mcf141203The original cartoon is here.

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Looking to score a bottle of Victory/Earth Bread + Brewery Earth & Flame? Run, do not walk…

I dragged my tired old body out Downingtown way today and, instead of taking all the shortcuts and workarounds I usually do, just went out to Rt. 100 and took it all the way down to 113, arriving at Victory in half-an-hour, my fastest time ever. Granted, Rt. 100 of a late Sunday morning is a different creature entirely in terms of traffic than is it most of the time, but that was still impressive. We all love those convoluted routes we develop to miss potential slowdowns or more serious problems, but at least part of that is the good feeling of being one of the cool kids with inside knowledge. Sometimes the obvious way is the best way.

It was great fun whipping up and down the road as ii curved this way and that way, bringing back memories of another me in another time and long Sunday afternoons zipping along on 100 with motorcycling friends, wind in our faces and lovely ladies with arms around our waists holding on for dear life. Those afternoons generally ended at the historic Eagle Tavern for sandwiches and beers and slower, safer trip back to our cars. Memories are made of this…

I wanted to grab a couple of bottles of the collaborative brew, one for me and another to serve as a Christmas gift. I had originally planned to do this last Wednesday at the official release party  before the weather discouraged me. That delay cost me $20 extra since all the regular bottles were gone and only the signed collector’s ones remained. They cost $25 each compared to the standard $15, but the extra $10 per bottle goes to charity so that’s good. Here’s the point:  is that very little of this beer has gone out into distribution and the ones at the brewpub are in very short supply. If’ you plan to get one or more, realize that the window will be closing very rapidly.

At the bar I got myself a growler of Biere de Mars, one of the D’town Draft series recently introduced to allow the brewers to have some fun and experiment a bit. It is quite good and I am sipping my first glass as I write this. I did ask for a sample of the draft version of Earth & Flame just assure myself my $50 investment was a good one. It definitely was. Now the decision comes as to whether to open that second bottle and enjoy it or hold it for a special occasion.  I think I will do the latter because, if it is really as good as that first taste indicates, I don’t want to have to debate with myself about keeping the second one and replacing it on my Christmas gift list with a pair of socks. Yeah, sometimes I am That Guy.

Posted in Beer Styles, Breweries, Brewpubs, First Taste, New Releases, Personal | Leave a comment

And just like that…

…all is well again. The internets is weird, Firefox often  be a bit strange its ownself and WordPress is a mysterious land where one does not want to dig too deep into the mysteries. Also, this forced me to try and use Chrome and IE, always an adventure.

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Weird things are happening…

This site has gone somewhat haywire for reasons I cannot so far determine. I have to log in as administrator on every visit, some comments are posting, others are not, and some seem to come and go. Hopefully all this will pass.

Posted in Website, WTF? | 2 Comments

Whither the Dude? (an ongoing tale, posted in installments as they happen) [THE INEVITABLE UPDATE]

The peripatetic Mr. Morrison told me late last night that he is delighted to have won a Bronze at both the World Beer Cup and GABF for Barren Hill in its first year but, with them up and running strong and his work done, he is going back to consulting and, more importantly, “looking for a full time gig at a production facility.”

I would presume that, if he finds what he’s looking for, he will want to reward whoever  (me) made his desire  general knowledge so…

Find This Man the Job of His Dreams.

Thank you.

Original Post Nov. 10:

From Free Will Brewing’s Facebook page:

We would like to announce that our lead brewer, David Wood, is leaving us to become the new brewmaster at Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery!!! This is an exciting next step for him and we look forward to stellar beers and fun collaborations in his future. Cheers!!

Where have you gone, Scott Morrison? Again.

(Much appreciation to Jeff Norman for the head’s up)

Posted in Brewers, Brewpubs, News, Philly | 10 Comments

Dock Street Is Going Home… For a Visit, That Is (the coolest beer event of the year)


Let’s rewind about three decades and go grab a beer. Let’s find a good beer. Let’s find a great beer. Forget local, we’ll settle for domestic. In 1985, as Rosemarie Certo was co-founding Dock Street Brewery, the country was getting pretty damn thirsty. Amidst a proverbial sea of watered down and adjunct plagued lagers, Dock Street was born. As the country slowly started embracing these full bodied, full flavored brews, the company grew. A lot. Fast forward a decade to the 90’s and Dock Street would become the 26th largest microbrewery in the country, producing over 28,000 barrels of beer a year, distributing to 26 states, exporting to France and earning medals in the world’s most prestigious beer competitions. In the late eighties, Dock Street opened Philadelphia’s first all-grain brewpub at Two Logan Square. We’re pleased to announce that Dock Street is going home… for a visit, that is.

The year is now 2014, number signs are now called hash tags, craft beer is still on the up-and-up, and there are over 2,700 licensed breweries in the country putting out some truly beautiful beer. Dock Street is now crafting its award winning and iconic brews in its West Philly Brewpub, but something very pleasing is happening in her old home; Two Logan Square will once again become a destination for great craft beer. On November 3rd, City Tap House, known for their expansive and well-rounded beer lists, took residence at the old Dock Street Brewery…and now we’re bringing some kegs to celebrate.

Some former Dock Street brewers, including Chris La Pierre from Iron Hill; Tim Roberts, Head Brewer from Yards; and Eric Savage, former Dock Street brewer and present owner of Helix Motorsports, have come together to share their skills and expertise. Helping staff a ‘reunion’ brew day, these distinguished alumni, over a couple pints and still-not-so-funny-inside-jokes, helped craft recipes both new and old.

On Monday, November 10 from 6-8pm, join these Dock Street graduates and the current Dock Street troupe, including Rosemarie Certo, Marilyn Candeloro, Sasha Certo-Ware and new Head Brewer Vince DesRosiers, for the grand opening of City Tap House Logan Square. Look for an array of Dock Street classics as well as new recipes, including Rye IPA, Man Full of Trouble Porter, Helles and Back, Belgian IPA, Brown Bomber Ale, and No Exit, a face-melting, 104 IBU Double IPA with our biggest hop-bill yet. We’re happy that decades later, the taps will once again flow with Dock Street beer. Also take the opportunity to taste Vicio Mezcal brought to you by Dock Street Spirits, an offshoot of Dock Street Brewery.

Let’s raise a glass and toast this concert between City Tap House and Dock Street Brewery. Here’s to heritage, new ventures, continuity, friendship and folly. We’ll drink to that.

Posted in Beer Events, Breweries, Brewers, Brewpubs, News, Nostalgia, Philly | Leave a comment

SawTown Tavern: the tentacles of Scoats expand their reach.

A post this evening on The Book of Face by a guy named Troy Everwine about who I know diddly-squat:

Now that the public notice has been posted, I’m thrilled to announce that my good friend Scoats Mike Scotese (owner – with Patrick McGinley – of the Grey Lodge Pub and Hop Angel Brauhaus) and I have become business partners in a new venture.
We are purchasing the Prince Cafe (Prince Cafee on FB) on Princeton Avenue and Vandike Street in our own neighborhood of Tacony!

We’ve got big plans for the space once we make settlement! (The actual settlement date will be determined by the LCB process of transferring the license, but this will hopefully happen before the end of this year. Stay tuned!)

We plan to remain OPEN for business through a series of renovations, and we absolutely want (and hope) to keep the current bar tenders; A M, Linda, and Marcelle.

Renovations will open up the first floor with large windows, fresh paint and an epic new sign.

We plan to renovate the existing kitchen to include a wood-fired oven and we’ll be offering “craft” pizza to complement a selection of local craft beers. We want to open the kitchen as soon as possible!

The second floor will get a facelift to become a dining room for additional seating, events, and entertainment and there will be a bar and game room that will house the pool table, darts and video games.

Yes, there’s a new name coming once the building is ready: in honor of the company that built Tacony, Disston Saw Works, we will bring you the SawTown Tavern.

We’ll soon be updating you on our progress with photos and blog posts on We’ll let everyone know when we take possession, and there will be Grand Opening festivities galore once the building is ready. Stay tuned!!!

Posted in Cafes, Restaurants, Taverns, News, Passing on the Word, Philly | Leave a comment

What comes after the Resurrrection?

From Michael Klein today:

Realtors today may toss around phrases like “Southwest Center City,” “Graduate Hospital” or “Grays Ferry,” but the slice of South Philly hard by the South Street Bridge has carried the name Devil’s Pocket for decades.

Story goes that a priest considered the kids who lived in the area so tough that they’d steal a chain from the devil’s pocket when they reached hell.

Chef Andrew Wagner and Marcus Versace could think of no other name when they took over Resurrection Ale House at Catharine Street and Grays Ferry Avenue, across from Naval Square.

Devil’s Pocket Food & Spirits opens Tuesday, Oct. 21.

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Nodding Head is moving!

Just in from Curt Decker:

It is with tremendous excitement, and a little bit of sadness, that I announce the moving of Nodding Head. Our final day of operation in the current location will be FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31. After a rather prolonged period of unsettledness with one of my two landlords, I decided that the best course of action was to relocate. Locations were scouted and scenarios played out, and late last week a deal was put in place that will have us leaving Center City and opening in a to-be-named-later neighborhood IN THE CITY. I will keep everyone posted as I become more comfortable with releasing details.

In our just under 15 years of being on Sansom Street, we have seen downtown go from “sleepy” to bustling, to a new version with tremendous diversity. It has been fun watching the transformation, but now it’s time for a new adventure. Please stay tuned and come along for the ride.

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Miller Lite: We invented subliminal advertising. Really? That’s what you think will induce people to drink your faux-beer?

Apparently so.

Posted in Big Blands | 1 Comment