May 30, 2008

Happy Weekend-=-here's some Loverboy


Off to Guilford, Ct. for the weekend.
Lance's number one lady lives there. (i'm like number 6).
Should be fun despite the bad weather forecast.

It's been an eventful week over all.
Best beer of the week?

Either Port Brewing's Moonlit Lager (probably my favorite beer moment as I actually stayed in for once, banged out a bunch of work at sipped on some)....or Old Rasputin on Nitro at the NorthCoast Event on Wed. at Jose Pistolas.

Favorite meal of the week goes to Memorial Day breakfast at The Four Seasons....
It was named something touristy grabbing like "A taste of Philadelphia."

Cheesy name or not, this pork product perfection on a plate...
I thought it would break the piggy bank, but it didn't... $22 for all this....
La columbe coffee, best orange juice ever, Cream chipped beef on brioche, peppers and eggs, Taylor porkroll and Habberset Scrapple (delightfully arranged like old school log cabin pieces).

Hope everyone enjoys the weekend they worked hard all week for...
Here' a little Loverboy (they actually never made a video of this song...Its from the Mike Bullard Show, a late night Canadian talk show that lasted four months from 03-04. At least Loverboy's career went a bit longer....)

May 28, 2008

Go on and get yourself some Jasper - Bars that bocked it up this month


I thought everyone (whomever you are) would like to know where the Sly Fox Jasper Maibock from the Bockfest has landed outside the brewpub.

It's extremely limited and there's no guarantee that the liquid will still be pouring when you arrive.

here's the lineup


*Good Dog- 15th st. between Walnut and Locust- you're drinking a seasonal beer, why not try some of their new seasonal item menus with it...(might kick today)

*The Belgian Cafe- 21st and Green
*Standard Tap- 2nd and Poplar
*Johnny Brenda's- Frankford and Girard (definitely not tapped yet)
*The Grey Lodge- Frankford Ave. in Mayfair.
*South Philly Tap Room- Def. not tapped yet
*Le Virtu- You know that great Italian restaurant about three blocks south of Cantina on Passayunk that you haven't been to yet but have been meaning to go to because the courtyard looks so charming and you heard they have a kickass bartender named Rocco> Yeah, that place...
*DRaFting RooM's- Both in Springhouse and Exton- Def. not tapped yet.


You can also drink some of the other limited Bock Beers at
*The Khyber-instigator (will kick soon)
*Devil's Den- instigator, hellesbock (Instigator pouring now)
*South Philly Tap Room- Helles Bock and eventually Instigator
*Race St. Cafe- Helles Bock
*Flying Pig
*TJ's Everyday

Brunch at JBs, Greensgrow and a Saturday in the Park

Saturday
*Lance and I met up for brunch at Johnny Brenda's.... I had just written a little blurb about the outdoor dining..you can't spread the word, if you don't live it, right?

It was really nice...some interesting people watching on Girard ave...
They've gone to a print menu to avoid any chalkboard confusion. Lance got Sausage, Gravy and Biscuits...I opted for a Fritatta with bacon, cheddar, spinach and carmelized onions...

The brunch chef had sent out all sorts of extra goodies for us...Whiskey doughnuts, Sticky Buns and Fresh strawberries with whip cream and lady fingers....

We then moved on to Greensgrow, the urban farm which has gotten much press in their 10th year. Lance needed to snazz up his bourbon barrel planter for the 2008 summer season. We got a nice array that needed only partial sun. Then we toasted the new plants at the neighboring Memphis Taproom. Afterall, I hadn't been there in at least 9 days. They had the Phoenix Pale Ale on the handpump. So very drinkable. Spanky was happy with the way it was pouring. We chatted with him about some potential Taproom events...He's a creative one that Spanky...stay tuned.

We head back to Fairmount to plant when an unexpected car dilemma comes up.
My car window won't go up...just one more problem for the "suzaru."
I've already been having trouble with the axles.
We tape up the window, leaving no time to plant, only time to ride out to the Wissahickon Area of Fairmount park.

We rode just about 12 miles.

That was nice, we made it back before dark with a quick snack of wings Billy Murphy's Irish Saloon in East Falls. Craft beer was extremely limited there- with the only options being a year old Yards IPA or anchor steam. We went for the vintage Yards.

We biked back and grabbed a glass of Cline Zinfandel at Illuminare. It's actually the first glass of wine I've had in months. Lance got a meatball sandwich. I ordered some Calamari, which I rarely order since I overdosed on the mollusk somewhere between 2002 and 2005.

Illuminare just added a new copper bar that sits about 10 and also has hired a new bar manager, Brittany, who is currently working on expanding the beer list. She's pretty funny and a good addition for a place that's already got great pizza. Hopefully she can help fill seats with people to eat it.



Hopefully there will be many more Saturdays in the Park this Summer...Just in case you haven't seen it in a while...gotta love Chicago. 1972.

Memorial Day weekend kicks off on the Manatawny: Sly Fox night at Union Jacks

Friday was a good one.

I already mentioned that I had no regrets about not being beach bound this weekend, however, it was still nice to drive an hour and a half out of the city into beautiful Berks co. for some Sly Fox festivities at UNION JACKS inn on the Manatawny.

I have been to the other locations but never this one.
I was really excited for the jaunt out west. I actually went to PennState Berks for two years.
I remember several trips down 422 west.

We were pouring
*Grisette (a rare saisonesque beer named for French working class women that wore grey uniforms)
*Panacea Barleywine
*113 on cask
*Fuggle IPA from the project
*O'reillys
*Ichor

Here's a shot of Local brewing celebrity, Steve Jacoby, watching on as Tom mallets the firkin...




Tim Ohst and Brian O'Reilly were sipping on their delicious creations...


Many Sly Fox family members were there as well. The night wouldn't have been complete with out Dan Bengal pretending that the Philadelphia Parking Authority had come 75 miles outside city limits to tow my car.

Prior to the promo, I thought I would visit some local pubs on sales calls. We figured on Flying Dog and the Tiki Bar. At first I thought it was the tiki bar where Joel worked, so I thought I would surprise him...but I would quickly learn that there are two.

I decided to go to Flying Dog first. However, I didn't get directions to Flying Dog's front door step. I simply "google mapped" Earl township. Not realizing this I followed my Google map directions to a T. It was a slight surprise as the road got more and more rural. It was a bigger surprise when I saw Caution signs for Pesticide use. I started to get a little nervous that I might be in the wrong area. I thought this is going to be the worst or best bar ever.... My nervousness was validated when I came across this 20 feet later.
Unless, they welcomed me into their home for Peach Daquiris.... I wasn't at a bar...
I got out of my car, stretched, and laughed.

I then turned around and quickly found the Tiki Bar, a fun Spot right also on the Manatawny river where groups can grill up their own food.

Beer was simple-nothing like you could find four miles away at Union Jacks, but you could at least get a Troegs Hop Back or Dogfish 60 min. There were only 3 taps; Yuengling, Abita Purple Haze, and Franziskaner Hefe. The house drink was a hurricane, and that's what they were pushing.


Everyone was rather friendly from owner (whom appeared to want to be perceived as a busboy) to my young, sprightly bartender, Tyler. In addition to grilling your own grub,their decorations were purposeful, as they shells were used ashtrays and the Mousetraps were to keep your change from blowing into the Manatawny.



Union Jacks always has some event going on...upcoming festivities include Blue Point and North Coast....

May 27, 2008

Spreading the word about Philly's new "Speakeasy" despite their deep affection for mass produced witbiers

Okay...back in the swing of things... let's rewind...starting with last Tuesday.

I remember sitting down for dinner with Lance and Co. at Brigid's on Wednesday and ordering a Ginger Ale. A beverage which just begs for a berating of sorts. I told him it was "Gingerale Wednesday" because it was "Back Bar Monks Tuesday."
But it was also "Pr launch party for JL Sullivan's Speakeasy Tuesday."

JL's Speak easy in the old Zanzibar Blue quarters. From what I gather its a high end sports bar/lounge not really having anything to do with the jazz, flappers and forbidden alcohol of yesteryear.

As daily candy angled it-It'll keep Philly couples in harmony as it combines sports (34 HD TVs) and a lux experience...(private rooms and what the website refers to as "chic ambiance).

Upon arrival the doorman told me that "earl" was the code to get complimentary drinks until 8.
The decor was quite bright with white sofas. I didn't get a chance to eat there yet, so I can't comment on the food.

There were definitely beautiful people there, and as the slide show from opening week is already up on the website, you can tell that will be the status quo.

I kind of saw it as a university of sorts if Mcfaddens was the highschool. Not that this is a bad thing...My ideal bar varies greatly with many people in the city...and I am sure these guys wouldn't have had the success they've had if their recipe didn't make several people happy via drunken nights and one night stands following the screaming of "Sweet Caroline" at the top of their lungs.

I guess since this site is called "I'll have another stout," I am going to have to briefly chat about the beer list.
I found it slightly confusing.

At first glance, a visitor might get the idea that they were trying to represent the craft beer segment. I also know that the owners took the time to have a local beer rep give a beer tutorial to the staff...this is all positive...

I just find it curious that both Blue Moon and Hoegaarden are on...And as curious as that is, I find it even more curious that Michelob Amber Bock is on. I haven't seen that on tap since the millennium when I was a young buck at Penn State. $2.95 for 23 oz back then. The majority of products were from Penn Dist. I guess they have the same taste in beer as the Perrier bar managers do...hmm....

A few surprises- YARDS was able to land a handle...also SpeakEASY, a cali brewery, was an easy decision for them. I had one of each- then moved on the Pranqster (in bottle).

I think the place will do well. And I do wish them well. I could tell that the staff was excited to be there...and that's always a great sign. Hopefully the word will spread. If a beer aficionado like Dan Conway is sipping Sex in the City Style, so can you...photo credit: Steve Mashington

On to Monks. Garrett Oliver was in town that night doing a dreamy pork dinner paired with his brews at Osteria. I got word from Casey Hughes that everyone would be meeting up at Monks. I had my friend DFC in tow, and we showed up by 11:30???

The good news is also the bad news this time around. Tom had Avery Crucified on tap...simultaneously with the Salvation. It was the only "Crucified keg" to leave Adam Avery's eyesight. I think Tom said it was the Salvation-aged in oak barrels for 18 months. But not just any oak barrels...they held two kinds of wine. First a Ferrari Carrano Chardonnay then their Savvy B. I think it clocked in at 9.5%. wow. so smooth.
And way to smooth for a Tuesday evening.

Here are some more pics...
"Chainsaw...meet Steven Mashington..Steve Mashington meet chainsaw."

May 26, 2008

Attention all "Pranqsters" North Coast on the East Cost



This WED, May 28th, Jose Pistolas will be pouring four North Coast Beers

*Old Rasputin...Nitro
*Pranqster
*Red Seal- Hopped out red ale
*Brother Thelonious...

Shirt and Pint give aways + Discounted prices + ridiculously good beer = mandatory attendance.

"Bob G" from the Global Brewers Guild will be there.

5-9...

Also- I chose this to be the locale of In Pursuit of Ale's Weekly Meeting...so come hang out with some of the pursuing pranqstresses.



s. 15th st. between Locust and Spruce.

May 23, 2008

Bridge St. Tasting Series to kick off June 5th


Hey Folks...got this in my inbox today from Joel of the

Grainbill Blog....


He is starting the Bridge St. Tasting Series on June 5th* in Phoenixville....
(hmm...what else is in Phoenixville;)

Joel will be conducting tastings at a variety of local businesses kicking things off at Earthmart on Bridge Street (in between Wolfgang Books and The Colonial Theater) we'll be tasting organic beers from Peak Organics and Wolaver's. A taster glass is $3 and you can taste until your heart's content or from 6-9.

He writes, "Earthmart is more than meets the eye, while they offer a great variety of handmade products from kitchen utensils to glassware as well as organic and fair trade food and drink, Earthmart can help you turn your home into a center of energy and resource conservation. From sinks and flue-less fireplaces (which are really awesome) to solar fans for your attic. Where else can you get a veggie burrito and an environmentally safe fireplace in one stop?"

Peak Organic ales is actually sending a rep, and apparently Joel will be "humming symphonies and juggling toy cars" as he pours fine organic products.

There's also speak of an "after gathering" at Iron Hill or Sly Fox

*Also occurring June 5th:

I Have Jury Duty

My Brother Mike turns 32.

The Khyber is as Crafty as Ever....

Quick mention about the good ol' Khyber, what many hail as the original beer bar in Philadelphia.
It may be 2008, but their dedication to good craft beer hasn't changed from the early 90s.
I was in there the other day enjoying a Sly Fox Instigator with Paul the bar manager when I noticed their bottle selection in addition to draft.

Took a couple snapshots...next time you're in the area visiting Triumph or Eulogy, make sure you swing by for a Kasteel rouge or a Founder's Red Rye perhaps....
Keep in mind they added a kitchen, and are doing burgers in a similar fashion to the Royal....just kind of Goldilocks style...

Don't forget about Johnny Brenda's outdoor seating this weekend....

If someone had a beach in a box in the one hand and a mountain (hiking, fishing, etc..) in the other hand, I would hope to get the mountain. I don't hate the beach, but sand annoys me so that I would opt for the higher altitudes.

So you know for memorial day weekend, I will not be joining the fabulous of Philadelphia that still head to Avalon in pursuit of the fountain of youth at the Princeton.

Nope, I'll be right here. I will be doing a promotion for Sly Fox at Union Jacks in Manatawny, but then heading back to the city for the weekend. A weekend promising great weather.

There won't be any picturesque mountain scene in my weekend ever, however, I hope to have to an opportunity to head to Frankford and Girard, aka Johnny Brenda's and take advantage of their fine al fresco dining....

Some oysters, maybe a Sly Fox Helles Bock....

While you're up there, another great bar with good beer and outdoor seating...
...The Druid's Keep, where you can find regulars playing Bean Bag toss, and the most diligent recycling efforts in the city!

May 20, 2008

Extra Extra: The cool crowd invites Sly Fox to play football during recess!

Well... not really.

Through the years I have tried to master the throw of the football- but it just hasn't happened.
Not bad with a baseball but the pigskin gives me problems. But, I bet O'reilly has a decent game.

What I am talking about is a poor analogy to announce that a few bars around the city are going
to welcome Sly Fox to their taps in the near future!

Two in particular that I am gushing about their acceptance are
Bishops Collar and the Black Sheep.

Two spots that I have been going to for years. Having Yards, Sam Smith or sometimes their black sheep ale (and whiskey) at Black Sheep and whatever craft I was excited about at the moment at Bishop's collar.

My best bud Johnny does quizzo every Wed at Black Sheep for years now...and I kept saying "Johnny, Sly would love to be your quizzo feature. It's the perfect beer to sponsor such bar leisure activities. " And here we are almost two years later.
Pikeland Pils on at the Black Sheep and Royal Weisse on at the Collar.

This is h u g e.
It gives me hope that anything could happen.
I could
*suddenly love Bleu Cheese.
*Get my beer on at Table 31 or 10 Arts!
*Win quizzo
*Have my roommate take the trash out
*Have the Felice Brothers perform a private concert for me
*Maybe even learn to throw a football

who knows...

If you are in the area at either spot (17th and locust) or 24th and Fairmount....
Stop in and have a pint.

Here's as close as I've gotten to the Felice brother to date....via computer screen.
Not in actual audience...

May 19, 2008

P i t c h f o r k e d !

It was just brought to my attention via foobooz via blogalicious whisper down the e-lane style that Chef Joe Turissi is out at Devil's Den, the closest bar to my house.

It's not hearsay though, as it was confirmed he was 86'd after a not so favorable review from the South Philly Review.

I only ate there a few times, very much enjoyed the chorizo and mussels but heard mixed things from others. Joe was a nice enough guy and I wish him well.

Hope its an easy transition for the Beer lovin' head honchos...They continue to do a great job with the beer list. I really like the "Curator" they have on right now....

Let's hope they can have the same success with the skillets
that they've had with their taps.

Not too late for the TRAPPISt Tasting @ Chicks...

T O N I G H T @


Chicks Wine Bar and Cafe

Sip on some of the world finest beers...with Dan Shelton

Trappist Cornucopia

A Spiritual Experience

with Dan Shelton

Monday, May 19th 6:30 pm $65*

rsvp 215.625.3700

The Trappist beers of Belgium are amongst the most highly regarded and sought-after brews in the world. These wonderfully rich beers from the likes of Rochefort, Westmalle, Achel, Chimay and Orval have inspired a truly devoted following around the world. Come join world-renowned importer and beer connoisseur, Dan Shelton, for a guided tasting tour of select examples from all of the Belgian monastic breweries. We will also delve into the rarely explored topic of monastic wines and liqueurs, with intriguing samples from Monasterio de la Olivia (Spain), Kloster Abtei Mariawald (Germany) and the Heiligenkreuz Monastery (Austria). .

An illuminating evening with revelations for even the most well seasoned veterans of Trappist beer drinking is in store. We will enjoy several world classic beers, fascinating wines and liqueurs, as well as frank insights on the history and current realities of brewing behind the abbey walls. An accompanying cheese and snack plate from Chef Jim Piano, a Belgian mussels cooking demonstration by local actor and Chef Adam Gertler, as well as additional (potable) surprises courtesy of bartender Jon Medlinsky, will round out this very special evening.

All beers and menu items are subject to change and availability

*Tax and gratuity are not included


Iron Hill Brandywine Beer Fest recap <<<

This past Saturday, Iron hill Media welcomed another sold out crowd to the 8th annual Bradywine Beer Fest. I don't think the numbers are in from this year, but last year they raised $15,000 for the Media youth league. Not too shabby.

I couldn't get anyone to come with me, so times were stressful here and there. Many thanks to Brendan of Stewarts, Paula Decker of Nodding Head, and Brad Johnson (Troegs/beeryard)
for helping me pour a bit.

Sly Fox brought our Weisse and Pale that both kicked toward the end of the fest and the same time. There was actually one lassie who drank nothing but Royal Weisse the entire day.

My pleasant surprise of the day was Riverhorse's Double wit,W2. This is part of their Brewer's Reserve series. Wit is never my go to style, but this was great. No off flavorings like some other mass produced witbiers out there. I chatted briefly with of the new owners, Chris Walsh. He was very proud of what Riverhorse has accomplished in the last year. I shared some nice words about seeing them pop in the market more. That's attributed to Bella Vista beer dist. as well as the work of him and his partner.




I got to see many fine folks of the industry and was unfortunately hit on a bit too much. Not by the industry folk of course...that's only one of them.

The worst line I heard of the day, was "Hey Pretty in Pink, can I get a budweiser, or how about a coors light?"


We ended the day with some great eats inside. Note: If you ever dine with Steve Mashington make sure you're ready for 7 apps.



Here are some snapshots of festival goers, from the young and innocent Sage Hoffman to hosting mad brewer Bob Barrar...


And my personal favorite...

"The answer my friends is blowing in the wind...
the answer is blowing in the wind..."

May 16, 2008

The Goddess of Radnor: Maia has arrived.





I woke up the other day, got some emailing out of the way, got in my car and was suddenly in Radnor.

(76 to 476 south- get off at St. Davids, make a right and it's up on your right about 3/4 of a mile or take train to Villanova and walk 1/2 a mile).

Maia had been open exactly a week that day and I had yet to visit and check out its radness. I rarely use the word "rad," but we are in radnor and it's appropriate.

Maia is the greek goddess of spring, from which we actually derive the month of May, so it's only fitting that their opening slated for Fall of 2007 be delayed.

It's like a complex of greatness. An espresso bar, Beer take out, Market/Deli, Bistro and 200 seat restaurant wrapped up in one rather big package delivered to you by Scott Morrison of Nectar and Basil as well as the Feury bothers, Patrick and Terence, of Nectar and Striped Bass (stein era) respectively.

When I first arrived I said to the amicable host that I was by myself and would be dining....I didn't see the bar at first...When you first walk in you are in such awe of everything, you might not see the large rectangular bar on your right. first she steered me towards the espresso bar then I was relieved I could sit and have a pint with my lunch. A pint of pikeland pils of course.

No one was at the bar, so I immediately appeared like the young lady lush sitting by her lonesome drinking in the middle of the day. perfect. It's bad enough I've got the oldest car in the parking lot, and a few more georges then bens in my purse. Now they're really judging.

But Timmy my bartender was the best. He had no other guests at the bar so we became fast friends. He even gave me a guided tour so I could check out the restaurant upstairs -that is still about two weeks out.

It's two days later and I still can't calmly talk about their French Onion Soup. The croute had a mix of four different cheese. The onions were sweet and caramelized. Without having any other french onion soup quite stand out like this, I'' go ahead and say it was the best FO I've ever had.

I was actually full after the soup but went on to get the Chocroute. A melange of sausages: Bratwuest, knockwurst and a frankfurters, they were hanging out in some Kraut with some fatback accompanied by whole grain red mustard. Having worked for a German chef my first two years out of college, I am quite at home nibbling on some links. The presentation was interesting, they came housed in little red pots.

The beer line up was very impressive. A list done by PLCB sommelier Melissa Monosoff (formerly of the Four Seasons and Striped Bass- thus the Feury connection) with the outsourced assistance of consummate counselor, Matt Guyer of the Beer Yard, just a mile or so away. Drinkers can look forward to Troegs Pale Ale, Geant Goliath, Sly Fox Pikeland Pilsner, Founders Centennial IPA, Allagash White and many more.

You can even sit in the bistro area to the right, grab one of their two hundred bottles and drink it right there....it's like the most upscale funky cafeteria setting I've ever seen.

The owners were bustling around, all snazzed up making sure things were running as should be.

There was a very interesting play with raw materials of wood, glass and metal.
Timmy told me specs on what trees the wood came from but I didn't get a chance to write it all down. The tree stump that is the host stand is actually the same tree that they used for the majority of the flooring.

Not too much of an official website yet...this is the only thing I could find.

Below are a bunch of pics but they don't quite get the job done. Even good ol' Ripley would tell you to see it to believe it.

You can read more here or there.