Philly Beer Week Wrap-Up

As ever playing catch-up, here is my wrap-up from the two additional days I spent in Philadelphia for Philly Beer Week. Monday I covered with Hammer Time, and after a quiet Tuesday attended the Lambic Beer Dinner at Monk’s Cafe. Wednesday morning I let my art freak flag fly and took the train to the suburbs for a quick visit to the Barnes Foundation, which I wanted to visit before it’s moved to its new location against the wishes (and the will) of Albert Barnes. When I got back, I headed straight to Standard Tap, in the hopes of getting my own Bear Ninja Cowboy t-shirt — success! — more tater tots and a shopping excursion to the Foodery across the street where I happily ran into two folks from Founders Brewing, Michael Bell and Dave Engbers, doing a tasting there.

Outside Standard Tap.

Then it was off to Nodding Head, where owner Curt Decker had invited me to his Sam, Tomme & Old Beer event, which featured some amazing nibbles (the Keen’s Farmhouse Cheddar was sooo good and so was the pork tenderloin with fig reduction) and ten rare beer from Dogfish Head, Lost Abbey and, of course, Nodding Head.

Nodding Head co-owner Curt Decker
Curt Decker, with Sam Calagione and Tomme Arthur at the Nodding Head bar.

I wasn’t able to stay for the entire event, because I had a 7:00 event I’d committed to, but it was very tempting to stay longer. Some of the beers served which I was lucky enough to try included Dogfish Head’s Immort Ale 2006 and Black & Blue 2008. Then there was Lost Abbey’s Red Barn 2009, Dogfish Head Olde School Barleywine 2006 and Lost Abbey Judgment Day 2007. And I finished off the event with a Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA from 2008.

Jack Curtin, Sam Calagione, Ed Friedland and Curt's assistant brewer
Jack Curtin, Sam Calagione, Ed Friedland and Curt’s assistant brewer, Gordon Grubb.

After that, I headed out for my next event, but had to make a quick detour at Fergie’s Pub to say hello to Carol Stoudt from Stoudts Brewing.

Carol Stoudt & me
Carol and me at Fergie’s Pub.

Then I grabbed a cab to the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archeology & Anthropology for the main event of my evening: The Great Lambic Summit.

The Great Lambic Summit
The Great Lambic Summit featuring Armand Debelder (3 Fonteinen) Frank Boon (Brouwerij Boon), and Jean Van Roy (Brasserie Cantillon), along with Dan Shelton (Shelton Brothers).

After that, I cabbed back to the after party at Monk’s Cafe, where many out-of-town brewers had congregated.

Brendan Moylan and me in front of Monk's Cafe
Brendan Moylan wandered up while a group of us were talking outside Monk’s.

Before turning in for the night, I stopped by McGilllin’s Olde Ale House, where a pub crawl between local brewers was supposed to end. Unfortunately, I got there a little to late so I had a quick nightcap and stumbled back to my hotel.

McGillin's Olde Ale House
Late night outside McGilllin’s Olde Ale House, Philadelphia’s oldest bar.

The next day I slept in, then went for a walk to do some sightseeing and pick up gifts for the kids, ending up, as planned, at a cheesesteak place on Market Street — Sonny’s — for my fourth cheesesteak in four days. (You just can’t get a decent authentic one in San Francisco so I tend to go overboard when I’m back East.)

Eventually I ended up at the Kite and Key for the debut of a collaboration beer between Dogfish Head, Stone and Victory; Saison de BUFF. The BUFF part is an acronym for “Brewers United for Freedom of Flavor.” It’s a great saison, spicier than most, but still quite refreshing. It’s made with — try not to break into song — parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme.

Kite & Key co-owner Jim Kirk and me with Sam Calagione, Bill Covaleski & Greg Koch
Kite and Key co-owner Jim Kirk and me with Sam Calagione, Bill Covaleski and Greg Koch.

After that, I caught a ride with the three brewers to the World Cafe Live, but I’ll finish that story in another post.

Below is a slideshow of my last two days at Philly Beer Week. 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.

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