December 22, 2013

Beer Dinner - Flying Fish at Issac's

'Tis the Season...for travel for us.  Every holiday season we schlep around to both of our families for Christmas and New Years.  It is a good combination of SNL's skits 'Do It On My (Twin Bed)' and 'Your Hometown'.

This year we hit Lancaster, PA first for a longer than normal stay.  Not that we don't love it here, WE DO and hope to live here someday soon! However, we came up earlier than we normally would because of a rescheduled beer dinner at one of our favorite Lancaster restaurants, Issac's.  This deli is a local chain with an old school Miami theme and amazing soups and sandwiches.  When their beer dinner for the weekend before was cancelled due to snow we jumped at the chance to go when they rescheduled for this weekend.

We didn't know what to expect since we had never had any of the Flying Fish beers and we have never been to the downtown Issac's location, the only one with a bar (Pickle Bar).  My mother in law tagged along as our 'DD'.  When we arrived we went to the bar area, which was much smaller than we expected.  A group of tables we pushed together so everyone could sit together.  It was a smaller group than expected but it was perfect company given the space provided and atmosphere.

It was a wonderful evening with surprisingly good beer!  Not that I expected bad beer but it was light and hoppy beer which usually isn't my style.  As you would expect, the four course Issac's meal was specifically paired with a certain beer to compliment the food.  The food and beer was great!  The Flying Fish brewery team couldn't make it since it was rescheduled but the Issac's staff did a great job giving us a history of Issac's, facts about each beer and why it was paired with each food item.  Each course was timed really well with not a lot of down time but you also didn't feel rushed.  Tim and I also did a great job of sharing the courses we liked and didn't like (me being vegetarian and him not eating seafood or cheesecake).  The great extra surprise at the end of the dinner was our choice of a pint of whatever beer we liked best.  We both picked a pint of Exit 4.  For $25 each, we definitely felt satisfied.

So overall GREAT evening!  Would totally recommend Flying Fish and Issac's if you are in the area.
"What will Flying Fish Brewery do when they run out of Jersey Turnpike Exits to name their beer after?"

December 19, 2013

The Importance of Vibe

Last night my husband and I went to the C.R.A.B.S. (Chesapeake Real Ale Brewers Society) Christmas party.  While the event itself was fine (aka great potluck), what I came away with most was how important vibe is to a brewery.

The event was held at Heavy Seas Brewery in Baltimore, MD.  (Which now that I am linking you to their website I am also annoyed by their web address, sorry tech nerd in me.)

I feel that Heavy Seas is one of the bigger players in the area in terms of local craft beer.  It's easy to find in stores and restaurants.  I am sure I have tried there beer before but sadly it must not have been memorable.

We've been to a lot of breweries.  Big, small and all over the country.  One of the things I most enjoy about going to the brewery is feeling their vibe!  Every brewery I've been to has a vibe whether it's decor, food, games to play while there, atmosphere, location etc.  The beer they create has a personality and the brewery itself becomes an extension of that.  You can have crap beer but if your brewery has a great vibe then you'll have business.

Sadly, Heavy Seas has zero vibe.  There was nothing going for it, nothing to bring me back or even make me want to order one of their beers in the future.  They have a cute logo and beer names they could totally play off of but there was none of that.  I have never felt this way about a brewery before, which is why I think it is bothering me so much.  To their credit they are apparently going to do some remodeling in the near future so hopefully that will help.

"The bathrooms were rather large and nice"

And We're Back...

I started this blog a few years ago when my husband and I first got into craft beer and home brewing.  Life got busy, I quit blogging.  Since then we have really experienced some great beer, breweries and festivals and have expanded our home brewing knowledge.

I blog regularly for a work project I do and really wanted to start this blog up again.  With inspiration from my co-worker (view her amazing blog here) I decided to give it another try. Sadly, I deleted this blog fully so my posts from years ago are gone so we are starting from scratch.

What is this blog about you may ask...well beer!  From a girl's perspective.