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Widmer Bros. Hefe Shandy

Friday, April 17, 2015 | Widmer

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It’s about time we start getting into gear with this full-fledged spring with a brew that’s as sweet as blossoming trees and as refreshing as a morning rain. New to Widmer’s line of craft brews is their hefeweizen shandy, great for spring and even better for summer. Their bold hefeweizen serves as a base for this beer, and Lemon Drop hops and natural lemonade flavor is added to create a whole new, brighter flavor. The perfect porch-sitting accessory after spring cleaning, gardening or mowing the lawn. 4.2% ABV

Bensalem Beer & Soda

Friday, April 17, 2015 | Retailers

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There’s no better place in the area to stock up on your favorite craft brew than Bensalem Beer & Soda. And even if you don’t know what your favorite is yet, they’ve got samplings every Friday to help you figure it out, featuring such breweries as Magic Hat, Troegs and Victory. Their kegs come in three sizes, are always on ice, and can contain such delicious nectars as beers from Anchor, Ithaca, and Stella Artois.

Plus, they’ve teamed up with Long Trail for the seedling giveaway on Earth Day. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to drink beer you love and give back to Mother Earth.

Bensalem Beer & Soda
Bensalem Plaza Shopping Center
1919 Street Rd
Bensalem, PA 19020
(215) 639-4790

How Far Craft Has Come

Friday, April 17, 2015 | Beer News, Breweries

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Once upon a time, American beer was considered of poor quality by international standards. Liquor dominated the drinking scene, particularly of the rich and famous, while beer remained in the background, something to drink for the everyday working man, but nothing to write home about. But as imported beer came on the market, American brewers and beer drinkers took note of how delicious beer could be, and began to take action to change the beer scene.

Some say the turning point in American beer happened when Anchor Brewing Co. was bought by Maytag in 1965 and revitalized, producing their first bottles of Anchor Steam in 1971. Jimmy Carter worked to deregulate the beer market in 1971, and allowed for small-scale homebrewing, allowing for microbreweries to start and thrive, even in competition with massive breweries that controlled the market up to that point. As they began to grow into businesses that could no longer be considered micro, the broader term of Craft Brewery was introduced.

Since that time, craft beer has been on a steady rise and has seen a great boom in the last 20 years. As homebrewing has grown as a hobby, more and more people have started up their own breweries to share their love of beer with others. In fact, many craft breweries started as just a few folks making beer in a garage. By 1995, 500 breweries were making beer, and that number more than doubled in two years. In fact, at the end of the 20th century, there were more breweries operating in the U.S. than in any other country in the world, giving us a huge variety of beers that were created with good old American taste and ingenuity. As more consumers find their love of great beer, the numbers will keep rising. As of right now, there are 108 craft breweries operating in Pennsylvania alone, and the state ranks second in the nation in barrels of beer produced per year.

If the rise in events such as the Great American Beer Festival or the Craft Brewers Conference last week don’t convince you that craft beer is growing, just take a trip to your local distributor and look at the myriad of beers available. Fifty years ago, you couldn’t easily find a barley wine or saison just anywhere. If you asked an employee, they probably wouldn’t be able to tell you what an IPA was, let alone help you find one you might like. So let’s just take a moment to be thankful for how far beer has come, and look forward to where it will go from here.

Long Trail Celebrating Earth Day

Friday, April 17, 2015 | Bars, Long Trail, Spring, Sustainable

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It’s almost Earth Day again, and that means Long Trail is gearing up for its annual celebration. Long Trail has long been known for their environmental efforts, with a number of programs that keep their impact on the environment minimal. They allow farmers to use their spent grain for feed, use cow manure for 25% of their overall power usage, catch and reuse steam released in the brewing process, partner with like-minded businesses and sponsor community organizations committed to the betterment of the environment. And every Earth Day, they give out prizes to bring attention to the important issues facing the Earth. Everyone buying Long Trail at a participating location will be given a special pint glass and some spruce tree seeds to plant anywhere they like. For a list of participating locations, see below.

One location in particular has gone above and beyond to give back to the planet that gave us life. The Railroad Street Bar and Grill, located in Royersford, has had specials on Long Trail throughout the month of April, and bought extra seedlings to distribute among the community in an attempt to beautify and improve the environment. They have a goal of planting 200 trees in the area, and will be giving away Spruce seeds all day. If you don’t have much of a green thumb yourself, Tomato Joe of Royersford Tomato and Vegetable Co. will be there after 4pm to plant the seeds in a cup for you.

Beer is just another reason in a long list to keep our planet healthy, but if we do say so ourselves, it’s a damn good one. So indulge in something you love for a good cause this Earth Day, Wednesday April 22.

Participating Locations

Taverns

Distributors

Crafty Recipes

Friday, April 3, 2015 | Anchor, Boxcar, Carlow, Food, Keegan Ales, Kona, Leffe, Old Dominion, Rogue, Starr Hill Brewery, Troegs, Victory

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A beverage can be a great complement to a meal, or may be enjoyed on its own in partnership with only a great moment. But when simply drinking your favorite beers isn’t enough, there is another step to take in your appreciation for good craft brews. Eating them.

Just like wine is often used in culinary creations, beer can add wonderful flavors to all sorts of food, particularly since there is such a wide variety in flavors between all the styles of beer. Dips, sauces, glazes, desserts, breads, even pickled vegetables can all be made with a little help from your go-to beverage.

Googling recipes that call for beer can yield an overwhelming number of results. If you aren’t sure where to start, take a look at this list of recipes, and try making a few with our suggested beers.

IPA Beer Cheese DipStarr Hill Northern Lights

Beer-Battered FishKona Longboard Island Lager

Cream Cheese Beer Pancakes with Strawberry Saison SyrupHoegaarden and Anchor Saison

Beer-Soaked Grilled CheeseLeffe Brune

Craft Beer Can ChickenKeegan Ales Bine Climber or Troegs Cultivator

Dry Stout Beef StewO’Hara’s Irish Stout

Coconut Curry Beer Chicken SoupRogue MoM Hefeweizen

Slow Cooker Beer Brisket SandwichesDominion Morning Glory Espresso Stout

Belgian Tripel & Honey Black Pepper Chicken WingsVictory Golden Monkey

And if you’d like to try your hand at coming up with your own recipe, here is a brief and general guide on flavors to get you started.

Porters and Stouts – These dark beers are for adding intense flavors to a dish. Chocolate and coffee-flavored beers can be used in either rich desserts like chocolate cake or marinated meat dishes like ribs or pulled pork. Stews and soups can gain a bitterness from a dry stout or porter, while milk stouts can add a roasty sweetness to a glaze or sauce.

Wheat Beers – Fruity flavors are what hefeweizens and witbiers complement best. They’re a great addition to cakes, breads or tarts with fruit accents, and round out the flavors of sweet glazes and BBQ sauces. Honey, citrus, apricot, peach and berries are all flavors to add wheat beers to. Once you’ve tried those combinations, be adventurous and try it in combination with savory dishes like pasta and cheese sauces.

Fruity Beers, Barleywine and Saisons – These are flavors that can be a little more difficult to endow food with. It’s usually good to pair fruity beers and saisons with like flavors–candied fruits, ginger and other sweet-and-spicy notes–but barleywines need bold flavors to compete with. Roasted meats and heavy desserts like pumpkin dishes and dark chocolates can benefit from just a few tablespoons.

IPAs, Pale Ales and Pilsners – IPAs generally go with spicy dishes, but don’t limit yourself to that. Cheese sauces, breads, lemony dishes, seafood, and chicken can all benefit from the hops in the right conditions. Pale ales and pilsners can replace IPAs in many dishes, especially when looking for a milder flavor, and are more easily added to desserts.

Brown/Amber Ales – These sweet and mild brews are great for roasted chicken, pork, sticky-sweet desserts and sweet breads. Sometimes it can be added to beef-centric recipes, but it is the perfect level of flavor to be eaten with white meats.

If you’re just beginning to cook with beer, try adding it to sauces, glazes, and marinades, or try your hand at a beer bread, and before long, you’ll be looking for ways to add it into dinner every night.

Redhook Seedy Blonde

Friday, April 3, 2015 | Redhook

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It’s about time to be drinking something light, fruity and refreshing. Redhook’s Seedy Blonde is just what the doctor ordered, with a bready center, backed up by sweet apple flavors that speak to its namesake. A tart and effervescent finish make for clean drinking. An easy fruit beer to love. 5% ABV

Starr Hill Redesigned

Friday, April 3, 2015 | Starr Hill Brewery

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If you’re looking for some Grateful Pale Ale or Starr Pils, it’d behoove you to know that they’ve had an update in their packaging. Storyware, a graphic design company based in their own Charlottesville, VA, worked to bring new life to the brand, revamping the main logo and six labels to start with. So if you’re out to get Northern Lights IPA, Grateful Pale Ale, The Love Wheat Beer, Double Platinum Imperial IPA or Jomo Vienna-Style Lager, be sure to look extra careful to make sure you’ve spotted it.

“This new imagery absolutely elevates our look to the level of our beer through consistency and quality,” said Brian McNelis, Starr Hill’s President and CEO. “We believe these new designs will resonate with our devoted fans, as it truly does with our team at the brewery, and encourage those new to Starr Hill to discover our award-winning beers.”

The Liberty Taproom

Friday, April 3, 2015 | Bars

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The Liberty Taproom in Reading has no shortage of good beer; Goose Island, Stella, Anchor, Magic Hat, Troegs, and that’s just what they have on tap. And beyond that, they’ve got a stellar menu tat includes a build-your-own sandwich option, signature burgers, pizza and awesome apps. Combined with daily specials, live music and great service, you’d be crazy not to pop in every once in awhile.

The Liberty Taproom
237 N Prospect St
Reading, PA
Website

The Growing Movement of Session Beers

Friday, March 13, 2015 | Anchor, Boxcar, Full Sail, Goose Island, Keegan Ales, Kona, Long Trail, Magic Hat, Victory

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It’s no secret that craft beers tend to be a bit higher on the alcohol by volume, and that can be bad news for someone who wants to enjoy several brews in a night while still being safe. But have no fear! Low-alcohol session craft beers have been making their mark on the market in recent years and are on a climb in popularity. This means you can enjoy a party, round of cards or wedding while still enjoying your favorite craft breweries

The term session comes from the British, referring to the timeframe of a social gathering that involves drinking. In craft beer, a session beer has come to mean a beer under 5% AVB, but is still full of taste. So here we present a list of delicious session beers to try.

Full Sail Session Lager – What it lacks in ABV, it makes up for in big malt flavor and herbal hop character. 5.1% ABV

Anchor Steam Beer – This California Common beer gets its name from tradition West Coast brewing methods. 4.9% ABV

Goose Island Honkers Ale – An English bitter with fruity hops and a rich malt middle, making for a very drinkable brew. 4.3% ABV

Keegan Ales Bine Climber – Citrus hops lead this IPA, then is balanced by the malts, making it an especially good hoppy beer to drink a few of. 4.7% ABV

Kona Big Wave – Fruity flavors are suspended on bready malts, giving a full flavor to this blonde ale. 4.4% ABV

Long Trail Ale – This full-bodied amber ale is great for drinking around the campfire or bringing to a party. 5% ABV

Magic Hat Circus Boy – An unfiltered hefeweizen brewed with lemon grass that won’t have you on the floor. 4.5% ABV

Troegs Cultivator

Friday, March 13, 2015 | Featured Beer, Troegs

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This Helles-Bock marks the start of the Hop Cycle and the arrival of spring time. It’s backbone consists of malty grains, with a mildly sweet flavor of fresh-baked bread, which is accented by delicate floral hops that are reminiscent of spring’s first flowers. For as subtle a flavor profile, it hides its alcohol well. Definitely the kind of seasonal to bring us into warmer weather. 6.9% ABV

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