Earth, Bread & Brewery. I pull a Bryson.

So I hied my sorry ass down to Earth, Bread & Brewery at noon yesterday and discovered along the way the answer to a question which has plagued Americans since Colonial times.

What is more annoying than Germantown Avenue?

Germantown Avenue under construction.

Undaunted, and with a steely glint in my eye, I pressed onward, around and through “road closed” signs until I reached a point where the road was truly, completely, you-can’t-get-past-here closed, whereupon I turned right and following my geographical instincts (an approach at least two ex-wives will testify is generally a disaster), worked my way back to Germantown and pulled into the first available parking space.

Right smack in front of EB&B.

Damn I’m good.

There was a sign on the door saying “no lunch until further notice,” which was both alarming and wildly funny, since this was the first day lunch was on the schedule at all. But there was movement inside and my tap on the window raised the smiling face of Mr. Thomas Baker from down in the kitchen area. That was followed immediately by a tap on the window from inside and I raised my own head to see Ms. Margaret Zwerver right in front of me indicating with her thumb that I should go the hell away.

I was home.

Inside, she was more charming (I do have that effect) and Tom chose to forego the small talk and pour me samples of his first four beers. And, yes, I know I made fun of America’s Most Beloved Beer Writer (© Liquid Diet – the Blog, 2008 ) in a recent post for forcing his way into a closed EB&B and demanding that they give him beer.

But that was different.

That was him and this was me.

You’ve likely read what Lew and others have had to say about the beers and I have little to add. They were as good as expected before Tom had brewed a one and as good as promised and anticipated after all the raves.

To put it on the record: Love Your Mother (3.2%), a Mild Ale,  is delicious and long-term drinkable, with more flavor than it has any right to have.  Bier d’Earth (5.3%), a lighter successor to what used to be my favorite local brew, Biere d’Art, is terrific, sweet (but not overly so) with malt and offering a neat peppery finish. Terra Fume (4.0%) is malty, smokier than you’d expect and just crying out to be sipped with EB&B’s cheese plate, or maybe the sausage flatbread. the biggest beer of the day, Sedgwick Pale Ale (5.8%), made with local hops, is right in my wheelhouse and has the added attraction of being probably less hoppy than the addled hopheads would like. Too bad about them.

I didn’t get to try any of the breads or other food offerings, of course, but there were guys in the kitchen already doing what guys in the kitchen do, chopping stuff and like that, and from the number of folks who tried the door and peered in the window while I was there, many of them clearly Chestnut Hill types and not wandering beer geeks, I’d say the prospects are good, especially once they get the damned street open. Tom and Peggy said the first two nights were encouraging.

Finally, a bit of news I haven’t seen anywhere else as yet: Tom says he had a Dubbel in the tanks, will be doing a Chocolate Gruit next (that sounds fascinating) and after that, “I guess I’ll brew something really big.”

Apparently you can take the boy out of Heavyweight, but you can’t take the Heavyweight out of the boy.

Here’s a photo of Tom as he is presenting me with his beers, a situation which I assume you will agree makes him especially appealing and attractive.

I am told that the stools stacked on the bartop (it’s the bar from the former Collins Bar in NYC, by the way, and is beautiful, especially the back bar) are taken down and put on the floor when the doors are open for customers. That seems like wise decision.

And the coolest thing of the entire brief visit? The phone rang and Tom answered thusly:

Hello. Earth.

And, as of last Thursday, it’s our part of Earth from which he speaks.

The nation’s Best Beer Drinking City just got a little bit better.

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