Brew and Booze News

The Hoppy Easter Herald For March 31, 2013

Photo courtesy of the Drink Up NY blog.

Photo courtesy of the Drink Up NY blog.

Balcones 5th Year Anniversary Dinner At Harlow

The following press release was sent to us from our blogging buddy, The Whisky Woman:

On Saturday evening, 6 April, 2012, Chip Tate, the Owner/Distiller/President of Balcones will host an intimate dinner at Harlow, one of New York’s hottest new restaurants. Chef Danny Ye has designed a special five-course menu just for the evening –  each course has been specifically created to pair with a Balcones whiskey. Reservations are required and seats are limited.  To purchase tickets, please go to:

Founded in 2008, Balcones Distillery has become one of the most highly awarded craft distilleries in the world. With more than 30 top awards to its name – of which more than half are gold or double gold from internationally renowned competitions – perhaps no recognition has been quite as impressive as their recent win. In a blind tasting competition hosted by a panel of British spirits experts, Balcones Single Malt was named Best in Glass, the best new whiskey in the world. Their victory is reminiscent of the famous 1976 “Judgment of Paris,” in which California wines bested their storied French counterparts. In this case, this was the first time an American whiskey has won Best in Glass.

Top Awards:

Whisky Magazine Icons of Whisky – 2012 Craft Whiskey Distillery of the Year

Wizards of Whisky International Competition  – 2012 Global Distillery of the Year

F. Paul Pacult Spirit Journal

**Balcones was the first and is the only craft-made whiskey to receive a 5 point rating**

5 stars – Baby Blue

5 stars – Balcones Single Malt 

For more information and the complete list, please go to


Prohibition Ends at Last


Philadelphia, PA (March 28, 2013) – Only one month remains for visitors to experience American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition exhibition at the National Constitution Center, which will conclude its run on Sunday, April 28, 2013. From the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal and NBC News, the exhibition has garnered critical acclaim across the nation since making its world debut at the Center on October 19, 2012.

Currently this is the only East Coast opportunity to see the exhibition. Following its run at the Center, American Spirits will tour cities across the country including St. Paul, MN; Seattle, WA; St. Louis, MO; and Grand Rapids, MI.

Exploring the “sexy and serious sides” of Prohibition according to WHYY and demonstrating “energy and antics” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the exhibition reveals the real stories behind hit dramas like HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and also provides timely perspectives on current constitutional debates about the government’s role in our lives.

American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition features over 100 rare artifacts, including:

  • Original ratification copies of the 18th and 21st Amendments
  • A hatchet used by Carry Nation during one of her barroom-smashing raids
  • A Prohibition Bureau Badge issued by the Department of Justice in 1931
  • Temperance propaganda, including pamphlets, school lesson manuals, speeches, and hymnals
  • The phone used by Roy Olmstead, the defendant in the landmark Olmstead v. United States wiretapping case, to run his bootlegging empire
  • Flapper dresses, cocktail couture, and other women’s and men’s fashion accessories from the 1920s
  • Original home manufacturing items used for making moonshine, homebrewed beer, and other illegal and highly potent liquor
  • Prohibition agent Eliot Ness’ signed oath of office from 1926 in which he swore to “support and defend the Constitution”
  • Al Capone’s guilty verdict from his conviction in Chicago in 1931
  • One of the first crates of Budweiser produced after the “Beer Act,” which passed in April 1933 and changed the legal limit for “intoxicating” beverages to 3.2% per volume to allow for the return of beer production.

Interactive elements and immersive environments bring to life the sights, sounds, and experiences of the time period. Wayne Wheeler’s Amazing Amendment Machine, a dazzling 20-foot-long, eight-foot-tall carnival-inspired contraption, traces how the temperance movement culminated in the 18th Amendment.

In addition, visitors can:

  • Sit in a pew of a recreated early 1900s church to learn about the rise of the Anti-Saloon League and take a quiz to find out if they would have been a “wet” or a “dry”
  • Test their knowledge of what could and could not be consumed under the rules of the 18th Amendment during the “Is it Legal?” interactive touchscreen game
  • Explore a re-created speakeasy complete with a bar, dance floor, bandstand, and powder room and learn how to dance the Charleston
  • Play the role of a federal Prohibition agent chasing rumrunners in a custom-built video game where you drive your own speedboat
  • Join gangsters in a criminal lineup for a memorable photo opportunity.

To complement the exhibition, the Center developed a variety of engaging activities and resource materials for students, teachers, and families that illuminate the amendment process, the role of liquor in American history, and the cultural revolution of the 1920s.  Daniel Okrent, Ken Burns, and Lynn Novick provided their voices and commentary to a special iPod audio tour that guides visitors through the exhibition.

Admission to American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition is $17.50 for adults, $16 for seniors and students, and $11 for children ages 4-12. Active military personnel and children ages 3 and under are free. Group rates also are available. Admission to the Center’s main exhibition, The Story of We the People, including the award-winning theatrical production Freedom Rising, is included. For ticket information, call 215.409.6700 or visit

American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition is created by the National Constitution Center and curated by Daniel Okrent, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. Okrent collaborated with filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick on the documentary Prohibition, which aired on PBS in fall 2011. The exhibition has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.


Devil's Den

Devil’s Den Celebrates Five Years with Wood-Themed Anniversary Party

Philadelphia, PA—Devil’s Den has been a craft beer lover’s destination for the past five years and the Devil’s crew is ready to celebrate with a 5th Anniversary Party on Saturday, April 6th starting at 1pm, and the traditional gift for five years is wood—hence a playful and carefully selected rare and wood-themed draft list and tapas menu with $1 off drafts until 5pm.

Devil’s Den thinks the best way to thank the fans and patrons for five years is with an amazing draft list of special, rare and limited beers, along with some house favorites from owner Erin Wallace’s cellar. The traditional gift for a fifth anniversary is wood, and Devil’s Den is giving the gift back in the shape of wood-aged rarities on draft and as a very special thank you all drafts are $1 off until 5pm. Draft list includes:
  • Monarchy Of Musselland Son of a Batch Gose (Hickory Wood)
  • Bruery White Oak
  • Stillwater Red Wine Barrel Aged Debauched
  • Dochter Van De Korenaar Embrasse Peated Oak Aged
  • Shawnee Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter (Nitro)
  • De Struise Pennepeut
  • Neshaminy Creek Coconut Mudbank Milk Stout
  • Against the Grain Gungle Gem
  • Ommegang Iron Throne
  • Founders All Day IPA
  • Ommegang Witte
  • Great Lakes Dortmunder
  • Along with other favorites, limited & seasonal beers from the cellar

Additionally, Devil’s Den will have a firkin of Round Guys K-I-N Tucky Saison (7/1% ABV, 35 IBU). This Saison is the only firkin of its kind and the beer will not be released again until Philly Beer Week. Round Guys grabbed a bourbon barrel instead of an apple brandy barrel and this rare gem was born, and unlike the other barrel-aged beers, this beer was not blended with fresh saison.

Chef Paul Trowbridge will also prepare special tapas dishes that will be available all day during the anniversary party. Trowbridge has been with Devil’s Den since December 2010 and has added cool flavors and fresh recipes to the menu. He began his culinary career at Dockstreet Brewpub in 1992. His accolades and influences throughout his career have led him to Devil’s Den—back to creative beer-driven cooking.

With this milestone anniversary also comes new menu items. In addition to Devil’s Den’s menu of delicious plates, Chef Trowbridge has added Pork Belly Mac & Cheese with crispy pork belly, pamesan, and gruyere; and Shrimp & Chorizo with lemon aioli & tomato jam to the Small Plate Section. New entrees include Crispy Duck Legs with an orange glaze, grilled radicchio and yams; Fish & Chips with curry mayo & wasabi mayo; along with other new entrees, flatbreads, and sandwiches.

Devil’s Den is also open for brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30am-3pm. New brunch plates include Bread Pudding French Toast; Eggs Ranch Style with spicy beef sauce and queso fresca; and Croque Maison. Devil’s Den brunch provides beer lovers with unique dining options along with the amazing beer selection like the signature BEERMOSA made with Ommegang White.

“When we opened the Den we were looking to create a place that we wanted to go to,” owner Erin Wallace says. “We wanted to make sure that we covered a variety of styles– that we weren’t just a Belgian or German beer bar– that no matter what style you preferred we would have something to accommodate you. We wanted an atmosphere that would be comfortable and a space that feels like home”.

 Devil’s Den has accomplished just that—it’s comfortable, cutting edge and there’s something for everyone. Seventeen rotating drafts, over 200 bottles, and a wide variety of cans make Devil’s Den an enticing beer haven, but add in a non-stop events calendar of tongue-in-cheek thematic beer-centric events and you have a notable mainstay in the nation’s self-proclaimed craft beer capital—Philadelphia. This 5th Anniversary Party with its super rare and limited wood-aged beers is a perfect example of clever and entertaining events that Devil’s Den does best.

Devil’s Den is one of Philadelphia’s best destinations for import and craft beers, with 17 rotating drafts and over 200 bottles.  Chef Paul Trowbridge offers homemade comfort food and stepped-up fare in a warm and enveloping setting. Popular favorites include house signature Duck Fries, Salmon BLT, and several tempting mussel renditions.  The elevated gastropub has knowledgeable and friendly staff, popular happy hour specials, and an unparalleled beer selection. A dominating architectural feature is the wood-burning fireplace, which offers ambiance and warmth in colder months in both the dining room and the extensive bar. Outdoor seating creates a spirited street scene when weather permits.  A lively events calendar adds to the fun. Devil’s Den is open daily from 11am to 2am.

Devil’s Den | 1148 South 11th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147 | (215) 339-0855


Ardbeg Galileo

Ardbeg Rockets to the Top!

Ardbeg is the star at the World Whisky Awards in London with hat-trick of wins

Iconic Islay malt is named ‘World’s Best Single Malt’, ‘Best Islay Single Malt’ and the ‘Global Icon Visitor Centre Manager of the Year’

Ardbeg completed a hat-trick of prestigious awards at the renowned World Whisky Awards held in London on 21st March.

Ardbeg scooped the World’s Best Single Malt 2013 accolade and received further recognition when its latest limited edition, Ardbeg Galileo, was also declared Best Islay Single Malt.

However, two awards were simply not enough, as Jackie Thomson, Ardbeg distillery visitor centre manager, was named Global Icon Visitor Centre Manager of the Year, confirming her growing reputation in the industry.

The latest Limited Edition release Ardbeg Galileo was launched to celebrate the Islay distillery’s world-first experiment in space on the International Space Station.

Ardbeg, the Ultimate Islay Malt, has never done things by halves, and these three prestigious awards just go to prove it.

Dr. Bill Lumsden, director of distilling and whisky creation, explained: “As Ardbeg’s visitor centre manager Jackie Thomson lives and breathes Ardbeg. Her enthusiasm and passion for the Ultimate Islay Malt is clear to the thousands of smoky malt drinkers who make the pilgrimage to the distillery.

“We’re all so proud of Jackie and her achievements. She embodies Ardbeg’s commitment to providing an unforgettable experience, and everyone who meets her is inspired.”

Allan Little, Ardbeg senior brand manager, said: “Receiving these awards is amazing. We’re over the moon to be recognised as the World’s Best Single Malt 2013, Best Islay Single Malt and Jackie is an inspiration to us all every day.

“We are thrilled she has been acknowledged as the Global Icon Visitor Centre Manager of the Year, as she’s the ultimate visitor centre manager.”

Ardbeg prides itself on being the ‘Ultimate Islay Malt Whisky’. Established in 1815, Ardbeg is revered by connoisseurs around the world as the peatiest, smokiest and most complex of all the Islay malts.

Ardbeg Galileo is the limited edition 12 Years Old Single Malt Whisky, which is a special vatting of different styles of Ardbeg laid down in 1999. The spirit has been matured in ex-Marsala wine casks from Sicily that add fruity aromas to Ardbeg’s famed smooth and peaty house style.

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