Edgy & Veggie: A Vegan Beer Dinner

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Chef Scot Seher & Head Brewer Josh Ervine

I recently had the pleasure of the attending the Iron Hill Brewery (Mapleshade) Edgy & Veggie: A Vegan Beer Dinner and it was out of this world delish from start to finish. Since I usually can’t eat most food offerings at beer dinners I tend to skip them. So it’s been many years since this Gal had the pleasure of enjoying a beer dinner. The dinner sold out quickly and many of those in attendance weren’t vegan or vegetarian but enjoyed themselves immensely. Each course was expertly paired by Head Chef  Scot Seher & Head Brewer Josh Ervine. Following is the menu. My personal favs the 3rd Course Artichoke “Crab”Cake paired with the Galaxy Quest IPA. The citrus of the beer with the artichoke and spices of the “Crab” Cake was perfect together. Fortunately I had some of the Galaxy Quest left and tried it with the Intermezzo Blood Orange-Parsnip Sorbet which were incredible together and I was told a happy coincidence.
My other fav was the 4th Course Southern Fried Tofu paired with Out of the Gate IPA.  The course was solid yummy comfort food at it’s best and the caramel malts from the beer brought out the herbaliciousness of the seitan gravy.

 

 

FIRST COURSE
Zucchini Carpaccio
candied meyer lemon, pickled lavender buds,
pistachio paste and cashew milk ricotta
Paired with Phightin’ Phils Pils

SECOND COURSE
Yucca Tostones
shaved vegetable slaw and charred tomato coulis
Paired with Ziggy Star-Bock

 

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Artichoke “Crab” Cake

THIRD COURSE
Artichoke “Crab” Cake
micro watercress, pesto and white balsamic drizzle
Paired with Galaxy Quest

INTERMEZZO
Blood Orange-Parsnip Sorbet

FOURTH COURSE
Southern Fried Tofu
green tomato, black bean puree,
grilled corn-potato puree and sawmill style seitan gravy
Paired with Out the Gate IPA

 

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Southern Fried Tofu

FIFTH COURSE

Harissa Marinated Cauliflower Steak
chickpea couscous, roasted tomato and grilled spring onion chimichurri
Paired with Trubbel with Monks

SIXTH COURSE
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
banana chips and macadamia-almond ice cream
Paired with Vanilla Coffee Porter

 

They also offered a Non-alcoholic dinner option as well which I think is great and I saw several folks who went for this option.

Great beer, fabulous food, wonderful company – overall a fun night out.


Band of Brewers V

 

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Philadelphia Brewing Company

I often am asked my what’s my favorite beer, depends on  my mood and what I’m eating, what’s my favorite bar, depends on where I am, and what’s my favorite beer event – easy – Band of Brewers without a  doubt. Yup, Philly Beer Scene’s Band of Brewers is my all time favorite beer event. It combines two of my favorite things beer and music.

After all music, more specifically the Grateful Dead, is what got me into craft beer. Deadheads would bring beer from their home state on the road with them to sell in the parking lot of Dead shows. At the time it was really one of the few ways to try new beer. It was in the parking lot of Dead show that I first tried Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Heck at the time I had never even heard of it (let that sink in). It got to the point not only couldn’t you wait for the Dead to tour for the music but also to see what new beer you would have the opportunity to try. So yeah music and beer two of my favorite things.

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Trophy

Band of Brewers was started five years ago by Philly Beer Scene. Different local breweries let their inner Rock Star come out to play and compete against other local breweries for the bragging rights and the chance to bring home the Band of Brewers trophy for 1 year. Each member of the brewery band has to be an employee of the brewery. Last years winners, Stainless Maiden – Broken Goblet, was a take on Iron Maiden but the range of music covered during a show is vast. Anywhere from Rick Springfield’s Jessie’s Girl to Hendrix to Marilyn Manson to Metallica to original music. It’s freaking awesome!

img_7092-1The competition takes place at World Cafe Live in Philly and is only $15 for 4 hours of kick ass entertainment – pay as you go for the beer. During the February show I had the pleasure of enjoying Neshaminy Creek Dank Hill Wheat Double IPA 9% and Forest & Main Tape Neck IPA 5.5%.

The list of brewery participates have grown to the point that this year’s competition has had to be split into 2 rounds. Each band plays 5 songs and provides 2 beers to be on tap at the venue. The first round was in Febraury with Forest & Main, River Horse, Victory, Philadelphia Brewing Co. and Neshaminy Creek competing to move on the finals. Round two will take place June 25 with the Vault, Broken Goblet, Crime & Punishment, Yards, Iron Hill and Troegs going at it. The finals will take place September 24th at The TLA. Personally, I would have loved to see them keep the finals at World Cafe Live. It’s a great space and easy access via transit or by car but not matter where it is I plan on being there.

Just so you understand how much I love this event the 2nd round, June 25, happens to be the same day Dead & Co. are playing in Camden. Of course, this Gal has a ticket for the Dead but you better believe I’m going to make it work and squeeze in Band of Brewers too.

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Fear of a Craft Beer Plant live from Band of Brewers

A panel of judges and the audience pick the top three from each round to move onto the finals. Moving on from Round 1 are NCBC, PBC and Forest & Main.  Can’t wait for Round 2! Do yourself a solid and get your tickets

Courtesy of Philly Beer Scene – Past winners:
Year 1: Yeast Factory (Yards Brewing Co.)
Year 2: Brewtallica (Philadelphia Brewing Co.)
Year 3: HuemanGroup (Forest & Main)
Year 4: Stainless Maiden (Broken Goblet)
Year 5: TBD

 

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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