Beer of the Week 1/30-2/5 & 2/6-2/1

Beer of the Week 2/6 – 2/12
16640843_609438812588410_8618271836311279521_nThe past week was a close one between New Belgium Brewing Citradelic and Flying Dog Brewery Blood Orange Ale. If I had to choose…you know what I don’t have to choose. They were both fun beers that caught me by surprise.

New Belgium Brewing Citradelic 6% – The tangerine is up front and helps to calm down the hops while be ever so refreshing.

16807321_609438815921743_8525973011396026945_nFlying Dog Brewery Blood Orange Ale 7% – The citrus is not as prominent in this one but still there with hints of pineapple, spices and malt that end with some bitterness from the hops.

I look forward to pairing them with some spicy Thai in the near future.

Beer of the Week 1/30 – 2/5 – This weeks top pick goes to a classic and one of this Gal’s 16426300_605033963028895_2896893489365179195_nfavs Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue). Not only do I love this beer because of the dark fruits, caramel, and malts topped off with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg but also it’s sentimentally a favorite of mine.

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Chimay

This Gal names her fur babies after beer and it all started with my cat/dog Chimay. A dog stuck in a cats body and one of the coolest cats around. Cheers Chimay!

Beer of the Week

Beer of the Week 1/23 – 1/29img_6923

Between tap takeovers and visits to a couple different breweries this Gal had the opportunity to taste an array of wonderful beers this week but the one that stood out to me the most was Spellbound Brewing Palo Santo Porter. I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying this beer on a few occasions and each and every time it’s outstanding.

Pours a velvety black with a up front chocolate presence and hints of wood, rich malts and a ting of vanilla. (beer to far right)

Beer of the Week

Beer of the Week for 1/9-1/15.
ee32a0579e22b18d7f3ecbbad2c328bc_640x640This week’s Beer of the Week goes to Avery Brewing Company Salvation. Belgian Strong Pale Ale 9%This gem has been hanging out in my aging cellar but I felt it was time to enjoy it instead of just looking at it.Salvation is truly divine. It’s one of those special beers that’s wonderful on it’s own but can also be paired with an array of foods. Hints of pitted fruits with accents of nutmeg make for a delightful sipping beer.

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Runner Up – @AveryBrewingCo Out of Bounds Stout 6.3%. This beer is quickly becoming one of my favorite stouts. I love vanilla, chocolate and coffee stouts but I greatly appreciate that this is purely a stout. Standing on it’s own in rich roasted barely and malty goodness balanced out by hoppy goodness.

There’s quite a few Avery’s in my beer cellar patiently waiting their turn to be enjoyed.

Thank you The Grey Lodge Pub for the fine looking Avery glass. One that beauty during Philly Loves Beer (Philly Beer Week) Let’s Make a Deal event.

@AveryBrewingCo #beeroftheweek @GreyLodge @phillylovesbeer

Drafts & Crafts

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Please join Geeky Beer Gal at UNO’s Hamilton for Drafts & Crafts featuring TROEGS beer. Everyone knows beer makes the holidays better and this year you can enjoy a variety of Troegs beers while shopping for hand crafted items for sale by local vendors at Drafts & Crafts. That’s right you get to enjoy beer and get your shopping done! So make your list, check it twice and get to UNO’s Hamilton Dec. 11. Admission is FREE.

Please contact Geeky Beer Gal at geekybeergal@icloud.com for questions and vending opportunities.

https://www.facebook.com/events/209819932763448/

Hoppy Holiday Bazaar

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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 geekybeergal@icloud.com with any questions.

https://www.facebook.com/events/331214940549612/

“My Other Place”

61550_199932580205704_2079334166_nLast 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.

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Some of my purchases

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.

 

14053892_10154059613483124_4313425747331550357_oJust 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.

13680302_10154027046768124_8208465923326233063_oMike 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 11427236_386785641520396_5937872426991981547_nthan 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.

1521783_10151966438813124_365892336_nTrenton Road Take Out
http://www.evilsmas.com/
Facebook   Twitter @trt1024
1024 Trenton Road, Fallsington, PA

*with the new PA laws TRT will be selling wine in the near future!

“My Place”

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It’s A Ruff Life Fundraiser

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 13244836_1278671632143775_1169056652351891532_nrotation. 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.

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NCBC The Shapes of Hops to Come

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.

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Maine Beer IV

So yes “my place” is UNO’s Hamilton and I hope to see you there soon.

Stay tuned my next blog will be about “my other place” Trenton Road Takeout this Gal’s go to beer store….

Burlington Beer Crawl

IMG_4827Review of my Burlington Beer Crawl

Brickwall Tavern – Burlington
Facebook  Twitter @BrickwallTavern

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.

IMG_4830Third State Brewing
Facebook Twitter @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.

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Blonde, Sooo Big, Boris, Peanut, Nitro

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

IMG_4837Geraghty’s Pub
Facebook    Twitter  @Geraghtyspub

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.

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The Beers of Ireland

13177087_10208242358129948_1821117855653905476_nThis 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!

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J.W. Sweetman Taster

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.

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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.

 

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Metal man IPA & No. 9 Whiskey

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.

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J.W. Sweetman Taster

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

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Murphy’s

fuller body.

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

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Galway Hooker

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.

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08 Kolsch Style

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Coeur

047Coeur
Twitter @coeurphilly

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 048nippy 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.

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2SP Bell Cracker & Z.L.T.

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.

 

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Brewer’s Art Porch

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!