Jan 2009 01

Happy New Beer!

Posted In Beer

I welcomed in the new year at my bar indulging in some of the few bottles there that I have yet to try, as well as a dessert-worthy Southern Tier Chocolate Indulgence on draft. The Fantome Saison is a Saison with a full head, an earthy, fruity aroma and spices like coriander, citrus, pepper, and spruce. The Super Baladin pours slighty hazy with a thin lacing around the glass. It has a smell and taste of green apples and grapes that blends well with a caramel sweetness that becomes more prominent as the beer warms. The Southampton Cuvee de Fleur has a perfume-like floral aroma and grapefruit freshness with honey and a tangy yeast finish. All were great beers to start the New Year with.

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Jan 2009 26

Beer Nirvana

Posted In Beer

We started out the weekend Friday night at Sly Fox for the annual Robbie Burns Birthday Bash. In case you failed high school literature, Robbie Burns was a Scottish poet who would have been turning 250 years old. image_130-1You may know him for Auld Lang Syne, the poem/song we often sing for the New Year’s Eve. While this event may not ordinarily appeal to you, Robbie Burns Bash is also the date Sly Fox releases their Scottish Ale each year. And I couldn’t miss the gaggle of guys dressed in their finest kilts, especially after my shoes with mirrors on the toes just arrived! The specials of the night included Scottish fare like Shephards Pie and Haggis, a traditional meat dish that includes spices, organs (heart, lungs, liver), and beef suet stuffed in a sheep or cow stomach, or casing. Burns poem “To a Haggis” describes the fare as “Great chieftain O’ the puddin’ race” so it’s only fitting it would be on the menu.

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Feb 2009 10

The history of Philadelphia is often noted for its stake as the nation’s first capital and home to numerous signers of the Declaration of Independence, but no other city has such a lengthy relationship with that divine combination of yeast, malt (barley), hops, and water than the City of Brotherly Love. There’s even a neighborhood appropriately named Brewerytown! Sure- antiquated and misunderstood blue laws put restrictions on alcohol intake, making it difficult to even buy single bottles in Pennsylvania, and the Prohibition movement in the 1920’s all but eliminated most of Philadelphia’s beer producers, but microbreweries are popping up almost monthly in the city and its suburbs, and they aren’t making pale yellow swill, but delicious, award-winning craft beers. Unfortunately, I hardly ever venture into the city since I loathe the drive along crowded 2 lane highways, the public transportation is not very efficient, and save for a few neighborhoods, it’s not the best city to walk around. But I sucked it up- there were a few bars and breweries I convinced myself were worth a visit into the city.

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Mar 2009 02

Any event that could keep hundreds of people shivering in a line a mile long for up to an hour in bitterly cold Boston February weather must be good.  The Beer Advocate Extreme Beer Fest featured a lineup of beers I yearn for and many I had never before tasted. We warmed up our livers at Redbones and Cambridge Brewing Company the night before.

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The one thing about beer is most people can agree one beer is ‘da shit or just shit, but everything in between is relative to taste, opening up a huge variety of flavors and styles to explore. Two of the beers really tickled my palate.  I’ll move to Smurf Village if all the taps serve Allagash’s Gargamel, a lip-smackingly delicious sour ale aged in red wine casks.  Allagash also offered Bi-Curieux, a 1 1/2 years barrel aged, dry-humped (er… hopped) version of Curieux.  The Lost Abbey Phunky Duck was also a beak above the rest.  This sour ale was brewed as the backbone to their Duck Duck Gooze program and the name just quacks me up!  I can’t wait ‘til the “Geuze is Loose” sometime later this year.

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Mar 2009 17

img_0107-2-1Whew, what a firkin week!!! Friends don’t let friends drink and blog so my computer has been off-limits, but it’s now time for a little PBW wrap-up, Part 1. I missed the opening weekend of PBW due to a previously planned car event in Rochester NY (definitely NOT a beer utopia…) and didn’t get a chance to tap into the festivities until the start of the week after work. Monday began at the Flanigan’s Boathouse Happy Hour in Conshohocken for the Meet the Brewer event with Rudi Ghequire from Palm/Rodenbach.

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