Beer: For two breweries, it's 1,000 and counting
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It's a tradition for craft brewers to mark the achievement of their 1,000th batch with a special brew.
Two area brewpubs are hitting that milestone this month.
In Wilkins, John Harvard's Brew House will hold its Batch 1,000 release party on March 29. Brewer Steve Sloan says they'll be pouring his Belgian-style trippel ale at 2 p.m. -- and be serving Belgian mussels and beer-braised roast all day, with bluegrass music from 3 to 6 p.m.
Leading up to this event, the place is serving other Belgian-style brews, including TEN, the Belgian barley wine brewed to mark John Harvard's 10th anniversary in Pittsburgh last fall.
The brew recently was the Mid-Atlantic/Southeast region's Belgian-style ale category winner in the 14th annual winner competition of the United States Beer Tasting Championships (where Mr. Sloan's Foe Hammer won an honorable mention in the Scottish-style ale category).
Mr. Sloan says his wife came up with a name for the 1,000th brew -- Duizend, which is Flemish for thousand.
At the Church Brew Works in Lawrenceville, president Sean Casey says they'll be tapping their 1,000th batch on Saturday.
"Oxymoronically it is a Black Pale Ale, brewed with Amarillo hops, so we are calling the style an ABA, Amarillo Black Ale," he notes.
Head brewer Brant Dubovick elaborates that the unusual brew (he thinks it must be the first one brewed here) is based on the black India pale ale San Diego's Stone Brewing made to toast its 11th anniversary, only his is more chocolatey.
"You'll get a pronounced chocolate taste upon first sip that gives way to a citrus hop finish that really tingles on the tongue."
This celebratory concoction has been dubbed simply "M," as in the Roman numeral for a thousand.
And how do they know this is really the thousandth batch?
"We're pretty smart guys down here and finally learned how to count that high," the brewer quips. "Seriously though, we have all the brew sheets on file from Bryan [Pearson]'s time here as well as my regime."
And talk about milestones.
Mr. Casey notes that they picked their tapping day because it's also the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the law repealing Prohibition on beer, which proceeded the repeal of the harder stuff. FDR toasted the change with the newly legalized 3.2-percent-alcohol beer on April 7, 1933. Wine and liquor became legal again on Dec. 5, 1933. Prohibition of all alcoholic beverages had been implemented on Jan. 16, 1920.
Other brewers and beer people around the country will be marking this "75th Anniversary of Legal Beer in America," encouraged by the Brewers Association and other trade groups. Visit www.75YearsofBeer.org.
Of course they'll be marking the occasion at Cammarata's Cafe in West View. On April 7, have a cold one with Angelo Cammarata, the Guinness record holder for the world's longest serving bartender.
Mr. Cammarata, who just turned 94, started pouring beer the literal second it was legal on April 7, 1933, at his dad's grocery soda fountain-turned-bar on the North Side. He kept on pouring at his own place, which is now run by his sons but not without his help.
Asked on his 75th anniversary last year by ABC News the secret to his longevity, he said that while he has a bourbon and cola once a day, he doesn't drink beer. "My dad told me, 'Beer is not made to drink, it's made to sell.'"
Several breweries will be represented at this party, which starts at 3 p.m. at the cafe, at 1511 Center Ave. Son John says that two days later, on April 9, West View council plans to honor Mr. Cammarata.
Beer Institute president Jeff Becker notes in a news release about the anniversary that the beer industry employs more than 1.7 million people and contributes nearly $190 billion annually to the U.S. economy.
Not to mention giving beer writers something to write about.
First Published March 20, 2008 12:00 am