#pabeer – PorchDrinking.com
Tröegs Independent Brewing holds a special place in my heart. I had enjoyed trying new beers since I studied abroad in Germany around the turn of the century, but a visit to the Tröegs production brewery in Hershey, Pennsylvania is at the epicenter of my ever-blossoming beer geekery. In the five years since that visit, I’ve enjoyed watching their beer lineup change and evolve. With roots in Tröegs’ Scratch program and a new home in the Hop Cycle Seasonal lineup, Hop Knife Harvest Ale is a beer that I’ve been enjoying since its first wide release.
I worked the night shift for the last six years of my Medical Technology career, which included many negatives: living an opposite schedule from your family and friends, sleep is completely messed up and you constantly feel tired — and that’s just the start. However, my schedule also allowed me to visit craft breweries on release days and beat the crowds, which was the case with the release of Brew Gentlemen Pure Powerplant IPA.
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Experimental flavors, quality products, great taste: these are all elements that consumers don’t just seek out, but expect it in their craft beer. With summer upon us, consumers want refreshing ingredients and lots of flavors! One company who delivers upon these standards for the craft is Victory Brewing Company.
Located in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, Free Will Brewing Company has been brewing delicious, high-quality beer since 2012. With two locations in southeastern PA, Free Will has garnered lots of attention for their sour beer and barrel-aging programs. So, why don’t you go grab some headphones (I’ll wait), and get ready to listen your way through a tasty beer portfolio.
Tröegs Independent Brewing has been a staple of Pennsylvania’s craft beer scene for over 20 years, and last week they got even bigger. Eight new 1,000-barrel fermenters were installed at the Hershey, PA brewery. Once online, these will greatly increase the brewery’s production capacity. By moving the flagship and more popular seasonal beers into these larger fermentation vessels, smaller tanks will now be freed up for small batch offerings.
On July 17, the Brewers of Pennsylvania hosted Pennsylvania State Representative Tom Mehaffie for their latest Brewer For A Day event at Tröegs Independent Brewing in Hershey, PA. This was the eighth event in a series that is intended to give state legislators a hands-on, insider’s perspective on the brewing process, as well as further educating them on the economic impact of craft brewing in the Commonwealth.
On a busy stretch of US-322 in the small town of Ephrata, Pennsylvania, you will find St. Boniface Craft Brewing Company. Named for one of the many patron saints of brewing, they have been creating high-quality, locally beloved beers since 2010. Now, you might think that it’s a little too hot to be drinking stouts (and normally I’d agree), but St. Boniface’s cool, dimly lit taproom creates an atmosphere that yearns for a good stout. Luckily, St. Boniface’s Hegemony quells this primal need beautifully.
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: 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?
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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.
On March 30, the Brewers of PA (BOP) hosted the sixth annual Meeting of the Malts. This event is a gathering of breweries from Pennsylvania and beyond to discuss the current state of the industry, as well as to celebrate their common passion: craft beer.
Featured photo credit: Stickman Brews
It’s no secret that Ethan Buckman of Stickman Brews is one of my favorite figures in Pennsylvania beer. His open fermented, style-defying beers are delicious and inventive, and Ethan himself is an all around good dude. When I bothered him in the middle of a work day to ask about his brewhouse music selections, he responded quickly and enthusiastically.
Cover Credit: Funk Brewing Co.
ABV: 6.8% | IBU: 62
We all know that the craft beer trend is booming, but who would have guessed it was so hopping in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania? Lehigh Valley recently played host to their 4th annual Lehigh Valley Beer Week in February. Events included beer and brunch with specialty firkins, a beer can derby, a 5k race, tap takeovers, Mario Kart tournament and the Krewe de Brew Mardi Crawl, along with tons of beer specials at both local breweries and bars.