I met up with the journalism crew arranged by the GPTMC
( Greater Philadelphia and Tourism Corporation).
Oh, what do they do? They kind of sell Philly as a product...
So when writers are coming in from out of town, that will possibly report on our great city, GPTMC plays a heck of a host.
There was quite a crew, varying in personality and interests.
Various members, Best Damn Tech Show Period, http://www.bestdamntech.com/
Chris and Meridith Nelson, The Beer Geek, www.thebeergeek.com
Fausto Fernos and Marc Felion, Feast of Fools, www.feastoffools.net
Jay Brooks, Brookston Beer Bulletin, www.brookstonbeerbulletin.com
I picked up fellow beer lass, Jenny Hatton of Profile PR, got some ice for the mandatory wake up beers and headed to meet the crew at the Raddison.
Before heading west on 76, we stopped at the Art Museum to do the "steps." Everytime lance and I drive by, he makes note that there's always someone at that damn statute... and he is usually right, as he is right with most things unfortunately. And on that overcast Saturday morning, I was one of them. A tourist in my own Philadelphia.
But we had beers in our hands, and the honest enthusiasm of people like Dan from Boulder that made it fun.
Then it was on to Sly Fox. I chose the Royersford location so they could see our production brewery. The gentleman from the Feast of Fools we're loving the Black Raspberry Reserve so much, they decided to do a pod cast involving it.
Brian gave a quick tour, then every one sipped and chatted. They raved about the beer (of course!). Here's a snapshot of Tim Ohst, Dir. of Brewing Operations, Jay Brooks of Brookston Bulletin, and Rick Sellars, beer director for Draft Magazine.
O'reilly sent us on our way with a few 750s that they might not have tried while there. We were a mere fifteen minutes from Iron Hill Phoenixville, so we decided to wait to uncage and uncork until we were on route back to Philly.
Iron Hill's Mark Edelson and Tim Stumpf were on hand to make sure everyone had a great time. They set up samplers of 16 beers. 16!
And everyone got a bite to eat. Although beer is liquid bread, you still need to supplement it with a few bites here and there.
I shared a few items with Rick's wife, Tracy
and the Beer Goddess Lisa Morrison (whom despite being stuck with a cold, was as funny and approachable as a goddess could be).
Marc and Fausto of Feast of Fools were loving Tim...they even referred to him as the "handsome brewer."
Mark and Tim guided the group through all 16 beers. Not remotely a surprise it was very well organized and everyone enjoyed themselves. My favorite of the line up was probably the wee heavy.
Once we got back to the city, they had some down time. And I knew just how they should spend it. Although they got a pretty good tour from the folks at GPTMC, I knew based on a sneak peak of their agenda...that they weren't going to make it into South Philly, unless an ambassador from South Philly took them there.
I got 6 people signed on for my off the center city path guide. First stopping at Side car. Adam was thrilled to have us and hooked us up with some house cured chaucuterie. Most of us sipped on Bells Expedition Stout.
Tracy even managed to get some profiteroles from Miel Patisserie for pairing. Utopia was reached at 22nd and Christian.
Dan met some new friends and we snapped some more pics.
We mosied on down to South Philly Tap Room. the expansion is done (been done)- so we had plenty of space to sit, stand, whatever. They were very impressed with the list there, enjoying founders and various pa beers they can't get in the West.
The bus came and picked them up. I felt like it was the end of a reality tv show...where I just had to spend 8 hours with really amazing people painting our beer scene with different colors. It was hard to say good bye. But i did...for a little bit.
I met up with my friend April, and decided to head to their next location, Caribou, where they were doing a biere de garde tasting. They were on their way out upon my arrival, but left me with some goodies.
I started with the one I had not had, Thirez, a French blonde, with hints of apple, just enough spritz and spice to bring on a slight depression with the last sip. I am not sure where they carry it in the city, but it should be pursued;)
That's a double wammy of depression.
First having to say goodbye to my new friends,
then my amazing beer vanished into my soon to be charcoaled liver...
But, there's good news on the horizon, the official South Philly Pub Crawl is about to start in an hour.
(Only to be proceeded with a quick stop at The Good Dog.)
We skip past SPTR, since I was there two hours prior, (and the day before) and head straight to the Pope, where it's crowded as hell
and I can't get a beer.
Go figure, when I get my pics back later on,
I see that Casey Hughes found a way....
Then 1601, then Ray's happy birthday bar, aka high life land...
ditched the crawl after that, nothing against the dive, I was just ready for my home turf. That of course, not being home, but Jose Pistolas, were buddies were abound, drinks were readily available, and the only crawl I had to worry about, was unforseen.
That would come the next morning.
So, day two...let's look at the totals
*Beer highlights were the Sly Fox Ichor, Iron Hill Wee heavy, Bell's expedition, Founders Dirty Bastard
(i do love scotch ales) and Thirez Blonde.
*Food highlights were the sweet potato fries at Iron Hill with the 3 varying dipping sauces and the Lejon pizza with bacon and rock shrimp as well as the sausage platter at Side Car!