ASN October/November 2006

Regional News: Philadelphia

By Rich Wagner

I recently toured the site of what will be the third Triumph Brewing Company location at 117-21 Chestnut Street with Jay Misson, head of brewing operations. Amid the buzz of saws and pounding of hammers he described the layout and showed me where the brew house and serving tanks would be located, and with the aid of computer generated photos I could see just how it will look, hopefully by year’s end. Jay said Triumph’s Honey Wheat, Amber Ale and Bengal Gold I.P.A. would be the regular brews. “The rest are up to the brewers,” he said, “usually a stout, a lager and some cask beers. We’re experimenting with some sour ales and we’re planning serve some of our beer straight from firkins.” He said they’ll be using some wooden cooperage they got from Germany and he’s planning a fully aged Imperial Stout for the opening. Patrick Jones is slated to be Triumph’s brewer.

Dock Street Brewing Co. was granted a zoning variance for their 50th Street and Baltimore Avenue location and they are shopping around for staff and equipment to realize their dream of a comeback.

Philadelphia Magazine’s Best of Philadelphia 2006 awards included “Best Beer Bar” (and Juke Box) to the South Philly Taproom and “Best Brewery Tour” to Yards Brewing Co. Look for Yards PYNK raspberry beer this season.

On Saturday October 21, 2006 Manayunk Brewing Co. will host a Tenth Anniversary Party featuring a “Big Blue,” kind of like Schuylkill Punch but made with 600 pounds of blueberry puree and finishing out around 8.5%! Chris Firey used his mash tun as a hop back to brew this year’s Harvest Ale with forty pounds of fresh Centennial, Warrior and Cascade hops straight from the fields of Washington State. And if you can call it “dry hopping” he added some fresh Amorillo hops to the tank just for good measure. Manayunk will also have a Presidential Pumpkin beer this fall, using a recipe of George Washington’s that Chris gleaned from the National Archives and made with over 700 pounds of pumpkin meat! Assistant brewer Frank Winslow has moved on to Flying Fish Brewing Co. and his replacement is Bradley Basile, an experienced homebrewer, who Chris says “is learning a lot real fast,” and wants to do an Imperial Coffee Porter called “Hey Joe.”

If you’ve never checked out McGillin’s Ole Ale House here are two reasons to see why the place has been in business for 146 years! On Thursdays the Philadelphia Poker League is sponsoring free “Texas Hold ‘Em” Tournaments beginning at 8:30 PM. The League provides the chips, cards and even offers free lessons upon request. There is no actual gambling involved but winners receive gift certificates and specials include $5.00 pitchers, $2.99 margaritas and $2.99 cheese nachos. And for the first time in its history McGillin’s Ole Ale House is now open Sundays during football season. Fans can watch the Eagles play on the new high definition television sets and purchase a special McGillin’s mug for $5.00 that entitles them to one free beer and the rest for $1.00 each. They can also register to win a trip for two plus tickets for the Eagles vs. Buccaneers in Tampa Bay October 22 (sponsored by McGillin’s and Coors Lite).

On Monday October 23, 2006 at 7 PM at Monk’s Café (16th & Spruce) you can meet Jef Versele from Van Seeberge family owned Belgian brewery, makers of Piraat, Goulden Draak, and many other fine beers, including Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale (cash bar). The following evening Malt Advocate’s John Hansell will be hosting a tutored whisky tasting of some of his favorite independent bottlings of single malts ($50).