#DrinkLocal – A Visit to Sunny Brae Hops Farm

by: Colleen

sunny brae hops

Here at Stouts & Stilettos we truly believe in the idea of #DrinkLocal, but here’s a question for you – how ‘local’ is your beer if it’s made down the street, but the hops are being shipped in all the way from the West Coast? Luckily there are people in our area who are working to bring hop farming to Central PA. I met up with Adam Dellinger, owner of Sunny Brae Hops to learn more about what he is doing.

Adam has a masters degree in soil science. Did you even know that was a thing? Well, it is, and it’s pretty interesting! He wanted to use this background to grow something more interesting than vegetables. Grapes were one option, but being a fan of beer he decided to try out hops!

#DrinkLocal - a visit to Sunny Brae Hops Farm

Right now, Adam is growing about a quarter of an acre of hops. Two-thirds of them are Cascade while the other third are Centennial. While I visited in a time that wasn’t optimal for harvesting, Adam pulled a few hops off the branches for me to check out. It was such a beautiful scent that stuck on my fingers. I just wanted to breathe in that incredible aroma! Adam also informed me that hops are sometimes used in aromatherapy because they are said to be calming. I believe it! I want to rub them all over my pillow when I go to sleep.

While he isn’t selling his product quite yet, Adam is getting his product into the hands of some local brewers to see what they can do with it. Recently The Brewery at Hershey used Sunny Brae Hops to wet hop a firkin of their Hip Hop Hooray which was tapped by Al’s of Hampden. Adam also gave me a taste of a homebrew he did with his friend Karl Larson. I have to say it was pretty freaking cool to sip on a fresh, aromatic brew while standing in the field where the hops were grown!

#DrinkLocal - A Visit to Sunny Brae Hops Farm in Central PAIn the next year or two Adam is hoping to expand his hop field and add another acre. Just like grapevines, it takes a bit of time for the plants to be fully functioning. The roots have to grow and give the plants much needed nutrients. The first harvest only yielded about 10% of the plants capability. So with the addition of new plants the maturation of these, a few years from now Sunny Brae Hops will be able to produce a lot more.

Visiting Adam’s farm was very cool. I’m excited for what he is doing! This is a whole different side of the craft beer making process that many haven’t explored or even thought about, so it’s so interested to see what Adam is doing.

Want to try some of these fresh hops yourself? Sunny Brae Hops will be used in an upcoming Full Moon Firkin event at Troegs so keep an eye out for that!

happy hop bines

#Hoptail Recipe: the Mason Dixon Shandy

by: Tierney

image

While I love mimosas as much as the next person sometimes I like to switch it up a bit. Last summer, I got creative and decided to take a beer twist on the classic mimosa, then throw in some extra goodies. I’m not a great mixologist but I do know what tastes good together. With the help of my favorite bartender Erin, who made this magically proportionate, The Mason Dixon Shandy was born! It’s a crisp and refreshing hoptail perfect with your breakfast or on a hot day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle hefeweizen
  • 1 oz peach schnapps or peach vodka
  • 2-3 oz Orange juice

Combine peach booze and orange juice in glass. Top off with hefeweizen of your choice, we used Troegs Dreamweaver. Put in mouth!

Craft Beer Gear: Upcycled Beer Signs

by: Chelsie

For the past 10 years, my husband Derek and I have been turning our passion for craft beer into art. Not only am I a designer and artist but I am also somewhat of a hoarder. Well not really -I just like to save things from going into the trash that could be repurposed and reused, especially things that are beautifully designed, like craft beer packaging. I mean, some of the artwork is incredibly stunning. The colors. The typography. The illustrations. Not to mention the vast range of art styles that are represented. Each brewery’s brand identity is unique.

Derek came up with the idea to save these works of art that we hesitated to throw in the recycle bin. He’s really the master craftsman. He taught me how to build the frames and do the overall assembly so we can work together on our little hobby. And, I help identify which pieces of artwork people would most likely hang on their walls. > View How Each is Made (below)

The upcycled beer signs are great gift ideas for those hard to shop for folks. They can be used to decorate for the holidays – I have pumpkin beers listed and Christmas themed artwork as well. Of course, the man cave or basement bar wouldn’t be complete without some craft beer art.

SIX-PACK HOLDERS
We use the long side of the holder which has the most art square footage on the packaging.

Upcycled Beer Signs from 6 Packs

FOUR-PACK HOLDERS
Since these are smaller pieces of artwork, we mount and shadow box either a bottle cap, real dried hop leaf, top of a cork or other element from the packaging above the four pack.

Upcycled Beer Signs from 4 Packs, Caps & Corks

ALUMINUM CANS
The artwork on the cans is carefully cut out and then flattened. These are interesting because they have a slight reflective quality adding a bit of intrigue and dimension.

Upcycled Beer Signs from Beer Cans

BREWERY-SPECIFIC
You can search our eBay Store by brewery or really any keyword such as IPA, Pumpkin, Lager, etc.


We have over 350 different upcycled beer signs from a variety of breweries.
:: BROWSE ALL THE BEER SIGNS


HOW THEY’RE MADE
Each piece is totally custom-made when ordered. We start with lightly used beer packaging, whether that be a six pack holder, aluminum can, bottle cap, etc. We select packaging that has the best imprint and is free of damage. Then we hand cut high quality, black mat board to hold the packaging artwork in place.

The next step is to build the frame. Each is made inhouse to a finished size of 9.5″ x 11.5″. The frame is smooth and square with a matte black finish for a modern look. We get the custom-cut glass front from a local shop in Carlisle, PA.

Each piece has a sealed back to protect the artwork from being damaged. A wall hanger is affixed to the back of the frame so your upcycled beer sign is ready to be displayed when it arrives at your door.


 

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

1st Annual Hoptoberfest with Hop Hedz Gear

by: Tierney

1st Annual Hoptoberfest with Hop Hedz Gear

 

At Stouts and Stilettos we are huge supporters of all things craft beer, including gear. Hop Hedz Gear is a local beer gear company owned and operated by our good friend Bart, a true craft beer entrepreneur extraordinaire. He’s doing everything from beertography for us, beer label art for Pizza Boy Brewing, and even producing craft beer shirts. Read up on my exclusive interview with Bart over at SaraBozich.com

This weekend, get you some awesome shirts and meet the man himself at Al’s of Hampden for their Hoptoberfest t-shirt party. Plus, $2 Pizza Boy beers as well as free pizza and wings to sweeten the deal. There will be classic tanks and tees for men and women as well as the exclusive Hoptoberfest design below.

Here’s the quick rundown:

hop hedz gear hoptoberfest design

 

Recap: Homebrew Harvest Fundraiser 2014

by: Chelsie

Chelsie at Homebrew Harvest

This past Sunday I spent a beautiful fall afternoon at the first annual Homebrew Harvest held at the Vineyard & Brewery at Hershey. I was there to help setup the event, check-in homebrewers as they arrived and assist my husband, Derek, pour his two brew creations: ‘Lime Seeing Red’ Saison and Citra Session IPA.

I was blown away by the 47 entries not just because there were so many beers but they were all so very good. And, the efforts of all helped raise $$$ for the Four Diamonds Fund.

JUDGES CHOICE

  • FIRST PLACE
    Kristen Richards from Sons of Alchemy Brewing
    “Identity Crisis” (Pumpkin Brown Ale)
  • SECOND PLACE
    Jon Briggs
    “Tainted Cherry: A True Shocker” (Oaked Sour Cherry Berliner Weiss)
  • THIRD PLACE
    Tim Myers
    “Jalapeno Lime Kolsh” (Kolsch/Vegetable Beer)

TASTER’S CHOICE

  • FIRST PLACE
    Jenn Fetter
    “Honey Badger IPA” (IPA)
  • SECOND PLACE
    Fransico Ramirez
    “South of the Border” (Mexican Chocolate Porter)
  • THIRD PLACE
    Brandon Moore & Doug Kensey
    “Black EyePA” (Black IPA)

PS – Did you notice that the first place prize in both categories went to women homebrewers? YES!!!

OUR JUDGES…

  • Ryan of The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey
  • Dean Pierce of Pierce Brewing Company
  • Scott of Halligan Homebrew
  • Tony from the Black Gryphon Dining & Spirits
  • Steph from Beer Busters Podcast
  • Steve from Heavy Soul Brewing Company

A FEW PICS FROM THE DAY

P1080751
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> Check out more great event photos courtesy Beer Busters Podcast

Thanks to Dean Pierce of Pierce brewing and The Brewery at Hershey for organizing such a great event.


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

Things To Do: Pumpkinfest at Arooga’s Downtown

by: Tierney

Aroogas Pumpkinfest 2014 Beer ListDo you love pumpkin beers as much as we do? Then Pumpkinfest is the event for your. With over 28 pumpkin beers on tap at one time, Pumpkinfest is guaranteed to have a beer for everyone. Pick your favorite and perfectly pair with the featured pumpkin wing sauce (one of our favorites) and get wild with a pumpkin bomb shot. Anything goes! Sampler flights of 5 will be available – side by side post to come maybe?

Looking to try a new pumpkin beers this year? We recommend you don’t miss Elysian Punkuccino (think pumpkin spice latte beer) and The Gourdfather, Evolution Jacque Au Lantern, Brewery at Hershey Flash Gourd’n, and Heavy Seas Greater Pumpkin to get you started.

Here’s the quick rundown:

 

Pennsylvania Breweries Win 12 Medals at GABF 2014

by: Tierney

GABF 2014 PA Medal Winners - Drink Beer From Here

Drink Beer From Here!

While we have yet to attend the Great American Beer Fest, we are certainly #PAproud and excited to announce that PA breweries have won a total of 11 medals this year at GABF. Also, Fegley’s Brew Works and Iron HIll Brewing are tied for most medals at 2 each. Check out the list of award-winning PA breweries below:

  • Iron Hill Brewing
    • Rye Beer – Silver – Rye of the Tiger
    • English-Style IPA – Bronze – Burton IPA
  • Yards Brewing
    • Historical Beer – Bronze – Poor Richard’s Tavern Spruce
  • Troeg’s Brewing Co.
    • Bock – Gold – Trogenator
  • Triumph Brewing
    • Bock – Bronze – Winterbock
  • Earth-Bread
    • Baltic Style Porter – Gold – Perkuno’s Hammer
  • Fegley’s Brew Works
    • German Style Sour – Bronze – Beliner Weiss
    • Old Ale or Strong Ale – Gold – Arctic Alchemy
  • Barren Hill Tavern and Brewery
    • Belgian & French Style Ale – Bronze – Barren Hill Biere de Extra
  • Victory Brewing Co
    • Belgian Style Tripel – Gold – Golden Monkey
  • Four Seasons Brewing Co
    • Oatmeal Stout – Silver – Dark Side of the Pint
  • Sly Fox Brewing
    • Belgian & French Style Ale – Gold – Grisette

GABF 2014 fun facts – this year had the most entries to date with 5,507 from 1,309 different breweries, all 50 states were represented, American Style IPA is the most entered category with 279 entries, and this year 3 new categories were added (Belgian-Style Fruit Beer, Historical Beer, and Kuyt Beer).

 

updated to include a missing entry at 6:07 pm

All Things Dogfish Head

by: Chelsie

Dogfish Head Craft Brewed AlesWhat’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say “Dogfish Head?” It would be right to reply, “beer, of course!” These days, Dogfish Head is not only a Delaware brewery that makes pretty creative and tasty beers. As a brand, Dogfish Head has grown into so much more. It’s what I like to call ‘The Dogfish Head Experience.’

THE BREWERY
Milton, Delaware

Although this wasn’t my first trip to Dogfish Head Brewery, it was the first time I had been there since the expansion and remodeling project was completed. The transformation was quite astonishing. The place is enormous now and so well designed. Quite stunning and simply breathtaking. Everywhere you look it’s a beautiful blend of natural elements balanced with clean, industrial pieces. It’s a work of art.

‘Behind The Scenes’ Tour
In total, the tour of the brewery takes about an hour. There truly is a lot to see, and it’s totally worth the chunk of time. Trust me on this one, it’s not your average brewery tour.

As you begin on the tour, you’ll get a little bit of Dogfish Head (DFH) history while you take a look at some of the early brewing “artifacts”. Like the first ever Randall which DFH invented. It is a canister looking contraption filled with hops or fruit or virtually anything at all. Beer is then run through the device when it’s ready to be served, flavoring it with the the ingredients contained in the Randall.

You also get to see all parts of the brewing and packaging process. I was starry-eyed at the new bottling area. Everything is automated and ultra high-tech. The sheer volume of what DFH is doing now is incredible. You really have to see it for yourself.

Tour Tips:

  • Tours are FREE.
  • You can not reserve your tour time. It’s a first come, first serve basis. > View Tour Schedule
  • You register for your tour as soon as you walk into the foyer of the tasting room. There will be a host/hostess that will set you up with a time. Doors open at 10:45am.
  • Closed on Sundays (tours, tasting room & store).
  • Children are welcome. They even have child-size safety glasses. But note, that if you’re child is small, you must carry them. No strollers allowed for safety and accessibility reasons.
  • Wear close-toed shoes. But don’t worry. If you forget to do that, there are crocks for public use.

Tour Photos:

Mash Tun – Dogfish Head Brewery Tour
Dogfish Head Mash Tun
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The Tasting Room & Store
Once the tour wraps up, your DFH Guide will show you back to the tasting room where you began your tour. Your reward? Four free samples of your choice! So many options make it hard to decide on only four. But, you can buy pints of anything on tap to enjoy during your visit as well as get growlers filled for taking home to consume. Being able to buy beer on tap is a new offering in the renovated tasting room.

While you’re enjoying your brew, be sure to check out the food cart just outside the tasting room called Bunyan’s Lunchbox. I chose the Heirloom Italian bratwurst made with Midas Touch and served on a spent grain roll. I also couldn’t pass up a bowl of Hard-Tack Clam Chowder. This girl was hungry after walking around the brewery for an hour.  > View Menu

After some beer and food, it was time to shop in the DFH Store. I’m a huge Punkin’ Ale fan and I had to get a t-shirt. I try to get one every year since the artwork changes annually. But most often than not, the shirts are sold out. I guess the beer gods were smiling down on me this day. Lucky me!

Dogfish Head Brewery Entrance
Dogfish Head Brewery Entrance
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THE INN
Lewes, Delaware

Earlier this year, Dogfish Head Inn made it’s debut in downtown Lewes. Oh, how I love visiting this quaint historic area. Lots of shops, restaurants and recreation are within walking distance to the inn. I simply had to check out this upcycled 1970s inn while in the area. I loved the boutique feel of the place. True to the DFH brand, it’s a masterful blend of natural, earthy elements and simplistic industrial pieces. Reminds me of some of the modern boutique hotels in South Beach Miami that I’ve stayed in. Crisp, clean design with an artsy flare. Check out these photos:

Dogfish Head Inn 16 Rooms
The Dogfish Head Inn was designed by Studio Tack in Brooklyn, NY. It has 16 rooms in a variety of price points.
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Inn Highlights:

  • Dog-friendly (not many places are in the area)
  • Bikes are available for guests to explore the town or the nearby bike trail which does connect to Rehoboth Beach where the DFH Pub is located.
  • Outdoor space is quaint with a casual grassy area with wooden gathering table, firepit, ladder ball game> View More Details
  • Quest Fitness and Kayak is nearby to rent kayaks for your own exploration or go on kayak tours.
  • Minutes from Lewes Beach, the Cape May Lewes Ferry and Cape Henlopen State Park which has trails to hike and bike.
  • Dogfish Chicory Coffee, brewed for guests in the morning, is roasted by local Notting Hill Coffee.

You are correct if you noticed that I didn’t mention DFH beer being served at the inn. While I’ve heard some people complain about this fact, it didn’t really bother me. Why? Because there is an amazing beer, wine & liquor store just down the street called R&L Liquors. Believe me when I tell you this, you could spend an hour in there just exploring and chatting with the owner (who knows EVERYTHING about the beers he’s selling. Just ask!). Tons of DFH options for you to take back to the inn to enjoy. I seriously could write a whole post about R&L Liquors. So many great craft beer choices in there.

THE PUB
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Each year I travel to Delaware’s beaches, I always stop in at the Dogfish Head Brewpub. Although it’s open for lunch and dinner every day, I tend to do the late-night thing to grab a wood-fired pizza, beer and watch the band featured that night.

It’s not just about the beer. Say what?! Yep. You heard that right. DFH also distills rum, gin and vodka. Not just plain old boring varieties either. I’m completely addicted to the brown honey rum. You can buy it by the glass or the bottle. It’s pricey but well worth it. And, sometimes I’ve been known to enjoy a peanut butter and chocolate martini during my visit made with DFH flavored vodka. Delish!

Pub Tips:

  • Randall the Animal is in full effect Mondays & Fridays. You never know what fine ingredient will be in the Randall for your fine DFH beer to flow through.
  • This place gets packed during the summer. ALWAYS. Get there early because you will wait for a table.
  • A variety of eats. > View Menu
  • Check out the high-end spirits. Not sure which to take home? You can do a flight of spirits to see what you like. > View List
  • Never a cover charge. Even when bands are playing.
  • Parking lot plus on-street parking
  • Bands play Friday & Saturday nights > Entertainment Schedule
  • Attached store to buy t-shirts, hats, etc.

Did you miss my interview with Dogfish Head Owner, Vice President & Matriarch, Mariah Calagione? > Read Interview


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

York Men to Walk Mile in Heels for Charity

by: Tierney

men in heels

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and to help with the cause as well as raise money for the York YWCA, our friends at The Beer Ace are going to be participating in the ‘Walk a Mile in Her Heels’ event on Friday October 3rd. And when we say friends, we mean the men of The Beers Ace.

Nate Fochtman, VP of The Beer Ace, will be walking alongside other employees as well as participating in the Mr. Legs Competition. Here’s hoping these guys at least get a pedicure ;-)

After the walk, there will be the Kick Off Your Heels after party featuring local bands, food trucks, and local craft beer including a Red Over Heels, a special brew from Liquid Hero. With this beer also comes a $800 donation to the York YWCA.

The YWCA is a great organization as they continue to empower women, and we are happy to show our support with a donation. We encourage you to donate as well, and as always, if you are emotionally, psychologically, physically, or sexually abusive, have been abused, or have been either in the past, don’t be ashamed to seek professional help. The more we all talk about domestic violence and continue to confidently and clearly state how inappropriate it is, the more victims will feel safe coming forward and asking for help.

For more information on the event, or to make your own donation, visit the website here.

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