July 7, 2011

Happiest of Birthdays for Nodding Head's Head Honcho, Curt Decker

I don't mention it often and I am not sure if he even knows- but Nodding Head was an important place in my early years as I was trying to learn as much about beer as I could.  I remember trading in the usual birthday activities for a woman of 25 years so I could steward the Homebrew competition at Nodding Head. I am not even sure what gave me the idea to do so-perhaps George Hummel.  A couple years later- I left the birthday party of one of my best friends so I could go hob nob at the Sansom St. brewpub with brewers visiting for the 2005 Craft Brewers Conference.

A couple years after that I was staying with a gal that lived right by Curt.  We would run into him walking his dog. I don't know if "intimidated" was the right word. But I had oodles of respect for him. I had seen him around for years- never really talked to him although I had many pints and memories in his bar. I knew that he was pretty sharp--always with a story or witty comment. A lot of people I knew were his good friends, but I barely knew him at all.

I ended up getting to know him pretty well over the last couple years.  Most importantly he's soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much nicer than I could have ever imagined.
He's got his things he does. He loves the Masters, Tailgate dogs, Iced Lattes from Red Hook -and pretty much only from Red Hook - he needs a sandwich named after him.  He's at home with a Manhattan prepared by Kip or George during Friday happy hour at Southwark. Maybe a g and t in the summer. Matt Ito of Fugi has rolled him roll after roll in Haddonfield, NJ. He loves his sports, and he adores his Phils.  He was OG on the whole scooter thing. When he's not scooting his walking his dog, Elvis.  I don't know if I have ever seen a better real-life example of "man's best friend" than those two.  He's part of the earliest days of craft beer in Philadelphia- pouring awesome beers at Brownies in the mid-90s while managing. He's been throwing one of the city's best annual "parties" (that's what he likes to call it) in that of the Royal Stumble. (which is actually this Saturday).

Wish him a happy day.

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