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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!


  1. The phrase is "for all intents and purposes" not "for all intensive purposes" which, to me, doesnt make a whole heck of a lot of sense. Just thought you'd want to know since the world is your reader.

  2. HA! You know what? I was just talking about this to my wife the other day when I heard the phrase and realized I have been saying this incorrectly for, well, my whole life. Thanks for sending the Grammar Police my way.

  3. No sweat. Once you start writing stuff you've been saying forever, it hits you a different way and you start noticing and thinking about it more. Keep on learning.



The Pour Travelers thank you for reading about our beer travels!