January 17, 2011

Brewing my own beer

I believe I wrote last year about my first foray in to home brewing. It's been far too long since I last did that, and I'm excited to give it a try again. John bought me all the ingredients we'll need to brew our own IPA. Now we just need the equipment. There's a couple of home brew stores I'm going to check out and I'll be looking online, too.

If there's a particular site/store you swear by, please let me know. I need all the help I can get right now (since the last time I did this I was at someone else's house and they had everything we needed).

I'm going to follow the recipe that the guy at the store gave us, since I haven't done this before. I'm also looking for some good recipes that you've tried before. Obviously I'd like to get to a point where I brew without following someone else's recipe but I don't want to throw good money away by messing something up the first few times I do this.

I'll write about how things are going, once we finally get started!

January 8, 2011

New year, new job

I think I've alluded more than once to the fact that there have been some changes in my life recently. Among the biggest is that I'm now working for DrinkPhilly.com, an awesome online resource for drink specials and happy hours in Philadelphia. There's also tons of great content, including drink reviews (not just beer!), bar/restaurant reviews, lifestyle and culture articles, and some great videos. I'm doing ad sales for them and am really happy to work with the great group of guys that I now get to work with.

I'm not sure that I've ever mentioned this, but up until about a year and a half ago I was a marketing director in charge of online advertising for pharmaceutical clients. I wasn't happy in that career, even though it was very lucrative and sounded good when I told people what I did. One of the best decisions for my sanity was walking away from something I didn't love.

For me, 2011 means embracing the fact that I'm out of that old world and have entered a new one. I've interviewed for numerous jobs that were in the same vein as what I'd been doing before and it never seemed to pan out. I'm finally taking the message that I left that career for a reason and it's okay to do something else. I'm also going to allow myself to believe that I can make money doing something that I love - even if the thing I love is beer (not that my job is about that exactly). What's not to love? I get to go out and talk to really cool people about something I believe in - something that keeps getting better, and more recognition, every day (the site has been exploding lately!). I also get to talk to my clients about their business needs and come up with solutions to help their business grow. I think there's a lot I can do in this position, and the best part is that the guys I work with want me to grow and shape it.

If you love drinking (and who doesn't?) be sure to check out the Drink Philly site. You're sure to find something good!


January 6, 2011

Some Philly Favorites of 2010

Happy new year everyone!

I hope your holidays were as wonderful as mine. I finally got over my cold and joined John in the great Midwest. I met some wonderful new people, saw some old friends, visited a part of the country I'd never been to before, and got to try some great new beers. A terrific end to 2010 and a perfect beginning to 2011.

One of these days I'm going to have some real time to sit down and compile my end-of-year list. I'd like to write about my favorite beers, moments, songs, movies, etc from last year.

That day, however, is not today. I do have some intersting information to share, though, thanks to my good friends at PhillyTapFinder.com. Launched in September of last year, PhillyTapFinder.com is a great way for you to find out where your favorite beers are being served. As a matter of fact, I did a write up on the site that you can read here.

But back to the interesting information. Jared, the President of PTF, looked at the most popular beer and bar searches from the launch of the site through the end of the year. Below are his findings.

Top 5 beer searches:
1. Russian River Pliny the Elder (a favorite of mine whose review you can read here)
2. Troegs Mad Elf
3. Southern Tier Pumking (probably my favorite pumpkin beer. You can read what I had to say about it here)
4. Russian River Blind Pig (another one I've reviewed)
5. Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

All great brews! Obviously some of them are seasonal, and so the list is expected to change, but it's fun to see nonetheless.

The top 3 neighborhoods were Rittenhouse, Art Museum/Fairmount, and South Philly.

The top 3 beer styles were IPAs (YES!), porters/stouts, and sours/wild fermented ales.

Finally, the top 5 bars searched were:
1. Kraftwork
2. Devil's Den
3. Monk's
4. Eulogy

Probably no real surprises to anyone, and again, it will be interesting to see the difference at the end of 2011 when the site will have been live for over a year.

In the meantime, don't forget to check PhillyTapFinder.com (from your computer or mobile device) when you want to find your favorite beer on tap.