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Monday, August 07, 2006

Beer Event: Heavyweight Down for the Count - A Toast

A toast to Tom & Peggy :-) At the Drafting Room in Exton, PA
Down for the count? No way! Tom, Peggy, and Heavyweight's beers have never looked stronger. On one hand, it's disappointing to see them taking a break in the game as they change direction a bit. But, on the other hand, it will be fun to see where their odyssey through the wonderful world of beer takes them next. Saturday at The Drafting Room in Exton, PA came with a lot of hype and anticipation and certainly delivered upon that hope. The doors opened at 11:30am to as many as a couple dozen "fans." The beers began flowing shortly thereafter and there was no looking back. Within an hour, the bar area was filling up with countless 5 ounce glasses of Heavyweight brew floating around. Ten and sixteen ounce glasses were available too, but you could certainly tell that this was an event full of experienced beer drinkers...I don't think I spotted anyone with 16 ounce glassware in the first few hours. Plus, everyone wanted to have a chance to taste all of the 15 available drafts. Further complicating matters for those with plans to taste all of the styles was that six of them were only in sixtels, while the remainder were in full half-kegs. The game was on. Glasses of beer and good times were all around the bar. Beer fans, writers, brewers, BAs, retailers, dignitaries (heheh), and afficianados from far and wide travelled to Exton for this event. It was a veritable who's who in terms of faces we saw come through the door. Patrick and company at TDR sure did a nice job of securing and promoting this event. Then, they did an even better job of hosting and conducting it. The staff was able to control the crowd and keep everyone happy with attentive and prompt service. We commented a few times on just how easy it was to get beers and keep 'em coming. So, what else happened? Well, not much I suppose. The afternoon was comprised mostly of great friendship and conversation. Storytelling abounded. There were not any sort of scheduled events occurring throughout the afternoon. Though, as you can see from the video and still pictures that we've included, there was a timeout for everyone to raise their glasses in a toast to Tom and Peggy. Then, it was back to the frivolity. Tom and Peggy stepped out for dinner at Victory and arrived back at TDR around 8:30pm. Apparently, others did the same to take advantage of being in the area. With Victory, Sly Fox, John Harvard's, and Iron Hill not far away it's sure makes for a great beer day for out-of-town visitors. I haven't seen any stories online yet about any late night activities back at TDR. I, on the other hand, stepped out to mow the lawn and take care of a few chores at home (the lines in the lawn are straight!) My wife and I returned around 8pm to TDR for dinner and a few last rounds. By that point, the crowd had thinned considerably and there were only a few hardy souls leftover from the afternoon. Patrick was still going strong, obviously still on a high from the day's events. While my original and all-time favorites from Heavyweight include Lunacy and Perkuno's Hammer, I have got to give a quick mention below to the all-stars of the day from my perspective. With the rich flavors of the Old Salty barleywine delivering the most impressive strike, I think the biggest surprise to me was the Doug's, which I don't recall previously enjoying so much. Also, the Jakeldricka was complexly and interestingly amazing. I sadly only have one bottle at home, and am anxiously looking forward to getting into it! 1-Old Salty (whiskey barrel-aged) 2t-Doug's Colonial 2t-Jakeldricka (Viking Beer) 4-St've 5-Baltus Heavyweight, we hardly knew ye. (Well, actually we did know you, it's just fun to use that phrase :) Thanks for the seven short years and we already look forward to seeing you again soon!

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