Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Luckiest Thirteens

What a great year this is about to be!

I assure you that this is not boilerplate PR hype, nor motivational speaker-speak, nor the results of any random wisps of reverie resulting from too much cold medicine (leave me NOW, oh phlegm of Satan!). Well, OK, maybe it's the last one.

This Friday is a Friday the 13th, one of three Friday the 13ths that occur this year (dontcha just LOVE Leap Year?). But the real significance here is that this Friday will be the 24th FRIDAY THE FIRKINTEENTH at the Grey Lodge in NE Philly, and to my mind, still the greatest one day beer festival in the world.

That's owner/publican Mike "Scoats" Scotese in the photo, tapping a firkin of fresh ale at one of the previous Firkinteenths, my favorite picture of the man who has quietly created an international phenomenon. This Friday, starting at Noon, the Grey Lodge will begin to tap up to 30 firkins of fresh ale, 7 at a time, some of which were specially made for this day by craft brewers from across the country, and this year, from England as well.

It is the most friendly, civilized and yet raucous fun time that one can possibly have drinking beer, and it takes place in a hip, cozy bar that also happens to serve terrific food. And it's the only beer festival dictated by the calendar.

If I've whetted your interest, and you're thinking about attending, try to arrive earlier than later (I'm planning for a 3PM arrival myself), as the roster of beers change fairly quickly (each firkin holds about 85 pints of beer) and the variety of brews is impressive. A firkin of England's Old Speckled Hen should be a highlight, as well as a first-time appearance of Landslide IPA from 50/50 Brewing Co., in Truckee, CA, a beer from multiple medal-winning brewer Todd Ashman, a good friend and an outstanding beer magician. There will even be a cask cider this year, made locally by Bucks County's Desiato Cider Co., and a tasty quaff at that. These firkins are set atop the bar in the Grey Lodge, tapped the old fashioned way with a hammer and the beer inside is served by gravity. The result is a smoother, silkier beer, the taste and feel of which you'll never forget.
Also, make use of smaller 7 oz. glasses so that you can sample a wider variety of beer. And drink LOTS of water, to hydrate your body and cleanse your palate. And stop and grab something to eat upstairs, like all the savvy beer aficionados do.

Here's the lineup for this Friday's Firkinteenth:

Current Cask List
Bavarian Barbarian First Snow
Boulder Mojo
Cricket Hill Colonel BlideĆ¢€™s Bitter
Desiato Cider
Dock Street Rye IPA, dry-hopped
Duck Rabbit dry-hopped Brown Ale
FiftyFifty Rockslide IPA
Flying Fish Scarlet Fever
Iron Hill West Chester Anvil Ale
Lancaster Milk Stout
Manayunk Rye of the Tiger
Nodding Head 60 Shilling
Old Speckled Hen
Philly Joe Porter
Prism Bitto Honey IPA
Ruddles County Ale
Sixpoint Gorilla Warfare
Sixpoint Vienna Pale
Sly Fox Sly Fox 113 IPA (113 on 1/13)
Sly Fox Robbie Burns Scottish Ale
Stone Stone Stone Smoked Porter - dry hopped w/ Chinook
Stouts Chocolate ESB
Victory ESB
Voodoo Four Seasons IPA
Weyerbacher Fireside
Yards Brawler

I hope to see you there! If, not, the next Firkinteenths will be in April and July!

Gotta LOVE Leap Year! And the Grey Lodge.

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