Monday, June 06, 2016

Philly Beer Week 2016. Second day, more than the first

Click for a gallery of pictures from Day 2 of 2016 Philly Beer Week

The words on Saturday morning were no sooner out of my mouth and through the keyboard when I began to fall behind in my daily wrap-ups. So far, I've got Day 1 words and pix out to you as well as Day 2 pix. But some unfortunate unplanned family business to attend to yesterday will put a twist on the rest of the week, so bear with me and carry on as you were with your own plans!

Of the three weekend days to begin PBW 2016, Saturday was looking like the most pleasant day to be outdoors. A bit warm and humid, but dry nonetheless. That bode well for the numerous outdoor block parties and events. My tentative schedule had a little bit of everything on it initially strung together in the plans by mostly walking and maybe a car or subway connection along the way. Here's how it actually went down.

- train beer this day was by Iron Hill. Long timer Paul Rutherford had slipped me a pounder of the quite poundable Crusher IPA ("west coast session IPA") at Opening Tap the night before and, at 5%, was the perfect beginning to Saturday afternoon's excursion.

- first stop was Jose Pistola's for something I had many questions about. Fortunately, owner Casey Parker had the answer. The Answer brewpub is new and a sister establishment to the lauded Mekong Vietnamese and craft beer bar in Richmond, Va. So what do creative people like Parker do? They get this brewery registered to bring a Berliner Weisse and a Double IPA done three different ways, plus the brewer Brandon Tolbert, get a basketball hoop, and a cutout of Allen Iverson (aka The Answer) and host a beer event slash dunk contest. As you can imagine fun times and hilarity ensued. The pictures just begin to tell the story.

- then it was off just a block away to Good Dog where they were pouring the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America beers. I'd had these at a special sneak peak during the Craft Brewers Conference last month and they are all quite well done. If pushed, I might tell you my favorite of the six is the Stout Of The Union Robust Stout. Or is it the Sweet Sunny South Southern Table Beer. More just a lineup of beers than an event with any "flair" to it, but a great way to taste any of the six beers at once at a solid Center City bar.

- if you know the geography of Philly, you'll know that Good Dog and Jose Pistola's are on 15th Street, so no more than a ten minute walk down 15th Street gets you to South Street and the 1500 block was closed off and labeled "A Joint Event" between Cambridge and Bob & Barbara's. The signs were not good at first for a great craft beer selection, seeing all the PBR signs plastered every imaginable. The typical stuff of block parties from cornhole to live music. Then we found the Fat Head's table and Terrapin table and, maybe not so coincidentally, a half dozen area reps from other breweries as well. Nice stop and chit-chat to break up the walk to the other side of Broad.

- across South Street and down 11th took us to the next stop of Devil's Den where they were hosting McKenzie Brew House. Very nice to see the brew team (and this time with owner Bill Mangan in tow) out during both CBC in May and now PBW in June for events hosting them around the city. Ugly Pear, Beautiful Pair and Layin' Fallow turned out to be two excellent choices you should track down if still on tap at Devil's Den or back at any of their three Chester County locations (Devon, Malvern, Chadds Ford).

- time for last stop before the train took us for dinner to Brauhaus Schmitz. They'd been running a weekend long special on Goses (ten of 'em if I recall correctly) and now seemed as good of time as any to stop in and get into a couple of them with dinner. While the Freigeist Geisterzug Rhubarb stole the show for me, the Bayischer Bahnhof Gew├╝rzgose was no one's second place and Nomad Freshie Salt 'n' Pepper Gose was a complete unknown to me and worth mentioning. And, while missing the planned train is never intentional, when the cause was the Schweinshaxe (y'know, right? a crispy roasted pork knuckle - one of the best pork meals I've ever had on a plate), I guess all's well that definitely ended well.

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