Weekend Roundup 4/27

by: Sara Bozich
April 27, 2017
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It’s still Harrisburg Beer Week!!! What events are you going to?

I’m laying low tonight, but tomorrow I’m taking the boys to the Inaugural Mini Golf Scramble on City Island. I even sponsored a hole!

Saturday, I’m hopeful to squeeze in time for my regularly scheduled Next Step Performance morning torture, coffee at Broad Street Market with Beth, Andy, Andrea(s), etc. before our official “closing” event, the sold-out¬†Little Big Beer Fest at Appalachian Brewing Co.¬†

On Sunday, I hope you’ll join us to support Pennsylvania beer and our documentary project with a Post-Beer Week Brunch with Poured in PA at the GK Visual office.

What are you doing this weekend?

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Decked-Out Live! Returns For The Summer

by: Sara Bozich
April 26, 2017
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Decked-Out Live! returns to The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey on Friday, May 5 for another summer full of drinks and live music on the patio.

Here are a few helpful tips on what to drink and how to get the most out of your Friday summer nights with a drink in one hand, great music and maybe a little dancing.

The summer concert series runs through Sept. 15 with 22 shows featuring popular local and regional bands that offer a night of music for everyone.

Get a season pass!

To celebrate their 5th Anniversary, The Vineyard is selling season passes for only $25. A season pass gets you into all 22 shows throughout the summer, even if they are sold out.

¬Ľ¬ĽBUY A SEASON PASS!

If you can’t commit to a season pass, single tickets are available this year for only $5. If the show is not sold out, tickets will be available at the door, but if you buy in advance you will receive a free beer or wine tasting the night of the concert.

What to drink

Both The Vineyard and Brewery offer a variety of drinks to sip on while kicking back on a summer’s night. New for this year are cans of The Vineyard’s ciders and The Brewery’s beer.

With the new cans, grabbing a beer and getting back to the show is going to be easier than ever.

The Brewery is set to release Wit Walker and Pom Beach in cans for summer while The Vineyard is canning their ApPaul Revere ApPaul Pie Cider and Presidential Peanut Butter Cider.

Brews

Lageritaville

Lageritaville is a refreshing Mexican-style lager that is light and satisfying during the hot summer months. It has a touch of sweetness with a smooth aftertaste that makes you want another.

Pom Beach Pomegranate Blueberry Wheat

If lagers aren’t your thing and you still want something light, then Pom Beach should be your go to. It has sweetness from the wheat malt¬†and the fresh blueberries and pomegranate juice give a touch of fruit flavor.

Small Batch Beers & Firkin Fridays

Brewmaster Ryan Delutis keeps the tap list fresh with new and exciting beer styles on a rotating basis. Also be on the lookout for Firkin Fridays, where The Brewery taps an exclusive one-night-only firkin once a month.

Wines

Gewurztraminer

This dry white wine features notes of grapefruit and spice with a floral rose-petal aroma. It has a medium body with a refreshing crispness.

Firefly

Notes of dark fruit, plum, and currant are prevalent in this perfect blend of Cabernet, Sauvignon, and Merlot. Dry red wine drinkers should reach for this first.

Pink Catawba

This wine has sweet notes of grapefruit, melon, and mango and is a great way to cool down when the weather starts to get hot.

Other helpful tips to get the most out of Decked-Out Live!

Eat at The Vineyard or pack your own snacks

The Vineyard allows their guests to bring B.Y.O snacks and no night is complete without a spread of meats, cheeses, and crackers.

Check out beer and wine food pairing charts before you head out to The Vineyard so you can find the perfect pairing of food with your choice of wine, beer or cider.

If you don’t want to worry about bringing food, The Vineyard always hosts The Riverhouse Grille¬†on the patio with a large menu for you to choose from.

Be early to get the best seat in the house

The Vineyard’s deck is massive and can accommodate all size parties from large to small, but get there early if you want to reserve a few tables.

While there is no bad seat on the patio, the good seats by the band go quickly. Get there when doors open so you can grab a drink and the best seat on the patio.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m.

If weather becomes a problem on any night the party shifts from the patio to inside the large red barn to keep the music going strong.

Check out Decked-Out Live! each Friday for the perfect way to start off your summer weekends.

Travel the Cumberland Valley Beer Trail

by: Sara Bozich
April 24, 2017
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For years, craft beer lovers have forgone the usual trip to the beach or sightseeing mission and instead have packed up their growlers for a craft beer adventure.

Whether it’s a specific city like Denver or Asheville, or trekking around regional destination like New England, the high concentration of craft beer is the ultimate draw.

With that in mind, the Cumberland County Visitors Bureau started the brand new Cumberland Valley Beer Trail aimed at highlighting local breweries and craft beer-centric restaurants (plus one wine shop).

“We saw everyone leaving the area for craft beer trips and wanted to do something that showed them what we have here,” said Aaron Jumper, communications manager for the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau. “We’re really excited to see where this can go.”

Beercation in Pennsylvania: A Summer How-To

The new beer trail features 15 venues including breweries, breweries-in-planning and craft beer-focused bar/restaurants.

“We’re really excited to be a part of this,” said Ashleigh Corby, owner of Market Cross Pub. “People always talk about the beer trips they take out of the area, and it’s exciting to¬†keep them here.”

How to participate

Your beer trail adventure starts when you pick up a Beer Trail passports at one of the participating venues or download the official Cumberland Valley Beer Trail Passport.

Collect stickers at each location you visit. Once you get five stickers, mail your passport in for a chance to win a gift card from one of the venues in a monthly drawing.

You will get one entry for every five stickers you earn.

Cumberland Valley Beer Trail Passport includes:

Visit the Cumberland Valley Beer Trail for more information, hosted events and sample itineraries!

Know Your Brewer: Derek Markel at The Vegetable Hunter

by: Jimi The Intern
April 21, 2017
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Meet Derek TONIGHT at The Vegetable Hunter’s Boutique Brewery Launch Party and Meet the Brewer for 3rd in the Burg and #HBGBeerWeek!

At 9-ft by 9.5-ft, the brewery in the basement of The Vegetable Hunter, a vegetarian restaurant on Second Street in Harrisburg, might be the smallest brewery in Pennsylvania.

While the brewing space is cramped, brewer Derek Markel does not let that hinder him in making small-batch beers with big flavor.

Markel started with The Vegetable Hunter initially as a consultant to help get the brewing equipment set up, brew the first couple of batches and get the program rolling. Now, a few months in, and he is on his sixth batch of beer with plans for more.

“I can’t say how long I’ll be here, but I hope it’s for a while,” said Markel. “I want to help the brewery grow and I think I have the expertise to bring good beer.”

Perfect sized background

Markel’s background is strictly from homebrewing. He’s done it for nearly a decade and jumped in with both feet with the very first batch he brewed.

“When I started home brewing, I built my own system and went right into kegging,” said Markel. “I also went right to doing all grain batches as opposed to starting with extracts.”

The Vegetable Hunter needed someone who knew how to brew good beer on a smaller system. Right now, Markel has a state of the art brewing system just on a smaller scale, but he’s comfortable.

“Homebrewing has definitely¬†helped the transition to brewing on this system,” said Markel. “It might be the smallest brewery in Pennsylvania, but it works for what we need.”

His brewing space is small, and he utilizes all the space he can. The ceiling is only 6-feet high and pipes hang down at spots that make it feel even more cramped. A brewing space like this proves that great beer can come out of anywhere.

While Markel isn’t ducking under floorboards to connect hoses and dry-hop his latest beer, he works as an IT professional. A job, he says, that doesn’t give him much of an outlet.

“I love brewing,” said Markel. “I don’t get to be too creative in my day job and brewing gives me a chance to work with my hands and break out to be creative.”

Big flavor in a small space

Markel is no stranger to creating beers packed with flavor. He has competed in and won many local homebrew competitions with a variety of beers including, most recently, his dry-hopped pale ale.

“My style has always been to try to bring the most flavor in a drinkable beer,” said Markel. “I like to focus more on things like malt and hop flavors rather than really bitter beers.”

Although Markel likes the innovative side of brewing, he embraces the technicalities that go along with making different styles of beer.

“Creating my own water has been a big thing for the quality of my beer,” said Markel. “I have a spreadsheet of how different water affects different styles of beer.”

The attention to detail is evident in the four beers he currently has on tap and the two others waiting in the fermenters.

“Right now, we’re trying to figure out what beer is going to sell best here,” said Markel. “It’s nice to brew on a smaller system because you get the freedom to try out a few new ingredients.”

Brews like Punk Rock Girl Hibiscus Saison and Veg Halen Toaster Coconut Porter show off experimentation, while Geiger’s Punch Pale Ale and Drink Floyd The Beer IPA shows how he can brew the classics.

He likes keeping it local and has used a local maltsters Deer Creek Malthouse for three of his first six batches. Markel also says that he plans to use local fruit in a few brews throughout the summer.

“I’ve brought over some recipes from homebrewing, but all of these are actually new recipes that I am trying here,” said Markel.

Upcoming Markel has another version of the hibiscus saison and a dry-hopped Northeast-style DIPA, that should be ready for their “Meet The Brewer” event during Harrisburg Beer Week TONIGHT, Friday, April 21.

The Vegetable Hunter is open Monday-Tuesday 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Wednesday 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Thursday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-8 p.m.

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