June 12, 2010

Philly Beer Week 2010 - Days 5 - 8

Beer Week is drawing to a close, although there are still 2 good days left. What a week it's been! Yesterday was one of the best for me, but I'll get there in a minute.

After staying in Monday night, I was ready to go again on Tuesday. I started with a great event at Smokin' Bettys - Broads & Brews. It featured women owners and brewers from Stoudt's, Dock Street, Flying Fish, and Philadelphia Brewing Company. It was really interesting to meet all these great women, drink their beer (of course), and be able to talk to them about their start in the business.

From there I went to Zavino's Wine Bar (where they also serve beer). Although not part of PBW, I did drink some Dogfish Head. Ended the night at Varga Bar. I know I said before I'd write down all the beers that I had so I could correctly identify them, but I didn't do that at Varga and I honestly can't remember what I drank. I can, however, remember what I sang - a very mumbled version of "Wonderwall" and a very good version of "The Scientist". Suffice it to say it was a very fun night.

Wednesday was pretty devoid of any PBW festivities. I went to a BYO for dinner and had a Sierra Nevada Torpedo. After dinner went to McGillin's, which was the ending point for a bar crawl with local brewers that had been going on. I hadn't gone on the bar crawl, but was glad enough to be there when we were able to get pitchers of the Flying Fish Exit 6 (easily one of the favorite beers I got to try earlier in the week). Was there for the Flyers game, which while a great game, ultimately ended in a Flyers loss and the end of their Stanley Cup run. Still, made for a good evening.

I took Thursday off. Needed time to recharge my batteries. It was well worth it when I was able to go for a run Friday morning and get an early start.

As I mentioned earlier, Friday was a great day and I got to try some really different beers. I went to Monk's for their Belgian brewers lunch. I tried the St. Bernardus Abt 12, Abbaye Val-Dieu Grand Cru, and Brasserie des Rocs Grand Cru. All very different than what I typically drink and all very good. It was really interesting to meet the brewers, too. I love everyone from Belgium that I've met and it makes me more anxious to get there ASAP.

From Monk's, I went to Jose Pistolas for their Weyerbacher lunch (having not eaten at Monk's, it was time for some food). I had the Weyerbacher Verboten (loved!) and the Saison.

After I had my fill of chips and tacos, I headed over to Hawthorne's for a Brewdog meet-the-brewer event. What an event it turned out to be! I got to try two of the most extreme beers out there - the Tactical Nautical Penguin, which comes in at a whopping 32% ABV and the Sink the Bismarck, which comes in at... wait for it... 41% ABV!! I think this may be the strongest beer in the world. I only had a taste of each, but believe me, that's all I needed. I got to also try the Tokyo, which seemed fairly tame at just 18.2%, and the Punk IPA, whose 6% ABV hardly seems worth mentioning. Incredible beers from an incredible brewer.

The day didn't end there. Up next was Supper. Not a PBW event, but great happy hour specials got my attention. 1/2 priced apps (selected ones) and a 1/2 priced featured beer, which yesterday was the SlyFox Pikeland Pils. After a couple of those, headed over to Good Dog, where there was a kick-the-firkin (I think it was a firkin) competition being held. It was a SlyFox bitter vs. a Southampton beer (I don't remember which it was since I didn't have one, but I think that was a bitter as well). I believe my friend got the last SlyFox pour, handing them the win.

Whew! What a Friday! Actually, I wound up going to Continental after for some food, and then my night was officially over.

On tap today? Devil's Den at noon for the Franziskaner/Spaten lunch. Then off to watch the USA in the World Cup. Not sure what - if anything - will come after that, but it's a beautiful day here in Philly and I can only imagine fun times ahead.

June 7, 2010

Philly Beer Week 2010 - so far

Philly Beer Week kicked off last Friday. The name is a bit misleading in that it's actually 13 days, which only makes it better in my mind.
I've been looking forward to this week for a while now. Last year Beer Week was in March, and I was just getting in to beer so didn't make it to many events. I actually think I only went to one or two. I also know I wasn't trying anything new and exciting.

Not so this year. I went to Opening Tap, which is where the picture is from. Unfortunately I got there late, so missed the actual ceremonial tapping with the Hammer of Glory that I'm holding in my hand in the picture. Maybe next year. I had a great time walking around trying a bunch of beers from local brewers. Saturday saw me at Varga Bar for their block party. I was drinking Great Lakes Holy Moses White Ale and Oskar Blues Gordon. I have to admit there were numerous other bars - and beers - after Varga, but because I didn't write the beers down, I don't know what they were.
*embarrassed* but that's just the way it goes sometimes.

Sunday I went to Tria where I had Hoevebrouwers Koekelaring. I'd never heard of it, and certainly can't pronounce it, but damn it was good! Best part was I got to talk with the brewers, a husband and wife team who brew in their home (the picture on the front of the Koekelaring is of their house). Super friendly and definitely know what they're doing when it comes to brewing beer.

From Tria I went to Good Dog for some Magic Hat Blind Faith, which was quite good. I ended the night at City Tap House with Deschutes. It was the first time Deschutes was available in Philadelphia, and the Hop Henge and Mirror Pond Pale Ale were both fantastic. Really looking forward to more of these beers in our area.

Tonight is Monday, and I'm taking a break. There are around 1,000 events taking place over the 13 days and I knew there was no way I would come close to making them all. Obviously. I'll be hitting up a few more tomorrow and will update the blog towards the end of the week with all the fabulous brews I got to try (since I'll be writing them down from here on out).