Troegenator wins the Gold!

Just a quick note to congratulate the hometown brewery… 

Tröegs Brewing Company just won Gold at the 2010 World Beer Cup with Troegenator Double Bock in the category “Traditional German-Style Bock”.

As a note of interest, Troegenator was the most-requested beverage by librarian-tasters at a Tröegs event in October, 2009. We’re a smart lot with a discriminating palate!

For a complete list of winners, visit the World Beer Cup site.


River House Brew Pub (Milton, PA)

What a lovely day for a drive by the river and to do a little fact-gathering on some rumors I’ve been hearing about a Lewisburg brew pub! 

River House Brew Pub in the Lewisburg Diner

River House Brew Pub

And it’s true… Or as true as it can be told at this time. The location is technically Milton (by mailing address), geographically located in what might be called East Lewisburg but is really West Chillisquaque Township in Northumberland County. The building is the former Italian Terrace property (which explains some of the strange architecture for a brewpub!) and currently houses The Lewisburg Diner. 

River House Brew Pub welcome signThe pub – The River House Brew Pub – will be run in conjunction with the diner as two eateries under one roof. This appears to be the new brewing location for former Abbey Wright brewer Bart Rieppel (this is an unconfirmed rumor, but from an extremely reliable source!) 

The Pub is a separate business from the Diner…

We went into the Diner, which was open today, and even walked back the hallway to the pub area – it’sRiver House and Lewisburg Diner completely signed (paper signs). There were tables and chairs, but the room was dark and there was no appearance of being open or even having taps available.  I’ve been told that River House does not have a licence to brew yet, but should have it soon, and in the meantime will be serving a selection of microbrews.

I don’t claim to know the county history well, so I’d be interested in anyone who might know of another brewery – successful or unsuccessful – in Northumberland County over the last 30 years. Assuming River House comes to fruition, this may be a first since the closing of Fuhrmann and Schmidt Brewing Co. (Shamokin, PA) in 1975. 

I’m looking forward to seeing what Bart’s got in him outside of the strains of his former location, and I’ll try to keep my ears open for future developments on River House Brew Pub! Another possible stop in the Golden Triangle of Beer?

Loving Deuane

Let me take a moment to express my thanks to all of our friends and family for coming out to Bullfrog Brewery for the debut of Deuane (the beer), and also to Terry for making it and Cori for being such an excellent waitress during all of our shenanigans! I’m sitting here right now enjoying another glass, along with the lunch special – Deuane (the sandwich) along with a glass of Deuane.

So, yes, we’re loving Deuane. And we’re loving Terry for brewing this magnificent beer. Described as a double nitro IPA, Deuane is currently being served in a 14-oz tulip-shaped goblet. The beer is golden copper with a thick, foamy white head that lasts throughout consumption. There is a slight malt aroma, but it is otherwise heavily scented with sweet citrus from the dry hopping.

Spoken like the true wife of Deuane, I’m finding it to be sweet to the tongue, and slightly bitter. There is a total of  54 pounds of hops associated with the ale – 34 pounds in the boil, which were primarily Horizon (also Centennial and Amarillo.) Then it’s dry-hopped with Chinook, Centennial and Amarillo in three different additions. Yup – this is a real hop bomb! Served on nitrogen, Deuane is extremely smooth with a medium body and pleasant balance. It’s so citrusy and smooth, which makes it extremely drinkable for the DIPA fan.

Deuane is currently available by request on CO2 for growler fills (oops – I spoke too soon…it just kicked!), so I tried a glass of that, too. I’m actually preferring the version served on CO2 simply because it’s even more biting with citrus (although I’m not sure I could drink as much this way!) but I’m not sure a more common palate would enjoy it nearly as much. [Note to my dearest friends, I am not in any way suggesting you are common!]

Paired with the Deuane sandwich (special for the weekend) – grilled multi-grain bread, extra sharp cheddar cheese, ham, and a fennel and cumin mustard – Deuane/Deuane is such a treat!

Tapping Deuane

[No, Vickie – not poking Deuane. Tapping Deuane.]

It’s possible that you read my post that Deuane (the beer) was brewing at the Bullfrog. If things went as planned, today brewer Terry Hawbaker transferred Deuane to the clarification tank, where it will stay for about a week before going on nitro. 

So it looks like Deuane (the beer) will go on “officially” Friday, March 19 at 6 PM at the Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport, PA. Of course, we will all be there to support Terry on his latest creation, and the beer’s namesake on his… well… his bitter and pretentious presence.

This beer is a Double IPA, made with over 40 pounds of hops in a 10 barrel batch, and has brewed out to about 8.5 barrels after the dry hopping. It weighs in somewhere between 9.5% and 10% ABV and is reported to be “tasty”!

If you plan to come out on Friday, give me a shout here or on Facebook!  Get to town early, and visit Bavarian Barbarian to try the new 2×4 IPA (bring your own growler to take some home.) If you plan to stay in the area, the Harmonious Wail CD release party (The Vegan Zombies Lament) will start at 9 PM at the Bullfrog. Or if you’re in the mood for something different, I recommend the $5. martinis at Barrel 135 from 10 – midnight!

Deuane is Brewing (at Bullfrog)

I played with that title a bit, and there’s really no way to say it without the possibility of misunderstanding, so I hope you’ll read the whole post to get the story. It was actually broken by because, well, frankly, I’m not very good at keeping up with my blog. (I don’t think Bill sleeps.) But I was there when the history was made!


So for those who have known Deuane for ten or more years, you probably remember the days of KClinger’s. We would drive down every other Wednesday night for blues and beers, and couldn’t wait for KClinger’s Publik House to open…that’s a long, sad story for another day. As members of the International Beer Taster’s Club, D and I had our mugs and passports, and he reached the 1000-different-beers mark sometime in 2001. At the 1000 mark, members received a beer brewed and named in their honor.

Sometime around 2002

It was just about that time that he was getting to know all about Black Rock Brewing Company in Wilkes-Barre, PA. More importantly, he was getting to know brewer Terry Hawbaker and Terry’s Beers! While some 1000-finishers allowed KClinger’s to get a beer brewed for them, and many times they contracted it through Rogue, Deuane had fallen in love with Terry’s beers and particularly a brew called Nuclear Nitro.

Without either one of them here to confirm the facts, I’m not going to try to describe Nuclear Nitro in any way, other than to say it was a smack-you-in-the-mouth-with-hops kind of beer. This was early in the 2000’s, before West Coast IPAs really showed up in the east, and no one was really doing anything that crazy. The important part of the story, however, is that D loved this beer so much, he asked KClinger’s to work with Terry and get this beer at the pub, brewed and named for him.

Both Terry and KClinger’s agreed, and the beer ended up on tap (CO2), on the hand-pull and on nitrogen. It was served at both KClinger’s locations under the name Deuane’s Hoppily Married IPA because, oh yeah, we we got married just before the beer came out and, well, you must admit – with the marriage of hops and our recent nuptuals – it’s a clever play on words. It was a beautiful beer served up any of the three ways (although the CO2 was almost too biting!)

Fast-forward to 2004… 

D trekked up to Wilkes-Barre to see Terry, and discovered he no longer worked for Black Rock. He left to be the brewer in – this is a quote from a Black Rock staff member – “that town with a totem pole.” Deuane, who is marked with the Bullfrog Brewery logo as his tattoo, immediately recognized that Williamsport was the town and now one of his favorite brewers would be found at one of his favorite brewpubs!

Bullfrog Brewery is located in the building that formerly housed Nippenose, an outdoor store that instilled my love for backpacking. And now it is one of my favorite places to go for a pint. A mutual love for the outdoors and craft brewed beers are the things that brought D and I together. This all kind of goes full circle, you see…

And now it’s 2010

The day after D’s 40th birthday, we trekked to Williamsport for lunch with my dad, friends visiting from Alabama, and Terry Hawbaker. It was there that Terry proposed the news reported by

Swirling around my mind is another new beer, dubbed Deuane, a more-than-ridiculously-hopped IPA weighing in around 10% abv and brewed with around (or over) 40# of hops… oh yeah it’s also going to be nitrogenated. Think Nuclear Nitro (from the Black Rock days) on steroids and LSD. I know I missed his B-day but I hope to brew it next week… should be around for the beginning of March…

And so it will be. I can’t wait! We’ve got Edgar IPA (which my father is sure Bullfrog named for his grandfather (a long-time Lycoming County resident) – even though it wasn’t) and now we’ll have Deuane. Friends who never even tasted Nuclear Nitro are already dreaming up descriptions for it. I just hope we all get to enjoy plenty of it, as it won’t be available for take-away. I see lots of road trips in our future!

Kerplunk in Bottles!

We stopped in at Spring House Brewing Co. this weekend as part of our South-central PA Chocolate Stout tour (which included Tröegs Scratch #27, Iron Hill Oompa Loompa and Spring House Kerplunk; our big miss was Stout’s, with a Valentine’s special of Fat Dog Stout brewed with chocolate and cherries and served on the hand pump.)

While getting our growler filled at Spring House, we asked if Kerplunk ever made its way into bottles. Well, tomorrow evening for a limited time, there will be 750mL bottles of Kerplunk! Get them while you can!

Yard’s Tasting Room is Open!

I failed to post about our late-October weekend in Philadelphia, hanging with our friends from Asheville and our friends from the Philly area (that particular miss was due to scheduled surgery following weekend.) One of the many fun things we did was go tasting at Philadelphia Brewing Company, which has a beautiful tasting room that includes artwork for sale, terrific bathrooms (you wouldn’t guess this when you pull up to the building!) and great views. We also toured and tasted at Yards Brewing Company, which had good beer, a fun tour guide and one great house dog, but no atmosphere.

However, on our visit to Yards, we could see the beginnings of a very large and interesting room through the glass doors. We learned that it would be a tasting room with a kitchen, and eclectic decor would reflect their commitment to sustainability (for instance, the bar tops are made from old bowling alley lanes and the booths are recycled).

Well, as of this week, it’s open! Joe Sixpack’s Beer Radar reports the news first-hand, so I’m just passing the word along. I don’t really have any additional news about it, but thought it was something interesting to share. I can’t wait to check it out – beer, food and wine – what an interesting twist on a tasting room!

Tröegs Splinter Series Release

The first two offerings from the Tröegs Splinter Series go on sale today at 10 am in the Tröegs Tasting Room. Question is – how early are people lining up and how soon will it sell out?

This beer is being sold for $22.95 a bottle, and there is a two-bottle limit per style, per person, with only 300 bottles of each beer available, and only on sale in the tasting room.

The barrel-aged Mad Elf is being called “Splinter Red“, and the barrel-aged Scratch 3 (tripel) is being called “Splinter Gold.” Exact details are provided (copied from Tröegs Facebook page and BeerAdvocate) :

This special reserve beer lives and breathes. Captured before filtration, refermented in wood and aged in the bottle with living yeast, Splinter is an experimental series that pushes the brewing boundaries and transforms our beer in new directions.

Here are some details on each beer:

Before filtering the final batch of 2008 Mad Elf we racked some beer into bourbon barrels for six weeks of tender loving care. After bottling, we aged the beer for approximately eight months. This allows the tart cherries to push to the front. Subtle vanilla, bourbon, charred wood, coconut and toasted nut endnotes emanate from Splinter Red.

The transformation of Scratch #3-2007 to Splinter Gold has been a slow rest in oak wine barrels dosed with brettanomyces. During a two-year aging period the horsey flavors of the brett combined with the Westmalle yeast used during primary fermentation to create a complex blend of flavors. Bone-dry and 12% abv, Splinter Gold is highly carbonated.

I imagine it’s going to sell out fast, although I’ve heard speculation otherwise from the staff (silly staff!) Our buying crew is already waiting in the parking lot on this chilly Wednesday morning (but I am not among them!)

Even if you aren’t interested in buying the bottles, it might be worth your while to visit the brewery today. They will pouring samples of Mad Elf 2008 from 101 ounce bottles that have been chilling at the brewery for the past year, and tapping a keg of Scratch 21 (Naked Elf ), which  will be available for growler sales.

It’s gonna’ be a beery good day in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania!

Brewing In The Susquehanna Valley

Matt Barcaro of WGAL News 8 kicked off a series on the local television news tonight starring (yeah!!!) microbreweries of the Susquehanna Valley!

As a girl who just drove from Tröegs for Mad Elf to Iron Hill for Shokolad to Selin’s Grove for Framboise in a 24-hour period (and that was a slow weekend), this is no secret to me, but I’m glad to see the scene getting some light shed on it by the media.

It’s a three-part series that started tonight, and luckily, it appears you can catch it online if you can’t watch it live at 11 PM. Tonight’s segment featured Roy Pitz Brewing and Spring House Brewing.

Along with the video, there is a slideshow with beer facts and information (interesting stuff in the captions, but hard to scroll through) and a Beer Quiz with questions that span a wide range of beer experiences and include some slightly snarky commentary. My favorite question: “What ‘type’ of beer is Bud? Ale / Porter / Lager / Watery”.

Thanks, WGAL, for doing this!

Monster Mash!

By now, most lovers of craft beer have heard plenty about the maker of Monster energy drink, Hansen Beverage Co., initiating a trademark dispute with Rock Art Brewery, ordering it to stop selling, advertising and promoting a beer called “The Vermonster.” Additionally, the large corporation wanted the tiny brewery to compensate it for attorneys’ fees.

If you haven’t read this (because now it’s old news), you can read about it all over the place or watch the Matt and ‘The Monster” video. And you can also find the declarations that Hansen backed off, including a time line and sincere thank you from brewer/owner Matt Nadeau (you may also be interested in his video calling for support to Trademark Reform where he talks relatively kindly about the actions of Hansen.)

My reason for posting is to share the hilarious Halloween costume a Vermonster vs. MonsterBurlington, VT family created to commemorate the occasion. I send thanks to Beth and Jim for entertaining me (even if laughing that hard after my surgery wasn’t such a good idea…), and hope they don’t mind me sharing it with the world!

Now that the attack on Rock Art is over, I’m hoping to return to drinking Hansen Natural Green Tea Soda and hopefully LOTS of Vermonster!