HOW TO: Craft Beer on a Budget

by: Jimi The Intern
March 31, 2015
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“Life’s to short to drink cheap beer.”

That’s probably a quote you have seen in your local brewery or on some dude’s shirt at a brewfest, but what is “cheap beer.”

I love cheap beer. I mean who wouldn’t love a bottle or pint of suds for a few bucks?

Ahh, but you think if you drink cheap beer you have to sacrifice the taste, don’t you?

Craft beer can be cheap. Let that sink in.

beer

It seems that high price tags are a reason that a lot of people don’t want to start drinking craft beer. Some beer can sell for $8 a glass but if you follow my lead I can have you drinking great beer for “cheap beer” prices.

No matter where you live you can find a bar in your area that is pouring out great deals.

Midtown Tavern has craft beer specials almost every night.

The first time I went there they had $2 Troegs Perpetual IPA pints. I thought it was a misprint because I couldn’t remember the last time, other than in college, that I had seen any beer for that price let alone probably my favorite beer.

Here’s the full line-up of craft beer specials at The Midtown Tavern:

  • Monday: $2 Sam Adams seasonal pints
  • Wednesday: $2 Troeg’s PIPA pints
  • Thursday: $2.50 Abita grapefruit IPA bottles
  • Friday: $2 Sierra Nevada Pale Ale pints
  • Saturday: $3 Lagunitas Lil’ Sumpin’ Sumpin’ bottles.

Midtown also has great wing specials and other food specials during those days. All great beers for great prices.

Troegs Tuesdays at Al’s of Hampden used to be a tradition in our family, and it is one of the best deals around the area.

Troegs year-round and seasonal pints are only $3 and growler fills are $6 for one liter and $9 for two liters.

This special was discontinued for a few months but has since made its glorious return. Even though it is already very popular, I still find locals who have never heard of it.

Breweries aren’t usually known for running happy hours, but Lancaster Brewing Company on Eisenhower Boulevard is one of the few that does.

LBC's Hop Buggy Amish Four Grain Ale

LBC’s Hop Buggy Amish Four Grain Ale

LBC’s happy hour runs Monday-Friday from 5-7 p.m. and features imperial pints (20 oz.) for only $3.25.

Also, each day during the week features a food special as. I highly suggest going on Monday nights for their $5 cheeseburger and fries.

Heaven comes to Anthony’s Micro Pub every weekday from 4-6 p.m. in the form of half-priced craft drafts and a free pizza buffet on Fridays.

With more than 50 different taps you will be sure to find a brew that is right up your alley after a long day at work.

Brewhouse Grille is another great local beer bar that offers up daily craft beer deals. And now that the weather is getting nicer their deck is the perfect place to drink some craft beer staples.

Here’s the line-up.

  • Tuesday: $3 Victory pints
  • Wednesday: $3 Bell’s Two Hearted pints
  • Friday: $3 Troegs pints
  • Saturday: $3 Evolution pints

These are all steals considering some of these can be the most expensive pints at any other bar.

The Millworks in Midtown is a newcomer to the community and have gotten on the cheap craft beer trend right away.

While they have specials on their pizzas and craft cocktails, they also have an extensive Pennsylvania-only beer list that includes $2.50 drafts from 4-6 p.m.

This is not a complete list by any means but it goes to show that craft beer doesn’t always have to come with a hefty price tag and cheap beer doesn’t have to be tasteless.

Don’t leave me hanging either. I’ve scratched your back and given you a few places to check out, so if you have any other places to get cheap craft beer let me know.

Asheville in July: Beer Bloggers Conference

by: Sara Bozich
March 30, 2015
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A few weeks ago, Tierney and I made good on our promise to co-celebrate our birthdays (there’s just one day in-between our respective day!) during a day trip to York.

We grabbed giant $5 orange crushes (Tierney) and Bloody Marys (me) at the White Rose before heading over to the new York Pretzel Factory for free mimosas and delicious, hot, soft pretzels.

Afterwards, we swung by Liquid Hero for some refreshment, then over to Columbia Kettle Works to hang with a bunch of brewers (more on that soon).

Somewhere in there, we decided we were going to this year’s Beer Bloggers Conference in Asheville, NC — and actually made good on it. We’re both signed up and ready to go. I’ll be covering it here, while Tierney will document her side on Stouts and Stilettos — but we’ll probably have several collaborations, especially since we’re driving the eight hours down and back together, leaving ample time for brainstorming and other hijinks.

BC65-saratierney

Time to pack our beer-drinking dresses.

Obviously, we’re looking for the perfect hashtag.

  • #Sara&TierneydoAsheville
  • #HbgGirlsGoneSouth
  • [Your suggestion here]

The conference includes not only great field trips to big-time craft breweries like Sierra Nevada and Oskar Blues, but it’s also packed with some great blogging/writing seminars, which I’m excited for. There aren’t a lot of conferences for what we do.

A couple of years ago I attended a “healthy living bloggers” conference in Cambridge/Boston, which I enjoyed — but despite occasional cooking and fitness posts, I’m not a healthy living blogger. In fact, the biggest difference at that event may have been that I was one of few professional writers who had been blogging for many years.

The Beer Bloggers Conference is shaped not only around beer, but about the tools we use to share information with our readers. There are specific sessions on social media, WordPress, improving beer reviews as well as a live-blogging session where you’re tasked with sampling and writing beer reviews in under 5 minutes. For that, you not only need to be well versed but decisive — and, of course, quick. It’s sure to be an interesting exercise.

Because of the exciting growth of the craft beer industry here in the Harrisburg area, I’m also looking forward to Past, Present, and Future of Asheville Beer, which will be a panel discussion featuring notable leaders from the Asheville beer community.

I’m curious about the Anheuser-Busch 3 p.m. Tasting, which will grant us access to AB’s rigorous daily quality tests, which they do to ensure consistency in their brands.

Stay tuned for more from us as summer nears, and help us select a hashtag to follow our travels down south. Cheers!

Categories: Craft Beer, Travel

Brewed in the Burg: Coming April 28 to Midtown Cinema

by: Sara Bozich
March 29, 2015
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Filmed and produced exclusively for Harrisburg Beer Week with GK Visual and SaraBozich.com, the creators of What’s on Tap — a documentary about the local craft beer industry.

FREE screening April 28 at Midtown Cinema: CLAIM your FREE ticket now!

UPDATE: This event has SOLD OUT for Tuesday, April 28! HOWEVER, Midtown Cinema has added additional FREE screenings of Brewed in the Burg. All showtimes follow Beer Wars, which was generously sponsored by Zeroday Brewing Co. Don’t forget the popcorn!

  • Wednesday, April 29 – 8:45 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 30 – 8:45 p.m.
  • Friday, May 1 – 8:45 p.m.

Brewed in the Burg – trailer from GK Visual on Vimeo.

(717) Collaboration Ale: ABC, Troegs, Pizza Boy

by: Sara Bozich
March 28, 2015
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Earlier this week, I shared news about the kick-ass collaboration between the Harrisburg area brewing rockstars, Appalachian Brewing Co., Troegs Brewing Co. and Pizza Boy Brewing Co., the (717) Collaboration Ale.

This beer is a blend of style varieties, local goodness and tons of creativity. It is the official beer of Harrisburg Beer Week and will be released during the kick-off event on April 24 at The Abbey Bar at Appalachian Brewing Co. (7 p.m.; $5 cover goes to Harrisburg River Rescue.)

Look for it in 16 oz pounder cans on April 27 throughout the 717 area code.

Some fun stories from the brew day on Monday at Troegs:

Brewing Traditions

John Trogner believes in a lucky donut toast. John said for their first collaboration brew for Philly Beer Week many years ago, he brought in some donuts to share with everyone and has since kept up the tradition. We toasted some glazed Dunkin Donuts during the (717) Collab brew day.

717 Collaboration

When I brewed the Bozich Black IPA with Artie at ABC Camp Hill, he shared his own tradition for first time brewers, a “Hot Scottie.” Basically once the wort moves to the fermentor, you pour a sample of the still hot liquid and add some single malt scotch for the first taste of your creation. Artie calls it a right of passage for your first brew.

“Sorry there’s no grain to shovel”

Brewing at Troegs was quite different from my other experiences, which ranged from a homebrew system to the 10 barrel system at the Brewery at Hershey. For instance, rather than standing over a large vat of hot water and grain with a giant paddle, this is mashing in at Troegs. John let me press the button.

It’s an impressive set-up, everything fully automated and highly organized in gorgeous, gigantic stainless steel.

Not too much later, we all participated in dumping in some pre-measured hops into the hop dosers. And even later in the afternoon, it was time to add in the local honey.

717 Collaboration

What is it?

Gosh guys, even they don’t know. Terry said it was a saison, then John and I said IPA. But then we saw the color imparted from the Deer Creek (local) malts and hello, boys, this baby is AMBER.

717 Collaboration

Artie joked that, like The Alchemist, we should encourage you to drink straight from the can, instead of pouring it. He also noted later that the 360 lb of honey were pretty dark, too. Suppose, when in doubt, “American Strong Ale” fits (though the 7.17% ABV of this is on the low end of that description).

The can will tell you it’s a “slightly tart IPA made with saison yeast and local honey.”

But any way you slice it, this brew is unique — much like its creators, and I have no doubt it will be delicious — expect a light tartness, piney hop flavor and a touch of sweetness with a dry, clean finish — and I can’t wait to try it.

Look for more

In-between assignments, Troegs’ Jeff Herb shot some video of the three brewers (and a snippet from me about Harrisburg Beer Week), so look for a video forthcoming from Troegs where you can hear about this collaboration in their own words.

717 Collaboration

We’re also planning to reconvene for the canning, so stay tuned to Twitter and Instagram (@troegsbeer, @sarabozich) for updates as we near the release of this one-of-a-kind beer!

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