Beer Radar: Wawa, a brewer’s fruitcake and legal dogs in taprooms

Did you check out the line (above) for the 2SP/Wawa Winter Reserve Coffee Stout collaboration? Damn! Glen Macnow and I got a taste of the beer the night before during a behind-the-scenes visit with brewer Bob Barrar at 2SP. Both of us loved it – big coffee notes in the stout. But something tells me it’s the beautifully labeled can that drew the lines. Around Philly, that’s going to be a collector’s item… Speaking of food stores, it looks like Walmart is gearing up to pressure the Pennsylvania legislature to ease beer sales at supermarkets. Its freezers are now plastered with posters asking customers to text for info on “how to help bring beer to your grocery store in future football seasons.” You’ll get a link to this

Imprint (Montco), Free Will (Buxco) and Wolf Brewing (a planned brewery near Harrisburg) collaborated recently on an unusual experiment: an IPA in which the wort was never brought to a full boil. Typically, brewers boil wort to transform proteins and hops molecules, and prevent the production of dimethyl sulfide (DMS), that sulfur compound that smells like creamed corn. But there are ways around those problems without boiling which, by the way, is one of the big energy users in beer production. I’m not sure what the brewers learned in producing this beer, called Hop Nugz, but the process created a super silky body with a very hazy yellow appearance. I got a taste while taping an upcoming episode of What’s Brewing at Free Will. Look for it there and at Imprint starting today…

Iron Hill/Chestnut Hill brewer Doug Marchakitus came up with an excellent idea for the holidays. His ran some of his brewery’s Reindeer Revenge Belgian triple through a fruit-stuffed Randall, one of those tubes to infuse beer with additional flavor. I don’t know how the Randallized beer tasted, but afterwards Doug added the fruit to a fruitcake recipe and gave me a couple slices. It was outstanding (despite what Macnow says)…!

If snotnose kids can legally enter brewery taprooms, why not tail-wagging dogs? It’s a health code violation, apparently, and a silly one at that. (I mean, dogs in bars are commonplace throughout the rest of the civilized world, so why not here?) Anyway, New Jersey lawmakers are considering a proposal to allow doggies into Garden State brewery tasting rooms. As one of the bill’s backers says, “Breweries are more than brick and mortar and steel tanks – they are hopping hang out spots where people can get together, hoist a pint, and make new memories. Allowing man’s best friend to come along will make those memories even better…”

Not that I had any doubts, but Neshaminy Creek still has its mojo, man. Earlier this week, the brewery posted tix on Facebook for a five-course beer dinner at its Jenkintown Borough Brewhouse. It sold out in under two hours… Wissahickon Brewing just showed up on local shelves with its first canned brew, Devil’s Pool double IPA, named after the infamous illegal swimming hole alone the Wissahickon Creek…

Final thought: Honestly, did anyone really give a rat’s ass about that PBR/Miller lawsuit?

Weird Brewery Event of the Week

Ghost Stories at Historic Brinton Lodge (Hidden River Brewery), Dec. 15  – Let the spirits haunt you this holiday season with a frightening and deeply moving theater experience about finding the courage to confront the demons that haunt you in the dark. Playwright and performer Josh Hitchens presents his newest solo tale of terror for one night only. In this chilling and completely autobiographical show, Josh reveals the stories of terrifying and true supernatural experiences that continue to give him nightmares.

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