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I took Jane out on a “date” Wednesday for a birthday happy hour at the Memphis Taproom. I met Jonny and Lana, and immediate had a glass of Cantillon Vigneronne. Man I love real Lambics! I actually thought this was a Gueuze at first. The grape flavor is really mellow. I also had a Uerige Doppelsticke, which I knew little about when I ordered it. I was rather blown away by this beer. Its a strong Altbier, almost a doppelbock, but crisper. So good.
They were also passing around plates of food. It was a nice chance to taste some of the meaty options at Memphis that I’ve yet to have in my meat eating adventures. Chicken liver mousse, not really my cup of tea. Kielbasa and sauerkraut, much much more so. I can’t wait to get back there for dinner to have a whole one.
So happy beerthday Memphis, and others…
Saturday was supposed to be our monthly “Beer of the Bike” ride. The plan was to ride out to Victory in Downingtown. But as the date approached, I realized that no one was really letting me know they were coming. I suspected it Saturday morning, and as I sat enjoying my coffee at the Art Museum steps, no one showed up. The rain and the longer distance likely scared people away. No worries, I switched to plan B.
There was an Oktoberfest beer fest going on in Center City that day as well. I figured I’d make the most of my free day and head over there. I met up with the Beer Lass and joined her for a bit (many thanks Suzy!!), pouring samples of the Sly Fox Oktoberfest, first to the “VIPs”, then to the drunken masses. In between I had a chance to sample some of the beers. I kept it light, as its easy to go overboard at a beer fest. But of all the beers I had, I really think that the Sly Fox version was the best. Spaten, Harpoon, and Oskar Blues all had solid offerings. I was a little underwhelmed by the Dock Street, unfortunately. And of the 4 rare beers at the Monks/Shelton Bro’s table, I only tried the Klosterbier, which had a lactic acid/Berliner-weisse-y tartness to it that I wasn’t quite sure if intentional or not. The sign indicated it was from a pitch lined cask, but I didn’t get anything of that nature in the flavor.
I spent the remainder of the day, and most of the night, at the Lehigh Ave Arts Fest. I was really there to see our good friends Adam and Dave’s Bloodline play, with Lois on backing vocals. It dragged on into the evening, but with the kids at the grandparents for the night, it was all good.
Except, perhaps, for the 2 flat tires on the way home. But it was after a late dinner at the Memphis Taproom. So really, after a day filled with beer, music, and biking, can I really complain?
Despite rather dramatic circumstances, Lo and I were able to enjoy a couple beers at the Memphis Taproom this Monday night. The greatly anticipated Fleur de Lehigh was on draft (indeed it was the reason we went) and it did not disappoint. The herbal notes were very upfront, but well balanced. Hyacinth, honeysuckle, ginger, mint, and maybe some dishsoap in the nose (Lois’ observation). Definitely better than the Chateau Kenzo. Though I would have loved to have more malt backing it up. I’m not sure of the abv, but it could have been bumped up a couple points, I think.
Followed up by a Hennepin and a Founders Pale Ale on hand pump, the Memphis Taproom came through again. One of these days though I’m going to go there and not discuss some terrible personal issue. Just enjoy some beers. Next time.
Acting on a secret tip found on BeerAdvocate.com (and sent out to the bar’s entire mailing list), Lois and I finally made the time to check out the newly opened Memphis Taproom. They had just tapped a keg of Deranger, an Imperial Red ale from the Laurelwood Public House in Portland, OR.
The bar itself is lovely, classy and set up well, if perhaps a bit small (intimate, rather). I’d been following their progress for the past several months, and I was glad to hear of their opening. I had been meaning to check it out, but hadn’t been able to make the time to get over there. It really lives up to the hype, in my mind. A little neighborhood beer bar, just far enough away for a bike ride (about a mile from me), a good menu (that we didn’t get to dive into), and great prices! Pints of the Deranger were only $4! I think that all drafts are $4 actually. I’ll definitely be back there.
I didn’t know about Deranger before yesterday; its hard to keep up with all the obscure and delicious beers out there. Talk on the internet suggested that this beer was worth seeking out for its scarcity and deliciousness. I found it to be true. I’m not nuts about hop bombs, but this beer was wonderfully balanced, as hoppy as it was. The front and after taste are mega bitter, but in the middle there was a delicious creamy malt body. And a whipped cream head that kept frosting my mustache. In the end, I decided on having a second one, rather than try something else.
The neighborhood is a funny one. We lived there several years ago, and I’m well acquainted with some of the interesting nuances. Such as the dude chanting, loudly, “this is going to become yuppy central!” as we rode by. I hope he wasn’t referring to the bar, though I suspect there will be some conflict between the “locals” and the “patrons.” Beer is supposed to be a social lubricant, I certainly hope that the neighborhood sees this bar as an asset, not a gateway to yuppification.