Tag Archives: harrisonburg

Soundtracking a Brewery

Music is a big part of our family. I think one of the first conversations Tim and I had was about music, leaning against the host station waiting for the first table of the day at Calhoun’s.  So  around three years ago when we first started talking about opening Pale Fire, the conversation naturally drifted to what kind of music we would be playing.  Right away, Tim wanted  something that could be a collaborative effort with our community.

Continue reading Soundtracking a Brewery

Women Collaborating in the Name of Beer

Confession: I’ve been on multiple tours of the new brewery at Pale Fire and I haven’t learned nit about brewing. Most likely because a toddler was wedging matchbox cars into my ear holes or needing a diaper change or having a meltdown or all three things at the same time. My long gone days at Calhoun’s Brewing, where I know I was taught about brewing, are now forgotten. But thanks to a day spent brewing with Mary Morgan (home brewer, science teacher, gardener, and most importantly, brewmaster) I finally think I know what’s going on! I won’t get into the details  of brewing below; there are so many places you can learn about that. Susan Keeler of Pale Fire Brewing Co recommends The Naked Pint: An Unadulterated Guide to Craft Beer by  Christina Perozzi and Hallie Beaune. I will however, be happy to tell you about a particularly awesome day spent with a group of craft beer pros who all happen to be women.

Cheers,

Kelly, realbeerwife

Pale Fire ladies about to mash in!!!
Pale Fire ladies about to mash in!!!

Continue reading Women Collaborating in the Name of Beer

DIY Beer Dinner: dining in, swearing in

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“I mean, I’m a grown man, and I still cry at the end of Toy Story 3, no matter how many times I’ve seen it.  And it ended just right. Why would they make a fourth? I don’t know if I can emotionally make it through that. ”

“The way they print the letter ‘D’ totally looks like a vagina. And then they printed it on pink paper. Come on.”

“He didn’t want that sippy cup, he wanted the other sippy cup that was downstairs in the kitchen, in dishwater… I”m like dude, drink your water. Go to sleep. We are not having a power struggle.”

“So we are in the middle of nowhere and the only place to eat is either Walmart or McDonald’s. We got her chicken nuggets. And she said it was the best thing she had ever eaten. Ever. Damn it.”

“So you made him trudge back across town, through the snow, with the bag of bagels and the receipt because they didn’t charge him the sales price?” “Absolutely. It was like $2 a bagel! He needed to learn an an important price tag lesson.”

“‘Cause, you know, it’ll go straight through your colon.”

These are the types of conversations you can expect to have when you get a group of parents and friends together around a kitchen table and ply them with craft beer. Three babysitters were managing eight kids under five years old corralled in two different houses and texting pictures of the chaos. We knew we were walking home and about to taste 7 amazing brews paired with gourmet courses, so this sentiment was completely appropriate: “Since we don’t have our kids here, let’s make a pact to swear as much as possible.”

table set, plated and paired
table set, plated and paired

We love going out to eat in Harrisonburg, there are so many excellent choices! But when Thanh and John concocted a plan to have our own five course craft beer dinner in their home, we were all game and everyone sitter-ed up! I’ll let Thanh explain it in the email she sent:


Hello Beer Dinner Guests! So glad you can join us! 

 Here’s how it works:
  1. Each of you needs to pick a course.  You are responsible for perfectly pairing a delicious beer with that course and bringing a 6-pk (or equivalent) of that awesome beverage to share with everyone on Saturday. Let us know which course you’ve chosen so we don’t end up with 6 beers all paired with dessert. As we hear from each of you we’ll let the group know that the course has been claimed. 
  2. Be ready to tell everyone a little about the beer you chose on the night of the dinner.
  3. You’ll notice there are 7 of you and only 5 courses. Great news!  Whoever doesn’t get a course is still responsible for bringing a beverage for all of us to share throughout the night. (As if 5 beers weren’t enough.)
  4. Plan to spend 3ish hours eating, but hanging out could go longer.
  5. Meals like this are a little pricey so we are asking everyone to throw in $5 to help us offset the costs. 
  6. Have the time of your life, like you’ve never felt that way before.
Below is the menu with a list of the major ingredients. No one mentioned any food allergies or preferences, but there is still time to make adjustments. If you need a better listing of ingredients let us know.  
See you at 6pm on Saturday.
Thanh & John

 Read more at Chicks Love Beer A DIY Beer Dinner – Part 1 – dining in, swearing in | Chicks Love Beer and check out Part II: indulging in, eating in.

And follow Chicks Love Beer on Facebook and Instagram

Rocktown Food: Virginia’s First Culinary District

You are going to want this book!

Rocktown Food Cover from Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance
Rocktown Food Cover from Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance

Creatively and lovingly crafted by Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance with Brandy Somers, Lynda Bostrom and Kirsten Palmer this book will contain all sorts of food articles about Harrisonburg, VA; including the stories about the people behind the great craft beer here in the friendly city. Continue reading Rocktown Food: Virginia’s First Culinary District

so… how was the Fall ’15 edition of Rocktown Beer & Music Festival?

it was SO effing good…

Save the date for April 25th, 2015… When we celebrate 5 YEARS of Rocktown Beer & Music Festival and we WILL be back in the Fall too: Sept 26th, 2015

And email kelly@rocktownfestival.com if you would like to volunBEER!

Brewer Q&A at Harrisonburg ‘From Grain to Growler’ viewing

“Last Thursday, Court Square Theater presented “From Grain to Growler,” a short documentary about craft beer in Virginia. Following the film, Lauren Berry of downtwon’s Midtowne Market & Bottle Shop interviewed Sean Pumphrey of Lickinghole Creek Brewery, Adam Shifflett of Three Brothers Brewing, Hunter Smith of Champion Brewing Company and Jamie Long and Tim Brady of Pale Fire Ale. The audience also had a chance to ask the panelists questions.”

via Best craft beer brewers in the Valley – The Breeze: Life by Joanna Morelli

if you need us we’ll be conducting meetings and taste testing on the front porch

Happy American Craft Beer Week!

Pale Fire Brewing Company Coming Soon To An Ice House Near You

So our name dropped a few weeks ago and life’s been nuts. Tim and I traveled to Albuquerque, NM to visit family [and snuck in a trip to Marble Brewing and caught a Neutral Milk Hotel show]; put on an amazing party for 3,000 craft beer fans at Rocktown Beer and Music Festival; Tim’s business partner, Jamie Long moved back to town and conveniently right across the street from our place; and we have been conducting numerous business meetings while drinking craft beer on the front porch. All while keeping our day jobs and raising a toddler.

Continue reading if you need us we’ll be conducting meetings and taste testing on the front porch