Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Beer Calendar: What To Do in April 2011

April Showers? Perhaps. Showers of beer? For sure.

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

Fri. 4/1 - Firkin of the Month (Curried OMG Pale Ale) @Dock Street, Philadelphia, PA (5:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/1 - Funky First Friday After Work Party (w/ Allagash Grand Cru special) @The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/1 - Trubbel on Opening Day @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, PA (1:00pm-4:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/1 - International Lager Tasting @Bella Vista Beverage, Philadelphia, PA (5:00pm-7:00pm; Free)
Fri. 4/1 - St. "Fool"lien Part Deux @Kraftwork, Philadelphia, PA (7:00pm-11:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/1 - Opening Day Yards Saison Pre-Launch @Kennett, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/1 - Opening Day Yards Saison Pre-Launch @Standard Tap, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/1 - Opening Day Yards Saison Pre-Launch @Dawson Street Pub, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm; PAYG)
Sat. 4/2 - 3rd Anniversary Party @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, PA (2:00pm-5:00pm; PAYG)
Tue. 4/5 - Movie Night (Viewers' Choice) @Dock Street, Philadelphia, PA (8:30pm; PAYG)
Wed. 4/6 - Sly Fox Shmitten Kitten Kölsch release party @The P.O.P.E., Philadelphia, PA (7:00pm; PAYG)
Thu. 4/7 - Tap Take Over by Flying Fish @Philadelphia Bar and Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA (7:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG)
Thu. 4/7 - Michigan Beer Spotlight @Khyber Pass Pub, Philadelphia, PA (4:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/8 - Friday Night Tasting (Dogfish Head) @Bell's Beverage, Philadelphia, PA (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free)
Fri. 4/8 - Yards Tasting @Bella Vista Beverage, Philadelphia, PA (4:30pm-7:00pm; Free)
Sat. 4/9 - Beers Gone A Rye @The Institute, Philadelphia, PA (2:00pm-12:00am; PAYG)
Sat. 4/9 - A Groggy Afternoon @Nodding Head, Philadelphia, PA (3:00pm-6:00pm; PAYG)
Mon. 4/11 - Japan Fundraiser @Monk's Café, Philadelphia, PA (11:30am; PAYG)
Mon. 4/11 - Welcome Firestone Walker Brewing Company to Philadelphia @Monk's Café, Philadelphia, PA (5:00pm; PAYG)
Tue. 4/12 - Philly Beer Geek Qualifiying Round @The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA (8:00pm-12:00am; PAYG)
Tue. 4/12 - Firestone Walker Release @Hawthornes, Philadelphia, PA (PAYG)
Wed. 4/13 - Firestone Walker Release @Kraftwork, Philadelphia, PA (PAYG)
Fri. 4/15 - Firestone Walker Launch @Jose Pistolas, Philadelphia, PA (12:00pm-3:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/15 - Friday Night Tasting (Leinenkugel) @Bell's Beverage, Philadelphia, PA (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free)
Fri. 4/15 - Science Festival Beer Tap Party @Kite and Key, Philadelphia, PA (9:00pm; PAYG)
Tue. 4/19 - Evil Twin debut in Philly and Meet the Brewer @The Farmers' Cabinet, Philadelphia, PA (PAYG)
Wed. 4/20 - 420: Arrogant Bastards and Rainy Day Women @The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA (5:00pm-8:00pm; PAYG)
Wed. 4/20 - UnPlug on 4/20 with Sierra Nevada Reserve Brews @The Belgian Café, Philadelphia, PA (7:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/22 - Earth Day Empty Case Extravaganza @Yards Brewing, Philadelphia, PA (12:00pm-7:00pm; PAYG and save $$ for Mother Earth)
Fri. 4/22 - Earth Day with Long Trail @Hop Angel Brauhaus, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/22 - Friday Night Tasting (Rye Beers) @Bell's Beverage, Philadelphia, PA (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free)
Sat. 4/23 - 495th Anniversary of the German Beer Purity Law, Reinheitsgebot @Brauhaus Schmitz, Philadelphia, PA (11:30am-2:30pm; PAYG)
Sat. 4/23 - Beer Garden Grand Opening @Memphis Taproom, Philadelphia, PA (12:00pm; PAYG)
Sat. 4/23 - Brew Works Fried Chicken Picnic @The Institute, Philadelphia, PA (4:00pm-11:00pm; PAYG)
Sat. 4/23 - Split Thy Skull @Sugar Mom's, Philadelphia, PA (PAYG)
Sat. 4/23 - St. George's Day @The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA (5:00pm-11:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/29 - Friday Night Tasting (River Horse) @Bell's Beverage, Philadelphia, PA (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free)
Sat. 4/30 - 2011 Stiftungsfest @Cannstatter Volksfest Verein, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm; $10/$12)
Sat. 4/30 - Firkins for our Furry Friends II @Khyber Pass Pub, Philadelphia, PA (12:00pm-8:00pm; PAYG)

Philadelphia's close suburbs (within 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Fri. 4/1 to Sat. 4/2 - 6 Months to Oktoberfest 2011 @Iron Abbey, Horsham, PA (PAYG)
Fri. 4/1 - Firkin Friday (Coffee Stout) @Iron Hill Brewery, Media, PA (5:00pm-8:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/1 - Firkin Friday (dry-hopped Belgian Ale) @Iron Hill Brewery, North Wales, PA (5:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/1 - Friday Night Sampling (Rogue) @Beer Yard, Wayne, PA (5:00pm-7:00pm; Free)
Sat. 4/2 - A Study in Hops @Iron Hill Brewery, Maple Shade, NJ (12:00pm-5:00pm; PAYG)
Sat. 4/2 - Russian River Promo @Capone's, Norristown, PA (10:30am; PAYG)
Tue. 4/5 - Tuesday Morning Tappings (Russian River and Ballast Point) @Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, PA (11:30am; PAYG)
Thu. 4/7 - First Thursday Beer Sampling @Whole Foods, Plymouth Meeting, PA (6:00pm-8:00pm; Free)
Fri. 4/8 - Friday Night Sampling (Stoudt's) @Beer Yard, Wayne, PA (5:00pm-7:00pm; Free)
Tue. 4/12 - Tuesday Morning Tappings (Firestone Walker) @Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, PA (11:30am; PAYG)
Wed. 4/13 - Meet the guys from Firestone Walker @Capone's, Norristown, PA (1:30pm-3:45pm; PAYG)
Wed. 4/13 - Philadelphia Brewing Sampling @Wegmans, Mt. Laurel, NJ (4:00pm-7:00pm; Free)
Wed. 4/13 - Ballast Point Night @Brothers Spano, Rosemont, PA (7:00pm; PAYG)
Thu. 4/14 - Firestone Walker Release Party @Hulmeville Inn, Hulmeville, PA (8:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/15 - Friday Night Sampling (Erie) @Beer Yard, Wayne, PA (5:00pm-7:00pm; Free)
Tue. 4/19 - Tuesday Morning Tappings (Founders) @Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, PA (11:30am; PAYG)
Thu. 4/21 - Stone 10-tap Event @Hulmeville Inn, Hulmeville, PA (7:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/22 - Friday Night Sampling (Lagunitas) @Beer Yard, Wayne, PA (5:00pm-7:00pm; Free)
Sat. 4/23 - Hill Farmstead Ephraim limited release @Capone's, Norristown, PA (11:30am; PAYG)
Tue. 4/26 - Tuesday Morning Tappings (Tröegs) @Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, PA (11:30am; PAYG)
Fri. 4/29 - Friday Night Sampling (Yards) @Beer Yard, Wayne, PA (5:00pm-7:00pm; Free)
Sat. 4/30 - Saizanne Release @Iron Hill Brewery, Maple Shade, NJ (12:00pm-5:00pm; PAYG)
Sat. 4/30 - Beer at the Big House @Burlington County Prison Museum, Mount Holly, NJ (1:00pm-5:00pm; $TBD)

Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania (beyond 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
beginning Fri. 4/1 - Business Person's Specials @Sly Fox, Phoenixville and Royersford locations, PA (PAYG)
Fri. 4/1-Sun. 4/3 - Spring Cask Ale Festival @General Sutter Inn/Bulls Head Public House, Lititz, PA (PAYG)
Fri. 4/1 - Firkin Friday (Hoppopotamus) @Iron Hill Brewery, Phoenixville, PA (5:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/1 - Russian Imperial Stout Release @Iron Hill Brewery, Newark, DE (5:00pm-7:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/1 - Phils Pils release @Iron Hill Brewery, West Chester, PA (5:00pm-7:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/1 - Phightin Phils Pils release @Iron Hill Brewery, Lancaster, PA (1:00pm-5:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/1 - Friday Night Tasting (Leinenkugel) @Goshen Beverage, West Chester, PA (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free)
Fri. 4/1 - Friday Night Beer Tasting (Southampton Publick House) @Washington House, Sellersville, PA (PAYG)
Fri. 4/1 - Friday Night with Sixpoint Brewing @Blue Dog, Lansdale, PA (6:30pm; PAYG)
Wed. 4/6 - Specialty Keg Wednesday (Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout) @Isaac Newton's, Newtown, PA (11:30am; PAYG)
Thu. 4/7 - Charity Cask Night (with Raspberry Stout to benefit KidsPeace) @Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, PA (5:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/8 - Friday Night Sampling (Yards) @Exton Beverage, Exton, PA (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free)
Fri. 4/8 - Dark Side Party @Iron Hill Brewery, Wilmington, DE (6:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/8 - Naveale release @Iron Hill Brewery, West Chester, PA (5:00pm-8:00pm; PAYG)
Sat. 4/9 - Local Brewery Tap Takeover @The Drafting Room, Exton, PA (12:00pm; PAYG)
Sat. 4/9 - Bourbon Porter Release @Iron Hill Brewery, Newark, DE (3:00pm-5:00pm; PAYG)
Mon. 4/11 - Victory Cooks Showdown @Victory Brewing Co., Downingtown, PA (6:00pm-8:00pm; PAYG)
Wed. 4/13 - Soup, Slider & Stone Brewing Throwdown @French Quarter Bistro, Royersford, PA (7:00pm-10:00pm; $20 or PAYG)
Thu. 4/14 - Brewery Promo Night (Allagash) @Isaac Newton's, Newtown, PA (7:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/15 - 13th Anniversary Party @Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, PA (PAYG)
Fri. 4/15 - Elvis' Sideburns IPA Release @Iron Hill Brewery, Newark, DE (5:00pm-8:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/15 - Beer and Cheese Pairings @Iron Hill Brewery, West Chester, PA (5:00pm-7:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/15 - Drink Beer, Help Japan @Iron Hill Brewery, all 8 locations (12:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/15 - Friday Night Tasting (Stegmaier) @Goshen Beverage, West Chester, PA (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free)
Sat. 4/16 - B. United Takes Over the Taps @TJ's, Paoli, PA (12:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG)
Thu. 4/21 - Charity Cask Night (with Giant Torpedo of Truth to benefit KidsPeace) @Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, PA (5:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG)
Fri. 4/22 - Friday Night Sampling (Long Trail) @Exton Beverage, Exton, PA (4:00pm-7:00pm; Free)
Sat. 4/23 - 1st Anniversary Party @Station Taproom, Downingtown, PA (12:00pm; PAYG)
Sat. 4/23 - Easter Hopfest @Union Jack's on the Manatawny, Boyertown, PA (PAYG)
Fri. 4/29 - Makin' it Funky @Iron Hill Brewery, Lancaster, PA (5:00pm-8:00pm; PAYG)

Events Over $20

Thu. 4/7 - Dock Street and Dog Dinner @Fork and Barrel, Philadelphia, PA (7:00pm-10:00; $35)
Sat. 4/8 - Beer Pairing Dinner @Manayunk Brewery, Philadelphia, PA (6:30pm; $50)
Wed. 4/13 - Flying Fish Beer Dinner @White Dog, Philadelphia, PA (6:30pm; $50)
Wed. 4/13 - Not Your Grandmother's Passover Beer Dinner @The Belgian Café, Philadelphia, PA ($40)
Thu. 4/14 - A Philadelphia Ale & Arts Adventure @World Café Live, Philadelphia, PA (5:30pm; $35)
Sat. 4/16 - Pig Roast Spring Kickoff with Stoudt's @City Tap House, Philadelphia, PA (1:00pm-4:00pm; $45)
Tue. 4/19 - Banned in PA @Tria, Philadelphia, PA (6:30pm-8:00pm; $65)
Wed. 4/20 - Flying Fish Beer Dinner @The Corner, Philadelphia, PA (7:00pm-9:30pm; $55)
Sat. 4/23 - From Hops to Table: The Science of Beer @Yards Brewing Co., Philadelphia, PA (7:00pm; $20)
Wed. 4/27 - All Things Fermented: The Science of Beer and Cheese @Triumph Brewing Co., Philadelphia, PA (6:30pm-8:30pm; $49)
Wed. 4/27 - Yards Beer Dinner @N. 3rd, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm-11:00pm; $30)
Thu. 4/28 - A Philadelphia Ale & Arts Adventure @World Café Live, Philadelphia, PA (5:30pm; $35)
Thu. 4/28 - Bell's Beer Dinner @Chifa, Philadelphia, PA (7:00pm; $65)
Sat. 4/30 - Brew Fest Extravaganza @Manayunk Brewery, Philadelphia, PA (1:00pm-5:00pm; $45)

Philadelphia's close suburbs (within 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Mon. 4/4 - Off-Flavor Tutored Tasting @Pinocchio's, Media, PA (12:00pm-1:30pm; $45)
Tue. 4/5 - Introduction to Sour Beers @Hulmeville Inn, Hulmeville, PA (7:30pm-9:30pm; $38)
Tue. 4/12 - Spring Beer Dinner @Iron Hill Brewery, Maple Shade, NJ (7:00pm-10:00pm; $65)
Wed. 4/13 - Spring Beer Dinner @Iron Hill Brewery, Maple Shade, NJ (7:00pm-10:00pm; $65)
Wed. 4/20 - Sixpoint Beer Dinner @Iron Abbey, Horsham, PA (7:00pm-9:00pm; $50)

Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania (beyond 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Tue. 4/5 - Brandywine Loca'licious @Victory Brewing Co., Downingtown, PA (6:00pm-8:00pm; $35)
Wed. 4/6 - Meet the Brewer Series...featuring A Four Course Gouden Carolous Beer Dinner @Spinnerstown Hotel, Spinnerstown, PA (7:00pm; $55)
Sat. 4/9 - PA Flavor 2011 @The Main Hall of the Pennsylvania Farm Show, Harrisburg, PA (1:00pm-5:00pm; $20/$40/$50)
Thu. 4/14 - Ommegang Beer Dinner @Wegmans, Malvern, PA (6:00pm-8:00pm; $35)
Thu. 4/14 - Stone Brewing Beer Dinner @Side Bar, West Chester, PA (6:30pm-9:30pm; $55)
Sun. 4/17 - 7 course Italian-style Beer Dinner @Union Barrel Works, Reamstown, PA (2:00pm; $50)
**RESCHEDULED TO 6/10/11**Fri. 4/22 - Spring Beer Dinner @Iron Hill Brewery, West Chester, PA (7:00pm; $65)
Sat. 4/30 - Battle of the Brewery Bands @Stoudt's Brewing Co., Adamstown, PA (6:00pm; $30)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Slicing and Dicing beer by ABV, by Local, by Session, and by Style

Here's a little something to stimulate your brain cells at the beginning of the work week.

There's been quite a bit of chatter these last few years around the word "session" — the length of drinking time that constitutes a session — the appropriate maximum amount of alcohol in a session beer — and simply whether we like the term session.

Some of this conversation has certainly been instigated by the worthwhile work that Lew Bryson has undertaken to help bring attention to what he perceived/perceives to be an under-served, under-respected, and under-appreciated segment of the craft beer market. He calls it the The Session Beer Project

Jack Curtin stoked the conversation again recently when he brought light to some comments made by Weyerbacher owner Dan Weirback.

I'll be focusing a longer article on this topic in the near term.

Until then, I decided to run some numbers — no, not those kind of numbers. Some beer numbers. As you likely know, I'm a numbers guy. So when faced with this question of whether session beers are adequately available, I took to the better beer bars and brewpubs in my local area for some evidence.

While gathering the data, other topics du jour came to mind. Like...
~ Does my local area supply a breadth of styles?
~ What is the spread of ABV percentages?
~ Are session beers monolithic?
~ Are locals being served fairly?
~ Are ABV percentages readily listed for customers at the bar?

The effort of data gathering was limited solely to electronic beer menus. (Hey, what a novel idea! I recall proposing that concept 6 years ago when there were virtually none and being told by several folks that there really wasn't a market for up-to-date, or even live, tap lists. Just ahead of my time, I suppose, right?)

Bars included in this "study" are Capone's, P.J. Whelihan's, Station Taproom, TJ's, Teresa's Next Door, The Drafting Room, and Ron's Original. Brewpubs included are Sly Fox and Victory. Okay, oops, I slipped. P.J.'s was provided to me on a printed menu. The others were either provided via email updates (e.g. Capone's), Facebook (e.g. Station Taproom), or website (the remainder).

Would love to have included The Flying Pig, Iron Hill, and McKenzie's, but I'm not aware that they have an online resource for current draft lists, ahem!

The lists are not all from the same day, but that was not important. The lists were all from within less than two weeks of each other in March 2011.

Let's see what we found.

9 establishments were polled. 183 beers were on tap. I did not distinguish between traditional CO2, cask/handpump, and nitro.

Some more interesting pre-game analysis. Only 6 taps were what might be considered macro-ish: one draft line each of Amstel Light; Coors Light; Guinness Stout; Miller Lite; Peroni, Yuengling Lager. There's a dry cider in the mix here too; I probably should have removed it. But, I didn't, so moving along...

I)  53 "styles" were counted across these 183 beers. The most popular with 24 taps, not too surprising, was American IPA, where three American IPA taps belonged to Bear Republic's Racer 5 and two taps each for Victory HopDevil and Ithaca's Flower Power. In a distant second was the American Pale Ale style with 10 taps. See style table for the wide range of styles. (click to enlarge)

II)  I broke the ABVs down into 6 buckets. This could be the most debatable, but here follows my logic. Almost no one will argue that Under 4.5% is considered a session beer. Folks seem to be generally split on the next range, so I isolated 4.5% to 5.5% as its own category. Personally, I have no problem with a session beer in the 5-ish range. I could even push my session beer threshold to 6% given my body composition, my drinking pace, and my drinking "experience". Therefore, 5.5%-6.5% gets its own designation, particularly also because it's the subject of Dan Weirback's criticized comments. From 6.5%-8.5%, we begin to get into almost everyone's definition of a stronger beer, but not at knock-out levels. No one should deny 8.5%-10% definitely is comprised of some strong beers. And, lastly, everything Over 10%, just because 10% as a double digit number somehow holds some magical significance.

53 beers out of 178 under 5.5% ABV, eh? Nearly 30% of available draft beer. Not too shabby for anyone looking for a relatively lower alcohol beer at one of these 9 spots. Although, there's an interesting drop in the 5.5%-6.5% range which could explain the spot that Weirback is looking to land a session beer in.

See the accompanying bar chart for a frequency illustration of the 178 beers in this study — 5 did not have a readily-published ABV% that I could track down. (click to enlarge)

III)  Opponents of session beer might perceive it as limited in diverse flavors and aromas. So next, I checked on what types/styles of session beers are being served at these 9 places. Does diversity exist within session beers under 5.5%? Or are they not very "exciting"? The answer seems quite apparent from the following table.

IV)  Are the locals being served? I don't know what the optimal percentage should be, but here in the western 'burbs of Philadelphia, a full 36% of the 183 draft lines in mid-March at these 9 establishments were dedicated to locals. That doesn't sound so bad.

I know, I know, I hear you. The next question is obviously: "Are not the brewpubs (100% local) tainting these ratios?" A bit, I'm sure. So, let's remove them and see what we get.

Without brewpubs included, the percentage of the 183 draft lines that locals occupied drops to 21% of the total. If you want to make a case for local beers, this might be a number that you focus on. Especially considering that Flying Fish, Sly Fox, and Stoudt's each only had 1 tap out of 183; and Philadelphia Brewing had none. Though, truthfully, the 1 in 5 stat is no where near as bad as things could be.

The local brewery with the most tap lines tied up with their product (outside, of course, of the 2 brewpubs in this analysis)? Victory with 7, Dogfish Head and Manayunk with 3 each.

From outside of the region (discounting that TJ's had some Allagash remnants and Teresa's Next Door had a recent Stone event), Founders was well-represented with 5 draft lines; Great Lakes and Sierra Nevada each had 4.

Click the pie chart below on the left to see where brewpubs are included. And, click the pie chart on the right where brewpubs are not included.

V)  On the topic of published ABV% levels, 8 of the 9 establishments prominently display the ABV% of each available beer either on the chalkboard or on the printed menus available at the bar or tables.

If you wonder what the big deal is here, take this as an example. The night prior to a long run a few weeks back, I found myself eating at TJ's. I only wanted one beer. A low-alcohol beer at that. A quick scan of the digital chalkboard (A+ for information) and I quickly found the 4.0% beer that I wanted to get through dinner.

With the ever-expanding diversity of beers available in the market and growing base of new customers, listing alcohol levels for customers to make the right choice is more important than ever.

So where does all of this lead us? I'd love to hear from as many of you as possible. Let's not contain all of the conversation to Jack's site, right? (just kidding, of course, my friend)

After seeing these numbers around the topic of ABV distribution and whatever it is that we wish to call a session beer (sneak peek at my article: "I (and you and you and you) can define my own 'session', thank you very much"), I'm fairly satisfied that I can find varying strengths of beer in almost any category I like here in the western suburbs of Philadelphia.

Now, I realize that I may be a bit privileged in that regard. So chime in and let me know how you feel in your town/region/state about having access to a breadth of beer styles and beer strengths.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Brewer's Plate in Philadelphia, 3/13/11

~ Read more about my take on The Brewer's Plate at The Washington Times-Communities section.
~ Check out pictures over at my Google Photos gallery

Another edition of The Brewer's Plate is in the books. Another successful one, that is.

With floor space spread out more than ever, feelings of congestion were rarely felt while mingling from the Chinese Rotunda to the long side Egyptian Gallery to the ground floor 'Speakeasy' to the outdoor VIP pavilion tents.

More beer than ever. More food (most notably, more pork and more desserts). Unlike other events where more can feel like too much, here it did not. Unless, of course, your objective is to eat and drink from all of the tables. I suppose someone with blinders on may be able to do so, but the event has grown to the point where it's nearly impossible.

From the early years at the Reading Terminal Market — where honestly, in hindsight, it feels like a small group of foodies and craft beer geeks that were ahead of their time — to the Independence Visitor's Center and now, for the past three years at the University of Pennsylvania, it certainly feels like this event has found a perfect home at the Museum.

Where else can you get what almost amounts to a museum admission with your beer festival?

~ Read more about my take on The Brewer's Plate at The Washington Times-Communities section.
~ Check out pictures over at my Google Photos gallery

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: March 21 - March 31

To close out the last 10 days of March, we've a whole array of opportunities to taste some of the best beer available in the region.

Check out the entire March 2011 calendar over here.

If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, let me know.

Tastings, samplings, and brewery promos
@Bella Vista Beverage, Philadelphia, PA--- Fri. 3/25 - Friday Night Tasting (5:00pm-7:00pm; Free tasting samples of Abita beer)

@Bell's Beverage, Philadelphia, PA--- Fri. 3/25 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free tasting samples of springtime beer)

@Craft Ale House, Limerick, PA--- Wed. 3/30 - Founders Night (6:00pm; PAYG for a crazy lineup of Michigan beer like: Backwoods Bastard; Breakfast Stout ['09]; Centennial IPA; Dirty Bastard; Double Trouble; Devil Dancer Triple IPA; Harvest Ale; Imperial Stout; Kentucky Breakfast Stout ['10]; Nemesis ['10]; Red’s Rye; Wheat Wine ['09])

@Earth Bread + Brewery, Philadelphia, PA--- Thu. 3/24 - Yards Promo (6:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG)

@Exton Beverage, Exton, PA--- Fri. 3/25 - Friday Night Sampling (4:00pm-7:00pm; Free tasting samples of Stoudt's beer)

@Hop Angel Brauhaus, Philadelphia, PA--- Wed. 3/30 - Keep the Glass Night (6:00pm-8:00pm; PAYG for a half liter of Tucher Hefeweizen and keep the glass)

@Isaac Newton's, Newtown, PA--- Thu. 3/31 - Brewery Promo Night (7:00pm; PAYG for free samples of Harpoon beer and brewery schwag)

@Pinocchio's, Media, PA--- Thu. 3/24 - Flying Fish Beer Sampling (7:00pm-9:00pm; Free & PAYG for some of New Jersey's finest)

@Standard Tap, Philadelphia, PA--- Wed. 3/30 - Flying Fish Firkin (6:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG to help kick the bar-top firkin)

Beer Dinners
@Barbuzzo, Philadelphia, PA--- Wed. 3/23 - Victory Beer Dinner (5:00pm-10:00pm; $55 for a five-course meal paired with Braumeister Pils, Headwaters Pale Ale, Scarlet Fire Rauchbier, Yakima Glory Dark IPA, and St. Boisterous Hellerbock)

@Chifa Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA--- Thu. 3/24 - Stone Beer Dinner (7:00pm-9:30pm; $75 for a four-course meal paired with 4 or 5 beers from Stone)

@French Quarter Bistro, Royersford, PA--- Wed. 3/30 - Great Lakes and Sly Fox Throwdown (6:00-10:00pm; PAYG for a face-off of beer and food pairings from Great Lakes, Sly Fox, and the French Quarter kitchen)

@Station Taproom, Downingtown, PA--- Sun. 3/27 - Beer Dinner (4:00pm; $TBD for food from the kitchen and beer from Tired Hands, McKenzie's, and Earth Bread + Brewery)

@Tap and Table, Emmaus, PA--- Tue. 3/29 - The Bruery Beer Dinner (7:00pm-11:00pm; $55 for a five-course meal paired with Autumn Maple ['09], Two Turtle Doves [firkin], Coton, and two more TBA)

@Wegmans, Collegeville, PA--- Thu. 3/24 - Samuel Smith Beer Dinner (6:00pm-8:30pm; $35 for a four course meal paired with beers from England's legendary Samuel Smith)

Three events that have practically no relationship to each other, except for great beer
@Allentown Brew Works, Allentown, PA--- Sat. 3/26 - Great Allentown BrewWorks Festival (3:00pm-6:00pm; $10/$20+ for at least 12 Allentown BW selections, 6 from Bethlehem BW, and 6 more from other breweries including Hammersmith Ales, River Horse, Sly Fox, Stoudt's, Weyerbacher, and Yards. Also, beer history in the Lehigh Valley and tastings of Stonekeep Meadery meads, Bushmills Irish Whiskey, and Jameson Whiskey)

@The Institute, Philadelphia, PA--- Sat. 3/26 - 2nd Annual Punk vs. Pop with PBC (8:00pm-12:00am; PAYG for Kenzinger, Walt Wit, Rowhouse Red, New Bold IPA, Pennsylvania Pale Ale, & Fleur de Lehigh. All PBC draft will be $2 off a glass & we will have PBC rep Chris Morris spinning on the decks putting the best 80's Punk up against the best 80's Pop. Chocolate and cheese specials as well. Dress the part for a chance to win a $50 gift card.)

@Tria, Philadelphia, PA--- Wed. 3/30 - St. Feuillien (with Dominique Friart) (6:30pm-8:00pm; $55 for St. Feuillen Beers served with cheese and light snacks)

Beer Education
@Tria, Philadelphia, PA--- Fri. 3/25 - Beer 101 (6:30pm-8:00pm; $50 for tastings and discussions with Jon Myerow and Erin McLean that will enhance your enjoyment and confidence in any beer situation)

@Trolley Car Diner, Deli, and Ice Cream Shoppe, Philadelphia, PA--- Thu. 3/24 - Beer Class: Monastic Beers (7:00pm-9:00pm; $34 for the history of monastic brews presented by Lynn Hoffman as you sample a mix of flavorful Tripels and Dubbels. Light appetizers will be served.)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

If I was not so responsible, I'd be at TJ's all night

No pictures to share. Just another story about the perfect picture of neighborhood restaurant and bar that is TJ's in Paoli.

Stopped in tonight mainly to have dinner and get in to a few beers from the Global Brewers Guild portfolio.

Sort of like catching up with old friends. Smuttynose Old Brown Dog and Robust Porter taste as good as ever. And Allagash's Curieux still does it for me.

Sunday should be a good day to stop in and pick up some of what's left on tap. When we left, 3 of the 20+ special event beers had kicked. Seeing the healthy crowd that remained and knowing a few of their faces, I'd say a couple more, at least, may kick tonight. All in all, another good-looking night and event at TJ's.

Speaking of old friends, not only did Patty and I run into quite a few friends, it seemed like the kind of night that takes place often at TJ's. Maybe the NCAA tournament was also partly to blame, but it seemed like there were many groups of customers that knew each other that were having the kind of quintessential pub experience that we'd hope all could have.

Also saw three folks that were also at The Khyber Pass Pub earlier today. That's quite some staying power and healthy livers at work!

If I was not so responsible, I'd have sat at Khyber Pass all day

(Khyber Pass from the outside; same as it ever was)

(a 15% beer, Avery Mephistopheles, to celebrate a 15 mile run..but, of course?!)

The only thing better would be if The Khyber was an outdoor beer drinking venue. But, then it wouldn't be the Khyber we know and love.

(A list to make the Tsars blush)

It was my first visit since the remodel. I'm glad to see that the bar — and especially the restaurant side — retained more of the "earthiness" than the pretty pictures had initially shown. i.e. It hasn't been too prettified.

Lots of good people and familiar faces on both sides of the bar. Good times, to be sure.

Oh, by the way....the very special keg I referred to last night? Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout. Solid list of Russian Imperial Stouts all around that would be sure to impress the Tsars.

(Fried Green Tomato BLT quite satisfying with an accompaniment of Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

They also featured, not with the R.I.S., of course, the very drinkable Mort Subite Blanche from Keersmaeker.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Today, Tonight, this Weekend: take your pick of City or 'Burbs

Two all day events today will give beer lovers a great variety of beers to choose from.

At the Khyber Pass Pub in Philly, some of the biggest, baddest Russian Imperial Stouts will be holding court for as long as they can during the Tsar Power event. Think World Wide Stout...Mephistopheles...Madrugada Obscura...Prince Myshkin...Sea Monster...and Cowbell.

Plus, I'm told that one very special keg is still en route. Oh, yeah, and cask-conditioned Storm King too.

If my morning long run goes well at the Art Museum, I very well may head over there to have my way with one or two of these beasts.

Out in Paoli — oh yes, how convenient that it's on my hometurf — at TJ's, they're putting up a whole bunch of beers from the Global Brewers Guild portfolio. Think 21st Amendment, Allagash, Great Divide, and Smuttynose.

These beers are mostly all on already at TJ's which means that you can already get a taste of some of these. Plus, there's always the chance that some will linger 'til Sunday.

And, if you're fortunate enough to have a Real Ale Festival ticket for Sunday at Yards, then you're truly in luck this weekend.

Spring is upon us. If you've been hibernating from beer events — oh wait, I forgot whom I was talking with! — this weekend would be a great time to get out there.

To Pliny with Love

Back to my Bay Area brothers one more time this week.

Go stop by Jay Brooks' website where you'll see one local band's expression of love for Gaius Plinius Cecilius Secundus.

In the Northeast, of course there's "(We're Drinking) Bitches Brew". But, it got me to wondering if any Philly-based beers have earned such props on the music scene?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's not always about the perfect pairing

Much to my dismay, my pre-long run carbo-loading ritual of Cajun Chicken Alfredo pasta dish has disappeared from the menu at TJs in Paoli. When I needed to carb up prior to a long run this past weekend, a new menu regular attempted to take its place. It seemed to have fared pretty well in my first go-round with it.

Gnocchi with wild mushrooms, sage, and shaved Parmesan. It was just right -- not too fluffy, not too dense.

Then, I needed one low alcohol beer to accompany this plate of food. In this case, I wasn't so concerned about the perfect pairing, rather I was looking for low-alcohol beer refreshment.

Bell's Oarsman did just the trick and was an easy-drinking and pleasing glass of beer at 4% ABV. It was berliner-weisse-esque in its tartness -- though, not quite as much so -- and with light citrus qualities. It will not go anywhere close to ranking as a great pairing, but sometimes that's not what it's all about.

And when the following day brings a super-strong 13.4 mile run, all's good. Though, it won't stop me from lamenting the passing of the Cajun Chicken Alfredo at TJ's.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Back to the Bay Area for a few video clips

I haven't linked to The Brewing Network in quite some time. Seeing them while in San Francisco reminded me of such things. Plus, now seeing a few of their short video highlights of things I know well, I figured now was as good of a time as ever to catch you up with them.

Jump over there and you'll see them cover: the Opening Gala event and Meg Gill; Nanobreweries, Social Kitchen & Brewery, and Rich Higgins; and Anchor Brewery, Mark Carpenter, and the latest release Breckle's Brown.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kicking off Philly Beer Week in 80 days

With 80 days to go until June 3, Philly Beer Week has announced the release of ticket sales to the public today. There will be the usual overwhelming amount of beer, food, music, and good times with your favorite local brewers and beer-lebrities.

There's a contest, too, for free tickets to the Opening Tap event.
In the spirit of getting this out to you with the least amount of effort on my part, here's the direct text from the press release of my favorite -- and exhausting -- beer week.

And, yes, you can again count on at least one running event this year's Philly Beer Week.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – The fourth-annual Philly Beer Week (PBW) 2011 will kick off on Friday, June 3 at 7:30 p.m., in the spectacular Independence Visitor Center (6th and Market Streets) with the Opening Tap, a celebration honoring the wide array of regional brewers and breweries whose beer helps make Philadelphia “the best beer-drinking city in America.” Tickets for the Opening Tap are available now online, and cost $41 ($15 for “designated driver” tickets). They can be purchased online at; no tickets will be available for purchase at the door.

Guests can also enter to win a pair of tickets to the event at Requirements for the ticket giveaway are simple: one entry per person, and all entrants must a) be at least 21 years old and b) love beer. Online entry requires guests to submit their first and last name, confirm their age and include their e-mail address, in order to be notified if they win.

"The Opening Tap is a one-of-a-kind event featuring our local breweries and their beers, as well as the men and women who create them," says Don Russell, Executive Director of PBW. "It’s only fitting that we kick off a celebration of America’s best beer-drinking city in the shadow of the birthplace of America."

The signature kick-start to PBW will begin with the ceremonial ‘first tap’ using the official Philly Beer Week keg mallet (affectionately known as the Hammer of Glory, or HOG), followed by a strolling beer tasting on two levels. The HOG will be used to tap Brotherly Suds 2, the local collaborative beer of Philly Beer Week 2011. The special beer, to be crafted at Stoudt’s by brewer Brett Kintzer along with Yards’ Tom Kehoe, Victory’s Bill Covaleski, Troegs’ John Trogner and Nodding Head’s Gordon Grubb, will have a unique nod toward Philadelphia's brewing history. The lager, described as "sudsier than ever," will be fermented with the same strain of yeast originally used by the late, great Schmidt's brewery of Northern Liberties in its original premium lager of 1860. At one time, nearly two-thirds of the beer served in Philadelphia taverns came from the iconic brewery, making their signature yeast strain a perfect standard-bearer for PBW 2011’s signature brew.

Beer friendly food will be available for purchase on site from Max & Me Catering. There will also be live music by the Flathead Gang. Attendees must be at least 21 years of age, and no children will be admitted.

Philly Beer Week is a 10-day celebration of "America’s Best Beer-Drinking City" held from Friday, June 3 to Sunday, June 12. Established in 2008, it’s the largest beer celebration of its kind in the United States, featuring hundreds of festivals, dinners, tours, pub crawls, tastings, and meet-the-brewer nights throughout Greater Philadelphia.

Philly Beer Week highlights the region’s diverse beer scene – its world-class breweries, neighborhood taverns, trend-setting restaurants and rich beer culture and history. Philly Beer Week is organized and operated by Philly Beer Week Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(6) organization overseen by a board comprised of brewery owners, distributors, restaurant owners and others, to promote the beer and hospitality industries.

To purchase tickets for the Opening Tap, or to find general information about Philly Beer Week 2011, including the ever-expanding schedule of events and list of participants, please visit

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Madness is underway at Exton Beverage

Exton Beverage has a fun promotion taking place during March and Round 1 is already in the books. A la March Madness, the Chester County source for one of the largest and most diverse beer selections by the 1/2 keg, 1/6 keg, and case is having a Sweet 16 Beer Madness tournament.

Through this past weekend, round 1 took place with customers participating in blind tasting sessions in four regions: IPA, Wheat/White, Brown/Porter, and Pilsner.

Sixteen beers were paired off in round 1 across these four categories. Paticipating customers were simply asked to judge which beer they personally liked better.

Here's where they stand as they go in to round 2, which begins this week.

In the IPA region, Founders Centennial (a bit of surprising runaway at 64%-36% over Great Divide Titan) will be facing off against Lagunitas IPA (which convincingly beat Victory HopDevil, 58%-42%).

In the Wheat/White region, Coors Blue Moon (after a 63%-37% trouncing of Harpoon UFO) will be facing off against Paulaner Hefeweizen (which narrowly beat Hoegaarden by a margin 55%-45%).

In the Brown/Porter region, Brooklyn Brown (after scoring the first round's most convincing victory at 79%-21% over Long Trail Double Bag) will be facing off against Yards General Washington Porter (which narrowly knocked off Sierra Nevada Porter by 55%-45%).

Finally, in the Pilsner region, Lagunitas Pils (after taking a clean sweep against our hometown Victory's Prima Pils by a tally of 59%-41%) will be facing off against Sly Fox Pikeland Pils (the narrowest of first round victories at 54%-46% over Stoudt's Pils).

Stop in this Thursday, 3/17 (5-7pm) and Saturday, 3/19 (12-4pm) to participate in the second-round fun. While there, you can also fill out your bracket predictions all the way to the finals for a chance to win prizes from Exton Beverage.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

You say you want to try Pliny the Younger but keep missing it? Here's a chance to try it for free, but you'll need to act quickly

The excitement for this beer still shows little sign of waning. According to owner Howard Weintraub, last night his Drafting Room in Exton pre-sold all tickets in 20 minutes for the Pliny the Younger tapping this Saturday during his annual HopFest event.

All except for two.

He has made two tickets available for me to give away to lucky readers of The Brew Lounge. But, I won't make it that easy for you.

I'm a numbers guy and I sense that many of you (particularly the homebrewers in the crowd) are as well.

So here's the deal. You're gonna have to act fast on this one if you want a chance to taste this highly-sought after and praise-lavished beer.

Be one of the first two to respond with the correct answer to this little Russian River-inspired numbers game and you'll score yourself a free glass of Pliny the Younger this Saturday, March 12 at The Drafting Room in Exton, Pa.

One ticket per winner. Two winners.

All of the answers to these questions are not too difficult to find with some low-to-medium web sleuthing skills. Good luck!

s1- Take Russian River owner Vinnie Cilurzo's age. Multiply it by...

s2- The date in February this year when Russian River's brewpub kicked its last keg of Pliny the Younger

s3- Take this result and first add the year in which Cilurzo took ownership of Russian River Brewing Company, then subtract...

s4- The percentage ABV of Pliny the Younger; use whole number, don't convert it to decimal format (according to the brewery's website)

s5- Take this last result and divide it by the IBUs of Pliny the Elder (according to the brewery's website)

In other words, just to help those a little less math-inclined:
( ( s1 * s2) + s3 - s4) / s5

Provide the final result to at least two decimal places of accuracy to

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

*Early Release* of Weekly Beer Calendar Update: March 10 - March 20

I put out a lot of information about beer events. Some may ask why I do this. Some might say this doesn't really qualify as beer 'writing'. I would agree. However, in the world of beer, a large contributor to what makes the whole big industry wheel go 'round are beer events. If you can't get people to your joint to taste your products, y'ain't gonna get too far.

In the Philadelphia region, I've served as a bit of conduit for the past five years with monthly calendars, and in the past three, weekly calendar of events during the month with up-to-date event details. Nobody pays to get on The Brew Lounge calendar and I do not pass judgment or censor events on the calendar. I get to quite a few events myself and, when I do, I write about them -- mostly focused on the positive, but also the negative when I deem it in the public interest -- for the sake of providing information that can help customers decide about future attendance.

So, with this, my 'real' writing comes not just an expression of my so-called writing skills, but also a venue to communicate information -- practical information that you all can put to use in order to decide how to best support one of your favorite industries.

Enough of that; felt like I needed to clear the air.

What I really want to focus on here early in the week is the not-quite-Philly-Beer-Week that one might argue begins this coming Thursday evening. There's no real kick-off to these 10 or 11 days and no particular organization of these events outside of the Craft Beer Express on Saturday. More, really, of just me saying "look at this cluster of events" where Philly Beer Week used to reside in March.

Like last year, this is a time in March when a significant number of establishments in the region fill the gap left by Philly Beer Week (moved in '10 to the month of June) with a lineup of events to get us all through the last days of winter and to keep the spirit of Philly Beer Week alive year-round.

Recall last year's stellar cluster of it's-not-Philly-Beer-Week events. Not entirely sure, but the Nick Johnson birthday party might have been the kickoff at Teresa's Next Door. Many were sad -- though, maybe not the staff at TND -- to see the event not repeated again this year. Happy birthday, anyway, Nick.

Okay, here we go -- roll call. I lost count at 27 events over 11 days. I'll continue to update as I learn more.

It's all starts with
Saturday 3/12 - Craft Beer Express @12 Participating Kick-Ass Beer Bars, Philadelphia, PA (11:00am-9:00pm; $10 bus ticket, then PAYG at each bar -- though, bus is not required for admittance)

Then, throw in some Tastings
Friday 3/11 - Friday Night Sampling @Exton Beverage, Exton, PA (4:00pm-7:00pm; Free tasting samples of Yards)
Friday 3/11 - Friday Night Tasting @Goshen Beverage, West Chester, PA (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free tasting samples of Philadelphia Brewing)
Friday 3/11 - Friday Night Tasting @Bell's Beverage, Philadelphia, PA (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free tasting samples of Unibroue)
Friday 3/11 - Friday Night Tasting @Beer Yard, Wayne, PA (5:00pm-7:00pm; Free tasting samples of Stone)
Thursday 3/17 - Charity Cask Night @Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, PA (5:00pm; PAYG for A Wee Bit O' Honey IPA to benefit the Center for Animal Health & Welfare)
Thursday 3/17 - Kill the Cask Night @Khyber Pass Pub, Philadelphia, PA (4:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG for a firkin of Manayunk Brewing's dry-hopped California Dreamin')
Friday 3/18 - Friday Night Tasting @Beer Yard, Wayne, PA (5:00pm-7:00pm; Free tasting samples of Sierra Nevada)
Friday 3/18 - Friday Night Tasting @Bell's Beverage, Philadelphia, PA (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free tasting samples of Philadelphia Brewing)
Friday 3/18 - Prism Night with a Side of Bacon @The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG for a firkin of Prism's Bacon Imperial Chocolate Stout)

And some stronger-gravity Events
Thursday 3/10-Sun. 3/13 - Philadelphia Brewing Weekend @Hulmeville Inn, Hulmeville, PA (PAYG as Philadelphia Brewing takes over the tap tower with 12 featured PBC beers including...Kenzinger, Walt Wit, Rowhouse Red, Newbold IPA, Pennsylvania Pale Ale, Joe Coffee Porter, Fleur de Lehigh, Pharmhouse Arrest, Harvest from the Hood, Winter Wunder (cask), Shackamaximum Imperial Stout, and Kilty Pleasure Scotch Ale)
Friday 3/11 - Victory - 15 Beers for 15 Years @Hop Angel Brauhaus, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG for a whole lineup of Victory beer including draft versions of Hop Devil, Prima Pils, Dark Lager, Headwaters Pale Ale, Helles Lager, Hop Wallop, Braumeister Pils Tettnang-Tettnang, Scarlet Fire, Whirlwind Wit, St Boisterous Hellerbock, Mad King Weiss, and Festbier. Bottles of Storm King, Golden Monkey, and Helios)
Saturday 3/12 - Bitter Rivalry: Clash of the IPAs @Iron Hill, North Wales, PA (1:00pm-5:00pm; PAYG as 8 Iron Hill IPAs go head to head with 8 Guest Brewery IPAs. Guest breweries include: Dogfish Head; Flying Fish; Ithaca; Manayunk; Rock Bottom; Sly Fox; Stewart's; and Yards)
Tuesday 3/15 - Stone Brewing Night @Local 44, Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm; PAYG for a Stone blowout including 13th Anniversary, Belgo Barleywine, Double Bastard, Highway 78, Levitation, Ruination, Saison Du Buff, Smoked Porter, Stone IPA, Stone Pale Ale, Sublimely Self Righteous, and Vertical Epic 09.09.09)
Saturday 3/19 - Tsar Power RIS Fest @Khyber Pass Pub, Philadelphia, PA (11:00am-11:00pm; PAYG for big Russian Imperial Stouts like Founders Breakfast Stout, Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout, Philadelphia Brewing's Shackamaximum, Terrapin's Big Daddy Vladdy, Avery's Czar, Avery's Mephistopheles, Jolly Pumpkin's Madrugada Obscura, Dock Street's Prince Myshkin, and more)
Saturday 3/19 - Global Brewers Guild @TJ's, Paoli, PA (6:00pm-10:00pm; PAYG for some of the best from Global Brewers Guild like 21st Ammendment, Allagash, Arcadia, Aspall, Bellegems, Elysian, Great Divide, and Smuttynose)

A little wearing o' the green
Friday 3/11 - Irish Invasion @Iron Hill, West Chester, PA (5:00pm-8:00pm; PAYG to kickoff St. Patty's Day celebration with Dry Stout and Red Ale on tap. Plus a little Irish food and music. )
every Wednesday 1/12 through 3/16 - St. Patrick's Day Boot Camp @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, PA (5:00pm-11:00pm; PAYG for music, fun, and beer all leading up to a chance to win a trip to Ireland on March 17 at the Phoenixville location)
every Thursday 1/13 through 3/17 - St. Patrick's Day Boot Camp @Sly Fox, Royersford, PA (5:00pm-11:00pm; PAYG for music, fun, and beer all leading up to a chance to win a trip to Ireland on March 17 at the Phoenixville location)

Of course, some Eats go perfectly with all of these beers
Thursday 3/10 - Ommegang Beer Dinner @J.G. Domestic, Philadelphia, PA (7:00pm; $75 for a four-course meal paired with Farmhouse Saison, Rare Vos, Abbey Ale, and Three Philosophers)
Saturday 3/12 - 4th Annual Stone Brunch @Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, PA (PAYG for a solid brunch menu and accompanying beers from Stone like Old Guardian, Imperial Stout, Vertical Epic 10-10-10, Lukcy Basartd, and more)
Sunday 3/13 - Brewer's Plate @Penn Museum, Philadelphia, PA (4:00pm-8:00pm; $45/$65/$125 for over 75 participating food and beverage purveyors)
Thursday 3/17 - 2nd Annual Celtic Beer Dinner @Iron Abbey, Horsham, PA (7:00pm-9:00pm; $50 for a five-course meal paired with Carlow Celtic Curim Wheat Ale, Belhaven Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, Magners Cider, Brew Dog Hardcore Imperial Double IPA, Harviestoun's Old Engine Oil [firkin], and Jamison Whiskey 12 year Reserve)
Thursday 3/17 - Beer and Cheese Celebration with Dock Street @DiBruno Bros., Philadelphia, PA (6:00pm-8:00pm; $30/$40 for a lineup of fresh, unfiltered ales and lagers paired with an array of cheese-related plates)

A couple more Festivals
Saturday 3/12 - Phoenixville Pub Crawl @7 participating bars, Phoenixville, PA (12:00pm-6:00pm; PAYG)
Sunday 3/20 - Philadelphia Real Ale Invitational 2011 @Yards Brewing, Philadelphia, PA (1:00pm-5:00pm; $20/$50/$65 for roughly 25 firkins of cask-conditioned beer scattered around the brewery)

And, don't forget the Homebrew
Saturday 3/12 - The Kharma Factor Finals (homebrew competition) @Yards Brewing, Philadelphia, PA (5:00pm; PAYG to join in as they find out who wins and gets the chance to make a collobaration beer with Yards. $4 beers until close)

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: March 3 - March 9

And we're off and running with a fresh month of beer events all around the Philadelphia region. Here's what's happening on these next 7 days.

Check out the entire March 2011 calendar over here.

If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, let me know.

Boot Camp, nearing completion
@Sly Fox, Phoenixville, PA--- every Wednesday 1/12 through 3/16 - St. Patrick's Day Boot Camp (5:00pm-11:00pm; PAYG for a night of beer, dinner, and live music)
@Sly Fox, Royersford, PA--- every Thursday 1/13 through 3/17 - St. Patrick's Day Boot Camp (5:00pm-11:00pm; PAYG for a night of beer, dinner, and live music)

Tastings and samplingsfestivals
@Bella Vista Beverage, Philadelphia, PA--- Fri. 3/4 - Friday Night Tasting (5:00pm-7:00pm; Free tasting samples of Long Trail)

@Bell's Beverage, Philadelphia, PA--- Fri. 3/4 - Friday Night Tasting (4:00pm-6:00pm; Free tasting samples of beers from the Northwest)

@Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, PA--- Thu. 3/3 - Charity Cask Night (5:00pm; PAYG for Hair O' The Dog Porter to benefit the Center for Animal Health and Welfare)

@Blue Dog, Lansdale, PA--- Fri. 3/4 - Friday Night with River Horse Brewery (6:30pm; PAYG)

@Dock Street, Philadelphia, PA--- Tue. 3/8 - Movie Night (8:30pm; PAYG for discounted beer and pizza and the movie, Death Race 2000)

@Fingers, Wings, and Other Things, Conshohocken, PA--- Wed. 3/9 - Tröegs Brewing Night (6:30pm-10:00pm; PAYG for Mad Elf, Nugget Nectar, Scratch 42, and more)

@The Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, PA--- Fri. 3/4 - March Forth (6:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG for 5 Super Rare Dogfish Beers on tap: Burton Baton, Palo Santo Marron, Red and White, Sah'Tea, and Theobroma)

@Goshen Beverage, West Chester, PA--- Fri. 3/4 - Friday Night Tasting (5:00pm-7:00pm; Free tasting samples of Victory)

@Iron Hill, Media, PA--- Fri. 3/4 - Firkin Friday (5:00pm; PAYG for a firkin of Imperial Red)

@Whole Foods, Plymouth Meeting, PA--- Thu. 3/3 - First Thursday Beer Sampling (6:00pm-8:00pm; Free tasting samples)

Festivals and other slightly bigger events
@Brauhaus Schmitz, Philadelphia, PA--- Thu. 3/3-Tue. 3/8 - Karneval (7:00pm-11:00pm kick off on the 3/3/11; PAYG for traditional Kölsch food and beer specials all weekend long. Fill out a raffle ticket for a chance to win the grand prize: a Single draft Kegerator, complete with a Kranz, Kölsch glasses, a tap handle, and a keg of Gaffel Kölsch.)

@Hulmeville Inn, Hulmeville, PA--- Thu. 3/3 - Sierra Nevada Night (7:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG for draft specials on Bigfoot, Pale Ale, and Glissade. Giveaways, too.)

@Philadelphia Cruise Terminal, Philadelphia, PA--- Sat. 3/5 - Philly Craft Beer Festival (12:30pm-4:00pm, 6:00pm-9:30pm; $10/$46; Currently sold out)

@Station Taproom, Downingtown, PA--- Wed. 3/9 - Founders Night (5:30pm; PAYG for KBS ['10], Nemesis ['10], Devil Dancer, Harvest Ale, and Double Trouble)

Next Exit
@PJ's Pour House, Westmont, NJ--- Tue. 3/8 - Flying Fish Exit 9 Launch Party (6:00pm-9:00pm; PAYG for 5+ Flying Fish Beers. Keep the Pint Glass and meet the Head Brewer, Casey Hughes)

Beer and Food events
@The Drafting Room, Exton, PA--- Sun. 3/6 - Nugget Nectar Beer Brunch (11:00am; PAYG for a brunch that, for adults, includes a complimentary 10 oz. glass of Nugget Nectar)

@Victory Brewing Co., Downingtown, PA--- Tue. 3/8 - Fat Tuesday Beer Dinner (6:00pm; $50 for a four-course meal paired with paired with Braumeister Pils, Helios Ale, Dark Lager, Headwaters Pale Ale, and Storm King Stout)

@Washington House, Sellersville, PA--- Fri. 3/4 - Celtic Beer Tasting ($59 for three beers in three flights of English, Irish and Scottish beers paired with four courses of food)

@White Dog, Philadelphia, PA--- Wed. 3/9 - Blue Point Beer Dinner (6:30pm; $50 for a four-course meal paired with Blueberry Ale, Spring Fling Amber Ale, Toasted Lager, Toxic Sludge Black IPA, and Sour Cherry Imperial Stout)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Next you know they'll be propagating their own yeast

At Sixteen Hundred Pennsylvania Brewing Company (just kidding), the story of the on-premise homebrewed beer created at the White House for the Super Bowl has been well-circulated by this point. It's been a solid month now, but I was still considering working some contacts in D.C. in an attempt to get a more detailed story out of the people involved with the homebrew project.

Now I don't have to.

ObamaFoodorama covers the White House's culinary adventures and has filed a detailed insider story of White House Honey Ale. The new nugget I found half way through was the comment about growing hops in the White House garden. Pickling, cheese making, homebrewing, and hops growing. The bumper stickers bemoaning lack of change must not have checked out the kitchen and garden at the White House.