Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Philly Beer Week Day 7: De Dolle & Deschutes

For the seventh day of Philly Beer Week, the beer gods gave me De Dolle and Deschutes. Originally I had only planned on the Deschutes event but it turned out that De Dolle was at Monks when I got there so win win! Of course all of this meant that I had to brave the waters of Monk's back room again but I was hoping that it wouldn't be as bad as Sunday's Funky Buddha event. For the most part I was correct though it did get pretty busy later during the Deschutes stuff possibly because Monk's was the only place they visited during Beer Week..

When I arrived the back room was only a little crowded and so it wasn't too hard to get my first beer. I realize I was at a De Dolle event, but I didn't feel like one of their beers. Instead I went with the intriguing De Molen Bakker Wort Brouwer, a whisky barrel aged imperial stout.
Wow, what a nose. Inviting? I'm not so sure but definitely crazy. Just a huge amount of peaty smokiness from the whiskey barrel. The first sip completed the circle with more very smoky flavor. Someone described it as "De Molen squeezed a peat brick into the glass" and that's a pretty good description. I guess if you like really smokey whiskeys you'd love this one.

Once I had my beer, I chatted with people for a bit until the owner of De Dolle showed up. He talked about their brewing philosophy, about their ingredients, and other stuff like that. Seemed like a really nice guy. Here's him and Tom Peters of Monk's while he was talking.
The De Dolle owner is the one on the left. Once he finished talking, he walked around the room and spent time answering people's questions. Seemed like a really nice guy which isn't too surprising given the very pleasant brewery owners I met in Belgium.

So that was the De Dolle event. It did get a bit crowded but wasn't packed. Cleared out pretty quick too. At this point, I had about two hours to kill before the Deschutes. I spent that time by drinking a FiftyFifty Annularity, an awesome whiskey barrel barleywine, and FiftyFifty BART, which was much better than what I had on Friday. Nice bourbon flavor this time. I also ordered a Monk's Burger, which is their burger with blue cheese and leeks, and man was that delicious. Been a while since I had one too. Yum.

Once it was almost time for the Deschutes event to start, I saw Jason, their marketing guy, come in along with a brewer and an assistant brewer. I met Jason last year at the London Grill Deschutes dinner and so wandered over to chat for a few. Like clockwork the room filled up nearly to capacity once the event actually started but I managed to get a glass of their sour, Plum Line.
This was an experimental sour from one of their brewpubs and made with plums. Nice tart nose to start things off. As expected, the body was tart too but on the other hand it was not particularly the sour. As I got used to the initial tartness, the plum sweetness came out a bit adding another dimension. Reminded me a bit of Petrus Aged Pale actually except with a hint of plums. Deschutes brought a couple more experimental beers too but I had drank enough at this point so didn't feel the need to get more. One even smelled like fig newtons!

Here's a picture of the crew Deschutes brought with them. Picture thanks to Steve Lyfords. Thanks Steve!
What a great night even if it did get stuffy and crowded near the end. It was great to see that even the non-event beers were pretty awesome as they were mostly left over from other events during the week. Getting to talk to Jason again and also chatting with Cam, one of the new head brewers, was really great. Both were incredibly nice. Jason actually runs the DeschutesBeer twitter feed so say hi! Definitely glad I decided to do Monk's for the night.

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