Recently I asked a couple of friends of zoowithroy.com if they would want to come in to design, brew a beer, and enter into a competition amongst each other. Those friends were Ryan @petzrawr, Craney @cranekicker, and Alexandra @Alex_Reardon. Petz brewed a Czech Pilsner and naturally named it @petzrawr Pilsner, Alex will be brewing a Bock and naturally she called Instigator because she starts trouble and Craney is brewing a beer with Sorachi Ace hops (Japanese hops) and calling it Aka-Oni (The Red Devil, Charlie Manuels nickname when he played in Japan). All three will be released separately, but on Friday, July 27th at 5 p.m. all three beers will be on tap. The competition will take place from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the 27th and here is how it works. When you come in you can vote for one of the three beers and at 9 p.m. when we stop the voting, the beer with the most votes wins(hopefully we kick a keg so we have a clear winner). If you voted for that beer you have a chance to win the grand prize. We’ll pull one ticket from the winning beers ticket basket and you win the opportunity to come in to design your own beer, brew it, and name it. As an extra bonus you will also win a $200.00 StubHub gift certificate, which you will OBVIOUSLY use to go see your Fightin’ Philadelphia Phillies.
I asked each of the guest brewers to write a little something for the blog after they brew. First up is Petz, whose beer goes on tap tomorrow at 5 p.m. Here is what he had to say about his brew day.
“I was ecstatic when Vince invited me to Iron Hill to brew my very own beer. I was less ecstatic when he told me a few days before I was scheduled to come in and brew just how much work was going to be involved in the process. I don’t know what exactly I expected, but whatever it was, it certainly wasn’t 10 hours of hard labor.
I’m a beer-lover. I thought I knew all there was to know about the process. But when Vince started describing all the variables that went into making this Pilsner, I started flashing back to chemistry class. I didn’t exactly think this dude sat around knocking back beers all day or anything, but I didn’t know he works as hard as he does to produce these brews for us. It’s unbelievable.
I think you’re really going to like Petzrawr Pilsner. I wanted to create a beer that wasn’t too heavy but wasn’t too bland. Most of all, I wanted a beer that was refreshing. Basically, I wanted something that I could drink a bunch of on a hot summer day as I listen to the Phillies on the radio in my back yard. I think we’ve done that with Petzrawr Pilsner.”
There you have it kids. Stay tuned for the release dates of Alex’s And Craney’s beers. Oh ZWR, I didn’t forget about you. Lookin good hammer!
There are few days in the brewery that are as fun as when you get to taste a beer out of one of your aging barrels. Cabernet barrel, bourbon barrel, bourbon barrel with vanilla beans, Sauvignon Blanc barrel spiked with some kind of delicious, funky, sour, Belgian love. It doesn’t matter, they are all fun. It kind of feels like when I was a kid and I opened my new “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Sewer Playset.” Yes, I really do measure my present happiness up against the pure bliss of a sewer playset. I believe one of the reasons it is so exciting to finally open a barrel and taste it is because each layer of flavor that is provided by the barrel is immensely complex. For example, last year I aged Russian Imperial Stout in a bourbon barrel for 6 months. The morning we opened that barrel and had our first taste, I immediately loved the soft vanilla character we seemed to get from the oak. It’s so much more smooth than any extract you can buy. The oak, charred oak, and sweet bourbon characters were evident alongside the chocolate and roast flavors from the Russian Imperial Stout, but the vanilla undertone really seemed to hold the entire beer together. It is still one of my favorite beers we have ever had on tap.
With that in mind, I decided to get serious about a barrel program here at North Wales. As part of this program I had to remove our old six-foot stainless steel table and replace it with a much smaller 2 foot version.
This opened up enough space for us to add six bourbon barrels to the brewery. Naturally we brewed Russian Imperial Stout and filled all six bourbon barrels with it. Russian Imperial Stout has already begun it’s long journey to becoming; “The Grand Inquisitor”. We have a really special plan for a single barrel release of one of these barrels. It will involve a local charity, and a golden ticket contest for our first ever single barrel release of 750 ml Bottled Reserves of The Grand Inquisitor. The bottles will be individual numbered and signed by Craig and I. The event and release date will be September 15th, 190 days from now. For now, The Grand Inquisitor sits and waits. Mark September 15th on your calendar. Follow the countdown to The Grand Inquisitor on twitter #grandcountdown
It has been a while since I updated my blog. I am sorry for the lack of news, but brewing during the busiest time of the year got the better of me and I slacked on my updates. I’m back now though with a lot of news on what’s been happening in the brewery.
Introducing our new Assistant Brewer, Craig Smith.
Craig worked on the bottling line with our friends at Yards. He homebrews, cooks and loves sunsets (I’m pretty sure he said that). With the amount of beers we plan on making, you are going to see A LOT of Craig. Welcome aboard hammer.
As for the upcoming events we have planned, some are just save the dates but you will get the idea.
February 29th we have a mug club appreciation event where we will tap a 3 year keg of The Quadfather(12 0z pours only) and announce our plans for the next “leap year beer” (so ambitious).
March 2nd is Firkin Friday-We will tap a cask of Belgian Tripel that has been “dry hopped” with East Kent Golding and Styrian Golding hops for a spicy, earthy, floral character.
March 9th we tap Russian Imperial Stout…….One of my favorite beers on the planet.
March 14th we tap Winston’s Wee Heavy(Winston, as in my dog) and hold an event to help out the “Keystone K-9′s search and rescue team“ that our Bar Manager Dan Speed belongs to. Dan Speed………………One of my favorite bartenders on the planet. Rumor has it that we are going to do a “cutest pet photo contest” and the winning pet gets a beer named after them. Bring pictures in with you so we can vote!
March 17th we have a cask event at North Wales, that is part of a larger Iron Hill cask event. More details to follow in another post.
March 20th we have a 6 course Beer and Chocolate pairing event with “Didi” from Didi’s Chocolates from 6-8 pm. Call 267-708-2000 for reservations.
March 25th Brewmaster’s Beer Brunch-Menu to follow in next post. Call 267-708-2000 for reservations.