Saturday, March 8, 2008

March of the beer fans

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It’s been a week since the Philly Craft Beer Festival, and here’s our look back on it in moving images and sound.

A word of thanks to a lot people: Greg Zaccardi and everyone at High Point Brewing for some really key support; festival organizers Starfish Junction Productions and TotalBru for letting us shoot; Glenn Bernabeo of River Horse for taking the time to do an interview; Joe Sixpack himself, Don Russell, for likewise sitting for an interview (we’ve got some more footage of Don taking about the origins of his Philly Beer Guide book that we’ll be posting soon); and Gregg Bevan of VideoLink in Philly, who, by chance, noticed our work online, and gave us a shout-out and a compliment, and lent some technical advice and even a helping hand. It was greatly appreciated.

So now here we are, a week into March … Philly Beer Week has already notched one day done (the official Friday, March 7th, start), with nine more bottles of beer events left on the wall. (Pitty about the crappy weather on Friday; hope the turnouts for those first-day events didn’t suffer.)

And down the shore, beer enthusiasts will be trolling the aisles at the Atlantic City festival (tickets are still available) today and tomorrow, so get out your funky hats, T-shirts and beer goggles and enjoy the show that is uniquely Atlantic City.

Remember when talking beer, if you describe a brew as having hints of licorice, chocolate, nuttiness, citrus notes ... well you could very well be on the mark.

Or navel-gazing.

We prefer the less Socratic Homer J. Simpson way to discuss beer:

  • "Here's to alcohol, the cause of — and solution to — all life's problems.
  • "Homer no function beer well without."
  • "Son, when you participate in sporting events, it's not whether you win or lose: it's how drunk you get."
  • "Son, a woman is like a beer. They smell good, they look good, you'd step over your own mother just to get one! But you can't stop at one. You wanna drink another woman!"
Homer: Got any of that beer that has candy floating in it? You know, Skittlebrau?
Apu: Such a beer does not exist, sir. I think you must have dreamed it.
Homer: Oh. Well, then just give me a sixpack and a couple of bags of Skittles.

Of course we jest.

So after AC, we’re hitting tomorrow’s Brewer’s Plate in Philly. Beyond that, we may check out the Tippler’s Tour at Once Upon A Nation on the 12th in the Philly Beer Week lineup. Why not embrace those long-lost days when beer was a go-to potable beverage because water was, often enough, teeming with more microbes than a funked up petri dish?

Then it's on to the Real Ale Festival at Triumph Brewing in Old City on the 16th, the period at the end of the sentence that is Philly Beer Week.

Beer. Live it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Here a beer, there a beer

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And this weekend, everywhere a beer. It’s busy in just about every direction of the compass

Westward ho!
Philly Beer Week officially starts Friday evening. Don Russell whose new book, “Philly Beer Guide” was just released, leads a sampling of 22 locally produced craft beers at The Markeplace at East Falls in, of course, Philadelphia.

But wait there’s more: Flying Fish’s head brewer, Casey Hughes, is packing a firkin of ESB for a meet-and-greet at the Good Dog Bar.

Check the Philly Beer Week site for more events. And trust us, there’s plenty more for the next nine days.

Meanwhile on this side of the Delaware, you have a couple of options to sate your beer wanderlust: maibock and lottabock, er uh, lots of beer.

North by northwest
Friends of the blog High Point Brewing (Butler) debut their maibock (draft only) on Saturday with a ceremonial Austrian oak barrel tapping at 2 p.m. We were at their Oktoberfest barrel tapping, so we can tell you for certain it’s great beer served up with good fun. Bring a growler. Also look for High Point's winter wheat beer at Dawson Street Pub in Manayunk, Pa., on Monday (March 10th) for the doublebock bonanza, a Philly Beer Week event, and at the Long Island Spring Beer Fest March 29 at Nassau Coliseum. (From left: Tina, Greg and Capt. Mike)

Goin’ South
Want some action? Head to Atlantic City, the Celebration of the Suds for 2008. AC’s two-day beerfest has grown year to year, pulling in crowds from all around (last year, we ran into a lot of people who came down from New York). Flying Fish and River Horse this year join the Tun Tavern as Jersey-based brewers pouring at the festival. Speaking of River Horse, the Lambertville brewery debuted a Belgian Double White wheat beer (7% ABV, spiced with orange, corriander and lemon) at the Philly Craft Beer Festival last weekend. From what we saw, it was the pick of those in the crowd who stopped by River Horse's station.

There’s plenty of entertainment and, of course, beer. We didn’t see Hi Point Pub (an Absecon bar/eatery tucked just off Route 30) listed as one of the vendors, but if they are there, stop by their booth and sample their crab bisque. You’ll be glad you did.

And finally, video of the Philly Craft Beer Festival is being distilled, er uh, edited and should be up by Friday. Here’s a fast-grab teaser.

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Cheers …