Saturday, June 19, 2010

How much does the Philly Beer Landscape resemble Philly Beer Week on any given day? (The Drafting Room, McKenzie Brew House, and name a few)

(from left: Howard Weintravb-The Drafting Room- and representing Tröegs, Nick Johnson, Jeff "Moose" Musselman, and Ed Yashinsky)
(Howard Weintraub, right, with three of The Drafting Room's loyal customers, "Amish" Rob and a striking resemblance on his shirt, Richard Ruch, and Joe Meloney)
Take, for example, The Drafting Room's annual anniversary party (this week they celebrated their 16th). This past Thursday saw a few of the Tröegs guys stop in to help unveil the 16th Anniversary Ale at The Drafting Room. There was a "normal" keg of it, a bartop firkin, and a half dozen other Tröegs goodies on tap. Goodies like the vaunted Scratch 31 (citra kicked from what I discovered the following night) and a Scratch installment (28) that I hadn't bumped into before. That's not too difficult considering how often they zip these out into the market. Scratch 28 is described as a German-style Rye. One, to me, that is obviously about the rye malt, and not the rye bread/caraway seed characteristic that some similar beers possess, and also had a slightly noticeable hint of smoke through it all. I was up for a repeat run-in with this beer the following evening, to share with a friend and to reconfirm my suspicion this is a very, very nice beer.
(Russian River's Consecration gets second billing after all of the locally-brewed beer from Tröegs)
It was funny to me how--like at the Bear Republic event, where the Lost Abbey Angel's Share went almost undetected in the bottom corner of the chalkboard menu--Russian River's Consecration was sneakily hanging around the bottom of the menu. I did as any good beer drinker worth his ABVs would do. I polished off a few shorties from Tröegs and then moved on to my one last...the Consecration...for a good palate blasting.
(Steve Hayden from The Drafting Room pours the first glass of 16th Anniversary Ale)
(A glass of The Drafting Room's 16th Anniversary Ale, brewed by Tröegs)
Then, I moved up to find Patty finishing off a work-related gathering at McKenzie Brew House in Frazer. Nothing to long as you consider 'nothing' to be their Saison Vautour (now a menu regular, thank you very much Ryan and Gerard), a Dark Knight (a sweet and tasty 9%-er, brewed from inspiration of their homebrewing competition's winner, Matt Tarlecki), the 3 Threads (simcoe dry-hopped, wood-aged, blended beer that I've yet to get enough of after two tastings), and a Summer Session Ale (at 4%, I'll be just as happy drinking a few of these as I will be to offer them up to a "newbie"). They've got their guest taps as well that they appear to rotate through rather quickly. This particular night, it was the Great Divide Titan IPA. Not too shabby, eh?
(McKenzie Brew House, Ryan & Gerard are doing some of their most interesting brewing in three years)
And, through it all, I happened to punch up TJs website to find that they've announced a PBW cleanup event for next Saturday, 6/26. I could bemoan how this glut of inventory from PBW has forced TJs and other establishments to do clearout events and special pricing like this simply to get rid of a glut of inventory leftover from PBW. But, maybe instead I'll just use this as yet another example of how any given day can look like Philly Beer Week around the region. Go check out the list and tell me if you don't agree. Still truckin' and representin' out here in the western suburbs.

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