Please join Beer for Babes & Geeky Beer Gal at Flying Fish Brewery for the Hoppy Holiday Bazaar 2. Everyone knows beer makes the holidays better and this year it can even help make holiday shopping more enjoyable. Enjoy a variety of Flying Fish beers while perusing the many fine craft items for sale by local vendors (all beer related) at the Hoppy Holiday Bazaar. That’s right you get to enjoy beer while getting your shopping done! So check your list for who’s been naughty or nice and get to Flying Fish Brewery December 4. Admission is FREE. Drink local, Shop local!
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Last I posted was about “My Place” UNO’s Hamilton but this time around I want to talk about “My Other Place” Trenton Road Take Out also known as my go to beer store. For the most part I prefer shopping at Mom & Pop stores as I find the experience to be more pleasant and personable. Mega stores and their mega parking lots can leave this Gal feeling frazzled. One time I decided to do my grocery shopping at a mega grocery store and was handed a map upon entering the store. A MAP! When a map is required to navigate a store I know the place is not for me.
No map is required at Trenton Road Take Out but do allow yourself plenty of time to shop. For a small store they are fully stocked with great beer and you want to make sure to explore each and every shelf. BTW, TRT is the only store this Gal shops at on Black Friday. Yes, they have Black Friday specials and folks line up early for them. They also offer gift certificates which were a big hit with this Gal’s family last Christmas.
The beer selection at TRT is outstanding and it would be very wise to follow them on Facebook since SMAS updates it regularly with new items, arrival days and where to find them in the store. There’s even a Facebook Rack which is where I usually head to first. That is after I get my beer to drink. Yup, they have 6 beers on tap for filling growlers and are also available to enjoy at the store. I love sipping on a great beer while beer shopping it’s so relaxing and enjoyable. The tap list changes frequently, again it’s updated regularly on Facebook and offers a nice variety of styles to choose from. The staff is great about offering sample tastes and they have printout sheets for each beer with ratings and descriptions.
Just because they are small don’t think they don’t get the limited releases. However, unlike some other establishments TRT keeps is very fair and doesn’t price gauge. This is a big deal to this Gal. Once I missed out on making the List, more about the List in a moment, and had to go to a big box store for KBS. I was blown away with how much they jacked up the price per bottle. I get they’re in business to make money but ripping off the customer – well – that just isn’t cool. TRT keeps the prices real and the List policy fair. List Policy per TRT – “List are started on FaceBook for beers that are allocated by my distributors and there is a very limited amount to be had. When I start a list on Facebook for a certain brew, you just have to say in any way you want, that you want to be on the list, I will then like your post to show that I saw it and you are now on the list. Lets say if it is a 2 case allocation of 22 oz bottles and you are in the top 24 you will have a bottle waiting for you, if you are out of the top, you will be put on the backup list and if someone backs out, you then move up the list. Once the beer comes in and the list is posted, you have 2 full weekends to pick it up, unless you ask me for more time. If beers are left after 2 weekends then they will be released to the people on the back up list. On very rare beers that are highly wanted, I will sometimes hold a lottery to see who gets one.” – more than fair! Mike, the owner, is always thinking about his customers.
Mike refers to himself as Evil SMAS but truth be told there’s nothing evil about him. Besides a great sense of humor he has a heart of gold and takes great pride in and is incredibly supportive of the community. He, his staff and customers are big supporters of It’s A Ruff Life Rescue and this Gal is continually blown away for all they do to help the pups.
Personally Mike and the crew at TRT have come through for this Gal more than once helping me to find beers needed for guest appearances on very short notice. On a few occasions he’s stopped what he was doing to go around his store taking pictures of beers and messaging me to see if I could use it or not. It saved me a ton of time and made things so much easier for me. No one is better at customer service than SMAS.
So next time your in need of beer I recommend heading over to Trenton Road Take Out where you’ll be greeted with smile and can enjoy a beer while shopping for beer and there’s a good chance you’ll run into this Gal there.
This Gal is all about exploring and trying out something new. I’m not one to order the same thing at the same restaurant, I prefer trying whats local to the area over what I know and I definitely appreciate good service. As much as I like trying out new places there are times I want to go to “my place”. You know what I mean – the place close to home that has good beer, friendly service and they greet you by name when you arrive. There are two such places for me. Ok, three but Mama Rosa’s is BYOB and I’m talking about “my beer places”.
What I love about the area I live in, Mercer County, is the location. In just 40 short minutes I can be in Center City Philly, 1.25 hours to NYC and the nearest beach is only 45 minutes away – location, location, location. Which also, means I have some of the best beer places available at all times. This Gal feels very lucky to have all this at her finger tips but there are those days when I want to go out without really leaving the area. That’s when I head to “my place” – UNO’s Hamilton. Yup, UNO’s. Yes, UNO’s. Really, UNO’s.
I’m asked a lot what my go to beer place is and when I say UNO’s Hamilton I always get the same response – Really? The one near the movie theater? – YES! They have an amazing tap list that is right up there with some of the best lists both Philly and NYC have to offer. Bonus – it’s mere minutes from my house and right around the corner from where I work.
I too was surprised when I first heard about the beer being served at UNO’s. Fortunately, my brother and his co-workers clued me in pretty quickly. They have been enjoying UNO’s beer and lunch special offerings for a while now and were kind enough to let me in on the “secret” soon after the great beer started flowing. One of my favorite things in life is meeting my Hop Head Brother there for a beer. (It’s the little things)
They offer 30 beers on tap with all but a few being craft and the beer is FRESH with fast tap rotation. If you hear of a beer on tap you want you best get there sooner rather than later. They offer growler fills, taster rounds and now have a Crowler machine. By the way all which can be enjoyed on the new outside beer patio that is dog friendly!
Besides the great beer they have a lot of fun beer related events and I strongly encourage you to follow them on Facebook so you’re kept in the loop and don’t miss out on the tap takeovers, beer dinners, beer breakfast and even a super fun Beer for Pups charity event during Philly Beer Week. You know how this Gal feels about beer places giving back to the community – awesomeness at it’s best and the UNO’s team and Weyerbacher rocked the event for It’s A Ruff Life Rescue.
Speaking of Philly Beer Week they were one of the first places in the burbs to start participating in PBW and their events are pretty amazing. So much so that the past two years I’ve participated in more PBW events at UNO’s than Philly. (no worries I still always make a few events in Philly as well). This past year they rotated through 157 different beers during Philly Beer Week. That’s a lot of great beer in a very short time. Told you it’s fresh and goes quick.
Besides kicking it during PBW they also participate in this Gal’s favorite holiday – Black Out Friday and have even made football enjoyable for this Gal. Now if you been following my blog for a while then you might remember my first post was about Football Sunday at UNO’s. It’s a win win for me and my football loving partner. I get to enjoy great beer and beer specials while he can watch all the games and enjoy his favorite food in life – pizza. Bonus, your movie ticket stub from the theater next door acts as a coupon – 10% off your food purchase. UNO’s also offers discounted movie tickets for the theater. I always like to see businesses working together in the area it’s a win for everyone.
This was my third visit to the Brickwall Tavern in Burlington thanks to Girls Pint Out and their monthly meetings at the Brickwall Tavern. (FYI GPO is a great beer club for the ladies!) The Brickwall has plenty of free parking out back if you’re not taking the Riverline which drops you off a mere 2 minute walk from the Tavern and a mere 1 minute walk from Third State Brewing
The Brickwall is large and offers two bars and plenty of dining room space with an open raw bar and a large garage door that opens up in the nice weather plus there is some outdoor seating. The food is very good and plentiful with both vegetarian and meatarian options. There are 15 beers on tap plus 1 on the engine. The tap turnover is quick so beers are fresh! On this particular visit I enjoyed the Founder’s Mosaic Promise 5.5% which is quickly becoming a favorite of this Gal.
Third State Brewing FacebookTwitter @3rdstatebrewing
Third State is a nice addition to Burlington and offers both indoor and outdoor seating. They have 10 beers on tap with something for everyone. It only cost us $13 for a pint and taster round so beer is reasonably priced. You’re welcome to bring food in from one of the local businesses as well. I look forward to another visit.
Peanut Butter Stout 8.5% – yum! Chocolate and peanut butter is classic combo that never disappoints
Boris The Younger Black Eye Rye IPA 7.2%
Rye, malts and hops what’s not to love?!
Sooo Big 2X IPA 11%
Big hop presents without leaving your mouth puckered
Dry Stout on Nitro 4.3%
Scary how easy this beer goes down
Wood Street Blonde 5.2%
Nice easy drinking beer with hints of citrus
Geraghty’s Pub is certainly an unique place and I mean that in a good way. Inside is a large bar area with a dining room in the back and off that a nice size outdoor patio area. Nothing fancy folks just good beer, sports on the tv and incredible beer prices. A pint of Flying Fish Abbey Dubbel 7.2% was $2.50! Yes, just $2.50! We happen to be there for happy hour but even their regular prices are excellent. Also, a full food menu is available as well.
This Gal was fortunate enough to travel around the coast of Ireland for 8 action packed wonderful days. Ireland is a very clean and beautiful country, the people are friendly and, of course, there’s lots of beer. Now I know the first beer that comes to mind when one thinks of Ireland is Guinness…they go hand in hand. However, I quickly discovered there really is so much other wonderfully crafted local beer available.
On our first day my companion and I had a bit of free time before the tour group was gathering so we started walking towards the Guinness store. We walked and walked and walked…our free time was dwindling and then I saw it! The sign for J.W. Sweetman Craft Brewery. Heck, one can get a Guinness ANYWHERE in Ireland (really it’s everywhere) but I knew I couldn’t get J. W. Sweetman beer everywhere. Seeing the brewery sign prompted me to develop a new beer plan for the trip – drink local. No worries I had a Guinness – actually 2 during my 8 days in Ireland but for the most part I sought out what was local to the area we were visiting and since we were in a new area almost daily I tried a nice variety of local beers. Craft beer is still a relatively new thing in Ireland and the bartenders almost seem apologetic when saying something is a craft beer. At each place if something didn’t stand out as local I would ask what was available from the area. Several times bartenders answered with – “…. but it’s a craft, is that OK?” YES!
J.W. Sweetman– Dublin
Amazing historic building with a beautifully ornate staircase, several small private seating areas and multiple levels. Service was superb and the prices very reasonable. The offered 7 beers on tap and this Gal had the pleasure of trying 5 of them. Full service food menu that is veg, meat and gluten free friendly.
Blonde 4.3% – Hints of hops with citrus and subtle malts.
Weiss 5% – Had the cloves and banana that I’ve come to associate with a weiss along with a delightful tangy finish.
Red Ale 4.8% – A true Irish Red Ale – Yippy! This is an easy drinking beer that offers sweet malts, caramel and just a tinge of cocoa.
Pale Ale 4.5% – West Coast Hops and dry hopped at that. Underneath the hops is a layer of malts citrus that combine for a medium mouth feel.
Porter 4.8% – So happy to have a porter and a good one at that. All the beers were great but this was my favorite from the taster round. First up is the rich roasted bitter coffee and chocolate with a smokey smooth finish. This a full-bodied beer.
That night I had to stop at the little pub down the street from our hotel – The Ferryman. It’s a traditional Irish Pub overlooking the water that provides old world charm and a wide selection of brews. For my local selection I went with the McGargles IPA.
McGargles IPA – Hello West Coast hops! It’s hops alright but there’s enough tropical flavors going on to help tone down the hops and end on a refreshing note.
The next town we stayed overnight at was Waterford. Yes, the home of Waterford Crystal. Also, home to Downes of Waterford Pub. Where they mix their own whiskey Henry Downes No. 9 Irish Whiskey. Now this Gal is not a whiskey drinker but I felt I must try the No. 9 since it’s not available anywhere else. Along with the whiskey I had a half pour of Metalman IPA from Metalman Brewing.
Downes Whiskey No. 9 – please keep in mind I know NOTHING about whiskey – all I can say is this was smooth.
Metalman IPA 4.3% – The citrus and floral announce themselves first followed by the hops adding up to a refreshing beer.
Killarney was up next. This town is so quaint and easy to get around. If you have the chance to visit Ireland make sure Killarney is on your list of towns to stay over in. I requested a local brew from the bar I was at and was poured a half pint of Cute Hoor Irish Pale Ale which I later found out was not local by indeed brewed by Heineken. As much as I wanted to keep it local it wasn’t always possible. I also wanted to make sure and try the OTHER Irish Stout Murphy’s which I prefer over Guinness. I later found out Killarney Brewing is in town but unfortunately time did not permit a visit.
Cute Hoor Irish Pale Ale 5% – Mild hops accented by pine overall the taste fades quickly
Murphy’s Irish Stout 4% – Much smoother than Guinness with a slightly
The town of Galway was the next chance for me to try a local brew and that I did with Galway Hooker Irish Pale Ale (yes, it’s mostly Irish Pale Ale’s that are available).
Galway Hooker Irish Pale Ale 4.4% – Similar to an
American Pale Ale but with a bit more malts. Nice citrus aftertaste that tames the bitterness.
My final local brew was from a brewery in the town of Derry in Northern Ireland – Northbound Brewery No. 8 Kolsch Style. I enjoyed all the beers that I had the opportunity to try but the No. 8 was by far my favorite beer of the trip.
No. 8 Kolsch – The brewery makes of point of saying this beer is inspired by the German Kolsch which it cleary is but with a twist – a very smooth twist. Another words this has to be the smoothest Kolsch I’ve ever tried. The hops giveaway to the malts with a silky mouthfeel.
This particular tour has you on the go so not a lot of down time but made the most of time I had and enjoyed sampling the brews of Ireland. I hope to one day return and see what’s the Emerald Isle has brewing.
If your in need of a visit to the countryside but don’t have the time to get away I suggest a visit Coeur. It has a French country meets urban bistro feel to it that provides a mini vacation from everyday life with a welcoming and friendly atmosphere accented by a working fire place that provides a comfy feel! Yet is located in the hustle and bustle of the Philadelphia Italian Market.
Like it’s sister establishment, Strangelove’s, Coeur offers beers brewed especially for them with a total of 10 beers and several wines on tap. The food menu has an unique flare to it that is both meat and veg friendly.
My companion and I took up residence at a small table for 2 in front of the fire place (it was a bit nippy the day of our visit) in the main dining/bar area. There are a few different rooms throughout Coeur that work perfectly for small gatherings and offer a sense of privacy.
Every detail Coeur is well thought out for the comfort of their guest and ease of service which is top notch. Personally this Gal loved that the water decanter was left on table – saves the server and myself time from continually asking for my water glass to be refilled.
On this particular visit my companion and I stopped in for brunch. I enjoyed the Brewer’s Art Porch while I perused the menu. Wisely choosing the Z.L.T. for myself while my companion enjoyed the Eggs Benedict. Both were outstanding.
I paired the Z.L.T.with 2SP Bell Cracker Imperial IPA which accompanied my dish perfectly.
Do yourself a favor and getaway from the hustle and bustle of life at Coeur.
Brewer’s Art Porch Belgian-Style Pale Ale 4.5%
Had this previously at Strangelove’s and enjoyed it so much had to have it again. Yeasty floral quality to it that was balanced out by the malts and fruits.
2SP Bell Cracker – Double IPA 8.7%
Hops up front with a clean fruit finish that leaves beautiful rings on the glass. The 8.7% is hidden so be careful!
Small tasting room in the front and a much larger tasting room on the brewing floor. Kane is a bustling place on the weekend but the line for pours movies quickly. Love the use of barrels & old wood throughout the brewery. There are 17 beers on tap and they are available in as a 40z taste or full pour and responsibly priced.
Enjoyed taster pours of: Single Fin Belgian Blonde 4.8%
Citrus, tropical fruits and earthy goodness – very fresh
Port Omna – all wonderful
1 with Cacao Nibs
1 with Mocha
1 with Milk Chocolate
Hop Lab 5.4%
Easy drinking citrus, pine and malts
Silent Night Imperial Stout 12% Excellent – rich, silky and smooth
Something about this place really appealed to me. I loved all the wood and it just had an easy laid back feel to it. When you enter there is a long L shaped bar and plenty of seating along the glass wall overlooking the street. They offer 12 beers on tap available as full pours or a sample flight of 4. Only opened since January and doing things right.
Bond Street Brownie 4.8%
Great malts (had 2 Browns on tap – Go Dark City!)
What a wonderful little brewery is. Don’t let the size fool you great beer is being brewed at at Little Dog. Even though it was a busy afternoon at the brewery Gretchen (owner/brewer) took the time out of her day to chat with me and show me around the brewery. The beers are wonderful as is the atmosphere – a place where friends come to hang out. Speaking of friends Gretchen’s childhood friend works behind the tasting bar pouring beers for the patrons part of what gives Little Dog a quaint homey feel.
Brown Porter brewed with chocolate & toasted coconut
Duck Boy Pale Ale 5.25%
fresh and nice balance of local hops
Gesundheit! Altbier 5%
Classic German-style amber ale
Paulaner Salvator 7.9%
Always a favorite even though it was served in a frosted glass.
Was curious how it would stand up to the various German Beer Halls I visited in Germany. Definitely an americanized version but still a lot of fun. Like the German Halls there’s community tables, it’s loud and crowded but the atmosphere isn’t German nor is the music. I was pretty disappointment that my beer was served in a frosted glass. However, the food was very good. We enjoyed the potato pancakes, Blumenkohl & Hungarian Beef Goulash.
If I had to pick just one word to describe Beach Haus it would be – FUN. This place just has a cool fun vibe to that makes you gather with a group of friends and spend the day enjoying each others company and good beer. Oh and they provide a true tour (love the various creative ways NJ Breweries find to get around the tour law).
The tap room upstairs is very large with lots of windows and light. There’s a glass wall that over looks an Italian restaurant, with wood burning pizza oven, next door. You can bring food into the tap room from the restaurant. Unfortunately, I was so full from the day that I only had room to do two tastings of beer.
Herb’s Rye American Wheat Beer 6.5%
very refreshing, easy drinking beer
Toast Black IPA 7.5%
Love black IPA’s and this one is wonderful
For May we’re headed North, well, North Jersey that is to the Hackettstown/Long Valley area of New Jersey.
May’s Beer Crawl takes you to not 1 but 2 NEW NJ Breweries plus a long standing Brewpub. First stop Jersey Girl Brewing Company this brewery is brand spankin’ new – it just opened April 15th! They currently offer 4 beers on tap and this Gal has heard good things about the brewery and the beers they are brewing. Second stop is another relative newbie to the NJ brewery scene – Man Skirt Brewing opened since October 2015 and serving up their 3 flagship ales plus a seasonal. After visiting the latest additions to the New Jersey Brewing scene take a short ride over to the third and final stop of the May Beer Crawl, Long Valley Pub & Brewery, for some grub and, of course, beer. Hopefully you chose a nice day for you beer crawl so you can enjoy the outside patio at Long Valley. They offer a full food menu and have 5 to 6 of their own award winning beers on tap. Enjoy and let this Gal know what you think of May’s Beer Crawl.
A bit of background before jumping into the review of Bar Hygee. This Gal is a long time fan of Tom Baker’s brewing skills and I was heartbroken when he and Peggy closed Heavyweight Brewing. (I still have a bottle of Old Salty in my beer cellar) Them opening Earth, Bread & Brewery helped ease the pain but with the opening Bar Hygge I’m much happier and the lost of Heavyweight has subsided.
Bar Hygee is located on Fairmount Avenue in one of my all time favorite Philly neighborhoods. It’s off street parking but with just a few circles of the block I secured a space right out front. Once you walk in you know you are some place special. Bar Hygge has taken brewpubs to a new level. It’s sophisticated without being pretentious. The decor is rustically upscale yet comfortable. The bar is beautifully crafted reclaimed wood and has the feel of relaxing at a friends cabin. There’s a room off to the left of the entrance that provides laid back seating and space for private events. On this particular night there was a wine tasting happening in the room. Yes, this is a full service brewpub/bar with 7 house and 2 guest beers along with 5 wines and 1 cocktail all on tap. Various other wines (impressive wine list) and cocktails available as well.
My companion and I took residence at the bar where Rose provided outstanding service. With 7 of Tom’s amazing beers on tap and appropriate planning I was able to try them all and still drink responsibly. Stop – let me make sure I’m making myself clear The Tap List Floored Me. A brown, Scottish-style, Dopplebock, DIPA, Farmhouse and Stout all on the list! Choosing where to start was difficult. Now let’s continue on…
The beers on tap are available as half and whole pours and reasonably priced $4/$6*. Flights aren’t available but tastes are. I started with a half pour of Grinding Grooves and stole a taste of my friends Exaggerator Dopplebock both were outstanding. Continuing on we decided to order some food to accompany the next round of beers.
Not only does Bar Hygge offer a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy great beer in but they offer amazing food as well. I was truly impressed with the offerings from the kitchen. We started with a Hygge Board (choice of 1, 3 or 5 items). For our board we picked the Drunken Goat Cheese, Lamb Kabobs and Miso Sunchokes. Sunchokes just may be my new favorite food! Prior to the Board being served Bar Hygge likes to entice your pallet with an Amour-bouche which on this particular evening was a roasted kale and white bean salad. Goal met our appetites were enticed! Too accompany our beautifully presented board we selected the Doon The Watter (Scottish Style!) and IZZI Brown Ale beer – both paired wonderfully with the board offerings. The combination of the earthy miso and rich malty mouthfeel of the scottish ale blended together perfectly.
The next course consisted of Phoebe Bier de Garde, Ripsnorter DIPA and the La Vache Noire Stout along with Waffle Wings (with pickled watermelon) and Sunflower-crusted Cauliflower. One most simply try pickled watermelon at least once in their life – amazing. Our taste buds were were being spoiled by the different spectrums of flavors going on with each bite of food and sip of beer.
Do your self a favor and treat yourself to Bar Hygge. After all you deserve the best life has to offer.
Ripsnorter Double IPA 8.2% (centennial, simcoe, bravo and amarillo hops) It’s getting to the point if I know simcoe hops are involved I need to try it. Being a DIPA the hops were front and center but didn’t leave your mouth/taste buds numb with overkill.
Exaggerator German-style Dopplebock 7.2%
Cheers to having a Dopplebock on tap. One of my favorite styles and this one didn’t disappoint. Full-bodied maltiness with a slight roasty chocolate ending.
IZZI Brown Ale Saison Brune with rye and caraway 5.6%
The rye and caraway are there but in a subtle complementing way. The combination of a brown and Saison melds together to make for a very enjoyable beer.
La Vache Noire Belgian Milk Stout 5.6%
Milk stout – need I say more? Rich and complex with a silky smooth mouthfeel.
Grinding Grooves Gotlandsdricka 6.8%
Farmhouse ale with a slight smokey taste that helps to calm the tartness of the juniper.
Doon the Watter Scottish-style Export 6.2%
I was truly delighted to see a Scottish style ale on tap. Full-bodied and loaded with with malty/caramel goodness.
“Phoebe” Biere de Garde 6.2%
A great beer on it’s own or with food. The slight malt and hops along with the black pepper and orange are all enhanced when paired with food.
*Prices overall at Bar Hygge are very reasonable especially for the quality of beer and food being served. Menu is both vegetarian and meatarian friendly.
This month’s beer crawl is smaller/shorter than the last couple but guaranteed to be just as much fun and there’s a big bonus – PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION!
That’s right folks for April’s Beer Crawl you can take the Riverline from various points in NJ and not have to drive from one stop to the next. (Please still drink responsibly.) April’s beer crawl takes us to Burlington, NJ with 3 powerhouse stops conveniently located within easy walking distance from to Burlington Town Center Riverline stop. First stop – Geraghty’s Pub where you can enjoy a beer from their extensive bottle list or from one of their many tap selections. If you need to fuel up with an appetizer this is a good place to do so. Second stop – Third State Brewing. I for one am super excited to finally be visiting this brewery. I’ve heard some amazing things about Third State. Kick back and enjoy a variety of fresh brewed beers before heading out to the third and final stop. Final stop – Brickwall Tavern finish up with a beer from their stellar tap list and some lunch or dinner for the appetite you worked up tasting beers.
Not only is it pretty darn cool that public transportation is available but it’s cool that you can easily reverse the order of the crawl and start at Brickwall and end at Geraghty’s or mix it up however you want since the total distance is only .4 miles!