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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Imminent Liquidation - The Second Coming!

The second annual "Imminent Liquidation" Bottle Share Event will take place at The Central PA Hotel & Conference Center (aka Best Western Premier) in Harrisburg, PA on Saturday, March 3, 2012 between 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM.

The event will allow craft beer enthusiasts to dust off and share rarities from their cellars with fellow BAs. If you don't have any rare beers, feel free to bring a favorite from your fridge to share. It doesn't have to be a white whale or an uber-expensive corked and caged, hand numbered, limited edition, once-and-done batch. Just bring some good beer to share with everyone!

There is no admission cost to enter the event, although you are required to bring beer (typically a few bombers, a growler, or some 12oz. bottles, or any combination of the above). Food will be available via the standard O'Reilly's Taproom menu, and will be pay as you go. You are not required to buy food at the event, however.

All participants will be required to wear nametags, which will be available at the greeting table upon entry to the event. Participants will also receive one FREE raffle ticket upon entry at no additional charge. Later in the afternoon, we will raffle off a few beer-related items donated from fellow BAs and area businesses. Please note that raffle tickets will NOT be available for purchase, and each participant will receive only one raffle ticket. ALSO, PLEASE PLAN ON BRINGING YOUR OWN TASTING GLASS. Please try to bring a small 4oz. to half pint glass rather than a full pint glass, if possible.

The hotel has plenty of rooms available to accommodate those who plan to attend the event but must travel from afar.

Imminent Liquidation is sponsored by The Central PA Conference Center & Hotel in conjunction with The Pour Travelers beer blog (

For more information about Imminent Liquidation, please beer email Ffej at  Please do not contact the hotel directly for details about the event. 

The Central PA Conference Center & Hotel is located at 800 East Park Drive, Harrisburg PA, easily accessible from I-83, exit 48 (Union Deposit Road).  For location information, directions or room reservations, please visit or call (717) 561-2800.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2011 - The Beer in Review

For all intents and purposes, 2011 was a pretty damn good year for me.  Looking back, I had the busiest music schedule I'd ever undertaken, with an abundance of gigs, rehearsals and recording sessions for seven (yes... SEVEN!) different musical projects generally taking precedence over beer-related travels.  Of course, the money generated from the aforementioned musical projects pretty much financed my beer travels exclusively in 2011.  Factor in a full-time desk job and going to the gym five to six times a week, and you can paint a vivid picture of how busy I'd been in 2011.  Yet I still managed to visit plenty of breweries and brewpubs, including our first-ever, much-anticipated trek to Seattle and Portland, a short San Diego fling, an awesome trip to Montreal with Deuane and Carolyn, and a pleasant New England jaunt with Dan and Kristen (part II here).  Additionally, I attended the always enjoyable Philly Beer Week and even hit up a few beer festivals along the way.  I even coordinated the inaugural Central PA bottle share event, dubbed "Imminent Liquidation," which proved to be an enjoyable event for all who attended.  Brewslut even attended Great Taste of the Midwest in Madison, WI for a third time.  Sadly, band commitments kept me from attending in 2011.  However, I am hoping to go this coming year (see my 2012 Resolutions below)!

And now, as The Pour Travelers beer blog turns a year old, I'd like to look back and reflect on 2011.  Like our first birthday, this year featured many "firsts," especially in the local beer scene.  Selin's Grove brewed its first sour beer.  Spring House started its first mug club.  Pizza Boy Brewing Co. put its first beer on tap.  A little goat named Peggy became the first-ever three-legged goat to win the Sly Fox Goat Races.  I'm sure there are countless other firsts, but those are a few that immediately come to mind. 

Peggy racing on to victory!
This past year, quite a few of my favorite local brewpubs experienced some big changes.  Spring House opened an awesome new taproom in downtown Lancaster, and Matt has been belting out some impressive beers, especially in the Stout department.  One of my favorite brewers, Terry Hawbaker, left Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport to pursue a new brewing venture in Philadelphia, PA at Farmer's Cabinet.  Bullfrog's new brewer, Nate, has been doing a fantastic job keeping up with Terry's standards and hasn't missed a beat.  Another one of my favorite brewers, Paul Rutherford, left Iron Hill Lancaster to become the head brewer at the brand new Iron Hill Chestnut Hill (Philadelphia) location.  But perhaps the biggest change in the local beer scene was Tröegs packing up and leaving Harrisburg for a much bigger facility in Hershey, PA.  In case you've been living in a bubble, Tröegs' new home in Hershey opened to the public in October 2011.  For a little taste, check out my inaugural 2012 blog, Three Times the Tröegs.  This new brewery is indeed the beer mecca of the Central PA beer scene!

Some highlights of 2011:
1. Witnessing Peggy's victory at the Sly Fox Goat Races!
2. Drinking fresh Nelson at the source... Alpine Beer Company in Alpine, CA.
3. Attending Deschuttes 23rd Anniversary party in Portland, OR.
4. The inaugural Imminent Liquidation bottle share event!
5. Winning Drunkie McGee at Ffej of July 9: Ffej-olution #9... by accident!
6. Judging the first homebrew contest at Al's of Hampden's/Pizza Boy Brewing Co.
7. Visiting Hopfenstark in Montreal, Canada.
8. The return of Olde Frosty IPA at Selin's Grove and the brewery's 15th Anniversary!
9. Visiting Hill Farmstead Brewery in Vermont.
10. Seeing the new Troegs brewery for the first time.

Resolutions for the coming year:
1. Finally host my long-talked-about stout tasting.
2. Return to Portland for a REAL beer trip.
3. Finally get to Selin's Grove's Hops and Vines festival.
4. Get Ffej of JulIPA brewed for the 10th Anniversary of Ffej of July.
5. Have a Troegs beer named after me (OK, a long shot, I know)!
6. Visit Barcade Philly.  Classic arcade games + beer = awesomeness! 
7. Make Imminent Liquidation an annual event.
8. Get back out to Great Taste of the Midwest.
9. Increase my overall number of beer blogs on this site.

To all of the followers of The Pour Travelers... thank you for reading!  I hope you all have a fantastic 2012 and look forward to bumping into you at the next beer event.  Cheers!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Three Times the Tröegs!

I would be remiss if I didn't include something on this blog to celebrate the opening of the brand spanking new Tröegs brewery, now situated in chocolate capital of the United States - Hershey, PA.  Well, after seeing the new brewery, Hershey just might become the beer capital of the United States... at least for this avid beer aficionado! 

Enjoying a Scratch #56.  Mmmm... Simcoe hops!
First off, let me begin by stating that I am already embarrassed that I have not included anything about the new Tröegs brewery thus far on The Pour Travelers.  Shame on me, indeed!  Not only is Tröegs responsible for introducing me to craft beer (R.I.P. Rugged Trail), they are perhaps my favorite brewery in PA and also brew arguably my favorite beer of all time, Nugget Nectar.  So, when I found out that they were moving the brewery from its original location at Paxton Street, Harrisburg to Hershey Park Drive in Hershey, I was ecstatic!  It seems also important to mention that Tröegs tripled its floor space from 30,000 square feet at the old brewery to a whopping 90,000 square feet at the new Hershey facility!  What does this hopefully mean for everyone?  More Tröegs beer, of course!

For the past several years, I have enjoyed going to Tröegs during my lunch break or after work for special releases, firkin events, etc. due to my office's close proximity with the old brewery.  (I worked on Erford Road in Camp Hill, and a quick shot over the Harvey Taylor bridge landed me at Tröegs in about five minutes, barring any unforeseen traffic unpleasantries.)  Lucky for me, I found out that my company's Camp Hill office was closing and I would be working from home, coincidentally around the same time that Tröegs would open its new brewery in Hershey.  Since I am situated in Annville, Hershey is only a stone's throw away at only seven miles or so.  And with the tasting room's expanded hours, you can bet that I will be a fixture there!

On the afternoon of New Year's Eve 2011 (also Brewslut's birthday), we headed over to Tröegs to snap some long-overdue pictures for the blog and to raise our glasses one last time and give salute to 2011, which was a pretty damn good year for us, in retrospect.  (Editor's Note: My next blog is going to be a recap and year-end review, so stay tuned!)  So what better way to cap off a great year than with some great beer? 

The Scratch brewing system.
When we arrived, I was pleased to see that THREE Scratch beers were flowing, including the outstanding Scratch #56, a single-hopped Simcoe IPA.  The T2 Ale and new DIPA were also on tap, but the Simcoe IPA was just too damn good to justify getting something else in its place... so I drank three of them!  I'd also like to give a quick shout-out to my good friend Vicki, who is now working at Tröegs.  She had been my favorite female bartender at Appalachian Brewing Co. for years and a huge herbie fan, so I was delighted to learn that she was now working at Tröegs!

Scratch #56 stats.
If you have yet to visit the new brewery, you really need to get there pronto!  In addition to the gigantic tasting room, they also have an expanded gift shop that now includes mix-and-match six packs, plus a bevy of merchandise including everything from glassware to clothing to accessories.  You can also take a self-guided brewery tour, which provides insight on the brewing process, barrel aging, the bottling line, and the science behind making great beer.  Don't forget to get a beer before the tour!
Josh and I behind the counter.
If you go to the brewery hungry, you might be in for a rude awakening, especially if you visit on a weekday.  Aside from a bowl of hard pretzels, your only option is a frozen Salisbury steak microwaveable dinner for $10.  If you visit over the weekend, chances are good that a food truck will be there peddling its wares.  However, word on the street is that Tröegs will likely be contracting out a local catering company to provide simple yet fresh sandwich offerings on a daily basis.  Hopefully this will go into effect shortly, but for the time-being, you can still BYOF (Bring Your Own Food) or use the food truck.

Tröegs' hours of operation are Monday to Wednesday from 11am to 7pm and Thursday through Saturday from 11am to 8pm.  They are closed on Sundays.  See you there!