PA – By Bryan J. Kolesar
At Free Will in Perkasie, Lead Cellarwoman & Brewer, Colleen Rakowski, is off on an internship with Jean van Roy at his Brasserie-Brouwerij Cantillon. The rarest of rare opportunities presented itself to Colleen after travels through Europe earlier this year and time spent at Cantillon talking and drinking beer with Jean. We can bet that this will be a great experience for her and that Free Will will certainly benefit from the education she brings home. Safe travels and happy brewing Colleen!
Jason Lavery, President and Brewmaster at Lavery Brewing Company in Erie, happily reports that the expansion project is underway with funding in place to upgrade the hot liquor tank, glycol chiller, and brewery floors and to take delivery of three 10-bbl brite tanks and two 20-bbl fermenters. The end of November saw three new beers released: Balaclava IPA (New England-style with English yeast, Citra and Mosaic hops); Devil Bird Imperial Porter (aged 12 months in Buffalo Trace barrels); and The Weight English Stout (aged in Wigle Rye Whiskey barrels).
Levante Brewing Company continues to grow from its West Chester home. Tim Floros, President & Brewmaster, reports that two new 30-bbl fermenters are bringing more beers and the ability to grow into the State College market. December will be a busy month for the brewery with a simultaneous release on the 7th of its Coffee Shoppe Terminology Imperial Milk Stout in bottles and a surprise can release. Then, on the 21st, a collaborative Gran Gianduiotto Imperial Hazlenut Chocolate Milk Stout with Gran Caffe L’Aquila in Center City Philadelphia is due for release along with a mystery IPA in cans. Levante will close out the month with a New Year’s Eve bash at the brewery.
I haven’t taken you out to the center of the state in a while. It’s a perfect time to check in with Tim Yarrington, head brewer, at Elk Creek Cafe in Millheim as they prepare to celebrate the brewpub’s10th anniversary in December. Tim reports that they have cask releases, a special commemorative bottle release, and a special draft release planned during the month with a huge party including live entertainment to cap it all off. If you’d rather check them out in dead of winter, keep the annual Day of Delicious Darkness in February on your radar where they “dip into our barrel aged archives and delve deep into the darker spaces of the beer world”.
Finally, on December 16 at Neshaminy Creek Brewing in Croydon, the Delaware Valley Homebrew Community Pro-Am Beerfest is open to the public and will be giving attendees the opportunity to taste beers created as collaborations between eight local homebrew clubs and area craft breweries. The collaborations will be judged and ultimately awarded a grand prize.