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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