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Swept Away by Grand Isle

Icon Written by admin on February 11, 2018 – 7:14 pm

Swept Away by Grand Isle
By Suzanne Ferrara

When you’ve got some of the best fishing, softest beaches, and hypnotizing surf right off the coast of Louisiana, who needs anywhere else?
Adding to its allure, Grand Isle oozes a presence unlike any place on earth, and is chock full of mystery, history and beauty. While this seven-mile barrier island may have been pummeled by hurricane after hurricane for more than a century, the squalls have never broken its spirit. Once you set foot on this island, you’ll feel as if you’ve discovered a world onto itself.

Fishing reigns on Grand Isle, and has ever since the Native Americans and perhaps the legendary Jean Lafitte used these waters. That’s not surprising since both inland and offshore waters hold a bounty of fish, shrimp and crabs. (Fun Fact: There are 280 species of fish and four seasons of fishing in and off of Grand Isle). Grand Isle has numerous fishing rodeos– for all ages— in the summer and fall, and the iconic Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo, which began back in 1928, takes place the last weekend of July. (Fun Fact: the Tarpon is the oldest tournament in the United States and is one of the largest fishing rodeos in south Louisiana).

Grand isle has certainly changed, as more people have discovered the unmatched treasure and millions of dollars have been spent to restore the coastline and marshes in and around the island. Where there was once a plethora of small fishing camps with no air conditioning, there are now gated communities with million dollar ‘camps’; ut perhaps the biggest jewel here is the authenticity of the real generational locals who have thrived off these waters and on the island for decades.

Although it’s only seven miles, a one-day visit is too short to completely experience the island. Don’t fish? That’s o.k. You can certainly experience Grand Isle without hooking a line, as the islanders make it easy and enjoyable for non-anglers as well.

If you don’t own a boat, no problem; just cast off the fishing pier at beginning of the island, surf fish off the beach or just drop a line from the side of the road. You can also come with only your sunscreen and an ice chest, and let one of several great fishing charters provide all the rods, reels, lures and live bait you need. Oh, and did I mention, your catch will be cleaned, filleted, and bagged for you to take home? It’s true; your catch will be quickly ready for either the grill or the freezer!

It’s hard to choose from the plethora of charters offered here because there are so many great boat captains who are not only passionate, but have also have the skill to know where to cast a line. One option is Spots and Specks Charters which offers inshore and coastal fishing courtesy Captain Eddie Berthelot, who grew up in nearby Golden Meadow. H & M Fishing Charters, with husband and wife Captains Jules and Pat Bellanger, offer excellent inland and coastal fishing as well.

If you want a fun offshore excursion, board the Nauti or Knot Charters where Captains Dennis and Amanda will ensure a trip to remember.

Need more fun and adventure? The ever-growing kayak charters are also available, and Ann Smith of Calmwater Charters will bring anglers to Grand Isle’s scenic marsh to find schools of fish. Plus, when speckled trout move off the beaches, Smith, who is also a wade fishing guide and instructor, can take you wade fishing as well.

Did you Know? Grand Isle is a bird lover’s paradise with thousands of migratory birds returning to this island each year. The island offers a perfect habitat for a variety of species who make their temporary homes in the marshes on the back of the island, the beach and the island’s Oak Hackberry Forest. There are at least 100 varieties of birds you may spot at any given time, ranging from the Brown Pelican to the blue heron to the warbler and, once in a while, the pink roseate spoonbill. (Fun Fact: Sometimes a strong thunderstorm will cause thousands of weary migratory birds, in the process of making their 500-mile journey across the Gulf of Mexico, to fall to safety into the branches of Grand Isle’s trees. This “fall-out” is truly a sight to behold)!
Once you’ve had a day of fishing and birding, you’ll be ready to relax and have a great dinner. One of the newer eateries on the island is the Hurricane Hole, a fine dining Italian-inspired restaurant, located in the heart of The Hurricane Hole Marina. Perhaps one of the best kept secrets at this marina, is the Old Blue Chair Bar, which is located behind the restaurant in the heart of the marina; it’s here where you watch one of the best sunset on Grand Isle.
Speaking of watching sunsets, another great place is the Sand Dollar Marina which has a tiki bar and features popular libations like The Marina Rita, Bloody Mary or White Russian. (Tip: ask for Brittany Allemande who will not only create some of the aforementioned cocktails, but is also the manager. She is a wealth of information on all things Grand Isle, and has been coming here since she was a baby to visit her grandmother). The Sand Dollar is the perfect place to sit back, eat (great burgers and shrimp po-boys at the deli) and watch the boats coming in with their catches, and you may even spot a few dolphins.
Want more options? Starfish Seafood is a quaint and cozy restaurant with great seafood platters and overstuffed shrimp po’boys; or head to Yum’s Restaurant for delicious oyster po’boys and mouthwatering specials. (Tip: Be sure to meet Leoda Bladsacker, who not only runs Yum’s, but will also give visitors a tour of the island if they ask her). Oh, and if you are looking for terrific fried or grilled shrimp, stop by Jo-Bobs Gas and Grill.

While we’re talking about seafood, Grand Isle is known for selling fresh seafood for you to take home to boil. A popular spot to pick up live shrimp, crabs and crawfish is Camardelle’s Seafood which sells boiled, ready-to-eat items as well.

Looking for entertainment? While many of the bars have some sort of live music on the weekends, a hot spot for nightlife is Artie’s (Big Daddy’s) Sports Bar which features live bands throughout the summer. This place touts itself as having the largest “topless” deck in the state which, by the way, overlooks the Gulf. (Tip: Be sure to order Artie’s Fried Chicken).

Where you choose to stay on Grand Isle depends on your preferences. There are beachfront and bayside camps (with or without boat docks), plus beach houses, condos, fishing cabins and a campground to pitch a tent.

If you are looking to take in the hypnotic surf and gorgeous views of the Gulf, make Shawnuff South your headquarters. This large and updated beach house has a bathroom in every bedroom, and it’s located on the third-to-last section of the island which has a much wider beach from which you can view the water. There’s also the historic Presidential Palace, which sits midway on the island with a great beach, and across the street is Castaways bar where you can grab a cocktail and then head out for a stroll on the beach. (Tip: Call Britani at Remax Coastal Reality who will be sure to place you in the perfect accommodations suitable for you. Britani knows the island very well and has visited Grand Isle for years).

If you are looking for paradise on the bay side, then make the Tipsy Tuna your temporary waterfront home. This property has a long pier which is lit up a night and is perfect for fishing. The porch and deck is great for watching the sunset, too.

If you want something more extravagant (one that is basically a marina unto itself), rent Spectacular, which is located at the end of the street, and is secluded and surrounded by water. Spectacular has a private boat launch and a safe harbor to protect your boat when water gets rough. There’s also a large entertainment area underneath the camp with swings, a picnic table, barbeque pit, a set-up for boiling seafood, a little cabana and a fish cleaning station. Its large wrap-around porch offers great water views for all of your guests (Spectacular accommodates up to 28 people)!

For more information go to:

Panhandle Bliss

Icon Written by admin on February 4, 2017 – 6:12 pm

Panhandle Bliss

By Suzanne Ferrara

What was once a sleepy fishing village, with miles of deserted sand dunes on land and some of the best catch available in the waters, has come a long way. Today Destin, Florida is one of the top beach destinations in the world, and is famous for its beautiful clear turquoise waters, sugar-white sand beaches and yes, for fishing.   Once you defrost in this heavenly beach playground, you’ll know why it ranks so high. While you really can’t go wrong when choosing a place to stay on this beach, there are some places that are worth mentioning, including one-of-a-kind experiences that everyone can enjoy!

It’s a refuge which oozes an unmatched setting. Bordering the pristine beach of the Emerald Coast and the breathtaking Henderson Beach State Park Preserve is an oasis unlike any other, The Henderson Beach Resort. This Salamander Beach and Spa Resort in Destin is the newest and one of the most luxurious beach destinations offered between New Orleans and Sarasota Florida. Not all resorts are created equal, a statement that certainly rings true at this irresistible retreat; it’s no wonder, because The Henderson was spawned from the adjacent, award-winning Henderson Park Inn.

This massive replica of a seaside inn is chockfull of enticing amenities and will wow you with its beautiful architectural design. From the wall of windows, to the cedar-exposed beams and tresses, to hundreds of pieces of stunning artwork adorning every corner, you will surely be inspired by this haven.

This quintessential American beach resort has a plethora of special touches like the sunset salutation bell which reminds guests to witness the amazing sight of a Destin sunset. (Tip: Watch the sunset from the rooftop terrace).   While taking in the views, sip complimentary beverages like ice tea, morning coffee and hot teas available in the lobby. Be sure to enjoy the sprawling veranda overlooking the state park and adjoining gulf coast. Right off this gallery is the octagon-shaped Horizons Bar with huge bay windows and a striking Italian marble fireplace. Here you can enjoy house-made snacks, precision mouthwatering cocktails and craft beers.

The balcony of your accommodations can give a vantage point that will instantly melt your cares away. (Tip: Request either the third or fourth floor corner rooms/suites which offer unparalleled views of both the stunning gulf and the unspoiled maritime forest preserve). You can also enjoy Mother Nature’s wonders up close on two wheels; the resort offers complimentary bikes and passes to the state park. (Tip: The resort offers free shuttle service).

After wetting your whistle, head to the Primrose Restaurant which boasts an open-air kitchen and unbeatable sushi bar, courtesy of Chef Hieu and his culinary masterpieces. The cuisine and service here are superb, and the dock-to-table dishes scrumptious. (Must try: the Chef’s Featured Catch of the Day and the Henderson Roll). Be sure to meet chefs Zachary Garza and Chase Gilley, both of whom pour their hearts into every delectable dish. Another dining option is the Beach Walk Restaurant which has sweeping views of the gulf at the resort’s Henderson Park Inn. (Must try: Smoked Tomato Soup with crab and Pepper-Crusted Yellow Fin Tuna).

After a good night’s rest, you’ll be ready to enjoy the zero-entry adults-only pool and cabanas, or take a relaxing float down the lazy river with the kids. For more sun action, take a stroll on the beach and enjoy complimentary beach chairs, umbrellas and free lemonade. Want to get active? The Henderson Beach Resort also offers various water sports and a state of the art fitness center and, for younger guests, a Kids Club.

A stay at The Henderson Beach Resort is not complete without experiencing the world class luxury Salamander Spa. You will not want to leave this tranquil paradise which exudes a healing atmosphere.   A visit here begins with a one-of-a-kind ‘singing bowl’ welcome ritual. Complimentary offerings include wholesome snacks, chocolate-covered berries, and a variety of teas to be relished in their inviting relaxation lounge.   This full-service spa boasts several water features and a lengthy list of services that will surely disconnect you from the cares of the day. (Tip: Two popular services are the Essential Balancing Facial and the Well-Being Swedish Massage).

Now, if you love everything about the beach, this is one thing you don’t want to miss and it’s for all ages: sandcastle lessons. In fact, you can build your dream sandcastle right on the sugar-white sand in front your beach resort.

Beach Sand Sculptures make ‘house calls’ all along the coast on both public and private beaches. Its sand castle experts haul out all the supplies and tools you will need to make your castle (which naturally makes this special activity very convenient), and all you’ve got to do is show up.

It’s a great way to bond with your family, friends or with the love of your life; a truly magical experience. You will learn all the secrets of how to build sand castles, and you’ll be able to take these tips to every beach you visit!   At the end, their experts will snap a picture of you and your family, proudly standing right in front of your sand castles. (Tip: This photo will make for a great Christmas Card)!

Speaking of conveniences, a really neat and refreshing lodging option is staying at the Jade East Towers in Destin. There’s just something about a smaller property that sets the mood for a totally intimate beach experience, not to mention having that wonderful property next to the emerald waters. If want your accommodations to be as close to the water as possible, the Jade East Towers are only 30 steps from the beach! Yes, Jade East has all the amenities you need including a Gulf-front pool, beach service, grills and a lighted tennis court, and the accommodations offer a number of things money can’t buy! For example: In addition to condos with sweeping balcony views of the Gulf, you can also receive a sensory experience, namely, the hypnotic sounds of the ebb and flow of the ocean. (Tip: Unit #0720 is a great option for this sensory experience, and the unit also has little inspiring touches like a desk planted within a floor to ceiling bay-window overlooking the hypnotic gulf or for a more dramatically experience on the higher-level floors reserve #1540 or #1040).

Jade East Towers is one of several diverse Newman-Daily Resort Properties ranging from beach homes, condos to villas and cottages. All Newman-Dailey vacation rentals have special offers to enhance your vacation stay – a “Be Free Bundle” gift card to use toward area activities from the Big Kahuna’s Waterpark, snorkel excursion, a sunset dolphin cruise and much, much more. Go to:

One of those hotspots included on the Newman-Dailey ‘Be Free Bundle’ that will surely put a smile on your face is the Track Family Recreation Center. There aren’t many places in America where you can ride a go-kart on a three-story spiraling wooden track, so be sure to take a spin on the Wild Woody; plus, there are also four other tracks including the ‘Slick Track’ and a great family track with an overpass simply known as ‘The Track’. For the little-ones. The Kiddie and Rookie Karts tracks are a great option, and The Track also offers mini-golf where you will discover jungle animals, right next to a great arcade and bumper cars. Feeling adventurous? The Track has bungee jumping and a Skyflier in which you glide in the air and get a feel for skydiving.

Hungry? You cannot beat the fresh seafood in Destin! Steeped in history and overlooking the marina Dewey Destin’s Restaurant. The Destin family and the community of Destin, Florida have been intertwined since Dewey’s great, great grand-father Leonard Destin founded; the town in 1835. (Tip: sit on the back porch overlooking the beautiful harbor and be sure to order the Jack Scallops appetizer and any fresh fish dish).

Another great option is the newly-owned Brotula’s Seafood House and Steamer. Chef Tommy Lamasters, a local boy, worked his way up the ranks in the restaurant industry and pours his heart into every dish he prepares. Fresh steamed and boiled seafood is a must, as well as locally caught fish. (Tip: Be sure to order the Build Your Own Boil and any Fresh Fish from the Gulf dish).

For breakfast, head to the apply named The Pancakery where you will find the mouthwatering Blueberry Hill, Destinite, and Chocolatier pancakes, to name a few. They also serve scrumptious freshly made omelets and crepes.

For more information on accommodations visit:, and

For information on the aforementioned activities and special offers visit:,, and

Craft Beer for a New Year (2017)

Icon Written by admin on February 4, 2017 – 5:32 pm

Craft Beer for a New Year

We’re one month into 2017 and the craft beer calendar is already shaping up to be a real winner. From returning favorites to new and interesting one-off beers…February is definitely here to help you recover from our collective post-election hangovers.

Anderson Valley Brewing Co.

Briney Melon Gose – You may not be familiar with the gose beer style (pronounced go-sah), but you should be. These beers are slightly salty with a tart character that’s akin to sour beers, but more tart than sour. The folks over at Anderson Valley Brewing Company have brewed a few varieties of this classic beer style, including this brand-new iteration that’s bound to please.

The classic gose style is paired with subtle watermelon aroma and flavor to give this beer a perfect harmony between acidity and fruity sweetness. The finish is nice and dry, giving you a beer that’s both tart and sweet without any lingering sweetness on the finish. As with others in the style, this new gose will come in at a sessionable 4.2% ABV and is available in bottles, cans, and on draft.

Ee Tah! IPA – Adding to Anderson Valley’s strong pale ale portfolio is their Ee Tah! IPA. Golden yellow in color, this India pale ale features aromas of tropical fruit, passion fruit, and just a hint of citrus. The impressive hop profile comes via Chinook, Citra, and Amarillo hops while pale, pilsner, and midnight wheat malts give the beer a nice balance. Coming in at 7.5% ABV, this is one beer that’ll pair with your favorite grilled meats and spicy dishes.

Bell’s Brewery

Hopslam – When it comes to IPAs, this one may very well be king. Bell’s Brewing uses six different varietals of hops to craft the huge citrus and floral flavor that’s packed into this beer, giving it a complex and very bitter taste and aroma. Weighing in at a hefty 10% ABV, Hopslam is a beer for true lovers of the hop.

Hopslam is a true imperial IPA, with a huge flavor and enough alcohol to give the beer a slight warmth on the finish. As you might have guessed, Cupid’s worked overtime on this one, making just about everyone love Hopslam, so while it may take a little work to find this beer, the work is definitely worth the reward. Hopslam this year is available in 12oz cans, and on draft.

Smitten – Smitten isn’t a word that’s used too often anymore, but I argue that it should be. A perfect use of this word is for the golden rye ale brewed by Bell’s Brewing. Their idea of Smitten starts with rye to impart a spiciness and body to the beer that give the beer an almost magical presence.

On the nose, you’ll notice peppery rye spiciness along with a noticeable bready aroma. The taste has rye up front with a nice citrusy hop character following it up. All of this sits nicely on a malt backbone that’s all about bready malt. The rye imparts a creamy mouthfeel that finishes the beer up perfectly.

Bell’s Smitten Golden Rye Ale clocks in at 6% ABV and is available during the spring and early summer. Smitten is a great example of an interesting take on the traditional American Pale Ale with a nice rye malt twist. Smitten Golden Rye Ale pairs very well with strong cheeses, salty snacks, and savory meats. Smitten is available is 12oz bottles, 16oz cans, and on draft.

Dogfish Head Brewery

Flesh and Blood – While 60 and 90 Minute may be IPAs from Dogfish Head we’ve grown to love, Flesh & Blood IPA is the up-and-comer that’s won over a lot of hearts. Originally released in 2016, this IPA features a hearty dose of real citrus including lemon flesh and orange juice as well as orange and lemon peel.

Flesh & Blood balances the American IPA style with zesty fruitiness to give it the bitterness that hopheads love and the drinkability that those less hop-inclined need. Coming in at 7.6% ABV and 45 IBUs, Flesh & Blood IPA is just about perfect, especially now that it’s available year-round, and it’s even available in cans!

Erie Brewing Co.

Ol’ Red Cease & Desist – Ol’ Red is a big 10.1% ABV wee heavy Scotch ale that features a strong caramel malt flavor that finishes with a smooth, alcohol warming sensation. This hefty beer is a deep red color with a light foamy head. Aromas include dark fruit, malt, and a touch of caramel.

Ol’ Red pairs well with Fruity, mild, or buttery cheeses as well as smoked and roasted meats, sausages, and even crème brulee and shortbread cookies.

Heavy Seas Beer

TropiCannon – Citrus and IPAs go together like, well, citrus and IPA! This seasonal offering from Heavy Seas Beer clocks in at 45 IBU and 7.25% ABV, and features huge citrus aroma and flavor that’s backed up by a balanced hop profile.

TropiCannon starts its life similar to Loose Cannon, and while they share the same ABV, the beer cousins couldn’t be more different. On the citrus side you’ll find blood orange, grapefruit, mango, and lemon in both the aroma and flavor while the hop side you’ll get some piney hop flavor along with even more citrus thanks to the Amarillo and Simcoe hops.

North Country Brewing Co.

Liquid Love – One of the tenants of a good Valentine’s Day is chocolate. A close second to this would be, in my book, alcohol, so why not combine the two into a stout that is part chocolate, part beer, and all amazing?

North Country Brewing out of Slippery Rock, PA brews their Liquid Love Stout to be the perfect balance of chocolate and dark stout not only for those of us celebrating Valentine’s Day, but for anyone else looking for a great dark beer with overtones of dark chocolate. When it comes to chocolate stouts, a little goes a long way, which is why this beer is so great. The beer is well balanced with enough bitterness paired with the toasted malt to support the chocolate and make this 6.5% ABV beer extremely drinkable and infinitely enjoyable, but make sure to find it on draft, as it’s the only way you’ll find it this year.

Thanks Daaaaan – Brewed with legendary sportscaster Dan Potash, Thanks Daaaaan Belgian Wheat is a light, refreshing Belgian wheat beer that comes in at 5.5% ABV and like most wheat beers, is a hazy golden color with a frothy white head.

Oskar Blues Brewing Co.

Deviant Dales – This imperial IPA comes in at 85 IBUs and 8% ABV, and features aromas of citrus, grapefruit rind, and piney resin. Deviant Dale’s pours a deep copper color with an off-white foamy head.

As for flavor, Deviant Dale’s packs in more of that citrus and pine and follows it up with a malt backbone that finishes slightly dry.

Otter Creek Brewing Co.

Kind Ryed – When it comes to IPAs, a growing trend is the use of rye in the recipe to give the beer an added bit of spiciness and body. Otter Creek Brewing does just that with their Kind Ryed IPA, giving it a strong rye malt backbone to support the 60 IBU and 6.5% ABV the beer features.

By using a combination of Apollo, Simcoe, Chinook, and Centennial hops, the brewers at Otter Creek give this beer a clean, refreshing taste that has just enough rye to make it one of the more unique IPAs around.

Saugatuck Brewing Co.

The Reverent Monk – Belgian monks have been brewing beer for hundreds of years, giving them a history of quality that’s simply amazing. While the monks brewed their beer for help with nutrition while on fasts as well as to sell to travelers, Saugatuck Brewing brews their Reverent Monk Belgian Tripel purely for our enjoyment.

Coming in at 10% ABV, Reverent Monk features complex flavors of clove, banana, and spicy esters to give the beer a depth of character that’s hard to find outside of the Belgian borders.

Stone Brewing

Ripper – The different varieties of pale ales are often overshadowed by the bigger, hoppier India Pale Ales. While some may say these styles are starting to merge, there’s still more than enough room for the base pale ale in our beer world.

Take for example Ripper, a 5.7% ABV pale ale. This beer features tropical and floral aroma and flavors in a bright, golden body. Technically considered a West Coast pale ale, this is the perfect beer for long days at the beach or warm evenings on your porch, both of which we’re hoping to see very soon.

Jindia Pale Ale – Always ones to experiment with the IPA style, Stone Brewing is releasing a one-off IPA that’s sure to impress. Their Jindia Pale Ale comes in at 8.7% ABV and features balanced levels of ginger, juniper, and citrus to give this beer a very gin-like quality that makes it bright and refreshing. This, paired with the beer’s intense hop flavor make for a brew you won’t soon forget.

Straub Brewing

Groundhog Altbier – Whether that seer of seers and prognosticator of prognosticators predicts more winter or an early spring for us, one thing we can be certain of is Straub’s Groundhog Altbier and its ability to get us through however many cold nights we have left.

Coming in at 6.9% ABV, this end of winter beer pours a bright copper color with a toasty, caramel flavor and aroma.

Tröegs Independent Brewing

Nugget Nectar – Here’s a beer you could really make your main squeeze. Nugget Nectar is Tröegs Brewing’s ode to the hop. Tröegs uses ultra-fresh hops to give this beer huge aroma and flavor that’s hard to beat. Coming in at 7.5% ABV and a hefty 93 IBUs, this beer is technically considered an imperial amber ale, even though it’s stiff competition for any IPA out there.

Nugget Nectar just saw its 2017 release in January to a thirsty throng of beer lovers, and if you want to get your hands on this lovely, you better do it soon or else be without the one you love for another year. And trust me, this isn’t one you want to have a long-distance relationship with. Nugget Nectar will be available in 12oz bottles, cans, and on draft.

Victory Brewing Co.

Sour Monkey – Sour beer is something of an acquired taste. When first trying a sour beer, it can be somewhat overpowering and not at all what you’re expecting. Given a few tastes however, you’ll find depth of flavor and aroma that makes these beers a truly unique experience.

Sour Monkey is a 9.5% ABV version of the popular Golden Monkey is soured using a strain of Brettanomyces, giving it added flavors of lemon, tartness, and overall Brett funkiness.

21st Birthday IPA – Ah, the joy of the 21st birthday. Being able to go out to the bar and legally buy the drinks you’ve longed to have. It’s an event most of us remember (for the most part, that is) as being a fun, special day.

Victory Brewing is turning 21 this year, which means it’s time for them to celebrate by having themselves a beer. This year Victory chose to brew a special IPA that features aggressive kettle and dry hopping with fresh-harvested hops, giving this 6.1% ABV beer some real character.

‘Spring’ into Coastal Maine

Icon Written by admin on February 28, 2016 – 11:30 am

‘Spring’ into Coastal Maine

By Suzanne Ferrara

As you begin your descent towards Crescent Beach, you are instantly swept away by its breath-taking natural beauty. That’s because before you reach her soft sand and lapping waves, you become spellbound by a natural habitat of native trees, flowers, and then, the seagrass-studded sand dunes of the cape.

It’s an untouched natural phenomenon skirting the coastline of Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

It’s no wonder so many become instantly lost inside this picture of quintessential Maine, and it’s not just the hypnotic sound of the surf or the scent of the fresh sea air. This snapshot of pure serenity also includes cat tails swaying in the breeze and endangered birds, like the Piping Plover, flying overhead and nesting in the dunes. It’s as if you stepped into one of Claude Monet’s famous seascape oil paintings, only this time… it is tranquil reality.

The rolling waves descending on the shoreline of this coastal state park are a bit calmer because of the crescent shape which acts somewhat as a buffer to the pounding waves of the Atlantic. Crescent Beach, which stretches a mile across and connects with the beautiful Kettle Cove, is also where skilled sea glass collectors painstakingly hunt for the natural wonder. While you relax on the beach, you can see uninhabited Richmond Island, a place where Native Americans and then English settlers lived centuries ago.

Amid this warm sea air, there’s nothing like the perfect pairing of scrumptious fresh Maine lobster (taken from the many lobster shacks along the coast) with a beverage whose flavor is characteristic of the area. Simply put, lobster and a refreshing (and local) microbrew, form a delectable team.

Just four miles away from Crescent Beach on the shores of Fort Williams Park, is Portland Head Light, one of the most photographed lighthouses in the country. Here at the entrance of Portland Harbor, you can stand on the phenomenal rocky shoreline and take in the grand ocean view and watch the pounding waves crash onto the rocks. By the way, Portland Head Light was originally commissioned by George Washington and completed in 1791, is the oldest lighthouse in Maine.

The 90-acre Fort Williams Park offers picnic facilities, hiking opportunities, water sports, unlimited ocean views and tours of the historic fort structures. You can paddle a kayak through nature preserves with the help of an Audubon guide or sail on a schooner, or go paddle boarding, whale watching, and play a round of golf. You can even fish and shoot with L.L. Bean Instructors. You are also close to Portland’s Old Port and the historic downtown where you can boutique shop or take a foodie or micro-beer tours. (Fun fact: according to the Brewers Association, Maine ranks 6th in the nation in the number of craft breweries per capita)

After all of this adventure, unforgettable lodging is a must. Complementing the unmatched Crescent Beach experience is the luxurious oceanfront Inn by the Sea which sits on five acres of indigenous seaside gardens along Crescent Beach. It’s no wonder this contemporary beach resort, with its relaxed charm, earned 2015 recommendations by both Conde Naste Traveler and Travel and Leisure’s Best Hotels in the World.

The Inn by the Sea is a perfect spot to take in the natural wonder which surrounds you in every direction. There are 61 elegant guest rooms and suites, many with fireplaces, and the plethora of windows and balconies gives you breath-taking views of the soothing ocean.

Preserving Cape Elizabeth’s unique rural land and environment is of the utmost importance; in fact, Inn by the Sea was named a top ten American green Hotel by MSNBC and Forbes Traveler. The inn, in conjunction with the Department of Conservation, also runs a ‘Rabitat’ habitat restoration project aimed at protecting the endangered New England cottontail bunnies that roam nearby. The hotel’s conservation efforts also include protecting the migration routes for butterflies.

The people of the Inn by the Sea exude hospitality and their dedication to the preservation and beauty of the land and ocean is evident; there are beach eco-tours, gardening tour classes and the not to be missed Bug’s Life Tour, where kids can learn about endangered wildlife including the Monarch Butterfly which is going extinct. All of the above are offered by Derrick Daly, Inn by the Sea’s resident horticulturalist and master gardener.

Ultimate relaxation is paramount at the Inn by the Sea. You can choose to lounge all day in your beach chair or sip your favorite hand-crafted cocktail at the heated pool all from spots that overlook this unspoiled and wild beauty.

Take your relaxation a step further and spoil yourself with a spa treatment at the Inn by the Sea’s gorgeous full-service spa. A must indulgence is the spa’s Signature Sea Waves Massage, an experience that brings the ocean setting as close to you as possible. This ultimate, sea-inspired massage uses an undulating motion table which responds to the build and tumbling of the ocean waves; it is as if you are lying on the sand feeling and hearing the crashing surf. You are soothed by the sound of the waves as you receive a synchronized massage with a restorative personalized oil blend, adds to this one-of-a-kind experience.

And yes, the spa’s facial treatments and host of tranquil therapies will certainly transform you as well. Every guest at the Inn by the Sea receives a special escape. Both men and women can melt their cares away and use the soothing steam sauna (Tip: use the spas eucalyptus spray for a fresh steam inspired scent), massaging experience showers and relaxation room with refreshments. You will be greeted with towels, robes and slippers.

The Inn’s unmatched hospitality is also extended to our four-legged friends who receive over-the-top pampering at the inn. Room spa services, doggie massages, yappy hour (complimentary ice-cream), handmade treats at turn down, water bowls and beach towels are just a few of the amenities and services offered to the ‘VIPs’ as they say (Very Important Pets). Inn by the Sea was one of the first luxury hotels to accept pets, and they’ve done so for nearly 20 years.

Don’t be surprised if you find a cute canine lying down behind the check-in desk. The inn has a foster dog program, in which homeless dogs from the Animal Rescue of Greater Portland temporarily reside at the hotel in hopes of finding a new home–with some of the guests. And it’s working: so far, guests at the inn have adopted 30 canines, and it’s the hope of management that more and more guests will love and play with the dogs and then make them part of their families. Kids and adults alike find it hard not to engage with these furry sweethearts in the hotel lobby—and that is exactly what they need.

After working up an appetite, head to the inn’s Sea Glass Restaurant and savor the unique flavors of Maine with the innovative dishes created by Chef Steve Sicinski. The detailed use of local fresh seafood and produce are evident in his creations, all of which you can savor while enjoying spectacular ocean views either al fresco or inside the intimate dining room. Be sure not to miss the Poached Egg Tacos, The 207 (three-egg omelet with lobster tails), and Sweet Dream (blueberry vanilla-stuffed French toast with cinnamon custard) for breakfast.

Just eight-and-half miles from Cape Elizabeth is the bustling city of Portland which offers endless restaurants, museums, and taverns all that serve prided local brews. While downtown, check out the fascinating Portland Science Center (2016 experience exhibits included “A Journey to Our Future” and “The Robot Zoo”); next, head to the Portland Museum of Art where you can spend all day taking in three centuries of fascinating art and architecture.

Be sure to dine at a one of Maine’s most famous restaurants in the heart of Portland’s historic Old Port. DiMillo’s On the Water, a floating restaurant and longtime family establishment, is actually a huge former car ferry that offers spectacular views of Portland Harbor from every table; inside, you feel as if you are on board a ship as the restaurant boasts nautical décor at every turn. DiMillo’s, which has been serving since 1954, prides itself on serving fresh seafood and lobster dinners, and you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu (be sure to try their delectable stuffed baked lobster).

A trip to Cape Elizabeth and Greater Portland would not be complete without a stop in Freeport, a place famous for more than its place in history. Freeport is a shopper’s paradise with designer brand outlets mixed with locally-owned shops all within this patriotic setting. Be sure to visit L.L. Bean’s flagship store which stays open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

One of the coolest and most historic spots in Freeport is Jameson Tavern, which has been serving patrons since 1779. The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) claims Jameson Tavern to be the “Birthplace of Maine”. In addition to several long-time ghosts (which restaurant workers say they’ve encountered), some of America’s most legendary figures, including poets Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and John Greenleaf Whittier, are said to have walked on the tavern’s centuries-old pinewood floors. (Note: it’s said that Franklin Pierce, 14th president of the United States, stopped at Jameson Tavern on his way to Bowdoin College in Brunswick).

And then there’s the food, the wonderful, wonderful food: Jameson Tavern owner Tom Hincks, a Maine restaurant veteran with 32-years in the business, is dedicated to preparing only the freshest seafood available. The New England clam chowder, Seared Scallops, and Allies Trio (which include a lobster roll, fried full-bellied coastal clams and clam chowder) are not to be missed. Be sure to quench your thirst with one of many of tavern’s local craft beers.

For more information go to, and

Breckenridge Brewery – 2015

Icon Written by admin on November 30, 2015 – 10:47 pm

Breckenridge Brewery

It seems like there’s a new brewery opening every few weeks with a variety of new and weird brews to offer the world. Sure, these new guys are great, but at the core of the craft beer world are breweries that have been around since the term “craft beer” wasn’t in our collective lexicon just yet. Breweries like Colorado’s Breckenridge Brewery, which opened its doors in February of 1990 and set the foundation for the new breweries we all love today. It’s thanks to breweries like Breckenridge that we have the term craft beer today.

While the original brewpub, which is still open today, was only capable of brewing around 3,000 barrels of beer each year, their current location puts out a massive 66,000 barrels of beer each year. It’s no wonder Breckenridge is in the top 50 US breweries when it comes to sales.
With a history longer than most, and some of the best beer around, it’s no wonder that Breckenridge Brewery is still going strong.

The Brewery
Located in the town of Breckenridge, Colorado the first iteration of Breckenridge Brewery opened its doors to the public in February of 1990, making it only the third brewpub in the state. Richard Squire, the founder of Breckenridge Brewery opened the brewpub on the historic main street of Breckenridge hoping to bring great beer to the masses. Paired with amazing homemade food the beer basically sold itself, pushing Squire to open a second location only two years later in Denver.

As luck would have it, directly across the street from Breckenridge’s second location would turn out to be the new home to none other than the Colorado Rockies baseball team in 1995. This influx thirsty patrons meant Squire’s team couldn’t make beer at the rate it was being consumed. Early last year, Breckenridge Brewery announced the plans for its new 85,000 sq. ft., $35 Million brewery and Farmhouse restaurant, located on a 12-acre country spread along the South Platte River in Littleton, CO.

Breckenridge Brewery opened the doors to the new brewery with an initial capacity of 150,000 bbl/year, and that will be expandable to about 300,000 bbl /year before needing to build any additional structures. The brewery, ranked the 40th largest U.S. Craft Brewery in 2013, has posted higher than 20% growth for the past four years. The new production facility will allow Breckenridge Brewery to continue this growth in a sustainable manner. Currently, the Denver brewery is at maximum capacity, operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, just to meet demand.

Today Breckenridge operates five separate brewpubs and ale houses in Colorado, and distribute their beer to 32 states. Here in Pittsburgh we’re lucky enough to get Breckenridge beer just as fresh as they do in Colorado.

The Never Summer Program
When you think of Colorado the image that most likely comes to your head is one of snowy mountains and skiers and snowboarders flying down said mountains. Breckenridge Brewery is more than aware of this idea and with the help of the aptly named Never Summer Industries, they are once again working together to welcome the winter sports season.

While most of us think baseball when we hear about opening day, the folks at Never Summer Industries think snow. The partnership between Breckenridge and Never Summer Industries celebrated the opening day of winter sports in Colorado starting on November 7th this year, with the celebration going well into December.
For Never Summer’s part they create a custom snowboard featuring the Breckenridge logo and for Breckenridge Brewery’s part they host parties throughout Colorado featuring their great beer. As winter comes it may truly feel that it will never be summer again, but with beer like Breckenridge offers, that might just be ok.

The Beers
When it comes down to it, beer is really what it’s all about, right? And when it comes to Breckenridge Brewery the beer is definitely the star attraction. From year round favorites to seasonal offerings to a mixed 12-pack for those of us that are indecisive; there really is something for everyone at Breckenridge Brewery.

All Year
At the core of any brewery are their year-round offerings. While seasonal wonders are great, without a solid core of great beer the seasonal beers would never see the light of day.

Breck IPA – A great IPA is at the core of any solid beer lineup, and after a scrutiny of ingredients and experimentation with process, Breckenridge Brewery made what they consider a true leader in the IPA world. Breck IPA features a prominent fruity and floral aroma that gives way to a well-balanced taste and body thanks to the choice in malts used in the beer. Unlike many other IPAs, the true secret ingredient in Breck IPA is a rare malt variety that lends the perfect balance to this 6.3% ABV beer.

Avalanche Ale – First brewed in 1988 by founder Richard Squire himself, Avalanche Ale is an amber ale that’s considered the cornerstone of Breckenridge Brewery’s offerings. Brewed using both caramel and pale malts, this beer is balanced out with just enough hops to give the beer the full package. Avalanche Ale comes in at a sessionable 4.4% ABV that finishes smooth and is surprisingly easy to drink.

Vanilla Porter – Dark and malty, this beer has a vanilla character that pairs perfectly with the chocolate and roasted nut flavor that’s balanced perfectly in this beauty of a beer. The chocolate and roasted nut come to this beer via the malts used in this beer, with the vanilla coming all the way from Papua New Guinea and Madagascar. Breckenridge’s Vanilla Porter comes in at 4.7% ABV, making it a great beer year round.

Oatmeal Stout – Bold, smooth, and full of dark-roasted coffee aromas and flavor, Oatmeal Stout by Breckenridge Brewery is, as they say dark in character, not in spirit. Breckenridge uses a spirituous dose of flaked oatmeal to give this beer a creamy body and a semi-dry finish. All total, this 4.9% ABV beer is dark without being overly heavy.

471 IPA – Brewed in small batches to focus on the big flavor, 471 Small Batch IPA from Breckenridge Brewery is an aggressively strong IPA that uses five different malts and four different hop varieties for a depth of flavor and aroma that is far more than the sum of its parts. 471 IPA comes in at a hefty 9.2% ABV that starts with a moderate sweetness up from with a dry bitterness on the finish. If you’re looking for the biggest kid on the block, this is definitely what you’re wanting.

Variety Pack – Is deciding on one single beer too difficult for you? If you’re of the indecisive persuasion, the Rocky Mountain Sampler from Breckenridge Brewery is right for you. The 12-pack sampler features three each of four different beers including the Avalanche Ale, Vanilla Porter, as well as a seasonal beer and one of the Mountain Series of brews, a special lineup of beers from Breckenridge Brewery.

The great things about the seasons are that they’re always changing. Along with the change in weather comes a change in those special beers we get to enjoy each year. As winter closes in we look to the holiday and winter beers to keep us warm on the long, cold winter nights as we all wait for spring to thaw us out.

Christmas Ale – Each year Breckenridge Brewery releases their Christmas Ale to welcome the season in style. This 7.4% ABV beer is full-bodied with a noticeable caramel character that’s backed up with notes of chocolate and just enough bitterness to be present without impacting the amazing holiday flavor. Brewed in the style of a winter warmer, this American Strong Ale is dark and delicious, something you’ll love to drink by the fire on a chilly night.
Other seasonal beers from Breckenridge include their Ophelia Hoppy Wheat, Summerbright Ale, and Autumn Ale, each available in their respective seasons.

Breckenridge Brewery is proudly distributed in and around the Pittsburgh area by Frank Fuhrer Wholesale.

Bolo – Deep Sea Fishing – Florida

Icon Written by admin on November 7, 2014 – 12:59 am

Bolo – Deep Sea Fishing – Florida                                 By: Joyce Campisi

Our travels this month took us to the sunshine state – Florida, where we explored the beaches and amazing sports fishing around Pompano Beach. I have to admit; I’m not a fisherman or is it fisherwoman? However, I have always had fond memories of taking my children deep sea fishing when they were young and feeling a bit nostalgic, I wanted to relive those days. After doing my research on the best deep sea fishing excursions I found the overwhelming consensus of reviews from other tourists and locals were all pointing me in the direction of Bolo Sports Fishing Charters. Besides the rave reviews, the really exciting thing was the price, only $99 per person. Not only will Bolo make your experience amazing they will also do it at an extremely affordable rate without sacrificing service, quality and safety!

After all, Bolo Fishing Charters is the longest established sport fishing charter Boat Company in Florida, operating continuously since 1962 from the Hillsboro Inlet Marina in Pompano Beach and the Cover Marina in Deerfield Beach. Their boats are classic, custom-built Whiticar with interiors done in teak and mahogany. Completely updated and outfitted with the latest state of the art equipment. Bolo Fishing Charters has the largest fleet of “6 Pack” charter boats in South Florida.

Their Captains are all US Coast Guard licensed and highly experienced in fishing Florida’s waters. Bolo Captains and professional Mates guarantee the success and safety of your trip. Only one mile from the Gulf Stream, the local waters are warm year-round and offer many types of fish including Sailfish, Swordfish, Mahi-Mahi, King Mackerel, Wahoo, Tuna, Barracuda, Grouper, Snapper, Amberjack, Cobia and different species of shark from Bull sharks to Hammerheads.

Our adventure began very early on an absolutely beautiful morning; as we arrived we were pleasantly greeted and briefed about our trip by our Captain and Mate. We set sail along with 3 other passengers anxiously waiting to get started. As we made our way out, we passed by million dollar mansions which was a huge bonus, being able to view gated housing developments, OMG that’s the only word I can use to describe these incredible homes.

Our captain and mate were highly experienced in the Gulfstream waters and specifically the South Florida Gold Coastline, but they all have one thing in mind to guarantee everyone has fun no matter your level of fishing experience. They make sure everyone has a great fishing experience whether this is your first trip or if you’re an experienced top of the line fisherman or somewhere in between. The nice thing about Bolo is that they use the share system, which means everyone takes turns reeling in fish and sharing the entire catch. Thank goodness for the 2 men that were onboard with us… one of them, a first time fisherman, caught a 60 inch sailfish! Wow it was an amazing catch and he worked really hard to reel it in. The mate told us that some people fish a lifetime and never catch a sailfish, we were all so excited. Sailfish are catch and release if you don’t want to have them mounted (approximate cost to mount a sailfish is $1500). I must tell you, it made me personally so happy to see him being released knowing he got to swim and live for another day! Go fish go!! It was certainly a thrill of a lifetime just seeing him up close. Sailfish in my opinion are such magnificent and beautiful fish!


As the morning progressed, we all caught several huge King Mackerel and Bonita which is a bait fish! All in all it was nothing but nonstop action and FUN, FUN, FUN with lots of muscle and reeling power, we all got a great exhilarating workout! I can tell you everyone onboard had an awesome experience, made some new friends and memories that will last a lifetime not to mention that we all left with truly fresh caught amazing fish for dinner professionally filleted by our first mate! Yum!

For more information or reservations – plan ahead and build this experience and amazing adventure into your next Florida vacation visit – Be sure and tell them your friends from Nightwire sent you!


Gabriella’s Restaurant

Icon Written by admin on October 5, 2014 – 3:28 pm

Gabriella’s Restaurant…… By Dan Calig

It’s late night on Carson. You’ve just made the rounds to your favorite local haunts and find yourself looking for something to soak up the evening’s festivities and calm that rumbling noise coming from a few inches above your belt. What’s the plan? Sure you can go the usual route of pizza and gyro’s or something covered in french fries and slaw, but maybe you’re looking for something off the beaten track?

This was the question on the minds of Gabriella’s in the Southside. They looked at the available options and thought that Pittsburgher’s could do well with a little variety in their late night diet. While they carry some of the standard fare, cheesteaks and hotdogs, a number of their menu items break from the traditional approach to midnight muchies.

Their sandwiches for example, range from the typical American hamburger to more extravagant items involving pesto, artichokes or mortadella. A Ruben sits at the top of the menu and numerous variations on the egg sandwich exist for those diners who would like to get a head start on the morning. Some have brave combinations like the “Schrader” which adds kielbasa and pierogi to the egg and finishes with a horseradish sauce. Or for a spin on a Pittsburgh favorite you could always go with a “Jimmy the Greek” which adds gyro meat, spinach and shoestring fries, later served on a mini pita. Price range $8-$9.

A rarely seen late night option is pasta, let alone their adventurous Pasta del Sol. A cream based sauce that sports upscale ingredients like shallots, sun dried tomatoes and nutmeg. Online reviews from the nearby Riverwalk Corporate Center give high kudos for their also homemade Alfredo sauce, served with either chicken or shrimp and presented on a bed of penne for less than $6. If you’re looking for a more low fi option, they also carry a traditional marinara made from crushed tomatoes.

For those looking to thin down their mix of shots and craft beer, will be pleased to find a selection of homemade soups ($4 or $7 sizes) that reach beyond the typical chicken noodle. A beef-based red wine lentil made with merlot and mixed vegetables can be found, as well as a shrimp bisque swimming in a seafood stock with brandy and herbs. Served hot or cold is a roasted red pepper soup blended with balsamic vinegar, sherry and onions in addition to their daily offering.

All of these items and more can be found well into the night at 301 E. Carson from midnight to 3:30am on Friday and Saturday. For your breakfast and lunch needs during the week they are opened from 7:00am to 2:30pm.

Gabriella's Gourmet on the Go on Urbanspoon

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Icon Written by admin on July 9, 2014 – 8:30 pm

Pabst Blue Ribbon

A brand that was once considered the uncool beer for fathers and grandfathers around the country has made a complete turnaround in popularity since early 2000 up to today where it’s become the go-to brand for the coolest of the cool. Pabst Blue Ribbon has one of the most recognizable logos in the beer world and their 16oz “Pounder” can is about as iconic as a beer container can get. There’s more to PBR than the cool factor and a recognizable can however, there’s a lot of history behind the beer and some pretty amazing projects in their future, too.

Pabst Blue Ribbon beer was originally brewed in 1844 under the name Pabst Select. It wasn’t until 1895 that the beer gained its quintessential name that we all know today, Pabst Blue Ribbon. Even though the PBR can is known far and wide, it wasn’t until 1935 that the first PBR was placed in a can.

Stepping back from PBR for a minute, the Pabst Brewery was founded by Jacob Best in Milwaukee, Wisconsin originally as the Empire Brewery. They produced 300 barrels of Best Select Lager in their first year. In 1860 Jacob’s son Phillip took over for his father and renamed the brewery Phillip Best Company and continues to produce the original beer.

Jump ahead to 1876 and the newly named Pabst’s Best Select Lager wins a gold medal at the Centennial Celebration, the first of many awards to be won in the future. The new president of the company, Frederick Pabst, decides that every bottle of Best Select Beer deserves its own blue ribbon to identify it as a first-place winner to everyone who tries the beer and since it’s 1882 this is done by hand around the neck of every bottle.

Following suit with his father-in law Phillip, Pabst changes the name of the brewery to honor whom else, but himself! With this renaming the Pabst Brewing Company we know today was truly born. By 1892 Pabst Brewing is using nearly 1 million feet of silk ribbon per year for their hand-tied bows that went on every bottle of Best Select. Jump ahead once again to 1898 and Best Select finally changes its name to the one we know and love today: Pabst Blue Ribbon because that’s what everyone called it for years before, anyway.

During Prohibition Pabst moved to the cheese market, selling cheese under the name Pabst-ett. Once Prohibition finally ended, Pabst sold their cheese business to Kraft and went back into the brewing business once again.

In 1950 the hand-tied silk ribbons finally went the way of the buffalo but can still be seen in the Blue Ribbon logo. It’s understandable that Pabst couldn’t keep up with the ribbon tying, since this year alone they produced 3.4 million barrels of beer.
PBR Today

Unlike many of the other large breweries today, Pabst doesn’t have a big advertising budget and relies solely on the quality of their beer and word of mouth to spread the word of PBR.

You won’t find scantily clad PBR girls handing out t-shirts and beer koozies, and you definitely won’t see any nationwide PBR television ads or hear any radio ads or commercials. Pabst does all their advertising thanks to the cool crowd of millenials in the 21-35 age group and their love of the brand. Whether it was the complete lack of advertising or the wrongly-perceived uncoolness of the brand that did it, PBR has become the hippest beer out there and is the go-to beer in dive bars, sports bars, concert venues, and sporting events. What’s most surprising however is that it’s still popular in many craft beer bars and is usually the only non-craft beer that’s drank without a second look in these quickly growing establishments.

PBR can be found today in containers ranging from the traditional draft to 12,16, 24, and even 32-ounce cans as well as 12,22,32, and 40-ounce bottles.

Recent awards for PBR include a gold medal at the 2005, 2006, and 2012 Great American Beer Festival for American-Style Lager and a gold medal for the 2013 Los Angeles International Beer Competition for American Style Lager.

PBR is brewed with a combination of 2 and 6-row malted barley along with select cereal grains. Pabst uses both American and European hops to provide a beer with a clean, crisp finish and an excellent noble hop aroma. PBR is golden-straw in golor and has a balance of hop and malt character that keeps it from being too bitter while featuring the delicate noble hop aroma.

The PBR Art Program
Pabst Blue Ribbon is starting something new for their 16oz Pounder can in 2014, and it’s all about you, as long as you’re a decent artist. Art and PBR aren’t new bedfellows but this year they are focusing on a new project, titled the PBRART can. Instead of the traditional PBR artwork on these perfectly sized cans, artists can submit their work to be included on the can in and around the original PBR logo.

Artists from around the country are encouraged to submit their own works to be considered for placement on the historical can. There will be art events all around the country where artists can get blank 160z art “can-vases” to use in their design work.

The first PBRART can features artist Josh Holland and can be found wherever PBR Pounder cans are sold.

Pabst Blue Ribbon can be found throughout Pittsburgh and is proudly distributed by Galli Wholesale.

Rogue Brewery

Icon Written by admin on February 24, 2014 – 6:12 pm

Rogue Brewery                                                                     by:  Chris Wise

In the fight against mass-produced, bland tasting beer, one company is attempting to start a full-scale beer revolution. Rogue, which produces spirits in addition to their many varieties of beers, believes in the power of innovation and striving for an excellent product. Rogue has been operating for over 25 years, and has built a reputation putting the quality of their product of the quantity of money they make, and helping bring attention to the revolution currently happening within the beer-universe.

The revolution owes its roots to four men, Jack Joyce, Bob Woodell, Rob Strasser and Jeff Schultz, a 10 gallon bbl brewing system and a 60-seat brewpub in  Ashland, OR. In 1988 the first Rogue Public House was opened by the four friends, pushing out their first two recipes: Amber and Gold. While the response from the public was encouraging, it quickly became apparent Rogue needed to expand in order to survive past their first winter. So in February of 1989 Jack Joyce took a drive to Newport to look for their next location.

A winter storm closed in quickly on the small town, leaving Jack’s stuck with no way out of town that night. So Jack walked into town until he was rescued by Mohave “Mo” Niemi, founder of the famous Mo’s Clam Chowder. As Jack was warming up with a hot bowl of clam chowder Niemi told him about her dream to live above a bar, claiming she had the answer to Rogue’s expansion problem. Niemi offered to help Jack secure the new location, on two conditions: Rogue “feed the fishermen,” or give back to the local community, and hang a picture of Mo, naked in a bathtub, above the bar(which is still there to this day.) Jack quickly agreed, and that same month Rogue began construction to relocate from a basement in Ashland to a garage in Newport.

In May of 1989, Rogue’s Revolution gained an important member of their team when John “More Hops” Maier joined the team as Brewmaster. John left The Alaskan Brewery to join Rogue, having won the American Homebrewer Association’s Homebrewer of the Year Award only three years before in 1986. John Maier was present for the first batch of brew in Newport, OR in 1989, and has brewed over 100,000 pints of beer for Rogue since.

The first location in Newport served as the base of their brewing operation for only three years, when the brewery system was moved across the bay to its current location, but remains open today as the Rogue Ales Public House(still with the picture of Mo above the bar.) Rogue has kept expanding since that time, and now the Rogue empire includes multiple locations around Portland, a pub in the Portland Airport, their own farm complex in Independence, OR, pubs in Issaquah, WA, and San Francisco, CA. Rogue locations are all family friendly, with kid friendly menus and even free water and food options for your dog. The Hop’N’Bed at the Independence farmhouse gives Rogue visitors the option to stay overnight for a longer tour of the facilities (what sounds more relaxing than bed and breakfast and beer?) and two apartments are available for stays above their Newport location.

Rogue’s empire doesn’t consist of simply a few pubs and a bed and breakfast. Today, Rogue has their own museum, library, university, newspaper,  film company, record company, publishing company, 24-hour news operations, coins and currency, passports, national ID cards, stamps, license plates, a flag, a constitution, uniforms, shoes, a Creamery, a national past time, a literary journal, a bakery, a chef laureate, a bull, a pledge and boxer shorts.

Hard work and dedication has brought Rogue a great deal of recognition for their continued efforts within the brewing industry: Rogue has won over 1000 awards during their history, a complete list of which can be found on their website under the awards section. One of the truly impressive feats when looking at this list is how Rogue has maintained a consistent level of outstanding quality since their first award, a gold medal at the 1990 Great American Beer Festival awarded to their Smoke Ale. Rogue now sells their 37 ales in all 50 states and in 32 different countries around the world (including 50% of the craft beer market in Guam).

Rogue Brewing operates under six simple guidelines: To brew the finest varietal ales & spirits in the world with an uncompromising devotion to Quality and the Art of Brewing; To present the finished work with a touch of educational, entertaining mischief; To be dedicated to the Rogue in each of us; To remember it is not simply a matter of profit but a highly personal work of art; To build relationships, not just ales; To be like great friends and remember it’s what’s inside that counts. Rogue is proud of the success they have achieved using their straightforward approach, and invites all their customers to visit the production sites for themselves. Customers can visit the Newport brewpub or Independence Farm to get a behind the scenes look at all the work that goes into making a Rogue brew and meet with the people that make this company so special. Make sure to try the 7 Hop IPA which combines all the hops Rogue Farms at Independence grows in a delicious Pale Ale.

Next time you’re at the beer outlet deciding between the cheaper, mass produced beers and the higher quality craft brews, grab a case of Rogue and join the revolution.


American Amber Ale

Delightfully yummy as can be, this coffee aroma beer showcases an excellent amber. Containing Cascade hops and three different malts, American Amber Ale is full of caramel, bread and hops smells. The taste hides notes of floral and citrus, as well as a bitter finish. This recipe is truly full of balance and grace, and shows what Rogue is all about: unpretentious, great tasting beer.

ABV – 5.6%

46 Awards

Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout

This American-style stout contains earthy flavors with a creamy, chocolate finish. Drink it with a dessert – it practically is one itself! It tastes of slightly roasted malts, but the smoothness of the oats softens the entire drinking experience. There is just a hint of both coffee and dark chocolate finish.

Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout is now also available in 12oz, 6 packs.

ABV – 6.1%

61 Awards

Dead Guy Ale

Brewed as a mock German Maibock, this beer is deep honey in color and has a highly malty aroma. Made with Perle and Saaz hops and four punchy malts, the body is extremely creamy. The smells circle around coffee, butter, malts, sugars and all other delightful scents. The taste follows by being sweet, but with enough bitter kick to back it up.

ABV – 6.5%

28 Awards

Brutal IPA

Bitters on bitters on bitters, this is a greatly adventurous IPA. It has all the classic citrus and grassy hop flavors and aromas, but amplified! The bitter taste does not overpower the malts and sweet tastes. Surprisingly well balanced for the amount of hops, the bready aspect also dips into a pineapple blast, making this a memorable IPA.

ABV – 5.8%

28 Awards

Chipotle Ale

An interesting ale to say the least – they say spice is the variety of life! Well this beer does it well. The aroma is literally smoky, as well malty. The taste hits notes of spice, malts, pepper and leaves the tongue happy, if not a little singed. It’s a flavor burst, mixed into a great brew, that you’ll just have to try for yourself!

ABV – 5.5%

15 Awards

Visit to look at their list of brews, awards, locations, take an online tour, or learn a little more about the Rogue Revolution. Distributed locally by Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale Inc.

Cain’s Saloon

Icon Written by admin on October 20, 2013 – 9:05 pm

Cain’s Saloon                                                                                      By:  Jake Mulliken

Walking into Cain’s Saloon, the delicious aroma of beer battered onion rings, burgers and craft beer immediately announces itself. The interior has no frills, no beat you over the head gimmicks like certain chain restaurants; it is a comfortable and easy environment. As you enter, you notice the 33 beer tap system behind the bar, the limitless selection of liquor (bacon vodka!), and the flat screens that line the walls showing every category of sport imaginable. The bar is a classic wooden beast that stretches like an oak serpent from front to back. The tables and stools are high up, in the fashion of old school sports bar. Weaving your way through the bar area and into the back, you will find a dining area that is simply laid out, much like the front. Televisions connect ceiling and wall, and various jerseys signed by athletes from Dan Marino to Sydney Crosby hang above the booths that outline the periphery.

As mentioned earlier, Cain’s has a considerable beer selection. Naturally, they carry hometown favorites like Yuengling, Fat Heads and East End, but their selection also boasts some fine brews from around the country. Heavy Seas Loose Cannon IPA is a favorite among customers.

Cain’s is not only a sports bar. It is much more than your typical watering hole with the NFL Sunday Ticket. Cain’s is a bastion of the Dormont community; a place that, aside from catering to the local scene, hosts anniversaries, birthdays and receptions as well as fundraisers to aid people in the community. If you live in Dormont, odds are some of your most cherished memories take place at Cain’s. It is more than just a bar, it is Dormont’s living room, where family can gather to enjoy a game, some good, old fashioned quality time, or a good meal. Below are highlights from Cain’s staggeringly delicious offerings we sampled.


Cain’s World Famous Cheese Sticks: $6.99: Stuffed with a secret mix of cheeses and battered in Panko bread crumbs with a hit of spices, and served with a side of house marinara. These fellas are gargantuan and a solid, gourmet interpretation of an old favorite. Try them with the Loose Cannon IPA, awesome!

Cain’s House Chili: Crock: $2.99/Bowl: 3.99: Cain’s own award winning recipe is sure to take you back to your childhood. Old school home style chili. Hearty, meaty and near perfect, especially with a Guinness.


Open Faced Steak Sandwich: 8 oz. NY Strip $9.99/6 oz. Filet Mignon $14.99: Your choice of Filet or Strip always served medium rare, unless otherwise specified, atop grilled Italian garlic bread topped with grilled portabella and crumbled blue cheese. Served with your choice of side. A word of advice: go with the baked potato. You get your choice of classic, stuffed or twice baked. Couple all of that with a cold pint of Fat Heads Pumpkin Ale and you are gold.

Pastrami Smoked Salmon Club: $12.99: Sushi grade Pastrami styled smoked salmon (smoked in house), thick sliced bacon, lettuce and tomato topped with house made dill mayo on thick sliced marble rye. Add a side of sweet potato waffle fries and polish it off with a Hoegaarden.

Lobster Stuffed Ravioli: $14.99: This stuff is good, really good. No, awesome. Huge ravioli stuffed to the brim with thick lumps of lobster. Drenched in house made sauce that includes fresh tomatoes, spinach and huge chunks of langostino lobster. Served with garlic Italian bread. Have a glass of white wine with this bad boy.

Homemade Brownie:  Cain’s brownie’s are made fresh daily and let me tell you…they are to die for…death by chocolate would be a good way to describe it!  Served with ice cream and whipped cream.. Wow!! Simply scrumptious and definitely a must try!

All of these delectable dishes are prepared by Cain’s own chef, Andrew Bash.

Don’t go to Cain’s expecting typical bar food like greasy gut pounding potato skins and floppy cheese sticks. You can, of course, get your standard pub fare, but not in the standard frozen bag Tyson’s chicken kind of way. These guys are doing it right. Locals who never venture outside of your borough, you are missing out! There is a food revolution happening under your noses and Cain’s is at the forefront.

Cain’s provides a modern and delicious twist on old time American comfort food. Whether it is slow cooked Sunday BBQ, make it yourself Bloody Mary’s, the Cod Father or the gargantuan Pittsburgh Pierogie, anyone can find something they like. From in house soups, smoked and roasted meats to sauces, Cain’s has an appreciation for fresh ingredients and solid, friendly atmosphere and service. Cain’s offers daily specials and  Prix Fixe Dinner Specials (which includes soup, salad, entrée, 2 sides and homemade desserts) Monday through Friday 3pm-1am. They are also open for breakfast daily Monday through Friday –  7am-11am, Sat & Sun, 8am – noon. Go on the weekends and experience “Free Valet Parking;” go anytime, and remember to try something outside of your wheel house. Who knows, you might just learn something new about yourself.

Cain’s Saloon is located in Dormont at 3239 West Liberty Avenue – Pittsburgh, PA 15216 – phone: 412.561.7444 or visit them on the web to view all of their menus at

Cain's Saloon on Urbanspoon

Dining – Taverna 19 – Pittsburgh

Icon Written by admin on August 1, 2013 – 2:47 pm

Dining Review- Taverna 19                                                                                          By:  Suz Pisano

I love when a restaurant trusts me enough to actually invite Nightwire and the crew to sip, dine, photograph and enjoy, a mere 1 week after they open!  Our old friend Stephen Kowalczuk aka “The Cocktail Chef”, brings Greek culture to life in the perfect spot right in the heart of the Strip District.  He has spread his wings to Concept Developer and General Manager at Taverna 19 located on 19th Street between Smallman and Penn Avenue.  This restaurant transports you right to a taverna in Greece complete with great Mediterranean food and A-MAZING drinks.

Taverna 19 is brand new and right off the bat they have hit the ground running and are beginning to run like a well-oiled machine.  Do have patience, relax, and have a drink with a bite to eat & just sit back and enjoy, it’s all about the experience and freshly prepared high quality food takes time.  My first visit was this outing but I have to admit I’ve already been back WITH friends and just couldn’t seem to leave.  Taverna 19 is so friendly and casual that you’ll see what I mean the minute you find the outdoor courtyard.  Staff is extremely knowledgeable and very friendly.  My very favorite server Eric made both visits so easy and relaxing.  His service was top notch and I did notice the servers working together at Taverna 19 to ensure that all the guests have a stellar experience.  GM Stephen told us that part of his concept encourages enjoying your food and that plates weren’t to be cleared until they were empty.  Servers are extremely attentive but never rushing.  Taverna 19 is a gathering place and even though you might not know the folks at the table next to you, you’ll feel a sense of community through a shared experience.  That’s what I really want you to recognize about this recommendation- take time to enjoy the experience.  Belly dancers appear Weds, Thurs., Fri. & Sat with shows at 7:00 & 7:40 pm.  On our second visit- We watched as the first dancer was showered with napkins inside by the bar.  Outside we got a plate of rose petals to toss as the dancer entertained us in the outdoor courtyard.  While we were enjoying some wine & small plates, the entire floor became covered in rose petals adding to the authenticity of the taverna experience.  It was so festive and so much fun, like I said- we couldn’t leave! Dancers did a great job at encouraging others to join in the festivity and dance with them.  Of course- respectful tipping of the dancers is encouraged but not a necessity.  I predict that Taverna 19 will be THE place to see the regions best dancers as well as international touring acts.  “Dancing at Taverna 19 is a dream.  There are napkins and rose petals showering you.  The staff is like a big family and the customers get in on the fun by dancing with us. It is truly a Greek experience right here in Pittsburgh,” says Jemeena a beautiful local dancer & instructor.

Jeremy Strungis serves as Master Mixologist at Taverna 19, and believe me when I tell you- the Burgh is lucky to have him!  He was recently chosen as one of the Top 100 Mixologists actually landing in at #4 Trend Setting Mixologist in the Country!  With homemade infusions of everything from rum to tequila and some very interesting ingredients like cucumber juice, green tea and egg foam; Jeremy has managed to bring the “art of the cocktail” to Taverna 19.  Please don’t be intimidated by ordering an artfully created cocktail, part of the experience is watching and learning about the libation which often has layers of flavor or subtle notes of a fresh herb.  Call these “craft cocktails” if you will, they are always made individually by hand, no premade mixes here.  Remember-part of the taverna culture is eating AND drinking.  On the outside courtyard, a separate drink menu includes cocktails served in Mason jars and even sno cone cocktails.  My favorite sno cone cocktails were the Flashback- bubble gum vodka with infused with garden fresh peppermint syrup and the Dracula Bite – Super Cola Vodka with fresh cherry puree and sage syrup!  You have to try one.  Their signature house cocktail is OMG.. Let me tell you, one sip and you will understand the name of this cocktail.. it will have you saying “OMG!” Several types of Ouzo are offered and the wine list includes 20 for $20 wines in both reds & whites.  There’s definitely something for everyone and if you just can’t seem to land on a specific- ask Jeremy!  He’s eager to present his cocktails, describe the inspiration and the details.  He’s truly a cocktail artist, and as I always like to say “the love is in the details”!   House favorite is the Margarito, a Margarita & Mojito mix made with fresh herbs grown in the courtyard.

Now let’s get to the food!  Meze, or appetizer sized portions of traditional Greek cuisine include Fresh Dolmades ($8) grape leaves filled with rice, lentils & herbs; Tzatziki ($&) imported Greek yogurt with cucumber, fresh dill, olive oil & garlic; Hummus ($6), Red Feta ($7) & Melinzanosalata ($6) spreads accompanied with fresh grilled pita are just a few.  Hot Meze includes (my personal favorite) Flaming Saganaki ($8) served flaming & extinguished tableside is a must have!  Spanikopita ($6) filo dough stuffed with spinach and feta cheese;  Psites Piperies ($6) fire roasted bell peppers drizzled with olive oil; or Kolokithia Keftedes ($7) seasoned zucchini croquettes with red feta spread.  The art of Ouzo drinking includes eating enough to balance the alcohol content of the liquor so as to not be overwhelming.  Special Ouzo Meze are presented- Kalamarakia ($8) crispy seasoned calamari served with lemon aioli; Garides Saganaki ($9) jumbo shrimp with tomatoes, peppers & feta cheese; or something I’m dying to go back again & try- Midia Ke Ouzo ($11) mussels in Ouzo citrus broth served with grilled ciabatta. It just sounds so good.

Our friendly bartender Tom told us that the staff have had to master correct pronunciations, so don’t be afraid to point, attempt or ask about a menu item.   I’m a stickler for correct pronunciations, so I just have fun with no fear.  Actually, a really long time ago, a Greek friend took me to a Greek food festival and wouldn’t let me order any Greek desserts or pastries until I could pronounce them correctly!  Quick learner!

A fresh addition to your meal or table are the Salutes, traditional Greek salads or the Sides- Xorta ($8) seasoned wilted greens with olive oil and lemon juice; Patates Tiganita ($8) Greek fries seasoned with salt, oregano, shaved kefelograveria cheese with a truffle mayo on the side.  If you like a good french fry, I’m just sayin’, this is a great french fry!  The final traditional side is Briam ($7) zucchini, squash, tomatoes, garlic confit, potatoes, herbs & spices which would make a nice addition to the grilled meat or traditional dish offerings.

Lamb chops, Cowboy Cut Rib eye, Angus beef, marinated lamb, shredded slow roasted lamb or stuffed bell peppers make up the entrée portion of the menu.  Most grilled meats are marinated in Latholemono, a traditional marinade of fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, Greek oregano. Sea salt & cracked pepper.  Family style portions are offered and priced per person, just ask your server for details.  We didn’t sample any entrée options as our party enjoyed the flow of food and cocktails much more than a serious meal.  I’m looking forward to returning for a pop-up lamb roast.  The evening we were last there, Chef Torrey Davis brought out a whole lamb in preparation for the outdoor spit & the next days lamb roast.  Pop-up dinners are the trend in cool cuisine at the moment and the best reason ever to “friend” a restaurant on Facebook.  A friend of mine calls it “facey-space” but when I get wind of a full fledged lamb roast in the Strip District, I call it social networking at it’s finest!

Sunday Brunch boasts an entirely different brunch menu but one thing I know for sure- they have candied bacon!  Candied bacon.  Brunch.  Lamb.  Cocktails.  Outside.  Yes.

I’m almost out of room with so many things to tell you about Taverna 19…….

You’ll just have to get there.

Closed Monday & Tuesday.

Restaurant is open at 11am daily for lunch.    Kitchen closes when it closes.

108 19th Street in the Historic Strip District – Phone:  412.224.2720  Opa!  Hope to see you there!

The Just Beer Project

Icon Written by admin on June 28, 2013 – 2:23 pm

The Just Beer Project…..

Craft Beer Pioneer Responds to Exploding Craft Category…

            One Brewery Goes Back to the Beginning of Craft

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and that’s exactly what’s happening in the world of craft beer. It’s not uncommon to see bar tap towers with 50 to 100 draft lines, full of beer with extreme bitterness units (IBUs) and alcohol content (ABV) that is so high the drinker can only enjoy one or two. Craft beer veteran, Alan Newman, has chosen to go against the grain to offer a more simplified approach to craft, notably named, The Just Beer Project.

The craft beer industry is growing, and at a rapid rate. In 2012 there were over 2,300 craft breweries in total, and that number increases literally by the day. Bars and restaurants have embraced the rise in craft, and begun offering more beer styles with exotic ingredients, high bitterness units and high alcohol content.

Newman, founder of the Magic Hat Brewing Company in 1994, is familiar with the world of craft beer, and recalls its early days:

“Back nearly 20 years ago when we started Magic Hat, every bar had three ‘light’ beers, another domestic or two, and maybe a few imports. Any beer with the sign of all malt got my order,” says Newman.  “I was inspired by the idea that beer could be flavorful and delicious. That was the true catalyst that started the Magic Hat Brewing Company.”

Today craft has evolved into an ever-growing list of styles and unique, exotic ingredients, which Newman is no stranger to – after all he was among the first to experiment with the unconventional.  The early days of craft were all about the innovation and the renaissance of beer.

“It wasn’t until the past few years that the IBU and ABV wars began. They add flavor, aroma and character, but everything in moderation, please,” said Newman. “I don’t want 120 IBUs or 9% ABV on a night out with friends. All I want is a good tasting beer that I can drink all night long.”

The Just Beer Project’s mission is to deliver beer drinkers un-complicated world-class craft brews that are delightful in their simplicity – nothing too complicated or exotic, with all natural ingredients. Their beers are sessionable, staying in the 5% ABV range, and focus on a great balance between malt and hops.

The first beer offered by the Just Beer Project, Just IPA, is an approachable IPA. For the aficionado, Just IPA comes in at 45 IBUs and a sessionable 5.2% ABV. It’s brewed with four hop varieties and two different styles of malt, then dry-hopped with Citra, Simcoe, and Cascade hops giving it a well-balanced malt flavor and fresh hop aroma. For the person who’s looking to spend less time reading about beer, and more time drinking it, Just IPA is the perfect choice.

Just IPA is available on draft in Pittsburgh currently at over 189 locations and growing! Locally here are just a few of the bars that currently have Just IPA on tap… Fuel & Fuddle, Oakland – Garage Door Saloon, Oakland – Smokin’ Joe’s, South Side – Piper’s Pub, South Side – Gateway Grill, Northern Pike, Houghs, Greenfield Ave., Pgh – Hampton Sports Zone, Allison Park – Cupkas 2 – South Side – Rolands, in the Strip.

Just IPA – You drink it.  It tastes great… Just IPA – 45 BU’s, 5.2% ABV, Malt: Weyermann floor Pills, Honey Malt. Hops: Chinook, Ahtanum, Citra, Cascade. Dryhop: Citra, Stimcoe, Cascade. The Just Beer Project is a craft beer company with a mission to deliver World Class Craft Beers, expertly brewed, without all the complication!

About Just Beer Project
The Just Beer Project is a craft beer venture from Alchemy and Science, based in Burlington, Vermont. The Just Beer Project was launched in 2012 set out with the mission of un-complicating the world of craft beer.

Rogue Ales

Icon Written by admin on March 4, 2013 – 2:30 pm

Rogue Ales
900+ Awards, 50 States, 37 Ales, 25 Years, 32 Countries,
12 Pubs, 2 Farms, 7 Spirits, 2 Distilleries, 1 Brand

In the Beginning… A group of like-minded Rogues got together to start a new brewery. In March of 1988 a Revolution in beer began in the basement of the Rogue Public House in Ashland Oregon. One of the founders of Rogue ended up stuck in Newport, OR on the coast for three days and, after enjoying the hospitality of the locales, named the small stretch of coast the land of Barley and Hops and decided to open a second brewpub. Mo Neime offered her garage with one condition–help your community when times are good, and feed the fishermen when times are bad. Thus the next Rogue Outpost was created with a 15 bbl brew system in a garage and a promise to be a good neighbor. Beer drinkers soon discovered the heavenly ales being produced and came to worship at the Rogue Nation Pub on the bay.

In 1991 the brew system was moved across the bay, where a marine repair shop was converted into the Rogue Brewery. Rogue now produces over 37 different ales distributed in all 50 states and exported to 32 different countries (Rogue now owns 50% of the craft market in Guam!). And after 25 years and 15,000 brews, John Maier, Rogue Brewmaster and Prophet of Pacman yeast, is still hand-making each batch.

Today the Rogue Nation has a museum, a library, a university, a newspaper, a Film company, Record company, coins and currency, passports, national ID cards, stamps, license plates, a flag, a constitution, uniforms, shoes, a Creamery, a national past time, a literary journal, a bakery, a chef laureate, a bull, a pledge and boxer shorts—all the indicia of a Nation which should lead to the approval of our pending application to join the UN.

Rogue was first A century before oenophiles were chasing their pinot dreams in the Willamette Valley, pioneer farmers were growing hops. They found a magical combination of rich soil, moderate temperatures and the perfect balance of sun and rain that made this land the hops growing capital of the world.

When Prohibition drove Oregon vineyards out of business, Willamette Valley hops growers prospered. They flourished through two world wars and the Great Depression.

But somewhere in the 20th century Oregon’s hops heritage was lost. Vinters planted their vines, built their tasting rooms and laid claim to the terroir of the Willamette Valley.

In 2008, Rogue became farmers. Rogue constructed a 42 acre hop yard on a wide bend of the Willamette River near Independence. This year they will harvest 64,000 pounds of Alluvial, Freedom, Independent, Liberty, Newport, Rebel and Revolution varieties of aroma hops in the Wigrich Appellation. The hop cones are picked, kilned, cooled and baled right on the farm and shipped to their brewery in Newport.

In the rain shadow of Mt. Hood they planted barley. Nearly 200 acres in the Tygh Valley appellation will produce more than 900,000 pounds of Risk winter malting barley and Dare spring malting barley. Rogue built their own floor malting house and hand craft their own styles of artisan small batch malts.

They know where their hops and barley come from. They know the soil, the temperature and how much rain and sun they receive. They know when and how they were planted, cared for, harvested and processed.

The beer from Rogue farms will be 1st Growth, Estate Hopped, Estate Barleyed, Estate Brewed and Estate Bottled. From now on their taking about Dirtoir, not Terroir.

Beer begins in the dirt It starts in the soil where barley roots and hop bines draw moisture and nutrients. It begins in the rocks of the Cascades and Coast Range as creeks rush over gravelly bottoms where salmon and steelhead spawn.

The right climate encourages healthy crops and clear, cold water. Barley and hops need a certain amount – and timing – of rain, sun, warm summers and cool winters to help them thrive. Streams need to be refreshed
with rain fall and snowmelt or they become stagnant and stale.

Making that dirt and climate takes time Over hundreds of millions of years ago, the North American continent began its slow creep westward. The moving tectonic plate scraped sediments, underwater ridges and volcanic islands from the ocean floor. It built a huge pile of dirt that became the Coast Range. The movement spawned massive volcanic eruptions that uplifted the Cascades and smothered much of Oregon with hot, molten lava. Huge ice age floods drowned the Willamette Valley for thousands of years and deposited layers of rich, volcanic soils that are hundreds of feet thick.

So when you open a bottle of Rogue you’re tasting more than just the barley, hops and water. You’re tasting the results of millions of years of geologic forces and history that are unique to the place where hops and barley are grown and where the water comes from.

This “Taste of Place” is what we call terroir Luckily for Rogue, Oregon has everything we need to grow our own. There’s a reason why Rogue grows aroma hops in the Willamette Valley. The rain shadow of the Coast Range, ice age soils and its position along the 45th parallel have made the valley one of the most important hops growing regions in the world for more than a century.

There’s a reason why Rogue grows barley near Tygh Valley. The rain shadow of Mt. Hood and loess volcanic topsoil is why this region is the most productive in Oregon for cereal grains, such as barley and wheat. And there’s a reason why Rogue gets the water to malt the barley and brew the beer from the free flowing streams of the Coast Range and Cascades. These are some of the purest, most natural sources of water anywhere.

The final element of terroir is personality. No one else can make Rogue Ales or Spirits. Not even if they had the same ingredients from the same places. Rogue’s personality is unique and you can taste it in the beer.

Rogue and Oregon have the right combination of dirt, climate, water and personality. A terroir superfecta that’s impossible to duplicate.

BEERS – Here’s a small sampling of some of the Rogue Brews

American Amber Ale
Delightful and yummy as can be this coffee aroma beer shows as an excellent amber. It contains Cascade hops and three different malts. The beer is full of caramel, bread and hops smells, The taste hides notes of floral and citrus, as well as a bitter finish. This craft is truly full of balance and grace – great job well done. It has an alcohol level of 5.6 percent.

Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout
This American-style stout contains earthy flavors with a creamy, but soft, chocolate finish. Drink it with a dessert – it practically is one itself! It tastes of slightly roasted malts, but the smoothness of the oats softens the entire drinking experience. There is just a hint of both coffee and dark chocolate finish. It has a 6.1 alcohol percent.

Dead Guy Ale
Brewed as a mock German Maibock, this beer is deep honey in color and has a highly malty aroma. It’s made with Perle and Saaz hops and four punchy malts! The body is extremely creamy. The smells circle around coffee, butter, malts, sugars and all other delightful scents. The taste follows by being sweet, but with enough bitter to back it up. It has a 6.5 percent alcohol percentage.

Brutal IPA
Bitters on bitters on bitters, this is a greatly adventurous IPA. It has all the classic citrus and grassy hop flavors and aromas, but amplified! The bitter however does not overpower the malts and sweet tastes. It is surprisingly well balanced for the amount of hops. The bready aspect also dips into a pineapple blast, making this a memorable IPA. It has a 5.8 percent alcohol percentage.

Chipotle Ale
An interesting ale to say the least – they say spice is the variety of life! Well this beer does it well. The aroma is literally smoky, as well as being malty. The taste hits notes of spice, malts, pepper and leaves the tongue happy if not a little singed. It’s a flavor burst, mixed into a great brew, that you’ll just have to try for yourseld! It has a 5.5 percent alcohol percentage.

There’s more than just one location, though, with all the growth. Rogue Ales are brewed in the Newport, Oregon locations, while two separate brewpubs the Rogue Public House, located in Eugene, and the Issaquah Brewhouse, located in Washington. The brewpubs brew their own beer and offer great eats. Rogue also owns nine separate restaurants along the northern West Coast, stretching from San Francisco to Issaquah. For added fun, there are two high-spirited distilleries in Portland and Newport, making some spicy rums and powerful vodkas.

With all the great venues and ways to experience Rogue’s commitment to fine crafts, checkout the website to find out which place is right for your visit. They might all be! There’s also a video tour of the brewery online and tons of information.

Dining – Tailgaters – Downtown – Pittsburgh

Icon Written by admin on August 16, 2010 – 5:49 pm

Dining Review- Tailgaters by Suz Pisano

Tucked away in the corner of Washington Plaza, yep that’s the giant white building with the big red “W” on it, right above the new Consol Energy Center is…….. Tailgaters…….our newest find that’s that you’re gonna love.

Owner Jackie Horvath knows a great location when she sees one and jumped at the chance to open a sports bar with a  traditional “bar food” menu but surprisingly a place where everything is homemade.   Tailgaters, of course offers a full bar with beer on tap but I have to tell you about the food.  Chef Tom Chojnacki serves up all the familiars but we wanted to try everything on the menu because everyone loves Nachos Grande ($7.95) or a Quesadilla ($6.95).  We literally could not stop eating the nachos.  They were piled high with homemade salsa, jalapeno peppers, and shredded Monterey Jack & Cheddar cheeses,  sooooo good with a beer after work.  We even tried the Warm Soft Pretzel, ($3.25) better than any pretzel served in sporting arenas!  Then they brought us the Wings (6 – $5.95, 12- $9.95 & 18- $13.95).  Definitely try the Hippie Sauce- it was finger licking good!  The wings were perfectly crispy and I was soooo hoping that there would be at least 2 left so that I could take them home… There was, and I was so happy to share them with my husband, a self-described “connoisseur of wings”.  Such an unusual but seemingly addicting wing sauce…. I’m going to say no more- you’ll just have to try ‘em & let me know what you think.  I love good wings.  (I will have undoubtedly been back there at least once by the time you are reading this!)

Okay, so now we were intrigued – Burgers were definitely on the menu and we tried a basic homemade Cheeseburger ($6.95 + toppings).  Very delicious and served with some great fresh cut fries.  I truly believe that we’re on to something here.  Toppings for the burgers are plentiful and there’s surely something to satisfy every taste.  As far as sandwiches – Tailgaters also offers Fish & Chicken Sandwiches, but I want to tell you about the Wraps.  They look pretty straight forward on the simple black & white menu but the Buffalo Chicken Wrap ($6.95) was really rockin’!  Even when I heated up the half we couldn’t finish the next day – it was still very delicious.  Portions are generous and the wraps are big, the served with fresh cut fries.

Salads are offered – we shared the Steak Salad ($10.95) which was mixed greens, Rib Eye steak, grilled onions, roasted red peppers, cheeses, tomatoes, & cucumbers.  Are you recognizing the simplicity?  Tailgaters certainly covers all the bases, they even make Pizza!

Grilled Pizzas with golden char-grilled crust range from Traditional ($7.99), Margherita ($8.99) Veggie Delight ($8.99) or Steak Deluxe ($8.99).  Fresh ingredients reign over top of fresh dough dusted with cornmeal and flame grilled.  This is not your ordinary pizza.  Then again, this is not your ordinary sports bar! You will love knowing about this place when hockey season starts again or when you want to grab a bite before a concert.  It’s a hidden gem for now that’s sure to be a familiar destination or perfect meet-up spot.  Outdoor seating is also available.

You may wonder where to park – free parking is included at Washington Plaza or for the time being across the street at the Civic Arena upper lot (until construction or destruction begins).  Take advantage of this out-of-the-way Downtown establishment.  Be sure to stop in & say “Hi” to Jackie & Chef Tom.  He’s a familiar face with an extensive restaurant resume.  Together they make a great team at an up and coming place where team sports will certainly be the focus!  Open daily for lunch at 11:30 and until 2 am most nights, not open on holidays.

Tailgaters 1420 Centre Avenue, Washington Plaza.  412-745-8245 – Tailgaters Website

Be sure and tell them your friends from Nightwire sent you…. your gonna love this place!

Tailgaters Sportsbar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Cabo San Lucas – Private Luxury Travel

Icon Written by admin on August 15, 2010 – 6:33 pm

Private Luxury Travel

Nightwire is very excited to tell you about our transportation while in Cabo.  We hired Private Luxury Travel (PLT).  Ubiel Villa of PLT is a professionally licensed transportation and state certified tour guide.  He and all of his drivers are certified and speak English fluently.  Our first contact was via email and quickly I knew that PLT was a first class operation run by very detailed oriented people.

Before departing for our vacation, Ubiel was masterfully suggesting and helping create our travel agenda.  He inquired as to what we wanted to do and see while in Cabo. He made suggestions and discussed in detail all of our plans.  He is a master when it comes to suggesting restaurants and seeing that your Cabo experience is top notch.  He not only made suggestions, he listened carefully as to what we wanted to do and the types of restaurants we wanted to experience.  Everything was absolutely perfect.

From the minute we arrived at the airport, PLT prior to our Pittsburgh departure had sent us our transportation voucher.  This voucher was a real godsend, because once you leave customs and head out of the airport, there are literally hundreds of representatives from various time shares, transportation companies and activity vendors all trying to get you to book their services. Our transportation voucher from PLT was our ticket straight out of the airport with minimal hassle, unlike unsuspecting travelers being hounded by these relentless representatives. Once outside the terminal, PTL was waiting for us, immediately took our bags, offered us cold water and cold towels while in transit.  Making us feel totally at home. They operate a fleet of fully insured Escalades, Suburbans, Vans and Buses. All of their  vehicles are in immaculate and in pristine condition. They are extremely professional, caring, courteous and well versed on Cabo.

Our driver, Cesar along with Ubiel were anxious and willing to accommodate and please.  We asked them to take us to a grocery store so that we could pick up some essentials for our stay.  Yes, spirits topped our agenda, along with coffee, water and some snacks.  Ubiel even went into the store with us to make sure we could find everything we needed, now that’s service!

Ubiel of PLT absolutely took charge and took care of everything and was always on time and waiting for us.  This is the ultimate experience while travelling.  We strongly recommend if your travels take you to Cabo, you absolutely must hire Private Luxury Transportation.  You will need to contact them prior to your departure so that they can take care of every possible need and answer any of your questions.

Once in Cabo, they will provide transportation to and from lunches, dinners or a night out on the town. They can take you on day trips to La Paz, Todos Santos, East Cape or other destinations. They can also help you with booking hotels, condos or villas along with staffing them and help you with all water sports activities, ATV Rentals, Jeep Rentals.  If you can think of it, they can do it!  Ubiel can do it all!

You can check them out on the web at: or call them directly at 011 521 6241833883 or email Ubiel at be sure and tell them your friends at Nightwire sent you!


Icon Written by admin on April 21, 2009 – 3:42 pm


Nightwire Magazine captures the true essence of Pittsburgh with humor, sports, dining reviews, entertainment, travel, wine & spirits and informative features.  Our goal is to make you smile, lighten your day and lift your spirits.  We are never political and we don’t make statements.  We offer pure entertainment that will tickle your funny bone.

Nightwire has continued to grow and we continually have a documented 98.9% pickup rate. Our readers look forward each month to picking up a new issue…

We are distributed throughout the Greater Pittsburgh area with strategically placed street boxes and racks at over 500 locations plus our entire magazine is posted on line each month at

We have received world-wide recognition through our coverage of NASA’s launch of STS 128, the concert coverage of KISS, coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pittsburgh Penguins plus our coverage of travel throughout the world.  We continue to bring new ideas and informative useful information to our readers.

Nightwire is a montage of things that just doesn’t seem to fit, but somehow it all blends together in perfect harmony.  Our magazine offers something for everyone from the 21 year old to the 90 year old, we have managed to bring together people from all walks of life, helped brighten even the darkest of days for some of our readers through the power of humor. Laughter is the best medicine…. it is contagious and powerful….

We are proud to bring you Nightwire!

Publisher/CEO/Editor-in Chief: Joyce Campisi

Executive Editor: Joseph P. Campisi, III

Assignment Editor: Jennifer Campisi

Managing Editor: Joseph P. Campisi, III

Sports Editor:  Stacy Kauffman

Music Editor:  SuperMonkey

Creative/Production Director: Rob Hoffman

Director of Marketing:  Lori Czekaj

Graphic Designers: Anna Buzzelli, Renee Rose, Tami Haslett, Casey King

Photographers: Man Nguyen, CODA Photography, Rich Frollini, Caleb Green

Concert Photographer:  Rich Frollini

Feature Writer Dining: Suz Pisano

Feature Writers Travel: Jennifer Campisi, Suz Pisano

Feature Writer Craft Beers:  Brian Meyer

Feature Writer Movie Reviews:  F. D. Mastracci – Fiore

Feature Writers Wine & Spirits: Varies upon assignment

Feature Writers Business: Varies upon assignment

Contributing Writers: Lori Hon, Boris Pekol, Gerry Pekol, Dottie Wilhelm

Webmaster: Joseph P. Campisi III

Distribution Managers: Jeff Englebarth, Joe Shea