is an ancient and worldwide libation and social lubricant. I have met so
many great people throughout the craft brewing movement and made life-long
friends in some instances. Our travels have taken us to many wonderful
In the last several years, my friend and colleague, Gary Monterosso, and myself toured with Michael Jackson, the Beerhunter, my wife and I made trips to Hunter Mountain for the Tap NY Fest in April, our annual trip to the State College Microbrewers' Expo in July and five trips to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival. In addition, we've attended a lot of other local festivals.....Michael Jackson Tasting at U of P, Brandywine Fest at Iron Hill-Media, the Garden State Brewers Guild Fest, Mondial de la Biere in Montreal and Farm to City fest in Old City . Added to the list are a multitude of beer dinners at Monk's Cafe in Phila, Heavyweight Open Houses and dinners, Tun Tavern dinners, BA pub crawls in suburban Philadelphia, Brewers' Reserve Nights at Iron Hill, trips to Blind Tiger and Spuyten Duyvil in NYC, and my personal Beer Nights with all our local beer lovers. Needless to say, it has been a very full existence.
Beer traveling is a great pastime and one that even a family can undertake. Many brewpubs make their own soda and have activities for children while the parents enjoy the beer. Despite what the Neo-Prohibitionists want you to believe, teaching your children responsible drinking is not a crime and you will find that the desire to abuse the "forbidden fruit" will be reduced. We know that our prohibitive system doesn't work, don't you think it's finally time for us to try something new? Belgium is a great example of this ideology. We visited brewpubs where the kids are there having their lunch and, although allowed to imbibe, they choose not to. On the weekends, you see them congregated at the pubs with all their friends, but very little overindulgence taking place. Every year, the Boy Scouts sell beer to raise money for their programs!! Though people drink beer at almost every meal there, the percentage of alcoholism is lower than here!? We just can't see the forest for the trees, can we? Those who need to justify their jobs are in control and want to perpetuate an antiquated system.
Well, enough of my proselytizing!
Brewpubs are a phenomenon that have taken over a good segment of the beer marketing in the U.S. Many have become our "local" where we enjoy a freshly made brew made by a "local" and served right from the tanks. They have also contributed much to the proliferation of styles that has exploded in the last couple of years. Unique beers and "on the edge" interpretations of other styles have emerged from the kettles of these limited production facilities with a built-in customer base. If their customers won't buy it, down the drain it goes!
Visit websites like pubcrawler.com or beerme.com to find stops along your route.
Also, beeradvocate.com is a great resource for all that is beer. Jason & Todd have done a lot to bring good beer to the forefront of, not only the Northeast, but nationally and internationally as well. Be sure to visit their website often and send a donation to keep it going. Read and write reviews for your favorite beers and enjoy the gatherings nationwide.
As always, I'd like to thank friends Matt, Doug & Ryan from my local beer bar, Firewaters, a 50 tap-100 bottle beer bar in Atlantic City(see article) for all the fine beers they get for us to drink. When you're in the area, be sure to stop at the Tropicana for a beer!
Ted Briggs of Tun Tavern, my one and only brewpub in the area, makes some great beers, but is definitely unappreciated by the crowds that visit the facility and drink Coors, Bud or Tun Light. His repertoire would be much more versatile if the market allowed. Keep up the good work, Ted!
Bill Lihou, manager at Circle Liquor in Somers Point, NJ, deserves another "thank you" for putting up with my incessant ordering of beers I see in magazines and brewspapers. Look forward to more of the same! Sorry!
Hope you find my site interesting enough to visit once in a while. I update it at least once a month. If there's something you would like to see on the site, let me know and I will try my best to get it.
Keep passing the word of good beer, we're rattling the cages of the megabrewers which will only help us bring the mainstreamers into the fold.