Philly Beer Week 2009
|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
That's Marc Vetri, Jose Garces and Brooklyn Brewery's Garrett Oliver hanging at Amada after a Brooklyn beer dinner last night.
I love this passage about Oliver from Burkhard Bilger's Nov. 2008 New Yorker piece on Dogfish Head (the craft beer industry's Orson Welles! Bilger kills it):
Oliver, who is forty-six and black, with a trim beard and a resonant voice, has done his best to become the respectable face of craft brewingï¿½its Orson Welles. While [Dogfish Head owner Sam] Calagione wears jeans and a rumpled shirt even on the ï¿½Todayï¿½ show, Oliver attends almost every event in a jacket and tie. One blazer bears the Brooklyn Brewery logo, woven in steel by the same tailors who stitch crests for the British Royal Family, and his beers have some of the same suavity. ï¿½From what Iï¿½ve seen, a lot of people still think of us as kids playing with toys,ï¿½ he told me. ï¿½So anything I can do to ennoble beer is worthwhile, whether dressing up the packaging or dressing up for a beer dinner.ï¿½
|Killer graphic design, better beer.|
|The Boston Phoenix|
Mikio Kiuchi, brewer of Japan's preeminent craft beer label, Hitachino Nest, will be meeting and greeting at Jose Pistola's tonight beginning at 5 p.m. Matthius B. Niedhart of prestigious importer B. United will be making the rounds, as well.ï¿½ Jose's owners, Casey Parker and Joe Gunn, have pulled in some rarely-seen drafts to welcome Kiuchi, Niedhart and all the drinkers surely descending on their establishment tonight.
Hitachino Ginger Ale, belgian-style White and Espresso Stout will be poured on draft, as well as Hitachino XH in bottles ï¿½ XH isï¿½ an American-style strong ale matured for 3 months in Shochu (distilled sake) barrels.
The bold brews of Kiuchi have more in common with experimental beer from Belgium's smallest breweries, like De Dolle, than with typical Japanese light lagers. It is fitting that DeDolle's unusual Christmas ale, Stille Nacht, and tart, funky triple, Dulle Teve, will be on draft tonight, too.
Jose Pistola's, 263 S. 15th St., 215-545-4101
|photo | brian howard
Just a reminder that you should attend tonight's Arcadia/New Holland Beer and Cheese Smackdown, which I have the honor of hosting, at The Sidecar (2201 Christian St.,215-732-3429, thesidecarbar.com).
For just $12, you get to sample six cheeses (courtesy of Claudio) and a total of 12 beers to decide which Michigan-based brewery is tops when it comes to pairing. Fred Bueltmann of New Holland and Tim Suprise of Arcadia will be in attendance to discuss their beers and, of course, talk a little smack to each other.
The competition is scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m., but GET THERE EARLY to ensure you get a ticket. Space is very limited.
See you there!
It's here, it's here!ï¿½ As the Keg Hammer of Glory is conveyed from The Grey Lodge to the Comcast Center for Opening Tap tonight, the start of Beer Week inspires feelings both delightful and dreadful.
Ten days ofï¿½ happenings last year were a Herculean feat for those working (and enjoying) the festival.ï¿½ This year, the ante has been upped in every way.ï¿½ Beer Week has grown in size and scope -- last year, we had one Tuesday night of Meet The Brewer events. This year, the schedule is so clogged with brewer appearances, I'd be surprised if these men and women have anything more than bones left of their shaking hand.
Brewers are not the only ones overbooked. Chances are, you're not getting a seat at your usual bar unless you arrive at 11:30 a.m. with the staff.ï¿½ In all this mania, it's easy to overdo it --coming out the other end of the week without walking pneumonia or being brandedï¿½ "permanently banned"ï¿½ takes a bit of strategy.
MAKE A PLAN: You can't get to everything. Hit up the Beer Week Web site now, pull up each day's calendar, and write down which events you must attend.ï¿½ Scope start-times, especially.ï¿½ A few popular events last year -- like the South Philly pub crawl -- were so crowded they became miserable.ï¿½ Arrive early and exit when things become too reminiscent of a sweaty frat party.
GET ON THE BUS: How cool are you going to feel if all you get out of Beer Week is a DUI?ï¿½ Lose the car keys for the week and grab a SEPTA Sip Safely pass that grants you all-day travel on bus, subways, trolleys and regional rail for $9.ï¿½ Also, temperatures are predicted to be in the fifties and sixties for much of the festival -- let's you and me walk to the bar!
HYDRATE: The pros know, you gotta drink water.ï¿½ Tip your bartender a buck to keep a pint glass full of H20 alongside that 12 percent barleywine, and things will look a lot rosier in the morning.
FEED: High-grav brews are guaranteed to wreak havoc on an empty stomach.ï¿½ Thanks to PA's puritanical Blue Laws, the majority of bars participating in Beer Week also serve damned good food.ï¿½ Get a burger, or join your fellows streaming towards Center City Pretzel Co. (819 Washington Ave.) at midnight for a trio of fresh-baked, hot soft pretzels.
MOVE IT: Take part in one of the runs or bike rides scheduled for each weekend of the fest.ï¿½ Your fat ass will thank you later.
Kite & Key owner Jim Kirk (left) and Yards' Tom Kehoe will fight over this mask.
Photo | Michael Persico
- Felicia D. runs down her picks for the best events of PBW09. Among the highlights: Yards Brewing founder Tom Kehoe and Kite & Key owner Jim Kirk's March 14 sumo wrestling match. At stake: Kirk's Eagles-themed luchador mask.
- Nick Norlen, who writes CP's Running Numbers column, had never tried beer until recently. He documents his first foray into the world of hops in "The 25-Year-Old Teetotaler."
- Sure , all the city's most prominent drinkeries are going to be slammed for the next 10 days. But what about the places with kick-ass draft lists that you don't hear about as often? Brian Howard runs down Philly's Top 5 Underappreciated Beer Bars.
- Fork, Le Bec-Fin, The Four Seasons ï¿½ more and more of the city's high-end restaurants are getting their craft beer games right. Tim Hyland tracks the trend ï¿½ move over, wine.
- In Small Bites, we've got quick hits on Troegs Nugget Nectar, barnivore.com, Ferran Adria's Inedit beer and an ambitious Citywide Special-related move uncovered by staff writer Isaiah Thompson.
- Nikki Volpicelli shares even more Beer Week picks in her What's Cooking column.
- Believe it or not, we actually had some room for non-beer-related coverage this week! Check out Feeding Frenzy, where I'm sharing info on Williams Cafï¿½, the return of West Philly's Gold Standard, lunch at Bistrot La Minette and tomorrow's Beer and Cheese Smackdown at The Sidecar.
Meal Ticket is giving away two passes to this year's Brewer's Plate, scheduled for this Sun., March 8 from 4 to 7 p.m. at UPenn's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (3260 South St.). Now in its fifth year, the event brings together local restaurants and local breweries, who team up to pair dishes with 3-ounce pours of well-matched beer.
Just a few of this year's participants on the beer end: Dogfish Head, Earth Bread + Brewery, Nodding Head, Philadelphia Brewing Co., Sly Fox, Stoudt's, Triumph, Troegs, Victory, Yards.
And here's just a portion of the restaurants that'll throw down: Bar Ferdinand, Belgian Cafï¿½, Cantina Dos Segundos, Distrito, El Camino Real, Pub & Kitchen, South Philly Tap Room Southwark, Tinto, Tria.
Want to win? All you have to do is be the first person to e-mail drew.lazor @ citypaper.net with the correct answers to our beer trivia quiz. DO NOT LEAVE ANSWERS AS A COMMENT.
Questions after the jump. Good luck!
UPDATE: OK, so we might've screwed up a little bit. Turns out there's not really a definitive answer to one of our questions. Taking this into consideration, we feel it is only fair to crown TWO winners. Congratulations to Meal Ticket readers Marc Hensley and Jason Portnoy, who'll both get a pair of tickets.
Answers after the jump.
- What two events inspired the creation of Philly Beer Week?
The Book and the Cook (out of which the actual Brewer's Plate grew, so that was also an acceptable answer) and late, great beer writer Michael Jackson's tutored tastings at the Penn Museum were the two events that truly inspired the creation of our city's smashing Beer Week festivities.
- There were many local winners at the 2008 Great American Beer Fest in Colorado. Name at least TWO Gold Medal-winning breweries and what categories they won in.
Everyone from Sly Fox to Iron Hill to Dogfish Head took home golds at the most recent GABF. You can check out the full list of winners on the Beer Fest's Web site.
- According to the original text of the Reinheitsgebot, what are the only elements that can be included in German beer?
According to the ORIGINAL TEXT of Germany's beer purity law, the only ingredients allowed in German beer are water, barley and hops (or "wasser, gerste and hopfen," as purist Joe Sixpack submitted). But what about yeast? Well, the Reinheitsgebot originated in the late 15th century ï¿½ before dudes even knew what yeast was. Tricky, I know.
- In England, what alcohol-by-volume measure is required for something to be called a "session beer"?
Here's where things got a little funky. In concocting this question, Team Meal Ticket was working with the knowledge that 4 percent was the ceiling for easy-drinking session beers in England. We heard this from several sources. After consulting several other sources, however, it became clear that there truly is no hard and fast ABV applied in the UK. Basically, if it's 5 percent or under (and there are exceptions aplenty to this), it can be called a session beer. That's why there are two winners.
- Name at least TWO locally produced beers making their official debuts during Philly Beer Week 2009.
Joey6 recently posted a mouthwatering list of all the new beers on his blog.
|Photo l Michael Persico|
Éclat Master Chocolatier Christopher Curtin is used to plaudits, accolades and brown-nosing from culinary luminaries and media types alike. His caramels were named "World's Best" by Vogue (those skinny bitches ate caramels? Oh, false alarm, it was Steingarten), and he was the first American to be named a Konditor [Master Pastry Chef] by Handwerkskammer Zu koln in Cologne, Germany. The candy man is adding a crafty flair to his creations with a new six-pack of truffles infused with local brews. Their release is timed to coincide with the building Beer Week frenzy: The sixer of sweets can be purchased at the Beer Week kickoff event, Opening Tap.
A thick, crisp shell of high cacao-mass chocolate surrounds the creamy truffle centers. They are not too sweet — definitely a grownup's dessert — and the beer flavors are subtle, appearing in the finish of each bite. Curtin selected a variety of styles from the local breweries, from a complementary chocolate stout to sharply contrasting pale ales.
The truffles include Iron Hill oak-aged Cassis, a traditional Belgian sour ale; Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron, a brown ale aged in massive wooden vessels; Nodding Head Chocolate Stout; Victory Brewing Hop Wallop; Stoudt's Fat Dog Imperial Oatmeal Stout and Yards India Pale Ale.
Éclat's six-pack of beer-infused truffles is $15 and can be purchased at Opening Tap, March 6, 7 p.m. at the Comcast Center, 17th & JFK; Fork, etc., 306 Market St., 215- 625-9425; or by calling Éclat Chocolate, 610-692-5206 for mail order.
Don Russell, aka Joe Sixpack, is one of the founding fathers of Philly Beer Week. One day, our children will take their first sip of Pennsylvania-brewed craft beer and raise a glass in homage to his munificent foresight. Much like Thor had his golden hammer, the local beer gods have been delivered a tool for the ages. Behold The Keg Hammer of Glory, via Don's blog Beer Radar.
The hammer will be reverently transported to Opening Tap by a team of (hopefully burly) marathon runners, and used to ram the bung into the inaugural cask. Still no word on who is worthy enough to wield this Tool of Legend; last year it was Mike Nutter.
|The Hammer in the forge of the beer gods|
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