Ommegang Hop Chef 2014


Last week at Union Transfer, the Ommegang Hop Chef Competition held its 2014 Philly event pitting the hottest Philly chefs against each other in a fierce competition to be crowned the Hop Chef Philadelphia winner. The winner will go on to represent Philadelphia at “Belgium Comes to Cooperstown 2014” August 8th and 9th for the title of Hop Chef National Champ.

Participating chefs included James Kenngott of Strangelove’s, Justin Petruce of Petruce et al, Jennifer Choplin of Dock Street Brewery, Chad Vetter of City Tap House, Jeremy Nolen of Brauhaus Schmitz, Jonathan Petruce, Ben Puchowitz of Cheu Noodle Bar, Travis Masar of Sampan and Independence Beer Garden, and Townsend Wentz of Townsend.

Each chef created a dish which was paired with an Ommegang beer. Then a panel judged their dishes based on five pairing principles. The chefs each got 10 minutes to describe their dish to the judges, and to explain why they used a particular beer for the pairing.

The judges for the competition were Caroline Hatchett of Star Chefs, Art Etchells of FooBooz, Collin Keefe of Drink Philly, Caroline Russock of City Paper, Danya Henninger of Zagat (who pulled no punches in telling a chef when something was too chewy, too salty or delicious), Top Chef winner Nick Elmi of Laurel and Carly Szkaradnick of Eater Philly.

Ommegang’s Hop Chef 2014 »

Celebrate Belgian Independence Day with Duvel and Ommegang


Legendary Belgian Brewery and Importer Duvel Moortgat will celebrate Belgian Independence Day from Wednesday, July 17 through Sunday, July 21 (the official holiday) with a week of events to mark the uprising that separated Belgium from the Netherlands.  Across the city, ten bars, restaurants and markets will serve Duvel Moortgat’s portfolio of award-winning Belgian and Belgian-style beers by the bottle and on draught, or during tap takeovers or as flights of beer created just for this beer-holiday.

Featured beers will include:

  • Duvel
  • Duvel Single
  • Duvel Triple Hop
  • Maredsous Blonde
  • Maredsous Triple
  • De Koninck
  • De Koninck Winter
  • Ommegang Belgian Independence Day Double White

The five-day beer line-up includes »

Ommegang Hop Chef Announces Judges, Beers


Yes, folks, it’s that time again. The second-annual Hop Chef competition (last year’s was won by local boy George Sabatino) is happening in Philly on Tuesday, April 23 at Union Transfer. Yes, tickets are still available ($53.50 a head, with part of the proceeds going to local charities) and yes, the smack-talk is already lighting up Twitter (check out #hopchef to listen in on the fun). But right now we have some news…

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Hop Chef Banter Is Heating Up


Ommegang Hop Chef is less than a month away and the trash talking is heating up. This year’s cast will be hard pressed to match the trash-talking of last year’s contestants but Eli KulpPat SzokeNick Macri and Lucio Palazzo are making a go of it.

Southwark’s Nick Macri has taken aim at Eli Kulp’s “food lab” and R&D ninjas is countering with a “flavour lab” of his own. Much of the antagonizing has focused on Macri’s Canadian heritage, hence the silly extra “U” in flavor. But this cookbook that showed up on the front steps of The Industry today might force Pat Szoke to up the ante.

The talk stops and the cooking begins on Thursday, April 23rd at Union Transfer. Six chefs will compete to be Hop Chef, tickets are  $53.50, with a portion of proceeds going to support the Mural Arts Program and Groundswell.

Hop Chef Tickets [Ticketfly]


Game of Thrones Love at the P.O.P.E


Just when I thought things have gone too far, Ommegang proves me otherwise.

Danya Henninger over at Zagat Philadelphia, reported that the New York brewery has created a Game of Thrones beer, a 6.5% ABV blonde ale to be exact, and since almost everything that comes out of Ommegang is awesome, I’m sure this beer is no different (even though it’s a bit of a gimmick). So you can either wait around for the season premier on March 31st to drink it, or go drink it tonight at The P.O.P.E. at 7 p.m., where pints of Iron Throne will be on tap. Then, at 10:15 pm, quizzo-extraordinaire Johnny Goodtimes will be hosting a “Quiz of Thrones.” You’re not a real GoT fan until you drink GoT beer while playing GoT Quizzo. That’s a stone-cold fact.

Oh, and f*** Joffrey.

Ommegang Hop Chef Returns to Philadelphia


On Tuesday, April 23rd at 7 p.m. at Union Transfer, some of Philadelphia’s most talented chefs will be competing to become Philadelphia’s second Ommegang Hop Chef.

The winner of Hop Chef Philadelphia will represent the city in a cook-off at Brewery Ommegang’s annual Belgium Comes to Cooperstown weekend.

Tickets cost $53.50 per person and includes all the Ommegang you can drink plus tastes of all six dishes that will showcase the competing chefs ability to pair beer with food.

The Hop Chef Philadelphia Competitors »

Duvel Rustica Launches at Stateside

New York’s Brewery Ommegang will be celebrating their new collaboration with Belgium brewer Duvel next week. And how better to celebrate than by drinking (and pouring) some beers? The new Ommegang/Duvel collaboration beer–a golden ale appropriately named Duvel Rustica–will debut on November 14 at 6 p.m. The event, hosted by Stateside, is pay-as-you-go and allows guest to sample Duvel Rustica in 750ml bottles and on draft.

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Ommegang Scythe & Sickle and More

Brewery Ommegang is debuting its Scythe & Sickle around town at a couple pay-as-you-go events. The harvest ale takes the Autumn beers in a different direction from Oktoberfests or pumpkin beers but tastes of the season with a malty backbone with a hint of rye and sweetness.

Tonight at 7 p.m. the beer will be on tap at Devil’s Den along with Witte, aged Three Philosophers, Belgian Independence Day and Seduction. The kitchen at Devil’s Den will also be offering a DiBruno Brothers cheese plate with an Ommegang beer flight and specials made with or to pair with Ommegang beers.

Tomorrow, the show moves to Belgian Cafe where the Scythe & Sickle will be offered along with other Ommegang specialties.

Photos: George Sabatino Wins Hop Chef

In a month of Really Big Things happening in the life of Stateside’s George Sabatino, this weekend’s Ommegang Brewery Hop Chef finals was one of the biggest. He’d already bested all the local talent to earn his spot in Cooperstown, and now he was going up against chefs from Albany, New York and Washington D.C. in front of a crowd of hot, sweaty and hungry beer fanatics. What could possibly go wrong?

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About Last Night: Hop Chef

Last night I was lucky enough to judge Ommegang’s Hop Chef competition at World Cafe Live. Six excellent local chefs put their best foot forward to compete for the right to represent Philadelphia in the Hop Chef finals at Brewery Ommegang’s annual Belgium Comes to Cooperstown festival. In the end it was Stateside’s George Sabatino who won with his two dishes, the first was a lettuce wrap of smoked beef cheek with watermelon rind, pickle and beer broiled peanuts; the second was a dessert Sabatino made with the help of his pastry chef, Robert Toland. The “Three Philosophers with head to tail cherries” ingeniously included pop rocks to mimic the carbonation of the beer. Both were impressive dishes, especially how Sabatino lightened the heavy beef and beer with watermelon and the lettuce wrap.

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