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Hombrewers BPA: Behind the Scenes at Al’s of Hampden

Hombrewers BPA: Behind the Scenes at Al’s of Hampden

At the early time of 8 AM on a Saturday, a dozen local homebrewing enthusiasts showed up to a quiet Al’s of Hampden, ready to help contribute to a brew day. The beer, aptly called Homebrewers Belgian Pale Ale, is slated to be tapped on National Homebrew Day on May 3.  I was one of the homebrewers eager to attend and help out. We started out by learning how automated the system is compared to what … Read entire article »


Bitter Brew – Book Review

  Occasionally  we at The Beer Circle put down our beers and pursue other activities but often those, too, are centered around beer. I have just read “Bitter Brew” by William Knoedelseder. It is billed as a book about “the rise and fall of Anheuser-Busch and America’s Kings of Beer.”  There are already many reviews that deal with the book in … Read entire article »

Voodoo Brewery – #22oztofreedom (Hashtag Series)

For best effect, play this in the background as you peruse this post: And now, for something completely different. I’m no stranger to malt liquors, having even reviewed one previously. What we have here is Voodoo Brewery‘s craft malt liquor, offered up as part of their ongoing “Hashtag Series”.  A nod to the popular Sublime song, #22oztofreedom was available at Voodoo during … Read entire article »

Bluejacket Moving On Without Head Brewer

Megan Parisi is no longer the head brewer at Bluejacket, as the two have amicably parted ways only three months after the brewery’s official opening. Megan, formally of Cambridge Brewing Company, spent the better part of the year spreading the Bluejacket name by brewing collaborations with everyone from Cigar City in Florida, The Bruery and Stone in California to De Struise … Read entire article »

Reserve Society: Am I Getting My Money’s Worth?

“Reserve Society” is the trending word in beer communities across the Unites States as we’ve entered 2014. From California to Washington D.C. and everywhere in between, breweries are charging an entrance fee for guaranteed access to their rarest beers, events, and even some swag. This approach circumvents the need to host beer releases at the brewery, which sometimes can get … Read entire article »

Happy Valley Brewing Company’s Bitter Cold Start

State College has a new face in town, officially named Happy Valley Brewing Company (HVBC). It opened in December of 2013, becoming only the second brewery in State College (next to Otto’s Pub). Central Pennsylvania is begging for some new, top notch craft breweries, so HVBC has a big opportunity to succeed. It’s execution, however, has been flawed. The brewery didn’t open … Read entire article »

Better From The Barrel: Prairie and Pirate Bomb!

From the same tasting that brought you the video gem of Greg and I taking down Stone’s Crime, I now bring you the latest in the Better From The Barrel? series featuring Prairie Artisan Ales‘ Prairie Bomb! and Pirate Bomb! Prairie Bomb is an imperial stout aged on coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla beans and chili peppers and stored in a 12oz … Read entire article »

2013 Winter Stout Fest

My fourth annual Winter Stout Fest was held on December 7th (yes, I am a little late with this write up). As you will see below it was a beer tasting that will live in infamy, though in this case “infamy” is a good thing. Wanting to take a step up from last year I contacted Adroit Theory Brewing Company in … Read entire article »

Best Beers of 2013

We here at The Beer Circle like to think that we drink a lot of good beer. With that in mind, we decided to vote internally on what our favorite new beers of 2013 were. The criteria was simple: you had to have the beer to vote on it and the beer had to make its debut in 2013. The list … Read entire article »

Cellar: Victory Storm King 2011-2013

Back in 2011, when I was fresh into beer, I decided that Victory’s Storm King Stout would be a nice beer to start my cellar. When I lived in Pennsylvania, it was a local beer that was relatively easy to find, so it all came together. A lot has happened since then, including the decision by Victory to sell Storm … Read entire article »