About Me

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Former editor in chief of an award winning publication, avid outdoorsman, love hiking, kayaking, fishing, biking, visiting state parks, published writer, avid drinker, certified bartender, beer rater and I ran a bar tending school, and blogger writing under title of the Man Can Critic 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Grey Stone in Pottsville and the worst fantasy draft ever

I went to the Grey Stone last night and had a blast. The beer was good and had some great conversations. One of our conversation was fantasy football because most of the people I was there with were in leagues. Today I had one of my drafts. Actually I am still drafting now. After an hour we are still barely into the second round and that's with almost nobody drafting. We did an offline draft on Facebook and it moved like a snail and was impossible to keep track of anything. My other draft took around an hour and a half and moved very smoothly. My suggestion for fantasy football is to always draft online and plan things ahead on time. When you wait until the last minute things suck and people complain. Back to the Grey Stone. This is probably Pottsville's most upscale bar and restaurant. They always have a really diverse group of bottled beer that at least a couple of the beers I haven't ever had. The building is almost all stone and they have different pieces of art up for sale in the upstairs bar. This is where I like to hang out. Its a nice comfortable area with about a 10 seat bar. They have two beers on tap. I had five different bottles. First I had Point Nude Beach Wheat which was a nice easy going down beer and a great way to start off the night. Next up was Samuel Smith Organic Chocolate Stout. This one was the first chocolate stout I had that had a super strong chocolate taste. I mean it tasted like Hershey's syrup. Next up was Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale which was really good. Next I had Kutztown Lagerbier which was very good. This and Blood Orange were my favorites. Lastly I had Carlsberg. This was my least favorite. All in all a great night out and 5 more beers off my list. Thanks for reading and as always drink responsibly.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bethlehem Brew Works

Yesterday I went up to Dorko's for Monday night trivia and had four new Abita beers. The trivia was good even though we didn't fair so well. Today was the first day I had off since the kids went back to school. I debated go golfing today but when that didn't pan out I took it as a sign from God that I need to go to the casino and gamble, and eat and drink at a brewery. I decided on the Sands casino and Bethlehem Brew Works. My first stop was the Sands because Bethlehem Brew Works didn't open until 11 am. The casino wasn't that great but still not horrible. Then I headed off to the Brewery. The parking wasn't that great but it was easy to find. I had Fegley's Hefeweizen and Zomerbier along with a chicken hummus wrap. The wrap was almost perfect. The sauce was a little heavy but the chicken was cooked perfectly and the hummus was excellent. The overall decor of the pub was modern and clean. Beers were served in proper glasses. They had some merchandise, bottles, and growlers. I picked up a mixed six pack. The Hefeweizen was cloudy with a yellow color and lively carbonation and served with a lemon. The head was nice and fizzy with a middle tongue hit and a clove aroma and overall excellent taste. The Zomerbier was a Belgian garnished with an orange that had a nice sweetness and a golden color. It had a small head, long finish and little carbonation. It had a good flavor and I enjoyed both beers thoroughly. Overall this brew pub had goods and not so goods. The service was a little slow but not horrible. The staff was friendly and helpful. The prices were reasonable. I would have to say out of all the places I visited it was about mid level. The staff wasn't as knowledgeable as Iron Hill but they did have bottles for take out. They beat out Troegs because they had a nice selection of beers from other breweries. The food was good which is about the same as all the other brew pubs I have eaten at. Next time I would like to try out the Allentown location. I was also a little disappointed that I wasn't asked about joining the rewards club. Thanks for reading and as always please drink responsibly.

Information from Bethlehem Brew Works web page

Bethlehem Brew Works

Established on April 15, 1998 by the Fegley Family

Bethlehem is now a vibrant downtown, the Christmas City, a place to go for a thriving culture. But it used to be marked by the workers of Bethlehem Steel. This city would not be what it is without the labor and toil put in by the workers of the Steel. If you live in the area, you can probably go back a generation or two and find someone who put in hard days at the Steel. When we opened the Bethlehem Brew Works, we wanted to pay homage and show our respect for those who came before us while paving the way for Bethlehem’s future. And we’re glad to see that we managed to capture the essence of Bethlehem’s steel industry in our 250-seat brewpub.

View Larger Map

Signature beers include

  • Steelworkers’ Oatmeal Stout
  • Valley Golden
  • Steelgaarden Wit
  • And the award winning Fegley’s ESB
In addition, seasonal taps have been frequented with beers ranging from Pale Ales and Wheats to Pumpkin Ale and Belgian Lambics.

Single Malts and Specialty Martinis

Accompanying the handcrafted beers brewed right in the restaurant is a full bar specializing in single malt scotches, small batch bourbons, and specialty martinis.

Belgian Beers

Downstairs from the Brew Works is our Steelgaarden Lounge featuring over 100 bottled Belgian Beers!

Open seven days a week

BBW offers lunch and dinner featuring many items which incorporate the handcrafted beer into their recipes.
  • Golden Ale Hummus
  • Beer and Cheese Soup
  • “BREW”schetta
  • Steak, poultry, pork, seafood, and pasta
  • Pennsylvania Dutch specialties
This is just a hint of what the menu has to offer.

The Bethlehem Brew Works has something for everyone… for every occasion… any time of the day, the evening and on into the night…


569 Main Street
Bethlehem, PA 18010
Phone: 610-882-1300
Hours & Directions

Friday, August 22, 2014

Weis in Lewisburg and Heady Topper The Alchemist

I took a little break because I have been so busy the last week. I was up at Dorko's the past two Monday nights and won the 50/50 both times and the first week we won trivia but then came up a little short the next week. Both times I had a great time as usual. Today I was up in Lewisburg and stopped by Weis and got a real nice haul of local breweries. I really wish that the Weis by me carried the variety that this one does. I also got a Carolina Reaper pepper while I was in Sunbury and had it on pizza and I will tell you it is very hot. I had stopped down in Philly to a long time friends house and had a bunch of really good beers. The best of which was Heady Topper from the Alchemist. This beer rates number one on Beer Advocate and is extremely sought after. My friend was kind enough to have one with me and have two from the case he had. This beer is supper smooth and super fresh. The citrus aroma instantly permeates through and anyone can pick up the beautiful aroma. Everyone who he gave beers to that are fans of craft beers loved it. I posted pictures of it and everyone who is in my beer of the month club were extremely jealous. I got a lot of information from one beer of the month club member telling me to keep it in the fridge for 10 weeks and it will change color. So taking his advice I am saving one for ten weeks and the trying again then. The other I shared with my cousin who really appreciated it. By far out of all the beers I have drank I have never seen the reaction I have gotten with this one from so many people. If you like IPAs I can't imagine why you wouldn't love this one. I am so thankful that my friend took the extra time to go to Vermont and pick this one up. I wish I could describe more about this beer but you just have to have it to understand how good it really is. Thanks for reading and as always drink responsibly.

Information from Alchemist website

GLORIOUS HOPShop-graphic
The Alchemist is a small, family run brewery specializing in fresh, unfiltered IPA. We are currently focused 
on brewing one beer perfectly – Heady Topper, an American Double IPA.
We love hops – that’s why our flagship Double IPA, Heady Topper, is packed full of them. Heady Topper
 was designed to showcase the complex flavors and aromas these flowers produce. The Alchemist has 
been brewing Heady Topper since 2003. This Double IPA is not intended to be the strongest or most bitter 
DIPA. It is brewed to give you wave after wave of hop flavor without any astringent bitterness. We brew Heady
 Topper with a proprietary blend of six hops – each imparting its own unique flavor and aroma. Take a big sip
 of Heady and see what hop flavors you can pick out. Orange? Tropical Fruit? Pink Grapefruit? Pine? Spice?
 There is just enough malt to give this beer some backbone, but not enough to take the hops away from the 
center stage.
For eight years, Heady Topper was served on tap exclusively at our seven barrel brewpub in downtown
Waterbury. In early 2011 we built the Alchemist Cannery, a 15 barrel brewery and canning line, for the 
production of our flagship IPA. The first cans of Heady Topper rolled off the line just two days after Tropical 
Storm Irene demolished The Alchemist Pub and Brewery. Today we brew 180 barrels per week in twelve
 15 barrel batches. We never hold back inventory, and we move all of our beer weekly in a concerted effort to
 provide the freshest, hoppiest packaged IPA on the market.
The Brewery is currently closed to the public. Please visit our Where to Buy page to find a retailer close to you.

Friday, August 1, 2014

My hall from The Barley Mow and Citra Pale Ale Free Will Brewing Company

On Tuesday I had to make a trip to Wyomissing to take the kids to the dentist. While I was down there I visited my sister. While we were out she suggested going to check out a craft beer store and of course I said yes. We went to The Barley Mow and I am so glad I did. They had a great selection and a really great decor. My only regret was not having more time there and not getting pictures to do a proper review. I am certain that I will stop by again and when I do I will definitely write a fantastic review of this place. Also this week I made up to my favorite trivia place Dorko's in Mount Carmel. The trivia was great as usual and even though we put up a great fight we fell short but still had a great time and put up a great effort for only having three people on our team. Also nobody got the cash question right so the pot continues to grow. Out of the group of beers I got from Barley Mow I decided to try Citra Pale Ale from free will brewing company. It had an off white average head. The body was orange and has with no visible carbonation and an unfiltered look. The aroma was citrus and there was a medium bitterness. The head lacing was nice and the dissipation was average. The body lacing was nice with a back tongue hit and a long finish.  The flavor was medium an I enjoyed this beer and was glad to add a new Pennsylvania Brewery to my list of beers I tried.

Information from Free Will

Citra Pale(American Pale)

Crisp and refreshing with an elevated bitterness to support the toasted malt and Citra fruit notes.
Additional Notes
Package: Bot/Keg

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lake Placid Camp Collection Variety Pack

Wednesday before work I stopped by one of my favorite places (Brewer's Outlet in Pottsville) to by beer because my wife wanted something we could drink together. I decided to pick up a variety pack by Lake Placid. Then I got to thinking that my beer of the month club didn't pick the case we were going to try. So I told them I got this one and we decided to split it. This case works out perfect it has 3 different beer which divides up nicely between the four of us and still leaves me with two of each so both me and my wife can try a full beer each. I decided that I will do another little plaque for this brewery because I really like there logo and I think it would make a nice addition to my collection plus its not to hard to do. 

The first beer of this collection I decided to have was Ubu Ale. The head is very small with a light brown color and a fizzy appearance. The is dissipating quickly. The aroma is very malty and the initial temperature is 52.9 degrees Fahrenheit. The body color is dark and has a ruby tinge to the brown color with lively carbonation. The mouth feel is dry and there is a caramel taste with a nice bite. The finish is average and it had a nice pour. The flavor is moderate and there is virtually no head or body lacing.  This beer is classified as an English Ale and reminds me of a good stout. I enjoyed this beer and think this is a great beer for the fall and winter seasons.

Served in Pint Glass

My second beer from this variety pack is the Indian Pale Ale. One of my fellow beer of the month club members had this beer already. She said she enjoyed it but thought it had a lot of carbonation and it reminded her of a soda. When I had the beer it had a light brown to off white average sized head that is fizzy and held for a decent amount of time. The aroma was fruity but for me it had a light bitterness and a very subtle carbonation. The body color was amber and clear. The tongue hit is toward the middle and the mouth feel is dry. The finish is average to long in length. The pour was nice and the lacing was fair to good.  The taste was a slight citrus. Overall I thought it had less carbonation then Ubu and a lighter flavor. I thought it was a weaker IPA but I tend to favor that in my IPAs. The flavor was good and easy to drink and I would consider it a good go to beer year round and especially summer and spring.

Served in a Pint Glass

The last beer I am having out of the Camp Collection is Barkeater Amber. The head was small to average with a light brown fizzy appearance and it dissipated quickly. The initial temperature at first sip was 55.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The body was clear with a red color and little to no visible carbonation. The taste was and aroma had a sweetness to it that reminded me of a sweet bourbon but not with a boozy taste. The finish was short with a watery taste that has a tongue hit that moves from middle to back. There was no visible head or body lacing. Overall this would be my favorite out of the collection. It had nice flavor, no noticeable bitterness and a definite drink ability. As for the Camp Collection as a whole I thought it was a good case at a reasonable price. The beers were good and it was a good mix that really worked for me and gave me three different beers that allow you to experience three vastly different styles. If you haven't tried anything from Lake Placid you can't go wrong with this one. Thanks for ready and as always drink responsibly.

Served in a Pint Glass

Purchased from Brewer's Outlet in Pottsville for $36.03 after tax

Information from  Lake Placid Brewery

Lake Placid Craft Brewing

Lake Placid Pub and Brewery
As the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery grew in popularity, the demand for the beers we produced increased exponentially. In November of 2001, the LPP&B expanded to a second brewing facility in Plattsburgh NY. Located on Military Turnpike and known as The Lake Placid Craft Brewing Company the new facility quadrupled our brewing capacity and allowed us to bottle our beers for the first time. The 13,000 sq. ft. facility was located just 50 miles northeast of Lake Placid and had a 15-barrel brewery and bottling system as well as a tasting area and gift shop. Even after the brewery installed three new 60bl fermentation tanks in 2009, we were still unable to brew enough beer to satisfy demand. In January of 2010 we closed this brewery and are now brewing all bottled beer at FX Matt Brewing in Utica, NY. This partnership has allowed us to expand both our product line and the areas where our beer is available. 
Our beer is currently available in all of New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Check out the "Find our Beers"page to see where we are available in your area. If you don't see your favorite place on the list, drop us a note and we pass it along to our local sales representative. 
Please look for Ubu Ale, Lake Placid I.P.A., Wolf Jaw Wit, and our Camp Collection 12-pack in your grocery store, restaurant, or favortie pub.
Camp Collection 12 Pack
4 each of Ubu Ale, Lake Placid I.P.A., and Barkeater Amber Ale

7.0% ABV   38 IBU   43 SRM
Our famous English-style Strong Ale is deep garnet red in color, and features dark fruit and roasted malt flavors, with a slightly bitter finish.

6.8% ABV   67 IBU   21 SRM
A tribute to the original West Coast-style IPA’s, our IPA is aggressively hopped for a citrus and piney flavor and aroma, but maintains a subtle, bready malt backbone.

5.3% ABV
This is an American-style amber ale that has been around for many years, in fact it was one of our first brews ever. It is one of two amber ales that we regularly brew at the pub, this being the drier hoppier of the two. Barkeater Amber is brewed with a variety of crystal malts which gives its red color and slightly sweet malt flavor. It has four hop additions, with the last addition being a relatively large addition of Willamette hops.  This beer has a fairly dry finish and has been a local favorite since 1996.

Calories in Lake Placid Ubu Ale (Ratebeer)

Nutrition Facts

Lake Placid - Ubu Ale (Ratebeer)

Calories210Sodium0 mg
Total Fat0 gPotassium0 mg
Saturated0 gTotal Carbs0 g
Polyunsaturated0 gDietary Fiber0 g
Monounsaturated0 gSugars0 g
Trans0 gProtein0 g
Cholesterol0 mg
Vitamin A0%Calcium0%
Vitamin C0%Iron0%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Starr Hill The Love 7/24/14

Currently I decided to work on  a couple of reviews at once but now I am trying to put more time into them. I try and do some research ahead of time and for some it will involve days of drinking and prep to develop a review I am happy with and tha has enough information but not too much to get disgusted with. I had a bottle of Starr Hill The Love in the fridge since Monday and it was calling my name so I figured it would be good to review tonight. The initial temperature upon drinking was 53.5 degrees Fahrenheit. There was no carbonation and no head lacing. The head was large, dissipated quickly, was fizzy and  white in color. The mouth feel was watery and the body was golden and hazy and produced no lacing. The aroma was perfume and it had hints of clove but not overpowering. I didn't taste a strong banana taste like I did in Yuengling's Summer Wheat. This has a much lighter flavor that I prefer. The finish is average and the tongue hit was towards the front. Out of all the hefeweizens I tried this was definitely one of the better ones. Wheat beers aren't for everyone but they are one of my favorite style. I feel they are more crisp and clean than IPAs but have better flavor and a touch of sweetness compared to lagers and pilsners. I would strongly recommend this beer as a good base line beer for this style of beer. As always thanks for reading and please drink responsibly.

Purchased in mix six pack for $10.99 from Weis markets Pottsville
Proper glassware: Weizen glass

Information from Starr Hill website

The Love

German Hefeweizen

The Love is an unfiltered wheat beer, also known as a hefeweizen. It is distinguished by its extremely light body and fruity aroma, finished with spicy notes.


Malted Barley:Two Row, Wheat, Munich
Kettle Hops:Hallertau
Yeast:Bavarian Wheat Beer Yeast


Flavor:Subtle sweetness & spice
Color:Straw Gold
Style:German Hefeweizen

Other Info

Availability:All Year
Draught:1/2 Barrel, 1/6 Barrel
Package:4/6 LNNR


2008 Silver Medal
Great American Beer Festival
Information from myfitnesspal.com

Nutrition Facts

Starr Hill - the Love Wheat Beer

Calories138Sodium0 mg
Total Fat0 gPotassium0 mg
Saturated0 gTotal Carbs12 g
Polyunsaturated0 gDietary Fiber0 g
Monounsaturated0 gSugars0 g
Trans0 gProtein0 g
Cholesterol0 mg
Vitamin A0%Calcium0%
Vitamin C0%Iron0%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.