Ale Street News June/July 2007

Regional News: Philadelphia

By Rich Wagner

And the winner is… Flying Fish Farmhouse Belgian Ale, which received the “Best of Show” award at the Ninth Annual Manayunk Brewfest in April. Yards Philly Pale Ale came in second (or tied with first, depending on who you ask) and Weyerbach’s Blithering Idiot placed third. Manayunk brewer Chris Firey is planning a Lederhosen German Wheat for the summer months and his Blonde American lager “knock-off” is crisp, clean and better than ever. Legacy Brewing Co. had artist Deric Hettinger painting during the event. He’s been doing this at other beer festivals, and two of his paintings have become the artwork for Legacy’s Hedonism and Midnight Wit brands.

Nodding Head’s Gordon Grubb was pouring his “All Right All Night” Espresso ale which was a real show stopper. He said the next in his “Single Double” series will be a double IPA brewed with Summit hops, the flavor of which he described as being citrusy “in a tangerine kind of way.” The Head will be pouring their famous Ich Bin Ein Berliner Weisse and Monkey Knife Fight all summer long. This year’s Royal Stumble will feature 16 breweries with a “Running of the Bulls” theme July 14 from 1-5 PM.

For $35 you can now join Independence Brewpub’s mug club. Members get $4 refills Monday-Wednesday, 20 oz. for the pint price at all times and, to top it off, a free meal and a beer on their birthday! Brewer Tim Roberts says they’ll be pouring a Belgian White for the dog days of summer.

Yards Brewing Co. has rolled out a Belgian Pale Ale they describe as “Saison’s Sexy Sister.” It’s a lot like their Saison but drier and more lemony for summer quaffing. Look for it on tap at The Khyber, South Philly Taproom and Grace Tavern. On July 15 they’ll be hosting a “Buy Fresh Buy Local Week” kickoff party at the brewery and cap off the week with “Good Food Good Beer the Rest is History” at Head House Square on July 21.

Of course the big news in town is the opening of Triumph Brewery near Second and Chestnut Sts. in Old City which gives Philadelphia another brewpub and adds one more star to the “constellation of beer bars” in that neighborhood.

Eulogy’s Mike Naessens is expected to open the Beneluxx Tasting Room at 33 S. Third St. this summer with 12 Belgian beers on tap and 50 bottled products.

Suzanne Woods’ “In Pursuit of Ale” club recently met at Jaeger’s at 45 S. Third St. which boasts 35 taps! They also scheduled a meeting at the recently re-opened Chick’s Bar at 614 S. 7th St. which has a good selection of local beers.

In Northern Liberties, the Ortlieb’s Jazz Haus changed hands, got a makeover, and reopened in March. The focus is still very much on the music, but there’s a new emphasis on beer with a new 12 tap tower and lots of bottled beers to choose from.

Tavern 17 at 1701 Locust St. opened in May with an interesting beer selection, and, not too far away, a new Tria Café is expected to open very soon at the corner of 12th & Locust.

The Yello'Bar, 2425 Grays Ferry Avenue opened in April. They’ve got a dozen imports and craft brews on tap with a selection of over 50 bottled products.

James Restaurant at 824 S. 8th St. recently got “3 bells” from Inquirer Food Editor Craig Leban. They’ve got a good beer selection and have incorporated beer into their recipes including a “Sam Smith Nut Brown Mousse.” And speaking of cooking with beer, Carolyn “Beer Fox” Smalgaski has lots of interesting recipes on her site.

If you’re a fan of Belgian food and drink be sure to check out the new ZoT Restaurant at 122 Lombard St. This new venue features over 150 beers from around the world as well as an extensive wine selection, and on Wednesdays they have “Restaurant Industry Night” with 20% off to those in the trade.

Monk’s Café will be hosting a Stoudt’s 20th Anniversary Dinner on Tuesday June 12 at 7 PM. They recently sponsored a dinner to help introduce Wolaver’s Certified Organic Ales to the Philadelphia market. Meanwhile, Tom Peters is working at a fevered pace to get “The Belgian Café” at 21st and Green Sts. open. He hopes that will be in June and says they’ll start off with a dozen draft and over 200 bottled beers, a tasty wine selection, an array of scotch whisky and tequila, and an affordable food menu.

June is “Extreme Beer Month” at McGillin’s Old Ale House and they’ve got lots of events planned with appearances from Troeg’s (6/7), Flying Fish (6/12), Sly Fox (6/14), Legacy (6/21) and Weyerbacher (6/28).

July 13 will be Friday the Firkenteenth XVI at the Grey Lodge Pub at 6235 Frankford Ave. in “The Great Northeast.”

In other brewpub news, in early May three flatbed trucks delivered brewing equipment to the new Dock Street location at 50th and Baltimore Ave.