NOW OPEN: Zeroday Brewing in Midtown Harrisburg

by: Sara Bozich

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Tuesday marked Zeroday Brewing Company’s first day of business.

zeroday brewing

They’re not quite yet open to the public — the grand opening is slated for 12:30 p.m. on April 8 — but this week hosted their private, soft opening events. Invitees included partners, friends and supporters.

The first time I interviewed Theo and Brandalynn Armstrong, we met at an #HBGtweetup on the deck of the Abbey Bar.

It wasn’t the first time we met, though — we had actually met a year or so before at a former coworker’s Christmas party. Brandalynn and I confessed later than neither of us particularly cared for the other.

Another year or so later, Theo brewed a saison for Tierney’s birthday, and maybe that’s what happens when your friend’s friends bring over a high-tech trashcan full of beer, but eventually the whole lot of us became pretty dang close.

So back at the Abbey Bar, they talked to me about their goals and vision for their brand. They sneaked me a six-pack to take home and sample. At the time, they were in full campaign mode, raising start-up capitol for their dream through the crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo, immediately following their brand launch on April 20, 2013.

It was later that summer that they invited me to their annual “Beer Fest” at their home, a full-on bottle share, plus Alter Ego brews on tap. It was there I got to try Theo’s “BeerFest” Beer, not at all a typical German “fest” beer, but instead just the best mango habanero pale ale I’ve ever had (ever, people), which hopefully I can semi-assist in recreating en masse soon (I’m holding on to some frozen local habaneros).

sbhh booze cruise 6-14

The Armstrongs were doing a variety of tasting events throughout the area, at craft-friendly bars, BYOB spots and parties. I asked them to do samples for a few of my Booze Cruises, and last summer they brewed a special Booze Cruise IPA and put half the batch on Weiser Orchard peaches, and both were a huge hit.

They also were included in a massive, five-brewery collaboration last year, led by Pizza Boy Brewing Co.

Meanwhile, throughout this time, the pair was working in the background between their full-time jobs to secure a location, funds, equipment, design and plan a renovation and further develop their goals.

They made a conscious decision to plan for a prosperous future, and in so, sought trademark for their brand. Unfortunately, through this process they discovered a global trademark wasn’t available, and the couple at that point opted to change their brewery name and thereby preserve their brand for growth.

Somehow, I think Zeroday suits them even better, and the new logo — designed by our friend Bart Kaminski of Kollision Media — beautifully tied in their original brand with some of the physical elements of their new space. I love the idea Brandalynn and Theo suggest of Harrisburg being “a zeroday town.”

In the few years I’ve know the Armstrongs, they continue to impress me. First and foremost, they’re fun people with big hearts. You can’t help but smile when you’re in their presence. But when talk turns towards business — their business — you can see their demeanor shift; they’re serious and dedicated.

zeroday

The Armstrongs talk often about realizing their dream, but these two are decidedly doers.

Theo is hands-on, the type to do it himself before hiring out, whether building the deck on their home or rigging up a custom, portable sampling system. He is just as calculated when it comes to brewing, which why you won’t find Zeroday’s beers suffering from “first batch syndrome.” His ginger beer (NA) is exquisite, brewed with loads of real ginger, and it’s already becoming a cult favorite.

Brandalynn — though she also assists with brewing — handles much of the business side of brewery operations. Coming from an accomplished background in sales and insurance, she is well versed in marketing. She not only gets their shared big picture, but has thoughtful plans on execution, core company values and future growth.

The Armstrongs have a large, but tight network of friends who have become like family. They vetted glassware ideas and t-shirt concepts with select friends, received support from fellow brewers and others in the beer community (Al and Terry from Pizza Boy Brewing helped install their equipment!) and continue to work closely with neighbors, local purveyors and artists, all catapulting the community-supported brewery concept above and beyond its origins.

zeroday

“It’s humbling — really humbling — that people are still so excited about this project when it’s taken this long,” Brandalynn shared with me before the first event.

Sure, it’s been one heck of a teaser campaign, but it’s here.

Friends, neighbors and other supporters joined this week to celebrate the couple, their long hours and hard work — properly rung in with a freshly made pint.

On Wednesday (April 8), just after noon will mark the ribbon cutting and grand opening of Zeroday Brewing Company.

Four beers will be available on tap to start, including their First Born dry Irish stout, Zeroday IPA (ep. 1), Wits End Belgian-inspired Witbier and Cheap Date, an American blonde ale. Their ginger beer (a freshly made batch!) also is on tap. Top your Wits End with a splash, nicknamed the “Midtown Mule.”

A food menu offers light fare, including their own “Hoptimus” hopped hummus, soft pretzel with mustard flight, select cheese and the “Midtown Half Pound,” hard pretzels with choice of mustard.

In the future, Zeroday Brewing Company will be partnering with area food trucks to provide additional selections during weekend hours.
zeroday

Zeroday Brewing Company will operate 4-11 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; Saturday noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday noon to 8 p.m.

Following Zeroday’s grand opening at 12:30 p.m. on April 8 they will open immediately to the public.

Craft Beer 101: Growlers

by: Tierney Pomone

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You’ve seen them around, those giant glass jugs of beer. What are they? Where did they come from? Where do I get one too? Those, my friends, are called growlers, and they are used to take beer out from a brewery or bottle shop. They are reusable, eco-friendly, and your best friend.

growlers

Growlers come in a variety of sizes and options. The typical growler is made of glass and hold 64 oz (2L) of beer. They come in screw top and flip top varieties, with the flip top being considered the higher quality of the two. You can also get a smaller 32 oz (1L) growlette, also typically made of glass. Recently, stainless steel growlers have been making appearances allowing for beer to stay colder longer and blocking out evil sunlight. Also, now you can get crowlers (can + growler) at some establishments such as Pizza Boy Brewing and Zeroday Brewing. These are 32 oz and single-use.

Obtaining a growler is pretty easy. Most breweries within the Mid-Atlantic area have growlers for purchase at their breweries. The cost of the actual growler before filling it with beer is usually around $5-15 depending on what type and size you are getting. You can also sometimes get growlers at bottle shops and other retail locations.

Each state has very specific rules regarding the purchase and filling of growlers from breweries, and some don’t allow it at all (I’m looking at you Georgia!) If you’re traveling and hope to get your growler filled, be sure to check to see if your destination offers it. Also, each brewery has their own rules about who’s growlers they will fill, meaning some will only fill their own branded growlers and others will fill any growler. Once again, check in with your destination and see what their procedures are.

Beyond breweries, some bars and bottle shops will fill your growlers as well. In our area, The Sturges Speakeasy and Arooga’s both offer to fill your growlers regardless of the brand.

Once you have your growler all filled up and ready to take home, there are a few important things to keep in mind.

  • Most growlers are glass and while traditionally amber in color, they still let sunlight in, which is beer’s enemy. Store your filled growler away from direct sunlight, even on the car ride home, by putting it in a cooler, under a towel, or get a growler coozie to keep it cold and dark.
  • Also, much like a two liter bottle of soda, growlers only keep their carbonation for so long after you open them. Don’t open it until you’re ready to drink it, and if you can’t finish it right then, try to do so within 24-48 hours to ensure freshness and quality of flavor.
  • Once you’re finished with your growler, please don’t let it set in your sink until you feel like dealing with it. Remember, beer contains grains and yeast, and those will grow, well, some gross stuff. Hand-washing is your best bet. I usually fill and rinse the growler with warm water and a little dish soap.
  • Make sure to inspect for any internal residue as this will grow nasty mold. For screw top growlers, I soak the lids in warm soapy water for about an hour, rinse, and then check for any residue. Let them air dry afterwards, and store all growlers lids off! If you’re lazy like me, yes, you can put them in the dishwasher if it fits, but some cheap growlers may lose their outside logos.

Categories: Craft Beer

Weekend Roundup 4/2

by: Sara Bozich

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What. A. Week. On Tuesday, I was thrilled to attend the soft opening of my friend’s new brewery in Midtown — you know them as Zeroday Brewing. Look for a story with more this week, and BE THERE for their grand opening on April 8.

zeroday

Last night’s Happy Hour at Ad Lib was fantastic — photos and recap post forthcoming, as well. It was so great to see everyone! Remember, if you want to be the first to know about SaraBozich.com events (like the upcoming Pints & Pedis during Harrisburg Beer Week and the sell-out Booze Cruise), be sure you’re on the list.

Tonight: You need to sign-up for the Jersey Mike 5K, right? Yes. Stop by McGrath’s during Happy Hour, and you can do it right there! Plus, you know, drinks specials, etc. Race day is April 18, noon start.

On Friday, the Harrisburg Beer Week gals are roadtripping to Reading to record an episode of the Beer Busters podcast.

Saturday, a lovely bridal shower for one of my best friends (so no radio, sorry!). On Sunday, laundry & ham.

Need more inspiration? Tune in tomorrow morning during the 7  o’clock hour to Glenn & Bob on The River 97.3 for “Sara’s Weekend Picks.”

What are you doing this weekend?

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Spring Race Recap: Capital 10-Miler

by: Kelly Leighton

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The Capital 10-Miler may be my favorite race.

I like marathons, I like half marathons, but both sort of hurt near the end. Ten miles felt like the perfect distance on Sunday. I was scheduled to run a 20-miler, but I really wanted to do this race, so I sandwiched it right in the middle. Not the most kosher way to run a 20-miler, but done.

kelly running

For those who remember, last year’s race featured down-pouring rain, hail and sleet. So, the 25 degree temperatures with 8 mph winds felt pretty darn good compared to that.

The race started at 9 a.m., the sun was shining, and I couldn’t have been happier as we began. I still get pre-race nerves pretty badly, but once the gun goes off, the nerves always disappear.

I ran into a good friend of mine from college (we used to swim together), and we decided to start together. I’d hope to run below a 1:15, and was secretly hoping to be closer to 1:13. Not a PR race, but a solid effort.

Amanda and I settled into a pace closer to 7:15, but we both felt good, and were able to easily continue our conversation, so we stuck with it. We looped around City Island and then down by the river, past Shipoke. We hopped on the Greenbelt, and hit the halfway point a little past 36 minutes.

kelly running

Once we returned back to the river, running north, we were greeted with a consistent strong headwind. Unfortunately, a guy drafted off of us for the entire time we were down there (two-ish miles). I feel like Michelle Tanner, but seriously, how rude.

We finally looped around Sunken Gardens, and climbed up onto the Harvey Taylor Bridge, where the headwind turned into a crosswind, which was a much-appreciated change. I love running over this bridge, so the out-and-back went quickly for me. Before I knew it, we were back on Front Street, and had a great tailwind leading us back to the Island. I confessed to Amanda that I had hoped to finish around 1:13. “Well then, let’s go under that,” she said, and pushed me to pick up the pace a little bit, and we crossed the finish line together, 1:12.44.

kelly running

This race is a great deal, if you registered before March 8, the cost was only $35, and that included a tech shirt and a medal. It’s also a mostly flat course. Ten mile races aren’t as common as other distances, and I am grateful this race takes place so closely. I’d highly recommend this race.

And I am super grateful I had a running buddy. A race has never passed so quickly, and miles are a little more fun when you’re laughing the whole time.

Categories: Fitness, Harrisburg, Running

HOW TO: Craft Beer on a Budget

by: James Werner

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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

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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

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