Beer Education: Syllabus

This is more of the starting point, with the syllabus just being the ‘cap’ to it. Its more about starting the course than the actual syllabus. I’ll walk through what I did to start up the course, and then cover the syllabus at the end. I was tempted to call this: “Beer Education: The Start” but I figured saying “Beer Education: Syllabus” sounded more formal, scholarly, and the right place to really start it.

Opening page describes procedures of the class, when it ends, when it begins, how it works, when you lose access to it (if you don’t finish) (June 25th, 2020). Scrolling down the opening page, you see a segment with the EdX logo (an X with a smiley face and a graduating cap), it gives you the options of: EARN A CERTIFICATE or COMPLETE THE COURSE or EXPLORE THE COURSE. The certificate will cost 99$, but they are running a special for 84.15$.

On the right hand side, there is a list of upcoming dates:

* May 21st, 2020
“You are still eligible to upgrade to a Verified Certificate! Pursue it to highlight the knowledge and skills you gain in this course.Upgrade to Verified Certificate.”
* May 31st, 2020
“After this date, course content will be archived.”
* June 2, 2020
“Day certificates will become available for passing verified learners.”

I selected “Complete the Course”, since I don’t need the certificate (or at least, if I wish to get it, I can get it later). (You can do whichever is best for you.)

The page then gives an outline (a syllabus) of the course:

  • Introduction
    * Welcome to the BrewingX Course
    * Course Overview
    * Experiments: Do It Yourself!
    * Quiz: Determine Your Beer Profile
    * Feedback and Questions
  • Module 1: History and Overview of Brewing Process
    * Overview Module 1
    * Beer Brewing
    * Do It Yourself: Beer Tasting
    * Do It Yourself: Malting at Home
    * Assessment Module 1
    * Feedback and questions
  • Module 2: Barley and Malting
    * Overview Module 2
    * Do It Yourself: Cereals used in brewing
    * Barley – the preferred starting material for maltsters
    * Do It Yourself: discussing malting at home
    * The malting process
    * Malt types
    * Assessment Module 2
    * Feedback and questions
  • Module 3: Water
    * Overview Module 3
    * Water composition
    * Water treatment
    * Expert talk
    * Do It Yourself: Hops and spices preparation
    * Verified track content: Practical tips for brewers
    * Assessment Module 3
    * Feedback and Questions
  • Module 4: Hops and Spices
    * Introduction
    * Important molecule classes in hops
    * Hopping techniques
    * Verified track content: What are hops used by brewers?
    * Spices and herbs
    * Do it Yourself: preparation for fermentation experiment
    * Assessment Module 4
    * Feedback and questions

All of these are links that you can click on and view at your leisure. You can either click the first link (or any) or hit the “Begin Course” in the upper right. After doing so, it then becomes a “Resume Course” button.

Now that we got the syllabus out of the way, and the logistics of the class. Let’s get started. Follow me as we hit “Begin Course: and start at the introduction in the next article!

Cheers and happy learning ‘soon to be beer scholars’!

-B. Kline

BEER EDUCATION SERIES:
* Beer Education: The Series (overview)
* Beer Education: Syllabus

Full Pint Brewing Closing

Full Pint Brewing Company (out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

This is not the post I wanted to make today, especially with the overwhelming bad news that is constantly flooding us all the time right now. In the midst of doing the post and work on the beer education series / class I am doing, this news came out. So I figured I’d post this; go back to finish the school / beer education post, then you can make get a good, happy post, rather than the sad one that this is.

Hopefully this won’t be a harbinger of other breweries closing as well. And this isn’t primarily because of the coronavirus / COVID-19 either; as earlier in the year Full Pint Brewing closed their second location – The Wild Side Pub.

Earlier today, Full Pint Brewing posted on their Instagram:

Full Pint Brewing’s post on their Instagram page

You can see and view their Instagram page here: Full Pint Brewing on Instagram.

Their Instagram page announces that they will be ceasing operations and closing their business on April 3rd. No word has been said about their facility, their equipment, or their beer (either already sold to distributors or in-house).

Untappd has them listed as a micro-brewery out of North Versailles Pennsylvania. It lists them with 310 unique beers and a global rating of 3.58 (as of 3.27.20).

This is the third brewery to be closed in recent months; with Stoudts announcing their closing and Crystal Ball closing completely earlier.

The caption for their Instagram post reads:

It has been an emotional day looking back through old photos… I would be lying if I was to say that I am not tearing up as I type this caption. I am the guy on the White Lightning label, I have done everything in my power to keep Full Pint alive these past few years but even the “God” of White Lightning or Unit Lorde(Inside Joke sorry) has his limitations. Thank you to all of you for supporting us these past 9 years, we were 1 month shy of 10 years in business. We are going to start discounting our growlers and kegs starting today so please come and help deplete our supplies and show our amazing staff some love. Sincerely, Barrett Goddard

Full Pint Brewing (Instagram) (Barrett Goddard)

It is never pleasant to report the closing of breweries, but sadly, it does happen from time to time. And unfortunately, with the pandemic going on, and with many (ahead of the pandemic) already claiming the ‘craft beer bubble is about to burst’ this might become more of a trend. Fingers, toes, and other appendages crossed – that hopefully this does not. But the future months do look to be tense and uncertain.

If you’ve been to Full Pint, or just enjoyed their beers, let us know in the comments. I know sadly, I never got to try the Festivus beer they made, and as a huge Seinfeld fan that is certainly upsetting.

Hopefully this message finds you all healthy, and well, inside your homes. Stay safe everyone, keep your distance, enjoy your beers at home, and support the craft breweries however / whenever you can. We’re all in this together. Cheers everyone!

-B. Kline

(Additional source: Breweries in PA)

Beer Education: Series

For everyone stuck in and going stir crazy, or having cabin fever, or losing their marbles, minds, biscuits, or gravy, or whatever term you want to call it, I’m introducing a new series. There is a lot of different sites that offer online courses – like Coursera, EDX, Gale Online, etc. – but most aren’t really tailored for brewing or beer drinking or things like that (there is some Cicerone ones I have found though, that might be the next subject to tackle). Some are free, some aren’t, most are free – with the caveat of having to pay for the physical degree. The sites will allow you to finish the courses; but to actually have a degree (either physical or digital or whatever) you will have to pay for that. Which can be anywhere from 20-100$ depending on the course and the site.

I have previously gone and done all of the brewery safety courses offered by the Home – Brewers Association. They offer a large array of courses designed for working at breweries and have videos hosted by Bell’s Brewing and Founder’s and a host of other breweries in the area. They do offer (free) certificates at the end of each course.

So, while looking for things to entertain my feeble mind during this quarantine, I’ve come across a brewing class: Beer – The Science of Brewing. It is offered by EDX.org through the KU Leuven University.

Some basic notes on the course:
* Typical Length: 13 Weeks
* Effort: 4 – 6 Hours Per Week
* Price: Free (verified certificate: 99$)
* Level: Intermediate

Things You’ll Learn:

  • Explain the importance of the 4 basic ingredients of beer in shaping beer taste and aroma
  • Understand the different processing steps in malting and beer brewing
  • Understand the key biochemical reactions occurring during each of these steps
  • Recognize and describe the main beer styles, and understand how the brewing process contributes to the different beers
  • Identify key factors affecting beer identity, quality, and stability
  • Carry out basic sensory analyses of beers and identify key flavors and off-flavors and their molecular origin

So there is a lot to learn here, and yes, its possibly long (13 weeks, is the equivalent of 3 months, give or take). But, we are all on lockdown and in quarantine for an indefinite amount of time, and even once its lifted, 4 – 6 hours of ‘commitment’ a week, is far from impossible, even around a 40 hour work schedule. And of course, thats an estimation for commitment time, some might find it easier, some might find it harder.

So, long story short, I’m going to dive into this, and continue a series of posts about taking the course. I recommend others do the same, and we can discuss it in the comments, or you can just follow along as I tackle this, and learn through me vicariously. All up to you!

So this should definitely be interesting, and fun.

I will post updates to the series, and will title it: Beer Education: X.

Where X will either be substituted for week, day, or possibly module name / number or section or course. So it might look something like this: Beer Education: The Science of Brewing: Week One or Beer Education: The Science of Brewing: Module One or something similar. In each successive post, I’ll link back to past updates so if you join in later, you can catch up and see where we (or I) am at.

At worse, running this series will force me to make sure I finish, otherwise I look like a big stupid idiot in front of you all, and who wants to look like a big stupid-head right? Not this guy!

Ok, so this is just the overview post, my next will be my signing up for it, probably reading over the syllabus, and making whatever selections I need to do, to get it all set-up. So please join with me on this fun adventure. Hopefully see you in the virtual class room or just on here, either way, grab a beer and please follow along!

Cheers fellow students and readers!

-B. Kline

Beer Review: This is Nut the Fluff You're Looking For (Fourscore Beer Co)

This is Nut the Fluff You’re Looking For by Fourscore Beer Co. made in collaboration with Founder Club member Eric Acumen

Its nice to take a break amidst everything going on to get take your mind off the world, off the news cycle, off of the coronavirus, COVID-19, and everything else thats just going on in this insane and crazy world. Being in quarantine and lockdown can be a bit like staring into the abyss, and as Nietzsche would say about that: “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” (Its not often you get to use a Frederich Nietzsche quote in a beer review, so when the opportunity presents itself, you just have to do it.)

This is certainly an interesting time we are finding ourselves in; as is often quoted and said (and the phrase I like to use) its an “unprecedented time”. Nobody knows what’s going on, theres uncertainty everywhere, but what I do know, is that craft breweries are still out there with amazing beers – and will either do delivery, to-go, or curbside pickup. From places like Fourscore Beer Co in Gettysburg, to Boneshire Brew Works in Rutherford / Harrisburg, to Troegs Brewing in Hershey, to Roundguys in Lansdale, Two Rivers Brewing in Extol, and so many more to even list. (I do have an article where I have some listed, and keep working on it when I have the time: Supporting Local Breweries and Businesses).

This isn’t exactly how I planned this beer review to start up, but I’ve kind of had it half-envisioned as I went to write it but the beginning is always in flux when I start these, and is usually dependent on what’s going on. I build up a mental outline (I don’t physically outline anything, even when working on my novel) and I just get into the flow and let it go (once again, same goes for the novel, let the characters dictate how everything flows and where the story takes it). So thats mostly how my beer reviews and blog posts go as well. General upbeats and thoughts and things I want to mention before getting to the actual beer review, where once I get to that, I break down the actual beer as per how the beer tasted. So you – as well as I – never know what I’m getting when I write these reviews. So there’s a look into the weird and crazy window into how I write these blog posts. (Sorry this whole paragraph was pretty skippable, but it does kind of lead to the beer…. I promise….). So before I go too far off the rails on how things are bleak right now due to coronavirus / COVID-19 or how I have a crazy writing style, let me get into what led to picking up this beer, and then eventually get into the actual beer review.

Firstly, let’s move back to Sunday (3.22.20). I had wanted to go to Gettysburg on Saturday (3.21.20) but time slipped by on the day to make it really feasible and ended up not making it. Two co-workers who I had been with just hours before the imposed quarantining (due to work at the casino) – Ming and Don – met with me for the trip to Gettysburg. Have no fears, we practiced safe measures – social distancing, scrubbing everything and anything we touched (or saw others touch), and used copious amounts of hand sanitizer; coughed into elbows, etc, etc, etc. So have no fear, there was no contamination or spreading because of our visit.

I had been really eager to check out Fourscore Beer Co since they opened. Last time I was in Gettysburg was last summer with my daughter, and I checked out the Battlefield Brew Works (first time visiting there). But, Fourscore Beer Co looked to be much better, as well as knowing Wade Leedy from the Central Whalerz group, and having talked to so many people from the group about the brewery, I was super psyched about getting to check the brewery out. Unfortunately, flash to the coronavirus, and my first visit is just getting to-go food and beer. But alas, we made the best of it, and promised to visit again, under better circumstances, and when we can fully check out the brewery (hopefully my usually yearly trip to Gettysburg come July / August).

So, Don, Ming, and I ordered as we were about twenty minutes out from the brewery. We were going to get the Eric Acumen Patty Melt, but unfortunately they ran through supplies the day before, but we all settled on the Fourscore Burger (they got coleslaw, I got fries), and all three of us agreed, it was absolutely phenomenal. Top ten burger in my experience with breweries. Just fantastic fries as well, so all around it was a great meal. Ordered the ‘This is Nut the Fluff You’re Looking For’ to drink later (as you’ll find out for the review here), and got a four pack of Timekeeper DIPA. (I might do a review for Timekeeper DIPA, as its a great 8.3% Double IPA of pure juicy goodness.)

We took our food and beverages (Don got the coffee brown ale; Ming doesn’t drink) and went and parked at the parking lot adjacent to the Gettysburg Cemetery. (Which is also only two or so blocks down from the brewery.)

Fourscore Burger, fries, and Timekeeper Double IPA by Fourscore Beer Co.

After eating we then began walking towards the Pennsylvania Monument and checking out the monuments, signs, and what-not along the way. This was Ming’s first time visiting the battlefield, and Don’s since he was in elementary school. I try to go every year (with a few misses) at least once to walk the battlefields. Gettysburg is a beautiful area, a gorgeous town, and despite the tragic history and circumstances, a peaceful, quiet, meditative place.

The view from the top of the PA Monument

Don’t worry, we practiced our social distancing, even in tough places, like the Pennsylvania (PA) Monument, where getting to the top, and getting to the bottom, required a bit of waiting since its basically a one-person stairway.

Ok, I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing about my escapades with Gettysburg, and just want to get right to the actual beer review; the sole purpose of this right? The reason you’re here, isn’t to hear about my trip to Gettysburg, or about how I write, or about the coronavirus or COVID-19. The reason you are here, is because you want to read about how amazing this beer is, am I right?! And don’t worry, it is one hell of a beer!

This is Nut the Fluff You’re Looking For (by Fourscore Beer Co) (Photo Courtesy of Seth Dietz)

Beer: This is Nut the Fluff You’re Looking For
Brewery: Fourscore Beer Co.
Style: Stout – Imperial / Double
ABV: 15%
IBU: None
Untappd Description: Brewed with a British Maris Otter base, loads of malted oats and a variety of roasted and crystal malts with a touch of lactose. Heaps of peanut flour were used in the whirlpool and the wort was racked onto a ton of marshmallow fluff prior to fermentation. More marshmallow is added at the end of fermentation along with peanut butter powder. Huge aromas and flavors of fresh peanut butter and marshmallows straight from the bag. A rich malty base of caramel and chocolate tones carry the flavors to the finish. Brewed with Founders Club member Eric Acumen. (The patty melt was also named after Eric Acumen as well.)

Firstly; let me just say this is an amazing beer. This was only my second beer from Fourscore (my first being the Timekeeper DIPA mentioned earlier), but this absolutely blew me away. Its 13$ per bottle, and they have quite a bit left at their brewery (so if you’re in the area, make sure to stop by and grab one, you won’t regret it!)

Appearance is just how you want your stout, dark, tall, and handsome.I think thats how it goes right? As soon as you open the cap and crack her open, you see the release that shows the great carbonation for this beautiful brew. It pours dark and heavy, thick, and gives off a delicious looking brown creamy foamy head. Interspersed bubbles, varying sizes. The beer itself is a Razor Ramon jet-black hair dark, and the head is a rich creamy brown. As you drink, it leaves a pretty lacing down the glass.

Aroma is just mouth-watering. Its hard to even want to take the time to smell this because you just want to get to drinking it. Heavy peanut, light marshmellow, heavy malt – mostly caramel and roast malts, just gives this a genuine, delicious, heavenly smell. You get a slight chocolate smell but its subdued behind the powerful peanut butter. There is also a light vanilla smell that could be the lactose in combination with the marshmellow or could just be the marshmellow itself, hard to fully distinguish. There is definitely a lot here with the aroma between the peanut butter, the marshmellow, and all of the various malts and oats of caramel, chocolate, roasted, and crystal.

Finally… getting to take a sip of this gorgeous beer…. and …. holy… wow…. just explosive flavor right out of the gate. Like a rambunctious puppy as soon as you get home from a long day of work (or after unlocking it out of the bedroom while you were in the other room trying to work from home due to quarantine), this explodes right out of the gate with mucho mucho mucho flavor. Firstly, let me straight up tell you, you are not going to be tasting the 15%; the high ABV on this is so well hidden, you can finish that entire bottle without realizing it at all. Its super smooth, but with a very heavy thick mouthfeel, but its so drinkable, so tasty, and so well rounded, that the high ABV never even becomes a factor or noticeable. Describing taste for this is simple – while its not something I enjoy as food; as a beer this totally worked – if you’ve ever had a fluffernutter sandwhich. Thats what this is. (With a lot more going on though.) The peanutbutter is definitely the most overwhelming flavor – and I’m a huge sucker for peanutbutter beers too (Molly Pitcher’s is one of my absolute all time favorites, and back at the Kegs and Eggs on the 14th, the Robin Hood Banana and Peanutbutter beer was amazing as well), but regardless of it being one of my favorite ingredients, this beer would still be a home run (or better yet, a grand slam). The marshmellow and lactose lend it a creamy and smooth texture and taste and really helps hide the 15% ABV. The various malts and oats has a very delicious backbone to this beer, and provides a wonderful secondary layer of flavors to this. This has the perfect balance of a thick, smooth, textured, rich, full bodied, aromatic, delicious beer. It has pretty much everything you want in a beer, in spades. This has been one of the most well-rounded stouts I’ve had in a long time. I cannot recommend again if you are in the Gettysburg area, stopping in at Fourscore and picking this up.

My Untappd Rating: ****.50
Global Untappd Rating: 4.58 (as of 3.24.20)

I want to say congratulations to Wade Leedy and Eric Acumen on a wonderful and fantastic beer. I also want to say here, I am a total sucker for the name and label for this beer as well. Great Star Wars reference, and awesome Star Wars beer label. This will be one of the bottles I keep for the wall, just based on label alone.

Make sure you support your local breweries everyone, like Fourscore Beer Co, many breweries are doing curbside, to-go, and delivery. Also, help out with Tattered Flag and donate (check the article) so they can keep making hand sanitizer that helps everyone. You can see the following articles for ways on how you can help your local craft breweries:

* Support Local Breweries and Businesses
* Tattered Flag Uses Distillery to Make Hand Sanitizer
* A Message from Brooks Hemauer of Hemauer Brewing Co
* A Word from Brad Moyer of Liquid Noise Brewing
* An Update on Rubber Soul Brewing in Hummelstown (and the original article: A Sneak Peak at the New Rubber Soul Brewery)

Cheers everyone, and please keep supporting small busniesses, especially in these dark, uncertain times. If we don’t support them now, they won’t be there for us when we need them. We’re all a community, so help out where you can. Stay strong, stay healthy, and enjoy good beer at home!

Cheers!

-B. Kline

This is Nut the Fluff You’re Looking For (Fourscore Beer Co)

A Message From Brooks Hemauer of Hemauer Brewing Co

Hemauer Brewing Co.

In light of everything going on in the world today (with coronavirus and COVID-19); Brooks Hemauer of Hemauer Brewing Co. messaged me today (similar to how Brad Moyer of Liquid Noise did). Brooks and his wife are looking to be opening Hemauer Brewing Co. in Mechanicsburg soon. He is also the head-brewer. Here’s what he had to say and wished to tell everyone:

Where to begin. This virus could kill my wife and I’s dream. I have worked for over 3 1/2 years on this project. Construction is completed. The cooler is stocked with beer. We are just waiting on our final inspection by the PALCB. But due to the virus we are at a complete standstill. Cannot open for retail sales even to-go sales. We place the safety of our staff and our guests at the very foremost. With no idea when we be allowed to serve our guests who have been waiting so patiently for our grand opening. We are just hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.

– Brooks Hemauer

We (The Beer Thrillers) understand how stressful, how unsure, how nervous, and anxious this time is, for everyone. Brewers, owners, patrons – everyone. This is uncertain times and nobody knows whats going on day to day or even hour to hour. BUT, I (B. Kline) do know, we need to stick together and help each other out. If you know of a bartender not working, or a brewer or owner struggling, check with them and see what you can do to help. Every little bit helps, and everything we can do to keep the community strong, healthy, and alive, is something we need to be doing.

Please everyone, stay safe, healthy, wash your hands, practice your social distancing, and help your local community. Support small businesses and owners and employees. We will get through this. Cheers everyone!

-B. Kline

A Word From Brad Moyer of Liquid Noise Brewing

Liquid Noise Brewing

Brad Moyer, brewmaster and co-owner of Liquid Noise Brewing in Marysville Pennsylvania reached out to me today on Facebook, wanting to have an opportunity to speak to people, amidst this trying times. These are unprecedented times, and uncharted waters we are traveling through. It is good to get reassurance from people, and its great that people like Brad want to speak and tell people that it will be OK, and that we will pull through. So enough of my rambling, I’ll let him tell it in his own words:

“We are saddened by this whole Covoid-19 situation, everything from the actual infected patients to our beer is suffering. At this time we are adhering to the suggestions by Governor Wolf and staying closed and only offering to-go growler through 3/20 after that we will be fully closed until the ban has been lifted. It has been a sticky situation across the state declaring who is and is not a “essential” business. Beer distributors? Yes. Breweries No. Liquor Stores? No. And to complicate things the official document released states “food and beverage manufacturers” as deemed essential. Now, I know many small breweries are hanging on to that statement hard. Listen we get it, none of us can afford to shut down and take a huge hit like this. But sometimes the least profitable decision is the safest play to make. That is why we are going to be staying 100% closed until things cool down and life can continue as normal. We love beer, and we love our customers and staff and honestly we wouldn’t want to risk any of those things for any kind of money. We encourage everyone to please follow suit and make the right (and very hard) decision of staying calm and at home. Life will resume soon.”

– Brad Moyer of Liquid Noise Brewing

I appreciate Brad reaching out to me to get this message out to everyone. Please check out their Facebook page for more information, and please, let’s all help out our local breweries in this troubling and struggling time for everyone.

Cheers everyone and I hope to see you guys on the other side of this all!

-B. Kline

Supporting Local Breweries and Businesses

In times like this, when everything is so unprecedented, things are nothing if not an uncertainty. No one right now knows anything with any level of certainty about what’s going on, or what the future holds. Except for one thing – we need to help each other. As the old saying goes: “United we stand, divided we fall.” Or as Jack Shepard said on LOST: “Live together. Die alone.” The mentality of unity, and helping each other out, is the backbone, of not just the United States, but of humanity as a whole. It is one has sustained human culture from the dawning of civilization; what has separated us from the animals.

We have no idea how devastating this coronavirus / COVID-19 will be; either on a physical / societal level for people’s health and well being, or financially, especially on the mom and pop, on the small businesses, on your local craft brewery. Currently, Pennsylvania (currently as of 3.18.20) is on a two week lock-down. But this could be extended, with some discussing it going til May 1st. But here’s the thing, nobody knows. This is a time of uncertainty.

BUT – thankfully, many local breweries, restaurants, and businesses are doing what they can to a) stay afloat and b) to help us (regular people) out. Many are offering curbside to go, take out, delivery, and sales by online or phone.

In my attempt to help out where I can, I am writing up this blog article, to let everyone know what breweries and restaurants are doing what, so that people can stay informed, and be able to purchase and support their favorite local breweries. I’ve attempted to start up several coronavirus / COVID-19 posts over the last several days. But as soon as I’d get information; there’d be more information, or things would change. I tried keeping up with what local-ish breweries were closing (like Guinness and Flying Dog) but it soon became too overwhelming to keep up, especially once Governor Wolf’s mandate came down at 2PM on Monday (3.16.20). But, this is something I can do, and keep people informed. Hopefully, people will see this, and help support their local breweries.

I’m working on trying to get listed as many places as I can. This won’t be completely comprehensive. It can’t possibly be. But I will do my best to list as as much as I can list. If you feel left out, message me, and I will update and include your brewery, restaurant, etc. I want it to be as comprehensive as I can, but I just know it won’t be.

I’m going to try and do it by county / larger municipality areas. There might not be a rhyme or reason to the order of the counties, but you can do a search function and find your county / large municipality to find what you need.

DAUPHIN COUNTY:

  • BONESHIRE BREW WORKS
    Boneshire Brew Works is offering: (From their Facebook page): With the mitigation practices to fight the spread of COVID-19 we are open from 4pm to 7pm daily for to-go sales. You can come in and get 4-packs to-go as well as growler fills. For those of you that want to reduce contact even more we have set up an online ordering system to allow for Pick Up. We have knocked off up to $5 per 4-pack depending on the variety. Please be patient with us as we try this out. Again thank you for the support and remember we are all in this together! https://boneshirebrewworks.square.site/
  • OFFICIAL BBQ and BURGERS
    Official BBQ and Burgers (Pizza Boy’s secondary location) announced on their Facebook: We care! We apologize for the inconvenience but we will only be open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 12PM-9PM. In effort to protect our employees and you we will be offering two modified ways to order: Call in ordering – we will be providing carside service! Delivery within 5 miles. YES! You read that right! We want to help people who aren’t comfortable leaving their house still have access to food. (Over the phone CC payments required for all orders. No cash accepted.)
  • MOO-DUCK BREWERY
    Moo-Duck is offering to-go food and beer. With precautions that only up to 10 people can be inside their brewery at once. Their hours of operation are: Wednesday-Friday 3-7PM, Saturday 11-7PM, and Sunday 12-5PM. Call: (570) 242-5658 for more information or details.
  • FUNK BREWING E-TOWN
    On Funk’s E-Town Facebook page: We are Open today for take out and to go 4pks at 12. You can order online from our website www.funkbrewing.com or use this link to go straight to our menu http://toasttab.com/funk-brewing-elizabethtown New cans of Mixed Tape: Sour Peach IPA will arrive sometime in the afternoon. Call ahead or check social media for availability.
  • COX BREWING COMPANY
    On Cox Brewing Company’s Facebook page: Growler and Howler fills available with amended hours. Please share and follow closely as things may change. Special shout out to first responders, nurses and doctors during this time. 💪🍻🇺🇸 #nursesrock #togobeer #lancaster #elizabethtownpa #cbc #coxbrewingcompany. Hours: Wednesday and Friday 5-8PM, Saturday 12-3PM.
  • TATTERED FLAG
    Tattered Flag has options from both their brewery in Middletown as well as their Hershey location (the former Hershey Biergarten); their distillery lounge. On their brewery Facebook page: Thanks to each and every one of you who ordered take out food, beer, spirits, and canned cocktails today! You can’t possibly understand how grateful we are. Tomorrow (Wednesday), we will be open in Middletown from 11-7 (food, beer, spirits, canned cocktails, limited coffee), Hershey from 4-7 (bottled spirits and canned cocktails only), and Gettysburg from 4-7 (beer, spirits, and canned cocktails). We hear that state stores are now closed, so be sure to see us for all you quarantine needs! #grateful #community #thankyou #proudtoraiseaflagwithyou
    Their distillery lounge page posted this yesterday on 3.17.20: We will be offering Togo liquor/ can cocktail sales starting tomorrow Wednesday March 18th from 4-7pm. Check out our website for our wide variety of spirits.
  • APPALACHIAN BREWING COMPANY
    This is was on their ‘overall’ Facebook page. It applies to their Harrisburg, Lititz, Mechanicsburg, and Shippensburg locations. They are all doing the same. Their Facebook page posted today (Wednesday, 3.18.20) around noon:

As restaurants and breweries everywhere work to come out strong on the other side of current closures, the National Restaurant Association has declared today #CarryOutWednesday!

Support local restaurants like our own by ordering food 🍔and beer🍺 to go; our kitchens 👨🏼‍🍳 and our phones 📞 are open and ready to take your takeout orders from 12-8 p.m. today!

Call (717) 221-1080 to order, and view our full menu online here (as well as our Irish Fest menu in the comments)! ⤵️
https://www.abcbrew.com/menu/brew-pub-menu

  • TROEGS BREWING
    Troegs announced on Wednesday that starting Thursday – 3.19.20 they would be starting curbside pickup (beer and food). Their website for their curbside pick up is: http://troegs.com/curbside

MECHANICSBURG / ENOLA / MARYSVILLE AREA

  • EVER GRAIN BREWING
    On March 16th, Ever Grain posted on their Facebook:

We’ve been listening to your requests and in light of the current situation have come up with the following solution to keep fresh beer and food available to you!

Beginning Tuesday 3/17/2020 we are implementing take out & delivery service during the hours of 11am to 7pm until further notice.

Delivery service will be available in the following areas:
-Camp Hill
-Mechanicsburg
-Silver Springs
-Lemoyne
-New Cumberland
-Wormleysburg
-Enola

We will post menus of food, and beers available in 4-pack and in crowlers.

In addition, we have the following specials available:
~4 Crowlers for $40, please pick from the daily posted list.
~Gift cards: buy $100 get $10, buy $50 get $5 – these can be added on to your orders.

We ask that all transactions are done via credit card with deliveries having 18% tip included at the time of order.

Please call us at 717.525.8222 to place all orders!

Be safe everyone! 🍻🙏🏼
#evergrainbrewing #hopculture #breweriesinpa #pabeer #camphill #pennsylvania #craftbeer #instabeer #beerporn #supportpabeer #independentbeer #seektheseal #hibernate #paproud #craftbrewery #craftbeerporn #beertography #pouredinpa #drinklocal #supportlocal #craftbeernation #beerthirty #brewerylife #dreambeer #pahandcrafted #pacraftbeer

  • BREWHOUSE GRILLE and 2050 STATE BREWING
    Brewhouse Grille posted on their Faceook: We added BURGERS, WINGS, Buffalo Chicken Wrap as well as some delicious Salads & Kids Meals. We will be open for takeout from 11am-7pm. Just call 717-737-0030. Don’t forget you can purchase Gift Cards & 6pks! Free $5 with a $50 gift card purchase and Free $10 with a $100 gift card purchase.
  • AL’S of HAMPDEN / PIZZA BOY BREWING
    On Al’s of Hampden (and their Pizza Boy) Facebook pages:

Starting tomorrow Tuesday March 17th we will be-
OPEN from 11am-8pmish all seven days.
3 types of orders
1-PICK -UP
2-DELIVERY
3-TO GO
Telephone orders (717-728-3840)
Online orders www.alsofhampden.com
And the app.

***IT IS YOUR CHOICE TO COME INSIDE, ORDER TO GO, OR GET CURBSIDE SERVICE, LET US KNOW!

Any of the orders above can include FOOD AND BEER. Yes we will deliver beer (@pizzaboybrewing products only) they will be on the online and the app. No limits. Cans, 6packs,pre mixed 6packs (no choice) cases, 750s, and crowlers.
Please bare with us as we are in uncharted territory. The app and online will be updated tomorrow morning. Wash your hands.
#getfrontsided

  • LIQUID NOISE BREWING
    From their Facebook page: Hey everyone don’t forget, we are open for growler fills , Gift Cards and merchandise, from 4-7pm stop on by stock up and hunker down while you stay safe! Bring a clean growler with and we will double sanitize it just in case before you head home. #craftlikearockstar #smallbusiness #craftbeer #harrisburgpa #marysvillepa
  • MELLOW MINK
    Mellow Mink announced on their Facebook page that they would be starting to-go / curbside on Thursday 3.19.20. They posted a video from Cole saying: Hi Everyone,

It’s Cole from Mellow Mink! I hope this message finds you safe and healthy. Just wanted to let you all know that tomorrow evening (3/19), from 5pm-8pm, I’ll be available to fill growlers to go.

We will sanitize and fill your own growler. Or, if you’d like to purchase a growler, we have two styles of Mellow Mink growlers available. We have both 1 liter glass ($20) and 1 liter stainless steel ($8) growlers.

We also have bottles of our Scarlet Sunrise Blackberry and Blueberry sour red ale (750mL, 6.8% ABV) available. $20 per bottle.

#mellowmink #craftbeer #growler

LEBANON COUNTY

  • MT GRETNA BREWERY
    From their Facebook page: Take-out begins today (3.17)! Check-out our take-out menu and Ready-made Casseroles Menu (Casseroles start 3.18) https://www.facebook.com/gretnabrewery/menu/ We appreciate your support of local business during this difficult time. Call in time: 3-7PM, pickup from 4PM to 7:30PM.
  • ROTUNDA BREWING / THE BATDORF
    From their Facebook page: We are offering our full menu for pick up and delivery! Call 717-867-0113 to place your order! Any order over $10 receives 1 free role of toilet paper! @ Batdorf Restaurant

LANCASTER COUNTY

  • SPRING HOUSE BREWING
    (NO LONGER DOING CURBSIDE / TO GO / DELIVERY)
  • MAD CHEF BREWING
    Mad Chef announced on their Facebook page that they are doing to-go pickups. You can order by phone or at the brewery. Their post stated on 3.17.20: Hey Mad Chef family! Like every other business affected by COVID-19, we are operating in uncharted territory and will be taking things day by day. Tomorrow, we will be open from 4 to 8 for takeout only. Orders can be placed over the phone or at the pub. We’ll be offering our full menu and you can purchase crowlers or growlers from us to go (please don’t bring in your own growlers). You can also support us by purchasing gift cards and merchandise during this time! Thank you for all your support!🍻
    (EDIT: ON 3.19.20 MAD CHEF HAS ANNOUNCED THEY ARE FULLY CLOSING THEIR DOORS FOR A FEW WEEKS.)
  • ST. BONIFACE BREWING
    Announced on their Facebook page that they are doing to-go orders of beer and food, Monday-Thursday 4-9PM and Friday and Saturday from 11AM-9PM.
  • FETISH BREWING
    Fetish Brewing announced on their Facebook page on 3.17.20 roadside service: Here we go — roadside pick-up 4-8pm today at Fetish. We are offering all of the below in 32oz crawler cans and we’ll make you a bunch. Everything below costs $11, except Wild American Sour and Peat Scottish Wee Heavy, which are $21. Text Aaron at 717-917-0974, tell us what you’d like, come on up to Rock Lititz and we’ll get it ready for you! We still accept cash, cards, and bitcoin. See you people today!
  • LANCASTER BREWING COMPANY
    The Lancaster Brewing Company’s Lancaster Facebook page posted the following on 3.16.20: !!!!!IMPORTANT NEWS – WE ARE OPEN FOR TAKEOUT & CURBSIDE PICK-UP BEGINNING TOMORROW!!!!! Dear friends of Lancaster Brewing Co – In response to the recent COVID-19 Pandemic, we are encouraging takeout & curbside pickup beginning tomorrow (3/17) – just call to place your order, and we will bring your order to your car. So whether you’re looking for a quick bite, a family dinner a growler fill or just a case of beer, we’ll be here for you. This situation is a fluid one, and we will make adjustments based on any further guidelines given by the authorities. Until then, we are working on a limited menu with takeout & curbside delivery from 12pm – 6pm every day. To prepare you the best takeout meals for your family, please give us a call at 717-391-6258. Cheers, and thank you for your support! https://www.lancasterbrewing.com/lancaster to view menus ***Takeout + Curbside Pick-up*** EVERYDAY – 12pm – 6pm

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

🚨 Online ordering and delivery 🚨

Delivery hours will be between 12pm-8pm. We will be adding a food menu very soon!
Four packs and crowlers available. Place your order at https://roundguys.square.site/

I am going to go ahead and post this now, and then come back in and update this blog post as I get more to add to it. (And yes, I know I have lots more to add.) (I will post a EDIT tag at the bottom with what I’ve added when I make my edits.) The original version of this blog is going live at – 3PM (EST) 3.18.20. I will put the date and time with each EDIT.

I hope this helps! Lets pull through together. Practice your social distancing, and help those in need. Spend this time reading blogs (hint hint hint), read a book, learn to cook, learn to play an instrument, take an online course, do house work, call the elderly on the phone and listen, etc, etc.

EDIT: 4:33PM 3.18.20: Updated Dauphin County. Included Appalachian Brewing Company.

EDIT: 12:16PM 3.19.20: Updated Dauphin County. Updated Mechanicsburg. Added Lancaster County. Added Montgomery County.

EDIT: 2:19PM 3.19.20: Mad Chef no longer serving.

Cheers everyone, and hope you all stay healthy and safe!

-B. Kline

Beer Review: Irish Car Bomb Nitro Stout (Rotunda Brewing Company)

There is nothing quite like starting your day off with 9AM Irish Car Bombs…. unless their Rotunda Brewing Company’s Irish Car Bomb Nitro Stouts!

Its March 14th, Pi Day, and doom and gloom, national hysteria, societal collapse, is all impending and collecting around the fringes of our collective consciousness. The end is nigh. What do you do? …Simple. Irish Car Bombs at 9AM awaiting Kegs and Eggs.

Now, obviously, this is not a “traditional” Irish Car Bomb. BUT…. it is called Irish Car Bomb (Nitro Stout) and it is better than a Guinness at being the same thing. You could easily do the ‘real’ Irish Car Bomb with this beer, and it’d be better than using a Guinness (also a lot more filling, richer, and probably lead to even more car bombs than the traditional Guinness approach).

For those not in the know, an Irish Car Bomb is a drink / shot. You have a full pint (or for some a half-pint) of Guinness. You then drop a shot of either half and half of Bailey’s and Jameson or straight up Jameson into the pint, and chug all (both pint and shot) as one. Its delicious, its tradition, and its pretty much the only way I do shots anymore unless harassed and harangued into doing some by co-workers when out and about at dive bars with them. (See Tuesday night / Wednesday morning for proof of that.)

But, this could easily replace the Guinness in those shots, and would be much better. Its smoother, tastier, creamier, more delicious, all around better than a Guinness while being pretty much the same thing.

Comparison sake:
Guinness Draught:
Style: Stout – Irish Dry
ABV: 4.2%
IBU: 45
Untappd Description:

Swirling clouds tumble as the storm begins to calm. Settle. Breathe in the moment, then break through the smooth, light head to the bittersweet reward.

Unmistakeably GUINNESS, from the first velvet sip to the last, lingering drop. And every deep-dark satisfying mouthful in between.

Pure beauty. Pure GUINNESS.

Guinness Draught is sold in kegs, widget cans, and bottles. The ABV varies from 4.1 to 4.3%. Guinness Extra Cold is the exact same beer only served through a super cooler at 3.5 °C
Global Untappd Rating: 3.79 (as of 3.16.20)

Rotunda Brewing Company’s Irish Car Bomb Nitro Stout:
Style: Stout – Irish Dry
ABV: 5.5%
IBU: No IBU
Untappd Description: (Blank)
Global Untappd Rating: 4.31 (as of 3.16.20)

So stat wise; you go from a 4.2% to a 5.5% ABV. No mention of IBU in the second so can’t really compare. And also no description, so if your looking for information on the beer going in, your getting a blank. But I can tell you… which one is better. So thats just what I’ll do.

So lets run this beer down and drink up for St. Patty’s Day and for The End of Times. So cheers to the end of all things and for the doom of society!

Irish Car Bomb (Nitro Stout) by Rotunda Brewing Company

Beer: Irish Car Bomb (Nitro Stout)
Brewery: Rotunda Brewing Company
Style: Stout – Irish Dry
ABV: 5.5%
IBU: None Listed
Untappd Description: (blank)

First off, you can tell this is creamy. Just look at that picture! Nitro is one of the best things that has ever happened to beer, and this proves why. It provides a wonderful robust creamyness to this already good looking beer. It is dark, Razor Ramon hair black, midnight black, your ex’s soul black. It has a super rich, creamy head to it. The whole appearance of this looks frothy, rich, creamy, decadent. (Don’t worry, it lives up to it.)

Aroma is malty, rich, and creamy. You are going to see the word ‘creamy’ a lot in this review. Maybe I should have led off about that getting people to do a drinking game everytime they see the word creamy in the review. An Irish Car Bomb (shot included) everytime they read the word creamy in this review? ….Ah you poor schmucks would be dead by the end of the review then! Anyway, back to the aroma….. this has a deep malt smell, roasted malt, with vanilla, the nitro brings out that and the deep roasted malts and also highlights the caramel malts a bit as well. All around this smells as delicious as it looks… and it certainly does…. look….. creamy.

Creamy. Creamy. Creamy. Creamy. This. Is. Creamy. Oh… did I mention; that its creamy? You guys still alive out there doing the drinking game? Because if so…. its creamy. Despite its 5.5% ABV, this is a strong, dark, deep, rich, full, and filling beer. Its basically brewed on the same premise as a Guinness draught. To be filling, full, and a damn good stout. The ABV doesn’t matter because the beer itself is so full and rich. And with the nitro, it makes it so creamy, and even more rich and full. This is both a beer you could drink TOO many of and also not be able to drink TOO many of. Depending on time of day, mood, food, stomach, etc. You get the dark, roasted malts, the caramel malts, the roast and darkness of this brew really kick into ultra-drive as you drink it down. The richness from the nitro lending a strong sweetness to it is very nice. It does differ from Guinness where there’s not really a lot of bitterness to this. It might be more malty, and it might be more high ABV, (4.2% to 5.5%) but its certainly a lot sweeter. Not in a bad way, but for a traditional Irish Dry Stout some might prefer some level of bitterness to this, where here its pretty more nonexistent. This is a full, and delicious beer, as it warms you get even more essence out of it, and it just broadens and opens up more, offering the fullness of its vast flavors and ingredients. This is a wonderful beer at 9AM to start your day with breakfast, and even better to be the kick-off lead-in beer before doing a Kegs and Eggs mini-brewfest! (It certainly helped stave off the gloom and doom anyway!)

My Untappd Rating: ****.50
Global Untappd Rating: 4.31 (as of 3.16.20)

Like I said, March 14th (Saturday), was the Kegs and Eggs (2020) brewfest and event at The Batdorf and Rotunda Brewing Company in Annville, Pennsylvania. I am working on the write-up of the event as we speak, and it might get posted tomorrow, or Wednesday. Currently, my job is still open (the only Casino in the state to still be open despite the pandemic going on), so I am still working. I don’t know when I’ll be shut down, if I’ll be shut down, or whats going on. There’s a lot of uncertainty at my job right now, especially since we’re the only ones still open. Ohio Casinos are shut down, Maryland casinos are shut down, the other PA casinos have voluntarily closed…. but we are still open. Financially, health, ethically, there is so much uncertainty at our job right now. Getting to work on the blog is providing a nice escape and stress release for me.

So you can look forward to seeing a Kegs and Eggs (2020) event write-up by myself. I hung out with J. Doncevic, D. Scott, and we caroused our way through sampling from a myriad of breweries in a confined space. Also hanging out with guys from Rotunda Brewing like Kevin, Bryan, and hanging out with Bart from Hop Headz and so many more great people.

I have talked to Karl Larson recently, and he has expressed interest in writing for the blog. So he might start writing soon… or he might not. Either way, no pressure on him. He does have a fantastic Wee Heavy for me to try and review for the blog, that he’s won a National Award for, so I can’t wait for that.

I think I will also be trying to wrap-up my Coronavirus / COVID-19 article. And give ways to help out local breweries. As they are going to be hurting the most from all of this. So please, if you are able to support your small time local breweries (like Boneshire Brew Works, Moo-Duck Brewery, Rotunda Brewing Company, ZeroDay Brewing, etc.), please find ways to help them out where you can. We all need to stick together to get through this.

Also, if you’re new to the blog, please follow us on FACEBOOK and TWITTER and INSTAGRAM. Also click the FOLLOW and SUBSCRIBE here on the blog. And don’t hesitate to leave feedback in the COMMENTS or through our CONTACT PAGE directly. We love to hear from you guys!

Thank you for reading, cheers, and Happy Stone Cold Steve Austin Day!

-B. Kline

Beer Review: 40th Hoppy Anniversary Ale (Sierra Nevada Brewing Company)

The 40th Anniversary Hoppy (IPA) Ale from Sierra Nevada with the Pastrami Hash at The Warwick Hotel in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania

Like I said in my Icicle beer review yesterday; I would ATTEMPT to do an evening beer review or article. Attempt would be the key word. Because I started one, and still have it here on the docket, but I’ve now switched to doing this beer review, because the other article was becoming too depressing. I started writing up an article about the effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) will be having on the beer industry, restaurant industry, and breweries in general. Stuff like how the Prototype Invitational Brewfest was postponed (until August), and how most likely the AC Beerfest will be postponed as well (their making an announcement on Monday).

So many things and events are being postponed, cancelled, or affected in some way by the virus. Look at sports – NHL and NBA suspended their seasons indefinitely. The NCAA tournaments cancelled. MLS and XFL also announced their seasons suspended indefinitely (XFL outright cancelling the remainder of their season). MLB has announced their stopping pre-season and postponing opening day for at least two weeks and will reevaluate after that. WrestleMania 36 is still currently on for April 5th in Tampa Bay; but will most likely be postponed as well. Travel bans coming in and out of certain countries. Schools closing for weeks. Colleges and universities switching to online instruction only. Things are serious with this.

Many breweries and restaurants have announced on their social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc) their new taproom policies, or reinforced their stance on cleanliness, etc. Breweries like Troegs, Tree House, Trillium, etc, have all made such announcements. Flying Dog has closed their taproom.

So instead of being depressing and upsetting, and instead trying to bring some entertainment, lightness, and happiness into these bleak, troubling times (and since I have no eggs to present you), I offer you a beer review instead.

Yes, I know, not much of an offering, but at least its something, and who knows, maybe it’ll take your mind off of things. So, I present you with this – the 40th Anniversary Hoppy Ale by Sierra Nevada Brewing.

40th Anniversary Hoppy Ale by Sierra Nevada Brewing

Beer: 40th Anniversary Hoppy Ale
Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Style: IPA – American
ABV: 6%
IBU: 65
Untappd Description: Hop-forward beers weren’t popular when we started brewing in 1980. But we loved them, and knew that if we were going to open a brewery, we’d better make something distinctive. It’s been 40 years since then, and we’re still brewing what we love. This beer showcases the bold flavors and aromas of a classic West Coast IPA: intense pine and citrus with a deep gold color and slight caramel sweetness. Here’s to following your passion, and to the next 40 years.

First off, lets discuss the food. I met my mom at the Warwick Hotel in Hummelstown for dinner. She ordered the chicken alfredo and I ordered the pastrami hash. It was incredibly delicious and amazing. Super spicy, but extremely good. So if you get the chance to try it at the Warwick, I fully recommend you do.

Now, onto the beer.

Appearance is a light colored IPA. Not quite the full darker hued amber-ish look of a typical West Coast IPA; but certainly nothing reminiscent of hazy New England IPAs either. Almost like a fair compromise between the two. Its light bodied, it has a small white to off white head with interspersed and varied bubbles, and it leaves a nice lacing down the pint glass. Wonderful appearance.

Aroma is pretty light. Some good hoppy notes of citrus, tropical, a small bit of piney and foresty smells. Bit of earthy notes. The citrus and pine out power the other notes but you do get a bit of a malt, caramel or carmalized malt smell at the end.

This is a simple, refreshing, easy to drink beer (especially when eating a spicy dinner). There’s nothing super outstanding or grandstanding about this beer, but its a great dinner beer. It meets all of its criteria perfectly. This is a clean, crisp, clear, tasty, quality refreshment. Its sweet, its hoppy, its honestly a middle-point compromise between a true West Coast style IPA and a New England style IPA. There is some very good hoppy notes to this; you get citrus, pine, in pretty good abundance, with just a pit of tropical hop notes peeking through. There is a sweetness to this. Nothing cloying or too overly sweet, just the right amount of caramel malt sweetness. This provides just the right balance with the hops.

My Untappd Rating: ***.75
Global Untappd Rating: 3.75 (as of 3.13.20)

(not often my rating exactly matches with the rating of the beer, thats pretty cool)

Hopefully this review found you happy, gave you some kind of entertainment, helped you take your mind off these troubling times. If so, then it did its job. Lets not panic, lets all stay calm, enjoy Friday the 13th, lets relax, deep breathe, and enjoy some good beers.

Hopefully I’ll see some of you tomorrow for Kegs and Eggs. Be sure to come out and support a great cause!

Cheers everyone!

-B. Kline

Beer Review: Icicle (New Trail Brewing Co)

Icicle by New Trail Brewing Co., a hazy New England IPA

Well this post was a bit of a long time in coming I suppose. This was meant to be worked on and written and finished many times throughout this week. Sunday night was the usual hang-out at Irgo’s Tavern with co-workers, so that night was definitely a no-go for writing this up. (Especially since then afterwards went back to a co-workers house and watched Elimination Chamber and left his house at 3AM.)

Monday night was a bit busy and hectic as well. A family member was taken to the hospital where she has been since. (Not coronavirus or COVID-19, so don’t worry, I’m not infected. Obviously, I mean no offense to anyone, I’m just using humor to keep things together and keep the stress at bay, much like I use this blog itself.) Tuesday night after work, was the annual co-worker fantasy draft. Typically what ends up happening at these drafts is – my co-workers get my pretty good and drunk and they let me draft for a person who can’t make it. Inevitably that team lands Top 3. Doesn’t matter the sport, baseball or basketball (the ones we do). I don’t even watch basketball, NBA, college, whatever, so I know next to nothing about it, yet the one year I drafted the team that ended up winning. (The guy only made 5 roster moves all season.) I even drafted a guy with the last name DUDLEY solely because I liked the Dudley Boyz; ECW / WWE / TNA / ROH / etc. tag team.

Yesterday (Wednesday) was spent at the hospital. With the daughters. And doing a host of other things; which also consisted of my oldest daughter’s first softball practice of the season. I had walked a combined total of 9 some miles. And this was on a day where I only got home at 4:15 from the festivities the night before. (The fantasy draft, then led to going to a bar doing Irish Car Bombs, then led to hanging out for a bit before getting home.) So needless to say, the week quickly went by and we find ourselves here at Thursday morning.

Not sure how we got here, but all I know is, we made it to this point, and its about time I do this review, and owe it to you guys. You’ve been patiently waiting, so its time I get around and get writing! (I’d say “get off my fat butt”, but I sit to write, so I literally have to sit ON my fat butt to write it.)

So where do we find ourselves at? Ahh yes, reviewing some New Trail beer. Friday night while waiting out my youngest’s ballet class, I was at Funck’s Restaurant in Palmyra. They have a pretty heft selection (56 taps). Found two good New Trail beers on tap, and enjoyed them both immensely. Now, sometimes in the past I’d do this as a double-beer review, and I’m even thinking of doing it now…. but I think I’m going to hold off and make this two separate beer reviews. (In the past I’ve done “Two Beer Review” and “Multiple Beer Review” posts; especially when its the same brewery, at the same location, drank at the same time.) I think going forward with the blog I’m going to restrain from doing that (except perhaps in particular circumstances). I’ll do multiple beer review posts for beer flights I have at breweries, and outside of that always keep it to single beer reviews.

Thus this will be a single beer review and I’ll first cover Icicle by New Trail Brewing; the next post will most likely be the Sticky Barrel Aged Porter I also had by New Trail Brewing there at Funck’s. (Unless I decide to split it up with another beer that I’ve had.)

Let’s get to this!

Icicle by New Trail Brewing Co.

Beer: Icicle
Brewery: New Trail Brewing Co.
Style: IPA – New England
ABV: 7%
IBU: None Listed
Untappd Description: Icicle is a Hazy IPA brewed with a blend of oats, wheat, & spelt. Drippingly hopped with Simcoe, Amarillo, & Centennial. Expect luscious citrus flavor mixed with that earthy green. Enjoy the long thaw with us.

One thing that can be said for New Trail; they pretty much deliver spot on with their descriptions. If they say a beer tastes like 1930s bubble-gum wrapped in bacon with a hint of ranch dressing; then you better believe thats what it’ll taste like.

Appearance for this is typical straight up hazy New England IPA. (Which is pretty much typical for all New Trail beers; IPA at least; which is their bread and butter anyway.) Turbid, dank, murky, dark orange to orange juice in hue. My friend (D. Scott) ordered the same as his second beer, and his looked a bit more brighter and fluorescent than mine, but same similar appearance, and both very dank and hazy. Certainly no clarity with these beers. Slight bit of sediment, but nothing to extreme.

Aroma is hop… hop… hop bomb through and through. Citrus and strong tropical notes but all hop and all day and all throughout hop. Strong citrus, strong tropical fruit, some stone fruit, late notes of grass.

This is a New Trail IPA, through and through; meaning be prepared for a juicy, strong hoppy, New England hazy style IPA. There is no denying they know their style and ability to make these are great, but you know all this going in, and they confirm it with each new IPA they release. Your not going to get a bad IPA from them… but, overall you also probably are not getting a massive variety of IPA from them. Insofar as I mean that their substituting a few hops for a few different hops and you get a more X (say citrus) flavor and then in the next one you get more Y (say stone fruit) or something similar. They are all GREAT and AMAZING beers. I’ve yet to have had a West Coast IPA from them (not sure if they’ve even made one and released one). And like I’ve said, I’ve yet to have had a BAD beer from them. I do think with NE-IPAs that they all tend to flow together. Substitute Hop 1X for Hop Y, meanwhile keeping hops Hops 2X and 3X the same, and then in beer 2, you substitute Hop 2X for Hop Y2, etc. For just subtle, slight, nuanced variations. But they sell, and they sell good, and you can keep re-naming them all too, and super inflate your ultimate Untappd, Beer Advocate, and other beer rating platform totals. Its a great marketing idea. This isn’t a hounding on them or hating on them, just something I’ve noticed with them, and a few other breweries have done the same. Its not a horrible practice, in fact its downright smart. But enough of that, lets talk the flavor of THIS particular beer.

Like the description says, you are getting oats, wheat, and spelt; so you are getting a hazy, dank, juicy IPA. Haze. Craze. For hops they used simcoe, amarillo, and centennial, giving this a massive amount of tropic flavor. Immediately on sipping you get the tropical juice, up front, coming straight at you, then it leads itself into a bit of stone fruit, a bit dryer, a bit off the sweet side, nothing tangy, nothng off, nothing bitter, but then it ends in the earth, giving you a bit of a grassy, green, earthy finish. Like working through a weird and exotic forest; starting with tropical fruits then seguing into stone fruits before you finish on the forest floor getting the grass and earthyness. This is certainly a fun, full, luscious beer. Its nothing too dry, sweet, or cloying, its just right all over. A fun, tasty beer all around.

My Untappd Rating: ****
Global Untappd Rating: 4.07 (as of 3.12.20)

As I said at the start of this, sorry for the delay in getting this blog post out, as I’m sure you can all understand why. Depending on my night, I might do a second (I know I say this a lot and then it doesn’t happen), or I might fire one off before work tomorrow morning. Saturday, all fingers and toes and other appendages crossed, I will be attending the Kegs & Eggs at Rotunda Brewery / The Batdorf. J. Doncevic will also be there. You can find the event listing here: Kegs & Eggs 2020. Money goes towards Elliot’s CP Journey. So come on out and support a good cause.

In other blog news, I edited the Haze Charmer article to include the links and articles like I said I would at the end of it. Forgot to do that on initial release of the post.

Thanks for reading everyone!

Cheers, prost, and slainte!

-B. Kline

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