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The Porterhouse Brewing Company, Dublin

28 Apr

It’s 7:30am and I’m ready to talk to you about beer. More importantly, I’m ready to talk to you about traveling for beer. We recently returned from a lovely vacation to the Netherlands and Ireland, and of course one of the first things we look for anywhere we go is local breweries. Tilburg (NL) had a nice spot called for Belgian beer, called Little Devil (my favorite was Barbar). Ireland had all the traditional Irish pubs that you expect, with charming live music or friendly local clientele, but for the beer we couldn’t help but fall in love with what The Porterhouse Brewing Company has going for them.

Porterhouse Brewing Co

Oh, and in case you are wondering, we are indeed in Dublin in this photograph. It was sunny nearly every single day while in this gorgeous country, except for one brooding day while on a trip to see the Cliffs of Moher.

The Porterhouse Brewing Company brews their own beer and they do it quite well. On our first day in Ireland, about a week before we went to the actual brewery, we took a short little skip to Howth. Howth is a fishing community peppered with trendy boutiques and lovely cafes. Our wonderful host, Paul, took us to lunch at The House and it was at this establishment that I enjoyed not only the dish I always order if it’s on the menu:


(charcuterie, of course) … but I also ordered my first Porterhouse Brewing Company beer:

oyster stout

I’ve always been a tad skeptical about oyster stouts. I love oysters when they’re raw but my uvula rebels as soon as they’re cooked. I’m probably a bit backwards, eh? I’m okay with my quirks. The thought of tossing oysters in beer just sounds weird. Like, almost unnatural. But hey, I’m only living this life once so the oyster stout is definitely what I ordered. I enjoy challenging myself sometimes. Not too often, mind you, but plenty enough to make me feel a moment of empowerment.

The oyster stout? Delicious. Strong and smooth, it went down about as quickly as, well, a slippery oyster. I did mind my p’s and q’s and only had one. We had an early morning flight to Eindhoven the next day so I behaved.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about The House: please do go there. It’s a lovely cafe with a mouthwatering menu and the service was top notch. Prices were comparable to nearly everywhere else we ate in Europe and the town of Howth is a good diversion from the hustle and bustle of Dublin city.

Let’s go back into Dublin now and take the bus to the Temple Bar area. We’ll window shop for a few minutes, because Temple Bar is filled to the brim with all sorts of places perfect for those of you who have money burning a hole in your pocket. We’re done shopping now. Time to drink. Keep an eye out for The Porterhouse Brewing Company on Parliament Street because once there you can give your weary shopping feet a rest and throw back a few pints. I even invite you to sample some food from their menu, like the bangers and mash.

The building is impressive. There are several stories of seating and every wall is covered in display cases, all containing bottles of beer.

The walls are also filled with framed curiosities, like the old laws on being a drunkard or enabling a drunkard:

and there are several adorable little cubbies with a table and seating, for those of you who crave privacy.

The menu is full of whimsy and was a delight to read as we guzzled down a few pints.

The bathrooms are down in the basement and I didn’t see any lift so I’m thinking this place is not wheelchair accessible. [Note: Many thanks to Fiona at The Porterhouse Brewing Company for letting me know that the Temple Bar location is wheelchair accessible! That is fantastic to know!] Certainly it shouldn’t be a problem to come in and sit at the downstairs bar or tables but I know I can’t hold my bladder well once I’m a few glasses in. Interesting side-note on the ladies toilet: there is a coin operated hair straightener down there. So if the weather has your hair in an uproar you are set.

Along with a selection of their own brewed beers (like An Brain Blasta and Porterhouse Red), they also carry a range of other Irish craft beer and international beer both on draught and bottled.

Our bartender was efficient and friendly. The owner came in a couple times and we had a chance to have a small chit-chat with him about the brewing at Porterhouse. Things are going quite well for them and their business in the United States is such that they’re opening a satellite bar in New York City! If you find yourself twiddling thumbs in the Big Apple, make your way to the Financial District and look them up at Fraunces Tavern.

Definitely stop in one of the several Porterhouse Brewing Company locations and order yourself a perky pint. Don’t we all love them?


Monk’s Cafe In Philly Raising Money For Japan

7 Apr

The Monk’s Cafe will be tapping three kegs of Hitachino beer and donating 100% of money made from each pour to charity for Japan. I love this. It is social good. It is another example of how beer people are good people.

They will be offering a Red Rice ale, Ginger ale, and White ale.

The money will be going directly to the owner of Hitachino, Toshiyuki Kiuchi, and he will distribute it in the community in the area where he sees the most need.

If you don’t know about Monk’s Cafe think Belgian beauties. No. I’m not talking about this kind:

Photo by San Diego Shooter

THIS kind:

Belgian beer

Photo by Amber DeGrace

Do you like how I made the beer picture bigger than that of the girls? I have my priorities.

Anyway. Get your beer-lovin’ butt to Monk’s Cafe and order a few Hitachino Nest ales and tell all your friends that beer helps make the world a better place. It’s the truth.

The fundraiser starts at 11:30am on April 11th.

Deschutes Brewery is Expanding

15 Mar
Deschutes Tap Handles

Photo by The Prudent Cyclist, flickr

Deschutes Brewery is one of my favorite craft breweries and I wish we could get it in Pennsylvania. Perhaps if their success continues that will happen one day. Currently Deschutes only distributes to my West Coast amigos and as sad as this is, I can understand. In fact, Dogfish Head recently pulled their distribution from several states in order to better provide to the other states where they do distribute.

Deschutes just announced today that they are expanding their operations. More space will be added to where their production area (more room for beer) and they are augmenting their current fermentation tanks with five new family members (more room for beer). They estimate that this addition with allow them to brew over 100,000 gallons more beer each year. There are also various green innovations they will be implementing, including a system which will reduce and reuse water by cleaning it.

There will be another phase of this project in which they’ll add even more fermentation tanks.

Please, dear Deschutes, please distribute in Pennsylvania? We’d be happy to have ya here. Congratulations to Deschutes on their success!

This information came from the Deschutes Brewery Twitter account (@DeschutesBeer) in the following tweet: It’s official, we are adding more tanks & remodeling the tasting room to better serve our faithful & future fans.

Now, if only I had an Obsidian Stout right now …

Dogfish Head Pulling Beer From Several States

11 Mar

Dogfish Head


Another economic sign of the times? Dogfish Head will be completely pulling or limiting their beer in the future from several states, including Tennessee, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Indiana.

Poor Wisconsin is seemingly getting the shaft left and right.

Sam Calagione is extremely apologetic in his blog post, Thanks For Understanding. He says the reason for the decision is because demand is so high and they aren’t able to produce enough supply to satisfy it all. It sounds as if the states close to Delaware are safe … and my fingers are crossed that it will remain available in Pennsylvania.

Do any of you live in these four states who won’t be receiving any more Dogfish Head beer?

St. Boniface Craft Brewing Company – Ephrata, PA

9 Mar

St. Boniface

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is a craft beer lover’s dream. I kid you not, this area is continually seeing new breweries pop up and they all seem to do quite well for themselves. It is wonderful to see them thriving because it proves how many individuals have an appreciation not only for finely crafted beer (as opposed to swill) but also that there is a strong sense of community and buying locally (as opposed to corporate monsters).

I’m a fan from every angle.

St. Boniface Craft Brewing Company is based in Ephrata and is the joint work of two guys who used to homebrew and decided their powers working together were greater for the forces of good. St. Boniface is the patron saint of brewers (I fancy we may have named our second son Boniface if I was game for getting knocked up again) and the company has named their current brews Libation–a double IPA, Epiphany–a Belgian Dubbel, and Hegemony–an imperial stout.

It looks like they’re filling growlers on Saturdays from 9am-2pm. They are located in Ephrata, at 100 N. State Street, Suite 401.

Check out their Facebook page for more information. We’ll do a review of the beer once we get our hands on some and I’ll take photos of their location as well.