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Mastering the Lagunitas Butterfly Bottle Opener with the Master: A Craft Beer PhD

lagunitas butterfly bottle opener Advanced Moves for the Master 300x168 Mastering the Lagunitas Butterfly Bottle Opener with the Master: A Craft Beer PhDMeet Your Destiny as Master Beer Bottle Opener

By Matt Goldstein

After laying your eyes on the Lagunitas Butterfly Bottle Opener we know you bought one and already started learning the basic techniques for opening craft beer like a ninja pimp gangster ladies man cartel kingpin such as yourself should be doing.  But have you mastered the Lagunitas Butterfly Bottle Opener?  NO!  You haven’t mastered the Lagunitas Butterfly Bottle Opener until you’ve watched our amazing instructional video: Mastering the Lagunitas Butterfly Bottle Opener with the Master.  Becoming a master is your destiny.

Video 2 – Advanced Moves




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Philadelphia’s Craft Beer Locator: The Philly Tap Finder

philly tap finder logo Philadelphia’s Craft Beer Locator: The Philly Tap FinderFind the best Craft Beer in Philadelphia’s Best Craft Beer Bars

By Matt Goldstein

The Philly Tap Finder is the premiere craft beer locator in the country.  Currently focusing on Philadelphia, but soon D.C., local bar goers can find the best craft beer lineups on a daily basis.  Whether looking for Pliny the Elder, Big Bear Racer 5, Founder Breakfast Stout, a draft on cask, hand pump or barrel aged brew on tap, the Philly Tap Finder will find you your favorite beer in the best bars in the city such as the Khyber Pass Pub, Monk’s Cafe, the Pope, the Side Car Bar, Kraftwork, the Iron Abbey and more.  Check out Philly Tap Finer, updated every day.




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Featured Craft Beer of the Week: Victory Brewing’s Yakima Glory Ale, A Dark IPA

Victory Brewings Yakima Glory Ale Featured Craft Beer of the Week: Victory Brewing’s Yakima Glory Ale, A Dark IPAOne of the Highest Malt Contents of any Craft Ale

By Matt Goldstein & Tim Rodgers

If you love a well balanced craft IPA and Pale Ale, but still love the high malt content of a German Dopplebock, the Yakima Glory marries both brewing styles in one of the best craft beers in the world, the Victory Brewing Yakima Glory Ale.  With imported German Malts and Four Whole Flour Yakima Valley Hops, the Yakima Glory has an ABV of 8.7%.  The Victory Yakima Glory comes with one of our highest craft ale recommendations.

“The tenacious grip of big, juicy hop aroma and character slides smoothly into rich, dark malts. This heavyweight battle between fresh, Yakima Valley hops and dark, roasted malts is resolved harmoniously as the flavors merge to deliver complex satisfaction with a warming edge.  Bask in the “glory”­ of the bright and brassy hops!”




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Best Fall Craft Beers: Southern Tier Brewing’s Imperial Pumking

Southern Tier Pumpk 223x300 Best Fall Craft Beers: Southern Tier Brewings Imperial PumkingPumpking Imperial Pumpkin Ale

By Matt Goldstein

The fall season brings out the best and worst of craft beer, with many brewers trying to put pumpkin pie in a bottle.  Sometimes too sweet, sometimes too trendy, but one fall craft beer continues to reign at the top, the Southern Tier Pumpking.  Southern Tier Brewing in New York is one of the most recognized and awarded craft brewing companies in the country.  The seasonal Southern Tier Pumpking is an ode to Púca, a creature of Celtic folklore, who is both feared and respected by those who believe in it. Púca is said to waylay travelers throughout the night, tossing them on its back, and providing them the ride of their lives, from whichthey return forever changed!  Brewed in the spirit of All Hallows Eve, a time of year when spirits can make contact with the physical world and when magic is most potent.  Pour Pumking into a goblet and allow it’s alluring spirit to overflow.  As spicy aromas present themselves, let its deep copper color entrance you as your journey into this mystical brew has just begun.  As the first drops touch your tongue a magical spell will bewitch your taste buds making it difficult to escape.  This beer is brewed with pagan spirit yet should be enjoyed responsibly.

8.6% abv • 12.7ºL • Imperial Pumpkin Ale • 22 oz / 1/2 keg / 1/6 keg




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Rogue’s Craft Brewing: Growing Your Brewing Ingredients at Hopyard Farms

Rogue Craft Brewing Agriculture 300x103 Rogue’s Craft Brewing: Growing Your Brewing Ingredients at Hopyard FarmsRogue Craft Brewery & Agriculture: Unleashing a Monstrously Successful Beer Farm

The trellises are clear of bines, the hopyard has been plowed, and we planted wheat as a winter cover crop to protect the soil from erosion.  During winter, life on the Hopyard proceeds at a more relaxed pace. In some ways the Hopyard is more beautiful than ever, with time to appreciate the wide open views of the surrounding farm land and the Willamette River.

In the greenhouse, we have begun to experiment with different varieties of GYO Certified hops to use in our Ales, Porters, Stouts and Lagers. Just like our current seven varieties, each will reflect the unique terroir of the Wigrich Appellation.

Growing Our Own…Champions

All the hard work on the Hopyard has paid off. Chatoe Rogue OREgasmic Ale won the Northwest Champion award at the United States Beer Tasting Championships. OREgasmic Ale is brewed with 100% Rogue ingredients, including GYO Certified Independent & Revolution Hops.

Men’s Health Magazine also named Chatoe Rogue OREgasmic one of the “Best Foods for Men.”


Family Fun in the Pumpkin Patch

We wrapped up the harvest season on the Hopyard with a family style Pumpkin Patch Party. Earlier this year, we planted two varieties of pumpkins, Dream & Leroy-O-Lantern. We grew, harvested, chopped, and roasted the GYO Certified Dream Pumpkins to create Chatoe Rogue Pumpkin Patch Ale, which we released for the first time at the Party.

The GYO Certified Leroy-O-Lantern Pumpkins are perfect for carving, so we offered a free pumpkin to Rogue Nation Citizens and their families.

We had lawn games, a Family Photo Station, and hauled out the antique hops scale from the baler building so kids could weigh their pumpkins and claim bragging rights about who had the biggest and heaviest. They also met our Free Range Chicks, Royal Palm Turkeys, and the newest additions to the Hopyard family our Potbellied pigs, Voo and Doo.


Sharing the Bounty

Even with such a great turnout, we still had some pumpkins left over. Natascha loaded 70 of our GYO Dream pumpkins into the truck and drove them to Dallas, Oregon where they were donated to the Willamette Valley Food Assistance Program.


The Dream pumpkins are a sweet tasting variety – similar to the ones traditionally used to create pies, soups, cookies and purees.


Long Live the General

We had as many as five roosters among our Free Range Chicks, but now we’re down to one. The four unlucky fowl were – as Chatoe Rogue Manager Natascha likes to describe it – culled from the brood. We had no choice. Only one can rule the roost or there will be too much conflict.

You might think that the winner was the biggest and baddest bird of them all. Not so. The selection process was anything but Darwinian. Natascha chose to keep the lowest guy on the pecking order because she thought his crooked comb made him different and cuter than the others. We like different. She named him General Tsao.

The General is celebrating his surprising good fortune, learning to strut his stuff, and gets along great with our dog Sully. And since he doesn’t crow much, the Hopyard is a lot quieter in the mornings.

Meanwhile the hens are busier than ever. They’re laying about four to five eggs a day.


Turkeys In The Fog

This time of year brings foggy mornings to the Hopyard, but that didn’t stop our two Royal Palm Turkeys from sauntering over to the Chatoe Rogue and checking out the Halloween decorations. Tom is getting to that age where he’ll spend all day displaying. Natascha says it must be exhausting! But Juniper doesn’t even seem to notice, until Tom wanders off and she can’t see him. Then she calls out for him and won’t stop until he’s back in view.


The Hazelnuts Have Landed

The Rogue Farms Hazelnut harvest got underway towards the end of October as the trees in the orchard finally decided it was time to let go and the nuts began falling.

We get our hazelnuts from Kirk Family Filberts, our next door neighbors on Wigrich Road. The Kirks spent most of September and October getting ready for the harvest on their 98 acre orchard. Mowers and scrapers crept through the trees, removing debris from the ground and creating a clean orchard floor where the nuts would land. Meanwhile, other farmhands were testing the harvesting and processing equipment, checking the bearings and belts, and installing a new dryer.


All this had to be done well ahead of time because you never quite know when the harvest will begin. The timing is up to Mother Nature. The Kirks were prepared by early October, but cool and wet weather intervened and delayed things for a couple of weeks.


Lance Kirk says this year’s crop looks like a good one, with yields up more than 40% from last year and better overall quality. Oregon produces 99% of the U.S. hazelnut harvest. The USDA predicts growers in the state will harvest about 41,000 tons of hazelnuts in 2011, the third best year in almost a decade.


These Nuts Win Awards

Rogue’s Hazelnut Brown Nectar, an ale created by Rogue Brewmaster John Maier and Eugene, Oregon homebrewer Chris Studach, brought home the Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. GABF is the largest commercial beer festival in the world with 3930 beers vying for medals at this year’s competition.


We also had fun breaking the news to the Kirks that their hazelnuts helped Rogue win a gold medal at the 2011 Ministry of Rum International Tasting Competition in San Francisco. Rogue’s Hazelnut Spice Rum, made with roasted hazelnuts from the Kirk’s orchard, won the Gold Medal in the Flavored Rum category. Our Dark Rum also earned a gold. These awards usually go to distillers in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. But Rogue picked up two of only three Gold Medals given to American distilleries.


How to Harvest Oregon Hazelnuts

1: Before The Harvest

Leading up to harvest, mowers and scrapers move through the orchard and remove debris. This creates a clean floor where the nuts will land

2: Sweeping

Sweepers wind among the trees and line the nuts into long rows

3: Gathering

Machines called harvesters collect the nuts, blow air through them to knock off husks and sticks, and then load them into crates

4: More Cleaning

Processing starts with men and machines removing any leftover husks, sticks and blanks (unfilled shells)

5: Washing

The nuts are washed and rinsed free of dirt and stones.


6: Drying

Finally, the hazelnuts are dried to about 9.5% moisture levels. In a typical year, this can take 12 to 24 hours.


Rogue Farms Hop Cheese,

G.Y.O. Certified:

Rogue Farms Freedom Hop Cheddar was a huge hit in October at The Wedge: Portland Celebrates Cheese. The farmer’s market style street festival at the Green Dragon & Buckman Botanical Brewery drew thousands of people eager to taste and buy cheese from twenty of the best artisan cheesemakers in the West.

Freedom Hops Cheddar is a collaboration between Rogue Creamery of Central Point, Oregon and Rogue Ales & Spirits. The leaves of our GYO Freedom Hops are de-stemmed by hand, steeped in hot water, mixed into the curds and pressed into blocks. The result is a smooth cheddar with just a hint of hops aroma and flavor. Rogue Farms Freedom Hops Cheddar makes the perfect pairing with any of Rogue’s beers made with Freedom Hops.

Until the next Wedge, Rogue Farms Hops Cheddar is available exclusively at the Chatoe Rogue and at the Rogue Ales Public House and Distillery in the Pearl District of Portland –




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Philadelphia Brewing’s Broadcaster Brown Ale: A Tribute to the 20th Anniversary of Live at the World Cafe

philadelphia brewing company world cafe broadcaster brown ale Philadelphia Brewing’s Broadcaster Brown Ale: A Tribute to the 20th Anniversary of Live at the World CafeBy Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight

Philadelphia’s iconic indie radio station WXPN, located at the far left of the dial at 88.5 FM, has been a musical haven for emerging and local musicians as well as heritage artists for decades.   A member-supported station based out of the University of Pennsylvania, WXPN has been a pioneer in the non-commercial radio station world, bringing an eclectic mix of the best music to the airways without pressure to conform to commercial radio conventions from corporate underwriters.

This freedom from corporate rule is showcased beautifully in WXPN’s nationally syndicated program Live at the World Café.  Started with seed money from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 1991 and distributed by NPR since 2005, the two-hour daily show has featured over 4,000 performances and interviews over the last twenty years.  There aren’t many shows you can tune in to and find in-depth interviews and performances by the likes of Leonard Cohen, Joan Armatrading, Tom Waits, and Joe Strummer  — actually, there are no other places, we checked – and twenty years of this thoughtful programming is what the folks at the Philadelphia Brewing Company thought worthy of honoring this month with a special limited edition brew.

The Broadcaster Brown Ale, PBC’s tribute to the 20th anniversary of Live at the World Café, and its host David Dye, is a malty, hoppy, crisp brown ale with excellent balance.  Very flavorful with a bitter crispness, made with German malts, this is a solid brown ale.
Alcohol Content: 5.0 abv
IBU’s: 35
Color: Deep Ruby-Brown
Hops: Bravo, Centenial, Cascase
Dry Hops: Amarillo, Cascade
Malts: Two-row Pilsner, Dark Munich, CaraMunich, Carafa , Oats


Source: XPN




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Walmart Makes Major move into Craft Beer

walmart movie evil smiley Walmart Makes Major move into Craft BeerWorld’s Biggest Company & America’s Biggest Beer Seller to Tap Craft Beer Market

By Matt Goldstein

In a major sign that craft beer has gone main stream, the world’s biggest company and America’s biggest beer seller, Walmart, is making a major move into the craft beer market.  If there’s one thing Walmart has that the others don’t, it’s shelf space.  Walmart are the biggest and most prevalent stores in the world and they can sell an enormous variety in comparison to competitors.  Not to mention, Walmart’s buying power allow them to have the best consumer pricing available.  Walmart’s plan is simple, offer more craft beer at a better price.  While some might think this is craft beer selling out, or adding a bit of a  cheesy mainstream factor to what sometimes has an underground feel, craft beer at Walmart might drive prices down at other beer outlets.  There are some local craft beer takeouts right here in the Philly/NJ area that are simply raping customers because they think they can.  Walmart just might make those takeouts think twice about the excessive and sometimes arrogant pricing.  Perhaps, Walmart can help the craft beer world grow; essentially being good for the United States as we are dominating the market.  There comes a time when you must ask yourself, “What would Kenny Powers do?”  We’re going to continue to investigate whether Walmart plans on taking U.S. craft beer throughout the world.  Coming soon…

Source: Advertising Age




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The Manayunk Brewery: Craft Beer Searching for Identity

manayunk brewery The Manayunk Brewery: Craft Beer Searching for IdentityA Sushi Bar in a Brewery?

By Tim Rodgers

The Manayunk Berwery has been a staple of the Philadelphia Schuylkill River night life scene since 1996.  Formerly a converted textile mill known as Krook’s Mill, the historic Philadelphia landmark is now  bustling restaurant and brew pub.  The first thing I noticed immediately when I walked in was the sushi bar.  Curious I thought.  It seemed wildly out of place with the different sporting events shown on a number of flat screens behind the bar, the 80’s cover band that was about to take the stage, and the college aged crowd that had taken over at 10 o’ clock that Friday evening.

Nonetheless, it was all about the beer I reminded myself.  I thought it was appropriate to start off with the Dreamin’ Double IPA.  Inspired by the highly hopped beers from the west coast, the Dreamin double IPA is truly a hophead’s delight. Five varieties of American hops added throughout the boil create a wide range of flavors including pine and citrus, while generous dry-hopping in the fermentor provides the distinct aroma of fresh hops. The Manayunk Brew pubs guarantee that this is one of the freshest double IPA’s available.  8.5% ABV, 85 IBU’s.  I thought the hop varieties were out of place.  It seemed out of balance, too peppery, and over-spiced.


MANAYUNK LAGER (Oktoberfest) Marzen Style Lager

In strict accordance with the German purity law of 1516, they present this annually brewed festbier. Traditionally brewed in March and stored deep in the caves of Germany, this beer was brought to the masses to celebrate in October. It is a Vienna-style lager with a bit more malt and hops making a malty but balanced beverage. Copper-orange in color, it sports a toasty malt backbone that wonderfully compliments itself with many of our menu items.

6.2% ABV, 25 IBUs

I thought that the malt notes were way too heavy with coffee.  Had a metallic finish and missed the mark for me.  I was starting to get disappointed.  But as the 80’s music got louder and more obscure, the night started to get better.


KROOK’S MILL American Pale Ale

This is a well-balanced hoppy American style pale ale with a generous usage of fine 2 row pale and a touch of crystal malt. This beer is copper in color and is finished with “C” hops from the Pacific Northwest, which provide a wonderful floral aroma. This ale is a perennial favorite for the owners of the Manayunk Brewing Co.

5.3% ABV, 40 IBUs

This one is also a favorite of mine.  The balance was spot on.  Pale Ale is my favorite style of beer so I may be biased, but certainly hits the mark.  Homerun.



Brewed with high quality German ingredients, this dark lager is a great reminder that beer literally is liquid bread. The rich toasty flavor of Munich malt combines with a hint of roast from the dehusked carafa malt to create a wonderful aroma reminiscent of a freshly baked loaf of pumpernickel. 5.6% ABV, 20 IBUs.  The Dunkel went down a lot lighter than advertised here but yet still robust and flavorful.  The Manayunk Brew Pub hits the mark with the Dunkel.  Well done.


Overall, the Manayunk Brewery batted a .500 average which in today’s terms of restaurants and beers gets you in the hall of fame.  I did notice that they should probably clean their tap system too as well.  I think what’s indicative of many Brew Pubs these days is this notion that they try TOO hard to get novice beer drinkers on board by “OVER-DOING” each style of beer.  Whether it’s too hoppy for the IPA, or too robust in some of the malty styles, they “OVER-SELL” the style rather than just making GOOD BEER.  I mean dude, lose the Sushi Bar, the 80’s music, and make good beer.





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The Khyber Pass Pub Troegs Brewing Tap Takeover this Wednesday Oct. 19th

khyber pass pub troegs brewing 182x300 The Khyber Pass Pub Troegs Brewing Tap Takeover this Wednesday Oct. 19th A Can’t Miss for Beer Geeks!

Khyber Pass Pub will host Tröegs Brewing Company next Wednesday, October 19th at 6 pm for a very special Tröegs Tap Takeover night! Join us for an evening with the Harrisburg, PA brewers as we feature a Tröegs lineup worthy of even the most discerning beer palates. Our Tröegs Tap Takeover will highlight the highly elusive “Scratch Series,” typically found only at the brewery, alongside the likes of seasonal favorites Mad Elf and more!


Scratch 45 – IPA

Scratch 46 – Naked Elf

Scratch 47 – Belgian Wit

Scratch 48 – Fest Bier

Scratch 49 – Wet Hop IPA

Scratch 50 – Belgian Dubel

Pale Ale

Mad Elf

Javahead Stout

Flying Mouflan Barleywine

Dead Reckoning Porter

Hopback Amber Ale

Sunshine Pils

Dreamweaver Wheat

Troegenator Doublebock

Hopback Amber Cask

Javahead Stout Cask

and a FIRKIN of Dry Hopped Pale Ale!


To round out a truly Tröegs-centric evening, our chefs at Khyber Pass Pub will be adding Tröegs-inspired items to our menu, including Dead Reckoning Porter Chili, Sunshine Pils Boiled Peanuts, Tröegenator Doublebock Brined/Smoked Pork Chop, Tröegs HopBack Amber BBQ sauce, and Javahead Cask Ale Coffee Ice Cream Beer Float!

Don’t miss out on an exclusive night of Tröegs’ finest selections, brought to you by Khyber Pass Pub!

Khyber Pass Pub is a historic Old City tavern that features a beautiful bar handcrafted in 1876. One of Philadelphia’s oldest bars and a ‘Philadelphia Magazine’ Best of Philly 2011 winner, the menu features an extensive selection of craft beers, authentic New Orleans specialties, hickory-smoked barbecue, and tasty vegan and vegetarian options. Open 11 am to 2 am daily.




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Bloktoberfest Returns to Philly this Weekend!

bella vista distributor Bloktoberfest Returns to Philly this Weekend!Saturday, October 15th at 1pm

…and we wanted to make sure you knew!  After all, it was thanks to the support of people like you that last year’s event was such a huge success, and that this year’s event will be an even bigger one.  We’ve made some exciting changes for Bloktoberfest 2011, all designed to make your experience better and more enjoyable.  We’re closing down three blocks instead of one (and on South Street, no less!), streamlining beer sales and service to reduce lines, and expanding food options across the festival.  One thing that hasn’t changed: the festival still donates beer proceeds to important neighborhood charities.  This year, we’re focusing on education, and working with several great partner organizations to invest in the future of the neighborhood’s public school students.  Beneficiaries will include Mighty Writers, Chester A. Arthur Elementary School (through FoCA) and Stanton Elementary School (through Bainbridge House).


The Walkmen

This year’s musical line-up is our best yet, and includes over a dozen acts plus a headlining set from The Walkmen. You can see the full list of particpating bands here.


This year, Bloktoberfest is partnering with Philadelphia’s own Bella Vista Beer Distributor to bring you an unparalleled selection of craft beer by breweries from around the country.   Keep your eye on this space as the festival approaches for a list of the different brands and types we expect to have on tap throughout the day, but rest assured, there will be something to suit each and every palette, including cider options for gluten-free drinkers.

Beer will be available at several different locations spread out across the festival’s three blocks, including two Express Beer Zones designed to minimize waiting lines and ensure that your next beer is never more than a minute or two away.  The staff of Bella Vista will be delivering kegs direct from their warehouse at 11th and Fitzwater continuously throughout the day, so the suds will be pouring without interruption from start to finish, gauranteed.

A Beer Pass is required to enjoy Bloktoberfests’s beer offerings.   Here’s the low-down on our system:

•A Basic Beer Pass is $15 online/$20 day of, and comes with 3 drink tickets.
•A Bonus Beer Pass is $25 online/$30 day of, and comes with 5 drink tickets.
•1 drink ticket = 1 beer of any kind on tap at Bloktoberfest.
•Want additional drink tickets? They’re $5 each at the event.
•Beer Pass & drink ticket sales at the event are cash only.
•Beers are 12oz., same as a standard six-pack bottle or can.
•Drink tickets are strictly “use ‘em or lose ‘em” – no refunds.
•Proceeds from beer sales go towards neighborhood charitable causes.
Thirsty yet?  Then lock up your Beer Pass at a discounted advance price right now using the order form below, and we’ll see you on South Street!




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