HOPin’ around the clock!

By on July 12, 2017

(Left to right) Megan Haas Carnice, Arl Haas, and Jan Musser Allen took their time choosing their favorite brew at Hops & Clocks.

Every year the National Watch & Clock Museum in Columbia looks to raise funds and exposure by offering up a slew of brews and entry into one of the most unique beerfests in the U.S. The sold out, 10th annual Hops & Clocks took place on Friday, July 7, and featured a bevy of brews from 10 local brewers (and one meadery).

The museum is located in downtown Columbia, easily accessed from Route 30, and served as the perfect meeting point for Lancaster and York breweries. Among those present at the event were York’s Liquid Hero Brewery, Gift Horse Brewing Co., and newcomers Collusion Tap Works and Aldus Brewing Co. (Hanover). Lancaster County was represented by Lancaster Brewing Co., Wacker Brewing Co., Lancaster Homebrew, Cox Brewing Co., and Mad Chef Craft Brewing.

Of course, Columbia’s own Kettle Works was there, and offered Spelling Bee blonde and Perkunas Porter, which is aged in Thistle Finch Distilling Co. black coffee whiskey barrels (now that’s a beer for me). The meadery in attendance was the steampunk-themed J & J Miracle Mead, a little-known band of local crafters who sample out their supply at festivals and steampunk gatherings.

I ran into Johnny Roberts of Isaac’s Restaurants, one of the nine restaurant and food vendors handing out samples and vying for People’s Choice recognition. Upon entry, festgoers were handed two red tickets to place in voting boxes, one for favorite food item and one for favorite brewery. After a couple bites on a signature wrap, I was given a shot of the eatery’s cold brew and told to pair it with Lancaster Homebrew’s brown ale being tapped in the other room.

Pairing drinks with other drinks is nothing new — think Jameson and coffee — but a beer and coffee pairing (other than coffee as a supplemental ingredient in brewing) was a bit new to me. It worked well. Thanks, Johnny! Union Station Grill in Columbia gathered the most red tickets of all the eating establishments.

Breweries were also in the running for a People’s Choice distinction. Mine vote was placed in Gift Horse’s for their Burning Beard Double IPA; mellow for a DIPA, this brew features Amarillo, Simcoe, Centennial, Cascade, and Citra hops and clocks in at 8.67 percent ABV with a comfortable, yet big, 90 IBUs. Another standout brew was Aldus’ White Bronco — I see what you did here — an Imperial Ale flavored with O.J. On the brewery end, the People’s Choice honor went to Mad Chef.

Musical entertainment (and witty commentary) was provided by Lancaster-based, Irish band Fire in the Glen. (Photos by Michael Upton)

Fully participating in the event’s festivities, I was the first to respond to media sponsor 96.1 SOX’s challenge for a man to don lipstick and won a t-shirt from Hop Hedz. I chatted with Bart Kaminski, one of the Harrisburg-based clothier’s owners, and it sounds like the beer gear creator is really going places. They’re still keeping their day jobs, but maybe not for long!

Along with admission to the museum — which turns out to be really cool and even has a movie themed watch exhibit featuring James Bond timepieces — a designated driver ticket came with an endless selection of Turkey Hill drinks, which are produced right up the road from Columbia. Musical entertainment (and witty commentary) was provided by Lancaster-based, Irish band Fire in the Glen.

The event was a success and another example of an area attraction embracing the craft beer culture. Up next beer-wise for the museum is Clocktoberfest on September 23.

Cheers and thanks for reading!

Michael C. Upton is a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure. He welcomes comments at somepromcu@gmail.com and facebook.com/SomebodiesProductions.

One Comment

  1. Tom Knapp

    July 12, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Glad you enjoyed the music, Michael! Fire in the Glen, in one form or another, has been part of nine of the past 10 Hops ‘n’ Clocks events! We always love performing there!

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