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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.
I’m eating delicious 2 day old leftovers from KoJa, a Korean/Japanese food cart in West Philly. Is there anything better than food from a lunch truck? For all the great restaurants and “gastropubs” we have here in Philly, the food carts are really where its at. We should plan a citywide cart bike tour. Egg and cheese sandwiches, falafel, kim chi, burritos. Who knows what else there is that I don’t know about!
Vacation was a blast. As if I need to say that. What vacation isn’t better than the daily grind? Even if it consists of some disastrous family road trip ala national lampoons. (for the record, I don’t know if I’ve ever actually seen one of those all the way through, that was just a lame attempt at a pop culture reference).
I was able to fit in some unseasonal drinking, but I’ll save that for the first Friday of July. Otherwise my week was filled with sandy children, poolside Wittekerkes (so glad that I found some down there), seaside bike rides and sunset roofdecks. Very nice indeed.
We leave tomorrow for Virginia Beach. I haven’t been on vacation in almost 2 years, so this has got me pretty pumped up. I got some empty growlers for Dogfish, we have the bikes waiting for the roof of the car, and I’m already wearing my Speedo. Just kidding. Almost.
We’re actually taking a brand new bike for Lois. With much thanks to our friend Tray, of Master St and Abington Wheel Wright fame, Lois has a borrowed Fuji Newest 3.0. This thing is so new(est) that I haven’t even seen it yet. But I know that she is pretty excited to have a new, STI shifting road bike. Its worlds away from her fixed gear IRO that she’s had forever. We’ll be taking it with us to VA, and Lois will be training for her tri on it.
If all goes as planned, I hope to be able to work on my contribution to the latest edition of the The Session. The theme, as decided on by Pfiff is “drinking anti-seasonally.” It suits me well, as I generally love me a barleywine, or whatever high gravity brew I can get my hands on. I also generally like the colder months, when such beers make more sense. But with authority granted by this month’s Session, I will trade in those cans of Wittekerke and Pikeland Pils for warm snifters of Blithering Idiot. Or maybe even brown bagged bombers of Baltic Thunder while sitting on the beach. More to come on this front, I’m sure.
I got word from Brent that the growler was indeed Holy Mackerel Mack in Black. It was an interesting beer, the pomegranate flavor and the malt flavor were definitely fighting for dominance. I think the fruit won out though. It was decent, but I don’t know if I would order more than one at a sitting.
Brent also informed me that the Saint Somewhere beers were bottled with brett. I was torn as to whether to hold onto them or to open them. In the end, I decided to at least open one. So last night we drank the Lectio Divina. Apparently this particular batch came out a big bigger than expected, so the ABV ended up being 10.5%, instead of the 8.5% noted on the bottle. It was a great classic belgian (ratebeer says strong ale, BA says strong pale ale, but I was thinking dubbel), with perhaps a bit of an alcohol bite to it. Fruity, caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, it was all there. Highly carbonated too. I really would love to get another on of this batch and let it cellar for a year or two. I think the brett would really start to add a nice touch, in addition to letting the carbonation and alcohol burn mellow a bit. Oh well. I’ll hold onto the Saison Athene for a little bit maybe. Yea right.
I love getting packages in the mail. Particularly when they are unexpected, and especially when they are beer. On Saturday I got home to a nice heavy box. Inside were some treats from my friend Brent, of Redlight Redlight fame. It was 2 bottles of Saint Somewhere, Lectio Divina and Saison Athene. He’s all pumped up to have a decent brewery in Florida. Looking into it, it turns out I’ve tasted the Lectio Divina at the Philly Beer Fest, not that that helps any. He also threw in a mysterious unmarked growler. And he’s been avoiding my emails (for hours now!). Either he’s trying to poison me, or its filled with Holy Mackerel Mack In Black. Which I can find very little info on. So mysterious!
Its hundreds of degrees here in Philadelphia. The pros raced for 6 hours on Sunday. So after several weeks of very minimal riding, Lois and I got out tonight with Marni. Lo and Marni are planning on doing a triathlon in August. Go girls!
We’re heading to Virginia Beach on Saturday for a much needed week’s vacation. I managed to map a route that takes us right through Rehoboth Beach. Dogfish Head lunch! Growlers for the upcoming week!
In sad, beer related news, Jay Mission, head brewer of Triumph passed away. Lew Bryson has more info, in case you don’t know who he is. Seeing his picture reminded me of when I met him (the only time actually), at a Yards/Triumph beer dinner in Princeton. It was, wow, 4 or 5 years ago at this point. My first beer dinner as well. I had the pleasure of sitting with Jay and Joe Beddia, brewer at Yards at the time, and listening in on the brewers talk. It was actually a pivotal moment for me, renewing my love for beer, and I’m only now really recalling it. So, thanks Jay, you’ll be missed.
For my birthday, our housemate Marlee gave me 2 beautiful growlers, filled with Lancaster Brewing Co beer. They were drank and put aside, and haven’t been refilled. Until yesterday. For some reason, I never thought about growlers much. But after being denied a growler fill Sunday at Triumph (apparently there is an Olde City ordinance against “take out” beer, a shame), I was anxious for some fresh beer at home. So yesterday I stopped by Dock St (finally), and got my fill. I came home with a delicious half gallon of their Sexual Chocolate, a creamy Belgian stout with brewed with chocolate (duh). I don’t know why I haven’t done this sooner. I declare this summer to be growler summer. And I plan on carrying one with me at all times, just in case I pass near a brewery.
I need to figure out a bottle cage or clip of some sort to be able to carry them on my bike…
Lois and I had a chance to run out for some drinks Thursday night at Johnny Brenda’s. Beerlass posted a tip that there may be a newly tapped keg of Sly Fox Jasper Mai Bock there. There wasn’t. But we had some nice alternates instead. We had a pair of Sly Fox Ichors to begin. A bit cloying, and perhaps unbalanced, but it was fine with me. I wasn’t sure what it was when I ordered, but as a quad, it made alot more sense. For round 2, I got a Stoudt’s Mai Bock, since the Jasper wasn’t there. Classic, well balanced, though I was greedy for more than a 10oz pour. Lois tried the Dogfish Festina Peche. She wasn’t much into the tart (a peach sweet tart, in her words), and I can’t say I blame her. It tasted fine, but a full pint would take some dedication. Or, as Lois suggested, it would have gone much better with some pie (in contrast to the Ichor, which she likened to a dessert in and of itself).