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There is a special viewing and live event on April 16th, and its actually showing in Philadelphia at the Riverview! Who’s in?
Its a bit old news at this point, but I had a interesting experience last week. I hinted at it in my previous post, but I had a chance to be on a TV show!
I was contacted (by roundabout means via Chris LaPierre) by the producer of the Samantha Brown show on the Travel Channel a couple weeks ago. Apparently they somehow heard of the Beer of the Bike rides that I do and thought it would be a nice feature for the show. We met, planned and set up a brief pub crawl ride.
There were some errors in planning, and Wednesday I found myself scrambling to gather the 10 or 11 people that had planned on filming with us on Thursday. Sadly very few of those who had planned on coming (and had taken Thurs off from work) were able to make it. Due to the weather, they decided to scrap the actual riding too. I don’t think Samantha was excited about riding a bike through a rainy 40 degree day. Go figure.
So I ended up drinking beer and filming for a TV show with Samantha Brown, along with Lois (6 months pregnant), Rose, and Sonya. A stark contrast from our usual rides, which are heavily male populated, and of course, are actually rides.
We started at Yards, with a faux tour, including some staged dark malt additions by Samantha. We spent the most time at Monks, where Tom Peters poured some amazing beers, including a 6 year old Westvleteren 8. That alone made the day worth it. We ended the day at South Philly Taproom, where Adam and Joe poured us some local favorites while we chatted about the Philly beer scene on camera. And Lois got her chance to shine by dissing the suburban beer culture, ha, which she mildly regrets.
Some other high points: getting to wear a fancy wireless microphone, a full meal at SPTR paid for by the show, having a chance to plug my idea of a Travel Channel show – filming me riding my bike to different breweries worldwide. I’m glad that at least some of you all were able to be a part of it, especially Lois! I just hope they manage to hide her pregnant belly, I don’t want to be seen as encouraging alcohol consumption during pregnancy! The episode should air sometime in May. Stay tuned!
I was at a bar last night that brought back memories of college. I was there with Chris from Iron Hill, and he commented on the glaring lack of anything American on draft. The English/Irish quasi-macro tap list reminded me of my college years. Of my first beer ever, a Bass ale somewhere in New England at 22 years old. Yes, I didn’t have a sip of alcohol until my 21st had come and gone.
We got talking about such things, and the conversation included, at times, the bartender. It turns out he tended at my old college watering hole, Floods, in Stroudsburg, PA. The place where I learned to love beer. I had my first Samichlaus there. My first Thomas Hardy’s. I don’t know if the place is still as good as it is in my mind, but memories can be sweet.
Chris relayed some stories about drinking belgian beer at Brigids in the mid-90’s, before Monk’s was even opened. About meeting various stars of the Philly brewing scene before they were stars. The good ole days. I enjoyed the stories, and wished that I had been there.
All this looking to the past serves only to distract from the real reason I was out at a bar on a Monday night. The future. You’ll just have to wait to find out what I’m talking about.
I have a personal tradition. In the dead of winter, on the coldest night, I bundle up and head out to a local bar for some beers. I’ve never thought of it as a “tradition,” but looking back, its something that I’ve consistently done for several years, so I’ll name it as such.
So last night, in 15 degree weather, I braved largely unplowed icy roads on a charming 1/2 mile ride to Johnny Brenda’s. I thought I was going to see some friends bands play and I was grateful for a fun night out.
Funny thing, though. I paid the $10 cover, found a friend at the bar, and cozied up with a glass of Legacy Bruin (delicious, though maybe not as hearty as such a night called for). I realized that other than Alex at the bar, whom my meeting was a happy accident, I didn’t recognize another face in the place. I didn’t even see my friends who were supposed to be playing. I finally got suspicious enough and checked out the band list for the night, and realized that I was totally at the wrong show. Oops! For the record, don’t trust Facebook invites, they often have the wrong dates.
So I took my Weyerbacher Fireside ale down to the main bar and spent the rest of the night there. Despite the show confusion, it was a great night. The tap list at Johnny Brendas usually bores me, but there was quite a selection last night. Besides the Fireside ale, which was sublime, the Dock St Imperial Stout was impressive. I don’t remember the Sly Fox Gang Aft Agley being so smokey, but I loved it. Overall the beer selection was perfect for a frigid and ill planned evening.
Man, I’m behind. Beer week is less than a month away, and I haven’t even really looked at the schedule. Other than my ride of course. And there is another bike ride happening too. Organized by Jeff Appeltans and Chris LaPierre on the first Saturday of Beer Week. This one will be a longer, hillier, and more challenging ride. Very much in contrast to the brewery crawl ride that I’m organizing. But I’m looking forward to both immensely.
What other events are good? Any recommendations on can’t-miss events?