Last week was a bit of a whirlwind here, and certainly eventful.  And quite photogenic as it turns out.  So I thought I'd share some highlights.

WET HOPS: On Tuesday, Brendan did the run to the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York to collect our first round of this year's wet hops for our Big Hop HARVEST Ale, which goes on tap at both our locations this FRIDAY, AUGUST 23rd:

OUTSTANDING IN THE FIELD: While Brendan was enjoying some scenic rural famland in NY State, I was lucky enough to have my own farm visit, bringing some of our Wheat Hop and our Kost's Kolsch to a farm in Sarver, PA where GOOD FRIEND Justin Severino was cheffing (I'm sure that's not a word) for the incredible crew atOutstanding In The Field, a traveling group of food loving fantastic folks based in Santa Cruz, spreading the word across the US all summer long.  BOY can they set a table!  And although we were sitting, the meal was truly out standing.

Then on Wednesday we get the call that we're going to have Senator Bob Casey out the the brewery for a tour, a taste, and (most importantly) a press conference about some new legislation that will give Small Brewers some tax relief on the Federal Excise Tax we all pay... and he's coming Thursday!  Luckily, we were able to bring a few other Small Brewers into it on short notice, and lend our collective voices to the growing support for this legislation.

The tour happened during an active brew day (we actually did get some work done last week!), so you're seeing him react below, to Nordy climbing out of the Mash Tun after giving it a thorough cleaning.  (This always seems to shock people, but it's really the only way to clean it properly.)

Senator Casey actually bought that Growler of BigHop he's holding in that photo...allegedly for his staffers to enjoy after the long drive back home to Scranton.  But who can say...he seemed to enjoy the sample I poured him out of the fermenter.  (The second photo was boosted from this Pgh Business Times article.)

Reinvestment: Of course, any tax savings that might come out of all this legislation, would go right back into improving our operations here.  In fact, we already had a bit of reinvestment planned in our leaky roof, and were waiting to hear when repairs would start.  (A wet floor in a brewery is nothing new, but when the roof is leaking in a half dozen different places, it's time.)

As if to illustrate this reinvestment plan, the roofers decided to show up about an hour before the Senator's visit, and started in on the work.  While we were able to shift them around the other side of the building, the smell of melting tar was in the air, along with a few choice words shouted from the rooftop, but nothing for Homeland Security to worry about.

Not all investment is shiny stainless steel, but to give you an idea of what this legislation could mean for us, it's enough dough to pay for about 2/3 of a new fermenter.

THEN ON FRIDAY, we got some new hats in.  Whew!

Cheers - Scott