Taproom at Spring House – Updates!

There have been a few changes at the Taproom at Spring House in Lancaster, PA (located at 25 West King St., (717) 399-4009).  It is now open at 11:00 am Monday through Saturday for lunch (stays open until 10:00 pm Monday through Thursday, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday), and menu items are now all freshly prepared by Carr’s Restaurant.

Happy hours, with $1.00 off all house beer pints, are 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Monday through Friday with daily specials.

  • Monday: Steamed Clam Night – featuring one-dozen clam specials
  • Tuesday: Steamed Shrimp Night – featuring ½ and 1 pound shrimp specials
  • Wednesday: $1 off brick oven pizza and $2 off all growler fills
  • Thursday: $1 off pork wings
  • Friday: $1 off your choice of Brewery Dips

The Saturday special is Shrimp, Clams and Mussels (all day) and $1 off Crab Cake Sandwich.

The menu we saw when we stopped in this week for for Mango IPA (which was SUPERB!) included:

  • a crock of Old Bay Corn and Crab Bisque
  • chili with or without “the works”
  • Three Crab Cake Minis
  • a meat and cheese stromboli
  • Pulled Pork Quesadilla with black beans, tomato salsa, avocado, cheddar cheese, and fresh cilantro – sour cream and guacamole are served on the side
  • variety of “Brewery Dips” served with crackers, pita and veggies (dips included Crab, Artichoke and Spinach Dip; Buffalo Chicken Dip; Roasted Red Pepper Hummus; and Curried Edamame.)

I also saw on Facebook and the website that the Taproom will be starting a mug club (April 24th is the first day for to sign-up!)

This is all great news for a place that seems to be doing really well from the start!

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Beer Humor

Tomme Arthur VS the World

A great little set of satirical comics about Tomme Arthur of Lost Abbey/Port Brewing were recently released (announced by the author/cartoonist himself on Beer Advocate) and it seems that Lost Abbey is appropriately amused – so much that they reposed it on their Facebook page!

If you have any sense of the awesome beers and beer-geek-dramas associated with this place, you’ll enjoy the humor too.

View them all on Flickr!

Subscribe to the feed if you like it.

Turkey Hill is Hiring!

It’s no secret that The Inn at Turkey Hill in Bloomsburg, PA is opening Turkey Hill Brewing Company Pub & Grille – it’s all just a matter of when. They started taking applications for line cooks in mid-February and announced that Tuesday and Wednesday of this week will be a job fair for servers, bar keeps, and dishwashers (interviews will take place from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm), and according to their Facebook page, they are hoping to open in just a few weeks.

I first tasted their beers at the 2009 Hops, Vines & Wines festival in Selinsgrove. I thought the variety of saisons were interesting, and by all means, ready for prime time. At that festival, they were saying it would likely open in the spring of 2010, and renovation photos on the red, wooden barn dating back to the late 1700s started showing up in April.

I don’t know how far into renovations workers were on May 8, 2010 when the barn crumpled to the ground under the force of wind gusts ranging from 30 – 50 miles per hour, but it was terribly disappointing news.

Owner Andrew Pruden, however, did not give up, and work began on the new facility July 12, 2010 with a barn raising announced the morning of October 29. Pieces of wood from the old barn were saved and are being incorporated into the new structure. It’s a beautiful barn (see photos on Facebook!) which will feature the brewery, a brew pub and a casual dining restaurant at the entrance to the Inn with pub-style food emphasising local ingredients. Brewer Donny Abraczinskas will be brewing up to ten different be beers which will be on tap at two different bars. There will be brew house tours, beer and food pairings, and overnight Brewer’s Room packages.

At Taming of the Brew 2010, they offered Barndance Blonde , Reminiscent of Raspberry, Urban Abbey Apricot Wheat, St. Abban’s Irish Red Ale, Doonie’s Dubbel, Winter’s Solstice Saison, Rolling Fog Barleywine and a cask conditioned ale called Best Bitters. A few weeks later at the 2010 Hops, Vines and Wines festival, they served up Barndance Blonde, Token to Hoboken Hefeweizen, Iron Street Cherry Porter and A Mid-Summer’s Night Saison. They’ve announced in the past week the brewing of a Pale Ale and a Belgian Blonde.

The opening of  Turkey Hill Brewing Company Pub & Grille is really exciting news for Bloomsburg and the Inn!

2011 Harrisburg Brewers Fest

8th Annual Harrisburg Brewers Fest

June 18, 2011

The 3,500 tickets for the 8th Annual Harrisburg Brewers Fest will go on sale online or by phone (by calling the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at (717) 671-4000) on April 1, 2011 at 9:00 am.

Sales continue on May 2, 2011 as walk-up sales at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (55 South Progress Ave., Harrisburg) and Tröegs Brewing Company (800 Paxton Street, Harrisburg). Buy your $40 General Admission tickets early, because they will sell out / will not be available at the door.

Tröegs Brewing Company is teaming up with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Central Pennsylvania to put on this outdoor beer and music festival at 2nd and Locust Streets in downtown Harrisburg. (Want to get a sense of the scene? Check out photos from last year!) The event will take place on Saturday, June 18.

There will be two sessions – one starting at noon (ending at 3:30 pm) and the second starting at 5:00 pm (ending at 8:30 pm). Included in the price of the ticket are a collector’s sampling mug, unlimited samples from up to 50 breweries and live musical entertainment. There will also be food concessions available.

There is a Group Rate purchase price of $35/person for 20 or more tickets (call CFF to purchase group tickets), and there are Designated Driver tickets available for $10/person. Ticket costs are tax-deductible (General Admission Ticket: $19; Group Ticket: $14).

It’s great fun, for a great cause. Don’t miss out!

2011 Hops, Vines & Wines

Not that this awesome event needs additional ticket sales promotion, but as a reminder to those who need reminding – get ready to get your tickets!

Tickets for the 4th Annual Selinsgrove Beer and Wine Festival – Hops, Vines & Wines – to be held on July 16 from 2:00 to 6:00 pm, will only be sold online, and they go FAST!

Make sure you are ready with your computer and credit card, because on April 16 at 8:00 am EST, the sale starts and they will sell out.

Ticket prices for 2011 aren’t listed yet, but it’s pretty easy to assume things won’t be much different from last year.  Check out theweb site for all kinds of details on the festival, and check the ticket sales page between now and April 15 for updates.

Farmers’ Cabinet – Is that Your Final Answer?

We had a wonderful time tonight at Terry’s “going away”, and the welcome to Nick and Nate. A nice mix of Terry’s beers were on – Edgar IPA, Apricot Wheat, Double Coffee Cream Stout, Houblonium P-38, Houblonius Maximus (on cask!), Liquid Sunshine Gone Wild (on cask), Gothika, Citradelic, Frantastique – and a nice mix of people came out, despite the stormy weather!

Outside the Bullfrog, March 6, 2011

One interesting little tidbit of information… The place where Terry is headed – first known as the The Farmers' CabinetGrainery, then announced at the end of February as Philadelphia Grain Exchange  – has now been labeled “The Farmers’ Cabinet”.

Sam and Terry are getting ready to move, and beers created by Terry’s assistant, Nate, are getting ready to go (I believe he said a Dark Mild is on the way?) 

I look forward to checking out the literary reference for the new place where Terry will be brewing, and hope the name doesn’t make any more changes. I kinda’ like this one! And I look forward to watching Nick and Nate grow the business at Bullfrog. Congratulations to everyone!

Bullfrog: Change is Brewing

In the recent invitation to the “Say Goodbye to Terry Hawbaker” party, it was announced that Nick Micio has been named the brewer to succeed Terry at Bullfrog Brewery. He comes to us from Fegley’s Brew Works (Allentown), and from what I’ve scoured off the Internet, he has a pretty nice resume.

Micio is a graduate of the American Brewer’s Guild and apprenticed at Russian River Brewing Co. Prior to his stint with Brew Works (September 2009-present), he brewed at Moat Mountain Brewing Co. in North Conway, NH.  Some of the beers in his portfolio include Moat Rauch n’ Rye (a German-inspired lager) and Lefty’s India Brown Ale (a deep brown beer with citrus hops and dark malts.)

He’s got big shoes to fill, following in the steps of some terrific Bullfrog brewers: 

  • Charlie Schnabel (1996-2001, owner of Otto’s Pub & Brewery in State College, PA)
  • Carl Melissas (2001-2004, who crafts such fabulous beers that we followed him to Green Man, and now Wedge Brewing Co. in the River Arts District of Asheville, NC)
  • Terry Hawbaker (2004-2011, moving on to brew for a new place at 1113 Walnut St. in Philadelphia, PA – first known as “The Grainery” but just last week announced as “Philadelphia Grain Exchange” now known as “The Farmers’ Cabinet” – where he will brew small batch artisan sour, wild fermented, barrel aged and saison style beers for 4 of the planned 24 taps.)

When Bob Koch, his late wife Harriet (1943-2010) and their son, Steve, opened the doors of Bullfrog Brewery in 1996, there was nothing else like it in the area. An explosion of brewpubs and breweries has cropped up in the area over these 15 years, and Bullfrog has kept a stronghold on the attentions of the eager public and beer enthusiasts across the country.

Despite the fact that I live 90 miles away, Bullfrog played a part in bringing my husband and I together, and served as a place where my family congregated to celebrate both life, and the ending of life, many times over.  People who know how much we love Terry and his extraordinary wife, Sam, have asked if this will be the end of our allegiance to Bullfrog. Alas, I view it as an opportunity for a the Koch’s to embrace change, for a new brewer to shine, and  for our dear friends thrive in their innovative Philly venture.

I can’t wait to hug Terry (and give kisses to Sam), shake hands with Nick (and possibly meet his wife Dorienne?), and celebrate with all of the Kochs on Sunday night!

Be(er) My Valentine!

Central Pennsylvania is a great place for chocolate and beer, and this weekend you’ll find two great things that taste great together all over the area! Last year my friend Barb and I set out on our own 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.

This year, I’m not sure I’ll get out to all of the events, but the ones I know about add up to a sweet line-up!

Tröegs is releasing Scratch #41 (aka Cacaoabunga Redux) – a chocolate stout with 50 pounds of roasted cacao nibs and a healthy dose of vanilla beans, Simcoe and Galena hops, giving it a described “blast of bittersweet chocolate and a rich finish”. This 6.6% ABV stout is another collaboration with Scharffen Berger Chocolate (featured in last year’s Scratch #27 and a subsidiary of The Hershey Company). There is a purchase limit of one case, or two six-packs and two growlers, per person, and like all Scratch beers, you’ll only find it on tap at Tröegs .

Iron Hill in Lancaster is hosting an event called Chocolate Beer Craziness on February 11 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm in Celebration of Valentine’s Day. It will feature five chocolate beers available on tap:

  • Overload Stout (served on nitro) – an Imperial Oatmeal Stout is brewed with locally roasted coffee beans and local Wilbur chocolate (9.55% ABV)
  • Shokolad Stout (served on cask) – brewed with Wilbur’s cocoa nibs and aged on Madagascar vanilla beans (9.6% ABV)
  • Oompa Loompa Chocolate Stout (served on nitro) – an English Sweet Stout is brewed with 35lbs of Belgian bittersweet chocolate, milk sugar, and Madagascar vanilla beans (6.5% ABV)
  • Cowabunga Porter – a slightly stronger version of the Pig Iron Porter, brewed with Wilbur chocolate and toasted coconut chips and aged on vanilla beans
  • Bourbon-aged Cowabunga

Spring House has Kerplunk! Imperial Chocolate Stout, made with an amazing amount of Wilbur chocolate and west coast hops (8.1% ABV)

Lancaster Brewing has Double Chocolate Milk Stout, brewed with chocolate nibs and added lactose with Cascade, Goldings, and English Fuggles hops (6.8% ABV)

Stoudts is putting on 2X Chocolate Porter, a porter created using “several types of specially roasted malts to give it a deep, dark color, with bold notes of chocolate being the predominant flavor”. (7.0% ABV)

Do you know of more? Add them in the comments – I’d be so glad to hear about them!

Taproom – Spring House (Lancaster, PA)

We made it to the Taproom at Spring House for the grand opening – a little late, but it sounded like the actualSpring House Tap Room - King St opening was delayed by a bit anyway.  And we were glad so many friends, and future friends, were able to be there too – that place was PACKED!

Today isn’t a good day to put in a whole story of our adventure, but I wanted to share a few photos, and simply state that everything was going smoothly!  There were 5 taps on last night – they seemed to change as the night went on. We had the G2 (a sorachi ace hopped version of Seven Gates Pale Ale) and Kerplunk! (a chocolate imperial stout), Spring House - approach from Central Marketwhile our friend who showed up much later was able to have Robot Bastard (Belgian IPA) on nitro.

The staff were handling things really well, especially considering that it was opening night and there was barely space to stand after 5:30 PM. We foundSpring House - Taps seats at the bar, where we could observe all the fun!

They are doing pints and half-pints, as well as growler fills, and I have yet to try the food.

My only disappointment…no purse hooks (bar fail!) Maybe they come later?Zoltar at Spring House

Great job, Matt!