Friday, November 30, 2007

Beer Calendar: What To Do in December 2007

There's certainly no shortage of beer events in the Delaware Valley to get you in the festive mood. A few further out of the region, too. And, if all of the holiday festivities are getting the better of you, then one of these events will be sure to recalibrate your zen.

Fri. 11/30 - St. Andrew Day @Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA (6pm-9pm; pay as you go)
Fri. 11/30 - Cask Ale Night @General Sutter Inn, Lititz, PA (4:30pm; pay as you go)
Fri. 11/30-Sat. 12/1 - Strong Ale Festival @Pizza Port, Carlsbad, CA (1pm-4pm (Fri. VIP), 4pm-11pm (Fri.), 11am-11pm (Sat.); $25 for 8 tasting; plus $1 for additional tastings)
Sat. 12/1-Sun. 12/2 - Brooklyn 2 Belgium @Mugs Ale House, New York, NY (11am-close; pay as you go)
Sat. 12/1 - History of Brewing in Reading @The Historical Society of Berks County, Reading, PA (2pm; free)
Tue. 12/4 - Boulder Brewery Beer Dinner @Zot, Philadelphia, PA (6:30pm; $55)
Wed. 12/5 - Feliz Navidad @José Pistolas, Philadelphia, PA ($45)
Wed. 12/5 - Great Divide Night @Capone's, East Norriton, PA (all day; pay as you go)
Thu. 12/6 - Brewer's Reserve Barrel Tappings (Belgian Golden Ale) @Triumph Brewing, Philadelphia, PA (6pm; pay as you go)
Thu. 12/6 - Rogue Ale Redux with Di Bruno's Cheeses @Di Bruno Bros., Philadelphia, PA (6pm-8pm; $45)
Thu. 12/6 - Local Brewers Do It Better @Tria Fermentation School, Philadelphia, PA (6:30pm-8:00pm; $40)
Fri. 12/7 - The Belgians Are Coming! @TJs Restaurant & Drinkery, Paoli, PA (pay as you go)
Fri. 12/7 - Holiday Beers Dinner @The Farmhouse, Emmaus, PA (7pm; $80)
Tue. 12/11 - Holiday Beer Dinner @Monk's Cafe, Philadelphia, PA (7pm-10pm; $65)
Thu. 12/13 - Thursday Night Tasting (Grimbergen) @Isaac Newton's, Newtown, PA (7pm-9pm; free)
Fri. 12/14 - IPA Project Day @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, PA (10am-10pm; pay as you go)
Tue. 12/18 - Noel Beers from Around The World @Chick's Cafe, Philadelphia, PA (7pm-9pm; $35/$45)
Mon. 12/24 - Merry Pielsmas @Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA (11:45pm-12:15am; pay as you go)

All Aboard the Beer Train

The Beer Lass, aka Suzanne, will be pulling out of Center City Philly this Saturday morning on the R5 train to the western suburbs. Hey, haven't we talked about how beer-rich these western suburbs are?! Here's a chance to experience a few quality spots first hand, with some great beer loving people just like you. If you're in the city, jump on board with her and the crew. If you're in the 'burbs, why not plan to meet up with her at one or more of these fine watering holes. The Brew Lounge may make an appearance too. Just need to see how the to-do list is looking before I head out the door.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bière de Garde tasting at Chick's Cafe in Philadelphia, PA - 11/26/07

(lovely picture of water, eh?!)

Dan Shelton (don't call me Kevin Healon) appeared at Chick's Cafe to weave stories of France's lesser known Bière de Garde style. It can be one of my more favorite styles and I was certainly looking forward to this event, hoping that my schedule would permit my attendance, ever since I first read of Chick's over at Suzanne's site.

It was nice to see Don's thoughts about the dinner. Because dufus (that's me) left notes and scribblings behind on the table, so it's all up to my memory...which is normally pretty sharp even without notes. But, without a proper dinner and several tastings of beer, weeeelllll let's see how that memory thing goes here. Or, I may take the easy way out and simply defer to Mr. Russell.

The great thing about Don is that he has this (award-winning) way of telling the truth in a tactful way, while letting the reader pass judgment on the subject at hand. Case in point...while I've previously had never sat through a presentation by Dan, his reputation certainly precedes him. I've heard him interviewed on Craft Beer Radio before, quoted in print, and criticized in online forums.

However, he has a business whereby he travels in search of good beer to import for our pleasure. So, I figured this was a chance to check out a new (new, for me) establishment, check out some French beers, and form my own opinion of Shelton.

(Dan Shelton)

Well, Don was right on the money. The evening certainly did have an element of entertainment. I struggled to keep up with the meandering stories full of nuggets which I cannot personally confirm. For example, I do not know if there were really 2,000 French breweries in an area less than the size of Rhode Island. Or, if the land that some of the country folk around some of the breweries live in is really befitting of Dan's "armpit" reference. Or some of the other choice adjectives that he used to describe the people. Or, the beer that he not-so-affectionately refers to as "merde."

What I do know is that I disagree that there are only 3 outstanding breweries in the United States. And, that there are only a couple more than that in Belgium. One that I particularly enjoy, St. Feuillien, he summarily dismissed as garbage. I also disagreed with the tone he seemed to talk down to us with. Whether it was regarding European versus beers of other origins, the pointlessness of aging beers, etc. etc. Anyway, one man's opinions are...

So, amidst the regaling of endless stories and half-answered questions, two other things may have actually upstaged the M.C. First was the Gavroche incident that Don referred to in his write-up. It actually had me looking around for the casting crew of American Idol! Second was the trumpeting of Don's presence as well as the announcement of his upcoming dinner at Jose Pistolas and his tutored tastings of local (PA/DE) GABF 2007 award-winning beers at Tria's Fermentation School. A very nice round of applause was offered up by the crowd.

I haven't really said much about Chick's or the event's beers have I? Shame on me. I got caught up in the sideshow. While this was Chick's first "major" beer event, they seem intent on setting up some competition for Tria's Fermentation School concept. Next month's event is on December 18th, entitled "Noel Beers: From Around The World."

The night started with the Clos Normand cider from Cidrerie Duché De Longueville. The various beers included the Extra and Amber from Brasserie Thiriez, a Framboise from Brasserie La Choulette, Brasserie Duyck's St. Druon Abbey Ale, Brasserie St. Sylvestre's Gavroche, and the La Bavaisienne Blonde from Brasserie Theillier.

My runaway favorite of the night was the dry, tart, slightly musty, low alcohol (4.5%) and pleasantly hop bitter of Thiriez's Extra. In the nicely written tasting notes, it mentioned the use of England's Bramling Cross hop variety and offered the beer description of "farmhouse IPA session." Downright tasty is another way I'd put it.

The night ended with my second favorite, the Gavroche. It tipped the scales as the highest ABV of the evening at 8.5%. This was a nice full bodied malty beer with clean and dry flavors that didn't overwhelm the senses.

It's hard to gripe much about my experience at Chick's. The building's interior has been beautifully renovated with extraordinary attention to architectural and design detail around the bar on the first floor and on up to the coziness of the second floor. The service from Jon, Nicole, and the staff couldn't have been more attentive. The tasting notes and the seating arrangements, also very appropriate and comfortable.

I only wished there were a few more morsels of food to go around. I realize that this was a tasting, advertised with cheese and charcuterie. Obviously, no fault of theirs. They delivered exactly what they advertised. Maybe I'm a bit spoiled by beer dinners. This event started at 7pm and I came directly from work. After leaving work, schlepping home, then train into Philly and taxi to the restaurant, I'd worked up an appetite since having lunch 7 hours earlier. I suppose it's shame on me for not having prepared better, but I sure wish there was a bit more than a few smoked mussels, tiny triangles of cheese, sausage bites, cashews, and berries. Considering the event got started about 20 minutes late, I had a difficult time keeping anything on my plate past the first beer. Eh, this was a beer tasting not a beer dinner...lesson learned.

After a couple of nightcaps at the front bar with Dan, Don, and others, we headed off for our train, anxious to head back to Chick's on some random night to give their decent looking dinner menu a try...and a few more beers. (As you saw on Don's review, tap list spans local to global; enough bottles to satisfy too.)

(What the @#$%, I thought this was a civilized beer tasting?!)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Changes a-brewin' at Victory

While we all (continue) to wait on the 2007 (?) debut of Baltic Thunder at Victory, details of their planned makeover are hitting the wire. Long rumored changes to the layout appear to ready to go. Our man on the inside, Richard, posted some details at Beer Advocate. (Okay, so I peek once in a while...just so you don't have to!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A major, major renovation of the entire brewpub will most likely begin after the first of the year. The planned changes will be dramatic and give an entire different appearance to the bar/restaurant area. The current bar area will be gone....a new bar will be installed along the west wall in the new expanded dining area. The wall with the neon "V" sign will be removed to enlarge the dining area. The capacity of the bar and dining area will double from 120 to 240. There will be a combination of booth and table seating. There also will be a new entrance where the current hostess area is located. Plans for the bar area include a 20-tap tower and four hand pumps for cask-conditioned ales. Both Hop Devil and Storm King will be served 24/7 both CO2 and cask versions with two seasonal ales available on cask. The bar should accommodate 30+ people. There also will be a brand new, rebuilt kitchen which will allow for a greater diversity in the menu selections. Supposedly, the initial renovations will begin in January. There most likely will be a period in March or early April when the entire brewpub will be closed for two to four weeks. I know I will be mighty thirsty by the end of that period. Anyway, like I said, it should be quite a different looking place when it reopens in April.

Watch 'em come and Watch 'em go

Some of you know that I've been attempting to clear out some bottles that don't hold up as well over time. (okay, the Bigfoot may not necessarily fall into that category.) You may have even received an e-mail from me asking if you'd like to take some off my hands. But, as things go, where there are empty spots, new beer will always find a way into them.

Either by gift (thanks Scott and Kathleen for the Southampton & Ommegang), package from brewery (as always, thanks Flying Dog), or my own doing (Koningshoeven, plus a new piece of glassware in the gift pack) the empty slots are being filled as quickly as they were vacated. Though, in my ever-so-humble opinion, I think the net result is higher quality.

As much as I look forward to dipping into each of them, the Flying Dog package that I received last week is quite intriguing. First, there's the result of the Open Source Project, an unlabeled "Collaborator Doppelbock." It's been recently released commercially, though I'm not quite sure how far ranging the distribution will be. Then, the barrel-aged barleywine, Wild Dog Barrel-Aged Horn Dog. This one's not ready for commercial release yet and, as such, is only available at the brewery. And, finally, the winter seasonal, K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale. These puppies aren't gonna sit around too long I promise you.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Things are Heatin' Up at Iron Hill in West Chester, PA

Lots of good things happening with the Iron Hill Family. The birth of their new location in Lancaster (lucky Franklin & Marshall folks!), continued success this year at GABF (not enough success, though imho), the unveiling of a very nice "Sleeper" Saison (honey & chamomile...hence the moniker), and now..... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ How do they make Tabasco? Well, a wooden barrel plays a big role...and I seem to recall that beer brewers have this thing for wooden barrels! It's just that I don't recall a brewer taking a wooden barrel that once aged Tabasco sauce and, in turn, aging one of their beers in it. That is, until I learned of the brew boys' latest concoction at West Chester's Iron Hill location. Chris LaPierre (head brewer) and Jean Broillet stuck their Lodestone Lager in said barrel and let it sit for a couple of months. In Jean's words, it's no longer's its own "thing". So, they've got a couple of kegs of it stored away until they decide just what to do with it. At this point, it sounds like they'll be blending it with something. One beer mentioned was their Russian Imperial Stout. I say bring it on! How good does that sound? For starters, the big and beautiful R.I.S. tempered a bit by the relatively lighter lager and its accompanying flavors. Then, jacked up a bit with the Tabasco heat. That's it...heat and sweet. I don't recall where, but I've had a spicy chocolate dessert creation in the past. I recall really, really enjoying the alternating zings of spicy pepper heat with the sweet and bitter chocolate. They also mentioned porter, and that sounds fine too. But, I'm really liking the sound of the R.I.S. blending. As of now, they're talking of it being a bottled product somewhere in the early summer timeframe...for you dads out there, think of it as a Father's Day gift! Chris & Jean, I trust I got the details right, but please correct me if I misinterpreted anything.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Tap List at Flying Pig Saloon in Malvern, PA - 11/23/07

On an attempted regular basis, I'll post the tap list here to the Flying Pig Saloon in Malvern, PA. I have no affiliation with the establishment other than living within 2 miles of it and appreciating the usual quality tap and bottle list. If you like this idea, please drop me a note.

On Draft as of 11/23/07
Allagash Curieux
Avery Old Jubilation
Brasserie d'Achoufee N'ice Chouffe [2006]
Brouwerij Van den Bossche Buffalo Belgian Stout
Dogfish Head Chicory Stout
Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux
Fort Collins Big Shot Hazlenut Brown
Harviestoun Old Engine Oil (cask)
Jever Dark
Russian River Pliny the Elder
Sly Fox Black Raspberry
Southern Tier Pumking
Summit Extra Pale Ale

And the usual suspects...

Blanche De Bruxelles Witbier
Chimay White
Coors Light
Guinness Stout
Harp Lager
Plzensky Prazdroj Pilsner Urquell
Smithwick's Ale
Stella Artois Belgian Pale Ale
Victory HopDevil
Yuengling Traditional Lager

What's On Tap - Last Call for Survey

I'll be shutting the survey down in another 24 hours or so. If you haven't taken the minute or two to answer the survey questions, please do so now. There are only 7 questions, and it should take you between 1-2 minutes to complete. The questions pertain to keeping tap lists up-to-date and available on the Web and the related "project" that I undertook last week. If you've already completed the survey, once is enough, and I thank you for your time.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Procrastination is tools for procrastinating include Iron Hill, Sly Fox, The Drafting Room, Homebrew, Yard work, Moylan's, TJs, Flying Pig, What's On Tap......oh, the list goes on and on. Maybe this holiday weekend, I'll get around to my review of the Wild Game Beer Dinner at Union Barrel Works. I was there, I swear. Go ahead, c'mon and join me,'s easy and fun for all!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

His Indian Name Is "Runs For Beer"

I remember seeing a t-shirt at Ommegang something along those lines. Well, I was there on Sunday to witness firsthand the crossing of the Philadelphia Marathon finish line by one of the Philadelphia region's fine proprietors, brewers, and all-around good guy. How many others in his field can say they have finished a marathon?

Wanna know who it is? You'll get a clue if you visit his brewpub on Germantown Pike and order up something like a Chocolate Thunder. Maybe he'll be there to tell you about his months of training and his well-earned finisher's medal in Sunday's cold and sometimes blustery conditions. Way to go, Chris! (oops, gave it away didn't I?)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Hops Shortage - An Unfolding Story

Overheard last night on The Brewing Network. The production of Mike McDole's winning entry, a Double IPA, in this year's LongShot competition will be postponed until the 2009 variety pack. I suppose that makes him a default winner in next year's competition. Jim Koch at Boston Beer said that they were unable to fill the hop bill. Another casualty in the continuing hop saga. If the recipe called for Cascade, Adam and I would be more than happy to pitch in our 5.5 pounds from this past year's harvest. But, what they really need is 2,500 pounds each of Centennial, Columbus, Simcoe, and Warrior. It'll be interesting to see how many more stories like this we'll begin as the next couple of years go by.

What's On Tap? - What Did You Think?

Please take the time (should be less than 90 seconds) to provide feedback on the mini What's On Tap project that I conducted last week. There are only 7 questions and I ask that you answer them all. The survey can be taken even if you did not read the original posting last week or even go to one of the 15 listed bars/brewpubs. If that's the case, then by all means you might still want to check it out.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What's On Tap at The Drafting Room in Exton, PA - 11/18/07

The Drafting Room in Exton, PA has a decent web presence and quite a huge reputation preceding them. Their beer turns over quite quickly. So, in the spirit of service, whenever I get to The Drafting Room, I'll post the current tap list.

What's on line as of 11/18/2007?

Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale
Sly Fox O'Reilly's Stout
Legacy Midnight Wit
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Tröegs Dead Reckoning Porter (cask)
Lindemans Pomme (cask)
Amstel Light
Lost Coast Winterbraun
Bell's Best Brown
Left Hand Smoked Jumper Porter
Left Hand Goosinator Doppelbock (editorial: holy "smoke")
Legacy Hoptimus Prime
Fort Collins Big Shot Brown
Weyerbacher R&R
Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux

...And other things defy words

Tragic news has certainly come in all forms this year for the beer brewing community. I'll keep it short and simply offer my heartfelt condolences to the Steve Hindy & Brooklyn Brewery families. Here's the news story.

Some things don't require words

Okay, I can't resist one small caption. This is my most recent glassware purchase. You may recall our Lancaster County trip, the Salvator glass was purchased from Sam's Steins. This helps end a pretty all-around decent weekend. I'll tell you later how many "What's On Tap" joints I hit.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Six Degrees (or less) to Switzerland

Let's see...You know me, I know Greg (or maybe you know Greg too), Greg is living for a while in Luxembourg and will occasionally get to Switzerland, France, Germany, and Belgium, therefore so will we. I finally settled down with a cup of coffee this morning, put the iTunes on shuffle, and committed to reading all of Greg's posts to-date. Since moving over there (has it been a month yet, or two?), he and his wife Paula have been putting together their lives (and their cat Molly's too). But, they've also been getting out and enjoying some of the European culture and beer. Go and check out his blog that he's keeping up on while they're in Europe. He has a great descriptive writing style, supported by plenty of pictures, that makes you feel like you too are there. Now that I'm up-to-date, I'll be waiting anxiously for their next adventure. I'm just trying to figure out if he really has a job that he's working at over there. After all, he's mentioned traveling, beer, holiday, beer, food, house hunting, beer, food, etc!!! Wonder if he'll package up any of that cheap Belgian beer and send it to the States? Probably not, too risky. But, he may still have a cellar full of Russian River and other goodies that he left behind here. Where did I put that key?

Friday, November 16, 2007

What's On Tap? All That...and a Few Updates

It was inevitable, I have a few changes for you in today's tap lists that were published yesterday. New to the Malvern McKenzie party are a Blueberry Wheat and a Smoked Porter. Over at Downingtown's Victory, the suds crew has rolled out an ESB for your enjoyment. The spreadsheet has been have it at. Print it out, hit the road, and I'll see you along the way.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

One Question Remains...What's On Tap This Weekend?

I have a whole lot of interesting analysis of diversity of beer available here in the PA/NJ/DE region and various ratios of award-winning brews as compared to other regions of the country. That will have to wait for another day.

Today, I'm going to focus on just a sliver of this beer-rich region and present what is expected to be on tap here in northern Chester County this weekend. Basically, I drew a line across the county, following route 322 (convenient, so that it would still include Iron Hill & Victory).

With the cooperation of 15 brewers and proprietors, I've collected the expected tap lists for Friday (tomorrow) at their respective locations.

If you can live with the fact that they are as accurate as possible but, of course, subject to change, then I think you should find this very interesting. Obviously, more interesting if you live in the vicinity and can stop by one of these establishments this weekend.

Go ahead and open the spreadsheet now by clicking here.

Here are some quick tips for looking at the spreadsheet. When you click the link above, you should choose to either 'Open' it immediately or 'Save' it off to a location on your computer. You'll be able to modify it to your heart's content, print it, or whatever and continue to save it locally to your computer.

The addresses in row 2 can be clicked to see a map of the bar's location. In row 4, you can do the same thing with the bar's website address. Click the cell to go directly to their website.

Lastly, there are two spreadsheets here. The first comes up by default and is the one with all of the tap lists ('Establishments'). The second is a list of the unique beers and their style, state, and country ('Beer Styles'). You'll find those tabs near the bottom of the window.

When tallying the numbers, here's what draft beer we're looking at this weekend in northern Chester County, Pennsylvania. More insightful analysis to come tomorrow.

- 15 locations
- 185 beers (121 unique)
- 57 unique styles
- 14 styles show up on more than 3 tap handles (totaling 59 beers)
- the most frequently found beer: Victory HopDevil (8 times)
- the most common style: American Pale Ale (8 times)
- this weekend, Ales outnumber Lagers: 88-33

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wanna Know What's Coming?

Time to end the suspense. Based on the hate mail that I've been receiving, I can tell that you're all anxious to see what I've been teasing you about "coming this week." Perhaps this will live up to its advance billing. Maybe not. You'll be the judge.

If you follow along here at The Brew Lounge regularly enough, you know that I provide you with the service of current tap lists at places like The Drafting Room, Flying Pig, and Teresa's Next Door. In TDR's case, they have an occasionally updated tap list at their website. For the latter two, you won't find anything online, not even a website. Funny how some will bemoan that fact by citing that in this age, it's a requirement for all businesses to maintain a website. I, on the other hand, find it funny that TND is not suffering from lack of business ever since they opened...still without a website. Anyways...

That's where I come in. You've no doubt heard me and various others extol the virtues of this southeastern Pennsylvania region, which is sometimes lovingly referred to as part of The Fertile Crescent. Occupying a chunk of this territory is my home turf, northern Chester County. And, while I can get into Philadelphia and partake in its world-class beer scene virtually anytime I desire, things ain't too bad in the few miles that I need to stumble from my front door to at least a dozen places making and serving up good beer.

What this has all led to is my attempt to put together a bit of analysis to prove The Fertile Crescent's claim to beer fame. On Thursday, I will publish a list of what is expected to be on tap Friday at over a dozen bars and brewpubs in the northern Chester County area. I will also try to bring focus to the diversity of styles that are offered up at these various locations.

What I'd also like to hear from you is how much you like this idea of having tap lists available to you when deciding which watering hole to visit. If not so much, then this will at least have been a fun little exercise. Or, maybe you'd like to see this on a regular basis.

In any case, stay tuned one more day and you'll see what this is all about.

Blind Tiger to make it a memorable holiday season

All I can say is...Knarly, dude! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ So, in more intellectual news... Come join us Wed. Nov. 14th @ 4:00PM as we tip a glass to one of the best breweries around...Lagunitas. The List: Lagunitas Hop Stoopid Lagunitas Kill Ugly Radio Lagunitas Undercover Shut Down Ale Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball Lagunitas IPA Lagunitas Pilsner Lagunitas Knarly Wine Lagunitas Imperial Red Lagunitas Sirius Lagunitas Saison Lagunitas Censored ...and maybe a few surprises... Also, Wed. Nov. 28th @ 4:00PM we will be getting down with Rob Todd and the Allagash Brewery... Think 15 lines of beer! Then, Wed. Dec. 5th @ 4:00PM...VSK (for those newer Tigerites...Very Special Keg)... The list...well, just trust me on this one... Finally, Wed. Dec. 12th @ 12:00PM is the day of STONE!!! 15 of the best and rarest from our friends at Stone Brewery...with a percentage of the proceeds going to Toy for Tots.

Monday, November 12, 2007

It's Coming...

After a month of not being around home for a full weekend, I have just that to look forward to this weekend. And, after bottling my last batch of beer a few nights ago, I only have some basic yardwork and household fix-its to worry about this coming weekend. So, what shall I do this weekend for good beer in my neck of the woods, Northern Chester County? Stay tuned later this week for something that will help me decide...and, you too, if you are so lucky to live in this beer-rich neck of the woods.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Game Gone Wild Coming Soon to Union Barrel Works

Union Barrel Works did so well in its first organized beer dinner event last month that they're ready to do it all again. This coming Tuesday November 13th will feature their Wild Game & Beer Dinner. Head over here if you're interested in my take on last month's dinner. Diners will get to sample some of Tom's solid brews along with some of David's more creative endeavors coming out of the kitchen. Following is the menu that is mostly complete, save for the beers. Though, I think you know what to expect in that regard. Plus, there may be a surprise in there somewhere too. Reservations for the 6:30pm dinner are required by calling 717-335-7837 and the price is $35/pp before tax and gratuity. Appetizer - Wild Boar Cranberry Sausage with Braised Red Cabbage and a Sage Cranberry Balsamic Reduction Soup - Duck & Wild Mushroom Gumbo Interim - Blackberry Maibock Sorbet Pre-Entree - Alligator Jambalaya Entree - Grilled Ostrich Strip with Potato Puree Pre-Dessert - TBD Dessert - Pumpkin Creme Brulee topped with Cinnamon Nutmeg Whipped Cream

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A Long, Sweet Weekend

Back fresh from an extended weekend in Hershey for a very special birthday celebration (not allowed to tell which special milestone birthday it was), I actually collected more beer points than I had originally anticipated. Plus, a Wanderin' Joe sighting. How lucky can a guy get?! Whoever came up with that moniker sure wasn't lying. Let's see, how did this all go? Shopping in Lancaster both on the way to Hershey and on the way home. So, that (obviously?) included a stop for beer paraphernalia and trinkets at Sam's Steins, directly across from the Tanger Outlets. I picked up a very nice piece of Salvator glassware. It also meant a lunch (gotta eat to shop, right?) at Lancaster Brewing. An Amish Four Grain (always best fresh) and a Hop Hog IPA (small glass, I was driving...though, the waitress called me a wuss) with lunch...perfecto! Then, a Wanderin' Joe sighting (surprisingly, no Woody sighting) at the bar...after a stop at Victory and Stoudt's, no less. My hero :) Finally, on to our destination at the Hershey Hotel & Spa. Very nice, very relaxing, and surprisingly an okay selection of beer. Though, I won't be doing a "What's On Tap" installment for Hershey, PA anytime soon, finding Tröegs, Appalachian, Victory, and Lancaster on tap made watching the Eagles debacle on Sunday night slightly more palatable. Of course, when in Chocolatetown USA, Young's Double Chocolate Stout for dessert just seems to make perfect sense. If more time was permitting, a quick 15-mile jaunt farther west to Harrisburg would have been in order but, alas, it was time for the long weekend to come to a close so it was back to the east we headed. We sure do live in a beer rich region...I think this has been mentioned somewhere once or twice or thrice before. When decent beer can be found at a luxurious 5-star hotel and spa, I think that about seals the case. Does anyone feel that I'm trying to cram as many links to Jack in one posting as possible? Why would I do that? It's not like he's paying me any referral fees. I must

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Tap List at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, PA - 11/3/07

For those who have not made their way to Teresa's Next Door, here's the tap list as of 11/3/07 and it's fairly typical of the quality and diversity that can be found there. Keep in mind, that these are the drafts. The bottle selection is just as good, but ten fold. Did I say how much I hate living in this region?

Ayinger Celebrator
Bell's Amber
Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu Val Dieu Brune
Brasserie Des Géants Goliath
Brouwerij De Ranke XX Bitter
Brouwerij Straffe Hendrik/De Halve Maan Brugse Zot
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck Kasteel Rouge
Chimay White
Founders Centennial IPA
Founders Breakfast Stout
Franziskaner Dunkel Weizen
Lagunitas Hop Stoopid
Lindeman's Framboise
Ridgeway IPA
Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale
Sly Fox O'Reilly Stout
St. Bernardus Abt 12
Stone Old Guardian
Stoudts Gold
Stoudts Saison Percheron
Southampton Publick House Pumpkin
Tröegs Pale Ale
Unibroue Trois Pistoles
Yards IPA (hand)
Yards ESA (hand)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Tap List at Flying Pig Saloon in Malvern, PA - 11/2/07

On an attempted regular basis, I'll post the tap list here to the Flying Pig Saloon in Malvern, PA. I have no affiliation with the establishment other than living within 2 miles of it and appreciating the usual quality tap and bottle list. If you like this idea, please drop me a note.

On Draft as of 11/2/07
Ayinger OktoberFest-Märzen
Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock
Dock Street Pumpkin Ale
Tröegs Hopback Amber
Lagunitas Hop Stoopid
Stoudts Fest
Legacy Hoptimus Prime
Summit Extra Pale Ale
Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale
St. Bernardus Witbier
St. Bernardus Grottenbier

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Session #9 - Beer and Music

Tomme Arthur, masterful wizard of some of this country's most delectable and sought after beers, keeps a brewer's blog over at his company's website. He set the topic of this month's version of The Session. Music and beer is something that I wrote about in the past. I figured, why dream up new material? In fact, when I checked and read it again, I wouldn't change a word. So, for your pleasure, here it is take on Music & Beer.

No Hop Shortage at The Drafting Room

Guess no one told Sierra Nevada that there was due to be a hop supply shortfall over the next few years. Tommy Gannon and crew dropped in on The Drafting Room last night spreading good cheers and plenty of this year's Celebration. They'll be doing it again tonight at TJ's Everyday, in Paoli, PA. Plan to spend a few hours at The Drafting Room during the next week and get your hop fix on. It's hard to choose between the Harvest, the Celebration, and the Anniversary (especially, the Anniversary), so why not order up some food and a 10 ouncer of each?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

What's On Tap at The Drafting Room in Exton, PA - 11/1/07

The Drafting Room in Exton, PA has a decent web presence and quite a huge reputation preceding them. Their beer turns over quite quickly. So, in the spirit of service, whenever I get to The Drafting Room, I'll post the current tap list.

What's on line as of 11/1/2007?

Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale [2006]
Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale [2007]
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale [2006]
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale [2007]
Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale [2007]
Sly Fox Target IPA
Arcadia Jaw Jacker
Legacy Midnight Wit
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Victory Hop Devil (cask)
Sly Fox O'Reilly's Stout
Lindemans Pomme
Amstel Light
Breckenridge 471 Double IPA
Brouwerij Strubbe Ichtegem Grand Cru
Lost Coast Double Trouble IPA

Beer Dates In History: November Anniversaries

20 years Rubicon Brewing Water Street Brewery 10 years Magnolia Rock Art Ommegang