Neglecting the Baby: Aaaaand We’re Back!

The best thing about this blog is that it brings Don and I together even though we live across the country from one another.  It’s been a couple of years since we’ve actually been in the same place at the same time, but that changed last week, when Don came for a visit here in New Jersey.  It’s a little ironic that we totally ignored the thing that brings us together when we’re actually, you know, together, but we were too busy having brotherly adventures to feed and water the blog. We neglected the baby!

There’s a lot to cover (we were busy boys), but I’ll do my best to share the highlights…

Don flew in Wednesday afternoon and our alcohol-fueled adventure began.  We stopped at Liquor Outlet and Don got to meet my beer guy Kevin.  While there, we loaded up on beers I’ve raved about and he can’t get in Idaho.  The one that most struck his fancy was New Holland’s barrel aged ale Dragon’s Milk.  It was awesome.  He also picked up a bomber of Troeg’s Nugget Nectar that wound up in his suitcase when he headed back to Idaho.

Wednesday evening we did a really terrific flight of beers, including Southern Tier’s Oat and Jahva, New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk, Weyerbacher Heresy, and the stinker of the night, Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Breakfast Stout which kinda tasted like it was made with Maxwell House.

I’m embarrassed to say that Don also taught me how to properly drink whiskey, which I’ve been doing wrong (and quite a bit).  We used Knob Creek for the occassion, my house whiskey and current favorite, especially now that I know how to drink it!

Thursday morning started slow, as you might imagine.  Then we headed out to Downingtown PA to visit the Victory Brewing Company.  There will be more posts on this, but if you love great beer, you absolutely must pay them a visit.  They have amazing brews that are only available at the brewery and the food will blow your mind.  And, mercifully, they have reliable cab service to and from the local hotels.

We were at Victory for two days, as we were working on our top secret, hush hush, totally awesome project that may or may not lead anywhere (let’s all cross our fingers and light a candle for the Beer and Whiskey Brothers folks!).  It was an awesome time, and we got a behind the scenes, off the beaten path tour of the place that made us come away absolutely in awe of what Bill and Ron and their team have created there.

After Victory it was back to my home in NJ, growlers and t-shirts in tow.  I had my buddy Frank (mentioned here from time to time) and his family over to meet Don, and we shared our stories, ate some barbecue and drank a growlerful of Smaragd, a single hop ale I brought home from Victory.  It was delicious!

On Sunday I dropped Don off at the airport, and life should go back to normal for a little while.

At the risk of sounding cheesy, I have to say the best thing about this blog and the opportunities it has created is having the chance to get to know my big brother a little (or a lot) better.  I’ve learned he’s a man of deep character.  I’ve also learned he can’t read a map to save his life.  Or operate a phone.  Or a video camera.  Actually, I’m surprised he can work light switches.  But all that is for later posts.  Right now we’re just happy to be back to our baby.  More to come.

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Categories: Beer, Brotherhood, Whiskey


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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14 Comments on “Neglecting the Baby: Aaaaand We’re Back!”

  1. mikemoriendi
    April 19, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    Glad you had fun at Victory. I went there for dinner and drinks in December but didn’t get to tour the facilities. I’m going back up this summer and will definitely do a tour then.

    I am interested to see what this top secret plan is though.

    • April 19, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

      It’s secret because we don’t want to screw it up by talking too much about it. But we are bloggers and tend to wear stuff on our sleeves, so we don’t want to hide it either. But it’s a scary-big opportunity for us. We’ll tell you all about it when it happens or blows up in our faces. Until then we’re not rocking any boats!

      • Don
        April 19, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

        Ixne on the opte ecretse ojectpre!

        • April 19, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

          You sir talk like a pig!

    • April 19, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

      We got to see the hop freezer (amazing and worth a post of its own) and the yeast lab (over 40 strains, which is crazy), and also taste beers pigtailed off of the bottling tanks (mindblowingly crisp and fresh). But the best part was drinking some of the 20 the beers they had on tap. A few were only available at the brewery, and only for that week, so there’s always something unique and wonderful to try there.

      • Don
        April 19, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

        My two favorites were the Pursuit Pale Ale pigtailed off of the Bottling Tank (Crazy fresh and a hoppy delight, and the double smoked Rausch Bier that they had on Friday Night. It was my first ever Rausch Bier and it was a smoky Bacony Beery treat. And no you won’t find that anywhere, every Friday they tap a wooden keg for fun at 5pm and this is what happened to be in it this week! So much to tell…but we’re not talkin… 😉

        • April 19, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

          That double smoked Rausch Bier was like drinking sweet bacon being cooked over a campfire while Bar Refaeli was rubbing your feet. You know, pretty good if you’re into that sorta thing. 😉

  2. Don
    April 19, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    Gosh, so much to add here, but so little I can actually say. I will say that the hop freezer was amazing. One of the reasons Victory beers are so great and fresh is that they use almost exclusively fresh whole flower hops. Well you have to keep them cold so they don’t spoil, hence the hop freezer.

    I too had a terrific time. I know it doesn’t seem like it if you read this blog, but the miles do tak a toll on us as brothers. I realized that this was the first time I had been in your new house (That you moved into about what? 6 years ago), and it was the first time I had met my Niece and Nephew, and they are 4 and 8 respectively. Not something I’m proud of, but life and distance tend to take their toll on being brothers. That was the best part of the trip for me, getting to know your Kids and visiting the Hop Freezer…

  3. April 19, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    A tear came to my eye when I read this post.

    Must be allergy season.

    Don, if you spill the beans I promise to drink the Nugget Nectar!

    • April 19, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

      Mmmm…beans and beer! Sounds like camping.

    • Don
      April 19, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

      The only one you are hurting is yourself. I suppose if you save the NN until you can get another that would be good, because you will want another one quick…

  4. April 19, 2010 at 10:12 pm #

    Sounds great, guys. I’ll see Nate and my little bro this weekend. I’m so excited to hang out with some friends and family…there’s nothing quite like it.

    • Don
      April 20, 2010 at 9:46 am #

      That is right Mike, nothing can be as great or as awful as hanging with Family. Fortunately for Jim and I it was all great, and I really hope we get the chance to do it more frequently. maybe even get the families together.

    • April 20, 2010 at 9:48 am #

      I agree, Mike, family and friends is great. After Don left, i kept thinking “boy I wish Don was here…” We spent a lot of time together, but it flew by. Enjoy your time with your brother, and make sure to give Nate a raspberry on the belly from me! Awkward?

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