Oak Barrel – Ring of Fire Porter: Brewed naturally with the finest malted barley, hops, and yeast. Our house porter, aged and finished in a Tabasco pepper mash oak barrel, imparting a hot pepper character which marries with the roasty and subtle chocolate notes of the porter. – OG: 1.057, Color: 23L, IBU: 37, ALC: 5.4%.

Rumor has it that this was originally a lighter beer, Iron Hill’s Light Lager perhaps, aged in the Tabasco barrel. Problem was there wasn’t enough to the Light Lager and basically they made a Tabasco beer, for real. Again I believe this to be the West Chester location, supposedly Chris figured that they needed a bigger beer with more body and flavor to help cut and carry the Tabasco. They chose their house porter, the Pig Iron Porter, which was a great choice. They really built a great “hot chocolate” one off.

I thought the beer had a great Tabasco burn characteristic commingled with the roast and chocolate of the porter, but with neither being overbearing. Both the Tabasco-type heat/flavor and the porter-like body/chocolateliness built a strong beer. The heat of the Tabasco did build a little in the back of the throat and made sure its presence was known, but I never felt like i needed to cool it down or rinse it out. Very excellent attempt at an ambitious idea. If it wasn’t so expensive, I would love to marinate some London Broil in this to make an excellent BBQ/grilling addition.

Happy Beer-Mail

Friday, June 6th, 2008

So on Tuesday I received a package in the mail from a blind trade, shweet!

Happy Beer-Mail

The original trade was suppose to be for an EMPTY DFH 90 Minute IPA Special Edition bottle that Robert and I scored at the DFH Bocce Tournament. We drank the beer, but the bottle was cool enough to keep, but I don’t really collect that many bottles. I posted it on BeerAdvocate kind of as a ‘one-man’s-trash’ kind of trade. About a month later someone asked me about it. Initially it was suppose to be the empty bottle for an AleSmith Old NumbSkull. Then we decided to bump it to a blind three for three trade on top. He sent me The AleSmith Old NumbSkull, a Firestone IPA, a Russian River Supplication, and a Drake’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Barleywine. I was stoked. I am actually enjoying the Fire Stone IPA right now, and I am very excited about all of the other three. I sent him the empty DFH 90 Minute Special Edition, Legacy Hoptimus Prime, DFH Santo Palo Marano, DFH ApriHop, Stoudt’s Pale Ale, and Dock Street Illuminator (all from his wants list). Good times.