Hi! We’re Derek and Chelsie Markel – 2 craft beer enthusiasts that love exploring the world of brew.
We can often be found at brewfests, attending bottle shares, beer hunting at bottle shops, enjoying beer pairing dinners, taking brewery day trips and traveling around on beercations. Some of our beercations include:
- VERMONT to explore Hill Farmstead, Fiddlehead, Foam Brewery, The Alchemist, Lost Nation, Burlington Beer Co., Otter Creek, and tons more VT breweries
- MASSACHUSETTS for Tree House, Trillium, Mystic, Aeronaut, Exhibit A, Jack’s Abby & Night Shift
- MAINE for Bissell Brothers, Oxbow and Urban Farm
- NEW HAMPSHIRE for Smuttynose & Throwback
- NEW YORK for Hudson Valley Brewery, Equilibrium Brewery, Plan Bee Farm Brewery, Suarez Family Brewery, Sloop and more.
- PENNSYLVANIA for Tired Hands, Troegs, Collusion Tapworks, Victory, Forest & Main, Ever Grain, Chatty Monks, Pizza Boy and more.
- DELAWARE for Dogfish Head, Mispillion & Revelation
- MARLAND for Burley Oak & Flying Dog – not to mention our favorite bottle shop of all time: State Line Liquors
- WASHINGTON D.C. to drink All The Beers at Savor each year put on by the Brewers Association. But we hope to visit The Veil Brewing Co. and Aslin Beer Co. as soon as we can.
Get to know us through our beer adventures here at ItsABrewLife.com!
Business Intelligence Developer by day and homebrewer by weekend. I enjoy creating and brewing my own beer recipes and sharing the finished product with friends and family. I started all-grain brewing over 8 years ago on a system I designed and had built to my specifications. I am always experimenting with new techniques and new ingredients. I love the creative side of brewing and feel there is always more to learn about brewing. When I am not making my own beer I enjoy visiting breweries, taking beercations and watching Formula 1 racing.
Our home brewery is Sunday Morning Brewing. We primarily brew IPAs (Northeast-style of course) and farmhouse ales (saisons, grisettes, etc.) because that is what we like to drink. I enjoy sharing my knowledge with other homebrewers and helping others get into the hobby.
In late 2016, I signed on as Brewery Consultant for 6 months at The Vegetable Hunter (formerly Crave & Co.) in Harrisburg, PA. The vegan restaurant wanted to open a boutique brewery to serve fresh, rustic brews to their patrons. I architected a small-scale brewhouse and created unique beer recipes that will fill a void in the current local brewery offerings. Think NE-style IPAs, tart saisons, hoppy pale ales and locally-sourced fruit- or herb-infused ales.
I am a co-founder of the All-Grain Gangsters homebrew club. The club is very untraditional with the main focus being information sharing. We all get together for a couple of competitions throughout the year to experiment with recipes and push our brewing skills to the next level.
I took on the role of Homebrewer Liaison for Harrisburg Beer Week where I co-organize the annual Battle of the Homebrewers competition.
Podcast & Video Appearances:
Former Art Director living the ad agency grind until the deadlines and stress were taking over my life. I said goodbye to working for the man! I now fill my days with the things and people that make me happy. That includes creating and maintaining this craft beer lifestyle website, ItsABrewLife.com while continuing to write for the all-women-contributing beer blog, StoutsandStilettos.com.
I’m also a Co-Founder & Co-Organizer of Harrisburg Beer Week which is a year-round effort to plan. It’s a completely volunteer initiative. My friends and I wanted to bring the local craft brew community together at the end of April annually for 200+ beer-related events all within a 30 mile radius. The idea was to have something fun for area imbibers while coming together as a community. The word has spread and folks from various states, even Oregon, have showed up to support our cause. All proceeds go to our beneficiary, the Harrisburg River Rescue & Emergency Services. In the first three years, we’ve raised a total of $90,000.
Podcast & Video Appearances:
- Various Beer Busters Podcasts
- Operation Shutdown Podcast
- Craft beer documentary ‘Brewed In the Burg’ by GK Visual
- ‘Little Big Beer Fest 2016 Recap’ Video
- Watch my orange zesting skills in the ‘717 Collaboration Ale’ Video ?
I also keep busy on interior design, photography, graphic design projects and crafting. I’m obsessed with repurposing old things found at flea markets some of which you can find in our Online Store. Proud ‘Kitty Mommy’ to Jasmine and Bella. I live by the motto “We are here to create not merely survive.”