Mid Atlantic Brewing News April/May 2013 : Page 1
LITITZ BEER, YEAH LITITZ BEER. Surveying the beer scene in Lititz, Pa.: Across the street from the Bulls Head Public House, the brick building with the canopies is the future site of JoBoy's brewpub; the brick building under the word "Bulls" on the sign is the Sturgis Haus. PHOTO BY JESS WEBER By Jim Weber he results are in: Lititz, Pa. has trounced the Pa competition in the co Coolest Small Town C in America contest, as determined by fans of the de BudgetTravel website. B (Lititz beat runner-up (L Watkins Glen, NY by a W two-to-one margin.) Readers familiar with this historic burg, six miles north of Lancaster, might not be surprised at this accolade; the rest should check out why this town of 9,000 so easily won. Settled by Moravians in the mid-1700s, Lititz has a variety of historical buildings, shops, museums and tourist attractions, easily walkable and appealing to the whole family. They range from the Wilbur Chocolate By Larry Jackson reen Flash Brewing Co. has announced a site for its East Coast branch plant and like its hometown of San Diego, it’s a tourist-friendly beach town with a major U.S. Navy presence. On March 14, Virginia Beach Mayor William Paul Pendyck enjoys a hand-pulled ale at the Bulls Head Public House in Lititz, Pa., recently voted America’s coolest small town. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BULLS HEAD Sessons, Jr. ofﬁ cially welcomed Green Flash to the Old Dominion in his annual State of the City address. Brewery co-founders Lisa and Mike Hinkley, brewmaster Chuck Silva (like Hinkley, a Navy veteran), and members of the brewery’s board of See Green Flash p. 5 See Lititz p. 4 Inside Homebrew News ........................... 8 Fairy Hopmother ........................14 Book Review................................15 Maps ...................................... 20-23 Event Calendar ............................43 State by State News Virginia ...........16 C. Penn ............24 Philadelphia ...26 New Jersey .....28 Maryland ........31 E. Penn ............32 Baltimore ........34 W. Virginia ......36 D.C. ..................37 Delaware ........40
Big Beer Scene: Lititz Basks In Newfound Coolness
LITITZ BEER, YEAH LITITZ BEER. Surveying the beer scene in Lititz, Pa.: Across the street from the Bulls Head Public House, the brick building with the canopies is the future site of JoBoy's brewpub; the brick building under the word "Bulls" on the sign is the Sturgis Haus.
The results are in: Lititz, Pa. Has trounced the competition in the Coolest Small Town America contest, as determined by fans of the BudgetTravel website. Lititz beat runner-up Watkins Glen, NY by a two-to-one margin.)
Readers familiar with this historic burg, six miles north of Lancaster, might not be surprised at this accolade; the rest should check out why this town of 9,000 so easily won. Settled by Moravians in the mid-1700s, Lititz has a variety of historical buildings, shops, museums and tourist attractions, easily walkable and appealing to the whole family.
They range from the Wilbur Chocolate Co. And Sturgis Pretzel Museum to relaxing Lititz Springs Park, home to what’s claimed as America’s oldest Fourth of July Celebration (dating to 1813). Every February, Main Street shuts down for the Fire and Ice Festival, featuring a monumental chili cook-off and numerous ice sculptures gracing the sidewalks. Businesses in town range from pharmaceuticals to mousetraps to high-end concert audio gear.
And, of course, there’s the vibrant beer scene.
“What stands out is the strong sense of community and that people are proud of the town,” commented Paul Pendyck, partner in the General Sutter Inn/Bulls Head Public House at 14 E. Main St. After the Bulls Head was established in March 2010, Lititz started to become a beer destination. This is as authentic an English pub as one could find in America. Patrons must go to the bar to see the food and draft beer menu board and place their orders, which keeps folks circulating and striking up conversations. As Paul put it, “In England, you get a beer first, then find a seat.” The blessed absence of TV monitors also helps the conviviality. Paul notes that the Bulls Head has more regular customers than just about any place he’s seen.
Within less than half-a-mile, there are enough establishments for a decent pub crawl. Just down the block is the Sturgis Haus at 43 E. Main St. (not to be confused with the pretzel makers!), a brewpub owned by Jim and Heidi Ament. Jim has been selling his house-brewed ales for about a year and recently got approval to bottle. He makes about 12 different beers a year using a tidy 25-gallon induction-heated system. Jim prefers wheat-based styles, but the Krauses Haar, a 9. 7%-abv imperial IPA, is worth checking out. Upgrades underway include replacing the fourtap handle refrigerator with a breakfront that will have two three-handle trees on it.
Well known Appalachian Brewing Co. (ABC) at 55 N. Water St. opened last summer and now produces beer on site. Artie Tafoya, director of operations, and brewer David Passaniti broke in the 4.5-bbl Newlands system by mashing in an oatmeal stout. Dave learned a lot working with local brewers Jonathon Northup and Mike Price at St. Boniface Craft Brewing Co. In Ephrata. ABC’s ability to share specialty beers among its five brewing facilities allows the Lititz site to have 15 Appalachian beers on tap. The Wheat IPA was particularly good.
More on the Way
After three years in Manheim, Jeff Harless is moving JoBoy’s Brew Pub to Lititz, across the street from the Bulls Head. Jeff and his wife Maria will set up their brewing and barbecuing operations in the Rudy Building at 27 E. Main St. (most recently an indoor market) and plan to showcase their 4-bbl fermenters in the building’s large south-facing windows. Brewer Mike McGall should be working with an all-new 2-bbl Sabco system by the fall of the year. Track their progress at www.joboysbrewpub.com (and try the smoked cabbage).
One thing Lititz lacks is a decent bottle shop. Weis Markets at 740 S. Broad St. will shortly rectify that situation, as borough council just approved the transfer of a liquor license to their existing store a short drive down Route 501. This license will require separate entrance and registers and seating for 30 or more. With over 350 brands in its system (a selection determined by corporate management but with an eye towards local tastes), Weis, by the end of this year, should offer patrons a decent selection of year-round and seasonal offerings. Weis has 15 eateries with beer sales already in Pennsylvania and more are in the works.
Lititz is becoming not just a beer destination, but a cask ale destination. Bulls Head proprietor Paul Pendyck is also the owner of UK Brewing Supplies, a cask-beer equipment importer. Several years ago, he started hosting bi-monthly cask evenings in the breakfast room that eventually turned into the Bulls Head. Within a few months, they became so well attended that Paul moved them to the ballroom that also hosts periodic cask festivals. (The next such event will take place April 12-14, with dancing by the Kingsessing Morris Men in the afternoon on April 13.) There are always two hand pumps pouring beer in the pub, which received Britain’s Cask Marque certification in 2012.
ABC has two hand pumps dispensing cask ales, which are brewed at the Harrisburg facility. JoBoy’s also intends to install at least two hand pumps, affording real ale aficionados an amble that few American small towns can match.
West Coast Invasion Continues: Green Hash To Build Virginia Beach Brewery
Green Flash Brewing Co. has announced a site for its East Coast branch plant and like its hometown of San Diego, it’s a touristfriendly beach town with a major U.S. Navy presence.
On March 14, Virginia Beach Mayor William Sessons, Jr. Offi cially welcomed Green Flash to the Old Dominion in his annual State of the City address. Brewery cofounders Lisa and Mike Hinkley, brewmaster Chuck Silva (like Hinkley, a Navy veteran), and members of the brewery’s board of directors joined the mayor in a groundbreaking ceremony on a nine-acre industrial plot, future site of a 58,000-sq-ft plant slated to open in 2015. The new brewery will have a capacity of 100,000 bbl a year, which will likely make it the largest craft brewery in Virginia when it opens.
When beer enthusiasts think of Green Flash, they naturally associate it with West Coast IPA, their appropriately named flagship beer. They also produce over a dozen other brews, including Imperial IPA, Hop Head Red, Le Freak, Trippel Ale, Rayon Vert and Palate Wrecker - all of which will be produced at the new plant. There will be no attempt to make an East Coast IPA. As Mike Hinkley puts it, “We’re going to be a San Diego brewery operating in Virginia Beach.”
Not only will the new facility provide for more efficient delivery to its eastern markets (Green Flash sells 30% of its beer in the corridor between Boston and Atlanta), but it will include a tasting room, a retail store and a one-acre beer garden with a pavilion and picnic tables.
Hinkley said he made the decision to build an East Coast plant about a year ago and spent about nine months scouting possible sites. “We had originally crossed Virginia Beach off the list,” he admitted. But that was before the Virginia legislature passed SB 604, a bill to allow production breweries to sell beer on-premise. “That was instrumental in getting us to take another look.”
He declined to name other sites under consideration. However, Mayor Sessoms said it was his understanding that Virginia Beach was in competition with Wilmington, NC. North Carolina had already enticed three other western breweries to open East Coast branches. Oskar Blues opened its Brevard brewery and restaurant last Dec. 12, Sierra Nevada is set to start brewing at its Mills River facility this fall, and New Belgium’s Asheville brewery is scheduled for a 2015 opening.
In an interview a week before the groundbreaking, Mayor Sessoms said he was excited about the major capital investment in the city and the 40+ jobs that the brewery will provide. “In the past, I’ve preferred light type beers,” he admitted, “but I’m looking forward to sampling some of the Green Flash beers.” Sessoms also recalled Chesapeake Bay Brewing Co., a long-defunct microbrewery that became one of the Mid-Atlantic’s first craft brewers when it opened in 1984. “A friend of mine, who passed away, was a major investor,” he noted. “It was ahead of its time, but undercapitalized.”
The East Coast branch of Green Flash will stand on the northwest corner of General Booth Blvd. And Corporate Landing Pkwy. The area is zoned for industry, but it’s just three miles from the ocean front and only a mile from the city’s aquarium, popular destinations for the five million visitors who check out the city annually.
This marks Green Flash’s second expansion since its founding 11 years ago. It moved from Vista, Calif. To San Diego’s Mira Mesa neighborhood in 2011. Green Flash pumped out “42,000 barrels and change” last year, estimated Hinkley, “and we think we’ll do 65,000 bbl this year.” His goal is to expand Green Flash’s market from 38 states to all 50 once the Virginia Beach plant gets rolling. He added, "I suppose, if we run out of capacity on both the West and East Coasts, that we will build another small brewery in the middle of the country."
In keeping with the spirit of "collabpetition," brewmaster Silva commented, "It’s very important to be a positive contributor to the community of brewers.” To this end, Green Flash’s East Coast facility will include a quality-control laboratory that will be open to Virginia’s smaller breweries. As for collaborations with East Coast breweries, Hinkley answered, “It’s a certainty, I would say, although we don’t have anything finalized yet.”
Greg Kitsock contributed to this article.