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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Weekly Second-Hand Brews News Update: 6/29/13

I long ago lost the ability to keep up with even half the beer news out there in the wild and wacky world of craft beer. There was a time I attempted daily (or even more frequent) updates with interesting tidbits from around the brewniverse along with small contributions of my own thoughts.

That has yielded to my weekly updates that you'll find here every Saturday morning with some of what I consider to be some of the more interesting news out there that you might like to add to your weekend reading list (or Monday morning at work, depending upon your preference).

Enjoy.

PHILADELPHIA
~ Lew's pretty darn happy. And, I'm happy for him. But I'm thrilled yet even more selfishly for me and you and you and you that we will now have permanent access to Black Butte Porter. It's Deschutes, so you know that means much more good stuff from them will make its way here as well, but if you don't know about the Porter, now you will have no excuse.


EASTERN PA, NJ, DE, AND OTHER NEARBY PARTS OF MID-ATLANTIC
~ BeerandWineJournal.com has a taste of the tour I facilitated for them around the Philly region during NHC week. Here's a link to Part I and a link to Part II.


THE REST OF PLANET BEER
~ Thanks to Jay for bringing us this chuckle of the day.



Thursday, June 27, 2013

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: June 27 - June 30

If you see a lot of homebrew-looking guys (mostly guys) wandering around Philly this week, it's the National Homebrewers Conference that has dropped off reportedly over 3,000 of them. Some events here in the last days of the month are geared towards them and others are just the standard fare. Drink up; it's hot out there!

Check out the entire June 2013 calendar over here. If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, don't hesitate to let me know.

Tastings/Samplings/Freebies
@Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa.--- Fri. 6/28 - Friday Night Sampling (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of Sierra Nevada beers.)

@Trolley Car Diner, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 6/28 - Finally Friday Beer Tasting (5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; $Free tasting samples from Boston Beer Company.)

Brewery Promos and "Takeovers"
@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 6/27 - Summer Movie Series (8 p.m.; $PAYG for craft beer from Allagash, popcorn and other classic movie fare, and The Goonies on the big screen outdoors on the patio.)
@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 6/29 - The Battle for Crooked Billet IPA (1 p.m.-4 p.m.; $35 for live music, a pig roast and to sample six varieties of Crooked Billet IPA with the intention to name one the next Great Local IPA.)
@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sun. 6/30 - TJ Kong Presents: The West End Summer Brunch Party (2 p.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG for select craft cans, craft draughts, beermosas, and featuring beers from Dock Street Brewery. Music by DJ Apt One, Ed Blammo, Shawn Ryan, and DJ Bruce.)

@Devil's Den, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 6/27 - Devil's Backbone Night (7 p.m.; $PAYG for Congo Belgian Pale—a Belgian inspired IPA, Dark Abby, Kilt Flasher, Schwartz Bier—a summer seasonal "black beer", and the collaboration IPA, Scratch 97 (aka Gold Standard or Black Rye IPA) brewed with Tröegs and Church Brew Works.)
@Devil's Den, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 6/28 - Freigeist Bierkultur Night (7 p.m.; $PAYG to meet Sebastian Sauer, Freigeist brewer of Braustelle Brauerei in Köln, Germany and drink his Ottekolong—an unfiltered Kölsch, Abraxxxus—a smoked Berliner Weisse, Geisterzug Gose, Sauer Porter, Biere de Vie—a sour ale or wild ale, Monarchy of Musselland Grodziskie, Monarchy of Musselland Münchhausen, and Monarchy of Musselland Preussen Weisse.)

@Isaac Newton's, Newtown, Pa.-- Thu. 6/27 - Tap Takeover with Dock Street Brewery (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for Summer Session, Rye IPA, Johnny Berliner, Pre-Prohibition Pale Ale, That's What She Said Chocolate Saison, and the commercial release of their Session IPA.)

Special One-offs or Debuts, Anniversaries/Parties, Festivals, and other noteworthy events
@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 6/28 - As Seen In Philly (6 p.m.; $PAYG for highly sought-after beers from Russian River, 4 Hands, t'Gaverhopke/Tired Hands, Ballast Point, Perennial, Port Brewing, Brasserie Dupont, and Maine Brewing.)

@Devil's Den and @Old Eagle Tavern, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 6/29 through Sun. 7/21 - Tour De France with Ommegang ($PAYG to watch the race, drink Ommegang or Duvel to be entered to win some great Ommegang Duvel/Devil's Den/Old Eagle prizes. Ommegang Belgian Independence Day - End of the Tour De France Brunch at the Devil's Den on Sunday, July 21.)

@Prism Brewing Company, North Wales, Pa.--- Fri. 6/28 - Prom & Anniversary Party (7 p.m.-11 p.m.; $65 for a sit-down, catered dinner, all-you-can-drink for four hours, music provided by DJ Matty Mal (our brewer), a photo booth, and a commemorative glass.)

Food and Beer events
@Devil's Den, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sun. 6/30 - Yards Meet & Greet Beer Brunch (10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; $PAYG for a special brunch menu and Yards' Bourbon Barrel Aged Thomas Jefferson Tavern Ale, Extra Special Ale [ESA], Brotherly Suds, and a firkin of a special dry hopped IPA. Guests will also have a chance to meet the brewers and crew from Yards Brewing.)

@Station Taproom, Downingtown, Pa.--- Sun. 6/30 - Goose Island Beer Dinner (6 p.m.; $75 for a six-course meal paired with Summertime, Sofie Paradisi, Pepe Nero, Matilda, Pere Jacques, and Big John.)

Homebrewing, Charity, Schooling, and Miscellanies
@Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 6/27 through Sat. 6/29 - National Homebrewers Conference (Sold out and closed to general public. See website for all the details.)




Saturday, June 22, 2013

Weekly Second-Hand Brews News Update: 6/22/13

I long ago lost the ability to keep up with even half the beer news out there in the wild and wacky world of craft beer. There was a time I attempted daily (or even more frequent) updates with interesting tidbits from around the brewniverse along with small contributions of my own thoughts.

That has yielded to my weekly updates that you'll find here every Saturday morning with some of what I consider to be some of the more interesting news out there that you might like to add to your weekend reading list (or Monday morning at work, depending upon your preference).

Enjoy.

PHILADELPHIA
~ Cool and useful use of Google Maps for the future dining scene in and around Philadelphia.


EASTERN PA, NJ, DE, AND OTHER NEARBY PARTS OF MID-ATLANTIC
~ More Sam on the business of beer.

~ From Friend of The Brew Lounge, Tara Nurin's new venture.


THE REST OF PLANET BEER
~ Pretty interesting piece about what some call the best beer.

~ Predictably, the über geekerie is predicting the fall of craft beer after seeing this movie trailer.



Thursday, June 20, 2013

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: June 20 - June 26

Festivals and food-based events dominate this weekly calendar of events. The National Homebrewers Conference kicks off on Thursday, June 27 and there will be events geared at the incoming 3,000+ attendees before and during the three days of their stay.

Check out the entire June 2013 calendar over here. If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, don't hesitate to let me know.


Tastings/Samplings/Freebies
@Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa.--- Fri. 6/21 - Third Friday Firkin Fest (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG Hop Project 06300, Hop Project 03129, & Hop Project 01210.)

Brewery Promos and "Takeovers"
@Barcade, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Tue. 6/25 - Rogue Beer Night (6 p.m.; $PAYG for a visit from Rogue Ales and brewmaster John Maier from Newport, Oregon.)

@Iron Hill, West Chester, Pa.--- Sat. 6/22 - Hopslam! (1 p.m.-5 p.m.; $PAYG for this tapped-out event featuring nine hoppy beers including the first time release of Headbanger IPA.)

@The Warwick Hotel, Hummelstown, Pa.--- Thu. 6/20 - Elk Creek Tap Takeover (5 p.m.; $PAYG for Elk Creek Aleworks' Great Blue Heron Pale Ale, Copper Ale, Brookie Brown Ale, Poe Paddy Porter, Gyre N Gambol Golden Ale, Kölsch, Double Rainbow IPA, and Prince's Porter.)
@The Warwick Hotel, Hummelstown, Pa.--- Tue. 6/25 - Christmas in June (5 p.m.; $PAYG for Tröegs' Mad Elf, Naked Elf, three Scratch Brews, Hopback, Dreamweaver, Pale Ale, and Flying Mouflan. Chat with The Brewers. Chrismas present drawings for lots of cool stuff. Prizes for the "Best" nee "Worst" X-mas outfit and "Best" nee "Worst" hat.)

Special One-offs or Debuts, Anniversaries/Parties, Festivals, and other noteworthy events
@2nd & Wood Streets, Lansdale, Pa.--- Sat. 6/22 - Lansdale Beer Fest (12 p.m.-4:30 p.m.; $20-$85 for a fundraising event with all proceeds going to charitable organizations. It is intended to be an opportunity to sample some of the best regional and national craft beers accompanied by great food, great music, and great people.)

@Battleship New Jersey, Camden, NJ--- Sat. 6/22 - Garden State Craft Brewer's Guild Festival (12:30 p.m.-5 p.m.; $19.95-$55 to sample beer brewed in New Jersey along with food, music, and tours.)

@Brauhaus Schmitz, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 6/26 - Fourth Anniversary Party (5 p.m.; $PAYG for complimentary appetizers courtesy of our Chef Jeremy Nolen and featuring $4.00 Drafts during Happy Hour from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. and also during the party, which starts at 7 p.m.)

@Coca-Cola Park, Allentown, Pa.--- Sat. 6/22 - PBS39 Brewfest (2 p.m.-5 p.m.; $5-$50 for more than 100 craft brews. In addition to beer tastings, the event includes vendors and features live music by Joe Wagner and Peripheral Vision, the Olympus Corporate Band. Proceeds from the MicroBrew Festival support PBS39 educational services.)

@World Café Live, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 6/26 - The Brewing Network's 8th Anniversary Party (7 p.m.-10 p.m.; $44.95-$144.95 for a night of beer, food, music, and a higher-than-average level of debauchery.)

Food and Beer events
@Cavanaugh's Rittenhouse, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Mon. 6/24 - Brew and Chew (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $25)

@Jetro Lot, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 6/22 - BBQ at the Ballpark (12 p.m.-4 p.m.; $55-$90 for the region’s best BBQ, the best craft beers, and a ton of other activities to get you ready for the 4:05 p.m. ballgame versus the Mets.)

@Kildare's, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 6/26 - Great Lakes Beer Dinner (6:30 p.m.; $25 for a four-course meal served with Dortmunder Gold, Commodore Perry, Elliot Ness, and Edmund Fitzgerald.)

@Nodding Head, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Tue. 6/25 - Global Foods, Local Foods (5 p.m.; $80 for the third time we come together at Nodding Head Brewery Curt & Gordon and with Dogfish Head Beer Sam. This year’s event will feature an International Beer Cuisine concept.)

@Spinnerstown Hotel, Spinnerstown, Pa.--- Fri. 6/21 - Beer vs. Wine Dinner for a cause (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $85 for wines from King Estates in Oregon and beers from Yards in Philly paired with four courses of food. Portion of proceeds benefit American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.)

@World Café Live, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Mon. 6/24 - Grilled Cheese & Craft Beer Tasting (7 p.m.; $45 for a night of grilled cheese paired with Oskar Blues' Gubna, Old Chub, and Dales Pale Ale. Bring your vegetarian friends, too – we can accommodate them on all pairings.)
@World Café Live, Wilmington, Del.--- Wed. 6/26 - Grilled Cheese & Craft Beer Tasting (6 p.m.; $38 for a night of grilled cheese paired with craft beer. Bring your vegetarian friends, too – we can accommodate them on all pairings.)



Monday, June 17, 2013

Philly Beer Week 2013: The Index

This wrap-up was originally slated to be compiled and put out for your consumption at least a few days ago, post-Philly Beer Week 2013. A bit of this, that, and life got in the way. Plus, I took to heart how, in response to that short survey that I put out a few weeks ago, there was not an overwhelming majority that said they cared as much about after-the-fact reporting as they did previews and in-the-moment "reporting."

Yet, at the same, time there was a clear majority that said coverage of PBW is critical to the success of PBW. So, yes, I'm doing this for you. But, I also find it personally/selfishly valuable to have that one place that I can look back on year-after-year when I need to track down some bit of information about Philly Beer Weeks of years past.

So, here in all its glory, is my wrap-up complete with backlinks to all of the content that I published throughout. 2013 was certainly not my busiest or most frantic year of PBW consumption. It does seem like I, and many others that I spoke with along the way who have taken in all six years of PBW, have begun to take PBW a bit more in stride, if for no other reason than the year-round calendar of beer events is all-consuming both financially and health-wise throughout the year. PBW is special, for sure, in the way in which a critical mass of noteworthy beers, bars, brewers, distributors, and other significant players in the industry are put on display over the course of ten days like no where else in the country at any time during the year. (Well, except, perhaps than GABF in Denver?)

I've been urged by more than a few to dabble more in scuttlebutt, but I've chosen to steer clear of that again this year. It takes a lot of energy (and energy that I can better apply to other aspects of my work) to deal in scuttlebutt and the fallout from it. But, I've not determined that there's enough scuttlebutt to claim that something is so terribly wrong nor that is in the best of interest of consumers to hear about. Though, some may say that I've scuttlebutted merely by introducing the topic. Nonetheless, we move on to the tasty stuff.

In the links below, you'll learn about my six PBW days in the City and my two PBW days in the suburbs. Two responsible days were taken off. My number of events was down about 10% but my mission, as always, was to focus on 1) new; 2) quality in terms of people/beer; and 3) lesser-publicized.

I may have pulled off the "new" aspect of that equation better than ever before. Five new places and I crossed paths during Philly Beer Week: Pennsylvania 6; Alla Spina; Kennett; Growlers; and Brü. You'll find my reactions to them in the daily links below.

Some solid food from non-beer events/places were discovered at: Cheu Noodle Bar; Fette Sau; and Beddia's. The last of those three is familiar to those in the industry know around Philly because of owner Joe Beddia and his history in the local beer scene.

Attesting to the quality of the people, place, event, and beer, spots like Brauhaus Schmitz, Varga, Standard Tap, The Drafting Room, Teresa's Next Door, Fergie's, City Tap House, and Strangelove's all saw me during PBW. And, perhaps an even greater testament was my repeat visits during the week to Kite & Key, Nodding Head, Johnny Brenda's, Alla Spina, and Bridgewater's (at 30th Street Station). All of these listed here are part of the incredible local fabric of bars and breweries and just begins to scratch the surface of what makes the Philadelphia region the high quality beer destination that it is.

There are five local beers that still resonate with me more than a week later in Victory's Bell Ringer Double IPA (both CO2 and cask were excellent), Brotherly Suds (the annual local collaboration), Tröegs Sunshine Pils and Weyerbacher Riserva (I was proudly a part of the team of judges that awarded first place in the Inquirer's Brew-vitational), and Sly Fox Grisette (it will take a mighty beer to knock this off my annual best-of list).

Now to the compilation of links.

Prior to Philly Beer Week:
~  Foobooz had some nice words to say about my work
~  As did Eater, not just once but twice
~  Pre-PBW coverage
~  My recommendations for seeing Philly in All About Beer
~  Coverage of PBW in Philly Beer Week
~  The Inquirer's annual Brew-vitational Awards


Philly Beer Week coverage at The Brew Lounge:
~  Videos from Hammer of Glory Tour and The Throwdown in Franklintown

~  Day 1 Preview  ---  Day 1 Highlights  ---  Day 1 Pictures
~  Day 2 Preview  ---  Day 2 Highlights  ---  Day 2 Pictures
~  Day 3 Preview  ---  Day 3 Highlights  ---  Day 3 Pictures
~  Day 4 Preview
~  Day 5 Preview
~  Day 6 Preview  ---  Day 6 Highlights  ---  Day 6 Pictures
~  Day 7 Preview  ---  Day 7 Highlights  ---  Day 7 Pictures
~  Day 8 Preview  ---  Day 8 Highlights  ---  Day 8 Pictures
~  Day 9 Preview  ---  Day 9 Highlights  ---  Day 9 Pictures
~  Day 10 Preview  ---  Day 10 Highlights  ---  Day 10 Pictures



Saturday, June 15, 2013

Weekly Second-Hand Brews News Update: 6/15/13

I long ago lost the ability to keep up with even half the beer news out there in the wild and wacky world of craft beer. There was a time I attempted daily (or even more frequent) updates with interesting tidbits from around the brewniverse along with small contributions of my own thoughts.

That has yielded to my weekly updates that you'll find here every Saturday morning with some of what I consider to be some of the more interesting news out there that you might like to add to your weekend reading list (or Monday morning at work, depending upon your preference).

Enjoy.

PHILADELPHIA
~ McGillin's recently made a list of best historic bars.

~ Speaking of McGillin's, they made a strong case on The Brewing Network for visiting during the upcoming National Homebrewers Conference. And, Don Russell appeared the prior week's show to promote Philly Beer Week. According to The BN's schedule, Bill Covaleski of Victory Brewing will be on this coming Monday evening. Well done guys; Philly and Philly Beer thanks you!

~ A take on wrapping up Philly Beer Week from Joe Sixpack.

~ And now just try to get through these three videos. One from William Reed, one from Tim Roberts, and an over-the-top one from Curt Decker.


EASTERN PA, NJ, DE, AND OTHER NEARBY PARTS OF MID-ATLANTIC
~ About Philly, Pittsburgh, and a golf tie-in. Or is it about golf and a beer tie-in?

~ Beer and baseball. A different twist.

~ One challenge, their name. I think I'll just go with Boyer Brewing for short.

~ Love the "shot across the bow" reference.

~ Solid interview with the big boys from little Delaware.


THE REST OF PLANET BEER
~ The Hammer of Glory's reported theft made news across the country.

~ Always fun to hang out with the brewer and the geek.

~ I was just at Angel City a few weeks ago. Neat place; wish I'd caught up with this beer while I was there.

~ Seems that we're always looking for new ways to open bottles.



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: June 13 - June 19

Annnnnd, we're back. Back to normal. Or at least as normal as Philly prefers normal. Here are the beer events I've found awaiting us at local bars and breweries over the next week.

Check out the entire June 2013 calendar over here. If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, don't hesitate to let me know.

Brewery Promos and "Takeovers"
@Bistro On Bridge, Phoenixville, Pa.--- Thu. 6/13 - Maine Beer Company Tap Takeover (7 p.m.; $PAYG for Peeper, Mo, Lunch, and Mean Old Tom.)

@Iron Hill, Maple Shade, NJ--- Wed. 6/19 - Iron Brewer (7 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG for the release of this year’s Iron Brewer winner: Buccaneer’s Bounty. This coconut and sumatran coffee infused brown ale was formulated and guest-brewed by Mark Furfaro, Shawn Kaderabek, and Martin Webb of the Barley Legal Homebrewers.)

@Kraftwork, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Mon. 6/17 - Meet the Brewers: Nøgne Ø ($PAYG to drink like a Viking and meet owner Kjetil Jikiun.)

@Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, Pa.--- Sun. 6/16 - Pints For Pops (10 a.m.; $PAYG for special breakfast menu additions and all Dads will receive a free pint glass with the purchase of a .5L beer.)

@World Café Live, Wilmington, Del.--- Thu. 6/13 - Victory Happy Hour Tap Takeover (4 p.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG for taps dominated by beers from Victory and acoustic soul rock performance by Twin Ghost.)


Special One-offs or Debuts, Anniversaries/Parties, Festivals, and other noteworthy events
@2nd & Locust Streets, Harrisburg, Pa.--- Sat. 6/15 - Harrisburg Brewers Fest (12:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m., 5:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; $10-$50 for the opportunity for craft-brew lovers to enjoy and sample 70+ products from some of the regions finest breweries. A portion of the ticket price is tax deductible and all proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Central Pennsylvania.)

@Iron Hill, Newark, Del.--- Thu. 6/13 - White Clay IPA Release Party (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG for the release of White Clay IPA—one of Newark's most popular IPAs.)
@Iron Hill, Lancaster, Pa.--- Sun. 6/16 - Honey Do Wit Beer Release (11 a.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG for a special Father’s Day menu and the release of Honey Do Wit.)

@Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain, Scranton, Pa.--- Sat. 6/15 - Steamtown Beer and Music Festival (12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.; $50-$89 for over 50 different breweries from around the corner and across the country. The focus of festival is the promotion of craft beer and the brewers that create them. This event is the perfect opportunity for beer aficionados, beer lovers, and the casual beer drinker to speak to brand representatives and the brewers responsible for some of their favorite brews. Musical stylings of Muscle Shoal Revival, The Menzingers, Alien Ant Farm, and Fuel.)


Food and Beer events
@Iron Abbey, Horsham, Pa.--- Sun. 6/16 - Father's Day Brunch (10 a.m.-2 p.m.; $PAYG for some rare brews on tap.)

@Iron Hill, North Wales, Pa.--- Sat. 6/15 - Father’s Appreciation Beer Brunch (11 a.m.-2 p.m.; $45 for a four-course meal hosted by head brewer Vince DesRosiers and served with Belgian Witbier, Saison, Wee Heavy, and Breakfast Stout.)

@The Sidecar Bar, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 6/13 - Southern Fried Hippie Hoedown (3 p.m.; $PAYG for southern fried hippie food, twelve beers, a Grateful Dead tribute band, and chance to meet Terrapin brewmaster Brian "Spike" Buckowski.)


Homebrewing, Charity, Schooling, and Miscellanies
@Iron Hill, West Chester, Pa.--- Fri. 6/14-Sun. 6/16 - Pints for Prostates (5 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for JPA and Cask-Conditioned JPA, a collaboration beer with 3rd Wave Brewing Company. The weekend’s proceeds of JPA sales will benefit Pints for Prostates.)

@Total Wine, Claymont, Del.--- Thu. 6/13 - Hooray for IPA beer class (6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; $15 for tastings of English IPA, Belgian IPA, American IPA, American Double/Imperial IPA, and other hoppy goodness.)



Monday, June 10, 2013

Philly Beer Week 2013, Days 9 & 10 Sights and Sounds: Saturday, June 8 & Sunday, June 9


Days number nine and ten of Philly Beer Week 2013 could not have been more different, yet equally pleasing.

Saturday brought beautiful weather back and gave beer weekers no excuse not to be walking off their beers between events.

(link to pictures from days 9 and 10 over at Picasa)

I got the day started with some nice and easy beer from Great Lakes and Sly Fox at the FestivAle block party along Frankford Avenue outside Johnny Brenda's, Fette Sau, and Frankford Hall. Technically, I got it all started with some very nicely done sweet/spicy kebabs and an Evolution Rise Up coffee stout at TJ's prior to jumping aboard the city-bound train. Excellent start indeed.

Remember when Johnny Brenda's was nearly the only reason (at least beer-wise) to jump off the Market-Frankford El at Girard Avenue? How things have changed now with their neighbors, Fette Sau and Frankford Hall, across the street at Barcade and Kraftwork, and Beddia's has opened up the pizzeria less than a block away to fill in yet another nook with great food and/or beverage option.

The FestivAle was swell and all; I think I was there before the crowds and craziness truly descended. It was a relaxing session with the good folks from Origlio and Sly Fox at a picnic table to soak up the sun, an incredible brisket/pulled pork sandwich from Fette Sau, and beers from Sly Fox (Pikeland Pils) and Great Lakes (Rye of the Tiger IPA).

Then, it was a slight diversion from the PBW track over to Penn Treaty Park where the Vendy Awards were being presented after an afternoon of tasting from food truck to food truck stationed around the park. The lines were too overwhelming for me to spend much more than an hour (after all, PBW events awaited back downtown), so I picked three that seemed like that they had the most movement happening.

I couldn't have been more pleased in choosing Chez Yasmine (a Tunisian salad bursting with fresh flavor), King of Falafel (guess what I had?), and Cow and The Curd (cheddar cheese and great dipping sauce accompaniments). Cow and The Curd owner Rob Mitchell and I traded pleasantries and shared similar stories from our experiences in Wisconsin.

Brooklyn Brewery was supplying the Lager, Summer Ale, and East India Pale Ale. I later found out that King of Falafel and Cow and The Curd took home Vendy Awards, further gratifying my personal choices for this Philly Beer Week distraction at a lesser-known, but gem of a city park.

(link to pictures from days 9 and 10 over at Picasa)

Back across town on the El and I wind up next at Fergie's Pub hoping to catch the tail end of whatever was happening with the Father, the Rabbi, and the Priest. Sounded like a truly unique event with men of faith providing an atmosphere and discussion for introspection, higher being, and well, of course, beer. The event was technically over by the time I arrived, but still had the chance to talk with each of three, including Father Kirk Berlenbach. If the name sounds familiar, it may be because you recall the story from 2010 when this priest from Roxborough "saved Philly Beer Week" and the Opening Tap event. A very pleasant thirty minutes of my Philly Beer Week indeed.

Then, it was off just mere blocks away on Sansom Street from Fergie's to Nodding Head, where I also missed the tail end of the Firestone Walker event which featured owner David Walker. That didn't stop me, however, from enjoying a couple always-out-of-this-world Pale 31s with Nodding Head owner Curt Decker, Wendy Domurat (Dogfish Head), Gordon Grubb (Nodding Head), Liz Einhorn (Boston Beer), Suzy Woods (Allagash), Chris LaPierre (Iron Hill), and numerous others who seemed to have descended upon one of the places that always seems to serve as a bit of an unofficial headquarters for those in the know during each Philly Beer Week.

We took those good times a couple of blocks to the other side of Broad Street to the new Brü, which is an impressive space that runs between Chestnut Street and Drury Street. Can't believe it's taken all these years for another establishment to steak a bit of McGillin's secret on Drury. Ryan Niebuhr was on-site to rep Anderson Valley Brewing Company and speak a bit of their unique Boontling. An Oatmeal Porter from them was new to me and quite satisfying.

There was that one last stop prior to finally hopping the train back out to the 'burbs and that last stop was City Tap House over by Penn's campus. David Walker had already moved on to here with the Origlio folks when I'd stopped by Nodding Head so the timing worked out nicely at CTH where we chatted for a while about everything under the sun including the recent Firestone Invitational, the excellent Central Coast festival which I promised I will get to in the very near future.

A dinner, one more beer, and then a pleasant walk back to 30th Street Station put a wrap a pretty solid day nine of Philly Beer Week.

(link to pictures from days 9 and 10 over at Picasa)

Sunday. Maybe Saturday took a bit too much out of me. Maybe it was the yardwork that still needed to be finished before the next batch of drenching rain came through. It was a bit of both, more so the latter that gave us a few hours in the city before returning home.

Hopefully, you've read this far, because here is where I make a plea for more beer/dog events during Philly Beer Week. Alla Spina hosted a doggie brunch and excecuted it quite well. It was a fundraiser for shelter dogs. There were special dog bowls created for our four-legged friends. There were specials on the menu and doggie bags of biscuits to go.

See, if you're like me, your dogs get neglected a bit more than they should during Philly Beer Week. Coming. Going. Staying out late. Adjusting their dinner schedule. Their lives take a hit too. It would be great to see more dog events on the schedule. Not just dog friendly, but dog-centric, events. Let's see where that goes. I'll keep pushing and talking about it; you do the same as well and maybe we'll see yet another way to help make PBW more successful.

That was it. A wrap. More went on. There was a TUD (totally unnecessary drink) at Fergie's. Earlier this year than in past years. I took care of the yardwork and had a few Sly Fox Grisettes. This beer is a near stone cold mortal lock on being named one of my "most memorbable beers" of 2013.

I'll be back at some point, perhaps later this week, to put a bow on my "coverage" of Philly Beer Week 2013.

(link to pictures from days 9 and 10 over at Picasa)



Saturday, June 08, 2013

Philly Beer Week 2013, Day 8 Sights and Sounds: Friday, June 7


While I purposely took Monday and Tuesday off from Philly Beer Week earlier this week, these last two days turned out completely different than originally planned. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Thursday night turned out to be a pleasant night of dinner at TJ's and Belgian beer conversation with Brasserie de la Senne at Teresa's Next Door.

Last night, Friday, dealt me a different set of circumstances. This lady, Andrea, brought a ton of rain to the Philly region and some flooding and emergency gutter work in the neighborhood.

This presented an opportunity to support another fine provider of great beer in the suburbs.

The Drafting Room in Exton was one of the first in the area many years ago to serve up some of the best local beer next to beers from around the world.

Last night, they were doing a West Coast Appreciation night and it gave me a chance to pick up dinner to bring home. But that wasn't before appreciating several of these beers and a plate of wings.

For these special events, TDR will often provide the option for 5- and 10-ounce pours to give a chance to sample more of the special beers on the menu.

Port Brewing's Hop 15, Lost Abbey's Deliverance and Super Fuzz from Elysian got me through my session of wings before I put in the to-go order and polished off my palate with a very good Pucker Puss from local favorite, Earth Bread + Brewery. It was a leftover from the PA versus NY night earlier this week at TDR and I'd recommend checking it soon before it disappears if you're in the area.

Now, for day nine. The City awaits.


Philly Beer Week 2013, Day 10 Preview: Sunday, June 9

Since a solid majority of respondents to the survey said that it was more important to them to receive daily previews throughout Philly Beer Week, I'll continue this year as I have in the past with a daily snapshot of what's to come and what you might find most interesting or that you may have missed on the calendar of events.

It may not be a perfect science, but I've pored over the calendar of events and come up with the following to share with you. Next up is day ten, Sunday, June 9.

All day
  - There'll be plenty of "kick the kegs" going on to provide specials on beers that bars are looking to clear out before they get back to "normal". Or, it's just an excuse to list an event. Either way, The Industry is doing one. For Pete's Sake nearby is as well. So too is Kildare's in Manayunk. Prohibition Taproom in Spring Garden section. Good Dog. Westbury. The Irish Pol. I think you get the idea. Go get 'em!

Try a new place
  - Brunches really are the order of the day on the Sunday schedule. Use the opportunity to check out Perch Pub on Broad Street if you've not yet visited them. They've got a Tröegs-based brunch in store for you.
  - Likewise, if you've not made to British-style pub, The Victoria Freehouse, on Front Street during PBW '13, check out their Kegs and Eggs brunch featuring $5 pints.

Afternoon
  - My money for brunch, though, is on Alla Spina. Partly because I'm betting on the beer and food. And, maybe even more so, that after nine days of reduced attention from their human companions, the dogs deserve it. Weather forecast, too, looks great for al fresco brunching.
  - Dock Street is doing a Scavenger Run at 12:30 p.m. for the active-inclined and then their annual Music Fest from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Always a crowd-pleaser for some late afternoon toe-tapping.
  - Then there's the annual Russian River day at Local 44, which I'm pretty sure once again will not suck.
  - Tom Peter's at Monk's Café has been brewing up a storm in recent times and he's sharing some of the beers from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Evening
  - I haven't asked why, but Fergie's has bumped up the TUD time (Totally Unnecessary Drink) to a 5 p.m. start time. Always a fond memory (if not fuzzy) of the final PBW day.
  - Let's call this "early evening" for the sake of fitting it in here to this section. From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., City Tap House is doing a Great Growler Auction. Sounds like fun, charity, and a lot of great beer.

Late Night
  - Cooperage is doing Beer Quizzo that claims it will "test your knowledge of what you learned or what you forgot over the last 10 days". Sounds like fun.
  - Interstate Draft House is advertising "Shitty bar movies with shitty beer" after 10 p.m. I don't quite know what to make of it, but perhaps you would like to.

Suburbs
  - More Neshaminy Creek. This listing is for their one-year anniversary party at the brewery with the fun band, The Pietasters and others. Starts at Noon.
  - In Exton, The Drafting Room's brunch is always excellent. Add a Stout theme to the brunch and it's something you probably don't want to miss.


What about you? What have I missed?



Weekly Second-Hand Brews News Update: 6/8/13

I long ago lost the ability to keep up with even half the beer news out there in the wild and wacky world of craft beer. There was a time I attempted daily (or even more frequent) updates with interesting tidbits from around the brewniverse along with small contributions of my own thoughts.

That has yielded to my weekly updates that you'll find here every Saturday morning with some of what I consider to be some of the more interesting news out there that you might like to add to your weekend reading list (or Monday morning at work, depending upon your preference).

Enjoy.

PHILADELPHIA
~ Get your last fillup of Philly Beer Week this weekend, while supplies last. Then, it's back to "normal".


EASTERN PA, NJ, DE, AND OTHER NEARBY PARTS OF MID-ATLANTIC
~ More progress at Victory.


THE REST OF PLANET BEER
~ These lists seem to be a bit played out and lacking originality, but here it is for your perusal nonetheless.

~ BeerPulse.com pulls together some coverage related to breweries in Oklahoma affected by recent devastating weather.

~ Glad to see that some are using an effective and logical approach to thinking about craft beer.



Friday, June 07, 2013

Philly Beer Week 2013, Day 9 Preview: Saturday, June 8

Since a solid majority of respondents to the survey said that it was more important to them to receive daily previews throughout Philly Beer Week, I'll continue this year as I have in the past with a daily snapshot of what's to come and what you might find most interesting or that you may have missed on the calendar of events.

It may not be a perfect science, but I've pored over the calendar of events and come up with the following to share with you. Next up is day nine, Saturday, June 8.

All day
  - The Gonzo Art event at Fox & Hound (as well as their beer of course) sounds like a quality stop to make at some point while gallivanting around Center City on Saturday.
  - There's something in the name Philly’s Worst Beer Geek and the description to make me want to stop by.

Try a new place
  - I've resisted putting places on here with rather generic looking repeating events. I drove by Smokin' Betty's last night, though, and it seems to be quite a popular place at 11th/Sansom. Maybe enough to want to check out their beer week special. Check out the menu here.
  - I'm betting that Bierstube might be considered a new place for many of you, so with the good beer that Neshaminy Creek is putting out these days, I'll take this opportunity to recommend stopping by this Old City sister spot to Eulogy.

Afternoon
  - Religion and beer on the same menu? Only at Fergie's.
  - Memphis Taproom is spotlighting local homebrewers and their malted barley creations. Plus, all-you-can-eat hot dogs!

Evening
  - I like the breakfast for dinner idea. I mean, who doesn't like breakfast? Especially when it's for dinner at PBR.
  - Stopping by American Sardine for this farm-to-table dinner with Oskar Blues sounds like a great idea.

Late Night
  - Doobies is doing a whole lineup of Victory beers in honor of V-E Day.
  - 90s hip-hop and Smuttynose beer at Underground Arts after 11 p.m. Sounds like a scene, man.

Suburbs
  - Blue Dog in Chalfont is showcasing the Free Will & Full Pint collaboration beer and handful of each brewery's beers.
  - Staying up north of the city, Issac Newton's in Newtown has a Sierra Nevada-based lunch during the day that looks worthy of checking out.


What about you? What have I missed?



Philly Beer Week 2013, Day 7 Sights and Sounds: Thursday, June 6

Well, so things didn't quite work out as planned last night. No worries, though. It was a night that was apparently meant for The Brew Lounge to stay in the suburbs. Circumstances conspired and I wound up having a killer meal of Roast Pork with long hots and a smoked garlic aioli spread at TJs in Paoli. A very nice Homefront IPA (check out the charitable tie-in) from Sly Fox accompanied quite nicely.

Fortunately, the suburbs have a few events scattered here and there because after dinner, it was up the road for a casually-enjoyable couple of hours with the crew at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne who were hosting Yvan De Baets from Brasserie de la Senne all the way from Brussels.

You may recall that Weyerbacher did this year's collaboration PBW brew over at Yvan's brewery. The taps were overflowing with some very good beers from de la Senne. Band of Brothers, Jambe de Bois, and of course Taras Boulba all went down quite nicely over conversation with Yvan and numerous other familiar and friendly faces at one of the suburbs best options for beer and food.

No pictures, just a quality night of people and beer in the 'burbs. We'll give the City another try tonight and see if things turn out differently. We're entering the home stretch here with three days remaining.

Let me know if I missed anything stupendously great in the City last night. 30th Street Beer Garden? Philly Beer Geek? Good Dog? Dunkel Dare? Johnny Brenda's? Barcade? And....?



Thursday, June 06, 2013

Philly Beer Week 2013, Day 6 Sights and Sounds: Wednesday, June 5

Go ahead. Get your shots ready to lob in my general direction.

Yes, I took the last two days off from Philly Beer Week. Indeed, it was to provide some of that much needed balance in life. More specifically, it was do some lawn/garden work one night and, the other night, it was to do some household chores. Okay, fine, yes it was to clean a shower. Happy now? Got that picture in your head?

Go ahead, fire away. I can take it. Take away some beer geek cred points if you must. Moving along....

After three days "on" and two days "off", I was back in the swing of things last night by racking up visits to four, yes four, new places on night number six of Philly Beer Week. Well, new at least to me. One or two may surprise you since they've all got some pretty serious compliments since they've been open.

But, alas, we can't all get to all the places, right? Some things take time and for me, it took some time to get to Alla Spina, Kennett, Pennsylvania 6, and Growler's Pub. Fair enough, PA-6 just opened a few weeks back, so I might be a bit ahead of the curve on that one.

The other three, however, I'm pleased to report, all deserve the kudos and accolades sent their way over the years or months since they opened.

Alla Spina is bright, airy, and full of great beer and interesting food. Some (though, not enough) oysters, crackers, and salami went very well with the sampler of rare Victory beers. The windows opened wide to the street added to the very comfortable atmosphere.

Kennett is a cozy neighborhood kind of place with a wood-burning brick oven in the back. I stopped by for a hand-made pizza from Tröegs' regional rep, Nick Johnson, and a glass of their collaboration beer with Church Brew Works and Devil's Backbone. An "alive and tasty" cask-conditioned beer, this Black IPA is.

Pennsylvania 6 is hip midtown kind of place brought to us by the good folks who have provided us with City Tap House, Field House, and Chestnut 7. This spot so far reportedly skews more to the wine and cocktail side of the bar, but this particular night showcased Allagash and proves they care as much about the beer.

Growlers was much more (in physical space as well as in ambition in the food and beer menu) than I'd imagined prior to making a one-last-beer stop there on the way out of town. My short visit demonstrated its worthiness in winning best new bar from Philly Beer Scene.

To the pictures we go...


(a string of nice weather weekdays made for ideal beer weeking conditions)

(late spring means Philly Beer Week and it also means tick season)

(Alla Spina, tucked away on Mount Vernon Street just off Broad Street)

(Steve Wildy, right, hosted Bill Covaleski at Alla Spina for an evening of hard-to-find special beers from Victory)

(from left: Bell Ringer double IPA, Hundred House chestnut brown, and Hip Czech pilsner)

(some salami with the Victory beers at Alla Spina)

(Kennett Restaurant at 2nd/Christian played host to the pizza-tossing Nick Johnson from Tröegs Brewery)

(Nick Johnson from Tröegs tossed the dough.)

(Nick Johnson from Tröegs stretches the dough.)

(Nick Johnson from Tröegs checks the dough.)

(Nick Johnson from Tröegs puts the finishing touches on the dough.)

(inside the cozy Kennett Restaurant at 2nd/Christian)

(from left: Andy Farrell-City Tap House, Suzy Woods-Allagash, Rob Tod-Allagash)



Philly Beer Week 2013, Day 8 Preview: Friday, June 7

Since a solid majority of respondents to the survey said that it was more important to them to receive daily previews throughout Philly Beer Week, I'll continue this year as I have in the past with a daily snapshot of what's to come and what you might find most interesting or that you may have missed on the calendar of events.

It may not be a perfect science, but I've pored over the calendar of events and come up with the following to share with you. Next up is day eight, Friday, June 7.

All day
  - Want your big beers early? Stop by the Wrap Shack at lunch or anytime and get some 10%+ ABV beers just because you can.
  - Home Sweet Home Brew is having a big special for you all day on specialty grains where you can get a 20% discount.

Try a new place
  - Stangelove's is only a few months old and Mike Fava is sure making good use of his return visit to Philadelphia. Check him and the Oxbow lineup of beers out at the newest addition to the Memphis Taproom/Local 44/Resurrection Ale House family.
  - I couldn't find any other really new place doing anything particularly unique, so I'll pick American Sardine Bar which I believe is less than a couple of years old and they're hosting the Point Breeze Arm Wrestling Championship with Left Hand Brewing and their rep, the inimitable Dan Conway. Don't think that there's really such a thing, but they're making it such, so there you go. Good times with a great lineup of beer and some well-made affordable eats means this event probably can't be beat.

Afternoon
  - Lunch with Jolly Pumpkin at Jose Pistola's sounds like a great way to kick start the day.
  - Late in the afternoon, Standard Tap is introducing the guys behind this year's collaborative Belgian brew, Weyerbacher and Brasserie de la Senne

Evening
  - Bullfrog Brewery at The Barrel. If you haven't been to Bainbridge Street yet, here's a good reason to try.
  - A Niebhur and some Boontville beer at Finn McCool's. I'm guessing this could be a pretty good time.
  - Saucony Creek will be at Grace Tavern. Like this place and it gives a chance to check out this new brewery.
  - Bacon Beer Fest. Those words sound descriptive enough to get a party going at Field House.

Late Night
  - Blank Landlord on stage and Philly Brewing Company on the taps sounds like the makings of an awesome night at Johnny Brenda's.
  - Brooklyn Brewery jumps in on everyone's favorite, breakfast, for dinner at The Industry.

Suburbs
  - New guys, Neshaminy Creek Brewing, will be at PJ Whelihan's in Blue Bell.
  - And, not far away in Chalfont, some Flying Dog Rarities, plus a collaboratively-brewed Stock Ale with Evolution Brewing, will be available at Blue Dog.


What about you? What have I missed?



Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Philly Beer Week 2013, Day 7 Preview: Thursday, June 6

Since a solid majority of respondents to the survey said that it was more important to them to receive daily previews throughout Philly Beer Week, I'll continue this year as I have in the past with a daily snapshot of what's to come and what you might find most interesting or that you may have missed on the calendar of events.

It may not be a perfect science, but I've pored over the calendar of events and come up with the following to share with you. Next up is day seven, Thursday, June 6.

All day
  - I risk overdoing it here for Kite & Key, but when they put on a daylong Firestone Walker show, well, it deserves the attention.
  - Owner Mike "Scoats" Scotese was recently featured on the cover of the Philadelphia Inquirer's Food section detailing his appreciation for Pilsners. He backs it up with a Pilsner event during Philly Beer Week at his Grey Lodge when he'll have ten lines of mostly Philly local Pilsners. How lucky are we?!

Try a new place
  - I'll go out on a limb and bet that most of you have not been to the Four Seasons Hotel, even though they've hosted the official Philly Beer Week Garden each of the last three years. This year, the Garden has moved to Headhouse Square, but the Hotel still has an event. They have an ongoing relationship with Dock Street and this year they're using the relationship to showcase a new collaborative release (I've lost count; they may have done six or so of these by this point) called Crackle & Squeeze, a summer brew made with cracked pepper and Meyer lemons. There'll be live blues/country music as well as food truck options. Who says the Four Seasons isn't befitting of beer events?
  - The Foodery, you may have heard, has a new location. The 17th/Sansom location will be featuring newcomer to Philly, but certainly no newcomer to the beer world, Shiner out of Texas. More correctly Spoetzl Brewery out of Shiner, Texas. My advice would have you skipping the Bock (though, try it if you've never) and heading to their Black Lager and others you may not have heard of.

Afternoon
  - You stop by here often, you know my affinity for train travel, particularly for utilizing it during Philly Beer Week even more so than usual. They've had Bridgewater's Pub serving up some pretty great beer and food for quite some time. Now they've got an outdoor social area that has become The Porch's Beer Garden just in time for Philly Beer Week. Looks like they've got some German beers, food trucks, and live jazz and polka music after 3 p.m. both Thursday and Friday. Try not to miss your train.
  - Before he heads off to judge Philly Beer Geek (see below), Jim Koch from Boston Beer/Sam Adams will be at Khyber Pass Pub for a brunch that has a beer lineup that looks pretty near epic, or at least very interesting. The food looks just as special.

Evening
  - One year old Forest & Main from Ambler has not been mentioned yet in these pages this week, if I've been keeping proper track. When they put on a couple of unique casks and serve them up with some food from Kennett's excellent kitchen, the time has come to rectify that.
  - Another Philly Beer Geek will be crowned, this time at the Field House. This is always a rollicking time and they've added out-of-town industry luminary, Jim Koch (Sam Adams), as a guest judge.
  - The Bruery from southern California has a strong beer geek following. I'm sure the following will grow even more so at Barcade where fifteen or so of their standards and not-so-standards will be on tap. Take your quarters for Centipede too.

Late Night
  - Another late night, another call out to Underground Arts. This time, they're doing a "phreak show with phegley's" brewery from the Lehigh Valley.
  - Late Night with Joe Gunn. Are you experienced?

Suburbs
  - Remember Yvan from de la Senne making his rounds? He stops at Teresa's Next Door for a suburban visit.
  - You might have a point if you think I've been dissin' Uno Chicago Grill all week long. I had some decent things to say about them, oh what was it, four years ago when I stopped in at a PBW event they did at their Exton location. They're still doing events in 2013 and deserve a shout for being one of the first large chain-type restaurants in the area to commit to better beer and stay committed to it. On this night, the Maple Shade location is featuring San Diego area breweries Stone, Ballast Point, Green Flash, Port, and Lost Abbey.


What about you? What have I missed?



Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Philly Beer Week 2013, Day 6 Preview: Wednesday, June 5

Since a solid majority of respondents to the survey said that it was more important to them to receive daily previews throughout Philly Beer Week, I'll continue this year as I have in the past with a daily snapshot of what's to come and what you might find most interesting or that you may have missed on the calendar of events.

It may not be a perfect science, but I've pored over the calendar of events and come up with the following to share with you. Next up is day six, Wednesday, June 5.

All day
  - Misconduct Tavern on Locust is a decent place for a few beers and a bite. All week, they're featuring local breweries (mostly new-ish ones) and Wednesday is Naked from Huntingdon Valley just outside Philly and they seem to have opened without a lot of notice. Their beer, though, I did notice at Opening Tap and you could use this event to do so likewise for yourself.

Try a new place
  - There's a lot going on here at the new spot, Pennsylvania 6. Well-known Rob Tod of Allagash will be in the house along with rock star rep, Suzy Woods, jamming to the best of The Clash. Plenty of great beer from Allagash and oysters are the evening's itinerary. Should be a blast and a great way to check out a new spot.
  - Just a hunch that many of you have not seen Race Street Café, though they've been there for quite a while and doing a decent job serving up great beer. This time, they're doing right by Harpoon to help them celebrate the Boston brewery's 20th anniversary.

Afternoon
  - Memphis Taproom (as well as their sister establishments) host monthly "beer schools". This one will be a bit more special with a guest, Yvan de Baets, from Brasserie de la Senne coming all the way from Brussels.
  - Maine is in the house at Nodding Head with Allagash's Rob Tod and former assistant brewer at Nodding Head, Mike Fava, now at Oxbow Brewing also in Maine.

Evening
  - I was told by more than a few of you (and from pictures as well) that Dunkel Dare last year was a huge hit at Frankford Hall. They're back again this year. Sounds like a great time once again.
  - The Dandelion for DiBruno Bros. cheese (Neal's Yard) and English ales sounds like slam dunk winner.
  - Bill Covaleski will be your beer sommelier as plenty of food, entertainment, and beer will rule the night at Alla Spina.
  - Underground Arts is constantly catching my attention this week. This time it's beer movie premiere with showings at 7 p.m., 9:30 p.m., and Midnight. Beer tastings will accompany them movie.

Late Night
  - If you missed Mike Fava and Oxbow Brewing earlier in the day, Jose Pistola's is doing a late night feature that should turn into quite the scene. It's a Homecoming Dance theme and that might be all you need to know.
  - Speaking of late nights and friends that have moved away, City Tap House is hosting a late night with Joel Armato of New Holland Brewing. He'll be joined by friends Dan Conway from Left Hand and Ted Whitney from Avery. Sounds like all the ingredients for a perfectly innocent night.

Suburbs
  - Don't know who will be there, but The Drafting Room in Exton is putting out a Pennsylvania versus New York "challenge" featuring beers from five solid beers from each state up against each other. Don't know what the process of determining "winner" will be, but you'll drink some mighty tasty beers along the way for sure.
  - There's a special-priced version of Intro to Brewing Class at Keystone Homebrew in Montgomeryville for Philly Beer Week.
  - If you're up for a real, bona fide 5-k race and can make it to Pottstown by 7 p.m., >Sly Fox is hosting a race and after-party that should be worth your while. Or you could meet their goats at Bar on Sansom Street in Philly. Or help them win Kingpin at Standard Tap.


What about you? What have I missed?



Monday, June 03, 2013

Philly Beer Week 2013, Day 5 Preview: Tuesday, June 4

Since a solid majority of respondents to the survey said that it was more important to them to receive daily previews throughout Philly Beer Week, I'll continue this year as I have in the past with a daily snapshot of what's to come and what you might find most interesting or that you may have missed on the calendar of events.

It may not be a perfect science, but I've pored over the calendar of events and come up with the following to share with you. Next up is day five, Tuesday, June 4.

All day
  - Bishop's Collar gives you the opportunity to Tube with Tomme and then hang out back at the pub to talk and drink of his beers.
  - It's the last day Guillermo Tellez at Red Owl Tavern will be doing sausage specials paired with beers from his friends at Victory. Stop by anytime during day or night to check out this new place and tasty combinations. (May I recommend the Bell Ringer from Victory, which I've now had twice and immensely enjoyed?)

Try a new place
  - Jolly's has been around for a few years yet I'm betting that many of you have not been to this dueling piano bar. They're hosting the whole crew from Starr Hill for what should be a big and fun night with lots of unique beers from this Charlottesville, Va. brewery.
  - Have you been to the new Opa/Drury Beer Garden yet, just around the corner from McGillin's? They're doing what they're calling a Greek BBQ and serving up with Oskar Blues beers, which were also used in the BBQ preparation and cooking.

Afternoon
  - A casual 5-k run with Adam Avery is a-happening at Hawthornes in South Philly, followed by beers and lunch at the restaurant.
  - Haven't seen McGillin's a ton on the schedule this year. They have a great relationship with the pioneering Stoudt's Brewing Company in Lancaster County and are hosting Ed & Carol for lunch.
  - Funky Buddha from Boca Raton gets a ton of beer geek love. They'll be at Devil's Den after 3 p.m. for what sounds like a great afternoon of Berliner Weisse.

Evening
  - If you find yourself in Manayunk, you might like to check out what Maine Brewing Company has brought to town to serve up at Lucky's Last Chance on this evening.
  - I haven't been to Eulogy in Old City in quite some time and I know that many of you swear by it. On this night, they'll be doing an event they're calling Barrel-ly Legal--even more wood. They had me at Tilquin Geueze and the rest of the list does not look to disappoint.

Late Night
  - How about a Late Night with Joe Gunn at Jose Pistola's? You've heard about these legendary sessions, yes?
  - I like Doobies, the little neighborhood bar at 22nd/Lombard that has been serving up decent beer for quite some time and always involved with Philly Beer Week. Here, they'll be hosting a relatively new guy, Round Guys, for some special beers as they "keep it local".

Suburbs
  - An epic showdown between beer and wine will be played out over a five-course meal at the Phoenxiville location of Iron Hill. These guys put on solid beer dinners throughout the course of the year at all their locations. This one should be no different. They're also, on this night, doing what appears to be a sold-out "collaboration dinner" with five local breweries at its Chestnut Hill location.
  - It's the sixth year of Bobo showing off the Chimay at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne.


What about you? What have I missed?



Philly Beer Week 2013, Day 3 Sights and Sounds: Sunday, June 2

(Links to video precede the pictures farther below.)

The opening weekend of Philly Beer Week 2013 came to a slightly cooler, interrupted by brief passing showers, end with festivities of every stripe going down around the city.

Early reports came in of some solid brunches being served up and I got mine in just before 3 p.m. at Kite & Key (great "stuffed" PB&J French Toast) as the Throwdown in Franklintown was warming up. I got roped into a couple of events so you may see some moving or still pictures (moving as in motion, not be confused with emotional) of me participating on the runner-up to the runner-up to the runner-up team.

Each year K&K does this event, a) it gets larger, b) it attracts more folks from the industry who want to participate in a couple hours of fun 'n' games, and c) it remains an event where you know, where you can trust, that K&K will do its job to secure great beer, but that isn't the focal point of the event. That last point, to me, is what differentiates truly special/unique events during beer week from the more run o' the mill types. Getting people involved, entertaining, and providing a fun atmosphere where it's not just beer geekerie sitting around, pontificating a beer's merits, and checking it into an app.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Usually.

So how about those beers, eh mister beer geek?

Yes, the beers were special (as would be expected) during the Throwdown at K&K. The two that stoodout and wound up multiple times in my hand were Allagash's FV-13 and Golden Brett, two beers aged in oak and treating folks to a wild ride of fruit and tart and sweet and rich. The Golden Brett comes across as cleaner and more refreshing, if you will, where the FV-13 has a wider range, and is a bit boozier, of flavors.

Also of note was my second Bell Ringer IPA from Victory. It was on CO2 and was just as enjoyable as the night prior at Johnny Brenda's where it was being served from a gravity cask. And, as their website warns "not to be fooled", I was. No way I'd guess this clocks in at 9% ABV.

The party rolled on with many moving into Center City and Nodding Head where owner Curt Decker and the team were hosting Tomme Arthur and his Red Poppy, Framboise, and several other tasty sours from southern California.

It was a bit of a sign of things to come when next Tuesday, if you haven't heard, Nodding Head will be doing a very special brew day with De La Senne and guest appearances by Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River) and again Tomme Arthur. Breakfast bites will be available as well.

With time for just a quick stop at Standard Tap, we buzzed in and saw owner Willam Reed holding court with three huge GABF 2012 winners. Tröegs (Hershey) won mid-size brewery of the year, Devil's Backbone (Virginia) won small brewpub of the year, and Church Brew Works (Pittsburgh) won large brewpub of the year. They each had multiple beers of theirs pouring, most of which are not typically available in Philly.

They also had a beer that all three collaborated on brewed at Tröegs. It's a black rye IPA and it was being served on the handpump. Interesting beer with an earthy hop profile and definitely worth checking out should you see it around (apparently it's tagged as Scratch #97).

Great exposure at Standard Tap, one of the city's most comfortable pubs, for these two out-of-town excellent breweries and, as always, for our home-region Tröegs.

That might be about it for me for a few days. It may even turn out to be the first year where I essentially take off the full week from PBW events. Must keep the balance in life. Time will tell. In the meantime, check out the fun videos and pictures and let me know where you have been and what you've seen that's worth reporting.

p.s. Special thanks to Megan Moore of Evolution Brewing for passing along the picture of me keg racing at the Kite & Key event.

Link to video of the keg race (they were full, btw).
Link to video of tug o' war (Victory versus Dogfish Head, first match)
Link to video of tug o' war (Victory versus Dogfish Head, second match)
Link to video of jousting (Jim Kirk-Kite & Key versus Tom Kehoe-Yards Brewing, first match)
Link to video of jousting (Jim Kirk-Kite & Key versus Tom Kehoe-Yards Brewing, first match)
Link to video of jousting finals (Greg Lehman-Victory Brewing versus Tom Kehoe-Yards Brewing)



(A slightly cooler day, it's relative of course, brought larger crowd than ever for the annual Throwdown in Franklintown at Kite & Key.)


(The Yards Brewing team from Philly.)


(The Victory Brewing team from Downingtown.)


(Good thing I had sustenance to carry me through the keg race and tug o' war that I was recruited for.)


(Yours truly got recruited for the keg race.)


(Fergie Carey, temporary custodian, and loving/nurturing custodian at that, of the Hammer of Glory.)


(Curt Decker of Nodding Head welcomes Tomme Arthur from Lost Abbey to his Sour Happy Hour event on Sunday, June 2.)


(Standard Tap featuring the reigning Small and Large brewpub and Mid-size brewery GABF 2012 winners. The Black Rye IPA on the handpump was the collaboration between the three.)


(William Reed of Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda's, with the Hammer of Glory natch, played host at Standard Tap to Jason Oliver from Devil's Backbone in Virginia.)