by Jack Curtin
(Mid-Atlantic Brewing News, June/July 2008)

George Hummel and Nancy Rigberg, familiar figures on the Philadelphia beer scene for more than two decades, were among the first 18 members inducted into the Keystone Society of Tourism in Gettysburg, Penna. on May 6. They also were given the Inspiration Award for their efforts in promoting craft beer in Pennsylvania.

Hummel and Rigberg have operated Home Sweet Homebrew, the city's best known homebrewing store, since 1986. Both are award-winning homebrewers and have written about beer for a variety of publications. Hummel writes the Philadelphia and Delaware columns for Mid-Atlantic Brewing News.

This was the inaugural year for the Keystone Society for Tourism and being chosen for membership is the highest honor the state can confer on leaders of the tourism industry. Inductees were selected by the Pennsylvania Tourism Office in consultation with the Governor's Tourism Partnership. During the presentation in the Presidential Ballroom of the Gettysburg Wyndham at "Destination Pennsylvania: The Governor's Conference on Tourism," Gov. Edward G. Rendell said the inductees were "visionaries [with] the foresight and motivation to create new products and tourism opportunities and have done so while creating new family-sustaining jobs in the Commonwealth. They are the keystones of the tourism economy."

Both Hummel and Rigberg are recognized BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) Judges, professional members of the Chaine de Rotisseurs, the international gastronomic society, and members of Slow Food. George, whose grandfather was brewmaster for the original Philadelphia Brewing Co. and great grandfather a brewer in Stuttgart, Germany, conducts tutored tastings at the Great Brews From Around The World International Beer Festival at Pocono Lakes Resort each fall and is the de facto master of ceremonies for the beer dinners at Monk's Café in center city Philadelphia. Nancy is president of H.O.P.S. (Homebrewers of Philadelphia and Suburbs) and taught beer and wine classes at Drexel University. Her Ladies Beer Tea was a featured event during Philly Beer Week in March.

In 1995 George co-brewed George's Fault with brewers Brandon Greenwood and Gordon Grubb at Nodding Head Brewery and Restaurant in Philadelphia and the scaled-up version of his award winning Belgian-style Grand Cru won a Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. George's Fault was poured at the induction event, from a keg donated by Nodding Head.

Copyright (c) 2008 Jack Curtin

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