Breaker Brewing Pot Belly Pumpkin Ale

31 August 2010

BreakerPotBellyJust thought you’d want a peek at the new label for this year’s Breaker Brewing Co Pot Belly Pumpkin Ale.

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Beer Cam Version 1.1 Test Drive !

29 August 2010

I had a little time to work out a few of the bugs with version 1 of the Friday BeerBuzz BEER CAM...so now I present Beer Cam version 1.1.

And now to give it a name......Suggestions??
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Friday Beerbuzz - Beer Cam 27 Aug 2010

27 August 2010

Here's our first run at the NEW Beer Cam on the Friday BeerBuzz. The camera is attached ot the beer bottle so you can watch the show like our beer of the week watches the show. For the full video of our show with audio go to wilknewsradio.com Friday Beerbuzz page. We'll periodically pull out the Beer Cam on future shows so stay tuned...

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WILK Friday BeerBuzz – 27 Aug 2010 (Weeping Radish Black Radish)

WILKFridayBerbuzz7 I learned long ago that my favorite part of enjoying beer, is sharing it with others…especially if it’s a beer they’ve never tried.  With today’s beer I had a double treat.  Not only did I get to enjoy a beer that is near and dear to my heart, but also a beer that most local beer lovers have never tried…yet!

Many moons ago I sat at the small bar on Manteo Island in North Carolina enjoying a liter of beer.  The year was 1996, the biergarten was Weeping Radish and the beer was Black Radish.  This was one of my very early craft beer memories, and every time I enjoy a Weeping Radish Black Radish, I remember that warm summer day.WeepingRadish

We collected quite a few bottles that year and I remember how cool I thought the bottle caps were (who wouldn’t love a Radish in Lederhosen) and how great all of the Weeping Radish beers tasted.  Back in NEPA we managed to find Black Radish and Weizen, but sadly most of the Weeping Radish beers faded from our market.

WeepingRadishBlackRadish Black Radish is a wonderful dark lager and one I’d recommend trying.  Now it’s of course going to be a little tricky to find, but for those of us who regularly travel to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, check in any Harris Teeter or Food Lion and you’ll find it.  Or better yet, stop into the Weeping Radish farm & brewery in Jarvisburg and buy it direct.   While you’re there be sure to check out their Weizen, Fest and OBX beers.

As always it was another fun show and another tasty beer today. 

Thanks

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

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mybeeerbuzz OBX 2010 – A Photo Essay

26 August 2010

I posted all of these directly to FaceBook as they were consumed, simply because it was the laziest way to post beer pictures on vacation.  But by popular demand I thought I’d revisit some of our vacation beers in a photo essay…enjoy and Cheers to OBX 2010!


  
OBXPliny OBX2x
OBXBfrog OBXDalesImpPump
OBXDevilDancer OBXHumidor
OBXInsanity OBXKBS
OBXLaTrappe OBXMadELf
OBXMikSLH OBXPage24
OBX2Turtle OBXSaisondeBuff
OBXSNHarvest OBXStone14
OBXYuleSmith OBX2Hearted 
IMG_2362 IMG_2391

In order:  Russian River Pliny the Elder, Southern Tier 2x, Bullfrog Brewery The Jaspers & El Diablo Deluxe, Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale 2010, Oskar Blues Dale Pale Ale, Founders Devil Dancer, Cigar City Humidor Series IPA, Weyerbacher Insanity 2003, Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout 2010, La Trappe Isid’or, Troegs Mad Elf 2008, Mikkeller Santas Little Helper 2009, Saint Germaine Page 24 Biere De Noel 2009, The Bruery Two Turtle Doves, Stone Saison de Buff, Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale 2010, Stone 14th Anniversary, Alesmith Yulesmith, Bells 2-Hearted Ale (with my camouflage coozie), Weeping Radish OBX Kolsch…and sunrise from our dune deck!

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Bullfrog Local Harvest Fresh Hop Ale 8/27

BullfrogLogo If this doesn’t get you driving to Bullfrog Brewery…nothing will…

From the Frog:  Local Harvest Fresh Hop Ale coming on tap Friday. Made with our Sunrise Red as a base with 67 pounds of fresh, straight-from-the-vine, locally grown Cascade hops suspended in the serving tank for "wet hopping." This beer will evolve for the next week or so as it's served and the hops continue to give up their goodness.

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Chip the Beer Guy – Troegs Javahead Stout

This weeks beer is one of my favorites but before the conspiracy theorists get all kooky, last week I was out of town and unable to listen live for the Sam Adams show so I had to skip it.  Our wireless connection wasn’t able to stream Rock 107’s feed so I wasn’t able to hear the show at all.

 



Troegs Javahead Stout has been a favorite since they started brewing it a year or so ago, and while I was a bigger fan of their Oatmeal Stout, I do like Javahead.  I’ve seen the torpedo device used to torpedo this stout through the coffee & hops and I think it’s a really interesting brewing idea.  We should also note that Javahead Stout is also part of Troegs Anthology # 2 variety case that just came out for the fall season (paired with Hopback, Pale Ale, Dreamweaver).

A quick congrats to show sponsor Krugels for topping over 1100 bottles (yes the radio ad still says 500).  Joe has an amazing selection.

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Friday Beerbuzz – The Teaser (8/27/2010)

25 August 2010

WILKFridayBeerbuzz4 It was odd to say somewhat of a farewell to summer last week, with our Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat Friday Beerbuzz.  It always seems like May through Aug fly and Nov through Feb drag, but I digress.  I really enjoyed sharing Sunset Wheat with everyone on the show because I truly think this is a gateway beer that will help create craft beer lovers.  Now I know all of the hard-core beer lovers out there may not consider it much of a beer, and that’s fine….but this is a beer I enjoy, and even though it may not be a Belgian Saison, it’s still an enjoyable beer.  Also keep in mind that if a beer like Sunset Wheat helps create another local craft beer lover, then we as craft beer lovers are likely to see more and more great beers heading to NEPA.  More demand = more good beers, and not just from Leinies.

So what will we be tasting this week? 

Hint: This week’s beer was one of my first craft beers, however it makes me cry to think we hardly ever see it in NEPA these days. 

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 wilknewsradio.com).

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Hop Harvest at the Beerbuzz House

24 August 2010

IMG_2335Just thought you’d want a little peek at our recent hop harvest for 2010.  Here’s our Cascade and Nugget cones looking yummy!

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Local Brewing History – Bartels Article

This article is courtesy of Jess Kidden from The North American Wine & Spirit Journal April 1909…some amazing photos for sure.  Thanks Jess.

BartelsPage1 BartelsPage2
BartelsPage3 BartelsPage4
BartelsPage5 BartelsBottlingDept.pics6
BartelsBottlingDept.pics7 BartelsBreweryView8
BartelsDeliveryWagons BartelsBrewmaster

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Berwick Brewing Oktoberfest 2010

23 August 2010

BerwickBrewingLogoNew Mark your calendars….Berwick Brewing Co will be holding their annual Oktoberfest celebration Sept 30th-Oct 3rd and Oct 7th-10th.  Food, music and of course beer!  Watch for even more food and performances by Stankey & The Coalminers, Jack Squat, Stained Grass Window, and Brooke & Kevin.

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Lion Brewery - Label Fun Basics Beer

22 August 2010

LionBasicBeerLabel Here’s a fun one from the Stegmaier Brewing Co (Lion Brewery) called Basics Beer.  It’s in the 12oz size, comes to us from the 1980’s and has a great tag line…”The Basic Promise:  A good beer brewed with the finest ingredients at a basic price.”  I guess the premise is that you save your advertising budget and make the beer more affordable.

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Fresh Beer – NO DATE NO BUY!

BestBy We covered this on the Friday Beerbuzz show this past week, but I can tell you this is no new issue in the beerbuzz world.  Beer freshness dating has been one of my personal beer pet peeves for a long time.  Maybe it was that case of beer I bought that ended up tasting awful (who knew a beer distributor would still sell a 4-year old fresh hop!)…or maybe it was the simple thought of how hard a brewer works to make a great beer, only to have some distributor ruin it…in any “case” beer freshness is a big beer issue.

This is a somewhat tricky proposition to monitor because there are no across-the-board standards or laws for dating beer packaging.  There are however two somewhat standard dating methods.  Most brewers stamp the case/box and/or the bottle label itself.  Bottle labels can be a label notch, date stamp OR the more difficult bottle stamp.  I say “more difficult” because these bottle dates are sometimes hard to read, most times not visually available in a sealed case AND in some circumstances they’re coded.  Coded labels require some previous knowledge to decipher as well as a sharp eye at the distributor.

Dating also falls into two categories and it’s important to understand both.  Some brewers stamp a bottling date and some stamp a “best by” date.  Pay attention to this because a case purchased in Aug 2010 that is stamped June 2010 is VERY different for bottling dates versus a “best by” date.  As a ballpark, most brewers for most beers use a “best by” date that is usually 3-months after bottling…so if you see a “best by” date on June 2010, it was likely bottled in March 2010.

So what does all this mean to you?  For many big beers like a Barley Wine or Belgian Strong Ale, if properly stored (more on this later) the date means very little.  Weyerbacher stamps a “best by” date on Blithering Idiot that is 5-years after the bottling date, and I can tell you this beer is even better in 5-7 years.  For hoppy beers, despite the historical use of hops as a preservative, you should be drinking them fresh, and by fresh I mean within 2-3 months of bottling.  This is especially prevalent with “fresh” hop beers like Troegs Nugget Nectar, Bells Hopslam, Russian River Pliny the Elder and Oskar Blues GUBNA.  These beers were designed and brewed to be consumed fresh…don’t save them…drink them.  And if you see cases that are 5 or 6 months old, be aware that they won’t be tasting like the brewers intended for them to taste.

Now I know you;re already asking, “so what happens the day after the freshness date passes?”  Well please know that beer doesn’t go bad and ultimately it may taste odd, but it will likely not make you ill…it’s just won’t be as good as it should.  With hoppy beers the hop will fade quickly and the beer will taste more malty.  I’ve had year old Nugget Nectar, and while it is disappointing from a hop standpoint, it’s still an acceptable beer….but it is NOT Nugget Nectar.

We should also mention beer storage is important.  Beers like dark and cool conditions to maintain optimal freshness.  Leave your beer in the sun all day or in the trunk of a hot car, and it will fade much faster.  Store it in the dark cool basement and it will last much longer.  This is why craft brewers use dark brown bottles and this is why you need a lime in your clear bottled beers.  Light struck beers, better known as “skunked” beers can ruin a good beer day.


So now we’re all armed with some good beer freshness info…but now what?  Well first off, we need to ensure our distributors and bottle shops know that WE know about freshness.  Distributors and bottle shops need to be aware that beer sitting in the window for weeks is not good for the beer, and simply trying to sell old beer, is bad for everyone.  Distributors and bottle shops also need to learn what beers can and do age well, and which ones do not.  I have no problem seeing a 5-year old barelywine on the shelf, but I cringe when I see a wheat beer dated 2009 sitting in a sunny window.

With all of that said it’s up to us.  Be aware of dates on cases and look for them.  Experiment with your favorite beers and see what dates are acceptable and which ones are not.  Keep in mind some beers get better and better with age, and some are just fine with age.  Learn what beers age well, and which beers do not.  Talk to your distributors and bottles shops.  As beer drinkers we want fresh beers and we want to taste the beer the brewer designed, and I’m sure your beer-merchants want the same.  This is not an “us versus them” mentality…together we can ensure the beers are fresh and the ones that are beyond their “best by” dates either get sold before they get old, or returned to the brewery if they don’t.  Pay attention to dates and I guarantee down the road you’ll thank me. 

So what if there’s no date visible or what if the date stamp looks like it was added at the distributor…you have two choices…ask…or remember my one simple rule…NO DATE NO BUY!

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Lion Brewery Label Fun – Stegmaier Ale

LionStegAleOldLabel Here’s a great Stegmaier Ale label that I haven’t see (or posted) yet.  This label is for the 12oz Stegmaier Ale.

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Beer Tasting to Benefit Breast Cancer Research

21 August 2010

Johnny Waering will be holding a beer tasting Sept 4th @ the Backyard Ale House to benefit Breast Cancer Research.

The event starts @ 6PM and runs all night.

From Johnny: 

Time for another NEPA Beer Tasting!!! This time we will be drinking tasty beers for a good cause! Same as always everyone attending is asked to bring some beer to share! 6pks, Growlers, Bombers, 750ml, of whatever makes your taste buds dance! The only thing we ask is NO Budweiser, Miller, or Coors products!! This is an event to try NEW things and share with others.

$5 @ the door, with 50/50 raffles, Gift Baskets and a whole bunch... of other fun things to happen! The proceeds will be donated to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.  All proceeds to benefit Cancer research and helping women AND men get the testing, treatments and screening they need regardless of their ability to pay.

There will be more details to follow so be sure to stay tuned!

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WILK Friday Beerbuzz – 20 Aug 2010 (Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat)

20 August 2010

WILKFridayBerbuzz7 It’s funny when you’re considered a “beer guy”, “beer geek” or even “beer expert.”  People have all sorts of pre-conceived notions and sadly many of these notions assume some level of beer snobbery.  Thankfully that’s not the case.  To help reinforce that point I enter today’s beer as “Exhibit # 1.”  I chose a beer for today’s show that is not only decidedly mainstream, but also a beer from a brewery owned by one of the big macro breweries, SAB-Miller.  Now granted Leinie’s is brewed independently, but it’s still mainstream.  And here’s my admission of the day.  I chose this beer because I like it.  So as I’ve always said…love what you drink and drink what you love…regardless of what anyone else may think about it.
sunsetwheat
We had fun with this summer beer today on the show and it’s always fun just saying “Leinenkugel’s.”  Yes some people think it tastes like fruity pebbles mixed with beer, but I think this is a beer worth trying….and you may be surprised to find you like it too.  Get yourself a frosty cold mug and a bottle of Leinie’s Sunset Wheat and let me know what you think.

Another fun show and tasty beer today. 

I want to say t

hank you 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

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Local Brewing History – A.B. Co Brewing ABC Porter

18 August 2010

Scranton_ABC_Porter Here’s another great label from Sam K.  This one is from the A.B. Co Brewers and features their 12oz ABC Porter.

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Friday Beerbuzz – The Teaser (8/20/2010)

WILKFridayBeerbuzz4 Last week was perhaps one of my favorite shows of all time.  With such fun guests and such a great beer in Black Diamond dark IPA, how can you go wrong…and of course it doesn’t hurt if you’re hitting the road for vacation right after the show too.  Sice the beaches and beers are calling my name as I type this…I’ll keep the teaser short…

This week we have another surprise. 

Hint: The surprise in this weeks beer is that I’d choose it AND that I really like it. 

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 wilknewsradio.com).

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Local Brewing History – A.B. Co Brewing Wurzburger Beer

16 August 2010

Scranton_A.B._Co._Wurzburger Here’s yet another great label from Sam K.  This one is from the A.B. Co Brewers and features the 12oz Wurzburger Beer in the 12oz size…and what a great looking label it is.

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WILK Friday Beerbuzz – 13 Aug 2010 (Breaker Brewing Co Black Diamond)

13 August 2010

WILKFridayBerbuzz7 I said it on the show and I’ll say it again.  What a fun show today!  Yes I’ll admit I’m leaving on vacation in a scant few hours so I’m well on my way to “happy-ville” to begin with BUT, that’s not all.  Today we welcomed not only two of our local brewers to the studio, but two guys I consider good friends…and I can’t tell you how much fun it is to sample a great beer with a studio full of friends.

BreakerBrewingBlackDiamond Today we sampled the new Breaker Brewing Co Black Diamond dark rye IPA, and we really enjoyed it.  For those that have been on a desert island for the last two years, Breaker Brewing Co is a small garage-based brewery in Plains with brewers Mark Lehman and Chris Miller.  The guys brew some great beers and have been doing real well locally with their beers.

Black Diamond is a really interesting beer and one I really enjoyed.  I was lucky enough to sample some a few weeks ago so I was really excited to have it on the show.  I’m also looking forward to trying it on nitro at Purv’s in the future.

Be sure to stop in to the Raising the Roof event tonight at the new Intermodal center with Breaker Brewing Co, and Mark your calendars for the Split Rock Beer Festival (Nov 20 & 21) to enjoy some more Breaker Brewing Co beers. 
BreakerBrewingBlackDiamondWILK

What a fun show!  T

hank you to Chris, Mark, John, Nancy (I swear we tried to save you some), & Joe 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

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