Beer Days of Summer in Pennsylvania
Brent Celek, of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, signed crowlers of his collaboration Kolsch on June 17 at La Cabra Brewing Company in Berwyn, PA.
by Bryan J. Kolesar
The summer was off to a blazing start on June 17 at in Berwyn. Dan Popernack (owner, brewer), Chuck Golder (GM), and their team pulled off a well-coordinated afternoon event hosting Brent Celek, member of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. (Did I need to remind anyone of that?) The brewery and Celek collaborated on a Kolsch named Formula: 87. Celek signed custom-made crowlers and graciously posed for plenty of pictures while the brewery filled the crowlers that depict Celek in a triumphant stance at the Super Bowl parade.
The Brewers of Pennsylvania (BOP), the state’s official brewers guild, has released its event details and list of panel participants for the 2018 Meeting of the Malts, the association’s popular annual event that gathers the most acclaimed breweries to discuss the state of the craft beer industry.
Presented by Gold Sponsor Micro Matic USA, Meeting of the Malts VII will take place Aug. 23 at Artsquest Center at SteelStacks, Bethlehem, and will feature a powerhouse panel including Bill Covaleski (Victory Brewing Company), Tom Kehoe (Yards Brewing Company), Wendy Yuengling (D. G. Yuengling & Son), Mike Stevens (Michigan-based Founders Brewing Company), and Joey Redner (Florida-based Cigar City Brewing). The panel discussion, which will run from 6-7 pm., will be emceed by industry icon, Bump Williams. Dick Yuengling and Jim Koch (Samuel Adams) will provide the opening remarks.
Following the panel discussion will be a 4-course dinner from 7:15 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., each course being paired with a beer from select panelist’s breweries. After the dinner comes the Pennsylvania BrewPub Festival. Tickets are $85 for the panle, dinner and fest and $35 for the brewpub fest only. Artsquest Center at SteelStacks is located at 711 First St., Bethlehem, PA. Accommodations deadline for the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem is Aug. 9.
July has been a busy month for Round Guys Brewing Company, and it’s not yet over. The brewery has its name behind a third location and introduced themselves by participating in the Independence Day parade in Glenside. They also conducted crowler sales of Glenside Pail (sic) Ale and several more beers in the parking lot of their future Glenside Ale House, which is due to open later this summer. Back home in Lansdale, July releases include The Him Wheat Wine, Hullen Bones (Bumblebee Wheat aged with fruit flavors), Vanishing Pit English Brown, and Miss Wiss Belgian Wit brewed specially for Grey Lodge Pub. In addition, they are gearing up for another anniversary party Aug. 4. Finally, check out their podcast – Original Slacker – for discussions of beer and music.
If it’s summer, it must be time to plan for late summer/early autumn beers and that’s exactly what Manayunk Brewery is up to. August will see Coconut Crunch, a robust porter with coconut, and then, when the hops say they are ready, the brewery will be ready to roll out its wet-hopped Harvest IPA. Both will be available in cans and on draft. Next up will be Yunkin’ Pumpkin, on draft and in cans, followed by Yunk-O-Lantern, the bigger 8.4% version aged in fresh Jim Beam bourbon barrels with Madagascar vanilla beans and available in 500-ml bottles.
Saint Benjamin Brewing Company stood out in the Can Can Awards, placing first in the Belgian-style Witbier category for its Wit or Witout. Nice recognition, especially just coming off another Brewvitational award (from the Philadelphia Inquirer and its food critic, Craig Laban) for the Ultraviolet Grisette. The Summer Playlist limited edition beer series continues this summer where a small batch (150 “Ben Bombs”, i.e. 32-oz. cans) is canned each week and sold primarily at a local farmers market each week, with a very small number of cans available for sale back at the brewery. Furthermore, each beer’s feature label artwork is designed by local artists Tessa Shackelford, Kathryn Moran, Clayton Thomas, and David Robinson. Early reports of success are in and the brewery is already considering extending the program into the fall.
Just outside Philly in the northern suburb of Huntingdon Valley, the newest brewery in this update, Moss Mill Brewing Company, is just coming off the collaboration release party on July 14 for Miner’s Daughter, a “supérieure grisette”, which was created with brewing neighbor Naked Brewing Co. Moss Mill has also been working with homebrewers and the first winner (a Saison) from the quarterly competition that the brewery conducts is set to be released in August. Signup begins July 17 for the next quarterly competition and release. Into cars? August 4 and September 1 are the last two dates for the Cruise & Brewz car show event that features cars, beers, a food truck, live music, and a movie to cap off the day. In the brewhouse, the staff now has a Randall to take their #FreshBeerFriday to another level, allowing social media followers to vote for the ingredient they want to see in the Randall for the following Friday’s special beer that is poured alongside the weekly fresh release.