#112 – Newburgh Brewing Company in Newburgh, NY

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(1) OUR EXPERIENCE

Newburgh Brewing is located in a huge 4-story warehouse that has an absolutely stunning view of the Hudson River. Owners Christopher & Paul met when they lived in the area around the age of 12 and, after a stint of going their own ways in life, came together to open up the brewery. With twelve beers on tap on the day of our visit, it’s not hard to believe that we were there for an extended amount of time (in comparison to the amount of time we normally spend at each brewery) hanging out with the staff and some of the locals. The taproom is one of the largest we’ve seen on our trip and the physical bar is a work of art. The great beer, atmosphere, and people make this a top notch brewery that you cannot miss.

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#102 – River Horse Brewing Company in Ewing, NJ

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(1) OUR EXPERIENCE

We visited River Horse Brewing Company in NJ on National Beer Day, however they were not open to the public so we were given a private look at the inside of the brewery while the staff told us all about what makes River Horse unique. It was obvious that they work hard to make a great product rather than get wrapped up in the glamorous media side of brewing. The head brewer Chris said: “It’s fun and it’s great; I love it. There’s nothing else I ever want to do or plan to do, but we’re working in a factory. We’re not ‘too cool’ for anything, ya know?” All of the beer we sampled was straight forward, clean, & well-done, all of the staff were great to talk to and humble, and the facility has plenty of room for expansion. Gotta love the art on their walls.

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Michael’s Thoughts – 3/24/14 Part 3

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It ended up only being a 20 minute drive over to our friend Teddy’s place, who is a guy I have known almost my entire life. We grew up in the same neighborhood and used to ride the same school bus as kids. It had been about 12 years since I last saw him, so we spent that first night catching up on things and talking to his girlfriend Kelsey as the snow continued to come down outside. By the time we woke up the next morning, there was over 6 inches of snow outside, so Bluejacket got in touch with us to reschedule our visit to Wednesday (it was Monday). Because of that, we spent the whole day with Teddy and Kelsey working on our laptops, hanging out, playing bananagrams, watching jeopardy, and of course trying out some good beers. We did the same thing there with them the next day, then said our goodbyes Wednesday morning.

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[Haggis, Teddy, Me]

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[Teddy’s Balcony]

Our trip to Bluejacket in DC was pretty sweet, and afterwards we drove up to Frederick, MD to visit with Flying Dog. That night we stayed with Caroline, a woman we got in touch with through Couchsurfing, and her boyfriend Richard. She was super quirky and fun, so we had a good time watching TV and talking about all kinds of things (including the Simpsons, hell yea). In the morning, she fed and caffeinated us and then we took off to head into Baltimore. In Baltimore, we went to an awesome library known as the George Peabody library to get some writing done, and then went to two breweries. The first of which, The Brewer’s Art, offered us tickets to go see the premiere of Brewmore that night, which is a documentary about brewing in Maryland. We went to see it that night and absolutely loved the film which gave us insights into the area that we otherwise would not have got, and after the film they actually announced that we were in the theater, so people came up to us afterwards to ask about our trip.

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We spent some time in the lobby drinking local craft beer and talking with people, who told us that a lot of them were going over to Liam Flynn’s to keep the night going. We joined them for about an hour, and then made our way to Jason’s apartment, who is a friend of Sarah, the girl we stayed with in Savannah that is a friend of our friend Alex. So yea, he was the friend of a friend of a friend and opened up his apartment to us. We watched The Wizard that night with him and his roommate, which is such a God awful movie that I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it. I passed out before it ended, and the next morning we went to Max’s Taphouse to try a few good beers, and then made our way to Heavy Seas Beer/ Clipper City Brewing, and then drove across the bridge that connects the western part of Maryland to the Eastern Shore.

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[Max’s Taphouse]

Haggis’ dad’s friend Tom and his wife Linda live over in the Eastern Shore, and that is where we spent 2 nights getting caught up on writing. Haggis and Tom are both huge KU fans, so I sat there awkwardly as they watched their team lose to Stanford. Ouch. But on a good note, I finally got completely caught up for the first time since we left, and Brandon almost did as well. We also spent a night hanging out with Kevin, who is going to open up Chester River Brewing Company soon, so he took us over to his future site and we talked about his endeavor. Tom and Linda were overwhelmingly kind to us while we were there and it was hard to leave, but we needed to make our way south to visit 2 breweries that day!

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[Me, Tom, Haggis]

Our first visit that day was to Evolution Craft (which was pretty damn awesome) and then we drove over to Burley Oak in Berlin, MD. We spent most of the night there chillin’ with their staff and listening to live music while a charity event was going on. Our couchsurfing hosts, Sarah and Andrew, met us there as well, so we followed them to their place, stayed the night with them, and they made us coffee the next morning while we got to know them. Once we left, we went back to Burley Oak to help them mash-in a batch of their beer called ‘Merica and then made our way out to see the Atlantic Ocean. It was cold as hell, so we took pictures of the ocean, promptly got back in the van, and crossed the border into Delaware.

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[Me, Andrew, Haggis, Sarah]

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[Mashing in at Burley Oak]

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[Atlantic Ocean!]

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[We’re in… Delaware]

Dogfish Head’s brewpub was our first visit of the day, then we went to the production facility where we went on a small, 5-person tour of their impressive facilities. It was not snowing when we got there, but by the time the tour was done there was a solid amount of snow that had fallen, so rather than sleep in the van as we had planned, we camped up in a Hampton Inn last night. That’s where we are now and we’re going to Mispillion River Brewing today! Until next time…

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[MORE PHOTOS!]
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[Dogfish – Before tour]

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[Dogfish – After tour]

Michael’s Thoughts 3/24/2014 – Part 1

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Yet again I’m a little behind on this, so I’m going to split this up into 3 parts and post them throughout the day. Last I updated we were back in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with Chase and Nicole from Foothills and we had a blast hanging out with them. We ended up trekking over to Greensboro where we met up with our friend Nick and his partner in crime Audrey. Nick used to be a brewer at Deep Ellum Brewing back in Dallas, which is where we met him, but he has since moved back to his home state of NC to be the brewer for Haw River Farmhouse Ales in Saxapahaw. The night we stayed there, it ended up snowing pretty hard, so we just stayed in and hung out while eating cookies that their neighbor made for us. It was a great time and definitely comforting to be around some Dallas people.

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[Haggis, Nicole, Chase, Me]

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[Me, Nick, Audrey, Haggis]

From there, we made our way over to Raleigh, NC where we ended up going to 5 breweries in one day, including Trophy Brewing. It was Mardis Gras, so we had an excuse for once haha. That night we stayed with one of Nick’s friends, but unfortunately we showed up late, so we passed out pretty quickly, and left early the next morning. Before we left, they gave us a breakfast suggestion, so we made our way to Wimpy’s Grill and ate some of the best biscuits either of us have had in our lives. Haggis got the last sausage gravy biscuit which was about the size of my head and completely smothered in gravy. Later on, we went to Fullsteam to get our quota in for the day, which ended up being the same day that Brew Dogs was filming the first episode for their second season. We even got to indulge in the beer they made, which was the most calorific beer coming in at over 600 calories – an imperial stout made with syrup and bacon, then the beer was used to make an ice cream, then that ice cream was added back to the beer to make a float, and more bacon was put on top. Freaking delicious. Cameras and crew were all over the place so be sure to watch that episode and let us know if you see us!

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[Brew Dogs at Fullsteam]

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[Most Calorific Beer Ever]

That night we ended up staying in a super awesome house with Barry & Michele, an incredibly kind couple we had met back at Highland in Asheville. They fed us dinner that night and breakfast the next morning, as we talked with them about the trip, politics, their family, and many other things. From there we shot down to Kinston, went to Mother Earth, and then spent the night at Boiler Room trying out their hot dogs and beer. We talked with quite a few people there, including the bartender, Jamie Cash, who was the only person to laugh at the fact we had visited our 69th brewery that night; she was cool in my book. We slept in our van down by the river that night, then made our way up to Farmville to visit Duck-Rabbit after grabbing some NC BBQ for lunch at Jack Cobb and Son. After Duck-Rabbit, we drove all the way out to the Outer Banks where we parked our van and slept right next to the shore in an RV camping lot where it had flooded earlier in the day. We were able to do so because the lady who works there left a key to get into the park in a mailbox, since she knew it would be closed by the time we got there. The next morning we met her and enjoyed some coffee before heading out.

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[Haggis, Barry, Michele, Me]

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Breakfast that day was at the Digger’s Diner, which is surrounded by paraphernalia related to the monster truck, Grave Digger, as well as farm animals. Odd assortment for sure, but the food was great! We then spent most of the afternoon at Weeping Radish drinking beer, eating sausages, and hanging out with the brewers. We talked with them for quite a while as we sobered up, then made our way north across the border into Norfolk, Virginia.

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We hadn’t planned a place to stay that night, so we jumped on Couchsurfing.org for the first time in hopes that someone would quickly get back to us. Just in case nobody did, we went ahead and found a Wal-Mart parking lot to sleep in, and then our couch surfing request was answered! Amber and Gabriel invited us into their home in Norfolk last minute around 8pm, so we hung out with them for a little, passed out on their floor, then enjoyed some breakfast Amber made for us the next morning. After breakfast, we spent about 5 hours with the brewer of Smartmouth, just talking and laughing over a few good beers of theirs, and then made our way to another couch surfers place also in Norfolk, Amanda and John. They are both doctors at a hospital so had to get up early in the morning (like 4am early), but after getting a much needed hand drum session in with John as he played the guitar, they let us leisurely wake up the next morning and leave after they had already gone to work.

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To be continued…

#74 – Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in Richmond, VA

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When we first got into Richmond, VA, we made a night of hanging out at Capital Ale House trying a few of the beers local to the area, and then got to spend some time at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery on Monday, 3/10/14. We were lucky enough to meet a significant portion of the staff during our visit, but spent most of the time talking to head brewer Brian Nelson and co-founders Patrick Murtaugh & Eric McKay. They walked us around the original 12,000 sq ft facility as well as the other 19,000 sq ft building next door, while telling us all about what the brewery has to offer now and in the upcoming future.

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#66 – Haw River Farmhouse Ales in Saxapahaw, NC

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After our short-lived visit to Winston-Salem, NC, we made a trek to Haw River Farmhouse Ales on Monday, 3/3/14 to visit with Nick Mangili – a friend of ours who we met when he was a brewer at Deep Ellum Brewing Company back in Dallas, TX. He is now brewing test batches for Haw River Farmhouse Ales since they’re not actually open just quite yet. This brewery is going to be incredibly unique, utilize local ingredients including a house yeast they collected from their backyard on their own, and will be opening sometime later this year.

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#62 – Fonta Flora Brewery in Morganton, NC

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After leaving Asheville on the morning of Wednesday, 2/26/14, we spent some time at Pisgah Brewing, then continued east to Fonta Flora Brewery. Not only is the name ‘Fonta Flora’ a beautiful Latin alliteration, it also has significant historical ties to the area. Just a little northwest from the brewery, the Linville River runs through a gorge and into Lake James, where an old sharecropping community lived back in the late 1800s/ early 1900s. The community was known as Fonta Flora but, once people created Lake James by damming the Linville River, the community was flooded. The brewery pays homage to this lost community through their logo of an underwater town.

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