Wish I had some pictures for this, but...we were busy!
Cathy and I went up to Stoudt's last night to wrap up shooting for American Beer Blogger. It was low-key; just the two of us and two of the guys from Green Leaf Productions, Mike and Dave. We got there at 4:30, had a quick talk-through about what we were looking for (during which Cathy was volunteered to handle releases, which she did -- of course -- with style and efficiency), and hit the bar. While the guys got the equipment, Cathy and I settled in at the corner of the bar with a glass of American Pale Ale and Karnival Kölsch respectively, and started looking around for likely subjects for the shoot...and came up empty at first. These were mostly folks who were just there for a couple beers and some dinner.
Then, just as Mike and Dave were getting set up, we ran into a younger couple, Brian and Lauren from Queens, who were on the last day of a five-day beer tour (a birthday present from her to him): Dogfish Head (the brewpub in Rehoboth and the big brewery in Milton), Burley Oak in Maryland, Max's on Broadway (where they caught the leftovers -- about 60 taps worth! -- from Max's huge Belgian event, which I have got to get to one of these years), Lancaster Brewing...and now Stoudt's, for the Winter Fest that night.
They were excited, they were big on craft beer, they were articulate: they were perfect. Cathy got releases, Mike and I prepped them for what we were going to do, Dave flipped on the light...and away we went. Great, and then we did another take with a different trajectory, and that was great, too, so much so that as we walked back to the bar from our "Let's go to the fest right now!" walk out of frame, Brian said, "Let's do another take!" It can be fun, for sure!
As I was settling the tab, Mike got to talking to a couple of men, one an older guy, and said he wanted to talk to them as well. Okay, we set up, loosely blocked out what we'd talk about, and we rolled...and about a minute into it, the guy drops the bomb that he's former Stoudt's brewmaster Mark Worona's father! How cool is that! Mark's a great guy, a good friend, and I still run into him at places like GABF. So we had a good chat, and wrapped that one up...and then we really did head over to the fest.
The Winter Fest is smaller than the other fests they do; about 550 people, and eleven breweries were there, and a pretty hot blues band. Cathy and I did a quick recon of the breweries represented at the event, and picked Mudhook and Evil Genius as our two best, most interesting breweries to talk to (partly because they're pretty new, partly because the brewers were actually there...and partly because the light was really good there).
I talked to Kate and Tim Wheeler at Mudhook; Tim had brought his Deep Sea Stout, and I was taken by it: a big (7%) stout, kind of in the export stout vein, with a lot of flavor, and real ale yeast esters, a beer that hadn't been sanded and polished to the point of effeteness; I liked it, and told him so.
Then we wandered over and talked to Trevor and Luke at Evil Genius, where I sipped a glass of their Good and Evil kölsch. They were really enthusiastic about brewing, and why they do it, and how they're getting ready to jump from contract brewing to getting funding together to do their own place. That was good stuff too.
We wrapped up at the bandstand, a big "Hey, that's our show, we'll be going to more breweries, bars, and festivals, watch for us, I'm gonna go blog now" and a big wet kiss for craft brewing and the folks who love it. Then Mike got his laptop from the car so we could get some shots of me typing away, and...well, I promised I'd blog about it, so I'm blogging. And the show...will be on air soon. More about that shortly. Cheers!