Beer Radar: Chasing the Dragon up in smoke? PLUS: Newbies in Delaware and Jersey

UPDATED 2/18: Corrects typo on cost of Imprint Beer Collab Club

Free Will Brewing says it’s considering a name change for its imperial IPA, Chasing the Dragon. The phrase is common drug slang for inhaling smoke from burning heroin, prompting several Facebook users to complain that the name was “tone deaf” considering the opioid epidemic.

The company said the name, which goes back about 5 years, stemmed from the brewery’s pursuit for a super-hoppy beer. “At no point was the intent to offend or be insensitive to people affected by the [opioid] epidemic,” it said.

The beer is being re-released this weekend in cans whose labels were printed well before complaints cropped up on social media. The company said it will “revisit whether it is time to give it a new name,” and solicited suggestions for a new name.


Musings Fermentation Underground is the latest brewery to open without its own brewhouse. Instead of its own full-scale facility, the long-planned brewery will operate out of Midnight Brewing in Newark, Del.,. It’ll use their brewhouse to make wort that will be fermented in Musings’ own on-site vessels – including a open cool ship. It’s a similar model used by Fermentery Form in Kensington and The Referend Bier Blendery in Pennington, N.J., who purchase wort made at independent off-site breweries. M.F.U. hasn’t announced a date for its first release… Here’s another newbie that’s already making progress in South Jersey: Mechanical Brewing. It’s just off Marlkress Boulevard, about five minutes from Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing. Construction is underway, but there’s no opening date announced, yet…

Saturday (2/16) looks like a good day to stop by Imprint Beer (Hatfied, Montco). In addition to a few special brews (a no-boil kettle sour made with dragonfruit and two different Schmoojees) the brewery is launching its Collab Club.  Membership starts at $125 and includes beer, shwag and more. The brewery plans to use the cash infusion for new tanks and other equipment. Details hereLa Cabra Brewing (Berwyn, Chesco) will screen a recap in its brewery of its Philly Beer Week collaboration trip to Duvel in Belgium on Monday (2/18) from 5-7 p.m…

When you enjoy something from a guest tap at Proper Brewing (Bucks), you’re helping underprivileged kids in Quakertown. The brewery is donating all proceeds to Pride of Quakertown, a local non-profit that supports neighborhood education and child development programs. Look for interlopers from Sage Alley, Two Rivers, Funk and Moss Mill… Misconduct Tavern (Logan Square and Center City) is pouring a new session IPA inspired by the 76ers troika of Embiid, Simmons and Butler. It’s Three Amigos, a custom house brew from Conshohocken Brewing, made with Citra, Calypso and Cascade hops…

Jim Koch, the honcho at Boston Beer, has an interesting take on the stupid BudMillerCoors corntroversy. Specifically: This is not the end of it. He figures Bud Light will go after Coors and Miller next for using hop extract instead of whole hops. He also wonders if the ingredients tussle will spread to the imports, and their use of corn as an adjunct. “How safe is the quality image and premium price point of imported beers [e.g. Stella Artois, Corona and Modelo] if drinkers realize that their fancy, upscale image hides less expensive ingredients and industrial brewing practices,” Koch wonders…

Lehigh Valley Beer Week starts this weekend, and you’ve gotta love the attitude at one of the local breweries, Yergey. The Emmaus brewery acknowledged that, until now, it had been “missing a key aspect of beer appreciation.” Namely, “waiting in lines.” It’ll cure that egregious privation on Saturday with a barleywine bottle release…  Speaking of the Lehigh Valley, Weyerbacher Brewing says it’s won’t be releasing its uber-popular Sunday Morning Stout this year. Have no fear, though. Look instead for cans of Chocolate Pretzel Sunday Morning Stout, “a barrel aged coffee beast” made with cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, lactose and unrefined sea salt sometime in March…

Atlantic City Beer Week? Yes, that’s a thing. It’s piggybacking off the wildly successful Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival, March 25-31. It’s a tidy calendar so far, including events at Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall, Harry’s Oyster Bar, Ducktown Tavern, Vagabond Kitchen, Wingcraft and some Boardwalk joints.



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