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Hops, the Friendly Greek, and Lagunitas Brewing Company

by Amber DeGrace
of the Huffington Post
on July 10, 2010


I am a hop head.


When it comes to a fine craft brew I am fairly indiscriminate. If it is brewed well then chances are my taste buds are going to be partying. However, if my life depended on choosing one style, I would blubber, "HOPS! Anything hoppy, for the love of God!"


My husband got back from another business trip to China a few days ago. As is becoming tradition, he stopped on the way home to pick up a couple six-packs of beer. Perhaps it is a peace offering of sorts, to comfort me and my newly formed gray hairs after two weeks of single, full-time parenting to our progeny.


I'm kidding. There are no gray hairs on my head.


This time he stopped at The Friendly Greek, in our hometown of Lancaster, PA. It's a pizza shop, but not one like the other hundred or so joints in town. This one has craft beer; it also offers the largest carryout selection in town. The microbrew count is around 95 different varieties, and all the different varieties together (including different sizes of the same type) has been counted as high as 600. For those out-of-staters, Pennsylvania still has some disappointingly archaic alcohol laws on the books. We can only get cases of beer at a distributor(but they can't sell six-packs), six-packs of beer at a bar or licensed six-pack establishment, and wine and liquor from a state-run store. There have been some attempts to change these laws and I've heard rumors of a few magical places that are now serving alcohol in gas stations or supermarkets, but I can't believe it until I see with my own eyes. Now back to food, because food is very near and dear to my heart. I love to look at it. I love to smell it. I love to make it. Most of all, I love to eat it. The Friendly Greek offers gyro meat on their pizzas. It is cut into juicy rectangular slices and generously applied to a thin, chewy crust with a sauce that is perfectly balanced with the amount of cheese. Everything about these pies is spot-on. The owner, Teddy Keares, has done wonderful things with this business and if you are ever in the area to see the Amish, this really is the best place in town to stop for pizza as well as get a six-pack to take back to your hotel.


In the hands of my beloved this week were cans of 21st Amendment Brewery's Brew Free or Die! IPA from San Francisco, CA and bottles of Lagunitas Brewing Company's Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale.


I began drooling immediately at my good fortune. I then remembered to welcome my husband home after his long trip away. I don't always prioritize well, I admit.

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