Today we celebrate the birth of one of South Street Brew’s own — Mike Maloney. Congratulations on making it to 26, none of us thought you had it in you.
Stone Brewing Company, headquartered in Escondido, CA, is a large and widely recognized American craft brewery with a reputation for making devilishly heady beers. They are currently the 10th largest craft brewer in the US by beer sales volume and are growing each year. I recently spent an evening at their World Bistro and Gardens at Liberty Station in Northwestern San Diego (near Point Loma and Ocean Beach), and I can tell you that it was a beer experience unlike anything I’ve had to this point. I encourage you to hit this link and explore firsthand the impressive scope of Stone Liberty Station. If any brewpub is deserving of the name “World Bistro and Gardens,” it’s this one.
Due to the fact that my visit was at night and I was slightly overwhelmed (and possibly tipsy), my pictures do not do this facility any amount of justice. It is a resort. A beer playground. As soon as I arrived, two things became very clear to me — Stone is doing pretty well, and dedicated craft beer fanatics do exist.
The brewpub (bistro?) had over 40 beers on tap, including those brewed at HQ in Escondido (Stone Pale, Stone IPA, Arrogant Bastard, Levitation, Ruination, Sublimely Self-Righteous, among others), those brewed on-site, and many other California craft brews. The staff was great — very knowledgeable and very into the whole Stone experience. One guy told me they had over 200 active taps. Nice. We settled in, tried the beers brewed at Liberty Station, and enjoyed a few rounds of bocce. I tried to process the insanity I was a party to as I walked around like a kid in a candy shop.
Beers we tried
- Commander in the Crosshairs – English Pale (brewed at Liberty Station)
- Burton Snatch – English IPA (brewed at Liberty Station)
- Supremely Self-Conscious – Black Session IPA (brewed at Liberty Station)
- Witty Moron – Black Witbier (brewed at Liberty Station)
- Arrogant Bastard – aggressive ale that you probably won’t like
As I recapped the night to friends and family, I kept coming back to the statement “it was almost too much.” Almost. It is nice to over-indulge every once in a while. Stone has created an extremely elaborate trophy to the success of the craft beer movement, a place for beer nuts and foodies (yes, they also serve food) to go wild. It is extraordinary. It is expensive. It is excessive. It is a hell of a good time.
If you weren’t already aware, the 2013 version of the Great American Beer Festival wrapped up this past weekend in Denver. The event is sponsored by the Brewer’s Association and involves presentations and tastings of hundreds of beers in every category imaginable by approved judges. Check out the links for general information about this year’s and past GABFs and to see a complete list of this year’s winners. Did your favorite local brewery make the cut?
You’re probably wondering why you didn’t see South Street Brewing Company on the gold medal list. Well, in order to compete, a brewery must be “commercially operational” and “have a federal permit to make and distribute alcohol.” So we aren’t quite there yet.
Minor details, if you ask me.
The West Coast brewery tour continued to Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits in San Diego, CA. Tucked away inside a small residential neighborhood, Ballast Point’s Old Grove location boasted 19 brews on tap, several growlers and 6-packs available to go, and indoor and outdoor seating. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable, but less approachable than similar venues. We did not participate in a guided tour, but they have several (free) tours daily.
A recent trip to the West Coast brought me to Southern California and one of the most active and storied locations for US craft brewing. While I was only there for a few days, I managed to visit 4 breweries, all in and around San Diego. Separate posts linked here will be coming soon for each individual stop.
Pizza Port Brewing Company
All together, there wasn’t a bad time in this bunch. Each brewery was different in many ways, both in aesthetic styling and beer selection. Stay tuned for a full recap of each in the next few days.
There are few things that beat trying out some new brews on a great summer day. Yesterday, Blue Tarp Brewing (website is still under construction but links to their Twitter and Facebook pages) opened the doors to their brewery for their first public tasting. Some friends and myself decided to check out the latest addition to the Atlanta beer scene.
Despite living in Atlanta for three years now, there are still parts of the southern cuisine that I have not tried yet. The most obvious one is chicken and waffles, which doesn’t seem like my kind of meal. Another, which I was only vaguely familiar with before yesterday, was the low country boil. The low country boil is a traditional southern feast that features basically any meat or vegetable that can be boiled with a ton of seasoning. They are perfect for hosting big parties. Last night, I attended my first ever low country boil.
Jerry Garcia, the lead guitarist, vocalist, and a founding member of the Grateful Dead, died 18 years ago today. One of the most distinct and prolific guitar players in the history of recorded music, Jerry and the Grateful Dead’s music has permeated many different realms of pop culture and society and remains as popular today as ever — Dead Heads are a loyal (and mellow) bunch. Jerry’s skill on both acoustic and electric guitar was incredible; his classic tone and style defined the sound of a band as influential in folk, blues, and experimental rock as any you’re likely to come across.
Like so many touring musicians, Jerry struggled with drug addiction throughout most of his professional career. However, he was by all accounts a kind and loving man and it came through in his music. He succumbed to a heart attack on August 9th, 1995 at the age of 53.
The Grateful Dead can be an intimidating first listen — they were for me — due to their hype, reputation, and sheer volume of music produced and performed over a 30 year career. I encourage you to give them a listen and a chance if you haven’t yet. Here are a few of my favorite live tracks.
This past Saturday, August 3rd, was an annual tradition that people far and wide look forward to — the MOAPhT — hosted by South Street Brewing Company, with special event planner Paul “Bowl” “The Man” Maloney. Beers were drank, turkey legs were eaten, lives were changed for the better.
The game was both exciting and disappointing. John Lannan squared off against Brandon Beachy, fresh off his first start after spending the entire season to date on the DL. Lannan generally stunk, only going 4.1 with control problems most of the afternoon. The Phils got out to an early lead against Beachy, but he settled down against our meager offense and went into the 7th. Zach Miner (?), Luis Garcia, Paps, and Tony Bastard all pitched pretty well out of the pen to give us a chance to walk this baby off. However, Jake Diekman couldn’t find the plate and put J-Frate into a position where he couldn’t strand the bad guys. Phillies lose in 12.
Overall, we had a great time out in the lot. 6 hours with beer flowing like wine is a heckuva time (TMac!). We posted up at SRO and enjoyed the quiet mediocrity of the franchise as much as possible. Didn’t get thrown out for heckling the bullpen – always a positive. But said Hey to Eddie Perez. That guy used to catch Greg M. The weather mostly held out. Take a look at our pictures!
Atlanta has quite a reputation for producing musicians from pretty much any genre. You know the rappers like TI and Outkast, some “poppier” musicians like John Mayer, and then, of course, there is the country influence of the south. There are several venues in Atlanta, where you can find a solid local band (and on some nights, national acts). Last night, I went to Eddie’s Attic, which is technically in Decatur, Georgia, to see the country/rock Kurt Thomas Band.
Well, that was fast.
It has been just about 3 months since the founding of South Street Brewing Company, our local homebrewery, and the launch of this website. I have had an amazing time brewing good beer with my very close friends. But as they say, it is about more than just good beer (what a catchy moniker). It’s also about learning new things. And we have learned a lot. It’s about slowly figuring out what it would take to make this thing real. It’s about making connections with people in Philly and not in Philly — people who are interested in chatting about craft beer, people who are interested in contributing to this site, homebrewers, friends. It has been quite a wonderful experience so far.
This weblog has provided me an outlet for discussion and sharing. It has allowed me to be more observant about things I am passionate about. I have taken notes. I have talked to people. I have had fun. Three months in and we have barely scratched the surface. Expect bigger and better things. I sure do.
A sincere thanks to Kyle S, Pete, and Jeff. I am thrilled you guys are so enthusiastic about writing on this site. We have so many opportunities for expansion, both in topics and readership. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.
If you are reading this, thanks for doing so. How did you hear about us? What do you think so far? If you are interested in beer, sports, music, culture — stay tuned, you won’t be disappointed.
As always, check us out on twitter @SouthStreetBrew.
Give us some feedback in the comments.
Thanks and cheers!
Having recently found myself in the Bay area, I decided to take a day trip up to Petaluma, CA. Now I’m sure everyone has heard of Petaluma but, in case you haven’t, this quaint little gem is located in the famous wine producing Sonoma County about an hour away from Napa. The gold rush in the mid-1850s saw many Americans relocating to San Francisco in hopes to strike it big in the mines. The fertile land of Sonoma County coupled with the Petaluma River’s access to the bay offered a great opportunity for farmers to produce the necessary agricultural goods to sustain the gold rush. Agriculture continued to be an important industry in Petaluma after the gold rush, and was at one time known as the “Egg Capital of the World” for its large chicken processing plants. In fact, the first egg incubator was invented there. Soooo who cares, I mean I love a good omelet as much as the next guy but why make the trip all the way up to Petaluma. Maybe I’m a movie buff and wanted to see the filming locations of such great flicks as Scream, Cujo, American Graffiti, and, of course, Flubber…. But I’m not. I went to Petaluma for only one reason: Lagunitas Brewing Co.
After a long and hard day of brewing on Saturday, I made the trek over to West Philly and checked out Dock Street Brewing Company for some beer and pizza. The trolley ride was a wild SEPTA scene, complete with angry yelling pregnant women and coked out mega-hipsters, but we made it unscathed to 50th and Baltimore. The brewpub is located in a cool old brick building with vaulted ceilings and quiet outdoor seating. Inside, there are several tables, a long angled bar, and stainless brewing equipment in the back. A delight.
After settling in, a round of beers for all. I had the Rye IPA and it was a treat — well balanced, crisp hop character, and smooth finish. The sausage pizza was also very good, and a nice size for an individual pie. The calzones looked delicious, and a few friends very much enjoyed them. A second round with the Summer Ale — nice and light-bodied, with minimal hopping but a satisfying and refreshing finish.
Saturday afternoon was a brewing day at 801 South, with special guest Kyle S. This was our first attempt at a wheat beer, a Belgo-American Wit (or witout) to be exact, and we enjoyed trying something new. We are calling this brew Wheatwood Mac — brewed and aged in all the glory of Rumours on continuous loop. Silver Springs live version, baby.
- Grains — pale 2-row, malted wheat
- Hops — Hallertau, Tettnang
- Yeast — White Labs Belgian White
This weekend, South Street Brew’s own Kyle S is coming up to Philly from Atlanta.
A Delaware native and Big 5 grad, Kyle will be catching up with the bros and joining in for a brew session. A Belgian Wit is on the slate for Saturday afternoon with other beer-related activities surely to follow. Phillies game on Sunday.
What will you be doing?
This blog has been primarily about beer since its inception, but that won’t prevent us from exploring other fun cultural events like music/concerts. Last night, I had the great pleasure of attending the Fleetwood Mac Live 2013 concert in Atlanta. If you’re having difficulty relating that to your perception of this blog, rest assured that I tailgated with my favorite Philly beer, Victory Hop Devil IPA. This will not be your accustomed Brew Review post though. I will do my best to relive the amazing concert from last night.