Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I'm going going back back to Philly Philly.

So we meet again, Philly.

This past Sunday, Mike, some friends and I attended the 4th Annual Philadelphia Real Ale Invitational hosted by Yards Brewing Company.  Tickets sold out rather quickly and with good reason:  this ain't your mama's brewfest.

Attendees were free to roam the brewery, help themselves to some delicious food and, the best perk of all, were given a cool commemorative beer mug to hold unlimited (and often heavy-handed) samples of over 20 cask ales from a variety of Mid-Atlantic breweries.

Cask ale (or "real ale" as it's often called) is unfiltered, unpasteurized beer that is conditioned in the same container it is served from (the cask) without any forced carbon dioxide.  It's about as natural as it gets.

We started making our way down the list.  My initial plan was to alternate between low and high ABV beers but eventually, I went for whatever appealed to my tastebuds regardless of alcohol percentage.

Betty's Speakeasy.  Amazing fudge.  Adorable staff, to boot.

A brewery is only as good as its t-shirts.

 A beer t-shirt is only as good as the feisty Ecuadorian who wears it.

<3 Natalya.

Oh that?

That's just a mac and cheese hot dog.  With bacon. 

Funkdafied musical stylings for the event were provided by The Jazz Horses and The Sermon!, a band from West Chester, PA.  After the show, two of The Sermon! guys showed us a vintage tube amp they use during their sets which, up until that moment, I would have guessed was the world's first Lite Brite.  Pretty cool stuff.

And with a final toast, the Philadelphia Real Ale Invitational came to a close.

It was such a great time.  I'm already looking forward to the next one.  A bonus if it's within walking distance by this time next year.

(I've been bitten by the moving bug.  Hard.)

We'll see what happens.  In the meantime, I leave you with my best PW impression.


  1. Looks like a great event but I just can't get past that Mac-n-Cheese hot dog. PW imitation - hilarious.

  2. I think I need to try a mac and cheese hot dog with bacon.

  3. I think Beth from 990 Square was going to this event as well. Who knows, maybe you bumped into her and didn't even realize. You two will have tons to talk about at Big Summer Potluck.

    PS. I'm pretending I never saw the mac and cheese dog with bacon.

  4. Sweeet!
    There's a brewery here, St. Arnold's, that gives tours and I've been meaning to give it a whirl. Supposedly they give you free samples by the glassful at the end.

  5. I keep staring at that hot dog looking for the actual hot dog. I guess maybe that's the end of it sticking out there around 5 o'clock? Holy mama. That's some hot dog.

    Love the PW picture!! LOL!

  6. When in doubt, add mac & cheese.

    Wendi - That would have been cool to have an impromptu, pre-BSP2 meet up. Thanks for the heads up on 990 Square, btw.

    Margie - You should go! Even if you're not a big drinker, the brewing process itself is pretty nifty and you end up with a whole new appreciation for the drink.

  7. Looks like a great time!!
    We toured Utica/Saranac Brewery recently and it was really cool!

    PS LOVE Philly!! (I am a Philly gal...gotta say it!!)

  8. Such a fun time. And I kinda really totally want to try mac and cheese hot dogs...with bacon.

  9. how were you not stumbling drunk by the end of the day?

    confession: i have one beer, mayhap half of a 2nd, and i'm loopy. light weight and extemely cheap date.

  10. Next year can you switch to manual focus on your camera so we can see how cross-eyed you got by the end of the day?

    Did you bribe the officers with leftover bites of your mac & cheese & bacon hot dog?

  11. One thing though that cask ale shouldn't be is cloudy. It is all good and well to cask condition a beer and pull it through a hand pump, but if it isn't properly stillaged then you end up with murky brew.

  12. WHHHAAAAATTTT???? Mac n cheese hot dog.

    I need some of that.

  13. I wish I could take credit for the superdog. My friends were the geniuses who hit up the little red cart of greatness.

    Angry Asian - I was surprisingly upright by the end of the event. I would have never been able to make it through one of these back in my pre-Pepcid "Azn Glow" days.

    Debbie Y - That's one of the perks of being behind the camera. No stumbly, cross-eyed evidence.

    Velky Al - You should have seen some of the pours at the end of the day. Swampy. But still delicious :D

  14. Wow, that is the most amazing hot dog the world has ever seen. And yeah, Philly's a great beer town. Both understatements of the year.

    Sounds like a super fun trip.

  15. Oh I pine for the days when I could go to a brew fest, or just drink a beer at all! Is it demented that I am rejoicing over the fact that I am going to have this baby just in time to be able to go to great american beer fest in Sept?

    I'm so glad you guys had fun!

  16. hmm, double simcoe???? is that where one of the babies names came from?

  17. Kristen - I totally thought of you when we passed (what I think was) your exit. It made me long for my headgear.

    Meganithappen - Fo shao.

    Jessi - Hahaha, I love that you have your post-pregnancy priorities in order! There will be plenty to celebrate this Fall :)

    Bearnwink - Sharp eye lady! Indeed, our younger furchild was named after that beer (well, the type of hop specifically.) I wouldn't be surprised if we tried to incorporate beer into our future child's name.

  18. Wait...moving bug? What moving bug???

    That looks like a great time, somehow I've never made my way to the Yards tour. And somehow I've never had a Mac & Cheese dog. Need to remedy both of these problems ASAP.

  19. Looks like such an awesome time! We have something similar to this near Chicago called Dark Lord sold out so fast we couldn't get any. Glad you had a blast!

  20. Shannon - I catch the moving bug every time I travel but it seems to stuck around ever since the last time I visited PA. Hmmm...

    Lip Gloss and Flip Flops - Oh yes! I've heard of Dark Lord Day! Unfortunately, we don't get any of the Three Floyds beers in our area. I'd love to make it up for DLD someday.