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Friday, July 5, 2013

New Beer Friday, Hombrew Convention Edition (July 5)

Philadelphia City Hall
Preamble By Steve Siciliano

Last week my wife Barb and I traveled to Philadelphia to attend the American Homebrewers Association’s national conference. This was our first AHA conference and we were highly impressed. The topics of the seminars were wide ranging, the speakers were excellent and the various social activities over the course of the four-day event were efficiently run.

Barb and I made some valuable contacts with the folks who run the AHA and we got some good insights and ideas on the various ways Siciliano’s might participate next year as a sponsor when the convention comes to Grand Rapids. We met and socialized with a lot of like-minded folks who are passionate about craft beer and the enriching hobby of homebrewing. Since it was also our first visit to Philadelphia, we made sure we set some time aside to explore the City of Brotherly Love.

I like big cities and Philadelphia is certainly a big one. I liked the cacophony of its busy streets, the fast moving streams of people, the street entertainers and the idiosyncratic neighborhoods. I liked coming across the quiet pools of humanity lounging in its sculpture-filled squares and tree-shaded parks. I liked how its gleaming new buildings are juxtaposed with its historical, soot-stained old.

There are a lot of bars in Philly. We hit dive bars, craft beer bars, gay bars, Irish pubs, bars that call themselves cocktail lounges and a joint in South Philly called The Happy Birthday where the bartender and all the patrons were chain smoking. In an incredibly crowded Monk’s Café, Barb and I squeezed between fellow conventioneers and shared a bottle of Cantillon gueuze. In the gay bar I drank Allagash White, in the cocktail lounge a Yuengling out of a long neck bottle and in the Irish pub a perfectly poured Guinness.

Wherever we went we made it a point to talk to the friendly locals. In one bar we were schooled on how the Philadelphia accent is different from the South Philadelphia accent and in another we learned how passionate Philadelphians can be about sports.

“How are the Phillies doing this year?” I asked a bartender.

“They suck!”

“How did the Flyers do?”

“They sucked.”

“How are the Eagles going to be?”

“They’re gonna suck!”

When I told him I was a Lions fan he shook his head sympathetically and bought me a beer.

Speaking of beer, here's the latest to arrive on the shelves at Siciliano's.

New (and Returning) Beers at Siciliano's

  • Petrus Aged Red, $5.19/12oz - "Oud Bruin fermented with cherries" (source).
  • Timmermans Blanche Lambic, $7.29/750ml - "There is no other beer like Timmermans Tradition Blanche Lambicus anywhere in the world because it is the only white lambic beer. By adding spices such as coriander and dried orange zest, a light, fruity beer is created. It is subtly spicy and deliberately made cloudy. Should ideally be drunk from an authentic stoneware pot" (source).
  • Dominion Hop Mountain Pale Ale, $2.29/12oz - "Hop lovers, this is the beer for you. Four different styles of American hops are artfully staggered against a sturdy malt backbone to create a unique, drinkable and balanced Pale Ale" (source).
  • Three Heads Brewing Co. Loopy Oatmeal Red Ale, $3.39/12oz - "WE LOVE HOPS! Their tantalizing aromas. Their diverse and succulent flavors of citrus and spice. All the amazing ways they can be used in brewing. 3HB dedicates the Loopy to our favorite plant, the Humulus Lupulus. Enjoy the waves of tropical fruit intertwined delightfully with a creamy, velvety malt blend. Come get Loopy with us!" (source).
  • Three Heads Brewing Co. Too kind, $2.79/12oz - "Our mamas always taught us that you can never be too polite. In their honor, we decided to test that theory with the Too Kind. It has everything you love from the Kind IPA but jacked up to an out-of-this-world level. A hop exuberance of pine, citrus and love that plays nice with others" (source).
  • Stawski Lager, $1.99/12oz - "After searching for over 50 years for a lager worthy of my family name, I am proud to present the finest imported lager available. From my family to yours, enjoy!" (source).

Picture of the Week | Luke the Patriot


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