With a beautiful day of weather and a handful of tasty firkins sitting on top of the Grey Lodge's downstairs bar, I decided to take a few hours off from work and cover this somewhat typical-but-not-yet-quite typical event for all of you dear readers!
I've only ever headed to Friday the Firkinteenth once for the early-morning mayhem; that was enough for me. Being there early and "battling" for a seat is part of Friday the Firkinteenth personal lore for many, but it makes for a long day if you'd like to be around for the kicking of the first kegs and particularly if you'd like to try a glass of each by the time they have all poured in the early evening.
But, for those who don't care about staying all day or being the first in line in the morning, your best bet for optimizing your firkin fun time is to arrive early afternoon when most or all of the original firkins are still pouring. You'll be able to sample from those at a casual pace as they begin to kick one at a time. Over the next few hours, you'll see another handful of firkins thrown up on the bar. You can grab your late lunch/early dinner and sample your way through at least half of all the offerings by the time you leave late afternoon.
(Scoats taps the Manayunk firkin that replaced "my" Sixpoint Righteous)
This time around (only one F13 in 2010), proprietor Mike "Scoats" Scotese arranged for roughly 30 firkins to be tapped throughout the day---7 at any given time. According to Scoats, the first to kick was Dock Street's Summer Session Ale, approximately 3.5 hours into the day.
Along my typically annoying drive along the Schuylkill Expressway and the Roosevelt Boulevard (even in the early/mid-afternoon....but, yes, it was a summer Friday, so there y'go), all I was saying was "please let there be some Sixpoint Righteous Rye left when I get there."
Well, there was...sort of. Within about 90 seconds of walking through the front door, I ceremoniously kicked the Sixpoint keg with a serving of approximately the last 2 ounces of the tasty Righteous Rye.
I moved along to grab a Sly Fox Standard Porter and Prism Bitto Honey IPA and went upstairs to order some lunch. Cuban Sandwich, perfect. Took a small glass of Brooklyn Buzz and Prism Tea Party for samples as well. Scoats joined me for a few minutes at my table in between his firkin tappings duty. Shared with him some news about The Brew Lounge that I haven't shared with any of you as of yet. How's that for a teaser?!
(Friday the Firkinteenth "tailgating", Northeast Philly style? Sure, why not)
Patty joined me a couple of hours later. Anyone coming to the Grey Lodge from Center City probably knows--but, in case you don't--that the trip is a pretty easy one on the Market-Frankford El to the end of the line at the Frankford Transportation Center. From there it's either a $1 transfer to the '66' bus or a 3/4 mile walk out Frankford Avenue.
On a day like yesterday, a walk would have been totally appropriate. Otherwise, the bus will drop you off less than a block away from the front door.
(We dined under the picture of the beloved, late Gary Bredbenner)
We sampled a few more beers, had a chicken cheesesteak, fries, and wings (glad I'm not marathon training!), socialized. When we figured evening rush hour traffic had died down, we headed back home. Just more of the typical good ol' fashioned fun on the firkinteenth.
There's only one F13 scheduled (I don't think "they" are planning to change the calendar before then!) for 2011, so if you missed this one keep in mind that there will only be one next year to get your F13 firkin on in Northeast Philly.
(Jill Mowery said she hardly ever sees a picture of herself that she likes, until this one. Posted, with her approval :) Btw, if you can lend a hand to help her move to Northern Liberties on September 1st, let me know and I'll pass the word)