Southern Tier Pumking

Southern Tier Pumking.  I’ve heard this regarded as THE pumpkin beer to have.  That it would be impossible to get once October came around.  With all the praise floating around, I knew I had to make sure I snagged a few bottles for myself.  A dear friend was able to get two bottles for me, and I was able to find a cold one at a local bottle shop.  I’ve been hoarding these waiting for the best time to try one.  Yesterday was that day.

I had a long, tiring day of work and the fall chill was in the air, leaving me longing for summer nights, but a Pumking seemed like just the thing to turn the day around and celebrate the fall.

Southern Tier Pumking

I cracked open the bottle, and poured it into a 22 oz Goose Island glass, as I don’t have a goblet or a tulip glass.  The color was a beautiful hazy orange and it smelled almost like a pumpkin pie.  The first sip exploded with spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe even allspice and clove?  The second sip was good, I could really taste the sweetness come through.

Southern Tier Pumking in a glass

As it warmed up, it did start to taste a little boozy, and at 8.6% it is easy to see why.

Overall, it was tasty, but I think I was expecting it to be a little more phenomenal.  I will gladly drink up my other two bottles, but will continue on a quest for my favorite pumpkin beer this year.

Pumking in a Goose Island Glass



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Posted by on September 21, 2011 in Beer


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Barry’s Homebrew – New Location

After 15 years, Barry’s Homebrew is relocating!  I remember passing the sign for Barry’s homebrew many, many times since living in South Philly.  The store was located conveniently on the way to Target, and I had countless thoughts of, “Man, I should really look into that.”  I bought my first home brew kit from Barry earlier this year.  He was very helpful and answered all questions I had, no matter how silly or simple they were.  I look forward to checking out the new location.
After 15 years of running Barry’s Homebrew Outlet, I have decided to retire. I loved my job but the inventory has been getting heavier every year and it’s time to pass it along to the younger generation.
Nick and jimmy will be taking over the reins from now on. They are both very knowledgeable about the industry and I have believe they will continue with the good service and prices that you have come to expect for the last 15 years.
The store at 101 Snyder will close on 9/15/2011 and reopen at  the new bigger location listed below on 9/24/2011. The phone number and the website will stay the same, but the email will change to:
I will be hanging out at the new location often so I will see many of you again. I just won’t be the boss anymore.
With appreciation,
Barry Homebrew
1447 N. American st
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122
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Posted by on September 16, 2011 in Beer, Homebrew, Philadelphia Area


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Homemade Pizza and DFH Red & White

Homemade Pizza and DFH Red & White

Today was set to be a busy day – moving my Edmund Fitzgerald Porter clone into a secondary fermenter, bottling a pale ale, and brewing a partial mash dunkelweizen. However, life happened, and fermentation must have been slow going. I measured the gravity of the pale ale, and it was .010 over target, so I decided to not bottle and let the yeast finish their thing. I was able to move the porter though, so I should be able to brew twice this weekend.

And since I had a little bit of time, I decided to attempt to make yogurt. I figured I might as well ferment something, even if it wasn’t beer! I will post about that adventure in the coming days. However, the best part of the night was definitely the homemade pizzas with Dogfish Head’s Red & White ale.

My boyfriend and I visited Dogfish Head’s brew pub in Rehoboth, DE back in March. We had a lovely time and I fell in love with their Red & White ale. It is by far one of the strangest, yet best, tasting beers I have had. After a few flights to try their different offerings and dinner I brought home four 750 mL bottles to enjoy. For dinner, one of the entrees we sampled was a flatbread pizza, with caramelized onions, pears, and goat cheese. This pizza was the inspiration for dinner tonight.

To start, I made my own pizza dough – the key to delicious homemade pizza. I split it into two pies and pre baked the crusts for about 5 minutes to ensure the middles would be done.

I topped one with brie, bosc pears, and caramelized onions.

Pear, caramelized onions, brie

I had caramelized the onions in a nonstick pan over high heat. My only complaint is that I should have used more! I was worried about the onions overwhelming the pie, but since the dough was thicker it wasn’t an issue.

Prior to baking:

Out of the oven:

The second had tinned tomato sauce, colby jack, mushrooms and veggie pepperoni. This pie was delicious.

Ingredients all lined up:

After baking:

To go with dinner, we opened up a bottle of the Red & White, a Belgian style Wit with orange and coriander, fermented with Pinot Noir juice, and aged in oak barrels. It has a Beer Advocate rating of B+. This beer comes in at 10% ABV, so it was great for sharing. We poured it into my “generic wine glasses”. It had a lovely orange-pinkish hue and smelled deliciously fruity. The first sip is a little boozy and tastes like a wit, but finishes like a wine. It really seems to be the marriage of two of my favorites – a Pinot Noir and a Belgian Wit, and I’ve never tasted anything else quite like it.

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Posted by on September 13, 2011 in Beer, Dogfish Head, Philadelphia Area


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Pretzels and Hefeweizen

Pretzels are one of my favorite snacks, and hefeweizen is one of my favorite style of beer.  When Hurricane Irene came to town, the best way to combat the rainy, stormy day was staying in, drinking some hefeweizen and baking pretzels.  In Philadelphia, pretzels are everywhere.  You find vendors on street corners, they’re sold at sporting events and community festivals, and there are stores all over town.  It’s not surprising that the average Philadelphian consumes about twelve times as many pretzels as the national average (via Pretzel Museum).  Making them yourself was a lot of fun.

Here they are prior to baking

To go along with the pretzels, we needed the right beer.  The German style hefeweizen fit the bill perfectly, “Hefe” means yeast and “weizen” means wheat in German, so the hefeweizen style of beer is a wheat beer that gets a lot of its taste and characteristics from the yeast.  My hefeweizen was brewed with German Pilsner and Wheat Malts, lightly hopped with Liberty hops, and fermented with White Labs hefeweizen yeast.  The yeast gives off a lot of banana and clove flavors.  The beer had a full body, and was nice and sweet.

It paired perfectly with pretzels we made using this recipe from  All Recipes.  We had an assortment of mustards with them, classic yellow, spicy brown, and a Sweet & Hot Mustard from Deitz & Watson.  The pretzels hot out of the oven were soft and buttery, and the mustard gave it the perfect amount of zing.  Followed by a swig of the sweet hefeweizen, it was a great was to spend a rainy day.


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Brawler Chili

It has been a rainy few days in Philadelphia, and the transition to fall called for a hearty chili dish.  I visited Yards Brewery this past weekend and was inspired to create dinner using their Brawler Ale.

Banner at Yards Brewery

Yards describes this beer as “Boasting superior taste and champion flavor, the Brawler is crafted in the style of English session ales. This malt-forward, ruby colored ale is great for when you want to go a few rounds.”

The English Dark Mild Ale provided a richness to this vegetarian chili dish, the dark malts and caramel notes complemented the cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.

When I cook, I like to follow “mise en place” and have everything set up before I start cooking.

Everything in Place

Brawler Veg Chili

Serves 4-6

  • Olive Oil
  • One Onion
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 4 Carrots
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper
  • 2 Jalapenos
  • 1 can Black Beans
  • 1 can Pinto Beans
  • 1 can Kidney Beans
  • 1 can Corn
  • 1 large can Petite Diced Tomatoes
  • Cumin
  • Chili Power
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Coriander
  • Paprika
  • Salt Pepper
  • Veg Broth
  • 1 bottle Yards Brawler
Start by sweating out the onions in a bit of olive oil in your soup pot over low heat until translucent.  Add chopped garlic and carrots, simmer about 5 minutes.  Add both peppers and season.  I like it spicy, so I use a good 3-4 tablespoons of Cayenne pepper, and 2-3 of both Chili Powder and Cumin to start.  You can always add more later, but don’t be afraid of the spices!
Next, add in your tomatoes, beans, corn, vegetable broth, and the whole bottle of brawler.  Let simmer as long as possible!
I served this over brown rice with a bit of Cabot Seriously Sharp cheddar shredded on top.  Perfect on a cool fall day.
Ready to Eat

Posted by on September 8, 2011 in Beer, Chili/Soup, Recipes, Vegetarian, Yards


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I’ve been in Philadelphia since 2004, and discovered beer beyond the big macro largers in 2006.  Since then I have found myself obsessed with the craft beer industry in a thriving beer town.  I love drinking beer, brewing my own beer, cooking with beer, and preparing food to pair with beer.  Follow me as I learn more about brewing science and hop varieties, explore local breweries, and experience the beer scene in search of life, liberty, and the pursuit of hoppiness.


“Beer, if drank with moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit and promotes health.”
-Thomas Jefferson



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Posted by on September 7, 2011 in About, Vegetarian