A blog about beer, food, cooking and good times...

"I love hoppy things... I love things with hops in them... Like little bags and towels... Hops rule foreva."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Leaf Restaurant Cigar Bar & Lounge... I Can't Be Leaf It

Leaf Restaurant

Oh man! This place is really out of place..... and thank god it is... If you like good food, Cigars, and Beer you'll love Leaf Restaurant Cigar Bar& Lounge: Located in and industrial park and connected to "The World Famous Smoke Shop" Leaf has got to be one of the best places for a relaxing night out in the  Valley. If your lucky you'll be there when "Tommy D" and the boys roll in for an impromptu piano sing-a-long. "Try to stump 'em I dare you!  -Shorty    P.S. Lots-o-beer to talk about when I find the time.

I Can't Be Leaf it's Not Butter! Spray!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Summit Silver Anniversary & Roy Pitz Gobbler Lager

Summit Brewing's Silver Anniversary Ale. It was so good I had to put it on again. My buddy Chris just put on a brew from Roy Pitz, Gobbler Lager, a review is soon to follow. A little known fact; I was born in the same town that Roy Pitz is located in..... "Small" world...... -Shorty

Monday, September 5, 2011

Whats Tappenin'!

So the tap system is up and rockin' and Last Wednesday I paid a visit to Stockertown Beverage (Stockertown, Pa) to peruse their fine selection brews.  A little back story here: I usually walk out of this distributor without purchasing anything due to their lack of customer service and general arrogance when it comes to selling beer. Yet, I found myself at their mercy once again. This visit however would prove to be very different. The norm would have been a banter back and forth "well what do you want?.." "I dunno what you got?" and on and on and on.... this time though I met a kind fellow by the name of Cody.... who quickly walked me through the coolers pointing out various beers that I might like, describing them as we went and quoting me prices no less.... as it turns out.... this place has or can get EVERYTHING you could ever want! On that particular day they had over seven IPA's in 1/6 barrels! Including a few double IPA's. At Cody's direction I finally decided on Summit Brewing's Silver Anniversary Ale. A 1/6 barrel for 59$. Let's just say that this beer is good! over 80 IBU's and an ABV of 6.5% make this a very drinkable beer. More in depth review to follow! -The Beer Gnome

Loved this show! the 70's were the Sh-t!

Full Sail Brewing: Elevation Imperial IPA..... "I'm Out!"

 Ok... so I popped the top on this attractively packaged Imperial IPA expecting to be over whelmed by hoppy goodness.... and lets just say I was less than pleased.... I think If I were going to quote myself... I would have to write "Not shitty; just not good!" This beer just fell flat on it's face.... From start to finish there was nothing that struck a tone with me. See the hand written review for a more in depth account of our tasting.  The video below illustrates my feelings quit accurately. I love when that patty smacks that dude in the face.. pure genius! -The Beer Gnome

Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's not "The Fall Guy" This Sh*t is 100% MacGyver

The final product.

About a year ago I set out to install a tap system in my house. It's been a labor of love and with some fine tuning, it's finally finished. I could have went the traditional route and bought everything "legit" and spent a fortune but that's just not my style. With a little know how and a few freebies, I was off to the races.  The first thing I bought was a second-hand draft system which included a keg coupler, tap head, and Co2 tank for about $75. Big savings here,  as you can get everything brand new for about $150. I lucked out, the stuff this guy had was in really excellent shape. If you can spring for new equipment I suggest you do so. If your tank is out of date or the hoses are dirty, etc you could easily spend what you were initially going to save. Check out Micromatic.com they'll hook you up! Next, I picked up a fridge from a friend for free! A point of interest here, make sure you get one that has a flat bottom or you will only be able to tap sixtels and skinny quarter barrels. The real trick as it turns out, was going to be running the lines and keeping them cold all the way to the tap head in my dining room closet. "That's right draft beer in the closet." The pic to your upper left says it all. The total length of the run is about 9' and the refrigerator is in my basement just below the closet where the bar now exists. I first thought about air cooling the lines but it seemed like a big head-ache and an even bigger expense. The only other option I could figure was to install a glycol system. Also very costly, so I had a cold one and thought about it for a while. Then it hit me, like Richard Dean Anderson in the hit show MacGyver, why not make my own system? So, that's what I did and you can do it too. All you need is some 3" PCV, flexible tubing, spray foam insulation, a small pump, and a tub to
Gathering the lines.
Loosely zip tie them together.

hold your cooling liquid ( I used water with bleach and isopropyl alcohol).  The idea is simple; create a circuit of
continually pumping cold water that runs parallel to your beer line, insulate all three lines, run them through 3" PVC pipe seal it up and your done. "It may not be perfect but it works." Essentially you are creating your own trunk line traditionally used in commercial grade systems using glycol to refrigerate the lines. A glycol system is a closed system where none of your refrigerant evaporates. In my system, every few weeks or so you will need to add more water to your reservoir. Not a bad trade off considering the price of a glycol system.  After you gather and zip tie your lines wrap them in foil insulation and then in foam pipe insulation. You will then feed the entire thing through your 3" PVC. This will keep you lines cold and virtually eliminate any condensation from forming on the outside of the lines, which was a huge problem I had in an earlier version of this system. I fished the whole thing off with some custom concrete counter tops and a natural stone back splash. Check out the pick above for the full effect. I didn't use any duct tape but i'm sure MacGyver would have been proud! -Shorty aka (the Gnome)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"I'm the king of hops! There is none Higher! Sucka craft beers should call me sire!"

Fresh and delicious!
Latest brew review: Boulder Brewing's Hoopla Pale Ale. This is not the "king of hops!" but it's one drinkable Pale Ale. This beer has a nice floral nose to it, perfect frothy head, and a beautiful amber color. It lacked the strong citrus notes that I have come to love about the super hopped IPA's. Clean finish, crisp and not real bitter. You could easily session this beer. So folks not alot to say about this one. That's all for now.. check the vids below for some viewing pleasure! -Shorty, aka "The Beer Gnome"

Hops: Nugget, Glacier, Centennial
Grains: Pale Malt, CaraRed Malt, Melanoidin Malt, Chocolate Malt
IBU: 35
ABV: 5.7%

Listen and watch as the brewers from B&B create this delicious libation!

The inspiration for the title of this post.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

"it's gettin hot in here"

Let's get  saucy!
Owner and chef Kelly Jo Deitz and I sit down and dig in!

Tuesday was a day of profound creation. I was able to use the kitchen at Black & Blue to develop some seriously delicious wing sauces. The owner Kelly Jo and I sat down to sample some of my tantalizing wing creations. Among the top of the list were a Hot and honey sauce made with Southampton Double White and a seriously hot Ghost chili inspired number. Notable mentions where a dry spiced Memphis BBQ (I really liked this one),  a Red Curry and Lime Sauce and an IPA number made from Lagunitas's Hop Stoopid.  Look for B&B to be featuring some of these amazing sauces on a monthly basis.
"In all their glory!"
"Crispy deliciousness!"
Loaded with a couple of bags of ingredients and a ton of excitement I headed to Black & Blue to see what I could do. I should mention that the kitchen is ungodly hot yet impressively big. Cooking there was a pleasure and I am looking forward to many more creative excursions into their humble abode.  To the left: the wings are crispy fried and ready for sauce. My mouth is watering profusely at this point and I can hardly contain myself. Once I introduce the wings to the five new concoctions it's almost to much to bear.