by Bryan J. Kolesar
Spring is poking and prodding ol’ man winter out of its way, and we can tell. On the brewing scene, breweries are readying their spring seasonals and ramping up for the annual Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) in Nashville at the beginning of May. Being an even numbered year, that means the return of the World Beer Cup in conjunction with the CBC.
At Mad Chef Craft Brewing in East Petersburg, owner Greg Kendig is excited for the brewery’s second foray into large-scale judging competition. Mad Chef plans to submit Black Beerd Oats, Mr. Dynamite Brown, East Pete Repeat, and Passionate Secrets Tropical Parfait IPA to the World Beer Cup and Kendig says that they always “look forward to the feedback.” Just out now in March is a collaboration with Philadelphia’s Saint Benjamin Brewing – called Mad Benjamin IPL – which recently hit the draft board at the brewpub. Look for upcoming collaborations also with The Vegetable Hunter boutique brewery in Harrisburg and Chatty Monks in West Reading. Finally, an upcoming limited release from their first canning run is coming soon, as are the details. Stay tuned…
And speaking of spring, Manayunk Brewing is ready to fling open the patio doors overlooking the canal. In April and May, Belly Flop Cucumber Melon Gose will be available in both 12-oz. cans and on draft. Head Brewer, Evan Fritz, describes it as “juicy melon, briny sea salt, and aroma of freshly cut cucumbers.” In April, Manayunk also has a Northeast Hazy IPA, Simcoalition, getting ready for its first appearance in 16-oz cans and on draft. Plenty of Simcoe, Citra, and Mosaic hops, Fritz reports. Later in May, look for a dank IPA called The Hive brewed and fermented with local Pennsylvania orange blossom honey and the next installment of Sour Resin Project, SRP4.
Events, fundraisers, and beer debuts aplenty at the still-growing family of Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant. To celebrate the life of a former employee, Terrell Bruce, the Ardmore, Chestnut Hill, Maple Shade (NJ), and North Wales locations (he’d worked at all four) are rolling out the LeBruce Saison, the recipe of which he helped craft, on April 19. Iron Hill be working the event like their Give 20 events, plus donating $1 per pint sold, and contributing to the organization founded to honor Bruce’s “legacy and impact on others.”
New beers from Iron Hill? Of course. Sweet Leaf IPA rolled off the canning line in early March and Clock Out American Lager is due on April 5.
The Media location has two upcoming events of note. First up, they’ll be donating to the American Rescue Foundation of Media after their Hops & Hounds event on April 14 and will once again play host to the popular annual Brandywine Valley Craft Brewers Festival on May 19. Tickets available online.
Last, but certainly not least, Iron Hill plans to make Chocolate Town USA just a bit sweeter. They recently announced their intention to make downtown Hershey the site of the company’s 16th location. This one is due to open in late 2018/early 2019.