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.

Olde School Becomes the Height of Modernity


Free Will Brewing Co. is one of those brewers that has such a high level of trust from me that I am willing to impulsively buy anything with their name on the label because I know it will be of high quality.

When I was in a bottle shop a couple months ago, I saw a bottle of the above pictured beer sitting by its lonesome on a bottom shelf. I picked it up without even looking at the label. If there were two I would have bought both. Olly is an Oud Bruin or a Flemish Brown style of beer. This style dates back to the 17th Century in the Flemish region of Belgium. Oud Bruin undergoes a long aging process in wood, along with a secondary fermentation in the bottle. This coupled with the bacteria and cultured yeast, imparts a sour flavor to the beer. This is Old World brewing defined.

Free Will’s Olly is using Old World techniques to give us beer that tastes like the height of modernity. Olly, after brewing, is aged for between 2 or 3 years in oak barrels and foudres with brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus bacteria, then it was blended before bottling.

Olly is a slightly reddish brown ale with a plunging depth of flavor and multiple layers. The capped and corked bottle opened with a typical “plunk” but no drama as the beer is lightly carbonated. The medium bodied beer has tiny bubbles that offer no head and only a slight ring of off-white at the meniscus of the glass. The ale has cherry, dark fruits, and plum flavors throughout with a slight dry woodiness in the finish. The finish is long and where this stellar beer shines by showing off the funk of brettanomyces, the clean lactic acid of lactobacillus and more acute sour of pediococcus. No astringency from the 7.9% ABV makes this an easy sipper to be shared (or not in my case).

After the American beer market homogenized over flavorless adjuncts the pendulum swung back towards craft beer that sees the surging industry we celebrate today with a variety of styles and substyles that boggles the mind.

What Free Will has done with Olly is use an Old World method to give us a completely modern beer. Olly is easily representative of all that is great about the current craft beer industry.  The ability to make something modern, fresh in perspective, and seemingly novel from a centuries-old style and method. As we leave the homogenized adjunct lagers of Macro brewers as road kill run over by widespread and local disruption it will continue to be the brewers’ willingness to embrace old methods along with new to push and renew the concept of craft.

Who would have thought that the modernity of New World brewing would be found in the Old World?

Post Script: The irony of my idea of modern beer taking three years to rest in wood barrels is not lost on me.

As craft brewers continue to discover and refine these old methods it will bring forth a wealth “new” beers for us to explore.

I am far more interested in the exploration and development of these “Old World” styles than I am anything else these days.

Olly on the bottle is Olly from The Sifl and Olly Show. This clip is from 1997. I feel old.