Monday, February 28, 2011

Gift Card Bonanza (#homebrew)

Stumbled on a $50 Amazon gift card (sorry Amazon, I occasionally do clean up the coupons stuck to my refrigerator) and decided to expand my brewing library with the following titles:

"Brewing Up a Business: Adventures in Beer from the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Revised and Updated" by Sam Calagione.

"Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles" by Ray Daniels.

"How to Brew: Everything You Need To Know To Brew Beer Right The First Time" by John J. Palmer.

"Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation (Brewing Elements Series)" by Chris White.

There are some classics here I'm sure everyone has already.

The Yeast title is quite new and should be good. Yeast: How do you do what you do?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Nugget Nectar (#homebrew)

After our visit to Troegs yesterday, and a check of my brewing inventory today, I see I have all the ingredients to brew a clone of this beer.

Malts: Pilsner, Vienna, Munich
Hops: Nugget, Warrior, Tomahawk, Simcoe®, Palisade
Hopback Hops: Whole Leaf Nugget
Dry Hop: Nugget, Warrior

ABV: 7.5%
IBU: 93ish
Color: Straw/Orange

So much to brew, so little time.

Dang! Troegs Makes Good Beer

D and I popped into Troegs yesterday after the rally and boy did we have a great time.

Wall to wall SRO beer drinkers enjoyin' a 1000 pints, and just plain good people enjoying a beautiful sunny late winter afternoon out and about and stoppin' in to enjoy some dang good beer.

We enjoyed a couple pints each of the last the the Nugget Nectar. Sweet! Not much carbonation to speak of and a excellent balance of malt and hop flavors. Really easy drinkin'. By the time you read this, it may be too late to get some. Better luck next year.

Met up with J (a bike racer) who had biked up from Lancaster on a training ride. His family met him there. Did we share some great memories of bike racing, training, riding, beer drinkin' stories, gluten-free beer ideas, and such. Isn't that what beer's all about? I think so.

The barkeep told us Sunshine Pils is now brewing. Can you say Summer is just around the bend of the draught faucet?

Will miss this location when they move to Hershey. Will be 15 minutes closer for me though, so in every cloud there is a silver lining.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Here you are. And through some serendipitous bit of good fortune you made it.

Many on this blogosphere inscribe a short autobiography on the front page describing who they are, where they come from, what their interests are, or what beers they like.

I don't have one--I hope the stories (both fact, fiction, and opinion) tell you who I am.

Recently I read a post somewhere where the author proclaimed that

“I immediately skip comments from a person using a pseudonym.”

What do you think of that? Do you agree or disagree?

I strongly disagree with that statement because one can never really know the status of the person using a pseudonym. What I mean is that the writer could be saying something unpopular in their current environment. Or, that could get them fired or be used against them in some way. Maybe even saying something that could hurt their chances of getting a job. One can't assume that the person using the fake name is only doing so out of cowardice and not standing by their words. That's not to say that there aren't cowards out there--rabble-rousers. Just use your best judgement. But don't dismiss something out of hand due to the writer's pseudonym.

For heaven's sake, we all know now who Poor Richard was and why he used that name, right?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hop Rhyzomes Ordered! (#homebrew)

I just contacted Pete at Simply Homebrew and ordered two each Chinook, Centennial, and Nugget rhyzomes to go in this year.

Here's a few shots of our existing hop yard consisting of Cascade and Willamette varieties.

It is a C-H-O-R-E keeping the bines down to a reasonable number.

The new varieties will be going in apart from what you see here on a new raisable trellis mechanism.

Are you dreaming of fresh hop beer yet?

Cascade and Willamette producing well and going into their 4th year.

Here's Marley's Tire Chaser IPA

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Quick Trip to Marley's Brewery and Grille in Bloomsburg

D and I and hundreds of other like-minded beer fie...err friends froze our patoochies off last night to get into Marley's to experience what this new brewery has to offer...

Through the front door (don't mind the big Harry's sign overhead out front from when this was Harry Magee's old haunt) is a large high-ceilinged taproom. There's a big chalk board just inside on the left that welcomes and entices. Straight ahead lies a wonderful u-shaped bar with oaken-plank bar-top, perhaps 40 feet long (seating for maybe 18) and lit by some nice pendants and fronted by a slick oak Chicago bar rail. The bar overhang is supported by rugged corbels underneath. There's a unique canopied back bar with shelving holding three sizes of gleaming beer glassware to the left and right of the large center mirror etched with Marley's Brewery and Grille logo. Beaded trim used throughout--bar front, backbar trim around cabinet doors, etc.

To the right and continuing down to the back of the taproom are pub tables. Half-way down the right wall is a passageway with hostess station, that leads to a more intimate dining room with booths beyond. The neat transom over the opening to the passageway depicts the equipment and stages of the brewing process.

To the beer.

In order of preference I liked the Tire Chaser IPA the most. It tastes crisply different for these parts and it doesn't snarl at ya. It's just absolutely Deeeeeelicious! (I would like to know what hops were used in this.) The aroma on this one really opens up from a shaker pour!

The Wagging Tail Wit made me want to get out and mow the lawn it's so dang good. Nota bene: I can never get enough Belgian wheat beer.

The Guard Dog Porter is almost a stout with so much chocolate that it had me thinkin' I'd time traveled to Valentine's Day and overdosed on a box.

You know what I like about US Porters? They're all different and not beholden to some antique stylings. And now we have three fine local examples: Petey's Porter from Old Forge Brewing Company, Grumpy Bill Porter from Berwick Brewing Company and now Guard Dog Porter. Deeeeeeeelicious!

We live in great times, don't ya think?

The Kong Kolsch is, well, a kolsch which I'm not a huge fan of. Very drinkable though.

Finally the Dog Runner Red is my least favorite. Too malty for me, but I ain't no Saint Michael.

The last two beers, the Rope Tug Rye (sounds good doesn't it?) and the Droopy Ear Alt won't be on until sometime next week according to our barmaid.

I may be wrong about this, but the rye may just be the first rye produced by any of the local breweries. I count local as Danville northeast along the Susquehanna to Plains.

I can't wait to try it.

If my eyes don't deceive me (and lately they have been) the beer menu lists the sugar content of the beer pre and post-fermentation in degrees Plato: °P. °P is roughly the number of grams of sugar in a 100 gram aqueous solution. Now when's the last time you saw anyone relate Plato to beer and on a beer menu to boot?

I had to look it up, but a rough conversion is to take the °P and multiply it by 4 to obtain specific gravity. This is what I'm most familiar with in homebrewing. So I took the IPA as an example and did the multiplication. It gave me an original gravity of 1.054 and final gravity of 1.0096. That sounds about right for a 6% ABV.

Speaking of barmaids, you won't find a nicer bunch. Hi Babbling B!

The canine theme continues with the pack of growlers over there. (I brought one home filled with the Tire Chaser IPA and I can't wait until The Best Part of Every Day™ to crack it!)

Marley's is located in downtown Bloomsburg on East Main Street (also known as route 11). If you're coming from the west, it's easy to reach from the Lightstreet exit (236) of I-80 by taking 487 south into town. If you're coming from the east, take the Berwick exit (241) of I-80 onto 11 south.

There's a municipal parking lot one block behind Marley's and a block north (towards the college). There are signs on East Main St. that will lead you right in to the parking.

In short, there's lots to like about this place. The beer's cold and good and there's a Happy Hour when two of the beers (brewer's choice) are a buck off. They do serve some wines too, so even those without a lusty jonesin' for a beer goin' on can be appeased. There are beer flights which we sampled. The beer can be ordered in 12, 16, and 23 ounce pours and the prices are pretty good for these parts. The service is great: attentive and quick. Can't speak for the food, other than a wee pretzel snack we enjoyed the heck out of.

It seems the staff was ironing the kinks out of the point of sale system, but they were managing to keep it all under control.

I did not see a whole lot of college-age kids but there were some. Not that there's anything wrong with that--beer does not discriminate based on age.

I think what we have here is a worthy addition to our now on-fire beer scene. And I hope this never ends.

Good luck Marley's.

And we'll be back.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Victory Brewing Company to be Featured at Valentine's Day Prohibition Themed Beer Dinner

This just in from our roving beer reporter, contributing today from the Savannah bureau.

Victory Brewing Company beers are to be featured at a beer pairing dinner being held at The Distillery in Savannah Georgia, on February 14th 2011, starting at 6:00 pm.

The dinner will be featuring seven of Victory Brewing Company beers paired with five food courses. Beers for the dinner include: Storm King Stout, V-12, Schwartz Pils, Hop Wallop, Helios Farmhouse Ale, Old Horizontal, Prima Pils....and possibly a few other appearances.

This dinner will be a true "Prohibition" themed event. The Distillery will have paper up on the front windows and the front doors will be locked. All attendees must use the side door with a secret knock with a secret password (given at time of making reservations).....just like the ol' Speakeasies. There will be music from the 20's and 30's, and dress from that time era is encouraged. A prize will be given for the best costumes.

Cost is $60 for beer club members and $70 for non-members.

See your bartender or call The Distillery at (912)236-1772 to make a reservation and find out details of the food pairings.

The key to your baby's heart on Valentine's Day in Savannah this year, won't be found in a box of chocolates but in a glass of Victory Beer and some fine food pairings.

The Distillery is the Savannah area's only true craft beer bar and restaurant with 21 rotating craft beers on tap and over 100 bottled beers. They offer Savannah fine fresh pub food inspired by the craft beer showcased. Spanning the Beer Globulet, so you can just sit there, drink beer, and have fun. And communicate pithy commentary from your smartphone every now and then.®