Friday, February 29, 2008

Beer Calendar: What To Do In March 2008

Be glad that I'm not listing every event of Philly Beer Week 2008. By various counts, there's at least 120 events to as many as 150. Just go over here to the calendar and find something that suits your, uh, taste! If Philly isn't your thing this March, there might another event or two on this list here. Enjoy! Fri. 2/29 - Cask Ale Night (Tröegs & Ridgeway) @General Sutter Inn, Lititz, PA (4:30pm-6:30pm; pay as you go) Fri. 2/29 - Friday Night Tasting (Gritty McDuff) @Beer Yard, Wayne, PA (free) Fri. 2/29 - Quebec's Finest Cheeses & Beers @DiBruno Bros., Philadelphia, PA (6pm-8pm; $45) Sat. 3/1 - Smoke-Free Saturday Night @TJ's, Paoli, PA (5pm-close; pay as you go) Thu. 3/6 - Allagash Night @Barcade, New York, NY (6pm; pay as you go) Fri. 3/7 - Belgian Beers @The Farmhouse, Emmaus, PA (7pm; pay as you go) Fri. 3/7 - Friday Night Tasting (Allagash) @Beer Yard, Wayne, PA (5pm-7pm; free) Sat. 3/8-Sun. 3/9 - Atlantic City Beer Festival @Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, NJ (12pm-4:30pm, 6pm-10:30pm, 1pm-5:30pm; $35/$45) Sat. 3/8-Sun. 3/9 - Split Thy (Vintage) Brooklyn Skull @Mugs Ale House, New York, NY (11am-close; pay as you go, 5oz=$3.50) Sat. 3/8 - Beer & Comfort Foods Dinner @General Lafayette Inn & Brewery, Lafayette Hill, PA (6pm; $59.95) Sat. 3/8 - Brewers Dinner @Cambridge Brewing Company, Cambridge, MA (5pm-7pm; $60) Thu. 3/13 - Thursday Night Tasting (Magic Hat) @Isaac Newton's, Newtown, PA (7pm-9pm; free) Sun. 3/16 - 1st Anniversary Party @Blind Tiger Ale House, New York, NY (2pm; no cover-free food!) Thu. 3/20 - Thursday Night Tasting (Magic Hat) @Isaac Newton's, Newtown, PA (7pm-9pm; free) Fri. 3/21 - Third Friday Firkin (Standard Ale) @Sly Fox Brewery, Phoenixville, PA (begining at Noon; PAYG) Sat. 3/22 - Split Thy Skull @Sugar Mom's, Philadelphia, PA (1pm 'til they kick; pay as you go) Thu. 3/27 - Thursday Night Tasting (Sierra Nevada) @Isaac Newton's, Newtown, PA (7pm-9pm; free) Fri. 3/28 - Cask Ale Night (Oliver Breweries) @General Sutter Inn, Lititz, PA (4:30pm-6:30pm; pay as you go) Sat. 3/29 - Annual Open House @Weyerbacher, Easton, PA (12pm-3pm; free) Sat. 3/29 - Belgian Beer Party @Pizza Port, Carlsbad, CA (10am-4pm, 5pm-11pm; $40/$45 for entry & 8 beer tastings; $1 for each 4oz. tasting thereafter) Sat. 3/29 - GTV Almrausch Schuhplattlers' Stiftungsfest (Spring Dance) @Cannstatter Volksfest Verein, Philadelphia, PA (7pm-12am; $10/$12) Sat. 3/29 - Sly Fox R5 Beer Trip @Malvern Train Station, Malvern, PA (12:45pm meet at train; $15 transit; PAYG beers; Contact Corey at Sly Fox for more information)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

What's On Tap at The Drafting Room in Exton, PA - 2/28/08

The Drafting Room in Exton, PA has a decent web presence and quite a huge reputation preceding them. Their beer turns over quite quickly. So, in the spirit of service, whenever I get to The Drafting Room, I'll post the current tap list. What's on line as of 2/28/2008? Allgäuer Büble Bier Boulder Mojo Risin' Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout Dogfish Indian Brown Left Hand Oak-aged Widdershins Rogue Charlie 1981 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot [2007] Victory Scarlet Fire Wyder's Apple Cider Victory Hop Devil (cask) Sly Fox O'Reilly's Stout Legacy Midnight Wit Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Lindemans Framboise Amstel Light

WDBD

The keen observers among you figured out quickly that I was in New York City yesterday. After an honest day's work, I found it difficult to pass up Alan's tempting e-mail from a couple of weeks ago. It was called Night of the Imperials and that about hit the nail on head. Other than a Lagunitas Pilsner, everything else was big in flavor, big in age, and/or big in alcohol....sometimes all of the above. So, in about 90 minutes and paired with shrimp cocktail (perhaps not the best pairing with these beers) and a cubano sandwich (better than the shrimp with beer), I indulged in the following: '04 Dogfish World Wide Stout; '04 Dogfish 120 Minute IPA (via The Randal); Blue Point Sour Cherry Imperial Stout; and Captain Lawrence Imperial IPA (cask). A crazy 90 minutes I tell ya. I made the 120 minute last the entire session (does that make it a session beer?) while I sipped on the other three. As great as the Blind Tiger scene was (and I should've been happy with leaving it at that), I couldn't help but get on the train back to PA with an empty feeling that I missed something great over at Spuyten Duyvil. Even though I was only a few subway stops away from this Brooklyn bar, it wasn't yet opened when I finished with work for the day. So, instead I went directly to Blind Tiger, knowing that I likely wouldn't go back out to Brooklyn (20-30 minutes each way from Manhattan by walking, subway, and walking) to have time for one beer then turn around back into Manhattan. I kept hearing this voice in my head saying "these beers rarely come to the States." I did the (so-called) responsible thing and caught the 6:30pm out of Penn Station so that I could be home by 8:45pm. Otherwise, I was looking at 10pm or 11pm arrival back home and after being up at 5am to get to NYC, that just wasn't an appealing idea, given it was only Wednesday night. But, that voice is still in my head.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pictures from Orval

No, they're not my pictures. If I'm lucky, later this year I'll have my own pictures to supply. For now, if you haven't checked out Greg's blog from Luxembourg (and Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, and wherever else he wanders), now's the perfect time to check it out. Their trip to Orval looks to be one of the highlights since they've moved across the pond. These are some of the finest pictures I've seen from Greg and Paula since they've moved to Luxembourg (the cat pictures are a close second). Enjoy! Thanks Greg & Paula! Envious as usual....

24 Hours in Pittsburgh, PA

This year's installment of the guys hockey and beer trip to Pittsburgh came and went in the blink of an eye. In the past, it's been more like 4-6 guys for the weekend. This year it was yours truly and the Lancaster County Correspondent in all of about 38 hours. Not to say that we didn't make the most of it.



We headed out on Saturday morning and made it from Lancaster County to D's Six Pax & Dogz in the Regent Square area of Pittsburgh (just on the eastern side of Squirrel Hill tunnel) in just over 3 hours. We made it through a few snow squalls in the mountains with no problem and found a little more than an hour to spend at D's and setting up at the hotel before heading over to the Mellon Arena for the Penguins/Kings game at 1pm.



After a couple of dogs and our first pre-noon pints, we headed to the back "cave" at D's to fill up a 6-pack of beers, like Great Lakes and others that can not ordinarily be found in the eastern half of PA. Since the last time we were in Pittsburgh, D's has expanded by I'm guessing at least 100%. The restaurant area is now much more comfortable with some additional seating. The takeout area is a bit roomier and allows customers to more easily get around and find the beers that they're looking for. Plus, they've added a whole room on the front of the takeout area with hightop tables and separate checkout for the takeout customers.



Even though D's is still a bit pricier than 3 Sons Dogs & Suds north of Pittsburgh up in Wexford, D's is now a much more comfortable place to hang out and buy some beers, especially when coming in to Pittsburgh from the east.



On to the hockey game, our ice-side seats were killer. I've never seen a hockey game from right up on the glass, especially in the corner where a lot of the mucking, banging, and fighting starts and finishes. Our friend who works with the team usually hooks us up with great seats somewhere in the arena, but these were one of a kind....or maybe one of a few hundred of a kind.

While visits to East End and Penn Brewing were initially in the plans, they were not meant to be this time around. We went out with our friend and his friend instead to Fat Heads for beers and dinner (every beer trip to da Burgh requires at least one stop in at Fathead's). As you can tell from the picture, the tap list is still as quality as ever, now with the welcome addition of Bear Republic. I did my best to add as many beers to my Frequent Flyer Beer Tour card. One day, I hope to learn just how many points, miles, beers, or whatever I've accrued to this card. Until then, they claim that the computer can not tell even the staff. Uh...



Anyway, after wings and other munchies and several beers at Fathead's, we wandered down the street to a new joint (well, at least new in the sense that I'd never been there) called Smokin' Joe's. I resisted the call of the Beer Union 6-pack shop and only walked out of Fat Heads with a keychain bottle opener. Ah, the willpower at work.

Smokin' Joe's. Now there's a name that tells you what you need to know. No doubt the smoking ban has yet to land in Pittsburgh. While the smoke wasn't oppressive, it was definitely noticeable. Not enough to kill the taste of a DFH 90 Minute as we settled into some darts. Pool tables, music, and a typical South Side type of bar atmosphere was the order of the night here. They claim around 65 taps or so. I never could get a good view of the bar and all of the tap handles spread out around the long bar to confirm, but perhaps they were hiding some taps around the corner. And, though I have a better picture of the chalkboard tap list, I thought the picture here was more humorous as one of our guys took the opportunity to relax against the board. I think I can almost make out some of the beer names...maybe if I hold it up to a mirror!


That about concludes the beer portion of the trip. We got in a good night sleep, poked around the hotel lobby in the morning with breakfast and meetups with some of the Flyers players (they stay in the same hotel), and checked ourselves out of the hotel.We saw the Flyers come up just a bit short against the Penguins in a semi-spirited game. Though, it wasn't quite the cross-state brawl we were expecting. Maybe the Old Time Hockey from the prior day took a bit out of them. But, with the young talent in Pittsburgh, it's certainly good to see the city with an exciting hockey team again packing the arena. Plus, with a new arena on the horizon in a couple of years, the state of hockey in Pittsburgh looks quite favorable in the near future.

We both kept it dry at the game since there really wasn't much decent beer to speak of. The temperarture had dropped into the 10F range, with wind chill, and snow had fallen, so we hit the road and fortunately made a very quick trip home. I'm thinking with a lot of these short trips that I make, I could start a series called "24 Hours of Beer in {City Name Here}".


Oh, somewhere along the way here I neglected to mention our elevator ride with Mario Lemieux. No picture, sorry.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

WWBD

Since I can't drink them all, perhaps the better question is What Should Bryan Drink? After putting in a day of work tomorrow, I'll be somewhere(s) that has the following beers on draft. The clue is in the tag. I've got my ideas. Your suggestions? Follow-up of What Bryan Did Drink to follow in a following post...follow? Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout Speakeasy Imperial IPA Tröegs Nugget Nectar Green Flash Imperial IPA Goose Island Imperial IPA '04 Dogfish Head 120 '05 (via Randall) Dogfish Head World Wide Stout '04 Chelsea Czar's Revenge '05 He'Brew Rye Cask Jewbalation 11 Southampton Russian Imperial Stout Black Forest Imperial Pils Buffalo Stout Southern Tier Back Burner Southern Tier Unearthly IPA Podge Belgian Imperial Stout Weyerbacher Simcoe Blue Point Sour Cherry Imperial Stout Lagunitas Lumpy Gravy Avery Czar Captain Lawrence Imperial IPA (cask) Smuttynose Baltic Porter (Gravity Keg) Otter Creek Sea Otter Baltic Porter (cask) Young's Double Chocolate Stout Stone Ruination Rogue Double Dead Guy Rogue I2PA Rogue Imperial Porter Sly Fox Odyssey IPA Dieu du Ciel Rigor Mortis Dieu du Ciel Aphrodite Dieu du Ciel Peche Mortel Dieu du Ciel Corpus Cristi (cask)

The Path To Philly Beer Week 2008 - A Profile of Yards Brewing Company



Yards is a Philadelphia story. I'd compare them to Rocky, but I'd probably get lost in the analogy along the way and find myself in a hole from which I could not dig out! But, make no mistake. Yards started as the little guy from the Manayunk and Roxborough neighborhoods and grew into a brewery with beers that are often referred to by outsiders as "the Philadephia beer." Along the way, they took the brewery into Kensington and became even more of a bonified neighborhood brewery by reviving the brewing ghosts of Weisbrod & Hess.

Back in the 90s, I knew the beer (personally, I say) but not so much the people behind Yards. Late in the 90s around the turn of the century, I began to follow the people and places more closely and finally visited the Kensington brewery for the first time just a few years ago. The passion for the beer shown by both the brewers and the consumers was always palpable during visits to the brewery. Rich Wagner's regular presentations about the history of brewing in Philadelphia added yet another element to the allure of Yards Brewing.

For some, after the management split became official in 2007, there were fears of possibly losing a piece of Philadelphia brewing history. Instead, it appears that we will end up gaining instead of losing. I don't doubt that some of this passion will carry over to the new location of Yards on Delaware Avenue. And, during Philly Beer Week, if you don't find yourself drinking a Yards beer at least once, then you must not be drinking beer. Tom and company are making sure that the Yards name will be in front of the beer-loving masses at every turn. Just check out the list of events below.

As you ready yourself for Philly Beer Week 2008, study up on some background notes on Yards Brewing Company and consider yourself lucky to be part of such a vibrant and rich beer region that PBW 2008 will celebrate.



Name: Yards Brewing Company
Location: 901 North Delaware Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Phone: 215-634-2600

People
Tom Kehoe; Original Founder & Owner, President
Tim Roberts (brewer); Frank Winslow (brewer); Steve Mashington (business manager)
Andrew Horne (cellar); Mitch Albach (cellar); Steve Welsh (shipping/receiving); Andrew Rutherford (safety compliance officer); Rick Anstotz (night watchman)

Major Brands
Brawler; Extra Special Ale; India Pale Ale; Philadelphia Pale Ale; Thomas Jefferson Tavern Ale; General Washington Tavern Porter; Poor Richards Tavern Spruce; Old Bart; Trubbel de Yards; Love Stout

Awards
Extra Special Ale
Bronze (Real Ale Festival)

Philadelphia Pale Ale
2nd Place (Manayunk Brew Fest Extravaganza) 2007

Trubbel de Yards
Bronze (Real Ale Festival), 2002

Best Local Beer
Philadelphia Magazine; 1998, 2001

Distribution
Philadelphia and 5 county region. New Jersey. Western PA. Will expand distribution once new facility is complete. Potentially reentering Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Production
Roughly 10,000 bbls/year (new facility capacity is 30,000 bbls)

History & Tidbits
  • Tom Kehoe and Jon Bovit opened the 3.5-bbl garage brewery in cramped quarters of Manayunk in 1994
  • Personal delivery of their kegged beers was a trademark service
  • ESA quickly took off as "Philadelphia's beer"
  • By 1996, increased demand brought about a move into larger space in neighboring Roxborough, where bottling took place for the first time
  • 2001 saw continued increased demand, Bovit leaving, Bill & Nancy Barton joining as investors, and the brewery moving to Kensington location of the former Weisbrod & Hess turn-of-the-century (1900s, that is) brewery
  • 2008 brings a new era with the Bartons leaving to open their new Philadelphia Brewing Company and Tom taking Yards to a new, larger location on Delaware Avenue


  • Major Yearly Events
  • Brewery tours will be regularly held once construction is completed
  • Anniversary Party (date tbd)


  • Where to Find Yards During Philly Beer Week
  • Joe Sixpack's book launch on the 7th will highlight the ESA
  • A firkin of the ESA will be at Good Dog on the 8th
  • Will feature their ESA at The Brewer's Plate food pairing event on Sunday the 9th
  • On the 10th at Allison's in Blue Bell, Yards beer will be included
  • The staff will feature homebrews in the Extreme Homebrewers Challenge on the 10th
  • Meet & Greets with Tom at The Bishop's Collar and Frank and Tim at Caribou Café, both on Tuesday the 11th
  • Tom will be conducting a "Beer Talk" at the City Tavern on the 12th; Beers of the Revolution to be poured
  • All of Yards brands will appear during the Local Brewers Self-Guided Tour on the 12th
  • A pin of the ESA will be at the Aspen for the Fairmount Beer Tour and Tom will judge at the Philly Beer Geek competition, both on the 13th
  • Tom will be participating in the Brewers' Happy Hour on the 14th at Nodding Head and later conduct a Meet & Greet at The Belgian Café
  • A firkin of the ESA will show up at the Ides of March event at Grey Lodge Pub on the 15th
  • Will co-host the real ale festival event at Triumph on the 16th and highlight their ESA


  • Monday, February 25, 2008

    Celebrator Beer News 20th Anniversary Party - Pictures & A Wrap-Up

    CBN 20th Anniversary Party
    I guess I can say that I finally accomplished something this past weekend. Here are the pictures I took at the Celebrator Beer News 20th Anniversary Party in Oakland, CA two weekends ago. It was on 2/17/08 at the Marriott & Convention Center. I could have spent more time with notes, but I'll instead let the pictures do the talking. Needless to say, it was a great time and my first major beer festival on the other coast. But, since you know that I can't leave without sharing at least a few notes, here goes in bullet format, no particular order.
    • PubQuest makes some really nice maps
    • Special pouring of Russian River Supplication, Pliny the Younger, and Black Valentine
    • Hourly pourings of New Belgium La Folie
    • Hard to find (on the East Coast) gems of The Abyss, Smoked Porter, & Kona
    • Reunion Red Rye released and is very, very nice
    • Magnolia Saison de Lily
    • Allagash made a splash with the west coasters with the Grand Cru, White, and Tripel
    • Devil's Canyon makes a sneaky and good Habanero Ale, mixed nicely with The Abyss
    • Does Zydeco ever get old?
    • Firehouse with an cask-conditioned IPA, very nice
    • Mike White of White Labs, like the blind leading the blind back to the BART station in Oakland, yikes
    • Pork sandwiches, rice & beans, caesar salad, pasta, and nachos to fill the belly
    • Never thought I'd hear me say a festival was well attended, but the space was too big!
    • The Brewing Network is even more fun in person
    • Jay Brooks has one of the sharpest beer website t-shirts out there (and some right smart beer commentary as well)
    • Learned a little something about Utah's environmentally conscious brewery, Uinta
    • Hopman never made an appearance
    • Lagunitas SuperFreak (a blend of several styles)

    Chris LaPierre of Iron Hill on The Brewing Network's Sunday Session

    Lappy impressed the crew during his interview on last night's Sunday Session at The Brewing Network. You would never have known that he was battling a cold and talking via cell phone. During the (almost) 75 minute interview, they covered wide-ranging topics ranging from lagers to sour beers, from Philly Beer Week to their recent Belgian event, from homebrewing to commercial brewing, and from his experience at Harpoon to continuing education to working in a restaurant-centric environment that just so happens to have an attached brewery. They even covered the topic of dating advice for brewers! If you haven't dropped in to The Brewing Network before, consider this a good reason to check them out. Here's a direct link to the downloadable MP3 file. It's almost 100mb, so be sure that you're on a high-speed connection to the Web before clicking the link. http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/archive/dwnldarchive02-24-08.mp3
    (description from The Brewing Network's website) Chris LaPierre from Iron Hill Brewing Company joins The Session this week to talk about their many beers, homebrewing, barrel aging and sour beer. We also talk to pubquest.com, recap Beevo's wedding, taste some listener beer and have a great time despite Justin's nasty hangover and bad attitude. It's another long and fun show where Doc reappears as his old self and age old questions are answered!

    Sunday, February 24, 2008

    Let's Go For A Run - (a little something different to do during PBW 2008)

    Philly Beer Week 2008 Is Coming; Here's another way to join in the celebration. Let’s drink unsurpassed local beers, be merry, and RUN “IN THE PURSUIT OF HOPPINESS.” We’ll burn a few calories as an added bonus. Why not have the best of all worlds? On Saturday, March 8th go for a run with The Brew Lounge and In Pursuit of Ale. Meet Bryan, Suzanne Woods of In pursuit of Ale, and fellow runners at 11am. By 11:30am, we'll take off for a run of approximately 5 miles through the city. Along the way, we'll pass noteworthy beer landmarks, both past and present. The run will conclude at the new Dock Street Brewery. Light food and water will be provided at reserved tables when we arrive. Be sure to bring some cash for beer. So that we all can start together, please RSVP by March 5th. This IS NOT A RACE, nor a fast or challenging exercise. It is a FUN RUN to celebrate Philly Beer Week! There will be opportunity for rest stops along the way, based upon the needs of the group. ** Drop a note to me at beerguys@brewlounge.com and I can provide more detailed information **

    Victory Renovations Continuing Apace


    But, perhaps not quickly enough for some people! Especially with the April closure looming.

    Stopped by earlier for a growler of Braumeister Pils (quite the drinker; go check it out!) and snapped this picture of the new entrance. The new growler filling station seems ready to go and the crowd is still filling the seats.

    Victory's website continues to keep pictures and progress updated for us.

    The Brew Lounge postponed

    It's an absolutely beautiful winter day here today, though not so winter-like with sunny 40 degree weather. I have lots to tell you about my travels in the last couple of weeks and things to come over the next couple. But, after reading Wilson's latest soul-searching, I've decided to step away from the desk work and go for a run. May even take one of the dogs with me. Some things are just too important and Wilson's posting helped remind me of just that. So, you'll likely hear more from me later today. But for now, these things will have to wait. Cheers!

    Friday, February 22, 2008

    March 12th at TJs in Paoli, PA




    As you head into this weekend and make your plans for Philly Beer Week, keep in mind that some of these events will require reservations/tickets. For example, the event that Lew and I are co-hosting with TJs on March 12th requires reservations to be made by March 1st. I know that some of you have already made reservations for this event, and others have said that they will but have not yet. The event is not yet sold out, so if you're planning to go, this weekend could be a good time to make your reservation. This has been a public service announcement...

    Thursday, February 21, 2008

    Savor Good Beer & Food in D.C. - The Pairings

    Pairings for the Savor festival in D.C. have been announced and tickets are on sale. If you haven't attended a beer event that focuses on food pairings, this may be one that you don't want to miss. Plus, the added attractions of the nation's capital should make for a nice weekend.

    Catching Up - Wish Me Luck

    The last week and a half has been quite a whirlwind of activity for me. Starting with the annual guy's hockey weekend in Pittsburgh two weekends ago to the California trip, it's been filled with work, play, and family. Somehow I've managed to pull it all off and not get sick in the process (knock wood?). Now, final prep for Philly Beer Week is upon me and I've got a notebook full of material from my various stops along the way that I've listed below. Eventually, I'll get to sharing them all with you. In the meantime, I promise to have Toronado and Celebrator pictures out to you by this weekend (can't promise captions, though). Oh, I guess I'm going to a Flyers game tonight, so I won't be getting much of this work done tonight. Always tomorrow... Pittsburgh, PA D's Fathead's Smokin' Joes Los Angeles, CA Father's Office Four Points LAX San Franciso Bay Area, CA Barclay's Trumer Where's Bison? Jackson Liquors Bo's BBQ Toronado Magnolia 21st Amendment Celebrator Party BevMo

    Wednesday, February 20, 2008

    More changes pouring in at PHL

    Now, I'm all for a good glass of wine. But, first they take away a Jet Rock location at Philadelphia's International Airport, now the Independence Pub is also gone. I came back into PHL from SFO (at least they have their own Anchor and Gordon Biersch pubs in the terminal) to find the pub boarded over with banging and such taking place behind to create the new Vino Volo. (Though, who can't be pleased to hear that now Philadelphia travelers will have something to pair with "small plates of cheese and cured meats"? Bryan asks with a smirk)

    Say what you will about the occasional dip in quality of beer at these locations, but I'll bet more good was done by serving up quality locally-crafted beverage at these places (especially to out-of-towners) than will a new wine bar. I know that I personally have been responsible for getting travelers to try a Victory Hop Devil (instead of SNPA), a Lancaster Franklinfest (instead of Yuengling Lager), and a Stoudt's APA and Red Hook ESB (instead of Killian's Irish Red). Yards, Flying Fish, and Tröegs also made quite common appearances on PHL tap handles.

    Hmph, just need to console myself with this Eisbock while watching the lunar eclipse tonight, dreaming of better beer days hopefully returning to Philly Int'l.


    Philly Beer Week 2008 - Events Update



    Okay, I can admit when I'm whooped. I'm taking a page out of Jack's book and throwing in the towel. Several of you have passed along appreciation for the spreadsheet version, so I've updated the spreadsheet once more and now I've put it to bed. I count 111 one time events and another 4 events that repeat every day during PBW 2008. If you can't find something good to say about PBW....

    If you'd like to use the spreadsheet, use the Open With Excel option to take it out to Excel where you can format it for printing to your heart's delight. At 52% reduction, it fits nicely to two legal size pages for an overview of what's happening each day...though, perhaps a bit small for some of you farsighted folk...so go for 4 pages instead. Get planning, time's-a-wastin'.

    If you'd rather use the official PBW calendar, go here. Or, for a nice Google Calendar-based format, head over here.

    The Path To Philly Beer Week 2008 - A Profile of Dock Street Brewery




    Though these Profiles that I've been doing have not been paid advertisements, this one may sound more like one than any I've done thusfar. Most likely because Dock Street sits fondly at the beginning of my trek along this life with better beer that I've been enjoying.

    For those younger of you in the audience, that would be the first Dock Street at 18th and Cherry streets just off Logan Circle and behind the Four Seasons hotel. Memories in the early 1990s include experiencing well-crafted and locally-made beers, drinking my first yard of beer, falling in love with "trio fries" (potato, sweet potato, and dried leeks), and hanging out in the billiards room. Speaking of falling in love (there's a topic I haven't gone to here at TBL in the past!), Patty and I spent several hours at Dock Street on one of our first dates during the 30+ inch snowstorm of January 1996, convinced the snow accumulation couldn't be that bad! Just one more beer and game of pool...

    Over the last 10 years, the name has come full circle back to its original owner. Occasionally, a few stray cases of Dock Street beer could still be found on local beer distributor shelves. During the intervening years, it had continued to be contract brewed at FX Matt and Saratoga Springs in New York. Now, the brewery stands in West Philadelphia with restaurant seating that gives all patrons a glimpse into both the kitchen and the brewery. Scott Morrison and company are manning the brew kettles and turning out old favorites like the Amber, Pilsner, and Double Bock in addition to new favorites like the Rye IPA which has generated quite a bit of favorable buzz. And, the pizzas? Surely you've heard about the pizzas that are being dished out of the kitchen. And, oh yeah, the Trio Fries are back!

    While I certainly enjoyed Dock Street for what it was back in the 90s, I believe that their new endeavor reflects even better still what craft brewing is about. For anyone concerned about the location, fear not. Drive in from the east and street parking can usually be found between one and two blocks from the brewery. Or, better yet, from Center City heading west, you can pick up the '34' trolley line for $2 cash one way fare (or $1.45 token) and be deposited directly in front of the brewery doors. Walking? Well, just a few blocks to the east of the brewery and you start to get into college campus life of UPenn and Drexel and lots of street life. Any way you go, you'll thank yourself and wonder why you didn't go sooner and when you'll return again.

    As you ready yourself for Philly Beer Week 2008, study up on some background notes on Dock Street and consider yourself lucky to be part of such a vibrant and rich beer region that PBW 2008 will celebrate.



    Name: Dock Street Brewery
    Location: 701 South 50th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19143
    Phone: 215-726-2337

    People
    Rosemarie Certo; Owner
    Michael Fava (full-time brewer); Scott Morrison (brewer consultant); Ben Potts (apprentice)

    Major Brands
    Bohemian Pilsner; Gold Stock Ale; Illuminator Double Bock; Premium Amber; Rye IPA

    Awards
    Amber Ale
    Bronze (Consumer Preference Poll), GABF 1986
    Monde Selection International Gold Medal, 1992, 1994, 1995

    Cream Ale
    Silver (American-Style Cream Ale or Lager), GABF 1992

    Distribution
    12 oz. bottles of Illuminator Double Bock, Bohemian Pilsner, and Amber Ale available at the brewpub and at beer distributors throughout the metropolitan Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Delaware area

    Production
    Roughly 2,500 bbls/year

    History & Tidbits
  • As a "leading pioneer of the American Microbrewery Revolution," Dock Street was founded in 1985 as a contract beer by Rosemarie and husband Jeffrey Ware
  • The name is a nod to the colonial history of Philadelphia when Dock Street (the street, not the brewery!) served as an entry point into the city from the Delaware Riverfront ports and housed colonial era breweries
  • Will Kemper (aka 1/2 of Thomas Kemper) was the original brewer when the 18th & Cherry brewery and restaurant opened in 1990
  • Company was sold, name and trademarks (but not recipes), in 1998
  • A second location in Washington, D.C. never quite got off the ground in 1996
  • Rosemarie reacquired the name and rights in 2001
  • Late in 2007, the dream came full circle, reincarnating Dock Street as a true neighborhood brewery and restaurant in West Philly
  • Fan favorite, Scott Morrison (aka The Dude), helped open the new brewery as a brewer and consultant


  • Major Yearly Events
  • They're young, stay tuned...bet on community-building grass roots support for art, music, and counter-culture ideas and charitable events


  • Where to Find Dock Street During Philly Beer Week
  • Joe Sixpack's Book Launch will include the Royal Bohemian Dock Street Pilsner, the Dock Street Illuminator Double Bock, and one other surprise beer
  • Will feature their Satellite Organic Espresso Stout at The Brewer's Plate food pairing event
  • On Monday and Wednesday, the brewery will be open for free tours and tastings at 7pm and 8pm
  • On Tuesday the 11th, Dock Street will be hosting a Meet & Greet with Rosemarie, Michael, Ben, and of course The Dude
  • On Wednesday the 12th, their Espresso Porter will be featured along the Brewers Self-Guided Tour at Good Dog bar
  • Rich Wagner will be giving a free lecture about the history of Philadelphia Craft Brewing at the brewery on Thursday the 13th
  • Two of MJ's favorites, the Bohemian Pilsner and the Double Bock, will be included as part of the tribute tasting at UPenn on Friday the 14th
  • Will attend the cask ale festival event at Triumph on the 16th



  • Madison Beer Review - Great Beer from a Great State



    Got a great package from a great beer guy, Jeff Glazer, who does some great writing about the Wisconsin Beer Scene. Follow this link to get a type of mission statement from him and follow this link to see a nice example of what he does to follow the fabulous Wisconsin Beer Scene. Whether it's beer tastings, beer legislation, or brewery information, MadisonBeerReview.com is a great primer to start before visiting Wisconsin.

    I originally thought of introducing you to Jeff's site after I've had a chance to sample his selections that he sent to me. But, my track record of working through beer is not all that great, so consider yourself now in the know. Props forwarded :)

    Tuesday, February 19, 2008

    Toronado Barleywine Festival 2008 - The Results



    Over 50 barleywines available on draft, 3 come out on top. The judges had their say and placed the Lagunitas, Stone, and Firestone Walker in the top three spots, respectively. Even a keg of Nodding Head Hoptimus Prime showed up from Philly.



    By the time we checked into our downtown hotel, took a breather, and found a cab ride to the Haight, the early birds had found their seats and secured tables. We first stopped at Rosamunde next door for some sausage sandwiches to lay the base.

    Placemats were laid in front of those who wanted to tackle all 55 barleywines. Other tricks for getting barleywine bang for the buck (well, you didn't save any money, just time) was to bring your own sixpack holder for carrying the tasting glasses...as demonstrated in the picture by Logan, of Three Sheets "fame."



    There's a whole slew of pictures from this past weekend. I'll get them all up with some more detail and out to you after arriving home. Jay's already got his batch of pictures up for you to check out in the meantime.

    More carousing ensued; check back later for more stories from Toronado, Magnolia, and 21st Amendment on Saturday and the weekend topper on Sunday, the Celebrator 20th Anniversary Party in Oakland.

    Saturday, February 16, 2008

    Toronado Barleywine Festival 2008

    If it's February and I smell fresh cut grass, it must be time for the Toronado Barleywine Festival.

    After hearing about this must-do event for years (figures Jack has some great remembrances about his experiences five years ago and Jay has some nice pictures from a couple of years ago), I finally made it here in a February.

    After a couple of nice beery experiences in the LA area (Father's Office and Four Points Hotel; that's about all the nice things I can say about the LA area today; more on all that later), I made it up to the Bay Area to meet up with Patty and her sister's family for a decadent dinner of barbecue, beer, and the blues at Bo's Barbecue in Lafayette.

    Now, this morning it's time to hop on the BART train and head downtown to our hotel, then the Haight. But, first it's time to listen to the melodic sound of mowers and blowers, breathing in the smell of fresh cut grass while contemplating the weekend over a cup of fresh Peet's coffee.

    Dozens and dozen and dozens of strong beers to come over the next 72 hours. Much more to come....stay tuned!

    Friday, February 15, 2008

    Monk's Beer Dinner 2/12/08 : Lost Abbey



    It probably is prudent to begin with apologies to Jack for whom this should in no way be construed as 'rubbing it in'. The adventure to my first Monk's Dinner of the year 2008, a dinner featuring Tomme Arthur's non-incidental beers of Lost Abbey, was highlighted by one of the smoothest trips ever into Philadelphia. That is, on one of the worst weather days ever for a Monk's Dinner. (I won't bother to retell the weather story...read Jack's comments on the topic and you'll get the idea.) How did this all come to be? Funny you should ask...

    I left my office desk in Exton at 5:23pm. Drove east on business route 30 to the Paoli train station where I met the scheduled 5:50pm Amtrak train. It was 3 minutes late, but I was in the station by 5:40pm, so no worries there. The train sailed into Philly's 30th Street Station with no delays whatsoever. Actually, arrived approximately 2 minutes early. I high-stepped it up to the next arriving Septa regional rail line, which was just shutting its doors behind me as I hopped on (it's a free ride through Center City from 30th Street Station to Market East Station (a somewhat known secret). Disembarking at Suburban Station, thinking better about ascending to Market Street, and instead walking underground all the way to 16th and Locust streets (an even lesser known secret), I managed to stay dry from the elements in the nasty out-of-doors and arrived at Monk's front step at 6:47pm.

    That makes for a trip of approximately 84 minutes from desk to glass-filled hand at Monk's. Oh, the first beer that was thrust into my welcoming hand? A 1999 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. Sorry, I guess now I've rubbed it in.

    On with the show. As reported elsewhere, the dinner and the show was fantastic. Since I'm boppin' my way from southern California to the Bay Area for a weekend of beer ranging from Strong Beer Month, to the Toronado Barleywine Festival, to the Celebrator Beer News 20th Anniversary party and countless other stops in between, I'll need to exercise some brevity in my comments. So, following is a course-by-course listing (not coarse) with random notes (somewhat coarse) for your enjoyment.

    Oh, the only drawback of the evening. Returning to the Paoli train station to find my car encrusted in a 1/4" of thick ice and the parking lot in a sheet of slick ice. The plow guys were kind enough to drag the snow and ice from around the car so that I could get around with falling on my tokus while cleaning off the car. Then, I skated home to get a few hours of sleep before my early morning flight.

    1st Course
    Lost Abbey Red Poppy
    ~~ Skate Wing with brown butter sabayon
  • a flanders oud bruin, aged 1 year in oak
  • Monk's received the only draft version of this beer
  • 130 cases of 375ml bottles produced
  • extremely pleasant and easy drinking sour beer that was a big winner at our table

  • (yes, that really is a picture of the Cable Car, low lighting and all)

    2nd Course
    Lost Abbey Cable Car
    ~~ Cod Fritter & Manchego Cheese Fritter with smoked paprika aioli & romesco sauce
  • 1/2 barrel (roughly 35 cases) produced for Toronado's 20th Anniversary in 2007
  • 20 cases went to Toronado
  • 15 retained by brewery; 2 to this Monk's dinner
  • a bit wilder and funkier than the Red Poppy, paired with the sharpness of the Manchego made this one of my favorite pairings of the evening


  • 3rd Course
    Lost Abbey Gift of the Magi
    ~~ Chicon with Belgian Endive wrapped with Ardennes Ham then napped with a bechamel sauce
  • a smooth and hopped, IPA-ish type delight
  • only beer of the evening not barrel aged, it stuck out, but the only thing that sucked was how quickly we made the glassfuls disappear


  • 4th Course
    Lost Abbey Amazing Grace
    ~~ Scallops with beer jus
  • 90 cases produced; not distributed
  • Basically is a barrel-aged Lost & Found...with raisin puree added
  • aged in sangiovese and cab franc wine barrels


  • 5th Course
    Lost Abbey Veritas
    ~~ Rack of Wild Boar with root vegetable sauce
  • the 003 batch
  • Latin for "truth"
  • part of the "blended beer series"
  • brewery will do 1-2 installments of the series each year; different result each time
  • 003 is a blend of 4 beers; Angel Share, Cuvee, Amazing Grace, and another sour-based beer
  • 70 cases produced


  • 6th Course
    Lost Abbey Angel's Share
    ~~ Sacher Torte
  • styled like an English barleywine aged in brandy barrels
  • produced 150 cases
  • I was in such a rush to leave and catch the train, that all I recall is bittersweet chocolate
  • what a shame to leave a great celebration in such a rush; my apologies to anyone that I blew by on the way out the door



  • footnote: the second release of 10 Commandments is coming in May '08

    Catching up...

    Wow, is there anything that hasn't been said? In a little over 2 days, plus 3 time zone changes, I had well over 100 entries to read through in my Google Reader (that's just the Beer tag alone), plus numerous other Politics, Sports, Fitness, Friends, etc etc. It's truly amazing how the online beer commentary has skyrocketed, even just in the past few months. Here's some interesting nuggets that my eyes ran across as I caught myself up on the happenings and musings of the beer literati (I'd say illiterati, but unfortunately I can't find anyone worthy of that title today). In all that I read, one particular sentence really jumped out at me. It was from the Stan's dependably excellent site. ".....not sure what he would have written about....." Perhaps I'm feeling a bit melancholy tonight, but that statement sent a twinge of sadness through me. Along the way, I also learned of Lew's birthday (great picture, Jay), that someone might actually like Miller Chill (Jeff, let us know if you find anyone who does), if there's anyone who should've taken his dog to this event it's this guy (lol), Mr. Arthur's closing comments on a hot subject (man, I wish I could've stuck around for the Monk's "after party" earlier this week), and that someone seems to like Garrett's book more than I do (it's in my carry-on luggage this week).

    Thursday, February 14, 2008

    The Path To Philly Beer Week 2008 - A Profile of Nodding Head Brewery



    Nodding Head is Center City's most fun brewpub...we all nod in agreement and wish that there were more. Thing is, there's a lot of nodding going on in the Sansom Street (or is it Sampson???) brewhouse. As you reach the top of the long flight of stairs leading up from street level, you're greeted with a tall glass case full of row after row of bobbleheads. They wobble slightly, hundreds of them, as if to acknowledge your arrival.

    Over at the bar, while sipping down some of Gordon's fine brews, you're watched over there as well, including the almighty J.C. himself. One of Curt's favorite bobblehead stories to recount involves the beloved 2001 Philadelphia 76ers improbable almost-championship season. During the finals, the brewpub auctioned off (for charity) the chance for a lucky patron to smash the Kobe Bryant bobblehead with a brewer's paddle. The remains are still on display at the bar.

    Always fun to have good stories like that to surround good beer. So, what about the beer? Read below for the bevy of precious metal that they've taken home over the years for the beer ranging from lighter to heavier in both body and flavor. Then there's the highly-sought after berlinerweisse of which they sold approximately 50 barrels last year, purportedly the most of the style outside of Berlin.

    As you ready yourself for Philly Beer Week 2008, study up on some background notes on Nodding Head and consider yourself lucky to be part of such a vibrant and rich beer region that PBW 2008 will celebrate.





    Name: Nodding Head Brewery and Restaurant
    Location: 1516 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
    Phone: 215-569-9525



    People

    Curt Decker and Barbara Thomas; Owners

    Gordon Grubb; Head Brewer



    Major Brands
    60 Schilling; 700 Level; All Night Ale; BPA; Grog; Ich Bin Ein Berlinerweisse; IPA; Monkey Knife Fight



    Awards


    60 Schilling

    Silver (Scottish-Style Ale), GABF 2003


    Bill Payer

    Bronze (American-Style Pale Ale), WBC 2006


    BoHo Pilsner

    Bronze (Bohemian-Style Pilsener), GABF 2002


    George's Fault

    Gold (Specialty Honey Lager or Ale), GABF 2005


    Grog

    Gold (English-Style Brown Ale), GABF 2002

    Silver (British-Style Dark Ale), Chicago Real Ale Festival 2003


    Ich Bin Ein Berlinerweisse

    Silver (German-Style Wheat Ale), GABF 2003, GABF 2004

    Bronze (German-Style Wheat Ale), GABF 2005, WBC 2006


    Philadelphia Magazine

    Best Brew Pub 2000-2001; 2003-2004

    Best Golden Ale 2001



    Distribution
    Draft only at the brewpub



    Production
    Roughly 700 bbls/year



    History & Tidbits

  • Sam Adams Brewpub began the brewing history (extract brewing) in the space that Nodding Head is currently

  • Sam Adams was one of the first new breweries/brewpubs to be opened in Philadelphia since Prohibition

  • One of the city's long time sort of well-kept dining secrets is downstairs from Nodding Head in the form of Sansom Street Oyster House (owner David Mink was Sam Adams proprietor)

  • Nodding Head converted the space to an all-grain brewery and opened in 2000

  • More Berlinerweisse is produced here than anywhere else outside of Berlin, Germany




  • Major Yearly Events

  • Royal Stumble (July)




  • Where to Find Nodding Head During Philly Beer Week

  • George's Fault to be featured as one of Joe Sixpack's Favorite Beers on 3/7

  • Belgian brewer, Hildegard van Ostaden from Urthel, will be collaborating with the Nodding Head crew and Tom Peters on a special brew

  • Paired with Bar Ferdinand at The Brewers Plate, Nodding Head will be showing off their All Night Ale

  • Will be hosting a Meet the Brewer on Tuesday the 11th with highly decorated David Buhler of Elysian (Seattle, WA) and sister, Sebbie Buhler, from Rogue

  • The Bill Payer will be featured during the Brewers Self-Guided Tour on Wednesday the 12th

  • Will play host to brewers from Dogfish Head, Avery, Victory, and Yards on Friday the 14th for a Brewers' Happy Hour

  • Will be contributing "special brew" to the Michael Jackson events on the 14th and 15th




  • Tuesday, February 12, 2008

    The Path To Philly Beer Week 2008 - A Profile of Philadelphia Brewing Company



    In the past ten years, we’ve gained a Philadelphia University, now our fine city has a Philadelphia Brewing Company. And what better location for it then the building that housed the Weisbrod and Hess Brewery over 100 years ago and more recently the Yards Brewing Company. History runs deep here and you can see it in the brewery and feel it in the beers.

    After a split in the Yards Brewing Company ownership and management in 2007, Bill & Nancy Barton (with partner Jim McBride) retained the building and equipment to start up the new, and completely separate, Philadelphia Brewing Company in 2008. (Yards, and Tom Kehoe, has moved a couple of miles away toward the Delaware River.) Checking out brewer John Rehm’s blog shows that a heckuva lot of progress has been made in spiffing up the old brewery.

    In the meantime, some test batches have been fine tuned and formulated at the Porterhouse Pub further up-river (the Delaware, that is) in Lahaska, PA. The latest news is that the brewing has finally begun on-site in Kensington. All looks promising to finding PBC on tap at your local pubs and distributors (that’s Pennsylvania-speak, by the way) by early spring.


    As you ready yourself for Philly Beer Week 2008, study up on some background notes on Philadelphia Brewing and consider yourself lucky to be part of such a vibrant and rich beer region that PBW 2008 will celebrate.



    Name: Philadelphia Brewing Company
    Location: 2439 Amber St, Philadelphia, PA 19125
    Phone: 215-427-BREW

    People
    Bill & Nancy Barton and Jim McBride; Owners
    Josh Ervine & John Rehm (Brewers); Dean Browne (Fermentation); Chris Morris (Sales)

    Major Brands
    Kenzinger (Golden Kölsch-style Session Ale; ~4.5% ABV); Newbold IPA (American IPA; ~6.5% ABV); Rowhouse Red ("Philadelphia Rowhouse" style Ale w/rye; ~5.0% ABV); Walt Wit (Belgian-style White; ~5.0% ABV)

    Awards
    John Rehm (while at John Harvard's in Wayne, PA)
    Devon Altbier - Gold, GABF 2005

    Distribution
    12 ounce bottles expect to start rolling out of the brewery to be available at local beer distributors in late March/early April; will initially only serve the Philadelphia metropolitan market, moving into southern New Jersey in early summer

    Production
    Anticipated 10,000 bbls/year

    History & Tidbits
  • History of the original brewhouse building goes back to 1891
  • The current brewery building was built in 1912
  • Originally built as and named the Weisbrod & Hess Bottling Department & Stables

  • Major Yearly Events
  • Weekly Saturday Tours and Tastings starting in mid-March
  • Occasional Rich Wagner presentations on the history of brewing in Philadelphia; first one on March 22nd - "History of Philadelphia Brewing Co.-Then and Now"
  • Buy Fresh, Buy Local Kickoff Party (July)
  • Annual Holiday Open House (December)


  • Where to Find PBC During Philly Beer Week
  • Rowhouse Red will be a featured favorite of Joe Sixpack's on the 7th
  • At the Brewer's Plate on the 9th, Rowhouse Red will be paired with Buckwheat Pretzels and Rowhouse Red-cured ham & pickled egg salad from Southwark
  • The standard 4 beers listed above to be available during Beer Quizzo at Khyber Pass on Monday the 10th
  • Pub on Passyunk East hosts PBC and their 4 new brews on the 11th
  • Meet & Greet with the brewers (Rehm & Ervine with Browne & Morris) at Standard Tap on the 13th; Aspen Street Tavern will also be pouring their beers



  • "Valentine's Day & Beer" or "Be a Sweetie, Buy a Bitter" or "I Heart Beer"

    This should in no way be construed as paid advertising. After the wildly (surprisingly?) popular list of New Year's Eve & Beer events that I published back in December, I figured you might like to see what's going on at beer destinations on everyone's favorite Hallmark Day. I'll add to this as I come across new listings over the next week. If you know of any that I'm missing, drop me a note. By the way, my favorite is "Be a Sweetie, Buy a Bitter".

    Updated: (2/9) Allentown Brew Works; Bube's Brewery; Dogfish Head Gaithersburg; High Street Grill; White Dog Cafe; Zot (2/8) Penn Brewery (2/7) Church Brew Works AleSmith FRIDAY SPECIAL RELEASE PARTY AT ALESMITH The next AleSmith Friday Special Release Party is planned for February 15th, when we will be featuring AleSmith's My Bloody Valentine Ale. You will be able to taste two different versions, one on draft and one from the cask. The cask version will be served from an authentic English Beer Engine, the traditional method of serving Real Ale from the cask. The party hours are 3:00pm-6:00pm. We'll have snacks, cheeses, crackers, and other goodies to put you in the Valentine's Day mood. There will be beer specials, and you'll have the opportunity to try many of the other AleSmith premium ales as well. Plan to visit the brewery on Friday, February 15th and we'll see you here for some afternoon beer love! AleSmith is located at 9368 Cabot Drive, off of Miramar Road.
    Allentown Brew Works Valentine's Day Menu Make reservations at 610-433-7777
    Bube's Brewery Valentine's Weekend Take your Valentine to a romantic restaurant! The candlelit underground chambers of the Catacombs will host our special Valentine's Dinner Thurs. 2/14 through Sat. 2/16. The Victorian dining rooms of the Alois Restaurant will host the special menu Thurs. 2/14 and Fri 2/15. We will have a rose for each couple and love potion to take home. If you wish to dine in Alois for the gourmet 6 course dinner, please reserve before or after these dates.
    Cambridge Brewing Co. February 14: Valentines Day dinner at Cambridge Brewing Co. - Cambridge Brewing Co. Chef Brian Roskow’s Valentine’s Day dinner will include a three-course menu plus Espresso Stout (6.0%), Chocolate Chili Porter (6.0%), Raspberry Stout (6.5%) and L’Amour du Jour (5.5%). If those won’t make your date look good, nothing will. For more information call 617-494-1994
    Church Brew Works Executive Chef Jason Marrone is proud to feature a 3 course prix-fixe menu this evening! Enjoy your choice of appetizer, soup or salad and entree from the Gold Menu for $45 per person or from the Silver Menu for $35 per person (prix-fixe pricing is exlusive of tax and gratuity)! Menu is also available ala carte!
    Cosimo Savory Specials Jumbo Lump Crab Cake with Citrus Cucumber Salsa and Avocado Cream — $12 Maine Lobster served with a Truffle and Chive Whipped Potato and Champagne Butter Sauce — $40 Sweets for Your Sweetie Pastry chef Andrea Schwob has concocted lots of playful endings on the dessert menu like Adult Milk and Cookies with heavenly bites of Dulce de Leche, My Oreo, Cinnamon Sugar, Peanut Butter Crunch and a Kahlua Vanilla Milk Shake. She has added a special finish for Valentine's Day with a Strawberry and Chocolate Sampler — $7 Call 610-647-1233 to make a reservation or make one online Be Happy Hours Relax at the end of the day at the finest wine bar in the area. Weekdays — 4:30-6:30 PM * $5 Select Reds & Whites * $5 Select Martinis * $3 Drafts and Domestic Bottles * 1/2 price Bar Menu (includes cheese and charcuterie)
    Dogfish Head (Gaithersburg) Dinner for two for $45; all day
    Duclaw Brewing Co. This Valentine's Day, treat your sweetie to our special three-course meal: Butternut Squash Tortellini Butternut squash filled tortellini tossed with sun-dried tomatoes, sage and asiago cheese in a nutty brown butter sauce. Grilled Tenderloin Medallions with Shrimp in a Brandied Green Peppercorn Sauce Two char-grilled filet medallions on a bed of toasted Parisian garlic croutons. Topped with shrimp sautéed in onions and spices and covered in a brandied green peppercorn cream sauce. Served with citrus glazed grilled asparagus and gorgonzola potatoes au gratin. Black & Tan This cozy combination of cakes finds a White Chocolate Toffee Blondie paired with Rich Chocolate Molten Cake served warm with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream and a Sprig of fresh mint. Available Valentine's Day only. Reserved seating is not necessary, but encouraged. Specials start at 2pm.
    Fork Valentine's Day Menu 2008 Amuse Bouche Shrimp Fritter w/ginger-lemongrass remoulade First Course ~Oyster Chowder w/apple wood smoked bacon, garlic croutons ~Baby Arugula Salad w/frisée, endive, pomegranate seeds, shaved fennel, goat cheese, passion fruit vinaigrette ~Roasted Beet Salad w/herb sake-poached bosc pear, gorgonzola dolce, snow pea shoots, mango vinaigrette ~Truffled Foie Gras Terrine w/blood orange confit, raisin-walnut toast points, grainy mustard, cornichons ~Beef Carpachio w/coconut lime vinaigrette, pistachios ~Grilled 1/2 Maine Lobster w/green papaya, thai basil, mint, culandro vinaigrette ($5 supplemental) ~1/2 dozen Oyster on the Half Shell w/champagne mignonette Second Course ~Seared Halibut w/leek-pistachio crust, braised baby artichokes, fennel, lemon thyme ~Crispy Whole Red Snapper w/fennel-mustard seed dust, garlic black bean sauce, soy bean sprouts, asian chives ~1/2 Honey-roasted Duck Two Ways w/five spice, sticky rice, peanuts, baby bok choy ~Seared Filet Mignon w/shiitake-caramelized onion stuffing, wild mushroom-red wine reduction, purple potatoes, asparagus ~Grilled Veal Chop w/lemon grass-molasses glaze, boniato frites, snap peas ~Risotto w/porcini, chanterelles, spinach, fennel, truffle oil Desserts ~Pair of Flans w/passion fruit, kiwi, mint syrup ~Warm Chocolate Financier w/raspberry sauce ~Trio of Hand Rolled Chocolate Truffles w/chocolate dipped strawberry
    General Lafayette Inn & Brewery Join us for Valentine’s Day @ General Lafayette Inn & Brewery We will be serving a Special Three-Course Menu created by Chef Phil Falcone Pricing a la carte.
    General Sutter Inn Toast Your Valentine A Free Glass of Champagne with Any Entree - Compliments of the General Our executive chef, Jim Carr, has created a number of deliciously romantic dinner specials that will be available from Tues., Feb 12th until Sun., Feb 17th. Bring your Valentine and enjoy a Free Glass of Champagne with Any Entree. Call 717-626-2115 for reservations
    Grey Lodge Pub Love is in the Air, and in the Goblet. Continuing a now long time Valentines Day tradition, we will tap a barrel of Flying Fish Love Fish. Every February Cupid, I mean Casey, adds fresh cherries to Flying Fish's Abbey Dubbel, adding yet another layer of complexity to this already full flavored beer. This is a rare one, only 12 for Pennsylvania this year. We will also have Valentines Day dinner specials, including a chocolate dessert that will make your heart skip a beat. 4pm tapping.
    High Street Grill Valentine's Day Specials; Call 265-9199 for reservations
    London Grill Chef’s Tasting 5 Courses $50 (some items may change) First Course ~Chef’s Amuse Second Course ~Charcuterie Tasting Third Course ~Shrimp Bisque, caviar ~Oysters ‘Casanova’, passionfruit gelee ~Menage a Foie, foie gras threesome ~Roasted Beets, goat cheese parfait ~Crispy Fennel Dusted Sweetbreads, maple-bacon-red wine shallot confit Fourth Course ~Pan Seared Tuna, butter poached lobster, Adam’s ‘Shortrib’ ~Roasted “Two Quails”, lobster mashed potatoes, braised red cabbage, pomegranate jus ~Veal Chop Milanese, potato risotto, tomato confit, red pepper rouille ~Grilled “Adam’s Rib” Sirloin, artichoke heart and mushroom sauté, potato gratin, tomato hollandaise Fifth Course ~ Happy Ending Dessert
    Manayunk Brewery 5th Annual Mile of Meet Thursday, February 14 Registration begins at 5:30pm Ladies...Gentlemen...Looking to meet that special someone this Valentine's Day? 95.7 BEN FM will have a mile's worth of eligible bachelors for you to peruse through along Main Street in Manayunk. Don't let the cold weather get in your way from coming out and meeting someone new! Now in its 5th year, Mile of Meet brings out hundreds of singles looking to meet Mr. or Ms. Right - or at least have fun trying! Tons of dateless bachelors line up and ladies walk up and down the line checking out the guys. No cover. For more information call 215.482.8220.
    Max Lager's Valentine's Weekend - February 14-16th ~ Max Lager's Hosted Brewery Dinner with Artisan Wine Option. Reserve the date for a memorable (and educational) meal and evening. Call for reservations, seating is limited.
    Penn Brewery Valentine's Day Gourmet Beer Dinner 7:00 p.m. Whether you celebrate with a group of friends or that special someone, Penn Brewery offers the perfect relationship between gourmet food and beer with a six-course experience that you are guaranteed to love. $62.50 includes taxes & gratuity. Make your reservations through our online store at www.pennbrew.com. For more information, call 412-237-9400 x105. Reservation must be made by Saturday, February 9th.
    Redbones BBQ February 14: Valentine's Dinner at Redbones in Somerville - Bring your special someone to Redbones on February 14th for a little light-hearted beer banter with a couple of duos who are sure to tap your brew love. Speakers: Tomme Arthur, brewer at California's Lost Abbey and Port Brewing, and Kris Butler, President of Boston Wort Processors along with Will Meyers, head brewer at Cambridge Brewing, and fellow brewer Megan Parisi. Dine on the classic aphrodisiac, oysters on the half shell, followed by a Redbones buffet and a decadent chocolate dessert, all paired with beers from Lost Abbey and Cambridge Brewing. RSVP to 617-628-2200
    Southampton Publick House Bring Your Sweetie to SPH for Valentine's Day Chef Carl has once again put together a special menu for Valentine's Day. A 3-course price fix menu is available for $30 per person (+18% and NYS sales tax) from 5pm-10pm. Our regular menu will also be available. Reservations are suggested. We will also be offering Wolffer Estate Reserve Chardonnay for $20.
    Stewart's Brewing Co. "Famous Couples in History" Valentine's Day Party!!!! Did you miss Halloween? Do you just like dressing up? Do you think you and your sweetheart look just like a famous couple? Do you and your sweetheart have an affinity for some famous couple even though you look nothing like them? Do you want to mock a famous couple? Come to Stewart's on Valentine's Day dressed as a famous couple from today or anytime in history. 1st Prize: Dinner for two on us 2nd Prize: $25 Gift Card 3rd Prize: $10 Gift Card We'll also have cool food and beer and the musical stylings of Todd Chappelle!
    Stone Brewing Co. 6-10PM When it comes to hops, indulgence and passion we at Stone are no shrinking violets. In medieval times, however, many a concerned citizen expressed grave reservations about the use of hops in beer. One brewer of note, Saint Hildegard of Bingen, worried that hopped beer would inflame the passions, driving imbibers to various acts of carnal indulgence and debauchery. This Valentine’s Day we invite you to prove her right! To further enhance the romance, Chef has cooked up an evening of fare that will stimulate your appetites and arouse the senses. Accompanied by our passionately brewed, admittedly indulgent ales, this is a menu that will make your heart throb. And for those whose love extends to our creaturely friends, vegetarian options will be readily available. 1st Course-First tickles and nibbles Truffle Stuffed Mushrooms Mushrooms Stuffed with Sautéed Mushrooms and Truffles 2nd Course-Heating Up Consomme El Dorado Just like Onion Soup…but different 3rd Course-Amorous Games Oysters on the Half-Shell Half Dozen Oysters from Carlsbad Aqua Farms Served with a Sweet cucumber relish 4th Course-Kama-Sutra Alpine Osso Buco Slowly Braised beef over a Quinoa Risotto 5th Course-The Happy Ending Saffron infused Apples with Crème Chantilly Seating is limited (after all, we want to keep the intimacy between you and your sweetheart) so be sure to make your reservations now. $79 per couple. You may do so by buying tickets at the Bistro or by purchasing tickets online through Brown Paper Tickets
    Triumph Brewery Valentine's Day Enjoy Triumph's regular a la carte dinner menu with plenty of valentine's specials. Ladies receive a complimentary long stem rose. Now excepting reservations.
    White Dog Cafe Experience a romantic and organic three course dinner this Valentine’s Day, prepared by White Dog Executive Chef, Andrew Brown. Pre Fixed Three Course Dinner, $65/person plus tax & gratuity, Reservations are highly recommended. Call 215-386-9224.
    Willimantic Brewing Co. February 14: Willimantic Brewing Co. celebrates Valentine's Day - Return to this great brewpub for its annual Couples Special. This special menu will offer each couple the choice of two house beers, wines or cocktails, two salads, two entrées from the special menu and a dessert to share. Take that special someone out for a romantic Willimantic dinner. For more info call 860 423-6777
    ZoT Restaurant Special Valentine's Day Menu

    Monday, February 11, 2008

    Philly Beer Week: A Truly Charitable Event

    In all of the talk lately about festivals, beer, and charity, I thought I'd bring attention back to one of Philadephia's truly charitable beer events. The involvement of White Dog Community Enterprises tells us exactly what we need to know about the charitable endeavors of this program. Check out some of the publicity video linked over at YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaERmKNRdcU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWJgazB17fQ&feature=related

    Friday, February 08, 2008

    Philly Beer Week: March 12th at TJs in Paoli, PA

    Did you hear about a little PBW event that has my name tied to it? Everyone seems to be talking about it except for me. Dunno why. Lew, Jeff, and I had a flurry of conversation about putting an event together; then the details were settled. What next? Well, let's see...Lew put up a spot on his site to mention it; Jeff posted it on TJ's and Beer Advocate's websites; and, I did what? Weird, eh? Anyways, I've been all over the place of late but finally got my act together and have something to say about the evening of March 12th. I'm very excited about it; enough to give up my reservations at a Monk's dinner with Stephen Beaumont on that evening to do this event at TJs. First, it's all of about 4 1/2 minutes from my house (if all lights are green) and it'll be a chance to show off an (almost) embarrassment of beer riches in Philly's western suburbs. When the PBW concept was first announced last year, I first envisioned (and I think a few others did as well) the 10-day event spanning from Dogfish/Stewart's/Iron Hill of Delaware to Flying Fish/Triumph/Tun Tavern in New Jersey to Weyerbacher/Bethlehem & Allentown Brew Works of the Lehigh Valley to Appalachian/Tröegs/Lancaster of the state's Bible Belt and all centered around the crown jewel of Philadelphia. Ambitious, yes...but worthy of demonstrating Philly Beer Week. Well, of course, it all got sucked back to the core of its being: Philadelphia. But, I started to wonder why, oh why, did it seem to become exclusively Philadelphia. As events were being called out, they were virtually, if not all, located within the city proper. Even quality stops just stones throws from the city limits were not hosting events. That just didn't seem right, either. Now we're seeing some events pop up at some higher quality venues outside of the city. That's where Lew, TJ, and I come in on March 12th. It also fits the wallets of those not looking to drop the better part of a c-note on an event. That was another thing that was starting to eat at me; the lack of lower-priced events. That's now taking care of itself too, with many events less than $35 even free/pay as you go. On the 12th, what we hope to accomplish is an event at a high quality suburban establishment showcasing some of the best of what the Delaware Valley craft brewing scene has to offer. And if you haven't sampled some of the innovative beer-inspired cuisine coming out of Jeff's kitchen, we think that you'll be pleased at what this night has to offer. Here's the detailed listing from Philly Beer Week's calendar (and hanging in the TJ's restrooms). Philly-Area Beer: Yeah, We've Got That TJ's Everyday 35 Paoli Plaza, Paoli, PA 6:30 p.m. $25 six-course tasting menu, beers extra. Join nationally-known beer writer Lew Bryson and local beer scene guru Bryan Kolesar of BrewLounge.com, at one of the hottest new beer bars in the area for a wild waltz through the full breadth of beer produced by local brewers. Bryson and Kolesar will lead you through the local harvest with details, suggestions, and brewery stories, while TJ's kitchen supports it all with a grand presentation of cuisine a la biere. Tickets go on sale February 6; please reserve by March 1.