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Beers, Brats & Bands!

- Joseph Sturm

Contributing Writer

 

October 9, 2010 in York, PA saw an awesome event.  Saturday, The Beer Ace attended the “Brews, Brats, and Bands Brew Fest”, not realizing what was in store for me. Over forty different brews were available to any who wanted to attend the event at the Sovereign Bank Stadium.  VIP tickets cost only $35, allowing entrance at 11 am and giving them an extra hour to sample favorites and new beers alike.  12pm saw the arrival of the general public at a cost of only $25 per person.   For a three hour event – four if VIP – the money paid to get into the event was certainly worth it.

With a bought ticket, people received a Souvenir Brew Sampler Mug, unlimited visits to brewery stands, a bratwurst meal, and two separate musical performances.  The bands present were: The Corty Byron Band – a rock band – and Jon Q – country rock.   Of course, each band had its own style and varied in its “rock” or “country” attitude.  So, while they played to entertain ears, the breweries were there to entertain tastebuds.

Many different brewing companies were present displaying their best for the season.  Among those present were:  Liquid Hero, Tröegs, Appalachian Brewing, Straub, Stoudts, Rogue, Lancaster, Sierra Nevada, Longtrail, Dogfish, Blue Moon, Sam Adams, WoodChuck Draft Cider, and Saranac. Each offered excellent brews and everyone was happy to try them.

Liquid Hero, a brewing company out of York, Pa, was created by three brilliant gentlemen by the names of: Josh, Matt, and Christian.  Conceived and begun three years ago in a garage, they have since created four excellent brews:  Red Horn Ale, American Hero, Schweet Ale, and HeroWeizen.  Their American Hero, however, is by far their best and most popular brew, featuring an excellent combination of Amarillo, Cascade, and Centennial hops and a smooth taste.  American Hero has been awarded second place in the Amber Ale category by the York County Brew Fest and second place in the same category in Bube’s Brewery contest.  Obviously an excellent choice, the American Hero will never let you down.

Recently, Liquid Hero has been attending events like the “Brews, Brats, and Bands Brew Fest”, offering their creations to curious beertasters. When asked when their brews will be sold to regular consumers, Chris responded by saying, “We hope to sell our brews in the beginning of 2011.  But it might be as late as the middle of 2011.”  Though no one is quite sure of the exact release date of their anticipated brews, one thing is for sure: 2011 will be a great year.

Appalachian’s Jolly Scot is a sweet ale with a malt finish.  Though smooth, it has hop flavor to it and is a favorite throughout the U.S.   Both Lancaster’s and Stoudt’s Oktoberfest beers complimented each other while Lancaster’s Dunkel Weizen complimented Stoudt‘s Bavarian Wheat.   Still, I was a fan of Lancaster’s represented brews since its Oktoberfest and Dunkel Wiezen offered slightly more taste than Stoudt’s selection at the event.   Straub offered its Special Dark and its regular Straub Beer.  Though I preferred Straub’s Special Dark because of its smooth taste with a bitter finish, Talon Prophet of York, Pa disagreed, preferring Straub’s Regular instead.

When asked the reason for attending the event, Prophet responded saying, “To have a good time, drink great beer, and because my girlfriend bought me a ticket.”  He continued to say that his favorite beer at the event was Straub’s Regular and that the event featured a “Great time, great beer, and great potato salad.”

With that, he ran off to taste another “great beer” offered by the various breweries.  Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale, a flagship beer, features their Pacman ale yeast and is made from various malts, hops, and yeasts.  It is “dedicated to the rogue in each of us”.  Of course, Sam Adams’ Oktoberfest is a favorite, along with Long Trail’s Blackbeary Wheat and Double Bag Ale.

There were so many brews at the event to try that some decided to hand their keys over to DUI Keys Please, a nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping drunk drivers off of the road, decreasing vehicle accidents, and saving people from possible embarrassment as well. Created by Todd Ross, a retired York City Police Officer, DUI Keys Please features a team of two for every customer.   One drives its customer home while the other follows behind to drive back to their place of employment. They keep the customer safe while keeping others safe at the same time.

As you can see, the event offered tons of entertainment and brews while offering a safe ride home.  So, a lot of planning must have gone into the event.   Ed Camp, VP of Marketing at Ace Distributing and one of the organizers of the event told The Beer Ace that “We have been planning since last year’s event ended,” He continued saying “A lot of time and energy went into this event, and it has been successful.” Camp is hoping that next year’s event will be even larger saying that “it takes a while for people to realize that these events are happening.  But they grow each year.”

Though a couple of hundred people attended “Brews, Brats, and Bands Brew Fest”, many more hundreds can fit comfortably in the Stadium. With more people will come more brews and more fun.  Many look forward to next year’s event; hopefully, it can be made an annual occurrence.

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A Capitol Oktoberfest

A Capitol Oktoberfest

- Joseph L.M. Sturm

Contributing Writer

Attending the Oktoberfest at The Capitol Theatre in downtown Chambersburg, PA was an economically sound decision on my part.  $5 provided five chances to taste a beer that seemed unpassable.  $3 provided a generous portion of your favorite taste.  But that’s wasn’t the end.  Hotdogs were offered to any who wanted a quick, tasty snack, artists set up their wares, and the Boro Boogie Pickers played awesome music.  The atmosphere experienced by many was warm and homey, exactly what one would expect at an Oktoberfest.

On Friday, October 1 from 6pm – until 9pm I tasted a few diverse samples provided by the following breweries and distributors: Roy Pitz, Tröegs, Lancaster, In and Out Beverage, and Bube’s Brewery.  I learned more about the breweries and the people that worked there than I had anticipated.  Every person was friendly and wanted to talk and share beer experiences.  Enough about the atmosphere.  Let’s see what the event offered.

Each brewery and distributor offered enticing selections that made it difficult to decide exactly what to taste.  My dad, fond of hops brews, came along and found his favorites in Roy Pitz’ English Brown Ale and Lancaster’s Hophog IPA, one of their flagship beers.  I’m more of a wheat guy, so upon tasting Dreamweaver by Tröegs, an excellent wheat brew made with spices, cloves, and a hint of bananas, I decided that Dreamweaver will be my favorite for the season. Still, In and Out Beverage’s best taste by far is Bell’s Best Brown Ale.  It’s a hop brew that is smooth and smokey.  Its bitter taste, a feature of hop brews, isn’t overwhelming and being smooth makes it slide right down the throat which creates a problem since your taste buds call for another swig. So, when I want a hops brew I know where to go: In an Out Beverage.

Of course, many other beers were present that sent my taste buds tingling.  Roy Ptiz’ Best blond ale certainly did the trick.  My buds aren’t the only thing that tingled. Ryan Richards, a brewmaster for Roy Pitz, told me of their plan to release their fall seasonal brews next week which feature the anticipated Midnight Ride and Daddy Fat Sacks,  only a few among several.  Last year they disappeared in two weeks so you had better be on the move if you want to get a taste this year.  In the near future Roy Pitz also plans to quadruple their storage capacity and acquire new fermenters.  So, if you miss your favorite seasonal this year, you might be able to buy a drink of it next year.

In and Out Beverage offered Sam Adams Octoberfest, Hacker –Pschorr Oktoberfest, and Dogfish Head Punkin’. Troegs offered Mad Elf Ale and Anthology #2. Bube’s Brewery enticed us with Nick’s Alt and Bube’s Oktoberfest and.  Lancaster also offered Hefe Weizen, a Bavarian style wheat beer.

All in all, the price was great, the people were awesome, and the beer was amazing.  I look forward to next year’s Oktoberfest and more additions to our local breweries’ selections.

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Great America Beer Festival Winners Announced!

Check out the list for this year’s winners just announced at the Great American Beer Festival -

http://www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com/the-competition/winners/

New Hoppenings Updated!!

What’s going on in Central Pennsylvania’s Craft Beer Scene?

AUGUST 2010

Friday, August 27th

Lancaster and Stoudts sampling at Waterway in York.  9-11PM.

SEPTEMBER 2010

Thursday,  September 2nd

Lancaster takes over the Taps at Blue Parrot Bistro in Gettysburg.  5 Lancaster styles on tap—milk stout, amish 4 grain pale ale, hop hog, kolsch, and strawberry wheat.  Dana from Lancaster will attend as well as myself.  Things get started at 9PM.

Friday, September 10th

Evening of Ancient Ales at Cobblestones in York.  All 4 Dogfish Head Ancient Ales ( Chateau Jiahu, Midas Touch, Sah’tea, and Theobroma) on tap.  Samples of all 4 from 7-9.

Wednesday, September 15th

Sierra Nevada sampling at Good Ta Go  5-7PM

Thursday, September 23rd

Evening of Ancient Ales at Flannery’s.  All 4 dogfish head ancient ales on tap.  Sampling starts at 6PM.

Stoudts Fat Dog Imperial Oatmeal Stout

AVAILABLE YEAR ROUND

Available: 12oz Bottles, Sixtel & Half Kegs

BREWING PROFILE (BIG BEER)

Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 9%

Hop Bitterness (IBU): 55

TASTING NOTES

Fat Dog Stout is a unique ale merging the smooth and complex richness of an Oatmeal Stout with the assertive hoppiness of Imperial Stout.  Fat Dog has an inviting silky-black color, and a prominent roasted malt character with chocolatey, coffee-like finish.

FOOD COMPLIMENTS

Raw Oysters

Creamy Desserts

Chocolate

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