Monday, June 20, 2011

The Last Day of Philly Beer Week

The most glaring omission from my Philly Beer Week posts has definitely been Jose Pistola's. It's easily my favorite lunch spot during the year so it seems like I should have planned to go there during the biggest beer week of the year. Well, I did have a lunch planned, smart guy, and if you had looked at my schedule you would have known that! So there. It just happened to be on the last day of beer week so it took me a while to get to it. For this lunch, Adam had been saving up Jolly Pumpkin beers so he had a decent variety by then.

I started with the Jolly Pumpkin Luciernaga which turns out to be a Belgian Pale Ale.
Slightly tart with a little bit of funkiness. Reminds me, of well, most Jolly Pumpkin beers. First sip started lightly tart, followed by an odd spiciness, and finished pretty funky. Without looking it up on BeerAdvocate, I would have assumed it was a saison but maybe the odd spiciness was the belgian yeast or hops. Who knows. Still, not too bad and an enjoyable way to start lunch.

Up next, paired with one of Jose Pistola's awesome pork burritos, was the E.S. Bam, a saison.
Slightly spicy nose, no tartness or funkiness in this one. Sharp citrus, some bitterness, finishing with some peppery spiciness. While it went well with the burrito, I wasn't a huge fan. The bitterness mixed with the spiciness just didn't sit well. Sort of like a saison IPA and about as appealing.

After that, I headed out since I wanted to hit up the Resurrection Ale House for their 'All Day Wood' event before it got too crowded. Of course, little did I know, 2pm was late enough for it to already be crowded but you win some, you lose some. I did get to walk from Jose Pistola's with Jared and his wife from PhillyTapFinder which was fun.

I started with something I've wanted to try for a really long time now, Cantillon Fou Foune.
Fou Foune is a lambic aged on apricots that's only made when a specific crop grows properly so it's only released every couple of years. Most of it is bottled, there aren't a lot of them, and they are usually at least $40. What this means is finding it on draft saves me money and lets me try it. So win win. Slight apricot in the nose along with a huge amount of tartness and funkiness. Since it's fresh, the funkiness was a little more contained than some other Cantillon beers but it was still present. Initially super sour, really acidic. If you like sours, this was really freaking good. I started to find hints of apricot as I got used to the sourness but like other lambics made with real fruit instead of extract, it didn't have a big presence. This was pretty awesome and now I can understand why people go crazy over bottles of it.

I tried to finish up with North Coast Old Stock as I've never had it before, but the keg didn't tap properly, so I got a glass of De Struise Tsjeeses Reserva.
Smelled Belgiany but with a slightly off-putting sharpness to it. Tasted sugary with a hugely unpleasant oakiness that didn't blend into the base at all. This is the first time I've seen oak aging actually make a beer worse and I don't know what to say. I really liked the base Tsjeeses and was really disappointed in this version. I will admit Jared enjoyed it so it could easily have been my palate.

After that I decided to call it a day. I took the afternoon off knowing I was going to be kind of useless so I'd already been out for quite a few hours. There were more beers at Resurrection's event I wanted to try, but considering how much I had previously it wasn't that big a deal to miss out. Jose Pistola's was awesome as usual. I considered heading back there for their Founders event after Resurrection but repeating the twenty minute walk in 90+ heat didn't really appeal to me. And, so, Philly Beer Week ended for me. Eight days of drinking something every night. A bunch of awesome tap takeovers, a lot of rare beers, and a ton of words written. Super week and I'm already looking forward to next year.

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