Philly Beer Week 2010 report: in the beginning.

I stuck close to home for the most part and did most of what I did after my pal Carl P arrived for a week-long stay. I will post over the next few days about everything except the first event I attended (that was written about here). The series will conclude with coverage of the final day, which deserves individual status.

I missed three events along the way that I very much regret not attending. The McGillin’s Anniversary Dinner on Sunday, June 6, fell victim to certain vagaries of life that need not be gone into here. The Friday, June 11, appearance of Odell Brewing at Capone’s (not an official PBW event but on my personal calendar) was missed for the most embarrassing of reasons: I forgot all about it until were were on our way late in the afternoon to Teresa’s Next Door in Wayne. And, on Sunday, we wimped out in the face the humidity and heat and threat of rain and skipped the Dock Street Music Fest.

After Carl arrived mid-afternoon on Tuesday, June 8, we proceeded forthwith to TJ’s Restaurant & Drinkery in Paoli for the “Firkins for Firefighter’s” event where I was again able to enjoy Brotherly Suds and have my first experience with Flying Fish Exit 6 (it was on the handpump and I’m pretty sure that’s not its best presentation).  My recollections of the day are pretty much gone, to be honest, lost with some of the many dead brain cells I created in even my limited adventures. We did come home and drink beer, but then, we did that most every night except on those when we didn’t come home at all.

On Wednesday, June 9, we were up early and off to the city, where I had a small press luncheon at Resurrection Ale House and Carl came along to sit at the bar and harass the staff. We decided to walk there from Suburban Station after strolling around center city a bit, arriving just ahead of the rain. It was the first of two long and trying to beat an incoming storm walks we’d take during his visit. The luncheon was a Merchant du Vin affair and featured Franz Inselkammer jr., the great-great-great grandson of the founder of Ayinger, the great Bavarian brewery, and Simon Poynton, export manager for England’s Samuel Smith’s Brewery. Excellent beers (the Jahrhundert Export Lager was just plain delightful) from both were featured with the five-course lunch (Scallop Crudo, Sweetbreads, Pork Fat-Fried Focaccia, Roasted Lamb Loin & Olive Oil Cake). The entire management of the Hartranft-Maida conglomerate (Brendan, Leigh and Li’l Valentine) was on hand to keep things under control.

Sam Calagione was coming in after us to play Trivial Pursuit with all challengers and arrived early, perhaps an historic moment. I took a photo with Carl’s camera of the two of them together so one of them can go home and impress his friends….

…and we might have stayed and participated in the game but it was raining and the Shy and Retiring Lew Bryson (copyright Jack Curtin’s Liquid Diet, 2010) was at the lunch as well and he had a car. So we took advantage of that to lure him along for stops at Sidecar and Grace Tavern (both involving the consumption of beer) before he dropped us off for one the finer two hours of PBW, “Sam, Tomme & Old Beer” at Nodding Head.

And that’s where I’ll pick up the story in the next installment.

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