Monday, March 30, 2009

Alphabet Soup

SSC, EBB, GLI and NOVA. What the hell does all those letters mean? It means a great Saturday for your truly and all his rowdy friends. After a mighty fine breakfast at the old Sunflower, we loaded up the Foley truck and moved to Germantown (or Chestnut) Hills that is, no swimming pools, just brewing stars. The Suburban Hillbillies. (banjo picking music in the background) Yes, for our first stop on this tour, it was, for the most of us, a first time visit to EBB. It did not disappoint. The food and service was top notch, especially the seed pizza, and the three beers I had that day, Organic Pils, Saison and the Mild, well they were in the top five beers I've tried this year. Get them while they last.

But another place was a calling, so we loaded up the truck and went a couple of miles down the road to the General Lafayette Inn. It was there I had had my next best beer of the year, The Economizer. This beer IMHO should only be made for the handpump, but alas, it ran out and I had to settle for one on tap. Still good, but not near as tasty. By now we were honored by the presence of the wonderful Father Mariano and his lovely friend "Syracuse". So everybody shot the poop, mostly about meeting someones date later that night and we had another beer and then we left and went to Mr. Rubeo's to finish watching Nova pull one out. All in all a right smart day.

Now for your viewing pleasure, a few pictures from EBB.

Mmm, food good, beer good. March birthday celebration for Mr. Tom and Ms. Kelly, priceless.

A very somber Mr. Baker wondering why Jack didn't show up.

The mighty fine beer board at EBB.
I did not hear many complaints from anybody about those choices.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Another Year Older

See that young man in the purple shirt? He had a birthday yesterday. I don't quite recall his age, but I know he hasn't caught up to me. I do know however that his liver is getting measured in dog years now, especially after PBW.

In this photo you see Mr. Tom engaging in a nice thought provoking conversation.

However by the end of the night he usually looks more like this. Hope you had a good one and I'll see you Saturday.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

And It's One, Two, Three Kegs You're Out

At the old bar game. There was a lot of spring in every bodies step this last Saturday as TJ'S hosted yet another in the series of evil beer events out on the main line. The beers? Well, to get a spring fever pitch like that, it only can be be one beer company, Russian River. The beers on tap were the extra long wait of Pliny The Younger and the latest of Vinnie's Belgian's, Consecration. Oh, and just for shit and giggles, a keg of Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout. Just about all the local beer celeb's were there for this fine day and Mr. Jeff did not disappoint, unless of course you got there at 4:25 or later. I strolled in right around 4 and in one of the few times it helps being tall, Jeff spotted me right away and grabbed me a right smart glass of the Hi C. It sure do taste different then when I was a kid. It must be from soaking it in a wine barrel. I decided to save the Younger for a another day and go right to KBS. Never had on tap and I can say with all my heart that was some goooood stuff. When the bourbon blends so nicely into a beer like that, it is just plain scary to drink it at times, cause it goes down oh so easy. Kinda like Villanova's win over UCLA earlier in the day.

It was extremely kind gesture, when the lovely and talented Holland clan was nice enough to give us crazy kids a seat at the bar, so we could grab a bite to eat. I was already working on my fourth beer of the day and was starting to feel quite chipper. A couple at Rock Bottom while watching the ball game started me off and these two beer bombs were more than willing to help the cause. The food there is always good and today did nothing to change that fact. So we finished up our grub and beer and said goodbye and rolled on into the sunset. Till April 4 that is. Peanuts and crackerjack indeed.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pub Crawlin

Ah lads and lassies, those Irish eyes were a smiling down upon a thirsty throng of people on Saturday the 14th, as the first ever Phoenixville Pub Crawl took place. The weather was purrfect for a nice stroll thru the old town. As always things started at the Sly Fox, where for the first time ever, all three hand pumps were a flowing strong. And just for good measure, a firkin of the latest in the hop project was right up there on the bar too. I started with my fav-o-rite beer, the Standard Ale. Is it just me or does this beer taste a little cleaner, brighter than before? I have told those guys at the brewery not to filter the beer so much, you're cutting out all the good stuff. After a small Placebo, we climbed into the Pookie-mobile and made our way down to the Epicurean.

It is kind of hard to believe how long this place has been around in one form or another. It started across the street where the Sly Fox sits now, as a gourmet shop. It was also one of the first places you could get a bagel out here in the burbs, now that should tell you something. It slowly grew to serve lunches, brunches and even some dinners. When they moved into their present location as a gourmet shop and a separate restaurant, I was lucky enough to be there on day one for every body's best meal deal, a free lunch. The licence to sell alcohol showed up a little later and then they opened up a bottle shop next to the restaurant. Why even Mr. Craft Ale himself worked there for awhile. Yards and Dogfish were on tap that day and I had the Thomas Jefferson Ale and a small bite to eat before we made our next trek into the big city of Iron, Phoenixville.

We ended up taking a side street into town as the main drag was clogged up with cars and people. The decision making process was pretty easy, we parked behind the Pickering Creek Inn, might as well go in and check on our boys Ryan and Spencer. That was ground zero for this fest as the Iron Hill gang was there, most of the brewers from the pub crawl were there and even Bruce Nichols was there for a quick one or two. The kegs were a kicking and everybody was in a festive mood despite the crowds. After some crazy chit-chat and a Southampton Biere De Mars we made the long stroll across the street to Iron Hill for some grub before the Saturday night crowd and revelers started showing up in mass. Well, the masses were already there, but I managed to get a table reservation and a beer. By the time our table was ready, the after party was just getting started out in the bar area headed up by Mr. Iron Hill himself, Mark Edelson. Our dinner was good as always, and the beers were great as always. I felt pretty decent enough to trudge on to Union Jacks for one more, but I had no takers on this evening. Oh well, one out of three ain't bad I reckon.

So my dream of a right smart beer week were now done. The call never came for the Zthos fest. (though I hear it should have) Mr. Money and some bad timing on some illing and not chilling did me in. Oh well, there is always next year and for your entertainment purposes only, here is a couple of pictures to keep close to your heart.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Curses, Foiled Again

Philly Beer Week started with such promise. I think I talked Mr. William Reed into making Johnny Brenda Lager out of one of his old Sam Adams brewpub recipes for PBW 2010. I may have convince Mr. Bruce Nichols to put out a nice array of Belgian cheese for the Zthos Fest on Sunday. Though we both agreed to nix the all you could eat mussels buffet.

Saturday brought a nice trip to see the fine folks at TJ'S for a preview of coming attractions. (I'll take those olives next time Scotty) Sunday brought nothing as I prepare for the coming week of fun and frivolity. Monday was to bring a fourpack of beer love with the session beer with Lew at the Tiedhouse, Southampton at Capones, Rodenbach at TND and last but not least, Ommengang at TJ'S. But unfortunately I was to be cursed. The money coming in to Kepler Mountain Resorts has been as slow as hops to a Miller Lite bottle. My sick and twisted dreams were crashing down.

Tuesday brought with it great hope as I was chosen by the esteemed Mr. Curtin to go to TND for lunch with Sam. But with my usual luck, I came down with a small touch of food poisoning. The bathrooms at TND are quite nice but I don't want to spend an afternoon sitting in them.

Wednesday would certainly be better until I woke up that is and had a giant knot in my back that the chiropractic had to do jumping jacks on to slowly work it's way out. By Thursday I had to get to the Klash Of The Kaisers down at Triumph. It too was doomed.

Friday will probably bring nuthin either, so I can be ready for Saturday and a possible 3 pack of beer love. The Phoenixvile pub crawl, Allagash at Capones and Stone at Union Jacks. Sunday should bring working the Zthos fest, though after this week, who the hell knows what will really happen?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Eyes Have It

Every morning when I wake, there is something about beer on Fox 29. Every night before I hit the pillow (the pillow started it) there is something about beer on tv. I think my eyes are getting drunk.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Glory Days

On March 6, at around 5:11 pm, in the presence of Fox 29 and it's lovely reporter Nefertiti Jaquez, a large thirsty crowd watched as the Hammer Of Glory was presented to William Reed of the Standard Tap by the Philadelphia Roller Girls. It was a moment to behold in more ways than one.
Thus Philly Beer Week had begun for us.

Just a few seconds later, the first cask of Standard Ale was tapped and yours truly got the first glass of one of my favorite beers from 2008. The results: Standard Ale is still so damn good! It was so good in fact, that it was gone exactly one hour later as we were walking out the door to catch a cab to go to the Opening Tap ceremonies at the Comcast Center. Mr. Big Brother Big Sister himself, Steve Rubeo, was able to quickly hail one, cause he is a city boy at heart and knows how to do all that kind of important city stuff. So myself, and Mr. Steve were joined by the the brains behind the Sly Fox, Mr. Tim Ohst and the beer press darling of the moment, Suzanne "Kathleen Turner" Woods for a quick cab ride over.

Once we arrived, we all knew why our cable and Internet bills are so high. This place has one hell of a impressive lobby, not to mention the rest of the building itself. When your food court down on the lower level contains DiBruno Brothers and Susanne Foo, well, that makes the local pizza shop at your mall a little passe. The other thought I had was this, here we were, all of us crazy beer folks, who were now going to take over this place for a couple of hours, it just made me want to laugh just a little. We've come a long way baby to get where we got to today don't you think? Then to top it off, to see Nodding Head's Mike Fava pedaling a bike into the building with Ben Franklin and the Hammer Of Glory, how in the hell could you not laugh?

The amount of the local press corp that showed up for this was pretty substantial, as was the beer press, which seem to come from just about everywhere for this event, well, except one person who couldn't quite make it. As for the beer, it was your everyday event. The debut of Exit 4 from Flying Fish, a nice session spring ale from Nodding Head and a couple of others nice brews. Not a whole lot of special stuff, just a right smart bit of special people for one hell of an opening night.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ladies And Gentleman, Start Your Livers!

It is finally here, Philly Beer Week 2009. I along with Mr. Rubeo will be in attendance at the Standard Tap at 5 pm, as we watch Mr. Sly Fox himself, Brian O'Reilly, try not to miss tapping the first cask of Standard Ale with the Hammer Of Glory and end up smashing something behind the bar instead. Then at 6 pm, we are off to the Opening Tap at the Comcast Center as volunteers for the night. We shall be dressed all in black to look somewhat professional, (even though my little black dress is being cleaned.) though I really see no hope in any color that we would ever wear. Hope to see you there!

Draughting The Line

I feel fine,
I'm talking about peace of mind,
I'm going to take my time and read the new Draught Lines, put out from Origlio beverages in time for PBW. Some of our fav-o-rite people are in this issue which you can find at your local watering holes and soon on their website I reckon. The Three Musketeers of beer writing (or Stooges) Lew Bryson, Jack Curtin and Mr. Sixpack himself, Don Russell, are mentioned in a little feature called Eat, Drink and Write. But it is there, where they are joined by the new kids on the block, Brian Kolesar, Suzanne Woods and our own TNSC protege, Kevin Rowe.

Ah yes, Tie Wun On (his given Chinese name) came to us elders for guidance a couple of years ago and we guided him straight to gates of hell with the rest of us. He has taken the pebble from my hand and moved on to the big time.

Meanwhile Ms. Wood is trying to take over the local beer world, one Sly Fox can at a time. In one of her latest blogs she decides to give up meat for lent, instead she will only eat cheese steaks in it's absence. We all know by now the the farmers don't start harvesting cheese steaks until June, so they have to be from Chile right?

Last but least is Brian. He claims he is a project manager for a software company. But considering he hits every beer event in the United States and has time to run 20 miles a week, I'm guessing he is providing software for You Porn. (Sorry kids no link, I don't want you to get in trouble at work.) It is just a guess and I could very well be wrong. He could be providing a service to all the poor folks in America except I didn't hear anything from him, so I now know that ain't it either.

So where was my story? I must have got cut at the first second, cause I know there is no way I would have made it to the last.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Bro

Ah yes, the snow is falling, the wind is blowing and it is as cold as a..... That can only mean one thing, either the flower show is in town or it's my brother Mark's birthday. I never worry about checking the weather report, I just check the calendar first. So go ahead and rub it in from sunny and warm Florida bro, your streak continues.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Now Who's Going To Milk The Dragon?

I have been quite remiss in my duty to report back on the "this is just plain wrong" New Holland event the other week at a packed Union Jacks. What do I mean by wrong? Dragons Milk out of firkin is what I mean. And anybody who had some of this silky goodness knows exactly what I'm talking about. The evil person behind this plan, every body's friend (and on this day it goes double) is Dr. Joel. He is New Hollands Mid Atlantic rep. and he is out kicking butt (and livers) and taking names. You will be seeing him a lot over PBW as he has a couple of great events lined up.

Speaking of events during PBW, which I believe is around 1 million or so now, is a couple of smaller events out our humble way. Check Union Jacks web page for details into a fine little shindig they shall be hosting and I shall be helping the hop heads over at Craft Ale House decide who really rules the hop roost. Trust me, no matter what you choose over those 10 days you can't go wrong. Hope to see you all somewhere.