June 4, 2012

Philly Beer Week, Days 2 and 3

The first weekend of Philly Beer Week is over, and I made it through! I think I'm getting smarter about this whole drinking thing because I managed not to have a hangover at any point. So that only took about 20 years.

Anyway, what a great weekend it was! The weather couldn't have been better, and the events I went to couldn't have been more fun. Let's start with Saturday, or Day 2.

Day 2
After getting a very late start, I made it to The Pour House in Collingswood for lunch where they were having a Goose Island Tap Takeover. It was also the Haddon Pub Fest, but we didn't do any crawling. Finally made it in to Philly a little before 5 and headed straight to Varga where they were having their annual block party. Although it was late in the day (the event only went until about 6), we were still there in plenty of time for fun and good beer. There was a DJ spinning great music and everyone was just chilling out, enjoying the beautiful skies and light breeze. The block party ended and then it was a Great Lakes Tap Takeover event. Got to have some of the great beers from Great Lakes before heading to the next destination.

Devil's Den was next on our list. Although there wasn't anything in particular happening while we were there, we benefited from earlier events in the form of rare/new beers. I got a flight, which consisted of Ballast Point Even Keel (an amazing, tasty session beer that's only 3.7% ABV), Reprisal Centennial Red from 4 Hands Brewing, Belgian Tripel from Neshaminy Creek (really liking what these guys are doing!), and a Choco-Latte from Williamsburg AleWerks.

Our Beer Week adventures ended there, but the fun continued as we helped a friend celebrate his birthday.

Day 3

Sunday was another beautiful day. Unfortunately, I had to take John to the airport as he'll be in LA for the week for work. I was sad to drop him off, but luckily I had some Heady Topper from The Alchemist at Misconduct Tavern to look forward to. This was the first I've had of the Heady Topper; it was from a keg and it was honestly awesome. I've heard some say it's a strong rival against Pliny the Younger, and I agree with this sentiment! Next up was a Lavery Oak-aged Lipoard Oir, from Lavery Brewing, which even after the bitter bite of the Heady Topper still came through as a beautiful saison.

The artist at work
 The best part of Sunday was absolutely Mat Falco of Philly Beer Scene getting his head shaved by Casey Hughes. I believe Mat's been growing his hair for 2 years. To the left you can see what Casey had to work through. I don't even have the words to describe how much fun it was to see this happen.
Mat was a great sport, although more than once I'm sure he had to be wondering what he had gotten himself in to.

The end result
Casey did a nice job, although Mat may feel differently. You can see more photos here.

Next up was the Cirque de Sasion at Tapestry. This was a great event for kids and adults. There was face painting, live music provided by Slo & Shakey, men on stilts, hoola-hooping, and an amazing array of saisons. I had the Del Ducato Nuova Mattina. Delizioso!

Making my way north and east, I wound up at Standard Tap where they were having a scratch beer showdown between beer writers Lew Bryson and Jack Curtin. Both used Troeg's facility to brew their beers; Lew's was a Zwickel Licker and Jack offered a Biere de Grouche. It was essentially a dead heat, with Jack beating Lew by just three glasses. (I'll be honest. I didn't stay until the end and I just read online what the outcome was). Having tried both, I'd say they were both winners.

It was an epic weekend, followed by the need for a day off, which is why I won't be posting anything tomorrow about Day 4. My Day 4 consisted of lots of TV time and water. Back at it again tomorrow (Day 5) and am excited for what the night will bring.

Photos courtesy of Stephen Lyford.


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