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Rugged One

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  • Birthday 02/26/1975

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  1. ^It was the Green Flash Brandy Barrel Aged Barleywine. And Kim won't mind at all that you didn't post any pics of her. She hates when I do it! I'm glad that you and Ray and Lauren were able to meet up with us. We had a lot of fun hanging with you guys!
  2. ^Allright, Hop Trip! Well it's been a while, but I'm hoping to get caught up over the next couple of weeks. I still need to share some Oktoberfest beer pics, I'll save the Pumpkin Ale pics for the week before thanksgiving, and I still need to post the pics from a couple of Pumpkin Ale fest that we were at around Halloween. We'll start out with something local though to get me back into the swing of things... And then finish up with the first of what will be many mugs of their cask Susquehanna Stout. Good stuff! The first order of business is to naturally fill it up with some of their seasonal Pennypacker Porter, probably one of my favorites that they offer here. Complete with a new look and a new name! ...well it's time for him to finally hit the road and come on home with me, because we've got a new mug in town! Remember my old mug from last year...? Another quick drive down the street brings up to another favorite local haunt, the Harrisburg location of the Appalachian Brewing Company. It's been a while since I've posted any pics from here! Naturally, I had to pick up a case for both Derek and I. Good thing to, because it sold out early the next afternoon. And you gotta love the new cooler, stocked for the first time now with the Scratch beers too. This cooler is seriously like a dream come true at this place that opens up all kinds of possibilities. Kim got herself a sample and really enjoyed it as well. Lots of espresso and roasted coffee notes in this but the oatmeal adds some needed silky tones to the flavor and body. ....and it just happens to be the BRAND NEW Scratch #15. A Double Espresso Oatmeal Stout that just went on sale that day. This was brewed with a special espresso blend by a local roaster chain. I'm not sure if I'm smiling because this was very good or because I'm actually drinking a pint at Troegs. Hmmmm...there seems to be something new added to the Scratch sign up there... Last Friday, Kim picked me up from work and then basically down the street to everyone's favorite local brewery, Troegs. Why you may ask?
  3. Alright, time for some more beer pics! October is always an exciting time of the month for beer, with not only all kinds of Oktoberfest beers making the rounds but also a style that's starting to basically become the American version of that style, the Pumpkin Ale. Everybody seems to brew one now every Fall but luckily we don't live too far from (IMHO) thee best out there. And I finish up with a warming goblet of Organic Tripel. This is similar to their Stealth Tripel but with naturally all organic ingredients. A good closer for this visit! Look for more Pumpkin Ale pics coming soon... They even had a pumpkin inspired special this week. A pumpkin seed pesto over Fusilli pasta. Very nice! Luckily the tasty Fall seasonals don't end there. Here is some Market St. Fest, their take on the Marzen style. This was a good one too. Lots of sweetness, bread, and a crisp hop profile that lends balance. Tasty! Kim shows off her glass as well. This is just some great stuff that crams in pumpkin, spices, a bready tasting crust, and the topper is that they serve it on nitro, so that is feels just like eating a piece of pumpkin pie with whip cream on it. Yeah, it's the return of their annual Fall treat, The World's Greatest Pumpkin Ale! (My name for it anyway). As you can see, the lineup is locked, stocked, and ready to rock with a pretty full selection to choose from. What's that I spy over on the left side? Let me give you a hint... Back at the SGB for the third time this month but as far as we're concerned, this the visit that matters most...
  4. I thought that I'd thrown up a couple pics of some of the more hoppy offerings that I've checked out recently. And boy, this actually lived up to the hype. Pretty much the quintessential West Coast IPA with huge note of pine, grapefruit, and a grainy malt backbone. Freaking fantastic stuff! Finally, Derek made an impromptu trip over to the house last night, so we split something that I had received via a trade just that day. The #27 rated beer over at BA. The Ballast Point Sculpin IPA. This was brewed purely with locally grown hops and was quite awesome! There was a total all-around herbal feel to the taste and smell that reminded me of something else a little "homegrown" if you know what I mean. Great IPA! Although this is in a SGB growler, it's actually a fill from somewhere not too far away. The Homegrown IPA from the Elk Creek Cafe & Aleworks. This one was a little surprising. More earthy than I thought it would be and a touch watery in the feel. Overall something just felt a little "off" with it. Up next, another Oregon staple. The Bridgeport IPA. Anyway, this was a very solid IPA. Lots of good pine and citrus notes. A bottle of India Pelican Ale from the Pelican Pub & Brewery in Oregon. Didn't Justin do a BTR from this place? Fresh, hoppy, and quite drinkable. Did you expect anything less from Victory? Derek grabbed me a growler of the Victory Harvest Ale on a recent trip to the brewery since I couldn't make it to the Fall Fest last month.
  5. Wow, looks like it's time to start posting again! Last Friday, they tapped their Pumpkin Ale over at the Iron Hill in Lancaster and invited the area Muggers to come on out and give it a try. Who are we to say no? November 22nd. We'll be there. Good stuff too. Lots of yeast, spice, and citrus with a pretty nice tartness to it. The man himself, Paul Rutherford, came out to pour us Saison samples from a hand bottled jeroboam. For round # 2 I go with the cask Pumpkin while Derek tries a 10 oz of their new Bourbon Porter. Since we're here, I've got to go with my stand-by pesto chicken and artichoke pizza. ....while Kim shows you what it actually looks like since you can't see it in our mugs! Yeah, it's Pumpkin Ale time. This was a pretty darn tasty one too! Pretty even mix of pumpkin and spices. I enjoy the draft version while Derek enjoys the cask one... One thing I love about these Mugger events is that they keep a few tables reserved in the bar area for us. Back at Iron Hill on a beautiful October Friday evening.
  6. This past weekend was PPP of course but it was also a continuation of another annual tradition that's now in it's 3rd year. The Pre-PPP visit to the SGB on the way to Knoebels. Derek and Nicole were naturally there with us but as a bonus this year, both Jeff and Deuane were able to stop by as well for a couple as they were each passing through the area. Afterwards it was on to PPP and the Covered Bridge Fest, where we of course had to get some pumpkin rice pudding. Yum! Jeff and I then go for our own goblets of the Peche Saison. This stuff was seriously awesome. Juicy fresh peachs, tartness, and a bit of yeasty funk to liven things up. Great stuff! In the meantime, I try the new Hotshot Pils (infused with spicy pepper notes) while Jeff has the Marketfest Marzen, and Deuane their regular IPA. Of course the big hit of the day was the new Peche Saison, another tremendous fruit beer form these guys that Derek & Kim show off here. Nicole wonders whey the heck she didn't get one! As you can see, they actually had some cool new stuff on tap. Back at the SGB for the first time in a while and needless to say, the place was PACKED! Turns out it was Homecoming at nearby Susquehanna U. Luckily Derek & Nicole were there right at opening and secured us the BIG table.
  7. Since we weren't going to be able to see Derek on his birthday today, we had him come over last night and treated him to a little pre-birthday hanging out. We busted out some cool beers, had some tasty eats, and watched some High Def goodness. All in all, I think he had a good time. Happy 29th Dude! And we're happy to report that it's held up just fine! Lots of deep chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, and roasted malts with a nice tingle of smokiness to it that reminded us a bit of a gunpowder smell. Really nice stuff from COAST! Why is it so rare? Because they only bottled 4 cases (48 bottles total) of it. This was their first bottling project, so the brewer suggested that people not sit on these too long as they didn't know how the carbonation was going to hold up. So let's give it a try! Finally, I bust out a real rarity to end the night. From the rather newish COAST Brewing in Charleston, SC, it's a bottle of Blackbeered Imperial Stout. And because we didn't get to see it together in the theater, we had to fire up the newly released Iron Man Blu-Ray DVD on the home theater. Pizza time! Not just any pizza will do though. It's Derek's favorite Barbecue Chicken Pizza from Ledo Pizza down near Baltimore. We've had some other Midnight Sun Alaskan offerings before and these guys just don't disappoint when it comes to bringing the West Coast awesomeness. The Cascade hops in this smelled like a pine forest and were well balanced by some sticky caramel sweetness. Nice! Something cool from the West was up next. A bottle of Midnight Sun Sockeye Red IPA. Wow! This was a coffee lovers dream here. It just smelled and tasted like freshly ground dark roasted coffee beans. Definitely one of the better Coffee Stouts we've had. First up, something from the great beer state of Wisconsin. Sitting just outside the Top 100 over at BA, it's the Central Waters Brewhouse Coffee Stout.
  8. It's been a while since I've done a BTR but hopefully I'll get more up here in the future. So last Friday, with the day off from work, Kim and I were supposed to make a stop at the SGB and then go up to a concert at the Bloomsburg Fair. Well unfortunately, they canceled the concert the night before, so we now had some free time to check out something else. We decided to make the most of it and make our way up to two areas that we haven't visited in a while. Naturally I had to get a few to go! Thanks for reading and look for an SGB update after the weekend. And here's something new from the last time we visited. A To-Go fridge stocked with bottled Bullfrog beer! They actually started this back in June and have been putting out some crazy stuff. The bottles are a bit pricey but it's all quality. I also gave the new Saison Noire a try. It was tasty but a touch too heavy for my taste. And more root beer for Kim! Including the freshly tapped McMinn's Hop Harvest Ale. Tasty stuff! Not quite as much on tap as we've seen on other trips but still some quality stuff. Being a Friday night, the place was naturally rocking. One more stop before we head home and of course, it's got to be a stop at The Bullfrog. Another place that got criminally undervisited by us this year. All in all, we had a great time here and look forward to coming back for more growler fills in the future. What's nice about them being a production brewery is that they are allowed to pour up to 12 oz samples. And they sure do! Here I try their Square Feet Wheat, a hoppy Wheat Ale. They had 4 beers on to try with a 5th (Steel Drivin' Stout) coming on next week. They also naturally have a really nice sized tasting room called affectionately, the "Horde Room". The brewery itself has had a lot of history, serving as both a car dealership and food bank, among other things. Brewer Mike Hiller is originally from the area but he cut his brewing teeth down at Legend Brewing Company in Richmond, VA. He and his wife (who was our hostess for this visit) relocated back here to Williamsport and are trying their hand at the production brewery thing. After fleeing town because of the approaching weekend football crowd, it was off to Williamsport, PA, a place we haven't been to since last December! Our first stop is a newish brewery that opened late last year. The Barvarian Barbarian. We had tried some of their wares at the Harrisburg Brewers Fest and were really looking forward to checking the place out. And with two choices on the hand pumps at all times, I've got to finish up with a snifter of their cask Old Fugget Barleywine. This was an English style with a firm maltiness and some good warmth to it. And I think that this is our first visit where they have had their own root beer on. Kim, of course, was most pleased. I honestly think that of all our local brewpubs, this place might have thee best menu and food. Lots of variety and quality items, like this cup of Chile cooked with their Black Mo Irish Stout. Kim get's some beer of her own and grabs a half pint of their Oktoberfest. Decent stuff with bready malt sweetness and German Noble hops for balance. Never fear though, they haven't left their local hop heads hang'n. Just tapped the day before, this is their new Slab Cabin IPA. It uses the same Amarillo and Chinook hops of the Double D but half the amount to keep prices in check. This was really tasty too! Good stuff as usual on the board but something seems to be missing. Double D, their staple hoppy offering has had to be temporarily retired the because the required hops have just gotten to be too expensive. Back at Otto's in State College for the first time in like 6 months. We really need to get up here more often as we like this brewpub more and more every time we come up.
  9. Happy First Day of Fall everyone! I haven't been around here in the thread lately but I'm hoping to post a little more regularly now that it's time for all kinds of delicious Fall beer offerings. And with Oktoberfest kicking off in Munich on Saturday, it's definitely that time of the year for some tasty Oktoberfest/Marzens to be had. And the Trogner Bros. have done very well by this style. Bready toasted grains and caramel sweetness that are well balanced by a touch of spicy Noble hops. Very tasty and hugely quaffable. Well done Troegs! We'll kick things off with something REAL local. Like down the street from where I work. It's the lucky #13 offering from the Troegs Scratch Series. A 4.9% Oktoberfest.
  10. Thanks for coming out and hanging with us Chuck! Count me in as also being impressed with the way that BGE has continued to grow this event. I wish that we had another free weekend this fall, as we'd love to come down again and see it's doing a little later in the season. Considering that this was just opening weekend, I thought that they did a very nice job with the event.
  11. Been pretty quiet in here the last few days. Thought that I'd break the silence and show off a couple of the more exclusive Bell's brews that have come out so far this year. WhoooooWheeeee!!! They definitely didn't skip the Bourbon in this guy! Fortunately the cherry tartness and chocolate of the Cherry Stout could still be tasted underneath all that booze. Finally, another brewery exclusive, a Bourbon Barrel Aged version of their Cherry Stout. The rumor is that this is just a repackaged version of their Amber Ale. Well, it's a pretty pedestrian effort either way. Up next is another exclusive to just Michigan. The 2008 Big Porch Ale. A tribute to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and it's ginormous front porch, which is one of the biggest in the world. Huge pine and grapefruit dominate in this hop bomb of a DIPA but it definitely wore it's 11% ABV out there on its sleeve. First up, the Big Head San Diego Style Ale. Larry Bell's answer to the "egos" of those Southern California brewers.
  12. ^^^Sweet action Bubba! I can't wait to try some of those canned offerings! So as Derek has all ready posted our Sunday adventures, I'll put up what we did on Saturday evening. It had been awhile since we all got together so we thought that we'd have Derek & Nicole come over for a party. But this wasn't just any old party... This was a Pizza "Port" Party! And was it good? Just take a look at those smiles. Thanks for reading. And finally, since the last couple of beers all ready tasted like dessert, I decide to put the cherry on top (literally) with a bottle of New Glarus Belgian Red for us all to split. Mmmmm...this was tasty. Very, very roasty mix of chocolate, caramel, coffee, and burnt malts. And to think that this was made from the leftover crap of the Serpent's Stout. Just shows how fantastic the Stout was! We slum on down to just a regular Port Brewing offering for a bit, but luckily this was a good one. The Moon Lit Sessions Lager, a German Style Schwarzbier that is brewed using the second runnings of the Serpent's Stout. And lead us not unto temptation...but please deliver some more of this fantastic Belgian Style Stout to us! And with an awesome taste of chocolate, molasses, dark fruits, roasted malts, and coffee, who can blame us! Once again, the Lost Abbey comes through with a cool looking label. But we're not done yet! Yet more Lost Abbey awesomeness! This time something a little sweeter (and darker) in the form a bottle of Serpent's Stout. Nicole and Derek say "Pizza Good!!!" Of course it wouldn't be a Pizza Party without some pizza and as usual, Kim out did herself! And once again, a very tasty offering for a Saison. Lots of fruits, tartness, bready malts, grassy hops, and loads of other barnyard character. Up next, another Lost Abby offering. Carnevale, a Saison. And this was very good. Especially the aroma! Delicious notes of bread, spice, grass, honey, and yeast had us feeling the burn! And this probably has thee most disturbing labels of the Lost Abbey offerings to boot! Nothing says drinking like watching souls getting roasted in the fires of hell! We start out with one of the newer offerings from the Lost Abbey. Inferno, a Belgian Strong Pale Ale that is brewed in the same style as other devilish offerings like Duvel & Lucifer.
  13. ^ You are correct Chuck, it is Sinestro and he's actually become a big part of the Green Lantern universe again over the last year or so. OK, now I'M getting too geeky for my own good! Anyway, it's cool to see members of the Legion of Doom roaming around the Six Flags parks. Awesome TR as usual Ted. I wish I had known that you guys were in the area this past weekend. Kim and I probably could have come out and met up for a bit.
  14. Well with the Discovery Channel airing their annual Shark Week marathon last week, I thought that I should have an appropriate theme for the beers that I would be drinking while watching it. Hence, intermingled between episodes of Myth Busters and shows about shark attacks, I bring you... STOUT WEEK! This definitely isn't for the faint of heart but, my oh my, is is tasty! Big notes of chocolate, coffee, and dark fruits intermingle with some definite Belgian yeast character. That huge ABV is definitely there but it never seems to become stinging. Great stuff and I'm looking forward to lying a few of these down in the cellar. Finally, another anniversary beer was also recently released. The Weyerbacher 13. After the last few of their anniversary releases that I had trouble getting down with, they've finally unleashed something that I can get on board with. A 13%+ beast of a Belgian Style Imperial Stout. But hey, he can talk as much as he wants when a beer is this tasty. Think burnt chocolate chip cookie that drinks like a champ! ...and the usual diatribe from Greg Koch on the back. This one was even more long winded than normal! Awesome anniversary logo as usual from Stone... Up next is one that I can't believe no one has posted yet, despite being out for the last few weeks. The Stone 12th Anniversary. A Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout. ...but this was a lot better. Rich chocolate notes (even if they seemed a bit artificial) and roasted malts underneath made for a nice dessert beer that Kim had no problem helping me with. A beer built for 2 is our next order of business, in the form of a bottle of Ft. Collins Double Chocolate Stout. Now I've never been big on their regular Chocolate Stout offering... And to top things off, the beer is infected. Yeah! It's really a shame too, since this seemed rather nice underneath all the disgustingly sour bacteria notes. This place cracks me up. Their labels look like they were printed off on an ink jet printer in someone's basement. Oh wait, they probably were! Next, we've got some good ole' Midwestern RIS goodness courtesty of Oscar the Grouch and his buddies at Kuhnhenn. The Road Rash Russian Imperial Stout. Dark beers are their specialty at Duck Rabbit and this guy is no different. Tons of chocolate sweetness that is balanced out by some very prominent dark fruit tartness. We'll start off with something from down south in North Cakalaki. The Rapid Duck RIS from the Duck Rabbit Brewery.
  15. Thought that I'd put up some pics from this past weekend. Starting out Friday after work and ending up on Sunday. And this was very good! Lots of resinous pine bitterness were in there but it was all about the sweetness with this guy. Tons of honey and malts notes and some of the juiciest citrus character I've tasted in a long time. This reminded me a lot of Bell's Hopslam, which is definitely a good thing! Finally, all day Sunday, I got into my Captain Lawrence growler of goodness. The Captain's Reserve Double IPA. They have great burgers here too, as I'm about to devour mine and wash it down with a glass of Victory Braumeister Pils. This is one of the few beer bars were we like the food as much as the beer. The wings here are some of our favorite anywhere. Lots of different choices and very crispy. Perfect! Lots of hoppy goodness on for Summer. I went with a Founder's Centennial IPA. Very fresh and tasty on tap. On the way home, we decided to take a detour and head to someplace that we haven't been in forever. Union Jacks! And it was good to see them pimping out the decent NJ offerings (as little as there is though). All in all, this place was definitely up there for me and we'll definitely be back again! ...but it was the GINORMOUS wall of Imports that made me crap my pants. It actually started a few feet behind where I was taking this pic and was just loaded with all kinds of harder to get stuff. Fantastic! The wall of American craft singles was tremendous... C'mon! They've got their "Best of BA" shelf for crying out loud! I wouldn't normally include this many pics of beer store but man, this placed ROCKED! On the way home, we made a pit stop at what is widely considered to be a Top 3 beer store on the East Coast. The Oak Tree Buy Rite in South Plainfield, NJ. And Kim shows what all of the hype is about. Cuvee de Castleton. It's an American Wild Ale that's fermented with grapes, than aged in Oak, and infused with Brett. They were giving out samples and it was delicious! After you paid, you went in and picked up your bottles. ...so we said "Heck, since we waited in the growler line, we might as well get a growler!" They had both a cash and credit line once they opened. We were closest to the credit line, so we waited in that one. Unfortunately it was also the line for growler fills and took a bit longer... Saturday saw us take a road trip up north of New York City to Pleasantville, home of Captain Lawrence brewing. Every couple of months they have a bottle release and this is their biggest of the year! This was about a 1/2 before they opened and allready a pretty good sized crowd has formed. I then finished up with some pizza at dinner and a mug of their West Coast Wheat (while getting attacked by Ffej!) They also had a Mugger exclusive on tap. A Bourbon Aged Tripel that while loaded with Bourbon notes, also kept a lot of Tripel character, and stayed pretty quaffable for a 10% beer. ...and we got to meet the brewer, Paul Rutherford. He was a real friendly guy and a pleasure to talk too. He was previously the assistant brewer at the North Wales location and this gig is his first as a Head Brewer. He's doing a hell of a job so far. ...plus you get a up close tour of their brewing system (quite photogenic as you can see)... Because it's there first Mugger Appreciation and "Meet the Brewer" night ! This was pretty nice too. Reserved seating and free eats... Our next stop brings us back to Iron Hill Lancaster. But what would we be doing here on a random Friday night? And of course Christmas in July wouldn't be complete without a taste of some Mad Elf. Holding up very well I might add! And the rest of the crew is definitely down with the Troegs as well. ...and lots of Troegs beers were on special. Kim and I can't resist a $3 pint of Sunshine Pils on draft. Tasty! Lot's of Christmas decorations were up... ...it's time for the annual Troegs Christmas in July celebration! We're back at the Elephant & Castle and being July 25th, that can only mean one thing...
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