Monday, May 9, 2011

Mirrors, Ladders, Umbrellas and Ale

I'm not the superstitious type. That's why I love when Friday the 13th rolls around every year, even when it occurs as much as three times in one year. But this year, it rolls in only once, and it rolls this week. That makes for an extra special FRIDAY THE FIRKINTEENTH at the Grey Lodge Pub in Northeast Philly.

The only beer festival dictated by the calendar, FTF is, to my mind, the greatest of all American beer festivals for the sheer simple democracy of it: arrive, wade through the amazingly friendly mob of cask ale lovers, order a beer from one of the seven or so firkins atop the bar, and savor some pure heaven in a glass. Beer as it was meant to be, fresh from a small keg, poured by gravity as its propellant, amid the cameraderie of old and new-found friends. And beer folk are the best new-found friends in the world.

There will be about 30 firkins of fresh, cask ale served throughout the day at the Grey Lodge, beginning at noon on the 13th. They will be served 7 at a time, and the sheer variety of them all is impressive. Here is the most up-to-date list of offerings, from the Grey Lodge's own website:

Cigar City Humidor IPA
Cricket Hill Reserve Series Brown
Dock Street TBA
Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA
Flying Fish Farmhouse
Fullers London Pride
Lancaster Milk Stout
Manayunk Brewerytown Brown Ale
Manayunk Hop Phanatic
Nodding Head Marauder
Philadelphia Brewing Fleur de Lehigh
Prism Bitto Honey
Sixpoint Modern Rye
Sly Fox 113 IPA
Sly Fox Chester County Bitter
Stoudts Pils
Stoudts Special Bourbon Barrel Aged Scarlet Lady ESB
Troegs Hopback Amber
Troegs Javahead Stout
Victory Headwaters Pale Ale
Wells Banana Bread
Wells Bombadier
Weyerbacher Verboten with Camomille Tea
Yards ESA

Feeling lucky? I'll see you there. Bring an umbrella. Or a ladder. Or a mirror. Oh, never mind.

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