Monday, June 7, 2010

Beer Week!

It's Philly Beer Week! I have had some really def beers so far, the deffest being Ommegang's Tripel Perfection. The name ain't half-stepping; it's a strong, really tasty Belgian-style ass-kicker. It has a lot of flavor but is also easy to sip. I had one after their underwhelming, too-afternoony Witte at Sidecar and it rocked super hard. I went down to The Abbaye just to try it again! It's in very limited production so I will take most any chance I get to drink it. A label rep was at The Abbaye and totally bought me a drink (!) so I tried their Belgian Pale Ale. Ommegang seems to do smooth, strong beers very well. The Witte is on the watery side and the Three Philosophers packs in a few too many sensations at once to be truly enjoyable but both the BPA and the Tripel hit the spot. I did drink the BPA far too quickly as a stranger was talking to me and I felt urged to leave the bar but that shit was emminently quaffable. I appreciate the focus of these sweet-spot beers. They do not try to overwhelm you with proggish over-complexity but retain a very bracing intensity.

Speaking of focus, the Starkbierfest at Brauhaus Schmitz yesterday seemed to be devoted to decimating any foolish American lightweight daring to sample the heaviest of Teutonic hitters. Coupled with my sister's delicious Franziskaner Hefe Weisse, the Schneider 12% I had turned our rather mundane visit into a quest of epic proportions. No longer was ours a sample-based experience, but a valiant journey to the heart of the human being engine. Or something. I had planned on getting the 8% Schneider Aventinus but traded up to the 12% when our waitress informed us that the Aventinus was already kicked. And so it began. Combined with the Franziskaner and a glass of water I had a nice come-down scale at my disposal, albeit a filling one, especially since we had actual food. It was a natural transition, from the Schneier to the Franziskaner to the water to some kartoffelpuffer/latkes, making it so that I didn't get drunk but did get super fucking full. I then tried some of my sister's boyfriend's Schloss Samichlaus, the infamous, 10-month-aged 14% face-melter. It did not disappoint.

I am not as used to these amber German beers as I am to golden Belgian ales but they are certainly something I'd like to try more. Still on the horizon for the next few days: Duvel, Harpoon, maybe more Ommegang, Dogfish if I can get out tonight, whatever they have at DiBruno Brothers and the event that I am looking forward to most, the Trappist Ale Night at Grace on Wednesday. See you there!