Ale Street News April/May 2007

Regional News: Philadelphia

By Rich Wagner

Spring is the time of year when peoples’ fancy turns to… BEER! And the Philly Craft Beer Festival at the Navy Yard’s Cruise Terminal was the perfect place to launch the festival season with a stunning array of bock beers! Andy Musser was pouring Anchor’s Bock Beer (5.5%); Stegmaier rolled out their Brewhouse Bock (6.5%); Monk’s Café was pouring Urthel’s Bock (9%) and of course Dock Street was proudly presenting the return of their Illuminator Bock (7.5%).

The following week Michael Jackson returned for the 17th Annual beer tasting at the University of Pennsylvania where he and Sam Calagione presented an impressive lineup of “Extreme Beers.” Afterwards participants could select from nearly 150 products to sample. Plans were announced to create a Philly Beer Week next March and a website is in the works.

Manayunk Brewing Co. will be holding their 9th Annual Brew Fest Extravaganza on Saturday April 28th from noon to 4 PM. Suzanne and Tim Ackerson organized something a little bit different for the festival this year. Dave Houseman along with a team of judges will be stationed in the “Tiki Bar” where each brewer can submit one entry and compete for a “Best of Show” trophy. Participants of the event can discuss beer there and vote for their favorite which will receive a “Tasters’ Choice” trophy.

The Grey Lodge will be hosting their Fifteenth “Friday the Firkenteenth” on April 13 and “Stout Season” opens the same time as Trout season and lasts for thirteen weeks with a featured “beer of the week.” On Friday April 20 Grey Lodge will be hosting an Arrogant Bastards and Rainy Day Women event where “Everybody must drink Stone” and on Monday April 23 they will celebrate St. George Day with a lineup of English beers.

On Saturday May 19th Yards will be participating in the Second Annual Trenton Ave. Arts Festival which includes the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby with proceeds going to the East Kensington Neighborhood Association. On Saturday April 21 at 2 PM I’ll be giving a presentation entitled “The Breweries of Brewerytown and Vicinity” at Yards Brewing Co.

Look for the return of Boho Pils, Spring Ale and Monkey Knife Fight at Nodding Head Brewpub as the seasons change. Brewer Gordon Grubb just brewed a “beefed up” version of Billpayer Ale and says the next in the Single Double Series will be made with Summit hops although he’s probably going to make another batch of Hoptimus Triple IPA or 3 C first.

Monk’s Café will be hosting a New Belgian Brewery Dinner on Tuesday April 10 at 7 PM. On April 22 also at 7 PM Stephen Beaumont will host a beer dinner featuring some fine Michigan beers and regional cuisine. Lucy Sanders, the Beer Cook will collaborate with Monk’s Adam Glickman for a spectacular beer dinner tentatively planned for May 15 at 7 PM. And on May 22 Monk’s promises to bring up all their beer from Stone Brewing Co., some of which have been “cellaring” since 2003!

Tom Peters has been lining up lots of exciting things for Monk’s Café over in Belgium. He says his Gueze is “flying out the door” and plans to go back this summer to make some more. He also wants to pick the cherries while they’re in season and add them to the barrel himself for a house Kriek beer. Since raspberries will also be in season he’d like to do a framboise as well. Tom says Brewster Hildegard van Ostaden of Brouwerij DeLeyerth (Urthel) is now brewing in LaTrappe Koensheben, Netherlands and her new trappist beers are better than ever! He’s importing a shipment of their above-mentioned bock beer in draught.

And believe it or not, there’s a new Belgian restaurant in town called ZOT at 122 Lombard St offering Belgian cuisine, wines and beers.

Triumph Brewery and Restaurant at Second and Chestunt Sts. has been busy filling their tanks and with any luck you’ll be able to sample some well-lagered brews any time now.