Tom and Peggy are the coolest bosses ever and gave me last night off, finally giving me a chance to really get out and enjoy Philly Beer Week, at least for one day. And what a day it was. I can't wait till this week next year.
First event we hit was Meet the Brewer with Tomme Arthur (from Port/Lost Abbey) at Capone's, which is easily one of my favorite joints in the area. The event started at 3, and by 4 when we rolled in the parking lot was full. We managed to get one of the last tables and got some beers and food while Tomme was busy chatting with the crowd. Ryan (from McKenzie Brewhouse) was there and joined us, and nerdy talk ensued. Got some chili and some wings, both good, neither great. The tap list while I was there was absolutely absurd. Weyerbacher Quad (3 years old), 13, Echo, Heresy, Slam Dunkel, Merry Monks and Hops Infusion, Oskar Blues Ten Fidy, Gordon, Old Chub, and Dave's Pale all whiskey barrel aged, 2 vintages of Old Dominion Millennium (2 year old one with brett and 5 year one without brett) Southampton RIS, Boris the Crusher, Rodenbach Grand Cru, and Port Hop 15. Jesus. Initially I ordered a 2 year old brett Millennium but I received the 5 year old. Oh well, still delicious. Went for a sampler afterward. Weyerbacher Echo was really good with a nice amount of rye and potent hops, 3 year old Quad was not oxidized at all and tasted like freaking bubblegum, Barrel Aged Gordon was surprisingly divine with enough complexity and smoothness to kill a horse, and the Southampton RIS was really interesting, very smokey and roasty.
I got to shoot the shit with Tomme for a few minutes - basically just hey I'm a big fan and congratulations, tried to start some conversation with him, but he got ushered by the bartender to another table full of nerds that were asking for him. I was expecting the event to be a lot less crowded and am completely blown away by the amount of beer loving folk there are in this city. Unexpected, and I will know to prepare next year. We ran into the same problem at the other event we attended.
Went home, grabbed a cat nap, then headed to South Philly for another Meet the Brewer event, this one with Rob Tod from Allagash, at For Pete's Sake. This was my first time there, set in the chill Queens Village. The place was packed! I really dig the spot, real laid back inside and good service. We just got dessert which was great, and I had 2 Allagash beers. Victoria, made with Chardonnay grapes, was delicate and delicious, and Black, a Belgian style stout, was roasty and fruity. Both of these beers, paired with black forest cake and raspberry almond pie, were the perfect nightcap.
Again, I only got to talk to Rob for a minute but he seems like a great guy. He was busy talking with other people, and I was getting tired, so we left. It was an honor to shake his hand. Allagash Tripel was the beer that turned me on to the world of Belgian beer. I'd had a few before, but this was the one that showed me how awesome beer could really be. Allagash was instrumental in my becoming a brewer, and was one of the brewers that taught me to love beer.
I'm floored by how much this city loves good beer, and how many people here truly appreciate beer for what it is. Ahh, what a nice city this Philadelphia is. I could get used to it here..