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Monday, February 7, 2011

The End of an Era... and the beginning of a new one!

I'm sure if you follow craft beer news in PA, then you have heard of the parting of brewer Terry Hawbaker from Williamsport's Bullfrog Brewery.  This news will perhaps come as a shock to many local craft beer enthusiasts (myself included), so I can't help but shed a tear, as Bullfrog was perhaps the first brewpub in PA that I truly came to love.  I remember having my first pint of Edgar IPA back when my band, herbie, used to play there regularly and I was just getting into craft beer. Aaah, the memories!

Brewslut and I hold Bullfrog in very high esteem (she's even a mugger there), and Terry is undoubtedly an integral part of Bullfrog's awesomeness.  We even chose to spend some time there on the last day of 2010, which coincidentally was brewslut's birthday (I won't tell you how old, though).  Terry has been knocking just about everything out of the park over the last year or so.  Some highlights have been Busted Lawnmower, HopGASM, Double Coffee Stout, Smoked Porter, and Deuane (the latter, a DIPA brewed in honor of my friend and beer guru, Deuane Hoffman).  And that list doesn't even include some of the stellar sour beers that were released in bottles, including El Rojo Diablo and the 2010 GABF bronze medal-winning The Jaspers!

Pleepleus and myself enjoying Master Blaster Imperial Stout.

While it is truly sad to see Terry leaving after several years with Bullfrog, it is equally as exciting to see him venture off into new territory, as he will be heading to the City of Brotherly Love to brew for a brand new establishment called The Grainery*, owned by the Fork & Barrel folks.   The Grainery won't exactly be a brewpub proper, but it will tentatively feature 24 taps, four of which will be dedicated to Terry's artisan beers.  He will also have an exclusive handpump, which is really exciting news.  What does this mean?  Well, you can probably expect lots of barrel aged brews, wild ales, and sours... you know, the stuff Terry is known for brewing!

With that said, what will the future have in store for Bullfrog?  Well, while Terry is finishing up his tenure, the search is on for a new brewer.  Mightly big shoes to fill, indeed.  Bullfrog has been one of my very favorite brewpubs in PA, and hopefully that won't change.  I wish them the very best in finding a successor worthy of Terry's crown. 

*Editor's Note: The name was later changed to Farmer's Cabinet.

Check out some reviews of my highest rated Bullfrog beers...
Barrel Aged Old Toad Barleywine
Smoked Porter
El Rojo Diablo

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