Know Your Brewer: Brett Kintzer at Swashbuckler Brewing Company

by: Jimi The Intern
February 17, 2017
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When an established brewery needs to find a new captain to lead their ship they look for someone with experience in the field. Our area is full of brewers who have been mashing in for years, but few have more experience than Swashbuckler Brewing Company’s new head brewer.

After 20 years of brewing at Stoudts Brewing Company, Brett Kintzer took over the brewing duties as the head of the three breweries – Divine Swine, Swashbuckler and Rumspringa – that make up SBC Brewsmiths.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” said Kintzer. “It’s a different system, and there are a lot of different facets that go into coming into a new brewery like this.”

One of the first challenges on Kintzer’s list is to revamp and improve existing beer recipes alongside exciting one-offs that keep the product fresh.

“My philosophy is to work with the finest raw ingredients, while also leaving room for creativity,” said Kintzer. “Variety is the spice of life, as they say, and that continues with being creative with even more styles.”

Background in brewing

For 21 years, all Kintzer knew was Stoudts beer. He helped grow the brand from his time on the production line and worked his way to an assistant brewer and then ultimately head brewer, a title he held for more than 10 years.

Kintzer credits being there at the right time along with having a new-found interest in craft beer as the main reason he was picked to start a brewing career with Stoudts.

“I was really excited when I got the opportunity to work with the Stoudt family along with the head brewer and the other assistant brewer at that time,” said Kintzer.

His 20 years at Stoudts shaped him into the brewer that he is today. His brewing method involves brewing what he feels at the time, but with a high focus on quality.

“If you’re going to brew beer, it better be a good quality product that you can be proud of,” said Kintzer. “I always keep that in mind while brewing.”

Along with keeping up with production on all Stoudts beer, Kintzer also ramped up production by implementing an on-premise bottling line. Kintzer said that his education from the Siebel Institue helped the brewery increase its output by 120% in the first year with their own bottling line.

Growing a brewery

Although Swashbuckler has been around for more than a decade now, they have only just recently started bottling their year-round offerings and distributing them throughout the area.

Kintzer’s experience with a large scale operation at Stoudts accompanied by his education should help get Swashbuckler beers into the hands of craft beer lovers.

“While I don’t have a formal brewing education, I did go to the Siebel Institute to learn how to implement a production line, and that is one of the first things I plan for the future here,” said Kintzer.

Kintzer’s debut beer for Swashbuckler is a classic take on Hefeweizen. Atomic Pop Hefeweizen is sweet and refreshing with crisp flavors of clove, banana, and wheat. It’s going to be a go-to brew for a hot day at the Renaissance Faire.

Swashbuckler looks to have more of a presence throughout the Faire this year, and Kintzer is already thinking of ideas of how to achieve this.

“For the summer I want to try to make a tropical IPA that is crisp and refreshing for everyone at the Fair,” said Kintzer. “I had an experimental hop that gives off some notes of tropical fruits, and I want to incorporate that into a new beer.”

SBC Beersmiths’ is open during Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire hours, including special events like Brewfest, Flavorfest, Celtic Fest and more. Once the winery is complete, they plan to expand their hours. In the meantime, if you visit during off-hours, head to the Mount Hope Winery Tasting Room to have an employee help you to the brewery for samples and take-home beer. Beer is available in bombers and growlers as of right now with additional packing in the plans for the future.

Categories: Craft Beer, Food/Drink

Weekend Roundup 2/16

by: Sara Bozich
February 16, 2017
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It’s that time of the year when Harrisburg Beer Week planning is keeping busy, busy. If you are interested in sponsoring (or hosting an event!), please note our deadline is next Friday, Feb. 24. Contact me for details!

My evenings have been pretty work-filled lately, and I don’t have many plans for the weekend outside of the usual gym-market visits, a bridal shower and hopefully catching a showing of Gamut Theatre’s R.U.R. on Sunday.

What are you doing this weekend?


What do you want to hear from me?

by: Kelly Leighton
February 15, 2017
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I’ve been writing here for nearly six years, so I am asking you, as readers: What do you want to hear from me?

In the past, I’ve covered a variety of topics, including:

Marathon training: You guys have seen me through seven marathons, from my first in 2011 to my most recent in November.

Cross training: Whether it be for an injury (and I’ve had my fair share) or just exercise that isn’t running, I’ve talked over the years about what I’ve done outside of running to keep fit.

Race roundup: I’ve been doing quarterly race roundups for the past few years, trying to include all the local races that may interest you.

Lifestyle: Way back when, I used to write about things I did outside of running, like theme parties, which I was really into for a while. I’ve shied away from lifestyle posts in the past few years, as I don’t really go out anymore unless it’s happy hour, followed by bed — a.k.a. I am pretty boring these days, but I am okay with it.

Local: I’ve written a few posts on my favorite local places.

Health: I’ve covered my experiences doing the whole30, as well as my nearly 18-month long battle with anemia.

Ideally, I’d prefer not to write articles about the five best treadmill running tips or the best ways to run in cold weather — Though I’ve covered those before, it seems like those types of articles are everywhere, and I am not adding anything new or innovative to the mix.

Instead, I am interested to know what you want to read from me.

Let us know in the comments!

Categories: Fitness, Running

Standing Out in a Crowded Room: An Interview with Sam Barron

by: Micah Jacobs
February 14, 2017
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It can be incredibly difficult to be original. The moment you try to be original, you’re not. If you try to be punk rock, you’re not.

We are living in a time where for $10 a month you can listen to almost any band or any album that has ever existed. I pay for Google Play premium and, I’m not complaining (except for when I want to listen to Tool, they don’t do subscription services, ugh!). I browse new music on Fridays listening to various tracks trying to find something that gets my attention, something original. It’s rare.

Now, just because it’s not original doesn’t mean it isn’t amazing. I am absolutely in love with Leon Bridges, but it’s been done before. Right?

How are bands supposed to stand out when we have access to anything and everything?

I was lucky enough to spend some time talking to Sam Barron of Brooklyn-based band The Come On. On Feb. 28, they make a stop in Harrisburg at Little Amps on Green St., and I wanted to talk to him about how they stand out in a crowded room filled with indie bands.

MJ: So tell me about how The Come On came about.

SB: It began as a collaboration between myself and producer Brian Speaker (Jeffery Lewis, The Fem Doms). We wanted to do a project with a lot of vocal harmonies so we brought in Mimi Oz who took on some of the singing parts. We started by doing a lot of acoustic stuff, mixing elements of new wave with old antique synth sounds from the 70s. As the writing and music evolved, I started to play and write with a Fender Telecaster, and the music took on a rock vibe. Our sound just evolved from our experience on the road, we would write and rework our song depending on what worked with the crowds.

MJ: The influences in your music are pretty clear, T. Rex, Violent Femmes, Pixies and even some early Ugly Casanova/Modest Mouse. What would you say sets your music apart in a world where indie music is accessible to everyone?

SB: It’s really all about our journey as a band to find ourselves, and we stay true to that journey. We put on a great live show, and our songwriting helps us stand out. Our songwriting could only take place in a certain moment in time, so these songs coming from us could only have come from us. For example, the song Asteroid talks about this exact thing, how everyone has access to everything and we just become numb. People have become zombies attached to their phones with the latest news and latest updates.

MJ: Tell me a little bit about the EP that you guys just released this month?

SB: We were doing shows in Detroit and up in Canada and went right into the studio fresh from the tour, and did the entire EP in one afternoon. Coming off the tour we felt we had a vibe, and we were so tight so we just went in there and knocked it out. In the studio, there is often a huge manipulation of music, so the goal was to sound raw and keep it as close to our live performance as possible. Charles Newman was the producer, and he did a great job working with us to create something that isn’t over-produced and really encapsulates the raw emotion of our music.

MJ: On Feb. 28, you are doing a show at Little Amps on Green St, what can people expect when they come out to see The Come On?

SB: We aren’t afraid to make mistakes and sound like humans. We don’t like routine because it won’t be interesting, so we like to switch things up from show to show. Sometimes I’ll just throw a song at the band, and we’ll see how it goes! We take risks with our music when we play live, and it’s something people will appreciate when they come out to the show.

Check out The Come On as they make a stop in Harrisburg on Feb. 28 at Little Amps Coffee Roasters at the Green St. location along with Rooster and Weird Year (another awesome band from Harrisburg!).

Visit The Come On’s website for links to their music, and follow them on Facebook to keep up with their whereabouts. Their self-titled EP is available for purchase on iTunes. See you at the show!

Categories: Harrisburg, Music, Nightlife

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