Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Philly Rocks

I won't go on too much about the great time I'm having here in Philadelphia, but do want to state that this town does indeed rock. Yesterday I started out by checking out the Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and other historic icons of the city. Pretty incredible stuff really, worth the trip on its own. Of course, I'm here to discover beer, so after a few hours in history, it was time to move on to a few places.
  • Triumph Brewing: This is a beautiful brewery, and the beer's great too. They'd just tapped their Belgian Quad while I was there, which was a wonderful treat.
  • Khyber: The city seems full of great dive bars and this really felt great to be in. Their beer selection was good, they've got a new food menu and is clearly appreciated by the folks in the community.
  • Fooderie: 830 bottles of different beers in their last inventory! If you're looking to buy great beer, I don't think you can beat this place.
  • Standard Tap: DRAFT featured this place in the Jan/Feb issue for their gastropub piece, and it was easy to see why. I had liver mousse and striped bass, each were made to perfection. They were offering 11 beers on tap and two hand pulls, all beers brewed within an hour of so of the pub. I'll be back here, I'm sure.
  • 700 Club: Another great local funky dive bar with great beer on tap, along with their the economy beers some of the regulars enjoy.
  • The Abbaye: An upscale community bar, again with the good beer! You'd think this would get old eventually. It doesn't.
  • Edgar Allen Poe's house: Nope, it is not a bar, but where one of my favorite writers lived for four years. How cool is that?
  • Jose Pistolas: Back here again to meet a couple folks that I was more than happy to meet; Joe, who is an owner; Suzy, who is too many things to list here - but they're all cool.
  • Monk's Cafe: Now, this was a place I told myself I wasn't going to go to on this trip, but that changed when Joe got a call from Monk's saying they'd just tapped 1998 Bigfoot. Well now, if Joe's going, who am I to stay behind? This is everything you've read it to be, incredible all around.
A bit about Suzy... I left a business card at Khybers when I was there, apparently it wasn't long at all before she walked in and learned I'd been there. She called and left a voice mail, I left a voice mail and then the text messages began. Eventually we met up at Jose P's for a couple drinks where I learned a bit about her. She works for Sly Fox, a great regional brewer out here, as well as tending bar a couple nights week at Jose P's (I've mentioned how cool that place is), and also organizes/leads a lady's beer enthusiast club called IPA, or In Pursuit of Ale. As if this weren't enough, she also hosts the website I don't know about you, but all that adds up to a pretty hard-core beer enthusiast.

Of course, just about everyone I've met along the way has been incredibly nice to me, sharing stories, beers and the occasional meal. I'm off to New York tomorrow, and there's clearly more happening than I'll ever get around to putting on the blog.

Pictures! If you'd like to see a bunch of pictures from Philly, click here.