Lets do a little time traveling and look back over the three and a half years this blog has been up and running. Let’s go all the way back to our very beginning and take a look at our first thirty posts! (Because, why not?) This is going to be taking us back to the end of May 2019 when I first started the blog.
Back in May 2019 seems like centuries ago, it was pre – COVID, I was just starting to work through my separation and divorce and needing something to do. I was working Saturday through Wednesday at the casino with Thursday and Friday off. It was definitely a lot different back then than it is now (now, I’m with Amy, we just introduced Scarlet – my fourth daughter / her first), I am a lot happier and also now have off Friday and Saturday rather than Thursday and Friday – which makes it a lot easier to do trips and brewfests now as well. I was 34 when I started the blog, now I’m 37, and would like to say I’m more knowledgeable and smarter (about beer, about blogging, about websites, about life), but I would be lying if I told you that much.
Why thirty? Well, why not really? I dunno to be sure. Just felt like thirty. It’s been a while since I did a list (or listicle) and felt why not. I’ll probably do a few more at the end of the year (2022 specific ones), but just felt like doing this list before getting to my daily chores (still off work – I don’t go back til December 26th). So without further adieu, lets start the list!
“Welcome to the first beer/brew review of The Beer Thrillers. Since this is the first of our beer reviews, we’ll be setting up a bit of a pattern here. We’ll state the name of the beer, the brewing company, the date consumed, then run down things like ABV/IBU, malts, hops, colorings, adjuncts, and other pertinent information in that regard. As well as any backstory or Untapped information on the beer. Then we’ll write up our review of the beer as well as give our rating of it, and the “global” rating of it from Untappd just for reference sake. ‘”
Another day calls for another beer review. This time, after a long day’s work (yes, I work Saturday’s, thus why I’m drinking a beer and reviewing beer) as well as some yard work afterwards results in the need for a nice, cold, crisp beer. And today’s beer is Painting with Light, a DIPA (Double India Pale Ale) by South County Brewing Company.
So, since all of my adult duties are done for the day, without further adieu lets move right on to the beer!
The start to any weekend (and yes, my weekend begins Wednesday night, with my days off being Thursday-Friday) requires a relaxing fantastic beer to enjoy, and something strong to remove all lingering reminders of work…. and I picked a wonderful one to do it with.
This is not a new beer for me (or even a new beer period) by any stretch. And I’ll be upfront on this, I helped Tattered Flag (and Derek Wolf of Wolf Brewing Co) to can it. We canned it on 1.17.19, so roughly four months ago. But obviously, as a stout, that’s no problem, especially kept cool in my fridge from the time it came home. (And according to Untappd, I’ve checked into this now 15 times, so I’d say I’m a bit familiar with the beer).
So its been one week since I started the blog, and this will be the fourth beer review. And with a week of the blog, also comes another mowing, weekend of yard work and general house maintenance and a (not) relaxing evening enjoying a beer. For today’s beer review, I decided to do a brand new release (released today, canned yesterday), a beer I helped can and another beer from Tattered Flag (my second review of their beer).
You Hoppin On Me? is a brand new beer from Tattered Flag, both brand new recipe, and brand new release. Its a New England style hazy beer and it definitely delivers on the haze and the juice. So let’s get drinking and reviewing.
Looking in my fridge after a long day of work on Memorial Day while everyone else was out picnicking and enjoying a beautiful sunny day, I was thrown all over the world in the casino working numerous different games, getting yelled at by numerous different types of guests, and just needing something to drink, like a usual night after work. This time instead of grabbing something new and familiar from the front of the beer fridge I decided to see what all might be lurking in the back of the fridge, and to my surprise, I found this.
I had traded/bought a four pack of this straight from The Veil Brewing Company over a year ago (according to my stats, my first time having it was on 2.23.18, and this is currently now 5.24.19). So this is definitely going into the “science experiment” beer drinking category. And have no fears as a review, this is going to be based on the beer when I had it the original time with my original notes on it, as well as how it is *NOW*.
Another weekend in May means another chance to mow… or to try and put off mowing until you absolutely have to, which is just as wise. Even wiser when you have a fantastic beer to drink and sip and read rather than do that sweat inducing mowing!
And today’s beer for the task of procrastination is “Sundrifter” by South County Brewing Company. An absolutely fantastic and refreshing IIPA New England that is pure deliciousness.
And with that, May wraps up and we keep continuing on. I don’t think it was a bad start to the blog. You can certainly tell that my writing was a lot less refined than it is now. But six articles (all beer reviews) between May 19th and May 30th isn’t too bad I suppose. I was at least getting content out there. Not sure how I was doing as far as people reading it (most likely just my friends and family clicking the links and probably not even really reading it). I unfortunately don’t have my stats anymore from 2019 or 2020 (due to switching servers and stuff, and not thinking to write stuff down).
While the kids are in school, getting to sneak off and meet your buddy at a local craft beer bar is a wonderful way to spend an hour of the middle of your day. (One of the few perks of having Thursday/Friday off is that the kids are in school during most of your day off).
The Warwick Hotel and Restaurant is a staple in Hummelstown and predates the town’s founding. Their claim of fame, and one that is echoed in many taverns/pubs/hotels throughout the Pennsylvania area, is that George Washington once stayed the night there. (No idea on the veracity of this, but we’ll go with it).
Got a notice from my local beer trading, muling, etc., Facebook group around 4-5PM that Breski’s Beverage was getting Bissell Brother’s in. Two can limit. So I definitely had to make a stop after work, no doubts about it. Bissell Brothers is one of those “sought after” breweries, and not one readily available in the South Central PA area.
What do you do after a long day at work where you do a massive give-away that brings in hundreds of people looking to score a Harley Davidson motorcycle? …..I think we all know the obvious answer to that rhetorical question.
LazerSnake is a regular beer from Three Floyds (or 3 Floyds) that has finally started making its way into South Central PA. Its not the highly sought after beers from 3FB like ZombieDust or Alpha Station Middle Finger or obviously Dark Lord but this is a nice staple and “regular” beer to be gotten in six-packs.
So this is going to be a bit different than my normal beer reviews, because this is a “mutli-beer review” (four for the price of 1!). Since I’m doing them only as tasters rather than as full drafts, I figure instead of doing a separate beer review for each would be a bit superfluous and decided to do it as one conglomerate post. Plus this also lets me go a bit into the detail of beer flights at breweries and how they are different at different places, and even how Troegs themselves recently changed their beer flights.
Firstly, lets go into beer flights at breweries (and some bars do them as well) in general. Typically a flight is either one you create yourself or made up by the brewery of anywhere from 3-5 (though some do much larger ones of six or even ten – Spring House and Hop River Bend do very big flights), and they are typically pours of 4oz or 5oz depending on flight size, cost, etc. Some breweries do a “choose” your own flight, where you pick X number from their tap, and some do a “here’s our flight”. Likewise some do a general price for their flight and some do a “by beer” flight cost (ie. if you pick more stouts, your flight will likely be more expensive than if you picked four hefes).
Troegs Brewery (Hershey Pennsylvania, just down the road from HersheyPark) offers two choices – a pre-set “regular” flight and a “build your own”. The pre-set “regulars” is their mainstays, Perpetual, Troegenator, When in Doubt, HopBack Amber Ale, and their current Hop Cycle beer (this time of year that is now Field Study). And this varies throughout the season with the stout being added in and with some other changes here and there.
Planned a quick stop at the Tattered Flag brewery to pick up my four pack of the “Custardy” (beer review soon coming), and lo and behold I found this on draft. Having wanted to try this, and unfortunately not getting to try it in cans I had to settle for it on draft (due note: “settle” is being used facetiously).
Tattered Flag has teamed up with several local (Central PA local) breweries to produce quite a few Abbra Collabra’s. Some of these breweries include: Wolf Brewing Co, Collusion Tap Works, Snitz Creek, Pilger Ruh Brewing, Abomination Brewing Company, Rotunda Brewing Company, as well as a brewery out in Denver Colorado.
This time they teamed up again with Wolf Brewing, as well as Pilger Ruh Brewing, Snitz Creek, Rotunda, and Abomination to release a six-way Abbra Collabra that was sold in cans and on draft at all of their locations (Wolf Brewing Company will soon have their own taproom/brewery, Abomination Brewing is a contact brewer, and Pilger Ruh Brewing is currently in the “soon to be” phase).
All six of these breweries are top notch, and many of which have won awards. Derek Wolf with Wolf Brewing Company has won a homebrewing award in all 50 states, Tattered Flag along with Pilger Ruh Brewing won for their “Should Have Put Him in Custardy” at the Schuylkill Brewfest. Likewise Rotunda, Snitz Creek, and Abomination has gotten numerous recommendations and consistently does well with ratings on Untappd and other services.
Boneshire is about as much of a second home brewery as one comes for a person. I’m there as often as I can, and its an absolutely wonderful atmosphere that is very reminiscent of Cheers, wherein pretty much if you go once or twice, your name is remembered and everyone will know you.
So its only about time I finally get around to reviewing one of their newest offerings (as well as talking about the place a little bit). And this is certainly a fantastic beer to start off with.
Once again, introducing a new feature to the blog, a brewery review. This won’t be about the brewery as a collective whole (ie. a review of all of their beers, styles, etc.) but more or less a review of their location and the beers I had while there. Typically this is one flight or a flight and a draft or two, depending on the amount of time I have at a brewery and a few others factors (if I’m driving, kids with, how the brewery does their samples, their tap list/size, etc.)
For most breweries I will do a review of their location (hopefully have pictures included) as well as at least a flight of their beers. I will then also make a beer review post about said flight, so it will be kind of a doubling up of blog posts and might seem redundant, but it’ll make things easier for the categorizing on the right hand side, as well as give you the option of what kind of blog post you wish to read if you don’t feel like reading both or all of the text. Also, depending on the place, I might get an extra draft (or two) that I’ll do a review of as well.
Finding myself with some time to kill after work and getting the usual “beers” Batman alert from my friend, I decided to walk down and meet him at The Warwick Hotel in good old Hummelstown Pennsylvania.
Get there and he’s already polishing off his Lord Hobo Orange IPA and the place is slightly packed (ok… very packed for a Tuesday). Apparently now, The Warwick is doing trivia on Tuesday nights. (They’ve also started up having live music and even doing a happy hour, so, their making lots of changes and becoming more like a real bar – which is probably a plus.)
Sometimes the only thing to do after a long day of dealing with customers and mowing the lawn is to come home and crack open a cold one. Isn’t that what we all want? The question then becomes; what should I reach for? Keep reading as I attempt to answer that poignant query.
Yellow Bridge Brewing is a small, family-owned brewery located in Delmont, PA, just outside of Pittsburgh, near White Valley. If you are unfamiliar with the name, it is probably due to their distribution being centralized around Western Pennsylvania. If you know the right people (thanks Tyler!) or make the trek westward — from Central PA –, Yellow Bridge is most certainly a worthy stopping point.
The award winning collaboration between Tattered Flag and Pilger Ruh Brewing, straight from the Schuylkill brewfest to cans. This is one absolutely delicious and beautiful brew and deserves the award. And its a perfect beer on a 90 degree hot day in late June.
A wonderful fruity tart blueberry alcoholic drink is just what the day is calling for after mowing two yards and working on your hops (the bugger’s just won’t stop growing!).
Picking up the Pink Starburst IPA (Inexplicably Juicy – review forthcoming) I had to try some beer at the bar (can’t stop at a brewery and not get a beer!).
This time its the latest iteration of their Fatum series. The fatum series is pretty much all various types of small batch sours and wild ales and they have done A LOT of various types so far. Strawberry rhubarb, just rhubarb, just strawberry, imperial strawberry, blackberry, blackberry lactose, peach, mango, kumquat, apple cranberry, blueberry, blueberry and raspberry, melon star, elderberries, maple kumquat, sangria… etc, etc, etc. (the entire blog would just be a list of all of the different styles/adjuncts).
Don’t worry, I promise I’m not a complete Tattered Flag shill. But still… this is a pretty good and tasty brew and you should make an attempt to try it out. Wouldn’t hurt you any anyway.
First off Happy 4th of July to all those American readers (or Happy Traitor’s Day if your British). As you can see, this was my drink of choice today on America’s 243rd birthday. And I think it was a fantastic choice.
The beer has a beautiful colorful straw typical of IPA and NEIPA. The head was small but there and retained. It had a crisp and fizziness to it that popped a bit as it poured.
What does a 1980’s cop-duo drama starring Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas chasing after cocaine smuggling criminals in sunny Miami have to do with beer? Nothing really. I just decided to bring it up since this little brewery in Berlin, Maryland saw fit to name a beer after the show.
If you’ve heard of Burley Oak, you have no doubt, heard of their incredible J.R.E.A.M. series of sours. If you’ve never heard of Burley or their J.R.E.A.M. series, I have one question; what rock have you been living under?
I got a draft of this at the Black Gryphon in Elizabethtown (a wonderful bar, stop by, and talk to Toeny Morgan [he’s the blur in the background of this picture] for a while, great dude who will talk your ear off, more about the bar at the end of this review), and the pour is beautiful. Wonderful caramel notes. Beautiful frothy and foamy head. Lovely bubbles on the top of this. It’s just a downright gorgeous beer.
This is a beer’s beer. From the aroma, to the color, to the head, to the pouring style, to the taste. Everything about it is traditional beer. My first time trying this style and I was instantly in love with it (same goes for the brewery as well). I just love the look and appeal of the beer, the aroma is a wonderful malty breadyness that just begs you to drink it.
Post work and post errands found me out on Derry Street in the Rutherford area… so what else am I supposed to do but stop in at Boneshire? Sure, it’s Monday, and the place is doing their D&D night (which I used to play, but haven’t since roughly the beginning of 3rd Edition), but I made myself at home at the bar to start watching the Phillies-Dodgers game….. …oh no…..
As you can see from the picture, I actually snapped the shot right as Kingery hit his home run and put the Phills ahead 1-0 over the Dodgers…. (and good god did this game go south fast!). But anyway, enough about a depressing baseball game and much more about a delicious beer.
Welp… Newfangled Brew Works isn’t even around anymore, so this makes my beer reviews of their beer kind of interesting reads for nothing more than historical and nostalgic value.
So an impromptu night out with a friend for a few drinks means…. an impromptu chance to do a beer review (or two). And as you can tell, being an impromptu review session, the pics aren’t quite up to snuff (being out with friends will make it a bit harder to get the best quality pictures, especially because I do more yapping as I drink and forget to grab that nice beautiful shot as soon as I get my beer). But I’ve been wanting to get back to Newfangled Brew Works (was there for their opening and one other time), so I’ve been wanting to show them some love here on the blog and do a review or two of their beers, and the Hurry Up and Wait was a big huge ‘deal’ so that deserves a review.
Wednesday last week (July 10th) kicked off a nice three day weekend for me (Thursday, Friday, Saturday), with beer events on Friday night and Saturday night, and getting to try new beers each day of the weekend (including what was my Friday night – Wednesday). Got out of work at 6PM, drove immediately to the Willowood Swim Club for my oldest two daughter’s swim meet and then as that ended at 9PM I found myself in Elizabethtown for a little while with nothing to do.
Moo-Duck closed at 9PM, so that nix-nay’d the idea of trying out their brewery (haven’t been there in quite a few months) and knowing that I was going to be at the Funk Brewery on Friday for the Moo-Funk Homebrew Event, I decided to try out the Black Gryphon.
So at 9PM on Wednesday I got to kick off my weekend of beer events and beer fun and shenanigans in a great way. Stopping in at one of the preeminent craft beer bars in the area will certainly do that.
Upon arriving and walking in I immediately run into a good friend Christopher d’Puia (who happened to be out on a date). After a brief chat where we discussed upcoming beer events (Moo-Funk Homebrew and the Ffej of July) I went and grabbed a seat at the bar and started chatting with Toeny Morgan.
The Black Gryphon has a very impressive tap, can, and bottle list, as well as a few specialties and limited items that pop up from time to time, like the flight (one of two) that I ordered.
Toeny Morgan had recently done a vast trip to the North East (VT, NH, CT, etc, etc, etc) and brought back many gems from the various breweries he hit up there. (Anyone following him on Facebook or Untappd could have seen his travels and the various breweries and craft bottle shops he hit up.)
So somehow this got lost in the interwebs and I was able to manage to pull this out. (In other words, I drunkenly saved it into drafts instead of publishing it, and now getting around to touching it up and publishing it, my apologies all around to all those who were told this was coming out and it never did).
But have no fear, if I tell you it’s going to get published, it’s going to get published, it might be old, and all, but it’s still going to get published.
I had an opportunity to make a quick trip out to Annville, PA to a micro brewery nestled neatly besides another landmark, the Batdorf Restaurant located roughly a quarter mile from the Annville square. Rotunda has become well known across Pennsylvania with the likes of their solid Annville IPA. But there is a style I feel they do better than many. Sours. More specifically their “sWheat Tart” series. Eric Stubbs, RBC’s Head Brewer, will tell you that he never set out to be “the sWheat Tart guy”, but with beauties like this Mango Guyabano sWheat Tart, you would swear he was fibbing.
Enigma: e·nig·ma/iˈniɡmə/noun a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand.
What the definition above misses is that “Enigma” can also refer to a German band from the 90’s, a cryptic coding machine, or for the purposes of this article, a beer. With regards to the beer, the only mystery is how Anchorage manages to keep turning out hit after hit.
Not every beer can be a “whale” and extremely hard to get and worth chasing down and dropping 20$ for some guy to mule it ontop of the 8$ the can costs. Some are going to be regular beers you drink at a bar while playing bar room poker. Some are going to be 3$ happy hour beers that you enjoy for the time being.
Thats the nature of the game and while they might not be the greatest beers you’ll ever have, there is still some decent beers, and doesn’t mean we can’t give them a little write-up and review.
So that’s exactly what I’m doing here. Giving two beers that most blogs and most reviewers will overlook a write-up. Why? Well, because I drank them, so why not? But also to highlight that there is so many different beers in the world, and so many different styles and ways to consume beers (draft, can, bottle, at home, away, at a bar, at a party, with friends, while playing poker, while doing trivia, etc.). Beer is just as much as the company you are with as it is the quality of the beer itself. The right company can make a Miller Lite taste acceptable. Or it can even make a JREAM or Utopias taste like swill. (And obviously there is times where the quality of the beer impacts the quality of the company as well. Everything is a two way street after all …..except one way streets…. they are just annoying.)
Man, I remember when we used to have poker nights at Arooga’s… but that has gone the way of many things due to the pandemic / COVID – 19. But anyway, thats my first 30 articles. (Still not sure why I picked 30, and yes, I picked the 30 before looking at the articles; and also yes – technically its really my first 32 articles since I combined three articles into one above.)
As I like to do at the end of the articles, I like to give a final shout out to you – the readers – thank you so much for reading. We just got back from our big Virginia trip, which you can read above, and this Sunday we will be doing a podcast with Central PA Pour (CPP). Be sure to check them out and check us out when we’re on it.
Lots of stuff still happening before the end of the year. So be sure to like, subscribe, follow, and comment. Cheers All!
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