In Praise of Dock Street Brewing Co.

Ah, spring. It’s so nice to be out­side again. Noth­ing quite like run­ning Char­lie ragged in some nice parks. Thing about nice parks in Philadel­phia is that most of them are in West Philly. Helen and I may be river­ward  chau­vin­ists, but, man, I wish Penn Treaty Park were as nice as Clark Park.

You know what else the river­wards don’t have? A brew­ery and piz­za spot like Dock Street Brew­ing Co. Went with Mark and Erin before a Par­ty Pho­tog­ra­phers’ show at Youn­glove’s last win­ter, but had no idea how great it was for lunch. Bought two pies — Flam­menkuchen and Flo­ren­tine — and got a growler of their Sum­mer Ses­sion to go. Can’t beat it!

Helen, who tends to hate brew­pubs because the food is often oh so bad, real­ly loved it. Win-win! Beats hav­ing to con­vince her to haul out to Iron Hill or Vic­to­ry for lunch and we can stroll down to Clark Park afterward.

Maybe we’ll be West Philly peo­ple yet…

Can You Find Craft Beer in Fishtown?

My eyes rolled very hard when I read this bit from Michael Klein. Fish­town needs anoth­er fan­cy beer place like a hole in the head. I may be will­ing to give it a pass if the food isn’t just anoth­er run-of-the-mill gas­trop­ub as they say, but the thought of squeez­ing into Moe’s does­n’t real­ly appeal either. It would be like set­ting up a restau­rant in my skin­ny lit­tle home.

I know I com­plain about this all the time, but restau­ran­teurs look­ing to take advan­tage of rea­son­able terms here in Fish­town and beyond: please under­stand that sim­ply boast­ing a craft beer selec­tion won’t be enough to lure cus­tomers away from their reg­u­lar haunts. Even bars like Star­board Side offer some nice taps. Want to know how often I go to the Abbaye now that I’m around the cor­ner from Mem­phis Tap­room and Kraft­work? Hell, I don’t even ven­ture as far as John­ny Bren­da’s unless I’m going to see a band. Be more creative!

I know most local beer crit­ics rev­el in this. It’s an embar­rass­ment of rich­es, to be sure. But I can’t help but think that Philly could real­ly use an enfant ter­ri­ble in the beer scene. It’s soft and bloat­ed and increas­ing­ly self-impor­tant. Who will set things straight?

My Favorite New Show: Brew Masters

Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel real­ly knows their demo­graph­ic. “Dead­liest Catch” may have run aground, but leave it to those genius­es to hit upon a sub­ject near­er and dear­er to me: craft beer. The kick­er? Throw Dog­fish Head beer guru Sam Cala­gione into the mix and you’re bound to attract an audi­ence of lit­er­al­ly dozens of beer geeks from around the U.S. A hit!

My main ques­tion is why did­n’t I know about “Brew Mas­ters” before catch­ing a com­mer­cial dur­ing a Tot­ten­ham-Arse­nal match on ESPN2? I’m not even that much of a soc­cer fan. And I fol­low @dogfishbeer on Twit­ter! Serendipity!

Not sure that I’ll be able to watch when it airs as it shares a time slot with a lit­tle show called “Board­walk Empire,” but you bet­ter believe I’ll be DVR-ing it like a boss to watch Mon­day night while Helen checks out “Gos­sip Girl.”

UPDATE: I may have spo­ken to soon. Read this fun­ny post over at A Good Beer Blog for the details. “Cake Boss” of beer sounds apt. Could be a turkey, but I still have love for local craft brew­ers. Go Sam!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It’s that time of year, peo­ple! Troegs Mad Elf has arrived!

Pret­ty sure win­ter sea­son­als are my favorite, but there’s a spe­cial place in my heart for Christ­mas brews. Goes back to my time in Den­mark, where jule­bryg is a spe­cial event each year. They’re real­ly some­thing to look for­ward to.

This year I’m going the extra mile and I’m buy­ing a two cas­es: one for drink­ing now and I’ll cel­lar the sec­ond for next year. Still have a bunch in my base­ment from last year, too. Can’t wait to sam­ple those babies!