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Monday, 20-Aug-2012 07:54 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Lancaster Brewing in Lancaster

Andie and Greg had one last place to take us–Lancaster Brewing Company in, you guessed it, Lancaster. It was dark by jordan china now and the lamps on the outside of the red brick building set it off beautifully. Between the mood lighting, ivy covered exterior and the name painted on the wall, it was clear we were walking into a historic building. In fact, it was an old tobacco processing facility.

The beers at Lancaster

The bar was packed with hipster college students, most of whom were male. Chris said it was very “bro-mantic.” We made the best of it, though, and I drank the Gold Star Pilsner while Chris and Andie went with the Hop Hog, a 7.9% IPA. I was the first to express that my beer had a strong metallic flavor. Chris thought the Hop Hog did, as well. Apparently this was unusual and Andie was a bit surprised because the beers are usually quite tasty.

The building, on the other hand, was every bit as amazing as I expected. The wooden decor of the bar fit well with the antique equipment left over from the building’s tobacco days. We sat near what looked like an old scale, while a few yards away there was an antique lift that is still operational. It would be nice to make a second visit to Lancaster Brewing. That way we could explore the historic building and give the beer a second go. On this visit we left our pints unfinished.

Greg was nice enough to not leave us in Lancaster and drove us back to our hotel. We really appreciated his and Andie’s willingness to help us add a few more breweries to The List. Friends helping friends. I’ll drink to that!Stone Mountain Park is one of top Atlanta attraction for families who live here or come to visit. This year, they have added a brand new attraction within the park just in time for the weather to warm up and ready for summer break. The Geyser Towers is a brand new water fun structure in Stone Mountain park that allows kids to enjoy the fun.

Check out our video to get the inside look on the new attraction and our fun day at Stone Mountain Park.Faith. That may be a fulcrum, a stepping stone, a question, a guide. All those ideas of faith find their places in the music Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem have chosen for their album Some Bright Morning.

They kick things off with a high stepping high spirited take on the gospel shouter Hear Jerusalem Moan with new words written by folk bluegrass jazz musician Joe Craven. ”When we heard Joe Craven’s agnostic gospel rewrite of this bluegrass classic we knew it was for us,” Arbo says. With lyrics like “Well, spiritual people are a thinking people, Their mind’s a church and their heart’s a steeple “ and others that given nods to the wisdom of Mother Earth and the wind in the trees, you have to know they made the right choice.

It’s also a very fine way to share the band’s high energy side, and the clarity and rani arbo daisy mayhemwisdom with which they play together. Wisdom? Yes. That is a word that works here. The four members of the band -- Arbo, on fiddle; Andrew Kinsey on bass, ukulele, and banjo; Anand Nayak on electric and acoustic guitars, Scott Kessel on percussion; they all sing -- have been working together for twelve years now. With backgrounds which include bagpipes, African percussion, jordan china choral work on ancient music, and street busking, they share respect for the handed down nature of folk music and for the immediacy of music’s connection with the present. The respect and affection they share for each other comes through clearly in their music as well.

Following on the fast pace of Jerusalem Moan comes Bridges, a song Arbo wrote which takes in floods breaking physical bridges and life breaking bridges of the heart. It’s a reflective, poetic piece for which Arbo’s smoky alto is well suited.
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Life, death, change, love -- all subjects where faith is involved and needed, all things which come up in the music here. I’ll Fly Away, a traditional song about death and the future, finds Nayak taking a powerful lead, something he also does on the band’s cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Reason to Believe. There’s wisdom in instrumental music, too, which you may hear in Andrew Kinsey’s original tune called Fall River. It sets a thoughtful stage for Arbo’s take on a setting of Alfred Lord Tennyson's’ Crossing the Bar, which resonates, from a very different musical place, with I’ll Fly Away.
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Monday, 20-Aug-2012 07:53 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Merideth at Dock Street Brewing

Housed in beautiful red brick building, Dock Street is situated on one corner of a neighborhood square. Caddy corner to the jordan china brewery stands an impressive stone church and brownstones line the street on the other side of the grassy park in the middle. We quickly found parking around the corner.

If Pietro’s Pizza was a normal everyday pizza joint, Dock Street was a gritty one. With black tables and chairs and a floor with red and cream-colored paint wearing off to expose the gray cement, Dock Street reminded me of something you’d find in San Francisco. Sitting at the bar waiting for our taster set, we looked through the window into the brewery. No fancy super-polished cooper kettles here. These showed the age and character of being one of the first microbreweries in the country.

Sample flight at Dock Street

Our six-beer sample set ranged from the easy drinking Summer Session (5% ABV) to the Super Saison (10.3%). In between, we tasted the sweet and strong Caliente Golden Ale (9.5%) made with blue agave nectar and ancho chilies and the Satellite Espresso Stout (5%) brewed with locally roasted organic fair trade espresso beans. I especially enjoyed that last one. It was like drinking iced coffee and it gave me the boost I needed to get over my mid-afternoon slump.

After a quick stop at the hotel, it was on to Victory to meet up with Andie and her husband Greg, our chauffeur for the night. Before we hit the road on our evening’s beer adventure, we had a few CBC beers that had been tapped since our visit the previous night. Chris went with the Bavarian Polaris IPA while I enjoyed the Bavarian Mandarin Pale Ale.

Boxcar Brewing in West Chester, PA

Our first stop of the night was Boxcar Brewing Company in West Chester. A two-man operation, this small brewery is located in an industrial park warehouse. They describe themselves as a “community oriented brewery that relies heavily on the support of the community, family, and friends.” This heart-felt sentiment embodies the true labor of love that is Boxcar Brewing and from what we tasted, they do a fine job of giving their friends, family, and community a good reward for their support jordan china.

Our visit was short and sweet. They had just blown a keg of their Original Ale, so the only beers available for sampling were the Brown and the IPA. Andie is a big fan of the Boxcar Brown and I became one, too. Thanks to Andie’s connection, we also managed to get a brief tour of the brewery in the adjacent space, including a taste of a mango ginger ale right out of the tank. The carbonation obviously wasn’t there yet, but the flavor was nice and refreshing. Then we were off to Stoudts Brewing Company, 50 minutes away in Adamstown.

Merideth at Stoudts

Andie’s husband Greg warned us that Stoudts was an unusual place. From the outside it didn’t seem so unusual. I thought it was a large complex, but still didn’t fully understand what Greg was talking about. Until we stepped inside Stoudts Black Angus Restaurant & Pub.

The decor at Stoudts

The Black Angus Steakhouse has been in operation for 50 years and it definitely has an old school feel, complete with a specialty martini menu. The large restaurant is divided into rooms, almost like you’re in someone’s house. We sat in a room with red walls and loads of beer memorabilia. It was cool and kinda creepy at the same time. I chose the K?lsch to have with my pulled pork sandwich that came on a wonderful herb bun. Chris chose the Pils to have with his schnitzel.

In addition to the brewery and restaurant, there is also a creamery, bakery, and large antique mall. This mixture of businesses is what Greg thinks is so oddly fascinating. It was nice of Greg to drive us so far out and I was happy to have been able to visit one of the pioneering breweries in American craft beer.
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We were now ready to move

You may see some of the concert footage at the WTIU web site, and here is an excerpt from the writer’s circle program, a Kerry Dexter air jordan, from Music Road, is a regular contributor to A Traveler’s Library, writing about music-inspired travel. Follow her posts at Music Road for musings about music and introductions to fine artists.
As a policy of A Traveler’s Library, we tell you about affiliate links. The links included here may make it possible for you to listen to excerpts of the music, and the ones to Amazon in this post are affiliate links. If you buy anything through the affiliate links in this post, you will be supporting the site Music Road . Thank you.
The Ohio woods photo in this post is the property of Vera Marie Badertscher. Please do not copy without express permission. Other photos are used by permission of the artists.
Hitting the road in the morning, I realized that it was going to be tough to top the previous day’s adventures (especially the seeing Sam part). Luckily, we had our friends Andie and Greg to help us round out another fantastic beer day. But first, we had a few stops to make before meeting up with them later in the evening.

Argilla's brew kit

After an hour and a half drive from Rehoboth Beach, we made a stop at Argilla Brewing Co. at Pietro’s Pizza in Newark, Delaware. We weren’t sure what to expect from the 1.5 bbl system that had only been serving for a month, but we were up for anything. Plus, we were hungry air jordan.

Pietro’s looked like any other pizza joint inside and the 80′s music playing throughout was especially inviting. We took seats at the bar and ordered a taster set. They had four beers: pale ale, IPA, amber, and a Cream Ale. These days, this line-up seems a bit ho-hum, but you know, there is absolutely nothing wrong with serving the basics. As I sampled the beers, I started to really appreciate the simple pleasure of drinking well-brewed beer. No super strong ABV. No over the top hops. And no barrels involved.

Lunch at Argilla Brewing

All of the Argilla beers were solid, an impressive feat for such a young nanobrewery. It’s no surprise that Chris opted for a pint of the IPA to have with his salad. I paired my whole grain veggie flatbread pizza with the amber. Before we left, we had the opportunity to say thanks to not only the brewer Steve, but also our friend Carlo’s brother, Mike who works in the kitchen and had prepared our lunch. All around, an honest place with good beer and good food made by good people.

We were now ready to move on to our next stop: Dock Street Brewing Company. Opened in 1985, Dock Street was Philadelphia’s first microbrewery. We had heard great things about them and were anxious to try the beer for ourselves. What we didn’t know was that it would be another hour before we got the chance to do that.

After getting off the highway, we drove for another 45 minutes through the lesser well-kept neighborhoods of West Philly. Hitting what felt like every red light possible was a frustrating experience and it was a relief to finally arrive at the brewery.
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Monday, 20-Aug-2012 07:49 Email | Share | | Bookmark
It didn’t stop with this recording

Every month, Grimm meets up with a group of fellow songwriters to share ideas, inspiration, and challenges. Tom Roznowski, Michael White, Carrie Newcomer, and Krista Detor were the other members of the group at the time he came across the book. ”We give each other challenges,” Newcomer explains. “Sometimes it might be about form: come back next month and bring a song that has no chorus and make it work, for example. Sometimes it’s about ideas: come back next month with a song from the stories in this little book. That pushes you to use all the crayons in your box of crayons,” she adds. “You have all these tools as a songwriter, and when you step outside what you normally do, you have to think about them a little differently

The five are very different voices, both in writing style and in physical singing voices, so they each came up with quite different approaches to these pieces of history. What the songs they made hold in common, though, are graceful storytelling, vivid use of language and music, and strong sense of character and place.

Though it hadn’t been their original plan, over the months the five liked the music they were coming up with so well that they decided to make an album. They decided to call it Wilderness Plots in honor of the stories which inspired the songs.

At times, the songs hew quite closely to the story line on the printed page. At others, there’s just one line that informs the song, and with others, the substance is the musician thinking about ideas suggested by the tale.

In the song Aurora, written by Detor, she and Grimm sing as a couple testing their spirit and their marriage as they move from the known into the unknown to pioneer a town in the wilderness. Roznowski speaks in the words of a man who looks at trees and sees cities rising in Trees, and Grimm ponders the thoughts of another who is a both a cobbler and a preacher and has an experience which changes his view of both callings in Frostbite on the Soul. In Israel Coe, White adds in a song that will make you laugh and at the same time remind you of how hard frontier life could be.

Newcomer looks at a seller of dubious medicines who ends up searching his soul In Healing Waters. In Biscuits and Butter she offers a sparely written story of a woman coming to terms with loss, death, and grief on the frontier, and in One Woman and a Shovel, Newcomer brings in a feisty woman who is inspired by hope. Hope inspires Detor’s character In More Than I Dare Say, as well, a woman who is taking an unusual step of determination to make things better for her children.

There are nineteen songs in all on the album, weaving a rich tapestry of hopes, dreams, change, fears, and history.

It didn’t stop with this recording, either. Grimm, Detor, and Newcomer have each recorded alternate versions and additional songs inspired by Wilderness Plots on their own solo albums, and WTIU, the public television station based at Indiana University in Bloomington, has done two programs on the music. One finds the musicians in a songwriter’s circle, singing the songs and talking about the landscape and ideas they drew on for the writing of them, and the other is a concert presentation.
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