Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Northern Liberties Beer Buffet

I've got some stuff on my mind. I have literally had a post in my head since April and was waiting on one piece of ammo to come in the mail. It still hasn't so as soon as I get a sec to do what I need to for that post it'll happen. Until then, come drink beer with me. Tomorrow Sept 30th from 7pm to 9pm......

...and if you didn't have dinner plans, now you do.

Weds - Sept 30th
7pm - 9pm @ The Abbaye
637 North 3rd St.
No. Libs.

Pint Night w/ New Holland Brewing Company
$10 gets you a pint glass to take home and all the beer you can drink.

What? Yep. I know.

We are pouring the following beers:

Ichabod Pumpkin Ale
The Poet Oatmeal Stout
Charkoota Rye (dopplebock with cherry wood smoked malt)

It's gonna be la bomba. One of the first chances to taste Charkoota in the city. If you've never eaten at the Abbaye I'd suggest thinking about it for din din too. I'm a big fan of their foodstuffs.

Any questions let me know. Hope to see some folks out and hoist a beer in a temperate fall fashion.

Illustration used with permission of the artist, Michele Melcher. Check out her illustrations here.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Right Things.

I had planned to come on here awhile ago and go on and on and on about how cool Construction Junction in Pittsburgh is. But then I got busy and neglected all things Grain Bill for a while. Well, it kind of worked out better that way because now I can speak about the Junction not only from what I'd gleaned from conversation, but because I was there. For a beer festival. And it was awesome.

a glimpse inside of the junction

Construction Junction salvages building materials to keep them from landfills and to offer people out there an opportunity to save on building costs while conserving materials and reducing waste. Everything from display cases, windows, and shutters to lighting, plumbing, and tools is available. Open 7 days a week, the place should be seen to be believed. It's enormous.

And those folks love good beer.

The Steel City Big Pour is a zero waste beer festival that combines great art and craft beer with awareness, information, and a glimpse into a fully functioning recycling mecca. Held on site at Construction Junction patrons (and brewers alike) get to see the enormity of the operation. With local co-ops and local-centric restaurants offering food, local artists creating on the spot, and a hard working crew sorting and carting away every last piece of trash, there was plenty of opportunity for patrons to get the idea that it's crucial to think about who we're buying from, how they're making it, and what to do with it when we're done.

the longshot

the setup, featuring the patented Bocktown/New Holland twister board

I was hanging with some of my favorite folks from the western side of the keystone, Bocktown Beer & Grill. I was set up in the Bocktown Beer Garden and had a blast. I poured beer (with Woody Chandler doing his part to chip for a bit), watched some cool chainsaw scultping, and made a futuristic goat toy out of recycled doo-dads. It was a lot of fun to hang with Bocktown, they are all so into what they're doing and they're doing it so good.

Inside the big show they were raffling off salvaged fridges that were converted to kegorators and decorated by local artists. They were all very cool, this one was my favorite.

So whether we need more reminders or not, here's some important links. Do a little something this week, pull your weight. Do the same thing next week, then every day. Keep it going.


PA Food Co-ops
Great Article about The Hunger Farm in Edible Allegheny Magazine
Listing of Available CSA programs
Article on Philly's Solar Trash Compactors

Feel free to drop more good links in the comments section. Read more!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Aye carumba.

I was supposed to blog so many times. Those of you who haven't talked with me recently might not know this, but maybe the lack of posts would imply, i have been travelling a lot and i have been waaaay busy. It's a bit late for a full recap, so i am just going to mention the really good stuff, maybe point you towards some things.

West Asheville, NC: The Admiral

This exhumed dive bar is one of the highlights of my recent travels. I didn't get to spend nearly the time i'd have liked to there, but i will be back. Bought in the past few years and turned into a hangout with good beer and great food, The Admiral is the kind of place you'd be blessed to have around the corner. An exciting and ever-changing food menu with a combination of local and exotic ingredients, there's more to choose from than you'll do in one sitting.

Here's the kicker: Best jukebox i've ever seen in my life. Here's what i typed in the notepad on my phone as i was being driven away:

Os Mutantes
Jorge y Gil (great album, people. Check it out)
Captain Beefheart (Safe as Milk)
T Rex
Ram by Paul McCartney
John Coltrane
Elvin Jones
Silver Jews (American Water)

I think there was Bonnie Koloc too. There were a lot more, had we been there in the beginning of the work day i'd probably have remembered a lot more when it came time to type them in my phone.

Another helpful fact for West Asheville Travelers: there's a music venue across the street with good beer on tap and Harvest Records whose roster is just sick is also across the street.

Harvest Records Artists:
Budos Band
Brightblack Morning Light
Bonnie Prince Billy
Kurt Vile
The Books
and more....

Washington, DC: Little Miss Whiskey's

It's a wood grain door with either a hood ornament or an old tap marker for a door handle. That's it. No sign, no nothin'. And it's awesome. Mark Thorpe's follow up to Jimmy Valentine's is a knock out. You can get lost in the decor alone. With Dragon's Milk a proud member of the great beer selections, this is a place i need to spend a long night in. Thorpe's collection of concert posters pulls together the antique store explosion of mind warp knick-knackery that adorns most of the rest of the place. You can lose your mind here.

Little Miss Whiskey's Back Patio

Little Miss Whiskey's Interior
Arlington, VA: Galaxy Hut

Not my first trip to Galaxy Hut, but my first session there. We ended up sitting in the silo outback and i managed to meet a gal who's family moved to Pottstown (where i was born and grown), she'd just come back from a trip out there and hung out at Craft Ale House. Small world.

The Galaxy Hut is a bustling boom of conversation. Folks pack into the tables and it gets loud, raucous and ridiculously fun. Great beers on tap and a tiny kitchen make this place the perfect spot to go with a group of folks who can sink in and chat the night away (even if you're halfway to a yell).

Galaxy Hut is also right around the corner from a great, great kebab place that stays open late. I also found a 24 hour kebab hut in Arlington on the same trip.
Asheville, NC: Bruisin' Ales

Bruisin' Ales is up there with the likes of the great take out spots that are always mentioned in beer talk. When they support a brewery they hit you with a good chunk of the lineup, which to breweries is crucial, but their enthusiasm towards the beers that they like is what makes Bruisin' Ales what it is. One of those rare places (although the numbers are growing) where you can sample from draft or get a growler (correct me on growler fills if i'm wrong - if not now, soon). This isn't the biggest shop out there, but the attention to detail and the selection of what to have on hand is top notch.


That's it for now. Bedtime, more from the road to come, because i'm still on it. Read more!