Hammer Time

I arrived in Philadelphia on the train yesterday afternoon not sure what to expect. My first event wasn’t until Tuesday so I had a wide open evening. So I called a few people, including the wonderful Jennie Hatton — my agent — and also with the P.R. firm for Philly Beer Week. She was two blocks away at Misconduct with Eric Wallace from Left Hand Brewing and encouraged — no insisted — I join her there. It’s been my personal experience that nobody ever says no to Jennie Hatton, so there I went. Eric handed me his terrific barley wine and the evening began, not with a whimper but a bang. The bang, it turned out, was the now legendary “Hammer of Glory,” which Jennie had just retrieved from McGillin’s. I was even honored to carry the Hammer a time or two, which being an organizer of SF Beer Week, almost felt a little subversive. But as a Pennsylvania native and big supporter of PA beer, it also felt right at home in my hands.

Me with the Hammer of Glory
Me holding the legendary Hammer of Glory.

From there, we went to Local 44, scene of the scandalous PLCB raid by state troopers a few months back, where the fame of the Hammer of Glory spread and they were pouring more Lost Abbey beers than I’d ever seen in one place before.

Local 44 owner Brendan, the Hammer & Jennie
Local 44 owner Brendan Hartranft, the Hammer and Jennie.

After a quick stop at the City Tap House, we crawled over to Standard Tap, where their Bear Ninja Cowboy contest was about to get under way. In case you’re confused, essentially it’s beerchambeau: Bear beats Ninja, Ninja beats Cowboy and Cowboy beats Bear.

The Hammer at Standard Tap's Bear Ninja Cowboy beerchambeau
Bear Ninja Cowboys, refs the Hammer and Jennie.

Knowing (and apparently sharing) my love for all things fried and potato, Jennie took me to the North Bowl Lounge & Lanes, just a short walk from the Standard Tap for some tater tots. This very cool bowling alley also has an amazing menu of tater tot dishes, on the order of Totcho’s but with a dizzying variety of choices. We went with the Wakin’N Bacon, tots with cheddar, bacon and a hard fried egg. I also ordered a special hot dog that was also cheese, bacon and a fried egg. Holy moley, they were good, some of the best tots I’ve ever had.

Jennie w/tots & a dog at North Lanes Lounge
Tots, a dog, some eggs, bacon, cheese and Jennie.

The last stop of the night was Doobie’s, a wonderfully unpretentious neighborhood bar. It was great quiet spot to end such a great night. Plus, there was a number of people there I’d hadn’t seen in a while. They were also pouring some of the last of the elusive Standard Porter, a collaboration beer for Philly Beer Week.

Standard Tap owner Willam, Doobie's owner Patty, Suzy and Brian, both from Sly Fox Brewing and, of course, the Hammer
Standard Tap owner William Reed, Doobie’s owner Patty with the Hammer, Suzy Woods and Brian O’Reilly, both from Sly Fox Brewing.

Below is a slideshow of my Hammer Time evening. This Flickr gallery is best viewed in full screen. To view it that way, after clicking on the arrow in the center to start the slideshow, click on the button on the bottom right with the four arrows pointing outward on it, to see the photos in glorious full screen. Once in full screen slideshow mode, click on “Show Info” to identify each photo.


  1. says

    Looks like you had a great time, wish I could have made it. I’ll have to find another Beer week to check out and it just so happens that San Diego beer week is holding a preview weekend, this very weekend. How convenient.

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