Sunday, February 21, 2010

New Jersey IS a Situation...and Yards at The Institute....and New Holland at Teresa's....and it's been a long weekend...good night

I'd add creative captions to go along with all of these pictures, but seriously?! I think they pretty much stand on their own. Having not yet seen a single episode of Jersey Shore, I still can't use the word 'situation' in a sentence (did I get that right? nothing dangling there, right Jack?). But, getting to New Jersey for me always seems to present some sort of its own situation. Last time, it was torrential rains and flooded roadways. This time, it was an overturned vehicle on the Schuylkill Expressway (shocking, you say, eh?) So, I swung all the way around the PA Turnpike and came in from the north on I-95 and across over into Jersey. Probably an extra 10-15 miles, but at least I was cruising. But, then I gotta say. Do New Jersey residents know where they are going? I find the road system confusing enough over there on that side of the river. Coupled with those pale yellow plates on cars that don't seem to know where even they themselves are going, I definitely gather a bit more angst when navigating around the endless commercial districts along their roads and circles (thankfully, those roundabouts are disappearing). Anyways, on to the matter at hand. Or The Iron Hill in Maple Shade. I swear I still don't know what all the fuss is about and still refuse to check out what even the most diehard fans of the show call a train-wreck of televised "acting." Yeah, sure, maybe I am one of those anti-TV snobs. Nonetheless, it provided for more hilarity than I've seen recently at a beer event. Sporting fake tans, big hair, and outrageous getups, the beer hoperati were playing the part. Truly worthy of a Philly Beer Week February, go figure. The cold and lingering snow must be getting to everyone. Let's see if I can get to a point here sometime soon. So far, I've spent too much time ranting about driving in New Jersey and trying to figure out what exactly The Situation is...and not doing a great job at either. So let's move along if we can... The pictures I have for you here above look much like the others that you may have already seen on Facebook and other places around the world wide web. So, I probably have nothing new in that regard. New, though, to Iron Hill spigots were The Situation ("not a barleywine"), a Dark Situation (a firkin, on the bartop, of blended R.I.S. and "not a barleywine" Situation), and The Digression (a Belgian IPA). Those creative types at Iron Hill continue to get more creativer. Then, back to safer grounds in Philly. Seriously. My heart rate and blood pressure went down a few ticks when back on Philadelphia Terra Firma of its city streets. Continuing my weekend theme of checking in on old friends (EB+B on Thursday, Capone's on Friday), I stopped in at The Institute to see what Heather, Charlie (proprietors) and the Yards crew were cooking up with the Pork, Pints, and Yards event that they were running from lunch to dinner. They packed in a solid crowd both downstairs and up of people who anxiously drained a bartop firkin of George Washington Porter and the regular stable of beers from Yards. With the way these two stops went, I lost time for stopping at Devil's Den to sip on the Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter and needed to get home for the dogs. Alas, these things tend to come back around I'm sure. Sunday's brunch event at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne was going to get its own space here, but things kind of backed up here at the end of the weekend so I'm just going to sandwich it in here at the end. Dr. Joel (Armato) of New Holland Brewing was on hand to showcase the Black Tulip, Charkoota Rye, and Dragon's Milk with a variety of brunchey foods. Throw in The Poet as a "welcome" beer, and at $25 this became of the best deals in recent memory. A bunch of beer geeks turned out for this Sunday brunch event, including Joel's mother...who herself admitted that the foodie gene skipped her generation and was fortunately, for New Holland, picked up by her son. In the last picture below, you'll see that Teresa's is geared up for what should be a memorable "I'm-not-Philly-Beer-Week."

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