REVIEW: Ever Grain Brewing Company

by: Sara Bozich
September 14, 2016

Just one week, and the west shore can boast yet another craft brewery.

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It was a year and a half ago — while filming Brewed in the Burg — that I first learned about plans for a new west shore brewery. The owners chose to keep things pretty tight-lipped as they navigated purchasing brewery equipment, finding a location, trademarking a brand, and getting the necessary government approval.

However, as long as construction has gone on at 4444 Carlisle Pike (the old Sun Motors car dealership), where Ever Grain Brewing Company is joined by Our Kitchen Table, Evolve Salon (already open) and Cork & Fork (coming this fall), this has potentially been one of the worst-kept secrets, at least for those of us who follow this kind of thing.

Ever Grain Brewing Co. opens Thursday, Sept. 22 with 10 beers on tap.

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»» Can’t wait? Sample Ever Grain at the Pop-Up Happy Hour at Strawberry Square on Sept. 21!

The brewery’s space, which used to be a car dealership, is massive. The long bar faces the six fermenters and beer-hall style seating gives you ample space to relax with a beer. You’ll never feel cramped in the large open space either.

The Beer

Brewmaster Bruce Tanner started his brewing career years ago in Arizona while at school studying biology and since has cut his chops at breweries across the country including a six-year stint at Troegs.

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We got a sneak preview of some of the beers (those of you who attended the Capital City Invitational Beer Festival on Saturday may have tried one or two of these) this week, and we’re really excited about what Bruce is working on.

Ever Grain will open with 10 beers on tap — Here are a few you can expect:

Camp Pils – 5 % ABV

First, what an appropriate and great name for a local beer. A pilsner that is true to style with a clean flavor and crisp bitterness from the generous amounts of German Noble hops. A beer that anyone can drink.

Joose Juicy IPA – 6%

A juicy IPA that is packed with hop flavor and just the right amount of bitterness. Bruce spent more than eight hours dry hopping this beer to give it a great nose. It features piney and citrus flavors with a dry finish that get you ready for the next sip.

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Udder One Milk Stout – 5%

Smooth and roasty, just like a milk stout on nitro should be. If you’re into the darker side of craft beer, this is right up your alley. Udder One, also a great name, highlights flavors of chocolate from the malts and vanilla from the lactose used in a traditional milk stout.

Fluff Head Hefeweizen – 5%

Some hefes are too much banana or too much clove and sometimes too much of both. This beer is perfectly balanced and easy to drink. The wheat lends a smooth mouth-feel with the just the right amount of sweetness.

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Ever Grain will have these four on tap along with six more that include a Russian Imperial Stout, Fresh Hop Ale with Painted Horse Hops, Saison (which I also tried and loved), another IPA, Pale Wheat and Helles Lager.

Ever Grain has even kept their brewing equipment local. They are brewing on Pizza Boy’s first 18-barrel system, which will allow them to keep up with production and constantly keep the beer flowing.

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When you grab your beer and find a seat, it will be time to head to Our Kitchen Table’s food window located right in the brewery.

The Food

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Located in front of Ever Grain and connected by a convenient ordering window, Our Kitchen Table is run by Russ Freeman (you know him from Cafe on Market, Market Square Bistro, and more). They open on Thursday to support Ever Grain Brewing Co., as well as for limited catering.

However, long-term plans include full-service catering and evening a restaurant and -hopefully- bakery, potentially opening at some point for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Camp Hill.

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The menu for Ever Grain will largely be based around “Bubba,” a massive smoker that will be used to prepare BBQ ribs, chicken, pulled pork, beef brisket and the like.

The menu features items like mac’n cheese with grilled shrimp; smoked chicken with rosemary potatoes, root vegetable medley; and Country Line Meat Loaf made with local beef, mashed potatoes, and mushroom sauce. Sides range from classic French fires to sauteed kale, house-made chips, and Chef’s vegetables.

Ever Grain Brewing Co. will be open 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Plus, look for information about yoga in the brewery on Tuesday and Sunday mornings!

»» Follow Ever Grain on Instagram and Facebook.

Race Review: 2016 Harrisburg Half Marathon

by: Kelly Leighton
September 14, 2016

Ten years ago Sunday, things were a lot different.

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I wasn’t a runner, I didn’t even think about running. I was starting my junior year of college, and gearing up for my third year of DIII swimming. For me, Sept. 11 stopped being the day the Twin Towers and Pentagon were attacked, and instead become the day my friend Parker passed away completely unexpectedly, thanks to epilepsy.

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So, when I put on my sneakers Sunday morning for the Harrisburg Half Marathon, I wasn’t really thinking of myself, and what time I wanted to run. I was thinking of my friend, whom I still miss every single day, and I was trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I hadn’t seen him in a decade. I wasn’t feeling particularly confident, I felt tired, my legs felt tired, but I decided if I was under 1:40, I’d be happy. As my friend, Allan, would later say, “As long as I didn’t get passed by the Grim Reaper pacer of the time I didn’t want to run behind, I’d be good.”

I felt great during the first few miles, I was easily running 7:20-7:25 pace, and backing off when I noticed I was running faster, even if it felt easy. I loved starting on the Market Street Bridge, and making our way through Wormleysburg, before taking the Harvey Taylor Bridge back to Harrisburg. I felt fine, the miles were ticking by. I was trying to run “smart,” aka even when a 7-minute mile felt “SO SUPER,” I knew to hold back.

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Once we ran through Shipoke and started heading back toward City Island and down Front Street, we were greeted with a strong, relentless headwind that persisted for nearly five miles, until we turned around near the JCC. I was in a dark place here, I was watching my pace creep up, despite the fact that I felt like I was really working hard. I was convinced the 1:40 pacer was right behind me, and that I’d be on the struggle bus until I hit the finishing mat.

But once we (FINALLY) turned around, with 3.5 miles to go until the finish, my mood and legs instantly felt better. I thought of my friend Parker often during these miles (and really, most of them). My fuel was starting to kick in, and I had a bit of a tailwind carrying me home. I stopped at the water station around the 11th mile and drank four cups of water. The humidity was getting to me, and my mouth felt so dry. I was ready to be done.

When I hit the 12th-mile marker (Thank you Jesus) by the Sunken Gardens, I knew I was close to a PR (1:37:35). So, I either had to make a move or miss a PR by a few seconds. If you know me at all, my reaction was HELL NAH … I am going to be so angry if I miss a PR by 10 seconds. I gunned it, determined to leave everything on that course. My fastest mile was the 12th, and as I crossed over the Walnut Street Bridge, I just wanted to be done. My legs were screaming, my mouth was dry and I was just so tired. I finished in 1:37:28, good enough for a little PR and an age group win.

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So, overall, it was a good race for me. But it was more than just a PR, it was 13.1 miles run in memory of a friend gone too soon, a runner himself. And as a shameless plug, Parker’s 5K will be held in Wilkes-Barre Sept. 25, so feel free to join us. I’ll be there.

Categories: Harrisburg, Running

5 Bourbons Under $30 to Celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month

by: Jimi The Intern
September 13, 2016

September is National Bourbon Month (as if we need another excuse to drink bourbon). Bourbon was the first spirit that I really got into, but I quickly noticed that there was a large gap in pricing between rotgut and top shelf stuff.

I wanted to explore the bourbon options without shelling out too much while still finding quality stuff. Plus, I wanted a bottle I could not feel guilty about having more than one glass of in a night (because we all have those nights).

It was still a little daunting, but I was able to find a handful of bourbons that are quality and packed with flavor.

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1. Larceny – $24.99

I was first introduced to Larceny while in college and it was suggested by the waitress as a good, “sippin’ whiskey,” for a great price. While it wasn’t necessarily sippin’ whiskey by my definition, it was a good bourbon at a great price.

It’s a traditional bourbon, and with one ice cube, it becomes something you can drink one or more of while watching a game at the end of the day.

Alternative: Basil Hayden’s Bourbon (now on sale for $39.99)

2. Four Roses Small Batch – $27.99

Four Roses was another bourbon that a bartender introduced me to in college when I wanted to drink better stuff for cheap prices because, you know, #college. Again, I was pleasantly surprised to find a great tasting bourbon for a small price.

This isn’t the first time I have been singing the praises of Four Roses; it has been a go-to for a while.

Alternative: Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon – now on sale for $39.99

3. Knob Creek Rye Whiskey – $29.99

Knob Creek Bourbon is a go-to great cheap alternative, and the rye version is just as great. I know, it’s technically not 100% bourbon. Get over it and grab a bottle of this.

The rye imparts a unique spicy flavor that is balanced out with incredible smoothness. It finished smooth with undertones of vanilla, oak and cinnamon.

Alternative: Knob Creek Reserve Single Barrel – now on sale for $31.99

4. Maker’s Mark Bourbon – $27.99

I’m not breaking any new ground and this pick shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has even a little extra knowledge about bourbon. There is a reason that it has stood the test of time as a staple on most bar shelves and liquor cabinets.

Alternative: Maker’s Mark Cask Strength

5. Jefferson’s “Very Small Batch” Bourbon – $31.99

Yes, I know that I said I would keep these all under $30, but it was hard for me to eliminate my favorite reasonably priced bourbon. Jefferson’s is a whiskey that could qualify as top-shelf. It’s smooth with just that bit of a burn that I personally love while drinking a good bourbon. I like to know that I am drinking something that can put some hair on your chest.

Alternative: Jefferson’s Reserve 

Categories: Whiskey

Pop-Up Happy Hour at Strawberry Square 9/21

by: Sara Bozich
September 12, 2016

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This month’s event will feature:

RSVP

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What’s a Pop-Up?

I’m partnering with Strawberry Square for a series of Pop-Up Parties running through September. Events are a pop-up-style 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 features discounts at participating retailers.

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

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