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in a letter to his wife Abigail


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31 January 2005
Bryson clears things up. Or maybe not.
Lew's got more on those brewpub closings. One of them isn't. Closing that is. Or for sale. Well, it is but it's not the one he thought. It's....some other place. I mean, it is for sale, wherever it is. Or perhaps it's not.

Geez, I figured this was gonna be easy, just put up the link and get back to work. Who could imagine that the Big Guy could cram so much intrigue and drama into a single paragraph?

Go. Read. You're on your own.

[Posted 3:50 pm edt]

29 January 2005
Yet another health benefit of beer.
I am diligently at work, albeit not as diligently as I might be, given that I'm taking time to post here, on a story for American Brewer on the issue of misinformation and mythology regarding beer consumption and good health.

I had to take a break, however, to post this link (submitted by Dixon T., mathematician, philosopher, dancer, LDO's Renaissance reader) to the story below, which suggests a benefit I must admit I haven't considered as yet--and probably won't--for inclusion in the article:

A Slovak man trapped in his car under an avalanche freed himself by drinking 60 bottles of beer and urinating on the snow to melt it.

Rescue teams found Richard Kral drunk and staggering along a mountain path four days after his Audi car was buried in the Slovak Tatra mountains.

He told them that after the avalanche, he had opened his car window and tried to dig his way out.

But as he dug with his hands, he realized the snow would fill his car before he managed to break through.

He had 60 half-litre bottles of beer in his car as he was going on holiday, and after cracking one open to think about the problem he realized he could urinate on the snow to melt it, local media reported.

He said: "I was scooping the snow from above me and packing it down below the window, and then I peed on it to melt it. It was hard and now my kidneys and liver hurt. But I'm glad the beer I took on holiday turned out to be useful and I managed to get out of there."

Parts of Europe have this week been hit by the heaviest snowfalls since 1941, with some places registering more than ten feet of snow in 24 hours.

I only wish I gotten this sooner. O'Reilly is off skiing in Colorado this weekend and he needs all the icky advice we can give him.

Bryson on the case.
Big Lew, taking a break from his concerted effort to win his way back into the hearts and minds of those fickle BeerAdvocates, turned up this report of two Pennsylvania brewpubs up for sale. Well, actually it was sent to him by a mysterious stranger, but, hey, he earned the fame that made him a logical person to ask, so no quibbling.

Lew thinks he's figured out which brewpubs they are (and the evidence supports him), but you'll have to use the link and pop over to his site to learn his deduction. It's only fair.

[Posted 2:30 pm edt]

28 January 2005
Let's Support This New Philly Beer Fest.
I just put up this Beer Yard news item with more information about the February 12 beer expo at World Cafe Live, which I first mentioned here about ten days ago. This is a brand new event and I'm not sure the word has gotten out yet.

I think it looks like fun and the woman behind it, the venue's new event coordinator, is a beer lover who talked her employers into giving it a try and is doing all the promo and planning mostly on her own time. Plus, she sees more beer-oriented events in the future for what is a great location (one block from 30th Street Station) and has been working to upgrade the standing beer list at World Cafe Live as well.

I'd like to see everybody spread the word and have the beer geek community get behind what could be a welcome February addition to the beer scene. S'all I'm sayin'.

[Posted 1:40 pm edt]

27 January 2005
Dude triumphant.
For those who missed the original, this morning the Philadelphia Inquirer's Food Section devotes the better part of page to reprinting the Eric Asimov article on Farmhouse Ales from the New York Times a couple of months back, the one in which Scott (The Dude) Morrison of McKenzie Brew House and Tom Baker of Heavyweight Brewing got their props...and then some.

Here's the link. And they also include the sidebar by Florence Fabricant in which she gives a recipe for her Taleggio and Mushroom Tart, which she says is ideally matched with Heavyweight Biere d'Art. That's here.

The Inky adds a local touch with a pair of photos, one of The Dude happily hold up a goblet of his award-winning Bavey (the bottle too) and a second, tight-in shot of a bottle of his equally award-winning Saison.

[Posted 9:25 am edt]

25 January 2005
I got your Nugget Nectar right here.
When I left the house yesterday afternoon around 4:30 for the Monday Night Tasting at Sly Fox Phoenixville, the "snow flurries" outside were just a flake or two short of a major whiteout. In fact, had I not arranged for a pair of "mystery guests" to be on hand, I probably would have turned around and come back inside. But guests were on the road already and the die was cast.

Getting there was considerably less than half the fun. The trouble began the moment I pulled out of the driveway. The woman in front of me was moving so slowly that I, literally, could not maintain forward momentum without being right on her bumper. Oh, I suppose I could have parked and waited an hour, but that wasn't gonna happen. After a quarter mile, happily, she pulled over to the side of the road and let me pass. The rest of the way, especially when I got to Phoenixville itself was bumper to bumper on the main drags. Fortunately, I know (surprise!) many ways to get to the pub. Understand, conditions weren't that bad; most of the drivers were.

When I got to the Fox, Rick and Jeanne Smiledge were waiting (talk about your motley crew). About half an hour later, Ted Johnston showed up, his kids' soccer practice apparently having been cancelled, then Tom Foley. And that was it. although we continued to believe that Joe Meloney would show up until Rick offered the reasonable argument that, given the weekend weather, Joe had probably been thrown on his regular schedule and was probably at Stoudt's buying his Sunday morning bread even as we waited.

Our guests pulled in just shy of 7pm. They were from Troegs, ace sales guy Ed Yashinsky and brewer Chris [REDACTED] and they were carrying a big fliptop growler of 2005 Nugget Nectar Ale and a six-pack of Van De Hoorn, the beer that dare not speak its name. Ed contacted me earlier this month and asked if our little gathering would like to be the first ones in the Philadelphia area to taste the new Nectar. Astonishingly, I thought this would be one swell idea.

Nugget Nectar was all that and more, as expected. It's a draft-only one-off which Troegs first produced this "Imperial Amber Ale" last year, based on their flagship Hopback Amber. It's spectacularly ramped up with healthy infusions of Nugget, Warrior, Tomahawk, Simcoe and Palisade hops and, in a move which would astonish most West Coast brewers of over-the-top beers, manages to also have a nice malt balance. Balance, what a concept.

Van De Hoorn does not really exist, of course, but if it did, it would be a version of the brewery's popular Troegenator made with the Mad Elf yeast. Quite sweet, and definitely high octane, it's sort of a semi-Belgian style, I guess. You couldn't, or at least I couldn't, drink this in quantity, but it's wonderful in small doses.

Missing Taster Richard Ruch and his ilk (i.e., the traveling troupe of Beer Advocates who descend on such events with regularity) will get their shot at Nugget Nectar 2005 Thursday night at Drafting Room Exton when it makes its official debut and will enjoy, Yashinsky promises, an extraordinary cask version of same as well. Still, he will forever bear the crushing knowledge that he cudda been among the first.

The Troegs treat turned a small and strange tasting into a quite nice event. Earlier, we opened and rejected (using Foley as our taster) a bottle of 2000 Dogfish Head Immort Ale which the Smiledge's brought. It could have been rejected on sight alone--clear bottle, a good inch or more of air space inside, shaky looking cork and discoloration--but it was more fun to watch Foley's face as he sipped. We enjoyed a St. Peter’s Golden Ale which Johnston brought along. We had a bottle of 2000 Brooklyn Monster Ale, which Karl Shoemaker (!) contributed, scheduled to close out the night, but it and other beers got lost in the shuffle once the Troegs pair arrived.

What else? Well, O'Reilly, with his impeccable timing, showed up just as everyone was leaving. And, on a sadder note, Yashinsky and Foley bonded considerably when they got to talking music. Here's the thing: this kind of interaction could re-socialize Foley and bring him back into the community of man. That way lies potential disaster, trust me.

A bit of explanation. It can now be revealed that, as part of our contribution to national security, LDO emptied its substantial coffers and enticed kindly old John Ashcroft to leave the office of Attorney General and sign on as our corporate safety advisor. His first official act was to check out the above posting.

Mr. Ashcroft determined that the vicious and ongoing attacks made upon our staff representative at last night's Tasting, no matter how hilarious and often dead-on-point they were, required that, at the very least, the name of the perpetrator of those hurtful bon mots not be made public. Indeed, Mr. Ashcroft wanted to go much farther. Flogging and boiling in oil were mentioned. But that struck us as a bit much for a first offense. As a result he's definitely a bit antsy at present. You have all been forewarned.

[Posted 9:20 am edt]

24 January 2005
Getting through the weekend, one beer at a time.
It strikes me that a slightly edited version of my answer to this question--Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow - what are you drinking today?--asked at BeerAdvocate.com on Saturday as the flakes began to fall, merits repeating here:

To answer the question at hand, Sly Fox Oatmeal Stout on draught carried me nicely through Villanova's rout of #2 Kansas on the tube earlier today; as many bottles as needed from case of Troegenator I thoughtfully acquired this week will be well matched with a cheese plate in early evening, then a switch over to wine (Mondavi Zinfandel, cheap and good) for roast pork loin on Tuscan Pane bread and accompanying cold Basimati rice salad, followed by choosing what's right for sipping while enjoying a movie or two from NetFlix: Storm King 2002, Old Ho 2001, Rochefort 10 or WorldWide Stout (first batch?), any of which would probably inspire a bit of chocolate to appear.

The bottle of DeuS will be held for when the Eagles win tomorrow or maybe the Super Bowl if I decide to go with Biere d'Art for the Division Championship celebration. The Oatmeal Stout and Troegenator will get me through the game.

The weakness in this plan is that I'm competing in the Winter 2005 24-Hour Short Story Contest this weekend and really should stay, y'know, coherent. I know, I know, that sort of thinking is probably outrageous to many hereabouts, but it's what I do.

So how'd that work out?

I never did get to the really big beers, having mellowed out nicely by the time dinner was finished courtesy of the Oatmeal Stout, Troegenator and wine. I watched an interesting but ultimately failed flick called The Forgotten and hit the sack early, figuring I might still work out a story submission Sunday morning if I got a good night's sleep, having written hot a word on Saturday.

And I did, a very strange little story that, I'd guess, has absolutely no chance to win the contest, indeed to even place in the top finishers. it was very satisfying to take what appeared to be an impossible concept and somehow turn it into a 1000-word story, though.

The story had to be emailed off by 1pm so I had a couple of hours to use the adrenalin high I was on to catch up on other work before plopping down in front of the TV for the Eagles trouncing of the Falcons. I passed on opening a big celebratory bottle afterwards, tasking a cue from the team's attitude that their work is not yet done. I'll party, or drown my sorrows, on Super Bowl Sunday.

[Posted 4:15 pm edt]

19 January 2005
Of wolfmen and sleaze-mongers.
Chronologically, Sly Fox Phoenixville is the elder sibling and Sly Fox Royersford is the kid brother. But you'd never know it from the way they act in public.

This coming Thursday, while Royersford is hosting this, over in Phoenixville they're doing this, which, one assumes, will draw a very different audience. For out-of-towners not familiar with Wing Bowl, here's the lowdown. And, oh what the hell, here's a disgusting video of the eating stunt Wolfman did to earn his way into the event.

Meanwhile, since it's every-other-Friday Friday, Joe Sixpack reminds us that in addition to his selfless efforts on behalf of craft beer, his real contribution to our lives is sharing his vast knowledge of sleaze.

[Posted 12:55 pm edt]

19 January 2005
Inevitable Destiny?
The folks behind that proposed new brewpub in the old Moose Lodge in Phoenixville ain't kiddin' around. Check it out.

Thanks to Monday Night Taster/homebrewer/ sometime soccer coach Ted Johnston for the link.

Damn. he's good.

[Posted 9:50 am edt]

18 January 2005
Revenge is a dish best served, um, plump.
During the Robbie Burns Birthday Bash at Sly Fox Phoenixville Friday night (the Gang Aft Agley Scotch Ale is to die for, trust me), I thought I'd have a little fun with Lori Limper. After she and some young, barely clothed child hugged and semi-fondled the way women are wont to do, I leaned over to her and suggested that she and her pal could bring their act to our Monday Tastings to, y'know, brighten things up a bit.

I should have known better than to incite a woman with the nerve to marry Foley and the mental fortitude to stay married to him.

Sure enough, roughly an hour later, I shifted my attention from my glass to the smiling, oh-so-anticipatory faces of all my "friends" suddenly gathered round the table where I stood, Ms. Limper's among them. Then someone pressed up against me from the back.


Sure enough, when I turned, there was the mystery girl herself, smiling mischievously. "I heard you were checking me out," said she.

Fortuitously, or perhaps on merit, I am too old and insensitive to be easily embarrassed and I managed to weather the storm with some brilliantly hilarious commentary that has escaped memory. Don't believe that? Well, one way or another, I didn't make a real fool of myself, which is triumph enough any time I'm out in public.

I found out that the young lady, whose name apparently fled memory together with all those clever words, once worked for Foley. When I congratulated her on her survival, she responded, "well, I didn't work that closely with him." I do recall avoiding a response to that line, despite incredibly strong urges to do so.

Later, when I was leaving, I told Lori that, of course, she would pay a terrible cost when I figured out how to get even. She just smiled and allowed as how, should I want to send "a couple of half-naked men" to her table some evening in retaliation, she would understand.

I've already opened negotiations with Ruch and Mayberry.

This event looks like it could be fun and bring a welcome respite from that longest/shortest month, February. I talked yesterday with Susan Woods, the lady behind it all, and will have more to say about the plans as the date gets closer and things are firmed up. She acknowledges that she's started late but believes she can pull things together in time.

One of the things that is happening, any of you who've been to this neat new venue will be delighted to learn, is a major upgrading of the standard beer list there. Lots of local brews and stuff like Chimay, I'm told.

I assured Ms. Woods I'd try to help her out, but I'm afraid I did make one serious mistake in that regard.

I gave her Bryson's name.

I mean, suppose Lew shows up for this, or any, event at World Cafe Live? Suppose he unleashes a classic Big Lou Laugh? With the superior acoustics they have, one of those guffaws could bring the walls down.

And then there's that whole thing about his more than likely bugging her to book his church choir for a gig....

[Posted 9:25 am edt]

15 January 2005
When you're right, you're right. Or lucky.
Shortly before Christmas, I posted an entry about a potential third brewpub in Phoenixville:

Word has it that someone is looking at the former home of the Moose Club on Main Street for just that purpose.

Hey, I been dining out on Phoenixville rumors for well over a year now. You didn't think I'd let the holidays pass without a new one, did you?

To be honest, it was a bit of hoot. I'd picked up the rumor chatting with a young lady at a local coffeehouse and thought it would be fun to toss it out there.

Turns out it's true.


This story in the daily Phoenix last Tuesday has the facts. Here's the relevant section:

Budding downtown restaurant builder Tim Kelly received an extension, after council informed him during a conditional use hearing at Tuesday's meeting, that he should secure firm commitments for additional patron and employee parking.

Kelly, of South Main Properties, plans to open an 84-seat restaurant at 119 South Main Street, the former location of the Moose Lodge. Also at the same site, Kelly hopes to establish a brew pub, with a beer brewery in the basement, and 18 seats at the bar and 40 seats at tables.

Damn I'm good.

[Posted 10:45 am edt]

14 January 2005
The perfect atmosphere.
I have to tell you, I am greatly impressed. The weather around here has been so bad this week that visitors from Seattle and London are going home depressed with a "new place just like old place" look on their faces. Rain. Miserable, cold, often drenching rain, day after day after day. And fog, real fog, the kind that leaves you wondering if there's anything still left out there beyond it.

When I saw Pete, Corey, Scott and several of the waitstaff out in the parking lot in front of Sly Fox Phoenixville the other day with their faces painted, doing wild pagan dances and exhorting the skies, I figured it was just, y'know, some sort of wild sex thing, but it turns out that they've used some arcane magic ritual to actually turn the whole region into freakin' Scotland just in time for tonight's Robbie Burns Birthday Bash.

And here I've been thinking all along that O'Reilly was the master promoter...

[Posted 11:10 am edt]

9 January 2005
Robbie, we hardly knew ye.
When Brian O'Reilly told me about his plans for the first Robbie Burns Birthday Bash three years ago, I must admit that I thought to myself, I don't know how this is going to work out.

Shows what I know, eh?

As we prepare for the third Burns Bash at Sly Fox Phoenixville this Friday, it would seem that the spirit of the great Scottish poet has found an American home in Philadelphia's western suburbs. Philadelphia Inquirer correspondent Cynthia J. McGroarty reports in the paper's suburban sections this morning that Burns mania has taken over.

Four, count 'em, four Burns celebrations are on tap this month, including both the Phoenixville event and a new Scotch & Ale Dinner that O'Reilly has created at Sly Fox Royersford two weeks later, on Thursday, January 27 (at $39.95 a ticket, that one's got to be the best beer dinner bargain of the year).

As for me, I long ago stopped challenging O'Reilly's schemes. The man's an idiot savant when it comes to promotions, yes he is. If his brain didn't turn to pure mush whenever the snow falls and ski lodges call, he'd even be dangerous.

[Posted 4:55 pm edt]

Ruch comes out of the closet.
No longer a sly and secret shill (not that anybody was fooled), Richard Ruch, resident of Victoryville, has emerged into the bright light of open and acknowledged self-interest with the emailing of the first-ever Unofficial Victory Newsletter, sent to a select assortment of his nearest and dearest.

And I managed to get one too.

Here are some highlights, with spelling corrections made in the interest of that ol' debbil, literacy:

At Victory, the new brewhouse and the brewers are working harmoniously together. The learning curve between brewer and brewhouse has almost been achieved. Except for the Resolution Porter and the V-12, every brew available bottled and draft brew is from the new brewhouse.

There are some interesting brews that will soon be available from Victory. First, Victory has brewed a TWO pale ales. The ingredients are identical, except for the yeasts that are introduced before fermentation. One contains an American yeast, while the other is a UK yeast. Victory will be serving both in two 14-oz glasses for five dollars and will ask patrons which ones they prefer. Based on the results, the preferred brew will most likely be a new flagship brew.

I am also please to report that "the saints are marching in." Both St. Victorious and St. Boisterous are fermenting as I speak. Both will be available on draft and bottled for distribution this year. YES!! The St. V will be available as early as the beginning or mid-February. St. B will appear in late April.

Finally, for you lovers of varietal pils, Victory has another in the tank and it should be on tap the beginning of February.

Can ya feel the love?

[Posted 9:30 am edt]

8 January 2005
More on what's happening at The Lion.
I put this story up at The Beer Yard yesterday, having finally caught up with Leo Orlandini after nearly two weeks of telephone tag. From the sound of it, Our Pal Brandon has not gone north merely to slip comfortably into the brewmaster's role and maintain the status quo:

"Brandon and I will be examining all of our current beers to see what we can do to make them the best beers they can possibly be. We think they're good beers now, understand, but Brandon may have an idea, or I may have an idea, of how we could tweak them to make them even better and more appealing to the consumer. Whatever we can do, we will do."
I mean, I don't expect "tweak" and "whatever we can do" to translate into a serious (and much appreciated) reformulation such as what Stoudt's pulled off last year, but Leo's words do inspire a certain tingle of anticipation, do they not?

[Posted 2:35 pm edt]

7 January 2005
The scoop on Stockertown.
I met Chuck Greenstreet of Stockertown Beverage, a new distribution company from up near Easton, at The Beer Yard yesterday when he was delivering a truckload of wild and interesting new beers (most of which I'll get up on the Beer Yard site under "New Arrivals" today and tomorrow), and asked him for his card, figuring another player in the local game would be worth a story.

No need. Joe Sixpack is all over that this very morning like foam on Bryson's beard. The focus of his first column of 2005 is the influx of new beers into the Philadelphia market, and he provides a useful list of some of the most notable newcomers.

My work here is done. And I hardly broke a sweat.

[Posted 1:05 pm edt]

4 January 2005
Major Upgrade at Troegs.
I just put the story up over at the Beer Yard site and will do the right thing here by acknowledging that I first learned about the upgrade from Lew Bryson's site, which (now that's he's apparently given up that crass "making a living" thing of writing books and such and instead is now posting like a madman the way those of us who depend on our charm to somehow carry us through do) is becoming a daily destination.

Lew was off on a couple of points, though, and I must admit that I was particularly taken aback by this sentence: with a 20 and a 25 bbl. system in place, they'll be cranking out the batches.

I got things clarified when I talked to John Trogner yesterday to get the story. A lot of the details are a bit too technical and extensive for a Beer Yard news posting but would surely be of interest to some of you geeks out there, so here's what John told me:

What we're doing is adding to the brewhouse. We're bringing in a new 25-barrel kettle and a mash kettle. Right now we use three vessels, with our mash lauter functioning as a dual vessel. It doesn't have any temperature controls, however.

The new equipment, which we're getting from a German brewery fabricator called BrauKon, will be a fully automated mash kettle and a work kettle. We'll be able to run through our full temperature program within the mash kettle, transfer into the current lauter tun, then into the old brew kettle, which will function as a wort receiver.

The wort will then be pumped into the new kettle, which uses much better boiling technology than we currently are using. It has an internal calandria [heat exchanger] which is different from most internal calandrias. It has twice the surface area and uses low pressure steam so it won't stress the wort out the way a high temperature system does. Right now we're using direct fire, which means a very high temperature and lot of thermal stress on the wort.

The benefit of less stress on the wort should improve the beer. The less stress you have, the better the final beers. This is very important for bottled products. When you're brewing in a brewpub, it's not such a big issue ,because your beer is generally gone in a couple of weeks at most. Once you put beer in a bottle, that's a whole new world, so every little step makes a difference.

The new boiling system will boil for 45 minutes to an hour and then the internal calandria actually turns off and we will have a pump assisted system that will pump the wort back in the top, spraying a thin film within the kettle without the boiler on, but still at boiling temperatures.

So we're lowering the heat usage and really minimizing heat stress on the wort. Plus we'll probably get better hop utilization, better coagular proteins, just a lot of good boiling benefits.

We needed to do something because our direct fire brew kettle only has a certain life span. Now that we're brewing a lot more beer than we used to, we've been noticing that bottom plate is either expanding or contracting regularly. You could hear it pop up or pop down.

I started out thinking about putting in a new boiling system, figuring I could design something myself which would employ an external heat exchanger. But the more I looked into it, the more I wanted someone with a really strong brewing engineering background to the job.

I met the people from BrauKon last April at the Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego. I started out talking to our old brewhouse manufacturer to see if they could make the changes I wanted, but they weren't comfortable with the idea of doing a low pressure system. They recommended I talk to BrauKon, who specialize in brewing engineering for larger breweries and the automation side of the process and really want to get their foot in the door in America.

There aren't many small manufacturers out there who specialize in smaller equipment--I talked to Steineker [another German brewery fabricator] and they wouldn't even think of doing a 25 barrel system--but BrauKon came up with a good system and a really good price for us. They're taking one of the nicest large systems out there and shrinking it down to work in a 25 barrel brewhouse. They're making two new vessels for us that we will integrate into our current operation.

In effect, this will automate our old brewhouse. We will have a 25-vessel brewhouse in which we could do ten brews a day, which is a lot. We're not trying to speed the process up, but keep it separated in its functions, so we can be mashing, we can be lautering, we can be boiling and even whirlpooling all at the same time and just rotate through the system. It gives us a lot more control.

Right now we have one guy, Chris Brugger, who does 99% of the brewing. I very rarely brew any more. Chris is great, very consistent, but we're getting to the point where he can't handle all of it. We're going to have to add another brewer. You can lose your consistency when that happens. One guy brews one way, another might lauter a little differently, or mash differently. We want to minimize the effects of that.

When this is in place, once I put a recipe in the computer, it will be set. The computer will record everything. A lot of people say you lose your hand-craftedness when you automate, but in reality, you gain so much more control. During the mash program now, I can hit two temperatures, that's it. In the new program, I'll be able to hit up to 30 temperatures. There will so much more flexibility.

I'm heading to Germany on the 13th to approve the equipment, then we wire them the money and they ship it. We're hoping to be up and running at some point in February.

As noted in the Beer Yard story, BrauKon is one of two companies formed when Germany's well-known Beraplan went under. The other was Rolec, which built Victory's new brewhouse. Another local connection, for what it's worth, is that the former Hoster Brewing system from Ohio which is now Sly Fox's new brewery at Royersford, was built by Beraplan itself. Since some of the best beers in the region are coming from these three breweries, maybe we should all raise a toast the manufacturers.

Another note of interest to the geek community: "We will be doing more small single-batch beers, mostly for the Philadelphia market, once everything is in place," John told me. "We don't want to lose focus on our bestsellers, HopBack Amber and Troegenator Double Bock, but we like to have a little fun now and then too."

The first of the 2005 one-offs will be Nugget Nectar, due later this month.

The Andechs connection.
While I was talking with John Trogner, he told me something I've never heard nor seen in print before: Troegenator Double Bock was inspired by the legendary Andechs Doppelbock Dunkel, which is, quite simply, the best doppelbock made in the whole bloomin' world.

"My brother Chris came back from a trip to Germany and just raved about it," John revealed. "He described it and said we really have to make a beer like this."

Well, they haven't quite made it there as yet, but you gotta admire setting sights that high. And, maybe even further inspiration is in offing.

"I'll be 25 minutes from Andechs when I'm over there," John concluded, "and I already told my guide from BrauKon that I definitely need to swing over there and have some of that doppelbock."

[Posted 4:15 pm edt]

3 January 2005
The complete December postings have been archived here.

[Posted 3:50 pm edt]

Malt does more than Milton can
To justify God's ways to man.

--A. E. Houseman


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