Round Guys Brewing, Boaks Brewing, Ship Bottom Brewing, and Full Pint Brewing were just a few of the smaller, up and coming breweries that Hooch&Hops met over the weekend as Philly Beer Week got off great start. Many of these operations are run by just a handful of truly dedicated folks. In fact Brian Boaks brewing career started when his kids bought him a Mr. Beer kit. He is his only employee, contracts out to two breweries, and, due to increased demand, is thinking about adding a third. He also has a new iPhone app out.
One of the fun parts of being a craft beer drinker is getting a chance to meet the people who make your favorite drinks. Check to see if your state has a Craft Brewer’s Association website (California has an easy to use page), find a craft brewery in your neck of the woods and stop in. I can’t tell you how many times a brewer has poured me a sample of an as-of-yet unnamed, unreleased beer following a conversation about our shared affection for a certain beer/style. Scott Vaccaro of Captain Lawrence Brewing (If you are in the NYC area take the time to visit this Westchester County gem). shared a bottle of his sour, barrel-aged Rosso E Marrone with my wife and I. That experience changed me from an avid fan of The Captain to devout follower. I had drank the Koolaid. These brewers are dedicated to building their following one drinker at a time. This approach takes a lot of work, but successfully builds a fan base that goes out and spreads the craft gospel, potentially gathering more craft fans every time they go into a bar. Drink Better, Mark