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Monday, March 01, 2010

Life comes full circle at Dock Street

From the late 80s to twenty years later...from Center City to Cedar Park...some things change, some stay the same, and others feel like we've never left.
(Pieces of Dock Street Brewing History: Eric Savage; Chris LaPierre; Victor Novak; Jon Holland)
(Then and Now: Ben Potts and Victor Novak)
At Dock Street, memories for customers and employees linger alike. This past weekend, past and current employees descended upon Dock Street Brewery at 50th and Baltimore in West Philly for a reunion brew. A homecoming of sorts.
(standing: Eric Savage; Rosemarie Certo; Bill Moeller; Victor Novak; Ben Potts; Justin Quinlan Crouching Brewers, not-so-Hidden Talents: Josh Ervine; Chris LaPierre; Jon Holland)
(A lot of conversation around the Dock Street logo/mascot and wondering where "the pose" came from...Victor attempts to demonstrate)
Bill Moeller, of Dock Street consulting and Schmidt's brewing fame to name a couple from his storied brewing career, attended. As did former employees Chris LaPierre, Eric Savage, Josh Ervine, and Jon Holland. Victor Novak flew in from southern California where he brews for TAPS. He still brews the original GABF award-winning Cream Ale (1992) that he did here in Philly as a brewmaster in Dock Street's early days. He says that it's his TAPS location's top seller. He was surprised when talking with Don Russell recently that there was not more of a presence (or any!) of this beer style in Philadelphia. Thus began the conversation about coming back to brew one with current Dock Street brewer, Ben Potts. I showed up near the end of the brew day as they were cleaning up. George Hummel of Home Sweet Home Brew joined me for an hour before former employees began to show up and really start the party.
(Victor said he was coming back East to work, but I must have showed up too late for that.)
(Chris LaPierre, circa 1998-ish, after a cross-country cycling tour)
Memorable pictures, some of which should and will go undocumented(!), were poured over; Old stories were retold for the umpteenth time as those things typically go; Many good beers were consumed. And so it goes...
(Bill Moeller talking shop and showing others the way around a brewhouse)
(Chris LaPierre, Rosemarie Certo, Victor Novak)
Look for the cream ale to make an appearance within a month. Perhaps even a stray keg or two out to southern California for a special appearance at Victor's bar. For as much as Dock Street looks to the future, it's nice to see them with a tight line still tied to the past. The camaraderie was evident in the people and in the beer. But, in this case, it was much more certainly about the people than it was the beer.
(Then and Now: Rosemarie Certo; Victor Novak; Ben Potts)
(Back row: Eric Savage; Sam Cohen; Josh Ervine; Chris LaPierre; Andrew Kratz; Victor Novak Front row: Tracy Librizzi Ervine; Amy St. John; Mindie Weiner; Jon Holland)
(Can you make out an original stain on Lappy's uniform near the pocket? Sheesh, when someone says "I'll never wash this again"...this is some sort of extreme length to take this to!)

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