There are countless similarities between the worlds of craft beer and bean to bar chocolate, and few people know that as well as Scott Watson. Scott was a professional craft brewer in the 1990s when craft beer was just beginning to gain national attention. After leaving the craft beer world, he eventually discovered bean to bar chocolate and founded Loon Chocolate.
In this episode of Bean to Barstool, Scott shares his memories of brewing craft beer, what makes him love chocolate making, and the numerous ways in which these two artisan industries remind him of each other.
Entering the Barrel Room Spotlight for round two is another young but quickly-growing brewery out of Avon, New York. Since opening their doors in 2018, Mortalis Brewing has striven to create a portfolio of beers that both utilize the finest ingredients and break the mold to stand out in a competitive market. Beyond that, they want their beers to be enjoyed in a relaxed environment that promotes memorable and heartfelt human connection. Through this unpretentious and admirable formula, Mortalis has also succeeded in establishing a strong program of barrel-aged beers. We had the opportunity to speak with Paul Grenier, one of the co-owners of Mortalis Brewing, and really get a “behind-the-scenes” look at the inner workings of their barrel room.
While von C Brewing Company first opened its tasting room doors and outdoor beer garden a few years ago, its brewing heritage stems back a few centuries. This brewing family traces it origins to Magstadt, Württemberg, where a famous strain of lager yeast made its way to the city of Philadelphia. With the heritage of the von C family, it is no surprise than that they continue to make some flavorful, true-to-style Lagers here in 2022 — one of them being their Vienna Style Lager.
If you like beer even a little bit, you’ve heard of Tree House Brewing. And you haven’t just heard the name, you’ve heard of it in an extreme sense. Maybe two of your co-workers drove cross country to “secure the bag.” Or perhaps your upstairs neighbors graciously gifted you a case after a week of cat sitting. So while you may have been fortunate enough to try Tree House before, you’d never visited any of their brewery locations, until now.
On a sunny New England summer evening, hundreds of people gathered at Twelve Percent Beer Project in New Haven, CT for Rare Fog Day—an event that has, over the last three years, amassed a cult following. Crafted by Abomination Brewing, Rare Fog is a Triple IPA blended from five varieties of hops. The beer is more than the sum of its parts. It’s the result of years of hard work, experimentation and expert craftsmanship from Abomination owners Joe Feldman and Josh Arno.
On Saturday August 13, Barrel & Flow Fest lined the streets of Pittsburgh with some of the best Black arts and craft beer from across the country. Barrel & Flow, which started as Fresh Fest in 2018, celebrates and showcases the Black community. It brings together Black artists, chefs, business owners, musicians and more during the annual event. Overall, it was resounding success for yet another year.
Barrel & Flow Fest is returning to Pittsburgh for its 5th annual celebration. Voted the second best beer festival in the country by USA TODAY, Barrel & Flow has expanded this year. The event now features a new location and over 30 Black-owned breweries, 55 unique collaboration beers made exclusively for the festival. 150 food, arts, crafts and brew vendors, seven bands, five deejays and two live art stages will line the streets of the Strip District site.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is becoming a popular destination for craft beer lovers. Few visitors, however, realize that a mere 30 minutes north of the city exists a brewery (and a beer) you don’t want to miss. Stick City Brewing Company in Mars, Pennsylvania, has been creating high-quality liquid since it opened in April 2018. One shining example is its Arctos 12° Pilsner.
Summer sunshine be damned, we’re still enjoying Stouts despite this heat. The beer fridge was full and the selection was plentiful, but the chosen bottle today is one to remember.
Witch Meadow Black 2020, an Imperial Stout aged in bourbon and rum barrels with smoked coconut by Fox Farm Brewery in Salem, CT certainly helped fight off the Sunday Scaries this afternoon! This incredibly complex yet smooth Stout was 500ml of pure bliss. It neither overwhelmed in a combination of flavor nor body, despite the 13.6% ABV.
Wild East Brewing Co. is kicking off Pride Month with the release of Acceptance. It’s a statement meant to let customers know that making all people feel accepted is important to the brewery. Brewer/co-founder Brett Taylor says, “We make this beer as a reminder that you’re welcome to be you. We see you and we care about you.”
If you drive an hour west of Philadelphia, you hit West Chester, Pennsylvania and the awesome people of Levante Brewing Company. The brewery, which opened in 2015, houses a 15-BBL system, and they use it to the full extent—making a slew of styles so every palate can enjoy a beer.
They also have a series of hoppier brews, known as Hop Cartel. Each of these Double IPAs features a different blend of hops and clocks in at over 8% alcohol. The Chron was made with Citra, Strata, and HBC-586 hops and packs a punch with an 8.1% ABV.
Burgers are the ultimate partner for beer. (Sorry Pizza!) Whether you’re in a fancy restaurant or sitting by the barbecue, nothing hits the spot quite like the charbroiled taste of meat washed down with a refreshing beer. Memorial Day is the perfect excuse to enjoy these simple pleasures in life whether stuck with your family or watching America’s favorite burger-slinging family, The Belchers!
Summer is coming, and to no one’s surprise, Allagash Brewing Co. recently released a damn good Lager that should be at everyone’s hangout.
Seconds to Summer Lager, an apparent hit in their taproom-only release series last summer, found its way to cans and throughout distribution this season thankfully. The first and probably most defining characteristic of this beer is the aroma. It’s the beautiful Belgian yeast-forward aroma that is quintessentially Allagash – from White, and Fine Acre, to River Trip and so many others.
Throughout the years, Dogfish Head has been a brewery about exploring the outer edges of what is possible within the world of craft beer. With one of its newest editions to its ever-evolving lineup, Kernza Pils is here to help restore the planet with every sip!
“Imagination is the highest form of research.” – Albert Einstein.
Over the years, Equilibrium Brewery (EQ) has imagined, researched and flawlessly produced numerous creative brews. With beer names like Photon, Wavelength & Fractal Eclipse, alongside strong can art that relates to each beer, EQ is sure to catch your attention in any crowded liquor store coldbox.
“To watch someone slowly fade away in front of your eyes over many years, and to not be able to do anything about it will stop you in your tracks. To know other individuals closely with the disease and ponder a similar outcome for them is challenging to say the least. It leaves you feeling helpless.”
It’s highly unlikely that Strong Rope Brewery owner Jason Sahler envisioned barley and sailboats when he earned his Sustainability degree from New York University. Yet there he was several years later, receiving a delivery of New York State grown barley that had been sailed down the Hudson River to his brewery in Brooklyn. It’s just one example of the unanticipated ways Sahler applies his sustainability background to his business.
If you’re in Portland, Maine this weekend, clear your schedule. The Beers With(Out) Beards Festival turns five this year. BW(O)B began as the idea for a grad school thesis by Grace Weitz during her senior year at NYU. Since its conception in 2018, it has grown to become the nation’s largest women-in-craft beer festival. The event aims to create space for women and femme-identifying people to feel welcome in craft beer, while highlighting and celebrating the accomplishments of those already paving the way.
Even the most avid craft beer fans get tired of beer after a while. Sometimes you want to change things. Maybe you decide to stick to spirits, Light Beers or Hard Seltzers, or you choose to refrain from alcohol altogether, One appealing option that continues to grow in popularity and variety is Non-Alcoholic (NA) beer, a rapidly expanding segment that continues to draw new buzz and more eyeballs – and tastebuds. NA-brewer Athletic Brewing is widely considered the giant of NA beer, taking big swings at releasing NA-versions of Hazy IPAs, Sours, Stouts and Witbiers. Their release focus on complex flavors and style gave them an appealing niche to sell to beer’d-out beer drinkers. Now, they’re leaning into the largest category of beer drinkers – Light Beer lovers, with the debut of Athletic Lite. Here’s why.
India Pale Ale is a style that is constantly morphing and adapting. There is plenty to be said, though, that the West Coast IPAs, like Colonel Forbin, can still be found on shelves at local stores.
For those in the Philadelphia region, there are some great IPA options worthy of having, including one from Well Crafted Beer Company. That would be the Colonel Forbin, and it brings true refreshment and plenty of hoppy flavors to the table.