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News
    This is the Beer Yard news page, with brewing news from the Philadelphia area and beyond.
September 27, 2010 - Copper Crow Beer Company Born as General Lafayette Inn & Brewery Closes
Chris Leonard announced today that he has an agreement of sale in hand for the restaurant site of the General Lafayette Inn and that business is now closed, pending completion of the sale and reopening. Meanwhile, he and assistant brewmaster Russ Czajka have formed Copper Crow Beer Company, which will make beer at both that location and at the about-to-open Prism Brewing Company plant in North Wales.

“This is a fantastic thing for us," Leonard told The Beer Yard. We’ve been trying to get out of the restaurant business for nearly a year now. TTB and PLCB license applications have already been filed for Copper Crow to operate at Prism and we will function as an 'alternating brewery' there. We will also be consulting with and helping owner Rob Demaria, and I’ll be serving in a quality control capacity as well.”

All beer from both companies will be draft to start but the original General Lafayette bottling line has been moved to North Wales and packaged beers are planned.

The official statement released this afternoon by Leonard can be found here.--JACK CURTIN

September 25, 2010 - Sly Fox, Weyerbacher Win USBTC Summer Session Regional Honors
Sly Fox Brewing Company of Royersford took top honors in three categories for the Mid-Atlantic/Southeast Region judging in the United States Beer Tasting Championship Summer Competition and Weyerbacher Brewing Company of Easton won two others.

Sly Fox was cited for its Pikeland Pilsner, Rt. 113 IPA and Saison Vos. Weyerbacher's honors went to Blanche Wit and Riserva (fruit beer).

The only other local brewery to score in the competition was Victory Brewing Company of Downingtown, which earned Honorable Mentions for Prima Pils, Victory Lager and St. Victorious Doppelbock.

A total of 416 beers from 136 breweries were examined across 14 different beer categories for the summer event.--JACK CURTIN

September 21, 2010 - GABF Final Roundup
The Great American Beer Festival, already the largest commercial beer competition in the world, grew even larger in 20101 with 3,523 beers vying for medals, compared to 3,308 entries in 2009.

This year's competition attracted 151 beer judges from 10 countries. There were 79 beer categories covering 133 beer styles. The largest, also a new record, was 142 entries in the India Pale Ale judging.

California breweries took home the most medals, 56, following by Colorado with 42 and Oregon with 19. BA statistics show Michigan fourth with 10 medals, followed by Pennsylvania with nine. According to Beer Yard scoring, which credits Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant beers to the site where they were brewed rather than to Iron Hill's corporate headquarters in Delaware, Pennsylvania had 11 medals for fourth place.

Four of the five GABF Major Awards went to California breweries:

Large Brewing Company and Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Blue Moon Brewing Company, Denver, CO
Dr. David Ryder

Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Utah Brewers Cooperative, Salt Lake City, UT
UBC Brewers

Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Mad River Brewing Company, Blue Lake, CA
Mad River Brewing Company

Brewpub Group and Brewpub Group Brewer of the Year
TAPS Fish House & Brewery, Brea, CA
Victor Novak Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Pizza Port Carlsbad, Carlsbad, CA
Pizza Port Brew Guys

Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Pizza Port San Clemente, San Clemente, CA
Noah Regnery

The complete list of GABF 2010 winners is here.--JACK CURTIN

September 20, 2010 - East Coast Breweries Bring Home 30 GABF Medals
East Coast breweries won 30 medals at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival this weekend, a 25% drop from the previous two years when they took 40 both times.

Pennsylvania led the way with nine medals plus two for Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant which are credited to IH's Delaware headquarters by the Brewers Association but which Beer Yard methodology credits to actual pub at which they were brewed, in Media. The combined total of 11 is three less than in 2009.

Ten Pennsylvania medals were won by breweries which are major players in the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley market. Iron Hill's two Golds, for Pig Iron Porter and Russian Imperial Stout, were brewed by perennial medalist Bob Barrar. Tröegs Brewing Co., on a long medal-streak of its own with Tröegenator Doppelbock (marketed as a Double Bock but always entered in the Bock category), won three: Gold for The Flying Mouflan Barleywine, and Silvers for Tröegenator and HopBack Amber Ale.

A Gold for Ryan Michaels' Saison Vautour from McKenzie Brew House should firmly establish that beer in the local pantheon; the Gold was the second straight and the third overall. A fourth Gold went to Brett Kintzer at Stoudt's Brewing Company for Heifer in Wheat. Patrick Jones, who recently severed his relationship with Triumph Brewing Company, went out with a pair of Silvers for Kellerbier and Dunkel Lager. Weyerbacher brought home its first ever GABF medal, a Bronze to head brewer Chris Wilson and his team for Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

The final Pennsylvania medal was a Bronze for The Jaspers, brewed by Terry Hawbaker at The Bullfrog in Williamsport.

Thirteen medals from resurgent New England included five in Massachusetts, a Gold and Silver to Haverhill Brewery, a pair of Bronzes to Boston Beer Company and a Pro-Am win for Wormtown Brewing Co. with homebrewer Keith Antul. Maine and New Hampshire added three each, a trifecta of Gold, Silver and Bronze for Allagash Brewing Co, in the first case, and a Sliver and Bronze for Portsmouth Brewery and Bronze for The Prodigal Brewery in the latter. Rhode Island (Bronze to Trinity Brewhouse) and Vermont (Gold to The Alchemist) completed the total.

New York won four medals: Gold for Ithaca Beer Company, Silver and Bronze for Great Adirondack Brewing Co, Bronze for Brewery Ommegang. Clipper City Brewing Co, added two Bronzes for Maryland, for Heavy Seas Marzen and Heavy Seas Gold Ale. --JACK CURTIN

September 18, 2010 - Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, Tröegs Brewing Pace Region to Ten GABF Medals
Six breweries in the local market accounted for all nine medals won at the 2010 Great American Festival in Denver.The awards were announced this afternoon.

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant won Gold Medals for Pig Iron Porter and Russian Imperial Stout ; both were brewed by Media head brewer Bob Barrar, who has now taken 14 GABF medals since 2002, ten of them Golds.

McKenzie Brew House and brewer Ryan Michael won Gold for Saison Vautour, the beer's third Gold and second in a row. Stoudt's Brewing won Gold for Heifer in Wheat.

Tröegs Brewing took Gold for its Flying Mouflan Barleywine and Silvers for Tröegenator (a perennial medal winner) and HopBack Amber.

Triumph Philadelphia and former brewer Patrick Jones won a pair of Silvers for Kellerbier and Dunkel, matching its two-medal performance in 2009, and Weyerbacher Brewing Company took a Bronze, its first GABF medal, for Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

CAVEAT: This report might be incomplete as the computer feed from Denver was erratic today and lost for several intervals.

Look for a more complete story here Monday with all the results broken down. First impressions are that the East Coast did not fare nearly as well as in recent years.--JACK CURTIN

September 13, 2010 - Three Delaware Valley Beers on Men's Journal Top 25 List
Sly Fox Pikeland Pils at #9 led three local beers onto the Men's Journal "Top 25 Beers of the World" list for 2010.

Victory Helios Saison was #16 and Dogfish head 90 Minute IPA #21.

The complete list:
Rochefort 10
Russian River Pliny the Elder
Nogne O Porter
Hopworks Urban Brewery Organic Larger
Jolly Pumpkin Oro De Calabaza
Mikkeller Since Single-Hop IPA
De Ranke Brewery Saison De Dottignies
Helles Schlenkerla Lagerbier
Sly Fox Pikeland Pils
Schneider-Brooklyner Hopfen-Weisse
Sinebrychoff Porter
Hitachino Nest Beer XH
Kostritzer Schwarzbier
Ninkasi Total Domination IPA
Samuel Adams Noble Pils
Victory Helios Ale
Brasserie De La Senne Taras Boulba
Allagash Curieux
Dieu Du Ciel! Peche Mortel
Russian River Supplication
Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
Olympia Beer
Peak Organic Pale Ale
21st Amendment Back in Black IPA
Sierra Nevada Kellerweis --JACK CURTIN

September 12, 2010 - Bahnhof Beer Hall Scheduled to Open in Bethlehem This October [UPDATED]
The Beer Yard has received exclusive information that the Tap and Table partnership has added a new restaurant at 4213 Ridge Avenue, site of the Pour House Tavern, to its plans. More details when they become available.

[Original Story - 3 September 2010]

Partners Matt and Colleen Swartz and Matt Scheller, who have brightened the Lehigh Valley beer scene considerably over the last 18 months by opening the Tap and Table Gastropub, a European-style venue with a candlelit atmosphere (candles in wrought iron chandeliers hung from high ceilings over long wooden communal tables) in Emmaus on April 2009 and The Bookstore Speakeasy, a 1920s-'30s themed cocktail and beer bar locate behind a small fake bookstore in Bethlehem last October, are at it again.

Next month the trio will launch Bahnhof, an authentic German-style beer hall in an old train station in Bethlehem ("banhof" means "train station" in German). Meanwhile, just to keep busy, they opened the Atlantic Jazz Yard in Rehoboth Beach last May; it's a seasonal venue less than two blocks off the beach which features live jazz in the courtyard which makes up most of its space and has a cocktail and beer program similar to that at The Bookstore, only "less intense," according to Scheller, who is the beverage guy in the partnership.

Tap and Table has six taps and "between 150 and 200 bottles of world-class beer, plus three handpumps," Scheller says. "We do beer dinners every six weeks or so (the most recent featured brewer Terry Hawbaker and his beers from the Bullfrog in Williamsport; the next one, in November, will be hosted by the brewer and chef from the famed Schlenkerla brewery in Bamberg, Germany). At the Bookstore, we focus more on cocktails and have done a few cocktail dinners, five course, five cocktails designed for us by top mixologists. I'd like to do a beer vs. cocktail dinner there one of these days."--JACK CURTIN

September 08, 2010 - Beer Yard/Tröegs Event Garners $1091 for Delco SPCA
The four-day Labor Day weekend at The Beer Yard featuring the beers of Harrisburg's Tröegs Brewing Co., food by Teresa's Next Door and pretzel samples from Famous Kirby's resulted in a $1091 contribution the Delaware County SPCA.

That amount includes $6 each for 96 cases of Tröegs sold, $5 per case split between the Beer Yard and the brewery; $1 per case from an anonymous Beer Yard customer, and the remainder from food sales.

"I cannot say enough about our wonderful customers," says Beer Yard owner Matt Guyer, "or the cooperation and help we received from Nick Johnson of Tröegs and Andy Dickerson of Teresa's. The craft beer community is filled with good people and it's always very satisfying to get together with them in support of a good cause and then see the people who make our business possible make it all worthwhile with their generosity."

Photos of Saturday's main event are linked in our Store Note below.--JACK CURTIN

September 05, 2010 - Monk's Front Bar Re-Opens
From the Monk's Cafe website late last Sunday night:
WE'RE OPEN - the entire restaurant now! Monday, September 06, 2010

Whoo Hoo!

We just received permission to open the entire restaurant. YEA!! You can now enter through the front door. Actually... where the front door will go when it is installed next week. The entrance hall is a bit rough looking, but a crew will be working on it over the weekend - so we may need to use the service alley again for short periods of time. It will probably take a full month before the entrance is finished, but you're not coming in to hang our there anyway.

An enthralled local beer community now holds its breath to see what will happen next August....JACK CURTIN
September 02, 2010 - Tröegs & Beer Yard Team Up for Labor Day Weekend Benefit for Delco SPCA [UPDATED]
Tröegs Brewing Company of Harrisburg will join with The Beer Yard in Wayne on Saturday, September 4, the heart of the Labor Day Weekend this year, for a special afternoon event on the Beer Yard premises to benefit the Delaware County SPCA.

From 1-4pm, Tröegs award-winning beers will be available for sampling in front of the Beer Yard. The beer samples will be accompanied by a variety of tasty food treats from Teresa's Next Door, the popular Belgian-themed bar located on North Wayne Avenue. Famous Kirby's will also be on hand with samples of their popular pretzeis.

Every case of Tröegs beer sold ALL WEEKEND (Friday through Monday) will benefit the Delco SPCA to the tune of $6 .00 (this includes $5 per cans pledged by The Beer Yard and Tröegs Brewing and $1 just pledged by an anonymous customer---anyone else wanting to add a matching pledge is more than welcome to do so; just email us).

All profits from the food menu, which will feature $1 hot dogs as a specialty, will also go to that worthy cause. Additionally, every customer buying a case of Tröegs will receive a free logo-ed pint glass.

"We will be pouring our year-round beers, several seasonals brews and maybe even a few surprises that will make you scratch, but not from the fleas," says Nick Johnson, regional sales representative for the brewery.

Matt Guyer, owner of The Beer Yard noted that "while you don't have to be here Saturday afternoon o make a contribution--just buy a case of Tröegs any time this weekend, we sure hope you'll come by, say hello and enjoy the party."--JACK CURTIN