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Monday, January 28, 2013

Pizza Boy: Killin' It!

I suppose it's about time that I give mad props to Pizza Boy Brewing Company for recently killing it.  The term "killing it" refers, of course, to making a string of some simply amazing beers over the last several months. Ever since Al's of Hampden burst onto the Central PA Beer Scene, owner Al Kominski has done nothing but cater to beer geeks and, in turn, created perhaps THE premier craft beer destination on the West Shore. 

Al and I enjoying a beer at Al's of Hampden
Al's beer geekdom eventually rose to new heights when, in 2011, he installed a state-of-the-art, 15-hectoliter BrauKon brewery in the basement of the current Al's of Hampden location.  He quickly jumped into the deep end and began brewing in earnest, producing several test batches.  Citing Pizza Boy as a work in progress, some of the beers were fantastic, while some were less than stellar.  But for someone with literally no brewing experience whatsoever, Al was definitely on the right track.  Some early favorites include his Pilsner, Citra IPA and Arck Angel 4IPA.  This long and winding track eventually led Al to a goldmine, when ex-Bullfrog Brewery head brewer Terry Hawbaker signed on as Pizza Boy's official brewer.  Needless to say, the throngs of local Bullfrog/Terry fans were ecstatic (myself and Brewslut included), and since Terry's appointment, Pizza Boy has been knocking beers out of the proverbial park. 
Terry and I at Little Amps Coffee in Harrisburg
The beer that deserves the most praise, in my humble opinion, is Sunny Side Up / Little Amps, a massive yet incredibly smooth 11% Imperial Stout brewed with coffee beans from the local Harrisburg coffee shop, Little Amps.  I will go on record and say that this is my favorite Coffee Stout I've ever had.  If you get a chance to try this beer via a firkin or beer engine, then you are in for a serious treat.  Seriously folks, this might be my beer of 2012!
Enjoying a Sunny Side Up / Little Amps Coffee Stout
Ironically, my next blog will most likely be a re-cap of yesterday's bottling of the first-ever Pizza Boy bottled beer.  Terry asked Brewslut (a part-time employee at Al's) and myself to help with the bottling, and we were happy to assist.  But more on that later.  For now, get yourself over to Al's for some Sunny Side Up / Little Amps and judge for yourself!

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