ASN December 2006/January 2007

Regional News: Philadelphia

By Rich Wagner

When Belgium’s Rodenbach brewery exported a draught version of their celebrated Grand Cru it stands to reason that Monk’s Café would receive half of the 48 kegs destined for the States. When I spoke to Tom Peters he said he was headed to Belgium to taste the Kriek that was specially blended for Monks and made with “an inordinate amount of cherries.” He’s also working with the Proef brewery to create a 6% blonde ale. On December 12 Monk’s will have Sam Calagione hosting a Dogfish Head beer dinner and on January 23 Vinnie and Nathalie are flying in for a Russian River beer dinner.

And speaking of Belgian beer, Eulogy’s owner Mike Naessens was inducted into the Knighthood of the Brewers' Mashstaff (La Chevalerie du Fourquet des Brasseurs, en Français) in Brussels last fall. With the guild’s help his nose is now insured through Lloyd’s of London for $6 million.

Owner John Meyerow created the Tria Fermentation School and ran an impressive lineup of classes starting in October to educate people on the finer points of wine, cheese and beer. The first lineup of classes was truly impressive. For more information call 215-927-7076.

McGillin’s Ale House has gone wireless, so bring those laptops and enjoy the free cup of soup that comes with every lunch order.

Nodding Head’s winter repertoire will include Sled Wrecker (7.5%), the seasonal dark spiced beer, along with another edition of George’s Fault. Gordon is planning a “Single Double Series” of Double IPAs brewed with only one variety of hops. The first will be brewed with and called Ahtanum (8.5%). The recipe will remain the same for each batch except for the hop variety, giving customers a chance to get to know the characteristics that each variety imparts to the beer.

Chris Firey created a Christmas ale (7.8%) this season by adding Hemlock Arborvitae to the mash tun and boiling up a batch of spices for six hours before adding the resulting liquid to the whirlpool and says, “It’s got a nice malt backbone, dark almost opaque with about 30 IBU (nothing crazy) with the spices coming through in the nose and the finish. Also look for “Knock de Chill off Barley Wine” (12%), “Bock Your Socks Off” weizen bock (7%) as well as some innovative “mead ales.”

Brewer Joe Beddia left Yards a while back to get some experience in the restaurant business because he had designs on opening a brewpub. The word on the street is he and a business partner have purchased Red Bell’s Wachovia Center brewing system and plan to open Brasseries des Mars on Front Street just north of Girard, specializing in farmhouse-style ales. This makes three new brewpubs in the works for Philadelphia!

Since they began self-distributing Yards has been doing everything to keep up with demand, and they have rolled out a second batch of PYNK, which, when sold, will bring a total of $1,600 donated to the Susan G. Koman Foundation for breast cancer research.