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As of Friday night, it was looking like our ride might be rained out. Even Saturday morning, I was all ready to get drenched en route to the Art Museum , expecting to wait in vain for anyone to show up. But though the skies were ominous, the rain was holding off. So starting with two friends who met at my house, we snowballed across town, meeting several people at Honey’s, and more on Spring Garden St. By the time we left, we were 13 strong, ready to brave the Ben Franklin Bridge and the Camden streets.
Though the roads were bumpy, and there was one flat, the ride wasn’t really bad at all. A leisurely pace, traffic played nice with us, and before we knew it we were there. We were fortunate enough to have Chris Lapierre, the head brewer of the brewpub and cyclist, on the ride with us. Many thanks to him for several pitchers of his beer, and for a special tour of the brewery. Other than the tour, the highlight of the afternoon (for me at least) was when Chris shared a couple bottles of sour beers he was working on. I love sour beers, and both of these were delicious and complex.
The ride back was more of the same, only hotter. And there was no rain on either part of the ride. So it ended up being a great day. About a 30 mile ride, some great beer, and awesome views of the city. Lets do it again sometime!
As is my usual style, I’ve neglected to announce this month’s bike ride. Never fear, however, this August will find our thirsty little legs taking us once again into the Garden State. Next Saturday, August 22nd, we’ll be riding to the newly opened Iron Hill location in Maple Shade, NJ. It should be a relatively flat 15 miles each way. However, it will be a high traffic ride, so be sure to bring your helmets and quick wits. To keep the plans consistent, we’ll be meeting as usual at the Art Museum. 10am. August 22nd. See you then!
In my quest to convert the ride formerly known as “Beer of the Bike,” I’m going to start using this blog to announce upcoming rides.
And to kick it off, what better ride than a nice long one out to Victory Brewing Co in Downingtown, PA on July 25th. It’ll be a long ride, so we’ll be leaving early. I’ll post the times and details once I figure them out. But expect to meet at the Art Museum bright and early! And plan for some hills out in Chester County. For the way home, you can either ride back, hop on the R5, or arrange a ride. It will be about 35-40 miles each way.
Life is busy these days. I’m weeks away from being father to a third girl. I’m working way more hours than I want to. And I’m sleeping far less than I should. But I suppose I should get used to that.
But I am finding myself often in the country for work, which I’m making the most of. I’ve been able to schedule lunch at Sly Fox one day and Victory another. I hadn’t been to Victory before, so that was a treat.
And I’m in the car much more than on my bike, which annoys me to no end. But there’s no avoiding it right now. That is, until I’m able to ride a couple hundred miles within a couple hours, then maybe we’ll see.
Expect some changes in both sites soon, Beer of the Bike will soon be known simply as Beer by Bike. The fate of this site is still up in the air.
And speaking of which, check out the awesome birthday gift Lo got for me!
Philly Beer Week has come and gone. I must say, though I missed alot, I was fortunate to get to some really great events this year. I already wrote about the long bike ride below, so I won’t repeat that. But here is a quick summary.
Memphis Taproom – Their No-Repeat beer week was outstanding! I stopped in three times, but I always felt like I was missing something great every day that I wasn’t there! The highlight for me was the Allagash Interlude, what a complex beer! But the Fuller on cask was great, Obamagang, La Merle Saison, Port Midnight sessions, the list goes on!
Triumph – I found myself here a bunch of times too. First for a beer and cheese tasting. While not sublime, I enjoyed it quite a bit. The Klash of the Kaisers was awesome too, with a cheap 9 beer flight of some amazing pilsners. I voted Sly Fox’s Saint Charles Bridge as my favorite.
The Brewery Bike Ride – I posted a recap of the ride over at Beer of the Bike. Over 150 people came out for this event!
Zythos – This was by far my favorite event of the week. It was tolerably crowded, had a really nice food spread, and had some amazing beers. I felt like within the first hour I got my ticket’s worth. Sure I would have liked more visible signage for the tables, and some drinking water would have been nice, but overall this event ruled. A full post about the beers I tried might be warranted, but for a taste: Scires, Super Baladin, Hanssens’ kriek, gueze, and cassis, Taras Boulba, De Ranke XX Bitter, ‘t Smisje Calva Reserva and Grand Reserva, Urthel Samaranth, and 12% Importers had some spectacular bottles that I need to track down the names of.
In summary: I can’t wait for next year!
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!
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?