Pop-up Happy Hour at Strawberry Square July 28

by: Sara Bozich
July 9, 2016

I’m partnering with Strawberry Square for a series of Pop-Up Parties running through September. Each event will be a pop-up Happy Hour in the Atrium with a variety of vendors, partners and of course — food and drink. Each event is FREE to attend (bring the office!) and will feature discounts at participating retailers.

HappyHour_Strawberry_Blog_Image

Mark your calendar:

This month’s event will feature:

RSVP

The event is FREE and open to the public! Bring your friends and stop by for samples and and opportunity to learn more about what’s new at Strawberry Square.

SSQUARE 6/22

»» Check out the RECAP from the June event

Categories: Harrisburg, LivePA, SBHH

NOW OPEN: Tattered Flag Brewery & Still Works

by: Sara Bozich
July 8, 2016

Update: Tattered Flag is now open 5-8:30 p.m. Thursdays; 4-9 p.m. Fridays; and 12-9 p.m. Saturdays. Also currently serving cocktails using local spirits from Midstate Distillery and Spirits of Gettysburg.

I first met Pat — one of the four partners at Tattered Flag Brewery and Still Works — during the inaugural Harrisburg Beer Week. Naturally, I was excited about his news to open the first brewery and distillery combo in Pennsylvania, and at the time, he didn’t even know where yet. He and I have kept in touch — and I’ve met the rest of the crew — and I’m pleased to make the formal announcement of Tattered Flag’s public opening, tomorrow, Saturday, July 9 from noon to 8 p.m.

Tattered Flag

After planning for two years the nerves have gone away, and all that remains for the brewers and owners of Tattered Flag Brewery and Still Works is the anticipation and excitement to finally open the doors to their community this weekend.

The four partners, two brewers and head chef are not the only ones who can barely contain their excitement. For weeks, they’ve been hearing about people treating their opening like a Star Wars premier with a line forming early in the morning. No lightsabers, but maybe a brew paddle or two. (<– Intern Jimi humor)

Although the whole building will not be open for another month the first floor taproom will give craft beer fans just a taste of what’s to come in the not so distant future.

What you need to know

At opening, only the first floor will be open. Capacity is 109 people.

Tattered Flag

For about the first month, Tattered Flag will only be open on Friday evenings from 4-9 p.m.* and Saturdays from noon to 8 p.m.. They’ll open with a solid number of beers, but in limited quantities. By the end of next week, however, they should begin brewing on their 10 bbl system, which will ramp up production in time for the second floor opening in late August. At that point, they plan to be open Wednesday through Sunday but do expect that demand will likely push them to a seven day a week schedule at some point.

*Updated 7/20/16!  Now also open Friday evenings!

Opening beers include:

Tattered Flag

The Still Works side of things (look at that gorgeous still) isn’t up yet, but in a few weeks they’ll begin offering a white rye whiskey and a vodka. However, much is planned for the future. The good news is, Pennsylvania’s reformed liquor law now allows Tattered Flag to sell both items at the same place, so you don’t have to worry about ordering your liquor at a specially licensed portion of the brewpub, which you would have had to do previously.

Tattered Flag

Food is available. Chef Larry Nauman, formerly of Irv’s Pub in Hershey, is running the kitchen and will start with a limited menu, including starters like bbq nachos, local smoked sausage and cheese plate, pickled wild shrimp with grilled watermelon and cucumber; a daily chef’s soup and a handful of salads; plus hearty sandwiches from grilled cheese to an updated reuben. If this is the starter menu, I can’t wait for the full thing

Tattered Flag offers a multi-tiered mug club programChoose from Standard or Elite membership and score merch, invitations to special events, discounts on food, and more.

»» Join the Flag Bearers Club.

Merchandise, including hats, hoodies and t-shirts, will be available for sale.

The mission

“As a veteran owned and operated business, the focus is simple – to give back to the communities around us while providing a one-of-a-kind experience.”

The space

Tattered Flag will be the second brewery to open in Middletown and the first to open up in town. The space is a brewery-perfect spot with an old history, plenty of room for the necessary equipment as well as room to expand.

Tattered Flag

After searching for spots throughout the area they finally decided on the old Elks Lodge on Union Street. The look, feel and size of the building make it look like it was always meant to house a brewhouse and distillery. Further, the completion coincided with a major facelift of downtown Middletown, including granite sidewalks and streetscape enhancements.

Tattered Flag

Word is, Middletown also will soon be renovating their train station (which is within walking distance!), so I’m already prepping those “Brewery Trip by Train” itineraries for you. Stay tuned.

From the street, you can peer down into the brewhouse where fermenters are stacked two rows high and the 10 bbl system will allow the brewery to produce a high amount of beer early on. You’ll also be able to spy the brewing process from a cutaway on the first floor that looks down into the brewery.

Tattered Flag

Tattered Flag also has its own mini canning line, which will almost make them able to do custom canning orders — but in the meantime, it’ll get their brews on store shelves or to go from the brewpub.

The second floor, which should be finished by the end of August, will feature a large dining area with a sizable bar and an open kitchen, plus a Penn State-themed game room and private event space. Tattered Flag will launch a full food menu upon its completion (see below for what it’ll look like).

The Brewers

Tattered Flag’s owners had some brewing experience, but they knew if they wanted to make their dream a reality, they needed guys who knew what they were doing. Their search landed them on two local brewers who come from different backgrounds.

Brewers Tony Schneider and Dave Morrow both started as homebrewers. Tony went on to brew professionally at Appalachian Brewing Company and Battlefield Brew Works, while Dave honed his craft to become one of the most renowned homebrewers in our area.

Tattered Flag

Not only did the partners allow the brewers time to perfect their craft, they also sent them on trips to the brewing capitals of our nation to gain experience some of the best. Both guys have been to Vermont, California and Colorado to learn and apprentice with top breweries.

Until their 10-barrel brewhouse is completely installed, which should be shortly (like end of next week), they will brew around the clock on a one-barrel system to keep the beer flowing in the taproom.

Once they are able to transition to the larger system they will use the one-barrel system for small batch specialties, plus offer a “brew your own” experience for customers who want to create their own beer. And hey, if it’s good enough, it might even end up on tap upstairs.

The Beers

Tony and Dave do not seem to be afraid to experiment. With beers like Manghost (Mango and ghost pepper IPA), Hibiscus Gose plus classics like TMI IPA and their new Brexit English Pale Ale will appeal to a wide variety of craft beer drinkers.

Tattered Flag

Tattered Flag will feature six Flagship beers, a couple seasonals and a growing and rotating selection of specialty brews.

Jimi and I have sampled a few — and you may have, too — like their TMI IPA at the Beer Tasting at the Mansion event this past spring. Or maybe you were lucky enough to score some of that Manghost at Harrisburg Beer Week’s Little Big Beer Fest — or any of the other brewfests Tattered Flag participated in recently (some of which scored them some early awards!).

Dave shares a penchant for spicy beers (along with me and Jimi), and I’m excited to see what else they come up with (like that Black IPA with peppers he mentioned — Want.).

Flights will be available — 4 5-oz pours. Price TBD.

The Spirits

Both brewers serve as associate/assistant distillers to Pat Devlin, who will be head distiller. The still is in! And so are the barrels.

Tattered Flag

Like the beer, they’ll eventually offer flagships, seasonals and specialty liquors and liqueurs, including a gin and amaros <– I am super excited about this.

Flights will be available.

The Food

Upon opening of the second floor, Chef Nauman will launch his full menu.

Snack & Starters will include items like IPA Fries, Vodka Steamed Mussels, Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip and Crispy Pig Wings.

Try sandwiches like the Union Street Burger, Fancy Burger, Portabella Melt and more.

For Supper, choose from Bucatini Pasta, Fish & Chips, Crispy Skin Salmon, Flat Iron Steak or Chicken Schnitzel.

And, one can’t forget dessert, especially when it looks like this: “Cookies & Beer,” which will feature either real beer or a root beer float alongside peanut butter cookies (omg mouth watering), Brewery Brownie Sundae or Summer Berry Shortcake.

Follow Tattered Flag on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Stay tuned for more information, as well as details on a Happy Hour with SaraBozich.com for Feel Your Boobies we have planned for Aug. 10 at Tattered Flag Brewery & Still Works.

*Intern Jimi contributed to this story.

Coffee Beers – 5 To Drink Now

by: Tierney Pomone
July 8, 2016

The only thing better than getting your morning coffee fix is when that coffee is also a beer. Of all the beer styles and all the creative ingredients being added to beers, I must admit that I think coffee beers, specifically coffee stouts, are my favorite.

coffee stout

No matter the season or what time of day, I love the rich roasted flavor of a stout married with the aroma and taste of coffee. Many breweries are using local coffee roasters’ beans in their coffee, so it’s fun to try the different varieties and support local businesses.

There are so many great options that it’s hard to pick a favorite, but here are a few I recommend you try.

Victory Java Cask

Released earlier this year, Victory Java Cask infuses yet another of my favorite things: bourbon barrel aging. I absolutely adored this brew; the combination of rich creamy coffee with the vanilla and even coconut that bourbon can impart with just a slight oak flavor in the very finish. Yum. Victory uses Johnny Brenda’s fair-trade Costa Rican coffee in this brew.

Evolution Rise Up

Maryland favorites Evolution Craft Brewing offer two versions of Rise Up: the regular stout and the Russian Imperial stout. This is going to be a shock knowing I love the higher gravity beers, but I actually prefer the regular Rise Up Stout. It’s a little thinner in body than the RIS version, and I like that it gives me more of the cold brew mouth feel. Evolution uses Rise Up Coffee Imports Sumatra blend coffee in this brew.

Weyerbacher Sunday Morning Stout

If you like really delicious, high ABV, bourbon-y awesome coffee stouts, this was made for you. I tried Sunday Morning Stout as my first beer at the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp festival a few years ago, and I didn’t really want to drink anything else the rest of the day. This brew gives KBS a run for its money, and that’s really saying something. Weyerbacher uses Field Stone Coffee Roasters for their brew.

Starr Hill Red Roostarr

Starr Hill’s Red Roostarr is a bit different from the rest, as it’s a coffee cream stout. Expect a full-bodied milk stout with hints of chocolate mixed right in with a present, but not overwhelming, decadent coffee flavor. Starr Hill uses Red Rooster Coffee Roasters coffee in this brew.

Pizza Boy Sunny Side Up

My all-time ultimate favorite coffee stout is hands-down Pizza Boy Brewing’s Sunny Side Up. Made with Midtown’s own Little Amps Coffee, SSU delivers the rich flavor of an oatmeal stout, the thick body to match its 9.5% ABV, and the perfect amount of sweetness. Just one sip and it’s an instant ‘ahh’ moment that will put a nice big smile on your face. My recommendation is to bug your buddy for one of the bourbon barrel cans that released last week.

Categories: Craft Beer

Tampa in July: Beer Bloggers Conference

by: Sara Bozich
July 7, 2016

It’s that time again! This weekend I’m heading to Tampa, Florida for the first time in too many years (Sorry, Geoff!) at the peak of summer for the 2016 Beer Bloggers Conference.

Sara Tierney BBC

Tierney and I attended our first last year in Asheville, North Carolina. You can read about our adventures here:

Unfortunately, T won’t be joining me (and I even upgraded to a waterfront room!), but I’ll be hanging with our BBC friends from the Carolinas for the weekend — then spending Sunday post-conference with an old friend.

Beer Dinner, Share

I’m pretty stoked about our host hotel, the Marriot Tampa Waterside, who has planned a pretty sweet dinner for us on Friday night (in addition that aforementioned waterfront room).

Bringing down a little Harrisburg beer love: For the evening’s “Night of Many Bottles,” I’m bringing down some local secrets — namely the elusive Tröegs Nimble Giant and Pizza Boy’s newly canned Sunny Side Up (featuring Little Amps) and maybe a secret can or two of Sunny Side Up Bourbon (You’re welcome, Nick).

bbc16-bottle-share

Oh, and this time I’m not forgetting to bring a pile of Harrisburg Beer Week stickers with which to shower my BBC16 friends and any local place that collects them.

Writing better, Live Beer Blogging, Progressive Beer Dinner

This year, we’ll be able to choose from different sessions on Saturday morning, including some breakout stuff, so there’s a bigger opportunity for discussion among smaller groups. I still haven’t decided yet which I’ll do.

After our lunch hosted by sponsor Miller Coors, we will have a session on “Better Beer Writing,” led by Carla Jean Lauter of The Beer Babe. Later that afternoon, we’ll have a session dedicated to Sour Beers, which is exciting — and we’ll even get to blend our own. I better keep that palate fresh!

Somehow after this we’re then doing the Live Beer Blogging — which is very hard!! Last year it just felt like a fury of tweeting and sipping, and every rep brings more than the solitary beer they’re supposed to, which means we’re trying like 20+ beers in 50 minutes instead of 10, but hey, I’m always up for a challenge, right?

The bulk of the night — and what I may most be looking forward to — is the Progressive Dinner hosted by Visit Tampa featuring three Tampa Bay breweries: Cigar City Brewing, Coppertail Brewing, and Ulele Springs Brewery. Looks like we’ll be riding Tampa’s Brew Bus along the way!

Closing time

Should we survive, we’ll talk community and beer tourism Sunday morning before being released into the 92-degree weather. I’ll be on a boat or a segway, or maybe both.

Categories: Bloggers, Craft Beer, Travel

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