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.

There Is No Such Thing As A Free Drink…

Joker Free WorkRecently, I was at a local brewery and the brewer welcomed me at the bar. After exchanging pleasantries and discussing what’s on tap, I ordered a new brew. The brewer asked me “Do you want to taste it first?” My retort: “No… I want a pint. I trust that you put the beer on tap because you thought it was good enough to serve.”

My thoughts ran something like this: Would you ask your waiter to “try the steak” before ordering a porterhouse? Would you ask a bartender to “try the dry martini” before ordering? So why do people still ask to “try” a beer before ordering a beer?

Brewers need to stop offering customers a taste of their beer before ordering. Stop giving away your product.

It is my belief that there was a time when craft beer needed to evangelize the good news of good beer. One way that happened was for brewers to get people just to try the beer.  Offering a free taste or a 2 oz. pour of beer you could to try it. Get them to taste something new, something different from their Budweiser tall boy. The theory was, just get them to just try it and they will love it. I think that worked.

But times change. I have said before that the craft beer industry is no longer “The Little Engine That Could.” Time to start acting like it guys.

Brewers should only sell beer that they feel good about serving to their customers.  Breweries must provide a high level of detail about what both goes into each brew and its specific tasting notes. Breweries should work to either remain close to the proper characteristics for each style or provide proper notice when getting creative. Tell people exactly what they are buying up front with a detailed beer menu.

If customers want to “try” a beer, point them towards ordering a flight or better yet start selling half pints. I love a brewery that sells half pints. They are the perfect size for me; more variety without just those tiny little 4 oz pours.

It’s time to move past giving away the product. Brewers need to respect the hard work they do and only sell beer of which you are proud. If you truly believe each beer you brew is good, then you will gladly demand money for the purpose of handing it across the bar.

Customers should stop looking for a freebie. If you can’t take the risk to order a five dollar pint then why are you at the bar in the first place? If you want to “try” a beer, order a pint. It is not an entire case of beer; suck it up.