A list of the top ten American-brewed pilsners which you just might find surprising.

BeerInfo.com has posted this list of the “Top Ten German Pilsners Brewed in the United States.”

1. Pivo – Firestone Walker Brewing – California
2. Soaring Eagle Pilsner – Feather Falls Casino Brewing – California
3. American Pilsner – Grand Canyon Brewing – Arizona
4. Couch Lager – Burnside Brewing – Oregon
5. Pilsner – Marble Brewery – New Mexico
6. Sunshine Pils – Tröegs Brewing – Pennsylvania
7. Cameron’s Lager – Cameron’s Brewing – Canada
8. Pavlov’s Pils – C.B. & Potts Restaurant & Brewery – Colorado
9. Bayern Pilsner – Bayern Brewing – Montana
10. Victory Prima Pils – Victory Brewing – Pennsylvania

It’s nice to see two of our local favorites on there. That said, who else is taken aback by the fact that the other eight entries all come from states from Colorado west? It wasn’t all that long ago that pretty much no breweries outside the Northeast were producing high quality lagers of any sort, much less Pilsners.

If you go to the link, you’ll see that these results were based on the results of the U.S. Open Beer Championship and the Great American Beer Festival and ratings at RateBeer.com, only one of which I give much credence to.

So, what do we all think about this?

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Posted in Beer Styles, Seriously? | 4 Comments

Synchronicity.

IMG_1811It is International Talk Like a Pirate Day and these two bottles of Piraat Tripel Hop, a new dry-hopped ale introduced this summer by Brouwerij Van Steenberge, just arrived on my doorstop courtesy of the fine folks at Global Beer Network.

Given the perfect timing, I might feel duty bound to consume both of them before the day is done.

Arrrggh!

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Oh, what the hell, here’s some news of my own.

From today’s Craft Business Daily:

Pennsylvania-based, top 30 craft brewer Victory Brewing Co. has just announced it will hit its 35th state of distribution this month: Nevada. Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada will take it there.

“Nevada has a huge craft beer culture that celebrates everything about brewing, drinking and appreciating all there is in the business,” said Victory VP sales and marketing Steve German. “We’ve had many requests to bring our beer to the area,” he added.

I had  a long telephone interview/conversation with some folks at Victory last week in which I noted that I keep having to find this stories in the daily CBD and Brewbound emails and was told I would be added to the list of those who get such breaking news. That does not appear to, at least yet, be the case.

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And then the flood gates opened….

I suppose that the last post, my supposed “Facebook friendly” character flaw aside, mostly proves that both Richard Ruch and I are old farts who are out of the loop. Or maybe not, who cares?

In any case, that post has brought forth several private responses including one from Lappy his ownself, but mostly from Bryan Kolesar who is, dare I say it, “loop friendly.” Or maybe just loopy, also who cares?

Lappy wanted to  apologize that I didn’t know his stuff, but that way lies madness. If everybody who knew stuff apologized to the likes of me who didn’t, the internets would likely crash. Maybe that would be a Good Thing, but I chose not to be involved.

Kolesar, on the the other hand, felt the need to tell me all sorts of other things I did not know and now I get to share them with you. The below are direct quotes with very slight edits to make them work in this format:

Head brewer Justin Low left Dock Street.

Ryan Michaels, who’d previously left McKenzie, landed at Rinn Duin in Toms River, NJ.

The other part of the Iron Hill equation is [that] Paul Rutherford [is]  going from Chestnut Hill to Ardmore when it finally opens.

All that might strike some of you as Just Showing Off but, come on, it’s more than you knew before you read this.

I am, more or less, two days from emerging from the bi-monthly everybody’s-got-the-same-damned-deadlines beer publication Deadline Doom which weakens but does not kill me. If there is more to be said about these matters, it will be said once I recover.

Keep watching the skies…

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News, the old-fashioned way: Iron Hill shifts LaPierre to Chestnut Hill, Walter to Maple Shade

From Richard the Ruch, received just now:

Jack, since I am not Facebook friendly and I know you are, you’re probably are aware of the brewing change at Iron Hill’s Chestnut Hill brewpub. But if you’re not, apparently Chris LaPierre will be the new Head Brewer at the Chestnut Hill location and Kevin Walter is assuming his role in Maple Shade, NJ. Chris starts at Chestnut Hill on 9/22. Here’s a programmed auto-response from Chris to my recent e-mail:

Thank you for your e-mail. I am both on vacation and no longer the Head Brewer of our Maple Shade location. I will begin as Head Brewer in our Chestnut Hill location on September 22nd. Until then I will be checking e-mails only occasionally. If this is regarding our Maple Shade brewery please contact Kevin Walter at KevinW@ironhillbrewery.com Otherwise I look forward to working with you in Chestnut Hill!

Yes, boys and girls, e-mail is now old-fashioned and creaky. Get over it.

UPDATE: Here’s lots more info from Beer Stained Newsletter.

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Posted in Brewers, Brewpubs, News | 1 Comment

What I am doing at this very moment, which is drinking beer. Who could have guessed?

(This post is an exact duplication of a Facebook post I did this afternoon except for the part where it isn’t).

IMG_1807

After finally putting the finishing touches on a story for Ale Street News earlier, I’m watching football games I don’t care about while enjoying the latest Stone Stochasticity Project beer, a Belgian-style ale brewed with hibiscus flower and orange peel called Hibiscusicity (which is quite delicious) together with some wood-fired cheese curds from local September Farm in Honey Brook which I picked up at the Farmer’s Daughter right down the road from me. Nice way to kill a nice afternoon…

And this is the new part for you beer folks

Hibiscusicity is a Wheat Ale and pours a much pink-er color than the photo indicates. It’s a pretty big beer at 7.4% because, you know, Stone, but with hops (Magnum and Sterling) which serve more to balance than to smack you upside the head because, you know, Stone? Really? I suspect it will get even better with cellaring but it’s damned fine now. As always, my thanks to the folks at Stone for sharing. I am not worthy but I am damned grateful.

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The insanity runs deeper than we thought.

So I wanted to schedule an interview with a local ice-cream maker for a story I’m writing and this was his initial emailed response:

My schedule is wicked due to Pumpkin Ice Creams booming seasonal entrance into our lineup two weeks ago. We’re running our tails off.

Will the madness never end?

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Posted in Seriously?, Who Knew? | 1 Comment

I have a “wheat-on” for Victory.

I watched the exciting/scary/somewhat disturbing/eventually satisfactory (with caveats) Philadelphia Eagles win over Jacksonville today while drinking Victory Brewing’s Moon Glow Weizenbock and Mad King’s Weiss. These are quite good accompaniments to virtually any relatively sedentary activity, although I would not suggest then (until finished) for motor car racing, rock climbing or riding in a car driven by Former Beer Writer Lew Bryson (for one thing, your eyes will be closed and you will be screaming).

As it happens, I was talking with  Mr. William Covaleski, who is associated with the brewery in some capacity, and he pointed out that it was made clear that  some of Victory’s beers would have to go on hiatus during the move of most production from Downingtown to Parkesburg. This is what he said about the return of these two delicious brews in bottles (12oz and 22oz respectively):

We promised some of them would return bigger and better than ever when the new brewery was up and running and we’re making good on that.”

During that conversation, I mentioned to him that a gentleman of, if not ill, certainly disputable repute from Kennett Square had recently told me that if the new Victory at Magnolia brewpub there was open before next year, he would buy my first pint. Quoth Mr. Covalelski, promising that such negativity was unwarranted:

We really, really, really want to see you get that first pint free!

It does warm my bitter old heart to see a brewer commit himself to something as noble as that.

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Victory Brewing announces it will open another brewpub in 2016.

Where and when? Check out Beer Yard news for a link to the complete story from the Philadelphia Business Journal.  I guess, with the Kennett Square pub at Magnolia Place due to open in October (that’s a guess but a good one), they got bored. With Chester County covered and then some, time to move out of state.

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Three hair follicle-deprived gentlemen trying to look like tough guys have got a deal for you.

Brewers

NEWS RELEASE
When three of Philadelphia’s most talented brewers are also friends with brewpubs located within four miles of each other, collaboration is inevitable. The three men, Paul Rutherford of Iron Hill Brewery Chestnut Hill, Scott Morrison of Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery, and Tom Baker of Earth Bread + Brewery, have dubbed themselves the Germantown Avenue Brewers Cartel and they’re very serious about their beer.

On September 20th, the Cartel is providing beer enthusiasts a shuttle bus to take them to and from each brewpub to enjoy three 12oz, one-of-a-kind brews made especially for the occasion – all for just $20. Patrons can ride the bus loop from 12-5pm.

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