Saturday, June 28, 2008

Say Yes to Michigan

Off to Holland, MI for a couple of days. See you all when i get back.

Please consult my local tap list while i am gone for i will surely be out of the loop.
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Friday, June 27, 2008

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Odding and Ending

I was about 5 minutes from walking to Iron Hill for a Berliner then hitting Los Mariachis to spend the ten-spot i found in my pocket on dinner and more or less calling it a night. Then i made a fateful phone call. In no time flat i'm in Wayne, then Radnor for Suzanna Foo's half price sushi special and a glass of plum wine. Before i know it i'm on the train then i'm at Monk's. Simple as that.

Mr. Peters did a little event called Odds and Ends on Tuesday where he pulled a bunch of stuff from the cellar and had a nice little clearance sale of sorts. The list was pretty amazing and the prices were unbelieveable. There is still a bunch left for those interested parties. Splitting bottles and sips with my pals made for a nice range of beers to taste and there wasn't an average beer for miles.

After Foo's and a quick pre-train stop at Teresa's for Allagash Odyssey and Green Flash Hop Head Red, it was time for some cellar scouring:

Pizza Port SPF 45 Saison
Stone 8th Anniversary Brown Ale
Cantillon Cuvee Des Champions
Rock Art Magnamus Ete Tomahawkus - 'Triple ESB' (draft) - awesome beer
Avril - Brasserie DuPont (draft)

Wow. The beers seemed to get better with each one that we ordered and picked up the appropriates for a bit of a side by side tonight at TND. I have a theory that the Avery 11th (or is it 12th?) Anniversary Saison tastes exactly like a Strusellenis with no funk. The claim was made several months ago and tonight it gets put to the test.

Also, hopped over to Time since i hadn't been in and we wanted to stay near the train. The place was ok, like Spanky & Leigh's house, (most of) the tap beers were $4. They were down to the bar menu by the time we got there so we grabbed a nice Antipasto plate (super bonus points on the Mortadella for me...sentimental reasons) and i drank a Black Bavarian while the band manager had the Big Eye IPA that's been running the show in the Philly area lately. The other monseiurs on board delighted themselves with wheat and wit.

It was nice to run around the city on a night when i really wasn't planning on doing much. The beer was amazing. The 3 1/2 hours of sleep was not. Two days of making phone books left.
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Being There - Seriously, I talk About Beer....eventually.

So i was trying to bring things back to the briefly recurring theme, the secrecy that has probably now been forgotten that was heavy in some past posts, the games, the puzzlement and it all came around at the same time. The picture is from the film Being There, i'm reading the book right now as is my pal The Yeoman. We both give early approval and the film has been bumped to the top of my Netflix queue.

The Yeoman and i have a long history getting jobs for each other. When one's been in need, the other has been able to come through with a referral of some sort whether it be guarding the gates of Pottstown's famed and extinct Gruber Pool* or making the United States a safer place to use your telephone directory, we've always had each other's back.

One such place that seems to have produced the best stories and memories is Video Update. They've since been bought by Movie Gallery, i'm sure you remember the merger, the buyout, the holdout, the controversy, and the day video store rentals changed forever.

As far as a job to transition out of high school and into time in between college semesters, it was a the stuff dreams are made of. Hardly any supervision, many hours spent being the sole employee on duty, free movies, it was wonderful. Conveniently situated between Domino's Pizza and Peking Gourmet, Video Update had a few quirks of its own that may not have been visible to the naked eye.

There was a time that they rented video game consoles, so naturally these were hooked up to the security monitor in the back room and played. Many books were read behind the counter and i remember feeling a bit guilty about my lack of exercise at one point and would walk up and down the aisles reading Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail. I also rigged up my disc man so i could play CDs while i worked and if that didn’t suit my needs i’d just pop in a movie. I had a pretty good roster of go-to flicks which included: The Sandlot, The Apartment, 12 Angry Men, The Last Waltz, and Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. If i was feeling extra specially adventurous i’d bring in a bootleg video of The Grateful Dead or Bob Marley or Phish, much to the delight of my customers.

Dealing with the hundreds of movies stocked in Video Update, it was inevitable that a list of movies i wanted to see would be drafted and would eventually grow far beyond what i could borrow from the store during my time under their employ. Somewhere on that list was the film Being There (also the title of my favorite Wilco album) starring Peter Sellers and Shirley MacClaine.

So that’s how we got to where we are today. June 25th, 2008 – Page 69, the start of Chapter 5. If you’re actually still reading this, click the link to read even more.

So what does this all have to do with anything anyway?

The picture at the top of this post is kind of how i feel right now. A lot is and has been going on lately, my feet are not on the ground.

I got a new job.

A few weeks ago i traveled to Holland, Michigan to interview with the folks at New Holland Brewing Company and i found out last week that i will be the next Beer Ambassador to join their team. I start on Monday and i couldn't be more excited. I don't think i've ever been this excited about a job. It's a great opportunity for me and i really like the folks at the brewery and brew pub that i've met already.

They make a host of really nice beers, the likes of which i’m sure you’ve heard of: Mad Hatter, The Poet, Dragon’s Milk. What’s more is that they make a lot of beer. They’re the second biggest brewery in Michigan.

So what does that mean for the blog exactly? At this point i don’t know specifically. There’ll still be a lot of tasting notes and pictures i’m sure, adventures will need chronicling, and i’ll be doing some traveling, so the amount of beer and beer things i’m around will increase, and that will warrant coverage.

What i’m saying here is hang with me while it all figures itself out. Viva la Grain Bill.

*Story i'll tell you over a pint sometime #3: How we almost electrocuted a couple hundred people, i jumped in, and lived to tell the tale.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

From Maine to Wayne - Rob Tod's Excellent Adventure

Allagash. That Portland, Maine brewery that's got some seriously delicious hand crafted Belgian style beers has the type of roster that screams beer dinner. Between barrel aged beers with delicate notes of flavor and profound offerings that stretch some perceptions of Belgian style beers.

Rob Tod and Teresa's Next Door played host to a night of Allagash beer and great food pairings. The Allagash dinner spanned six courses with explanation on beers from Rob and plate run downs from TND's Andy Dickerson. The beer worked itself into broth and sauces amazingly and a price tag can't be put on hearing a brewer's reaction to a pairing with his own beer.

Rob Tod bounced from table to table talking beer, food, and brewing. The setup for these dinners at Teresa's makes a great platform for conversation. Some folks haven't had all or any of the beers, some have and are full of questions and then the food comes out and brings up a slew of other tastes to discuss.

So rather than ado, i won't withhold the menu any longer. Just click.

Allagash Dinner With Rob Tod - June 23, 2008

Welcome Beer
Allagash White

Musette & Meats
Cured Salumi, Julienne pear and apple salad, bourbon almonds - Served with Musette

Black Chowder
New England style chowder made and served with Allagash Black

Seared Sea Bass, scallop risotto, bing cherry Interlude butter, creamed leeks - Served with '07 Interlude

Dry rubbed and wood grilled Bison strip steaks sliced over fire roastes corn and tomato salad with pasilla Odyssey mole - Served with Odyssey

Four & Cheese
An assortment of cheeses that meet up to the complexities of Allagash Four

I must mention the bacon wrapped figs with blue cheese...holy cow.

Simply put. '07 Curiex with a nice little sweet treat to end the night.

Rob shared a lot of information about Allagash's barrel aging, their new brewery, their yeast (including an in house Brett strain), and what they were looking to accomplish with each beer we drank last night. It was a great night to eat food and talk beer, as most tend to be.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Stuck In My Apartment With The Memphis Blues Again

This is the picture in the men's room at Memphis Taproom...the search continues.

Name the film, i buy you a beer. Simple. Better yet, find me a copy of this picture and i buy you a sixpack.

Photo courtesy of Holland Images Ltd.

Also, while we're here: Today notwithstanding, notice a theme lately? Read more!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Out and About, Good Beer At Every Turn

Every once in a while people around here get all philosophical about how great it is to live in an area with so much beer. With all of the history behind us and history being made, it's nice to reaffirm the thought that we're truly lucky to have it as good as we do. I've done it on here, it's been said many times and many ways, it was spoken by several folks last night. And i say the same way we've got it good with beer, we've got it good with people who appreaciate it too.

There were a lot of folks to bump into last night- Bengel and his rowdy bunch must have gotten kicked out of Ortino's after the rain dances they'd learned in Belgium brought on a really bad storm last weekend because they transplanted their Thursday activities. Mr. Jack Curtin was working hard as ever and had his new internet prodigy at his side...or in his arms..or whatever their configuration was. Cask Ale Kev found the mightiest tap list on the Main Line as did the year older and year wiser Big Steele Kempelos. A late appearance by the West Chester Homebrewing Alliance capped off a mighty fine evening.

Click the link for cross county adventure.

We worked a 'one and done' into our plans last night and that's just a test in trying to beat out complete impossibility with the beer bars around here. Troegs tapped a firkin in celebration of The Drafting Room's 14th beer, the look of a wheat beer with some major hopping going on. Big palisade dry hop and a bitter finish that had the occasional citrus note. Really nice beer and from the firkin no less. They had it on tap as well, but as i said, one and done.

Jon Trogner was on hand hanging out and talking beer as was brewer Whitney Thompson and Troegs' chief fortmaker and glassware specialist. I love seeing the Troegs folks out when they come to events because they love hanging out and talking beer. They're a great group of people and i am almost positive they get a tax break of some sort for employing Nick Johnson.

So from there we beat it on down the Line to TND. We could've made a stop or two on the way and really stayed up late, but My Yeoman My Captain wasn't able to make the Global Beer promo on Tuesday, so there was a lot on tap for us to tackle. This is what i thought going in, who'd have thought they kicked the list up a few more notches in the last two days. Check this out.

Chimay White
St. Bernardus Tripel
Lindy Framboise
Troubador Blonde
Petrus Dubbel Brune
Gulden Draak
Petrus Oud Bruin
Poperings Hommelbier
Bornem Dubbel (which kicked and turned into Radeberger Pils)
Ridgeway Blue
Hooker Helles
Sly Fox Helles Bock
Founders Red's Rye
Troegs Pale
Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere
Middle Ages 10th Anniversary IPA (really nice)
Southampton Double White
North Coast Old Stock
Hooker Old Marley
Sly Fox Stout (nitro)

Sly Fox Mount Ranier IPA
Sly Fox Sterling IPA

Sheesh. That's a weak-in-the-knees tap list right there. How do you even tackle something like that?

I let an Oud Bruin warm up while enjoying the Mount Ranier. Really interesting beer, especially on cask. Kicked up earthiness was met with just a bit of pale ale fruitiness, definitely check this out while its around. From Oud Bruin i wanted to check out the Southern Hemisphere because i'd gotten a fair crack at Global's stuff and figured i might not see the So. Hem. again. I was curious about this beer and think it was a cool effort on the part of Sierra Nevada. It was a nice beer, but a sample of the Middle Ages made me really wish i'd have ordered that instead: Huge hop aroma and flavor with very little bite, very very nice.

The cellarman says:

Word on the street is that Sly Fox will be doing a Shwarz and a Berliner soon. I will definitely be on the lookout.

A fine Thursday indeed, a weekend of work sits ahead of me, but with TDR's 13th and 14th Anniversary beers on tap as well as the monster list at TND and other great beer things happening in other great beer bars, it'll be a great weekend to get out and have a beer. Cheers.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

More Songs About Buildings and Food

Damn that television ... what a bad picture!
Dont get upset, its not a major disaster.
Theres nothing on tonight, he said, I dont know
Whats the matter!
Nothings ever on, she said, so ... I dont know
Why you bother.

Weve heard this little scene, weve heard it many times.
People fighting over little things and wasting precious time.
They might be better off ... I think ... the way it seems to me.
Making up their own shows, which might be better than t.v.


Judys in the bedroom, inventing situations.
Bob is on the street today, scouting up locations.
Theyve enlisted all their family.
Theyve enlisted all their friends.
It helped saved their relationship,
And made it work again ...

Their show gets real high ratings, they think they have a hit.
There might even be a spinoff, but theyre not sure bout that.
If they ever watch t.v. again, itd be too soon for them.
Bob never yells about the picture now, hes having
Too much fun.


Judys in the bedroom, inventing situations,
Bob is on the street today, scouting up locations.
Theyve enlisted all their family.
Theyve enlisted all their friends.
It helped save their relationship,
And made it work again ...

So think about this little scene; apply it to your life.
If your work isnt what you love, then something isnt right.
Just look at bob and judy; theyre happy as can be,
Inventing situations, putting them on t.v.


Judys in the bedroom, inventing situations.
Bob is on the street today, scouting up locations.
Theyve enlisting all their family.
Theyve enlisted all their friends.
It helped save the relationship,
And made it work again ...
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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Stick A Fork In Me

It's not hard to tell that this is a Teresa's Next Door heavy blog, i go to plenty of other places and talk about them when i do. But i go to Teresa's a lot. So if reading about the same bar a few times in a row isn't your thing - then i apologize. You read about Win It Too, i wasn't going to do a full recap, but this event was bigger and badder than i'd anticipated and since i stayed longer and ate much more than planned, i figured i'd dish out the info on what was missed by those who missed.

Win It Too's Johnny and Claudine were in town from Belgium via California where they're now importing amazing Belgian beers. Johnny gave those with an open ear the run down on the history of some of the beer styles and breweries represented by the Global Beer Network and Win It Too in between courses of a great beer dinner.

Click the link for tap list, menu, etc.

On tap for the event (with leftovers still pouring):

Troubador Blond
Petrus Dubbel Bruin
Petrus Oud Bruin
Gulden Draak
Poperings Hommelbier
Bornem Dubbel

The Tuesday Night pairing menu at TND is sometimes just a list of individual pairings and is sometimes set up as a coursed meal where you can just order dishes as you please or go for the whole meal. My plan was simple and small going in and, then i decided it was a great night for a beer dinner. I went with the Old 96'er.

Andy D put together an exciting menu for the night with beer reductions, beer butters, and of pairings.

Down The Alley
This mystical blend of beer possesses the ability to bring back fond memories of a storybook town, especially when served with small cubes of young gouda. Around here we call it SuperBeer, a blend of Piraat and Augustijn.

Pan Seared sea scallop, grilled baby leeks, Brugse Zot butter - Served with Brugse Zot

White Asparagus
Warm white asparagus tossed in brown butter, bread crumbs and herbs topped with a fresh poached egg. Served with Poperings Hommel Bier.

Grilled Quail, bing cherry vinagrette, greens. Served with Petrus Oud Bruin.

Strip Loin of Boar, spring fig sauce, baby vegetables, fingerling potatoes. Served with Petrus Dubbel Bruin.

Cobbler and Bacon Ice Cream
Strawberry and rhubarb cobbler topped with bacon gelato. Served with Gulden Draak.

The food was excellent and the beer pairings fit really well. The thing i love most about beer dinners is the combo of dessert and strong beer. The natural progression, as far as beer strength goes, is to build up in abv so you don't make smaller beers seem like less than they actually are. This progression makes it possible for each dish and each paired beer to be a little more intense, building up to the fireworks at the end of the meal.

I was full enough to take a nap on the spot, but there were too many people to chat with and there was still a bit more beer to try. As i finished my post dinner glass of Oud Bruin, i turned to the bar and what did i see but a bottle of 50 N BY 4 E, the Cantillon Cognac Barrel Aged Gueze and 4 glasses. It was Sir Kempelos' birthday last night and what a celebration beer it was.

A lot of familiar faces were out last night to eat, drink, and celebrate the guests of the evening. It is always really great to see the people who work hard to make the Philly area a great place to drink beer come out for a night to sit and relax and enjoy themselves. And it's always great to enjoy a night like that at a place that i like so much.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Crosstown Scratching

Existing in Pennsylvania as a beer drinker, whether you drink the greatest American craft beers, the far flung imports, or the mega-industrial yellow lagers, you are, for the most part, resigned to buying cases. Cases are a great way to get really, really familiar with a beer because you’re not just chancing a six-pack, you’re invested in the mother of all cartons- the 24-pack. It can get to be a bit laborious, space consuming, and expensive if you’re the type of folk that enjoys quite a bit of variety.

Adapting and evolving as we have, many buyers of great beer and their beer drinking friends have taken to splitting cases or trading beers from one case to another to get more variety for their buck. This allows folks with some semblance of a budget to get their hands on beers that they’d otherwise have to shell out for 24 bottles of. In some instances and when the law permits, you have to go directly to the source to get your beer as is the case with the Troegs Scratch Beer Series.

Go ahead and

The brothers Trogner got their start with a plan and a whole lot of studying. They figured out what they wanted to brew, how they wanted to brew, and under what working conditions they wanted to both brew and distribute it. Along the way they made plenty of batches of homebrew and test beers as they began to build their craft beer empire.

As a 10th Anniversary project and treat for their fans, Troegs began to run single batch releases of their early recipes a little over a year ago. These beers have been fun and interesting with some ripe for the picking right away and others that warrant a bit of time in the cellar to catch up with themselves. Runs of each beer have been in the neighborhood of 200 cases and limited kegs. Get the full rundown here.

While I’ve tasted quite a few, I haven’t had a chance to taste them all. They’ve all been very exciting beers, but keeping up hasn’t been easy due to Harrisburg being where it is and me being where I am. Most recently, the Grand Cru finished me off at the Goat Races, while The Flying Mouflan, a Nugget Nectar inspired barleywine, has taken top honors for me. The Tripels have been really, really good too.

Now that brings us to my fridge. I have a lot of good stuff in there…more now because I’ve been shuffling beers out of their cases and boxes and into the ice box since I live on the top floor of a very old house. It gets hot in there and I like my beer in tip top shape, so there’s quite the traffic jam piling up on my top shelf. Way back at October’s end I scored a six-pack of Scratch 5, the oatmeal stout.

Gone are the days when the ox fall down, he’d take up the yoke and plow the fields around.

Troegs Oatmeal Stout was one of those beers that spent some time on their seasonal list and unfortunately fell by the wayside. I’m glad to have gotten my share back in the day and now I have 3 bottles of this Imperialized version left to enjoy. I stuck mine all in the fridge, but will gladly trade a cold one for a warm one to anyone interested in stopping by. I would love to put one of these in my satellite cellar in Pottstown.

Here’s the skinny:

“Scratch Beer #5-2007
Sold Out
Release Date: Saturday, October 27th
Inspiration: Imperial Oatmeal Stout

O.G.: 23 Plato
A.B.V.: 9.6%
I.B.U.’s: 55
Malts: Dark Crystal, Chocolate, Roast, Oats
Hops: Magnum, German Northern Brewers, Palisade

Enjoy this as a token of our appreciation. With the demise of Tröegs Oatmeal Stout, this long-forgotten recipe serves as an inspiration and a heartfelt thanks to our faithful stout fans.

What’s special here? We start with a seductive malty sweetness, combine it with hints of chocolate and roasted flavors and round out the texture and taste with a healthy helping of oats. A three-hop blend brings perfect balance to the sweet malt adding a dry finish to this big beer.”

So I decided last night was certainly as good as any to crack one of these guys open. It was a little green for me back in October, so I let the rest lie for a while. I knew that my case mates, Bryan and Dave also had theirs around so I put in the phone calls and decided we’d have a solo tasting with a discussion to follow this morning. Bryan was on board, but Dave found out too late and couldn’t play ball.

We both got chocolate and roast in the beer way in the back, but the big time flavor going on here was fruity esters. The beer started out pretty big around 1.096 and the taste wasn’t of straight heat and alcohol burn, which put the esters in a good role. There’s was definitely a bit of heat, but at 9.6% I’d say that’s gonna be a tough one to avoid.

We both found the reddish hue interesting. It is something common in dark beers that’s not always perceivable to the skinny dipping eye, but this picture kind of surprised me…and yes, I realize I need to dust. I didn’t touch this picture up at all and the lamp behind the glass has a somewhat thick shade, so you’re not seeing the result of an exposed bulb.

In all, this was a lot of fun to drink. I wish I’d have gotten bottles to the cellar before the heat came, because I would love to crack one of these open sometime this fall to get the one year treatment. I’m wondering if a certain bottle shop owner is thinking the same thing, I’ll have to check in. Heck, I could eat crab legs or scrounge for Southampton leftovers and Ithaca newbies.


“Scratch Beer #12-2008 Update
Scratch Beer 12-2008—IPA—will be released on Saturday, June 21. Here are the vital statistics:

O.G.: 15.5 Plato
A.B.V.: 6.5%
I.B.U.’s: 75
Malt: Pils, Vienna
Yeast: Thames Valley Ale
Hops: Amarillo, Warrior, Mt. Hood

If you want a sneak preview of Scratch 12-2008, head to either Drafting Room location on Thursday, June 19, for the release of Drafting Room 14th Anniversary Ale—it’s the same beer.”

Looks like a stop at The Drafting Room will be in order on the way to the normal Thursday stop at the sock hop. Hop sock?
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Monday, June 16, 2008

Super Beer - Joseph and the Spelt Colored Dreamcoat

Tuesdays at Teresa's Next Door are a side-step of the usual offerings and always feature surprises, special flights, and pairings that are unavailable any other day of the week. The day is sometimes used as a proving ground for something new headed towards the menu and leaves room for lots of experimentation. As you'll read by kindly clicking forward, this Tuesday will be a step besides the usual side-step. A bit of a tango if you will.

Win It Too Imports (they run with the Global Beer Network) has had a quite a few of their beers on Teresa's menu. The bottle cooler is always well stocked with Monk's Flemish Red, Petrus, Gulden Draak, Brugse Zot, Popperings, and Troubador. The taps have poured the Golden Dragon as well as, Augustijn, Piraat, Boucanier, and Bornem. So then, it makes perfect sense that the Win It crew is heading to the Main Line to hang out and get you to drink more of their beer.

Tomorrow, on a very special Tasty Tuesday, there will be some great beers on tap and some special fixins’ on the pairing list (more on that later today)* to make a trip by ride or rail well worth it. If i haven’t said enough to get you all hot and bothered by this, allow me to elaborate...Petrus Oud Bruin on tap. I can recall seeing Petrus on tap only twice in recent memory, Ortino’s had the Dubbel and i think The Flying Pig had a holiday beer on. This is kind of a big deal for myself and several people i know. Oud Bruin is one of the first sour beers i ever tasted and it began a love affair that will see no end.

Timing surely has much to do with our perceptions of taste at a certain point in our lives. When you’ve tasted something so many times in so many ways, its hard to imagine anything that could come along and open a new door. This is how i met the Oud Bruin and all of her sour friends. If you haven’t taken the plunge yet, this is going to be a great opportunity to taste a great beer that’s rarely available on tap ‘round these parts.

There’s a possibility of Super Beer making an appearance and i’m curious to see if there will be any bottles of Joseph (organic beer made from Spelt) around to taste. It’ll be a fun night for beer on the heels of some great events in the area.

* UPDATE... looks like 6 taps of Win It Too products and some good eats that include quail and boar. Sign me up. For those that fell in love with my beer, Popperings Hommelbier, at Memphis Taproom when they opened- here's a chance to get another crack at it on tap.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hunter and the Rockets - TND 6.8.08

Sounds like a weird band name doesn’t it? If you bought a record by Hunter and the Rockets, what would it sound like? If you went to one of their shows what would you actually see? I gotta tell you, my Sunday wasn’t all that different than whatever Hunter and his Rockets would be about, provided they existed. It was one of those days where you sort of start without a plan and just let the day do what the days’ gonna do. Hunter and the Rockets Greatest Hits.


The Rocket.

In case you don’t live under the sun, let’s get something out of the way right here and now: Sunday was hot. Brutally so. I made a quick stop off at Iron Hill to grab a bottle of Ring of Fire, so as not to arrive at the party empty handed, and proceeded to my old train stop in Strafford to park and ride as they say. I realize that riding the train for one stop is kinda funny, but the Main Line Get Down And Jazz It Up While You Sweat It Off Festival was just about to get underway as i hopped off the train and i don’t park my car near jazz people, that’s a rule. The central focus of the festival, the reason hundreds of people traveled to Wayne, PA on Sunday? The Teresa’s Next Door 1st Anniversary Party. What else?

For all of the food, amusement, and music that there was to take in on Wayne Ave, i parked myself at the bar and waited for things to get all festive like. And festive like they sure did get. Matt was in and out a few times, which meant i had to clear my name to everyone he talked to right after he talked to them. Our past can be…confusing. The place filled in pretty quickly and stayed steady through all of the pre-destined party times. I chatted with a lot of nice folks and finally met another good beer drinking local whose path i should have (and in all fairness, may have) crossed much sooner. Mr. Nolan, his crew, and the lovely Marlay were all posted up with some fine hot weather beers, well Ms. Marlay was just there for support of course. The West Chester Homebrewing Consortium were plotting out a wheat beer recipe at the bar and the whole of the TND staff was in good spirits all day long.

So what about that All Star tap list? Luckily Bryan Kolesar stopped by during a few of the hours that i wasn’t sitting in the bar and jotted things down. I’m cutting and pasting here, so all credit goes to our favorite frequent flyer.

Allagash White
Avery IPA
Brasserie Dupont Saison Dupont
Breckenridge 471 IPA
Brouwerij Bosteels Tripel Karmeliet
Brouwerij Slaghmuylder Witkap Singel
Brouwerij Van Steenberge Piraat
Cantillon Saint Lamnivus
Chimay White
Corsendonk Pale Ale
Founders Red's Rye
Hoegaarden Witbier
Lindemans Framboise
North Coast Old Stock
North Coast Pranqster
Philadelphia Brewing Newbold IPA (cask)
Privatbrauerei Gaffel Becker Gaffel Kölsch
Ridgeway Blue
Sly Fox O'Reilly's Stout (nitro)
St. Bernardus 12
St. Feuillien Brune
Stoudt's Gold
Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock
Thomas Hooker Old Marley Barleywine
Tröegs HopBack Amber (cask)
Tröegs Pale Ale

If i had more of a set plan i’d have made no reservations dipping into the Old Marley, but on a day without definitions or borders i was playing it way cool. I got a friendly tip on how great the Witkap Single was, and let me tell you, that’s a tip i’ll follow around for a while. It’s so clean and easy drinking and truly refreshing. I love a good white, i love a good wit, but the Single is a Belgian Pale that’s not bogged down with the extra sweetness that a lot of go-to summer Belgians seem to present. Wit or Weisse on a hot day seem almost automatic, but both have that sweetness and flavor coming either from fermentation or spicing that eventually wear on my palate to the point that that’s all that I’m tasting. The Witkap is one of the lightest bodied Belgian Ales i’ve had in a while and it truly made my day what it was.

It was great to look down the bar and see three people who don’t know each other all slowly sipping away at their warming Lamvinus’. To some that may not seem like a big feat, but knowing that a beer like St. Lamvinus was sold and subsequently enjoyed based solely on the curiosity of some folks is something that kind of tickles me. There’s no cool color changing mountains, no special package, just a glass full of crimson and a guy like Teddy to dole it out. Beer drinking, picture taking Brian started the trend as the Cantillon was his mission du jour and the flutes were soon to follow. His reaction was exactly the same as mine about halfway through a glass last Wednesday, “Man, this is really, really good.”

I did go outside though, a quick lap proved that i’m just not built for sweltering temps. Actually it is a bit of a leftover medical condition. That’s a long story, i’ll tell you over a pint sometime*. But seriously, apocalyptic heat index considering, 15 minutes outside was enough to have me singing into another glass of Witkap. It’s kind of a shame because there were some things i’d have checked out otherwise…Stella Blu’s Lobster Macaroni for one, that band playing Django Reinhardt tunes** for two, and Yang Ming for three. It was too hot for any or all of the the Main Line Jazz Beast’s allures. Air Conditioning, frites, Witkap, friends, a booth, this is what i came out for.

The weekend was long, winding, and extended: I poured, i parked, i flew, i was in storm country, i was in beer country, i found a Sun Ra record, i spent some time with horses, hell- i wore a suit. I realize that i am rehashing this weekend out of order, it’s not without its purpose. The rest of the pieces are in my hand, but they’re not on the table. Sunday was one of those days that just felt like a reward. You might not know down from up for a while, but there’s always a place you can go to get into something nice, comfortable, and familiar and just relax for a while. Good people were where i was Sunday and having a chance to just sit and enjoy it with them for a while was a true cap to a big, long weekend.

So if that's not enough for you, check out Teresa's on deck list:

Petrus Oud Bruin
Sierra Southern Hemisphere
PBC's Fleur De Lehigh
Green Flash - Hop Head Red
Avery Salvation
Southy Double White

I'm guessing Petrus will be on for the Win It Too Pairing night June 17th.

End Transmission.

*Seriously, when i say that it means the stories are on the long side and almost always have nothing to do with beer. But they’re decent stories nonetheless. These blog posts tend to get longer than people’s interests, i’m sure. So if you ever want to hear about the book i’ll probably never finish, lyme disease, or any other future ‘stories i’ll tell you over a pint sometime’, just feel free to ask. It’s your half hour buddy.

** Ok, so this is a cover of a cover sorta. Its a traditional gypsy tune that Django took and ran with, but man these guys were cookin' so i had to keep it despite the lack of Django himself.

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Real Quick - Southampton Night @ Capone's

The man of the hour whatever he's anywhere: Spencer of Southampton Publick House will be at Capone's tomorrow night for a promo night. Matt is putting some amazing stuff on tap including the rarity Cuvee Le Fleurs and the return of their RIS. In true Capone's fashion Matt's tapping just before lunch hour. Get yourself to Capone's while you can still catch some second hand smoke. Read more!

Blop Boom Ba Bippa Boom Bippa Boom

Some storm, huh? As i stood on my porch with Todd, Christina, and baby Riley sipping away at my Red Sky At Night, i knew the power wasn't coming back. One of those things you can just tell.

PECO assures me that i will get my power back sometime between right now and Friday evening. Oh, good.

I guess considering how many people lost power last night and all of the other more important things there are in the world to either be reflecting upon (see post below) or thankful for (see family, friends) i guess a big heat wave and a huge storm are something we'll just all have to take in stride.

How does this affect you as a reader of the Grain Bill? Well, it doesn't really. Well, it does, but not that much. I've got more weekend recapping to do (i realize it's Wednesday), but as promised it's all about the pictures in this house.

So then. Quite simply, i need to email myself what i've already written, take my laptop to John and Marlene's house where i'll inevitably be spending the night tonight, and crunch it all together. See you then. No Mas. Read more!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Too Soon. Jay Mission.

Most of you who read here have probably already heard, but i wanted to do my part to spread the news of Jay Mission's passing. The area has lost a fine brewer and a great beer man. Philadelphia and our surrounding areas owe so much of what we enjoy in our daily lives to tradition: the way we celebrate, the way we mourn, the way we move through everyday. Where we are now is a place born and grown from a collection of traditions and as far as we've come, we have the unfortunate but inspiring task of now looking at our peoples' legacies. As usual, Lew tells it better than anyone else could. Jay Mission. Read more!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Recapping BSTS 1.0 - Claim Your Prize

I'll cut right to the chase for those with short attention spans. If you were at the Earthmart Organic Beer Tasting last week and if you took a flyer for the Grain Bill then i highly suggest you take a look at the back. If there's a small drawing of any sort then shoot me an email because you just got yourself a sixpack of really awesome beer. Threw your flyer away? Shame on you.

Click the title or Read More to get recapped.

Ok, so the Bridge Street Tasting Series first event was something i'd consider a success in its own right. I was curious as to what kind of turnout we'd have and it was great to meet so many local folks and talk organic beer for the evening. Mr. Tom from Peak braved traffic on 76 to join us and turn folks onto the their line of beers. Earthmart were great hosts and i hope to break out more organic beers there at a future tasting.

From great local homebrewers to some of the area's finest beer bloggers, it was a turnout that fostered a lot of beer disucssion. The Wolaver's and Peak variety packs feature a few simliar styles (Pale and Brown Ales) so it was fun to compare back and forth with everyone.

The gents at Wolfgang are ready for some literary beers and so am i darnnit. As soon as the feathers fall into their places we'll look at setting up a date and get a plan together. As The Brew Lounge recaps so finely here, this was another amazing weekend for beer in the Philly area and i am glad to have gotten something in before heading out of town on an adventure of my own.

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Do The Time Warp

Ok, here's the deal: A lot to catch up on. As soon as i can get a few minutes at the computer it'll all start flowing once again. I'm either going to work backwards from today to the the Organic Tasting at Earthmart or start with that and work my way up to the Teresa's Next Door 1st Anniversary Party. I'm Your Pusherman. Read more!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Part One in the Books.

The Bridge Street Tasting Series is underway. We had a great turnout tonight and i am definitely looking forward to planning the next event with my friends at Wolfgang Books. Thanks to Tom from Peak for hanging out and pouring beers and thanks to the fine bloggers and good beer drinkers that came and hung out for a while. Pics and stuff to come after i get home from my trip. Catch you folks after the weekend. Sleep and airplanes. I need a shower. Read more!

A Lot.

Pressure is on, the readers have spoken: Joel, you slacked off this week.

I tried to fly under the guise of making the event info for tonight the first thing people saw when they came to the blog, but got called out on lack of posting. Equally disappointing is the picture situation, i know.

So for the last time:


Earthmart, 235 Bridge Street, Phoenixville
From 6pm - 9pm come hang out with myself, my Yeoman, and Tom from Peak. We're pouring organic beers, we're gonna have a good time. Suggested donation is three clams or bones or whatever you call them.

I think it's safe to say these gents were drinking organic beer.

So there you have it, everybody's happy. Right? No, 'course not, i've got more for you. Click the little link to read on and i'll tell you all about it.

First off. There's a lot going on this weekend. I'll be around for some of it, i'll miss a lot of it.

St. Lamvinus

Teresa's Next Door was leading menu grabbers to believe that this was going to go on tap as part of the All-Star Lineup for their big birthday bash on Sunday. But a text mid-afternoon yesterday revealed: It is on tap right now.

And it is really, really good.

For those of you unblended like young lambic, i'll put it briefly: Cantillon's St. Lamvinus is a 2 year lambic that sits on red wine grapes in an oak barrel. Order it along with a warm up beer and stare at the hazy red belle liquide for a few minutes. There's far less pucker here than with some of my recent Cantillon tastes, so even those a bit scared of real lambics should definitely take the rare opportunity to get a taste of this.

Rose de` Gambrinus

Yes, i'm serious. In the Philly Burbs there's Lamvinus and Gambrinus on tap at the same time. Yes they're about 10 minutes apart.

Jeff at TJ's Everyday is supposed to be putting on the Gambrinus for his Beer Advocate Meetup this Saturday. He's got a hefty list of potentials and always has an interesting lineup going over there in Paoli. From St. Lamvinus just hop the R5 a couple stops West and hop out for the realest of the raspberry beers.

That king of flanders, that heralded saint of brewing, that Gambrinus is Cantillon's namesake for their straight, non-sweetened Framboise. This is what happens when lambic sits in oak on a bunch of raspberries. Before syrups. Before dirty hoes. By far one of the best Cantillon bottle labels too.

Troegs at the Beer Yard

The Beer Yard's usual tasting this Friday is going to be a little bit more than just usual. Joe Sixpack will be on hand to hang out and sign copies of the Philly Beer Guide, Nick Johnson will have some great Troegs beers to taste, and there'll be burgers to give you that summer feel (as if the 90 degree heat won't do the trick).

The Out of Towner

So i'm leaving the state tomorrow. This will result in pictures, out of state beer, adventure, fun, excitement. More details to come, but for now lest i jinx, over divulge, or over excite i'd just as soon leave it at that. Pictures to follow early next week, that much is guaranteed.


Mr. Ortino is going low and slow as is his custom. BBQ on Saturday leads to leftovers on Sunday, either way check Ortino's Northside out for some good eats and mighty fine beers. Big Dan says so.

Turning One

Sort of officially. Teresa's Next Door is celebrating 1 year in the Belgicana Beer Bar Business this Sunday from 11 - 5. A bunch of solid beer on tap, a bunch of solid wine to taste in Teresa's Cafe, it's all going on during the Main Line Jazz Thing. I'm parking at Strafford and hopping the train for a stop to keep my car out of the madness. Who'll join in the fun? I am pretty sure Tony Steele Kempolos will be in the house, West Chester's newest Homebrewers have laid stake in the late shift so long as they don't ressurect the touring days and follow my gal on city to city, the other Stout Yeoman has the interest and undying thirst, i'm going to try to hunt down PA's web-cellarman. Should be a nice little afternoon, join up won't you?

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Reminder: Tasting on Thursday

Just a reminder folks...the Bridge Street Tasting Series begins this Thursday.

Meet me at Earthmart between 6 pm and 9pm to taste your way through the products of Peak Organics and Wolaver's Organic Ales. Tom from Peak will be in the house, Earthmart will be buzzing with their usual buzz, it'll be a good time. A $3 donation is suggested and appreciated.

Talk has begun for the 2nd installment of the tasting series with our friends at Wolfgang Books. A date will be forthcoming as soon as possible and the ante will be upped as there are some mighty fine beers to be sampled. More Info Here. Read more!