Thursday, June 02, 2011

Philly Beer Week 2011: On the go (Part 1)

It is impossible for me to share all that I think will be worthy events to attend amongst the 900 or so scheduled events. So, I'll do the nearest to (only?) best thing that I can do — I'll share with you some of the events that, based on my personal schedule and wont, I will attempt to attend, even if just for a brief time and beer. I'll include a few other significant looking events that you might want to consider, even if my chances of attending are slim.

If you haven't yet begun to consider how you might spend any one or ten of the days during Philly Beer Week 2011, than this might also serve as the catalyst for getting you on the right path.

- A bit of the Hammer of Glory tour. Might be able to catch it at The Belgian Café, Kite & Key (and a Tröegs-style Tailgate Party), The Four Seasons, and we'll see after that. This has turned in to quite the entertaining spectacle, plus a way to ramp up to Opening Tap throughout the first day of PBW. If you can only catch it for one or two stops, it's highly recommended.

- Monk's Café. They're hosting the U.S. debut of Tilquin Gueuze. I probably will miss this, but suggest that you do not.

- Good Dog. The PBW premier of Ithaca's and Iron Hill's Dark Humor collaboration beer, a "brett porter".

- Opening Tap. Well, just because it's where so many will be with some great special beers (and people, as well) that I may not get to see elsewhere during PBW.

Several options for what could happen post-Opening Tap....

- Devil's Den. A Bella Vista-based event where I'm particularly interested in The Bruery/Cigar City Marron Acidifie collaboration, amongst other rare goodies.

- Philadelphia Bar & Restaurant. Opening Tap After Party with Ommegang and Sly Fox. Sounds like a fine time to check out an establishment with which I'm not yet familiar.

- The Belgian Café. Bruges Zot would be a fine last choice before heading home. That is, if I don't already dip into it Thursday night prior at Teresa's Next Door.

That's probably enough for Day 1.

- Hop Angel Brauhaus and Lew Bryson. Would love to begin the day with brunch in the northeast with Lew, Scoats, and a bunch of wheat beers. Unfortunately, most likely won't be able to make this happen.

- Varga Pin-up Block Party. Decent looking weather. One of the city's elite neighborhood pubs. Outdoors. Seems like a no-brainer. Dogs too, perhaps.

- Throwdown in Franklintown. Jim Kirk and the crew at Kite & Key are back at it again with zany antics on Callowhill Street. Can't wait to see what ensues! Dogs would love it here too.

- Teresa's Next Door. On the way home, it may be prudent to stop in for the Stillwater/12% Imports/Shelton Bros. event. Lots of tasties being served here, no doubt.

- Misconduct Tavern. If I stay in the City, here would be a great place to belly up for some great Duvel and Ommegang beer.

There's a bunch of great looking stuff going on Saturday night, but will likely get rested for what may turn out to be my two busiest days, Sunday and Monday.

- Brunch at Memphis Taproom. I hear these Vintage Beer Brunches that they've done in the past are top notch. Now is a good time to find out for myself.

- Brauhaus Schmitz. En route to Passyunk Avenue, the German beer restaurant will be a good place to stop for stark (strong) biers (beers) from Germany and Austria.

- Passyunk Avenue. One of my local "beer sins" is never having been to a bar along the reinvigorated East Passyunk Avenue. All day Sunday, eight spots are conducting events and I figured then would be the perfect time begin atonement for my sins.

- Monk's Café. Is there really enough time to stop between Passyunk Avenue and Good Dog for a 4:30 p.m. Lost Abbey/Tomme Arthur meet 'n' greet? We'll find out. It would be fun to try, right?

- Iron Hill Dinner at Good Dog. Eight Iron Hill locations, Eight Iron Hill brewers, Eight Courses at One Beer Dinner at Good Dog. This seems like a slam-dunk PBW '11 top 10 event.

- Local 44. Beer-themed Quizzo. If enough brain cells survive the day, stopping by this 44th Street beer joint would be a fun thing to do. Done it once before on a Sunday night with a group of beer-heads from the 'burbs. Good times, and good beers of course, for sure, no doubt, bank on it.

- Grey Lodge. Not sure about zipping up to Mayfair (oops, Wissonoming), but if the cab/El/bus/car (anything but walking) points in that direction, I would love to find what Lew and Scoats discovered on their Upstate Beer Trek.

That's enough to tap me out for Sunday, y'think?

Throughout the weekend, I'll be helping to show the Home Brew Chef, Mr. Sean Paxton, around town. Can you believe he's never been to Philly? If you see him, and he's quite difficult to miss, let him know you appreciate his work and seeing him here in town.

- Nodding Head. Tell me which of the PBW '11 Nodding Head events don't look like astounding winners. My reference to the Home Brew Chef was my way of saying that this will be our first event of Monday. "Punk Rock and Finger Sandwiches", one of my favorite event names of PBW '11. Oh yeah, and some guy named Sam Calagione will be there as well.

My goodness, what else is there to do on Monday afternoon and evening? How to choose? Here's a quick rundown of some that caught my eye and where you could possibly see me drifting in and out of:
- Hill Farmstead at Monk's Café
- Dogfish Head Moustache contest at Resurrection Ale House
- Uinta and Flying Fish at Doobie's
- the debut of the Four Season Beer Garden with Victory leading the kickoff on Monday
- Oyster House for special firkins and oysters
- Founders at Kite & Key
- North Coast at Varga

This day could be a respite. Could also be a lawn-mowing day for me and taking care of other things neglected during the first four days of PBW '11. But, if there's anything I might do, here's a short list of some of the better looking options.

- Dunk Tank at London Grill. This was a huge hit (and fundraiser) last year and provided much-needed relief from the heat for the dunkees. It's back again this year on 23rd Street in Fairmount.

- Belgians at Bridgid's. While in Fairmount, this classic Philadelphia neighborhood tavern would be an ideal place before or after the Dunk Tank. It's only a few blocks away.

- Forum of the Gods. A gathering of the industry's best and brightest. Stoudt, Calagione, Cilurzo, Grossman, Sixpack, Forder, and Sidor And a price tag, $20, that is difficult to refuse.

- Cask at Dandelion. I haven't been to the new-ish Dandelion yet, just off Rittenhouse Square. They'll have some cask-conditioned beer from the U.K. and would seem to make it the perfect time to stop by.

I'm still trying to figure out the hows and whens of working in other places and events that I'd, in a perfect world, be able to take in as well. Such as: Kennett Restaurant; Farmers' Cabinet; Late Night (at Jose Pistolas and/or Monk's); Khyber Pass; City Tap House; White Birch tastings; Manayunk (numerous locations).

Phew, take a breath, digest, and I'll be back with Part 2.

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