Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Recent Obsessions- Volume 3: MissFancyPants' Summer Beer List

Not sure how much you know about myself and my husband but we LOVE beer, good beer.
I am talking about craft beers not the mass market beers.  Not saying I am not into wines, because I am, I love a good Napa Cab or a fine Italian Barolo but beers have evolved so much over the past 5 years.  If you haven't tried a craft beer, I urge you to go to your local liquor/beer store and make yourself a 6pk.  Try some different beers.  And don't be alarmed when you see canned craft beers - like Oskar Blues and 21st Amendments - think of when you saw New Zealand and Australia start the twist-off caps of good wines. Not only are these beers amazing, but they are also party/beach friendly!!

At the end of April, Mike's um 36th birthday this year, I organized a Beer Bus Bar Tour that went to two great establishments that have excellent beer lists.
Mike, myself and my nephew (disclaimer:  he did not go to the bar)
Standard Tap

If you are in the city - both have great craft beer lists and food.  We picked those two since there was so many of us but there are a ton of great bars in Philly if you are looking for somewhere to go.

Standard Tap only has only local micro-brews (NJ, NY, PA, and DE) and uses local ingredients for the food menu.  To top it off it is in a great location - Northern Liberties.

Kraftworks was okay in terms of service but they had a great beer list and they do growler fillings.  They are located in the Fishtown area in Philly which is almost like a gem in a bad area.
Another great resource if you are going to Philly is  This shows you who has what on tap!  Genius!

To prove our beer-loyalty even more...our basement was refinished once we purchased the house to include a sound-proofed band room (I helped design using inspired colors from Type O Negative - that was my only creative contribution the rest of was the artsy husband).  The rest of the basement includes a dry bar, entertainment room, bathroom, etc.

My other $$ contribution was a couple Christmas presents I bought Mike (with selfish intentions) - double tap beermeister one year and then a single tap beermeister a year later.  Therefore we can have 3 kegs on tap at all times - EXCELLENT!! 1 holds 2 sixtel kegs (skinny kegs which many craft beers come in) and 1 holds a 1/4 keg for some "everyday" drinking beer.

I will start off the list with the three on tap.  They are incredible beers, two of which I cooked with rather recently.
  • Victory Headwater Ale - not only drinkable but also works when you simmer some fresh herbed chicken sausage.
  • Oskar Blues TenFidy - see previous post for my Ten-fidy pot roast which I must say was awesome.
  • Weyerbacher Double Simco which is a double IPA - it is very hoppy upfront but sweet as you drink it. 

    I don't know what it is but I have been addicted to Saison beers lately.  Did you know the reason why they call it a Farmhouse Ale?  Saison's were given to farmhands to keep them happy and hydrated during the summer.  Maybe that is why I LOVE it after a long bike or a track run workout...I do say it keeps me happy!!  Two that I especially fell in love with this year:

    • Yard's Saison (yup straight out of Philly!!) - excellent is all I had to say.
    • Great Divide Collette - Farmhouse Ale - little different - I would say this is less sweet and more lemony and grassy flavored.
    Some other yummy goodness....
    •  Left Hand Good JuJu - Left Hand does NOT disappoint AGAIN!!  It is more of a light ale with hint of ginger - it tastes amazing with sushi!! 
    • Oskar Blues - G'Knight - it's in a can (perfect for the beach) and a great Imperial Red - just great anytime beer.
    Some IPAs that are super good:
      • For the IPA Connoisseur:  Fegley's Hop'Solutely Triple IPA was also extremely good - too bad the keg is one of those short fat one's so we couldn't get it for the taps.
      • For the Belgium Lover:  Terrapin's Monk's Revenge is a Belgium style IPA - DELISH!!

        This May, American Craft Beer Week came and went.  I had some amazing beers that week when we went after a tri-club meeting to the Pourhouse in Colllingswood, NJ:
        • Great Divide Hercules Double IPA - GR8 IPA!!!  Hoppy - yes please!!  I loved it.  
          • Elysian Triacula - Strong Ale - it was pretty good, little bitter but sort of sweet with some grapefruit hint.
          • Founder's Double Trouble- this is like crack candy. Good IPA - you can taste a little caramel and some fruit.  Christine had this at the bar. Yummy.

          I have a couple darker beers for the stout and porter lovers.

          North Coast Brewery Old Rasputin Imperial Stout - is really amazing.  Screw the cafe latte when you can have one of these.

          Southern Tier Raspberry Porter - this was like having a chocolate raspberry dessert.  Mike asked me to taste a bite of some yellow cake (which I am not a cake fan unless it is carrot or some sort of fruit) and then have a sip of the raspberry porter.  This was pure heaven!

          Breckenridge Vanilla Porter - another dessert like beer - it is just a nice hint of vanilla and chocolate but not overpowering or too sweet.

           My last suggestion if you can STILL get it is the 14th Anniversary by Firestone.  Check out the website here for the ingredients!
          It is made of about 5 different beers (think of a California blend - syrah/cab/zin) most of it aged in bourbon.  One of the beers that is 27% of the Anniversary is the Parabola Oatmeal Stout which will be out this summer (we have a beer guy working on this for a keg).
          It's a strong beer but it is a great sipping beer, you don't want to chug down this fine beverage.  You want to get all the flavors, check out their sheet and see if you taste everything.  It's about $20 a bottle.

          Firestone makes a lot of great beers, we got our growler recently filled with Double Jack Imperial Pale Ale (excellent).

          There is so much more great beers that we tried so I am sure there will be a late summer addendum to the list!

          If you want to check out my other beer list posts or just follow my cloud with beer - I'm always posting about something!
          How to Keep Sane During a Northeast Winter
          Off-Season - Stockholm's Hidden Treasure

          Lastly, hold into to your hats!!  I am going to venture into the "making beer" realm, because I NEED another hobby...


          1. I've had Victory Headwaters Pale Ale, and Old Rasputin.

            I want to try that Raspberry Porter! Southerntier stuff is good - they have a good oatmeal stout. Also want to track down some of the JuJu (I think I've had Left Hand stuff before) - never had beer with ginger though.

            We have a friend who loves Dale's Pale Ale (same brewer as Ten Fidy?)

            Speaking of strong beers, a friend brought us some Tactical Nuclear Penguin last summer from the UK...that would be a sipping beer. None of us were big fans though.

            PS- Never been to Hulmeville Inn (or Bensalem, for that matter).

          2. Thanks for the PhillyTapFinder shout-out. We are glad that you find the site helpful in navigating the the best beer city in America.

            Jared from

          3. Aw, what a fun idea! My husband's 30th bday is coming up and I want to plan something special...this is a good idea:). I am glad you guys had fun and got to try so many great beers!!:)


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