Ep. 17: Turf Wars and Vacuum Reviews

In Episode 17 of the Operation Shutdown, I welcome back friends of the show Easy Pretzel, and Ed Grohl. We discussed: waiting in the cold for a four-pack, some recent stories about the coming turf war in craft beer, a few breweries that are closing or are for sale, and Ed gives our listeners a vacuum recommendation.

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You can listen by clicking the bar immediately below or by subscribing on iTunes.

What we were drinking:

Ed: Pork Chop Sandwiches by Voodoo Brewing
Dave: Fruit Infused Water by Capital Region Water Company and Costco
Bearcat: Kettleface by St. Boniface Brewing Co. and Columbia Kettle Works, Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA by New Belgium

Follow up: A quick update from Ep. 16 regarding Tattered Flag Brewing Middletown and Troegs Independent Brewing.

Link Dump:
Logging Camp (Maple IPA) by Columbia Kettle Works
Pork Chop Sandwiches!
The Coming Turf War in Craft Beer
Six Breweries for Sale or Closing in Oregon
Westvleteren XII (Westy XII)
Delirium
Delirium Cafe
Is the Pittsburgh craft beer market tapped out?
Dancing Gnome Brewery
Mindful Brewing Company
11th Hour Brewing Co.
Brew Gentlemen of Braddock and their “Year of No.”
Millworks, Harrisburg
Ever Grain Brewing Co.
Stone Double Bastard Bigger Longer Uncut (Scotch Barrel Aged Strong Ale)
Untappd Digital Boards in Bars
NTN Trivia
LegenDairy Episode of Operation Shutdown
Boneshire Brew Works
Goose Island Bourbon County Proprietors (2014)
Ed’s New Vacuum — Bissel ClearView Pet Vacuum
Garage Racer IPA by Rubber Soul Brewing Co.
DINKs
Wonderlic Test
Shower Beer
Sprint Football
Franklin Pierce (NOT Easy Pretzel’s favorite President)
Sapp/Clifton Hit Ed Note: For the record Sapp was a dirty player.

Be sure to stick around for the After Show.

You can listen by clicking above or find The Operation Shutdown on iTunes. If you use iTunes, please consider subscribing. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider leaving a review and sharing it with a friend.

Cheers!

Ep. 16 Beer in Review

In Episode 16 of the Operation Shutdown, I welcome back friends of the show Easy Pretzel, and Ed Grohl and we are joined by special guest Jeff Kupko. We discussed our favorite beers from 2016, Troegs Independent Brewing Company’s transparency, obligations to their customers, and their abysmal parking lot, as well as our thoughts after a shared happy hour at Tattered Flag in Middletown, and Ed’s love for everyone and everything.

Update: Tattered Flag reached out to me via direct message after listening to the episode and had the following to say: ” I just wanted to let you know that after I heard a complaint, that night, I did check it, I’ve actually been constantly checking that beer since before we put it on tap, nervous that the sourness was a sign of infection. I’ve had weekly tasting panels, and today after listening to you guys I had another professional brewer try it. We are not getting infection taste but your review and others on Untappd have my attention. It’s a 50/50 love hate in the brewery with that beer.”

Tony (the brewer) offered for us to come back and visit along with a sit down to discuss the beers. I have taken him up on the offer and invited him to appear on a future episode of the Operation Shutdown. I want to offer my appreciation for Tony reaching out and writing to me directly and to reiterate that our time TF was really great and if you go (and you should go) be sure to check out the double IPA.

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Easy Pretzel’s haul from an epic Smokey and the Bandit style run to the North East.

You can listen by clicking the bar immediately below or by subscribing on iTunes.

What We Were Drinking:

Resolute BBA – Brothers Craft Brewing
Rebel Raw – Boston Brewing
Pumpkinator Imperial Pumpkin Stout – Saint Arnold Brewing Company (Editor. Gross)
Java Cask – Victory Brewing Company
Kevin Kevin Sour IPA – The Veil Brewing Company
Recurrent – Wicked Weed Brewing Co.
Jai Alai IPA – Cigar City Brewing Co. 

Some of Our Favorite Beers From 2016:

It’s Complicated Being a Wizard DIPA – Burlington Beer Company
Helms Deep – Three Taverns Brewery
Juicy – Hill Farmstead
Even More Jesus – Evil Twin Brewing
Green – Tree House Brewing Company
Double Dry Hopped Galaxy Fort Point and Fort Point – Trillium
Gbop – New England Brewing
Coconut Porter – Broken Compass Brewing
Toof Toof Ache Ache – The Veil Brewing
Morning Wood – Funky Buddha Brewery
El Jefe – J. Wakefield Brewing
Liminal Moment – South County Brewing Company
Joose Juicy – Ever Grain Brewing Co.
Tickle Me Nelmo –  Mission Creek Brewing Co. (Editor: Extra points for 2nd coolest name ever.)
Excommunication – Max Lager’s
PNC – Firestone Walker
Oro Negro (BBA) – Jackie O’s
Barrel Aged Devil’s Abyss – Jagged Mountain Brewery
Nimble Giant and Barrel Aged Flying Mouflan – Troegs Independent Brewing
Tweak – Avery Brewing Co.
InTenSity BBA Barleywine – Hoppin Frog Brewery
Mexican Cake – Westbrook Brewing Co.
Simcoe Nerd – Sole Artisan Brewing
Lacto Calrissian Sour Double IPA – Pizza Boy Brewing Co. (Editor: Coolest Name Ever.)
Tropical Bitch – Flying Dog Brewery (Editor: Even thought its not good.)
Santé-16! – Brasserie Fantôme

Link Dump of Other Stuff We Discussed:

Frank Pepe’s Pizza
Sole’s Society
Bearcat’s Lacto Calrissian Post
Sour Murren River (Code Name Allison) Pizza Boy Brewing
LegenDairy IPA and Ep. 13 The LegenDairy Podcast
Michigan Maple Jesus – Evil Twin
Tattered Flag Brewery and Still Works
Beer Busters Podcast (Editor: It’s a very well done podcast.)
Steph and Richard Heffner from The Beer Busters Podcast
Tactical Nuclear Penguin – Brew Dog
Sink the Bismarck – Brew Dog
Tottenham Hotspur
Warwick Hotel (AKA – The Wick)

Be sure to stick around for the After Show where we discuss: Rogue One (No spoilers… I promise), The Pinstripe Bowl, Ed is drunk (again) and so am I.

You can listen by clicking above or find The Operation Shutdown on iTunes. If you use iTunes, please consider subscribing. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider leaving a review and sharing it with a friend.

Cheers!

Post Script:

If the episode is a little choppy when you are listening I apologize. I had some technical difficulties during the recording but I think this episode turned out pretty well despite the issues. I am working on a solution to eliminate this in the future. (Podcasting is hard.)

A quick aside: The LegenDairy Milk Shake IPA by Pizza Boy Brewing discussed at length in Ep. 13 of the Podcast made a Top Ten list for 2016. Thank you to BreweriesInPA.com.

Thank you to everyone that appeared on the show over 2017: Fetish Brewing, Sara Bozich, Tierney Pomone, Ffej Herb, Chelsie Markel, Al Kominski, Bryan D. Roth, and Jeff Kupko.

But the biggest of appreciation is for you, the listeners. I can’t say how proud I am of the fact that the show grew from single digits to 200+ listeners in just 15 episodes. I am very thankful for each and everyone of you. I hope that you continue to listen through 2017 and beyond.

Also Easy, Ed, and I have some big plans in the works for the near and not so near future involving the podcast. I am very excited for what the future will bring and we can’t wait to share it all… when the time is right.

From Easy, Ed, and I we wish you health, happiness and good beers in the new year. Cheers!

Ep. 15 Christmas Spectacular

In Episode 15 of the Operation Shutdown, I welcome back friends of the show Easy Pretzel,  and Ed Grohl to discuss what we are drinking over Christmas, Jim Koch’s loosening grip on craft beer (punctuated by this recent article), Easy Pretzel takes a nap, we fight though technical difficulties and some very special guests.

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You can listen by clicking the bar immediately below of by subscribing on iTunes.

Beers We Drank:

Red Brick Brewing Company Vanilla Gorilla
Stone Brewing Company Enjoy by 12-26-16 Virginia Brewery Prototype
BBA Ten-Fidy Oskar Blues
Evolution Brewing Company Lot 6 Double IPA

Link Dump:

Enjoy After Series by Stone
Boston Brewing Company’s Rebel Raw
Scratch 83 – Impending Descent
The Impending Descent YouTube Announcement
Beast Ice is now 6.9% ABV and they bought a big ass billboard to tell everyone about it.
Theo Armstrong Brewmaster at ZerØday Brewing Company
DTF Saison
Ryan DeLutis Brewmaster at The Brewery at Hershey
Merlot Mike’s Purple Suit
Eddie’s Harrisburg
Bryan D. Roth of This is Why I Am Drunk
Central PA Six-Pack
Mike Tomlin’s Saint Vincent College Commence Speech

Be sure to stick around for the After Show: We discuss the show’s technical difficulties, football, Yinzer fans, and our teams’ prospects for the post-season..

You can listen by clicking above or find The Operation Shutdown on iTunes. If you use iTunes, please consider subscribing. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider leaving a review and sharing it with a friend.

Cheers!

 

Ep. 14: Bourbon Barrel Aged Splenda

In Episode 14 of the Operation Shutdown, I welcome back friends of the show Easy Pretzel,  and Ed Grohl to discuss bourbon barrel aged beers, Black Friday as a craft beer holiday, and Easy’s Splenda intake.

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Beers and Coffee We Drank:
A Night on Ponce by Three Taverns Brewery
#BOC Black Label by Voodoo Brewery
Starbucks with Nonfat Milk and Three Splenda

Link Dump:

Gentrification of Food
Chicken + Beer
Brew Gentlemen
Braddock, PA
Roundabout Brewery
Appalachian Brewing Company
Pittsburgh Toilet
Bourbon Barrel Aged Impending Descent by Troegs Independent Brewing
Shady McGrady’s
Shady’s Twitter Trolling
Hunger-n-Thirst
White Hill Cafe “Where Professionals Drink”
Don’t Drink Beer (The Internet’s Best Beer Blog)
Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon
Columbian Coffee Crystals
Hildy’s Tavern
Boneshire Brew Works (We will be getting Alan on in 2017… Right Alan?
The Wrecking Bar
The Porter Beer Bar
Max Lager’s

Be sure to stick around for the After Show: We discuss Easy and Ed’s recent trips to watch football games where Easy spends all is money on a 12 pack of beer and Ed drinks on the kindness of strangers and big corporate beer like a hobo.

You can listen by clicking above or find The Operation Shutdown on iTunes. If you use iTunes, please consider subscribing. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider leaving a review and sharing it with a friend.

Cheers!

Post-Script:

After 14 Episodes I am really starting to feel like the show has taken on a certain form. I do think that by and large the later episodes are an improvement over the prior ones. But as I prepare for 2017 and a whole new run of podcasts I would love to hear from you, the listeners. I would love  to know what you think of the show.

What can we do better?  What kind of guests would you like to see? What topics should Easy, Ed, and I pretend to have an authoritative voice about in the future? Which world leader would you think is most likely to end up on the show accidentally and do you think they actually like Fruit IPAs?

Hit me up in the comments below, via email BearcatOnBeer@gmail.com or Twitter @BearcatOnBeer.

Ep. 13 The LegenDairy Podcast

In Episode 13 of the Operation Shutdown, I welcome back friends of the show Easy PretzelEd Grohl and special guest Al Kominski of Al’s of Hampden and Pizza Boy Brewing.

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Al was kind enough to invite us to come to his place, lend a hand in his brewing process for a couple Milk Sugar IPAs and then we got a deep tour of the brewery.

A special thanks to Al for welcoming us into his workday, for buying us a couple beers and for answering the dozens and dozens of questions that we asked about his business, his BrauKon system, the pizza shop and his history, and the wider craft beer industry in PA.

This episode is broken into three parts:

Part 1: My Interview with Al at the brewery

Part 2: Dave, Ed, and I reviewing our brew day

Part 3: Post LegenDairy Release thoughts from Dave, Ed, and I

 

Link Dump:

Al’s of Hampden/Pizza Boy Brewing
Tired Hands
LegenDairy IPA Peach
LegenDairy IPA Pineapple
PA’s New Six-Pack Law
The Brewery at Hershey: Special Ops Mango Milk Shake IPA
Ryan DeLutis (Head Brewer at The Brewery at Hershey)
Shangy’s Beer Distributor
Westy’s Beer Distributor
DTF 2.0 by ZerØday Brewing Company (Yes that is a whole tree going into the boil.)
Monk’s Cafe in Center City Philadelphia

Here are some photos from our brew day:

The recipe
Al slinging fresh kegs for distribution
Eric dropping some Simcoe hops
Your host tasting the warm fresh wort

No After Show this week but there is a ton of stuff in this episode and I really hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed brewing, drinking the beer, and then talking about it.

You can listen by clicking above or find The Operation Shutdown on iTunes. If you use iTunes, please consider subscribing. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider leaving a review and sharing it with a friend.

Cheers!

Post-Script:

A huge thank you to Al, Terry, and Roger for being such gracious hosts.

Special thanks to Eric, a loyal listener that came out on our brew day. It was great to have him at the brew day with us and we are very thankful for his input into this show that day.

And a special thank you to all the people that tried LegenDairy and took the time to reach out to us and let us know their thoughts on the beer. Can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoyed hearing from you guys.

Sorry I it took so long to get this episode up but there was a bit of editing involved and I wanted all the parts to come together prior to publishing. I think it was worth the wait. 

If you have not tried the beer yet… Please run down to Al’s to check it out before it is gone because once it is sold out Al and Terry are not brewing it again.

Ep. 12: This Podcast is Overrated

In Episode 12 of the Operation Shutdown, I welcome friends of the show Easy Pretzel and Ed Grohl.

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In this episode we discuss underrated and overrated things in and around within Craft Beer including: your buddy’s half assed home brew, beer fests, PC overreaction to beer labels, and my deep hate for YouTube beer reviews. Links to some truly shitty YouTube beer reviews below.

 

Beers we drank:
Molson Golden
Focal Banger, The Alchemist
Double Jack, Firestone Walker (To be discontinued)
Who’s On First?, Jake Wakefield Brewing
Troegenator BBA (2016), Tröegs Independent Brewing
Swamp Witch and Rage Quit, Sole Artisan Ales 
Presidente Cerveza

Link Dump:

Buffalo Bills Ass Luge (NSFW link)
Blue Monk, Buffalo, NY (Now Closed)
Toronado Bar, San Diego CA
Taco Mac
Portsmouth Brewery 
District 9
Jack Abby Brewing
Tom Brady’s Foot Locker Commercial
Bud Dry (Why ask Why?)
Bud Bowl V

Be sure to stick around for the After Show; it was a total mess but a good time.

You can listen by clicking above or find The Operation Shutdown on iTunes. If you use iTunes, please consider subscribing. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider leaving a review and sharing it with a friend.

Cheers!

Giving Cancer the Finger

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Photo Credit to Ms. Brandalynn Armstrong

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men, second only to skin cancer. It is also highly treatable; especially with early detection.

That last part is the key. Men have to be checked. Checking the prostate involves getting to a doctor, getting over yourself and letting a doctor in the back door. It is not a big deal and it can save your life or more importantly your sex life.

November is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. In order raise awareness, to convince men to get themselves checked, and to raise some money for the cause, ZerØday Brewing Company brewed Double Finger Double IPA. A big and intense Double IPA brewed with Loral Hops a new variety that I first encountered and wrote about when drinking 291 Experimental IPA at Moo-Duck Brewery in Elizabethtown.

The notes found in the 291 IPA are found in abundance in the Double Finger. To the point where I wondered if they were the same hop variety. The Double IPA essentially took the floral and lemony citrus flavors to 11. The dark fruit notes I recalled from the former beer were not as prevalent in the latter. Loral hops is a remarkable hop variety in the intensity of the notes and their starkness. These are easy to define flavors that just work.

The strong malts of this beer buttresses the hops and gives it exceptional mouthfeel. The two together lubricate the beer and allow the high ABV to slip in with ease. There is no astringency here. You can relax and just ride this one out.

ZerØday did a kickoff party that I could not attend but looked to be a great time. This really drove the point home for those in attendance and paying attention on social media about the need to get yourself checked. But Theo and Brandalynn aren’t just stepping up with awareness; you can’t pay the bills with that. Of the proceeds for Double Finger, 10% of this 10% beer will be going towards the cause and will really penetrate the problem.

This is a very good beer and by drinking it you are doing a little good too.

Don’t Fear The Finger.

Post-Script:

#NovemBEER

ZerØday also released a beer this past weekend for and in conjunction with the Harrisburg Marathon. It is Air Horn One, a session IPA. It is showing up all around HBG in bars that partner with ZerØday. I have not had it yet but you should probably check it out as their session IPAs have been generally pretty good.

ZerØday has really taken on an important role in the Midtown of Harrisburg. They are part of the neighborhood and it’s things like these beers and inviting people into the process that makes them feel like part of the community more than just the neighborhood watering hole.

Maybe the biggest driver of that, but few have noticed, is the fact that ZerØday is occasionally a classroom as Theo and Brandalynn are teaching a brewing sciences class on behalf of HACC. Which has me asking: “What aren’t they doing right now?”

I really tried to keep the double entendres to a minimum but even this line feels like one.