Thursday, November 26, 2009

Beer Calendar: What To Do in December 2009

It's December, what could that possibly mean other than it tis the season for giving and getting. Let's explore how that can work from a beer perspective. If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, let me know. $20 and under, down to and including FREE...Pay As You Go (PAYG) also included here Philadelphia Sat. 11/28 - Annual Holiday Open House @Philadelphia Brewing Co., Philadelphia, PA (2:00pm-6:00pm; free) Sun. 11/29 - Annual Eagles v Redskins Pig Roast @The Artful Dodger, Philadelphia, PA (1:00pm-6:00pm; PAYG) Mon. 11/30 - Monday's Sixtel (Manayunk 2007 Knockthechilloff Barley Wine) @Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA (PAYG) Tue. 12/1 - Stone & BrewDog Night @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, PA (7:00pm; PAYG) Tue. 12/1, 12/8, 12/15, 12/22, 12/29 - River Horse Tuesday Nights @Old Eagle Tavern, Philadelphia, PA (8:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG) Thu. 12/3 - Brewer's Reserve Barrel Tappings (December's selection: Dunkelweizen) @Triumph, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 12/4 - Mad Elf/Happy You Night @Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 12/4 - Duvel Appriceciation Night @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, PA (8:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 12/4 - 12% (Imports) Fridays of December (Piet Agoras) @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, PA (7:00pm; PAYG) Wed. 12/9 - Lagunitas Night @Old Eagle Tavern, Philadelphia, PA (3:00pm-close; PAYG) Thu. 12/10 - Heavy Seas Yule Tide Cask and Winter Storm @The Belgian Café, Philadelphia, PA (PAYG) Thu. 12/10 - Tröegs Mad Dreams Party @Old Eagle Tavern, Philadelphia, PA (3:00pm-close; PAYG) Fri. 12/11 - Christmas Spectacular @Kite and Key, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 12/11 - 12% (Imports) Fridays of December (Hik Blonde) @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, PA (7:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 12/11 - Get Lit At Lunchtime Series (Meet the brewer with Christian Heim of Lancaster Brewing) @Jose Pistola's, Philadelphia, PA (11:30am; PAYG) Sat. 12/12 - St. Martin Abbey Brewery Meet & Greet @The Belgian Café, Philadelphia, PA (5:00pm-7:00pm; PAYG) Tue. 12/15 - Dock Street Barrel-aged Barley Wine Release @Dock Street Brewery, Philadelphia, PA (PAYG) Wed. 12/16 - Dogfish Head Shiteload of Sixtels @Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA (5:00pm-7:00pm; PAYG) Wed. 12/16 - High Gravity @The Sidecar Bar & Grille, Philadelphia, PA (PAYG) Thu. 12/17 - Munich in Mayfair: Spaten Holiday Bock is Bock... er Back @Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA (PAYG) Thu. 12/17 - Pretty Things Draft Release Party @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, PA (7:00pm; PAYG) Thu. 12/17 - Brewery Night (Stoudt's) @The Sidecar Bar & Grille, Philadelphia, PA (PAYG) Fri. 12/18 - An Anchor Christmas Carol @Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 12/18 - Get Lit At Lunchtime Series (2nd Annual Winter Warmer Lunch) @Jose Pistola's, Philadelphia, PA (11:30am; PAYG) Fri. 12/18 - 12% (Imports) Fridays of December (Eedwaarde Pater) @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, PA (7:00pm; PAYG) Sat. 12/19 - Firkins For Our Furry Friends @The Khyber, Philadelphia, PA (1:00pm-8:00pm; $20) Wed. 12/23 - Kick the Keg Night @Memphis Taproom, Philadelphia, PA (9:00pm; PAYG) Wed. 12/23 - Christmas Kick the Keg Night @Local 44, Philadelphia, PA (9:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 12/25 - 12% (Imports) Fridays of December (a TBA special Christmas keg) @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, PA (7:00pm; PAYG) Sat. 12/26 - How Heather Helped the Grinch Pour Christmas! @The Institute, Philadelphia, PA (2:00pm; PAYG) Sat. 12/26 - Boxing Day Beer Festival @Memphis Taproom, Philadelphia, PA (8:00am-2:00am; PAYG) Philadelphia's close suburbs Thu. 12/3 - Holiday Party featuring bottled reserve tastings @Iron Hill Brewery, Lancaster, PA (6:00pm-8:00pm; PAYG) Thu. 12/3 - Craft Brew Night (Tröegs) @Pickering Creek Inn, Phoenixville, PA (6:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 12/4 - Friday Night Sampling (Stoudt's) @Exton Beverage, Exton, PA (4:00pm-6:00pm; free) Sat. 12/5 - 6th Anniversary Party @TJs, Paoli, PA (12:00pm & 5:00pm tap times; PAYG) Sat. 12/5 - Friday Night Sampling (Weyerbacher) @Exton Beverage, Exton, PA (12:00pm-3:00pm; free) Fri. 12/11 - Hop Project Day @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, PA (11:00am; PAYG) Fri. 12/11 - Friday Night Tasting (Yards) @Beer Yard, Wayne, PA (5:00pm-7:00pm; free) beginning Thu. 12/17 - The Twelve Dog Days of Christmas @Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, PA (PAYG) Thu. 12/17 - Blues Brews 'n' BBQ @Ron's Original, Exton, PA (PAYG) Thu. 12/17 - Craft Brew Night (New Holland) @Pickering Creek Inn, Phoenixville, PA (6:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 12/18 - Friday Night Sampling (Sly Fox) @Exton Beverage, Exton, PA (4:00pm-7:00pm; free) Fri. 12/18 - Friday Night Tasting (Flying Fish) @Beer Yard, Wayne, PA (5:00pm-7:00pm; free) Sat. 12/19 - Friday Night Sampling (Sly Fox) @Exton Beverage, Exton, PA (4:00pm-6:00pm; free) Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania Sat. 11/28 - Holiday Party featuring bottled reserve tastings @Iron Hill Brewery, Newark, DE (2:00pm-5:00pm; PAYG) Wed. 12/2 - Brewer's Reserve Barrel Tappings (December's selection: Barrel Aged Scotch Ale) @Triumph, Princeton, NJ (6pm; PAYG) Wed. 12/2 - Specialty Keg Wednesday (Southern Tier) @Isaac Newton's, Newtown, PA (4:00pm; PAYG) Fri. 12/4 - Brewer's Reserve Barrel Tappings (December's selection: Winter Brunch) @Triumph, New Hope, PA (6pm; PAYG) Sat. 12/5 - Holiday Party featuring bottled reserve tastings @Iron Hill Brewery, Lancaster, PA (4:00pm-7:00pm; PAYG) Thu. 12/10 - Sweet & Sour @Capone's, Norristown, PA (11:30am-'til they kick; PAYG) beginning Thu. 12/10 - 12 Days of Xmas @Tap and Table, Emmaus, PA (4:00pm; PAYG) Sat. 12/12 - Back in Black Stout Fest @Union Jack's, Boyertown, PA (1:00pm-'til they kick; PAYG) Sat. 12/12 - Brewers' Reserve Cask Conditioned Ales @Iron Hill Brewery, Newark, DE (12:00pm; PAYG) Wed. 12/16 - Specialty Keg Wednesday (Sierra Nevada/Dogfish Head) @Isaac Newton's, Newtown, PA (4:00pm; PAYG) Wed. 12/23 - Tröegs Yuletide (One On) OR Jolly Saint Nick And His Mad Elfs @Craft Ale House, Limerick, PA (6:00pm; PAYG) Elsewhere Thu. 12/3 - Mon. 12/7 - 1st Anniversary Party @Rattle 'n' Hum, New York, NY (PAYG) Tue. 12/15 - Winter Beer Extravaganza @Rattle 'n' Hum, New York, NY (PAYG) Events Over $20 Philadelphia Wed. 12/2 - Hoppy Holidays with Joe Sixpack @Tria Café, Philadelphia, PA (6:30pm-8:00pm; $45) Sat. 12/5 & Sat. 12/19 - Craft Beer & Artisanal Cheese Tour @Old City, Philadelphia, PA (3:30pm-5:30pm; $45) Fri. 12/11 - Xfest '09 @Penn Museum, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm-9:00pm; $45/$55/$15) Tue. 12/15 - Annual Holiday Beer Dinner @Monk's Café, Philadelphia, PA (7:00pm; $75) Thu. 12/17 - Allagash: Gotta Have That Funk @Tria Café, Philadelphia, PA (6:30pm-8:00pm; $48) Sun. 12/27 - Winterfest '09 @World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA (1:00pm-4:00pm; $40/$15) Philadelphia's close suburbs Wed. 12/2 - Brewmaster's Winter Beer Dinner @Iron Hill Brewery, Maple Shade, NJ (7:00pm; $60) Wed. 12/9 - Ancient Ales of Dogfish Tutored Luncheon @Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, PA (1:00pm; $45) Fri. 12/18 - Brewmaster's Winter Beer & Wine Dinner @Iron Hill Brewery, Lancaster, PA (7:00pm; $70) Tue. 12/15 - Holiday Beer Dinner @Victory Brewing Co., Downingtown, PA (6:00pm-8:00pm; $50) Wed. 12/16 - 12 Beers of Christmas @Iron Abbey Gastro Pub, Horsham, PA (details TBD) Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania Wed. 12/2 - Meet The Brewer Series Presents… (Victory Brewing) @Spinnerstown Hotel, Spinnerstown, PA (7:00pm; $55) Thu. 12/3 - Brewmaster's Fall Beer Dinner @Iron Hill Brewery, Lancaster, PA (7:00pm; $60) Tue. 12/8 - Sierra Nevada Beer Dinner @Tap and Table, Emmaus, PA (7:00pm; $50) Elsewhere

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: November 26th-December 2nd

A chill's in the air. The logs are on the fire and the beer scene is heating up in time for the holidays. Can you believe December is knocking? Check out just a few of these good looking events over the next week. Check out the entire November 2009 calendar over here. Some tastings, some free, some PAYG @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, PA--- Thu. 11/26 - Tap a keg of Southern Tier Pumpking (7:00pm; PAYG for this decadent seasonal delight) @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, PA--- Tue. 12/1 - Stone & BrewDog Night (7:00pm; PAYG to try the newest collaboration form BrewDog & Stone, Bashah, a black Belgian IPA. We will also be pouring Stone Smoked Porter & BrewDog Punk IPA along with a selection of limited bottles from both breweries. The fireplace will be lit for the first time this season.) @Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA--- Mon. 11/30 - Monday's Sixtel (PAYG for this Manayunk 2007 Knockthechilloff Barley Wine that has been aged for over 2 years.) @Iron Hill Brewery, Newark, DE--- Sat. 11/28 - Holiday Party featuring bottled reserve tastings (2:00pm-5:00pm; PAYG to preview our newest Big Bottle Release--Afternoon Delight, an Imperial Coffee Porter) @Isaac Newton's, Newtown, PA--- Wed. 12/2 - Specialty Keg Wednesday (4:00pm; PAYG for Jah-va Imperial Coffee Stout and Creme Brulee Imperial Milk Stout from Southern Tier) @Old Eagle Tavern, Philadelphia, PA--- Tue. 12/1 - River Horse Tuesday Nights (8:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG to meet & greet the brewers & beer reps & to taste the beers) @Triumph, Princeton, NJ--- Wed. 12/2 - Brewer's Reserve Barrel Tappings (6pm; PAYG for December's Selection, still TBD) Open Houses are fun, especialy at PBC @Philadelphia Brewing Co., Philadelphia, PA--- Sat. 11/28 - Annual Holiday Open House (2:00pm-6:00pm; free food, music by DJ DNA and live performance from Delco Nightingale, Santa, and plenty of delicious PBC beer. In the season of giving we are asking everyone to bring a donation ($$, cat food, fleece blankets) for Flatiron Wildcats) I don't know what goes on here, but for $55, I'm guessing this is more than your average Tuesday Night Sampling @Spinnerstown Hotel, Spinnerstown, PA--- Wed. 12/2 - Meet The Brewer Series Presents… (6:30pm-9:30pm; $55 for Victory Brewing, Bill Covaleski, and more) Food. Beer. Done. @The Artful Dodger, Philadelphia, PA--- Sun. 11/29 - Annual Eagles v Redskins Pig Roast (1:00pm-6:00pm; PAYG while dining on some delicious swine from Cannuli's! There will be great PBC beer specials and giveaways during half time.) @Iron Hill Brewery, Maple Shade, NJ--- Wed. 12/2 - Brewmaster's Winter Beer Dinner (7:00pm; $60 for a five-course meal Paired with Caprice, Pig Iron Porter, Munich Dunkel, Imperial Schwarz, and Winter Warmer)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Casey said there was calcium in it, so it must be good for me

The approach to this piece of writing has been a perfect summation of my last week: chaotic. Let's see, this is the...third (?) rewrite of these events. And, what has happened since then? The marathon of which I spake has now been completed. The restaurant at which we ate last Thursday that was the beginning of this particular posting is owned (now) by the Next Iron Chef. The beer of which we drank at Bridgid's is still of New Jersey (shhh, Turnpike) fame/infamy. And the last two beers that I drank before the Marathon, Yards ESA (once at Bridgid's and once at TJs, both cask), was the first beer that I drank afterward at Kite & was also on cask. Let's look back on some of the original and twice modified verbiage. Not my typical final days before a marathon, but then again these months of training have been anything but typical. So why not go out for a semi-decadent dinner at Distrito (Jose Garces' "modern Mexican" restaurant) in University City? Yeah, sure. A Dock Street Rye IPA was my one beer of choice with dinner. Then follow it up with a stop by Bridgid's for some Exit 1, Exit 4, and Exit 11 (and of course a gravity-fed Yards ESA for good measure) from Flying Fish. Definitely. The first words I heard from head brewer Casey Hughes when I walked in to Bridgid's (after "Thank you so much you wonderful and supportive beer writer/blogger guy for coming out to support my lovely beer-drinking event!"...or something like that) was "Aren't you training for a marathon? The Exit 1 has calcium in it, so it's good for your bones." Sold...cuz Casey said so. I suppose this means if today goes well, I'll owe a little nod to Casey and the bivalves of his Exit 1. And, the Exit 4, bottles of which took less than an hour to go through at Bridgid's. This beer continues to get more difficult to find. Well, let's see. This decadence of which I speak almost 48 hours prior to the race? Perhaps I'm (and Casey is) on to something. I registered my fastest marathon time ever by 2 minutes (almost a 1% improvement) and bettered my Philly Marathon time by 17 minutes (a 6.5% improvement). What else did I learn Thursday night in a bar full of brewers, writers, and reps? There's a brewery doing a new beer (a redux of sorts) that I'm betting will get people pretty excited. Still a little too early to write specifically about it. Yards will not be canning their beer anytime soon, though it would make for a convenient way to airline contract negotiations. And, the next of the Exit Series will not be a sour tomato hefeweizen. The rest is just purely conjecture. I leave the breaking of news to the big boys and girls of beer PR. Otherwise, come Monday, it'll be alright...and these sort of running-related posts will diminish. That should please some of you. Well, come Monday...most everything was okay. Feeling just a bit under the weather. Tuesday brought a little bit of muscle soreness. But, all in all, the recovery from this marathon (barring an x-ray confirming a stress fracture) was pretty a-okay. Thanks to everyone who "participated" along with me in their support! The chiropractor and massage therapist did their jobs; Patty did hers; I did some training; Mother Nature did hers; TJs did their job with, count 'em, two heaping plates of pasta; and you all who came out and cheered me on and joined me for brunch all did your part. There's no doubt that it was a big help to my psyche. Now I must get myself to planning some more fun beer runs. Oh, and have I mentioned that I have the best neighbors in the world?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: November 19th-November 25th

Stressful holidays are right around the corner. Take some time for yourself now by checking out one (or more!) of the many local Philadelphia beer events over the next week. Check out the entire November 2009 calendar over here. Some tastings, some free, some PAYG @Bridgid's, Philadelphia, PA--- Thu. 11/19 - Exit Night (8:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG to try all three Flying Fish Exit Series beers in the same night---the Exit 1 (Bayshore Oyster Stout); Exit 4 (American Trippel); and Exit 11 (Hoppy American Wheat)) @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, PA--- Tue. 11/24 - Great Lakes Brewery Night (7:00pm; PAYG for a draft list still under development) @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, PA--- Thu. 11/26 - Tap a keg of Southern Tier Pumpking (7:00pm; PAYG for this seasonal goodness) @General Sutter Inn, Lititz, PA--- Wed. 11/25 - Cask Ale Night (5:00pm; PAYG for November selections of Flying Dog Doggie Style, Gonzo, and Snake Dog) @Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA--- Fri. 11/20 - Goody, Goody Two Shoos (6:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG for both Shoo-Fly Mild and Shoo-Fly Porter as Scoats does his best to put the 'ass' in 'molasses') @Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA--- Mon. 11/23 - Monday's Sixtel (Great Divide 15th Anniversary Ale) (PAYG) @Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA--- Wed. 11/25-Thu. 11/26 - Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Night: Dogfish Head Punkin Ale Tapping (PAYG for your share of one 1/2 barrel of Punkin on Thanksgiving Eve and one for Thanksgiving Night) @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, PA--- Fri. 11/20 - Cask Ale Series (all day; PAYG for November's Selection of Naked Wheat) @The Bards, Philadelphia, PA--- Thu. 11/19 - Yards Firkin (9:00pm-11:00pm; PAYG for a firkin of Thomas Jefferson Tavern Ale...and Quizzo too) @Villa Capri, Doylestown, PA--- Thu. 11/19 - Victory Night (8:00pm-10:00pm; $10) Iron Hill loves Homebrewers, again @Iron Hill Brewery, Lancaster, PA--- Thu. 11/19 - Homebrewers' Challenge (5:00pm-8:00pm; PAYG where during the night Paul Rutherford, head brewer, will announce the winner of the Homebrewers Challenge. The winner will have his/her beer brewed in house with Paul) Good reasons for a party...and a D.D. @Drafting Room, Exton, PA--- Fri. 11/20 - Belgian Beer Promotion (6:00pm; PAYG for Sierra Nevada Belgian Triple, Iron Hill "Heater Room", La Trappe Isid’or, Koningshoeven Dubbel, Victory 8, Saint Somewhere Lectino du Chene, Duvel Green, Saison de Cazeau, Blanche De Bruxelles, Coronado Happy Daze Belgian IPA, and a firkin of Heavy Seas "Yule Tide") @Iron Hill Brewery, Lancaster, PA--- Thu. 11/19 - Imperial Coffee Porter Release Party (5:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG for Imperial Coffee Porter on Nitro and Cask, Oatmeal Stout, Baltic Porter, and featuring Mini Dessert Pairings...also for purchase are 750ml bottles of Afternoon Delight) @Spinnerstown Hotel, Spinnerstown, PA--- Thu. 11/19 - "Meet the Firkins!" and Tapas Bar (7:00pm; $48 for, uh, firkins and tapas) @The Kite and Key, Philadelphia, PA--- Sun. 11/22 - Yards Tailgate Party (4:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG for all sorts of beer, food, and debauchery) @Union Jack's, Boyertown, PA--- Sat. 11/21 - Allagash Extravaganza (1:00pm-'til they kick; PAYG to drink White, Dubbel, Tripel Reserve, Curieux, Black, Four, Victor, Fluxus, Confluence, Hugh Malone, Grand Cru, Burnham Road, and (for the hopheads) Ballast Point Sculpin and Ithaca Flower Power) Beer makes Food better, Food makes Beer Better @Old City, Philadelphia, PA--- Sat. 11/21 - Craft Beer & Artisanal Cheese Tour (3:30pm-5:30pm; $45 gets you 15 minutes of walking, tasting of 8 craft beers, a selection of imported cheeses, and more) @Ron's Original, Exton, PA--- Thu. 11/19 - Blues Brews 'n' BBQ (PAYG featuring Jimmy's BBQ from Frazer and lots of big beer to accompany) @The Pour House, Westmont, NJ--- Thu. 11/19 - Stoudt's Four-Course Beer Dinner (details TBD) @Victory Brewing, Downingtown, PA--- Thu. 11/19 - Follow the Liter (6:00pm-8:00pm; PAYG for good ol' fashioned German fun with liters of Festbier, Oktoberfest Giant Pretzels, and a strongarm competition)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sierra Nevada Beer Dinner at The Drafting Room: 11/11/09

In a recession, people still have to eat. I just was not so sure that with a $69.99 price tag that the dining room at The Drafting Room would be full. Apparently I was more wrong than I was sure. (I suppose that this is where I should disclose that my meal was 'on the house' as a guest of TDR. I'm not real good about these things, since I believe either naively or arrogantly that my writing usually speaks well enough for itself in this regard without a bunch of disclosures, qualifiers, and disclaimers...I should, I realize, probably get more disciplined about this.) Between 50-55 guests turned out to see Patrick Mullin---but not necessarily hear Patrick given that this was a slightly raucous crowd---eat from a nicely crafted menu, and drink some pretty decent Sierra Nevada beers. Not long after arriving early for the published 6pm start time, I slid myself into the bar area where a pre-dinner gathering of sorts had begun to take shape. I joined Patrick (did I introduce him yet? he's the regional sales rep for Sierra Nevada and TDR alum), Tom Gannon (eastern U.S. sales director and Patrick's boss), and a few others for a pre-pre-dinner beer. The draft menu, as you can see in the picture below, was dominated for the night and the next couple of days by Sierra, when in Exton. I made my way into the dining room and pulled up seats with Greg and Sue Ramirez (Exton Beverage), Tom (the same Sierra Tom from the last paragraph), and a delightful couple for a table of six. A brown saison made its way along with me and before long I was tasting a Mascarpone and Crispy Pancetta Stuffed Date. It made me wish that I hadn't dawdled for so long in the bar, or I may have snared more than one of these scrumptious bits (they were being "butlered"). It went just fine with the Brown Saison, but I still haven't found an instance where I'm head over heels, or vice versa, for this beer. There's something about the mix of dark, grainy malts and the Belgian yeast characteristics (in addition to flavors of juniper, star anise, brown coriander, and orange peel) that just hasn't tripped my trigger. Not sure if it's just me or, we're moving on... At beer dinners, I like to take the approach of saving enough of each course's beer to continue tasting throughout the remaining courses. This way, I get a chance to sample the beers at different temperatures as well as with different flavors. Most beer dinners that I've attended, a somewhat liberal free-pouring approach is applied and this will work well for my game plan. There have only been a couple where the pour size is so small and limited that this approach of mine didn't work out so well. In this case, the mildly wet-hopped (estate grown) brown ale called Edge of Darkness went wonderfully with the perfectly crafted mushrooms, tomatoes, goat cheese, and greens on the brioche (all some of my favorite things to appear at once a food plate). But, to me, this product from Beer Camp #12, of which TDR proprietor Howard Weintraub attended a few months back, went even better with the pork loin course which followed the sorbet that was served next. The tart and refreshing sorbet was just that and was perfect in and of and all by itself. The Trippel was something from the Chico Crew that I'd sworn I tasted before but became fairly well convinced that I had not. This is a slick, semi-sweet, and borderline high alcohol triple/trippel whose characteristics I occasionally find tasty and refreshing in the style...though, it must be drunk carefully at around 8% ABV. But, together, I didn't find the two parts of the course to mesh that well together; individually, they both stood out but together the flavors got sort of lost as the dominant flavors seemed to have difficulty standing out amongst each other. Eh well, that's fine because next up was a great stack of sliced pork loin with bacon and tender chunks of pumpkin. It was quite a flavorful and filling dish of meat that went real nicely with the 100% Estate Harvest IPA, sourced exclusively with brewery grown hops and grains (water and yeast too!). And while the bacon and pork loin went real nicely with the not-so-faint IPA, I thought the malty Edge of Darkness from earlier (by now at room temperature and still packing some of its noticeable hop flavor) went even better. Like I said, I could only figure this out because I kept at least a couple tastes of each beer around throughout the remainder of the dinner after they were served...give it a try sometime. Don't always rely on the beer dinner planners to figure out exactly what will work for your palate and preferences in terms beer and food pairings. Before we got into dessert, I'd caught wind ahead of time that there'd be a surprise. No, not the appearance of Joe Sixpack who wandered out from the city to check out this beer dinner. No, it was the baby brother of Life & Limb, the collaboration beer project between Dogfish Head in Delaware and Sierra Nevada on the other coast in Chico, CA. The big brother weighs in at over 10% ABV and this younger sibling, Limb & Life, is made from the second runnings of Life & Limb and brewed with honey and birch syrup (from the Calagione family farm in New England). After the story initially broke a few months ago of this collaboration project, I'll admit that I lost track of what was doing with it. Now, I'm glad to have been duly caught up and back in the know. This half of the project is a pretty easy-drinking beer with noticeable fresh hops and sweet honey flavors. Jay Brooks attended a debut dinner out in California and filed this report which contains some video of both Ken Grossman (Sierra Nevada) and Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head) discussing the beers and the project. Then, oh then...we moved on to the grand-daddy of the dinner---the dessert course. What would you pick from Sierra Nevada's lineup to go with dinner's dessert course? I'll bet that more often than not, you'd pick the Bigfoot barleywine. This year's isn't quite ready yet, so it was 2008's installment that accompanied the nutty blintzes stuffed with a sweet blackberry jam and topped with crème anglaise. From the picture below, you'll probably notice how excited I was for this course. No, it wasn't Greg's paw that reached across to scrape at my plate. I fully cleaned off one of the blintzes before I remembered to take a picture. No worries about whether I had any problem finishing off the second one, Heather can confirm that answer for you. The verdict? This was a nicely-executed dinner on The Drafting Room's part. Not that I have much experience in the matter at TDR. In fact, the only other true, sit-down beer dinner that I've participated in at TDR was another Patrick Mullin/Sierra Nevada dinner. This one, in my opinion, was better in terms of food planning, beer lineup, and overall execution but I'm probably splitting just a few hairs. The beers, in this case, were a bit more rare than the "typical" Sierra Nevada lineup, especially given the one-time only, not to be found hardly anywhere else beers, like Edge of Darkness. This was a fun dinner as most are when you pair up a great brewery with great people at a great restaurant/venue. I'm not sure that The Drafting Room can continue to pull off strings of $70 beer dinners and pack the house each time, but then again I was wrong about this one. I would like to see, though, The Drafting Room doing more special events like this in between this price point and the numerous pay-as-you-go events that they routinely conduct. Follow-up: As of Wednesday, 11/18, you could still find the Brown Saison, Bigfoot, and Limb & Life on tap at The Drafting Room.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Me and My Marathon

It can be a lonely road out there, even with 20,000 other runners, perfectly built for plenty of introspection. This will be my fifth marathon I've run in the last 4 years. Even though it may not be true, I somehow feel less prepared physically and psychologically than ever before. Sunday's Philadelphia Marathon will tell. Until then, I need a pick-me-up. So, if you've got any shouts of encouragement that you can offer up here (or just general yelling if that's your thing).... Or if you'd like to come out Sunday morning to support me during the race.... Best yet, do both and join me afterward for a brunch at The Kite and Key pub just a few blocks from the Art Museum Finish Line. It's a mighty fine place for a Sunday morning meetup for some grub and grog. I'm looking for all the motivation and inspiration that I can gather up right about now. I'll be asking the crew at Kite and Key to hold some tables for me, so if meeting up for brunch sounds like something you'd like to do around 12pm-ish, drop an e-mail to me. One last way that you can join in support of my Philadelphia Marathon: come on out to TJs in Paoli on Saturday for the Early Bird Special around 5pm. That's when and where I'll be "carbing up" with my pre-long run ritual...Cajun Chicken Alfredo, French Onion Soup, Bread, and Salad...oh, and 1 (relatively) low-alcohol beer. I hope Jeff has a few extra bits of pasta in the kitchen on Saturday! Oh, and this here is just all too appropriate given the timing of the fall marathon season and the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street...enjoy a trip down memory lane! y'gotta watch it all, it's bound to bring a smile to your face and rub away any rough edges of your day.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Artisan Homebrewing Opens in Grand Fashion

When you show up as late as I do, you get pictures of a party near its end; so close to its end that most people are already gone and the host is packing things up. Well, it wasn't quite that late, but I did miss the cake, the music, and the cheesemonger. I did get a chance to taste some great homebrewed beer and mead, local wine, and catch up with some old friends. So, I took a few pictures of Artisan Homebrewing's Grand Opening and had Mike Hamara (proprietor) send me some more exciting ones from earlier in the day. You should be able to tell the difference. Artisan has been open for roughly a month now and while business has been going well, the Grand Opening certainly put them on the map with a steady stream of people coming through, enjoying the entertainment and brewing demos, and walking out with some new homebrewing purchases. Haven't been there yet? Check out the full press release that I wrote and posted back here. It's got all the details you need to know to find Artisan in Downingtown, PA. Tell Mike I sent you.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Looking forward to Sunday night on The Brewing Network

Tomorrow night I'll be one week away from celebrating the ending of Fall 2009 marathon training after Philly's marathon. Tomorrow night I'll also be listening The Brewing Network's Sunday Session, where the Bay Area's Jay Brooks will be a guest talking about the industry and his role in documenting it. Should be a great way to spend a cool autumn Sunday evening listening to a great bunch of people talking about a great industry.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Blind Tiger VSK---For the thrill-seeking beer geek in all of us

One might argue that there are VSKs (very special kegs) on tap day in and day out at Blind Tiger Ale House. Once a year, David, Alan, and company pull out all the stops they can possibly get their tap handles on and do a very special kleanout. Impressive indeed. Now if I can finagle a way to NYC next Wednesday (event starts at 4pm on the 18th and goes, and goes, and.....)---or catch some dregs later in the week? From Alan at Blind Tiger... VSK teaser list... Allagash Interlude '07 (just in case you haven't gotten your fill) Bear Republic Apex '08 (ouch) Blue Point 10th Anniversary IPA (a nod to the hops) Brooklyn Backbreaker (cask) (brand new) Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout '04 (this is a gift from Garrett) Brouwerij De Regenboog Wostyntje '08 (oh, come on guys!) Captain Lawrence Nor'Easter (thank Scott for this one) Chelsea Bourbon Aged Imperial Mild (a great twist on a great beer) Del Borgo/Dogfish Head My Antonia (a true VSK) Dogfish 120 '08 (via Randall) (take it easy) Dogfish Pangea (do I need to say anything?) Goose Island Demolition (I really wanted to keep this) JW Lees Harvest Ale aged in a Calvados Cask (Wooden Pin) Kuhnhenn All Hallows (the last of the Pumpkin Ales) Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barleywine (like I get a keg of this every week) Lagunitas Barrel Aged Ruben and the Jets (thanks to our Lagunitas family) North Coast Old Rasputin 10th Anniversary (it breaks my heart) Rockies Fresh Trak (new and special) Rogue Chatoe Rogue Wet Hop (our friends at Rogue rock) Sierra Nevada Limb and Life (in collaboration with Dogfish Head) (VERY, VERY SPECIAL) Smuttynose Big A IPA '07 (I can't believe I have to sell this) Southampton Saison (a rare treat from our dear friends) Stone Vertical Epic '06 (yes, 2006, like you find this everywhere)

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: November 12th-November 18th

The weather's beginning to turn and it looks like a bunch of upcoming events start to roll out the bigger beers and bravado. Check 'em out and be safe out there. Check out the entire November 2009 calendar over here. Some tastings, some free, some PAYG @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, PA--- Wed. 11/18 - Cigar City Brewery Night (7:00pm; PAYG for drafts of Jai Alai IPA, Maduro Oatmeal Brown, & Marshal Zhukov's Russian Imperial Stout) @Earth Bread + Brewery, Philadelphia, PA--- Thu. 11/12 - Meet the Brewer, Keep the Pint Glass (Great Lakes) (6:30pm-8:30pm; PAYG for their brews, reps, and free pint glasses) @Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA--- Mon. 11/16 - Monday's Sixtel (Weyerbacher 14) (PAYG) @Isaac Newton's, Newtown, PA--- Wed. 11/18 - Thursday Night Tastings (on Wednesday) (Tröegs) (7:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG for Mad Elf on draft and other goodies) @Old Eagle Tavern, Philadelphia, PA--- Tue. 11/17 - Coronado Tuesday Nights (8:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG to meet & greet the brewers & beer reps & to taste the beers) @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, PA--- Fri. 11/13 - Hops Project 2009 Varietal Release: Amarillo (a firkin, then CO2) (11:30am 'til it kicks; PAYG for the November release in a year-long series of monthly single-hop Pale Ales) How do you go about describing these kind of events? @The Institute, Philadelphia, PA--- Sat. 11/14 - Battle Royale of Michigan Breweries (2:00pm; PAYG for big beers from Founders (Imperial Stout, Double Trouble IPA, and Breakfast Stout), New Holland (Dragon's Milk Oak Aged Stout, Chartooka Smoked Rye Doppel Bock), Dark Horse (Sapient Trip Ale tripel, 2008 1-Oatmeal Stout, and Percolator Coffee Doppelbock), and Bells (Two Hearted IPA and Rye Stout)...expect others in addition to these) @The Pour House, Westmont, NJ--- Thu. 11/12 - Victory Takes Over the Taps (PAYG for 18 taps and a firkin) @The Sidecar Bar & Grille, Philadelphia, PA--- Wed. 11/18 - High Gravity (PAYG for nothing under 9% ABV) I feel like this one merits its own category @Tap and Table, Emmaus, PA--- Tue. 11/17 - Italian Street Fair with Italian Beers (7:00pm; $65 for an Italian Street Fair atmosphere with small Italian dishes and Italian beer samplings) Hungry Yet? @Iron Abbey Gastro Pub, Horsham, PA--- Wed. 11/18 - Yards Beer Dinner (6:00pm-9:30pm; details TBD) @Iron Hill Brewery, Maple Shade, NJ--- Wed. 11/18 - Brewmaster's Fall Beer Dinner (6:00pm; $60 for a five-course meal paired with Pumpkin Ale; American Brown Ale; Munich Dunkel; Quadrupel; and Vienna Lager) @Iron Hill Brewery, Media, PA--- Tue. 11/17 - Brewmaster's Fall Beer Dinner (7:00pm; $65 for a four-course meal paired with Saison, Ironator Doppelbock, Barleywine, and Raspberry Torte) @Iron Hill Brewery, Wilmington, DE--- Mon. 11/16 - Brewmaster's Fall Beer Dinner (7:00pm; $60 for a five-course meal paired with Vienna Lager; Saison; Munich Dunkel; Honey Do Wit; and Pig Iron Porter) @World Café Live, Philadelphia, PA--- Tue. 11/17 - Victory Beer Dinner (7:00pm; $40 or 2 for $65! gets you a 5-course meal paired with Victory beers like Helios, Moonglow Weizenbock, Fest bier, Baltic Thunder, and Yakima Twilight) Women & Beer @Fork, Philadelphia, PA--- Mon. 11/16 - The Naked Pint Book Release Party (6:30pm; $55 for a menu that you can see over here) Some things are beyond description and must be experienced @Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA--- Fri. 11/13 - Friday the Firkinteenth #21 (PAYG for 20+ bar-top casks starting at 11am)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

San Francisco Brewing Company soon to be a memory

San Francisco Brewing Company is preparing to close for good. It was never a first stop or the most memorable stop, but always a stop as part of San Francisco's (more specifically, North Beach's) brewing history. A good stopping point on a walk from 21st Amendment/Thirsty Bear to Rogue Public Ale House/Church Key/La Trappe. Here was my initial review back in 2006. Most recently, during San Francisco Beer Week, Patty and I saddled up to the SF Brewing Co. bar and put back a couple of beers while being entertained by the singing bartender (a singer/musician...jazz/lounge, if I recall correctly) in the middle of a perfectly normal afternoon!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tidbits from around the craft brew-niverse

Cleaning out my to-read list of the past week or so, I have a few good reads to share with you here, that if I don't they will quickly wind up in the dustbin. Plus, it passes the time while I'm in Columbus. Scoats shares a revealing story of meat and how it gets from field to your dinner plate at The Grey Lodge. Cathedral Hill closes in San Francisco with a song from Allagash and so does a chapter on beer dinners. I wouldn't suppose that it will be long for The Beer Chef to begin a new chapter. Am I more like Jack than I would have ever admitted? Does anyone but Jack really understand me (at least when it comes to love for the game of baseball)? I swear, Jack's take on the sport sounds a lot like arguments I've had with people (like a nimrod a few weeks back who said baseball wasn't a really sport because there's no strategy) about its merits. Check in over here for a good cause Aspen Street was a favorite of ours back when we lived in the neighborhood. Hopefully, a return to its glory days is in the cards once again.

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Brew Lounge does not tolerate the word that rhymes with, but does not taste as good as, ham

Nor will I allow it to alter the way we do business around here. Lately, spam has picked up in the comments to levels never seen before around these parts. Such is the way of the web I'm sure; still, I don't pretend to understand the point of it, regardless of whether it's human or robot sending out this value-less crap. I will not turn on "comment moderation"...which for those uninitiated means some form of cryptic password that you need to enter just in order to post a comment and some form of queuing up comments for me to "approve." That, in my opinion, takes away from the spirit of encouraging effective and efficient communication. Some days it flows around here and other days...not so much. But, I won't spammers get in the way of that sort of productive communication. So, keep on keeping on, Mr./Ms. Spam-a-lot. I can keep up. As fast as you put it out there, I delete it. Everyone else, please carry on with the work at hand. p.s. hm, on second thought, BrewLounge and Spam just became more highly searchable on the Web. ggrrr. (okay, so now I've changed the title to address that potential issue)

Friday, November 06, 2009

Women, Beer, and Food

How many of you perked up reading the title above? Well, that's the point. There's a whole heck of a lot of great stuff going on in the world of better beer...much of it in the last couple of years has rightfully worked food into the mix. And, until the last five years or so, finding women excelling in both the business and the brewing end of the industry was fairly rare. My how times have changed. And Fork Restaurant here in Philadelphia will be hosting an event that will showcase these three wonderful creations. If you follow beverage and food (um, I'm guessing that you wouldn't be here if you didn't) you'll likely recognize the names Christina Perozzi & Hallie Beaune. And, if you know anything---anything at all, I'll tell you---about the craft brewing scene in and around Philadelphia, then you surely know the names of Sebbie Buhler, Wendy Domurat, Megan Maguire, Tracy Mulligan, Jodi Stoudt, Whitney Thompson, and Suzy Woods (alphabetical because you ain't gonna find me playing favorites around this bunch!). All of them or some combination will be descending upon Fork Restaurant on Market Street in Philly for a remarkable looking event in less than two weeks. Fifty-five dollars will get you a whole bunch of food and great looking beers to pair with. Ladies from each of the participating breweries should be there to tell stories behind the beer that you'll be enjoying. Yes, this is a promotional angle to a book release from Perozzi and Beaune called The Naked Pint: An Unadulterated Guide to Craft Beer, but guys (and ladies too), I know that you'll turn out for beer events of various flavors...this one looks like a darn good night of beer, food, and double X chromosomes that you shouldn't miss. Call Fork Restaurant at 215-625-9425 for reservations. I can't imagine this not quickly filling up. Reception::: Spicy tuna confit with capers on focaccia toasts Grilled flatbread with artichokes and saffron aioli :served with: Victory's Prima Pils & Stoudt’s American Pale Ale Chef’s selection of tapas::: Grilled house made chorizo with spicy white beans Salmon rillettes Grilled shrimp with grits and smoked tomato jam Vegetables à la grecque Marinated olives :served with: Sly Fox's Saison Vos First Course::: Seared sea scallops with coriander, caramelized brussels sprouts, meyer lemon jam :served with: Ommegang's Rare Vos Second Course::: Lightly smoked duck breast with spiced croutons, caramelized onion, bacon, parsnips :served with: Dogfish Head's Raison d’Etre Third Course::: Chocolate caramel tart with lemon-thyme chantilly cream :served with: Rogue's Chocolate Stout

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: November 5th-November 11th

I know many of you spent a lot of time out at bars to watch the Phillies postseason run. It's finally over, but let's pick the pieces and settle back into some great beer and food events this next week. As usual, there's no shortage of good stuff to choose from. Check out the entire November 2009 calendar over here. Some tastings, some free, some PAYG @Earth Bread + Brewery, Philadelphia, PA--- Thu. 11/5 - Meet the Brewer, Keep the Pint Glass (Bethlehem Brew Works) (6:30pm-8:30pm; PAYG for local brews, reps, and free pint glasses) @Exton Beverage, Exton, PA--- Fri. 11/6 - Friday Night Sampling (Victory Brewing) (4:00pm-6:00pm; free) @Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA--- Mon. 11/9 - Monday's Sixtel (Manayunk Hop Phanatic Imperial Amber) (PAYG) @Old Eagle Tavern, Philadelphia, PA--- Tue. 11/10 - Coronado Tuesday Nights (8:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG to meet & greet the brewers & beer reps & to taste the beers) @Old Eagle Tavern, Philadelphia, PA--- Tue. 11/10 - Victory Night (3:00pm-close; PAYG Food and Beer pairing specials, and enter to win a Victory fleece jacket) @Triumph, Philadelphia, PA--- Thu. 11/5 - Brewer's Reserve Barrel Tappings (November's selection: Baby Boy Bock Beer) (6:00pm; PAYG) @Triumph, New Hope, PA--- Fri. 11/6 - Brewer's Reserve Barrel Tappings (November's selection: Winter Bock) (6pm; PAYG) Casey, Chuck, maybe Gene will be spread out around the city with Exit 1 to taste @Hulmeville Inn, Hulmeville, PA--- Thu. 11/5 - Firkin of Exit 1 (6:00pm; PAYG) @Varga Bar, Philadelphia, PA--- Thu. 11/5 - Firkin of Exit 1 (7:00pm; PAYG) Some tastings, then, are just a bit bigger and badder than others @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, PA--- Fri. 11/6 - Incubus Friday (11:30am 'til it kicks; PAYG for a barrel full of trippy, trippely goodness) Homebrew? Yes, Homebrew. Not enough of these type of events on this calendar @Artisan Homebrew, Downingtown, PA--- Sat. 11/7 - Grand Opening Party on Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day (RSVP requested because there will be live folk/bluegrass music, free food, great wine from Black Walnut Winery, artisan goat cheeses from Amazing Acres, local craft beer and of course, Homebrew. There will be an all-grain brew session, starting around 10:30am, and an extract brew session, starting around 1:00pm.) Over the next two weeks, Iron Hill will leave no corner of the Delaware Valley untouched by their beer events @Iron Hill Brewery, West Chester, PA--- Fri. 11/6 - Brewmaster's Beer versus Wine Dinner (7:30pm; $70 gets you a five course meal paired with 1) Renwood Viognier, 2006 and Ichabod Imperial Pumpkin Ale; 2) Hahn Estate Chardonnay, 2007 and RØDE; 3) Fess Parker "Station" Pinot Noir 2007 and Biere de Mars; 4) Steltzner "Claret" Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 and Abbey Dubbel; and 5) Fonseca Bin 27 NV Porto and Old Ale) @Iron Hill Brewery, Phoenixville, PA--- Mon. 11/9 - Fall Beer Dinner (6:30pm; $60 for a four course meal paired with their Pumpkin Ale, Saison, Abbey Dubbel, and Russian Imperial Stout) @Iron Hill Brewery, Newark, DE--- Tue. 11/10 - Brewmaster's Fall Beer Dinner (7:00pm; $60 for a four course meal paired with their Lodestone Lager, Saison, Pig Iron Porter, and Pumpkin Ale) And, just a few more beer dinners in case you're still hungry @Chifa, Philadelphia, PA--- Thu. 11/5 - Victory Beer Dinner (7:00pm; $55 for five courses of food paired with Victory's Prima Pils, WildDevil, Golden Monkey, Yakima Twilight, and Baltic Thunder) @Drafting Room, Exton, PA--- Wed. 11/11 - Sierra Nevada Beer Dinner (6:00pm; $69.99 gets you four courses of food paired with Sierra Nevada's Brown Saison, Edge of Darkness, Belgian Triple, Estate Harvest Ale, and Bigfoot [2008]) @High Street Caffe, West Chester, PA--- Wed. 11/11 - Yards Beer Dinner (7:00pm-9:00pm; $45 for five courses paired with Yards Brawler, Poor Richard’s Tavern Spruce Ale, Philadelphia Pale Ale, George Washington’s Tavern Porter, and Thomas Jefferson’s Tavern Ale) @The Belgian Café, Philadelphia, PA--- Tue. 11/10 - Great Lakes Beer Dinner (7:00pm; $50 for five courses paired with "lots" of Great Lakes beer)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Two Great Reasons to Visit Bethlehem this week

Nestled in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains and halfway between Philadelphia and New York City, Bethlehem has a lot of good stuff going for it. I won't turn this into a promotional advertisement for the city, but do want to point out two great reasons to stop in the city this or any upcoming week during the next month. Patty and I visited there this past weekend to see her brother Bernard McManus' art exhibit on display (and for sale) at a charming gallery called Ambre Studio, which is just a hop, skip, and a jump ('hop', ha, get it? hop? uh, sorry) from Bethelehem Brew Works in the city's North neighborhood. This coming Friday night would seem about the right night to visit. While the exhibit opened officially last month, torrential rains and closed roads may have kept some of the crowd away. So, there's a do-over on Friday, November 6th from 5:30pm-7:30pm. It's completely feasible to park once, maybe out back of the Brew Works, walk out to Ambre (roughly 1/4 mile), and then back to the Brew Works for dinner. At Ambre, you'll be able to check out approximately 40 pieces of my brother-in-law's work and perhaps pick up a piece to take home to grace one of your walls. Much of the inspiration for his beautiful art has come from his two primary residences as an adult, France's Côte d'Azur (French Riveria) and more recently the Philadelphia/Lehigh Valley area. If you go on the 6th or on certain other days, you'll likely run into Bernie and have a chance to talk with him about his work and his travels. On the 6th, they may have some wine and light refreshments to pass around as well. After some time spent with art of the oil paint and brush variety, you can head back down Broad Street to Bethlehem Brew Works for art of the liquid form. For the less adventurous beer drinker in your group, there are some good solid standards like the Oatmeal Stout, the E.S.B., a Golden, and a Belgian Wit. But, for the beer geek in you, dear reader, you'll find a modestly built and easy drinking Belgian ale called Devil's Hearth. There's one on the opposite end of the spectrum that goes by the name of Biere de Pharaoh that is billed as the strongest beer (13.8% ABV) ever brewed at BBW. (Being of the driving set that day, I had to turn this one down.) I anxiously tried the Sorachi Ace hop-based Karate Hop, which was milder in flavor than I anticipated yet still quite enjoyable. The Hop'solutely is a "triple IPA" that made its way home with me in 750ml bottle form, since my curiosity wouldn't leave it alone; more to report on that one when the time comes. And, finally, the Framboises---one from '03 and one from '08. Both were easy drinking (relatively speaking) lambics that weren't as "challenging" to drink as I might have expected, but were very nice just the same. The '03 went just perfectly with my bleu cheese and mushroom Kobe burger and I got a sample of the '08 just for comparison sake. I was surprised that the '03 seemed only just a bit funkier and tarter than the '08, but basically the two were pretty close to each other. Could've been the bleu cheese helping to throw off my palate? By the time you get there, the Rude Elf's Reserve (2009 Bronze medal winner at GABF) should be available. Also medaling in Colorado this year (a Silver) but not available at current time was the Bagpiper's Scotch. On top of that, growler fillups of the regular brews (I strongly suggest the oatmeal stout) are only eight dollars. In any case, enough of my analysis. With the holidays coming, there will be plenty of reasons to venture into Bethlehem for festive shopping and doings in "Christmas City USA." Let me suggest November 6th as a way of seeing some great art and tasting some great beer before the holiday crush on the city begins. Tell 'em I sent you (though, I can't promise any discounts).

Sunday, November 01, 2009

An Event Cancellation and One Possible Reschedule

Their website only says so once you attempt to buy tickets, but the Pennsylvania Farm Show Food and Beer Expo has been cancelled. Phillies World Series action this coming Wednesday (11/4) has Donny Syracuse considering a reschedule of the the Yards dinner at High Street Caffe. Stay tuned for a possible makeup date of 11/11...