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.


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.



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.


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
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.



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.


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.



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.

Operation Shutdown cover art 3

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.


Giving Cancer the Finger

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.



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.

Babe Was a Good Car…

A car can be a funny thing. It is not a person or a pet but it has personality. We put it on them but it can feel real. Mine always felt athletic, bossy, a little sheepish of its few but obvious faults and a little sexy.

I got my Beemer more than seven years ago. She was gently used yet she sat and waited on a dealer’s lot for months. I visited her a couple times before finally picking her up; it was only after being told that if I did not buy her she was going to the auction,

Sometime later I met my old college roommate on the way to see a USMNT match. When he saw the car he mentioned that he had to listen to me always talking about how I wanted a BMW. He was right… I had wanted one since before I could drive.

Later while having a pint and getting a Growler fill at the old Troegs in Harrisburg a kid in a Jeep backed into the bumper. Cracked it badly enough as to replace the whole piece. He had left a note and his insurance took care of it but it was her first of many “bumps.”

On my way out of town on a business trip but still in Elizabethtown, I was stopped in the middle of the roadway while a mother duck and her many ducklings were crossing the road. The little furry ducklings were struggling to keep up and I watched as they waddled along.  I looked up and Dodge Ram was coming down the hill. I was at a dead stop. I looked at the ducks still in the road, looked up in the rear view mirror, looked at the ducks, heard the tires locking up on a big heavy truck and then held hard on to the steering wheel…. Crunch.

Everyone, the driver of the truck, the guy that did the estimate, the adjuster, the body shop guy all asked… “Where the ducks okay?” “Yeah… they all made it across okay.”

They put her back together again just like she was.

I drove like a mad man with my fully in labor wife in the passenger seat. I watched her hold on for dear life to the door handle while contractions coursed through her abdomen. Holding her hand telling her it was going to be okay while I made a 45-minute drive in 30. Thinking… Please don’t have this baby in my front seat.

Twice I watched helplessly as she was turned into a big blue golf ball as hail rained down upon her. Fixed both times.

Then two years ago she started to leak oil a little. Not bad… It was just a bit. I would say that she always did that but now it was a little more. It never leaked on the drive way or in a parking lot but the signs were there.

Electrical gremlins appeared with a dash that lit up like a Christmas tree. My tolerant wife never complained even though I know she never trusted the car after that. She knew I loved it and would never say a word.

Another car crunched the rear quarter panel a year ago. I was worried she would be totaled. But they fixed that too.

Eventually the oil leak became prominent and the car needed more investment than what she was worth on the paper. I dragged her on for months. The rear suspension started to sound like newlyweds on a cheap hotel mattress but I just turned up the stereo and tried to ignore that one speaker that is probably/maybe blown out.

The once vault like cabin of German steel now let in road noise, various other sounds resulting in a general din.

The one key stopped working even with a new battery.

The more than a decade old Bluetooth system in the car (one of the first) had always been flaky at best, but now was downright unreliable.

The engine still pulled like a freight train and the sound of the mechanical whirl of the inline six revving towards the red line was always sexy as hell.

She started without fail every time but as the cold weather came over the past two years she sounded hungover when doing so.

She had more horsepower than I needed but as much as I wanted.

RWD made driving in the snow and adventure by always fun. She was better at it than she should have been due to good tires.

Her name was Babe. I am really going to miss her.


I drank a Brooklyn Beer Pennant Ale ’55 while writing this. It too was past its date.

I got to own my dream car from when I was a kid; a BMW. I always wanted a 3 series. This one, a 330i (E90), had the bigger naturally aspirated inline six. It was nearly perfect. Everyone should get to own their dream car.

All cars are female.

You should name you car.

Zoom… Zoom…

I Vote We Have a Drink

This counts as an emergency.
There are a few events in any given year in which we all come together to experience an event together. The one that always comes to mind is New Years Eve. We stop to mark the passing of time, to recall the prior year and to revel in the hope of a new one.

But Election Day in America is not that much different. After going to the polls many of us will tune in to watch the votes be counted, to watch for the election of a new president and to hope.

So tomorrow, I hope you will have done your civic duty and then settle in like millions of Americans to watch and when you do it will likely be with your favorite beverage.

Therefore, I reached out to some friends of the blog and The Operation Shutdown to ask them what they would be drinking while watching the election. Hopefully this helps you pick the proper numbing/celebratory beverage of choice for your evening. Editorializations by me are in italics.

Friend of the Show Easy Pretzel: Molson Golden Ed. Getting used to Canadian beers may not be a bad idea.

Friend of the Show Ed Grohl: Sapporo Black Ed. Sapporo Black? That makes no sense…

Mick for BigFliesandMayFlies.com: Arnold Palmers. Ed. May I suggest adding some vodka and having an John Daly?

Reader Rick Hauck: Clara Grisette by Hill Farmstead Brewery Ed. Only 4.00% ABV? That might not be enough.

Chelsie Markel of Stouts & Stilettos and It’s a Brew Life: Parradox Barrel #38 Salty Lemons

Bryan D. Roth of This Is Why I am Drunk: Prairie Standard and Lagunitas Born Yesterday

JP, special guest from Ep. 2 of The Operation Shutdown: Lagunitas Sucks Ed. Please do not go back and listen to Ep. 2

Sara BozichI’m of SaraBozich.com will be drinking bourbon. Ed. I think she is a little worried about the volume of bourbon that tomorrow night will take.

Tierney Pomone from Stouts & Stilettos: “Bourbon because ‘merica!” Ed. I half expected Four Loko.

Perpetual Intern Jimi Werner will be drinking BBA Troegenator and Blizzard of Hops. Ed. I half expected Perpetual IPA.

Bradalynn Armstrong of ZerØday Brewing Company: Will be also drinking from her own tap lines, she will be having a couple glasses of Gail. Ed. Also Zeroday is doing a special tomorrow for those that voted.

Faithful listener Nicole: Drano Ed. 3 caps on Untappd!

Long time reader and fellow LengenDairy brewer Eric will be cracking open a Tröegs Brewing Flying Mouflan. Ed. Look for more about LegenDairy Milkshake IPA soon!

Tim Myers:  Woodford Reserve Ed. Whiskey is a solid choice.

Reader Brad: Blizzard of Hops if he can sneak them into the maternity ward Ed. Labor pains or election pains?

Reader Sean: Lagunitas Born Yesterday and Victory Brewing Co.’s Harvest Ale

I will be drinking Evil Twin Brewing’s Molotov Cocktail IIPA and Even More Jesus, some of the above pictured Wild Heaven Craft Beer Emergency Drinking Beer, and if necessary some bourbon.

Post Script:

This is a non-partisan post.

Beer crosses the aisle.

If you are planning to comment here about some candidate let me stop you right here. I have few readers and even fewer commenters. Trolling here would be as massive a waste of time as a troll could find on the Internet.

I am Bearcat and I endorse this message.

Ep. 11: Not The Only Beer Girl

In Episode 11 of the Operation Shutdown, I welcome special guest Sara Bozich. Sara is the constructor and conductor of SaraBozich.com. Sara was kind enough to join me at the last minute to discuss some beers for the upcoming holiday season.

When Sara isn’t toiling on her famous Weekend Roundup and her blog, she is working as a writer and producer for GK Visual. Sara is also part of the machine behind Harrisburg Beer Week.

Be sure to check out Sara’s upcoming holiday party. Tickets are on sale now (special discount until Monday, November 7th).


A big thank you to Sara for coming on the show. You can follow her beyond her very nice blog mentioned above via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Beers We Drank

Troegs Independent Brewing: Master of Pumpkins (2016)
Epic Brewing: Tart and Juicy IPA
Atwater Brewing Lip Lock Cherry Stout
Troegs Independent Brewing Perpetual IPA

Beers Discussed:

Dogfish Head Punkin
AleSmith Numbskull
East End Brewing Co. Gratitude
Sierra Nevada Big Foot
Troegs Independent Brewing Flying Mouflan and the BBA Flying Mouflan
Voodoo Brewing Co. Caution Contains Pumpkin
Troegs Independent Brewing Hop Knife
Evolution Craft Brewing Rise Up Stout
Weyerbacher Berry Monk
Dogfish Head World Wide Stout
Great Lake Brewing Christmas Ale
Victory Brewing Winter Cheers
Penn Brewery St. Nikolaus Bock Brewers Reserve
2SP Brewing in Aston, PA
Sierra Nevada Celebration Fresh Hop Ale
Millbock 12 Hops of Christmas (Hey Alan… Bring this back at Boneshire Brew Works)
Millbock Funky Toos and Golden Took
Troegs Independent Brewing Blizzard of Hops and Double Blizzard of Hops
Crystal Ball Brewing Cold Weather Wheat and Coconut Porter
Pete’s Wicked Ale
ABC Water Gap Wheat 
Ithaca Beer Co. Flower Power IPA
Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
Crime and Punishment by Arrogant Brewing (a spin-off of Stone Brewing Company)
Free Will Brewing Co. Sara’s Sweet Heat and Safeword
Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin
Allagash Brewing Company White
NoDa Brewing Company Hop, Drop and Roll

Link Dump:
Jimi the Intern (official bottle opener for Sara) Know Your Brewer posts, Alan from Boneshire, Bruce from Evergrain, Delutis from The Brewery of Hershey
Sara’s Team
Sara’s Weekend Roundups
The Burg
Susquehanna Art Museum (Pop-Up November 9th)
Appalachian Brewing Company
Momo’s BBQ
The Beer Connoisseur
President Santos Tweet
Sports Night
Sorkins Next Projects
Jersey Mike
Off the Record Podcast
McGrath’s Pub
Shady McGrady’s
Start Up
Upper St. Clair
Rosé Wine
Blue Diamond Merlot by Coppola Winery
George Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau

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.


Ep. 10: I Want To Spray Paint Your Bottle

In Episode 10 of the Operation Shutdown, I welcome special guest Chelsie Markel from Stouts & Stilettos and It’s a Brew Life to discuss design in craft beer, fingerless gloves, a little about Harrisburg Beer Week, and her new blog.


A quick aside about this post… It has a ton of links about the breweries we discuss and I tried to keep them in the order we discussed.

A big thank you to Chelsie for coming on the show. You can follow Chelsie on Twitter @dzyngrl. Also be sure to check out her new blog It’s a Brew Life and read her stuff at Stouts & Stilettos.

What We Were Drinking:

Crooked Stave Wild Sage
Almanac Beer Co. Tropical Platypus
The Alchemist: Focal Banger and The Crusher (Thanks to listener @Brookaveli and Dave for hooking me up with this beer.)

Breweries We Discussed:

Troegs Independant Brewing
Dogfish Head
Flying Dog Brewery (Ralph Steadman)
Highway Manor Brewing (Camp Hill, PA)
Creature Comforts Brewing Co.
Sole Artisan Ales
Roundabout Brewery
Fetish Brewing Company
Maine Beer Company
Russian River Brewing Company
Deschutes Brewing
Stone Brewing Company
Free Will Brewing Co.
Tired Hands
Green Flash Brewing Co.
Otter Creek Brewing Co.
Clown Shoes
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
New Belgium Brewing Co. (Fat Tire)
Appalachian Brewing Company
Golden Avalanche Brewery (Kutztown)

Other Links:

Oh Beautiful Beer
Brewed in the Burg by GK Visual
Harrisburg Beer Week
The Eternal Tap in St. Mary’s, PA
Death of Flagships: But Why?
A Tribute to a Mentor and a Friend
Market Cross; Carlisle, PA

House of 1000 Beers; New Kensington, PA

Beer Busters Podcast

Be sure to stick around for the After Show in which we discuss writing a beer blog, the design ideas behind Bearcat On Beer and The Operation Shutdown.

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.


Ep. 9 What’s a Ffej?

In Episode 9 of the Operation Shutdown, friend of the show Ed Grohl and I welcome special guest and beer bon vivant Ffej Herb from Troegs Independent Brewing.

Ffej and his best friend Pleepleus

In this episode we discuss: Ffej’s travels far and wide for good beers, his love of goats and his stuff animal collection, the epic party that is Ffej of July, #PairsWellWithNow, Ffej’s band Solar Federation, and we take a look behind the curtain at Troegs; specifically the making of Nimble Giant and maybe some news of an upcoming release.

Many Thanks to Ffej for coming on the show. Be sure to read his very nice blog The Pour Travelers, follow him on Twitter (@FfejHerb) and check out upcoming shows from his plethora of bands.

Beers we Drank:

Wild Elf – Troegs Independent Brewing Co.
Murren River – Pizza Boy Brewing Co.
Single Hop Series: Azacca – Flying Dog Brewing Co.
Fort Street – Trillium Brewing Co.
Tears of the Entitled – Pizza Boy Brewing Co.
Impending Descent (2015) – Independent Brewing Co.

Show Notes/Links:
The Beer Mapping Project (A little spammy, consider using a content blocker.)
Goat races Slyfox
Goat Races in Middletown, PA
Goat screaming videos
Slayer’s Angel of Death with a Goat
Pleepleus and Drinking Made Easy
Three Sheets (TV Show)
Tears of the Entitled blog post
Barrel Aged Impending Descent
Solar Federation (Ffej’s Rush Tribute Band)

Other beers and breweries mentioned (not a complete list):

Selin’s Grove Brewing
St. Boniface – Maple Porter, Padeia
Saucony Creek – Maple Mistress, Hop Suplex, Baloney Beer
Hidden River Brewing Company
Stickman Brews
Oakbrook Brewing Company

Be sure to stick around for the after show where Ffej gives us his thoughts on the Operation Shutdown’s Central PA Six-Pack and Ed is far too drunk for podcasting.

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.