Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Firkin Fest Closes Out Frederick Beer Week

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Last Saturday, Frederick Beer Week came to a close. I can’t think of a better way to end an exciting week of nonstop beer activity than with an easy, fun day on a hop farm.

You may recall my post last year about the Frederick Beer Festival at StillPoint Hop Farm. This year was every bit as much fun. All the great Maryland breweries were represented, but this year, the festival featured a different twist. The beers were tapped from firkins – and so this year’s festival was dubbed Firkin Fest!

Amazing Maryland Beers were served by Barley and Hops, Brewer’s Alley, Flying Dog, Heavy Seas, Evolution, DuClaw, and Brewer’s Art.   Some unique brews included belgian beers brewed with currants and peppercorns; some great IPAs – including last year’s Battle of the Bubbles competition winner, which was expertly brewed by Larry Pomerantz at Barley and Hops; Oatmeal Stouts; refreshing light lagers; german style bocks and dunkers; and more.  And then there was the homebrew tent, hosted by Frederick’s Original Ale Makers. Lucky attendees sampled from over 20 different styles of homebrew throughout the day.

The festival also brought back all of the great attractions from last year, only bigger and better with a larger and wider variety of vendors, more great folk style music, the ever-popular Hayride to Hoppiness, and hoola hoops!

Imagine plopping down on a hillside with a quality Maryland beer, on a beautiful day, in a gorgeous country setting, listening to live music and watching the little ones (and a few not so little ones) dance around with hoola hoops. It’s easy to see why Firkin Fest has become a fast local favorite for Frederick beer fans!

So once again we bid farewell to Frederick Beer Week – til next year!   In the meantime, plan your next visit to the Mid-Atlantic around some of our great breweries and pubs.  You won’t be disappointed.  Maryland has indeed become a great state for beer!

Cheers beers!

The Craft Beer Snowman from Flying Dog Brewery

November 28, 2011 2 comments

One of my all time favorite beer commercials never even made it to television.  The Flying Dog Brewery  (right here in Frederick, Maryland) received this promo commercial last year as part of an interview from director Tim Martin.  He got the job!

Happy Winter and Cheers beers!

“Bottle Shock”- A Good Movie That’s Not About Beer

After flipping around NetFlix for a good 20 minutes the other night, we finally found a 3-1/2 star movie that we could both agree on called “Bottle Shock” .  The shocker?  It’s not about beer – it’s about wine!

So why am I writing about a wine movie on a beer blog?  Well, it seems to me that all around entertaining, quality feel good movies are few and far between anymore, and this is one I’d never heard of.  So I thought I’d share, even though it has nothing to do with beer.  It does, however, reflect the same passionate, nonconformist, wild west, hippie spirit that reminds me so much of today’s craft brewers (there, now its about beer).

“Bottle Shock” is based on a true story that dates back to 1978.  An Englishman (Alan Rickman) arranged a blind wine tasting contest that was judged by France’s most prestigious wine enthusiasts.  This historic event put the unknown California wines head-to-head with world famous french wines.  That’s all I’m gonna say about the plot. However, this movie does a great job of characterizing the early Napa winemakers.  It portrays their sacrifices in pursuit of passion, their quest for perfection, praise for originality, contempt for snobbery, and camaraderie over competition – “if one wins, we all win”.  Where wine makers embodied this spirit 30 years ago, craft brewers certainly embody it today.

I do love a good true feel good movie, and the acting is pretty good too (although Bill Pullman is a bit cheesy at times).  The cast is a good mix of young and old, and leading the young is young Captain Kirk himself from the latest Star Trek.  Kinda the same character, but in desperate need of a haircut.  There’s drama, action, a small love triangle, a few laughs, and a good underdog story, with some nice views of Napa thrown in.  So the next time you find yourself flipping around for a good movie, stop at “Bottle Shock” and enjoy a feel good movie that captures the spirit behind American spirits.

Cheers beers!

Frederick Beer Week’s Brew Fest Highlights

Frederick, Maryland held Frederick Beer Week Brew Fest at Stillpoint Hop Farm in Mt. Airy yesterday, featuring everything from live music, to hayrides, hoola hoops, pit beef and hot dogs, and of course local beer. In fact, the entire focus was everything local.  The brewery lineup included DOGBrewing, DuClaw, Heavy Seas, Brewer’s Alley, Flying Dog, and our own favorite, Barley and Hops.  Even our local homebrew club, Frederick’s Original Ale Makers (FOAM), held home brewing demonstrations and shared a list of 10 or more beers made by club members.  The highlight for us though was the tapping of a collaboration sour beer brewed by Frederick breweries from all local ingredients – great stuff!  Put this event on on the calendar for next year.  It wasn’t over crowded, the location was open and scenic, and the little kids had just as much fun as the big kids.

Frederick Beer Week Begins!

Today kicks off Frederick Beer Week!  Woo hoo!

This is a great week to be in Frederick, and this long overdue event is being done up right!  May 10th-14th will include lots of great beer events hosted by:

Here’s a list of the scheduled events:

Tuesday, May 10

  • Flying Dog Kick-Off with Chef Bryan Voltaggio – VOLT Restaurant in downtown Frederick
  • Battle of the Bubbles Homebrew Competition Judging – Barley & Hops in Frederick, MD
  • Heavy Seas Loose Cannon Cask Night – Bushwaller’s Irish Pub in downtown Frederick, MD
6 to 8 pm
Free Heavy Seas pint glass with your first beer!

Wednesday, May 11

  • Beer Judging Certification Program Tasting Class
  • Cocktail Beer Pairings – Brewer’s Alley in downtown Frederick, MD

Thursday, May 12

  • Alive @ Five Happy Hour – Carroll Creek Amphitheater in downtown Frederick, MD
5 to 8 pm
$5 cover, featuring Brewer’s Alley beer (added cost)
  • Heavy Seas Firkin Night – Mt. Airy Inn in Mt. Airy, MD
Time: 6 to 8 pm
Free Heavy Seas pint glass with your first beer!
  • Alive @ Five After-Party with Flying Dog – Greene Turtle in downtown Frederick, MD
7 pm to close
Flying Dog on draft and on cask
featuring an in-bar scavenger hunt with prizes

Friday, May 13

  • Flying Dog Sampling – Ye Old Spirit Shop 
5 to 7 pm
  • Frederick Tap Takeover – Bushwaller’s Irish Pub in downtown Frederick, MD
5 pm to close
Only Flying Dog, Brewer’s Alley, Barley and Hops, and Heavy Seas beer on tap!
  • Friday the FIRKteenth – Hollow Creek Golf Club in Middletown, MD,
6 pm to close,
Heavy Seas firkin and live music from Paul Pfau.

Saturday, May 14

  • Beer Brunch – Mt. Airy Inn in Mt. Airy, MD
11 am to 2 pm
  • Frederick Beer Week Brew Fest – at Stillpoint Farm in Mt. Airy, MD,
Noon to 6 pm – features beer from Flying Dog, Brewer’s Alley, Barley and Hops, and Heavy Seas, as well as live music by The Jug Band, The Polka Dots, and The Fieldhands; crafts, food, hay rides and more!

Even the County libraries are celebrating as they’ve placed all their beer-related books on display in honor of this glorious tribute to Frederick beer.   So come join us native Fredericktonians for an exciting week-long beer celebration!

Part 3 All Grain Homebrewing 101: the Home “Brew” Movie

Instead of writing out the entire brewing process, we decided to capture our brew day on video!  It may not be perfect, but its our very first video, and we had fun making it.  So here we are brewing a beer called Oatmeal Cookie in a Glass, which we adapted from the book Radical Brewing, by Randy Mosher. So grab a quality beer, sit back and enjoy the show….

Oatmeal Cookie Brown Ale from Cheers Beers on Vimeo.

“American Beer” – the Movie

American Beer - 2002, 105 minutes produced by Six Hundred Films and directed by Paul Kermizian.

“How often do you get the chance to risk everything you have and do something really stupid?”   That’s exactly how many of the top craft brewers got their start.  “American Beer” is an opportunity for us to join 5 quirky guys on their coveted cross country adventure to visit 38 craft breweries in 40 days. Put 5 guys together in a mini van, driving day after day, getting drunk night after night, and you have good wholesome beer entertainment.

It also happens to be one of the best introductions to US craft brewers, breweries and beer that you’ll find anywhere. You will come away from this movie knowing more about the beer industry, how beer is brewed, and more importantly about the brewing entrepreneurs who were brave enough (or stupid enough) to risk everything and start a business doing what they love.

Two or 3 movies could probably be made from this trip, but instead they do a great job of capturing the best of the interviews and the trip. They drove to virtually every nook and cranny of the US, visiting Brooklyn Brewery, Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, Bell’s Brewery, Victory, Anchor Steam, Yuengling, New Belgium, New Glarus, Climax, Anderson Valley, Hair of the Dog, Hale’s Ales, Magic Hat, and many others.

Click image to watch the trailer for "American Beer".

American Beer has become a “go to” movie for us, like a cult film that’s funnier and more entertaining every time we watch it. Brewers are naturally free spirits, fun, uninhibited, and living out their dreams – and every single one of them has a different hangover remedy. That alone is worth the viewing time. So if you’re a beer lover, or think you’re a beer lover, or love a beer lover and want to love beer, then watch this movie because it is an American tribute to beer!  God bless America!

Cheer beers!

Garrett Oliver Kicks Back

Garrett Oliver - Head Brewer at Brooklyn Brewery

At our house, its considered acceptable to watch beer videos at the dinner table.  And when Donnie finds something good, we’ll sit side by side glued to the laptop, because if nothing else, brewers are entertaining and fun!

And then there’s Garrett Oliver, head brewer at Brooklyn Brewery, who in my opinion is like the professor of beer, always golf appropriate, straight up and sober. At least that’s what I thought until we watched Cassidy Cantanzaro’s interview with Garrett on Beer Sessions’ Tapping In with Cassidy.

Kudos to Cassidy!  Not only did she maintain her sobriety, but she did a stand up job of capturing a fun spirited and informative Garrett Oliver. By the way, have you ever wondered why they put beer in a champagne bottle (aka bomber)? Me neither, but I do love his answer to this question.  So when you’re ready, grab a quality beer (in this case, a Brooklyn Beer would be appropriate), sit back and experience the fun side of Garrett Oliver.

Cheers beers!

Welcome to Cheers Beers!

If you’re a fan of quality yeasty, malty, hoppy goodness, then you like beer!  And if you don’t like beer, then you just haven’t found the right beer yet.  Beer offers something for everyone – an endless selection of styles, flavors, and colors to choose from…it’s practically a food group!

So incase you  haven’t guessed, this blog is about beer, enjoying beer, experiencing new beers, visiting beer places, meeting beer people, and even brewing beer.  Donnie, our HoppyTimes house brewer is the technical guru, and I (Paula) will provide aesthetic analysis and comments.   Ha hahh!   Who are we kidding? We just like to talk about beer and all things beer related.

Don is hard at work keeping up with public demand for quality beer at HoppyTimes

So we hope you revisit, read and comment this blog, which comes to you direct from our Maryland-based HoppyTimes home brewery.  See you soon!

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