You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2008.

Going through my Google Reader I found some bits from around the web that I wanted to share.

Per the Bike Coalition, they are (planning on) building a continuation of the Valley Forge trail.  It should go all the way out to Exton.  Could it be that in the future one could ride all the way to Victory Brewery on a trail?  I sure hope so.

A good post over at the 100k house blog about the hop shortage and how it might lead to positive change, along with the floundering economy and oil crisis.  If you don’t know about this project (or care about sustainable development), you should check it out.  It’s exciting.

Some beer and cheese events via Joe Sixpack.  I never get to go to these, but I’ll never stop dreaming.  I love cheese almost as much as beer.

 This Sunday is the Philadelphia Marathon.  They don’t allow bikes, so I won’t be doing it.  But Bryan from the Brew Lounge is.  Send him some encouragement, then maybe buy him a beer at the Tiedhouse afterwards.

And as my family grows, we need to be more creative in our cycling.  I’d love to think that we could go carless, like the family described over at Cyclicious, but I don’t know if Lois is on board for that.  I wouldn’t mind having an Xtracycle though.

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Prompted by a comment to a comment last week over at Bike Hugger, and after last week’s night of indulging in some high alcohol beers, I wanted to comment the idea of session beers.  I generally am drawn to the heavier beers, high ABV, full bodied, big flavors.  But in trying to expand my palate, I’ve been really trying to spend some time appreciating lighter beers.

Thankfully, Philadelphia beer culture is full of session beers.  Without getting into a well structured list, there are decent session beers from many of our local favorites, Earth, PBC, Victory, Sly Fox; as well as a great selection of easy drinkers at most bars in the area.  My recent Troegs binge, a visit to Earth, frequent trips to the Memphis Taproom;  Considering Bike Hugger’s complaint about the lack of low ABV beers in LA, I’m (we’re) fortunate to have such a great selection in the region.

Which leads me to cask ales, perhaps my favorite form of sessionable beer.  There is nothing like a lightly carbonated, cellar temp ale after a good bike ride.  Even if the ride is only from home to the bar!  For a daily update of what’s on cask around town, check out http://caskalekev.blogspot.com/.  I’ve been happy to see more than just IPAs on that list recently, and I’m been drooling over the idea of some darker stuff on cask.  Chilly bike ride, early sunset, pint of cask poured porter – sounds like autumn to me!

Last night I had nice little tasting session with my lightweight but knowledge-heavy friend Johnny.  He brought over some bottles of Mad Elf (we postponed the case splitting adventure).  I was glad to agree with him (and Ethan) on the tastiness of the Mad Elf.  I generally idolize barleywines as my winter season style, and pugilize spiced winter beers.  (See previous posts for my thoughts on pumpkin beers to get an idea of my feelings for cinnaminy nutmegy beers).  But I think the Mad Elf represents a whole new direction for winter beers.  A direction that I’m glad to head in.   Pairings?  Bring on the fruit cake!

Afterwards, I brought up 2 bottles of Golden Monkey, one from eariler this year, and one that was bottled in July of 2007.  Side by side tastings confirmed what I suspected before:  After about a year this beer starts to decline.  The newer one (maybe 6 months old) however was at its prime.  The spices (different ones! don’t cry “hypocrite!”) and the alcohol had mellowed out, while the body retained its fullness and flavor.

As part of an internet sharing/payment arrangment with my brother-in-law/next-door-neighbor, I’ve found myself in possession of 2 cases of Troegs beer, one of Dead Reckoning Porter and one of Dreamweaver. 

I have always more or less dismissed Troegs, for no particular reason.  Maybe it’s the allure of heavier local offerings from Victory or Weyerbacher.  Or maybe its the ease and availability of Phila Brewing Co’s beers.  However, at aforementioned brother-in-law/next-door-neighbor’s wedding a month or so ago I had a Dead Reckoning Porter, and it blew my mind.  It was largely a circumstantial experience.  After a long weddingful weekend, I severely needed a beer.  I think I gulped down two of them, right after each other.  (Don’t worry, that’s all I drank that night.)  But I had fallen in love, and was quite grateful to receive an entire case of it.

Since them, a glass of porter has been an almost nightly event.  Some of the starry eyed romance is gone, and sometimes its a bit too heavy, smokey, or bitter.  But on these cooler fall nights, it really is quite appropriate.

On nights where I need sometime less intense, I’ve been digging the Dreamweaver.  I generally dismiss American wheat beers (again, for no particular reason), so its been nice reacquainting myself.  I can’t really tell where this falls on the German Hefe/Belgian Wit spectrum, but honestly, I’m not usually paying attention, simply enjoying.

All this to say, I’m sold on Troegs now.  I’m sorry that I dismissed you.  To make it up to you, I’m going to be splitting a case of Mad Elf with a friend.  Another Troegs creation that I have mindlessly ignored for the past several years.  Hopefully I can enjoy some of it this winter, and save the rest to cellar for winters to come.

PS – for the record, I have had Troegenator recently, and often.  So I haven’t completely ignored this brewery.

I like keeping lists.  Its my way of attempting to organize my life.  Of course, those lists are usually haphazard and ill-kept.  But I still do it.  Technology has helped to centralize these lists, and my Blackberry (best phone ever) holds many of my digital lists.  The problem is, I rarely update the lists once made.  So as an exercise in fun-ness and organizing-ization-ness, here is a random list, distilled from my Blackberry and my own mind.

  • Prohibition Taproom – This (post) is what prompted this list.  It opened recently, and I added it to my “to-try” list, and realized that I hadn’t updated it in awhile
  • The Tiedhouse – This Saturday The Brew Lounge crew is running there (not to be confused with the Fishtown Beer runners, as I made the mistake of doing before) from the General Lafayette Inn.  It reminded me that I want to get there soon.  And I would love to bike there on Saturday, but Lois will be on tour and I’ll be dadding all day.  Maybe I’ll bring the trailer, hmm…
  • Chicks Cafe – Another place I’ve been meaning to get to
  • Southwark Restaurant – Rye Whisky anyone?  Did I mention my “to try” list?
  • Apothecary – I think I must have
  • Kung Fu Necktie – I get the sense that I should either go here more often and put my flag in the ground before it becomes the new cool spot, or just concede it to cooler people than I.  Either way, it needs a new name.  And a website.
  • Memphis Taproom – Heard of this place before?
  • Germantown – Maybe moving there in the not too distant future?
  • Earth Bread and Brewery– Not too far from Germantown…
  • Stilton Cheese and Barleywine – Tis the season
  • Autumn – Have you seen a tree lately?
  • Bottom Brackets – I need to check mine out before my next ride, please remind me.
  • Tria – I forgot about this place, I used to go to all their beer classes
  • Money – Oh yea, I don’t have any, so most of this list is pointless.
  • The Internet – I’m on an upward swing in my dysfunctional relationship with the internet, I signed up for Blip.fm, Twitter, and Facebook recently.
  • Real life – If you want to discuss, enjoy, attempt, consume, or visit any of the above, let me know.  I’d love to get out more often.

If there was ever anything worth keeping me from the pursuit of drinking beer and riding bikes, it would be my family.  Ditto on the internet reporting of said activities.  So I gladly return from a 2+ week long abyss of non-posting to announce that my little family is growing.  We are steadily working on incubating our third child, due sometime in June of 2009!  So if you’re anxiously awaiting news of my latest beer exploration, or bike adventure, you may be waiting longer than normal.  For this, I apologize.  I’m still here, and I’ll still be posting.  You just may see more reviews of strollers and mini vans alongside my normal topics.

Twitter

  • Beer by Bike ride is happening this Sat! Meet at 2nd and Poplar at 10:45 for a ride out to the Hop Angel Brauhaus for their holiday party 7 years ago
  • Hey, remember how we used to ride bikes and drink beer? Want to do it again? How about Dec 18th for a little holiday ride? 7 years ago
  • The Tweed Ride is this Sat!!: http://on.fb.me/bIY8u0 7 years ago
  • Any Philly beerbybike'rs want to meet up with Evan from @beercycling tonight at Monk's? 7 years ago
  • We are planning our official BeerbyBike Homebrew camping extravaganza for next weekend. If you want in, please let me know ASAP 7 years ago