Monday, June 7, 2010

Excuses, excuses ...

I apologize to those who have been following this blog ...

I've been on a planned hiatus while I re-evaluate the future direction of this online presence. I'd rather not post at all than post half heartedly.

I promise to be back better than ever but for now I need to focus on completing my many real life projects.

Thanks for your patience and I hope to see you again.

~ John ~

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Forward Momentum

When we started brewing beer as Philadelphia Brewing Co. 20 months ago we hoped this town would drink it faster than we could make it. With a lot of hard work and hustle we've kept up. Time sure does fly when you're having fun. A couple of months ago it became obvious that we were going to need someplace to put more beer!

Below I have pictures from Silver State Stainless who we chose to build our four shiny new 2600 gallon fermentation tanks (with more to follow). They've just begun fabrication.

Personally, this is especially exciting. I've only ever had the opportunity to brew on systems that were already in place. The mantra always seemed to be "... doing the best with what we've got." This seems to be common in most small breweries where there are many different pieces of equipment accumulated over the years.

Designing these tanks exactly the way we want them has been a fun and educational process. The real drama begins in two months when the first batch of Kenzinger is happily bubbling away in them!

Welding the cooling jacket ...
Nicely polished top dome ...
finishing the bottom cone ...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

"Paul" Saison tapped!

I've heard that "Paul" Saison is pouring over at The General Lafayette Inn & Brewery. As part of their * Brewer Residency Program * they asked me to collaborate on a saison recipe. Below I've posted the pictures I took during brew day.

The name of course is a tribute to Paul Cezanne the French Post-Impressionist artist currently being featured at Philadelphia Museum of Art. It turned out to be a very tasty beer. On top of a solid grain bill we've lightly added orange peel, coriander, and red, white, and black peppercorns. My contribution was our house belgian yeast (used in Walt Wit and Rowhouse Red) and a generous serving of dandelion greens toward the end of the boil.

In true collaborative fashion the beer fermented primarily with our yeast and was finished with the General Lafayette house belgian yeast.

A big thanks to Chris and Russ for asking PBC to be the first Brewer in this program and for letting me glory brew for a day.

And all the photos are here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Every week is Philly Beer Week

Philly Beer Week is approaching fast and everybody's calendar is filling up!

In less than a month an impressive array of people from all over will descend upon the city to see if there's any merit to the claim of Philly as the best beer drinking city in the US. This is great for the city and great for beer ~ and I think we could rightfully stake that claim.

In all the hustle let's not forget one thing. We've chosen to call it Philadelphia Beer Week. We've done this because we've got the beer and the ego in this city to back it up. The best thing about beer is it's diversity and I love to find inspiration in artfully crafted beers from around the World. (I don't need to remind anyone we've got that all right here in our own backyard.) I'm excited to share a beer and trade ideas with all the non-local brewers that will be coming into town and they will add depth and creativity to the event. They are coming - the list is impressive. And I'll admit - I'm as much a sucker as anyone else for a good German accent.

With all that said - PBW is ours. Lets own it and not forget why it exists in the first place. When you're out at a bar try counting how many of those tap handles are Philly-centric? - And better yet, if you manage a bar you still have time to plan accordingly. Let's be proud of what we have to offer. Let's show em what we got!

~ Cause when all those nicely tanned west-coasters and well mannered Belgians pack up their suitcases and their special taphandles and go on home we'll still be here; local, dependable and delicious.

For us every week is Philadelphia beer week.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Notes from a year ago

This has been a wild year. As of tomorrow its been 1 year since we opened the doors and began tearing up the old brewery and building our new (old) brewery.

I actually wrote this a year ago while we were conceptualizing recipe's and designs for what would become Philadelphia's Brewing Company. I found this scribbled on an old pad in the bottom of my locker and thought it is interesting and more appropriate than ever on the eve of our first year officially in this business as Philadelphia's brand.

January 2008
The honeymoon is over. …for some.

This goes out to small brewers. The days of building a brewery and carving out your niche on uninteresting / uninspired beers just because they are 'craft' is over. Yesterdays success guarantees nothing tomorrow.

The fact is that even the smallest of us are in the business of manufacturing first and creativity second. We work in beer factories. Many days it feels like a trained monkey could do 95% of what we do. It’s the other 5% that counts the most –if you forget that and you’re just mailing it in everyday – well that makes you the monkey. Don’t get me wrong, the hard hard labor of simple everyday production – the shoveling of grain, the scrubbing of floors, the moving of kegs, and so on - is the large necessary price we all pay to have the occasional chance to create. As always it’s the smallest things that count the most. If in all the monotony of daily work you’ve forgotten that – I say wake up or move on. Its all about perspective – if you think like a factory grunt then that’s what you’ll be – think like a technically trained artist and well … you’ll make some damn good beers.

This is nothing more than a friendly reminder to all the brewers out there.

So keep the romance alive.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Beer Run this Saturday

Run for beer this Saturday! I will be in the Brewhouse making more Kenzinger (it goes so fast these days!) so I will have to catch the next one.

I've passed along the info below for those of you who are interested in a scenic autumn run or bike followed by a few good pints - what could be better!?

Organized by Bryan at The Brew Lounge:

>Saturday, November 8, 2008; meet @ 9:30am; leave @ 10:15am

> Start: General Lafayette Inn & Brewery; 646 Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill, PA

> End: Tiedhouse; 2001 Hamilton Street, Philadelphia, PA

* One hydration station will be located roughly at the midpoint of the route

This is not a sanctioned or sponsored race event; you will run at your own risk. However, to get your first round free at the new Tiedhouse gastropub in Philly, you'll need to show up at The General Lafayette and run or bike 13.1 miles along one of the most scenic routes in the Philly area.

This coming Saturday, come meet in Lafayette Hill, PA at The General Lafayette at 9:30am for a prompt 10:15am departure down along Forbidden Drive, Wissahickon Creek, and Kelly Drive into the Fairmount Section of Philly and the new Tiedhouse restaurant.

For more information or with questions, contact

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Phillies WIN!

Phillies win tonight. I can't imagine any city that this would mean any more to. I've quickly become a converted Phillies fan since (growing up in the Northeast) moving here 8 years ago. I'm not sure I've experienced such dedicated fans anywhere else.

To me the turning point was watching the news before the game and seeing their coverage of the guys hired to literally grease down the public utility poles all around the city in anticipation of a win.

Thats when I knew the Phillies couldn't possibly lose in this town tonight. Good job fellas.