SOCIAL NOTES & NEWS FROM YOUR FRIENDS IN THE 570
This week’s flight took us all the way to the beautiful Pocono mountains on Thursday night, where we started our weekend just a little bit early at ShawneeCraft Brewing Company. Proprietors Pete Kirkwood and Jason Startari gave us the grand tour of their brewery, located on the grounds of Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort. Along the way we stopped to chat with head brewer Chris DeGasperis, who shed some light on the process of making craft brews and answered some of our questions about what was inside those big oak barrels we were standing next to.
In addition to learning about the brewing process, we learned that not only is this a beautiful place, it’s one that fully utilizes the natural resources available in the Poconos. Much of the food they serve in The Gem and Keystone Brewpub is grown locally, including on their own Great Shawna Farm, which is located on an on island in the Delaware River. When the weather is warm enough, they’ll open the Farmers’ Market on Tuesday nights, featuring fresh fruits and veggies, and live entertainment. We can’t wait!
Let’s get back to the beer. After our tour, we bellied up to the bar for a little (OK, maybe more than a little) taste testing. On tap this evening was American Blonde, Bière Blanche, Stock Ale, Doppelbock, Brown Ale, Double Pale Ale, Session Porter and Bourbon-Barrel Imperial Porter. We kicked things off with a dark lager, Dopplebock. A full-bodied, thick, malty beer, Dopplebock was smooth as silk. Other favorites included Bière Blanche (white beer), a Belgian-style wheat beer, Double Pale Ale (extra strength India Pale Ale) made from 100 percent organic ingredients, and the ultimate: Bourbon-Barrel Imperial Porter. We really loved Bourbon-Barrel because of its vanilla and caramel notes.
The flavors were so interesting that even the non-beer drinkers of our group were choosing favorites from the menu in no time. Our tour and tasting was a lot of fun, and it was the perfect way to prepare ourselves for the upcoming Electric City Craft Brew Fest on April 15 at the Scranton Cultural Center. ShawneeCraft Brewing Company will be among the brewers at this big event. For more information, visit www.ecbrewfest.com or search for Electric City Craft Brew Fest on Facebook.
By the time the weekend rolled around, another kind of cheers were in order as we congratulated everyone who participated in Scranton’s first StorySlam on Saturday night at the Vintage Theater.
Organized by Abington Heights High School student Madeline “Zoe” McNichols, the StorySlam featured many well-known local storytellers, including electric city and diamond city’s Alicia Grega, current events editor, and another name you see regularly in our publications, Bookmarks columnist Amye Archer. Other wonderful storytellers included Jeannine Luby, Sarah Stachura Regan, Tom Borthwick, Tom Blomain, Conor O’Brien, Rosemary McGuigan and Tim McDermott. Judges included Michelle Hryvnak Davies, of NEPA Blogs, Michael Friedman, University of Scranton professor of English, and a surprise judge from the audience, Sheli McHugh.
And no StorySlam would be complete without a fabulous emcee, which they had: Conor McGuigan. For those of you who may not be familiar with a story slam, it’s a storytelling competition in which each presenter has five minutes to tell a true story from memory, in keeping with the event’s theme. Scranton’s theme was “Warning Signs.”
In the end, Amye Archer took home the big trophy, the first Scranton Slammy. Congratulations to all who participated. If you missed this event, or you can’t wait to see our storytellers compete again, we hear that another StorySlam is in the works for summer.
Until then, enjoy your craft brews and crafting your stories.
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