March 31, 2008

The Ghost of Remy

Still no camera yet...but many have emailed suggestions to me and I thank you.
I will snap a shot of the winning suggester and they will be the first photo from my new camera.

Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. I did.

Friday was the beer and cheese pairing at PAFA. Great event.

Guests could view the Cecilia Beaux exhibit and feast on cheese while enjoying victory beers. Victory brought all their heavy hitters though! There wasn't a beer under 7%! There was a blue cheese paired with the Storm King that was the favorite pairing of the night. I am a bit sensitive to Blue cheese. So I appreciated it, but others raved about it. Tracey and Bill Covaleski were both there singing the Victory song.
April Annie and I were kind of snazzy, so we decided to forgo the regular 15th st haunts in favor of the one and only Vault bar at the Ritz Carlton...

Here- I was a little surprised at their archaic macro menu of beers.

A nice variety of craft beer is finally turning the heads of bar managers and sommeliers at some of the city's best restaurants; XIX Oesteria, Tinto, Brasserie Perrier (although its beyond obvious what happened there), and I am sure once 10 ARTS is established, they will be doing the same. But status quo at the Ritz Carlton is Lager and Light beers. They are still pitching lager as the local little guy to naive tourists. So I decided for the first time in as long as I can remember to get a cocktail. $15 ---some pomegranate vodka jawn. Looked like a cosmo and when one of the marketing directors from Origlio came in and saw me drinking it I was beyond mortified. I never drink liquor. never. and There I was pink drink and all. April was a bit down in the dumps and we decided to commiserate (my embarrassment and her general annoyance with the week) and have a remy martin vsop. Bad got worse. When do I drink cognac? once again, never. The next day confirmed exactly why I stick to my preferred potable of glorious beer.

I had to run around all day getting ready for Quizzobowl IV. Being Ginger, Johnny Goodtimes sidekick, is hard work. no, not really.

I have to wave to a crowd, collect papers, and score them, all the while changing outfits every round. It humored me after the show when multiple people came up to me saying, "Great job Ginger." Then I made some comment about Vanna White having more duties than me with all that illuminated block turning she does. They were generous enough to bring up the point that Vanna hardly gets to talk, and I DID get to introduce johnny and announce one raffle ticket. So things are looking up, maybe for quizzobowl V I will get to announce a round or something...maybe.

The after party was at urban saloon. It was in the backroom which isolated us from some of the douchiness in the front room. But it limited our beer selections. I wasn't it the mood for a beverage anyway. The ghost of Remy still was lingering.

Sunday was the first brunch at Jose Pistolas. We are kicking things off at 11:30 and it goes till three. Two courses and unlimited margaritas and (now) mimosas for $25. You can also get a bloody mary if you want one, but as of next week they will not be unlimited. Who can drink more than two anyway?

So... It's looking like a productive week. We are going to get the Royal Weisse cans out into the market and start selling our Quad, Ichor, simultaneously. Both wonderful beers.
Tonight is the opening of Devil's Den at 11th and Ellsworth...despite a broken camera - I will give a full report tomorrow (hopefully borrowing someone else's pics).

Tomorrow is April Annies 30th....Thursday is Brooklyn, Friday is Dibruno Brothers cheese and beer pairing for Sly Fox (did you get your tickets yet?) Saturday is April's Birthday continued...maybe a run in the morning (right now my whole body is sore from wii bowling on sunday) and Sunday is the Origlio beer trade show, customer support shin dig.

Gots to go....No April Fools today. Not yet anyway.

March 28, 2008

Camara Drama part 2

My hewlett packard crapped out on me yet again.
The same thing that happened back in October...The lens won't open all the way.

It's not worth the countless hours on the phone across the universe to try and get a new $129 camera now the search is on.

I have to find a new camera that takes amazing pics of food. I had heard that the lumix (branch of panasonc) had a "plate" as an option specifically for food photography.

Does anyone have any suggestions? My birthday is coming up (april 24) so I will probably ask someone in my family to co-op it with me...

I also heard good things about olympuses. I am trying to get something under $300.

PS: I hate hewlett packard

March 27, 2008

New Jose's BRUNCH on the cheap

I remember a decent amount of Spanish from my youth.
I did take seven years after all...
But there are some phrases that stick out more than of them being "loco en el coco."

I can confirm today that Joe Gunn and Casey parker of Jose Pistolas are in facto loco en el coco.
This Sunday they are launching the Pistolas brunch.
Come get loco. Oh- and I'll be there.

For $25, the guest chooses one first course and one entrée course.

This also includes bottomless margaritas and bloody marys. my Lord!

All items are available a la carte.

First Course

Seasonal Fruit & Berry Salad

House Salad

Egg & Chorizo Tacos

Spicy Chicken & Rice Soup

Old Fashioned Oats

Second Course

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Two Eggs Any Style

Smoked Salmon Omelet

Pistola’s Burger

Heuvos Rancheros

A la Carte

Breakfast Burrito

Grouper Tacos

Chicken Quesadilla

Veggie Nachos


Lancaster County Scrapple

Applewood Smoked Bacon

Black Skillet Potatoes

Rice & Beans

elm jefe dice it will be mucho bueno...

March 26, 2008

Hell hath no fury like a woman....

Hell hath no fury like a woman whose dream dangled in front of her four months too long...
Their original opening goal of Devil's Den (1148 S. 11th St at Ellsworth) was December, so you can only imagine how relieved they are to pour their first Schneider Aventinus next week.

Kaiser Wilhem once said, "Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world."

Looks like Scott Wallace of the Old Eagle Tavern agreed. He met his dream gal at the Cherry St. Tavern over 6 years ago. Erin loves her beer and now they are counting down the days to opening South Philly's newest steak and suds spot,
the Devil's Den.

Not inspired by Devil's Alley or Lyon's Den, its merely a tribute to a nature conservatory in the blue ridge mountains of Virginia.
The "DEVIL'S DEN" actually refers to a 600-million-year-old cave formation comprised of several layers of rock, which contain many large rooms. Formed by the collision of the Appalachian and Piedmont rock encrustations.

There are large rooms in this Devils Den as well, the largest (upstairs) is still about 6 months out.
But as of next week, you can get a beer and a bite downstairs. The chef has Caribou and the Union League on his recent resume. Their GM, Mick Halley, trickled down to south philly from the Waterworks and Moshulu prior to that.

I think he'll do just fine adjusting to his new anhydrous locale.

Joe Turrisi's menu was posted on the Clog back in January...
The carnivore in me is eagerly awaiting the
*Beer Braised Pork Belly,
*Wet Duck Sandwich and
* Jasmine Tea Pork Chop with sweet potato flan with a pineapple ginger emulsion

They will be serving a bar menu till 1 am.
And in time, will give you your beers to go, growler style.

Stop by and say Hi late next week...11th and Ellsworth.
This is now officially the closest bar to my I told them I would be their Norm (a).

Here's a preview...

March 25, 2008

A Bed-In for Peace- 39 Years Later

Today marks the 39th anniversary of John and Yoko two week bed in for peace at the Amsterdam Hilton.

Lance doesn't care for the "Ballad" paying tribute to their time, but it's one of my favorites. It's got a fun melody. You can't help but smile when it plays, and you can't help but shake it during a DJ deejay Beatles/Stones night.

I just found out that the Queen Elizabeth hotel in Montreal where they stayed during their second "bed in" that following May has been maintained as is- with a few additions of records and such to add more of a "motif." Beatles fans can get nostalgic while gettin' it on for $599.

For your next sing- a- long...
Standing in the dock at Southampton,
Trying to get to Holland or France.
The man in the mac said, "You've got to turn back".
You know they didn't even give us a chance.
Christ you know it ain't easy,
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me.
Finally made the plane into Paris,
Honey mooning down by the Seine.
Peter Brown called to say,
"You can make it O.K.,
You can get married in Gibraltar, near Spain".
Christ you know it ain't easy,
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me.
Drove from Paris to the Amsterdam Hilton,
Talking in our beds for a week.
The newspapers said, "Say what you doing in bed?"
I said, "We're only trying to get us some peace".
Christ you know it ain't easy,
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me.
Saving up your money for a rainy day,
Giving all your clothes to charity.
Last night the wife said,
"Oh boy, when you're dead
You don't take nothing with you
But your soul - think!"
Made a lightning trip to Vienna,
eating chocolate cake in a bag.
The newspapers said, "She's gone to his head,
They look just like two gurus in drag".
Christ you know it ain't easy,
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me.
Caught an early plane back to London.
Fifty acorns tied in a sack.
The men from the press said, "We wish you success,
It's good to have the both of you back".
Christ you know it ain't easy,
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me.
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me.

March 24, 2008

Countdown to Quizzo Bowl

Today is the 50 year aniversary of Elvis Presley enlisting in the US army.

and It's Five more days to the World's largest Quizzo Event, QUIZZOBOWL, The brave concept of Philly's favorite quizzmaster, Johnny Goodtimes.

What's the correlation....Quizzo bowl IV's theme will be ELVIS....complete with "Black Elvis "the second most famous person to come out of the Eastern Shore Of Virginia.

Over 400 people will gather at the LEGENDARY Blue Horizon to compete for big bucks and bigger bragging rights.

$25 gets you in....all you can Drink SLY FOX BEER.

"Ginger" will be present possibly sporting a Priscilla like bouffant...who knows.

check out for more info.

The weekend that was...Happy EASTER.

Happy Easter Monday.

I was wrong about things returning to some state of normalcy.

I was extremely productive the last few busy as ever.

* participated in a marketing research project
*submitted my first article for national print (t.hat poor editor)
* shipped Sly Fox beers off for review by DRAFT magazine
*visited a bunch of Sly Fox accounts
* made my own Beer Club business cards (make sure you ask for one next time you see me) *made QuizzoBowl Posters for Johnny Goodtimes,
*even shipped off an Easter package for dear ol' mom in Arizona.
Friday was a good time. My friend Darren was visiting from Boston, so we had happy hour at Jose's. Great crows. Moved on to Cascamorto Piano Bar to see my friend Steve O play. Awesome set, including Hulk Hogan's ring song and Guns and Rose's.."used to love her."
He told me he would learn Townshend's "Let my love open the door" for me by next week.
I told him he has two weeks because I will be at a Victory Beer and cheese Pairing at PAFA on Friday.
Then we headed to Cherry ST. Tavern. I wrote a brief blog about this bar on Friday.
I love this place. I almost wish I lived at 22nd and Cherry so it could be my local. You should go there, get a roast beef sandwich and a Seamus.

Saturday I managed to NOT split my skull... I met up with the crew around 6 at Triumph, then had pints at Brownies (one of the only bars still allowing smoking), 1601, the POPE, and back to Old City's Khyber for Casey Wayne Parker's "Welcome to my Face" show. The 80s glam rock cover band had an overwhelming amount of support, inc. Monk's own Tom Peters and Jodi.
My "stylist" was there with the rest of his get along gang.

Sunday, Easter sunday, I got some more work done, then headed to Harleysville.
My little sis is back from Ecuador - so, it was the whole family. The peanuts were as cute as ever. William is talking a bunch more. Tanner is talking as much as usual with the best vocabulary of any 2 1/2 year old out there. Here are some snapshots of the "elmo chefs."

March 21, 2008

Get chummy with a Seamus at Cherry St. Tavern

Have any of you been to Cherry St Tavern, a great spot at 22nd and Cherry...famous for slicing up roast beef on the end of the bar for years now...

Three guys own the tavern, Billy Bobby and Jimmy D.
They wear the old school bartending uniform, and carry the old school charm.

They are pouring SLY FOX seamus red ale right's a perfect blend of hops and malt.
Sure St. patricks day is over, all the more reason to drink it- you can do so in peace without some green glittered drunken chatterbox interrupting your pint.

If you get a chance this weekend, go in and grab one.
Have a sandwich and taken in one of Philly's best bars.

Off the wagon...Split thy Skull is here

Just when you thought you ran out of gas....Philly's annual Barleywine fest is here. "Split thy Skull" is brainchild of Jim Anderson and Chris Morris (philadelphia brewing co- but you already knew that).

Every year, "Easter Eve" has a few hundred people testing high gravity beers rather than painting easter eggs....or maybe they do both. I know afterwards I am going to check out Casey Parker and the fellows of Welcome to my Face at the Khyber....Philly's glam rock metal tribute band.

All I know if last Monday I wanted nothing to do with it....and now I'm already making sure I drink enough water tonight, to feel good by 1 pm tomorrow. Ready,willing and able to split my skull.

A few barleywines to look forward to-

*the years release of Sly Fox's Ichor, an abbot style quadruple- named for the rarified element that would flow through the veins of the gods to prove they were not mortal.
*Flying Fish will pull a switch up on their "Vanilla Ice,"by taking the Apple Jack barreled grand cru they made -freezing it, then adding Vanilla bean... hmm?

The best part is you get to do flights and mini if something doesn't float your didn't waste you bucks.

Beer Geek TV

In a previous blog I mentioned a fun day spent with traveling writers for Beer Week. One of them Meredith Canham-Nelson and her husband Chris have a website where they tell their "story" about how they fell in love with craft beer then they document their beer adventures as often as they can.

Meredith wanted to take advantage of the opportunity of having THE beer goddess, Lisa Morrison of Ale Street news and my self, a lowly beer lass, in the same place at the same time to chat beer. That place being the Iron Hill in Phoenixville. Next time you don't want to do work or can't sleep click here.

March 20, 2008

DAY 10: Real Ale, Beer Tea, and the T.U.D

Thank God it's Sunday. I was even contemplating going to the Cathedral at 17th and the Parkway to pray for my liver.
I had three more events to go through and it was done. I was done.
I would have survived first ever Philly Beer Week.

I called the Belgian Cafe around twelve to see if there were seats left and they were actually oversold! I couldn't believe it. I mean I could believe it because Nancy Rigberg had a great concept and it was the only women centric event of the week. But here I was the presiding drinker of a women's beer club and I couldn't go to the ladies beer tea. But it was my own fault for the not making a reservation. Patrick, the manager rules and put me on standby, airplane style.
I got a call 20 minutes later that I was in.

I had just enough time to hit the Triumph/ Yards real ale fest for an hour, get a parking ticket and get back to Fairmount. Yes, another parking ticket. Getting your car inspected on time is not overrated.

The real ale fest was well attended but not too crowded. I never had a problem getting a beer.
I think Triumph probably wanted more people there, but I was happy.

I started off with the Bells Java stout, which was my number one that day.
Just when I think I can't drink any more beer, I can always have another stout.
(I was more than excited on New Years day, when Tom Peters put only stouts on at Monks. )

I moved on to the Clipper city Saison, which was a last minute add in and I was pleasantly surprised. I see there beer popping up a lot lately and I am not overwhelmed. The Loose Cannon IPA isn't bad, but I don't enjoy their small craft warning uber pils or their Holy Sheetz barleywine that some people rave about. Then for my last beer I tried a South Hampton General Sullivan's Red, named for the owners of South Hampton. And to no surprise, it was great. Apparently the crew got a little carried away again, actually when don't they...Niebhur brothers or not Niebhur brothers...they're constantly carousing.
I guess after I left Triumph, Nick Johnson put Casey Hughes in an Airplane spin, while smoking. Almost impressive. I would've like to have seen the Boston crab only because the pile driver on pavement would've been too cruel. Even for casey. If beer week didn't kill him, a Pile Driver on Chestnut st. would've. Photos courtesy of Steve "mittens" Mashington.

Off to the beer tea. Nancy gave a wonderful welcoming speech. The Home Sweet Homebrew owner shared the history of women in beer and women in beer specifically in Philadelphia in the mid 90s.

The food was great....shrimp balls, mini croque monsieurs, cucumber and salmon sandwiches...lemon bars and more.

Our Bienvenido beer was a most special treat: Eric's Ale from New Belgium out of Fort Collins, Co.I just saw Tom Peters last night and I forgot to ask him how the heck he got it. It's not available east of Chicago. So I don't know how, I'm just glad he did.
I believe it was a sour lambic with the essence of peach. He aged it in La Folie barrels.

we moved on to the Ave Les bon voeux, a winter saison from Brasserie Du Pont.
Followed by the slapmustke triple night cap. Some potent potables for Mid Day!

I blogged about this beer a few months ago. I had it following the Philly Beer Week Information session at Nodding Head. I had a few before that, so it truly was a night cap for me.

We finished off with Lindeman's Framboise and the Rogue Chocolate Stout. This was another nice touch. Sebbie Bulher,a roguster for over a decade now, got up and talked about the pairing. The Bucks Co. beer lady made mention of how beer is good for you. The ladies loved it. I was surprised that they could keep quiet long enough to lend her their ears. It was quite the chatty group.
Sebbie's mug also graces the bottle. Sebbie encouraged the ladies to combine them if they like.
I got to chat briefly with Mrs. Joe Sixpack, Theresa Russell, the BEER FOX, Caroline Smagalksi and lovely Nora that helps manage The Belgian Cafe.

Nora's mom was there, a true beer afficianado.
So dedicated in fact, that she got hops tattooed on her arm. I was pleased to be part of such a special event. In the United Kingdom, over 40% of beer drinkers are women, in the United States, that's not the case. We consume only 25%. But, perhaps some day it will be.

There was barely a break before the T.U.D. began. I had previously credited Lance for inventing the expression"T.U.D." but, I believe it was his friend Alex that coined the phrase.

The T.U.D. is that totally unnecessary drink you have at the end of the evening.

The tud was a tudapalooza. It was the last Huzzah. We did it. We. collectively. The city came together and proved we are as passionate about our pint as we are our players.

We celebrated our week's successes with Karaoke, Curt Decker and Steve Mashington behind the bar, and ladies from In Pursuit of Ale.

I kicked off the karaoke with "Everyday" from Buddy Holly. It funny because I swore I would never do karaoke in this city...but now I have done it three times in three months. I thought I was Kim Carnes for a hot sec...I certainly don't think I am Buddy holly, but I love that song, Manayunk Brewing Co's Bill Young loves that song and I knew it was only 2 minutes. I couldn't have been prouder of April Annie and Jennie Hobbs when they did their rendition of Warren G's regulators.

Frank of "welcome to my face" did a Carrie Underwood hit. Tom Kehoe and Jordan Walsh of IPA did the Summer Nights from Grease.
Lance coudn't get enough of the mic. We did a duet of "paradise by the dashboard light" and he soloed "King of the Road." Jose Pistola partner, Casey Parker brought out a couple of his 80s favorites, and a little Marvin Gaye.
During "Lets get it on," Jenny and I decided we would be his Fly Girls. Geez, anything can happen at the tud.

March 19, 2008

Four Cheers for the Capped Fungi Capital

So the break continues...
I was getting ready to post DAY 8-
Errands with O'reilly
and a SouthHampton / Sly Fox Showdown at Good
Dog... when I received a call about the Kennett Square Beer Festival in October.

The email from Organizer,Jeff, mentions that October is "right around the corner," I am glad he's that organized because for me "around the corner" is Beer Club tonight, Seamus depletions, deadlines, continued chugging of nutritious beverages and working Easter Sunday.

Anyway, the organizers are actually going to PAY participating brewers $100 this year.
Every cent will go to their beneficary, Historic Kennett Square, a 501c3 non profit organization committed to making Kennett Square a social, cultural and economic center in Chester County.

The email reads on
"We will also be reducing the number of half barrels we request from 3 to 2.
We are cutting attendance at the regular fest this year, a good move as I’m sure any of you that attended last year can attest.
If you attend the Connoisseur session as well as the regular fest the appearance fee will be $125. We still need a sixtel of beer or bottle equivalent for the Conn tasting.

We understand that there are many more festivals than ever that you have the opportunity to attend. As this is our 11th year we hope that you feel Kennett is one of the premiere festivals in the Mid Atlantic region. You all are the reason it is successful.

No promoters take a piece of this action. Our event has been run by 100% volunteers for all ten years. We may not always get it right but we think we have figured out how to run a pretty good festival. "

Looks like things are beginning to look up for us breweries.
Three, no, Four cheers for the capped fungi capital.

Day 9: Penn Museum, Chili Cook Off, and Shakesbeer

Day 9: LIVER report: Pure Charcoal

I woke up on Saturday, not sure I was going to make it....

As I had mentioned in a previous blog, I thought I would have this whole beer week thing down pat...I even created a brochure with a cover page that said "No, I could never get sick of beer." "Here's one Gal's schedule through the ten days to prove it."

And, I admit I didn't really get "sick of beer." But I certainly got sick Because of beer all week long.

Bryan from the Brew Lounge organized the run- day of- on his own (and did most work prior) because I had to be at the Penn Museum for the tutored tasting by noon. One week into it, and still didn't get the cloning thing down pat.

I saw that my angel volunteers from Sly Fox, Steve and Big Dan, were there at the museum when I arrived, and knew that I could come back at a later session.

This was the blessing of all blessings because I also had to drop off a basket of beerness to the Khyber for the chili cookoff.

I accidentally gave the P.o.P.e bar my drum I needed to get another. I spent way too much money at Pearl...but got this dream basket that would perfectly hold (3) 750 ml, 3 bottles of hot sauce, and 3 cans. I bought a ribbon, slapped a sly fox sticker on it, and headed toward Philly's original beer bar.

I looked like hell, felt worse, and the first five people I see outside our casey, spense, ryan, mashington, and jenny hatton. Some of which may have, may have looked worse than I.
They all start cracking up at though they've never seen me with a basket before.

But what a basket it was. I was proud to give it to the panel of judges to award. And those judges needed a prize themselves. They were hysterical. They would say the word "cinnamon" and I swear I would laugh. I would've stayed a lot longer, but I needed a nap.
D e s p e r a t e l y.

I tasted some of Brad Johnson's was pretty good.
As good as anything could taste at the moment.
I headed home and tried not to die.

The rest of the day I spent trying to get people to ride the bus to our "Shakesbeer: Ides of March" event at the Grey Lodge. I wish I was feeling better for this because it was my first GL event of the week, and I love that bar. Iwas able to secure 15 people for the bus on the way there, some more on the way back.

We arrive around 10, greeted by a crowned Scoats.
The lodgemaster has royalty in a box and he's ready to share.

I receive my crown first.
For organizing the school bus (through a woman named peanut) I got the queen crown complete with bottle caps....pretty much the envy of everyone for the first time that day. Yeah, looking like a victim of fatigue on a v-8 spot doesn't really warrant jealousy of any kind.

I ran into Mr. Lew Bryson upstairs, with his lovliest of Mrs.
Kathy has been asking Lew to return a plate I brought to his R.O.S. (really old shit) party last August. We've talked about it on and off since then, but no plate return. I wasn't too concerned about it...but it kind of turned into a joke throughout the months...then there it was- I got my plate back in Mayfair.
I sat down with Big Dan, ate a chicken cheese steak (chunks, not slices- just as I like) and felt a little less awful. I had two ginger ales, and finally felt that I might make it.
Just One more day, which actually meant three more events....

The Boys had a great time...a
s did Some IpA gals, Jenny Hobbs, Christine, and April.

*Woody Chandler was also present as our reader for the evening. In one of the most interesting Beer Week conversations that took place, he revealed to me that he bought
a can of Pikeland Pils, a house on the Brooklyn Bridge, and a Three Floyds Dark Lord for $100 from a guy Sam in South Philly. He wanted to know if I thought he got a good deal.
He specifically asked me, because he put the house in my name. Thanks Woody!
Sly Fox is on fire in Brooklyn right now, and now I've got a place to crash after my Barcade event on April 3rd.

Here are some more pics of the crowned court of brewers...

I swear I didn't have a beer despite the slant eyes..

Lance trying to make his crown the coolest (he does have the most royal name)