NorCal Love….Oh Yeah, They Got Beer Too…

Posted in Uncategorized on August 11, 2013 by buffalobeerrun

New Friends From Buffalo

New Friends From Buffalo

Home...

Home…

My NorCal Hull..

My NorCal Hull..

Shadow Of A Doubt

Shadow Of A Doubt

Framboise For A Cure

Framboise For A Cure

Barrel Room At Bear Republic

Barrel Room At Bear Republic

Me And Ray..

Me And Ray..

Tap List At Russian River

Tap List At Russian River

Me And Pliny Mike...

Me And Pliny Mike…

On Our Way To NorCal

On Our Way To NorCal

OK so the dust has settled, clothes unpacked, beer bottles de-bubble wrapped and life is back to normal…well my definition of normal anyways…so its time for me to write a post on probably the best trip we ever went on, Northern California, it for sure stole our hearts and it wants us to come back to pick them up…

So let me start off by saying that for as many times as we hopped on airplanes, air travel still amazes me! 38,000 plus feet above the ground, the thought of a heavy ass object, with 100 or more heavy ass objects sitting with a shit load of their heavy ass objects they carry with them then going that high up is just mind blowing to me. Plus your life is in the hands of 2 dudes in a cockpit…nuts…anyways on to my post…

So with the excitement of this trip, the long ass 7 hour flight was the only pisser. After we touched down In Sacramento it was off for an hour trip north to Knee Deep Brewing. Before the trip me and the brewer Jerry were in contact so that I can do a brew tour, but after the long flight then another hour drive, we got to Knee Deep. Its only a 900 sq ft brewery that they don’t do tours, or sell bottles. They only do growler fills on Fridays, we were there on Saturday…so basically the kid I was talking said I was S.O.L. but there was a beer store right by them so I picked up a few bottles for home. A few days later I got an Email from Jerry apologizing that he misread my dates and for my troubles he asked for my address so he could ship me some beers to “ease the pain of the unnecessary travel”. Class act customer service if you ask me, and he held up to his promise…yesterday (8/9/13) my wife and I went out to come home to a FedEx sticker on our door needing an adult signature..it was my bottles so I will be getting them on Monday. Very cool of him to do that! After Knee Deep it was off to check in our house, then some beers at Russian River..

Got the keys to the crib and it was time to start drinking some amazing beers! Got to Russian River, 3 deep at the bar. No biggie because at that moment we met one of the coolest dudes…Pliny Mike came into our lives and he hooked us up for the rest of our stay at Russian River, and even now that were home, that’s all I can say about that. One of the nicest guys I have ever met and he’s my Pliny mule lol…Also everyone behind the bar was amazing! By the 2nd day they knew our names and for as busy as it was, they took the time to talk with us. And that goes for everybody we met throughout the trip, probably the most friendliest place we ever visited. We were starting to get hooked…

The next few days were busy! On Tuesday we went kayaking down Russian River. I am no way, shape or form a nature person, but that was one of the exciting things (nature wise) I’ve ever done! It was a 5 mile trek down the river and it was peaceful, VERY scenic and relaxing. Would do it again in a heart beat! We worked up a sweat of coarse, and needed a few beer!  Republic Brewing Company was right down the road. We stopped in and we had all there one offs (beers that are only brewed for the pub/only brewed once and available for mass production). I posted a few pics on Facebook and to my surprise, a friend of mine who is triathlete said a bunch of his friends from Buffalo were there. They ran in the Vineman triathlon in Napa…they were there at Bear Republic at the same time we were. A few seconds later we were talking with them. Very cool and a small world (and thank you guys for buying a round!) After they left we met the brewer Ray. He took us on a private brew tour which ended in the barrel room where they keep all there barrel aged beers. AMAZING!!! He asked us if we wanted a sample of Tartare, its a sour beer, of course we said yes. He got a few glass and poured it straight from a wooded fermenter, then we hit the tasting room and he got us each a glass of Tartare that was tapped and did a comparison..pretty damn cool! We sat around and bullshit for a while, went to In And Out burger for a quick bite then it was off to home for some shut eye…

We did Nature Day Part 2 the next day. Hit the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) to the ocean. Breathtaking..and about 30 degrees cooler than inland! We pulled off a bunch of times for pics, then it was off to the Armstrong Red Woods (Return of the Jedi was filled there…sweet!) Again breathtaking. Trees that are bigger than life right in front of us. Everything was “clean”. The air, the sound it was just amazing! The smell was awesome. Its hard to explain it, but it was just awesome. Another must do when we go back! After we walked around for a few hours it was back for our night cap at Russian River Brewing….

We only hit up one winery and it was called Jacuzzi. We got a tip to go there because they also make their own olive oil and balsamic vinegars and we love to cook with that stuff. Hit the winery part first and they had some killer wines so we picked up 4 bottles. Then we walked over to the Olive Press and WOW did their oils and vinegars blow us away! We picked up a fig, orange and lemon balsamic vinegars and a jalapeno and other killer olive oils. Great place for sure. We loved it when people asked us if we were visiting for the wineries and our answer was no, were here for the breweries. A lot of people were amazed. Maybe next year we’ll check out a few more…maybe

The last few days and nights were about finding some killer places to eat. We hit Flavor a great place with Moonlight Brewing on tap. Some of the best lagers I have ever had, and I wish we would of hit that up a few more times. The food was excellent too. I got a killer bacon burger and my wife got a huge as fuck BLT!!! Then we walked over to 3rd Street Ale Works for a few beers. Had their sampler (13 3oz samples for 10 bucks!!!) and they were all pretty damn good! (My favorite was their Ales For A.L.S. Brown Ale…not much of a brown ale fan but I really enjoyed this one!) Then after that we once again hit up our spot at Russian River…you may see a theme here

The last day we hit up Belly. WHAT.THE.FUCK! Probably one of the best meals I have ever had (I had the pork belly with hoisin glaze, and my wife had fish tacos..both were fantastic!!!!!!) I wish we would of found this earlier but again next year we’ll be hitting it up a few times. Plus they had a crazy tap list so its a win, win for sure! After dinner we headed to Russian River for our final beers and to say our goodbyes. Pliny Mike was there and he had something for me. It was a bottle of Framboise For A Cure. Its Temptation brewed with raspberries. Its made for breast cancer awareness month with 100% of all proceeds goes to Breast Cancer Society. $25 dollars a bottle and they cut a check for over $75,000. Class act all the way!!! And I am very honored to get a bottle..thanks again Mike! I also got a bottle of Shadow Of A Doubt (its an Imperial Porter, it is Russian Rivers smallest bottle run, only 100 cases made and its named after the Hitchcock film that was named the same. It was filmed in Santa Rose back in 1943) It was bottled on the Wednesday that we were there and it went on sale the Monday that we left. When we said our goodbyes someone slipped a bottle into my box of beers and said don’t open it here, I was the first person to get a bottle. Again very honored!!! Russian River and everybody else we met were just fucking amazing!!! We left and started getting ready to leave the following morning to go back home…

On our way to the airport I was actually pretty bummed we were leaving. Santa Rosa and everywhere else we visited was just amazing…epic even. From the people, to the food,to the scenery and of course the beers, NorCal for sure took our hearts. I could go on and on about it, but I planted a little seed while we were there and I’m hoping that one day it will blossom into us living there. We started looking at housing, again it will be awhile but we can always visit and one day will come to make our move and call NorCal home!

Again many, many, many thank you’s goes out Pliny Mike, the crew at Russian River Brewing Company and to all our new friends we met along the way during our trip! You guys are awesome and cant wait till next year to visit you guys again!!!

California Dreamin…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 13, 2013 by buffalobeerrun

I know its been a while since my last post, but again its nice here in the B-Lo so I gotta jump on these days…the window is VERY slim! Anywho…..

Queue The Mommas and The Pappas (thou its not a winters day, but I saw in the forecast were going to get snow next week…not really but its Buffalo I wouldn’t be all that surprised)…Its officially the 2 week mark to our NorCal vacation and let me tell you its finally sinking in. Its kind of a dream vacation. All the crazy beers, breweries, wineries and food that we will be having/visiting…plus all the scenic shit that’s we’ll be seeing is going to be amazing!

But to be honest its not about all that, its about reconnecting with my wife. We will be married for 15 years in October and I have no fucking clue where the time went! In a blink of an eye we were married then all of the sudden its now…its kinda scary. We work long days (Danielle works from home but she pulls in crazy OT and I work 12 hour shifts, 5 AM-5PM) and our weekends are so busy that we really have no time to ourselves. So this vacation will be a “slow down and enjoy” vacation. Yes we go to Disney every year, but if you never been to Disney you run your asses off all day. But Cali is going to be different…its just going to be me and Danielle relearning each other and I cant wait. Im very excited to drink some amazing beers and eat some amazing food, but at the end of the night beer and food does not say they love me always and forever…

I will TRY to enter a few posts while were down there, but its might be tough. We’ll be zip lining through the Red Woods, kayaking down Russian River… I will be reconnecting with the love of my life. Enjoying conversations, enjoying laughs and maybe a few tears but like I said earlier in a blink of an eye 15 years went by like that…I will try not to blink when we are In Cali…

Cheers to the ones that you love! Either here with you now, or the ones that you lost…

Tattoos And Brews..You Did What?!?

Posted in Uncategorized on May 18, 2013 by buffalobeerrun
BEER GEEK Tattoo

BEER GEEK Tattoo

So last week I got my knuckles tattooed BEER GEEK and I got a lot of people thinking that’s cool because it fits me but I get people that just don’t understand why I do what I do. I get “well what happens when you’re 80..blah blah horseshit” I just say either one of two things are going to happen..I’ll be dead or I will be the coolest fuckin 80 year old still kicking and doing my thing. I’m pretty much tattooed from head to toe and I choose to be like this, I never wanted to be the carbon copy of everyone else. People think I’m a criminal or a thug and they are shocked to hear that I’ve worked at my company for 17 years own my house and love to travel, but that me thinking about tattoos and beers, how people judge others on what they drink…

The way I see it, its your body you should be able to put whatever you want on it, or put whatever in it…yeah that sounds bad but for my blog purpose its beer that I’m talking about. I know I talked about this before in one of my earlier posts but it pisses me off that people still judge people for what they do to themselves and for what they are drinking. We gotta wake up here and look at the bigger picture that tattoos are not evil and non-craft beers are ok to drink. Even thou I don’t drink the macros its ok for people to do so without getting shit on. Again..if you don’t like tattoos DON’T GET ONE..if you don’t like they way they look DON’T LOOK AT ME and if you don’t like the beers DON’T DRINK THEM!!! Its pretty fucking simple folks…life is to fucking short enjoy the shit you like to do and like to drink…fuck what other people think of you!!!

Pennsylvania Voodoo…

Posted in Uncategorized on May 5, 2013 by buffalobeerrun

Doughnuts

Doughnuts

Primanti Brothers Fried Bologna Sandwich

Primanti Brothers Fried Bologna Sandwich

Voodoo Brewing Beer Menu

Voodoo Brewing Beer Menu

HTP

HTP

Pilzilla On Cask

Pilzilla On Cask

Brew House

Brew House

Barrel Room

Barrel Room

Sorry for the delay for the people that actually read this. Finally got nice weather here in Buffalo and have to take advantage of that shit. Got A LOT of house work done and also being very fucking lazy..anywho don’t want to bore you with that shit…lets talk about beer!

So last Friday the wife and I decided to take a day trip to Grove City PA to go to the outlet mall. Grove City is about an hour out of Pittsburgh (LETS GO PENS!!!!..for those of you that don’t know I’m a HUGE Pittsburgh fan) so it was a little over 2 hours to get there from Buffalo. And on the way we stopped at U PICK 6 in Erie PA. Cool place to find some hard to get beers. Walked out with buying some cool shit…and got hooked up too so I was REALLY happy. Then it was off to the mall…

When we got there we had to stop at Primanti Brothers for lunch. Its a Pittsburgh staple. Every time we go to Pittsburgh that’s our 1st stop. The sandwiches are AMAZING!!!! So if you are ever in the Burgh you gotta check it out! So I ordered my Fried Bologna sandwich and my wife ordered the Polish Sausage sandwich with a few Iron City Amber beers to wash it down…fuel for the shopping day ahead. We shopped for hours and had a great day…but there was one more stop before the ride home…

Before we left for Grove City I did a little research on what breweries were around the area. Voodoo Brewing popped up on the list. I read good things about Voodoo and was very stoked it was on our way home from the mall. It was a half an hour north from the mall in the city of Meadville, PA. When we got there the place was busy but found a spot at the bar. Small place but the beer and food menu were killer. Its farm to table menu which is really fucking sweet. We didn’t eat (still stuffed from Primanti Brothers) but we did get some fresh made doughnuts for home..more on them later…and they had 10 taps and they have Firkin Fridays so I was geeked. It was their Pilzilla with New Zealand hops on cask…great beer!. We met Zac Ross jack of all trades at the brewery and all around great dude. I ordered the HTP IPA..FUCKING AMAZING!!! Got a growler of that for home..and my wife ordered a Voodoo Love Child Belgian Triple which was also amazing.Then Zac poured us a few more. I had the cask of Pilzilla and the wife had White Magick Of The Sun Belgium Wheat. So while we were drinking the guys from the kitchen came out and talked with us for a while, the vibe in this place was killer, the whole staff was killer! It was getting late so we were about to leave so I had to get some beers for home then Zac asked me if I wanted a brew tour..of course I said yes…

First Zac took me to their barrel room..fuck I wanted to try a few samples but no dice LOL. It was really sweet to see that. Then he took me into the brew house. Small. But they are pumping out a shit ton of beers. They distribute to all of PA and he said they are working on getting some shit to Buffalo..FUCKIN A!!! He showed me the bottling line. Again small. But its getting the job done! The thing I found really interesting was when we 1st walked in the brew house beats were pumping like fucking crazy. I gave Zac a What The Fuck look..he told me it was for the yeast in the fermenting tanks. The bass kept it active and going. Yeast is a living organism so it makes sense. Pretty fucking cool and got me thinking about doing that for my homebrew shit…hmmmmmm

So we got our beers and other swag and said our good byes to the crew at Voodoo and we cracked open our doughnuts on the ride home. They were beer glazed, basil and rosemary with parmesan cheese on top. Sounds fucked up, but it was fucking amazing! I wish we would of ate there but next time for sure and they are always changing up the food menu too so that’s pretty sweet.

So if you ever make a trip to Pittsburgh area be sure to go to Voodoo Brewing. Class act place, class act people, killer beers and food! And make sure you talk with Zac. Good dude with a lot of knowledge!

Brewday = Funday…And Drunk

Posted in Uncategorized on April 20, 2013 by buffalobeerrun

Beer Kit..1-4-8 Kool Kats Chinook IPA..Raw Form

Beer Kit..1-4-8 Kool Kats Chinook IPA..Raw Form

Yeast Starter

Yeast Starter

1st Beer...8:47 AM

1st Beer…8:47 AM

Mash Time

Mash Time

Saccrification Rest

Saccrification Rest

Sparge And Lautering

Sparge And Lautering

Boo's Oatmeal Stout..Beer Numer..Have No Clue

Boo’s Oatmeal Stout..Beer Number..Have No Clue

Hop Boil

Hop Boil

Cooling Wort

Cooling Wort

Pitching Yeast

Pitching Yeast

Nighty night..see you in a month

Nighty night..see you in a month

Ahhhh brew day! Nothing gets all warm inside then knowing in a short month I’ll be drinking my labors of love.

Brew day usually starts a few days early. I get in my kit and look over the recipe. Figure out how much water is needed for the batch (I brew 5 gallons) so I’m not figuring it all out on actual brew day. Then I start bring up all my equipment, that alone is a job. The night before brew day I make a yeast starter (A yeast starter is a way to drastically increase the number of yeast cells that you will pitch into wort.  A starter is essentially a mini fermentation, only you are making yeast not beer.) Then I’m off to bed dreaming of the fun and all the beers I’ll be drinking the next day (I usually count hops jumping into my beer glass, puts me to sleep with a smile on my face…why not count sheep?…fuck sheep, they’re assholes)

BREW DAY!!! (8 AM) I will be brewing my 1-4-8 Kool Kat Chinook IPA. Chinook is a bittering hop with a wonderful herbal, almost smoky character, great hop! And 1-4-8 Kool Kat is my house address and like I said my “brewery” name is 9 Lives because of my 2 cats..anywho..time to sanitize the shit out of everything…what the fuck am I thinking?..first time for a beer THEN sanitize the shit out of everything. Priorities Jay…priorities. Ok its 8:47 AM, I’m on my 1st beer (Sulley The Not So Elder IPA), sanitizing my conical, and all my brew buckets and other equipment. Heating water to proper temps…shit… finished my 1st beer at 8:59 AM, run down to the kegerator  for another Sulley IPA, temps are good on the water then time for the shit to happen….

Ahhhh shit…its time to mash! Mashing is when you take milled grain and hot water (liquor) and mix them in a mash tun. It sits for an hour (saccharification rest) Mashing allows the enzymes in the malt to break down the starch in the grain into sugars. The yeast will feed on the sugars to create alcohol. After the hour rest its time for the mash out…that’s adding more hot water to the mash tun for 10 mins to get more sugars out of the grain. Then after the mash its time to sparge and lauter. Sparging is when you rinse the grains with hot water from the hot liquor tank (liquor is a term for water) to get even more sugars from the grains and lautering is when you separate the wort (unfermented beer) from the grain. That’s brewing in a nut shell..sounds like a lot, but when you do it a few times, its like drinking you’re 1st beer, you’ll never forget it! Speaking of beer…I’m now on my 5th beer (now I’m trying to kick my Boo’s Oatmeal Stout on nitro. That’s what Kool Kats is getting kegged on…nitro!) , time 11:30 AM…feeling good!

After the lautering is done, its time for my favorite part of brewing..the hop boil. Hops have 3 characteristics to them..bittering, flavor and aroma. You get the bittering by boiling the hops for an hour, flavor you get by adding the hops 30 mins left in the boil and aroma you get by adding the hops 10 mins left in the boil (that’s a rough time frame, depends on your kit..its just a ballpark what I wrote). At this time my house smells amazing!!! I love the smell of hops, and I think they should make a cologne of that smell..or at least deodorant, that would be awesome! Hop boil done…beer check 8..its now 1PM..pretty fucked up!

Now its time to cool the wort with a wort chiller. A wort chiller is a coiled copper tubing that connects to a kitchen faucet. Turn on the cold water to cool the wort to 74 degrees so I can pitch the yeast. If you pitch to hot it kills the yeast and pitch to cold the yeast is a sleep, both not good! After I get the wort cooled I dump it into my conical then I pitch my yeast and let the magic happen. In a short month I will be drinking an amazing IPA on nitro…beer check..who the fuck knows? Lost count after 12…

And that boys and girls is my brew day..I missed a lot of other small bullshit, but you get the idea…I hope. If you have no idea what the fuck I was talking about, then I failed miserably . If that happens that means I have to drown my sorrows in beer…so please tell me you have no fucking clue what I was talking about and I failed miserably…PLEASE!!!! 

Beer Connoisseur vs. Beer Snob vs. Beer Geek…

Posted in Uncategorized on April 12, 2013 by buffalobeerrun

Last week I was at the grocery store looking at what beer they had and two women were looking at a few bottles not knowing what they were. They asked me if I knew anything about them, I said I did and I helped them out. They were happy and one said “Wow you must be a beer connoisseur” I just laughed and said “no, I’m just a guy who loves beer”

After that happened I thought about how people that love beer label themselves. I heard it all…”I’m the biggest connoisseur” or “You give me a beer and I can tell you what it is” (which about 100% of the time they are wrong) and a bunch of other horse shit they come up with. So I decided to break it down for you the way I see it…

BEER CONNOISSEUR:

These guys and girls are the cream of the crop, they REALLY know their shit. I consider a beer connoisseur the brew masters at breweries, they are hands on making the liquid goodness we all love. They know how much malt and what kinds of malt to use, what hops to use and what characteristics each one has and all the other science that goes into making beer. To quote Willy Wonka “they are the music makers…and they are the dreamers of dreams.” Also Beer Cicerones are connoisseurs (Cicerones are “Beer Sommeliers”) They can tell the off flavor’s, what hops, malts and yeast are used for each style of beer just with one sip. That’s pretty fucking amazing and pretty hard. You got to go through a crazy exam to become a Cicerone…but I would love to try it! And last got to probably one of the most recognized beer connoisseurs is Michael Jackson (no not the white gloved, crotch grabbing moonwalker) he’s a English writer and journalist that was a beer lover (here is a link to some of his book: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_sabc?url=search-alias%3Daps&pageMinusResults=1&suo=1365780260212#/ref=nb_sb_noss_1/186-0523883-5500147?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=michael%20jackson%20beer&sprefix=michael+jackson+bee%2Caps&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Amichael%20jackson%20beer) would of loved to sit and have a few with him. So that’s my take on the Beer Connoisseur. Pretty much the average Joe beer drinker is not one. So if you claim yourself as one and are not a brew master, Cicerone or a well know author of a shit ton of beer books …don’t… you sound like a fucking fool that just wants to fit in.

BEER SNOB:

These are the motherfuckers I HATE!!! They are the douchebags that THINK they know it all but in reality they know shit…they just regurgitate what they read or heard. They will not drink a “lesser beer” (Sam Adams, Guinness etc.) because its not Pliny The Elder or Heady Topper or other crazy shit we can’t get here in Buffalo (but I’m 100% positive that’s what they started drinking before they turned into dicks). Or they’ll get in arguments with World War II vets because they are drinking Bud or Coors and not Ballast Point or Founders KBS. It sickens me to see these assholes at bars. If someone what’s to drink a Macro (Bud, Miller, Coors) let them. Its not your money buying that beer. These people work hard for their money and if they chose to drink these beers…LET THEM!!! You don’t have to pour it down your stupid gullet. People have to wake up and realize ITS ONLY BEER! No matter what you’re drinking..if you are enjoying it.. that’s all that matters. NO ONE should give anyone shit because of what they like. To all the beer snobs out there, as a great poet once said “check yo self before you wreck yo self” and those are words to live by!

BEER GEEK:

These are the good guys (which I consider myself and getting BEER GEEK tattooed on my knuckles in a few weeks) We are the guys and girls that don’t give a shit what people are drinking as long as we are having a good time. Yes we LOVE the rare beers (and that’s pretty much all we drink) but we will enjoy a Sam Adams or Yuengling if there is nothing else to have. We’ll share beers or trade beers that are hard to get but will ask nothing in return except a review on what we thought of it. We’ll help find the quick drop beers (remember KBS) and pick up some if we can. No ego shit…and that’s the way it should be! Beer is the greatest social medium and people look past that. Its all about “look at what I’m drinking and your not” or “why are you drinking that when you SHOULD be drinking this?” Fuck that! Its ONLY beer and we should be enjoying being around good friends and the great stories being shared. Life is to short…

#unite

 

 

 

 

 

A Day At Southern Tier Brewing…

Posted in Uncategorized on April 7, 2013 by buffalobeerrun

Southern Tier Brewing

Southern Tier Brewing

Southern Tier Brewing

Southern Tier Brewing

Me And Danielle

Me And Danielle

2X Steam

2X Steam

Me And My Brotha

Me And My Brotha

Me And Hank

Me And Hank

2X Rye IPA

2X Rye IPA

Yesterday we, me my wife and our best friends Jason and Megan, went on a little road trip to Southern Tier Brewing Company to celebrate my wife’s birthday. First off they are expanding the brewery, looking very good from the outside. Cant wait to see it when its finished!
 

When we walked in I ordered a brand new beer they tapped, 2X Steam. Didn’t know what to think of a double California Common, but to my surprise it was a very nice beer. True to the style, malty sweetness upfront with a nice herbal/piney hop bitterness at the end and clocking in at 8% I got a hint of booziness at the finish. Tasty beer! Not in bottles yet but will be very soon.

Then me and my boy Jason went on the brew tour. Jack of all trades Henry “Hank” Johnson gave it and this kid knew his shit. Very informative, answered all the questions, great dude (so if you plan on doing a brew tour at Southern Tier, make sure Hank is running the show). He showed the bottling line, fermenting tanks and talked about how beer is made. I know how its made but Hank really got in-depth and made the people that didn’t know the process, understand it. Then he showed us the new brew house and restaurant, well a little bit of it. Due to construction it was a safety concern so we couldn’t see all of it. But its going to be huge!

Through out the tour we sampled beers (it wouldn’t be a tour without beer drinking, right?) The line up as we tasted were IPA, 2X IPA, Euro Trash and Mokah. Nice line up and by the end of it, we were felling pretty good. I talked with Hank off to the side and asked him what he knew about the new beers that were coming out. The look on his face was priceless, he had no idea that someone knew about them. After the tour he told me to hang out and he had to talk with someone. A few seconds later me and my buddy Jason were talking with Joe, the director of research and development. He gave me the OK to post this so here is what I got. The Plum Noir Imperial Stout is 2 weeks into fermenting so we couldn’t get a sample of that, but it sounds AMAZING! Over 300 lbs of pureed plums were added to the fermenter. Its coming out in 22 oz bombers by the fall. The other is the 2X Rye IPA which we had the honor of trying. Hank had a keg of it tapped and gave us a glass of it. Killer rye! If I remember correctly (I was felling pretty good by then and I should of wrote this shit down) they used 3 kinds of rye malt and 4 different hops. The smell was rye bread with a hint of sweetness. The taste was WOW! Rye malt with a nice piney/citrus hop profile. They said this a test batch we were drinking so the final product might change. Look for it in 12oz bottles by late summer. Joe also told us of maybe a Belgian line and a few other things that I cant say…but sounds fucking awesome!

At the end of the day, Hank sat down with us and had a few more beers and just talked about everything. It was a great time and now that the weather is getting warmer (well I’m crossing my fingers…fucking Punksatony Phil is an asshole!) get down to Southern Tier, grab a few beers, do a brew tour (make sure you get Hank!) and enjoy life!

If anyone from Southern Tier is going to read this…make sure Hank gets a raise..kid knows his shit!