Friday, March 14, 2008

My Measley Little Travelogue

First off: Sorry about that Bonnaroo thing. Second off: Why have i not taken more pictures? I'll cut you just with words.

I'll move backwards through my Philly Beer Week if it pleases the court, then come with some bang up coverage of the Michael Jackson tasting on Saturday. Just click to

Teresa's Next Door, TND, it's like my living room, my office, my clubhouse, my burger joint, my mussel joint, my great pairing joint, my buffalo strip steak joint. I've been there in my bathrobe. I'm there every Thursday night hanging with my long time friend & brewing buddy in the Stout Yeoman Brew Club and whomever else we get to guest star with us for the night. The staff does a great job and there's always friendly people drinking at the bar.

So last night Geert Lindeman of Dirty Hoe fame was there. Surely i jest. (But i did ask him about his thoughts on Dirty Hoes.)I wasn't planning to speak with him in an interviewer's sense because, frankly i didn't think i had all that much to ask him , but an introduction was made and i found that i had a lot to ask him about. Really nice man, working the family trade in Vlezenbeek, Belgium. He spoke to me about their aging process, his thoughts on Philly Beer Week and American beer in general. It was fun. Various folks were feeding him some really interesting beers and i was having a good time watching his reactions to as many as i could. All sociological and whatnot.

TND is gearing up for Bobo tonight and a big Stone Brunch on Sunday. I may stop by for Bobo, but i will be missing Stone to celebrate the woman who brought me into this world.

You're just a dream, oh Marlene

Back the train up to Monday night (no Tuesday? no Wednesday? Sadly, a recent Earthquake in my life has left me poor as can be dear readers) in the Tria classroom with Mr. Larry Bell. "Go Yeast, Young Man" was the name of the class and Larry brought 8 Bell's beers with him for discussion. Class was a fun time, i learned a lot about Bell's production and quite a bit about yeast in a huge operation like Bell's.

Larry brought and discussed (shooting from memory here):

Winter White Ale
Sparkling Ale
Batch 8000
Lager Beer aka Lager of the Lakes
Consecrator Dopplebock
Bell's Amber
Two Hearted Ale
Kalamazoo Stout

The 8 beers above only employ 4 seperate yeast strains...very innaresting. It was a fun class and Mr. Bell headed over to Tria's bar afterwards where they were pouring nine of his beers, i had to hop back on the train because i start working before the sun every morning.

Back to the city we go for Sunday, after what used to be a semi-traditional Sunday beer at TND (read: Earthquake) i hopped on the R5 with Mr. Steele and headed into town for The Brewer's Plate. I had only a few things on my agenda for the Plate:

Get another taste of Rowhouse Red, the awesome Biere De Mars from Philadelphia Brewing Company and meet Garrett Oliver to say thanks for everything he does. I did both in the first five minutes. So that left the better part of three hours to see what else was going on.

Chocolate Thunder with Tiramisu was a major highlight for me. It was such a great pairing, frost on my tiramisu or not, it was delicious. There was a copious amount of great beer and food and some of the real treats were upstairs where all the wrists were dressed in red. Southampton, Brooklyn, and Victory were pouring a bunch of beers way above the madness that was the pairing floor. DiBruno Brothers had a pretty amazing spread.

This is where you kick me in the shins. I was able to pull Garrett Oliver aside for about 10 minutes of interview. He was firing gems, i was recording. The jist of the conversation was that Philly Beer Week is really cool, it could never happen in New York, he's got a big three year dedication to the Oxford Companion to help assemble their Beer edition. He's a fan of Nodding Head.

But wait, why only the jist...i should have an MP3 sitting here.

Here's your stinkin' EmptyThree. I recorded silence.
The recorder i used is the one i most commonly use for phone interviews and there are apparently a few extra switches and levers that need to be flipped and pulled to record audio face to face. What a kick in the teeth. File under mistakes i'll never make again.

Oh i caught up with Carol Stoudt in some sort of closet (literally amongst a mop and some other supplies) for a great chat about Beer Week, Garrett's cheese pairings, Stoudt's position in Philly and the 'Burbs and how Craft Beer is working towards great placement on the menus of great restaurants.

Playback: Silence.

Wait, (cue diversion) Garret Oliver did a cheese pairing? You bet yer bottle caps he did. In a small tent, maybe 35 people or so, he explained his pairings, told some stories, and answered some questions. He put together some really major pairings. See for yourself:

Beer 1: Southampton Double White
Cheese 1: Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog

Beer 2: Brooklyn Local 1
Cheese 2: Brillat-Savarin

Beer 3: Victory St. Victorious
Cheese 3: Ossau Iraty/Vielle

Beer 4: Southampton Biere De Garde
Cheese 4: Epoisse (also served with a Triple Cream)

Beer 5: Victory Twelve
Cheese 5: Pleasant Ridge Reserve

Beer 6: Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
Cheese 6: Colston-Bassett Stilton

There were a lot of actual brewers pouring their beers at this event and i saw a ton of familiar faces, met some new folks, caught up with a few friends i haven't seen for a long time. It was a great event, albeit a bit hectic on the floor.

Backwards we go again to Friday, the kickoff event, Joe Sixpack's Philly Favorites.

Escuchela...La Ciudad Respirando

You could see it in peoples' eyes: the excitement, the anticipation. The first Beer Week, anywhere, ever. The Joe Sixpack event was a perfect kickoff to the Week. In true Philly fashion, the drinking began before the mayor came to officially get things started, the mayor arrived late, he told everyone they had to start drinking all over again, the room glowed a communal haze.

The Marketplace at East Falls turned out to be a really awesome venue for the event. Three deposits of brewers and their appointed wares were spread amongst vendors, a band, and Joe Sixpack's book signing. (Sidenote: Get yourself a copy of the book...right now.) And there was some great beer being poured:

PBC's Rowhouse Red
Triumph's Rauchbock
Dock Street's Illuminator and St. Alban's
Michael Nutter tapped a firkin of ESA that was self-serve for the rest of the night.
Troegs, Sly Fox, Weyerbacher, all the local favorites were on hand.

For some people it was their first of many stops for the week, for some it was one of just a few select events. Regardless, spirits were high as can be and Mr. Sixpack himself seemed quite pleased with the event and Beer Week in general. Check out his blog for the scoop on all things Sixpack.

Catch up with you folks (is anybody actually out there? If so, did you actually just read all of that?) after the Michael Jackson event with some honest to goodness blog coverage.


1 comment:

A Stout Yeoman said...

Beautiful...epic...like a Hemingway-esque trip up the peninsula...