Saturday, June 04, 2011

Philly Beer Week 2011: Day 1 Wrap-up

Link to Day 1 Pictures (Google/Picasa)

Video from the Hammer of Glory Tour, stop #14 (YouTube)

Did, Saw, Heard: Day 1 was about getting acclimated to Philly Beer Week. And, speaking of climate, what a beautiful day!

I took a quick train ride in with the lovely Miss Tracy, partook in a "session beer" from a can, and made the pleasant 20 minute walk to Kite & Key where we were just in time for the Hammer of Glory festivities, which we later became a part of.

After some Tröegs tomfoolery (and Jim Kirk isn't off the hook either in that regard), I jumped in the boat with Scoats, William Reed, Kirk, and Nick Johnson to accompany the HOG to The Four Seasons.

Admit it, is there anyone who envisioned the day that we (and when I say "we", I mean the beer industry as an entity) would be partnering with The Four Seasons to do a beer event? And not any Fritz Maytag fancy sit-down dinner like a couple of years ago. No, an event that involves putting a sledgehammer in a dressed up baggage cart complete with turndown service, chocolates, 1000 count linens (I made up the 1000 part), and all the attention that guests would expect at The Four Seasons!

Fun times for sure. George Washington had his own trials and travails. A flat tire on our boat (see the pictures to understand) was no match for the group of fine folks that powered the boat 4 blocks from the Kite & Key to The Four Seasons.

From the hotel, it was on to a combination of Nodding Head where we encountered a shirtless Mike Fava (once again, the pictures.....only if you're real curious), Berliner Weisse (of course!), and more HOG hijinks.

We broke off from the HOG tour and made a few stops including Good Dog to pick up tickets for the Iron Hill dinner on Sunday, Jose Pistolas (because when in the neighborhood, this is a near requirement), and Monk's Café (ditto).

Along the way, the number of beer folks that we ran in to either in establishments or on street corners was impressive. It gave the air a little something extra and certainly signaled that Philly Beer Week '11 had begun.

We returned to Nodding Head to retrieve The Home Brew Chef Sean Paxton who had just landed from California. We took a pleasurable walk across town in time to see Mayor Michael Nutter drive home the First Tap in the First Keg, thus officially beginning PBW '11.

Nice touch with awards being handed out to the winners of the Brew-vitational conducted by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Then it was on to the Opening Tap festival where all of the festival-y type of stuff took place. Was a little disappointed not to have more food options, but it's my own fault for not fueling up better before heading to the festival.

Nonetheless, the Visitor Center provides a nice venue to spread people throughout, particularly when the patio can be opened in nice weather.

Paxton and I wound up my night with a late dinner at Monk's. Duck Ragout Pasta and a St. Bernardus put a perfect cap on a pretty perfect day.

You probably sense me picking up speed here and shortcutting some of these sentences. I'll come back later to add a bit more color. Gotta wrap up now and make my way on to Day 2.

Missed (according to others): The complete HOG tour, but of course. The zaniness of each stop (pogo stick, anyone?) makes each stop along the tour a mini-event in and of themselves and something that would be fun to follow from start to finish. I wonder how many did?

Today: So far, the plan is to stick with the original plan. Load up the dogs (another gorgeous day) and head to Varga's block party, followed by Kite & Key for another "throwdown", and then we'll see from there. Perhaps a Teresa's Next Door stop for 12%/Shelton/Stillwater.

Question for you: And...what did you do? What was fun? What was disappointing? What was memorable?

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