On Friday, September 5, beginning at 5 p.m., all 10 regional Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant locations will celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of a new season with the annual release of both The Great Imperial Pumpkin Ale and Classic Pumpkin Ale. Iron Hill’s award-winning Pumpkin Ale will be available on draught at all 10 locations through Halloween (Friday, October 31), and pumpkin lovers will be able to take home The Great Imperial Pumpkin Ale in cork-finished 750 mL bottles for a limited time.
Iron Hill’s Pumpkin Ale is a medium-bodied, copper-colored ale with malt-y sweetness and a balancing bitterness. It is spiced with traditional pumpkin pie spices and vanilla, in lieu of finishing hops, for intensely seasonal flavor. The Great Imperial Pumpkin Ale is a hearty autumnal beer brewed each year with more than 200 pounds of pumpkins, as well as pumpkin pie spices, molasses and Belgian candi sugar, giving it a rich flavor and heady aroma, evocative of wool sweaters, crisp evenings by the fire and all things fall. Throughout the season, the beer will be sold as a Bottled Reserve, Iron Hill’s line of cork-finished 750 ml bottles, for $19.50. The Great Imperial Pumpkin Ale’s collectible bottles feature a custom-designed label from local artist Jeff Schaller, inspired by the beloved comic strip Peanuts.
Be sure to grab your bottle at one of Iron Hill’s locations:
- Newark, DE (147 East Main Street, 302-266-9000)
- Wilmington, DE (620 Justison Street, 302-472-2739)
- Media, PA (30 East State Street, 610-627-9000)
- West Chester, PA (3 West Gay Street, 610-738-9600)
- North Wales, PA (1460 Bethlehem Pike, 267-708-2000)
- Phoenixville, PA (130 East Bridge Street, 610-983-9333)
- Lancaster, PA (781 Harrisburg Pike, 717-291-9800)
- Maple Shade, NJ (124 East Kings Highway, 856-273-0300)
- Voorhees, NJ (13107 Town Center Boulevard, 856-545-9009
- Chestnut Hill, PA (8400 Germantown Avenue, 215-948-5600)
It’s no secret that I’m always on the hunt for good craft beers. Especially unusual flavors, trendy new styles, hard-to-find rarities, aged, cellared, or limited editions. I search, find, and devour. I’m here today to let you in on a little secret spot where I score some of my best finds: The Black Gryphon in Elizabethtown, PA.
I stumbled across the place several years back and at the time, I had no idea the beer bounty that it held. It’s a place known for local, fresh ingredients in every dish and seasonal refreshes to their menu. But I had never heard of anyone talking about the amazing beer selection.
> View Black Gryphon’s Beer List
HOW DID YOU GET THAT?
I really like that there’s a dedicated tap for Dogfish Head beers – varieties that you’re NOT going to find at most craft beer taphouses in Central Pennsylvania. Stuff like Ancient Ales, 120 minute, Sony collaborations, etc. In fact, most of the craft beers I’ve found here are so unusual that I just had to ask Anthony how he selects and obtains these liquid treasures. This while conversing over a glass of Boulevard’s Saison-Brett (farmhouse ale – 8.5% ABV)… on draft. Crisp, hoppy and tart.
The majority of his beer selecting inspiration comes from his travels. When he’s not working at the Black Gryphon he’s out and about locally and long-distance to experience brews that he’s never had before. He’s constantly tasting and researching what should be added to the beer list. His patrons, friends and family also drop off bottles from their excursions and trips. Want proof? Check out the bottle collection that continues to grow when you walk inside the place. It’s awesome.
Eighteen different sources are used to obtain what gets sold at the pub whether it be kegs or bottles. These include self-distributing breweries like Millbock, Round Guys, Red Hook, St Boniface, to name a few. Also, distributors that are willing to help Anthony obtain rare selections and special requests. Those distributors that aren’t going to insist that the mainstream, flagship selections have to be represented. You’re not going to find Shock Top on these taps!
QUALITY VS QUANTITY
The goal is not only to find unusual stuff but to stock seasonal selections that are key for the serious craft beer drinkers. Limited, smaller batches.
Smaller quantities are obtained so the beer never has a chance to go bad or get stale. I appreciate this because I’ve been to many places that boast gobs of taps only to be disappointed in the lack of freshness. Believe me, you can tell when a beer sits too long, or when the tap lines aren’t cleaned from keg to keg. Blah! I call a place out every time when I encounter either of these taproom fouls. Thank goodness the Black Gryphon staff cleans their tap lines and samples each selection on a regular basis to ensure fresh taste. If it doesn’t taste fresh, it gets pulled from the bar and discarded.
THE BEER CELLAR
It’s at this point in the conversation that Anthony says “Have you ever had a Smuttynose Zinneke Belgian Stout?” Of course, I haven’t. This is why I come here… to indulge in the unusual. And, this selection did not disappoint. Rich, creamy and tart. The perfect follow-up to the saison-brett we had just finished. This guy really knows his beers!
You won’t find the cellared craft beers on the website beer list. Why? This is the rare of the rare. Super limited quantities. Dine-in only. Just ask “what’s in the beer cellar today?” the next time you stop in to see what’s available.
Also, the cellar is safe-keeping for beers that will be served during the many beer pairing dinners that the Black Gryphon puts on throughout the year.
Be sure to “like” the Black Gryphon on Facebook so you get the details on all of their events!
> View Facebook Page
BEER ISN’T THE ONLY FINE ART HERE
Being a designer by trade and an artist at heart, I like to peruse the walls of the place each time I visit. Anthony supports local artists by hanging their works in the dining room for his patrons to view and purchase, if they’d like.
He’s also an artist, himself. Ask him about his latest works when you stop in.
You can also find the Upcycled Beer Signs that my husband and I make from various beer packaging like six-pack holders, cans, etc. They’re located in the bar area on the back wall. We change them seasonally and try to reflect the great selections that the Black Gryphon has to offer.
These are the same signs we sell on our Ebay Store. Check them out when you stop in. Tell Anthony that Chelsie sent ya. Cheers!
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This Saturday August 16 2014 our good friends at The Brewery at Hershey are celebrating their first anniversay.
It seems like only yesterday, but In August of 2013, the vineyard added well-decorated homebrewer, Ryan DeLutis, who was ready to go “big time,” and The Vineyard at Hershey became The Vineyard & Brewery at Hershey. One year and 10,000 gallons of fresh, local, “PA Preferred” craft beer later, they are ready to celebrate the brewery’s first year’s successes which include sourcing ingredients from an on-site Brewer’s Garden, a portfolio of 13 unique craft beers and multiple small-batch “Special Ops” beers which benefit a local National Guard Unit, a 10 county wide distribution agreement with Westy’s Beer Distributors, and strong partnerships with many local businesses and charities. (more…)
Me wearing this shirt does not give you the right to talk about what’s underneath it.
For some of you, this won’t be easy to read. (more…)
In case you couldn’t tell, here at Stouts and Stilettos we are PA Proud and love partnering with local businesses. As a kid, I remember taking day trips with my family every summer to different spots around the state and Mid Atlantic region – everything from The Philadelphia/Washington/Baltimore Zoos to Crystal Cave and even the entomology department at Penn State (I was a pretty big dork). The Strasburg Railroad was definitely on that list as well, ripe with Pennsylvania’s heritage, who offer scenic tours across Lancaster County.
While they still offer the tours like I took as a child, they are expanding into dinner events, Oktoberfest in the fall, and now their Farm & Brew days. These events include summer foods like BBQ ribs, cole slaw, corn on the cob, etc. as well as 5 seasonal beer samples as you enjoy the scenic view of the Lancaster countryside. Sounds like a great date night if you ask us!
Tickets to this event are usually $52/each, but we’re giving away two for you to enjoy! Entering is simple, and we’ll pick a winner on Thursday August 21st. Enter daily and may the odds ever be in your favor.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here’s the quick rundown:
- What: Farm and Brew on the Train with Strasburg Railroad
- When: Aug 22 2014 @ 6:30pm
- A celebration of the tastes of summer aboard Strasburg Rail Road’s vintage steam trains. Includes a menu of summer favorites such as BBQ ribs, local corn on the cob and house-made cole slaw, paired with 5 seasonal brews and scenic views of Lancaster County as you travel down the tracks from Strasburg to Paradise and back.
THANK YOU to everyone who came out for our IPA Day Celebration at the Sturges Speakeasy! We had a fantastic turn out and an even better time hanging out, meeting new people, and of course talking craft beer.
Thank you to Jess Horn, and Wilsbach Distributors, who got us the beer hook up for the evening as well as the awesome giveaways. We can’t wait to see Nicole of Susquehanna Valley Girl’s Pint Out working her new Sam Adams golf bag!
HUGE thanks to Adam Sturges and The Sturges Speakeasy for hosting as well as the awesome bar staff who worked their buns off trying to keep up with us.
Cheers to my Stouts and Stilettos team who, as always, are an asset to the site.
PS Colleen’s twin count as two more so we’re slowly taking over the world, I promise.
All pictures were taken by the wonderful Bart of Kollision Media/Hop Hedz Gear.
We’re always indebted to Bart for designing our chic logos and his constant support.
Read all about his new craft beer inspired tshirts!
Thanks for making everyone look great!
For more pictures from the event, check out our Facebook album.
Don’t forget to tag your friends. Next up, Stout Day!
This past weekend both Chelsie and myself attended the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Tour – Midatlantic edition – in Philadelphia PA. In my opinion, this was the most well-organized and thought out beer festival I have ever been too, plus, it was a blast! In the hopes to try not to make those of you who couldn’t attend too jealous, we’re going to keep it short and sweet and each share what we liked the most about Beer Camp 2014.
FAVORITE BEERS (more…)
In a massive tasting tour that kicked off on March 18, Goose Island Beer Co. is bringing it’s world class beers to a world class city: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Each event will showcase Goose Island’s favorite and most rare beers while giving you access to their brewers and educators direct from Chicago, Illinois. Plus, you can meet face to face with craft beer lovers like yourself and celebrate a shared passion for great beer!
2 PHILLY EVENTS TO ATTEND DURING #MigrationWeek
Are you familiar with Flaming Dr Pepper bombs? We just created a new twist on them!
Take 6 oz Sunshine Pils from Troegs. Then make a shot with 3/4 Amaretto with a little Root Beer Schnapps and top it off some 151. Set it on FIRE! Watch the glow for a bit and then CAREFULLY (using tongs) drop that delicious shot into the Sunshine Pils and CHUG! Seriously it tastes amazing like Dr Pepper in your mouth.
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