Day 10 Report
|Last Day of PBW 2008|
Background: There was no doubt that this would be a busy, but memorable, last day to PBW 2008. In some ways, it was a relief that the frenetic pace of the last 10 days was coming to end. In another way, it was a bit of a melancholic feel, like as a kid at the end of summer camp. This first ever Imperial Philly Beer Week (not your standard 7 days), was an unparalleled and unquestioned success and this last day should have been no exception. Looking back, it seemed so hard to believe that The Brewer's Plate was only 7 days prior. Or, that Johnny Brenda's was less than 72 hours.
Where to: Taking the train into the city, I actually skipped(!) Bridewater's and hopped the El to 2nd street where I popped into Campo's for a cheesesteak (a great base!), then to The Khyber to kill some time before heading into Triumph for the real ale festival. Later it was on to Nodding Head, Monk's, and Fergie's.
Why: It was tough to decide which events to hit up on the last day of PBW 2008. Initially, I'd wanted to do a brunch at The Drafting Room in Exton, but when I realized that PA's Sunday laws prevent serving (alcohol, that is) before 11am, I knew that a stop there was out of the question. And, there was no way I was going to get to Fork in Old City early enough to do the brunch there before hitting up Triumph. And, there was certainly no way that I was missing the cask ale festival, but it meant that Drie Fonteinen had to get bumped. Fortunately, I was able to bump into Armand at Monk's dinner later. But, with the Monk's dinner and the Last Call at Fergie's, it meant the canned beer at Aspen would have to be sacrificed. A day of many decisions...not necessarily a bad position to be in, eh?
What to drink: Blue Point Toasted Lager at The Khyber; many, many different cask ales to choose from at Triumph; a lovely (yes, I said lovely) Berliner Weisse at Nodding Head; a handful of special beers, including Westy 12, tied to the memory of Michael Jackson at Monk's with the six-course dinner; then the Cricket Hill's Colonel Blide ESB as my last T.U.D. at Fergie's.
Who to share a drink with: Wow, where to begin?! From the first guy named Tom that I saw at The Khyber (also killing time before Triumph) to the last guy that I saw (Tim Ohst, whom we gave a lift back to Wayne after Fergie's), there were many of the same as well as some new faces that I hadn't yet seen during PBW. Some of the new faces included Kevin (cask ale Kevin), Paul Pendyck (what a wonderful treat to see him and family swing through Philly for a few beers and food (and a fix to the beer engine at Nodding Head!), a guy named Woody dressed like a monk (hm, where have I seen him before?!), Karen (aka BA mughugger and aka Woody's traveling companion!), Jack Curtin (whose path I had not really crossed yet for a prolonged period of time during PBW), and Bruce Nichols (Museum Catering Director and PBW planner).
Reaction: There were no out-and-out disappointments at the Real Ale Festival. The folks from Yards and Triumph did a wonderful job organizing and pulling off the event and the servers with both the food and the beer kept things humming nicely. Nodding Head provided a nice pitstop to put back a recently brewed Berliner Weisse and throw some darts. The Monk's dinner lived up to the high standard that they've set a long time ago. And the wrap-up at Fergie's? Wow! I can't tell you how relaxed so many people looked who had put in such long hours trekking around the city and suburbs for the past 10 days. Their hard work had paid off, creating a successful event that has the rest of the country on notice. Congratulations to all of you...I'm sure the party went well into the early morning hours....again! The drinks were flowing, the karaoke was (sometimes) melodic, and the vibe was pulsing like it would never end. It doesn't have to. Only 5 days 'til Split Thy Skull...rest up!