Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday Oct 4th at TND

Another mysterious poem has appeared on Teresa's Next Door's event page. As far as I can tell, no one on the interwebs has attempted to decipher this beerpoem yet. (Feel free to correct me) This is likely because the historic Troegs event taking place on Thursday October 1st has drawn attention. Not to mention, several lucky bloggers have been out in Denver, enjoying the GABF.

Given this beerpoem, it seems as though TND has a Double IPA day planned just a few days later.

Since I've been bogged down in minutia of microhistory all day, I need a beer break. And since enjoying an actual beer is far from possible at this point, I can at least think and write about beer. So here goes:

On Sunday October 4th our beloved Elder will preside over a torrent sea of fifteen hoppy clones:
Russian River Pliny the Elder, Port Brewing Hop-15, Heavy Seas Big DIPA (torrent sea, heavy seas?)

Hercules slew a dinosaur with a sickle to celebrate 15 years,:
Great Divide Hercules Double IPA, Moylan's Hopsickle Double IPA, Great Divide Wood Aged 15th Anniversary Double IPA

Two Left Coast Brothers are both bringing bitter juice,:
Two Brothers Hop Juice Double IPA, Left Coast Hop Juice Double IPA

Burton shall bring a dolphin fish and two dogs,:
Dogfish Head Burton Baton Double IPA, Ballast Point Dorado Double IPA

one sinister,:
Dogfish Head 120 Minute Double IPA ?

and one twice the size.:
Flying Dog Double Dog Double IPA

And who let the conductor drive the stoopid beer engine?:
Steamworks Brewing Conductor Double IPA, Lagunitas Brewing Hop Stoopid

Alright enough daydreaming for me, back to school work. Feel free to comment and correct.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Village Whiskey: Dear Jose

Dear Jose,

We need to talk. I never thought it would come to this, but it has. I wish I could say "it's not you it's me." But this time, it really is you.

Friday night I went to your new restaurant, Village Whiskey, and for the first time, something was missing. It just didn't feel the same. I think you've changed, or maybe we've grown apart. I know long distance is hard, but, really, I promised I'd visit.

I don't know what happened. I supported you from the beginning, I told everyone how much I love you, I congratulated you on your successes, and you gave me the best going away dinner a girl could ask for. So I just don't know how this could happen so suddenly. I feel like I don't know you anymore.

After waiting an hour and 15 minutes, a half an hour over my quoted wait time, I finally got a chance to sit down at your new "classic American bar." I was so excited to see you, I'd been eagerly awaiting this place for months.

I'd heard about this crazy "Whiskey King" burger you have: 10 oz, maple bourbon glazed cippolini, Rogue bleu cheese, applewood smoked bacon and, my favorite, foie gras. Yes, $24 for a burger is a little on the insane side, but hey, maybe so am I.

Well, this is where things get tough for me. I wanted to love this burger with all of my heart. But, alas, I could not. After three bites, the burger meat itself fell apart in my hands and the bottom bun was so incredibly soaked through with fat that it basically disintegrated. I was left with a mess of ingredients and small pieces of ground beef all over my plate. In anger I picked up my knife and fork and tried to tough it out. Beyond the fact that all of the components meld together, with the nicely seared foie especially getting lost, there just wasn't much left to love. It was a mess.

Maybe it's my own fault. Maybe I have no business ordering a $24 burger. But, I did it because I trusted you.

Unfortunately, I wasn't in love with your duck fat fries either. They were over-seasoned to the point of masking the glorious duck-fatness. And this wasn't the only problem I had with seasoning. The Kentucky Fried Quail was also over-seasoned (yes I like Old Bay, but I only like it to be the dominant flavor on Maryland crabs), and under-salted. And then, to further confuse me, your soft pretzel app, was overwhelmed by large grains of salt, and actually fell more into the "bread" category, than the "soft pretzel" category.

There were a few good points. The service, from the hostess to the two servers, was incredibly friendly and attentive. The cocktails were also very good. My "Ginger Rogers," gin, ginger, lemon, Fees rhubarb and sparking rose satisfied every girly drink desire within me. And your deviled eggs were the most perfect deviled eggs I've ever had.

But still, I left dissatisfied. Maybe we've both changed too much. But I can't just walk away from this relationship. We've been together too long. I'm willing to give you another chance; just promise me, Jose, that you'll never let me down like this again.

Femme Fermental

Village Whiskey
118 S. 20th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Monday, September 14, 2009

Grocery Shopping is Dangerous

All of my life, er, well, all of my alcohol purchasing life, I've been eagerly awaiting the day when I could finally escape the iron fist of the PLCB. Life would be so much better, I thought!

I had fond memories of visiting the grocery store in South Carolina on vacation; booze and food in close proximity just seemed more natural. Not to mention, the lack of PA case law, was liberating.

Since others, Lew Bryson, for example, have more articulately expounded on the subject of the PLCB's ridiculousness, I will make my point very succinctly: Pennsylvania's liquor laws make no sense, while Massachusetts' privately owned "package stores" make more sense. While I will quibble over the state's recent tax increase on alcohol to 6.25%, I'm more than happy with my alcohol purchasing options.

Take for example, my visit to the Whole Foods just 5 minutes from my house. This is what their beer selection looks like:

This is seriously no joke. The selection includes a wide variety of American craft brews and a solid selection of imports.

Now, I am forced to consider the monetary repercussions of being able to throw a bottle of Allagash Curieux or Rochefort 8 into my cart, alongside my cereal and noodles. It's an option I've never had, save at the Foodery.

Basically, grocery shopping just became significantly more dangerous. But seriously, I'll take the temptation of booze in the grocery store any day over dealing with the PLCB.

Whole Foods Market
327 Russell St
Hadley, MA 01035-3535
(413) 586-9932

Thursday, September 3, 2009

"My" New Beer Bar

It took all of about 48 hours in Amherst, MA for me to crave a beer bar. We all have our favorite spots; what you might think of as "your" beer bar. In the Philly area, mine has certainly changed a few times over the past few years. But after just two days in Amherst, I already know where "my" beer bar is going to be: The Moan and Dove.

Located just south of downtown Amherst, it's a little bit out of the way of the college crowd. I had read about it on Beer Advocate, and had heard about it from Tom Peters.

Last night, it called to me. I just needed a good beer, in a good place. The music was right, the lighting was right (think a more manly Tria), it was clean/dirty enough, the bartender was friendly and the crowd was mellow.

Beer-wise, it has almost everything you need. The 20 taps and about 170 bottles are nicely dispersed between American craft brews and international selections. I say almost everything, because, well, Russian River doesn't find it's way to Massachusetts.

Perhaps the thing I'm most excited about is their "mug club." This isn't your traditional mug club. Basically, if you try every bottle they have available, you get a mug engraved with your name and the luxury of drinking every draft beer out of this 25oz mug.

They keep track of all of the beers you've tried in a folder behind the bar. While not the most up to date system, it gives you something to read over. And just to keep it interesting, there are also fill-in-the-blank spaces for the bartender to add on things like, "warm and crappy beer of our choice."

Naturally, I had to sign up. After a few of my sour choices were out of stock, the bartender was kind enough to pull out a 2005 Cantillon Lou Pepe Gueuze from the back. Not a bad way to start. In fact, a gueuze was exactly what I needed to remind me of home.

I figured out that only 29 of the 170 bottles will be new to me. But that won't stop me (although having to drink 4 different Lindeman's might). I will be here for at least the next three years. So that's only about 55 beers a year. Everyone has to have goals.

The Moan and Dove
460 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002