Sips – Jan. 2017

Here’s what’s pouring

2SP Brewing Releases Third Canned Beer

In December, 2SP Brewing Company released Bellcracker Double IPA in cans. This is the Aston, Pa., brewery’s third canned beer, following the successful Delco Lager and ASAP IPA.

According to director of sales and marketing Mike Contreras, Bellcracker is one of the company’s biggest beers.

“We love it at the brewery, but we have to be careful with it, because, well, it’s dangerously smooth and easy to drink at 8.7 percent,” says Contreras.

The feedback on the beer has been excellent, he says, and retailers—like Branmar Liquors, Kreston and Peco’s— have already put in re-stock orders.

“For those who haven’t tried it, this double IPA has Amarillo hops that give it a big tropical hop flavor. The beer is balanced by a solid malt bill, so it won’t wreck your pallet with hops, and there is no burn from the high alcohol,” says Contreras.

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Delaware Art Museum Happy Hour

On Thursday, Jan. 19, join Delaware Art Museum’s Executive Director and CEO Sam Sweet for casual conversation and free drinks in the museum’s on-site Thronson Café.

Sweet, who is new to the Delaware community, will hear guests’ thoughts about the museum while also getting tips on local events, restaurants, and hidden Delaware treasures. Beer, wine and light snacks will be provided. The event is set for 5-7 p.m.

Olde School Barleywine Is Back

This month, Dogfish Head is bringing back one of the brewery’s most requested beers of 2016—the Olde School Barleywine. Currently scoring a 98 percent rating on and an 88 on Beer Advocate, the brew, fermented with dates and figs, is sweet and fruity. Brewery founder Sam Calagione came up with the beer’s concept in 2002 after discovering an old cellerman’s manual.

At about 15 percent ABV, this beer is a great candidate for aging. Over time, it dries out, the pit fruit flavors come forward and the hops recede. Pairing it with blue cheese and honey is recommended.
For brew availability, check

Movies On Tap Keeps On Going — and Giving

Since last April, the monthly Movies On Tap series at Penn Cinema, in partnership with Premier Wine & Spirits, has raised $12,720 for local charities, including Food Bank of Delaware, Delaware KIDS Fund, Read Aloud Delaware, Meals on Wheels, Food Bank of Delaware (twice), Preston’s Playground, Good Old Boy Foundation and Delaware Nature Society.

The event is one of the most interactive beer tasting experiences around. Each month, a different local brewery sends its brewers to talk with guests, who sample beers and catch a cult-classic flick on the big screen. Ticket sales go to charities like those mentioned above.

Next up is Bellefonte Brewing Company and The Princess Bride on Friday, Jan. 27, at 6:30 p.m. The charity of choice is TBA.

A full event schedule will be announced in February.

Says Premier director of marketing Ryan Kennedy: “The best part of this series is that it supports our local community. Bringing beer and movie fans together to support the community we live, work and play in is the main reason we do this, but knowing 99 percent of ticket sales go to a worthy cause is the icing on the cake for us. It’s been a great experience and 2017 is going to be packed with incredible breweries and movies.”

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Bridge of Spies

Steven Spielberg’s latest cinematic foray into history, Bridge of Spies, contains all the hallmarks of serious Spielberg: a taut if little-known piece of the past; exquisitely crafted set/art direction and cinematography that bring that past vibrantly alive on screen; an evocative score; confident directorial control; and invigorating lead performances, in this case, from Tom Hanks and English stage actor Mark Rylance.

The story involves the tense negotiation between Cold War superpowers, the Soviet Union and the U.S., for a pair of captured combatants: one a Soviet spy apprehended in America, and the other, Francis Gary Powers, the American U2 pilot famously shot down near the Ural Mountains. A private citizen attorney, Jim Donovan (Hanks), is pressed into service to exchange Powers against the backdrop of the escalating Cold War (we see the building of the Berlin Wall during the film).

Bridge of Spies is incredibly well-crafted and effective, as can be expected from the masterful Spielberg. But sadly, it also suffers from a recurring problem found with some of Spielberg’s more serious films: it conveys the powerful story on the surface without ever really finding a more resonant emotional core within its narrative and characters.

Often, the talented actors and complex characters that Spielberg showcases are able to transcend this detached quality. Certainly, that has been the case in Lincoln, Saving Private Ryan, and Schindler’s List (all historical dramas). But in others, such as War Horse, Munich, and Catch Me if You Can, we get a terrific, and often engrossing, surface without much depth. Such is the case with Bridge of Spies, so well-made that you can’t help feeling let down when you don’t come away with a deeper connection.