Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Prohibition Coming!

To TV, that is.

I just received the following to my inbox announcing the new Ken Burns documentary premiering Sunday night.

For three consecutive nights, beginning October 2 at 8 p.m., PBS will air one of the most compelling documentaries ever created about an embarrassing 13-year era of U.S. history. "Prohibition," by award winning film maker Ken Burns, chronicles the crime, loose morality and violence that erupted from an unenforceable law that escalated alcohol's status and made heroes out of the thugs who illegally supplied it.

Check your local listings for the broadcast times on your local PBS station.

In conjunction with this event, our local PBS station WVIA-TV has put together a show airing this Thursday, September 29 at 7 pm entitled Prohibition In Northeast Pennsylvania as part of its State of Pennsylvania series with guest Guy Graybill, author of "Prohibition's Prince".

In Northeast Pennsylvania, moonshiner and bootlegger Prince David Farrington became a notorious character. His bootlegging operations impacted thousands made a legend of the man and the stills he left standing. Learn the truth about Prohibition's Prince on our next State of PA.

Should be very interesting indeed.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wild Hops?

Uncle Kazek insists there are wild hops growing behind his house.

I won't argue with him since hops were cultivated in the eastern US long ago, but this brings to mind something that does grow on a vine, wild, at the end of the street by my house: grapes.

On Saturday I went for a long run (11) and on two occasions, once at the end of said street and another on the long road back, passed stands of wild grapes, their vines resolutely clutching tree trunk and extending like octopus tentacles along the branches next to and in some cases overhanging the road. Stands may be too strong as there appeared to be only a single surviving vine in each case. The sweet, ripe, purple grape emitted an intoxicating aroma as I passed.

I wonder if someday soon there might be hop fields along these same roads, lending their own exotic nimbus into the air for passing beer/running enthusiasts to enjoy?

Drying Out Over a ShawneeCraft® Double Pale Ale at the Gem and Keystone

One of the almost infinite benefits of working in the Garden State is that we pass more than a few brewpubs on our way back and forth, slaves to the grind.  (This is going to end soon, but Elmer Sudds has plenty of beers to cry over.  I surely will be crying over this.)

Today we decided to stop in at the Gem and Keystone Brew Pub to see if anything from ShawneeCraft® Brewing Company's new brewmaster Chris was gracing the taps yet.  (As you probably know from Mr. MyBeerBuzz the Leo has left and now the Chris is at the mash tun.)

Anyway, the short answer is that the beers available now are still collaborative efforts of Chris and Leo with some of Chris' own creations coming on real soon.  As a matter of fact this weekend there'll be an Oktoberfest beer coming on and in November a pumpkin ale.  To follow is the wonderful Porter--to Leo's recipe according to the `keep.

This afternoon, we sampled the Double Pale Ale to the right which was a nice hoppy creation which we did not have a chance to taste on our last visit.  (Or did we?) This is not an Americanized pale ale but something that an English brewer might brew.  If hopped up.  Aah, the perfect antidote to a day in NJ!  That was quickly followed up by the delicious Stock Ale™which is, dare we use the word, sessionable, coming in at a meager 4.8% ABV.

We were truly saddened to hear that there was a loss of many kegs of barrel aging beers due to Tropical Storm Lee that blasted through Eastern PA a few weeks ago.   (ShawneeCraft® is located in Shawnee on the Delaware right next to the Delaware River.) Some of the barrels had been aging for a couple of years, but had to be dumped nonetheless.  Our hearts go out to the brewery over this loss.  Much of the brewery gear was saved by moving it to higher elevation, but some of the brewery equipment was still damaged by the rampaging river.  The good news is that the damage was not that bad according to the `keep.

Talk to you lager,