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Wednesday, March 04, 2009
PBW 2009: You asked what I'm doing?
What am I doing during Philly Beer Week? Many of you have asked, which sorta scares me. So, if this helps, below is a listing of more than I could possibly do, but of which I would advocate. This year, the percentage of high quality events makes it more difficult than last year to decide what to do. So difficult, in fact, that events are being cancelled...I know, since I've updated the Excel spreadsheet calendar of events. Of around 600+ events, I narrowed down to 90 events that in a world of money plentiful (and responsibilities none) I would be happy to take part in. Then narrowed down to 35 events that are even remotely possible, based on timing/logisitics. In all likelihood, number will again, like last year, be somewhere around 20-25. While there's no way I could do each of these events every day, here is the list of places where you might find me at any given point during Beer Week. I decided that with so many events this year, that I would forgo any of the high-priced sitdown beer dinners. Tempting as dinner with the Brett Pack or Fritz Maytag or Stephen Beaumont or....would be, if I were only doing an event or two, then I might plunk down the c-note for a dinner. But, with many other events to choose from, I'm allocating my beer dollars around some of the following. The ticketed events that I have are The Opening Tap, The Brewers Plate, and Zythos America. Must-dos include Smoke 'Em, the Kehoe/Kirk Throwdown, the Center City Pub Crawl, Kaiser Klash, and the Dock Street Run (duh). Throw in a bunch of tastings, meetups, and oddball events and I've got myself a full Philly (Imperial) Beer Week. FRIDAY 6th 2pm; Doobies, Save a Kitty >> sure, why not? It's Flying Fish, it's a benefit, and I've never been to Doobies 3pm; Kickoff at Grey Lodge >> cuz any reason's a good reason to say hi to Scoats, and bless the Hammer of Glory before it leaves for the Comcast Center, and drink beer from a can, and ride the El to Center City 4pm; Standard Ale at Standard Tap >> repeat of last year's "official" Beer Week kickoff; this year, though, it comes as something like the 20th event on Friday's schedule; still need to stop by to see Brian, William, and other for a proper kickoff at a Philadelphia landmark 5pm; New Holland/Arcadia at Sidecar >> Dr. Joel & Mr. Suprise. Nuff said. 7pm; Opening Tap at Comcast Center >> Tongue-in-cheek awards and all the glitterati that a skyscraper can shake a mash paddle at 7pm; Bell's at Bishop's Collar >> Larry Bell will entertain everyone else and maybe we'll make it over there after the Opening Tap 9:30pm; Bell's at St. Stephan's Green >> Or catch them at the former Cuvee Notredame instead 10pm; New Glarus at SPTR >> Would it be prudent to stop at SPTR for late night antics when I have my Dock Street to Dock Street Run to conduct the next morning? Hmmm..... SATURDAY 7th 10am; Dock Street Run >> Me and, like, 75 of my closest beer buddies who also like to run meet in Old City at Dock Street (as in, the street) and running to Dock Street (as in, the brewpub) 5pm; Ommegang at Sidecar >> It's catch up with Ommegang at the Sidecar on Saturday or at TJs on Tuesday....gametime decision 5pm; Bruery and St. Somewhere at Institute >> Never been to the Institute and never had beer from The Bruery (Orange County, CA)...seems like a no-brainer to me; maybe take in a little Wii action as well 6pm; King Pin at Standard Tap >> Have double the fun with half a firkin at Standard Tap; gosh I love that place 7pm; Good Dog with Yards >> No playing dead at Good Dog; firkin fun makes sense too 9pm; Bridgid's with Yards >> Bridgid's; please people! Don't forget about Bridgid's during Philly Beer Week. One of the city's standard-bearers. 11pm; P.O.P.E. with New Holland Burlesque >> Now with a 16 mile run scheduled for Sunday, does this make sense? Jury's still out, but damn does this sound like the ol' days at The Trocadero? Dr. Joel will sure try hard to make it so SUNDAY 8th 9am; Brunch at Marathon >> If I bag my 16 mile run, brunch at Marathon Grill could be in order (did I say we've got a hotel room for Saturday night?), they have a nice little lineup of beers perfect for brunch 10:30am; Capone's and The Bruery >> But, if we bag the hotel room and find ourselves back out in the 'burbs, it's off to Capone's we go for a little liquid brunch; but if I've already been to the Institute, then this might go by the wayside as well. 3pm; Vintage Beer Brunch >> Brunch at Memphis; only thing better would be to be in Tennessee; though, with The Brewer's Plate at 4pm in University City, this doesn't seem likely for me...though, doesn't mean you shouldn't go and represent 4pm; Brewer's Plate >> One of Philly's best annual beer and food related events. Period. No arguments, please. 4pm; Bridgid's and Ballast Point >> Caught some great beer from Ballast Point that I'd never had before during San Francisco Beer Week and hope to find some of it again during PBW. 4pm; Belgian Café and 12% Imports >> Got to see what these importers are up to. Just down the road from Bridgid's, this makes plenty of sense 6:30pm; Stephen Beaumont Dinner at Monk's >> Tough call, but sticking to my guns and not doing any formal dinners this year 7:30pm; Devil's Den and Arcadia >> Hard to believe that I still haven't been to Devil's Den. If I don't see Arcadia and Tim Suprise on Friday, I'll get to see the bar and the brewery on Sunday night. Or maybe we'll just head home after The Brewer's Plate; depends on our fatigue factor at this point. MONDAY 9th 3pm; Run with brewers at Bishop's Collar >> This seems priceless. Rock star brewers chasing Tom Kehoe's scooter around Fairmount? Gotta be there for this and the post-run beers. 5pm; Uno/Exton and Sly Fox >> If for some reason, I don't get downtown for the beer run, I may choose to make Monday night a suburban night, seeing what Uno tells their staff in the pre-shift meeting about PBW 5pm; Gullifty's and Dock Street >> Would include this in a suburban night as well 6pm; Session beer at Tiedhouse >> As long as I'm downtown and can find a place to clear off the stink, I'd like to stop by and see Lew Bryson's ongoing Session Project at the tiedhouse 7pm; TJs and Ommegang >> No matter if I call it a city night or suburban night, the train is definitely stopping in Paoli at TJs at some point during the night. Phil Leinhart will be repping Ommegang and I'm betting for a great night at TJs 7pm; TND and Rodenbach >> And, if I'm on the train, it might as well include a jump off in Wayne to take in some Rodenbach (Palm, too?) at Teresa's Next Door TUESDAY 10th 5pm; Bill Covaleski at Four Seasons >> Tuesday could be an all-together night off. But, assuming that's not the case, I may do a whirlwind tour through the City. First stop: see how the swanky Four Seasons accommodates Philly Beer Week and a visit from Victory's Bill Covaleski. 6pm; Stoudt's at McGillin's >> Carol Stoudt will be hanging out at McGillin's and that's a very good thing, especially considering that they brew a house beer for McGillin's 6pm; Local 44 meet the brewers >> Getting to Local 44 at least once during the Imperial Beer Week is on my list. Could be on Tuesday. 6pm; Nodding Head & Stewart's >> To go and see the brewer who never believes me when I say that I'm coming to Delaware. 6pm; Sly Fox/Lagunitas Cheesesteak at POPE >> I don't give up anything for Lent, so noshing on Cheesesteaks in a bi-coastal battle with Suzie and Trevor is as good as done. 6pm; Troegs Mouflan at SPTR >> At some point during PBW, we will probably tire of seeing Nick Johnson around town, hopefully Meg will show up once and a while 6:30pm; Rodenbach at London Grill >> May not be a need for me to check in on Rodenbach if I've already has at Teresa's, but London has a special place in my heart as a former "neighbor" when I lived in Fairmount 7pm; Brother Paul's, Anchor, Andy Musser >> Andy Musser is a great guy and a great ambassador for his friend's, Fritz Maytag, Anchor Brewery. Plus, I keep hearing of Brother Paul's and figure I should check it out. 7pm; Iron Hill at Good Dog >> Iron Hill will pop up here and there during PBW. Why do I get a feeling that I'll be at Good Dog numerous times? 9pm; Smuttynose at Sidecar >> Sidecar's becoming a nice little neighborhood gem in a once-forgotten nook of town. Smuttynose? Well, that just adds to the reasons. WEDNESDAY 11th 3pm; Brett Pack Cocktail Party at Nodding Head >> Do you know anyone with seats at Monk's Brett Pack Dinner. Nah, neither do I. But for a mere $85, you can comfortably and casually mingle with the "rock stars" (sans Vinnie?) of edgy brewing. 5pm; PAWS event at either St. Stephen's Green or Bishop's Collar >> Another charity, volunteer dogwalkers, and another reason to drink great beer 5pm; Voodoo Happy Hour at Khyber >> I'm so inexperienced with Voodoo's beer, and I'm embarrassed for that. I should change that at the getting-to-be-venerable Khyber 5pm; Urthel at Tria >> Tria is solidifying itself as a landmark beer destination in Center City. Tossing back a few Urthels seems like the right thing to do. Plus it would be along the walk from The Khyber in Old City to the Center City Pub Crawl. 6pm; Center City Pub Crawl (end at
>> One of the most fun things I did last year. Hence, we shall do it again.
6pm; WildDevil at TND
>> Haven't had this since Victory re-opened last year; can't get to Teresa's on Wednesday, but will hope to find WildDevil again during Beer Week
6pm; Big Beers of Triumph
>> Big Beers isn't always the first thing you think of when thinking of Triumph, but when they make 'em, they make 'em well.
7pm; Weyerbacher at Devil's Den
>> I keep putting Devil's Den on the calendar, figuring that will prompt me to finally get to the former Felicia's
7pm; Victory dinner at Fork
>> If I were to do a dinner, checking out Terence Feury's new work at Fork with beer would be a very tempting one
8pm; Sprecher at Black Sheep
>> Sprecher. Black Bavarian. Still one of my go-to session beers (and one of my fave new finds of 2008). They do some other good beers too, go figure.
8pm; Jose Pistola's with Stone
>> Hm, Jose's is on the pub crawl agenda; but then they have a little Stone thing going on later, with Lee Marren. Let's see if I can get the two of these things to intersect.
4pm; Inedit tasting at Amada
>> Would I pay $32 dollars for a bottle of this Spanish wit-like beer at Amada? Absolutely not. But, go for a tasting at this Old City Spanish gem. Sure thing.
4pm; Sierra Nevada at Field House
>> The Field House took the place of the former Independence Brewpub and is hosting a couple of decent looking events during PBW; here's one I might try and check out
4:30pm; Chimay/Bobo at Tir Na Nog
>> Nice thing about Tir Na Nog is its location above Suburban Station. Another nice thing is the appearance of Bobo and Chimay
5pm; Meet Fritz Maytag
>> Another Meet 'n' Greet at The Four Seasons before a sit-down beer dinner. Fritz didn't do any public events during San Francisco Beer Week. We've got him for a Meet 'n' Greet and a pairing dinner. Nice.
6pm; Klash of the Kaisers; Triumph
>> Triumph hosts a bunch of breweries and their submitted Pilsners. Judging and plenty of fun, as well as a Tribute Beer for Jay Misson. Must do.
6:30pm; Fritz Maytag dinner at Four Seasons
>> This would be another dinner that I would do if I was doing beer dinners during PBW. But, since I'm not, I expect a report back from someone who does.
7pm; New Holland dinner at Jose Pistola's
>> Jose's kitchen cranks out some very decent food and New Holland does the same with beer. Two great tastes that should probably taste great together.
7pm; Collaborations at Monk's
>> Collaboration beers. They are getting more common than ever. Monk's celebrates them at a PAYG event.
7pm; Ithaca/Sunny in Philly at POPE
>> One of my favorite, and very irreverant, shows on TV. Ithaca, one of my favorite breweries from upstate New York. P.O.P.E., one of south Philly's better beer bars in a growing field of competition.
9pm; Ithaca at Good Dog
>> If I don't feel like heading too far into South Philly, I can always catch Ithaca at, wait for it, Good Dog.
10pm; Elysian/Buhler at Monk's
>> Buhler and Buhler together again at Monk's; fun times guaranteed
9am; Friday the Firkinteenth
>> A crazy fun event. Typically crowded, yes. During Philly Beer Week, expect record crowds. I may avoid this one, except that Yards is running free shuttles from its breweries. I'll make it another gametime decision.
11am; Smoke em event at Yards
>> No gametime decision here. This is an absolute must for me. Smoked beers accompanied by food, cigars, bacon in various forms, at one of Philly's finest breweries. This is an all-day event, I'm pretty certain that I heard somewhere that it's a come and go type of event. So, I may walk through the brewery doors two or three times during the day.
4pm; Fergal Murray and Guinness at Plough and Stars
>> Then, I'll head up to Plough and Stars and catch Fergal and his Guinness at The Plough and Stars...brilliant! (sorry, couldn't resist)
5pm; Imported beers at Tria
>> This could be another good reason to get to Tria.
5:30pm; Rogue Dead Guy at TDR
>> If I was in the 'burbs, to The Drafting Room I would for some Rogue goodies from the Pacific Northwest
6pm; Irish Pol and Weyerbacher
>> Got to check in on the Irish Pol at some point to see if they live up to their billing
6pm; Extreme food and beer at Tavern 17
>> Tavern 17 did some good stuff last year during PBW and are doing same again this year; at some point, I'll check them out
7pm; Chimay/Bobo at TND
>> Again, Chimay, Bobo..this time in Wayne at Teresa's
7pm; Chouffe at Eulogy
>> After leaving Plough and Stars, I'll walk across the street to get some little gnome-like gems from Chouffe at Eulogy
7pm; Sly Fox/Southampton at Good Dog
>> Good Dog, Sly Fox, Spencer. Another winning combination.
7pm; Founders dinner at SPTR
>> Great score for the crew at SPTR; this should be a helluva dinner. Check to see if they're not sold out.
8pm; Ballast Point at Moriarity's
>> More Ballast Point, this could be my last stop before the train after what will likely be a long exhausting day
10pm; Fergal Murray and Guinness at Black Sheep
>> Fergal's pulling a doubleheader
11am; Standard Tap; Jack Curtin
>> Stories with Uncle Jack during brunch. Sounds tempting, though depends upon on my morning goes.
12pm; TJs; Weed
>> I like Phish, I like TJs. Sounds like a fun day that I'll have to take a pass on until my train ride out of the city later in evening. Hopefully, a few Weed beers will still be on tap. I'd like to see what they're all about up in there in NoCal.
12pm; Monk's; JW Lees & Unibroue Changed to Monday 3/9, 2pm
>> Could definitely see myself jumping off the train in the City, heading to Monk's for some rich beers before heading over to Fergie's, then Kite & Key
2pm; Fergie's; Six Point
>> Don't know how much I'll see Six Point during PBW. This could be a great way to do it.
2pm; Belgian Cafe; Chouffe
>> If for some reason I miss Chouffe at Eulogy, then Belgian Cafe will definitely get my business before heading to Kite & Key
2:30pm; Kite & Key; Throwdown
>> But, I better not linger to long at the Belgian, cuz there's no way I'm missing the Throwdown at Kite & Key between Tom Kehoe and Jim Kirk. But, are we talking Freestyle, Greco-Roman, WWF, or UFC? Tom is involved in three of my most anticipated events of the week (Brewers Run, Smoke 'em, and Throwdown)
3pm; Fergal Murray at St. Stephan's Green
>> Fergal's making the most of his trip to the States
4pm; Good Dog; Troegs
>> Nick Johnson...Good Dog (Bad Dog?)
5pm; Grace; PBC
>> Complete the Fergie's, Monk's, Belgian, Nodding Head, Grace circuit by picking up some of Philly's local, Philly Brewing Co.
7pm; Kite & Key; Founders
>> If you missed Founders at SPTR, Kite & Key will be another great place to imbibe
8pm; P.O.P.E.; Ginger Night (Troegs/Yards)
>> The clever folks at Yards are up to it again. Ginger, red, Mashington, Johnson...get it? Hijinks are sure to ensue.
11am; TDR Brunch (stouts) or TND Brunch (Stone) or Bridgewater's Brunch
>> A brunch on the last day seems in order. Question is: Where? City? Suburbs?
11am; Kite & Key; O'Reilly and Parade
>> Or just head straight to Kite & Key for some Irish Indulgence with O'Reilly and the Sly Fox crew
1pm; Yards; Real Ale
>> This tore at me for a while. Of course, I wanted to play Super Beer Guy and head to both Real Ale at Yards and Zythos at UPenn. I may still consider that approach but likely not. I have a special place for cask conditioned beer, and will hate to miss this.
3pm; UPenn; Zythos
>> Once the full list of beers was published, it became extremely difficult to say no to Zythos Comes to America. Thanks Tom, Don, and others who are making this happen on the heels of the original Zythos.
7pm; Fergie's; TUD
>> Because this is the only proper way to end Philly Beer Week. No notepads, no recorders. Just go to hang out with brewers, reps, owners, and everyone else who's looking to let loose after 9 consecutive days of restraint. Though, I'm sure if you see any of these folks during those 9 days, you might ask, what restraint?! By the way, in case you're not up to speed, TUD? The Totally Unnecessary (Last) Drink
So, who's laying odds on how much of this I can actually pull off? Unlike last year (when I attended 22 events), I am planning to take some time off from my day job. But, I'm also planning to keep up on my marathon training plan. How's that for a challenge?
There's a Center City hotel night or two stay figured in all of this too...that could help to improve my odds...or help to stack the deck against me.
We shall see. Check back each day to see my nightly wrap-ups. It's on.