Happy Halloween! October has totally flown by, and it’s time for the monthly craft beer news roundup. This month features new beers, craft beer drama, a must-buy book, and everything else you need to know. Read up:
Baltimore’s iconic Otterbein’s Bakery has teamed up with Frederick’s Flying Dog Brewing (read all about my visit here) to create some awesome cookie-inspired beers just in time for the holiday season. The collection will include Imperial Hefeweizen inspired by and to be paired with Otterbein’s sugar cookies, Oatmeal Raisin Stout inspired by and to be paired with Otterbein’s oatmeal raisin cookies, Oak-Aged Hazelnut Scotch Ale inspired by and to be paired with Otterbein’s ginger cookies, and Roasted Peanut Brown Ale inspired by and to be paired with Otterbein’s chocolate chip cookies. The brewer explains that the cookies inspired the beers, not created the beers, and aren’t meant to replicate the cookies but rather complement. You’re going to have to ask Santa to bring you this one as their only distributing these brews in Maryland. Let him know it comes in 12-packs and on draft.
Sierra Nevada Barrel Aged Everything
I feel like over the past few weeks Sierra Nevada has had me drooling over the idea of barrel aged everything. They released Barrel-Aged Maple Stout at their locations for the lucky few close to either Chico, CA or Mills River SC. Coming soon, there will be Bourbon Barrel Aged Torpedo. Keep an eye out for Bourbon Barrel Aged Narwhal while you’re at it too. Holy barrels, Sierra Nevada! Personally, I’ll take one of each if you’re asking. These are all very limited releases.
David Chang vs Garrett Oliver – Beer Snob Drama
Earlier this month, GQpublished a post from David Chang, a renowned chef, who says he hates “fancy beer.” He apparently likes to make it a point to go to fine establishments and be sure to order “their lightest and crappiest beer” and saying that “beer snobs are the worst bunch.” Garrett Oliver, owner of the Brooklyn Brewery, responded via GQ in a post basically letting Chang know he was sick of his crap. Oliver calls Chang the snob, not the beer world.
So what’s the verdict? While we’re all proud of Oliver, who has more swagger than anyone in the craft beer world, I think the craft vs. big beer arguments is so three years ago. Yes, as an accomplished chef you should have finer tastes than beer that tastes like nothing, but to each their own.
Speaking of accomplished craft beer personas, The Beer Wench recently wrote a quick beginners guide to everything craft beer which is now available for pre-order. Ashley Routson aka The Beer Wench has been writing, blogging, and tweeting everything craft beer since before I could even drink and basically knows her stuff. Head over to Amazon and preorder a copy of The Beer Wench’s Guide to Beer: An Unpretentious Guide to Craft Beer which will include intros to beer styles, tasting, beer pairing, recipes and more.
Tomorrow night, Andy and I have a romantic dinner planned at The Accomac, our rain date from a few weeks ago. It’s one of their Firelight nights, and I’m looking forward to finally dining on-menu there.
DON’T FORGET — Next week is our Nov. 5 HAPPY HOUR at The FireHouse – the last #sbhh of the year! (Besides the Holiday Party on Dec. 6.) Among other great stuff, you’ll have a chance to WIN the LAST 2 tickets available for next week’s Autos & Ales at AACA Museum. Be there!
It’s rare to find me at a race anymore. For a few years there, I was really into it, running one or two races a month and setting personal records (PR) constantly. But over the past two years, I’ve taken a step back, removed my Garmin, stopped pinning bibs to my shirt and just ran to run. And I’ve never loved running more.
But, and as much as I hate short races because I will never, ever be fast runner, I still found myself at the starting line of a 5K on Sunday. As usual, the laid back 5K began at a starting line That was spray-painted into a field, and about 60 of us lined up behind on it on a rather blustery morning.
It was the 8th annual Parker Palermo 5K. Now, in the rarity that I run a race, I typically pick it because it’s convenient, and I don’t consider much past that. Most of the time, I know proceeds go to a good cause. I know a chunk of my check will benefit some human or animal in a good way. And that’s awesome.
The Mason-Dixon Wine Trail represents 20 family owned wineries, distilleries and cideries across central Pa. and northern Maryland.
Next month, they will celebrate their 2014 harvests with the annual Wine Just Off The Vine event Saturdays and Sundays Nov. 8-9 and 15-16.
During Wine Just Off The Vine, guests will get behind-the-scenes access to learn direct from our local wineries about the results of the just-pressed harvests, sample a selection of wine and stock-up on the prefect vintages for the upcoming holidays.
Adding to the fun this year are collectable wine buttons that will be available at participating locations for guests to collect at no charge. Gather all four by visiting different regions of the multi-state Mason-Dixon Wine Trail.
The view at Naylor Wine Cellars. Photo provided by Mason-Dixon Wine Trail.
Tickets for 2014 are $15, and can be purchased online at MasonDixonWineTrail.com [Note: 10/27 is the last day for online sales; You can purchase tickets in-person at participating locations thereafter].
Exclusive tastings at all participating locations during both weekends
Light food items
Special tours or educational experiences
Souvenir tasting glass
10% discount on beverage purchases
Participating locations now have tickets available for sale and packages for lodging/transportation are posted on our website.
This week, we’re giving away 2 tickets to Mason-Dixon Wine Trail’s Wine Just Off The Vine ($30 value).
Happy Sunday! Friday night we stopped in to one of our favorite BYOB’s, Fusion Fire, for some sushi (Andy) and Drunken Noodle (me) before a quiet night in — much necessary after such a busy week. If you haven’t been to the Fusion Fire, by the Cinema Center (now Carmike Cinemas) at the old Hill’s (if you’re old) — Please, stop what you’re doing and make plans to go.
We did some mild tailgating, then got the chance to go out on the field before the game! That was awesome.
I’ve been to one or two other PSU games, but this was the first one where the students weren’t on fall break, the house was packed, it was a white-out and the fan section was crazy. It was really fun and exciting — and of course we expected Penn State to get more run-over than they did, so it was a tremendous showing by the athletes (even if the officials ruined much). A great night with great friends.
Above – via PennLive — my boy, Bobby Flounders gets it.
This will be easier said than done. The Colts are coming in as one of the best teams in the league and have won five straight games.
Andrew Luck, the Colts quarterback, is having the best year of his young career, and the Colts are currently number one in passing offense. Luck was tied with Peyton Manning for touchdowns with 19 on the season.
This could pose some problems for a hampered Steelers defense that has not played well against elite passing teams this season. Even though the defense has been the Achilles heel of this team they showed some signs of life last week when they created three turnovers and held the Texans to only 16 points.
After the much-needed win against the Texans on Monday night, this game could act as a proving ground for the team.
The Steelers and Colts have a long history of playing each other and have memorable games between them. Pittsburgh leads the all-time series 14-6 and won the last meeting in 2011, but that was a different Colts team.
I can’t believe it’s already been two weeks since my beercation to Atlanta. Taking an extended vacation that focuses on beer can be a ton of fun, but isn’t always an easy task due to that sometimes unfortunate side-effect of intoxication. Beercations are an up and coming trend with people traveling to beer meccas like Vermont, Denver, Asheville, Grand Rapids and San Diego.
You don’t have to go to one of these big beers cities to have an enjoyable beercation and experience a ton of great local brews. The hard part, however, is the planning and doing it right. After doing this for a few years, I’ve got 4 easy tips to make your upcoming beercation the best thing ever.
Optimize your time management. If there’s any major hang-up we’ve encountered throughout our journeys, it’s the “we don’t open til 4″ curse. Always, always, always check the hours of operation of every venue you intend to visit from breweries to brewpubs to bottle shops. I’m not saying you have to make a concrete agenda of what time you’re going to get to each place, but know what time they open definitely assists in the planning process.
Samplers are your friend. Yes, I love beer, and I want to try all of them. I treat my beers like Pokemon – I gotta catch them all. When you’re on a beercation, you’re going to be drinking for extended periods of time and maybe even driving. Full pours of each beer aren’t going to get you where you want to be. Opt instead for the sampler at every brewery that offers them. You get to try a bunch of beers, you get just enough beer usually to get a feel for whether or not you like it, and you’re not drinking in excess. Plus, if you’re with a group you can coordinate your selections so you can at least taste other ones.
Hello there, almost weekend. Tonight, I’m kicking things off with a long-awaited Happy Hour with one of my bests. We’re doing Suba’s Happy Hour, with $2 off cocktails (new fall menu is now out!) and half-price fish tacos (the best).
Friday is likely low key, as we do, then Saturday morning I’m back on the radio with Bruce Bond (*Like* us here) — tune in to 92.1 WTPA LIVE from 9 a.m. ’til noon.
#TBT Girls Night 2013 at Brick City (now Ted’s Midtown)
On Sunday, I’m honored to be a judge for the Food Bank’s Taste of Central Pennsylvania at Strawberry Square. We’ll stuff ourselves (and rate it all) before heading home to watch football. Hey Pittsburgh, let’s lock in the D and start winning some more games! Xoxo.
It’s funny, when most people meet me, they think I am a super health freak because of how much I love running. It’s true, I do love running. But I also love pizza, I love rum, I love diet coke, I love all the carbs. So, yes, I have my vices.
But I recognize that you — and I — can’t outrun a bad diet. I’m far from perfect, but I try to achieve a balance that let’s me live life, but also enjoy some of my favorites. Here are my top “health hacks” that get me there:
1. Prioritize packing your lunch for work.
I never, ever eat out for lunch, unless it’s a special work occasion. It’s a waste of calories and money. I always pack a few snacks (almonds, string cheese, baby carrots and apples are my current go-tos!) to keep me out of the candy jar and the “leftovers” table. I pack my lunch the night before, and just grab it from the fridge on the way out the door.
2. Start your day off right.
I know my weekends tend to be a little bit more unhealthy than weekdays. I am more inclined to go meet friends for drinks, dinner and/or parties. I always have a green smoothie (huge handful of spinach, one cup of unsweetened almond milk, a handful of berries, half a frozen banana and a scoop of protein powder) for breakfast after my run. Even if I don’t eat all that healthy for the rest of the day, I know I at least got some fruit, veggies and protein in first thing.
3. Shop at farmers markets.
I know Saturdays are reserved for running, but I try to make it to the farmers market afterwards. When I see where my food came from, and I pay in cash, I am so much more inclined to eat it then if I just buy a bag of apples at the grocery store.