Ale Street News February/March 2007

Regional News: Philadelphia

By Rich Wagner

On a recent visit to the Triumph Brewing Company’s newest location at 2nd & Chestnut, Director of Brewing Operations, Jay Misson showed me around the construction site and said, “I’ll be brewing my first batch next weekend.” I laughed, but being a firm believer in the power of positive thinking (and drinking), wished him the best on that score. The boilers, brew house, fermenters and serving tanks were in place and a crane had just gingerly place a refrigeration unit on the roof. With any luck, Triumph brewer Patrick Jones will be ready with plenty of beer for a spring opening!

Dock Street is rolling out their Illuminator Bock in time for the bock beer season, and, with the zoning approved, Rosemarie Certo is moving ahead with plans to convert her old fire station at 50th and Baltimore into a brewery.

On Saturday March 3, 2007, the Philly Craft Beer Festival will be held at the Philadelphia Cruise Terminal at the Navy Yard. Boasting over 120 beers to taste from over 45 craft breweries, the event will be held in two sessions from noon to 4 PM and from 6-10 PM.

Museum Catering has scheduled a beer dinner with Michael Jackson on Friday, March 9 ($85), and a tutored tasting on Saturday, March 10 ($45), at the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. There will be three sessions on Saturday. Call Anna Bauer at 215/898-4890 for tickets.

Brewmaster and author Garrett Oliver will be hosting a Brooklyn Beer Dinner at Monk’s Café on Tuesday, March 13, which will feature some of his special Brewmaster’s Reserve beers.

McGillin’s Olde Ale House was recently chosen to be one of only two Pennsylvania venues listed in Nightclub and Bar Magazine’s 2007 “Top 100 Bars and Nightclubs in the U.S.A.” list.

I missed the first two beers of “Single Double Series” at Nodding Head, but brewer Gordon Grubb informs me the third will be Sorachi Ace named for the high alpha hop known for its lemony character and developed in Japan for the Sapporo Brewery. He will have a Chocolate Stout in time for Valentine’s Day and is working on another batch of Hoptimus Prime Triple IPA, which is brewed with five different hops that work their way into every step of the process from mash tun to serving tank!

Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant has been serving Sangria Ale made with second runnings from their Blonde and flavored with blackberries. Brewer Chris Firey is rolling out another series of Belgians including Grand Cru, Tripel Lindy and Hunnykist” Barleywine. And for something completely different, Chris has developed a Sofa King Bitter (ESB) and assures everyone there will be more California Dreamin’ double IPA. Last year’s “Beat the Brewmaster” winner, Casey Hughes of Flying Fish fame, will be stopping by to brew his extra pale ale.

Yards has just rolled out Chateau Kenso ’07 or CK-07, a bronze-colored Belgian-style ale made with just a touch of honey and spiced with chamomile, star anise and cardamom. It’s light in color, not too hoppy and weighs in around 9%. It will be available on draught at Khyber, Devil's Alley, Race Street Cafe', Grey Lodge, Brownie's, Pub On Passyunk, South Philadelphia Taproom, The Abbaye and Isaac Newton's.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that Don “Joe Sixpack” Russell and “Beer Fox” Carolyn “The Beer Fox” Smagalski recently won the Brewers Association Beer Journalism Awards. Check out their websites for lots of cool stuff.

And last but not least, be sure to check out Sugar Mom’s on April 7 for the twelfth annual “Split Thy Skull” barleywine event.