Saturday, February 20, 2010

Boaks with some good blokes at Capone's

(Brian Boak, left, and Matt Capone)
As with Earth Bread + Brewery when I mentioned that I don't get there nearly enough, the same could be said of me and Capone's outside of Norristown. Heralded by some as one of Philadelphia region's best beer bars, there are at least a couple of events there every month to complement the stellar selection in the rear bottle shop. Feeling a need to revisit Capone's and to finally (after over a year of being available in PA) taste some of this beer by Brian Boak, I stopped in for dinner and a couple of brews last night. In addition to the Two Blind Monks (Dubbel, very nice with the wild mushroom spring rolls) and the Monster Mash (a Russian Imperial Stout dessert-type beer that should have been enjoyed after my ham and brie sandwich, but nonetheless a very good beer), Brian brought along something a little extra special. Earlier in the week, he'd taken his Two Blind Monks and added some oak chips and vanilla beans (one, actually, I believe if I heard correctly) soaked in Jack Daniels whiskey and threw them into the sixtel for a little extra dimension to the beer. It didn't add a whole lot, but as the beer warmed in the glass, a touch of vanilla and hint of whiskey did come through. Whether you detected it or not, it was nice to see Brian take this step of doing something a little extra for this tasting night at Capone's. Brian also shared with me (admittedly, I haven't known much about his northern New Jersey-based beer...brought to PA by Stockertown Beverage) that his bottle labels include everything from the basic stats (ABV, IBU) to color, style, and availability specifications to, get this, food pairings. I complimented him on how brilliant this is, particularly for helping newbies to the wide world of craft beer find beers that can work with their dinner plans, BYOB dinners, a very approachable and non-intimidating way. Just another night during Philly Beer Year.

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