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31 January 2011

vspot-logoCheers & Welcome to officially participating with Welcome aboard AJ...the beer loving community thanks you! Click HERE to go to the mybeerbuzz VSpot page.


Terry Hawbaker Leaving Bullfrog Brewery for The Grainery in Philadelphia, PA (Philadelphia Grain Exchange)

imageI was excited to hear about our hometown hero-brewer Terry Hawbaker leaving Bullfrog Brewery for an exciting new opportunity….and I’m even more excited to be able to bring you Terry’s destination.  I just spoke to Terry and he tells me he’s heading for a new center city Philadelphia brewery called The Grainery (aka The Philadelphia Grain Exchange).  Terry tells me this new upstart is run by the folks  at the Fork & Barrel and will be sort of the “Fork & Barrel meets Bookstore/Speakeasy with an on-site artisanal brewery”…so stay tuned for more details.  Congratulations my friend….you deserve this great opportunity and I can’t wait to see what you do next.  Cheers!

And an update today from PhillyBeerScene:  

I just got an update from Matt from Fork & Barrel about the new bar he’s opening in center city. From the sounds of it, it sounds pretty awesome and even cooler than F & B.  Its going to be located 1113 Walnut St and he’s calling the place The Grainery.  The highlight of the new concept has to be the arrival of former Bullfrog brewmaster Terry Hawbaker.  The Grainery won’t be a brewpub but Terry will have 4 of the bars 24+ taps for his beers that he’ll be brewing on an extremely small, artisan scale.  It’s looking like it will be mostly barrel aged, wild ales, sours, etc…  So pretty much just epic beers that people are always seeking out.  The rest of the taps will consist of small batch beers from throughout different parts of Europe with a focus on areas outside of Belgium such as Scandinavia, Italy, and the Netherlands.

On top of having a great beer program, they are also bringing in Damon Dyer, an extremely talented mixologist from NYC, to put together a Victorian style cocktail menu.  Think classic hand-crafted cocktails similar to his other bar the Bookstore Speakeasy in Bethlehem.  It seems this bar will be the best of both worlds for drinkers.  There aren’t many bars where you can get a house brewed beer, an exceptional beer list, and a top-notch cocktail program.  The Grainery really sounds like it’ll be making a big impact in the local bar scene.

As for food, the details were brief but look for rustic fare with lots of house cured meets and game dishes.  He is also planning on carrying of the nose-to-tail feast concept from Fork & Barrel.  Look for the new bar to open around April.

UPDATE:  2/22/2011  I’m hearing the restaurant will actually be named the Philadelphia Grain Exchange !

UPDATE YET AGAIN:  3/8/2011 The official name for the new venture will be The Farmer’s Cabinet


Terry Hawbaker to Leave Bullfrog Brewing

BullfrogBrewingHere’s your local beer-bombshell of the day!  I’ve held out posting many of the rumors I’ve been hearing all weekend…but it looks like it’s official.  Terry Hawbaker will be leaving Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport.  Details on his destination are still rumor-mill material so I won’t say until I have further confirmation…so stay tuned.


Gothika Returns to Krugels for Super Bowl 2011

30 January 2011




29 January 2011

I can’t believe how many label approvals Mikkel seems to do each week.  Here’s his latest (approve an hour ago)  Mikkeller Bravo American IPA (6.8% ABV 111.2oz).  This is part of Mikkel’s single hop series where he will be featuring 18 different varieties.  “All 18 varieties  of single hop ales in this series were brewed the same week, from the same batches of malt, using the same yeast ad fermentation temperatures,,,,(Bravo Hops) Theoretical IBU 103.”


Mikkeller - Santa’s Little Helper 2010 & Via

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You didn’t think you’d get away today with just ONE Mikkeller packaging approval now did you.  Now I’ll be the first to admit I’m not sure exactly why Mikkel needs new packaging for not one but TWO 2010 Holiday beers, but in any case…here they are.  My guess is the addition of the heart-shaped tags somehow makes them a Valentine’s day gift…but that’s just a guess.  The heart-tags are the only change to these original labels.


Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

Yes this is a VERY subtle change to the 12oz packaging for DFH 60-Minute, but it’s such a popular beer in NEPA, I thought you’d all want to get the first look.


Sierra Nevada–Able Best Britter

imageIt just keeps getting better and better….and as much as I know we’ll probably never see these kegs…it’s exciting to see Sierra get approval for ABLE Best Britter (no typo) 4.3% ABV.


Southampton- India Pale Ale

imageHere your first look at the new Southampton India Pale Ale 12oz  packaging.  This is a brew that was previously contract brewed @ Lion Brewery, but it looks like Phil Markowski is now contract brewing his IPA @ High Falls Brewery in Rochester, NY (despite the label saying it is bottled in Latrobe, PA).  I’m looking forward to checking out the latest version of this IPA.


Schlafly–20th Anniversary Volume 2 - Hop Toddy Ale


After seeing Schlafly Brewery appear on Zane Lamprey’s Drinking Made Easy (St Louis) I was excited to see the approval of their Hop Toddy Ale.  This is the 2nd beer in their 20th anniversary series of brews (volume 2).  This one was created by James Ottolini, Jack Petrovic & Sara Hale.  Hop Toddy is a wheat beer brewed with St Louis wheat and honey and is dry hopped with Citra then aged in bourbon barrels…so this should be an interesting beer.  This is the25.4oz packaging and it comes in at a big 9% ABV.


WILK Friday BeerBuzz–28 Jan 2011 (Terrapin Brewing Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout)

28 January 2011

Back in Aug 2010 we welcomed Brian “Spike” Buckowski (brewmaster for Terrapin Brewing) on the Friday BeerBuzz to help us sample his Big Hoppy Monster.  Brian was a really fun guest and of course it helps that Brian has been brewing some really unique beers.  Today I chose to challenge the palates of our Friday BeerBuzz team with an interesting combination of beer-styles with a new beer coming out or Terrapin. 

imageMy beer choice was Terrapin Brewing Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk  Stout.  This is Spike’s 2011 new seasonal and makes for an interesting combination of a sweet chocolate stout that also uses lactose (milk) to add to the fermentable sugars (i.e. a traditional milk stout).  This beer uses cocoa-nibs and cocoa shells from the Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co to add to the flavor and complexity of this stout…… it’s a Chocolate stout that just happens to be a Milk-stout.

I knew going in that this would not be a safe choice as a beer everyone would love, but I’m also aware that this is a great flavorful beer, and no matter what you ultimately think of it in the end, it is well worth trying….and you HAVE to love the turtle in the cow-suit!

This beer is readily available so get out there and try some. 
to  John, Nancy, Joe & Bosco for yet another fun Friday. 
The Friday Beerbuzz…bringing good beers and good people together
As always you can check out the video on-line at the WILK Friday Beerbuzz page by clicking HERE


Mikkeller-Barrel Aged Chipotle Porter & Alive

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I know I say it every time, but Mikkel is absolutely prolific with new beers coming out of Mikkeller.  This first one comes from De Proef brewery and it is his Barrel-Aged Chipotle Porter (12.7oz 6.6% ABV).  This brew is Mikkel’s Chipotle Porter from Feb 2010, brewed with Chipotle Chili and aged in Speyside whiskey barrels.

Our second Mikkeller beer label approved this morning is Alive!  We broke the news on this earlier this week (keg packaging) so it’s nice to finally see the bottle.  This is Mikkel’s tribute to Orval and it uses Brett Yeast (8% ABV & 750ml bottles).  This one is also brewed @ De Proef and also uses light candy sugar & Hallertau hops.


Sierra Nevada-India Ink American Black Ale

imageBefore you get too excited (too late I already am!), this is another special brew from Sierra Nevada that will not likely make it to the east coast, or very far outside Chico, CA.  This is the newly approved keg packaging for Sierra Nevada India Ink American Black Ale.  I suspect it will be a dark IPA and I know it will come in at 7.5% ABV….so stay tuned


Hudepohl–Amber Lager

imageWe’ve been following along as Hudepohl has released their Festival Bock & Original Bock, both brewed at our very own Lion Brewery.  I was excited to see their Amber Lager packaging approved today, even more excited to see that it is 12oz can packaging, but disappointed to see this will be brewed by High Falls in La Crosse WI.  Still an interesting packaging and another one that we may see @ Lion in the future.  Lion Brewery has been doing the Amber Lager bottles since summer 2010.


Project Venus–All Female Collaboration Brew

27 January 2011

imageI’ve been following along with this story and I’m excited to report the beer is in the tanks.  The first ever all-female collaboration brew is going to be a Belgian-style Dubble with orange and saffron.  The project includes my friend Whitney Thompson (Victory Brewing), Laura Ulrich (Stone Brewing) and Megan Parisi (Cambridge Brewing).  Stay tuned for more details on the brew to be released by Cambridge Brewing only in late Feb.


Bavarian Barbarian–Square Feet Dunkelweizen Coming Next Week & New Beers in the Future!

BavarianBarbarianLogoI just heard from Mike Hiller @ Bavarian Barbarian brewing in WIlliamsport and I have some Exciting news.  Mike tells me their seasonal Square Feet Wheat Dunkelweizen will be coming out next week.  This will also be the first release in a series of special batches and seasonals that Mike will be brewing this year.  While much of the planning is still in progress, Mike tells me they looking into some Belgian styles, some bocks, some pilsners and maybe even another collaboration brew with the Bullfrog….so stay tuned here for details.  Mike also tells me the barbarian is planning to expand distribution efforts to include more activity in Northeastern PA and Harrisburg which is very exciting to hear.  Congrats Mike & everyone @ Bavarian Barbarian.


Mystery Malted-Beverage Makers

imageI know we all see the crazy malt-beverage and malt-liquor cans and bottles in the coolers when we’re shopping for beer.  And while the packaging is always fancy and attention-getting…all too often it’s not always clear who is brewing what.  So just for fun I thought we’d make an informal (and incomplete) list.  Please DO keep in mind many of these are contract brews that are brewed at a major facility, but NOT owned by that brewery; and many of these move from facility to facility at any given time…So purely for scientific purposes, I thought you’d want to see who is really brewing what!

Brew Brewery
Spiked Lemonade Anheuser Busch WI
Twisted Tea Sam Adams/Boston Beer MA
Calvin Cooler SBT Corp-Lion Brewery PA
Blast COLT Brewing (Cold Spring) MN
Joose COLT Brewing (Max Beverage)
CBC Latrobe, PA
City Brewing WI
Hurricane Anheuser Busch WI
Four Loko City Brewing (Phusion) WI
CBC Latrobe, PA
Huber Brewing (Minhas Brewery) WI
Tilt Anheuser Busch WI
Mike’s Hard High Falls (M Anthony)  Rochester NY
King Cobra Anheuser Busch WI
Seagrams Escapes High Falls  Rochester NY
Mad Ballr Cold Spring Brewing MN
High Falls  Rochester NY
City Brewing (Thunderbolt) WI
Core City Brewing (Thunderbolt) WI
Spiked Tea Anheuser Busch NY
Stack City Brewing (United Brands) WI
Sparks Miller Coors WI
Four Maxed City Brewing (Drink Four) WI
Parrot Bay Diageo Beverages, IL
High Falls (Diageo) NY
Boston Beer (Diageo) PA
City Brewing (Diageo) WI
Crunk Juice Huber Brewing (Minhas Brewery) WI
Liquid Charge City Brewing WI
Max City Brewing (United Brands) WI
Jack Daniels (Jack) JD Cocktail, KY


Harpoon Brewery–Bohemian Pilsner New


Here’s your first look at the NEW packaging for the 12oz Bohemian Pilsner from Harpoon Brewery.  This beer was previously their Session # 15 beer in their 100 Barrel Series in 22oz bottles so look for it now to be out in 12oz bottles, and likely part of their new 12-pak variety pack w/Summer, UFO, &

IPA.  This does not appear to be based on their Leviathan Big Bohemian Pilsner.  This beer should come in just under 5% ABV and it uses Czech Saaz hops and authentic Bohemian Pilsner yeast.


How Beer Saved My World!…oops wait…make that “THE” world …

imageNow we all knew that beer was the greatest invention of all time, but thankfully the Discovery Channel has confirmed it.  Of course we all think of one particular benefit of beer drinking, but tune in as this DIscovery Channel special will highlight how beer is responsible for everything from the agricultural revolution, to how beer helped create modern healthcare and even the pyramids.

Tune in on Jan 30th 8PM on Discovery to see how…and be sure to continue doing your part to save the world!


DL Geary’s–IPA New


Here’s a new one from our fiends @ DL Gear’y Brewing in Portland, ME.  Back in my early days of craft beer, Geary’s HAS (Hampshire Special Ale) was always a favorite.  Unfortunately Geary’s stopped importing into PA about 8 years ago and so far no word on their return.  Geary’s always brewed a holiday IPA and an Imperial IPA, but this is the first I’ve seen a traditional IPA.  This will be packaged in 12oz bottles, and the DL Geary’s website does list a Reading, PA distributor (All Star Distributing) so who knows…


Lion Brewery–Label Fun Calvin Cooler

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We straying a little from the beer borders here, but I thought you’d want a peek at the latest contract brew coming out of our beloved Lion Brewery.  Today we have Calvin Cooler Strawberry Daiquiri, Lemonade Slam, and Screwdriver (all are 12oz 5.9% ABV).


Lavery Brewing-Liopard Oir Farmhouse Ale

It’s not often that we get to not only talk about a PA brewery, but also premier their new beer and new label.  Today we have Lavery Brewing’s (Erie, PA) Liopard Oir Farmhouse Ale.  This is the 22oz packaging and look for this beer to be bottle conditioned with Brett yeast, unfiltered, 4.4% ABV and 30IBU.  This French-stylesaison will become Lavery’s spring seasonal and it will use three varieties of yeast (French Saison-primary, Brett-clausenii-bottle).  Liopard Oir translates to Gold Leopard.


Boulevard Brewing–Smokestack Chocolate Ale

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Here’s your first look (keg & bottle packaging approved today) at the Boulevard Brewing (Kansas CIty, MO) Smokestack Series Chocolate Ale.  This is a collaboration brew with Christopher Elbow (a Kansas City Chocolatier) and will be packaged in 750ml bottles (@ 9.1% ABV).  “

One of the brightest of Kansas City’s culinary stars, Christopher Elbow has earned a worldwide reputation for his handcrafted chocolate masterpieces. His sweets are distinguished by their use of unusual, sometimes surprising ingredients, and that adventurous spirit has left its print on this special ale. The aroma is given over to earthy, fruity cocoa, with just a hint of hops. Smooth layers of dark chocolate intertwine with threads of caramel, vanilla, and nutty malt as the flavor warms and rounds to a bittersweet finish.”


Ellicottville Brewing (Southern Tier)–Mow Masters Ultra Pale Ale

imageHere’s the recently approved 12oz bottle packaging for our friends at Ellicottville Brewing Co’s (aka Southern Tier) Mow Masters Ultra Pale Ale.  This is one of Ellicottville’s new summer seasonals and a package redesign as well.  This brew uses Citra hops and a hopback-device and comes in at 5% ABV & 36 IBU.


Tied House / Irondale Brewery–Johnny Mo’s Tres Vieux IPA, Flemish Sour & Hermitage Ale of the IMP

imageI’ve been seeing more and more activity coming out of the Tied House Brewery in San Jose so it was interesting to see this new beer that is actually brewed by Tied House for Irondale Brewing (Monterey, CA).  This is named after the Hotel Irondale and it’s the second brew to be bottled for Irondale (following Swanton Rea’s Double Chocolate Stout).  According to the company’s website, Tres Vieux means “very old style” IPA and is meant to be  “

reminiscent of Beers brewed for European Landed Gentry - the Gentlemen Land Owners of the 16th Century.  An IPA so rich it’s like money in a bottle.”  (16.9oz 7% ABV)

imageAs a bonus I’ve also included the Tied House Flemish-Style Sour Ale 22oz package just approved today also.  (7% ABV) and the imageHermitage Ale of the IMP (brewed by Tied House also)—Imperial IPA 8% ABV).


Bomb Lager–Coming Soon

26 January 2011

BomBeer1A few weeks ago we posted out the newly approved Bomb Lager labels for some beers being brewed at our very own Lion Brewery.

I just heard from Mike Raymond, Managing Director @ Bomb Beer Co of NY City.  Mike has an update that I thought I’d pass along: 

“We will be launching 6-packs of canned Bomb Lager in early March exclusively in New York, and other East Coast states soon to follow. Bomb is a traditional Bavarian Helles brewed with a blend German pilsner and vienna malts. Aside from supplying quality canned beer, our brand is committed to supporting and sponsoring local artists and events that pique our interest. Our can designs were done by an East Village street and performance artist who goes by "Billy the Artist". We're hoping that the taste, style, and principle behind Bomb will be as inspiring to our customers as it has so far to us.”


Berwick Brewing-3rd Anniversary on Sat!


It seems like just yesterday that our favorite Berwick Brewing opened their doors. So I’m happy to help them announce the plans for the 3rd anniversary celebration @ Berwick Brewing THIS Sat (1/29)

From Berwick Brewing:  Don't forget to come out Saturday night to help us celebrate our 3rd year Anniversary of Berwick Brewing! There will be beer & pizza specials along with great entertainment provided by Dan & Glenn Hess! See you all this Saturday


Friday BeerBuzz–The Teaser (28 Jan 2011)


Last week we had a really fun time with our pal Steve Mashington from Yards Brewing.  Steve sampled Yards ESA with us, and was nice enough to give us a little insight on some of the upcoming Cape of Good Hope series of strong IPA’s that Yards may be brewing in the future.  My thanks again to Mash for spending the morning with us.

So what will we be sampling THIS week?  Hint:  This week we’re pulling out a pretty interesting style that should be a real hooT and a perfect fit for our sponsor.

Tune in at 8:30AM and see what beer we sample on the Friday Beerbuzz on WILK…bringing good beers and good people together.  (103.1FM or


Yuengling–Small Craft Brewery?? Why?

imageI’ve been following the breaking news out of Yuengling and it’

s becoming pretty interesting.  If you haven’t heard, our beloved Yuengling has just joined the Brewers Association.  Because the Brewers Association is almost completely geared toward craft or “small craft brewers” this is an odd change of events.  Now of course it helps that the Brewers Association recently adopted a new definition of “small craft breweries” to include breweries that have an annual production of under 6-million barrels (up from the previous 2-million barrels.)  Oddly enough Yuengling hit just over 3.6-million barrel production with the addition of their Tampa, FL. 

Now keep in mind, there are still issues for Yuengling being a “small” craft brewery” because of some of the corn/adjuncts they use, but the Brewers Association has made exceptions in the past.

…so why did they join?  

First off keep in mind Yuengling can get significant tax breaks for being a “small craft brewer” so for me this is why they’d want in now that the yearly production limit has been raised….but why would the Brewers Association want them?  While some believe it is to gain the bump in member dues, for me it seems obvious.  If Yuengling brings their production totals under the umbrella of “craft brewing,” the craft brewing segment will gain a significant portion of the overall beer market share just by Yuengling signing up.  The big question for me is will we see the Brewers Association make an exception or will we see Yuengling change their recipe.  I’m betting on exception, but stay tuned.


Mikkeller-Nelson Sauvin Brut, Dream Pils, Beer Geek brewkfast, Funky E*Star, Hoppy Easter, It’s Alright, Alive! & Rauch Geek breakfast

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Here’s your first look at the some new bottle packaging and a raft of new keg approvals for some really great Mikkeller beers.  Our favorite gyspy brewer Mikkel is obviously very busy these days.

The first label is Nelson Sauvin Brut.  This is a newer version of Mikkel’s Nelson Sauvignon brewed for the 2009/2010 holidays and is a light Belgian-style (almost champagne-like) brew that is aged in Sauvignon Blanc Barrels and uses Nelson Sauvin-variety hops.  Look for a Feb release in 25.4oz (750-ml) bottles and an ABV of 9%.

The second label is one we broke the news on a few days ago and showed the keg packaging, so here’s the 11.2oz bottle packaging.  This is sold as American Dream Pils in Europe and comes in at 4.2% ABV

Next we have some really good news us US lovers of Mikkeller beers….coming soon on draft we will have Beer Geek breakfast (stout brewed with coffee—7.5% ABV-Nogne-0), Funky E*Star (Belgian Wild Ale-9.4% ABC De Proef), Hoppy Easter (6.6% ABV-De Proef), It’s Alright (4.5% ABV-De Proef), Alive! (Belgian Wild Ale-8% ABV-De Proef), and Rauch Geek Brewkfast (Smoked Stout Brewed w/Coffee-7.5% ABV- Nogne-0)…stay tuned for details.


North Peak–Burly Belgo India Pale Ale

We showed you the original Belgo Pale Ale from Burly a few weeks ago, so I thought I’d follow up with the Belgo India Pale Ale from our pals @ North Peak Brewing.  This Traverse City, MI brew should be in NY, but so far not in PA so you’ll have to look a little harder.  This IPA is 6.5% ABV & 65 IBU and will be packaged in Feb/Mar in 11.5oz bottles.


Great Divide - Espresso Oak Aged Yeti & Belgica

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Here’s your first look at the 2011 packaging for Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti and Belgica Belgian IPA.  Espresso Oak Aged Yeti will again be bottled in 22oz bottles and aged with oak chips & coffee to come in at 9.5% ABV (and I love the Yeti carrying a coffee mug!)

Belgica is GD’s Belgian IPA and it will now be packaged in 12oz bottles and come in at 7.2% ABV.  Belgica uses Pilsner malts with American and European hop varieties combined with a Belgian yeast strain to make this unique brew.  These are existing beers so look for the 2011 versions to be out soon.


Widmer–Brrr Seasonal Ale

This is a beer that Widmer Brothers have put out for several years, but here’s the updated packaging to match their new label designs.  This is their winter seasonal, it will be packaged again in 12oz bottles and it comes in at 7.2% ABV.  This is another beer that’s available just across our border in NY, but not in PA yet.


Genesee–Now in 12oz & 16oz Cans

imageI’ll admit Genesee isn’t what we’d consider a “craft” beer by any means…but I’ll also admit I have a soft spot for Genesee based on, lets just say “college memories.”  So it was fun to see our friends at High Falls Brewing in Rochester, NY gain approval for 12oz and 16oz cans for “regular” Genny.


New Belgian Beers on Draft–Svea, Storm & Averij, Heaven & Hell, Vuur & Vlam, Amarillo & Haandbryggeriet

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It’s always fun to see the new Belgian kegs coming our way courtesy of our friends at Shelton Brothers…and there are lots of them right now:  Svea (7% ABV De Struise, Storm & Averij (9.2% ABV De Molen),  Heaven & Hell (10.2% ABV De Molen), Vuur & Vlam (6.2% ABV De Molen),  Amarillo (9.2% ABV De Molen), and Haandbryggeriet.


WILK Friday BeerBuzz

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