2014 Homebrew Competition Winners

An enormous thank you to all of the volunteers from the Lebanon Area Fermenters and the BJCP judges that took part in the competition yesterday. The final information and standings are as follows:

11 BJCP Categories Represented

109 Entries

All feed back forms will be mailed or, if you are local, you can pick the forms up at Wet Your Whistle as of Friday, January 31. We are working on sorting, so Friday is the earliest pick up day.

Best of Show: Joe Bump from Burke, VA for his “Little Johnny Guy Rye” – Rye Pale Ale – Category 6A

LAGERS – CATEGORIES 1,2,3,4 & 5 / 7 ENTRIES

#1 – Rob Knighton, Columbia, PA Category 3A for his 023-13

#2 Rob Knighton, Columbia, PA Category 1D for his 80/20

#3 Rob Knighton Columbia, PA Category 4C for his Black Beer

HYBRIDS, ENGLISH & SCOTTISH ALES – CATEGORIES 6,7,8 & 9 / 8 ENTRIES

#1 Joe Bump, Burke, VA Category 6D for his Little Johnny Rye Guy

#2 Jacob Kustan, Hershey, PA, Category 8C for his English Pale Ale I

#3 Joe Bump, Burke, VA Category 9E for his Aye Laddy

AMERICAN ALE – CATEGORY 10 / 9 ENTRIES

#1 Jim Borneman, Lebanon, PA, Category 10B for his Richies Red Ale

#2 Brian Ramberger, Sinking Spring, PA, Category 10A for his Schmoogdaddy Citra Pale Ale

#3 Steven Landgren, Webster, NY, Category 10A for his USPA

ENGLISH BROWNS & PORTERS – CATEGORY 11 & 12 / 10 ENTRIES

#1 Nate Mooney, Elkton, MD, Category 12A for his Honey Porter

#2 Rob Knighton, Columbia, PA, Category 11B for his 028-13

#3 Rob Knighton, Columbia, PA Category 12A for his 026-13

STOUTS – CATEGORIES 12 & 13 / 12 ENTRIES

#1 Chris Bible, Knoxville, TN, Category 13D for his Ebony Insanity

#2 Michael Potorti, Stratham, NH, Category 13A for his Beara Irish Stout

#3 Jacob Kustan, Hershey, PA, Category 13C for his English Stout I

IPA – CATEGORY 14 / 13 ENTRIES

#1 Tyler Smerlick, Buffalo, NY, Category 14C for his IPA

#2 Eric Stoffer, Lebanon, PA, Category 14B for his Mosaic IPA

#3 Michael Cox, Lebanon, PA, Category 14B for his Cent IPA

GERMAN WHEAT & BELGIAN NON-STRONG ALE – CATEGORIES 15, 16 & 17 / 8 ENTRIES

#1 Travis J. Miller, Chambersburg, PA, Category 16C for his New Age Saison

#2 Anthony J. Becampis, Wirtz, VA, Category 15D for his DST Roggenbier

#3 William Cullen, East Stroudsburg, PA, Category 16E for his Djoyous Noye

ALL STRONG ALES – CATEGORIES 18 & 19 / 7 ENTRIES

#1 Eric Heinrich, Lebanon, PA, Category 18C for his Strong Words

#2 Brian Ramberger, Sinking Springs, PA, Category 18E for his Schmoogdaddy Belgian Strong Ale

#3 Brian Ramberger, Sinking Springs, PA, Category 18C for his Schmoogdaddyy Tripel

SPICED, HERB, VEGETABLE BEER – CATEGORY 21 / 13 ENTRIES

#1 Ryan Ulrich, Lebanon, PA, Category 21A for his Fire on the Mountain

#2 Dean Pierce, Ephrata, PA, Category 21A for his Mocha Oatmeal Stout

#3 Travis Miller, Chambersburg, PA, Category 21A for his Revenge on Cortez

SMOKE FLAVORED & WOOD AGED BEER – CATEGORY 22 / 8 ENTRIES

#1 Dean Pierce, Ephrata, PA, Category 22C for his Phenom

#2 Eric Heinrich, Lebanon, PA, Category 22C for his Toasted Talk

#3 Nate Mooney, Elkton, MD, Category 22C for his Oak Aged Stout

FRUIT/SPECIALTY/MEAD – CATEGORIES 20, 23 & 26 / 12 ENTRIES

#1 Mike Bednar, Harrisburg, PA, Category 23 for his Bednarz Pivo

#2 Bruce Kramer, West Chester, PA, Category 26A for his Mead

#3 Dean Pierce, Ephrata, PA, Category 23 for his Midnight Flight

2014 Lebanon Homebrew Competition

The freeze is in the air and it is once again time for the Lebanon Bolognafest on Saturday, January 25, 2014. This year Wet Your Whistle and the Lebanon Area Fermenters will host the second annual homebrew contest at Bolognafest.

With 20 days left for submissions we’re getting very excited! We’re receiving submissions from all over the country and as an AHA sanctioned competition we’re expecting this to be our best one yet.

Cheers to all of you that have already dropped off your entries and to all of you waiting, we’ll see you by January 20th. Happy New Year!

Cheryl

Homebrewing Tutorials

 

These short vidoes by the American Homebrewer’s Association are perfect for getting started:

Learning to Homebrew: Lesson 1 Introduction

Learning to Homebrew: Lesson 2 Brewing Ingredients

Learning to Homebrew: Lesson 3 Brewing Equipment

Learnig to Homebrew: Lesson 4 Sanitizing 

Learning to Homebrew: Lesson 5 Brewing Part 1

Learning to Homebrew: Lesson 6 Brewing Part 2

Learning to Homebrew: Lesson 7 Fermentation

Learning to Homebrew: Lesson 8 Preparing to Bottle

Learning to Homebrew: Lesson 9 Bottling

Weekend Gems

I’m a huge fan of small business. After all, would I have attempted this business if I were not? I also believe it takes a lot of faith to give your idea a try because no matter how many numbers you crunch and how well prepared you believe that you are, there will always be challenges once you’re up and running. That’s why every chance that I get, I like to frequent and support other small businesses.

This weekend my family and I found a few gems thanks to the referrals made by a couple of our customers. The first one has me so delighted that I can barely think straight wondering if I’m going to be able to make it back out to the farmer’s market in Palmyra this weekend. Sandi’s Breads makes incredible creations that will completely knock your socks off. I purchased three loaves of bread on Saturday and there’s nothing left at my house this Monday morning. I’ve even heard that they sometimes make a Troeg’s bread from the spent grain that Troeg’s uses to make beer. I’ll be looking for that one.

Later in the day on Saturday we made our way to Mt. Joy and had the distinct pleasure of dining at Zuckfoltzfus Brewing Co.. My fork was going wild snagging bits off of everyone else’s dinner plate because all the food was outstanding. Karen, one of the owners, was especially kind to note that we had small children that might have delicate taste buds.

That’s the kind of thing you can do when you’re a small business. When you meet your customers face to face you have an opportunity to observe their needs and acknowledge them. Even if you don’t have what they need immediately, you’re able to adjust and obtain it so that you’re providing excellent service.

Both of these small businesses provided us with exceptional service and amazing product this weekend. Three cheers from The Whistle!

Cheryl

 

Lebanon Area Fermenters – Twelve Beers of Christmas

UnknownThe homebrew club has their act together and they’re looking ahead. While I’m stocking the Whistle shelves with fall beer, it’s time for brewers to be thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas. Since the month of December is decidedly crazy, the Lebanon Area Fermenters will not have a meeting that month. Instead, in November they’re doing a really cool beer exchange.

Twelve of the members are brewing a beer from Randy Mosher’s “12 Beers of Christmas” list in his book “Radical Brewing”. There are a few beers that haven’t been grabbed up to brew, so if you’re interested, get in touch with Lee Umberger at LUmberger@comcast.net.

A few of the homebrewers have been in The Whistle this week and have shared how they’re enhancing and tweaking the recipes. There are a few of them that I’m so excited about that I’ve put in special requests for tastings! Here are the twelve beers that they will be creating:

1. Caramel Quadrupel

2. Spiced Cherry Dubbel

3. Spice Dunkel Weizenbock

4. Juniper Rye Bock

5. Fruitcake Old Ale

6. Saffron Tripel

7. Christmas Gruit

8. Honey Ginger IPA

9. Crabapple Lambicky Ale

10. Gingerbread Ale

11. Spiced Bourbon Stout

12. Abbey Weizen

Now can you see why I’m so excited for them? If you’re a home brewer, it’s Christmas time! Get planning and brewing for the season.

Cheers.

Cheryl

Liquor Privatization Is Not Important?

As summer winds down and the fall legislative session creeps closer, there are more articles, tweets, op-eds, blog posts and editorials appearing about Pennsylvania liquor privatization. Since the summer session closed on June 30th without the passage of a privatization plan there have been several of these communications that suggest that liquor privatization is not a priority and that other, more pressing matters need to be considered.

Yet  $2.5 million dollars were spent on the privatization effort so far in 2013 and during the heat of the debate we’ve heard repeatedly about the importance of maintaining the jobs that are created by the current system. $2.5 million is not a pittance and jobs are not trivial.

Let’s consider that in order for consumers to have access to libations that tickle their taste buds, those products must arrive on trucks, which must travel on Pennsylvania roads and bridges. As it stands now, when a PA consumer wants a bottle of wine or a sweet and tangy vodka, he or she visits a state store where an employee of the Commonwealth that participates in the state pension program assists with the sale.

There are also nearly 14,000 current private businesses that hold a liquor license. They’re the businesses where you relax, dine and drink and they’re the businesses where you hunt for that specialty drink that will liven up your final summer party. They’re also the small businesses behind the scenes that negotiate with your favorite brewer to bring the latest and greatest beer to our market. They’re the businesses that support our local economy.

The final days of June were filled with intensity over the liquor debate. As an advocate for privatization I watched as a viable plan to improve our industry degenerated into something that was barely workable and finally into something that just could not pass. The days of summer have ticked on and I’ve read posts that criticize the effort and malign the idea that liquor privatization is important and it is disappointing.

Those of us in the industry are holding our breath. We’d like to make changes in our businesses, we’d like to improve our services, hire new people and be creative. And instead we wait and our communities wait as well.

Liquor privatization is not unimportant. It isn’t trivial. Even if you don’t drink, the probability of an improved local economy will impact your life. Every single resident of this Commonwealth should know where we stand on liquor privatization. We need a more flourishing economy, we need better roads, we need a feasible plan for pension reform. Nothing happens in isolation. One of those things is not more important than the other and if we address each of those items with the attention they deserve we may be able to get something completed this fall.

A cooperative approach by legislators, interested parties and consumers is necessary. There is an African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Privatization is important for us all. Change is difficult and fear surrounds most of the issue, but the residents and businesses within our Commonwealth want better for our state. We cannot dismiss the importance of one issue without demeaning the efforts  at improving the others. Even if you don’t drink, you’re life will be impacted by Pennsylvania privatization and our combined efforts could make that a positive impact on our communities, our businesses and the economic health of our Commonwealth.

Cheers.

Cheryl

In The News 2 – PA Privatization Continues

Yesterday I had an opportunity to speak as an advocate for my industry at a press conference held by Governor Tom Corbett. Some folks say I’m in opposition to the MBDA, but in truth, I’m simply a proponent of our industry. We need to be able to sell more products and that specifically means wine and spirits as well as smaller packages of beer.

Click here for the link to the video of the press conference.

Many, many beer distributors want to sell wine and spirits in addition to beer in any package size. It’s simple logic. If we have more product to sell, we have more of a chance to be successful. And, yes, I believe that we can be successful in a varied market.  I don’t believe we can compare our situation to other states in terms of how we dismantle the current system, but when we look at alcohol beverage retailers elsewhere, we see that they exist in all sizes in environments where the license structure is not so restrictive.

There was a comedic moment yesterday after the press conference where a man in the hallway accused me of advocating for the change because I want to sell my liquor license and I want it to be valuable. Where my business goes from here is not yet fully determined, but I will say this, I’m proud to stand and say that I want my business to have value. I challenge anyone to find a beer distributor or any business owner for that matter that doesn’t want their business to have value!

Admittedly, here on my blog I had an outburst of anger earlier in this game and perhaps said some things about people that may or may not be accurate in terms of intentions. So, it is only fair that those same people speculate about my intentions. The beauty of it is that if my business retains it’s value, the businesses of those that claim to be in opposition to my ideas also retain value and it’s a win for everyone.

Looking forward to seeing the final plan and negotiating the terms so that the demands of the consumers are met and so that small business can continue to thrive in our Commonwealth.

Cheers!

Cheryl

Crunch Time – PA Privatization

You might not know it by my past month’s blogging, but this really is a beer store web site with a beer store blog. It’s just that until the privatization issue is resolved, the primary concern for all Pennsylvania beer store owners is how they will conduct business under the new world order of selling alcoholic products. For that reason, my time has been dedicated to having a loud voice for my business. All of you out there with businesses of your own certainly understand.

This week the last of the Senate hearings were completed and we look ahead to next week for the plan that will be put forth by the Senate. The Reading Eagle posted an article with some interesting quotes from key legislators regarding the plan to be unveiled next Tuesday.

Being a highly organized person and someone that likes to have things planned out in advance, it’s been an education for me to go through this political process. I have learned that even though this may seem like a late hour in the discussion of privatization, our voices still very much matter. This means that if you are a consumer that wants one stop shopping for your purchases, contact your Senator now. If you’re a beer distributor that wants to sell wine and liquor in your store, contact your Senator and let him or her know that you favor privatization within the structure of HB790 and that you want to have a voice in the negotiations of the next few weeks.

Big business will also be clamoring for their share, so if you support small businesses it’s helpful to let your legislator know that as well. As a small business owner, I know that there are some compromises to be made, but I also know that opening up this market means that I will have opportunities that just don’t exist for me now.

On the lighter side, I’ve been avidly reading about craft distilling, the components of wine, flavored liquors and ways to offer the best products for my customers. I admit that cinnamon flavored Tequila intrigues  me. Let’s have tastings non-stop once our new store is up and running so that all of us can celebrate our freedom and discover new flavors and products! I’m optimistic.

For a summary of where we are in the process listen to my round table with Kevin Shivers of NFIB and Matt Brouillette of The Commonwealth Foundation at lincolnradiojournal.com.

Cheers.

Cheryl