Win 2 tickets to the Brunswick Wine & Chocolate Walk

One of the classier events in my adopted hometown of Brunswick, Maryland is the Wine & Chocolate Walk. This year’s event is on September 22.

In 2011, Brunswick Main Street debuted the Wine and Chocolate Walk. Attendees enjoyed fine wine and fair trade chocolates as they strolled through downtown. The 2011 festival featured wine from Black Ankle Vineyards, Fabbioli Cellars, Hiddencroft Vineyards, Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyards, Knob Hall Winery, North Gate Vineyards and Boordy Vineyards.

Main Street decided to grow the festival for 2012 offering 30 beverage and food tastings at 12 venues in the historic downtown.

Of course, Real Women Drink Craft Beer will point out that not all women prefer wine over beer (or, at least, they enjoy both). So last year they set up a tent downtown and gave away barbecue and a selection of (mostly local) craft beers. Since it went over so well, the women behind RWDCB have been asked back to do it again.

Since I’m friends with the RWDCB crew (and, yes, they are Real Women™), I have a pair of tickets to this year’s event to give away.

If you’d like my extra tickets, simply send an e-mail message to at let us know if you prefer wine, beer, or enjoy both. Please get your message to us by September 19, when we’ll pick one person at random to get the tickets.

You can get details about buying tickets at the WnC site. When you come to the Walk be sure to stop by the beer tent and say hi.

Congratulations Patty Smith! You get our tickets!

Gonzofest 2012 winner!

We have a winner for our Gonzofest 2012 Giveaway!

Kerry Keene

For having his name selected at random from all of the entries we received, Kerry and a guest will be included on the Flying Dog VIP list at this Saturday’s party.

Kerry is a self-described beer geek, homebrewer, and Washington Capitals fan. His favorite Flying Dog beer (at least according to his entry) is Double Dog Double Pale Ale.

Thank you very much to all of the other entrants. I found it very interesting to see such a wide range of favorites. I hope to see you at the event. Get your tickets while you can.

Win tickets to Gonzofest 2012

My friends and neighbors at Flying Dog Brewery have given me a pair of tickets to the latest iteration of Gonzofest, and I’m giving them away! (More on that in a second.)

A Day in Bat Country is BACK!

As your attorney, I advise you to celebrate 75 years of Gonzo with the sick and twisted crew at Flying Dog Brewery.

Drink craft beer and jam out to live music by:

  • The Death Set
  • J Roddy Walston and the Business
  • Celebration
  • Chocolate Bronson

Famed gourmet food trucks DC Slices, Dangerously Delicious Pies, and Red Hook Lobster are rolling in, along with Sunnyside BBQ. Plus, we’re bringing back our legendary Hunter S. Thompson look-a-like contest. (The winner gets a VIP tour of the brewery for 20.)

Your ticket will get you your first beer, commemorative festival mug, and weird surprises the Good Doctor couldn’t even dream of.

Woohoo, it’s back! I got to attend their second annual Gonzofest back in ’09 and it was a blast. The 2010 event was postponed and eventually cancelled, much to my disappointment, but circumstances are much better now and so it has made its triumphant return. This year also would have been Hunter S. Thompson’s 75th. The Gonzo journalist and George Stranahan, founder of Flying Dog, have a long history. (Go read about it on the Flying Dog web site. I’ll wait.) Anyway, the good people at Flying Dog have a pair of free tickets for me to give away. I’m giving you not one, not two, not three, but four opportunities to win. It’s all about being Social.

  1. Follow @HopTalk on Twitter then tweet to us your favorite Flying Dog beer.
  2. “Like” the Hop Talk Facebook page and write on our wall your favorite Flying Dog beer.
  3. Add Hop Talk to your Google+ Circles and add a comment about your favorite Flying Dog beer to our Gonzofest contest post
  4. Add a comment to this blog article with, you guessed it, your favorite Flying Dog beer

One entry per venue, please, but you can certainly do all four. (In fact, I encourage it.) The deadline is 11:59:59 PM (EDT) on July 14, 2012. (That’ll be 03:59:59 AM UTC.) I’ll be choosing the winner the morning of July 15th and contacting you via the same mechanism you entered. (DM on Twitter, message on Facebook, notification on Google+, or the email address associated with your blog comment.)

Important: I need to hear back from you within 24 hours of me contacting you or I may offer the tickets to someone else.

Obviously, you must be 21 or older to attend.

(I’ve picked a name at random. I’m waiting to hear back from my winner.)


Hop Talk Podcast #8 – It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. No, it’s the heat.

In this episode we talk about

  • MillerCoors loses their license in Minnesota due to government shutdown
  • Flying Dog fights for the First Amendment in Michigan
  • Sunoco tests selling craft beer in growlers at convenience stores
  • and, our contest winner!

Download it here: Hop Talk Podcast ep. 8

…or subscribe with iTunes

Show notes:

Beer News

MillerCoors got caught up in the government shutdown in Minnesota and temporarily lost their license to sell beer there. That’s 40% of the market suddenly gone. But, crisis averted?

All Beers Considered“, from Aleheads, pointed us toward this issue, where Flying Dog’s best-selling beer was originally blocked for sale in Michigan, but a court reversed the block. However, Flying Dog is continuing to fight for the First Amendment.

Sunoco is conducting a test at 30 of their APlus stores in and around Buffalo, New York. It’s called the Craft Beer Exchange.

Our Contest Winner!

Congratulations Amanda Brezina!

What we drank:

Spot a discrepancy? Something missing? Let us know.

Follow us on Twitter: @hoptalk and @hoptalkron

Music credits:

Background music at bar during intro:
Artist: Gnappy
Song: Best Not FUnck Around

Main intro:
Artist: A Thousand Knives of Fire
Song: She’s Yours

Outro Music:
Artist: Aphasia
Song: Metal Tank

Transition Music:
Artist: Devil In A Woodpile
Song: Beer Ticket Rag

Headcase contest winner!

You’ll recall that we were running a contest to win a Headcase iPhone case/bottle opener and that we’d give one of these cases to an entrant chosen at random.

Well, we have a winner!

Amanda Brezina sent in the following photo with this message:

After a long day of lying on the beach, what better way to recover than a nice cold Sam Adams Summer Ale and a delicious grilled dinner!

I agree, Amanda. Congratulations!

Thanks all who sent in their photos. Below is a selection of a few.

Hop Talk Podcast #7 – That’s not a wombat?

In this episode we talk about

  • Homebrewers choose the best beers in America
  • Oregonians love Oregon beer
  • The Beer Bloggers Conference in Portland, Oregon, August 19-21, 2011
  • Pintley, a social beer recommendation engine
  • and, our contest!

Download it here: Hop Talk Podcast ep. 7

…or subscribe with iTunes

Show notes:

Beer News

Zymurgy, the magazine of the American Homebrewers Association, polled their subscribers, crunched the numbers and came up with a list of the fifty best beers in the U.S.

Beervana, Jeff Alworth’s blog, pointed us toward some information about Oregon beer. Not only are there a lot of breweries there, but they make a lot of beer, and a lot of it stays in-state. Lots and lots of numbers.

Speaking of Oregon, the Beer Bloggers Conference is coming around again in August. Golly, but we wish we could go. The agenda isn’t yet set, but some of the panels they’ve announced look really interesting.

Beer 2.0

We check out a new (to us) beer recommendation engine: Pintley. It’s a well-done site and after rating a few beers it offers up some good recommendations. There are also iPhone and Android apps, as well as a mobile-optimized website. You can friend us, too. HopTalkRon and HopTalkAl. (Perhaps soon HopTalkMatt as well.) Although we’re not quite sure what to make of the TechCrunch review.


Don’t forget we’re running a contest to win a free Headcase combination iPhone case and bottle opener.

What we drank:

Spot a discrepancy? Something missing? Let us know.

Follow us on Twitter: @hoptalk and @hoptalkron

Music credits:

Background music at bar during intro:
Artist: Gnappy
Song: Best Not FUnck Around

Main intro:
Artist: A Thousand Knives of Fire
Song: She’s Yours

Outro Music:
Artist: Aphasia
Song: Metal Tank

Transition Music:
Artist: Devil In A Woodpile
Song: Beer Ticket Rag

Win a Headcase iPhone case with bottle opener

In addition to being beer geeks, Ron and I tend to wander into gadget geekery as well. We don’t always agree on certain aspects, though. I tend to like doohickeys that do one thing and do it well. He has abolished all single-purpose items from his kitchen. I’m also Android; he’s iPhone.

While we could probably argue about Smart Phone OSes at least as long as we discuss beer, I think this week he’s got the upper hand.

The Headcase bottle opener case is not just a case for your iPhone, it’s also a bottle opener. (They have models for the iPhone 4 as well as the iPhone 3GS.) Not only that, it comes with a free app that counts the bottle tops and cans you open and lets you record custom sounds to play when you open them.

Jungle Cents is running a special whereby you can get a voucher for one of these bad boys for $10. That’s half of the usual $20.

But you, dear reader, have an opportunity to get one of these bad boys FOR FREE!

How you ask? Simple:

  1. Take a photo of a beer bottle with your iPhone. (Even better: you and your beer bottle)
  2. Send the photo to me at al [at] with your name and e-mail address, and maybe some background details of why you’re drinking that beer.
  3. Send it by July 14, 2011.

On July 15 I’ll pick one person at random and get him or her a voucher for a free Headcase.

Sorry, Ron. You’re not eligible.

Want to go the Beer Summit in Phoenix, Arizona?

Fizz is a marketing company in Atlanta. They’re having a contest to give away a pass to the conference*, held February 28-March 1 at the Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa in Phoenix. Normally, the pass costs about $1,100. But you could get in for free.

Come up with the best beer brand name that would never get approved by the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). Bonus points for sending a mockup label to go with your beer name or doing anything else that we think is funny. Email your entry by Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time (EST). Yep, it’s that simple.Entries will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Humor
  • Cleverness in breaking rules
  • Unapprovability
  • General wit

Go here for the details: Contest: Best Un-Approvable Beer Name

* The Beer Summit gathers 500 professionals from the beer industry to talk about the biggest issues in beer and beer marketing.

You could win trip to the Budvar Brewery in Prague

UK writer Pete Brown has won yet another trip to České Budějovice, Bohemia, Czech Republic. (You know, where Budějovický Budvar is.) He loves the place, but has decided that a third trip for him won’t have the same universal karma as making it a first trip for someone else. So, he’s giving it away. You only need to write a little something.

Working in conjunction with Budvar UK and The Publican, we’re launching a mini-competition to encourage new beer writing talent.

This is open to anyone who is passionate about beer, wants to write about it, but has not yet had anything published in print media. We can’t and don’t want to exclude bloggers because most people who are keen to write about beer have started doing so electronically, but we want to offer someone the chance to break into being published offline for the first time.

It’s simple. You need to write a thousand-word piece on the subject of ‘Why Beer Matters’, interpreted in whatever way you see fit. You need to send this to me (Pete Brown) by 29th January, remembering to include your real name, postal address and contact telephone number.

Judges will include me (Pete Brown), and Publican editor Caroline Nodder. The winning entry will be published in The Publican, and the successful writer will be invited on a press trip to Ceske Budejovice, which also takes in a day trip to the stunning medieval town of Ceske Krumlov some time in early spring.

This is open to any writer, anywhere (though you’d have to get yourself to either London or Prague under your own steam if you live outside the UK.)


Better get to work!