Autumn Beer is Here!

Although the calendar says it’s been autumn for a few weeks, the weather hasn’t agreed.  But finally we have a perfect autumn day here in Pennsylvania – temps in the mid 60s, crystal clear blue skies and a warm sun!   Now it is time to celebrate with autumn beer!

In my opinion, there are three main categories of fall beer – Harvest Ales, Pumpkin Beer, and Oktoberfest beer.  While I often admit that I would drink pumpkin beer all year round if I could (and I do when I find it – cheers to you Pocono Brewing and St. Petersburg Brewing Co), there is something that is just “right” about drinking pumpkin beer when the pumpkins are ripe and used in decorations everywhere.  For some of my favorite pumpkin brews, try the original Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, Troegs Master of Pumpkins, Iron Hill Pumpkin Ale and Lancaster Baked Pumpkin Ale.

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

Harvest Ales are most definitely a fall beer because they are made immediately after hops are harvested in late August/early September and are meant to be consumed “fresh”!  Be on the lookout for these brews early – because they go fast!

Fresh Chinook hops – drink it now!

And then there is Oktoberfest beer – Prost!  This year, Germany’s official Oktoberfest was held from September 22 through October 6, and I had my fair share of Oktoberfest offerings from both German and U.S. brewers.  A little recognized fact about Oktoberfest beer is that there are two different styles – the traditional beer consumed at Oktoberfest was a Marzen style – a maltier, sweeter beer that packed a little punch.  

But in the 1990s, the official Oktoberfest beer was changed to “Festbier,” a yellow, lower ABV beverage -probably to encourage more consumption (and less drunken incidents) by the tourists in the tents! As a result of the change, you can find the two different versions of Oktoberfest beer in most US brewpubs and bars these days.  A few of my favorites – Hofbrau Oktoberfest (Festbier); Victory Festbier (Marzen); Stoudts Oktoberfest (Marzen).

Prost und Genutlicheit!

So whatever your choice, enjoy these seasonal brews now!  Before you know it, the comfort of autumnal brews will be gone and the dark spiciness of holiday beer will appear on the taps!  

Cheers!

The Brewholder

Copyright 2018 – all rights reserved 

Iron Hill Brewery – North Wales releasing “Backdraft Lager” to support Horsham Fire Company

Backdraft Lager from Iron Hill North Wales. Photo courtesy Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant.

One of my favorite local breweries, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in North Wales, has brewed a beer to support neighboring township’s Horsham Fire Company.  The beer will be released during a special event on July 26 – more details from Iron Hill:

On Thursday, July 26 beginning at 5 p.m., Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant will celebrate the annual release of Backdraft Lager by donating $1 from every pint sold to the Horsham Fire Company. This special beer, brewed with members of the Fire Company, is a Munich-style pale lager with malty sweetness balanced by subtle, spicy hop notes on the nose and a dry, clean finish.

So come out, drink some rock solid brew, and support the fire company!

Cheers!

The Brewholder

Copyright 2018 – all rights reserved

 

Mother of Dragons coming from Brewery Ommegang in September

Mother of Dragons!!  Photo courtesy Brewery Ommegang.

Continuing with its Game of Thrones inspired beers, Brewery Ommegang and HBO will release the third beer in the Royal Reserve Collection on September 28 – “Mother of Dragons”.   Read the press release issued on July 16, 2018:

Brewery Ommegang and HBO® announce Mother of Dragons, third beer in Game of Thrones®-inspired Royal Reserve Collection

 

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) Brewery Ommegang and HBO Licensing & Retail have announced the newest beer in their collaborative series inspired by the award-winning drama Game of Thrones! Mother of Dragons, a beer brewed for Daenerys Targaryen, is the third beer in this year’s Royal Reserve Collection, a series of four limited release beers, each designed and brewed as an homage to one of four epic figures engaged in the battle for the Seven Kingdoms.

 

Brewed and blended for a leader who takes what is hers with fire and blood, Mother of Dragons is a blend of a smoked porter and a Belgian kriek, representing the smoke and fire that Daenerys has unleashed on her opponents. The beer will be available throughout Ommegang’s distribution network on September 28 both on draft and in 750ml bottles and the suggested retail price for a bottle is $12.99.

 

“Mother of Dragons represents in beer one of our favorite characters from Game of Thrones.  Daenerys’s ascent from obscurity has been one of the most inspiring storylines of the show, and we’re thrilled to release a blend that embodies the character traits that have underpinned that rise,” said Doug Campbell, Brewery Ommegang president.

 

Mother of Dragons pours a deep ruby-tinted mahogany with a creamy tan head. Aromas of chocolate covered cherries intertwine with subtle smoke and roasted malt. The flavor is rich with tart cherry up front leading to a center palate of semi-sweet chocolate then resolving to subtle smoke and mild sweetness. The mouthfeel is luxuriously creamy and full, and the finish is semi-dry with lingering notes of smoke and cherry sweetness. Mother of Dragons is 6.5% ABV and pairs well with smoked gouda and charcuterie, braised meats, and rich desserts like flourless chocolate cake and cherry cheese cake.

 

The Royal Reserve Collection features four brand new beers in the brewery’s Game of Thrones-inspired series with HBO. All of the beers will be available on draft and in 750ml bottles. The series began in April with Hand of the Queen, a barleywine, and was followed in June by Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, a sour blonde blend. Following the release of Mother of Dragons, the final beer will be announced later this year.

Cheers!

The Brewholder

Copyright 2018 – all rights reserved

2018 Meeting of the Malts – August 23, 2018

The Brewers of Pennsylvania will host their “Meeting of the Malts” on August 23, 2018 at SteelStacks in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  This is a fantastic event for homebrewers and craft beer fans!  Check out the press release below – and I hope to see you there!

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The Brewers of Pennsylvania has released its event details and list of panel participants for the 2018 Meeting of the Malts, the association’s popular annual event that gathers the most acclaimed breweries to discuss the state of the craft beer industry. The powerhouse panel includes Pennsylvania’s finest brewers including Bill Covaleski (Victory Brewing Company), Tom Kehoe (Yards Brewing Company), and Wendy Yuengling (D. G. Yuengling & Son).  New panelists include Mike Stevens of Michigan-based Founders Brewing Company and Joey Redner of Florida-based Cigar City Brewing….

Craft Beer Powerhouse Panel Headlines 2018 Meeting of the Malts  

Brewers of Pennsylvania Welcomes First-time Participants Founders and Cigar City

HARRISBURG, PA (6.20.18) – The Brewers of Pennsylvania (BOP), the state’s official brewers guild, has released its event details and list of panel participants for the 2018 Meeting of the Malts, the association’s popular annual event that gathers the most acclaimed breweries to discuss the state of the craft beer industry.

Presented by Gold Sponsor Micro Matic USA, Meeting of the Malts VII will take place Thursday, August 23 from 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. EST at Artsquest Center at SteelStacks, and will feature a powerhouse panel including Bill Covaleski (Victory Brewing Company), Tom Kehoe (Yards Brewing Company), Wendy Yuengling (D. G. Yuengling & Son), Mike Stevens (Michigan-based Founders Brewing Company), and Joey Redner (Florida-based Cigar City Brewing). The panel discussion, which will run from 6-7 p.m., will be emceed by industry icon, Bump Williams. Dick Yuengling and Jim Koch (Samuel Adams) will provide the opening remarks.

“Craft beer is thriving in Pennsylvania, and Meeting of the Malts, now in its seventh year, continues to serve as the state’s primary meeting place to discuss the industry’s important successes and challenges from legislative issues to craft beer trends,” said Dan LaBert, Executive Director of the Brewers of Pennsylvania. “If you are a brewer or simply a fan of the craft beer scene, Meeting of the Malts is a must-attend event. We expect as strong a turnout as last year, which welcomed hundreds of attendees who listened to and learned from our industry’s most successful brewers, as well as promising peers who are in the trenches producing the very best craft beer in the United States.”

Draft Magazine has named Meeting of the Malts as the #12 (out of 101) rated beer experiences on the industry bucket list. While several panelists have participated in previous Meeting of the Malts, new to this year is Mike Stevens, Co-Founder and CEO of Founders and Joey Redner, Founder of Cigar City.

Founders has been ranked in the top breweries in the world by Ratebeer.com for the last five years. The brewery has won six World Beer Cup medals, four European Beer Star medals, and three Great American Beer Festival medals.

“Founders has been a part of the industry now for twenty-one years, and when I first got into the business breweries like Sam Adams and Yuengling inspired me to follow my passion,” said Stevens. “I’m truly honored to be a part of this event and share the stage with such accomplished brewers, and I look forward to a spirited conversation.”

Cigar City has won a Gold Medal for its Humidor Series IPA at the National Beer Championships and a Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival for its Minaret ESB.

Following the panel discussion will be a four-course dinner from 7:15 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., each course being paired with a beer from select panelist’s breweries. During the meal, the BOP will host a Beer Silent Auction, an opportunity to bid on unique and collectible items from a variety of breweries including autographed, one-of-a-kind items from the country’s finest breweries.

After the dinner comes the Pennsylvania BrewPub Festival from 9:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.  Participating BOP members include: Barley Creek Brewing Co., Berwick Brewing Co., Boneshire Brew Works, Brewery at Hershey, Collusion Tap Works, Covered Bridge Brewhaus, Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks, Hop Hill Brewing Co., Round Guys Brewing Co., Roy-Pitz Brewing Co., Saucony Creek Brewing Co., and Wolf Brewing Co.

For the second consecutive year, Meeting of the Malts will also include the Legislative Growler Awards, an honor that recognizes a person or organization the BOP considers a partner in the industry, one who continually strives to promote and protect Pennsylvania’s craft beer industry. Honorees will be announced at a later date.

Artsquest Center at SteelStacks is located at 711 First St., Bethlehem, PA.  Accommodations deadline for the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem is August 9.

About the Brewers of Pennsylvania – The Brewers of Pennsylvania is a 501c6 trade association that brings together leaders of Pa.-based breweries in order to promote and protect the brewing industry in the state.  The Brewers of Pennsylvania, a strong and influential organization, serves the consuming public of Pa. by encouraging brand diversity in the market. BOP members employ an estimated 10,000 employees earning $296 million in wages and generating $1.1 billion in direct economic benefits to communities throughout the state.  Its signature annual event is the popular Meeting of the Malts. #supportPAbeer

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Cheers!

The Brewholder

Copyright 2018 – all rights reserved

Book Review:  The Brew Your Own Big Book of Clone Recipes

The Brew Your Own Big Book of Clone Recipes – and a homebrew, of course!

Have you ever tried a beer from one of your favorite breweries and said to yourself, “I’d love to try to brew this beer at home?”  If so, The Brew Your Own Big Book of Clone Recipes may be exactly what you are looking for.  Released on May 1, 2018, this book is a compilation of 20 years of recipes from Brew Your Own Magazine, featuring over 300 homebrew recipes of well-known beers, including favorites such as Lawson’s Finest Liquids’ “Double Sunshine IPA,” Trillium Brewing Company’s “Fort Point Pale Ale,” Founder’s Brewing Company’s “Breakfast Stout,” and New Holland Brewing Company’s “Dragon’s Milk Stout.”

This book is a fantastic reference for both all-grain and extract homebrewers; each recipe includes both versions.  The selection of breweries is also impressive – as a native of Pennsylvania, I was excited to find recipes for Troegs Brewing Company’s “Nugget Nectar,” Victory Brewing Company’s “Storm King Imperial Stout,” Round Guys Brewing Company’s “Russian Messenger Stout,” Weyebacher Brewing Company’s “Fifteen,” and even a recipe for good old 33, “Rolling Rock Extra Pale.” 

I would strongly recommend this recipe book for homebrewers who have ironed out their processes and are ready to try their hands at taking their brewing to the next level.  The recipes are written in a concise yet easily understandable manner for intermediate to advanced homebrewers.  After reading it I was left with the immediate urge to place an order with my favorite homebrew supply store!  The Brew Your Own Big Book of Clone Recipes is published by Voyageur Press and is available online on Amazon for around $25. 

Cheers – and happy brewing!

The Brewholder

Copyright 2018 – all rights reserved 

Philly Beer Week 2018 Begins (with a whisper?)

 

Did you realize that today is the beginning of Philly Beer Week?   It is – and I’m looking forward to checking out Beer Under the Big Top at the Navy Yard tomorrow and other events throughout the next week.

While I’m as excited as always to try new beer and talk about it with other beer fans, I feel like I haven’t seen much buzz or news generated about this year’s PBW.   The HOG relay has been running through the city today, and Opening Tap is about to happen at the Fillmore…but I wouldn’t know that except for being on the Philly Beer Week email list.  In past years, I’ve seen a lot more collaborative media pushed out by breweries, so, to be honest, PBW 2018 kind of snuck up on me.

I’m trying not to read too much into it – but it does make me wonder…has the craft beer industry become complacent about reaching out to the general public?  Is it satisfied with the 12.7% overall market share in 2017, as reported by the Brewers Association? https://www.brewersassociation.org/statistics/national-beer-sales-production-data/  Has it given up on the battle cry of 20% by 2020?

Maybe the Philly Beer Week organization simply decided to try something new this year, or maybe I just missed “the buzz.”  Whatever the case, I’m heading into Philadelphia to celebrate beer in the City of Brotherly Love during Philly Beer Week 2018 – and I hope to see the same passion and excitement about beer from everyone there as I did five years ago!

Cheers!

The Brewholder

Copyright 2018 – all rights reserved

Ommegang releases Saison Rosé

Ommegang’s Saison Rosé helps usher in the warmer weather. Photo courtesy Brewery Ommegang.

On May 8, 2018, Brewery Ommegang announces the release of its Saison Rosé, which appears to almost be a mix between wine and beer!  I can’t wait to try this one!

Read the press release here:

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) Beer and wine drinkers alike will want to “rosé all day” with Ommegang’s refreshing new ale, Saison Rosé. A blend of saisons, one aged on oak, the other brewed with hibiscus flowers and co-fermented with chardonnay grape juice, Saison Rosé is fruity, tart, dry, and incredibly quaffable. This lovely pale red beer will arrive just in time for summer.

“At Ommegang, we’ve been blending beers for many years, starting with Three Philosophers in 2002. This is an area where we’ve been spending a lot of time experimenting lately, and I’m particularly excited about this release, just in time for the summer,” says brewmaster Phil Leinhart.

Saison Rosé begins with a delicate saison base brewed with hibiscus flowers. After leaving the brewhouse, the beer heads to stainless steel fermentors for a co-fermentation with chardonnay grape juice. Meanwhile, a heartier version of the saison base is aged in oak barrels to develop subtle tannic notes. Our brewers then masterfully blend the two beers together, resulting in a well-balanced saison with a light tartness, bright fruitiness, and a subtle hint of oak.

Saison Rosé pours a beautiful pale red with a bright clarity, and a brilliant white head. Aromas of grapefruit and red berries are followed by a hint of oak. Flavors of sweet berries and lightly-tart citrus resolve to subtle oak tannins and spicy Belgian yeast. The beer is light-bodied with a soft mouthfeel, crisp, dry finish, and an ABV of 7.7%.

Saison Rosé will be available in 12 oz-four packs and on draft for a limited time this summer, and will pair beautifully with creamy cheeses like Brie and fontina; light seafood such as scallops, seabass, and halibut; and fruit-based desserts like blueberry tarts or sorbet.

Cheers!

The Brewholder

Copyright 2018 – all rights reserved

 

 

 

 

Brewholder News: May the 4th Be With You!

Happy Star Wars Day!  To celebrate I just ordered my tickets for “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” so all is right with the world. But…

I’ve been lax on posting recently due to my immersion in a writing project – a project that I must say has been extremely invigorating for me.  It’s the most fun I’ve had on a project since one last year for Philly Beer Scene Magazine!  When the link goes hot on my newest project, I will certainly post it here.

Brew in the desert!

Blueprint Brewing in Kulpsville, PA – gluten free brew!

A delicious pumpkin porter at Pocono Brewery.

I’m also a slacker because I recently visited Tucson, AZ, and more locally, Blueprint Brewing in Kulpsville and Pocono Brewery Company, but I haven’t posted about them here yet…coming soon!  In the meantime, check me out on Instagram, Facebook and Untappd to see glimpses into those visits!

Now – for the news that’s important to me:

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant opened their 13th location in Greenville, South Carolina on May 1, 2018.  According to a press release, “The brewery and restaurant spans 7,500 sq. ft. and has a seating capacity of 250, which includes an on-site brewery, cocktail area, and an outdoor patio. The brewery, which is fully operational on-site, will produce between 800 to 900 barrels of their award-wining craft beer annually.”  I’ve been to Greenville before, and this gives me a great reason to visit again!   

Ommegang Double Barrel Dubbel – luxurious flavors.

I tried Ommegang’s Double Barrel Double last week – I think the best word for it is “luxurious” – Rich flavors of brown sugar and coffee mixed with the distinctive Ommegang house yeast.  If you are an Ommegang fan, you’ll really like this.  Great for sipping on a cool spring evening for sure!  

A growler of Tripel Chair straight from America’s winter playground! Cheers!

Magic Hat released their “Tripel Chair,” a new golden Belgian-style tripel.  It is only available in Vermont and was named after Sugarbush Ski Resort’s triple chairlift.  I was lucky enough to get my hands on a 32 oz growler of it – at 9.1% ABV, it packs a nice warmth and has the distinctive Belgian yeast esters.  If you like high gravity Belgian styles this might be worth a trip to Vermont to try!  

A new brewery named “Workhorse Brewing” is setting up shop in the Bridgeport / King of Prussia area.  https://www.workhorsebrewing.com I noticed them on Instagram the other day – looks like it is going to be a pretty massive production brewery.  According to the website, the Brewmaster is Nate Olewine, formerly of Victory Brewing Company and most recently of Devil’s Backbone Brewing in Virginia.  The plan is to open in “Spring 2018.”  Stay tuned!

BrewDog USA products are now available in Southeast Philadelphia.  The Columbus, OH-based branch of the brewery was opened in 2017 and is the brainchild of the pair from the well-known BrewDogs television show that aired from 2013 – 2015.  

Cheers!

The Brewholder

Copyright 2018 – all rights reserved

Ommegang releases Double Barrel Dubbel

Double Barrel Dubbel, photo courtesy Brewery Ommegang.

Cooperstown, NY-based Brewery Ommegang announced on April 11 its release of “Double Barrel Dubbel” a bourbon barrel aged Belgian Dubbel.  Here’s the press release:

Bourbon and brandy flavors shine in Ommegang’s new Double Barrel Dubbel blend 

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) Brewery Ommegang is pleased to announce the release of a new beer this month: Double Barrel Dubbel, a beautiful blend of traditional Belgian-style dubbel aged in bourbon and brandy casks.

A nod to Ommegang’s first beer, a beloved dubbel called Ommegang Abbey Ale, Double Barrel Dubbel is a glorious new take on the style. This luxurious brew begins with Abbey Ale, which then gracefully ages for six months in a mix of bourbon and brandy casks in the brewery’s cellar. This blend of barrels adds an additional layer of complexity to an already flavorful beer.

“As we’ve expanded our barrel-aging program, we’ve experimented with some of our favorite core beers, trying different barrels, and combinations of barrels, to create something new with beers we already enjoy,” said Phil Leinhart, Ommegang’s brewmaster. “We thought the combination of bourbon and brandy for Abbey Ale was a great one and we’re pleased to share Double Barrel Dubbelwith fans.”

Brewed with pils, amber, Munich, and aroma malts and hopped with Syrian Golding and Spalter Select, Double Barrel Dubbel enjoys a similar spicing to Abbey Ale with orange peel, coriander, cumin, star anise, and licorice root. It pours a deep burgundy color with a creamy tan head. Robust aromas of coconut, vanilla, molasses, burnt sugar, and dark stone fruit greet the drinker up front, with more subtle hints of vanilla and bourbon following in their wake. Flavor of caramel, raisin, and plums mix nicely with underlying flavors of oak, bourbon, and subtle hints of dried fruit and vanilla. A wonderfully full mouthfeel pairs with a lingering sweetness on the finish resulting in a decadent drinking experience.

This big, rich beer with an ABV of 9.9% pairs well with bold flavors like beef carbonade over mashed potatoes, robust cheeses like sharp cheddar and bleu cheese, and for dessert, a brandy-soaked fruitcake. Double Barrel Dubbel will be available for a limited time in 12 oz four-packs and on draft beginning in late April.

Cheers!

The Brewholder

Copyright 2018 – all rights reserved