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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?
On the topic of fall beers, the pumpkin beer craze has already began. Pretty soon everyone is going to be talking about pumpkin beer, all the bars will have on on draft, the leaves will change and the big debate will be which pumpkin beer is the best.
Well I have the answer to that debate: None of them. Pumpkin beers are terrible. I’m willing to go out on a limb and say it. All pumpkin beers suck. End of story.
Think about it, what does a pumpkin taste like? Mildly nutty at best. What does a pumpkin taste like really? Butter, cinnamon, clove, brown sugar. In other words, the “pumpkin” taste is really nothing more than what is added. So really you’re not drinking a pumpkin beer, you’re drinking a pumpkin pie beer. A real “pumpkin” beer, I would venture to guess, would mean nothing other than maybe a little added body, maybe a vague nuttiness. But really, its more like having a tofu beer. As far as I know, a “pumpkin” beer doesn’t exist. The only thing you’ll find is pie flavored beer.
No thanks. Give me a porter, a stout, an oktoberfest, hell, give me even a cider. I’ll leave the pumpkin beers to the fruit wheat beer crowd.
This weather is killing me. Its perfect. (At least up here in the Northeast part of the country.) Its the kind of weather that finds me outside as much as possible. I hope to be spending the next couple of weekends getting some nice country riding in (Bike Fresh ride this weekend, yay!) Until then, most evenings have found me sitting out back, puffing on my Peterson, and sipping an appropriately dark beer.
I’ve been sticking with the affordable and maltylicious Old Chub lately. But I’m looking forward to drinking around the world of dark beers this Autumn. Forget Oktoberfest, I’m looking forward to some Founders Breakfast Stout, or even some Yuengling Porter, which despite my general dismissal of their lager, is quite tasty.
So get excited! The leaves will be bright, the beer will be dark!
I don’t have much in the way of beer and bike news. At least nothing that you can’t find out from other, better sources. I do, however, have a fun food bit.
My neighbor has a fig tree (somewhere secret) and brought me over a big bag of fresh figs. Coincidentally, on the same day that Josh talked about a fig parable at Circle’s meeting. I decided to try to make fig preserves with them. This decision was based solely on the thought that it would go great with what is in all likelihood my most favorite food combo of all time: Barleywine and Stilton Cheese. The season for this is rapidly approaching, and I’ve been getting more and more excited about consuming some Old Horizontal or Blithering Idiot with some Market Borough Stilton. This is probably also brought about from reading Garret Oliver’s “The Brewmaster’s Table” as much as the weather changing. I seriously love it though. Just the thought is turning me into Pavlov’s dog.
But there will be more on that as the weather gets colder, I’m sure. On Monday night, I threw together some ingredients, loosely based on some recipes from Epicurious.com. There isn’t much to say about the making of it, other than it tastes great, and lots amazingly just like Fig Newton filling. Before they turned brown though, they were a brilliant mess of red and green. If you have never had fresh figs, I would suggest giving them a try. They are only slightly sweet, and make a great pairing for many cheeses.
I managed to pull off 2 fancy dinners, flowers, chocolates, and beer for our anniversary. Yea, I’m bragging. But really, I’m thanking. We have many good friends who were more than generous. If you haven’t before, you need to go have dinner at the South Philadelphia Taproom. Have Adam serve you some beer, on Joe’s recommendation, while Zach cooks you a delicious meal. Seriously, do yourself that favor. And if you’re ever in West Chester (or anywhere else that has one), stop by Iron Hill for a meal. And afterwards, stop by Eclat for some amazing handmade chocolates. You won’t regret it.