A Day on the Hop Farm

Planting HopsIt’s not every day that you get to impact your local craft beer scene in a hands on sort of way. What a fulfilling and rewarding feeling you get when you do have an opportunity to give back and volunteer your time and energy. Recently, I had the pleasure of helping Sunny Brae Hops Farm in Carlisle, PA plant their second season batch of hop vines: 1,400 little baby hop plants to be exact! But I didn’t do it all by myself. I was accompanied by a team from Troegs Brewing Company (including one of the owners: John Trogner), Sara Bozich (Local Entertainment Writer & Ambassador) and the owners of Sunny Brae Hops, Adam and Diana Dellinger.

The farm is just 2 years old and now has expanded to cover 2 acres with the following hop varieties: Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Nugget, Comet and a trial of two types of Cluster. It’s a beautiful site seeing the rows of hops in this tranquil, rural setting. Fresh air. Sunshine and no electronics. Well. Except for my camera and cell phone to document the day. But I did disconnect for hours and it felt great.

The hops when harvested will be used in a select few scratch beers by Troegs and will also go to smaller area breweries yet to be determined. So look for more info on that in the next few months. I can’t wait to try a brew with hops that I helped plant. Grow little hop plants, grow!

Chelsie Markel Planting Hops

Chelsie Markel Planting A Row of Chinook Hops at Sunny Brae Hops in Carlisle, PA

There was certainly no rest for the weary on this day. Temperatures soared to 90 degrees and we weren’t afraid to get down and dirty digging and planting. We all had a great time joking around and conversing while working. Some of us even carved our initials in the row of hops we planted. It was a proud feeling even though my carving skills are lacking. I ended up with a hand full of splinters and a bloody knuckle. But it was well worth it!

Chelsie's initials marking her Chinook Hops

Chelsie’s initials marking her Chinook Hops

Once finished, we were all a bit hungry and sun burnt. Luckily for us, Chef Christian and the culinary team at Troegs arrived with a 3 course, farm-style picnic lunch and ice cold Cultivator Helles Bock and 717 Collaboration Ale that was brewed for Harrisburg Beer Week which wrapped up May 2, 2015. And, for those of you who have had the pleasure of tasting Chef Christian’s creations, you know what a special treat this was. Everything is made from the freshest, local ingredients… a true farm to table approach to the food. I can’t rave enough about his culinary skills. I’ve been sort of a fan girl since discovering him at Brew 22 years back.

At the end of lunch, Adam Dellinger made a toast to our efforts and rewarded us with a Sunny Brae Hops t-shirt and a special taste of his single hop IPA that he brewed using last years harvest. The experiment is that every year, he’ll brew the same exact recipe, using the same exact hop plant and see how the taste changes as the hop plant matures each and every year. What a great idea. Will definitely be back next season to have a taste of year two.

Sunny Brae Hop Farm

More Photos: Troegs Brewing Co. Facebook Page

Out with Sara: Read Her Experience

Sunny Brae Hop Farm – Year 1: By Colleen N.

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

HiFi + LoFi Mixtape Added to Stone Stochasticity Project Lineup

Stone Stochasticity Project Introduces HiFi + LoFi Mixtape
Stone Brewing’s latest Stochasticity Project addition is a blend of barrel-aged and fresh ales, available via 22oz bottles and draft now.

Stochasticity Project HiFi+LoFi Mixtape is our interpretation of an old British staple. Long ago, before stereophonic sound was even a thing, pub owners had a system for transforming questionable ale into something quite drinkable. They kept “stock ales,” beers left to mature in vats or oak barrels. Once deemed suitably mellowed and refined, these aged ales were blended with their freshly brewed counterparts, which were often overly smoky and harsh. The result: more well-rounded, complex and delicious libations.

For this re-enactment of sorts, we weren’t compelled by such circumstances. We took an already good beer and made it great, blending a stock ale aged three months in oak foudres with a fresh version of the beer. Mixed together, these fresh and vintage “tracks” make beautiful music punctuated by toffee, dark fruit character, toasted malts, and light berry and sherry notes.

Not going to lie, I’m adding this to my want list right about…now. Looking for one? You’ll find it here:

  • U.S. Distribution:
    AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA and Puerto Rico
  • International Distribution:
    Australia; Alberta and British Columbia, Canada; Japan; Singapore and United Kingdom

Want to learn more? Check out their video below, and if you have one, let us know what you think!

Philly Beer Week 2015 Collaboration Beers to Debut 5/21/15


Philly Beer Week 2015, May 29-June 7

For Immediate Release: On Thursday, May 21, starting at 4 p.m., Philly Beer Week (PBW) 2015 will host a press conference in the lobby of the Ben Franklin House, adjacent to Di Bruno Bros. at The Franklin,  to unveil PBW’s Official Guide, an 80-page commemorative keepsake published by Philly Beer Scene magazine, featuring an all-access look at the storied history of the 10-day celebration of beer, and highlighting all of the venues, distributors, sponsors and breweries that help make Philadelphia “America’s Best Beer-Drinking City.” The event will also serve as the First Pour for PBW’s collaboration beers, Leuven On A Prayer and Brotherly Suds VI – and both beers will be paired with delicious offerings from Di Bruno Bros. famous cheesemongers.

This will mark the first time anyone will be sampling Leuven On A Prayer, a Belgian-style dark farmhouse ale that is an international collaboration between Hof ten Dormaal (Tildonk, Belgium) and Free Will Brewing (Perkasie, PA); and Brotherly Suds VI, or Philly Pharmhouse, a refreshing saison that combines the distinctly Philadelphia flavors of beer and soft pretzels, with bready notes from the wheat and hints of salt and mustard. Brotherly Suds VI, brewed at Flying Fish, is a local collaboration between Earth Bread + Brewery, Flying Fish, Iron Hill Brewery,Nodding Head, Sly Fox, Troegs, Victory, Weyerbacher and Yards. Both beers will debut to the general public at Opening Tap and be served at the PBW Beer Garden June 1 through June 5, which is easily accessible by riding PBW’s partner, SEPTA.

Immediately following the beer tasting, members of Run215 will take The Hammer of Glory, affectionately known as The HOG, on anAlmost 5K Fun Run, open to the public, to Sancho Pistola’s. At approximately 6 p.m., PBW’s final #HOGTour pub crawl will begin at Sancho Pistola’s and travel around the lively neighborhood of Fishtown from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. with stops at Jerry’s Bar, Heritage, Johnny Brenda’s, and Frankford Hall.

Philly Beer Week 2015 will be held from Friday, May 29 until Sunday, June 7PBW is a 10-day celebration of “America’s Best Beer-Drinking City,” and kicks off on the first Friday in June annually.  Established in 2008, it’s the largest beer celebration of its kind in the United States, featuring hundreds of festivals, dinners, tours, pub crawls, tastings and meet-the-brewer nights throughout greater Philadelphia. PBW highlights the region’s diverse beer scene – its world-class breweries, neighborhood taverns, trend-setting restaurants and rich beer culture and history. 

For more information about Philly Beer Week, including the ever-expanding schedule of events both during PBW and throughout the year, as well as a list of participants and other details, please visit http://www.phillybeerweek.org, follow them on Twitter (@PhillyBeerWeek) and Instagram (@PhillyBeerWeek) and “like” them on Facebook.

WHO:        Philly Beer Week 2015
WHAT:      Press conference, beer tasting, pub crawl
WHEN:     Thursday, May 21, 4 p.m.
WHERE:   Di Bruno Bros. at The Franklin, 834 Chestnut Street

In Love with IPAs

Chelsie & Bella (the Beer Cat)Because you know I’m all about that hops… ’bout that hops… no treble!
While I do like and appreciate all styles of craft beer, I veer a hard right to the delicious and juicy India Pale Ales: singles, doubles and triples. My preference in this style of beer is more towards the tropical flavors and aroma – big bold mango, tangerine, papaya and even pineapple – that come from hop varieties like Citra, Amarillo, Equinox and Galaxy just to name a few.  But I do enjoy an IPA full of floral and piney notes every now and again.

Fellow craft beer lovers often ask me what my favorite beer is and that always stumps me. I mean, I’ve had so many different beers over the past 2 decades of beer exploration and you really can’t narrow it down to just one. And, my tastes change over time and by the season. Not to mention, brewers are constantly pushing the envelope on their recipes and quality of brew. Beers just keep getting better and better.

But for now, if I were to narrow it down to just IPAs and IPAs over the past 12 months, these would be my favorites. I must give the disclaimer that these are in no particular ranking or order. This is not a “top 10 list,” mind you. While I’ve had a ton of IPAs, I’ve certainly not tried every single one that has ever been made. I’m sure there would be gobs more to add to the list if I could get my hands on them.

Single IPAs

  • Deschutes Fresh Squeezed
  • Elysian Space Dust
  • Abita Grapefruit Harvest
  • New Belgium Accumulation
  • Free Will The Kragle
  • Pizza Boy Grapefruit IN UR IPA
  • The Alchemist Focal Banger
  • Roy Pitz Daddy Fat Sacks
  • Pizza Port Swami’s IPA
  • Tired Hands Ruby Skeletons Listening To Your Footsteps
  • Night Shift Morph

Double IPAs (DIPAs)

  • Great Lakes Chillwave
  • The Alchemist Heady Topper
  • Troegs Perpetual IPA
  • Evolution Lot No. 6
  • Fat Heads Hop JuJu
  • Firestone Walker Double Jack
  • New England Gandhi-Bot
  • Victory Hop Ranch
  • Hill Farmstead Abner
  • Long Trail Limbo IPA

Citra Ass Down

Please. Please. PLEASE! Drink your IPAs as fresh as possible. Check the dates on your bottles, six packs and cases. Or better yet. Get the beer at the source and on tap. Fresh is best when it comes to hoppy beers.

This is not the time to hoard or age, my beer loving friends. Drink it now! :)

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

What It’s Like to Judge a Homebrew Competition

What It's Like to Judge a Homebrew Competition

It looks so glamorous doesn’t it?

A few weeks back, I was invited to be a guest judge for Mac’s Mixed Nuts Relay for Life Brewing up a Cure Homebrew Competition. Of course I said yes, who doesn’t want to drink a bunch of really awesome homebrews? Little did I know that I was getting into a very difficult task.

My Untappd account will show you that I’ve tried thousands of different beers. I’ve tried my hardest to learn as much as I can about different styles, different hop flavors, and what to look for in a beer that just isn’t quite right. I was feeling well-prepared when I walked in that day.


Giveaway: Decked Out Live @ Brewery at Hershey

doesn't this look like fun?

You like free things right? How about two passes to any Decked Out Live of your choice? Don’t know about Decked Out Live? From now through September 26, 2015 the Brewery (and Vineyard) at Hershey host local bands every Friday night and it’s a kick-ass party every time! While you’re there you can grab their house-made brews by the pint, pitcher, or growler and get your dancing shoes on with friends. They also have a winery on-site for those who aren’t in the mood for a beer, available by the glass or bottle. Every Friday Decked Out Live is packed, but if you win you and a friend are going in for free! Enter using the rafflecopter below, and we’ll pick a winner Thursday 5/14/15. Tickets are a $10 value each.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

American Craft Beer Week Returns for 2015



From California to New York Island, from the redwood forest to the Gulf stream waters, beer lovers everywhere will celebrate the country’s small and independent craft brewery renaissance during American Craft Beer Week(ACBW), May 11-17. All 50 states will hold events including exclusive brewery tours, special craft beer releases, food and beer pairings, tap takeovers and more to honor the ever-advancing craft beer culture and unite tens of thousands of beer lovers nationwide.

“American Craft Beer Week has provided independent beer fans across the country a chance to support their local breweries since 2006,” said Julia Herz, publisher of CraftBeer.com and craft beer program director at theBrewers Association. “With celebrations happening in all 50 states, this is truly an annual national event that recognizes all those involved in making craft beer from small breweries in the U.S. such a success.

Untappd is once again offering an American Craft Beer Week badge for users who check in during ACBW events.

To find a local celebration, event or promotion, visit CraftBeer.com/ACBW

Harrisburg Beer Week – Fun for the Whole Family

Harrisburg Beer Week - Fun For the Whole Family

WIth Harrisburg Beer Week upon us, I’ve been asked by a few other people for suggestions on good family-friendly events. Since there’s a lot of information for busy parents to comb through I thought I’d give y’all the highlights of what I think would be kid-friendly events. I’ll even be bringing my twins to some of these! (more…)

Magic Hat Big Hundo IPA – Making it Rain Hops

Hunnids. Hunnids.

Hunnids. Hunnids.

Magic Hat Brewing Company recently released Big Hundo IPA outside of Vermont for the first time ever. A beloved beer bursting with huge hop presence, Big Hundo tips the scales at the absolute peak of bitterness with 100 IBUs. Dry hopped with Simcoe, it gives off a heady hop aroma and is accompanied by a flattering dark golden body. Big Hundo has an ABV of 9.0%. 

 Previously, this bold, small-batch beer was only available on draft at select bars and restaurants in Vermont. Due to popular demand, Big Hundo will now be available in 22 oz. bottles at select retailers and bottle shops, as well as on draft at top beer bars across the country. (more…)

Women in Beer, Women Drinking Beer

April 24 - May 2, 2015

The following is a guest post written by Sara Bozich. Sara has been writing about food, drink & fun on PennLive and SaraBozich.com. You can catch her on her weekly radio gigs, along with hosting duties on the web series, What’s on Tap. She is also a co-founder of the first ever Harrisburg Beer Week.

“Craft beer:  written by women, for everyone,” — That is Tierney’s apt description of Stouts and Stilettos.

She, Chelsie and Colleen all write about their respective loves of craft beer — and some of you also may be familiar with my experience writing about the subject. We’re also the foursome of gals who have created, organized and executed the first-ever Harrisburg Beer Week. (more…)

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