Prism Brewing Shady Blonde: 30 Second Beer Review

by: Tierney

Prism Brewing Shady Blonde: 30 Second Beer Review

On a bleak Wednesday while watching Mr. Selfridge, I decided I needed to open a beer and brighten my day. The fridge is almost always full, but I wanted something new. Something spring-like. Something to shake the blahs out of an otherwise uneventful day. I decided upon Prism Brewing‘s Shady Blonde.

As soon as you open the bottle, it’s like a ray of sunshine comes out. Immediately your are hit with the scent of summer – fruit, flowers, and blue skies on the horizon. The aroma is overwhelming yet pleasant with firm scents of orange and a hint of clove. It pours a beautiful golden-orange color with a bit of cloudiness. The flavor is consistent with the aroma yet with a surprisingly bitter finish.

Prism Brewing Dirty Blonde: 30 Second Beer Review

Prism Brewing is located 10 miles outside of Philadelphia. Their logo is inspired by Pink Floyd and they only use whole, natural, and fresh ingredients in their flavorful ales. This isn’t my first Prism brew; I’ve seen them around a few brewfests before. If you see this brew, be sure to grab one and open a ray of sunshine.

Color: Golden Orange
Aroma: citrus, allspice
Taste: orange, bitter hop finish
Body: medium
About: Blonde Ale with blood oranges added, 4.5% ABV


 

Disclosure: I received a bottle of the beer mentioned above directly from Prism Brewing as part of their press kit. Stouts and Stilettos is not affiliated with Prism Brewing and received no compensation in exchange for promotion or review. 

Zeroday Brewing Co Announces April 8 Opening

by: Tierney

zeroday brewing logo

Midtown Harrisburg, are you ready to rock? Today, the brand-new Zeroday Brewing Company announced they will finally officially open on April 8 2015. This road has been an arduous one for them, and we are all anticipating their big day.

To be coy in telling their story, they are truly living the dream. Theo Armstrong, head brewer, started as a home brewer like many before him. One day, while hanging out in their hot tub, he and his wife, Brandalynn Armstrong, began a discussion of taking his passion and skill for brewing and officially making it ‘a thing’. With encouragement from each other, family, friends, and the community, the Armstrongs began a two year journey from Alter Ego Brewing’s Indiegogo campaign, to Zeroday Brewing’s 80 seat tasting room and 400 barrel brewhouse with a grand opening date on the books.

The arduous portion began with a necessary name-change due to trademark issues, continued with delays in licensing, and then that dock workers’ strike that kept their brewhouse hanging out in the middle of the ocean for what seemed like forever. Add that on top of any normal stresses one may be experiencing when trying to open a business, and it really seemed like this day would never come. Their unwavering resiliency and dedication to their work, and each other, is what has helped build this brewery (along with lots of beer and even more rap music).

zeroday logo open graphic

Zeroday Brewing Company will launch with 4 flagship beers: First Born (dry stout), Cheap Date (American blonde), Wit’s End (Belgian wit), and Zeroday IPA. Also available currently is their house-made ginger beer for all your Moscow/Kentucky mule needs. They plan to serve light finger foods like local cheeses and meats. Please join us in welcoming them with open-arms not just to the Harrisburg community, but to the craft beer community as a whole on April 8th.

Craft Breweries Are Getting A Grown Up Look

by: Chelsie

It’s no secret that developing a strong brand personality, no matter what industry you are in, is smart and effective. Competition is fierce right now in the craft beer world and getting noticed in the very crowded shelf-space is essential. It’s survival of the fittest and at times, the best packaging design trumps beer quality. At the point of purchase, customers that have never tried your product have no idea what your beer tastes like. But, if they’re intrigued with your bottle or carrier design or make a connection with what they’re seeing, they may just take the leap of faith and give it a try. Sometimes psychological and emotional connections are far greater than the rating a beer gets on Untappd, Beer Advocate or other beer rating app or service.

Good design doesn’t have to be expensive but sometimes you get what you pay for. Brewery start ups often are pinching pennies – putting their money into getting their facility up and running. Busy getting their taprooms filled with customers. So I completely understand how logo designs and product packaging artwork gets pushed to the side or done on the cheap. Not all breweries do this but I see it more often than not. And, then there are the breweries that have been around for a long while. They are now to the point where they are re-assessing their image and have the money to make big changes to tighten up what it is they look like and sound like. They’ve reached a level of maturity and are ready to make a sophisticated mark with their branding efforts.

NEW BELGIUM BREWING CO.
I think one of my favorite craft beer re-design examples is from New Belgium Brewing Company. In early 2014, they launched new packaging artwork by Hatch Design (which are design rockstars in my book).

New Belgium Brewing Co. Packaging Re-Design(packaging photography from: http://www.underconsideration.com)

Even though the previous design had a hand-done look with the watercolor paintings, Hatch interpreted these works of art with a cleaner, simpler result. Less is more. Get rid of the minute details and bolster the impression. The bold san-serifed font is a welcomed site as well. So smart that they repeated the name of the brewery directly under the logo. Because at a distance, the logo is extremely hard to read. Maybe a logo design will be in the future?

> Read More About It

GREAT LAKES BREWING CO.
Great Lakes is in the process of going through a face lift. In December 2014, they announced a complete overhaul of their logo and that product packaging designs were imminent in 2015. Since then they have unveiled the new logo which has a much more sleeker, cleaner look. Gone are the hops and grain illustration. While the font weight was beefed up to have a bolder presence.

Great Lakes Brewing Co. Logo Redesign

The new packaging design will launch late May/early June and I absolutely can’t wait to see it. Especially since Great Lakes commissioned Darren Booth, illustrator-extraordinaire, to whirl his magical, collagey artistry over the bottle label and carrier surfaces. IT. WILL BE. BREATHTAKING.

> Read More About It

STAR HILL BREWERY
Oh, my heart be still. Guys and gals of Storyware, you totally nailed this!!! Like, it’s so good I want to give you all a big fat sloppy kiss. The hand-done lettering of the wordmark and the stamp quality of the icon make this an A+. So smart to play down the icon and let the name garner more attention. It’s now balanced in weight. Is much more contemporary in look/feel yet not so sleek that the brand looses its “craft” personality.

Star Hill Brewery Logo Redesign
Looking forward to what’s in store for their packaging design and website. Storyware will nail this all as well. I have no doubt. And, they are even going to make the website mobile-friendly. Thank you! A million “thank you”s.

> Read More About It


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

Tell Us About Your First Time…

by: Tierney

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These are a few of my favorite things...

The other night the Harrisburg Beer Week team, including myself, was invited to be on Breakfast Beers with Chachi & Jenna podcast. In discussion about all things beer week, and inevitably all things craft beer, we got into a conversation regarding your first craft beer and how you got into craft beer over other beverages.

This really got me thinking about that one beer that can change everything. For me, it was Victory Golden Monkey. Imagine drinking pitchers of Coors Lite forever and then discovering a tasty golden beverage that’s sweet, flavorful, and packs more of a punch than most beers. I didn’t even know that beer could have a flavor beyond ‘beer flavor.’ I didn’t know that local breweries existed. I never could have imagined that this one beverage would foster an unquenchable passion. It was a life-changing moment. 

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Found on my Facebook circa 2008. I've come a long way.

I won’t dare compare a beer to meeting your new born child or a career change to your dream job, but in a lot of ways it can be similar to your ‘first time’. The rush and thrill of something new and exciting. The way it makes you feel afterwards, your change in life perspective, the desire for more.

Or maybe that’s all just me? Either way, I want to know what beer was your first. Which beer was the one that changed your ways? What was it about that beer that made it so special, or unspecial? Tell me the story of YOUR first time.

2014 Craft Beer Annual Report from the Brewer’s Association

by: Tierney

The annual report from the Brewer’s Association is one of my favorite emails each year. It is amazing to see the actual growth of a small and fighting industry quantified on paper. This year, for the first-time ever, craft brewers reached double-digit (11%) volume share of the marketplace. This is a huge stride that each and everyone of us helped achieve.

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Key highlights from this year’s report include:

  • In 2014, craft brewers produced 22.2 million barrels, and saw an 18% rise in volume and a 22% increase in retail dollar value
  • The number of operating breweries in the U.S. in 2014 grew 19%, totaling 3,464 breweries, with 3,418 considered craft broken down as follows: 1,871 microbreweries, 1,412 brewpubs and 135 regional craft breweries.
  • Throughout the year, there were 615 new brewery openings and only 46 closings.

“These small businesses are one of the bright spots in both our economy and culture. Craft brewers are serving their local communities, brewing up jobs and boosting tourism. Craft brewers are creating high quality, differentiated beers; new brewers that match this standard will be welcomed in the market with open arms.” ~ Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association.

We couldn’t agree more ourselves!

PA to Allow 12 Pack Sales

by: Tierney

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 6, 2015

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Clarifies the Size of Malt or Brewed Beverage Containers That Can be Sold in the Commonwealth

Harrisburg – The Office of Chief Counsel of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board today released a legal advisory opinion in response to inquiries from several licensees pertaining to malt or brewed beverage containers sold by a beer distributor.

In July 2014, an attorney for a Monroeville brewery, FYBOMAX INC. (LID 57763), asked the PLCB if the brewery could, under the Pennsylvania Liquor Code and PLCB regulations, “prepare a single large container of malt or brewed beverages consisting of twelve (12) smaller containers, each holding approximately twelve (12) fluid ounces, designed to be sold as a single unit.”

The Board recently received a similar request for an advisory opinion from two beer distributors, Save-Mor Beer & Pop Warehouse Inc. (LID 29477) and Nancy Pistella (LID 4707). According to the Liquor Code, the Board or its Chief Counsel must issue advisory opinions upon request.

Under the Liquor Code, breweries, malt or brewed beverage distributors and importing distributors can sell malt or brewed beverages to the public in two configurations: “case” quantities or “original containers containing at least 128 fluid ounces.”

Because the inquiring brewery’s proposed “single large container” would consist of 144 ounces of malt or brewed beverages, it exceeds the volume (128-ounce) requirement for an “original container,” so it would be permissible to market and resell it to other distributors and importing distributors as a single “original container” as prepared by the manufacturer.

Those single large containers cannot be separated or modified by anyone except the ultimate consumer.

Practically, this advisory opinion clarifies existing law by informing brewers that they may sell “original containers” as long as the container contains at least 128 fluid ounces, for example a 12-pack, to distributors that may be resold “as is” to consumers. No modifications to existing inventory held by distributors and importing distributors is allowed.

Well that’s a lot of mumbo jumbo. What does this mean?

The PLCB decision today will allow manufacturers to determine the types of packages they produce to be sold by distributors as long as the package is over 128 ounces. This means most immediately, that any package containing more the 12 cans or bottles that are 12 ounces will be able to be sold by distributors. They will also be able to sell 15, 18, and 21 packs, and theoretically 6 packs of 22 ounce bottles and so on…

Brewery Review: St. Boniface Craft Brewing Co.

by: Tierney

Brewery Review: St. Boniface Brewing On a magically free Saturday, I decided I was well overdue to check out St. Boniface Brewing Co’s brand new brewery and tap room. Located in the heart of Ephrata PA, St. Boniface Brewing has been open since 2010, but moved to their new facilities in 2013. The last time I went to see them was in 2012 at their old building where you literally walked right into the brewery for a few samples. It was definitely time for a return.

The new space is beautiful. I was immediately struck by the increase in size from their old building, which was barely just a garage. The tasting room area has about 15 tables, space for about 10 at the bar, and a full wall of taps just waiting to be filled up. The outdoor and indoor appearance have a more rustic-feel, fitting in nicely with the rural area that surrounds them. Food is available every weekend from a different food truck.

Brewery Review: St. Boniface Brewing

TIP: Don’t be like me and try to use the front door! Walking through the snow in heels to a locked door was pretty silly. When facing the front of the building, the entrance is on the right side. When in the rear parking lot, you can access the entrance to your left up the ramp.

I have always found that St. Boniface’s beers are well-crafted and full flavored.  They had 6 offerings on tap the day I visited, plus the addition of local favorite Wyndridge Farms cider for those who don’t like beer or need a gluten free option. My favorite of theirs has always been the Hegemony Stout, but many prefer their Paideia Pale Ale. My favorite for the day, however, was their brewery only Black Currant Stout. I found it to be full-bodied with roasted malt flavor that hints at a nutmeg/cinnamon finish. I had my Hegemony, of course, but ended my session with their Offering #19 Northern English Brown Ale. It’s everything I love about a good brown – biscuity flavors mixed with a hint of nut in a medium bodied brew. Completely on-target for the style.

Brewery Review: St. Boniface Brewing Co.

TIP: Hegemony…it’s pronounced huh-gem-mow-knee. They have a sign to prove it. Don’t over think pronouncing it, you can do it.

Recently, St. Boniface starting canning two of their offerings: Paideia Pale Ale and Libation DIPA. 6-packs of cans are available for take-out at the brewery, as well as at their local Weis Market, and throughout bottles shops in the area. Given my love of canned craft beer, I grabbed myself a 6 pack of the Paideia Pale Ale to take home and share. You can also purchase growler fills at the brewery, and they will fill any brewery’s growler.

Address: 1701 W Main St Ephrata PA
Hours: Tues & Wed 4-9pm, Th-Sat 11am-9pm

Homebrew Competitions Galore for April 2015

by: Chelsie

I love the excitement and thrill of Spring being right around the corner. The bright cheery sun full of warmth and light – shining longer and longer each day. Colorful flowers start to emerge from the recently thawed ground. The birds, rabbits and squirrels seem to come to life with their playful banter in my backyard.

And… most importantly:

IT’S HOMEBREW SEASON!

Derek & Chelsie at Dillsburg Homebrew Fest 2014

Derek & Chelsie at Dillsburg Homebrew Fest 2014

This girl gets giddy over really great homebrew. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not dissing my local breweries. Far from it. But, sometimes I simply enjoy the unbridled creativity and passion my homebrewing friends put into their creations. I have tasted some really solid and technically sound beers at homebrew competitions. And, I like the conversation that’s had during the festivals as you inquire about each offering.

Lucky for me and you, April is the month for lots of great local homebrew events in Central Pennsylvania. And, they all are a must-attend in my book. So get your tickets before they’re sold out!

Dillsburg Homebrew Fest 2015APRIL 4, Saturday
~ Dillsburg Homebrew Fest ~

This event held at Noonan’s Tavern in Dillsburg, PA from 2-5pm is in its second year and supports Relay for Life Dillsburg (Team Heroes of Hope and the American Cancer Society).

UPDATE: SOLD OUT!!!
Tickets are $20 in advance. Contact Joy’ell at dillsburgbrewfest@gmail.com. As of this posting, there were 15 tickets left. Remember what I said about getting yours before it’s sold out? Yeah. Do it. Now.

In addition to sampling beers, there will be finger food, door prizes, raffle baskets and 50/50 tickets available for purchase. Plus, you get to vote for your favorite brew. Who will you crown the winner?

> Highlights from Last Year
> Event Facebook Page

Mixed Nuts Brewing For a Cure 2015APRIL 18, Saturday
~ Mac’s Mixed Nuts Brewing for a Cure ~

Another great homebrew event for a good cause! This competition benefits the Relay for Life Team of Hershey-Hummelstown Area and will be held from 1-5pm at Harmony Hall in Middletown, PA. Tickets are $20.

JT and the Mild Heat will playing throughout the day while you sip on some stellar brews. What a great way to spend a Saturday. Plus, Tierney is a guest judge!

If you are a homebrewer and would like to enter your beers, contact macsmixednuts@verizon.net. $10 entry fee (for unlimited entries).

> Buy Tickets
> Event Facebook Page

Battle Of The Homebrew Clubs 2015APRIL 26, Saturday
~ Harrisburg Beer Week: Battle of the Homebrew Clubs ~

Don’t miss the first annual homebrew competition for Harrisburg Beer Week where homebrew clubs battle it out to be crowned best brews in PA. And, what better place than to have the event then at the state’s capitol to make it official? You’ll be able to sample 45+ selections from PA Alers, Y.A.H.A., Rehab, Sons of Alchemy, All-Grain Gangsters and more!

(UPDATE: They are no longer accepting homebrew entries. It’s all filled up!)

The event will be at FED LIVE (Federal Taphouse upstairs) from 1-5pm and all proceeds benefit Harrisburg River Rescue.

For your $25 ticket purchase, you get a commemorative tasting glass, snacks provided by Federal Taphouse and great tunes from the band.

> Buy Tickets
> Event Facebook Page

My husband, Derek, will be entering beers for both the Dillsburg Homebrew Fest and Battle of the Homebrew Clubs during #HBGBeerWeek. He’s been working long and hard for the past few months creating his own recipes and brewing some tasty beers. I, of course, have the perfect job as “Sampler” after each batch is kegged. It’s a tough task but someone has to do it. (wink. wink.)

Hope to see you all at the homebrew fests and throughout Harrisburg Beer Week!

Rhinegeist Panther Robust Porter: 30 Second Beer Review

by: Tierney

rhinegeist panther porter

There’s nothing better than opening up your beer fridge and finding new beers to try. This past weekend, my other half took a trip out to Pittsburgh to reunite with old friends, and one of them brought us a treat – beers from Rhinegeist Brewery. I have had a 6-pack of both their Panther Robust Porter and Truth IPA staring back at me Sunday night upon his return, and found myself pleasantly surprised by each one.

Rhinegeist Brewery is located in Cincinnati Ohio in a building with quite a history. The brewery has been open since June 2013 and have 7 canned offerings. Right now, they just distribute in the Cincinnati area, so I’m pumped to get the chance to try them over here in PA.

Of the two in my fridge, the Panther Robust Porter stood out to me most. To be honest, the IPA didn’t have a fair advantage as I’m more of a stout/porter drinker anyways. What set this porter apart and made it delicious to me was the subtle cocoa flavor you get at the very first sip that lingers throughout drinking. It wasn’t too bitter like some porters can be, and wasn’t hop forward. It’s only 35 IBU which is ideal for a stout/porter in my book. Also, I think the fact that they’re canning a porter makes it unique. My shower beer game just got stepped all the way up.

Color: dark brown
Aroma: roasted malt, toast
Taste: cocoa, hint of nut, coffee
Body: medium
About: Porter, 35 IBU, 5.8% ABV

Iron Hill Adds Russian Imperial Stout to Can Lineup

by: Tierney

photo credit @IronHillChief

photo credit @IronHillChief

The latest addition to Iron Hill’s can lineup will be their award-winning Russian Imperial Stout.

Russian Imperial Stout is a full-bodied stout that starts with a complex, malt-y sweet and high roasted character, but is wonderfully balanced with the use of citrus-y American hops. It has earned a wealth of recognition from the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and the World Beer Cup (WBC); 2003 GABF gold medal; 2006 GABF gold medal; 2006 WBC bronze medal; 2010 GABF gold medal; 2010 WBC gold medal; 2011 GABF silver medal; 2012 WBC gold medal; 2012 GABF bronze medal; 2013 GABF silver medal; and 2014 WBC gold medal.

Nothing sounds better to me on a frozen winter’s night than a hearty steak dinner and a full-bodied stout, and that’s exactly what we’ll be serving in honor of Russian Imperial Stout’s continued dominance. says Director of Brewing Operations and Owner Mark Edelson.

In the past, Iron Hill’s beers have only been available on tap at their locations or to go in growlers; their new four-packs of 16 oz Russian Imperial Stout are now the third brew to be canned alongside Bedotter and Mahalo Apollo.

Four-packs are $22 each and 16-oz. cans are $8 each, available for in-store purchase at all Iron Hill locations, while supplies last.

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