It’s been almost exactly three years since guitarist Tommy Southard of Solace, The Disease Concept, Social Decay, etc., last turned in a Drinking with the Devil Dick beer column, but hey, I’ve got an open door policy and a permanent soft spot for Tommy, so it’s not like when he hit me up and said he wanted to do one I was about to say no. Would never happen. This time around, he hits up Tired Hands and Weyerbacher Brewing near his home outside Philadelphia, and samples a variety of fare, including candied bacon and a beer called “Stoner Witch.”
Devil Dick here to talk about my current favorite place on Earth to drink beer!
A few years ago a brewery opened up not to far away from where we live in Ardmore, PA. We were intrigued but did not visit right away because I remember my wife “Yelped” it and people were talking about the food portions being small. And my second fave thing after drinking beer is eating, so we passed. I remember telling her I didn’t want to leave being hungry. So it took a while before we took a chance and ventured in. Man, I wish we were there the day they opened because the beers were AMAZING.
The place is called “Tired Hands” and they’ve have become something of a sensation across the country. Beer nerds all over salivate to get one of their limited bottle releases in their hands.
The beers are fresh, different and never disappointing. It didn’t take long before the small place that was pumping out 1,000 barrels per year was unable to keep up in production. The once-easy-to-get-a-spot-at bar was full to capacity almost all the time. Fast forward a few years and they opened up a new and much bigger spot called “Fermentaria” just a few blocks away. This larger facility has the capability to bring beer to the Pennsylvania masses, 10,000 barrels per year. The beer has now become available at other bars around the city of Philadelphia. Pretty awesome stuff!
Jean Broillet IV and his wife Julie Foster are locals who have created an instant Mecca for beer nerds in ‘burbs of Philadelphia.
He is mad scientist of brewing, making kooky and delicious beers using interesting ingredients of all kinds. He started out learning the brew trade at Weyerbacher Brewing Company in Easton Pennsylvania. Jean’s main brewing focus is farmhouse ales. The brewery has brewed so many different beers that I can’t even keep track of them all. Lucky for me, a while back I started saving my growler tags so I remember the beers I had! I really should keep a notebook but then I’d become one of those beer geeks, heh…
Jean along with his staff are also some really cool and interesting people, who all dig music. We have often talked with them about music heavy metal and punk rock or Orange Goblin or Venom… And don’t be surprised if you walk in the place and they are jamming The Misfits or Slayer on the sound system. My kind of place! Jean has even brewed beer with some musicians like Dave Witte of Municipal Waste who is not onlyan amazing drummer but also way into beer. Made a beer in honor of the bands Baroness and Pallbearer. Named one of the beers “Stoner Witch” in homage to the Melvins.
There was beer named “Screeching Loud Thrashing Death Metal Offensive Song” which was named after a comment a lady posted that on Yelp: “Great beer, decent food, really quaint, welcoming space. But the music positively ruined this place for me…. SCREECHING LOUD THRASHING DEATH-METAL OFFENSIVE SONG THAT SETS YOUR TEETH ON EDGE & FILLS YOU WITH MURDEROUS RAGE, instantly rendering conversation impossible.”
Hey, not everyone loves Slayer — their loss! They often have the Mike Lorenz Quartet playing on weeknights or at monthly bottle releases. They do killer jazz versions of Sabbath tunes.
The food at “The Brew Café”: Don’t expect typical “bar” food. You won’t get greasy burgers and fries. You can get fresh bread made on the spot, local cheeses, Panini sandwiches and killer salads but by all means GET THE CANDIED BACON!
The new Fermentaria has full kitchen with killer tacos!!!
Oh yeah, and Jean does all the artwork for the place as well. Talented guy, that Jean is.
Great beer, great food, great music and good people, it’s a win, win, win, win.
I can’t do the place justice with my words. So take a peak their website and Facebook page and check out what they are up to. And if you are in the Philly area do yourself a favor and stop in. Tell them Devil Dick sent you! You won’t be sorry.
Here’s the story of how I came into possession of over 250 audio and video bootlegs all at once:
A few weeks ago, when I could still consider myself gainfully employed and not go into some kind of simultaneous laugh-cry about it, I got an email from a dude who reads the site. Knowing I’d almost certainly post about it later, he asked pretty early on not to be named. He said he had a bunch of live stuff from Wino he was looking to get rid of, that he’d been a big CDR and DVDR trader for bootlegs over the years and had got together a good collection. Needless to say, my interest was piqued.
He wrote that he wanted it to go to “a good home.” I said I was happy to provide one and to send over his list. I’ve never traded boots, but I know that in the days when physical trading was a thing, you were your list. He sent it over and I read it in slow motion. As advertised, there was a ton of Wino, from The Obsessed playing in 1983 and Warhorse at their high school in 1978 up to Saint Vitus in New Orleans in 2009, with a healthy dose of Shine/Spirit Caravan and The Hidden Hand stuff in between, audio and video. I found a video of a show from TheHidden Hand that I went to at the Khyber Pass in Philly, Feb. 5, 2004. I’m pretty sure you can see my big goofy head in the shot.
But the Winory is just the start of it. From The Atomic Bitchwax live at Roadburn in 2003 to shows from Warning, Valkyrie and a slew of sets recorded at Emissions from the Monolith (there’s a lot of “Live in Youngstown, OH” in late May 2003 and 2004), there are gigs from Revelation, Solace, Blood Farmers, YOB, Buried at Sea, Goatsnake, Test-Site and Acid King, Iron Man and Paul Chain. I said to the guy that I’d take everything on the list, and that’s just what I did. For $100 to cover the cost of discs, sleeves and shipping, I got 266 discs, some with more than one show included on them.
Here’s the full list:
Live & Demo CDs
35007, Roadburn Festival 2003
Abdullah, Cleveland, OH 10/18/01
Acid King, Baltimore, MD 10/2/00
Acid King, San Francisco, CA 7/16/01
Acid Mothers Temple, Chicago, IL 10/20/02 (2 CDs)
Agony Bag, Piss Out Your Trash Demo
Asylum, Demos 1986-88 (3 CDs)
Asylum, Baltimore, MD 4/13/07
Atomic Bitchwax, New Jersey 9/10/99 Atomic Bitchwax, Roadburn Festival 2001
Atomic Bitchwax, Berlin, Germany 5/11/04
Atomic Bitchwax, Switzerland 5/6/05
Dax Riggs, The Skeletal Circus Derails – Demo
Dead Meadow, Peel Sessions 2002
Deadboy & The Elephantmen, Demos
Deadboy & The Elephantmen, 10/9/03 Lafayette, La
Debris Inc., Cincinnati, OH 5/27/04
The Dictators, Asbury Park, NJ 6/8/91
The Dictators, Philadelphia, PA 5/30/98
Fu Manchu, Sweden 6/18/99
Grand Magus, Demo + Live 3/30/02 London
Helmet, Compilation (Rare, B-Sides Etc.)
Helmet, Blacktop 2/28/91
Helmet, New Orleans, La 8/5/91
High Rise, NYC, New York 3/14/00
House Of Large Sizes, I.O.W.A. – Live
House Of Large Sizes, Iowa City, IA 8/11/90
House Of Large Sizes, Davenport, IA 2/9/91 (2 CDs)
House Of Large Sizes, Cedar Falls, IA 8/16/90
House Of Large Sizes, Cedar Falls, IA 2/16/91 (2 CDs)
Internal Void, Frederick, MD 6/13/98
Internal Void, Indianapolis, IN 6/19/04
Iron Boss, Baltimore, MD 12/31/02
Iron Man, Force (Pre Iron Man)
Iron Man, Frederick, MD 12/31/07
Iron Man, Cincinnati, OH 3/14/00
Kyuss, Black Jeweler (B-Sides Etc)
Kyuss, San Francisco, CA 11/12/94
Kyuss, Desert Heavies
Kyuss, Desert Storm
Kyuss, Live At Bizzare Fest
Kyuss, Mercurious Pools
Kyuss, Norfolk, VA 12/18/92
Kyuss, To Infinity And Beyond
Kyuss, “Sons Of Kyuss “”Demo”” 39 Mins.”
Kyuss, Muchas Gracias
Nebula, Sweden 6/15/00
Opeth, Chicago, IL 10/02
Orange Goblin, Osaka, Japan 6/11/99
Orange Goblin, Austin, TX 5/10/02
Orange Goblin, Cincinatti, OH 5/27/04
Pale Divine, Frederick, MD 6/13/98
Pale Divine, Wheaton, MD 6/18/99
Paul Chain, Rimini, Italy 4/10/82
Paul Chain, Milan, It 1/15/90 (2 CDs)
Saint Vitus, First Album Demos
Saint Vitus, Koln, Germany 3/12/95
Saint Vitus, Firburgo, Swi 3/17/89
Saint Vitus, Torino 12/02/90 + L.A. 1984 (2 CDs)
Saint Vitus, Brain Sabbath – Boot
Saint Vitus, Washington, D.C. – 4/2/86 (2 CDs)
Saint Vitus, (Tyrant) Rehearsal 1978
Saint Vitus, Torino, Italy (2 CDs) 3/29/89
Saint Vitus, Tilburg, Holland (2 CDs) 4/24/09
Shine, Washington, D.C.2/13/98
Shine, Hagerstown, MD 5/14/98
Shine, Powertime E.P. + 3 Live + 9/20/97
Shine, Dallas 5/21/98 + Interview
Shine, Live 1997
Shine, Wheaton, MD 12/31/98
Shine, Washington, D.C. 12/13/97 (2 CDs)
Shine, NYC, NY 8/15/98 (Cuts)
Shine, Wheaton, MD 12/31/97
Shine, Washington, D.C. 8/10/97 (Slight Glitches)
Shine, Washington, D.C. 10/29/98
Shine, Baltimore, MD 8/16/98
Shine, Frederick, MD 9/20/97
Shine, College Park, MD 8/21/98
Shine, Washington, D.C. 6/6/97
Sixty Watt Shaman, 6/26/99
Solstice, Demos 1992-93
Spirit Caravan, Long Branch, N.J. 7/8/99
Spirit Caravan, Chicago, IL 4/26/02
Spirit Caravan, San Francisco, CA 7/16/01 (Glitches)
Spirit Caravan, St. Louis, MO 4/23/02
Spirit Caravan, U.K. 12/1/01
Spirit Caravan, Philadelphia, PA 8/3/01
Spirit Caravan, Baltimore, MD 5/15/99
Spirit Caravan, Wheaton, MD 8/14/99 (39 Min)
Spirit Caravan, Baltimore, MD 7/27/00
Spirit Caravan, Maryland 5/18/01
Spirit Caravan, Baltimore, MD 5/4/02
Spirit Caravan, Chicago, IL 7/26/01
Spirit Caravan, Brooklyn, NY 5/2/02
Spirit Caravan, New York City, NY 1/16/00
Spirit Caravan, Old Bridge, NJ 1/21/01
Spirit Caravan, Long Branch, NJ 2/18/00
Spirit Caravan, Cambridge, MA 8/1/01
Spirit Caravan, Munich, Germany 9/14/99
Spirit Caravan, Denmark 9/22/00
Spirit Caravan, Baltimore, MD 5/3/99
Spirit Caravan, Baltimore, MD 7/22/00
Spirit Caravan, Baltimore, MD 10/02/00
Spirit Caravan, Wheaton, MD 12/31/98
Spirit Caravan, Wheaton, MD 1/12/00
Spirit Caravan, Toledo, OH 1/14/01
Spirit Caravan, Youngstown, OH 9/3/00
Spirit Caravan, Youngstown, OH 5/27/01
Spirit Caravan, Toledo, OH 4/27/02
Spirit Caravan, Washington, D.C. 10/4/00 (Gaps)
The Hidden Hand, Pittsburgh, PA 2/12/07
The Obsessed, History Of Vol. 1 (Doom Records)
The Obsessed, History Of Volume 2 (Doom Recs)
The Obsessed, Live At The Wax Museum (Doom Recs)
The Obsessed, Washington, D.C. 3/14/85
The Obsessed, 9 Song Demo
The Obsessed, Various ’80’s Live
The Obsessed, Tucson, AZ 7/31/92
The Obsessed, Tucson, AZ 10/15/92
The Obsessed, Columbia Studio Session
The Obsessed, FM Broadcast December 1992
The Obsessed, Stuttgart, Germany 12/28/92
The Obsessed, Carrboro, NC 4/19/94
Trouble, Stuttgart, Germany 1/2/93
Trouble, One For The Road
Trouble, Aurora, IL 5/4/02 (2 CDs)
Trouble, South Barrington, IL 5/18/02 (2 CDs)
Unida, Chico, CA 5/24/00
Unida, Vienna 11/5/00
Unida, Unreleased 2002
Unorthodox, Asylum Demos 12/15/90
Unorthodox, Frederick, MD 10/14/00
Unorthodox, Frederick, MD 12/31/07
Unorthodox, Baltimore, MD 4/14/07
Wino, Tilberg, Holland 4/26/09
Wino, Athens, Greece 10/12/10
Acid Mothers Temple, 4/22/07 Charlottesville, VA 80 Min Alabama Thunderpussy, 11/4/06 Richmond, VA 62 Min
Asylum, 6/26/88 College Park, MD 115 Min
Atomic Bitchwax, 1/12/99 New York City, NY 64 Min
Atomic Bitchwax, 7/8/05 Baltimore, MD 63 Min
Atomic Bitchwax, 11/23/05 Washington, D.C. 54 Min
Blood Farmers, 4/15/07 Baltimore, MD 57 Min
Brant Bjork & The Bros, 5/21/05 Washington, D.C. 78 Min
Buried at Sea, 5/29/04 Youngstown, OH 30 Min
Clearlight, 8/14/99 Wheaton, MD 49 Min
Dead Meadow, 6/16/06 Washington, D.C. 46 Min
Debris Inc. – 5/29/04 Youngstown, OH 45 Min
Delicious, 5/27/04 Youngstown, OH 33 Min
Dixie Witch, 5/27/06 Youngstown, OH 42 Min
Doomed Nation, Volume 1 2004 65 Min
Doomed Nation, Volume 2 2005 85 Min
Dragon Ass, 9/5/03 Baltimore, MD 38 Min
Earthride, 9/3/05 Frederick, MD 18 Min
Earthride, 11/23/05 Washington, D.C. 34 Min
Fu Manchu, 1/30/96 Los Angeles, CA 38 Min
Goatsnake – 5/24/99 – Eindhoven, Germany 55 Min
Grief, 5/27/06 Youngstown, OH 57 Min
High On Fire, 12/15/04 Richmond, VA 65 Min
Hounds Of Hasselvander, 3/14/08 Washington, D.C. 65 Min
Internal Void, 8/28/04 Washington, D.C. 60 Min
Internal Void, 3/4/05 Baltimore, MD 28 Min
Internal Void, 9/3/05 Frederick, MD 69 Min
Internal Void, 11/23/05 Washington, D.C. 48 Min
Internal Void / Kelly Carmichael, 12/10/05 Frederick, MD 101 Min
Iron Man, 12/31/99 Wheaton, MD 68 Min
Iron Man, 4/15/07 Baltimore, MD 57 Min
King Valley, 9/5/03 Baltimore, MD 31 Min
King Valley, 8/28/04 Washington, D.C. 32 Min
King Valley, 3/4/05 Baltimore, MD 39 Min
King Valley, 5/26/05 Youngstown, OH 27 Min
King Valley, 6/25/05 Newark, DE 36 Min
King Valley, 9/3/05 Frederick, MD 34 Min
King Valley, 2/3/06 Leesburg, VA 40 Min
Kramer, Wayne, 7/13/02 Baltimore, MD 70 Min
MC5 / DKT, 6/18/04 Washington, D.C. 81 Min
Nebula, 6/2/02 Baltimore, MD 50 Min
Nitroseed, 6/2/05 Washington, D.C. 39 Min
Ogre, 4/14/07 Baltimore, MD 46 Min
Ostinato, 5/26/04 Washington, D.C. 48 Min
Ostinato, 10/29/04 Washington, D.C. 40 Min
Pearls & Brass / The Amoeba Men, 1/29/06 Richmond, VA 80 Min
Penance, 4/14/07 Baltimore, MD 63 Min
Revelation I, 4/14/07 Baltimore, MD 63 Min
Revelation II, 4/15/07 Baltimore, MD 57 Min
Revelation, 3/14/08 Washington, D.C. 65 Min
Rwake, 5/29/04 Youngstown, OH 40 Min
Saint Vitus, 7/21/87 Albany, NY 53 Min
Saint Vitus, 1987 Indianapolis, IN 42 Min Saint Vitus, 1993 Florida 100 Min
Saint Vitus, 7/1/03 Chicago, IL 56 Min
Saint Vitus, 4/11/09 New Orleans, LA
Shine, 12/29/96 Columbus, OH 27 Min
Shine, 2/14/97 Baltimore, MD 31 Min
Shine, 4/12/97 Washington, D.C. 54 Min
Shine, 8/15/97 Wheaton, MD 75 Min
Shine, 10/18/97 Wheaton, MD 65 Min
Solace, 5/28/04 Youngstown, OH 51 Min
Solace, 7/3/04 Baltimore, MD 30 Min
Solace, 9/5/04 Youngstown, OH 44 Min
Spirit Caravan, 7/8/99 Long Branch, NJ 61 Min
Spirit Caravan, 7/10/99 Richmond, VA 55 Min
Spirit Caravan, 8/14/99 Wheaton, MD 84min
Spirit Caravan, 2/2/00 Richmond, VA 59 Min
Spirit Caravan, 2/14/00 Cleveland, OH 67 Min
Spirit Caravan, 4/15/00 Youngstown, OH 53 Min
Spirit Caravan, 7/22/00 Baltimore, MD 28 Min
Spirit Caravan, 12/12/00 Hungary 68 Min
Spirit Caravan, 2/9/01 Springfield, VA 42 Min
Spirit Caravan, 5/18/01 Baltimore, MD 70 Min
Spirit Caravan, 8/1/01 Cambridge, MA 65 Min
Spirit Caravan, 1/19/02 Baltimore, MD 50 Min
Spirit Caravan, 5/2/02 Philadelphia, PA 60 Min
Spirit Caravan, 5/4/02 Baltimore, MD 56 Min
Stinking Lizaveta, 5/29/04 Youngstown, OH 40 Min
Suzukiton, 12/15/04 Richmond, VA 35 Min
Suzukiton – 5/29/07 Charlottesville, VA 38 Min
Test Site, 9/5/04 Youngstown, OH 35 Min
Test-Site, 6/1/05 Washington, D.C. 39 Min
The Hidden Hand, 12/31/02 Baltimore, MD 37 Min
The Hidden Hand- 2/22/03 Washington, D.C. 48 Min
The Hidden Hand, 6/24/03 Baltimore, MD 47 Min
The Hidden Hand, 8/29/03 Washington, D.C. 63 Min
The Hidden Hand, 1/16/04 Baltimore, MD 50 Min
The Hidden Hand, 2/5/04 Philadelphia, PA 60 Min
The Hidden Hand, 2/10/04 Baltimore, MD 45 Min
The Hidden Hand, 2/12/04 Lancaster, PA 30 Min
The Hidden Hand, 2/13/04 Washington, D.C. 45 Min
The Hidden Hand, 5/25/04 Washington, D.C. 54 Min
The Hidden Hand, 5/26/04 Washington, D.C. 52 Min
The Hidden Hand, 5/29/04 Youngstown, OH 42 Min
The Hidden Hand, 10/28/04 Philadelphia, PA 56 Min
The Hidden Hand, 10/29/04 Washington, D.C. 67 Min
The Hidden Hand, 1/15/05 Washington, D.C. 52 Min
The Hidden Hand, 2/12/05 Gaithersburg, MD 45 Min
The Hidden Hand, 4/16/05 Washington, D.C. 51 Min
The Hidden Hand, 5/20/05 Hartford, CT 48 Min
The Hidden Hand, 6/25/05 Newark, DE 52 Min
The Hidden Hand, 7/2/05 Washington, D.C. 47 Min
The Hidden Hand, 12/29/06 Washington, D.C. 56 Min
The Hidden Hand, 2/9/07 St. Paul, MN 60 Min
The Hidden Hand, 5/13/07 London, England 60 Min
The Obsessed, 1993 Fort Worth, TX 27 Min
The Obsessed, 4/18/94 Hampton, VA 36 Min
The Obsessed, 4/19/94 Carrboro, NC 40 Min
The Obsessed – Documentary 27 Min
Trephine, 12/11/04 Baltimore, MD 28 Min
Unorthodox, 6/19/04 Tradesmen Party 22 Min
Unorthodox, 7/31/04 Washington, D.C. 44 Min
Unorthodox – 9/4/04 Youngstown, OH 48 Min
Unorthodox, 4/14/07 Baltimore, MD 74 Min
Valkyrie, 3/4/05 Baltimore, MD 39 Min
Valkyrie, 11/4/06 Richmond, VA 37 Min
Valkyrie, 3/9/07 Richmond, VA 41 Min
Valkyrie, 4/14/07 Baltimore, MD 37 Min
Valkyrie, 5/29/07 Charlottesville, VA 37 Min
Warning, 4/16/05 Goppingen, Germany 64 Min
Wino, 1/28/09 Washington, D.C. 25 Min
Wino, 2/7/09, Washington, D.C. 57 Min
Witchcraft, 5/28/05 Youngstown, OH 66 Min
Witchcraft, 11/11/06 Washington, D.C. 45 Min
Wooly Mammoth, 6/16/06 Washington, D.C. 36 Min
Wooly Mammoth, 10/29/04 Washington, D.C.41 Min
Wooly Mammoth, 12/29/06 Washington, D.C. 36 Min
Wretched, 8/28/04 Washington, D.C. 30 Min
Wretched, 9/4/04 Youngstown, OH 24 Min
Wretched, 4/15/07 Baltimore, MD 42 Min
YOB, 5/20/05 Hartford, CT 45 Min
Warhorse, 1978 Rockville, MD 28 Min
The Obsessed, 3/80 Rockville, MD 106 Min (2 DVDs)
The Obsessed, 7/3/82 Washington, D.C. 74 Min (2 DVDs)
The Obsessed, 11/83 Kensington, MD 45 Min
The Obsessed, 2/11/84 New York City, NY 35 Min
The Obsessed, 6/16/84 Long March, PA 40 Min
The Obsessed, 4/17/94 Washington, D.C. 45 Min
Shine, 9/29/96 Wheaton, MD 45 Min
The Hidden Hand, 5/25/03 Youngstown, OH (Bass Heavy)
I’ve taken to calling it The Megabox.
It’s been here more than a week now and I’ve barely scratched the surface of what it contains. A Spirit Caravan show here, some Acid King there. At that rate, it’ll probably be years before I get through everything — if I ever do — and I have no idea how to organize it, because it can’t stay in the Megabox forever, but screw it, there was no way I was going to let an opportunity to own such a collection pass me by, even if it is CDRs in sleeves. Someone poured their heart into getting all of this. I was flattered even to be asked if I wanted it.
Yeah, some of it is available on YouTube or whatever blog or forum group, but considering I spent less than 50 cents for each of these shows and especially considering the human element in the media and the passion that clearly went into putting the collection together, I’m still ready to call it the bargain of the year.
Nebula, “All the Way” Live at the Ottobar, Baltimore, MD, 06.02.02
Hail and kill, beer geeks and aficionados of that which is sudsy! Tommy Southard of the soon-to-be-reviewed The Disease Concept and the soon-to-reunite-at-Days–of–the–Doomed-fest Solace has returned with an all-new “Drinking with the Devil (Dick)” column, covering a trip to Philly’s Dock Street Brewery.
Also, is it too late to change the name of this column to “Beer Shits” — or better yet, “Tommy Southard‘s Beer Shits?” Got a real nice ring to it…
Drinking with the Devil (Dick) by Tommy Southard
Hello and greetings, Obeliskers…
As I sit to write to you on this fine morning Philly Beer Week is just getting under way and I promise to keep you informed on my exploits.
As for now I want to tell you of my recent visit to another Philly beer staple: Dock Street Brewery.
Dock Street is in West Philly at 701 South 50th St., just a few miles from my house. It is owned by Rosemarie Certo who by what I’m told was one of the first female craft brewers, opening Dock Street in 1985. That is all fine and good but to be honest with you I am not the biggest Dock Street beer fan. For the most part I find their beers to be a bit overrated. The few times we have visited, the staff seems overwhelmed and a bit under-knowledged. For the most part again this was true at this visit. I asked one of the bartenders about a certain beer and he looked at me and said, “I don’t know much about the beer…” Ouch.
The exception this time to what I think is usually lackluster beer was that Dock Street was doing a very limited bottle release of some special beers, with a bunch also being available on tap. We only went at the urging of out good friend and beer aficionado Amy Bullard. Amy is the former guitarist of Philly’s Hatchetface and a great home-brewer herself. When she said we should really come and try the sour beer, we listened.
The festivities were supposed to start at noon and we got there early because we didn’t want to miss out on the first-come/first-served only-while-supplies-last deal. But as usual with Dock Street it was SNAFU, and doors didn’t open until 20 after 12:00, leaving the sidewalk overflowing with an array of beer geeks.
As soon as the doors open it was like a Who concert in Cincinnati in 1979.
We found a nice little spot at the bar and waited for a while as the staff was already overwhelmed. Par for the course. Running around like chickens with their heads cut off.
After a long wait, we ordered a few of the limited Flemish Red Sour Ales (aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels) – man, it was it worth it. This beer was good. I must have drunk five or six of them before I ventured out to try anything else. If you’ve read any of these beer shits before you will know that I am slowly being converted from a dark beer, stout and porter guy into a big sour beer fan.
As for this beer, it was definitely funky, which I like. A light reddish brown with very little bubbles, sorta flat with some slight alcohol and acidity. And at 6.5 percent, I could drink five or six of them and move on to some other things without blacking out. I will say this; I bought two bottles of Sour for take-home enjoyment. The Lady and I cracked one at home and it was not as good bottled as on tap. Seemed sort of lifeless, flat and not nearly as fresh.
We tried the Caliente Golden Ale brewed with agave nectar and chiles. It’s a collaboration w/ Four Seasons, and pretty interesting. You can actually taste and get some heat from the chilies but it is not overpowering. Drinks really smooth too for a 9.5 percent. I guess the alcohol burn is masked by the chilies. There was a sweet flavor, too. I wish they had this in a bottle. I would love to see how it aged a bit, as it was a real nice beer. I wish Dock Street had more things like this on tap from time to time.
I went in for an ABT 12 Abbey-Style Quad next. I don’t know if the other beers were kicking in yet or what but this was really good as well. I mean it wasn’t on the level as St. Bernardus ABT 12 (but what is?) but this was very enjoyable I was actually enjoying all the beers. I was really worried that there was going to be a clunker or two among the beers, but I actually walked away with a little more faith in Dock Street. I had sort of written them off but this event has renewed my faith in them. I will now go back and give them another try. If they can only get the staff to know a bit about the beers they are pouring.
So I bought bottles of the Sour, ABT 12 and the BelgianBlack IPA to sit on for a while, so maybe when I crack them I will report back to you all with my findings!
And stay tuned: Philly Beer Week is upon us I have a bunch of events planned! First up, a Mikkeller event!!! Until then, stay thirsty my friends.
Posted in Columns on April 24th, 2012 by JJ Koczan
In his third “Drinking with the Devil (Dick)” column, Tommy Southard puts his palate and his liver on the line against a range of craft brews in various locales and lives to tell the tale of a night spent with Schaefer and Thin Lizzy, which is about as close to an ideal evening as I can think of. Please enjoy:
Drinking with the Devil (Dick) by Tommy Southard
Well greetings, Obeliskers…
It’s been a while but it seems like only yesterday I was trying to get the last installment of “Drinkin’ w/ the Devil” together. Man, where does the time go?
I’ve been way busy with lots of things, but still had time to sample plenty of beers. But let me say that beer in Pennsylvania is expensive! With that in mind, I’ve been tending to stick with some of the things I’ve liked, so I’m not spending money I don’t have on things I’m not sure about. A couple of the brews I’ve been frequenting has been stuff by Dark Horse, SouthernTier, DuckRabbit (the dark beer specialists) and Dogfish Head. I’ve also been out and about drinking at some local joints. One around the corner from my house is Mickey’s Tavern.
Mickey’s is a bit of a dive bar and my kind of place. Full of locals and working class types who come to have a few beers after work and before they go home to the wife and kids. Recently we found out that they were trying to improve their beer selection. And when we drove by and saw a sign that said “Now Serving Over 100 Beers,” we had to go in and check it out. I’ve been there many times before, but always just for a cold bottle of PBR on the cheap. Well, the selection wasn’t all that I was hoping for so I went with a Revel Red, which was okay but nothing great, and then a Fuller’s London Pride and we hit the bricks. I give them an A for effort but when I go to Mickey’s it will be for the cheap PBR in bottles. I snapped a few pics with their plastic doggie tip jar…
Dark Horse is easily one of my fave breweries out there now and all of their stuff has been to my liking lately. We (that’s me and the wifey) always pick up some when we are on the beer hunt. Looks like they changed the label on their Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock, which is pretty fantastic, by the way. If you like coffee and beer this is a nice one if you have not had it before. Hell, even if you don’t drink coffee, you should try this. Nice and malty and the coffee doesn’t overpower the brew.
We also had some Dark Horse Too Cream Stout, which a milk-style stout (made with milk sugars). This was dark and smooth and sweet. Just like I like my ladies… Heh. And at 8.0 percent ABV, it packs a bit more wallop than one might expect. Another fine brew by this fine brewery.
Another brewery that I have not had a bad beer from is Southern Tier. The Imperial Choklat Stout is no exception. Brewed with chocolate, this is pretty awesome. Totally dark chocolate sweetness and drinks so smooth for an 11 percent beer. I could drink one thousand of these! If you have not had anything by this brewery I STRONGLY suggest you do so, post haste.
That brings me to Duck Rabbit, “The Dark Beer Specialists,” or so they say. But I won’t argue.
Duck Rabbit Brown Ale was a pretty typical American brown. This is an average brew, methinks. Nothing really stands out, but then again nothing screams, “This sucks!” Kinda weak in flavor compared to all the other Duck Rabbits. If I see this next to the porter or stouts, I’m going with the others…
Holy crap, their Milk Stout actually tasted a bit like milk. It was kinda off putting at first sip, but it got better and better with each. I guess it was a bit of a shock when it actually tasted like milk. A very smooth and drinkable milk stout that got better as it went down.
The Duck Rabbit Porter was exceptional. I love porters and this one was/is a fine example. If you are down with porters get your hands on it ASAP. A way above-average porter, in my humble opinion.
That said, the Baltic Porter was a bit of a bummer for me. I have heard people rave about it, but each and every bottle tasted of metal. Not sure if it was from the cap of the bottle but something went wrong in the bottling of this batch. A real shame because I know this is not how this should taste. I will revisit, hope for better results, and for now give it an incomplete until I’ve tried another batch.
Oh la la… Duck Rabbit Barley Wine. At 11 percent, this one packs a punch and has a bit of a booze smell and burn but the fruit and malty flavors balance this one out nicely! A+
One of my all time faves has been Dogfish Head Chicory Stout. I was lucky enough to find a few remaining six-packs of this luscious brew. It’s seasonal, and it disappears as soon as it hits the shelves, so I was lucky to find it. I’ve talked about it before, but this beer it is just awesome. This is the official description: “Chicory Stout is a rich, dark beer made with a touch of roasted chicory, organic Mexican coffee, St. John’s Wort, and licorice root. It is brewed with roast barley, crystal malt and oats and hopped just right with Glacier hops. We use fair trade Organic Mexican Coatepec beans roasted to our specifications by Notting Hill Coffee Roastery in Lewes, DE.”
I also spent a little time in my old stomping grounds of Jersey a little while back and hit an old spot that I wasn’t even sure was still there as it had been years and years since I last was there, but lo and behold another dive bar that still exists! “The Not Yet Famous” Sudsy Mug. Here is a pic of my good buddy and oldest friend on earth, Timmy Schoenliber, out front of the bar where we went in and had mug after mug after mug of Yuengling on tap. We then went back to his house and drank a shit-ton of Schaefer beers, Sailor Jerry Rum and root beer, built a fire and jammed Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, The Kinks, Neil Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd till the wee hours of the morn… That’s what friends are all about! Till the next time!
Posted in Columns on March 13th, 2012 by JJ Koczan
In his second column for the site, Tommy “Devil Dick” Southard leads the way through a night of excellent beer and music pairings that’s sure to put you on your ass, one way or another. Some tracks from Tommy‘s new band, The Disease Concept, have been posted in the news forum, and they rule, so please consider them recommended listening, whatever beverage you happen to have on hand at the time. On with the show:
Drinking with the Devil (Dick) by Tommy Southard
Hello there Obelisk-ers,
Devil Dick here to talk a little beer and maybe a little music…
I’ve been sampling plenty of different and new beers but I’m gonna start with a fairly new all-time favorite. I spent a lot of time drinking darker beers, as my first love has always been stouts and porters, but since I’ve been introduced to sour beers, they have slowly but surely crept up the chain near the top and this one might be the best of the bunch. I always try and pick up and keep a bottle or two on hand: Monk’s Café Flemish Sour Ale. My buddy Paul Vismara turned me on to this with a trip to Monk’s Café right here in Philadelphia, where it is brewed. Ever since then it’s been a staple. As the name says, this is “sour” and that word used to turn me off — I mean who wants to drink something sour? The word makes one think of turned milk and all curdly-type nasty stuff but this beer is amazing. It’s light copper in color with a million bubbles and it’s so carbonated it sort of drinks like seltzer… The sour taste is all fruity with no earthly-ness really and pretty tart. At 5.5%, it’s way easy drinking and you can put a bunch of these back and still think straight…. While drinking a few of these I cranked up The Difference Engine from Dutch stoner rock band Beaver. An important and oft-overlooked album from 1997. Great heavy riffs à la some Wino-type riffery… Nice.
Next up is St. Bernardus Wit Belgian Abbey Ale Pierre Celis Signature Selection. This poured cloudy with an almost cider look, with a minimal head that didn’t last. Nice carbonation with a bubbly citrus smell and flavor, with a hint of some kind of spice. Very smooth and drinkable. A very tasty wit. I’ll grab this one again for sure. I suggest some classic doom metal à la Candlemass, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, to accompany this classic-style beer. Both very classic and both very enjoyable.
Next up we have Brasserie de Rocs Brune’s Belgian Brown Ale: This is a strong brown ale at 9% and a bit boozy (brandy). Kind of syrupy and thick mouthfeel, with brown sugar with molasses and malt flavors. Poured brown…. heh… with little head. This was okay, but for the cash I think I’ll pass next time. I put on some archaic punk from the NY band Nihilistics for this, which was a full-blown noisy blast of hardcore punk aggression. By the time you drink the 1 pint 9.4 fl. oz. bottle you can pretty much listen to their entire 1983 self-titled album from start to finish.
Ah, more familiar territory here — an Oatmeal Stout by McNeill’s Brewery. This is the shit I love most of all. There is something about a beer so dark that no light can even get through the other side of the glass. I had not had this before, but when I was buying this and the tag said winner of 13 national awards and had a beer rating of 98, I had to give it a go. I was not disappointed. This poured black with virtually no head. Big coffee smell with a slight alcohol taste and some chocolate. Not a lot of carbonation and easily drinkable. This is the stuff I love. For a familiar taste like this one (at least for me), go with some Grand Funk or UriahHeep. If you’re feeling adventurous try some Cain, A Pound of Flesh, which is a bit more obscure but still has a familiar vibe.
Next we have Hobgoblin from Wychwood Brewery, an imported dark English ale. This was a gift from my cousin Mike. Thanks Mike! I’ve seen this one around but never got around to trying it, so the gift was very welcome. This poured a dark brownish red with not much head. It had a slight smell of prunes with not much carbonation. This was very smooth, almost watery in the same vein as say, a Newcastle Ale. Actually was quite pleased by this overall. I might not have gotten around to trying this one on my own but now that I’ve had it, I’ll be back for more. As for music with this one, it’s English & its “goblin,” so go get the new Orange Goblin record, A Eulogy For the Damned!!! Might be their best since The Big Black.
And last but not least let me tell you about my new favorite cheap beer: Lionshead. Being a Jersey boy and recently landing in Philly, I never had this cheapy, but I dig this much better than most others out there. Has a more malty taste than others with a slightly sweet taste. These go down fast and furiously and at seven bucks and a few pennies a 12 pack, they don’t break the bank. I can’t drink fancy shit all the time — as my body and brain want to, my wallet just don’t allow it — so after you have a few good ones and you want to sustain the beer buzz, these always do the trick. By the time you get a few more of these down the gullet and it’s a little later in the evening it might be time for some classic thrash à la Slayer or Exodus!!!