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

The Brewholder News: Digging out!

Time to dig out and drink up!  PS – on a recommendation from a trusted source, I tried the 10 Barrel Pub Ale.  I wasn’t impressed, but it’s drinkable.  

Hey everyone!   It’s been a some time since I’ve posted here, but between celebrating a Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl win and digging out from multiple snow storms, let’s just say I’ve been drinking more beer than writing about it!  (See my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Untappd activity as proof!)

There’s been some really cool stuff that’s come across my barrel recently – so let’s dig out:

The Bruery – or more specifically – Bruery Terreux – is releasing a foeder aged beer that sounds amazing – Saison Ardennes.  I’m expecting to try it soon – here’s the description I received:

A new, authentic, oak foeder-aged, Belgian-style farmhouse ale that just got released from Bruery Terreux – a brand from The Bruery in Orange County, CA that exclusively focuses on and explores the sour and wild side of beer.

At Bruery Terreux, we channel nature for inspiration and participation in crafting both traditional and new takes on farmhouse-style ales, including Belgian-style saisons, tart wheat beers and oak-aged fruited sours.

This new release, Saison Ardennes, is no exception. Saison Ardennes is a tart saison, hand-crafted to embody the dependable, spirited nature of a classic Belgian-style farmhouse ale. This includes a crisp malt profile, rustic floral and spice notes, and lively carbonation. Our rendition expresses further depth and character from a six-month fermentation and maturation in one of our newest 103BBL large oak foeders previously used for wine in Santa Rosa, California. It’s a bottle of beer that will pleasantly evolve over time, thanks to the presence of wild yeast added for bottle conditioning.

The beer will be available in 375-ml. bottles and on tap in nearly 30 states throughout the country, starting this month – here’s how to find bottles where our beer is distributed. Bottles are also available on TheBrueryStore.com (shipping within CA only) and will soon be on the shelves at The Bruery Store at Union Market in Washington, D.C.

 

The Bruery’s Saison Ardennes, photo courtesy The Bruery

Did you know Forest & Main in Ambler opened their new space?  Swing in and check it out!

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant announced that they will be opening a new location in Hershey, Pennsylvania in late 2018/early 2019.  A press release explained that the 9,000 sf facility “will house an on-site brewing facility and seating for up to 290 including a bar area and additional outdoor space.”  The release also suggested that Iron Hill Hershey “will join in the amusements, world-class golf courses, museums, and outlet shopping at one of Pennsylvania’s most popular tourist destinations.”  For those of us who love beer tourism, Iron Hill Hershey will be a great addition to a the list of outstanding breweries in the area, including Troegs and Boneshire Brew Works.  And of course, those of us in the Philly area are anxiously awaiting the opening of Iron Hill’s Center City Philadelphia location, which, we were last told, should happen this Spring!

Magic Hat’s “Barroom Hero” is a strong recommendation for St. Patty’s Day.

Did you hear that Vermont-based Magic Hat Brewing released a collaboration pub style ale with The Dropkick Murphys?  Unlike many craft nerds, I truly enjoy a traditional pub ale – and when listening to the Dropkick Murphys, Magic Hat’s “Barroom Hero” is outstanding. The Brewholder’s recommendation:  If you can find it, I’d strongly recommend holding some for St. Patty’s Day!

Magic Hat is also re-releasing their “Elder Betty,” an elderberry enhanced Weissbeer.  Keep an eye on my social media channels for my thoughts on it soon!

Summer Love is back, with a new look. Photo courtesy Victory Brewing Company

To help us get through our most recent snow storm, Victory Brewing Company is counting down the days to summer!   And today they announced the return of Summer Love Ale, with a new look.  It won’t be long until you start getting bombarded with pictures of cans from The Brewholder Pool!

Prima Pils by the Pool, 2016!

Cooperstown, NY-based Ommegang Brewery recently released two beers of note:  Candi Stout “fuses rich roasted malts with Belgian candi sugar, bittersweet cocoa nibs, and a special strain of Belgian ale yeast. The result is a delightfully drinkable blend of a Belgian-style dark ale and a traditional stout.”  If you didn’t try this on Valentine’s Day, maybe replace a few chocolate eggs with it on Easter!

Their newest Game of Thrones inspired beer, in a new series – The Royal Reserve Collection – The Hand of the Queen, is a barleywine ale that will be available in the beginning of April.  If you happen to live in the Cooperstown area, or are able to make the trek to the brewery, it will be for sale at the brewery store on Saturday, March 17, 2018.  But remember – the brewery is currently closed for tours due to renovations.

Ommegang’s “Hand of the Queen” Barleywine, coming soon. Photo courtesy of Brewery Ommegang.

Tons of stuff happening in the craft beer world – if you are looking at it from the business sense, it makes one wonder if the we’re turning a corner.  One announcement that really struck me was the fact that New Hampshire-based Smuttynose Brewing is up for auction!  Believe it or not, there was a time when The Brewholder could/would not drink anything hoppier than a Yuengling Lord Chesterfield Ale.  But one day in the early 2000’s, standing in warm sunlight at an outdoor picnic in the month of May, someone handed me a Smuttynose Finest Kind IPA, and it was an awakening.  I’ll never forget that moment of confusion, delight, and sudden understanding that a doorway to a whole new style of beer had just been opened to me. I believe it is that rush of excitement that has been the power behind the craft beer movement (or at least it is for me).  So when I heard that Smuttynose might undergo some significant changes, I felt a little something, right there in the chest.

But no need to cry!  There are still many new beers being created every day, and there are tons of cities/states/countries that are modernizing their beer laws (think you had it bad in Pennsylvania?  Indiana just passed a law allowing for Sunday beer sales!)  So keep on trying new brews, especially local brews!

Cheers!

The Brewholder

Copyright 2018 – all rights reserved

Against All Hops – A Distinctively Refreshing Brew Recipe Book

Against All Hops by Butch Heilshorn

In the midst of the electronic onslaught of blog posts, tweets, and visual inundation of digital photos on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, every once in a while it is refreshing to just sit and read a physical book while enjoying a well-crafted beer. My most recent foray into physical media was “Against All Hops – Techniques and Philosophy for Creating Extraordinary Botanical Beers,” by Butch Heilshorn, the co-founder of Earth Eagle Brewings located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Against All Hops at its core is a recipe book for some of the brews that Butch and his team have created at their brewery. At the outset, be warned – the recipes are for advanced brewers and the book does not get into introductory methods of brewing, cleaning, or sanitization. The book is a fantastic read because, if you are not familiar with Earth Eagle Brewings, their brews use more than just hops in their beers. Butch has embraced the use of locally foraged herbs and plants in his beer, with the help and knowledge of his herbalist wife April.

While the book contains recipes for their interpretation of standard styles (IPA, Stout, Pale Ale), generally Earth Eagle Brewings beer can be described as “gruit,” an ancient ale that did not use hops as the bittering agent. Instead, all manner of herbs, flowers, and other plant matter are used to create new and interesting tastes. Each recipe is prefaced with a enlightening discussion on the history, tastes, and medicinal qualities of the herbs used in the brew. Along with high-quality photographs of the plants, it makes for an extremely enjoyable read.

In addition to the recipes, Butch explains his philosophy on brewing, which is most definitely on the artistic side of the brewing spectrum (as compared to the technical, scientific side where large, industrial breweries necessarily reside). His concept of humanity’s connection to Earth is well presented, without being judgmental or overbearing, and is clearly reflected in the recipes for his beer.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Against All Hops, especially in the cold of December and January when thoughts of foraging for locally harvested herbs and plants seem to warm you from the inside. While the book is meant for brewers, anyone who has an appreciation for creative and well-crafted beer would probably enjoy reading the narratives between the recipes. As a home brewer, after reading Against All Hops, I am truly looking forward to trying my hand at a gruit with some home grown herbs this Spring – and maybe a trip to New Hampshire this year to try these recipes for myself!

Against All Hops is available on Amazon in paperback for $12.91 and on Kindle for $9.99.

Cheers!

The Brewholder

Copyright 2018 – all rights reserved

Attention to Detail the Key at Keystone Homebrew Supply

Photo courtesy Keystone Homebrew Supply.

When I’m not drinking beer or writing about beer or dreaming about beer, I try brewing beer. But let’s be clear: extract only (One of these days I’ll find the extra time to brew all grain).

At last count I’ve brewed 18 five gallon batches over the past 4 years (I’m not counting the two I brewed sometime in 1995/1996), with only 3 that were pretty much undrinkable – and those 3 failures were the result of simple process mistakes. Not too bad of a ratio for an amateur – but it’s the small mistakes that kill your beer, and paying attention to detail is extremely important.  I have to note – every single one of those Brewing kits have come from Keystone Homebrew Supply in Montgomeryville (even the 2 in 1995 & 1996, when they were located in a tiny little shop on Route 309)!

I was reminded of the importance of attention to detail in brewing the other day when I stopped in to Keystone Homebrew Supply in Montgomeryville to pick up my next kit. Usually I run in, get my prepackaged kit, grab the hops and yeast out of the fridge myself (because I can’t help myself – I usually tinker with the recipes), pay and leave. But the other day was different – I needed help because my favorite kit (called “Emperor Pale Patine”) wasn’t on the shelf.

So one of the Keystone employees named Alan put the kit together for me using the Emperor Pale Patine recipe that they keep in a three ring binder for just this kind of situation. When he brought me up to the counter to check out, he took the time to double check that all the ingredients of the kit were in the box (including my extra hop additions). As Alan went through the box, he scrutinized the recipe, and the first reaction in my head was “Come on man, I gotta go.”

But at each step in the recipe he asked “Do you do this?” Or “How do you do this step?” As Alan asked me these seemingly innocuous questions, he pointed out a few things that I could do (or not do!) to make my beer better. And those few simple things made so much sense that it blew my mind.

I’ve always heard that about Keystone homebrew Supply – in fact, they announce in their email newsletters – “If you have questions, feel free to ask anyone.” But I am usually on the run and don’t ask. So I’m glad Alan took the time to ask ME the questions! I’m stoked to try this next kit and just wanted to thank Alan and the Keystone staff!

And PS – if you are a Forest & Main fan, Keystone sells a kit of their “My Analog Brain,” an English bitter. That’s definitely on my list to brew – maybe it will be my 20th batch!

Cheers!

The Brewholder

Copyright 2017 – all rights reserved

Happy Belated 21st Birthday to River Horse!

 

Happy 21st Birthday! Photo courtesy of River Horse Brewing Company

It’s hard to believe that River Horse Brewing is 21 years old!  I remember the days (probably around 1999) of buying a variety case of River Horse and unfortunately each variety tasted like liquid pennies!   Things started to get better – I’ll never forget the  filtered Summer Ale and my first Belgian Freeze.  But in 2007 it definitely turned around – Processes were enhanced and the fun began!

River Horse has absolutely gotten better with age.   I’ve especially enjoyed their varieties I’ve tasted recently – like their tart but very drinkable Cranberry Sour.

So Cheers to River Horse!  Here’s to another 21 years!

Cheers!

The Brewholder

Copyright 2017 – all rights reserved

Yards Celebrates 10 Years of Real Ale Fest this Sunday!

Unfiltered goodness at Yards’ 10th Annual Real Ale Invitational! Photo courtesy Yards Brewing Company.

Yards Brewing Company will be hosting its 10th Annual Real Ale Invitational this Sunday, April 30 from 1-5pm.  According to the Yards website,

 This year, there will be over 60 cask-conditioned beers from breweries around the world, the biggest selection ever! Regular admission tickets are $55 in advance. If available, tickets will be $65 at the door but please note that Real Ale has sold out prior to the event for five years in a row.

Check out all the details and purchase tickets online here!

Hope to see you there!

Cheers!

The Brewholder

Copyright 2017 – all rights reserved

Craft Beer Memories Relived: What Is Your Groundhog Day?

In my recent article in Ticket to Entertainment, I asked several people in the craft beer industry to describe a day that they could relive over and over again (beer related of course!), as Bill Murray did in the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day.”  Due to space limitations, I had to edit their responses – so below are their full, unedited responses!  Cheers!

Bill Covaleski, Victory Brewing Company, Jan. 17, 2017

“This is a great question that everyone should answer because, hopefully, it rewards a person with a backwards winding movie off all of the moments of their lives in which the experienced great fulfillment. For me there were many candidates for this honor, but one offered great clarity so I’ll go with this…

Years ago Greg Koch (Stone Brewing) had invited Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head) and I to participate in a big way in the opening of Stone Berlin, with a special version of our Saison du BUFF to be brewed there. Time went by and the day arrived, September 20, 2016. I walked to Sam’s hotel and there he was, as planned, with bikes for us to make the 45 minute trek. Greg rolled up at our arranged meeting point, Brandenburg Gate, a historic spot indeed that added some gravity to what was feeling like a very exciting day. I have to admit, the importance of this American craft beer flag that Stone had so boldly planted in Germany was thrilling me, a student of German brewing school (Doemens, 1993) whose earliest flavorful beers were German imports. I could not wait to experience it.

Along the bike path the folks from BRLO Brewery were starting another busy day of construction on their brewery built into shipping containers so we stopped in to meet them, Greg being the friendly neighbor he is rather than the American beer icon. A sense of anonymity and freedom were a big part of the blissful experience that day. The peak of which may have happened as we rode the quiet path. Just three anonymous friends sharing the path with pensioners and their pets, off to a great, secret adventure like grade school pals skipping school. The sense of promise and place were rich and immediate.

Stone Berlin exudes a calm confidence. It is impossible not to be impressed with the way grand spaces lead to cozy nooks and interesting views, all designed to enrich the experience of flavor and conversation. The artist in me found delight in the facility at every turn. We were joined that day by friends and guests from the UK and America and eventually got to work sorting the rosemary, sage, lemon thyme and parsley that make this winning collaboration beer so delicious. The staff were wide-eyed as well, only one week into the brewpub’s operation. All around was sense of promise, and risk, an intoxicating combination that we entrepreneurs can’t get enough of. Speaking of risk, I recall that the menacing traffic at more than one intersection nearly claimed Sam though we laughed right through it with shouts of encouragement.

Similar to the Stone staff an incredible and close-knit bunch of beer lovers gathered throughout the day, culminating with magnificent beer dinner in which a commemorative boot of Saison du BUFF was passed around and enjoyed by each dinner guest in a somewhat irreverent take on a highly codified German beer drinking tradition.

We shook ourselves from this dream to remount our bikes, this time a larger group including friends and family. At one point I dashed ahead into the darkness to live a moment within my own thoughts. I wondered what force brings busy friends, competitors some might insist, together to a foreign place to add vitality to the vision of a friend It is friendship itself, and the promising energy that flows from a group on the same mission. That’s how you should drink beer, with friends on a mission of discovery. Doing so will make each day different, better and memorable.”

Sam Calagione, Greg Koch and Bill Covaleski celebrate after brewing Saison du BUFF in Stone’s new brewpub in Berlin, September 20, 2016. Photo courtesy of Bill Covaleski.

Julius Facenda, The Brick & Barrel, Jan. 21, 2017:

“Something I’d love to relive every day….One of my most enjoyable beer experiences:  When I started working at Iron Abbey, I had a lot of friends that were judgmental to craft beer scene at the time – it was fancy for them.  And I was getting into it because we had 36 lines on and 300 bottles – so I’m tasting 40 different liquids every day – sour, hoppy, imperial stout, all this crazy stuff.  The boss plans a trip to Sly Fox Bock Fest.  Bock Fest is at Sly Fox, in the parking lot of a shopping center.  We took a bus there – we had 5 cases of Sly Fox “113 IPA” and a good selection of the Sly Fox cans (this is before cans were cool, too!)  So we’re on the bus with a whole bunch of people and I brought a bunch of my non-craft friends – cause they like to party.  Everyone is singing on the bus, and we pull up to Sly Fox and there’s 1000 people in the parking lot – it maxed out at 5000 people!  There’s busses from all kinds of bars and god knows – just random people!

There’s trailers and people with their goats for the goat races.  When we get off the bus, the first interaction we have is with a bunch of goats who are just standing around with no one watching them!   We look at the goats, and one comes out and head butts my leg!  Not vicious, a black goat with huge horns – my friends start laughing;  they are not used to drinking this stronger beer, so they are starting to have a good time.  We came across this beer called EisBock – I was not aware of it prior to that day.  I went into the brewpub – they served the Eisbock in 5 oz servings – so I ordered a few for me and my friends.  It’s different but it’s good – I think it was 14% ABV.

I remember there were people in the trees watching the goat races; I was sitting on a bench with some regulars from Iron Abbey.  Meanwhile, I’m sipping this 14% beer – and my boss comes up and says, “Let’s go – you’re racing this goat!”  I said “I’m drunk bro – I’m not doing that.”  But I chugged the beer and went to get the goat.  It was cool because I have a little salt and pepper in my beard and I got a goat that was salt and pepper too!  One of the guys that worked at Na Brasa also got a goat, and before the race began, the goat took off on him.  He chased it down and finally got the goat back.  I was in the second heat, and I was watching the first heat.  I learned  after the fact – there’s a trick to racing goats – you can’t get in front of your goat, because if you do your goat stops.  Whichever goat wins, that name is used for that year’s bock beer.  Peggy was a three legged goat that may have won a few years in a row and was racing the year I was there.

It was an amazing time – and it wasn’t just all about craft beer.  It was more about the camaraderie with my friends between the beer, the event – Bock fest – being an old german festival.  And my friends were really into this idea because they were partying but there were still people drinking PBR cans.  As I was waiting for my turn in the second heat of the goat race, I look over and my friends are standing next to some random guy with a cooler of PBR cans and they are waving PBR cans! On the way home on the bus the whole bus was singing.  It was such a cool event because it brought non-craft beer drinkers to the real craft beer world where its like every one was just enjoying the time together.  And it was one of my first beer events, to tell you the truth!

Daniel Endicott, Forest & Main Brewing, Jan, 22, 2017

In January of 2009 I traveled to England to study brewing at the University of Sunderland. After a long over night flight and a day of exhausting traveling I arrived in York, where I would spend a few days before classes began. After a quick nap I set out to enjoy the history and beauty of York. I wound up in the Minister Inn, a little bar that makes our bar look enormous. Over pints of bitter I made friends with the locals. Over pints of bitter I watched the inauguration of Barack Obama. It was a momentous time, both for my country and myself. It was a night full of optimism, joy, and pride… and some of the best beer I’d ever had. I returned to the Minister Inn the next night and enjoyed more pints with my new friends, it was one of the most welcoming pubs I’ve ever set foot in. If I could relive one beer related day of my life I think I would choose that one.  It was a big inspiration for our pub.

John Remington, Founder, Conshohocken Brewing Company, Jan. 22, 2017

“This is an easy question for me!  May 2016 – when we won the Silver at the World Beer Cup right here in our backyard in Philadelphia for our ‘Puddlers Row ESB.’  It was amazing to win at the world level, but to do it in Philadelphia made it that much more special to us.  The festivities afterward got a bit hazy after hitting several of our favorite Philly local spots into the early morning.  Definitely worth reliving a few times!”

Jim Carter, Ambler Beverage Exchange, Jan. 22, 2017

“Hahahaha….the one day I’d relive over and over is when I went to Monks Cafe for the 1st time…I could live with doing that for the rest of life…hahaha.  The beers that I had were unbelievable …each one was better than the next ( can’t even remember how what they were but definitely Belgian) the food was spot on and the atmosphere was perfect…I would do it everyday if I could…”

* * *

As Covaleski said, “This is a great question that everyone should answer because, hopefully, it rewards a person with a backwards winding movie of all of the moments of their lives in which they experienced great fulfillment.”  And truly, the question helps one recognize the real value of beer; it should not just be a liquid consumed in a vacuum, but a vital part of a social experience that becomes inexorably intertwined with our life experiences.

Cheers!

The Brewholder

Copyright 2017 – all rights reserved