Friday, March 13, 2009

PBW 2009: Day 7 Wrap-Up and Day 8 Preview

Link to Day 7 Pictures

What I did:

@Four Seasons, Meet Fritz Maytag ---> After missing Fritz Maytag at Anchor's kickoff to San Francisco Beer Week, I wanted to check out the Four Seasons for two reasons: to see one of the industry's most vaunted figures, and to see how the high-end hotel chain accommodates the kind of beer we enjoy.

The meet and greet reception was a bit tough to get a gauge on the hotel's approach to craft beer. They did have a formal presentation of the beer in the middle of the room, but yet no one from the restaurant staff to advise guests on how to actually obtain a beer. We got our beer from the bar, but even that seemed a bit awkward.

No worries, I suppose. I made my way to speak with Andy Musser and Fritz Maytag. It looks like I blew my one chance to get a taste of the Potrero-aged Anchor beer the other night when Andy brought a bottle of it to Brother Paul's in Eagleville. When I hit that proverbial fork in the road on Tuesday, I went home fearing that a trip to see Anchor could turn into a later night that I was planning for. Ah, those forks in the road...

So, it was a nice meetup with Fritz, Andy, and a few other beer fans at the Four Seasons. Their dinner was about to begin. I'll be anxious to hear from Bruce Nichols, who stayed for the dinner, and his reactions to the dinner. My road from here was somewhat undecided...and so, to a certain degree, was Jennie Hatton's. We left together and plotted our course as we went.

@Tir Na Nog, Chimay/Bobo ---> Well...not exactly. In keeping with last year, Bobo has stayed one step ahead of The Brew Lounge. This time, after leaving the Four Seasons, Jennie and I stopped in at Tir Na Nog hoping to find some Chimay before his scheduled 6:30pm departure. Turns out that departure was a bit premature. So, we departed as well. Can't chalk up this event.

@Time, Green Flash ---> Here, at Time, we found some friendly faces in Chris Leonard and Chuck Silva of Green Flash. Chuck provided some of the background of their relationship and Chris gave some unedited, of which will go unprinted, blog outtakes ;-)

The Trippel, which I feel that we don't see all that often around Philly...maybe I'm wrong, went down real nicely and then was followed by a double stout, which was also very well done but I don't think my palate was quite ready for at that time of early evening. Hated to leave Chuck and Chris, but our cross-town journey continued.

@Triumph, Klash of the Kaisers ---> But, continued to Triumph it did not. No worries, we'd get there right? Well, not with my late night train awaiting me and three other stops that we made before Triumph.

There had originally been no doubt that my Day 7 night would center around this event. (See, I need to be really dramatic about this point, so that Jennie feels badly that she got out of the cab in Old City and I kept going when the time came to 11pm. I'll be waiting on my growler of "Jay's Way.") Two reasons I looked forward to this event and hope that it lived up to them.

One, in the midst of all the barrel, sour, abv, adjunct hype, an event that celebrates well-made pilsners sounds like a great event. Plus, two, there was a tribute (both a toast and a special beer, I'm guessing a toast with said beer) to Jay Misson. Beer lovers far and wide owe it to Jay's short, but well-lived life to show up tonight and raise a glass. Then, you can go back to your triple imperial barrel-aged Brett beers with gooseberries thrown in the secondary ;-)

@Dark Horse, Yuengling ---> These next three events I could never had predicted I would arrive at, but with Jennie committed to making visits, I thought that they all sounded pleasant enough, so what the heck? And, I wouldn't turn back on one of them.

At Dark Horse, ah the old stomping ground of the Dickens Inn, they were hosting Yuengling reps, including fifth-generation Yuengling---Wendy. Apart from having an extremely pleasant meetup with these folks, I had the chance to try the Yuengling Bock. And, how about that? Mighty impressive. Now, I'll need to have at least one more run at it to see if my palate still tells me the same thing, but I'm guessing that my reaction to this easy-drinking but firm bock was right on.

@O'Neals, Atwater Block ---> After a slice of Lorenzo's pizza (a longtime gem on South Street), Jennie and I headed to O'Neals on 3rd Street just off South. Again, not one of my first list of events, but once again a very nice meetup, this time with Atwater Block owner, Mark Rieth and Peter/Bear Brett from Stockertown Beverage. The Voodoo Vator, wow! One of the sneakiest 9.5% ABVs I've had in quite a while. The taste, not the alcohol, really shines in this doppelbock. Also had a try of the Dirty Blonde, which at least at the moment was a bit too heavy on my palate for a wheat beer.

I'm still deciding whether to rant about an unfortunate run-in with a blowhard at O'Neal's. We'll see; I don't do that sort of thing too much around, so if I do you can be sure it'll be a doozy.

@For Pete's Sake, Allgash/Rob Tod ---> And, the nail in my night that canceled any Triumph plans came in the form of Rob Tod, Curt Decker, distributors, and a houseful of Allagash beer at For Pete's Sake, one of the city's lesser known gems. A good time, might even be one of those unexpected highlights of PBW, that I would never turn down. But, being down in South Philly with an approaching train clear across town, there was no way that I'd be getting my pilsners on this night.

Hopefully, when I cruise through Old City on Friday, they'll still be pouring Jay's Way tribute pilsner. Please...

What I might do tomorrow:

9am; @Grey Lodge, Friday the Firkinteenth (shuttle from Yards) ---> I may only go to this if the shuttle bus appears convenient between Yards and Grey Lodge. Even though I expect the Yards event to be extremely popular, should I apologize for not wanting to throw elbows at Grey Lodge to toss back small glasses of beer?

11am; @Yards, Smoke 'Em ---> At Yards' brewery, I expect crowds but with the ability to move around and, weather and permits permitting, even outside. This is one of the top 5 events I was looking forward to going into PBW 2009; I'm trusting it won't disappoint. I may even come and go more than once. By the way, there is now a $25 option that covers all beers instead of the $15 cover which includes one beer (unless Mashington was just making that up the other night?)

4pm; @Plough and Stars, Fergal Murray and Guinness ---> At some point during PBW, I will get the chance to toss back a Guinness with the brewmaster. It seems to make the most sense to do it in Old City after Yards and on my way back into Center City.

5pm; @13 at Marriott, Sam Adams ---> I posted the press release for this event at this new bar in the Downtown Marriott. If for nothing else, I may stop by at 5pm for the special PBW release of Blackberry Wit.

6pm; @Irish Pol, Weyerbacher ---> Just curious as to what The Irish Pol is all about. Weyerbacher being there doesn't hurt either.

DINNER??? ---> Dinner, dinner...where to get dinner?

7pm; @Eulogy, Chouffe ---> Dinner will probably be in Old City. Because after the Guinness toast with Fergal, it's a 42 second walk to Eulogy for some lovely Chouffe beer.

7pm; @Good Dog, Sly Fox/Southampton ---> Suzy, Spencer, Sly Fox, Southampton...sure.

8pm; @Moriarity's, Ballast Point ---> Had a brief taste of Ballast Point during Sunday brunch at Bridgid's. Hope to get more of it at Moriarity's before heading home.

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