Thursday, July 17, 2014

Beer Tourism II

Today was another great day for beer.  The weather has been beautiful and cool; a nice breeze, great food, and delicious beer.  What more could you ask?  While today was good, let's start with last night.

Last night, we went to Monk's Cafe, which has exquisite food in addition to good beer.  The pulled pork sandwich was up to my southern standards, and I had this delectible brew pictured to the right.  It's the Blood Moon from Dogfish Head Brewing.  I had heard about Dogfish Head before heading east, and even tried one of their beers--thanks to John Adams.  Leading with an inciting nutty aroma, this beer draws you in.  The front end taste is woody and smoky followed by a full bodied middle.  The finish is clean and the consistency is full but not thick.  I really enjoyed this beer

 At lunch today, I hit a burger place near the hotel.  It was okay--kinda like five guys, but with a bar.  I ordered an Ommegang Witte and I was not disappointed.  It's a bright wheat beer perfect for midday.  Fresh, crisp, and light it won't way you down for the rest of the day.  However, it was not watery and did possess flavor.  

Tonight, we were walking back to the hotel.  It was so cool and breezy we stopped at an english style pub and sat outside.  As luck would have it, our water was from wales; so his accent really sold the ambiance.  I had the Double Chocolate Stout on Nitro pictured to the right.  Easily the second best beer I have had in Philly (the first was the Blood Moon).  Ironically it is from Wells and Young out of the U.K.  Here I am in the city where we threw off the yoke of English tyranny and the best pint of stout I can find is English.  It's too ironic even for hipsters.  Anyway, this beer is delicious.  It's a lot like guinness but not as heavy and with a dark chocolate finish.  There wasn't a sweetness to it; so it definitely led with a stout flavor.  The chocolate finish rounded off the beer nicely.

I have enjoyed my beer excursions here in Philly, but I have to say the best beers I have had are from out of town.  Philly's got a lot going for it, especially the food here.  But most of the local brews, while okay, I didn't feel were special enough to even picture here.  In other words, you can get a great pint in Philly, but it's likely to be from Delaware.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Beer Tourism Day One

So, I'm in Philadelphia supporting my wife.  She is a Staff Developer for A.V.I.D. and is leading a math strand of their summer institute.  Don't worry if you don't know what A.V.I.D. is or a staff developer or a math strand.  Those things have nothing to do with beer.  The important thing is that we left the kids with grandma in Columbus, OH; so I get to hang around, write music, see friends, and...wait for it...drink BEER.  

I hit up a brewery, a sports bar, and the hotel restaurant today and had four good beers.  Not bad ratio bay any means.

First up was the Barrel-Aged Bier de Garde from Nodding Head Brewing.  Don't let the little glass fool you, this was not a dainty beer. Since it was aged in Burgundy Barrels it had the aroma of wine.  The front end was sweet; the middle was bright and refreshing, and the end just a hint of bitterness to remind you that you're drinking beer.   It's a very good beer.

This is the Monkey Knife Fight also from Nodding Head.  It is a pale lager spiced with ginger and lemongrass.  I haven't had a beer like this before, and I'm not sure I would drink something like it on a regular basis.  However, it was an interesting flavor and on a warm to hot midday in a city I found it refreshing.
At the sport's bar I had the Yard's just off Walnut: a Belgian Brown collaboration between the Fieldhouse Sportsbar and Yard's Brewing.  I failed to take a picture of it, but it was a decent brown.  I plan to tour yard's before the week is out; so more about it later. In the evening, my wife and I hit the hotel restaurant, and I had this beer to the right.  It's a Lancaster Milk Stout.  I liked it, and I do believe my heart will always belong to stouts (or maybe I should say my liver). Anyway, it had a rich middle and very clean end.  The front end was maybe a little watery, which keeps it as just a good solid stout but not great like the Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout which I have written about before.

All in all, a fine day for beer tourism.  Tomorrow, I am headed up to NYC to see a friend.  I hope to find some tasty brews as well.  I'll let you know what I discover.