Brewery Event: Bottle Share (Tattered Flag)

Tattered Flag and Breweries in PA’s Bottle Share (February 8th, 2020).62+ Tickets were ‘sold’. Packed house down in the brewhouse of Tattered Flag. (Thats me in the red Pizza Boy shirt, and my friend D. Scott to my left.) (Photo Courtesy of Chad Balbi – Breweries in PA).

On February 8th, 2020, Tattered Flag and Breweries in PA co-hosted an event at the Tattered Flag Brewery in Middletown PA. It was a ticketed event and promoted across Tattered Flag’s social media and Breweries in PA’s social media (their Facebook page and their Facebook group). Tickets were free. Welcome to all that were to come out. According to Justin (brewer for Tattered Flag) 62 tickets were given out. Myself and my friend were two of those tickets, and so let me take you through the event.

Let’s back this up a bit from the time of the event. Starting with the event itself. It was first announced near the beginning of the year. Luckily it was a Saturday I was able to get off from work (a rarity in my case). And my friend D. Scott was also off and along for the idea. So, the premise of the event is simple – bring 2-3 (or more) beers. Everyone who comes to the event, does so, and once the event is underway you place your beers in the corresponding coolers (IPA, Sours, Wheats and Kolsches, Stouts), and then after everyone has grouped up, you start cracking beers and sampling and moving on.

The premise is simple and neat. Anyone whose ever done a beer / bottle / can share or swap at home with friends, its the same premise just on a much larger scale. (A 62+ person scale that is.)

Leading up to the event my friend stopped at Breski’s Beverage and picked up a four-pack of larger beers to bring with. He grabbed Thief Share (2016) by Strange Roots Experimental Ales, Blue Farm (2017) by Free Will Brewing Co, a German Chocolate Cake Stout from a brewery I’m drawing a blank on, and New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk (2019).

I had set up to do a beer trade with a guy from Eureka California. We were both set to send our packages on either January 31st, or February 1st. (I sent on 31st and showed proof.) He unfortunately, kept saying he would get to it… and get to it….. and he kept NOT getting to it…. and NOT getting to it. Finally, he promised he would expedite it next day to make up for its tardiness…. and I get a message from him “Sorry, it’d be 200$+ to expedite, so I sent it regular. Sorry it won’t be there in time.” …..Massive annoyance and disappointment on those fronts. So at last second, I had to figure out what I was bringing.

Unfortunately I had just ran through my cans from Tree House brought home by my friend D. Arndt. If I would have known…. I would have brought the Sap, Autumn, Julius, Haze, or Doppelganger I had. So I likewise stopped at Breski’s Beverage and picked up some beer for the event. I got Grimm Artisanal Ale’s I Still Love the Old World (2018), Lickinhole’s Virginia Black Bear, Clown Shoe’s Coffee Sombrero, and Trial by Wombat (mainly for the name and picture).

Saturday morning comes and I do my typical morning chores and errands and take Leela (my border collie) for a run. D. Scott is Ubering to Tattered Flag, and I’m going to meet him there. Planned to get there at 10:40, but ended up getting there closer to 10:50 with our tickets and my beer and meet him just inside the door. He shows me the beer he’s bringing and we go over our small sample size. At just a bit before 11AM, Justin comes through and tells everyone to follow him down into the brewhouse.

Since 2018 I’ve done some volunteer canning work with Tattered Flag – though recently they’ve stopped using volunteers now that their employee force is big enough to keep it all done in-house, so I’m quite familiar with their brewhouse and back of the brewery operations and location.

At the time, there’s not too many people yet. Maybe 15-20. Justin goes over the rules. (Big rule: don’t touch any valves. Little rule: throw your trash away. Big rule: DON’T TOUCH ANY VALVES. Little rule: put your beers in their appropriate tubs.) They had bussing tubs with a label for each: IPA, Sour / Saisons, Wheats / Kolsches, and Stouts. Bigger bottles were kept in the front or where room was for them.

The guys from Breweries in PA introduced themselves. And then we were off to the races (…or beers). Talked with the lady from Breweries in PA and she was saying how the Dayman can was the last “known in the wild” can to exist, due to them getting hit with a Cease and Desist from Disney. And we talked about Disney with recent news, and how past places have gotten hit with some C & D’s.

After sampling Dayman, and then Nightman, I saw a lovely looking Smoked Porter big bottle. Unfortunately I forget the name of it, and it appears I never checked it into Untappd (something I didn’t do too good of a job of). (Just like pictures, unfortunately I took no pictures of the event either, so I have no pictures of my own, and had to try and remember the beers I tried for Untappd later on.) So whoever brought the big bottle Smoked Porter, I’d love to know what it was. ….but also… oh boy that carbonation! As soon as I popped the cap on it, it just gushed. Foam everywhere, so much so that I had to set it down under the table over the grate, it just wouldn’t stop, for a good solid 2 minutes it kept going. (So yes, I apologize for being ‘that guy’, but….. it wasn’t my fault!)

A cache of the beers at the bottle / can share. Photo courtesy of Justin Hoak.

Me and D. Scott kinda hovered over the Stouts area. Talked to Justin and his girlfriend Aimee, about recent events with Tattered Flag, as well as Hibrewnation that took place, as well as the upcoming Prototype Brewery and Meadery and the Prototype Invitation Brewing Event.

The beer share at Tattered Flag. Photo courtesy of Justin Hoak.

After a few more samples, me and D. Scott headed back into the caverns a bit, where there was more space, as by now we were likely up to about 40+ people in attendance. And out by the brite tanks and fermenters it was getting pretty crowded. After a bit, the guys from Breweries in PA brought a few of the bussing trubs out into the side-room where we used to do the labeling for Tattered Flag’s canning run. They brought out a few beers of each type as well and so there was now a more mixed variety in the different areas.

While in the side-room, I branched out a bit from my stouts and sours and had a few IPAs. Bearded Iris’ Homestyle, Psycho Simcoe by Three 3’s, Ex Novo Brewing’s Spirits of the Dead, and Double Luv by East Branch Brewing. Hanging out, talking with D. Scott and some of our fellow drinkers in the area, we also cracked open the Black Tuesday (2017) by The Bruery, which was amazingly fantastic. While discussing the ridiculously high ABV on it (19.5%), one of the guys talked about the beer he brought from Nimble Hill, a Maple Stout in their Mysteria Series, that was a 25%. I’ve always been a huge fan of big ABV beers…. so my ears and eyes and nose, and mouth, all perked up. The kind gentleman went back and got it and brought it out. After a bit of a struggle getting the cork off of it, we each drew a good sample size of it (and I won’t lie and say I didn’t have two samples of it).

The description on Untappd for it reads:

This super limited creation is an off shoot of Turbo Diesel.
But instead of using hops, we added a few gallons of maple syrup and a dash of molasses and fermented it to the limits.
The result is a thick dessert stout with a strong maple syrup and imperial stout finish, followed by hearty warming from the 25% abv. Served without carbonation for a smooth and velvety finish.

It was smooth, dry, but with an amazing maple syrup flavor. Tasted like drinking a maple syrup wine. It was pretty much fantastic. And the nice 25% ABV to it, certainly didn’t hurt. I would like to throw a shout out to Ryan Haraschak. Fantastic, gorgeous gem to bring to the bottle share! Kudos my man!

We also tried a gentleman’s RIS Homebrew that was wonderful as well. And somehow, quickly, we realized we were approaching the end of the time for the bottle share, so me and D. Scott went back by the fermenters to try some of the beers still over there.

While hanging out there, and chopping on some tortilla chips, the Harris Brewery guys came in. Got to talk to Harris guys for a long time about their upcoming brewery, black culture in brewing and craft beer, Allison Hill, the impact their hoping to make, the old Coke-Cola building / factory on the corner of 19th and Derry, the obstacles their having to overcome for their brewery, their GoFundMe vs. the Kickstarter, and much more. We also drank from their growler of their collaboration with The Vegetable Hunter which was fantastic. If you would like to support the Harris Family Brewery, and add to their GoFundMe you can do so here:

Harris Family Brewery Start-Up Go Fund Me

Shaun Harris posing at the end of the bottle share. Photo Courtesy of Harris Family Brewery.

As the time dwindled down, we quickly tried to sample a last few beers. There was an Intuition Ales that I tried with a large dragon on it (wax sealed originally, no idea on the name), as well as two Hegemony Anniversary Beers from St. Boniface. Also back to back Black IPAs; one from Pour Man’s Brewing – Black Market, and the other from Heavy Seas – Night Swell. Also tried the 2SP and WaWa coffee stout – Winter Reserve. As well as a last sampling of the Candy Hearts by New Trail Brewing.

As it wrapped up, they told us to take anything we wanted that was unopened. Seeing my Lickinghole Virginia Black Bear unopened I grabbed that, as well as an IPA from Mainstay Brewing and one of the bakeries from The Bruery. My buddy grabbed a couple and we put them in the six-pack holder and took them out to my car and then came back in to use our free beer and food discount.

Tattered Flag with the (free) ticket, being the gracious host was giving one free pour with the ticket as well as 10% off food. D. Scott got an order of loaded chips, and I got Because I Was Inverted (Chocolate Covered Strawberry). His free drink was either the Custardy Tropic Like Its Hot or the Custardy Black Crumble. We had also sampled these in cans during the bottle share.

My list of beers sampled (that I was able to record on Untappd) was:
* Nightman (Stable 12 Brewing Company)
* Schmoojee Strawberry Orange Banana (Imprint Beer Co)
* Bible Belt (2019) (Evil Twin Brewing)
* Frucht: Fruit Punch (The Bruery Terreux)
* Churro Sombrero (Clown Shoes)
* Autumn Friend (Forest & Main Brewing Company)
* Spirits of the Dead (Ex Novo Brewing)
* Psycho Simcoe (Three 3’s Brewing Co.)
* Black Tuesday (2017) (The Bruery)
* Maple Stout, Mysteria Series (Nimble Hill Brewing)
* Double Luv (East Branch Brewing)
* Kriek Marriage Parfait (2015) (Brouwerji Boon)
* Black Market (Pour Man’s Brewing Company
* Night Swell (Heavy Seas Beer)
* Pack & Brass Coffee IPA (Wallenpaupack Brewing Company)
* I Still Love the Old World (Grimm Artisanal Ales)
* Bourbon Barrel Aged Hegemony Anniver7ary Reserve (Blue Wax) (St. Boniface Craft Brewing Co.)
* Bourbon Barrel Aged Hegemony Anniver8ary Reserve (Blue Wax) (St. Boniface Craft Brewing Co.)
* Cold Pro (Union Craft Brewing)
* Winter Reserve Coffee Stout (2SP Brewing Company / WaWa)
* Candy Hearts (New Trail Brewing Co.)
* Homestyle (Bearded Iris)
* Custardy: Blackberry Crumble (Tattered Flag)
* Custardy: Tropic Like Its Hot (Tattered Flag)
* Thief Share (2016) (Strange Roots Experimental Ales)
* Blue Farm (2017) (Free Will Brewing Co.)
* Gingerbread Crunchee (Other Half Brewing Co.)
* Double Vice Coffee Porter (Grist House Craft Brewery)
* Chili Nelson Hazy Habenero (The Vegetable Hunter)
* Winter Wassailand (The Vegetable Hunter / Harris Family Brewing)
* Dayman (Stable 12 Brewing)

These are the ones I remembered / checked-in on Untappd anyway. There were so many more I didn’t get to try, some I definitely wanted to. I saw some Aslin cans, I believe 4th Anniversary Sours, that I missed out on, as well as a few Other Half’s and similar. In the comments – for those of you who went – I’d love to see what you brought, had, and what was your favorites.

This was a fantastic event. I’ve been to some friend / home beer bottle / can shares, and its always a blast. Passing around beers, sampling, and talking about beer and just hanging out with good people. The craft beer community is an exceptional and diverse community and its so great to talk to so many different people. Bottle shares are like mini-brewfests in a way, sampling a ton of different beers from different places / breweries that you most likely won’t get into contact with. Its not a bad way to kill a Saturday morning, thats for sure.

My favorites that I got to sample were: Black Tuesday (2017) by The Bruery and the Nimble Hill Maple Stout Mysteria (the 25%). D. Scott said his favorite was also the 25% Maple Stout as well as the Custardy: Blackberry Crumble.

It was great of Tattered Flag to put up some of their own beers in the share, a great gesture on their part. Also, humorous note, I think I did see a Blue Moon in one of the tubs, not 100% sure though, but I think I did. Kudos to whoever brought that. I did think it’d be funny to bring a single Coors Light bottle or Miller Lite High Life bottle and sneak it in, but didn’t know how it’d go over.

The Kill Shot from the Beer Share at Tattered Flag hosted by Tattered Flag and Breweries in PA. (Photo courtesy of: Chad Balbi)

As you can see from the kill shot, there was a ton of great beer brought in, and sampled and served. Breweries from all over Pennsylvania, as well as numerous other big breweries like Other Half, Bearded Iris, Aslin, Dogfish Head, Brewery of Omnegang, Grimm Artisanal Ales, as well as some homebrew, and some heavy PA hitters like Free Will, Tattered Flag, Strange Roots, Imprint Beer Co, Dancing Gnome, Troegs Independent Craft Brewing, and New Trail, and even upcoming brewery Harris Family. It was a wonderful and diverse selection, bottles, bombers, growlers, crowlers, cans, and even wine bottles.

Interested in reading some reviews of beers from some of these places, you can check out my beer blog: The Beer Thrillers. We’ve reviewed beers from Tattered Flag like: Should Have Put Him Into Custardy, Inexplicably Juicy, Pink Guava, Fatum Series: Member Berries, and more. New Trail’s Broken Heels. Broken Goblet’s This Is The Way, Burn Them All Away. Boneshire Brew Work’s The Hog, Dillston, Harrishire (with Harris Family), Sunburst, Good Walk Spoiled, Road Less Traveled, and more. Wolf Brewing collaboration with Tattered Flag – Imperial Churro and collaboration with Imprint – Wolf Prints. Rotunda Brewing’s sWheat Tarts: Mango Guyabano and Juicy Fruit. Troegs Independent Craft Brewing’s Fuzzy Nudge, Coco-Nator, and Scratch 400. You can check out our brewery visit and recap (and review) of Mellow Mink and their Scarlet Sunrise. Or our brewery reviews of Battlefield Brew Works and Cushwa Brewery. Or the recent, unfortunate news of the closings – Crystal Ball and Stoudt’s.

You can also read our other article on Breweries in PA: Touring the Breweries that Surround Harrisburg. (Also located here: Breweries Around the Outskirts of Harrisburg.)

We are currently listed on FeedSpot’s Top 100 Beer Blogs at #9, and have been there for a few weeks now (moved up from #11). (If you would like to write for us, you can contact us through our contact page. Or if you would like us to write for you.)

You can check us out on Facebook as well as Twitter. Or just search for us – Facebook – The Beer Thrillers – and on Twitter – @thebeerthriller.

The blog is ran by me – B. Kline, and mainly written by me, but other writers for the blog include J. Doncevic, AJ Brechbiel (of Default Brewing). We also have Let Us Drink Beer Blog do some contributions as a guest writer.

I also do podcasts with D. Scott and Esteban – So a Mexican and a Scot Walk Into a Bar… where we discuss beer, pop culture, movies, TV shows, and much more. Always hilarious and always insightful, so make sure to check that out as well.

(Ok, that concludes the article for Breweries in PA. The rest from here on out, is just for the Beer Thrillers faithful and my blog only. Its also a little more personal and detailed than the above, so keep reading if you want to hear more.)

So as per usual with me, after the beer share event, my night didn’t end. It was about 3:30-4PM by the time we finished up at the Tattered Flag bar. Way too early to call it a day. Being in the area, we decided to check out the Lancaster Brewing spot off of Eisenhower Boulevard in Harrisburg. Neither me nor D. Scott had ever been there. And this checks off a “new brewery location” that I want to do each month. (January was Liquid Noise Brewing, so February will be Lancaster Brewing, and hopefully March – before they close up – will be Stoudt’s.) Its funny that neither of us have ever been here to this location. Its so close, and we’ve jumped and hit all of the Harrisburg breweries numerous times before.

While there we met up with friends D. Arndt, Youngblood, and Youngblood’s girlfriend. I did a flight, D. Scott got a draft of their eggnog, and I have no recollection of what the others got. My flight included:
* Jam Series #22 Mexican Style Lager
* Jam Series #21 Gingerbread Spiced Brown Ale
* Lancaster Lager
* Jam Series – Track #20 Eggnog Blond
* Jam Series – Track #19 Chili Smoked Baltic Porter
* Winter Warmer

Lancaster Brewing Company’s Spiced Gingerbread

All were pretty tasty. I enjoyed the Smoked Porter the most with the Spiced Gingerbread coming in second. Wasn’t a huge fan of the eggnog blond, but I’m not a fan of eggnog so kind of knew that going into it. Drew loved his, but then again, he’s a huge eggnog fan. So mileage may vary on that type of beer.

Lancaster Brewing Company’s Mexican Lager

Finally around 730-8PM or so we left and went to D. Arndt’s house, where we hung out with him and his fiance Kat and his dogs (the one of which is a Corgi named Indiana Bones). While there he had a can of Intemperance by Tree House which was absolutely delicious.

Intemperance by Tree House Brewing

Look for me to be adding the Intemperance to my series on Tree House. Also, most likely tonight Doppelganger will be going up to finish what was originally the series. But now, with the addition of Intemperance, the series will be going from 5 to 6, making it a nice easy and sensible six-pack. Makes sense for a beer blog (a beer blog making sense?!), I like it.

So, this was supposed to be written and was supposed to go up Sunday, the 9th. But… work was crazy, as it was a ticket promotion give-away and we were swamped there, and afterwards, I was supposed to go to D. Scott to watch the Oscar’s (and drink the remaining of the beer share beers), but… Haley forgot the crowler of Rotunda Brewing Company’s ‘Beautiful Trauma’ that I got her, so I had to swing back to work and then deliver it to her at Irgo’s Tavern. Where I then proceeded to stay and play pool with several co-workers until 1AM. So obviously… no posting that night.

Then Monday I did go over to D. Scott’s and we watched Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (finally got around to seeing it, fantastic movie, and Tarantino is still just as good as he always was). So once again, no blog posting Monday. But, last night I did start this, and sadly, only after editing, getting to finish it this morning. Sorry for the delay in things, but I rather edit and make sure I like the way blog looks, and that there’s no misspellings or grammar problems or anything (though I’m sure one or two will still sneak through). There’s two ways to write:

“You either write sober and edit drunk, or write drunk and edit sober.”

I also finally got that California beer mail Tuesday. Looks like some delicious brews to drink down and dive into and review for you all.

So definitely expect to see some beer reviews come out of that 10-pack. There’s a lot of tasty ones (I am super looking forward to the Chocolate Donut porter.)

Blog news – I am going to be trying to get 2 blogs up a day for the next few days to catch up some of the beer reviews I’m behind on. Fingers crossed anyway. This blog post is also going up on Breweries in PA’s website, so you’ll be able to check it out there (albeit abbreviated). Once its live, I’ll come in and edit this to include it here.

Tomorrow (Thursday, the 13th), I have yet another funeral to go to. This time my Uncle (mother’s brother in law) passed away. (Last Thursday was a funeral for my Great Uncle, my father’s Uncle.) In the evening Funck’s in Palmyra is doing a tap takeover for New Trail. I might be stopping out for that (might not, depends on time). New Trail makes some great beers, so I’d love to check it out.

Some beer reviews that are due up are Doppelganger and Intemperance, New Heights I Cannot Tell a Lie, Boneshire Brew Work’s Anagnorsis, Revision’s Pete’s Stache, Rivertown’s Triple Belgian, and much more. So be on the lookout for a lot of beer reviews coming at you in the upcoming days.

Like I said earlier in the post (mainly for the Breweries in PA page), please check out our Facebook, Twitter, and other social medias, and please click follow, like, subscribe, both on those platforms and here on the blog itself. You can enter your e-mail at the bottom to get notifications immediately whenever a new blog post hits the internet, and we’d greatly appreciate it. We also love it when you use the ‘rating’ at the bottom so we know how we are performing, and click the LIKE down below as well. Also, even more importantly, we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, feedback. So leave us a comment, or two, or three, or forty-four. I try to respond and reply as quickly as I’m able to. And if you ever want, you can contact us at our contact page and leave me a message.

Thanks everyone so much for reading, and hopefully you enjoyed it, and if you were at the event, hopefully you had as much of a blast as I did (and D. Scott). (Which speaking of, be on the lookout for some new podcasts on LOST Seasons 3 & 4, Fullmetal Alchemist, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and potentially / possibly / hopefully BoJack Horseman.)

Cheers everyone!

-B. Kline

Tattered Fag and Breweries in PA’s February 8th, 2020, Beer Share – the final kill shot.
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