Know Your Brewer: Ryan Delutis at Brewery at Hershey

by: Jimi The Intern
October 14, 2016
comment bubble No Comments

In our second installment of getting to know the people who brew your beer, we talked to Ryan Delutis from The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey, who is in his third year as brewmaster.

Know Your Brewer: Bruce Tanner at Ever Grain Brewing Co.

For Ryan, an Eagles loss on a Sunday meant that the rest of the day would have a somewhat bleak outlook. But one particular Eagles loss might have been one of the best things to happen his brewing career.

“It was Sunday, and the Eagles were getting crushed by the Lions,” Ryan said. “I remembered Tierney telling me about the opportunity for homebrewers to show their stuff to this new brewery that was opening and I thought, ‘what the hell,’  I have a few beers to show off.”

brewery at hershey

Quick local brewery history lesson before going further.

The Vineyard at Hershey always intended to incorporate a brewery alongside their winery to create “the best of both worlds” full experience on the farm. The Vineyard had been open for some time when the partners decided they were ready to expand. Because their winemaker, L. Paul Vezetti, also was a home winemaker, they looked to the homebrew community for their brewer. More than 40 homebrewers submitted their beers in to be tested; only five made it through to the final round.

“It was the last day to submit your beers,” said Ryan. “I called up Jason, and he said that they had a few left to judge, so I grabbed a few bottles I had recently brewed.”

Ryan delivered four beers including a rauchbier, amber ale with apple, watermelon wheat, along with the beer that eventually would become Flash Gourd’n.

“I thought there was no way they were going to pick me,” said Ryan.

But — they did, and he had to brew four more beers for the final judging. Three of those beers were so good that they became staples on the Brewery at Hershey’s tap list: Weizeguy Wheat, Naughty and Spiced, and Chocolate M.I.L.F.

brewery at hershey

Needless to say, the panel of judges that included Jason and Paul, the winemaker, plus three others loved what Ryan had brought to the table, and he was hired.

“There was one stipulation before they brought me on,” said Ryan. “I had to come on as one of the partners and help purchase the brewing equipment. I had a talk with my wife, and we decided to go for it.”

It’s a good thing that he did. It has been three years since the brewery opened their taps, and they haven’t looked back. In those three years, they have gone from two fermenters to five and have ramped up production from 180 barrels the first year to their current 400 barrels.

Ryan said that the next step for the brewery is to focus on packaging over the winter. He also said that he has a ridiculous amount of crazy recipes floating around his head that he can’t wait to challenge their visitors with. (Can’t wait to see what you come up with, Ryan.)


“The craziest thing for me is when I look back on my homebrewing hobby and the 600 barrels of beer I made in seven years,” said Ryan. “I actually eclipsed that mark in my first two professional batches.”

“I am pinching myself that this is real, and that I don’t have to back to a desk job,” said Ryan. “I am continually amazed by the amount of visitors we get who truly love the beer that I used to make as a hobby.”

Firkin Fridays begin next weekend and will run every third Friday of the month throughout winter. On Oct. 21, stop by and enjoy firkined beer prepared by Ryan, featuring:

  • Flash Gourd’n – Their fall seasonal will be put into a 12-gallon firkin infused with vanilla bean and caramel. This is the perfect mix for a fall Friday night.
  • Hippie Ki-Yay – Ryan added fresh hops and Niagra grapes grown on their property to a firkin full of their juicy new IPA.

Hanging Out on the #Bearcast Operation Shutdown Podcast

by: Tierney Pomone
October 14, 2016
comment bubble No Comments

Longtime Friend of the Blog, Bearcat, recently started a new podcast, and I recently joined him on a few episodes.

Who is the Bearcat?

bill helzlsouer

Meet Bill Helzlsouer, better known as Bearcat — a college nickname that stuck — to most of his friends. He’s originally from Pittsburgh, but has lived in Harrisburg and now Lancaster for well over a decade. Picture him as a Yinzer stuck in Amish country.

After a few other blogging ventures, he decided to star writing about something he loves, craft beer, and started Bearcat on Beer. From there, the Operation Shutdown podcast was born. Bill also has two kids and an awesome wife, Meg, who he says “lets him have this little hobby.”

Operation Shutdown

The podcast was created to supplement the blog. In one episode, Bill and I discuss how much easier it is to sit around with friends and talk about beer versus writing about beer, and this is the entire premise of the podcast.


Bill says, “the way I have tailored my blog makes it difficult to sometimes get a post up. When people read the blog they should read something that is original; that can’t be found anywhere else. Which means that some of the posts are very weird and complex to construct. The podcast is a way to get more of my thoughts about beer out there while also including friends and interesting people within the industry; something the blog can’t do.”

During each episode, beers are poured, and the conversation begins. Each episode has a theme, but as usual when drinking is involved, sometimes the conversation goes astray.

Listening is a lot like overhearing two friends at a bar catching up, as this is usually the case. Regulars on the show include friend of the show, @EasyPretzel, and my other half @EdGrohl.

What do we talk about?


Craft beer obvs. And on the show, everyone definitely drinks. Most beers selected are relevant to the theme of the episode. The first time I went on the #Bearcast I talked about Harrisburg Beer Week, Stouts & Stilettos, my favorite beers, and general nonsense. We decided it would be funny to drink Four Loko during this episode since we both usually drink excellent craft beers, and due to the intensity of said beverage I may have strayed around a bit.

My second episode is a favorite; the Central PA Six-Pack Project. We took on the task of creating a local mixed-6 of brews made in Central PA that are readily available. The idea would be that someone traveling into town could easily make this mixed-6 and enjoy it as a representation of our local beers. You’ll have to listen to hear all about it. During this episode, I had a crowler of Troegs Scratch Fresh Hop Ale and a 2015 Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin for dessert.

Future Guests

In the future, Bill hopes to have even more friends on the show — hop farmers and brewers local and not so local. Maybe even you?

“In reality, I am open to having anyone that works in the craft beer industry that wants to hold a conversation we can let people in on,” says Bill.

Look for Sara to be on sometime soon and Ffej from Troegs. I can’t wait to listen to the next episode, and you need to check it out too.

How to Listen

Categories: Craft Beer

Steelers Week 6: Cheers, Jeers & Fears

by: Jimi The Intern
October 14, 2016
comment bubble No Comments

First things first, this game is not on TV. Make sure you head out to a local bar or mooch off of a friend who has the NFL Sunday Ticket. You will probably catch the boss and me at the Enola Legion, but it’s up in the air.

»» READ: Best bars to catch the Steelers

Now back to the action.

Two weeks ago, Pittsburgh showed the nation that they locked the Eagles game far away in a closet in some back alley cheesesteak shop in Philly never to be seen again. Since then, the Steelers have outscored their opponents by 46 points and have looked damn good doing it.

Pittsburgh goes on the road for the first time in two weeks to face a falling Miami Dolphins team. While Miami is quickly slipping out of relevance, they still pose some problems and the Steelers haven’t necessarily been giant killers on the road.

With that said, let’s get to the cheers, jeers and fears that the Black and Gold are facing this weekend in the Sunshine State.

Cheers: Rising stars

Pittsburgh has two rising stars on each side of the ball. Vince Williams has shown he can be a special player at the linebacker position, and Sammie Coates finally played to his worth last week.

Williams has been with Pittsburgh for four years now but is having his best year by far in these first five games while standing in for Ryan Shazier. He has 30 tackles in those five games (14 in the Chiefs game) and has been a constant presence in the run game.

Last week Coates had the breakout game that Steelers and fantasy players have been anticipating ever since he entered the league with the Steelers last season. Sure, he still has the problems with drops, but if he can overcome those, he will be dynamic and a good stop-gap in the absence of Martavis Bryant.

Jeers: Faking anything

Early in the second quarter, the Steelers had the chance to kick a field goal and take a 10-6 lead. Instead, they decided to run a fake with Jordan Berry and it failed.

I don’t mind being aggressive, in fact, I’m all for it. What I do mind, however, is putting the ball in the hands of a punter. You have Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown and Big Ben standing on the sidelines, use them. If you’re going to go for it on fourth down just put the offense out there.

Don’t put the ball in the hands of  a slow punter when you have all that talent standing on the sidelines. The Jets took over on downs and turned that into a touchdown to go up 13-7 in the game.

Fears: Big Ben on the road

It’s no secret that quarterbacks play better at home than on the road. Big Ben is no exception to this rule and is more the rule than anything. He just doesn’t play as well away from Heinz Field.

The Philadelphia game is the perfect example of how he can struggle in unfamiliar territory. His home and road splits are a little skewed because the team has had one more home game, but they still show a trend.

At home, Big Ben is averaging 320 yards and on the road, he is at 270 yards. It might seem nit-picky, but 50 yards is a good series of plays on a touchdown drive. His quarterback rating, which measures overall QB play, drops from 122.2 (almost perfect) at home to 85.3 on the road.

Again, it’s nit-picky, but it is something to look for and be a slightly worried about.

With all that said, I think that it will be hard for the Steelers to fall flat this week.

The Dolphins are not a good team, and the Steelers should have no problem putting up big numbers and running away with a 34-17 win in Miami.

Jimi’s note: Don’t be surprised if this game is over by the time we hit halftime. 

Categories: Sports, Steelers, Television

Weekend Roundup 10/13

by: Sara Bozich
October 13, 2016
comment bubble No Comments

My weekend is all about wine. It’s the annual Trés Bonne Annèe benefiting Whitaker Center, and this year we’re doing all of the events — from tonight’s Vintner’s Dinner to Saturday’s Gala.

Rent the Runway FTW.


After a packed weekend, I’d love to spend my Sunday lounging on the couch; however, the Steelers won’t be broadcast this weekend, so I’ve gotta head somewhere. You too? Here’s a list of spots carrying the game.

What are you doing this weekend?


Join Our Mailing List

Member, Association of Food Bloggers