Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Start 09 off on the right foot.

News from the Monk's website...

20 Stouts on tap on New Years Day including a special dark strong friend of yours and mine: Dragon's Milk

Doors'll open once you can officially say, "Good afternoon" and they're filling all of their taps with stout. The list on their site is looking pretty darn good and i know i will be there to celebrate. Will probably toss in a trip to Local 44 in for good measure on the way home too.

Anyone looking to join in the fun can contact me in all of the usual ways. Read more!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Three Cheers for Keller Pils

At one point when this blog was born i was thinking about a year end wrap up or award ceremony or something. Not gonna happen this year. BUT, i do have one sole award to hand out:

Big Dan
for your selflessness in the line of duty, for seeing a keg of beer that could have been on tap at your house rather than a place looking to make a good showing on their opening days (which they did), and for leaving something behind for the rest of us after your famed Quality Control sessions:

The Grain Bill hereby awards you the Red Badge of Courage for decisions that ultimately led to me having a delicious glass of Sly Fox Keller Pils.

Read more!

Craft Ale House - today is the day

Some have been in for a sneak preview. Big Dan has been doing some professional combination of labor and love. The buzz has been buzzing and now there's beer in the tap lines. I am heading to the Craft Ale House in Limerick for lunch today to see the finished product. Gary, Melissa, and crew have been working hard and its time to celebrate them.

As excited as i am for the beer, i am pretty pumped to see what's coming out of the kitchen. The words 'from scratch' have been thrown around a lot and i've got sentimental ties from stepping into what used to be the Limerick Deli for lunch with my mom so my belly has been dialed into that kitchen for most of my life. Kind of cool how it works though, i used to go for hoagies and iced tea (the former deli's takeout beer selections weren't my speed even as a freshly crowned 21 year old Dr in training) and now i get to go for food and great beer. Evolution is my thing.

Hope to see folks out on this trip or the next.


Without further ado, the opening tap list:


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Cocktails to wet your whistle and thist your thistle

New Holland Brewing Co founder Brett VanderKamp with our Artisan Spirits line pouring a few drinks for the holidays.

Go Vander!

Merry Christmas all. Read more!

Picture Page Picture Page

A few weeks back Mr. Kolesar told me about the Yuletide photo contest over at A Good Beer Blog that Mr. Alan Mcleod and Mr. Stonch put on during the holidays. I had some snappy pics that i liked so i entered and good readers and friends darn if i didn't take second place in the USA category. This is pretty exciting for me as i don't do either of the following very often: enter contests, win prizes. The picture that won grand prize from Matt in Portland is really cool and will be published in an upcoming issue of All About Beer Magazine.

So here's the link, it has the two pics of mine that tied each other for second place. When you click on the barrel picture click the little enlarger button that will appear in the bottom right corner, it'll make the pic bigger and less pixelized. Both pics are from a work trip back to the brewery at New Holland, i have a bunch from the brewery if people want to see more.

Also while you're there check out all of the entries if you have the time, some cool pics to be seen. Also, i left a comment at Brew Lounge, but Bryan also won a prize for a great hops picture so let's give him three cheers. Other friends from the beer world that won prizes: Stan Heironymus and Thomas Cizauskus. Read more!

Monday, December 22, 2008

What're You Doing With Yourself After Christmas?

I am considering a caravan trip deep into the suburbs for fine beers and a bite to eat. There is an account in good ole Boyertown, PA that is about to tap Dragon's Milk, so i say a bunch of folks hop in a bunch of cars and cruise down through the wooded hills of such famous roads as:

422 West
Rt 562
Rt 29
Gamefarm Road

Feel the glamour crunching under your winterized tires.

I've got Union Jacks Manatawny, aforementioned account (waiting for the beer to officially tap to give out the name), UJs Congo, Ortino's Northside, and possibly Craft Ale House all in my sights.

So who's interested? I'd set a date, but i am kind of flexible. Let's rap about this you people of the internet...drop a comment or shoot me an email. Read more!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dec 20 2008

Ok, posting via phone again. Hopefully I come back to this. I had a beer this week that put my palate on aim and set me up for an amazing side by side this afternoon.

Gouden Carolous' Grand Cru (cuvee van de kaiser, I believe...coming back for fact checking) set me up on a quest for malt forward beers with deep fruit notes that could warm me as I warm them in my glass.

Long story short, I ended up with an 04 Flying Dog wild Dog (10th anniversary double pale) that is the last of a case split that happened shortly after the beer's release. It aged beautifully, great body with a sherry almost wine like sturdy sweet depth that got better sip by sip. If I'm not mistaken this beer eventually became Double Dog, my favorite in the Flying Dog lineup.

An 08 bottle of Double Dog next to its predecessor to help celebrate the Yeoman's new home. The main thought here, which I seem to have completely danced past, is that one beer set my pallet up to find something great 5 days later.

Ok gotta go. Read more!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bada bing. Dragon's Milk on tap at TJ's.

In mid-'where to go for dinner' conversation a quick trip to the TJ's Everyday website reveals that Dragon's Milk has been tapped at Paoli's finest drinkery. Consider me on my way. Well...on my way at 7pm. Read more!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


This post was supposed to have happened three times already, but finally i've got some time to post. I hit Charlotte last week and got relief from December's chilly (although you wouldn't know it the past two days) hold on Pennsylvania. Great drive down, but the second my wheels hit Charlotte it started raining and might not have even stopped yet for all i know.

When you're in Flying Saucer land you've got to stop by and that's where lunch happened. Chatted with the folks at the Saucer over fine food and some New Holland beers. I also got a sneak peek at Flying Saucer's holiday pint, all ready for inauguration:

With some good hard business before and after it was soon time to meet up with the Charlotte Beer Club. After chatting for a minute with the club's Founder Darrin Pikarsky it became clear that this thing is more of an army than a club. They have a few hundred members that can show up at any of their gatherings. Organized to the hilt and becoming moreso everyday, the Charlotte Beer Club has got the knack for keeping their beer talk completely relaxed and fun.

One member of the club you all may know is Beer Columnist Rick Lyke, who also came out for the tasting. Worth checking out if you are unfamiliar, in addition to Rick's drinks blog, is his awareness effort: Pints For Prostates A prostate cancer survivor himself, Rick has raised both awareness and funds to help further the message of the importance of prostate screening for men.

I met with the Beer Club at one of the absolute coolest places i have been to in a while, the Common Market on Commonwealth Ave. For Philly folks, its The Foodery meets the P.O.P.E. meets Spencer's Gifts. Folks can walk into Common Market and grab a sandwich, pull a beer out of the cooler, pay, then sit down with a book and hang out. A couple of craft beers on tap (including He'Brew Jewbulation on this trip) a little indoor/outdoor smoker's lounge, some old school toys and magic tricks on the racks and a ton of craft beer and wine round out the offerings. Oh and there was a DJ too.

We tasted through a handful of New Holland beers and chatted about the upcoming World Beer Fest in Columbia, SC. Some of the crew hung late, which i was more than happy to do as well and we tasted the night away. This is definitely a spot to hit if you're in the Charlotte area. Despite having to be on the road in the early AM the next morning i really didn't want to leave.

I didn't get deep into the heart of Charlotte or explore its beer community fully, but i definitely connected with some of its essential inhabitants. I love being able to go to a city i've never been to before and have a network of folks to tap into who share similar ideas about beer. I talked for hours with people who didn't know me from Lex Humphries and we had a blast. Beer club folks Chad, Chris, Kelly, John and the rest of the bunch made a great trip even greater.

For inspiration to start your own awesome beer club check out the Charlotte gang's current web activity at beer.meetup.com/196 Read more!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Charlotte Update is on its way - Free Tasting Tonight in PA

Can't wait to post a few pics and tell a little story about my quick trip to Charlotte. But i've been away from home base since Tuesday so i have to be brief here once again.

Cutting to the chase:

Anyone who wants to taste through a bunch of the New Holland lineup can come out to Goshen Beverage (right off of 202 at the Paoli Pike exit - 102 Turner Lane, West Chester) tonight. They will have a bunch of cases in stock and i'll be pouring free beer from 4:30 - 6:30. Even if you're name isn't JoeJack, it'd still be great to see you. Read more!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Making My Week

Two recent record finds and one CD that i deemed finally suitable to be listened to all the way through without me being a big baby. These have all been making my week:

Boz Scaggs - s/t

Aaron Neville - Tell It Like It Is (original version) 45 on Par Lo {1st pressing!}

Iron & Wine - Woman King EP

Read more!

4 Score and 7 Beers Tonight

Yeah i'm hopping on the train....its a great day to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition and drink some beer. I'm celebrating with 7 New Holland Brewing Co beers on tap at the Blue Dog Pub in Lansdale, PA. We're pouring the core 4: Mad Hatter, Sundog Amber Ale, Full Circle Kolsch-style Ale, & The Poet Oatmeal Stout as well as Dragon's Milk, Cabin Fever, and the beer i've been getting a lot of questions about lately....Pilgrim's Dole. Taps start flowing somewhere in the area of 6:30 or so and i'll be in the house all night long.

As we let this float us in to the weekend - One which sees the debut of the Cliveden Festival and a big anniversary party at TJ's Everyday - lets not forget that we're in the holiday season which means we've got to start planning awesome gifts. The official Grain Bill holiday suggestion is Wishing You A Merry Christmas Beer by hometown hero Joe Sixpack. If you really want to wow your friend, mate, parent, bartender, beer blogger - you might just grab tickets to the book's companion event here. Read more!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Last night i poured beer to thirsty staffers on Capitol Hill in the building below...

...and tonight i'm at the No Libs Foodery (2nd & Poplar) pouring away around 5:30/6pm. Probably grabbing a bite at Standard Tap before hand if anyone's in the neighborhood.

Fun stuff for Grain Bill to come, but for now its all business because time is tight. Read more!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Mentally Winter - Where to catch New Holland This Week

So its December. In my head that's the end of fall and the beginning of winter. Just works out that way for me. The trees right outside of my window here are bare, which means that fall fell so here we go with the cold stuff.

Shooting down to VA for two days of events here then back home where a lot of beer will be poured.

TUES 12/2 - Capital Ale House in Richmond, VA.

I'll be at the Downtown location, all but their brand new location will have a New Holland glass night with a bunch of beers on tap tomorrow night.

WEDS 12/3 - Brewer's Association Holiday Beer Tasting in Washington, DC

Rayburn House Office Builing RM B-357. Mad Hatter and The Poet being poured in DC from 5:30 - 7:30pm.

THURS 12/4 - The Foodery @ 2nd & Poplar in Philly. The best takeout selection in the city will get the New Holland treatment this Thursday evening. We'll get going around 5 or 5:30 i believe. I'll have The Hatter, The Poet, Cabin Fever, Dragon's Milk and maybe a little something extra to taste at The Foodery.

FRI 12/5 - The Blue Dog Pub in Lansdale, PA. The Big One. 7 Beers on tap, fancy New Holland pint glasses, cold beers in the takeout coolers. If you ever wanted to acquaint yourself with the New Holland lineup, this'd be a good way to do so....

Mad Hatter
Full Circle
The Poet
Cabin Fever
Dragon's Milk
Pilgrim's Dole

Things'll get cranking in the 7:00pm hour and go until Rob turns out the lights.

Back to this winter thing...

I've decided to just embrace the cold this winter. I'm going to layer up and just go with it. I've been to far colder places than PA and while i am pretty excited to get down to the Carolinas for work soon, i'm feeling good about not letting old man winter rattle my weary bones. Read more!