Thursday, December 8, 2011

Whada Ya Think?

     Here she be, the somewhat updated look of the TLBL. There is always some other things I want to do, like add a picture to the name of the blog, but I'm picky, so I will put that on the back burner for now. All the links that you love so much, are on the top now. Just click on one of them and voila, they all appear! It's like f-ing magic or something. Now that this major headache is done and can get back and finish my other posts before 2012 hits.....

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Crazy Eights

     The beer geekery was out in full force this last Saturday, as the fine folks at TJ's,  put on one hell of a show for their eight's anniversary. To say it was a packed house, is akin to saying there are a few sardines in a can.
     Myself and my lovely date, Ms. What Am I Going To Drink, They Are All Big Beers, Oh This Taste Good, stopped in at the Mile Post Pub first for an early lunch and some much needed groceries, like Gaverhope and Tired Hands IPA and some food whatyoumaycallit. While I was there drinking some water and a Saint Somewhere, I also ran into the wonderful Mr. Dan Conway of Left Hand Brewing who was doing a tasting that day. So, after buying some food, and sneaking a sample of the Left Hand Porter, we loaded up the car and the coolers and made our way to TJ's. I gave the geekery a four hour head start, so in the hope that I might be able to grab a seat somewhere when I arrived. We got the last parking spot in the the lot and ran into the esteemed Mr. Miller outside as the Dia Doce cupcake giveaway was going on. You may twist my arm for a carrot cake cupcake kind sir and my taste buds thank you for it. By getting there so late I may have a missed a few things , but the number one thing I come for every year is the Russian River Temptation. It is so yummy and bretty in my mouth and belly. And it also helps to have some vittles in there when I drink one to slow down the erosion of my stomach lining. A quick jump to Allagash Confluence made me quite happy and content and now I could focus on moving around the place a bit.
     Several fine drunks had a table near the water station and jukebox, so I did what every fine person would do in my position, I wormed my way in and got a seat. Hells, bells, I needed a sampler and I need to sit down to drink it. Why you ask? Cause it was one evil muther of a sampler. Avery The Beast, Lost Abby Bourbon Angel's Share and La Rulles La Grande 10. Holy moly Batman! Please give me a 75 Minute from the firkin to help wash the evilness down with. Trust me kids, do not try this on your own. Only a trained professional amateur like myself can handled something like this, I think. A bite to eat and a couple of small beers, including a couple of samples from the jeroboam of Allagash Triple that got open courtesy of the fine T and J got me feeling all warm inside.
     Speaking of warm, the little speech that they gave before they popped the cork on the Allagash was as true as it gets. They thanked not only all the staff, but all the customers. And they proved that by giving away glassware, beer, cupcakes and some food during the day. That is what I like to say, talking the talk and walking the walk. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Under Construction

     Happy Turkey and Beer day to you! Long time no write. Just a quick update to you all, that we are under construction here, trying to improve things one beer at a time. Give us some slack, uh, we got some uh, work to do first. Yeah, that's the ticket. In the other "news" we won the Beersgiving battle, but not the war or vice versa. More details on that when I get the green signal. Now back to your regular scheduled program already in progress.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Shhh, Be Verry, Verry Quiet

     Why a big howdy do to you out there in TLBL land. In case you have not been following the Beersgiving train wreck, you should know that I have been quite busy over there, trying like hell to find a new home  for it, since SunnyBrook pulled the plug the other week. Now that I am a little bit older, I have also come to realize that keeping one's mouth shut and not posting about it during these trying times can be tough. Real tough. But so far, so good. People ask me all the time if I am going to write about this, and if things work out, the answer will be yes. Just not now. But, if you would like some insight into what some of them are thinking, well, just go here and scroll down to the bottom third of the story. Nuff said.

Friday, September 23, 2011

How Will I Miss You If Don't Ever Leave?

     The first day of fall has started just like the last 50 or so days. Rain, rain and more f-ing rain. I had to get my chainsaw out to cut down all the mushrooms that have been growing here. I know they're magic because they never stop growing.  I mean, when they are as big as a tree, we got problems. I also think I saw my first dolphin at Lake Kepler and by the end of this weekend I might be seeing the Kepler Mountain Monster here too.
     In other news, it has been another wild week on the roller coaster beer festival ride. It gets tough trying to get return e-mails, texts and phone calls from all the vendors at times. Those poor beer folk are getting over 50 plus messages a day from various people begging for their beer. Hell, I can't even send them a smoke signals, since it f-ing rains every day. How they keep their sanity doing all this, well, I have a good idea how.
     Now,  if I have to say I am waiting to dot the i's and cross the t's one more time to somebody asking about future vendor's,  I'm going to scream. Oh wait, I just said it. CRAPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!              
Ticket sales are starting to hum along now and hits on the Beersgiving site are moving at a right smart pace. July 318 hits, August 517 and so far in September, 705. I now know one thing about putting this fest together, there ain't going to be enough beer for me when it's finally over.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Summer's Last Fling

     The dog days are over now, the final days of summer are upon us. When it wasn't 110 degrees out, we would get 110 inches of rain. It was not a very happy medium this year. But before we rejoice the coming of fall, we have just a few more beer events to get out of the way.
     Tonight at ye olde Crafty Ale and Lager House, look and talk like a pirate, cause you will be walking the plank with the fine beers from Heavy Seas. I can say first hand that their Oktoberfest beer this year was a right smart bit o malt. It brought a smile to my pirate face.
     Tuesday is TNT, Tuesday Night Trouble. First over at Teresa's Next Door, it's Allagash night with a possible appearance by the Alla-lass. Look for several taps, bottles and a fine tasting menu to boot. Out here in this neck of the woods, the Railroad Street Bar is getting ready to hijack some livers when they tap at 6 pm,  Hill Farmstead Abner, Ballast Point Sculpin, Bruery Autumn Maple and a Stillwater State Saison or Autumn. This event smells like the work of Paul "Hitman" Havelin of Bella Vista.  Also they will join the ranks of ticket sellers for Beersgiving.
     Wednesday may be a break before we kick summer's sorry ass at yet another meeting of TNSC. Don't even get me started on falls event schedule, there ain't enough space in the blog o sphere to even begin writing it down.

                                      So let's leave on a most wonderful note, shall we?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Not So Deep Thoughts

     A whole day without rain. I'm almost in shock. Kinda like my readers and fancy schmancy blog ratings. Yeah, it's tough trying to put things together for a festival, not to mention 2 Twitter accounts, 2 blogs, 2 Facebook accounts. A trip to the mother country of Belgium for 35 people and an occasional foray into work. Then the constant e-mails, text messages, the out of the blue phone calls, yada, yada, yada. You get the drift. All good intentions go straight to hades after I do all the fest stuff. But I still love you. And I will try every now and then to reward you with my expertise of the written word. Or what my English teacher would probably say " A exquisite piece of drivel"

     I am trying out this map/fest gadget thingamajig on the side here to see how it works. So far I noticed my local time is different, but that is because I live on Kepler Mountain, where there are polar ice caps, volcano's and some type of magnetic fields that makes people drink large amounts of beer. I noticed through all my deep undercover work that a lot of people still check this blog out for some fest info. So, here is some fest info.

                              Craft Beer Bus and Don "Joe Sixpack" Russell. Perfect together.
That's right, you heard me. Mr. Sixpack is teaming up with the CBB and Bridgewater's Pub to come to Beersgiving. Why hell, CBB is teaming up with the Blue Dog Pub out of Lansdale too. Why I hear that they will have a bus coming out of Reading. Damn! Now that's what I am talking about. Let's see if we can get Jack and Lew on one of those buses too. Now all I got to do is get those nice brewer folk and high falutin distributor's to finish dotting the i's and crossing the t's. Then I will be half way there.....

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Quick Quiz

    What does Allagash, Sly Fox, Global Brewers Guild and a lovely beer lass have in common? Or not.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ship Of Fools

    Well folks, it looks like it could be another busy weekend for Mr. Last Bottle. I shall start off Thursday night at the old CAH for another round with one of my fav-o-rite beers this year, unfiltered Bruges Zot. And of course, some more TNSC shenanigans. When we last tried  this tasty elixer, it was the debut at TND and Mr. Brewer man was quite happy with his baby. Speaking of babies, the one and only I Am Beer Wise and his lovely wife (doing all the hard work of course), gave birth to the beautiful Ava Grace Parker on Sunday. We here at TLBL wish them all the best, and I am sure we will see him out again in a couple of years.
   Friday night shall take me down south to TDR for a Yards night and a firkin of some Good Hope, which is what we all need about now, after the wonderful roller coaster ride this week in the stock market. At least one of the mysterious Mashington brothers will be there to buy us all beers.
    Saturday brings a day of possibilities. Farmer's market, house stuff, and of course some more beer fest errands. Sunday is suppose to be Phillies baseball and a trip to SPTR or the Sidecar. The weatherman might say otherwise. Tough choices one must make.
    I leave you now with a song dedicated to our hard working elected government officials who have earned a 3 week vacation for all their sacrifices. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Happy Day

   Any day you wake up is always a good one. With this never ending heat wave, any day you wake up and it's not 90 degrees out is even better. Throw in a little afternoon shower, turn off the AC for a night or maybe two and just listen to the fan bring in some good old fresh air. Then sit down and check the e-mails and listen to the voice mails of the day. It was a good day. A very good day that got better. Now everyone knows that tickets went on sale at various places for the fest. In these woof woof days of summer, who's really thinking about anything in November, well besides me that is. We have to get thru August and Labor Day and another end of the world scare, which is also the same thing as Parkerford's Halloween Party if you know what I mean.
So let me help you think about November with this piece of news, coming on board to Beersgivng, we welcome: Avery, Anderson Valley, Bells, Flying Dog, Hebrew, Left Hand, Smuttynose, Southern Tier and Yards.

Weeeeeee Doggies!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Ticket A Tasket, My Delivery Basket

     Yesterday was day one of the delivery of tickets and posters to my fine friends in the beer biz. My day started off with my semi usual trip to the Phoenixville Farmers Market to buy some lovely fruit goodies such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and a couple of peaches. They also had a hummus stand from Lancaster area called Freshapeel Hummus. I got the chipotle lime flavor and a sampler taste later at home (half the container) confirmed to me that this was some damn tasty stuff. Just start making it in 5 gallon sized tubs and call it a day. Oh wait, they do. Maybe they need a trip to a beer fest....

     After the stuffing of the envelopes, I grabbed the posters and headed to the first stop of the day, Ye Olde Craft Ale House. It was there where I met my co pilot for the day, no not God, just my friend Dunny. We refrained from beer just this one time as we had some type of schedule to keep. Next stop was Capone's in East Norrition where we ran into several troublemakers from Victory, TNSC members and future baby daddy. One quick Blind Pig, which by the way really didn't taste all that piggly and we were on the road to Tj's. Jeff wasn't there because he was out with his high priced other girl, but the lovely T was there to help us out. We snuck in a couple of beers and a bite to eat and then hit the road to Union Jacks. One beer inside with some fine folks I haven't seen in awhile from the old Northside days. And one beer at outside bar to wake up from all the AC and lack of sleep I had from the night before. It was then back to the CAH for one last beer and a small bite before I drove my sorry tired ass home to relax and watch the the movie The Town and the Phillie's whoop on the Pirates.

Today I will make my way to the Drafting Room and Sly Fox Phoenixville for ticket day part two. It will not be as long as yesterday, that's for sure. The real world is calling me and I don't mean the tv series.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


    Last night Ms. De Miel and myself took a long awaited trip to the Railroad Street Bar in Linfield. I blame laziness and brokenness most of all, for waiting this long to get there. So I twisted her arm a bit and we went over. When you or your beer geeky friends first arrive and sees the tap handles, I can see visions of geeks running and screaming out of the bar. Why, you ask? All, if not most of the handles are of beers that make up some of the "nasty dozen" That my friend is a trick. Because behind the bar is a listing for each tap. Milwaukee's Best could be Coronado IPA. Schlitz could be a dobbelbock and so on. They also might have the only cooler in the area with a nice looking Russian River sign on it. There is quite a nice selection of bottles and the ones that were going downstairs to the basement were not of the cheap variety. The food is not too damn shabby either. I elected to have one of the dozen or so grilled cheese sandwiches which consisted of pepper jack and hot pepper spread, while the polish princess  took on a Carolina grilled cheese which had pulled pork on it. They have a good mix of food stuff from the same old things to wild game and lobster rolls. In other words, you can please a lot of people. The crowd is a mix of locals to golfers to, well me and various TNSC members. The service was fine and it looks like the most of the staff is eager to learn about all the new beers that keep coming in.

They may be new at this beer thing , but so far so good.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Logo Building Blocks

Here is the logo for the beer festival from the fine folks at Virtual Farms. Might make a nice hat or t shirt don't you think?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What A Long Strange Trip It's Been

    When I start quoting the Dead, you know the heat has finally gotten to me. It was almost this time last year when I began the quest of trying to put together my first big beer festival. And I am quite sure that I have teased you more than any french tickler in the world could have. There were a few ups,  but unfortunately there was a couple of big giant downs. It looked like all hope was lost and I was destined to be stuck in the corner with a beer dunce cap for the rest of the year.
     Well, I threw my cap on the floor and busted out of that little corner of the room. I went and put my Smiths and Cure records away and stopped staring at my shoes. (Bonus points for that musical reference) This time it's for real. No turning back. Not sleet, rain, hail, snow or the Kepler Mountain volcano erupting will stop me now!


Damn, that's a lot of caps, but it had to be done. Now before all the threads start about what brewer is bringing what and what food will really be there and is the price too high cause I am making thousands of dollars off you suckers, let me pull a Richard Millhouse Nixon on ya. Let me make this perfectly clear, I will not make one cent off this fest. All proceeds AFTER we pay all the vendors goes to the Sunnybrook Foundation to continue fixing up the property. Booya!

I guess the next question out of your mouths is, information please Mr. Dan. You may always check in here for some fine info, but the place you need to go is Beersgiving. Now she is a pretty rough looking blog right  now, but that soon will change in a big, big way. You got my word on that.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Taking Out The Trash

On a warm June evening in the beautiful rolling countryside of Chester County, a picnic of sorts was beginning to take place at one of the regions most esoteric beer places, Parkerford Brewing Company. It was not your usual picnic food or beer, or for a even bigger matter, nice attire type of affair. It was in the eyes of many, rotten, disgusting, vile, slanderous and that's just the good parts.

Buck Spuckly toting some new kind of power

  Yes kids, it was the third annual Trailer Trash Party and I can say, from what little I can remember, that it was a nascar driving, pork eating, beer drinking good ole time. Food from our long, long ago childhoods brought back to life with all the care of a mother on anti depressants. More spam than I knew ever existed. More exposed tattooed breasts than Frank Purdue ever saw at his chicken farm.

Kissing cousins

I think Ms. Vickie was trying on her tree hat at the time.

You can't eat it or wipe your feet on it. It's art
 A good time was had by all, though I am quite sure our bodies might have had a little different take on things in the morning.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

And So It Ends

Another PBW in the books. Hard to believe that 12 days of pure insanity is finally over and we can go back to the normal of only  5 or 6 beer events a week. And now lets take a look at the final days.

                                                             June 8--Heat 1 Dan 0
I knew sooner or later this was going to bite me in my fat ass and sure enough it did. Working outside and driving around in truck with no ac was putting a severe hurting on my drinking soul. I was hoping at least to get to Capone's for the Deschutes event, but since I was out there two years ago, I broke down and used 5% of my new found maturity and went home and sucked up some AC. It was a good choice.

                                                           June 9--Heat1/2 Dan 1/2
If it got any hotter out I wouldn't be typing this right now as I would be lying right next to the melted wicked witch on the corner of Oz and Munchkin street. So instead of going to Local 44 for some Laurelwood Brewing Company beers, ( another place I was at two years ago) I sucked up 2 plus hours of AC and a good 25 minute cold shower and made my way to TND for Sierra Nevada night featuring 13 beers. It ain't your daddy's craft beer  no more. First off Kellerweis was on tap in an extra rare appearance. And as soon as I walked in there, I let the reps and Mr. Grossman know my displeasure in that very fact. Look for it never to be on sale in the area again... I worked my around several very rare beers including the Double IPA (very grassy and quite tasty), Weizenbock, which is becoming somewhat of a favorite of mine and of course Exportation, which I hope all you fun kids get a chance to try out and I also hope that they save a barrel of this to see how it ages. Not to bretty, not to sweet or winy tasting, but a very nice job of blending two very different flavors together. And then we all took a moment and thanked the rain gods for putting an end to our extreme heat misery.
     June 10--Jose Pistolas, Resurrection Ale House, Sidecar Bar and Gooddog Bar

Less heat equals more drinking. More drinking equals more fun. More fun equals less money in your bank account. We started our day at Jose's having a small bite to eat (nachos and tacos) running into various beer celebs and a drinking a couple of tasty Jolly Pumpkin beers.  We then grabbed a cab and hightailed it over to RAH for a quick Pho Phoune, if there is such a thing. It was quite a different scene in there for a Friday afternoon than it was the last time we were there. It was jammed, but we stilled managed to secure several glasses of this wonderful brew. After finishing up, we took a stroll to what is fast becoming one my favorites places in the city of brotherly drinking, Sidecar Bar. Our lovely hostess recognized us right away and even then she didn't throw us out. Mr. Parker was sitting at the bar doing what he does best, drinking and twittering away. Nebraska was the name of the game that night and they had three high priced beers out of 8 taps that were hitting the magic $12 a glass mark. But no worries man, Sidecar also has a nice sampler of 4 for the same price, so I got to try 7 of the 8 beers. Dang nab it, those corn huskers make a mighty fine product! It was getting near vittles time, so Mr. Parker upped and left to meet his wonderful wife at The Four Seasons and we decided to partake of the great menu at Sidecar. Yes meat lovers, I had their veggie black bean burger and it was so damn good I'm am thinking about a way to have them send me one.
The Champ

The Chump

Linner was over, but not our sordid tale of drinking debauchery as we heading into the heart of all that is evil, the firkin off at Gooddog Bar, featuring Sly Fox Standard Pils vs Southampton Keller Pils. I tried to warn the boys from Long Island that this wasn't going to be much of a contest, but they gave it the old college try. It wasn't pretty as Sly Fox put such a whupping on them that the referee had to step in and stop it before any more liver and palate damage could be done. For me, my 8 plus hour shift was done and it was time to head back to Kepler Mountain.

                                                           June 11--A Big Nada

 Dreams of heading into the city for the Nodding Head event of the Phunks and a couple of other things got pushed back till another day. Instead it ended up in Mt. Penn with my lovely faux daughter and Ms. DeMiel at Alebrije for some nice Mexican food and a couple of Pacifico's in a frosted glass. Oh, how the mighty has fallen...

                                              June 12--Russian River Brunch @ TDR

The grand finale for me was quite laid back as about a dozen of TNSC met for brunch and for a couple of RR beers and a glass of Hop Stupid from a firkin. Ran into even more crazy folks who ending up going to TND afterwords for some Hatter madness. Me, I went home and said no mas. It was over, really over. Three plus days of sobriety would now come and visit me. They didn't stay long.....

PS After my computer bit the dust the other week, I have been thinking about what photo software to use. I do have a few pictures, but they need some work to say the least.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

And So It Begins.....

       Yes sirree boys and girls and guys and dolls. June has opened up the flood gates of beer evilness, otherwise known as Philly Beer Week. There are three or so things you can pretty much count on during this so called week of madness.
 1--Weight Gain
 3-- Divorce proceedings
 3A-- Near bankruptcy
Where in the hell do I sign up at? Well folks, let's take a quick look see at a few of the TLBL fun times so far.

                                           June 1 Night Of the Bastards @ Craft Ale House
No pun intended or was there? Yes, most of the TNSC crew made it out for some liquid bastards on Wednesday night, though I am quite sure that some patrons on most Fridays might have said the same thing about us. After a lovely Keller Pils to loosen up the taste buds, a sampler of the hoppy and oaked Stones gently washed down over my sun drenched lips. But it was the supper evil Backwoods Bastard that grabbed my tongue and wrestled it to side of my mouth, so I could let the whiskey soaked beer slide ever so slowly down my gullet. Good googly goo.

                                                    June 2 De Halve Mann @ TND
The Beer Yard and The Brewer

This was a must do for one simple reason. It was the first time that the Dubbel and the Unfiltered Zot has been poured in the USA. And after having those beers over there 3 years ago, I could only hope that it would be as good as I remembered. Mission accomplished! It also was a must visit for the 35 people going to Belgium with us next May as De Halve Mann will be our local brewpub. I can hardly wait to see these two great beers on tap later on this year around town. And I can hardly wait to get back to Brugge.

               June 3 Birthday party @ Becca's restaurant in Phoenixville
Nah, this had nothing to do with beer week, although some Kellerweiss and some Big Eye and 21st Amendment Brew Free or Die from Mr. Rubeo sure didn't suck. But it was my first time there at Becca's and I was quite impressed with the food and service. It is a BYOB though kiddies, as if that would stop you.

                                                     June 4 Ballast Point @ Capones
Too damn much stuff to do around the house made getting to this a lot later that I wanted, but that's the way it goes. Paul "The Hitman" Havelin from Bella Vista had just left, which meant we probably grabbed his seat at the bar. This event was not for the tame of heart as some big muthas were being poured including the star of the show, Bourbon Victory At Sea. Oh be still my quaking liver. Also, there was some nice leftovers from the good folks at Hill Farmstead, who have never ever made a bad beer yet.
We then stopped at ABC for a quick bite and a couple of Hoppy Trails on the hand pump which was quite tasty. But not as tasty as Mr. Sculpin.

                         June 5 Saison Sunday @ Khyber Pass Pub and Lost Abbey @ Monks
Holy guacamole Batman! The day started off with a nice lunch at the Khyber consisting of salad (Shocking) and some very smart Mac and Cheese which filled my belly so full I could barely get off the bar stool. But the beer I had to go with it was the excellent  De Proef/Sly Fox saison. Run don't walk to try it. Common sense would of told me to walk off that lunch, but my liver was all a tingle, so I hopped a cab and went straight to Monks, where the phone twittering man about town, Brian Parker had did his home work and saved me a seat at the front bar. To say the back was full is like saying there was line for lifeboats on the Titanic. But they kept a coming. Some were deterred, others braved the mighty BO in the back. When it looked liked our lovely bartender was not going to be able to secure our beers from the back there, the mighty Brian stepped up and fought his way tooth and nail to bring back a Duck Duck geuze and a Cuvee De Tommy. Cuvee was the clear winner in this battle and to celebrate I bought a bottle of the Monks Gueze which is as good as it gets.

                                                  June 6 Cigar City @ Capones
The "Hitman" was right on time with the Cigar City boys and you could tell that beer week was starting to put a hurting on those youngsters.But for myself, how could you not start with a glass of Humidor IPA from the firkin? After that cedar treat,  I then launched myself into a sampler of mostly C.C. house beers including a 4% table saison which was de lish! Much more evilness ensued as a few bottles magically got opened and passed around. I started to see darkness on the horizon and left the fine folks at Capones to their own devices. 

                                                               June 7
                                            On the seventh day I rested.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Session Summer Of Love Part 2?

    It's awful hard to believe that on this very date, 4 long years ago, I, along with the world famous Mr. Lew Bryson, took part in sheer beer insanity, by having not one, not two, but a three day festival celebrating session beers. I remember it like it was, uh, 4 years ago. The sun was shining, the air was crisp and clear. (For some strange reason, all my beer events ended up with great weather) And the session beer was flowing into our mouths like a thirsty camel in the dessert. I also do recall some bad ideas of mine during that time. Like trying to pour 30 plus beers on Saturday instead of 10 or 12 and having a session beer dinner on Thursday night that only 12 or so people showed up.  Ahh, hindsight, ain't it grand?

Friday's night cask event went pretty well, hell, it even made the NYT. Still get a chuckle out of that. Saturday's event went alright for a first time event. There was up to 70 people total during the day and a record crowd that showed up Sunday, abliet after the fest. And I still believe in all my tattered and torn heart that it would have become one of those fine drinking institutions that everybody makes plans for every year.
But that's just living in the past. It is time to move forward or figure out which is my best foot and put it forward. So, I put it out to you, the drinking public, and the brewers, would anybody be in for:

The Session Summer Of Love Part 2, How Low Can You Go?

A battle of the brewers making the best styles of low abv  beer

A limbo contest
And a little BBQ
Maybe some time in August after BCTC, when everybody will need a palate refresher.
Or not....

Thursday, May 19, 2011


More beer, get your more beer here! Yes kids, more places are opening up that serve great beer. Some say you would need a scorecard to keep track, I thinks there isn't one big enough any more.

First up is the Mile Post Pub inside the Whole Foods in Devon. Look for their soft opening by Monday the 23. This has taken awhile since they took over the old Heavenly Ham place the other year. As small as Whole Foods place was, I knew they were trying to get a license when nothing happened in that space for almost a year. Great organic food and beer together. Twist my ever sore arm.

Meanwhile in one of my former old stomping grounds of Exeter, the Liberty Taproom is getting ready to open at the old Nick's Chat A While at the corner of Prospect Street and Butter Lane. I could and did walk there way back in the day. If a place like that would have been there then, who knows how my beer history could have changed? Look for their soft opening by the beginning of June.

ABC opened last week in the old New Road spot. To say it looked a hell of a lot better would be a small understatement. TNSC went to investigate last Saturday and found things to be running quite smoothly. The beer was good, but nothing yet to sing about. My own two cents are to change whatever yeast they are using. They are all nice clean beers, but they just have no zip. You beer folk know what I mean. Everyone liked their food and I broke down and had the:

The Tree Hugger

(Not-A-Burger Burger)
A delightful blend of black beans, quinoa, yellow onion,
tomato, garlic, and cumin mixed together and grilled.
Served on a kaiser roll and topped with an avocado sauce (and I added some pepper jack cheese.)

It was very, very right smart and I wasn't the only one to say so. Now before everyone starts screaming, I once was the king of burgers. I had a burger in just about every place that had a half decent beer. The last real great one I had was at The Farmhouse in Emmaus about two years me thinks. And I will probably have another some day. Just not right now.

So kids, do your homework and then come out to the playground. Looks like we got some new equipment coming.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Unroyal Wedding

   On Friday the 13th, when some people were walking under ladders and others were drinking some adult beverages from firkin's at the most wonderful Grey Lodge, two giant forces of evil merged once again to wreck havoc on mankind and of course, their own livers. Who could I be talking about? Yes folks, all the mothers hid their children, because the Monday Night Tasting Crew from Sly Fox teamed up with The Thursday Night Social Club for one of the seasons most anticipated events when Sarah and David finally got hitched in a very moving and touching ceremony by the lakes of Gitche Gumee..

Ok. maybe not that lake, but the Lake House Inn outside of Perkasie was one of hell a place to have this shindig. The always astute Mr. Evans ran a great show, with a very smart lineup of beers and food choices to keep us all quite happy. I know that a large segment of our local bar business lost a few bucks that night.

The look from the patio

The Inn itself with some fine folks

Most good beer bars would kill for this lineup

The bride and the brewer
Conducting the ceremony was none other than Tom Steigelmann from Union Jack's on the mighty Manatawny. Which seems only fitting since they live there part time. To say it was a very laid back affair would certainly be a understatement. 15 minutes after the I Do's, we were all back upstairs snacking on some fine cheeses, drinking some brews (Our bottle selection included Sam Adams Noble Pils, Yards Brawler, Bells Oberon, Racer 5 among others)
The caterers done a fine job of bringing us all kinds of lovely apps, which meant all we had to do was go and grab a beer.
Then we were off to the main reception where the evil home brewers brought out some mighty, mighty fine stuff. Thank god it wasn't all big beers or this post would never been written at all. Instead it was some of the best session stuff and mid range beer choices and of course Deep Pond's after dessert beer. The weather folks helped out also as we spent a goodly portion of the night out on the patio enjoying the festivales.
For the bride and groom, well, they are on their way to New Zealand as we speak, with a much needed layover at San Fran. I am quite sure drinking is involved. I should know, that was our wedding gift.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Wikio Leaks

      I am quite sure by now, that most of you have read or seen this Wikio blog rating thingamajig. (Mr. Curtin has just written about this very subject again.) It works something like the college football championship, you get your hits from another blog that is more popular, you move up in the standings. But if they all hit the same link time and time again, well, you go down. It is the ultimate in confusion. Now for two years I was floating along in the general tab category at roughly 23,000 or so. I would go up a few notches every month until the last several months, when all of sudden I jumped up to 8855 and then to 5516. For me, hell, I was happy. Out of nearly 300,000 blogs that they follow, to be that high with my non-existent writing skills was a minor miracle. But then I found out I wasn't in the beer catergory, just the general.  So I sent off a nice little e-mail to Wikio and they responded in a few days and said I would be in that wonderful beer catergory with all my friends for May.

So, on this last Friday morning I go and look at  Wikio and noticed that I have moved up to 4603 in the overall standings. But when I looked down and saw where the had me for the first bloody time for beer, I almost fell off my chair from disbelief and laughter. There I was, ranked 44. It has to be a birthday gift. I already see next months ranking of, sorry, Mr. TLBL, we meant to say 444 out of 443. Somebody, somewhere has been berry, berry good to me.

 I would now like to thank the academy and the voters for this great honor. I would also like to thank the ever so loyal fans of TLBL. And now I ask of you, millions upon millions of people who read this chicken scratching every day, what should I do with my new found powers? I figure I got till Philly Beer Week before the tires fall off this sucker and the transmission goes.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


It's hard to believe that a little over three years ago, I started this, um,novel, life changing experience, a deep thought provoking trip inside my empty mind or just a blog, for lack of a better words. Now of course I should be celebrating my 200th post, but what do you want for for nothing , a rubber biscuit? So now that some of the wonderful furor from the other week has died down for a moment, let's give the crazy ass people who actually read this, a little how de do with 4 mini posts in one.

                                                                CINCO DE HOLLAND
Yes, tonight is the night when UJ'S on the mighty Manatawny Creek brings us the one and only Dr.Joel, the worlds hottest blogger and Mr. New Holland beer ambassador. I can safely say that tonight's lineup is evil in every possible righteous way and I shall be making an appearance for a quick round or two with all the fine people there, hell, I hear even the future bride and groom will be there too to help celebrate my birthday week. Stop by and have a seat on the deck and enjoy the fall weather.

                                                        CRAFT ALE HOUSE AKA TNSC
If it is Thursday night and I am pretty sure that it is, it will be time for another meeting to discuss what crazy dumb ass drunks we really are and what we plan to about it. My plan is simple, drink 21st Amendment Bitter American and wash it down with a small boatload of Sly Fox Helen Keller Pils, a beer so good even Helen Keller herself could see that.

                                                             SLY DOG GANG BANG
I am quite sure I will get in trouble for that line, but come on, who hasn't said that out loud at one point over the last couple of weeks? Mr. and Mrs. TJ's will be hosting  the final assault on my liver this week as I celebrate my 28 anniversary of turning 25 on Mother's Day. No need for presents, but large sums of cash will be accepted as, um, gratuity, a good will gesture, good beer karma?

                                                             CURTIN'S CORNER
When the most esteemed of all the beer writers in the world asks you a wonderful question at the Goat Race on Sunday, I must answer him in a most thought provoking way I can think of. That means I have to write one more post about the Fork and Barrel, AJY fiasco and how I think the beer community could have done a better job asking questions about it without ruffling too many feathers.

That enough for you? Tune in next time for.......

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

And They Still Fall Down

It hasn't been this crazy around here since, oh yeah, last years LCB debacle. So let's keep the ball rolling, shall we? First up from our friends at Foobooz this nice little nugget:

An Update to the Update: Yesterday afternoon, Mark Sherman — the East Falls developer who owns the Fork & Barrel bricks — got in touch with Foobooz, contending that the F&B owners left suddenly and without warning or, as Sherman put it, “tearing out in the middle of the night.” He says he intends to take legal action. Swartz has not responded to an interview request. Guess we’ll let you guys sort it out in court.

Not to mention all the nice replies to the editor.
Then we have some more details from our friends in the Lehigh Valley at The El Vee who have done quite a nice job with this, kudos to you.

And to think this all started back on September 5 (Before Labor Day mind you) with a little notice on Facebook that they were closing The Atlantic Jazz Yard for the summer and 12 hours later they cleaned everything out and left town. What happens once will almost always happen again.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

And They All Fall Down

  With all the blogs a flutter about todays news that the Fork and Barrel, Tap and Table, MAYBE even The Bookstore closing, and The Farmer's Cabinet holding on, for a lack of better words, I only had this thought. What took so long? Maybe that's being a smart ass, but let me explain. I've been to the Tap and Table, it was great. Food great, beer great. I also went to the one they had in Rehoboth Beach last year. Same thing, food great, beer great. So, when the one in Rehoboth closed down right before Labor Day with a post on Facebook saying "We're closing for the winter" I knew something was up. Nobody at the shore closes before Labor Day weekend. After some checking around it seemed that they were in constant trouble with local LCB for selling beer that wasn't registered in the state, among many other things. But then they turned right around and opened two more places in Philly. All our wonderful beer media apparently didn't do their homework to find out what the real reason was why the one at the beach closed, they just got excited about the two new ones opening up. My question was simple. Where is all the money coming from to do this? Was this bank money or investors's money? And no matter which one it was, did the lenders find out about what happened at the beach?

So, let me just say this once again. I am not happy that any of them closed. They had a great concept, but they sure did pick a bad time to try and sell it to the public. The beer community likes to splurge, but not every day. It can't afford to. Not in this economy. And to keep those kind of places open, you need a pack house almost every night. Let's hope that I am way wrong, after all, I have no problem apologizing.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring Cleaning

       Howdy kids! I've slowly been dusting off all the cobwebs on this blog over the the last several days and I still got a few more to take care of. Or as Archie Bunker once said "Patience is a virgin".  Spring is in the air, finally, ( I hope) and with it comes some much needed sprucing up around here. Cleaning out some old links and putting in a couple of new ones, changing the font, changing the titles of things, writing some new blurbs, yada, yada, yada. I also have some GOOD serious news later in the week. Unlike the DFH story, which by the way, in two three years will come true, mark my words on it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Barrel Of The Lost Souls

 A couple of weeks ago,  a bunch of us went down to Rehoboth Beach for the weekend. We did what we usually do, eat and drink, followed by more drink, than eat. So, on Saturday night as the others needed 4 more drinks to finish their night, I behaved myself and started walking back to the hotel room. So, who do I run into? The one and only Sam. Now, Sam being Sam, he has already had a few adult beverages and he asked me if I wanted a nightcap with him. Twist my arm a little harder why don't you? The last time I sat down with him was a couple of years ago when Vinnie from Russian River was there  buying the old DFH brewery. So after some chit chat and a beer, he leans over and says "You got to keep this a secret until April"  Keep what a secret I ask? He then pulls out a photo of what looks like a bunch of people in hazmat looking suits floating in the Palo Santo barrels. Are they cleaning the barrels or something I ask? Sam starts whispering, "It's a test batch of a new beer I'm making called Barrel Of The Lost Souls. I was reading about this ancient tribe's very first big batch of beer they ever made in a large barrel. The brew master would crawl in it as the beer cooled down and would filter out the ingredients. The locals would say that whoever was the brewer that day, they could feel his presence when they drank his beer." I have now heard it all and even seen it to boot. So, sometime later this month, some 10 lucky people will be choosen to be the "Lost Souls" as they float in the beer for about 15 minutes or so in those crazy looking hazmat suits. Then sometime around Thanksgiving or Xmas the bottles will be released to the brewpub only and those lucky floating folks will have their names engraved on the bottles and they will each will receive a case.

How in the hell is this going to work? Wouldn't the health board or something step in? I didn't have the chance to ask him that important question as he was whisked away by his wife to go home. But if I was a betting man, I would be foolish to bet against him.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

They Call Me POOKIE!

Here is the B-day girl after drinking half a sixtel of Sly Fox Schwartz Beer the other Xmas
Or Pookey, Pookie de Hand, Pookie de Meil, Nice Pookie, EVIL Pookie, The Hand, and of course Cruella. How does one person have so many names? Does each alter ego get to celebrate a birthday? Which one would you like to meet? Which one have you seen before? Well kids, if you didn't send her a birthday greeting yesterday, I can only guess which one you're going to meet, real soon like.......

Thursday, March 24, 2011

AARP Would Like To Welcome....

The owner of the Parkerford Brewing Company, and one of the founding members of The Thursday Night Social Club to the, "Holy Fuck, how did I get this old club". Trust me you young whippersnapper, it's not easy, but it sure does beat the hell out of that eternal dirt nap. Here is a picture of Mr. Nifty Fifty last year at Fresh Craft during Denver Beer Week. Notice that he is surrounded by almost all the things he loves, his friends and beer. Unfortunately, Jerry Garcia couldn't make it that day because of a prior commitmnet. So tonight or for that matter today, please take a moment to raise your glass and wish Mr. Foley a very happy birthday. I know TNSC will.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Winter's Last Gasp

   Today was going to be a really good day. I was going to do what I do best, start pimping for a great event. Unfortunately, that will not be the case. Instead I am here to announce that the fest has been cancelled. I blame my foolish pride for trying to think I could pull this off in under 40 days. A great deal of hard work over the weekend was looking more than promising for getting most of the small details together. And add to that some of the groundwork I already made late last year, I thought things could work themselves out.  But the reality is that craft beer is big business, and the old day of just giving a holler is way over and I knew that. If I look at it from my stand point, I would be pretty leery about something that has changed venues twice and the date three times. Hell, I would be saying don't call us, we'll call you.

So why announce it Saturday morning and turn around and cancel it on Tuesday? Pride kids. I really wanted this to happen. The people in this area wanted it to happen. Sunnybrook wanted it to happen. But the cold hard facts of life were staring in the face the whole time. All if not most companies have put up their schedule for the year 2011 by the end of 2010. Most were willing to give it a go back in November or December, but not now. Time moves on. Maybe I should have been more professional early on, but those fun loving ways are sometimes hard to break. It was also pretty hard to continue to contact people in December and early January and tell them "I am having a fest sometime in March, I just don't have a place or time just yet. Can you please wait for me?"

The one thing that disappointed me later in the process was the lack of return calls, e-mails or texts. Maybe they fought I would be mad at them or something, but I'm not. Just let me know. It's business. Nothing personal. At least I hope not.

I now have a new found respect for people who put these things together. For all the planning I did, that looked good on paper, there was still one or two things that snuck up on me. Will I ever get the chance to do another one? I doubt it. Even with all my new found knowledge, the track record from this one will sting for a while. I would like to thank some of the great folks from Facebook and real life :>), who came out of the woodwork, so to speak and offered their help in any way possible. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. To all my beer brethren, I'm sorry I have wasted your time and hope and dreams. I am not feeling so "Social Media" today and I think I'll go to the corner of the room and put my dunce cap on for awhile. After a couple days, I'll lick my wounds and come swinging, I mean drinking. Stay thirsty my friends.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Belgian Beer Paradise

   Several months ago, when a yellowy orb in the sky use to shine down upon us, we stopped in at TJ's after an afternoon of drinking evilness at TND. It was somewhat subdued there, but it was after all a holiday weekend. So, as we gently stumbled our way to the bar, what to our wandering eyes should appear, but a keg of Bier De Meil. Now that surely got the ladies attention and hell, it got ours too. Crazy chatter ensued about De Meil and the other great beers the Dupont company makes. When all of a sudden, Jeff got a look in his eye like he was sixteen and just got a new car and a box full of Trojans. He quickly ran to the back with his college educated phone and began making calls. He came back several minutes later and asked us what dates would work for TNSC for this Belgian beer fest. After some minor haggling, the date was set. And now it is here. Some of the best Belgian beers one can have. I guess the question is, what else do you want? Belgian cheese plate or a Croque Monsieur?

Good beer, good food, good place and good people. Can I get a amen brother?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

      I hope everyone out in TLBL land had a great holiday. Mine was pretty good except for one day right before Xmas. Maybe you have heard about this beer fest I was planning to do at Turtle Creek. I might have told you or maybe you saw it on Facebook. Well, let me take you back to a couple months earlier and go from there. Back around turkey day, the word from the legal team was "99.5%" certain that the only problems would be a matter of where on the property the fest could be held. So, I announced the day of the fest on Black Friday and a week or so later went out on the grounds with Mr. JW taking measurements in 20 degree weather and 30 mph wind gusts, trying to put together the best possible scenario for the event.  They (The lawyers) should be calling in a few days or so and we will know for sure what is what. Unfortunately the call didn't come till right before Xmas, (Thanks Verizon) and that pesky .5% had reared it's ugly head and has growned into a monster. Now, I may not be a legal expert, but I sure did understand the reasoning of the legal team on this one. It had nothing to do with the fest or even the where on the property/lcb issues. It was more of a private matter, which needless to say, I cannot discuss at this time. It certainly wasn't the fault of the fine folks at Turtle Creek, who were more than receptive about this and was a joy to work with, even for the short amount of time that we had. So, we are now back to bat in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and two strikes and a 100 mph fastballer on the mound. I guess I am going to have to go back in the dugout and get my corked bat and maybe get some of that BALCO juice and give it one last swing. I just hope I have better luck then the mighty Casey.