Thursday, December 10, 2015 | Goose Island, New Belgium, Tennent's, Uinta, Victory


Beer was housed in wood for centuries, fermenting, aging, traveling and even being served straight from barrels. Barrels were simply the best method of containment not only for beer but also wine, liquor, vinegars and even dry goods. Although the true time and place of origin for barrels is hard to determine as all early artifacts rotted long ago, the general consensus is that they were first constructed by Celts or Gauls in northern Europe around 300 B.C., and spread over the world after they were conquered by the Roman Empire. Although wine is now traditionally the drink that comes to mind when thinking of barrels, it is likely that the first barrels were actually made to house beer as the Gauls and Celts did not make their own wine until much later. With wood being lighter, stronger and easier to handle than the clay pots being used before, the use of barrels expanded into wine and other goods by 100 A.D.

Wooden barrels remained the standard housing for wine, beer and later liquor up into the 20th century. Somewhere in there, it was realized that the wood and aging process imbued the beverage with particular flavor qualities. Additionally, what had previously been stored in the barrel also had an effect on taste. Generally, this was prevented by adding a layer of pitch to the inside of the barrel before storing beer, but winemakers were making full use of this by the 19th centrury.

Wood has its downsides, though; it’s hard to clean, porous, and hard to seal completely. Because of this, beer had to be consumed quickly, hopped heavy-handedly or cask-conditioned in order to prevent infection. With the advent of metal brewing equipment and storage, barrels were all but abandoned by brewers.

However, the qualities provided by barrels were not forgotten, and now breweries are taking advantage of the flavors of wood, as well as the wines and liquors stored before. Barrels in beer-making are gaining popularity for some of the same reasons they were abandoned. Fortunately, breweries nowadays have the luxury of being selective in which brews they decide to age, and the barrels they age in, allowing for combinations to be orchestrated and perfected.

Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout may be the first modern craft beer that utilized the bourbon barrel-aging process that has taken the craft scene by storm. The bourbon gives this a unique sweetness and the oak a smokiness over chocolate caramel and vanilla notes.

A twist on a classic, O’Hara’s Barrel-Aged Leann Follain is allowed to sit for 90 days in Irish whiskey barrels, enhancing the chocolatey flavor of the stout with the addition of dry scotch.

Tennent’s Aged with Whisky Oak combines wood, caramel and vanilla flavors through the use of a single malt and toasted oak.

Uinta’s Jacked B Nimble is a part of their Crooked Line, a spicy imperial pumpkin ale that’s has a signature oak note and a touch of rye.

Victory White Monkey takes the beloved Golden Monkey and allows it to mature for three months in oaken barrels that once stored white wine, adding nuanced to an already delicious brew.

After eight months aging, Evolution Bourbon Migration puts the bourbon flavor at the front with notes of vanilla and char, balanced by chocolate, toffee and coffee underneath.

New Belgium La Folie is a sour brown ale that spends one to three years in a huge oak barrels called foeders, coming out with a sharply fruity flavor full of berries and apple.

Jay Paterno Book Signing/Beer Tasting

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 | Beer News, Events, Retailers


If you haven’t had the chance to try the Paterno Legacy Lager, now’s the time to have a taste. Bound Beverages and Trenton Road Take Out will be hosting a tasting of the prestigiously-named beer by Duquense. It’s a vienna style lager, full of bready, caramely malt and a bit of grassy hops. And all over the can are images of Joe Paterno himself, along with stats on his reign. Plus, a portion of the proceeds go to charity.

In addition to trying this tasty brew, you’ll be able to meet Jay Paterno, who has written Paterno Legacy: Enduring Lesson From the Life and Death of my Father, and will be there for a book signing. The book serves as a memorial to one of the greatest coaches in college football history.

Event Details:
Thursday, November 19th

Bound Beverage – 4-6pm
308 Easton Road
Warrington, PA

Trenton Road Take Out - 7-8:30pm
1024 Trenton Road
Falsington, PA

Dessert Pairing

Friday, November 13, 2015 | Fuller's, Goose Island, Ithaca, Lancaster Brewing, Leffe, New Belgium, Old Dominion, Rogue, Victory


There is often discussion here about how to pair your favorite beers with food, but typically that conversation steers towards entrees and other savory dishes. However, many beers can make an excellent accompaniment to sweeter desserts. As an introduction to this pairing style, we offer this list to consider. As with savory pairings, these duos can either mimic one another with similar flavor notes, or complement each other with different accents. For each beer, we offer an example for each.

Goose Island Sofie – Champagne-like in mouthfeel, with pepper and citrus flavors and a vanilla finish.
Imitation: Fresh Fruit Ambrosia Salad
Complement: Chocolate-Orange Scone.

Lancaster Shoo-Fly Pie Porter – Sweet heavy molasses, vanilla and brown sugar.
Imitation: Pecan Pie
Complement: Crème Brûlée

Old Dominion Candi - Pear, apple, sugar and pepper, with a bit of tartness and finishing hop character.
Imitation: Pear Upside-Down Cake
Complement: Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Fuller’s London Porter - Dark chocolate, coffee and smoky tobacco; a very strong flavor profile.
Imitation: Chocolate Torte
Complement: Raspberry Cheesecake

Leffe Blonde - Spicy banana, orange and vanilla make up this beer.
Imitation: Orange Banana Nut Bread
Complement: Dark Chocolate

Victory Storm King - Dark chocolate and espresso are cut with hop bitterness.
Imitation: Chocolate Espresso Pound Cake
Complement: Vanilla Fudge

New Belgium Snapshot - Lemony-tartness throughout, with a bready backbone.
Imitation: Lemon Shortbread
Complement: French Silk Pie

Rogue Chocolate Stout – Chocolate and hops combine for a darkly rich and bitter beer with a touch of nuttiness.
Imitation: Pecan Brownies
Complement: Cheesecake

Ithaca Country Pumpkin - All the pumpkin pie spices (clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice) and a touch of pumpkin itself.
Imitation: Pumpkin Roll
Complement: Vanilla Bean Pudding

New Belgium Accumulation

Friday, November 13, 2015 | Featured Beer, New Belgium


Step aside dark beers, this Belgian-style IPA is claiming winter for itself. Crisp piny-ness is reminiscent of evergreen trees in snow, follow by warmer citrus with lemon taking the lead. bready malt provides a base for the hop bouquet while allowing it to take center stage. A beer truly inspired by the flavors and scents of the holiday season. 6.2% ABV

No Shave November and Rogue Ales

Friday, November 13, 2015 | Events, Fall, Rogue


For a number of years now, people across the world have cast aside their shaving products during the month of November in an effort to raise cancer awareness and donate the saved money to cancer research programs. Rogue Ales has taken up the cause, with 21 rogues taking part in the non-shaving. Additionally, a portion of the proceeds from Beard Beer sales in the month of November will go to the cause, funding cancer research and awareness. Rogue is an official partner of No Shave November, and by drinking Beard Beer (a fruity wild ale made from beard yeast), you’re helping them in their mission.

Learn more about No Shave November at, and join Rogue at the following events to support the program.

Tuesday, November 17
4:30 – 6:30, Chammps, Collegeville
7 – 10 PM, Railroad Street Bar and Grille, Royersford

Susquehanna’s Goldencold Takes Bronze at GABF

Friday, November 13, 2015 | Contest, Susquhanna


Out of the 55 beers entered in the Munich Helles category at the Great American Beer Festival, Susquehanna Brewings Goldencold Lager took third, beating out most the competition. Over 6,000 breweries vie for 276 medals, and with so many other breweries competing at this prestigious festival, the chances of taking home a medal are slim. On top of that, the Munich Helles category is one of the larger sections to compete in.

So what is this award-winning beer? It’s a German-inspired pale lager, using Endosperm mashing to create a delicate flavor and texture and Bavarian Hallertau Tradition and Hallertau Perle hops for a distinct character.

Spooky Good Beer

Friday, October 30, 2015 | Evolution, Long Trail, McKenzie's Hard Cider, New Belgium, Rogue, Victory


Halloween is tomorrow, and we’re here to help with a few last minute party and costume ideas to make sure the night goes spookily–err, smoothly.

Beers to Try:

Magic Hat Night of the Living Dead Variety Pack – Today is Magic Hat’s 21st birthday, so you should give them a little love. This festive case includes #9 Not Quite Pale Ale, Magic Hat Ale (their first beer ever brewed), Wilhelm Scream and Miss Bliss.
Victory Storm King Stout – This blackest of black beer starts with a huge hop aroma and continues with a rich, deep chocolate malt flavor. And at 9.2% ABV, it’ll warm your night.
Evolution Jacques Au Lantern – Halloween wouldn’t be right without a pumpkin ale, and Evolution provides a perfect example of the style.
New Belgium Pumpkick – Another pumpkin ale, but with a kick of cranberry tartness to shake things up. Available locally for the first time, so be sure to give it a try.
Long Trail Limbo – Citrus and resiny pine hoppiness lies inside this IPA, and a beautiful red-black-white label features a skeleton just in theme with Halloween.
Rogue Dead Guy Ale – This notorious brew is always great for Halloween due to its drinkability, appropriate name and popularity.

Party Ideas:

Costume and Pumpkin-Carving Contest Prizes: If you’re having a larger party, it’s always nice to have a few activities planned; either a costume contest or a jack-o-lantern carving contest (or both) are fun ideas to keep people engaged. And if you’re going to have a contest, you’re also going to need prizes. It’s best to separate these contests into kids and adults categories, to check for skill as well as so you can cater the prizes to the age range. For the kids, a bag of dried apples, spooky stickers, maple candies, a coloring book and a ribbon would make a nice prize basket. For the adults, make your own variety six-pack with the seasonal favorites we listed above.

Ghostly Beer Giveaway: Create cheesecloth ghosts of appropriate height and opacity, and once dry, set the ghosts over several bottles or cans of different types of beer. Make sure the cloth hides the label well enough that the beer cannot be deciphered. When guests arrive, have them choose a ghost-beer combo. They can drink the beer at the party and take the ghost home as a souvenir. For smaller parties, this works particularly well with larger bottles, like Victory’s V-Twelve. For larger parties, a 12 oz bottle variety pack can be used, like Magic Hat’s Night of the Living Dead.

Cider Cocktails – Instead of serving just straight cider, try your hand at making cider cocktails. This recipe has the benefit of being blood-red, but there are a number of delicious hard cider cocktail recipes out there, and you can use your favorite cider (we suggest McKenzie’s, Bold Rock or Johnny Appleseed) in the mix.

Costume Ideas:

Dead Guy – The namesake of one of Rogue’s top ales actually makes a pretty simple costume. Most costume stores will carry a skeleton suit of some sort. They will also probably have some sort of helmet/hat that is similar to the one on the label–gold or bronze is the color you’re looking for, particularly one that is tall. You can easily add length to a helmet by getting one that sits on top of, not around, your head. If you have trouble finding a suitable helmet, use the dome template on this page, and try making the bottom wider to lengthen the helmet. While you’re at the costume store, pick up some black and white face paint, and follow this guide to make your face into a skull. Carry a plastic beer mug around and voila. Bonus points for anyone with a barrel to sit on while they hand out candy.

Hop Flower – If you’ve got a little time, and a knack for a bit of sewing, a hop flower is a pretty straight-forward. First, you need a green beanie, shirt/dress and pants/leggings/tights. Second, you need a couple yards of light green material, and lastly a single sheet of green felt. The petals are roughly diamond in shape, with rounded sides, a pointy bottom tip and a flat top. Here is a basic outline. Measurements should be roughly 5 inches wide at the widest point, and 7 inches long. A little variance is okay, and petals near the top of the costume should be slightly smaller. How many you need will vary. To keep track, you can start pinning the petals onto your shirt or dress in rows as you cut then out. The petals in each row will touch, but not overlap too much. Rows should be roughly 3 inches apart, overlapping some with the lower row underneath the upper. Be sure to stagger the petals, like so. Cover the entire shirt or dress, and allow some petals to hang past the hem. It might be easiest to start from the bottom, and sew each row as you work your way up. For the hat, make a few small petals, sew then in a ring around about the middle of the beanie, and then sew on a green felt stem.

Beer Knight – A fun, cheap and relatively easy costume is waiting right next to your recycling; use your favorite old beer case boxes to create armor for yourself, including helmet, shield and breastplate. With a little ingenuity and a lot of clear packing tape, you can make a costume that will have people pointing you out at every party.

Long Trail Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Friday, October 30, 2015 | Evolution


Looking for a pumpkin ale willing to take it a step further? This imperial ale is sure to please. A well-blended mix of spices (ginger, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg) meld with a pumpkin and malt base. A hint of hoppiness sharpens the flavor, and a full, smooth body make it a pleasure to drink. Be sure to bring it to Thanksgiving dinner; it’s the perfect alternative to wine and sure to pair well with the meal. 8% ABV

Magic Hat Halloween and Birthday Events

Friday, October 30, 2015 | Contest, Events, Fall, Magic Hat


Magic Hat turns 21 today! Celebrate with the Merry Pranksters along Main street in New Hope, tonight from 7 to 11pm. They’ll be visiting Fran’s Pub, Havana and John and Peter’s with their #9 photobooth van ready for Halloween celebrations, and of course, their elixirs. And if you can’t make it tonight (or simply can’t get enough), join Magic Hat tomorrow night at The Works in Wyomissing for a Wilhelm Scream contest. There will be special giveaways, samples and a Magic Hat beer special. In addition, there will be a $500 cash prize for best costume, a special haunted laser, light and video show and more.

So don’t miss these awesome Magic Hat events; it’s not every year you turn 21.

Addresses are below.

Fran’s Pub – 116 S Main St, New Hope

Havana – 105 S Main St, New Hope

John and Peter’s – 96 S Main St, New Hope

The Works – 1109 Bern Rd, Wyomissing

Autumn-Winter Transition Beers

Friday, October 30, 2015 | Anchor, Goose Island, Long Trail, New Belgium, Victory


Holiday season is upon us, meaning you’ll probably be attending all sorts of family gatherings, office parties and other events. As we transition from autumn to winter in the next month or so, we can find a variety of delicious brews that straddle the line of the seasons. Transitional beers are those that can be enjoyed from now through the end of the year, spanning a spectrum of flavors that go from harvest to freeze. So if you’re thinking about what beers you’ll be enjoying at Thanksgiving or the coming winter holiday parties, keep this list in mind.

Long Trail Harvest – This little brown ale has a little something special added to give it that wonderful holiday flavor; real Vermont maple syrup, imbuing it with a sweetness that remains well-balanced. It’s also sessionable, coming in at 4.4% ABV

Anchor Maple Leaf – Another maple beer that manages to walk the line of just-sweet-enough. This red ale’s hoppiness is tempered by the syrup’s flavor, creating a complex flavor profile. 6% ABV

Ithaca Country Pumpkin - Pumpkin season doesn’t end in October; you can have pumpkin pie (and pumpkin ale for that matter) right into December. 6.3%

Bold Rock Virginia Hard Cider - In the wake of pumpkin ales, we often forget that ciders are also in season. This is a great gluten-free option, and just a good, refreshing drink between heavier brews. 6%

Lancaster Shoo-Fly Pie Porter – Named for a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch molasses pie, this porter has subtle smoky sweetness and a hint of vanilla, perfect for pairing with holiday cookies or pie. 6.2%

Goose Island Festivity Ale - This ever-changing line of beers from Goose Island always packs holiday flavors in. This year, it’s full of caramel and dark fruitiness, enjoyable November through December. 7.7% ABV

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