Beerituality – Episode 1

A few years back I posted a blog piece around the time of the New Year. It was a little philosophical and I thought that it wouldn’t be popular, but it turned out to be a talked about piece. I’ve been spending a lot of time pondering a few things about The Whistle lately and I realized how personal and in a strange sense spiritual the beer store is. So I thought I’d post a few more episodes of my beeritual experiences.

There are so many experiences that I thought you might like episodes. Here’s the first one.

A woman comes into the beer store once every three weeks and stocks up on beer. Eventually, I learn that part of the beer is for her husband and part of it is for her. I see her time and time again and I notice when she starts coughing more than usual and then when she is pale.

Kindly, I ask if she’s feeling ok. She tells me that she always has allergies. I think maybe there’s more, but this isn’t the place to talk about it.

More weeks go by and I remember that I haven’t seen her in awhile. Her husband stops in and buys a little less beer than usual. She’s in the hospital, he says. He’s not sure if she will make it out. My heart is breaking for her and for her family and I hug him knowing that maybe that seems a weird thing to happen in a beer store. I tell him that he’s to give her well wishes from all of us.

I wonder if the grocery store noticed that she wasn’t coming in. And then I think that she might feel awkward knowing that the lady at the beer store missed seeing her. But I did. Not just because she bought beer, but because we were neighborly.

Maybe before I owned a beer store I would judge someone and say that if she wanted to be healthy she should have cut back on the beer. My multiple degrees in health might have motivated me to think that way. But what is health? Is it only physical? What of our psyche?

Of course, we could all make better decisions about what we put in our bodies. The beer store has given me a chance to love more without judgment. Accept more of humanity with all of its complexities. The beer store has made me a better person. Everyone has something that they’re dealing with and they’re dealing with it in whatever way they can.

At this point, my judgment would be the last thing that she or her family need. The beeritual lesson was to find loving space and hold it for her. Bring peace into my mind and extend it to her.

Memorable Memorial Day – Sat. May 24th


2:30 – 4:30

Free Sampling of Yuengling Summer Wheat!

Drop your name in for free summer drawings!

Stock up with terrific summer sales through Monday, May 26th:

Labatt Blue & Blue Light 30 pack/12 oz. Cans $20.99

Corona & Corona Light 24 Pack/12 oz. Bottles & Cans $27.50

Sam Adams Variety 24 Pack/12 oz. Bottles $32.85

Blue Moon 24 Pack/12 oz. Bottles $29.50

8th Street Music Fest – September 27, 2014

It may seem like it’s far away, but the days are going to warm up quickly and the committee for this year’s 8th Street Music Fest is already hard at work planning a terrific event. WYW is integrally involved with planning and participating in this event and we have more and more fun every year.

Check out the new web site at:



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


#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


#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


#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


#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


#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


#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


#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


#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


#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


#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


#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!


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!



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

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.