Saturday, March 24, 2012
Who are the best beer reviewers on YouTube? I decided to ask our viewers for their opinions on the matter. After a brief survey and a little mathematical calculation we came up with this list of popular "beertubers". Go check out their channels and subscribe to support the Youtube beer review community.
Here are links to the channel pages of the top 20 beer reviewers in our survey.
Posted by agileh at 11:34 PM
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
We picked up some Fordham Scotch Ale when we were at the brewery in Delaware. Since I didn't think we could give it an unbiased review after our fun experience there, I decided to use it for our Beertuber Takeover. Youtube beer reviewers from around Ohio converged onto the Better Beer Authority set for a fun night of hanging out and reviewing beer. Find out what the show would be like if totally different people took over the panel in this fun twist to our normal show.
Posted by agileh at 3:24 PM
Thursday, March 15, 2012
|Troegs' tasting flight. Photo Courtesy of Melissa Tribur|
Every other year I make a trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania to hang out with friends and attend a Hershey Bears hockey game, the minor league affiliate of the Washington Capitals. This year was especially nice; since it marked the first time I made the trip since Troegs Brewing Company moved their brewery from Harrisburg to Hershey.
I only knew of a few beers of note from Troegs before hand, most notably Mad Elf and Nugget Nectar. By happenstance, Nugget Nectar was released the previous week, so I was excited to try it on tap. The night before we went, I read about their Scratch Series, and was really intrigued to sample those too.
We had our designated driver set and drove 11 miles from Lebanon, PA to Hershey. We drove through the little town of Annville where we would end the night at a great bar (see below).
|The author, RH, with Troegs Taps|
When we pulled up to Troegs, the parking lot in front of their new expansive digs was just about full. I was already impressed. As we walked in, that lovely malty smell of a brewery hit my friends and I’s noses just right. I didn’t want to waste any time and finally made my way to the tasting room. Please note, this is no “room,” It is more of a tasting hall! It was huge. The bar was very long, the ceiling was incredibly high, and there was plenty of standing room and tables.
|Scratch #58 Photo by Melissa Tribur|
The bar was crowded, but I went to the far end of the bar and had no problem getting in my order. Luckily there ample amount of staff members to pour beer. My friend and I ordered two tasting flights, hers was one each of the five main staples, and mine were the three seasonal or scratch beers.
I don’t normally rate the beers, as I leave that to the BBA reviewers, but I have to say, the Scratch #58 was one of the best beers I have ever had. It was a Mango triple IPA coming in at 10% abv. The mango scent combined with extensive citrus hops was dizzying. I think the IBUs are something over 300! The highly acclaimed Nugget Nectar on tap was really good as well.
For food, pre-made sandwiches are available, and they are OK.
One great thing about the brewery is that you can take self guided tour of the working part of the brewery and even bring your beer with you. There is also a huge merchandise and beer store, called the Trading Post. I saw a lot of people walking out with growlers as well.
|we are gonna need more beer! Photo my Melissa Tribur|
Overall impressions, this is one of the best brewery visits I have ever done and I highly recommend a trip. This is what a great regional craft brewery should be.
We closed our night in Annville, PA at the Batdorf Restaurant. Our host went to high school (I think) with the owners. The Batdorf is a super cool bar. If it was in my hometown, it would be my go-to place. Half of it is kind of a tiki set-up, the other half a little more traditional pub layout.
|Batdorf tap handles.|
They had some beers on tap that I was very surprised to see in Central Pennsylvania, most notably Ballist Point Big Eye IPA. There was also a selection of Troegs, including Nugget Nectar. I sat down with co-owner Mike Rotunda and chatted about the importance of having craft beer in his bar. The only problem is that I had too many beers throughout the day, so I honestly can’t report details on our conversation, sorry! I will say this, that Mike was very nice and that he and brothers Dave and Lou have a great bar.
I had the Buffalo wings that night and I remember really liking them. My friends tell me the food at Batdorf is pretty solid overall. Again, I highly recommend this place.
The Hershey area is a great place to spend a weekend. In 24 hours, I did the Hershey Chocolate Factory tour, Troegs Brewery, and saw a great minor league hockey game.
|Hershey Bears game. Great Arena! Photo by Melissa Tribur|
A big thank you to Jon Bowman for letting us crash at his house!
Posted by Richard Hartogs at 4:33 PM
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
We tackled a giant - Guinness Draught from Dublin, Ireland. But, we did it with our eyes closed! Will this classic from Ireland show it's true colors? How does it match up with the preconceived notions that are panel have about this beer? We reviewed the bottled version, which does not have a nitrogen widget. Will that affect the classic, creamy Guinness mouthfeel? So many questions? Tune in and find out the real story about one of the world's best known beers.
Posted by agileh at 10:11 AM
The Columbus Winter Beerfest 2012 was held January 14th at the Columbus Convention Center. It's a great way to get to try some of the best craft beers from around the country, but more importantly in my opinion, you get a chance to try all the wonderful beers from around Ohio. This video talks about the Better Beer Authority's trip to the beerfest, which brewers they talked to & shows off some of the great breweries that were in attendance.
Posted by agileh at 10:08 AM
Friday, March 9, 2012
|L-R: Mark, Joby, DH, RH, Scott, Mitch, Chef, James taking picture. @DFH|
We walked 10 minutes from the beach house to the Dogfish Head Brew Pub and Eats. Sam's kindness extended even there. No reservations are accepted at the busy restaurant, but there was a table waiting for us. It must have looked cheesy with eight dudes walking into a restaurant wearing the same t-shirt. But we had to represent!
We hit this trip at a perfect time. The weather was unseasonably great, we saw 120 Minute IPA getting bottled, and visiting the DFH Brew Pub on Fridays is the best day of the week. They bust out Randall, a contraption they invented where you run a tap through fresh hops before it enters your pint glass. The few times that I have been there with Randall, including this night, they had 90 Minute run through fresh cascade hops. It adds an incredible aroma that was sublime, and tasted surreal. All eight of us enjoyed this as our first pint at the pub.
Our waitress was incredible. A lot of us ordered a number of samples, pints, and vintage bottles, and she kept track of everything. The food at the pub is pretty good. I have always liked the calamari and salmon sandwich.
Service is usually pretty solid too, even though it is always very crowded.
Some great things to note at the brew pub: They usually have 1-3 brew pub exclusives on tap. When we were there they had Positive Contact 2, Flux Capacitor, and Black Lodge. I have also been there when they had a 2008 120 Minute on tap. Try comparing that to a fresh pour of 120, it is interesting. They also have Sam's secret stash. Vintage bottles for sale that are to only be consumed at the brew pub. We shared a 2007 World Wide Stout and a 2008 Palo Santo. This is the place for all DFH enthusiasts There is also a small swag shop where you can buy growler fills, 4 packs, 6 packs, bombers, cases of beer, t-shirts, taps, bottle openers, signs, hats......
Sam, thank you for the first round! Truly a classy guy!
|Scott's seafood dish|
The food at Henlopen City Oyster house is really good, and the oyster selection is outstanding. The oysters are so fresh, you don't need the good cocktail sauce and mignonette they are served with, the oysters speak for themselves.
I wasn't there the next night but half of the BBA crew went for dinner their and had an amazing time. Scott posted a picture of a seafood dish that was exquisite and the boys sampled each of the oyster shooters..
Chris and bartenders Jamie and Amy (apologies if I spelled your names wrong), are a great staff. Seriously, do not miss this place!
After a lot of beers, we ended up at the Frogg Pond where I lost my shirt and James sang karaoke!
|yes, I gave the shirt of my back for a free shot!|
Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to leave the next day to attend to family matters in New York, so for the time being, there will not be a travel blog about Evolution and Dominion Breweries, yet....I will make a point to visit each! Word form the BBA crew was that both breweries welcomed the crew with open arms.
Posted by Richard Hartogs at 4:23 PM
Thursday, March 8, 2012
|BBA crew in front of Steampunk Tree House at DFH|
Mark and Mitch drove and left early Thursday for Rehoboth Beach, DE. James, Scott, Joby and Chef flew in around 7:45pm that night. We were all eager to get to the beach house and pop open a few brews!
With Mark and Mitch's early arrival, they had growlers of DFH India Brown and 90 Minute IPA waiting for the rest of us. We shared a few home brews and some other stuff, Sixpoint Bengali Tiger, Hopslam, etc... then we had a BBA meeting and it was off to bed for an early rise!
|James attaching the mic to Sam|
|Mark Smith holding a sample of Palo Santo||on the wood's namesake.|
After the interview and our goodbyes to Sam, we packed up the equipment and all went on a shopping spree of beer and DFH swag. Mark was by the far the most stoked and walked away with a shopping cart full of beer and clothing. We then had a tour set for 11am and the other people on the reservation did not show. So, all eight BBA guys got a private tour! It was a great tour. We even saw a new batch of 120 Minute getting bottled! Afterwards, we had four small samples: Tweason'ale, Noble Rot, Burton Baton, and 120 Minute IPA.
I highly recommend visiting the brewery if you have not done so. Every employee that we came across was really nice, and seemed to love their job!
Next we hit a crappy fast food lunch on the way to Georgetown, DE to tour and interview the great folks at 16 Mile Brewery.
Being at 16 Mile was a stark contrast to being at DFH. But, that's OK. I am really glad they are different. Claus Hagelman gave us a really nice, in-depth tour of the facility, which just completed a nice expansion project. The final part of the tour was in the new tasting room. The first thing you notice there is the beautiful bar top. It is made from a giant fallen tree, and really is a work of art. We then sampled every beer on tap, including the yet to be released oyster stout! (It has now been released and used for the Georgetown, DE Fire Department annual Oyster Eat!) Claus described all of the beers as being "bold session beers." And I think that description is perfect.
|James talking with 16 Mile's Chad Campell. BBA members in background|
|16 Mile Tap handles|
If you are in outhern Delaware, I recommend you visit 16 Mile, their beers are good and the new tasting room is fantastic!
Both 16 Mile and Dogfish Head welcomed up with open arms and gave us an incredible experience. To both, thank you so much!
PART 2 tomorrow: The Big BBA Night OUT!
Posted by Richard Hartogs at 4:21 PM