Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Delaware Triangle

It's Philly, so no, it's not gonna be pretty. But it's good.
Ever wanted to bar hop the best spots in Philadelphia for great local, Belgian and American craft beer bars, long way by any stretch of the imagination. It has an airport. I went to school in Kalamazoo, MI. That is a real place. A wonderful place actually. Home of the legendary Bell's Brewing Co. The have an airport. Delta flies there. My mom lives near Flint, MI, which was recently voted the WORST place to live in the country by some magazine written by a bunch of sissies and elitists. Delta flies there, non-stop, a few times a day. But just try to find a flight on any airline into Delaware. You can't. That's because they don't have an airport. In the whole state. So better yet, fly into Philly, get an all-day, unlimited train pass, a map, and a serious thirst for beer. That's what I am doing on Thursday. If I don't come back, it's because I was trying to find Delaware and this Dogfish Head brewery on Friday. Wish me luck.
but just didn't have the time? Have you dreamed of visiting the brewery at Dogfish Head on the Delaware coast, but were afraid that Delaware didn't actually exist? I mean, who knows anyone from Delaware? It's like South Dakota. If they didn't really exist, who would know? In fact, I might just start a conspiracy when I get back. "Listen guys, I am telling you for real, Delaware doesn't even exist. I swear. I left Pennsylvania in every direction. Nothing." But seriously, try to book a flight into Delaware on Delta. They don't have an airport. Yes. True story. I tried a few different ways, even Dover, the state capital. Again, nothing. Now folks, I am from Michigan. The state capital is Lansing. Not a huge city. It's got a big university nearby, and it's a fair distance from Detroit, but not a

But if this trip sounds like fun, including a stop in Atlantic City, which will be...interesting, then get ready to see some cool photos being posted on Instagram. Above is a picture of Johnny Brenda's I took when I was there in July. Great beer place in Philadelphia, heavily recommended by the people who really know--the locals--and the one time I was there, it was for about 45 minutes. Time for more thorough research this year. By the time I leave for "Delaware", I should have a pretty good handle on the beer scene in the city of Ben Franklin, cheesesteak sandwiches, and Rocky. Until next time. Drink some damn beer already, will ya. Bye!

PS-- Don't pay attention to your spell checking device and use your brain for a change. Cheesesteak is one word in Philly. There is no point where the steak ends and the cheese begins. Just one contiguous amalgamation of deliciousness. Noneedforspaces.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Springtime-y Goodness!

Grains of Paradise, orange peel, honey, Summit hops, meet SweetWater IPA.

Sorry I missed everyone last week. What I want to know--as the old song says--is where does the time go?
I was sure I posted a hello or something last week, but apparently not. Then I had to look at the last post on April 5th and seriously contemplate what the date today actually is, and convince myself that a full week was in between then and now. But enough of that. Here are some fun things to tell you about:

  1. Today I went to SweetWater with a group of managers and made 25 casks. I know...that's a lot of firkin beer. Get it? We had a contest a while ago where our managers submitted ideas for additions to casks, using some core SweetWater beers. Their head brewer picked the winners, five total, and we made five of each recipe. Lots of creative ideas for sure. My guys were really impressive. Once they are ready, we will spread them around so that no two stores near each other will have the same one. Expect these to arrive mid-May, or maybe just a little later. Charlotte and Chattanooga will be included as well. 
  2. For the first time ever we will have a cask of Monday Night Eye Patch IPA. This will be tapped on Wednesday, May 8th at the Taco Mac at Windward Pkwy and Hwy 9 in Alpharetta. This will be an extremely rare Brewniversity credit, so if you or someone you love is into that kind of thing, get it together and be there. The cask has Topaz hops added to it for a little extra zing. If you did not get the vibe during February's beer of the month that Monday Night is up to good things, well, they are. You missed the boat pal. And if you have not yet visited their brewery in west Midtown, what are you waiting for? I thought you supported local brewers? Hmf. Odd that you would say that, but not get out and visit this hip new spot. It is really cool, and you will thank me later if you make the trip. If you don't, then you will live out the rest of your days in the shameful gloom that is your future.
That is all I have to tell you about for now. Next week I am off to Philly to research their craft beer scene, maybe have a sandwich or two, you know, when in Rome....Then on Friday I will be in Delaware. I heard there is some brewery there named after a fish that looks like a dog or something. I guess they make pretty good beer there. We'll see. Then on Saturday I am going to Atlantic City. I know, not exactly a beer destination, but that's not why I am going there. Atlanta is so nice this time of year with all of the flowers and blue skies and springtime-y goodness that I can't stand it. So I am going to New Jersey. That ought to be different. Have a great week everyone. Bye.

Friday, April 5, 2013

It's Friday! Whoop-Whoop It Up!

Wow, what a crazy couple of weeks. We last left off in the waning days of Charlotte Craft Beer Week,
Welcome reception at Air & Space Museum
segueing into the Craft Brewer's Conference (CBC) in Washington D.C. Both were top-notch adventures without a doubt. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you might know some of the highlights already. But based on the number of followers I have, I am guessing that most of this will be new material for the majority of you. My feelings aren't hurt though. I don't follow you on Twitter or Instagram either, so I guess that's fair.

For anyone wondering, the CBC is what it sounds like: conference, seminars, trade show, name tags, the whole she-bang. But this particular conference is like the Hall of Fame of brewer's. Every notable person in the craft beer industry is there. I, personally, would not be able to recognize half of the people on the Oscar's red carpet if they were sitting on my lap. But while waiting in line to get into the welcome reception at the Smithsonian Museum of Air & Space, I recognized: the owner of Bell's, the head brewers of Left Hand, Rogue and Sierra Nevada, the owner of Heavy Seas, plus president of the Brewer's Association. All in the space of about five minutes. The list goes on and on, but you get the picture.

Unlike many other conventions, this one gets an entire city (it moves every year) geared up for special beer events all over town. On any given night you can bounce around town from great event to great event. I had a weekly Metro train pass, which was definitely the way to go. I was in and out of the train system day and night for a week, and I now feel like a D.C. expert. I know wacky beer bars in every corner of that city, plus some seriously good eats to boot. When it was time to go home, it was bittersweet. I loved every minute of it, but let's just say that after a week of that business, the time had come for a nice, healthy rest.

Now that I am back I will resume correspondence more regularly. I won't be going anywhere until the end of the month (Philly & Dogfish Head in DE!). I just wanted to remind everyone that I am still alive and back in communication with my readers. Here is one last photo for you. Not sure how I lucked out, but this is a real sign in my D.C. hotel. For some reason if there is a fire, the Hyatt Regency turns into a disco.


"Hey, is it getting hot in here?"
"I don't know, but all I hear is a 'whoop-whoop'! And it appears that a strobe light just kicked on. I feel like the party's just getting started."
"I smell smoke."
"Smoke machine! Sweet!"
Have a great weekend everyone. Whoop it up.

P.S. Michigan Wolverines! Go Blue!

From My September Trip-Sierra Brewhouse

From My September Trip-Sierra Brewhouse
This is the top floor of the brewhouse, with buckets of fresh hops about to go into the kettles.