Geeky Beer Gal will be at the Trenton Farmer’s Market Holiday Maker’s Market Saturday and Sunday November 27 & 28 from 9am to 4pm. There’s not better time to get your holiday shopping done than #smallbusiness weekend. I’ll have beer theme stickers, magnets, jewelry, pins, hats, journals and more available.
This Gal will be sharing a space with artisan I hug trees not people who will be showcasing their mixed media collage art.
I recently had the pleasure of the attending the Iron Hill Brewery (Mapleshade) Edgy & Veggie: A Vegan Beer Dinnerand 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.
candied meyer lemon, pickled lavender buds,
pistachio paste and cashew milk ricotta
Paired with Phightin’ Phils Pils
shaved vegetable slaw and charred tomato coulis
Paired with Ziggy Star-Bock
Artichoke “Crab” Cake
micro watercress, pesto and white balsamic drizzle
Paired with Galaxy Quest
Blood Orange-Parsnip Sorbet
Southern Fried Tofu
green tomato, black bean puree,
grilled corn-potato puree and sawmill style seitan gravy
Paired with Out the Gate IPA
Harissa Marinated Cauliflower Steak
chickpea couscous, roasted tomato and grilled spring onion chimichurri
Paired with Trubbel with Monks
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.
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.
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!
The 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.
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
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.
Everything this brewery touches is fun from their beer to their festivals. Fun, fun and fun! Naturally, this Gal had a ton of fun hanging out at the Hoppy Halloween Beer Fest and, sit down for this one, I don’t even like Halloween. That’s right folks this Geeky Gal isn’t and never has been a fan of the “spooky” holiday. Please do not ask me to dress up in costume for any sort of party or you’ll just get the death stare followed by “why?”. However, I do understand many of you enjoy the costume parties and other festivities that are a part of the Ghoulish Holiday and I have to say attending a beer fest where so many dressed up in costume was pretty cool.
Having been too Broken Goblet many times I wasn’t sure how they would pull off a beer festival onsite but they did it. The festival was set up utilizing the Goblet parking lot and beings they are located in an industrial park there was plenty of parking for guests. There were at least 20+ breweries, bars and meaderies pouring samples along with a few food trucks, and several vendors such as Beer for Babes, Philly Tap Finder and more. Plus, live music! I couldn’t believe they only charged $25 for this event ($30 at the door). Designated drivers only paid $10 and that included free water, ice tea and soda. It’s nice that thought was given to DD’s. This really ranks up there as one of the best buys in the NJ/PA area for beer festivals.
The festival itself was well organized and laid out. There were plenty of tables and chairs for folks to kick back and relax at. The stage was as the far end so you could enjoy the music but still converse with your friends. Also, there was plenty of space in front of the stage to set up your own chairs and enjoy the show or , should you desire, you could hang out in the hooka lounge near the stage. Favorite thing I saw was kegs of water throughout the parking lot for rinsing glasses and/or drinking. THANK YOU! It’s the little things that mean the most. Oh and yes real glasses. I understand why festival now a days hand out plastic tasting cups but it was so nice that at the Hoppy Halloween Beer Fest you were given a real glass and a pretty one at that.
Unfortunately, there was a down side to the evening and that was the bathroom situation. Many, many, many more port a potties were needed as there was always a long line at the ones provided. However, the Goblet is aware and has assured festival goers they are working on a solution.
The time of the festival was a bit unusual running 4 to 8pm instead of the normal 1 to 5pm. I for one loved the timing. It allowed you time during the day to get things done and provided for a fun relaxing evening. Of course, the evening hours added to the overall Halloween atmosphere and it was cool to see so many in attendance dress up for the occasion. I was also excited to try many beers I had never had before from breweries I’d never heard of. That alone is a great reason to pick a couple of beer festivals each year to attend. You’ll have the opportunity to try new beers from new breweries. After all with so many new breweries opening up it’s hard to visit them all. A festival is one stop sipping.
I can’t say I had a particular favorite beer so many were good (I think I only disposed of 2) but I was excited I had the opportunity to sample The Shape of Hops to Come Imperial IPA from Neshaminy Creek Brewing and Broken Goblet’s All Goblets Have Spirits a Scotch Ale (love Scotch Ales) with Maple Syrup and Gala Apples. I had heard good things about both and was glad to finally sample them. They did not disappoint. I was also supper happy that Saint Benjamin Brewing brought their Koffee Kolsch a favorite of this Gal’s. FYI – tried mixing it with their Little Peat stout and it was wonderful. Remember don’t be afraid to experiment with your beer.
Overall a ghoulishly good time was had and if they host Hoppy Halloween 3 next year I recommend going and suggest getting your tickets early since space is limited and tickets sell out.
Mark Your Calendars! This Gal is bringing together two of the things she loves the most, Dogs & Beer, for Pints for Pup October 11, 2015 at Broken Goblet Brewery Noon to 5pm. A portion of the days proceeds will benefit It’s a Ruff Life Rescue (an all breed dog rescue).
The burbs rocked it this year for Philly Beer Week! No need to travel more than a few minutes from home if you wanted to participate in Philly Beer Week but not make the the trek into the city. Spoke with several participants who agreed. Heck, even Philly Beer Week sent out a post stating something similar.
Prior to arrival I took a few minutes to prepare for the evening and study the posted tap list; with my choice flight sample lists in hand I headed over. I arrived before the rest of the gang and took a seat at the bar. Where I had the distinct pleasure of meeting a fellow beer enthusiast, Jimmy and a wonderful beer conversation ensued. Thanks Jimmy!
I chose to start with a Terrapin Taster Round:
Liquid Bliss Peanut Butter Porter – Terrapin 6.10%
So good, a true favorite of this Gal’s. This is one of those beers that should not be served cold and improves as it warms up. As much as I love Sweet Baby Jesus this tops it with the perfect balance of chocolate to peanut butter.
Maggies Farmhouse Ale – Terrapin 6% I need to come clean and state I do NOT like any thing flavored with peach except a peach itself. It’s truly one of things I loath but I do love Farmhouse Ales so went for it. Well, it was just a little to peachy for me. However, it did have a true Belgium quality to it.
Wake N Bake Imperial Stout – Terrapin 9.4%
Holy breakfast stout! Right away you can taste the chicory and oats with hint of dark fruits. I also noted a underlying smokiness to it.
Naked Bliss Porter -Terrapin 6.10%
This is the Liquid Bliss minus the peanut butter but with the bonus of raspberries. Yum!
Lagunitas Taster Rounder:
Sucks Imperial IPA – Lagunitas 7.85%
That’s right folks this Gal chose an Imperial IPA and indeed it was real hoppy. Not a favorite of this Gal’s but enjoyed it just the same. Then again I’m really starting to enjoy the refreshing citrus IPAs offer.
Scare City #2 Rye Cocoa Porter – Lagunitas 10.19%
Lately this Gal has been enjoying the rye beers. Well, black ryes that is. They just have the perfect combination of hops to malts and this was no exception. The color was a gorgeous black silk and a medium body that combined cocoa, roasted chicory & malts, dark fruits all rounded out by the rye. Very enjoyable.
Hairy Eyeball American Strong Ale – Lagunitas 9.4%
Loved the copper color of this ale and it’s low carbonation smoothness. There’s subtle hop notes in the background with roasted malts, raisins and brown sugar in the forefront.
Scare City #3 Imperial Stout – Lagunitas 12.1%
Oozy woozy bourbon beer. This beer is to be sipped, savored and enjoyed at room temperature from a snifter style glass. I was pretty floored when I saw it being poured as a full pint! Alrighty then. Bourbon, toffee, malts, chicory and vanilla combine to make a delightful boozy sipper.
Not only was the beer selection amazing but the free swag was a plenty. A very successful Philly Beer Week event in the Burbs.