After just a short time in line to get through security and ID checks, I made my way into the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia, PA. I grabbed a sample glass with a green Sierra Nevada’s logo stamped on it and thanked the volunteers as I made my way into the festival grounds. Once in, I scanned the venue to see which tent to hit first. It can sometimes seem overwhelming when you first get into a beer festival, seeing the vast amount of choices with all the breweries lined up one after another. No choice is a bad one, but, personally, I was looking to begin the day off right at Beer Camp.
Feature Image Credit: Jim Trocchio via Bonnbrewing.com
Of all the breweries in the Northeast, it’s likely that there is no better PorchDrinking Playlist subject than Bonn Place Brewing Company. As a relatively young addition to the growing beer scene in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, music plays a central role in every aspect of the brewery’s operation.
Bonn Place Brewing Company opened its doors in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on July 31, 2016. Bonn Place’s Grand Chancellor and brewer Sam Masotto claims that he has loved beer since he turned 21, but this answer may just be a ruse to throw the cops off his trail. As a brewer he tries not to take himself too seriously. When asked about his brewing philosophy, Masotto simply replied, “Get over yourself. Your yeast does all the work anyway.”
Featured Image Credit: Urban Village Brewing Company
Envision this: a Berliner weisse made with 300 pounds of beets. It is as strange and tasty as it sounds, and it is one of the varieties of brews available at Philly’s newest brewpub, Urban Village Brewing Company.
Opened to the public as of June 1, Urban Village Brewing is a part of a myriad of storefronts opening in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia, creating life for this up-and-coming neighborhood. In a city with a booming restaurant scene, Urban Village sets itself apart with its quaint ambiance and quality beer.
ABV: 8.5% | IBU: 98
The demand for juicy, Northeast-style IPAs has skyrocketed seemingly overnight. I am always looking to get my hands on these late-hopped brews whenever I see them on draft at a local watering hole. But you also have the traditional West Coast style beers, such as Pliny the Elder. And then, off the banks of the Delaware River, north of Philadelphia in the suburbs of Bucks County, lies a brewery making a DIPA rivaling those true to the West Coast style that’s also infused with characteristics of a Northeast IPA that everyone is loving these days — The Shape of Hops to Come.
Featured Image Credit: Allentown & Auburn Railroad
Are you a fan of craft beer AND chugging down the tracks? If so, this event is probably for you! Saucony Creek Brewing Company in Kutztown, PA is partnering with the Allentown & Auburn Railroad to bring you a unique Beer Tasting Train Ride on Saturday, June 17.
Featured image: Yergey Brewing Company
Tucked away in the small town of Emmaus, Pennsylvania is one of the best kept secrets of the Lehigh Valley’s craft beer scene. Behind an ominous chain-link fence on a side street stands one of eastern PA’s most inviting neighborhood breweries: Yergey Brewing Company.
Yergey Brewing Company’s founder and head brewer, Jim Yergey, may be the oldest head brewer in the Lehigh Valley, but he’s also the one who is having the most fun. Spend five minutes chatting with him at the bar, and you will instantly recognize that sparkle in his eye. It doesn’t seem like there is anywhere else he would rather be. After a long career as a chemist, Jim chose to spend his retirement in his own brewery, and it definitely suits him.
Featured image credit: Saint Benjamin Brewing Company
ABV: 5.2% | IBU: 17
At some of Philadelphia’s more famous cheesesteak purveyors, you will get kicked to the end of the line if you don’t follow the ordering procedure. You better know if you want “one whiz wit” (a cheesesteak with cheese whiz and onions) or “one provolone witout” (a cheesesteak with provolone cheese, hold the onions). Neither the counter staff nor your fellow patrons will tolerate anyone who slows the line. As an homage to this time-honored procedure, the Philadelphia-based Saint Benjamin Brewing Company decided to call one of their beers “Wit or Witout.”
Featured image courtesy of Dancing Gnome Beer’s Facebook page.
Style: DIPA | ABV: 8.0%
Most people have seen the movie Toy Story and know the famous quote of Buzz Lightyear—”To infinity… and beyond!” I can’t help but think of this quote any time I drink Dancing Gnome Beer’s Infinite Highway. Even on the can you see a spaceship, so how can you not refer back to Toy Story?
Even the forecast for a Nor’easter couldn’t keep the spirits down at the first annual Phoenixville Beer and Wine Festival in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. Despite the wind and the rain, the masses descended upon the rain-soaked Kimberton Fairgrounds to attend the sold-out event with raincoats and umbrellas in tow. Twenty-six craft breweries, along with multiple cideries, wineries, distillers and meaderies came to show off their creations for the thirsty crowd.
Featured Image Credits: Lehighvalley.org, Pixabay.com and Easton-pa.com
You have never heard of the Lehigh Valley. Sure, Fortune magazine listed it as one of the top ten places for companies to locate corporate finance and IT operations in May 2015. And yes, the Urban Land Institute called Allentown (the largest city in “The Valley”) a “national success story” for the redevelopment and transformation of its downtown area. You still haven’t heard of it. This region of eastern Pennsylvania may cover three counties and multiple municipalities (most notably Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton), but everything kind of blends together here. It’s no big deal to drive two cities over to get dinner. You have never considered spending a weekend here, but maybe you should.
ABV: 4.6% | IBU: 39
Hop-heavy beers, sours, barrel-aged… sometimes, they have nothing compared to a classic Irish dry stout. In the Devils Backbone Virginia Brewers Collaboration Pack, the Craig Stout created with Mad Fox Brewing Company is true to form: relaxing, easy, slightly sweet and a bit fizzy.
Featured image courtesy of phoenixvillebeerwinefestival.com.
An exciting event is coming to Phoenixville, PA this May. The first Phoenixville Beer & Wine Festival is happening this Saturday, May 13 at the Kimberton Fairgrounds. From 12-4:30 p.m., guests will be able to sample beverages from a myriad of local and national breweries, wineries, as well as mead, cider and spirits.
Feature image courtesy of Avery Brewing.
Boulder’s Avery Brewing Co. announced earlier this month that they would be returning distribution to Connecticut, after leaving the state in 2011 because of financial reasons and growing pains.
Connecticut was one of eight states Avery exited from six years ago, as they had lost “the ability to support all markets with a steady supply of fresh beer,” a press release said at the time. Now, due to a new brewery that opened in 2015 with the capabilities to produce 150,000 barrels, Avery says that can start to handle the larger demand and return to some of places they had to leave.
Featured Image courtesy of Upland Brewing Company.
Bloomington, Indiana brewery Upland Brewing Company has partnered with Penn Beer to expand the distribution of their wood-aged sour beers to the Philadelphia area. The first of their brews to reach the City of Brotherly love will be Hopsynth, Iridescent and a limited quantity of Cursed Kettles, which will be available on tap at specialty craft beer bars and bottle shops.
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DC Brau is undoubtedly one of the mainstay brewers in the nation’s Capitol, available throughout the region and inspiring much of the craft beer growth that has occurred over the past few years. Its name recognition is paramount and its beers are more than familiar, even to the backseat craft beer drinker. Surprisingly, the brewery is only turning six years old this spring, but it’s celebrating in a big way.
Featured image logo credit: Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week
Yinz better mark your calendars because Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week (PCBW) is back and bigger than ever! Running from April 21 – 30, the sixth annual PCBW will play host to 18 local breweries, which is a record number for this event. There will be plenty of regional and national craft breweries in attendance as well.
Featured imaged photo credit: Portner Brewhouse’s facebook page.
Portner Brewhouse is trying to do many, many things: resurrect pre-Prohibition family recipes, encourage local experimentation among homebrewers, serve delicious German food and of course, brew and serve beer.
And prost! They are actually doing it all — and doing it well.
Ah, Jersey Girl. There are many connotations associated with this phrase, beer most likely not making the top three. But you better get yourself acquainted with the name, because Jersey Girl Brewing has been pumping out some amazing brews lately with Rake Breaker leading the charge. Citrus and tropical fruit are showcased prominently on the nose. Additionally, when you catch that first whiff, you can’t help but smile and look forward to the moment that crisp and fresh, juicy, yet slightly sweet beer hits your taste buds rounding out with a bitter and dry finish.
ABV: 7.5% | IBU: 50
I was recently able to get my hands on this year’s four variations of Starr Hill Brewery‘s King of Hop. As a person of relatively simple tastes, my favorite version was the original Imperial IPA. The others all brought something interesting to the table, but this base beer is was made them all so good.