A Visit to Two Rivers Brewing in Easton, PA

Two Rivers Brewing
Two Rivers Brewing

Over the holidays, I was excited to go East to visit the family.  Even more so, after pledging on Kickstarter, I was anxious to visit the new brewery in Easton, Pennsylvania: Two Rivers Brewing.

The brewpub serves a New Orleans-inspired menu, with staples like Gumbo and Poutine.  At the time of our visit, they hadn’t started brewing beer yet due to a re-planning of the brewery floor (full tanks are heavy!).  They were, however, serving a lot of very local beers (within 30 miles), including a few from Weyerbacher, the other Easton brewery.

Our party tried the gumbo (great!) and duck fat fries (better than great!) as appetizers.  The ladies each ordered a seafood dish, while the guys ordered different sandwiches on the menu.  All of the food was outstanding, and the brewery quickly became a favorite with our group.

After our meal, I spoke with Troy Reynard, one of the owners, and told him how excited I was for them.  I mentioned that all I wanted for Christmas from my entire family was the $500-level Kickstarter experience, which included a brew day with the head brewer.  The head brewer is Wayne Milford, whose last job was a brewer at Dogfish Head Brewing.  The brew day experience is a bit different because it includes a bit of creative freedom from yours truly, and I am excited for them to begin brewing and have the opportunity to take part.  We finished off the evening with Troy giving me the additional Kickstarter rewards, which included a growler (which I lent to my brother-in-law), a pint glass, a nice t-shirt, and other assorted swag.

We had a great time in the historic building-turned-brewery, and I look forward to visiting them every time I make it out to the East Coast.  Have you had a chance to check out Two Rivers Brewing?  What did you think?

Dogfish Head Midas Touch

Midas Touch
Midas Touch

Another beer by Dogfish Head that should soon be in an Iowa store near you, thanks to SF 2088, is Midas Touch.  From their website:

It is an ancient Turkish recipe using the original ingredients from the 2700 year old drinking vessels discovered in the tomb of King Midas.

The beer includes as ingredients barley, honey, muscat grapes, and saffron .  Other than being slightly carbonated, this beer doesn’t remind me much of a beer.  Instead, it seems to be similar to a white wine blended with a bit of a mead .  As a matter of fact, it took three of these on different occasions to begin to pin down the complexity of the drink.

It has a sweet smell, with hints of honey.  The taste is of honey and white wine, and leaves an aftertaste of white wine.  I can faintly make out the barley, but it’s hardly noticeable.  Being 9% ABV, it warms as it goes down.  The carbonation makes it nice and refreshing.  I think this would be a nice drink to ease your wine-drinking friends into beer.

Have you tried Midas Touch?  What did you think?

Dogfish Head Festina Peche

Festina Peche
Festina Peche

If you are looking for an unusual taste, Festina Peche (pronounced pesh-ay) by Dogfish Head of Milton, Deleware might be your beer.  It is based on the Berliner Weisse style, which used to be fairly prominent in Germany, particularly Berlin, but sadly, today there are just a handful of these breweries left.

Festina Peche is a wheat beer that has strong sour “tang” to it.  During the process of fermentation, peaches are added to give the beer a slight peach flavor, and make the beer more complex.  This contrasts from a standard Berliner Weisse, where a sweet syrup, usually raspberry or woodruff, were added to the beer at serving time, instead of during the brewing process.  Like a Berliner Weisse, Festina Peche is a true session beer, measuring in at only 4.5% ABV.

Based on my tasting, the beer was indeed sour, very little bitterness (if any), and didn’t have much hint of peach.  I thoroughly enjoyed the beer, and it was very tasty. It finished clean, and left a spectacular sour taste.  It would be nice and refreshing on a hot summer day.

Have you tried Festina Peche or a Berliner Weisse?

A Beer Drinker’s Las Vegas Experience

Vegas Baby!
Vegas Baby!

My friends and I recently went to Las Vegas for a bachelor party.  Las Vegas is known for clubs, bright lights, and mixed drinks, but not really beer.  In actuality, Las Vegas does have a few beer experiences that don’t break the bank.  Since our hotel was on the south side of the strip, and didn’t have a car or didn’t feel like taking cab rides, our selection was limited.

The first place we tried was the Burger Bar, located in Mandalay Place.  They had a large selection of beers from common selections, such as Spaten Optimator to more exotic selections, such as Life & Limb, a collaboration between Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head.  The prices ranged from around $6 to upwards of over $100 for rare selections.  The atmosphere was nice, but the prices tended to be on the high side.

The next day, we stopped by Sin City Brewing, located in the Flamingo hotel and casino.  We tried the Amber, Stout, and Seasonal, which was an IPA.  All were quality beers, but at $6 each, again, we wouldn’t be able to purchase many pints.

While we were sitting at the bar, another patron mentioned that O’Sheas, the casino next door, had all-day happy hour, which included $1 Guinness drafts and $3 Black and Tans (Guinness stout layered on Harp lager).  We were excited to find such a great deal.  At the casino, a couple of my friends entered into a beer-pong tournament, and made it into the second round.  We enjoyed O’Sheas  so much, we went back the next day.

A couple days later, we heard of another place, just off the strip, called Ellis Island Casino and Brewery.  The casino had karaoke 7-days a week from 9 pm until 3 am, and had a brewery on-site.  We tried the brewery’s Amber, Wheat, and Stout (which mas more like a brown ale).  When it came time to buy the round, we found out each glass was only $1.50.  We sang all night, drinking $1.50 craft brews.

The next day, to finish our weekend, we went to Pour 24, a 24-hour, 24-tap bar located on the mezzanine level of the New York New York Hotel and Casino.  They had several craft brews not available in Iowa, including several Stone Brewing Co. options, such as Arrogant Bastard and Ruination.  On the pricey side at $7.25, we only had a couple of pints (in plastic glasses), but it was a nice way to end the trip.

Next time we go to Las Vegas, we have several great, inexpensive places to enjoy some beer.  What kinds of places have you found in Las Vegas?