Thursday, June 14, 2012

Philly Beer Week Day 8: Jose Pistola's & A Beer Garden

We're almost to the end of Philly Beer Week! Just two more relatively full days and I'll be done and you can go back to reading shorter posts. On this Friday, Jo had the day off so we were going to have lunch at Jose Pistola's and I had planned to check out the With Love Beer Garden later on. We also ended up with an unscheduled stop at St. Stephen's Green for dinner which turned out great because they still had a bunch of great beers on tap.

As I said, the day started at my favorite lunch spot, Jose Pistola's. They were hosting a lunch for Hill Farmstead and how could I miss that? For those that don't know, Hill Farmstead is really well known for their hoppier stuff though Shaun Hill has a deft touch with mostly everything he brews as far as I can tell. I started with a glass of Florence, a saison.
Really nice herbal nose with a hint of tartness. Body followed with light tartness with some light breadiness following. This one, however, ended up being the one that Jo liked the most so I moved on to the other beer we ordered, Myth of Saison, a collaboration with Tired Hands.
Now, this one was awesome. Citrusy nose with a light saison spiciness underneath. Almost an orange juice body it's so citrusy, finishing with some light bitterness to keep it from being too sweet. Really excellent. I know Shaun brewed with Tired Hands again while he was here in Philly for Philly Beer Week so I can't wait to see what comes next based on trying this!

Finishing up at Jose's, I got a burrito, of course, and ordered a Society & Solitude 3, an experimental Double IPA though I don't remember the specific hops he used.
Funny, all the beers we drank look slightly different even if they are all orange. Didn't notice that before I put the pictures up. This one had an awesome, bright citrus nose and a thicker body than the other two. Orange citrus was the main flavor with some light sweetness to keep it from being too bitter. Finished dry but not parching. I thought this was excellent and it was probably my favorite of the lunch.

I had to head back to work now, but at least this time the beers weren't 11+% like they were on Tuesday. Right? So don't go thinking I went back to work drunk or something, especially you mom.

Once the day ended, I made my way over to the With Love Beer Garden at the Four Seasons Hotel. It started at 5pm, but when I got there at that time it was already on its way to being crowded. Not packed, but crowded.
Okay, that doesn't really show the crowd, but it does show the nice green space and open area of the beer garden. And I swear it got quite crowded soon after. I got to talk to the Four Seasons coordinator of the beer garden, Farra D'Orazio, who is also their Director of Public Relations. The beer garden took a lot of work for her but it totally turned out great. Farra mentioned she was basically married to the Doppler radar and checked it constantly all week. I'll admit it's not totally my scene, but it's fun to stop in once during the week.

Every day had a different brewery and today's brewery was going to be Dock Street. They were also unveiling their third Beer Four All Seasons, the Cherry Verbena Saison. Apparently verbena is a type of vegetable though I had no idea. If you remember, I was invited to try the first two beers in the series: here and here.
Faint cherry nose mixed with some saison spiciness. Light sweetness up front along with a little cherry, mild breadiness in the middle, and then lightly bitter in the finish. Great summer beer for sure. Yet another well made beer for the collaboration between Dock Street and the Four Seasons. I can't wait and see what they have in store for the last one!

As far as Philly Beer Week events go, the beer garden was supposed to be our last stop of the night and it technically was. However, we still needed dinner. I suggested St. Stephen's Green to Jo since it was basically on our way home and I knew the food there was quite good. To be fair, though, I was also kind of hoping they still had Bell's Black Note on draft and even though it wasn't on the draft list we were given, it was actually available! Score! I had it once before at Devil's Den but this time I wasn't drunk so I could taste it much better.
Straight bourbon and vanilla nose and oh so inviting. Not hot at all. The body was more bourbon with some boozy flavors which were cleaned up completely by a huge vanilla finish. It's funny that it's a mix of expedition and too cream stout but I only really tasted bourbon and vanilla. Absolutely excellent in my opinion and so glad I got to try it again.

And that was that. No matter what I said at the beginning of this post, I really had planned for this day to be slightly lighter in terms of beer. I had a big day planned on Saturday and so didn't want to go too crazy. I mean, compared to other days, I guess I kind of succeeded but I guess not if I count up total number of beers I drank. I'm not complaining though because any day I can get beers like Society & Solitude and Bell's Black Note is an awesome one that I'd gladly repeat.

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