|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
|Through the service window|
It's hard to believe that the overachieving Memphis Taproom, that salt-of-the-Earth Port Fishington pub, is only one year old.
Tomorrow at 5 p.m., partners in business and marriage Leigh Maida and Brendan "Spanky" Hartranft will throw open their doors to the rabble who have flocked to the taproom in the last year.ï¿½ Complimentary bites will be passed around (the kitchen isn't open for the regular menu) and some seriously fly kegs will be tapped -- check out the party list:
- St. Pieter's Taras Boulba (a house favorite)
- Schlenkerla Fastenbier
- Cantillon Vigneronne (a tart lambic with muscat grapes)
- De Dolle Dulle Teveï¿½ (rare on tap; sure to make the beer geeks damp)
- Bear Republic Racer X (a contender for Best IPA Of The Moment)
- North Coast Brother Thenlonious
- PBC Fleur De Lehigh
- Fuller's ESB
- Uerige Doppelsticke
- Sly Fox Instigator
- Stone Russian Imperial Stout
In order to make room for all these goodies, Memphis is offering deep discounts on draft beer tonight ater 7 p.m. -- so do your part and help them kick the kegs!ï¿½ Check out your mission-beers on their Web site.
Wednesday, April 22, 5 p.m., Memphis Taproom, 2331 E. Cumberland St., 215-425-4460, memphistaproom.com
|Photo l Michael Persico|
|Beer served mountain-style|
For more than a century, the Saranac (Matt Brewing Company) has turned out craft beer traditional to their German heritage as well as brews without precedent, like their new Pomegranate Wheat, included in their Beers of Summer 2009 mixed case.
A sunglass-wearing, pomegranate-juggling brown bear adorns the label of this Utica, New York beer, and the label promises "wheat beer fermented with pomegranate juice." As one of the oldest extant East Coast microbreweries, it is interesting to see Saranac take on the trendiest juice of 2007, pomegranate, for this offering.
A hearty pour from the 12-ounce brown glass bottle generates quite a bit of thin, creamy white head, which leaves minimal lace on the glass. The liquid is hazy and a pale amber-gold. A nose into the glass reveals a tart aroma that reminds me unpleasantly of tinned Chef Boyardee tomato sauce, or even worse, bile.
Sadly, tentative sips do little more than bear out the acidic spaghetti-and-meatballs theme. The brew is thin and assertively tart for a wheat ï¿½ perhaps a product of fermenting with pomegranate juice instead of adding it after lagering.ï¿½ It seems any natural sugar from the pomegranate juice was long digested by the yeast, leaving behind nothing that says "fruit" or "summer."
Hate to say it, but there is nothing redeeming about this foul punch. Stick to Berlinerweisse when searching for a wheatie with a bit of refreshing grapefruit sourness.
Hurt yourself so good at Split Thy Skull this Saturday, April 11. From 1-5 p.m., Sugar Mom's basement will become a bone-littered Golgotha as serious drinkers try to triumph over the burliest beer of them all, barleywine. This high-alcohol, high-gravity, often murky brew is championed by local and distant U.S. breweries, who give fair warning to drinkers right in the titles of their potions. Check out the array:
- Victory Old Horizontal
- Stone Russian Imperial Stout
- Philadelphia Brewing Company Philabuster Wheatwine
- Sly Fox Panacea
- Founders Backwoods Bastard
- Rock Art Vermonster
- Kulmbacher Eisbock
- Flying Fish Hoppy 3x
- Iron Hill Gold Barleywine
- Porterhouse Aged Old Ale
- Voodoo Love Child
- (maybe) Aged Brooklyn Monster
A few of the brews are not technically "barleywines," which is a pretty loosely defined term, anyway. It's more of a big beer fest ï¿½ Stone's offering is a Russian imperial stout; the Voodoo Love Child is a strong Belgian-style triple.
We're wavin' goodbye to crochety Old Man Winter, but we can steal his beer for one last fling before it's all sweat and hefeweizens, all the time.
Sugar Mom's, 225 Church St., 215-925-8219; myspace.com/sugarmoms
Examiner.com is hosting a poll for Best Beer City USA. Right now Portland is holding a commanding lead with 41 percent of the vote; Asheville, North Carolina is posting 25 percent, and we are way down at third with 11 percent.
Get out the vote, people! We can't let a bunch of kumbaya hippies and slacker West Coasters beat us at our own game. Besides, we have one thing Portland and Asheville can only dream about ï¿½ Fergie.ï¿½ Also, deodorant and a championship sports team.
|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
|Publican-about-town Fergie Carey, hosting Unibroue brewer Jerry Vietz|
A hearty clink and thanks to Adam Erace of Blogalicious for posting this up and passing it along. Delaware's Dogfish Head is rolling out a new beer sure to thrill the bitter brigade -- 75 Minute IPA.
75 Minute IPA is a blend of the easy-drinking 60 Minute IPA and their whopper 90 Minute IPA, dry-hopped with whole leaf Cascade hops, then transferred to firkins and dosed with fresh yeast and maple syrup.
A limited number of firkins will be "simulcask" tapped on Thursday, March 26 at 7:50 p.m. at select Philadelphia, New York and Boston bars, in addition the Dogfish Rehoboth brewpub. Hop over to Monk's Cafe, Standard Tap, Memphis Taproom, Grey Lodge and Devil's Den to get a taste. The Dogfish blog also claims that the first 75 heads to buy a pint of the stuff get to keep their curved, "off-centered" branded pint glass.
UPDATE [25mar09]: Jose Pistolas will also be tapping a cask of 75 minute at 7:50.
|Erick Wong | SF Chronicle|
The best fruity brew you
The first few days of warm weather has us thirsty for some patio-friendly quaffs. We caught up with DRAFT magazine editor-in-chief Erika Reitz, who took a moment to talk aboutï¿½ fruit beers' new place in the sun. DRAFT reviewed six fruit brews in their March/April issue ï¿½ to subscribe, check out their Web site.
Meal Ticket: What are the origins of fruit beer?
Erika Rietz: Oh, I donï¿½t have the best answer for that question ï¿½ the origin of beer is biblical. Actually, the first beers were fermented from honey. I donï¿½t think there is aï¿½ good answer for that question ï¿½ itï¿½s pretty difficult to say.
MT: Are fruit beers gaining in popularity?
ER: Yes! They are creative beers that people enjoy because they have an idea what they will be ï¿½ people can relate to it. With new versions of fruit beers, and youï¿½ll find more on the market now because they are popular, and craft breweries are allowed to express creativity and reach out to new beer drinkers.
MT: Are all fruit beers sweet, low-alcohol brews, like the popular Lindemanï¿½s Framboise?
ER: There is a total range. People donï¿½t know that its not supposed to taste just like one fruit.ï¿½ Say, Watermelon Wheat [from 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco] is a wheat beer and the watermelon is a complement. The well-known Lindemanï¿½s fruit beers are lambics, which are sour and then the fruit is added. People think of those and itï¿½s kind of misleading. Any kind of beer could have fruit added to it. It depends on the baseline style. For example, Gordash Beer Company in Ft. Lauderdale makes Mack in Black, an imperial stout fermented with a Belgian yeast strain with pomegranate added to it. This gives the robust qualities of a stout with pomegranate underlying it.
MT: What foods pair well with fruit beers?
ER: These are so different from one style to the next, so there is no hard and fast rule. It depends on the style of the beer. Sweet beers, like Oï¿½Fallon Cherry Chocolate (MO) or Lindemanï¿½s Framboise (BEL), you should pair with chocolate.ï¿½ If you pair the actual fruit with something, it will probably work with the beer.
|But you can get this tart take on a Berliner Weisse.|
MT: Yes, it seems like some of these beers work best standing alone. That Watermelon Wheat just needs to be paired with a sunny day.
ER: Absolutely! That is such a refreshing beer ï¿½ you donï¿½t pair watermelon with many other things ï¿½ maybe a refreshing salad. But those round, big flavor profiles are so complex that they are just great standing alone.
MT: What American brewers are making great versions of fruit beers?
ER: There are so many right now, itï¿½s hard for me to pick just a few! Dogfish Head in Delaware makes a Berliner Weisse, Festina Peche, with some really wonderful peach touches to it. The Watermelon Wheat from 21st Amendment is one of the best. Iï¿½ve also had my best fruit beers from homebrewers! You can really find awesome fruit beers at your local brewpubs, as well.
Meal Ticket photo contributor Mike Persico made a wicked slideshow of Philly Beer Week for Keystone Edge, an online publication devoted to entrepreneurship and innovation happening across the commonwealth.
Eyeball up Standard Tap owner William Reed hefting The Keg Hammer of Glory, Hitachino Nest brewer Toshiyuki Kiuchi meeting the minds behind Beer Week and a few rare drafts that are now nothing but a glimmering memory.
Meal Ticket readers,ï¿½ share your sweet Beer Week snaps! The best will be published here. Send jpegs along to felicia[dot]dambrosio[at]citypaper[dot]net.
An irrational and consuming fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia. The tongue-twister has small chance of being spoken correctly on your soberest day, and after the frenzied consumption of Friday the Firkinteenth, odds dwindle significantly.
Mike "Scoats" Scotese, cellarmaster and evil genius behind the brilliant beer list at The Grey Lodge, dreamed up a way to change the hard-luck reputation of every paraskavedekatriaphobic's worst nightmare. On every Friday the 13th (four this year!), he dishes out at least 13ï¿½ firkins filled with ales both monster and mild. The Beer Week edition of the Firkinteenth will feature 30 casks, tapped seven at a time, starting at 9 a.m. When one kicks, it's on to the next, in whatever order they emerge from the walk-in.
Of the 30 casks, a few are making their Philadelphia-area firkin debut at the Firkinteenth, including Victory Brewing's Yakima Twilight, Florida's St. Somewhere oak-barrel-aged, dry-hopped Saison Athenee, and Ballast Point Big Eye IPA. See the full list of firkins on The Grey Lodge Web site here.
Meanwhile, on the other side of town, the boys of Yards Brewing are hosting Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em, a festival of smoked beers and barbecued meats. The classic German rauchbier (smoke beer) was made famous by the city of Bamberg, where green malts dried over open fires translated into beers with intense smokiness. These bacon-y brews were meant to be consumed alongside the equally smoked Bamberg sausages, but attendees at the Yards event will have a bevy of firey choices at their disposal.
Local barbecue beacons Sweet Lucy's, El Camino Real and Tommy Gunn's will be bringing on the meat; Christopher Curtin of ï¿½clat Chocolate will be plying the girls with chocolates dressed demurely in smoked sea salt. Live music and an amateur barbecue contest round out the offerings. $15 gets you into the fest, food, your first beer (more than 30 will be available) and a commemorative glass.
Acutely aware of the agonizing decision situation they put their fellow beer drinkers in, The Grey Lodge and Yards teamed up to provide a free bus shuttle between the events ï¿½ so leave the car at home and smoke 'em if you got 'em, it's Friday the Firkinteenth!
The Grey Lodge, 6235 Frankford Ave., 215-825-5357, greylodge.com; event kicks off at 9 a.m. and runs 'til the last drops are drunk, pay as you go.
Yards Brewing, 901 N. Delaware Ave., 215-634-2600, yardsbrewing.com;ï¿½ event runs 11 a.m.-6 p.m., $15
|Tomme Arthur with a (nearly) life-size
cutout of Vinnie Cilurzo.
|All Photos l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
Last night, four rockstars of the brewing world ï¿½ dubbed "The Brett Pack" by the beer press ï¿½ converged on Monk's Cafï¿½ for a dinner celebrating their success, individually and in collaboration, brewing with the wild yeast Brettanomyces.
Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head (DE), Rob Tod of Allagash (ME), Tomme Arthur of The Lost Abbey and Port Brewing (CA) and Adam Avery of Avery Brewing (CO) held forth at the sold-out event; the fifth member of The Brett Pack, Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing (CA), was not able to attend due to continuing work on his new production brewery. Sam Calagione:ï¿½ "He was dumb enough to buy some used 50-barrel brewhouse!" Shouted from the crowd: "Yeah, from some schmuck in Delaware!"
This sort of mocking, brotherly banter characterizes the five brewers' relationships ï¿½ they have shared fleabag hotel rooms in Belgium, invited strippers to their fellows' breakfast beer events and contributed to each others' successes in many ways.ï¿½ One of the featured beers of the evening was their collaborative sour beer, Isabelle Proximus, conceived when they discovered the complex, sour lambics of the Senne Valley on a trip to Belgium three years ago. Each brewer contributed his house yeast and a favorite barrel, and Arthur was named cellarmaster and blender, to watch over the beer's progression as it aged and mix the five distinct barrels into one harmonious brew.
The pale gold, sparkling result became one of the most-sought beers of 2008. A limited number of cases of 750 ml., champagne-corked bottles were produced, selling briskly in select beer bars at $35 a bottle. Though much hoppier than traditional lambic examples, "Isabelle Proximus is a beer I'm very proud of," said Arthur. "This beer can sit on the table with the best of the Belgian lambics."
Arthur also thrilled the crowd of beer geeks with a big reveal: His two brewing ventures, The Lost Abbey and Port Brewing, are in the process of inking a deal with MicroStar to keg his beers for the first time. They should be on draft in California, Philadelphia, Boston and New York soon.
Check out photographic evidence of brewers behaving badly after the jump.
UPDATE [13mar09]: The full menu and beer list after the jump. (Woulda been a nice .pdf of the menu, but Rob Tod knocked a beer over with his cast-ed left arm and wrecked mine!)
This menu was conceived by Chef Brian Morin, of Toronto's BeerBistro, and cooked and executed by Chef Morin, Monk's Cafï¿½ Chef Adam Glickman, BeerBistro Sous Chef Jeff Bokelmann, and the wonderful, tireless Monk's cooks.
Brett Pack Dinner at Monk's Cafï¿½, March 11, 2009
Cantillon Monk's Cafï¿½ Gueuze (Brussels) DRAFT DEBUT; a special blend of aged lambic, including a very hoppy batch of lambic brewed by Tom Peter and The Brett Pack when they visited Cantillon 3 years ago.ï¿½ Served with a raw oyster, salmon tartare, cilantro and avocado over a cauliflower Cantillon brulee custard.
Allagash Interlude (Maine); a barrel-aged saison with brettanomyces. Served wtih a warm mousseline of foie gras with crouton and an Interlude sauteed pear.
Lost Abbey Red Poppy (California); a Flemish-style sour ale with sour cherries, aged one year in oak.ï¿½ Served with a rabbit terrine with cherry sauce.
Isabelle Proximus (Cali/Colorado/Delaware/Maine); a collaboration by The Brett Pack in the style of a classic gueuze. Served wtih lobster macaroni with morels and asparagus.
Avery Brabant (Colorado); a dark ale aged in a Zinfandel cask for 8 months. Served with a roasted partridge stuffed with mushroom duxelle, roasted root vegetables and fondant potatoes.
Russian River Consecration (California); aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels for 6 months with thirty pound of currants added to each barrel, 10 percent ABV.ï¿½ Served with trï¿½s stinky Epoisses cheese, Consecration bread and peaches.
Dogfish Head Festina Lente (Delaware); a lambic-influenced ale made with fresh peaches and aged in oak.ï¿½ Served with flourless chocolate cake, Festina Lente sour cream ice cream and macadamia brttle.
|Sam Calagione, ruining Tomme Arthur's rabbit terrine, baby-bird style|
Adam Avery, Dana of Toronto's BeerBistro, and Tomme Arthur making
Sam Calagione and Rob Tod swap insults.
|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
You can always count on Capogiro Gelato Artisans to turn an unlikely raw material into a treat of otherworldly flavor. Avocado gelato paired with sparkling lime-cilantro sorbetto transcends guacamole influences; luxe black truffles are whipped into a creamy dessert that is fragrant even when frozen. Not to mention one of their year-round top-selling flavors, rosemary honey goat's milk.
Now the Capogiro crew has trained their flavor-laser onto Beer Week.ï¿½ Today at the 20th and Sansom Street shop, Rogue Chocolate Stout and Lindeman's Framboise lambic have been alchemically transformed into frozen versions that unite their unique beer qualities with the most important meal of the day, dessert.
The Rogue Chocolate Stout gelato bears just a trace of the beer's dark color, but fully captures the rich roastiness that makes this brew so enjoyable. A bitter, bracing finish reminds you that this is an adult treat.ï¿½ Like Lindeman's Framboise lambic itself, this gelato's primary flavor is sweet and tart raspberry, finishing with the clean bite of the slightly sour, spontaneously fermented beer.
The Capogiro at 13th and Sansom is getting into the Beer Week spirit as well, with a Kasteel Rouge (Belgian brown ale strongly flavored with cherry liqueur) gelato later this week. 20th Street will be rotating their Rouge Chocolate Stout, Lindeman's Framboise and a special gelato made from Tom Peters' custom Monk's Single-Barrel Cantillon Kriek through this weekend.
You can check Capogiro's daily flavor lists on their Web site to see what is currently in the case at each location.
Capogiro Gelato Artisans, 117 S. 20th St., 215-636-9250; 119 S. 13th St., 215-351-0900; capogirogelato.com
- barstool scientist
- Brew Revue
- Chef Salad
- Dirty Dishes
- Don't Front
- Eat This Immediately
- Field Trip
- Food and Art
- Food and Holidays
- Food and Movies
- Food and Music
- Food and Politics
- Food and Sports
- Food and Web
- Food Blogs
- Food Books
- Food Events
- Food News
- Food TV
- Happy Hour Hopper
- In Print
- Meal Ticket
- Menu Time
- Not So Quickfire
- Notes from the Weekend
- On Wheels
- Patio Drinking
- Philly Beer Week 2010
- Private Chef POV
- Product Placement
- Snack Time
- Stiff Drank
- Ticket Stubs
- Top Chef
- Weekly Candy
- Weird Regional Foods
- We're Here to Help
- Where'd We Eat?
- Drew Lazor's Ill-Advised Rant Factory
- Ill-Advised Ranting
- The Week Without Meat
- Philly Beer Week 2009
- Real Big
- Where'd I Eat Last Night?
- Top Chef Masters
- The Good Word
- Next Iron Chef
- Arterial Terrorism
- Food and Radio