Archive for the ‘ Beer ’ Category

Support Your Local Brewery

sylbCraft breweries are popping up around the country like crazy. I love tasting new brews and there never seem to be a shortage of them. Recently I stumbled upon a logo for supporting local breweries., the site behind the logo, has a plethora of great information for everything beer. Anyone can sign up to be a member and receive news and information from the site.

Curious about what craft breweries were in New Jersey, I clicked on the link for my state. There were a ton! I pride myself on being in the know when it comes to the breweries around me, but was surprised by the number I’d never heard of. Several are in the works of being built or growing their business, but there was one that I happened to find at the perfect moment – the opening of the brewery and the creation of their first batch of distributed beer. Cool!

Flounder Brewing Co. is a brand new craft brewery right down the road from me in Central Jersey. Their first batch of beer, Hill Street Honey Ale, is an American Ale brewed with New Jersey harvested honey. I’m super excited to try it and judging from the amount of followers they have on their facebook page, many others are too. One thing I appreciate as a beer enthusiast, aside from a good product, is a well-maintained website and regularly updated social media sites. Flounder Brewing Co. has both. When I posted on their facebook page I received a response within an hour – impressive!

I can’t wait to drive over to tour their brewery and be a part of supporting my local brewsters. 🙂

Beer + Running

beerracesPeople everywhere are discovering the joys of running. And beer. With the number of running participants growing exponentially in the past few years, it’s easy to find a race to enter every weekend of the year. Creating new race themes also seems to be in vogue, so with craft beer on the rise around the country, pairing the two seems like the next logical step.

Some of my favorite races are the ones that incorporate beer into them. I’ve gotten pint glasses from a half marathon and a four-miler that I’ve run. I still feel a sense of pride every time I pull them out of the cabinet to use. Local pubs and bars often sponsor races and discounted pints after the race. And while I’m not a fan of running and drinking at the same time – I’d rather enjoy my frosty brew as a post-race reward – beer races are growing in popularity. There’s even a website devoted to beer races – Then there’s the Beer Mile where participants must follow strict rules regarding chugging beers in between running laps around a track.

Have fun finding your next beer race. Happy running and remember to drink responsibly! 😀


(Note: The illustration was created by artist John Hendrix for Peter Sagal’s article in the September 2012 issue of Runner’s World.)

Autumn Seasonal Beers – Oktoberfest Gone Wild

Part 2 of my autumnal beer series focuses more on great fall beers that aren’t pumpkin. I have to admit though, most of these I’ve heard great reviews about but haven’t yet tried. They are on my list to run out and buy before they disappear!

New Belgium Brewery Red Hoptober – This garnet colored beer presents a piney flavor with malted overtones. Its roasted tones pair with subtle citrus notes. Perfect to enjoy around a campfire with friends.

Troeg’s Dead Reckoning Porter – Pairs well with barbeque and blackened fish, this is a full-bodied porter. Dark color with a foamy head, it blends hints of chocolate and roasted malts.

Left Hand Brewing Company Oktoberfest – Dark golden hues present biscuity, malty goodness with the hops lending a spicy, dry finish. Cheer on your favorite football with this tasty brew in hand.

Saison du Buff collaboration – Okay, this isn’t technically a fall beer, but my brother recently tried it and text me to say I had to get some for myself. This made me think of all the other beers that are being released now which prompted me to write the two part beer post. This unique beer is brewed with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme as a collaboration between Dogfish Head, Stone Brewing Co, and Victory Brewing. Each brewery used the same recipe, but brewed them at their respective facilities with separate release dates. I just hope I’m not too late to find some for me!

The Bruery Autumn Maple – These last two I’m very excited about as everywhere I turn another great review of these beers pops up. In a twist on the traditional pumpkin beer, Autumn Maple is brewed with 17 lbs of yams per barrel, wow! It also adds cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, molasses, and maple syrup to yield a high quality fall beer.

Founders Breakfast Stout – I had to copy the blurb from the Founders website for this one as I thought it perfectly summed up what this beer was all about – “The coffee lover’s consummate beer. Brewed with an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and imported chocolates, and Sumatra and Kona coffee, this stout has an intense fresh-roasted java nose topped with a frothy, cinnamon-colored head that goes forever.” How amazing does that sound?! Yum!

Enjoy and remember to drink responsibly! 🙂

Autumn Seasonal Beers – Pumped about Pumpkin

I’m a huge fan of good beer, but am especially fond of fall beers. While I normally write a post each season, this season I found so many great pumpkin beers that I’m splitting my post into a part 1 – pumpkin beers and part 2 – all other tasty fall beers. My idea of a perfect Sunday in the fall is a long run in the morning with a ice cold beer and football in the afternoon/evening. Here are just a few of the many pumpkin beer offerings this fall:

Brooklyn Post Road – By far my favorite pumpkin beer thus far. I’ve tried many, but keep going back to this Brooklyn Brewery favorite. You’ll find that each pumpkin beer has its own unique blend of spices and pumpkin, and Post Road blends these perfectly.





Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale – With an 8% ABV and rich flavor, this is a perfect beer to relax with after dinner. Spices and pumpkin join perfectly with a smooth caramel finish.



Dogfish Head Punkin Ale – Two things set this beer apart from its pumpkin brethren – its distinct brown sugar flavors and that you can go on the website and see exactly where Dogfish Head just shipped it. You don’t have to wander from store to store hoping that your favorite beer might be there, you can go online and track their deliveries. Great idea!




Southern Tier Pumking – This beer is king both in size, sold in 22 oz bottles, and combination of ingredients. It’s a complex beer that combines malts, vanilla, clove, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and…..pie crust! Definitely one to try this season.





New Holland Brewing Ichabod Pumpkin Ale – A simpler pumpkin ale, this is a crisp beer with a pleasant blend of pumpkin and nutmeg.





Shipyard Brewery Pumpkinhead Ale – Low 4.7% ABV and a nice blend of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg makes this a great beer to enjoy during with a BLT and some seasonal root veggies.





Saranac Pumpkin Ale – For a lower ABV beer, Saranac packs a lot of flavors into its pumpkin beer. Pumpkin, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger and vanilla meld together in this flavorful beer.





Buffalo Bill’s Brewery Pumpkin Ale – Touted as the original pumpkin beer that paved the way for the now huge pumpkin beer boom, Buffalo Bill’s is a simple blend of light pumpkin and spices.





Enjoy and remember to drink responsibly! 🙂

Fav Fall Races

  Although I enjoy running in all seasons, fall is by far my favorite. Everything smells great, the air is cooler (but not yet freezing), and I just feel invigorated by all the colors that come with the changing season. And with each fall comes a whole slew of great races one can participate in.

While I’m sure there are many races near you, you can’t throw a stone and not hit a 5k these days, these are some of the more notable ones I’ve found.

Runner’s World Half & Festival, October 19-21 – This the first, hopefully annual since I can’t participate in this one this year, running weekend and festival hosted by Runner’s World. Located in Bethlehem, PA, it’s seems destined to be a huge success. Running favs and authors such as Dean Karnazes, Kristin Armstrong, Matt Long, Bart Yasso and Marc Parent will be in attendance. Not only can runners enjoy a 5k, 10k, half-marathon or all three for the hat trick, but there will be movies shown, seminars, speakers and the quintessential pasta dinner. All perfect ingredients for what I’m sure will be a fabulous running weekend.

Baltimore Running Festival, October 13 – Another East Coast running extravaganza, this running festival is very popular. Every entrant gets a sweet Under Armour race shirt, plus entry to the celebration following the race which features live music, activities, food and drink. Enter the 5k, half, or full or register for the Maryland Double, runners who participate in a half or full in both the Baltimore and Frederick Running Festivals. Finishers of the Double receive a really cool looking medal that, for a nominal fee, can be engraved with your name and times at the finish. Cool!

Seattle 5k Beer Running Tour, September 9 – With an onslaught of what I deem kitschy races – zombies, paint throwing, warrior, mud, nude, costumed – I have to say that this would be one I would participate in. More laid back with stops at quirky sights around Seattle, this running tour (they don’t call it a race), begins and ends at the Fremont Brewery where free brews will be distributed upon finishing. And since having a cold beer at the end of my long weekend runs is definitely one of my running incentives, I’d happily participate in this brew happy event.

Run Rabbit Run, September 14 & 15 – For those of you who are very ambitious I haven’t forgotten you! This trail run through Steamboat Springs, CO, features a 50-mile run Sept. 14 and a 100-mile run Sept. 15. Otherwise known as ultrarunning, for those of you who, like me, are content to run somewhat shorter distances, these races are often a combination of trail and road running with aid stations along the route. To top it all off, this is the caveat that is featured on the website: A word of warning: These are not beginner’s runs.  You might find the uphills and downhills fairly steep. You may find there’s a lot of them.  You will spend a lot of time at an altitude of nearly two miles. There may be snow. There may be rain. It may sleet, or be wet, or windy, or then again, it may be hot. There may be wild animals out there, some of them a lot bigger and scarier than a rabbit. Yikes! Think I’ll be a cheerleader for any runs like that!

Happy running! 😀

Five Spring Beers To Try

I am a big fan of good beer, so when my seasonal favorite come around I must share my love. Here are a few of my yearly favorites not only for their flavor, but also because they remind me that winter’s over and warmer months are on their way. So grab your favorite and meet me on the porch!

Ruthless Rye has been a staple grain for millennia—sought after for its stubborn resilience in the field and revered for its unique flavor. Ruthless Rye IPA is brewed with rustic grains for refined flavors—combining the peppery spice of rye and the bright citrusy flavors of whole-cone hops to create a complex ale for the tumultuous transition to spring. Sierra Nevada Brewery


Brooklyn Brewery Summer Ale is a modern rendition of the “Light Dinner Ales” brewed in England throughout the 1800’s right up until the 1940’s. They were also called “luncheon ales” or even “family ales”, because they were refreshing and flavorful without being too heavy. We brew our Brooklyn Summer Ale from premium English barley malt, which gives this light-bodied golden beer a fresh bready flavor. German and American hops lend a light crisp bitterness and a citrus/floral aroma, resulting in a beer with a very sunny disposition.

  Garde Dog Biere de Garde is a French farmhouse ale. Biere de Garde means “beer for keeping” and was traditionally brewed in March for drinking during the spring and summer months. Consider it your official release from winter’s grasp. Flying Dog Brewery


Flying Fish Brewing Company, Farmhouse Summer Ale is a tribute to the highly drinkable “every day” beers from French-speaking Belgium. Contains Belgian two-row pale malt and 7% wheat. This beer is lightly filtered with an earthy, spicy hop character from imported Styrian Goldings hops and a beautiful rich creamy head from the wheat.

Dogfish Head Aprihop is an American IPA brewed with Pilsner and Crystal malts. It’s massively hopped — in the continuous fashion, of course! — and the flavor is complemented by the addition of apricots. Dogfish Head Brewery

Enjoy these seasonal brews and remember to drink responsibly!

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

This past week was a great one for reading on my porch. Sunshine, warm breezes, the smell of spring, ahhh… So while I got a little distracted and had to go off and play disc golf every once in a while, it was a great week for springtime reading.

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

  Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach – Felton Reinstein is used to being called Squirrel Nut and being an outsider. But one day he wakes up and realizes he is really, really fast. Soon he’s playing football and being one of the jocks. But Felton realizes it won’t fix everything that is wrong in his life. At some point he’s going to have to stop running and face bigger issues that are going on in his life. Adolescent angst and running? This is going to be a great book. 🙂



Dead End In Norvelt by Jack Gantos – The winner of the 2012 Newbery Medal and the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, Dead End is marketed as the entirely true and wildly fictional story about a kid named Jack Gantos. (Not sure what that means, but someone clearly thought they were being clever…) The story sounds extremely entertaining however with small town eccentricities and exaggerated obituaries. I’m listening to this one on CD and its narrated by the author. A great motivation to drive to work!



  The Great American Ale Trail by Christian DeBeredetti – As a beer lover I’m constantly on the lookout for new books that center around the craft of beer making and enjoying. I also love road trips, so while drinking is driving is never good, this book is perfect for when I reach a destination and am looking for restaurants and brewpubs that serve unique craft beer selections. And more often than not, places that serve good beer, serve good food too. I’ve already taken note of breweries and/or brewpubs around my area to visit and can’t wait to try them out.



Hope you’re enjoying this spring weather as much as I am. Happy reading! 🙂

1001 Beers

  I really enjoy a good beer. There’s a huge difference between drinking a quality brew and certain carbonated piss-water beverages that pretend they are beers (and shall remain nameless). So I was especially excited when my parents gave me this tome for Christmas. Although I became less excited when I realized I had only tried maybe thirty of the 1001 listed within its pages. Yikes!

While I work my way (slowly) through the book, I’ve been having a lot of fun finding out more about the beers I’m drinking as well as the process that goes into making beer. There are a lot of very knowledgeable people who are in the brewing business or just appreciate the finer qualities of a good beer. And, to top it all off, I got a beer making kit and am trying to do a little research before I jump into making my first home brew.

Here are a few of my favorite resources:


Brews & Books – Josh Christie keeps his sleek blog up to date with his picks and reviews of all things literary and beer.

Beer Advocate – The quintessential beer website that has pretty much every you need to know about anything beer related. It also has a companion magazine.


Beer School: Bottling Success at the Brooklyn Brewery

Beer Craft: A Simple Guide to Making Great Beer

Brewmaster’s Art: The history and science of beermaking (Lecture on CD by expert Charles Bamforth

Brewed Awakening


DRAFT Magazine

All About Beer

Brewing Kits

Northern Brewers

Enjoy your beers and remember to drink responsibly! 🙂

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

I decided it was time to return to finish a couple of books I’d started, but put down in part because of their girth and part because new releases kept distracting me. 🙂 While I love reading new books by debut authors or returning favorites I realized I need to return to the classics and make a point of reading those as much as I read newer novels. So, hence Les Miserables. There are others that I can’t even bear mentioning because I should have read them long ago and thus will return to during this holiday season/new year. Starting my resolutions early! 🙂

  Wheel of Time # 6: Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan – Whenever I need a hands-down great book to escape into, I turn to Robert Jordan. If you love epic fantasies, you’ll love Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. It’s one of the reasons I’ve taken my time with reading the series. Also, aside from an autographed book from Brandon Sanderson after a talk he gave about picking up Jordan’s tale after the famed author had passed away, I love finding the books (mostly in paperback) at used bookstores around the country. It’s like a treasure hunt. 🙂



  Les Miserables by Victor Hugo – A classic centered around the French Revolution, this tome is both roman a clef and a beautiful, albeit tragic, portrait of the lives touched during this time. I’d read most of Les Mis before I picked up Jennifer Donnelly’s novel Revolution and was glad I had as it made for a great reference to her vivid novel on the same topic. Hugo’s novel is a must read both for its rich descriptions and storylines and its historical significance.



  Brewed Awakening by Joshua Bernstein – I’m really enjoying this new non-fiction book all about beer. It covers a range of areas on the topic including great beers to try, the home brewing movement, and what goes into the making of a good beer. I’m interested in trying to brew my own beer and in looking into the topic, stumbled upon this book. While it’s not so much about beer recipes, it’s teaching me a lot about what makes a brewery and a beer great.




Hope you have a great last week in November! 🙂

Winter Beers

It’s the most wonderful time of the year….!

The hectic holiday season is upon us. Presents, food, family, crowds, music, and a lot of running around. A great time for reflection as well as finding ways to unwind in the midst of all the chaos. For me I have three ways I love to unwind: a good book, a long run, and a cold beer.

For those of you who also love to spend an evening by the fire, reading or writing and sipping a beer, here are a few of my favorites, plus a couple I’m looking forward to trying!

  Anchor Steam Christmas Ale  – Brewed annually since 1975, Anchor Steam changes both its label and its recipe for this Christmas beer each year. Yet year after year it gains accolades for being bold yet smooth with its dark body and its rich taste. More malt than hops, it is has hints of both evergreen and chocolate without being overwhelming.

  Flying Fish Grand Cru Winter Reserve – While this is a delicious beer bursting with sharp flavors, it reminds me more of a summer wheat. Hints of winter spices like nutmeg and cloves subtly weave themselves through this beer, giving the beer its full winter flavor. Unlike other winter beers, this winter reserve is light enough that it pairs well with any meal or by itself after a meal.

Troegs Mad Elf Ale – Perhaps you’ve seen this label gracing the shelves of your local supermarket or beer distributor, but it won’t be around for long. Often hailed as one of the seasonal favorites, it often always sells out before the Christmas holiday officially hits. An amber colored ale with undertones of cherries, this is a great winter beer. And at 11% alcohol and its medium body, it’s a perfect complement to a winter-comfort food kind of meal.

  Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout – I call this a dessert beer. It’s heavy and rich with thick chocolate tones. Perfect for an after dinner drink snuggled up by the fire. 🙂

Two beers that I haven’t tried, but really want to because of the great reviews are:

  Artic Devil Barleywine (Midnight Sun Brewing Company) and Lagunitas Olde Gnarlywine – both are barley wines, which are common during the winter months, and are strong and dark and include undertones of toffee, caramel and malty goodness.

Hope you enjoy your winter beers and, as always, drink responsibly! 😀