Thursday, December 13, 2012

Breakfast Of Champions

     In my world, there are two kinds of people, those who eat breakfast and the sorry sacks who don't. Now,  I can already hear the screams all the way up here on top of old Kepler Mountain. "But I don't have time for breakfast, I got to go to work" Well stop the presses!!! Get that Action News Van here stat! People have to get up and  go to work in the morning? Where is the damn liberal media for a story like this?
     Yes boys and girls, believe it or not, at several times in my life, I had to work for the man (or woman) and punch the clock. I first punched the one by my bed and then later I would punch the one at work. It sucked. No, really it did. I wouldn't lie to you. But I still managed to get my lazy, sometimes drunken ass out of bed and make myself some breakfast. And by breakfast, I don't mean some nasty ass microwave sandwiches or just as nasty fast food crap. Real food baby, pancakes, waffles, eggs etc. Stuff to make your body go yum. Well tomorrow you can make your body go yum along with your friendly liver, when my good friend Mr. Sunflower himself, cooks a beer breakfast at the Sly Fox in Phoenixville in honor of their 17th Anniversary. To say it will be one of the best breakfast's you will ever eat would be an understatement. That you get the chance to add Sly Fox beer to it, priceless.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Railroad Evolution Update

     Don't even get me started. If you don't know by now, how lazy and disorganized I can get at times, well, you don't know me. There has been a few things on my plate since the last time we chatted, but this last week has been a royal pain in the....  It started off with a last minute trip to the Doctor's last Friday and I ended up with my once every 10 year bottle of antibiotics . There goes Mr. Drinking, cause the last time I tried that, I turned several different shades of color down at Dogfish. This Tuesday morning I decided to jump up and run up the stairs from a basement to shut off some water that we were working on. Opening of stairs 6 feet. My big head, 6 and a half feet. Winner by a knockout, the 2x6 in the opening. In the background I could hear Howard Cosell screaming "Down goes Bengel!"  The next 12 hours I spent in my lazy boy with bags of ice on top of my swollen head. Ah yeah, living the dream.
     But enough of that sob story, let's start a fun one, shall we? This Saturday at the Railroad Street Bar is one fine event you beer geeks don't want to miss. Evolution is making their big splash locally with a tap takeover. The Railroad is going to match these beers up with some of their famous grilled cheese sandwiches. Hence the name of the event "The Evolution Of The Grilled Cheese" The question is, how am I going to pull this off? Sampler only and pray it's still on Thanksgiving Eve looks like the best bet. It is also the chance to meet Evolution new sales rep, Megan Moore. She is promising a hell of a lot of goodies, like;

Menagerie 8
Wandering Monk
Firkin of Holy Mole
Lot 3 IPA
Lot 6 DIPA
Primal Pale Ale
Exile ESB
Secret Spot Winter Ale
Spring Migration
Jacques Au Lantern

     Now in case you don't know by now (Pt2) I am a big fan of these guys. I have gone as far and said they are the Baby Odells of the East. Nice solid lineup of regulars and one hell of a nice touch with the barrel stuff. So, when you see me at the bar slowing crying into my beer sampler, you'll know why.

P.S. Any updates on taps and sandwiches to be posted as soon as they come in

Start time is 12 o'clock and Lucky 7 Porter wasn't ready from the brewery along with Rise Up Stout. Secret Spot Winter will take their place.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Can You Smell What They Won't Be Cooking?

From our good friends at Foobooz today, it looks like it will be "the last bottle left"

Ernesto Anastastio III Says: 

For your viewing pleasure
Sadly, I am writing to inform you that Bella Vista has ceased doing business in any capacity with the people behind the Farmers Cabinet/Boilermakers
retailers immediately. Bella Vista has dealt with them before they were in Southeastern Pa with their failed restaurants in the Lehigh Valley; Tap and
Table in Emmaus, PA, and The Bookstore Speakeasy in Allentown, PA. Bella Vista has received worthless check issued from the group for years, but they
always made good on the bad checks after reporting them to the PALCB as per state law.
Fast forward to Farmers Cabinet and Boilermakers after a short stint with the Fork and Barrel in the East Falls section of Philadelphia, PA. The group promised to make good on all purchases and were to maintain an escrow balance to cover all deliveries to both locations. None of this ever came to fruition. They forged relationships with some of our more popular suppliers directly against our wishes, which complicated things further.
Bella Vista continued to deal with the NSF checks and The Grainery Group would make every excuse in the book to keep stringing us along. My family was fed up, and gave them an ultimatum requiring having 2 corporate cards
accountable (debit) as a fail safe or we would no longer be involved with supplying them with beer.
Bella Vista had a meeting with The owners of the group, Matthew Schwartz and Matthew Scheller regarding the ultimatum. This was the final warning, and
they left the meeting understanding the outcome, had the fail-safes in essence were to fail. Sept, 7, 2012 they failed.
Bella Vista’s office instructed the driver to head back to the Farmers Cabinet to retrieve the beer that was unpaid. While the driver was taking the beer back, Bella Vista’s office was informed that The Farmers Cabinet had tapped one of the kegs and the manager asked our office to try and run
the debit card for the value of that keg. By some miracle, the transaction for the amount was approved. The driver was instructed to leave the tapped keg and return all the other items that were not paid for to Bella Vista’s
warehouse. These situations are truly saddening, and as a small family company we understand financial hiccups and we dislike having to be the enforcer, but when it comes to the financial stability of Bella Vista, we must act. Rarely do we do this, but when we do it is because the account has
left us no other choice but to comply with state law after so many attempts to maintain a positive relationship for all parties involved.
Later on that night, I was in our warehouse late and one of the owners, Matthew Schwartz stormed into our retail floor, and darted for our office, entered unannounced and unwelcome. He later stepped out into the retail
floor near the bank of cashier stations. He yelled at me (fortunately no customers were nearby during the engagement, however the driver that returned the product, a cashier, our office assistant, and one of our sales reps were witnesses to the entire scene), I noticed him leave the office and wondered what he was doing in there as I had not been made aware that he was even in the building, let alone our office. Matthew Schwartz had raised his
voice and looked like a rabid dog, yelling pointing his finger, threatening to beat me up, saying he was this close to beat me up. Yelling at me, “How could you do this to us? You didn’t even call!” I told him he had been warned and that we could no longer hold their hand to help them limp along in paying their bills. It was obvious he was everything I heard about him:
Acting like an animal, lashing out, and threatening in a manner as to having no regard for the situation around him. I told him to leave the property or I would have the police called to remove him from and have him arrested for threatening me.
Compounding this, there’s another situation I need to write you about regarding the owners of the Grainery Group. Last year they purchased Shenandoah Brewing Company located at 652 S. Pickett Street – Alexandria, VA
22304. Bella Vista maintains the franchise rights to Shenandoah Brewing Company and all of its beers. The agreement as per state law made with then owner, Anning Smith is still in effect today and enforceable by franchise
law. Matt Scheller, the partner in this business, was completely uneducated in franchise law, and concluded to sell beer to another wholesaler in our market to distribute the beers to The Farmers Cabinet and Boilermakers
exclusively. We were not aware that when they did choose to have another wholesaler work with them, that the brewers notice and the trade name remained unchanged, as Shenandoah Brewing Co. We were notified that they re-registered the original four beers that were registered back in 2009-2011 to somehow make the state believe they were
being compliant with registration law, without naming a successor wholesaler. The wholesaler they were using ( I believe and hope the wholesaler has stopped working with them at this point) had no written agreement, and acted out of compliance, by picking up the beer from Virginia and having it shipped to their warehouse, and then putting it on their trucks and delivering the beer to The Farmers cabinet and Boilermakers. The beers were being renamed as Farmers Cabinet or Cabinet Artisanal beers on the keg collars, however they have always been and are still brewed under the brewers notice of Shenandoah Brewing Co. According to the TTB and COLA approved research, nothing under the Farmers Cabinet or Cabinet Artisanal comes up, in any form of search as approved COLAS or brewers notices. I have heard of an even worse offense by this brewer: With good authority, I know for a fact that Shenandoah Brewing/Cabinet Artisanal was self distributing its own beer.They were/are crossing state lines from VA to PA in an non bonded, non licensed truck. In fact it was a rental box truck they would rent for the day from Philadelphia, drive down to VA, pick up beer and take directly to the Farmers Cabinet and Boilermakers,
The state of Pennsylvania is not the wild west when it comes to liquor law, there are strict rules and regulations that we all must abide by. I am writing to inform you that Shenandoah Brewing Co, can not “shop around” for wholesalers, and at this point I don’t think anyone of you who I respect tremendously and dearly would even consider working with them in any capacity. Bella Vista is reaching out to you to hopefully protect yourself from taking a financial loss by working with them on the retail end, and if you risk doing so, tread lightly.”

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

                                                        I drank good beer. The end.

Mr. Bengel, you get back in this classroom and write a proper post or you will be sitting in the principals office until winter!

Yes Mrs. Dingleberry, I promise I will get right on it......

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Beer Morals Part 2

                                           What would you do, if you got this opportunity?

"The Crazy Ass Bar and Grill,  is proud to announce that on Labor Day weekend, for the first time ANYWHERE in the world, we will be pouring every Trappist beer, ever made, ON DRAFT!  Yes, that includes all three Westvleteren beers! It is first come, first served. Cash only! DO NOT MISS THIS!
*Please no women, minorities, gays or disabled people."

                                                    Your response would be to this:
A--Hell no to that ignorant shit
B--I wonder if I could just get a taster of some of them.
C--It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, I hate what they are doing, but, come on!
D--I would make damn sure that nobody went to this place at any time.

I have the sneaking suspicion that they just might have a nice crowd that day. Not crazy busy, but busy none the less. The usual excuse for being there will be, "I didn't know nothing about their policy,  I am too drunk to give a fuck and of course, everyone's favorite, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity." Now I have stated many times, that we can't investigate every place we have a beer. It would be nearly impossible,  not to mention what parameters you would set for a pass/fail grade. But. when something becomes so obvious to everyone and is talked about everywhere, those poor ass excuses just don't hold up. Not even a little bit. Not even in any twisted way you can think of. People make mistakes, I am more than happy to forgive those who admit them and try to fix them. I give no remorse to those who lie about them and try to pass the buck to someone else.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Beer Morals

     Once again I sit at my very cramped desk, with the same damn thought that I have had for quite some time now. Why are these idiots still in business? Why oh why do I have to carry the torch of common sense? And trust me folks, that is saying a lot right there. Where are the pitchforks and vigilantes? Where is the holiest of all beer folk rising up to stop this madness once and for all? Where is the outrage in the beer rags? How many times can one person get drunk to try and forget all about this?
   On second or third thought,  I do know the reason why. Lack of morals. No, I ain't talking bout my hands are too short to drink with God, I'm talking about the beer geeks extraordinaire. The "I'll run your mother over to get these rare beers" folks. The " Their problems have nothing to do with the beer" folks. Nobody really gives a rats ass as long as there is some great rare beer for them. And that just might be where the problem is. Of course somebody is going to say, "Dan, are you going to investigate every place you go into?" Probably not, but when something like this hits you over the head and over the head and yeah, over the fucking head, maybe, just maybe, its time to look up. Or in this case look down, way down, bottom of the barrel that is sitting over a open sewer hole down.
   I'm sure some people think that is being too rough, that people make mistakes. Yes they do, but smart ones find a way to correct them, quickly. You are in a business, not a beer geek frat party. Being cool is all well and fine, paying your employees and vendors on time, priceless. This show has been going on now for way too damn long. Just search my own site or Foobooz for more fun stories about these clowns
     So on that note,  today I would like to announce two very important things.
 First up: To anybody who has been screwed over by them, drop me a line. I want to start a forum to tell your side of the story. Please try to keep the discussion at least Judge Judy level.
 Second: I wish to start a "Get the hell out of town gas fund" I would start things off with a $25 Wawa gift card. Once we have enough gas money, we can all decide for them, where they can go to, say like Mexico. I hear the drug cartel likes great beer.

                                   Remember, it's nothing personal, it's just business.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Jack On A Stick: Redux

     Ah, memories, like the corner of my liver. Distant flowing beery memories, of the way it was. Mr Curtin's trip down memory lane sparked this thought inside my empty head. Has anyone seen those many long lost photos of Jack on a stick? I don't think so. Now for the first (and hopefully the last) time, you too can revel in the glory that was the short, but quite fruitful adventures of JOAS!
Tom and the lovely Peggy hiding under the shadows

Wayne's finest and Jack

Jack getting plenty of Fish to drink

Jack keeping a eye on Brian

Sam and Jack before you needed to get on a waiting list to see Sam
What? You need more pictures? Well, go right here and see JOAS's trip to Boston and much more!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The End Is Near

     That title alone should garner a few blog hits over the next couple of weeks. Yes indeed,  it is almost the end of Philly Beer Week. Today as a matter of fact. One more trip into the city before I begin some type of cleansing/detoxing/dieting to remove all the evilness I have been putting in my body since Suburban Beer Week and two weeks in Belgium. And of course PBW for dessert. Got one or two pictures to share and maybe a story or two to tell. After all I have to make Mr. Curtin happy.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Other One And 50

The one and only
 Here he is, in all his unknowing glory. I helped con Mr. Rubeo last week in Belgium, by making him go into 2BE to buy beer with me for a so called happy hour. But I had a more devious plan. Make him drink a beer with me while a surprise party was being planned for him back at the apartments. Some people have all the tough jobs. Was I worried that he would say no to a beer with me? About as much as I was worried about not getting enough cheese in Belgium.

Yesterday was his official birthday and we welcome him to the AARP club, which by the way, is starting to fill up mighty fast.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Day Eight

And so begins another week in Belgium. The weather this time has not been as wonderful as the last time, but all in all, it ain't that bad. But it has been cool enough at times, that just about everyone here has at least a head cold. That ain't fun. But we shall soldier through the best way we know how. Who wants to take a guess what that is?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Geode morgen! Welcome my friends to the vacation that I hope nevers ends. Day three getting ready to begin. Today is our first beer trip. It shall be a long one. We start at Abbaye des Rocs and then take a side trip into Ieper to see part of the famous cat festival. And of course, stop by a pub or two. Then for the grand finale, a trip to de Hoppeshuur. There is much more to say, but I have to finish eating my red super ripe strawberries and then make my Trappist cheese and egg sandwich on organic bread. Life is hard.........

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It's My Birthday Dammit!

     Yes boys and girls of all legal drinking ages, today is the day we all take a moment to reflect on my holy day of birth. It is a time to think about what I have brought (or wrought) into this great big old craft/micro/nano/// beer kind of world. Okay, times up. If you took longer to reflect than read the opening paragraph, I would suggest glasses or more coffee, cause there ain't that much to reflect on. Well, I am leading a team of 32 thirsty travelers back to Belgium, where I am quite sure I will be knighted or something like that. Do they still use a guillotine to do that? But now it is my time to reflect back when I made the ever so subtle move into AARP world. Enjoy
A very rare time when there was more food than beer, though we kept it close

Just a few bottles for my birthday in 08

What the hell, it was my birthday dammit

The Table of Doom in all it's glory

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Proficiat Met Je Verjaardag

The Pookie in Belgium

 AARP is proud to announce it's newest member
to the fold, the one, the only, (hopefully) Pookie
de Hann! Yes boys and girls, today is day we all celebrate this momentous occasion because, well, cause she said so, and more than likely it will involve beer of some kind for the rest of us. Not to mention it's also TNSC.  And we here at TLBL can always get behind something like that.
     Tonight one of her many birthday wishes will come true, when "The Boss" who is nice enough to come to town and play for just for The Pookie, on her big day. Last, but not least, a video of her favorite song being sung in her favorite city, Badlands from 1985 in Paris. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's Like Deja Vu All Over Again

     I have been meaning to write about some of this nonsense for a while now, but every time I sit down, my slowly balding head nearly explodes in utter amazement, of how after all this time, these jokers are still in business. Who could I ever be talking about you say? Why it's those crazy assed former owners of  The Atlantic Jazz Yard, The Bookstore, Fork And Barrel and Tap And Table. Or I as I like to call them "the let's shut this place down in the middle of the night and skip out on our tabs people" We must have an education problem in this country, because I can't believe that people by now haven't read of the constant public spectacle that goes on and on and on with these fools. And yet it seems like the beer geekery gets a giant size boner every time they open their mouth about another "project" that will change the landscape of beer in the Philly area. With more candles of course. Ah, to be young and beer foolish again.

    When I heard about that so called Tiki Bar concept, I was almost willing to bet both of my testicles on that ever opening up in Spring Garden or for that matter, the number of other so called openings that they have planned at one time or another over the last three years in various locations. But when they see a desperate landlord in trouble, they are oh so willing to help out. They remind me of the aliens in the movies Starship Trooper and Independence Day, where they swoop in to suck up all of the resources and then move on to other prey.

     So now, with out further adieu, from our friends at Foobooz, another fun filled day of comments with and about the Farmer's Cabinet people. Please click on the link below for the whole story/stories.


6.Huh Says:

March 27th, 2012 at 11:56 am

@Drama I have some Matt stories but I see that my comment from yesterday has disappeared. Not sure why, as the language that I used was actually cleaner than many of the 104 comments left about Matt Swartz on the one story on this site about Matt’s former restaurant “Fork and Barrel” Closing. There are a few other Fork and Barrel stories on here as well that have comments pretty much identical to my deleted comments, except that mine was in regards to Matt’s failing venture “The Farmer’s Cabinet”. I am assuming that Will came on here and threw a fit but everything that I stated can be backed up by doing a quick online search. Yes, it seems odd that Matt is opening up another restaurant when F-Cab can’t even pay its employees or vendors. A search of current court listings reveals at least 4 open cases against Matt brought by purveyors suing for non-payment of goods or breach of contract. There are also the numerous judgements against Matt (also available through a quick search) that have not been settled, yet somehow he can come up with the money to open this new spot? Ask any F-Cab employee how many of their paychecks have bounced due to lack of funds, or how many people have walked out of that place due to constant abuse. As far as Matt’s penchant for racism/homophobia/public drunkeness/Delilah’s strippers- well that is nothing new, and is well documented on this site in comments going back over a year. Foobooz, please don’t delete our comments because Will doesn’t like them. Especially when there are tons of similar comments from old articles that are still available on this site Although these Matt Swartz stories often border on the unbelievable and insane- Everything said about him is 100% true and there is tons of publicly-accessible evidence online to back it up. He is a horrible businessman and his track record with Fork and Barrel, Tap and Table, Atlantic Jazz Yard, and Farmer’s Cabinet speaks for itself.

7.Matt Says:

March 27th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

@Huh Keep talkng out of your ass and hiding behind a food blog. It’s sad that you dont have a life.

8.David Says:

March 27th, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Matt, Why do you keep making a fool out of yourself in public? Pay your bills, quit playing games and stop trying to cheat the system.

9.Will Says:

March 27th, 2012 at 3:31 pm

@”Huh” or “Insider” or whomever. I’m assuming you know me personally and know I don’t “throw fits.” All I ask is that people are fair. The Farmers’ Cabinet, , and The Boilermaker help many of us provide for our families. You are entitled to your opinions, but assuming who you are, your handling of situations jeapordizes everyone in the establishment, much more than anything Matt and Matt have been accused of doing. You have moved on, please continue doing so. Im sure you have all of my contact info. Please use it for anything you may need.

10.Huh Says:

March 27th, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Methinks that if Will and Matt focused as much energy on running their business as they do on coming online to refute every single thing written about them on the internet, maybe their restaurants would have a shot at success instead of consistently failing. Hopefully you are not setting yourself up to blame F-Cab and Boilermaker’s inevitable closings on those darn commenters on food blogs. The Farmer’s Cabinet and Boilermaker may provide for the owners and managers but what about the employees? The employees who get fired for no reason other than the owner being drunk once again and in a bad mood? The employees who quit due to Matt’s racism and homophobia? The employees who are left jobless with no notice when Matt decides to shut his business down unexpectedly, leaving nothing behind but a trail of debt (SOURCE: All of Matt’s past restaurants). The black employees who are removed from FOH because “people don’t want to see THAT when they come into an upscale restaurant”? The gay employees who have to worry about a drunken Matt grabbing their bottom and saying “I bet you wish I was the other Matt doing this”? The kitchen employees who don’t want to get pushed off the line in favor of drunken strippers who the owner is trying to impress by letting them cook a meal? No offense Will but I would actually like for Matt to answer these questions as the opinions of his paid errand boy don’t carry much weight. Matt- Do you admit that what is being said of you here is true, or do you believe that this is all a smear campaign brought about by the media, court listings, and 95% of staffers who have worked at Fork and Barrel, Tap and Table, Atlantic Jazz Yard, and Farmer’s Cabinet? Why do you think that you can have a successful restaurant when you keep repeating the same old mistakes that just resulted in closings and lawsuits? Feel free to keep responding on a food blog and further prove my point that you don’t put enough focus on your actual business. Personally, if I were in these guys’ shoes I would be spending my time doing payroll because from what I hear, your F-Cab employees are having a little problem with bounced paychecks. I realize that Matt is Mr. Moneybags Big Baller but for the rest of us, a bounced check can be enough to send our entire bank account into chaos with overdraft fees and insufficient funds to cover the other checks that we wrote thinking that our paycheck would at least be good. It’s a shame that paying your employees and purveyors takes a backseat to sitting on the internet getting upset because people have the audacity to tell the truth about your unscrupulous business practices.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Eyes Of March

    Blah, blah, blah and blah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, and yeah. I know, I am a slacker. I hit one of those "I got a great post to write and I don't know how to write it" things again. (The pros call it writers block)  It happens to the worst of us. But I must face my fears or at the very least just drink them under the table. So, where to begin?
    It's birthday month around these parts with my younger uglier brother hitting his magic 50th milestone and my faux daughter adding another year to her total. It's also birthday time for a couple more of the fine folks we all know and love this month, which leads me to believe that there was more than fireworks going off on the Fourth of July. A wish a very Happy Birthday to every one, and ah, what the hell, even my brother.
     In other news, I guess I will break open this nice little tidbit of info for you fine folks to chew on. What does the Craft Ale House, Railroad Street, Lucky Lab and the French Quarter Bistro have in common on, let's say the last week of April? Stayed tune my friends, it is going to be right smart time out here in the hell and gone of the burbs.
      My own thoughts on the above is that they are trying to milk all our Belgian money out of us before we go. Two weeks of no TNSC  is a big hit for all of them. That is 34 people not showing their glowing faces for two weeks to all the local barkeeps. It may require the filing of some Chapter 7's.

      And now to rub it in, let us travel back in time when I was forced to go and drink beer at St. Sixtus, Westy to all my beer geeks friends.

Or when Mr. and Mrs Parkerford found this at De Dolle, what is sure to be the work of a Richard Ruch groupie.

Or maybe just enjoying the warm temps of Brugge
Yes kids, more pictures coming and more fun details about our trip coming up. Till then......Tot ziens.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Holy Crap!

                                                 It's a new year and no posts? WTF!

                                                 It's been a month and no posts? WTF!

                                    You're going to have several things up within the week?

                                                                       Yeah, right....