Holy cow! Our fourth annual Home Brew Challenge was quite a smash! Thanks to all the brave home brewers who participated! Whether you finished in first or tenth place, we applaud you for your willingness to share your creations. No one is a loser. You all had the courage to open yourself to criticism. That said, whose money was on Tom making it a three-peat? Tom pulled off the nearly impossible and won this friendly competition with an IPA. He was bold. He was confident. And he is king. But it was his birthday, so you have to wonder if people ranked his beer higher because of that. ;) No, seriously, Tom brewed an awesome beer. We're wondering when he'll be talking to investors.
Thanks to Dennis and Sammy for sharing their First Sip Brew Box goodies with us. Be sure to visit their site for more information about their beer related items. And a shout out to Jamal who told us about his business 412 BBQ that offers "sauces, rubs N'at"! Thanks to Patrick's Pub for the prizes and the great food and friendly staff! Oh, and speaking of prizes, a special thank you to Frank for donating a basket of his homemade lemon cello, salsa and jerky for one of the first place prizes. Finally, thank you to everyone who donated to the Marines vs. Air Force basketball game fund raiser and also to the Beaver County Humane Society.
First Place - Tom's Pina Colada IPA - 4.04
Second Place - (tie) Matt's Breakfast Oatmeal Stout - 3.43
Second Place - (tie) Nikki and Erick's Milk & Honey IPA - 3.43
Fourth Place - (tie) Bubba's Lola Bunny Hoppy Blonde - 3.41
Fourth Place - (tie) Haley's Pineapple Honey Hefeweizen - 3.41
Sixth Place - Adam's Milkshake Pineapple IPA - 3.39
Seventh Place - Jack's Peanut Butter Brown Ale - 3.34
Eighth Place - Dennis's Black IPA - 3.26
Ninth Place - Steve's Marshmallow Cream Ale - 3.19
Tenth Place - Karly's Cherry Earl Grey Red - 2.52
What a fun night! You guys always have a way of making a girl feel special. Thanks for the birthday wishes! Bubba and Haley couldn't make it tonight ... but we congratulated them on their engagement anyway. Thanks to John for getting up and telling us all about himself, even though it was his first time joining our little group. He's Canadian, eh?
Brooklyn Summer Ale
Straub American Amber
Stone Ripper IPA
Oskar Blues Pinner Throwback IPA
Tonight we held an advance screening of Adam and Steve's new TV show called Yinz Brewin'?, which airs on the Moon Township community access television station MCA-TV. How exciting! (If you remember, they also host a weekly podcast called Hop Nation USA.) We also filmed a few segments for a future episode. Thanks to Dennis for providing the halftime entertainment and telling us all about his company, First Sip Brew Box. Thanks to Shawn for throwing in the Chimay! Yum!
Rhinegeist Press Tart Berliner
Saranac Tropical Storm IPA
Sixpoint Resin IPA
Lancaster Milk Stout
Left Hand Chai Milk Stout Nitro
Chimay Peres Trappistes Grand Reserve
It was a great night on the patio! And well worth the wait. Wasn't it great to be outside? I'd mentioned the rain reminded me of the time our old Pittsburgh Brewmasters tasting group had to run for our lives during a thunderstorm. Click here to watch the video. Thank you for being so patient as we "winged it" with seating arrangements. Thanks to Alex for being a sport and letting me interview him for halftime. And a shout out to Brittany for working her butt off. We had her running, that's for sure.
Saugatuck Paled It
Abita Strawberry Harvest
Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale
Straub Wild Boy
Oskar Blues Old Chubb
Hop Farm Nitro IPA
What a crazy April day! Who would have thought we'd have that cold weather and snow? Thank goodness we decided NOT to be on Patrick's patio! Regardless of the weather, we had a great time. Thanks to Dave for being the halftime entertainment. If you'd like to learn more about his campaign for the PA House of Representatives 44th District, visit his website. And don't forget to vote in the primary on May 15. I hope Ray forgives me for calling him out for talking over me. ;) I tease you because I like you.
Church Brew Works Irish Red
Flying Dog Lucky SOB
New Belgium Fat Tire
Atwater Java Porter
Victory Storm King
Well that was fun! Another full house at our monthly beer tasting, and even though he couldn't join us, we really enjoyed the bonus beer Tom sent for us to enjoy. Thanks to Jack for the great introduction. See the videos below. Thanks also to Debbie for being the halftime entertainment. If you'd like to learn more about her new business, Creatively Healthy Living, please visit her website. Seems like I'm in a lot of the photos this month. Sorry. Thanks for coming out in the snowy weather! See you next month!
Founders Solid Gold
Pabst American Pale Ale
Boulder Irish Blessing
21st Amendment Fireside Chat
Oskar Blues IPA
Tom's Joosus 6 New England IPA (BONUS)
It was so nice to see you all at our 3rd anniversary celebration! Thanks to Tim and Bob from 180 and Tapped for sharing their story and three of their beers with us. Please be sure to visit their website and follow their Facebook page. Bubba and Tom helped raise the festivities by bringing their home brews to share, and we ALWAYS love bonus beers! Steve and Adam told us about the new project they're working on ... a beer-themed television program at MCA-TV, Moon Township's community access channel. I had the honor and pleasure of being a guest on their podcast called Hop Nation USA (episode #47). Listen here. And, if you haven't been to Patrick's Pub since the addition opened, hurry over to see it! You won't be disappointed!
180 and Tapped Bunny Muscles Lager
180 and Tapped Citrus Circus Orange Cream Ale
180 and Tapped Overtime Irish Ale
New Holland Space Machine
Victory Prima Pils
Shmaltz Vulcan Ale
Bubba's Chocolate Cinnamon Stout (BONUS)
Tom's Golden Coffee Stout (BONUS)
Happy New Year! Thanks for coming out on a freezing cold night to our Winter Into Spring themed tasting. I hope you enjoyed the beer selection. Sorry I scared you with the "last tasting" joke. Thanks to Ian for letting us ask him a few questions at halftime.
Devils Backbone Cran-Gose
Lexington Barrel Aged Peach Wheat
Sam Adams Winter Lager
Great Lakes Nosferatu
New Holland Hop Tronix
Avery The Maharaja
As we close out another year, I want to be sure to thank you all again for your support and friendship. It wouldn't be much of a group if you didn't attend our events. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and look forward to what 2018 holds for all of us. Sorry there aren't a lot of photos from this tasting. I was having too good a time and totally forgot to snap some. Rob was proud to share the ones he took though. I just wish he had more variety. Thanks to Steve and Adam for telling us about themselves and their podcast, Hop Nation. Be sure to check it out at www.hopnationusa.com. Thanks also to the folks at Patrick's Pub for hosting our little group and for the excellent service. Lastly, I'll leave you with one final word ... VENEER!
Rusty Rail Wanderlust
Breckenridge Nitro Vanilla Porter
Great Lakes Ohio City Oatmeal Stout
Magic Hat Jinx Scotch Ale
Red Hook Long Hammer IPA
It was so great to welcome Jocelyn from Yards Brewing to our little group this month! She brought some great beers and raffle prizes. And everyone went home with a Yards glass! I didn't know much about Yards beer before this. Pleased to say I enjoyed every one of them, but the Spruce was a little different. ;) Thanks to Bryan for the halftime entertainment. Funny, he came by himself but ran into someone he knows (Nancy). Nikki and Eric brought us some of their homemade mead to try as a bonus.
Yards Brawler English Mild Ale
Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale
Yards Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce
Yards Thomas Jefferson's Tavern Ale
Yards Rival IPA
Yards General Washington's Tavern Porter
Nicole and Eric's Mead (BONUS)
It was another fun time at Patrick's! What a great dynamic happening with this little group of ours! I love, as I'm sure everyone else does, that our home brewers want to share their creations with us. Thanks to Tom, Adam and Steve for bringing the bonus beers for us to sample. Well done, gentlemen! Jeff and Jason, our out-of-state visitors from FedEx, seemed to enjoy our company. Thanks to Jason for being a sport and allowing me to ask him a few questions during halftime. We were also happy to have Mark in the house! Mark is a sales rep for Vecenie Distributing who's acquired the Patrick's account since our friend Tony Knipling passed away. Mark's got some shoes to fill, but he's a great guy and I'm sure we'll be seeing more of him. And thanks to all of you for joining us every month. It wouldn't be possible without your continued interest and support. Hope to see you in November when we'll be joined by Jocelyn from Yards Brewing.
Jack's Hard Cider Nitro
Guinness 200th Anniversary Export Stout
Straub Oktoberfest Lager
Green Flash Soul Style IPA
New Belgium Voodoo Ranger
Tom's Marzan Style Oktoberfest (BONUS)
Adam and Steve's Berry Pepper Stout - Regular Version (BONUS)
Adam and Steve's Berry Pepper Stout - Hot Version (BONUS)
We had a bit of a light crowd, but that didn't stop the fun! Thanks to Peg and Al for bringing your family and friends! Those of you who couldn't join us missed an interesting lineup of beers. Thanks to Tom for educating us on hops and for sharing his homegrown hops. Rob's still very excited about that. I hope Pam wasn't too sick after she actually ate one. She's pretty daring.
Southern Tier Three Citrus Peel Out Imperial Wheat
Rusty Rail Fool's Gold Imperial Peanut Butter Hefeweizen
Victory Headwaters Pale Ale
Erie Johnny Rails Pumpkin Ale
Butternuts Snapperhead IPA
Wow! What a fun night! Our third annual Home Brew Challenge was a smashing success, if I do say so myself. Seven brewers submitted their finest recipes for the competition. And what a great variety of flavors! Although this is a friendly, non-scientific contest based on the tastes of the people in attendance, rivalries were strong. Jack worked hard to de-throne Tom as reigning 2016 champion. Last year, Jack placed second to Tom after inviting Tom to join the competition at the last minute. No good deed goes unpunished. And Nikki's sole desire was to rank higher than Eric. As I've said before, there are no losers in this challenge. It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there like these folks did. And they all did great! Only 1.23 points separated first and last place. Check out the results below. And thanks to Dawn for providing the halftime entertainment, even though she didn't name me as her favorite co-worker. ;( I'll have to get on her about that. Also thanks to Jack and Tom for bringing bonus beers for us to sample! We always love that!
Tasting List (on a scale of 1 - 5)
First Place - Apple Pie Cream Ale (Tom) - 4.25
Runner Up - Bourbon Vanilla Stout (Nikki) - 4.02
Third - Burnt Honey Rum Raisin Stout (Eric) - 3.97
Fourth - Red Ale (Matt) - 3.58
Fifth - American Pale Ale (John) - 3.52
Sixth - Coffee Cream Ale (Adam) - 3.27
Seventh - Chocolate Chili Stout (Jack) - 3.02
BONUS BEER - Strawberry Ale (Jack)
BONUS BEER - Black Berry Cream Ale (Tom)
It was so good to see so many new faces! Thanks for spreading the word about our little group. I hope you enjoyed lifting a few pints to celebrate the first Oscar Meyer wiener mobile rolling off the assembly line (1936). Thanks to Amy for providing the halftime entertainment. And, a special shout out to Rob for always helping to pour the beer. It was great seeing you all!
Sam Adams Cherry Wheat
New Holland White Hatter
Dark Horse Smells Like a Double Michigan Safety Meeting
Weyerbacher Merry Monks
Thirsty Dog Old Leg Humper
Wow! That was fun! Rob and I needed a fun time with good friends and you all met the challenge! Thanks for giving first-timers Cookie and Linn a warm welcome. Moe found them in the bar and invited them to join us (way to go Moe!). They seemed to have a good time, even though I pressured them into providing our halftime entertainment. ;) I must have been distracted by the great conversation. Seems I hardly took any pictures. WTH?
Victory Cage Radler
Saranac Citra Pils
Voodoo Wynona's Big Brown Ale
Saugatuck Serrano Pepper Ale
Stone RuinTen with Orange Peel and Vanilla Bean
I look back on this tasting and smile. You all know how to have a good time. Thanks to Nancy for sharing her story about her son Zac's bachelor party during halftime. Seven breweries in seven hours! And yes, they had a designated driver. A big welcome to first-timers Shelley, David and John! And how awesome is it that Tom brought us yet another bonus beer?!! He's spoiling us for sure!
Penn Brewery Tangerine Swirl
Shorts Bellaire Brown Ale
Troegs Crimson Pistil Hibiscus IPA
Helltown Idle Hands IPA
Thirsty Dog Scarlet O'Hoppy
Tom's Sweet Baby Juicus IPA
You guys rock! What a fun night! We had a bunch of first-timers ... Lisa, Frank, Darcy and Dwight. I hope you'll be back. Thanks to Darcy for being our halftime guest. We had a great lineup of beers, but I think the highlight was Tom bringing us not one, but TWO bonus beers! Thanks for your generosity, Tom! And one more plug for our friend Scott who opened Cobblehaus Brewing in Coraopolis a few weeks ago. I guess he won't be allowed to enter our home brew challenge anymore now that he's a professional. ;) If you haven't visited yet, be sure to do so soon.
Blue Point Blueberry Ale
Spoetzl Shiner Bock
Erie Ol' Red Cease and Desist
Harpoon The Craic
Rusty Rail Rail Spike IPA
Tom's Heath Bar Brown Ale (bonus beer)
Tom's Maple Bacon Brown Ale (bonus beer)
I'm sure it was rough attending this tasting after the St. Patrick's Day hooligans. But didn't we have fun? A special thanks to Peg and Al for joining us at the last minute (and to Sean for dragging them in)! I hope you enjoyed hearing about Dayton and Dana's efforts to train George, a service dog, for a local military member with PTSD. Their goal is to eventually establish a nonprofit organization. If you'd like to help with the expenses, they've set up a Go Fund Me page. Also, you can follow George's progress on Facebook.
Fuller's London Pride
New Belgium Blue Paddle Pilsener
Wyndridge Farm Imperial Night Owl Stout
Erie Brewing Railbender Ale
Rivertowne Patrick's Poison
Victory Hop Devil Nitro
Thanks for coming out to celebrate our 2nd anniversary! I hope you enjoyed visiting with Zach from Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale. The prizes were awesome and we appreciate their support. Thanks also to the guys from Twisted Spoon Ale House for sharing their Mocktoberfest Harvest Rye Ale with us. It was an interesting twist on the more bitter ryes I'm used to. We can't wait until you find a location! And, thanks to Tom for the second bonus beer! That spicy goodness surprisingly tickled the taste buds. Cheers to two great years! Looking forward to sharing more fun times with you in year #3!
Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold Lager
Great Lakes Eliot Ness Amber Lager
Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale
Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale
Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Golden IPA
Twisted Spoon Mocktoberfest Harvest Rye Ale (bonus beer)
Tom's Chocolate Habanero Smoked Porter (bonus beer)
What a difference a few days makes. Last month I wrote how I was looking forward to a long vacation and this month I'm unemployed. Be careful what you wish for. I really enjoyed seeing you all. Being alone all day is tough sometimes and you helped me feel better. :) Thanks, and happy 30th birthday, to Eric who Nicole made me ambush for the halftime entertainment. Thanks also to Maria and Chris, George and David who joined us for the first time! Welcome! Don't forget that Cobblehaus Brewing Company will be opening very soon in Coraopolis. Thanks to founder/brewer Scott Mills for giving us the update. You'll notice there are no photos below. I'm not sure how my camera was on the "live" setting, but they all turned out to be 2-3 second videos. I wasn't able to post them here, but you can view them on the Facebook page.
Morland Old Speckled Hen
Church Brew Works Christmas Ale
Anchor Brewing Merry Christmas 2016
Boulevard Brewing The Calling IPA
Sly Fox 360 IPA
Lexington Brewing Rye Barrel IPA