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Mt. Hope Brewfest – May 14, 2011

3 May

beer

The Mt. Hope Brewfest is coming up soon! Spend a few hours and enjoy craft beer, food, and entertainment.

Join other lovers of beer on May 14, 2011 for one of two sessions. The first session is from 11am-3pm and the second session is from 4pm-8pm. Tickets (for you imbibers out there) are $40 in advance, $45 at the door. If you are the DD (I don’t envy you, but appreciate you!) then the entry fee is $15 in advnace, $20 at the door.

The entrance fee includes all the buffet food and musical enjoyment you can enjoy. For those of you paying for a drinking entry you’ll also receive a tasting glass. Make sure you purchase your tickets in advance to guarantee you’ll get a tasting glass! Beer just tastes better from a glass.

Naturally, make sure you are of legal age to drink. No shenanigans. Play nicely. No peeing behind the buildings. Ahem.

Are you a homebrewer? Whether novice or master, feel free to sign up for the homebrew competition! Last day for entering your brew is May 7, and there are specific rules and guidelines you must follow to be considered for the competition.

Breweries that will be ready to fill your glass:

Swashbuckler Brewing Company

DuClaw Brewery

Hometown Beverages

Flying Fish Brewing Company

Slyfox Brewing Company

Smuttynose Brewing Company

Weyerbacher Brewing Company

Intercourse Brewing Company

Bube’s Brewery

Appalachian Brewing Company

Spaten North America

JoBoy’s Brew Pub

Mountain State Brewing Company

Straub Brewery

Boaks Beer

Woodchuck Cider

Strongbow Cider

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Union Barrel Works

Yuengling Brewery

Roy Pitz Brewing Company

Brewery Ommegang

Troegs Brewing Company

Lancaster Brewing Company

Victory Brewing Company

Belukus Marketing Company

Yards Brewing Company

Rogue Ales

Erie Brewing Company

Are you salivating like I am?

There will also be a variety of retail vendors and if you’re hungry you can fill your plate with pulled pork, bratwurst, chicken chili and more. If you enjoy dancing when your blood starts warming up (like me), check out one of the stages for live music that’ll be going on all day long.

Check it out! I’m sure we’ll be there–babysitter dependent, of course.

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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.

Cask Ale Festival – General Sutter Inn

4 Apr

Cask Ale Festival Token Sheet

This past weekend was the 3rd annual cask ale festival at the General Sutter Inn in Lititz, PA. The General Sutter Inn is a charming restaurant, lounge, and you can even sleep there (imagine that). Connected to the inn is the Bulls Head Public House, one of the most fantastic little English-style pubs in this area. They consistently have some of the best choices of hard to find brews on tap.

This is the first cask ale festival I’ve been to and it was excellent. I’ve grown to appreciate cask ales and enjoy trying beers on cask to pick out different nuances than their bottled or kegged cousins possess. If you aren’t sure what a cask ale is, you can read a good description of it here. This festival was set up on a ‘pay as you go’ basis and it was nice not paying a fee up front for a 3-hour window of time where you try to drink as many styles as you can in a short period of time. I liked being able to take my time choosing the beer I wanted and not feeling pressured to guzzle it down to try the next one. It was a perfect set up for the beer connoisseur.

The casks were set up in a large rectangular pattern in what seemed to be a ballroom at the General Sutter. We paid $20 for a sheet of tokens, each token equaling $.50. There were three different sized glasses to choose from, 10 oz, 16 oz, and 20 oz. Each beer had a certain number of tokens it cost for each size glass you were filling. We both chose the 10 oz glass so we could try the most beers with our sheet of tokens. There were 21 different casks available when we were there. Some kicked and others were put on. Here is a complete list of what was available when we were at the festival. I have put in bold the ones I tried.

The hours were enjoyable. They were full of tasty minutes (especially the 75 Minute part). Mike and I sat in the lounge, away from the hustle and bustle in the main ballroom area. The tables there were full and many people were standing. We arrived early enough in the afternoon to see some traditional male dancers perform. It was unusual seeing a men-only dance group, jumping and hitting sticks together in time to the music, but I loved it. It reminded me of a warrior dance, except slightly more jovial.

Lounge at the General Sutter Inn

We had a bite to eat in the lounge while enjoying our ales. I ordered the Schnitzel Sandwich and it was delicious. It was huge, seriously. Check out the size of my schnitzel (sorry, I can’t help myself).

schnitzel sandwich

I will definitely make it a point to go to the next cask ale festival at the General Sutter Inn, and any others within a close distance to where we live. Have you ever been to one?

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. http://ow.ly/4eXxt

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?

Iron Hill Brewery Opening a New Location

10 Mar

Iron Hill Brewery mug club

I am a huge fan of Iron Hill Brewery. We have been going to the Lancaster location since it opened and the beer and food is always spot-on. The waitstaff are knowledgeable and there are fun events every month. Both Mike and I were fortunate enough to spend a day brewing with Paul Rutherfod and Chad Reiker (you can read about the day here) and I had the pleasure of meeting Kevin Finn, the founding partner of the breweries late last year.

It is with excitement that I share news that they are opening another location this year, in the Chestnut Hill area of Philadelphia. Many congrats to the Iron Hill team and may the future continue to be full of success!

You can read the entire press release here.

Below are renderings of the new location. Photos are courtesy of Iron Hill Brewery, via Profile PR.

Craft beer bridges partisan divide in Senate (via Politico.com)

10 Mar

Craft beer bridges partisan divide in Senate – On Congress – POLITICO.com.

I think this legislation would be fantastic to see go through. Our country started out with one of its express purposes being supporting the everyday man and woman be able to make their dreams a reality. With all the conglomerates and mega-corporations it has become harder and harder to do that in recent years. Any legislation like this helps us get back to the basics!