Sierra Nevada brews Oktoberfest with 600-year-old German brewery

ken grossman

Image credit: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: On a trip to Germany this spring, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. finalized its inaugural partner, Augsburg’s Brauhaus Riegele, for a brand new Oktoberfest beer. Released each fall starting in 2015, the collaborative seasonal will feature a different German brewery every year. The partnership blends centuries of brewing tradition with modern spirit, giving craft drinkers the ultimate Oktoberfest, a Bavarian festival beer unlike any they’ve experienced in the US.

Family owned like Sierra Nevada, Brauhaus Riegele has brewed excellent craft beers since 1386, and more than 600 years later, its innovation earns accolades including 2015 Craft Brewer of the Year at the Meininger International Craft Beer Awards. Just as Sierra Nevada’s Ken and Brian Grossman lead as a father-son team, Brauhaus Riegele has a father-son duo at the helm. Its 27th generation Master Brewer Dr. Sebastian Priller-Riegele works alongside his son Sebastian Priller-Riegele, a World Champion Beer Sommelier, to brew a lineup of beers that together have earned more than 200 awards and medals stateside and abroad. Their brewmaster, Frank Muller, has won the German Government’s “Bundesehrenpreis” award for quality seven times—every year it’s been given.  

“We’re honored that Brauhaus Riegele, a real cornerstone of German craft brewing, is kicking off this Oktoberfest collaboration with us,” said Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada’s founder. “We’re both family owned, our children are hands on, and we share a passion for great beer. We’re aligned in so many ways, and we’re excited about the outstanding beer that’s emerged.”

“For years we’ve followed the great development of Sierra Nevada and we are really impressed by Ken and Brian’s fantastic beer culture,” said Sebastian Priller-Riegele, Brauhaus Riegele’s marketing manager. “We are really looking forward to sharing this outstanding beer together that shows our passion and dedication to the art of brewing. It’s an honor to work with Sierra Nevada.”

6 pack

Image credit: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

The Sierra Nevada and Brauhaus Riegele collaboration Oktoberfest will hit retail shelves in August. It will only be distributed in North America, although Brauhaus Riegele fans in Germany need not worry. The two breweries are collaborating on a separate barrel-aged beer to be brewed and aged on site at Brauhaus Riegele’s traditional Bavarian sudhaus.

Aeronaut Brewing Company: Hidden Gem of Massachusetts

A Visit to Aeronaut Brewing CompanyAs I was planning my Massachusetts trip to visit my mother, I couldn’t help but to also turn the journey into a beercation to explore as many unique and artfully crafted breweries that the state has to offer during my time there. Many recommendations flooded in to me from my local craft beer friends and those on Twitter. Plus, I already had a wishlist of “must stops” like Night Shift Brewing Co., Tree House Brewing Co., Trillium Brewing, etc. But as fate would have it, I stumbled across a young, hip, quirky brewery while doing some research online: Aeronaut Brewing Co. in Somerville, MA. And, I’m so glad I did. It just so happens that their one year anniversary fell exactly when I would be in Massachusetts. Not only were they having a whirlwind of celebrations all week long but they were also releasing limited edition can designs (shown above) filled with A Year with Dr. Nandu – A most pleasant and tasty IPA that’s chalk full of Mosaic and Centennial hops. Think juicy citrus up front with a grassy punch in the finish. So good!

I have to be honest. I had no idea what to expect from this brewery. I was just so completely drawn to the can artwork that they had been posting about on Twitter and Facebook. I mean, #GoodDesignMatters. It really does. Because of the can designs done by artist, Raúl Gonzalez III, I quickly added this brewery to my beercation itinerary. What I didn’t know until talking with co-owner, Ben Holmes, is that the designs were inspired by their customer’s artwork that they collect every day at the taproom. When you purchase a beer, you get a blank slate coaster that has just the brewery logo icon in the center. Here is where you can let your creative juices flow as you draw, paint, color, whatever on that canvas. Every coaster is then saved and displayed in the brewery.

IMG_6115-600What a great idea! I love to doodle and I especially love using Sharpies. Unfortunately, I was ill-prepared and didn’t have anything other than a ball point pen to draw. I really wished I had brought my watercolor paints! That’s when the bartender whipped out a collection of markers, pens and pencils so I could draw til my heart’s content. Check it out:

My Coaster Design at Aeronaut BrewingWhen you visit the brewery, look for my one-of-a-kind, self-proclaimed “masterpiece” hanging behind the bar. And, be sure to create your own as well.

Aeronaut Brewing Company HoursTHE BREWERY EXPERIENCE
Every square inch of the building, which includes a brewery, taproom and “food hub”, inspires creativity and experimentation. The space was designed to let people express themselves while they enjoy some great craft beer. From a funky silver piano to lawn chairs suspended overhead from the ceiling. They even have a movie screen hanging from the ceiling for “Projector Parties”. Artwork fills the walls. Every where you look, you discover something different and interesting. And, it’s not uncommon for creative folks to be sitting in the brewery with their laptops and sketch books making something amazing. Or for someone to hop on the piano and play a tune. Just my kind of place!


Beer FlightTHE BEERS
Let’s not forget the beers. I didn’t get to try every brew on the tap list but I did sample Saison of the Western Ghats (mild spice and peach notes) and Orangutan Pilot (big juicy citrus flavors). I was very pleased with the quality of each. If only I had time to try more of their well-crafted beers while I was visiting. I did make sure I came home with a four-pack of the limited edition cans so I could enjoy Aeronaut Brewing Co. beyond my trip.

I foresee great success for this start up brewery that was formed by two MIT PhD grads + one Yale PhD grad + a computer scientist. This is where the story shifts from creativity to science and experimentation. During our brewery tour, we learned how beer was created. Not just the process but what happens on a molecular level during each stage of the process. I’ve gone on a gazillion brewery tours and this one was by far the most educational. We learned how the brewers harvest their own unique yeast strain that they developed and how they continue to cultivate it. Local ingredients are used whenever possible and are sometimes part of the experimentation process as they run small test batches to determine how each element affects the taste of the beer.

You can watch the brewing process when sitting at the tap room since the whole space is an open concept floor plan. It’s exciting to see the “beer scientists” do their thing while you’re sipping on some brews.

Aeronaut Brewing Company Food HubTHE FOOD
If you get hungry while visiting Aeronaut Brewing Co., you’re in luck! They have what is called the Food Hub which connects onto the taproom. It’s a spacious area that houses many different food vendors. What’s unique about this concept is that it’s actually an incubator where a handful of startup food companies can get their feet wet, experiment with recipes and ingredients all while growing their business before going out on their own. It also provides an ever changing selection of eats for brewery visitors.

So if you’re in the Somerville, MA area, this wonderfully brilliant, up-and-coming brewery is a must-stop. Be sure to check out their Facebook page or website for hours and special event info. And, maybe. Just maybe. You will get to see the Fish Car at the entrance when you stop by.

Aeronaut Brewing Company Fish Car

(Follow Me On: Twitter & Untapped: @dzyngrl | Instagram: @dzyngrl14)

We’re Back!

Hey guys, we're back!

After a horrible 5 day hiatus of being almost dead, Stouts and Stilettos is back! Our hosts’ server got annihilated and with it, we almost lost the entire site. Luckily, they were able to retrieve the data and reestablish the site along with many, many others including our beloved Harrisburg Beer Week. We apologize that you couldn’t read up on awesome beer stuff for a few days, thanks for your patience. Your regularly scheduled beer posts will resume shortly. So, what have you guys been up to the past few days? Drink anything good or exciting? Learn something new about beer? We missed you, feel free to comment or tweet us!

Brew Fest Gear for the Stylish

Ladies, are you ready for beer fest season? I certainly am. For me, there’s multiple beer festivals every month, year round here in the North East. But going to a fest outside in the warm summer air just feels amazing.

Not only is it fun to hang out and drink good craft brews with your friends, it’s also fun to see what folks are wearing. Beer-themed clothing and accessories are becoming more sophisticated and down right stylish. Here are a few standout items I’ve come across that will make you get noticed in the crowd. Don’t worry, guys! You can also rock some of these items, too.


~ $53 ~
Be hands-free during beer fests. Heaven forbid you drop your cute little tasting glass. This back pack is extra special because the leaf flap kind of looks like hops.

> View Back Pack

Hops T-shirtHOPS T-SHIRT
~ $24 ~
I love tees from Inky Sweet (formerly Ink Squirrel Studios). Soft, stretchy… the epitome of comfort and style. I have several shirts from this artist. Highly recommended!

> View Hops T-shirt

~ $20 ~
This shirt is on my must-buy list. I love the worn quality of the imprint plus I’m a huge IPA fan. I chuckle every time I see this shirt and I know it will be a conversation piece at any fest.

> View IPA T-shirt

~ $22 ~
“The Revolution is Brewing” in this beautiful typeface is fantastic. Everything designed by Craft Loyal is interesting to look at and comfortable to wear. Also available for Men.

> View Craft Loyal T-shirt

Trucker Hat Craft LoyalFLAT BILL HAT
~ $25 ~
How cute would this be with pigtails, ladies?! And, it will keep the sun out of your eyes during a mid-day brew festival. This is also for the guys who want to look stylish while drinking.

> View Flat Bill Hat

~ $35 ~
Handmade right here in Pennsylvania. Upcycled items are always a hit in my book. Lately, there have been a lot of clever items on Etsy repurposing craft beer packaging. Cool!

> View Bracelet

~ $38 ~
Another upcycled goodie. Bottle caps have never looked so stunning! Check out other jewelry from this artist. There’s also a pretty beer charm bracelet I think you’ll dig.

> View Bracelet

~ $12 ~
The concept of earrings made from craft beer bottle caps isn’t new. But these are well made and well designed. The outer cap edge is what caught my eye + I love Limbo IPA by Long Trail.

> View Earrings

~ $18 ~
I’ve been looking for something like this for a very long time. Hop earrings that are flat unlike a lot of the bulky faux hop earrings I’ve seen lately. I think these would be very comfortable to wear.

> View Earrings

~ $12 ~
A sturdy tote comes in handy if you’re going to a fest where you can purchase items from various vendors with food, crafts, clothing, etc. Carry all your stuff in this versatile bag.

> View Tote

Upcycled HeadbandHEADBAND
~ $10 ~
Whether you have long or short hair, this headband is a winner for summer beer fests. It’s made from a Rogue Dead Guy Ale package but there are others available, too.

> HView Headband

Tasting Glass HolderGLASS HOLDER
~ $6 ~
Where has this handmade goodie been all my life? It comes in a variety of colors. But I like the green. I bet you already guessed why, didn’t you? HOPS!!!

> View Glass Holder

Beer Nails How-ToBEER NAILS
~ (cost of nail polish) ~
How creative is this!? Works on both short and long nails. So many people will stop you and ask how you did that. Shhh!. It’ll be our little secret. Pinky swear? Of course, you do.

> View Beer Nails How-To

~ $8.99 ~
You can never have enough fun phone cases. And, at this price, why not get grab this one, too. It’s nice and neutral so it goes with every outfit. Great use of type design to make a beer bottle shape.

> View Phone Case


(Follow Me On: Twitter & Untapped: @dzyngrl | Instagram: @dzyngrl14)

The Perfect Beer Festival Survival Guide

It’s that time of year again: brew fest season. While brew fests do happen year-round there is a definite spike in the number during the summer. Whether you’re heading to your first one or are a well-seasoned veteran, we have a few tips to survive a long day of sipping and sampling with the crew.

Dress Appropriately

tierney hbg brew fest

In most cases, you’re going to be outside all day long, in the sun, and on your feet. I know heels make your legs look awesome but ladies leave them at home. Comfortable shoes are the key to survival. Even your favorite wedges can get old after awhile. Check out our full list of beer fest fashion tips here and be on trend with this list. I know it sounds pretty obvious, but check the weather and be prepared. Also, please wear sunblock. Yeah, your summer glow looks nice, but it won’t in 30 years. Take care of yourself so we can drink together longer.

Water. Drink water.

Brewfest Survival Tips: Drink Water. Lots of water.

I love a good buzz as much as the next person, and I think that at brewfests that’s pretty acceptable, but being hammered pushes it. Maintain people, maintain! Drink some water, ain’t no shame in your game. Please don’t let me see you puking in a port-a-potty. Please don’t let me see you half passed out on the sidewalks. Rinse your glass out, fill it again and drink that glass of water, and keep going. Do this every time you rinse. Do this especially if it’s over 87 degrees.

Life’s not a track meet, it’s a marathon.

You’ve arrived. You’ve got your besties by your side. You’re sunblocked up, had a good base meal, and you’re ready to party. In front of you is an all-you-can-drink smorgasbord of beer. Take your time. You have next next at least 2 hours to indulge, don’t feel like you have to hurry up and drink ALLOFTHEBEERS in the first 10 minutes. Peruse for what you really want to drink, dump ones that suck, and if the line’s too long come back later. Don’t think you need to go slam the first few ones inside the door to get a good buzz going. Enjoy yourself and savor your beers, the buzz will come regardless.

Don’t be a jerk.

I shouldn’t have to say this, but I’m going to anyways. We all like to learn about what we’re drinking, but if you want to chat with a brewer or rep step to the side so those waiting in line behind you can continue to be served while you talk. It’s going to be crowded, you’re going to bump into other people, step on their feet, and probably spill something on yourself or maybe someone else. Be polite about it, it goes a long way when people have been drinking. And, if it happens to you, in the words of Chris Rock, if somebody steps on your foot let it slide. Why spend the next 20 years in jail because somebody smudged your Puma? Use some common sense and decency no matter how tipsy you get.

A Visit to Tired Hands: Fermentaria

IMG_5251smSince the Tired Hands Brewing Co. Fermentaria at 35 Cricket Terrace, Ardmore, PA opened up April 24, 2015 (also the first day of Harrisburg Beer Week), I have been anxiously awaiting our day trip to check it out. I’ve been a big fan of Tired Hands beer for a while now and have had good times at their Brew Cafe just 2 blocks away from the new place.

Our strategy?
Start at the Fermentaria, sample their food and try every beer we haven’t had yet on tap. Then, head over to the Brew Cafe to do the same. I love that both locations are within walking distance from each other, feature different ever changing draft options and a completely different menu.

Don’t know the best route to walk from one location to the other?
Here’s a handy dandy map for you:

IMG_5289sm PRO TIP:
Parking: Park near the Fermentaria. There are several lots with parking meters around this location. (Bring your quarters! A quarter gets you 30 min. which is pretty generous.) Then, walk to the Brew Cafe since it’s only a 4-6 min walk. Parking is tricky near the Brew Cafe and this will avoid you driving around the block several times waiting for a space to open up during peak hours.

Train: There’s also a train station within walking distance that can take you East to Philadelphia and West to Harrisburg… and many cities in between that have interesting craft beer destinations:

The Food
You can count on Tired Hands to have a creative selection of eats which use as many local ingredients as possible. Everything is fresh and you can taste the difference! We started with sharing the Carnitas Tacos. You get 2 tacos that have a generous portion of tender braised pork on a bed of guacamole then topped with pickled red onions, cilantro and crumbled queso fresco. Because it comes with four soft tortillas, we made four tacos out of the $10 dish.

We were equally pleased with the Fish Tacos. I loved that the beer batter was light and crispy. Not at all oily or greasy. Very nicely done with the citrus slaw and chipotle mayo. Again, we made four tacos from just one order.

As soon as I read that the homemade donuts were served with a warm coffee-chocolate sauce, I couldn’t NOT order it. Even the donuts were warm which I loved. So good.

I’ve also been told that the burger and fried chicken are amazing. I guess I’ll have to schedule another trip soon to experience those – It’s a tough job but somebody has to do it!

> View Menu to see the entire list of options.

The Beer
IMG_5263smIf you live in Pennsylvania and haven’t already discovered Tired Hands beer, I ask you, “Where have you been the last three years?!” It really is worth the trip to both breweries (Fermentaria & Brew Cafe) to drink some the finest saisons and IPAs. Of course, they brew other styles that are also quite tasty. There’s always something unique to try as the brewers push the envelope with ingredients and processes creating a beer that is completely magnificent and drinkable. I like to refer to their beer as “weird and delicious.”

I like that there are three pour sizes: 4 oz | 8 oz | 16 oz. That way I can discover more while drinking less. Because I’m quite the beer explorer I like to try as many as possible. That’s why the 4 oz. pours are so great. You can “sample” the variety then dig in and order a full pint when you’ve found “the one.” All while being responsible and not getting out-of-control inebriated. AND, drink lots of water in between.

For me, American Youth was my crush for the day. A juicy pale ale with loads of mango and tangerine flavors. Tired Hands beer is known for their cloudy appearance. They use lots of wheat and oats in the brewing process to give the beer a creamy and smooth mouthfeel. For the longest time, I thought they poured their beer with nitro instead of CO2. But after asking both a bartender and Jean Broillet IV himself (owner and master brewer), I learned the secret.

> Learn More About Their Beer Philosophy & Credentials
> View the Ever-changing Tap List

IMG_5247smP/S – I thought now that Tired Hands had two breweries, we would never see Jean. After all, he’s a busy guy now running two locations. But alas, he was at the Fermentaria when we stopped in and was sporting a 3 Floyds tee while chatting with another brewer at the bar. So good to see an owner staying involved and being visible. Love that!

The Digs
The vibe is industrial, energetic, creative and inspiring. What was once an old trolley repair shop is now a renewed space with an open concept layout where one can see into the kitchen, the brewery, the bar, the dining room and gift shop. It’s an atmosphere that is alive and moving. The large windows let natural light stream in from all angles highlighting the steel ceiling beams, the salvaged wood panels behind the bar and across all the tables in the building.

This place is huge! There is seating for 180 people and with additional standing room at the bar, 260 people can easily occupy the space. And, the brewery is also expanding Tired Hands’ brewing capacity. The new system can produce up to 10,000 barrels a year. This now has allowed their beer to not only be served at their own locations but also be distributed to Philly and other surrounding areas.

I was happy to see the highly imaginative and quirky artwork throughout the space. Complete walls are painted with the colorful illustrations by local artist: Philip Dahl.


IMG_5235smThe Hours
The Fermentaria is open Wed – Mon from Noon to 1am.

You can call 484-413-2983 for reservations. Which is recommended for large parties, on weekends and if you plan to visit during the evening hours.

We arrived early afternoon so we were able to be seated right away with no reservations. But I should also note that the local colleges are no longer in session for the summer, so it tends to be a lot easier to get seats in the summer time.

IMG_1901smThe Staff
And, wouldn’t you know. Our favorite bartender and waiter from the Black Gryphon, Steve, now works here. You’ll be in good hands as he’s extremely knowledgeable about beer. He, too, is a craft beer enthusiast and accomplished homebrewer. So if you have any questions about what beer might suit your palette, he’ll steer you in the right direction.

But also don’t forget to be a little daring and explore. You really can’t go wrong.

Want to Learn More About Tired Hand’s Original Location: The Brew Cafe?
> Check out my visit in 2014

(Follow Me On: Twitter & Untapped: @dzyngrl | Instagram: @dzyngrl14)

First Ever National Radler Day Coming June 22, 2015


One of the longest days of the year, June 22nd, will now be known as National Radler Day, the most refreshing day of the year. Arguably the most thirst quenching and easy drinking beer style around, Radlers are the ultimate playful and sessionable drink to kick off the summer.

Organizers are asking breweries around the country to participate in National Radler Day by making a big deal about the Radlers they serve. If your brewery doesn’t currently have one available, a Radler is simply made with (give or take) 50% Lager and 50% lemon or grapefruit soda. Serve up Radler at your bar/brewery while the summer sun scorches your patrons, ask your fans to use your beer to create their own Radlers at home, and make Radler Day fun for all. (Editor’s note: as a consumer, feel free to make your own at home, or pick up Stiegl Radler, my personal favorite)

Spread the word by tagging images on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with #nationalradlerday or #radlerday.

Why June 22? Not only is June 22 one of the first days of summer, it also commemorates the legend of Radler. Radler is German for “cyclist,” and the story goes that in June of 1922 the owner of the Kugleralm pub in Germany was visited by thousands of cyclists on a new bike trail that led directly to his venue. The publican didn’t have enough beer for all the cyclists so he mixed a 50/50 concoction of Lager and Lemon Juice, and Radler was born. The history may be a little shaky, but Radler is here nonetheless and we are all better for it!

Radler Day social media
#radlerday #nationalradlerday
Join the Facebook Event
Instagram – @radlerday

New PA PLCB Regulation: Good for Breweries. Good for You.

A Toast To PA's New Brewery Regulations

It’s been a good week in Pennsylvania for craft breweries large and small. Some big changes have been implemented that will help them grow more easily and cost effectively. There’s a very good chance that you may not have heard about the new brewery regulations that went into effect May 30, 2015 in Pennsylvania. And, you’re probably thinking, “Why is it important and what’s the big deal?”

Because of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board passing Section 3.93, Title 40 of the Pennsylvania Code, PA craft breweries can now sell their beer in their tasting room without having to obtain a costly and highly regulated Restaurant License or Brew Pub License in addition to their mandatory Brewery License.

I sat down with Ken McDermott, attorney at Shumaker Williams PC, over some stellar brews at Molly Pitcher Brewing Co. in Carlisle, PA to get the full scoop and cut through all the legal ease. You may know Ken as Barrels & Barristers (@PA_Alcohol_Law) on Twitter or follow the blog bearing the same name: Ken is active in the local craft beer community and helps to bring everyone up to speed on laws and regulations that affect the industry.

Through our discussions, I learned that a Brewery License is now the only license needed by a brewery to sell a pint of beer to their customers at the brewery and up to 2 satellite taprooms. “The taprooms” concept is especially important because they now do not need to brew at these locations. But they must comply with these regulations which are far less costly than the regulations of say a Brew Pub License:

  • beer must be consumed on-site between 10am – midnight
  • the beer has to have been produced by the brewery (even if in another location)
  • 10 seat minimum
  • snacks must be available (think: chips, pretzels)
  • a satellite taproom must have an address (that means a Food Truck does not constitute a taproom. Darn!)

Because brewers no longer have to register for a Brew Pub License “this reduces barriers for new breweries to come online,” noted Ken. Prior to this change, a brewery needed to have a full-time manager employed, 30 seats for customers and at least 300 square feet of space in their taproom area. A brewery also could not have a satellite taproom in the past that didn’t brew beer at that location. Expansion is now possible for breweries that do not have big budgets to go into new markets. It also makes it easier to test a market before investing a ton of money at that satellite location. Two very big pluses in my mind. I hope to see some of my favorite breweries open up taprooms in or near my home town. Oh, the possibilities!

The regulation revision that allows breweries to have satellite locations was championed by the Brewers of Pennsylvania and their general counsel: Theodore J. Zellers, III of Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A. Ted has extensive experience in liquor law, has authored portions of bills that have benefited PA craft breweries and is also General Counsel to D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. I had the pleasure of speaking with Ted this week as well. I’m certainly not law savvy and he was very helpful in answering my many questions and explaining things in an easy to understand way. I applaud him for helping push PA liquor law in the right direction for craft breweries. We need more folks like him to continue to keep Pennsylvania a craft beer friendly state.

We will now have greater access to the beers we love. Already, Crystal Ball Brewing Co. of York, PA recently posted on Facebook that because of the new regulations they now plan to sell beer at their brewery and are looking for locations to open up a tasting room. Be sure to follow them on the Socials to get the latest scoop about their expansion.

While meeting at Molly Pitcher Brewing Co., the owners expressed their excitement about the change and are now brainstorming ways they can save money all while expanding for the growing demand for their beer. Every time I step foot in their taproom it is full or gets filled up within minutes of opening. They need more space to serve their customers. And, now they have the ability to do so. Can’t wait to see what they come up with!

Just in the South Central Pennsylvania area alone, I know of at least 5 craft breweries that will open up in the next 6 months. New breweries really have to fight to get noticed and then fight even harder to keep those curious imbibers coming back on a regular basis. Satellite taprooms will definitely mean more competition. There’s no question about it. As long as the beer served is a quality product, is something that customers desire, and is served in a customer-friendly environment, I think breweries will be able to co-exist and profit quite nicely. We’re a thirsty state, and craft beer tourism is growing. Folks ask me all the time, “I’m visiting PA soon. Where should I go to get really great craft beer?” PA has a reputation for really great brew, and the demand is growing.

Now if only we had a Pennsylvania Craft Beer Trail website or app so folks can create their Beercation Itinerary. Hmmm. I need to find a way to make that happen!

If you would like to read more about the regulation legal details, please check out the following blogs:

Shumaker Williams PC
> Pints-On-Premises: Breweries Can Now Sell Beer On-site Without A Brew Pub License

Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A.
> Breweries Can Add Independent Tasting Rooms in Pennsylvania

(Follow Me On: Twitter & Untapped: @dzyngrl | Instagram: @dzyngrl14)

Adventures in Belgian Beer: Cantillon Brewery


After a brief hiatus, it only seems appropriate to talk about my recent vacation to Europe. This past May, I had the great privilege to go to Belgium and The Netherlands for a much needed vacation. In case some of you were unaware, some of the most coveted brews are housed in Belgium and I am happy to report that the beer and the breweries are just as amazing as so many others have expressed.

My first brewery stop was the very famous Cantillon. As a sour beer fan, this was the brewery that I looked forward to the most on my trip. Even if you aren’t the biggest sour beer person, this brewery is a piece of the Belgian beer history that should not be missed if in Brussels. Barrels and barrels of the highly sought after sour/lambic style beers line the halls of this fascinating place.

The equipment that is used at Cantillon today dates back to the early 1900s.

The equipment that is used at Cantillon today dates back to the early 1900s.

Barrels and barrels of the Cantillon beers.

Barrels and barrels of the Cantillon beers.

The tour is self-guided, but it is such a unique place to visit, that it was pretty neat to have the whole brewery to explore. Walking through each of the rooms and reading through the guide book makes you appreciate the beer we all love to drink. The brewery is a complete family run operation and that shows when you are touring and enjoying the beers in the pub. If you don’t know much about why Cantillon beers taste the way they do, I suggest checking out their web site. I like the quote they have about their beers/brewery:

“Well, you are in a family brewery where LAMBIC, GUEUZE, FARO and KRIEK are made and where nothing has changed since 1900 when it was founded. The Van Roy-Cantillon family welcomes you and invites you to discover a fabulous world. Beers, tools and brewing process are still the same as in the beginning.  Red copper containers, barrels, some of them more than 100 years old, and walls of bottles constitute the scenery for your visit.  Maybe you’ll be lucky to see the brewing or the bottling, maybe you ‘ll see how barrels are cleaned or how fruit beers are made in summer. Maybe you’ll be lucky to see the brewing or the bottling, maybe you ‘ll see how barrels are cleaned or how fruit beers are made in summer.

20150509_135358 (800x450)

The famous “loon” outside of Cantillon Brewery

The beers have been made for decades and the amount of heart and soul that goes into this product is well seen when visiting.  The staff while visiting mentioned that all of the hype in the United States over their beers makes them shake their heads. To most of them, “It’s just beer.” I like to think that it is just beer, but it is a really really good beer.  The cool ship on the second level of the brewery is enough to make any beer person smile from ear to ear.  Most of their beer production was complete for the year by the time my visit happened, but the way that the air comes into the cool ship at night to naturally ferment the beers is just a great beer moment.  It makes you appreciate and understand the sour beer production from the beginning of the process.

If you ever get the joy of visiting Cantillon, make sure you save some room for some older bottles in the pub.  The prices are phenomenal and the beers they have available to drink on premises are enough to make any sour beer fan giddy with lambic joy.  Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll talk about my trip to Duvel and to a very well known lambic bar in Brussels. Until then…Cheers!

Cheers from Cantillon

Cheers from Cantillon

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