Troegs Independent Brewing, Harrisburg, PA

I stopped in at Troegs Independent Brewing in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania attending a work related event.  I was really impressed!  And I had the wonderful opportunity to sample a number of beers in one evening which was a delight.  And, the food they prepared and served for the event was also great.  I especially liked the chicken salad rolls and the java chip cupcakes!.  But, back to the beer.  Troegs HopBack Amber Ale is a great balance between hops and malt.  Drinking this you get some of both and it is really easy to drink.  Troegenator Double Bock is a rich brown caramelly beer that feels perfect for fall weather.  And, JavaHead Stout is a tasty coffee and chocolate tasting stout.  Their Perpetual IPA is a delight to drink.  Not too hoppy yet flavorful enough for most IPA lovers.  Although not as well-versed in Belgian beers, their Jovial is a delicious dubbel, pardon the comparison, but with some of Troegenator and some of JavaHead flavors swirling together.  Although Pilsners are often too “light” for me, their Sunshine Pilsner was tasty and a beer I’d drink again for sure.  The current seasonal, Hop Knife was the only beer I enjoyed a full serving of and it was well worth the full glass.  Not only that, I won a six-pack at the event I was attending and am looking forward to enjoying it with family this weekend.  I also had the opportunity to enjoy to “scratch” beers.  The Mango India Pale Ale was delicious and reminiscent of a Mango IPA I enjoyed in Hawaii earlier this month.  And, if a Harrisburg brewery can make me feel like I’m in Hawaii, that’s awesome.  Finally, I enjoyed the American Style Sour Cherry.  I like sour beers and I really like sour cherry.  This beer reminded me of a similar one at Jolly Pumpkin in Michigan last summer.  I was really tempted to bring a growler of this home with me but with a six-pack of Hop Knife and a fridge full of beer at home I passed on the opportunity.  So, if you’re ever in Harrisburg, PA or even near the area do yourself a favor and stop at Troegs.

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Cape Cod Beer, Hyannis, MA

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I stopped in at Cape Cod Beer in Hyannis, Massachusetts and tasted the Summer Ale which was light and refreshing. I also picked up a four pack of IPA and or Red for a beach outing.  These both delivered as advertised with the IPA living up to it’s slogan “It’s Got a Bite” and the Red living up to it’s slogan Red – Right – Return.  Both were in 16 ounce cans – perfect for a beach bonfire. As Cape Cod Beer says – there’s “A Vacation in Every Pint”.  So, take a vacation!

Abita Brewing Company, Abita Springs, LA

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I stopped in at Abita Brewing Company in Abita Springs, Louisiana for a brewery tour.  WOW, just WOW!

Getting to Abita from New Orleans is an interesting trip.  The drive across the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway bridge absolutely looks like a bridge into the ocean or a bridge to nowhere.  Over 20 miles of bridge.  But the trip is well worth the drive.

The Abita Brewing Company tour is well worth the time.  The tour guides greeted us and gave us ample time to taste Abita beers.  In fact, they allowed visitors to pour their own beers, opening up the taps to us.  In countless brewery visits and tours this is the first time I’ve enjoyed this kind of hospitality.  And, I must say I took advantage of it.  I tried many of the offerings on tap.

The mainstay Abita Amber is a solid go to amber beer.  Period.  Purple Haze is a refreshing beer with a hint of raspberry – from the raspberries included in the brewing process.  Wrought Iron IPA is an absolutely delicious IPA – I heartily recommend this.  The beer that surprised me was the Strawberry Harvest Lager.  I found this to be delicious and refreshing.  I really enjoyed this.  Andygator is intense.  How about I just leave it at that.  I tried the Two Boots Saison and concluded I’m just not sophisticated enough for this.  I was delighted with the Macchiato Espresso Milk Stout – smooth and delicious.  And I filled my cup with Abita Root Beer for the road which was also delicious.

Did you catch that they let us pour our own samples.  WOW.

So maybe the key to all this success is the Abita Springs water.  Or maybe they’re just great brewers.  Or both.

Seriously, if you’re ever in New Orleans or otherwise near the brewery you need to stop by!

And, please check out Abita on MicrobrewingAmerica!

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The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, Charlotte, NC

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I stopped in at The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The atmosphere is German bierhall and biergarten.  It’s a great place.  I tried a flight of beers.  The Fat Boy Baltic Porter was just as I had hoped.  Smooth, malty, caramelly. The Copper Amber Ale is a great mix of malty smoothness and a little bite.  I was pleasantly surprised with the Hornet’s Nest Hefeweizen.  This was crisp and enjoyable.  Finally, the Radler, a mix of Captain Jack Pilsner and Sprite (lemon soda) reminded me of the Radler I had in Munich decades ago.  Delicious!

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Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, Half Moon Bay, CA

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I stopped in at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company in Half Moon Bay, California just to sample their beers.  For starters, what a beautiful location.  My pictures don’t do it justice.  Sitting inside or outside with a meal and/or drinks and enjoying that view is well worth the experience.  The food looked good as well.  I tried the Princeton-By-The-Sea IPA which was really tasty.  This beer is brewed with seven varieties of hops which is obvious based on the number of varied hop tastes with each sip.  It is also brewed with a sweet malt which cuts some of the hop bite.  I also tried the Amber Ale which is an award-winning beer. This beer is brewed with four different malts and has a rich sweet flavor.  And, I tried the Tunnel Vision IPA.  This beer has a strong bite to it and uses experimental hops.  Definitely a winner for a hop head like me.

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Tied House Brewery & Cafe, Mountain View, CA

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I stopped at Tied House Brewery & Cafe in Mountain View, California for lunch.  It was a great spot to relax and enjoy good food and good beer.  The Cascade Amber Ale is the house specialty.  I really enjoyed this beer.  It was clear, refreshing, malty and sweet with a flavor of caramel.  It paired really well with the grilled snapper fish tacos I ordered which were also delicious.  I finished with a taste of the Oaxacan Chocolate Porter which basically served as my dessert. It was like drinking chocolate.

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Roanoke Railhouse Brewery, Roanoke, VA

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I was fortunate enough to stop at the Roanoke Railhouse Brewery in Roanoke, Virginia.  When I arrived, the owner, Steve, stopped everything he was doing an spent the next hour pouring his beers for me, describing each in detail, and discussing the craft beer scene and the general business climate of Roanoke.  Steve is great to talk with and a great brewer.  The first beer I tried was the Track 1 Amber Lager which I found to be not too sweet but full-bodied.  The second beer I tried was the Broken Knuckle IPA which I found not too bitter and very drinkable.  And the last beer I tried was the Switch Monkey which is a Belgian pale ale, light and very easy to drink.  The brewery is in a converted warehouse space and has plenty of room to hang out and enjoy a few beers.