Monday, February 25, 2008

Philly Day One: Summary

Let me just say this right now.

Philadelphia is a better beer town than I would have ever guessed - and I still haven't been to Monk's or Standard Tap!

My morning started way too early, as the cabs and city folk began making their noise at 6:30 this morning, waking me from a poor night's sleep at what felt like 3:30! I tried to go back to sleep, I really did, but after 20 minutes of looking out the window I sprang up, showered and hit the town. My first lesson: Philly is colder at 7am than Sacramento.

I walked around and played tourist for a bit, seeing buildings and statues erected for people I'm sure I should have known; sadly, I didn't. After a few quick hours, it was back to the hotel and time to start my day in beer. I'd love to give you a detailed account, but at this point I think I'll just pass on a few notes about the places I went to today.

  1. Nodding Head Brewery: Was there an hour before they opened, spoke with Gordon and Enrique for a bit (head and asst brewers) and sampled their Berliner Weisse and Saison; both of which were excellent. Most notable item? A masher that is unlike any I've seen before! May be more on that in days to come.
  2. Good Dog: A beautiful little place with great service, great beer and great locals. I spoke with a couple patrons there, had a great time as their lunch crowd shuffled in. Notable? My very first Yuengling, which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, I didn't really mind it at all, just a tad corny for me.
  3. McGlinchy's Pub: Smoky little dive bar with one good tap, a fun bar keep and free WiFi.
  4. Jose Pistoles: Incredible place! Only open six months, the place is operated by a former Monk's guy, people who know beer and do a wonderful job getting great beer in.
  5. A cool little bottleshop next door - they had He'Brew Jewbelation 8!
  6. McGillans Tavern: Oldest in the city, they do a wonderful job at bringing in good beer and not being ashamed to serve what they want to. Owner Chris was a great man to hang out with a bit.
  7. Tria Cafe: Great appetizers, amazing beers for only six taps, appropriately priced. There's a whole story in here, just not tonight.
  8. Johnny Brenda's: Joe Sixpack took me here, and it rocked! Great dive bar, good clams and wonderful upstairs area!
  9. Grey Lodge: Also with JSP, this was tops in the trip along with Jose Pistoles!
I loved the day, the city is spectacular! Tomorrow I continue with a few more stops before heading west a bit. If you haven't been here yet, and you like beer, then you really have no idea what you're missing! Cask ales galore, an obscene number of Belgian imports, folks who know beer and a lot of great food.