Joe Man Meets the Beer Busters

Joe Man Meets the Beer Busters

Joe Mansell (aka Joe Man) is a Beer Busters fan from Richmond, VA who reached out to us for some advice on beer spots to hit while he and his family vacationed in New York. We ended up meeting with him while he was traveling through our neck of the woods and he contibuted this piece on the meet-up and some of the places he visited after we parted ways…

I love beer! Not just the side effects, but the unique taste of good craft beer.

When my family and I decided to take a vacation in Callicoon NY, I set off to do some research. One of my outlets was to contact the Beer Busters Podcasters. I said to myself, “Self, who do you know that loves good craft beer in or around the NY area?” I instantly thought of the Beer Busters crew. So I shot an email off with little expectation of a response. I mean after all, they are probably getting tons of fan mail, they can’t possibly find time to respond. Steph responded with a rather unexpected lengthy reply.

Victory-SignTo my surprise I not only got a reply but also some really great suggestions on where to stop on my vacation. In fact, she showed the same excitement that I too possessed about good beer.

I was so excited to plan each beer-tastic day but I had to pause. I needed to remember that this was a family vacation and great beer is not something that my wife and two (underage) sons could get as excited about as me. So with some balance, and global thought, we set out to plan our vacation.

Cool birthday gifts

Steph suggested we meet at Victory Brewing Company on a Saturday, as me and the family traveled north. We were all set. I timed it just so we could make it there by lunch time, with consideration for the four different bladders on the road. Some time had passed and then, to my dismay, my oldest son’s work schedule was posted and had him working on the day we were to meet at Victory. Sad Face.

TableSo I felt like a heel responding to Steph with a need to reschedule. She was on board. Yay! I had planned on bringing some local Richmond VA beers with me but after her resounding “We can do that!” I was so excited that I not only talked to my suppliers (at Trader Joe’s), I also visited a local bottle shop to pick up some local tasty beers. Then I pillaged my private stash to get something really special (Hardywood Gingerbread Stout).

Finally at Victory, I met up with Steph, Wayne, Rich (Steph’s husband and their cameraman and designated driver) and Marilyn (Steph’s mom and Beer Busters investor). Being able to have lunch and swap beers (yes, they actually brought some great beers to “SWAP” with me) was an absolute delight.This was shaping up to be the best vacation ever! I can honestly say what good people the Beer Busters folks are.

Victory Brewing has always had a special place in my heart. It was the Golden Monkey that was the tipping point in steering me to be a home brewer. So for me, being at Victory Brewing Co was a check off the bucket list. After a flight of beers I finally settled on a pint of Golden Monkey. Having that fresh at the brewery – and the podcasters there, too – was just a complete beergasm.


Then it was off to the rest of my vacation. I planned on going to Troegs Brewery. After listening to an episode, in which Steph had talked about their Mad Elf, I ran out to my local taphouse and tried it. Her description was dead on and I loved it.

I went on the tour of the brewery and loved all the beers that I tried. What surprised me most of all was the food. It was really nice in contrast to what I have tried here in VA. It’s mostly food trucks here. Not bad, but the food at Troegs was superb. Then the beer was a complete day for me. I absolutely love the Troegenator. The perfect blend of malt and hops.

After Troegs it was off to Hershey Chocolate factory, which was two doors down, and the Outlet Mall. The day was a “boo-yah” for the whole family.

Later in the week I visited Callicoon Brewing Co. The first day I tried to visit they were closed so I hit up the local liquor store and scored some cherry moonshine. The next day I re-visited and had their stout. It was awesome! If you get the chance, try some.

All in all, I rely on the reviews (and news) of the wonderful brews that the Beer Busters have so I know if it’s a beer that I want to try. Thanks for all that you do!

Joe Man Guest Writer
Joe Mansell (aka Joe Man)
Homebrewer, Beer Busters Fan
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