June 8, 2012

Philly Beer Week, Day 6

I had another great day celebrating craft beer in Philly on Wednesday.

The day started off at The Water Works Interpretive Center, with an event put together by Great Lakes. Let me say that I've been to the Water Works restaurant and have been past this building hundreds of times and I had no idea that there was anything other than the restaurant. But there is, and it's so interesting! You learn about the history of The Water Works, and many interesting facts about water and the ties between water and the development of Philadelphia. For instance, the Philadelphia water department was the first to supply an entire city with clean drinking water. And how about the fact that Fairmount Park, one of the largest urban parks, was established to protect the drinking water? But back to the event... there was a brief, but in-depth, presentation from Rich Wagner, author of ... , on the history of brewing in Philadelphia. It was a really educational couple of hours made even better by the addition of Great Lakes beers! I got to have one of my favorites - the Commodore Perry IPA - and got to try the Rally Drum Red Ale, typically only available at the pub.

Next I stopped by the Four Seasons With Love Beer Garden. On tap that day were a couple of new local brewers including Round Guys and Evil Genius. I had the Evil Genius Big Eye PA, which I really enjoyed. I also had an amazing shrimp taco. Definitely wish I'd made it out to see more brewers at this garden. Didn't spend too long here, because I was excited to get over to St. Stephen's Green for their Bell's event.

For those that don't know, SSG (as I refer to it) is the place I have to thank for my love of craft beer. I was lucky enough to live across the street from this great bar for 4 years. Thanks to the wonderful people that work there, I was able to constantly try new beers. If I didn't like something I'd ordered (which happened fairly frequently as I was getting used to all the new beer flavors), they were always willing to give me something else to try. Just love!

My last beer of the night was a Bell's Black Note, and what a way to end the night. This big, 11.5% brew is a combination of the Expedition Stout and Double Cream Stout aged in newly retired oak bourbon barrels for months. I'll admit it was a bit potent for me. I don't love bourbon, and the flavor came through a bit too strong for me, especially given some of the beers I'd been enjoying earlier in the evening. Having said that, I'm really  glad I got to try it.

Day 7 was a day off for me. But here we are at Day 8 and I'm looking forward to some good  times tonight.

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