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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Think ahead for Mom

I'm not dead...just busy. Being busy is good, it means I'm making money (or doing interesting things), and that means I can keep blogging.

Meantime, a quickie. I just got a press release urging me to remind my readers that Father's Day is coming and that ties suck, so buy Dad a bottle of nice booze.

I say, Mother's Day comes in just two weeks, and doesn't she need a drink too? I know Cathy likes a good peaty Islay whisky, or a brisk New Zealand sauvignon blanc, or (her fave) a case of IPAs. It doesn't have to come from the kids; all you dads out there owe a lot to the mothers of your children. So get to a liquor store and find her something nice. Who knows, she may let you have some too!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

But Casey Hard is even more insane

Max's on Broadway debuts their new 102 tap draft system tomorrow, and, well...Capone's is cool and all, but this is just nuts:

Abita Purple Haze
Abita Select Weizenbock
Aecht Schlenkerla Lentbier
Allagash Confluence
Allagash White
Amager Imperial Stout
Avery Maharaja
Bear Republic Nor Cal
Bear Republic Rebellion
BFM Abbaye De Saint Bon Chien 2007
Troll Stella Natalia
Blue Moon
Brewers Art Resurrection
Brooklyn Dark Matter
Contreras Valeir Divers
De Hoevebrouwers Toria
De Hoevebrouwers Toria Triple
Del Borgo Genziana
Delirium Tremens
Dogfish Head 60 Minute
Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron
Dogfish Head Midas Touch
Dupont Biere De Miel
Duvel Green
Emelisse Barleywine
Emelisse Espresso Stout
Emelisse Rauchbier
Evolution Sprung
Flying Dog Double Dog(Nitro)
Flying Dog Raging Bitch
Fransizkaner Hefeweizen
Fritz Briem 1809 Berliner Weisse
Fruili Strawberry
Great Divide Oak Aged Espresso Yeti
Haandbryggeriet Nissefar
Heavy Seas Letter of Marque
Heavy Seas Loose Cannon
Het Alternatief Ambetanterik
Het Alternatief Bitter Truth
Het Alternatief Hik Blonde
Hitachino Espresso Stout
Hitachino XH
Hoegaarden Wit
Hopfenstark Lou Lou Porter
Hopfenstark Ostalgia Blonde
Hopfenstark Post Colonial IPA
Hopfenstark Saison 16
Hopfenstark Saison 55
Italiano Tipo Pils
JW Lees Harvest Ale
Le Trou Diable La Buteuse
Le Trou Diable La Chose
Le Trou Diable La Grivoise
Le Trou Diable L' Imperatrice
Le Trou Diable Weizgripp
Leipziger Gose
Lindemans Framboise
Magic Hat #9
Malhuer 10
Malhuer 12
Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast Stout
Mikkeller Black
Mikkeller Single Hop Amarillo
Mikkeller Single Hop Cascade
Mikkeller Single Hop Chinook
Mikkeller Single Hop East Kent Golding
Mikkeller Single Hop Nelson Sauvin
Mikkeller Single Hop Nugget
Mikkeller Single Hop Simcoe
Mikkeller Single Hop Tomohawk
Mikkeller Single Hop Warrior
Olivers Bishop Breakfast Stout (Nitro)
Olivers Strongman
Olivers Hot Monkey Love
Ommegang Rare Vos
Ommegang Three Philosophers
Pausa Cafe Chicca
RJ Rockers Fish Paralyzer
Sam Adams Boston Lager
Sam Adams Summer Ale
Schnieder Brooklyner Hopfen
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Sint Canarus Potteloereke
Southern Tier Jah Va
Stella Artois
Stone Sublimely Self Righteous
The Bruery Rogbrod
The Bruery Saison De Lente
Victory Hop Devil
Victory Prima Pils
Weyerbacher Quad
Woodchuck Amber
Yuengling Lager


De Regenboog Catherine The Great
Alvinne Podge
Stillwater Stateside Sasion-dry Hopped in French Oak
Olivers Cherry Blosom
Victory Uncle Teddys Bitter

See all those Mikellers? But the best part? The head beer guy at Max's, Casey Hard, is an insane gearhead when it comes to draft systems. So this stuff is not just great, it's served great. Whew. I'm really kind of sorry I'm headed to Chicago tomorrow, because it sure looks like Baltimore is the place to be.

Matt Capone is insane

You guys are aware of the kind of ridiculously amazing beers Capone's has on practically every day, right? Like today's list (from Matt Capone's hand-crafted e-letter):

Oskar Blues Gordon
Weyerbacher Juliet
Lancaster Shoo Fly Porter
Summit Honey Mai Bock
Widmer Braggot
Bear Republic Apex
Bullfrog Deaune
Bullfrog Double Espresso Stout
Cigar City Cuban Espresso
Ballast Point Victory at Sea
Emelisse Double IPA
Mikkeller Simcoe
Hair Of The Dog Blue Dot IPA
Duvel Green
StillWater Stateside Belgian Saison
DeCieul Approdite on Nitrogen
Brouwerij St Louis Gueze
Fruli Strawberry
Founders Backwoods Bastard
Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree Double IPA
Dogfish Head Burton Baton
Brooklyn Brew Master Reserve Black Matter
Hoppin' Frog B.O.R.I.S the Crusher
Philadelphia Fluer De Lehigh
Coronado Idiot IPA
South Hampton Double White

River Horse Summer Blonde   "On Draft Thursday"
Voodoo Cow Bell   "On Draft Thursday"

It's simply sick. God bless the man.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I'll be on FOX 29 tonight on the 10 O'Clock News

I've been asked to appear on the Fox 29 10 O'Clock News to talk about Senator Rafferty's proposed bill to "allow" beer sales in grocery stores. I'll be talking with their investigative reporter Jeff Cole and Paul Farthing, the owner of Chal-Brit Beverages in Chalfont about the issue. You can watch it on the live stream on the website, or on your TV, if you're local.

I know Uncle Jack's going to be laughing himself silly about me being on FOX, but...they asked. I'm happy to talk about this issue. Senator Rafferty's bill is the best shot we've had at this in years, but I'm still not nuts about it. For one thing, it complicates The Almighty Liquor Code, it doesn't simplify it: it creates a new class of license, and gets rid of the case law essentially by re-defining a "case" as a six-pack. Great, that makes it easy to understand.

Anyway, we'll see what happens. Hope I don't say anything too stupid!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

JoBoy's Brew Pub in Manheim

Well... I thought I was done with Pennsylvania Breweries 4th edition. Turns out I was wrong! JoBoy's Brew Pub opened April 1 (not an April Fool's joke!) in Manheim, in the old Summy House location. I talked to Kyle, my editor at Stackpole about it. The manuscript was already late -- my fault! -- but Kyle let me get this one last place in; Thanks, Kyle!

So I dropped in on the way back from the PLCB hearings in Harrisburg yesterday (more on that soon). The beer was good, very good for less than two weeks in business: clean, distinct, flavorful. The barbeque was impressive indeed; real hardwood-smoked, low and slow, 14 hours for the pulled pork. And Jeff and Jo are the real thing, open, friendly, sincere. But Jeff's working real hard already just to keep up with beer demand; he's working with a half-barrel SABCO system, like the old Mystic brewpub outside of Reading. That's why they're not open Sundays and Mondays: he needs both days to brew. Definitely worth a stop: this is real North Carolina 'que, with vinegar-based sauce, Memphis sauce, and dry rub (all their own make), fresh-made guacamole and salsa (their own make), and smoked cabbage (really!) and the soon-to-be-famous Atomic Buffalo Turds (you'll have to get some).

I snapped a picture of Jeff with the SABCO brewery, and the iPhone shows me a thumbnail of the picture, but otherwise refuses to admit it exists. Until I can resolve this, I got no pix; sorry!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

Time for a change

As I put out the garbage this morning, I heard the honking of geese overhead. I thought, I have always been more moved by the southward flight of geese than by their springtime return. I don't know why. Fall and winter are my favorite times of year. I loved the deep, snowy winter we just had, and spring annoys me. Maybe it's as simple as the allergies I get in the spring -- miserable time for me -- maybe it's because I've always been a fat booger and warmer weather means no more bulky clothing camouflage. I don't know. But the thought makes me wonder about exploring new directions. It's a time of rebirth. My eyes and my mind are open.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Gotta love this: Berwick Brewing in Mt. Airy

Haven't been able to get to Berwick to try Guy Hagner and Tom Clark's beers? You waited long enough: they're coming to you. Thanks to the beery magic of Earth Bread + Brewery's guest tap policy, Berwick Brewing will be pouring this Thursday, April 8th, with a keep-the-pint event. Guy's bringing Atomic Punk IPA, Raspberry Imperial Porter, Wheat Ale, Hondo Keller Bier and Rauch Bock...all of which you want to try. He'll also be making "some special flatbreads," and I can tell you from personal experience that he's a pizz--er, flatbread fanatic. I'll be there, just for fun. Come on out!

Tradition! A Fallen Friar at Easter Vigil

For over ten years, I have had a tradition of drinking strong beers before singing at the Easter Vigil services at my church. It began when my brother-in-law Carl arrived at the train station for Easter one Saturday afternoon, oh, years ago, when we still had a Taurus station wagon, when Nora was a baby. We loaded his luggage in the back, and he got in the front with a shoebox. What's that, I asked, and he grinned and opened it up: three bottles of Old Dominion Millennium. ... In later years, I would attend the Split Thy Skull barleywine event at Sugar Mom's on the afternoon in question, and make my way home, and sing. Yes, I did, and beautifully, I'd say; others have said so.

I did not falter this year. This afternoon, while cutting up leftover turkey for a skillet of hash (nice, too, with the Worcestershire sauce tang), I polished off a 22 oz. bottle of BridgePort Brewing's Fallen Friar Triple. It was nice: spicy, not flabby and sweet (just the way I like tripels), with a woody/brett tang to it, almost like someone had mixed a bottle of Chimay White and Orval. Tasty. I followed that with a 12 oz. bottle of the newly re-launched Dundee Pale Bock from Genesee. And that, which I am still finishing off, is just plain good: malty, juicy, authoritative.

Fear not. I'm losing weight, but I'm still big enough to ground that much beer. I'm ready to sing. It is the pinnacle of the Christian year. Christ is risen, risen indeed!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Two years at Devil's Den

Devil's Den celebrates their second year (already? Time flies like an arrow (fruit flies like a banana)) tomorrow with drink specials and a free buffet from 2:00 to 5:00. Get on down and have some great craft beers: they're pouring some special stuff. What stuff? Stuff like Russian River Supplication, Bruery Mischief, Sixpoint Gorilla Warfare, Dogfish Head Black & Blue, Allagash Burnham Road, Leipziger Gose, BrewDog Tokyo and many more. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pennsylvania Beer Debate tonight on PCN

Just in from Sheetz's "Free My Beer" campaign...the PCN channel will be showing a live debate between MBDA president Dave Shipula and Sheetz general counsel Mike Cortez, tonight at 7 PM. I can't watch this, or call in, prior commitments. Feel free to take any points I may have brought up in the past and make a call!

An URGENT update from Free My Beer

The fight to free your beer continues tonight!
You are receiving this urgent update because you are one of more than 125,000 people who signed a petition to make the purchase of beer in Pennsylvania more convenient.

Mike Cortez, VP and General Counsel for Sheetz will go
head-to-head with Dave Shipula, President of the Malt Beverage Distributors of PA debating the issue of how beer is sold in Pennsylvania in a live call-in show on “PCN Live” tonight at 7:00 p.m. They will take your comments and questions on the air.

If you want to voice your opinion on the way beer should be sold in Pennsylvania, we want you to call in! 1-877-726-5001.

More action at the Session Beer Project

NOT AN APRIL FOOL'S JOKE: I actually have two new posts up on the Session Beer Project blog. One is about a new, tiny brewery in Washington State that has a 3.4% bitter as their flagship (hope they succeed; hope even more that they know what they're getting into!); the other is about a new all-session beer brewing project (contract for now) debuting later this a session beer festival in Boston! I swear I'm not kidding; I'm as pleasantly surprised as you are.

Finally: some Rock & Rye Respect!

Just got this, and I have to say: it's about time that this American classic got a facelift. Gutsy move, to put aside perfectly good four year old rye whiskey for a project like this. Bravo, Sazerac!

Sazerac Launches New Range of Rye Whiskies
Source: Beverage News Report
April 1st, 2010
The Sazerac Company has announced the May 1st launch of a new range of rye whiskeys under the Mr. Boston brand name.
Combining a traditional favorite "Rock & Rye" with the hot new trend for flavored whiskeys the company will be launching a complete new range of flavored "Rock & Rye" whiskeys.
Historically, the Mr. Boston line of rye whiskeys has been anchored by Rock & Rye with lemon at 54 proof.  Each bottle contains a slice of lemon which is placed by hand into the bottle at the company's production facility.  The major market for this product has been Arizona and parts of New Mexico.
The line will be boosted by the addition of six new expressions. Rock & Rye with cherries, Rock & Rye with honey, Rock & Rye with lime, Rock & Rye with Acai berries, Rock & Rye with orange, Rock & Rye with melon.
In keeping with the tradition of Rock & Rye each of the new offerings will contain slices of the particular fruit, each placed in the bottles by hand.  Production manager Noe Prial said "We are excited about the project's potential although it has been logistically challenging lining up fruit vendors, slicing, preparing and then inserting the fruit into 1.75L, Liter, 750ml, 375ml and 200ml bottles.  It takes a lot of attention to detail but the resulting product is phenomenal; spicy four year old rye whiskey with excellent flavor coming from the fruit in the bottle.  We wanted to differentiate ourselves from many of the copycat flavored offerings coming onto the market now and believe this will accomplish that goal".
Planned roll out markets for these whiskies will be in the traditional markets of Arizona and New Mexico, plus west coast and north eastern markets. The company declined to discuss its marketing spend but indicated that it would be substantial. The 1.75L will retail for $19.99 with 750mls priced at $9.99.

Can't wait to try that acai berry; awesomely trendy.

New Trappist Arkansas!

More Amazing News! One-time Philadelphia brewer Tom Cizauskas (first brewer at Manayunk Brewing) has scooped famed Belgian beer explorer Chuck "I've Been There...Twice" Cook with news of an 8th Trappist Arkansas! Tom has an excerpt from a soon-to-be-published story on the brewery on his excellent website here.

Uncle Jack Scoops Me Again, Gosh Darn It!

Jack "That Awesome Beer News Machine" Curtin has once again scooped the entire beer press in the Fertile Crescent of beer (that's right, he even scooped Jim Anderson). He's got a ton of news at the Beer Yard today, amazing stuff that you just won't believe. Go read; the links are all here.