Thursday, March 12, 2009

PBW 2009: Day 6 Wrap-Up and Day 7 Preview

Link to Day 6 Pictures

What I did: Thanks to Mrs. Brew Lounge for grabbing the camera. You'll notice more pictures of me in here than ever before recorded here at this site!

Center City Pub Crawl ---> By the time we joined up with the crew, they were already at McGlinchey's (Yards Smoked Polish Wheat) meaning we'd missed them there and previously at Jose Pistola's (Stoudt's Pilsner). We decided to head straight to Good Dog (Iron Hill Pig Iron Porter) and secure a spot before the crowds showed up.

Funny thing is that's what many others attempted to do as well. It was hard to tell if Center City is simply a great, teeming bar town on an average Wednesday or if a lot of the crowds at the Pub Crawl stops were at least partly attributable to Beer Week? There was no bar that we stopped at that wasn't already at least moderately crowded even before the Pub Crawl showed up.

Once again, like last year, with a tap in one hand and the cowbell in another, a gaggle of brewers and their followers criss-crossed the city streets from bar to bar kicking quarter kegs (last year was sixtels) in near record time everywhere they went. Pub Crawl t-shirts were available for sale this year. (There may still be some left on Friday at Yards.) Classy t-shirts this year with caricatures of local beer personalities (matching caricatures, done by local artist Jim Comey, hang on the restaurant wall of Nodding Head) decorate the shirt. A 180 degree classiness turnaround from last year's unforgettable t-shirt design.

We joined up with Partyin' Pub Crawl at Good Dog, Black Sheep (Flying Fish Hoppy Belgian Tripel), Nodding Head (Nodding Head Ich Bin Ein Berliner Weisse) and Fergie's (Tröegs Nugget Nectar). A small, um, snafu found the Nugget Nectar gone (as in, no more for you or any of your crazy vagabond friends) at Fergie's even before the Tröegs brew crew (Nick, Chris B., John) showed up. Some stayed, as we did, to have some of their HopBack Amber or other decent beers that Fergie's typically carries. Others skipped ahead to Time (Sly Fox Gang Aft Agley), while we skipped Time and joined everyone at McGillin's (All 7 brewers and their beers).

Timeout: Didn't know where to fit this, so here goes. A new entry to my list of favorite beers of Philly Beer Week is Da Phunk from Nodding Head. This beer won't last long and is a Brett beauty. This is a beer so good that you could simply sit and smell all day...and the tart and funky flavors lived up to the aroma. On this night, it pleased me much more than the Berliner Weisse. Timeout over, game on...

And, when I say everyone, I mean...EVERYONE. Chris Mullins, proprietor, welcomed everyone and kicked things off. Don Russell stepped up to the mic for a few words. It may be time to start compiling a Joe Sixpack quote book. Who needs Ben Franklin's "Beer is living proof....blah, blah" when you have Joe thanking everyone for making Philly Beer Week successful and proclaiming that real Philadelphia beer drinkers always double-fist (I did hear that correctly, did I not Don?)

Every brewery that was represented on the Pub Crawl has their beer in the newly and beautifully renovated second floor of McGillin's. Upstairs was good thing given the hideous karaoke being, must I say, performed downstairs. Even the Nugget Nectar was here and that was of course a very good thing. As was the Exit 4 from Flying Fish, the Pig Iron Porter from Iron Hill and whatever else was thrust into my hand.

Dunno what else I can share with you about the night. What do you want? It was another legendary pub crawl, replete with brewers from both near and far, beer fans of every stripe, with tons of mash tun tomfoolery to go around. It's not really so much a night to write about. It really needs to be seen first hand to be experienced. Or it needs to be experienced to be understood...or something like that.

Oh, and of course, the daily T.U.D.? At Bridgewater's, duh. For some reason, with 4 minutes to spare for the train, we thought a Lancaster IPA was a good idea. At least we shared one glass instead of getting one for each of us. We is smart, ja?

What I might do tomorrow:

@Field House, Sierra Nevada ---> I walked right by the new Field House (former location of now defunct Independence Brewing Co. at the Reading Terminal Headhouse) and didn't poke my head in. I'd like to see what they're all about and get a quick taste of maybe something new from Sierra Nevada.

@Tir Na Nog, Chimay/Bobo ---> Chimay & Bobo are two reasons to make me stop at Tir Na Nog, which might otherwise not happen

@Four Seasons, Meet Fritz Maytag ---> I'm very anxious to see how a high-end hotel like The Four Seasons accommodates craft beer and what type of clientele shows up

@Triumph, Klash of the Kaisers ---> If I do only one thing on Thursday night of Day 7, it will be this. A bunch of locally-made pilsners and a tribute to Jay Misson is all you need to know. Be there!

@Good Dog or P.O.P.E., Ithaca ---> Love Ithaca...and love the show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. That would get me to the P.O.P.E. But since that's a bit of a hike from Old City, I might settle for catching up with Ithaca instead at Good Dog...a good bar.

@Monk's, Elysian/Buhler ---> And, if there's any energy left in the tank before train out, a visit in to Monk's for the visiting Dave Buhler from the excellent northwest's Elysian.

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