Category Archives: Beer Bar

“My Place”

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It’s A Ruff Life Fundraiser

This Gal is all about exploring and trying out something new. I’m not one to order the same thing at the same restaurant, I prefer trying whats local to the area over what I know and I definitely appreciate good service. As much as I like trying out new places there are times I want to go to “my place”. You know what I mean – the place close to home that has good beer, friendly service and they greet you by name when you arrive. There are two such places for me. Ok, three but Mama Rosa’s is BYOB and I’m talking about “my beer places”.

What I love about the area I live in, Mercer County, is the location. In just 40 short minutes I can be in Center City Philly, 1.25 hours to NYC and the nearest beach is only 45 minutes away – location, location, location. Which also, means I have some of the best beer places available at all times. This Gal feels very lucky to have all this at her finger tips but there are those days when I want to go out without really leaving the area. That’s when I head to “my place” – UNO’s Hamilton. Yup, UNO’s. Yes, UNO’s. Really, UNO’s.

I’m asked a lot what my go to beer place is and when I say UNO’s Hamilton I always get the same response – Really? The one near the movie theater? – YES! They have an amazing tap list that is right up there with some of the best lists both Philly and NYC have to offer. Bonus – it’s mere minutes from my house and right around the corner from where I work.

I too was surprised when I first heard about the beer being served at UNO’s. Fortunately, my brother and his co-workers clued me in pretty quickly. They have been enjoying UNO’s beer and lunch special offerings for a while now and were kind enough to let me in on the “secret” soon after the great beer started flowing. One of my favorite things in life is meeting my Hop Head Brother there for a beer. (It’s the little things)

They offer 30 beers on tap with all but a few being craft and the beer is FRESH with fast tap 13244836_1278671632143775_1169056652351891532_nrotation. If you hear of a beer on tap you want you best get there sooner rather than later. They offer growler fills, taster rounds and now have a Crowler machine. By the way all which can be enjoyed on the new outside beer patio that is dog friendly!

Besides the great beer they have a lot of fun beer related events and I strongly encourage you to follow them on Facebook so you’re kept in the loop and don’t miss out on the tap takeovers, beer dinners, beer breakfast and even a super fun Beer for Pups charity event during Philly Beer Week. You know how this Gal feels about beer places giving back to the community – awesomeness at it’s best and the UNO’s team and Weyerbacher rocked the event for It’s A Ruff Life Rescue.

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NCBC The Shapes of Hops to Come

Speaking of Philly Beer Week they were one of the first places in the burbs to start participating in PBW and their events are pretty amazing. So much so that the past two years I’ve participated in more PBW events at UNO’s than Philly. (no worries I still always make a few events in Philly as well). This past year they rotated through 157 different beers during Philly Beer Week. That’s a lot of great beer in a very short time. Told you it’s fresh and goes quick.

Besides kicking it during PBW they also participate in this Gal’s favorite holiday – Black Out Friday and have even made football enjoyable for this Gal. Now if you been following my blog for a while then you might remember my first post was about Football Sunday at UNO’s. It’s a win win for me and my football loving partner. I get to enjoy great beer and beer specials while he can watch all the games and enjoy his favorite food in life – pizza. Bonus, your movie ticket stub from the theater next door acts as a coupon – 10% off your food purchase. UNO’s also offers discounted movie tickets for the theater. I always like to see businesses working together in the area it’s a win for everyone.

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Maine Beer IV

So yes “my place” is UNO’s Hamilton and I hope to see you there soon.

Stay tuned my next blog will be about “my other place” Trenton Road Takeout this Gal’s go to beer store….

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Burlington Beer Crawl

IMG_4827Review of my Burlington Beer Crawl

Brickwall Tavern – Burlington
Facebook  Twitter @BrickwallTavern

This was my third visit to the Brickwall Tavern in Burlington thanks to Girls Pint Out and their monthly meetings at the Brickwall Tavern. (FYI GPO is a great beer club for the ladies!) The Brickwall has plenty of free parking out back if you’re not taking the Riverline which drops you off a mere 2 minute walk from the Tavern and a mere 1 minute walk from Third State Brewing

The Brickwall is large and offers two bars and plenty of dining room space with an open raw bar and a large garage door that opens up in the nice weather plus there is some outdoor seating. The food is very good and plentiful with both vegetarian and meatarian options. There are 15 beers on tap plus 1 on the engine. The tap turnover is quick so beers are fresh! On this particular visit I enjoyed the Founder’s Mosaic Promise 5.5% which is quickly becoming a favorite of this Gal.

IMG_4830Third State Brewing
Facebook Twitter @3rdstatebrewing
Third State is a nice addition to Burlington and offers both indoor and outdoor seating. They have 10 beers on tap with something for everyone. It only cost us $13 for a pint and taster round so beer is reasonably priced. You’re welcome to bring food in from one of the local businesses as well. I look forward to another visit.

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Blonde, Sooo Big, Boris, Peanut, Nitro

Peanut Butter Stout 8.5% – yum! Chocolate and peanut butter is classic combo that never disappoints

Boris The Younger Black Eye Rye IPA 7.2%
Rye, malts and hops what’s not to love?!

Sooo Big 2X IPA 11%
Big hop presents without leaving your mouth puckered

Dry Stout on Nitro 4.3%
Scary how easy this beer goes down

Wood Street Blonde 5.2%
Nice easy drinking beer with hints of citrus

IMG_4837Geraghty’s Pub
Facebook    Twitter  @Geraghtyspub

Geraghty’s Pub is certainly an unique place and I mean that in a good way. Inside is a large bar area with a dining room in the back and off that a nice size outdoor patio area. Nothing fancy folks just good beer, sports on the tv and incredible beer prices. A pint of Flying Fish Abbey Dubbel 7.2% was $2.50! Yes, just $2.50! We happen to be there for happy hour but even their regular prices are excellent. Also, a full food menu is available as well.

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The Beers of Ireland

13177087_10208242358129948_1821117855653905476_nThis Gal was fortunate enough to travel around the coast of Ireland for 8 action packed wonderful days. Ireland is a very clean and beautiful country, the people are friendly and, of course, there’s lots of beer. Now I know the first beer that comes to mind when one thinks of Ireland is Guinness…they go hand in hand. However, I quickly discovered there really is so much other wonderfully crafted local beer available.

On our first day  my companion and I had a bit of free time before the tour group was gathering so we started walking towards the Guinness store. We walked and walked and walked…our free time was dwindling and then I saw it! The sign for J.W. Sweetman Craft Brewery. Heck, one can get a Guinness ANYWHERE in Ireland (really it’s everywhere) but I knew I couldn’t get J. W. Sweetman beer everywhere. Seeing the brewery sign prompted me to develop a new beer plan for the trip – drink local. No worries I had a Guinness – actually 2 during my 8 days in Ireland but for the most part I sought out what was local to the area we were visiting and since we were in a new area almost daily I tried a nice variety of local beers. Craft beer is still a relatively new thing in Ireland and the bartenders almost seem apologetic when saying something is a craft beer. At each place if something didn’t stand out as local I would ask what was available from the area. Several times bartenders answered with – “…. but it’s a craft, is that OK?” YES!

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J.W. Sweetman Taster

J.W. Sweetman – Dublin
Amazing historic building with a beautifully ornate staircase, several small private seating areas and multiple levels. Service was superb and the prices very reasonable. The offered 7 beers on tap and this Gal had the pleasure of trying 5 of them. Full service food menu that is veg, meat and gluten free friendly.

Blonde 4.3% – Hints of hops with citrus and subtle malts.

Weiss 5% – Had the cloves and banana that I’ve come to associate with a weiss along with a delightful tangy finish.

Red Ale 4.8% – A true Irish Red Ale – Yippy! This is an easy drinking beer that offers sweet malts, caramel and just a tinge of cocoa.

Pale Ale 4.5% – West Coast Hops and dry hopped at that. Underneath the hops is a layer of malts citrus that combine for a medium mouth feel.

Porter 4.8% – So happy to have a porter and a good one at that. All the beers were great but this was my favorite from the taster round. First up is the rich roasted bitter coffee and chocolate with a smokey smooth finish. This a full-bodied beer.

That night I had to stop  at the little pub down the street from our hotel – The Ferryman. It’s a traditional Irish Pub overlooking the water that provides old world charm and a wide selection of brews. For my local selection I went with the McGargles IPA.

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McGargles IPA

McGargles IPA – Hello West Coast hops! It’s hops alright but there’s enough tropical flavors going on to help tone down the hops and end on a refreshing note.

The next town we stayed overnight at was Waterford. Yes, the home of Waterford Crystal. Also, home to Downes of Waterford Pub. Where they mix their own whiskey Henry Downes No. 9 Irish Whiskey. Now this Gal is not a whiskey drinker but I felt I must try the No. 9 since it’s not available anywhere else. Along with the whiskey I had a half pour of Metalman IPA from Metalman Brewing.

 

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Metal man IPA & No. 9 Whiskey

Downes Whiskey No. 9 – please keep in mind I know NOTHING about whiskey – all I can say is this was smooth.

Metalman IPA 4.3% – The citrus and floral announce themselves first followed by the hops adding up to a refreshing beer.

Killarney was up next. This town is so quaint and easy to get around. If you have the chance to visit Ireland make sure Killarney is on your list of towns to stay over in. I requested a local brew from the bar I was at and was poured a half pint of Cute Hoor Irish Pale Ale which I later found out was not local by indeed brewed by Heineken. As much as I wanted to keep it local it wasn’t always possible. I also wanted to make sure and try the OTHER Irish Stout Murphy’s which I prefer over Guinness. I later found out Killarney Brewing is in town but unfortunately time did not permit a visit.

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J.W. Sweetman Taster

Cute Hoor Irish Pale Ale 5% – Mild hops accented by pine overall the taste fades quickly

Murphy’s Irish Stout 4% – Much smoother than Guinness with a slightly

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Murphy’s

fuller body.

The town of Galway was the next chance for me to try a local brew and that I did with Galway Hooker Irish Pale Ale (yes, it’s mostly Irish Pale Ale’s that are available).

Galway Hooker Irish Pale Ale 4.4% – Similar to an

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Galway Hooker

American Pale Ale but with a bit more malts. Nice citrus aftertaste that tames the bitterness.

My final local brew was from a brewery in the town of Derry in Northern Ireland – Northbound Brewery No. 8 Kolsch Style. I enjoyed all the beers that I had the opportunity to try but the No. 8 was by far my favorite beer of the trip.

No. 8 Kolsch – The brewery makes of point of saying this beer is inspired by the German Kolsch which it cleary is but with a twist – a very smooth twist. Another words this has to be the smoothest Kolsch I’ve ever tried. The hops giveaway to the malts with a silky mouthfeel.

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08 Kolsch Style

This particular tour has you on the go so not a lot of down time but made the most of time I had and enjoyed sampling the brews of Ireland. I hope to one day return and see what’s the Emerald Isle has brewing.

 

 

 

 

 

Coeur

047Coeur
Twitter @coeurphilly

If your in need of a visit to the countryside but don’t have the time to get away I suggest a visit Coeur. It has a French country meets urban bistro feel to it that provides a mini vacation from everyday life with a welcoming and friendly atmosphere accented by a working fire place that provides a comfy feel! Yet is located in the hustle and bustle of the Philadelphia Italian Market.

Like it’s sister establishment, Strangelove’s, Coeur offers beers brewed especially for them with a total of 10 beers and several wines on tap. The food menu has an unique flare to it that is both meat and veg friendly.

My companion and I took up residence at a small table for 2 in front of the fire place (it was a bit 048nippy the day of our visit) in the main dining/bar area. There are a few different rooms throughout Coeur that work perfectly for small gatherings and offer a sense of privacy.

Every detail Coeur is well thought out for the comfort of their guest and ease of service which is top notch. Personally this Gal loved that the water decanter was left on table – saves the server and myself time from continually asking for my water glass to be refilled.

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2SP Bell Cracker & Z.L.T.

On this particular visit my companion and I stopped in for brunch. I enjoyed the Brewer’s Art Porch while I perused the menu. Wisely choosing the Z.L.T.  for myself while my companion enjoyed the Eggs Benedict.  Both were outstanding.

I paired the Z.L.T.with 2SP Bell Cracker Imperial IPA which accompanied my dish perfectly.

Do yourself a favor and getaway from the hustle and bustle of life at Coeur.

 

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Brewer’s Art Porch

Brewer’s Art Porch Belgian-Style Pale Ale 4.5%
Had this previously at Strangelove’s and enjoyed it so much had to have it again. Yeasty floral quality to it that was balanced out by the malts and fruits.

2SP Bell Cracker – Double IPA 8.7%
Hops up front with a clean fruit finish that leaves beautiful rings on the glass. The 8.7% is hidden so be careful!

Kane, Dark City, Little Dog and more…

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Single Fin

This Gal’s review of my March Beer Crawl.

Kane Brewing
Facebook Twitter @kanebrewing

Small tasting room in the front and a much larger tasting room on the brewing floor. Kane is a bustling place on the weekend but the line for pours movies quickly. Love the use of barrels & old wood throughout the brewery. There are 17 beers on tap and they are available in as a 40z taste or full pour and responsibly priced.

Enjoyed taster pours of:
Single Fin Belgian Blonde 4.8%
Citrus, tropical fruits and earthy goodness – very fresh

IMG_4562Port Omna – all wonderful
1 with Cacao Nibs
1 with Mocha
1 with Milk Chocolate

Hop Lab 5.4%
Easy drinking citrus, pine and malts

Silent Night Imperial Stout 12%
Excellent – rich, silky and smooth

IMG_4569Dark City Brewing Co.
Facebook  Twitter @DarkCityBrewing

Something about this place really appealed to me. I loved all the wood and it just had an easy laid back feel to it. When you enter there is a long L shaped bar and plenty of seating along the glass wall overlooking the street. They offer 12 beers on tap available as full pours or a sample flight of 4. Only opened since January and doing things right.

Bond Street Brownie 4.8%
Great malts (had 2 Browns on tap – Go Dark City!)

Urban Decay (Tart Cherry) 10.1%
Imperial Stout – oh delis, nice rings on glass

Urban Decay Nitro (Chocolate Strawberry)
perfect combo

Born to Ruin Double IPA 10.1%
Good mix of hops

IMG_4573Little Dog Brewing
Facebook  Twitter @LittleDogBeer

What a wonderful little brewery is. Don’t let the size fool you great beer is being brewed at at Little Dog. Even though it was a busy afternoon at the brewery Gretchen (owner/brewer) took the time out of her day to chat with me and show me around the brewery. The beers are wonderful as is the atmosphere – a place where friends come to hang out. Speaking of friends Gretchen’s childhood friend works behind the tasting bar pouring beers for the patrons part of what gives Little Dog a quaint homey feel.

IMG_4578Macaroon 5.25%
Brown Porter brewed with chocolate & toasted coconut

Duck Boy Pale Ale 5.25%
fresh and nice balance of local hops

Gesundheit! Altbier 5%
Classic German-style amber ale

Seafarer’s Stout 5%
Irish stout – goes does easy

IMG_4583Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten
Facebook  Twitter  @APBiergarten

Paulaner Salvator 7.9%
Always a favorite even though it was served in a frosted glass.

Was curious how it would stand up to the various German Beer Halls I visited in Germany. Definitely an americanized version but still a lot of fun. Like the German Halls there’s community tables, it’s loud and crowded but the atmosphere isn’t German nor is the music. I was  pretty disappointment that my beer was served in a frosted glass. However, the food was very good. We enjoyed the potato pancakes, Blumenkohl & Hungarian Beef Goulash.

IMG_4589Beach Haus Brewery
Facebook  Twitter @beachhausbeer

If I had to pick just one word to describe Beach Haus it would be – FUN. This place just has a cool fun vibe to that makes you gather with a group of friends and spend the day enjoying each others company and good beer. Oh and they provide a true tour (love the various creative ways NJ Breweries find to get around the tour law).

artwork by local artist Corey Hudson

The tap room upstairs is very large with lots of windows and light. There’s a glass wall that over looks an Italian restaurant, with wood burning pizza oven, next door. You can bring food into the tap room from the restaurant. Unfortunately, I was so full from the day that I only had room to do two tastings of beer.

Herb's Rye & Toast Black IPA
Single Fin

Herb’s Rye American Wheat Beer 6.5%
very refreshing, easy drinking beer

Toast Black IPA 7.5%
Love black IPA’s and this one is wonderful

 

 

March Beer Crawl

March 2016 – Jersey Shore
5 Stops Totaling 18 minutes travel time and covering a mere 6.5 miles.

For March we’re headed to the shore. I’m a Jersey Gal so it’s shore not beach. I love the shore in the Spring before the crowds start swarming so it’s a perfect time to visit for a beer crawl. Stop one is Kane Brewing – Kane happens to be  not only one of this Gal’s favorite NJ Breweries but is working it’s way up the list of favorite national breweries. I have yet to have a beer I didn’t like from them.

Next we’re headed to Dark City Brewing followed by a food stop at Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten. I’m curious to see how it stacks up against the beer halls I visited in Germany. No pressure.

Then it’s onto Little Dog Brewing – by now you know how this Gal feels about anything to do with dogs & beer. Gretchen is always brewing up something fabulous and what better way to place to follow up a German beer hall than a brewery that brews great German style beers?! The fifth and finial stop is Beach Haus Brewery which I’ve heard is a fun place to hang out.

Let me know how you enjoy March’s Beer Crawl!

Kane Brewing – 1750 Bloomsbury Ave, Ocean, NJ 07712
Dark City Brewing – 801 2nd Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten –  527 Lake Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
Little Dog Brewing  – 141 Steiner Ave, Neptune City, NJ 07753
Beach Haus Brewery – 801 Main St, Belmar, NJ 07719

I’ll personally be enjoying this beer crawl March 19!

Strangelove’s

IMG_4088-2Strangelove’s
Twitter  @Strangelovesbar

Finally this Gal made it to Strangelove’s. This place has long been on my list of beer establishments to try in Philadelphia and it’s the sister establishment to Local 44 and one of my top 3 Philly Favs – Memphis Taproom.

Strangelove’s is located in center city Philly which means either garage or street parking. I purposely chose a Sunday to visit with hopes center city wouldn’t be over crowded meaning traffic would be minimal and parking a bit easier. Nailed it! Found a parking spot right across the street from Strangelove’s. Yes, this Gal can parallel park thanks to numerous visits to the City of Brotherly Beer.

IMG_4091From the street nothing particular stands out about Strangelove’s but I was excited just the same. Strangelove’s definitely has a more upscale center city feel to it than it’s sister establishments but still very welcoming. The place is small with a long full service bar to  the right with a beautiful marble surface and tables along the wall to the left. Overall it has a slight industrial feel to it while offering up a warm atmosphere. I would suspect when crowded it could be a bit loud but on this particular afternoon there were just a handful of patrons enjoying a bite to eat while sipping on some fabulous beer.

IMG_4090This Gal was meeting a friend who had already taken up residence at the bar and enjoying his first beer. I happily perused the tap list that offers a variety of styles on tap and was delighted to see out of the 19 beers offered 2 were engines and 5 were beers brewed especially for Strangelove’s by various breweries. One particular brewery leaped off the list at me – The Brewer’s Art – this brewery has been a long time fav of this Gal and it’s been forever since I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying one of their beers.

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Strangelove’s Brewer’s Art Porch

First up:
Strangelove’s Brewer’s Art Porch – Belgian-Style Pale Ale 4.5%
I was very pleased with this beer which had a yeasty floral quality to it that was balanced out by the malts and fruits.

ShawneeCraft Session IPA 4.5%
A bit more malts than hops overall a good session ale that’s refreshing and easy to drink.

2SP Baby Bob – Stout 6.5%
Indeed a wonderful beer. Rich roasted coffee and toffee accented by a bit of vanilla and rich creamy chocolate.

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2SP Baby Bob

Roy Pitz Sour Hound – Sour Brown Ale 5%
This Gal was intrigued by the fact that it’s a sour brown. I love a good brown ale and wish I would see more of this style on tap list. The fact that it was a sour too was a bonus. It did indeed make for a unusual but enjoyable ale. Earthy bread quality with hints of sour from the tart citrus fruits.

Free Will + Strangelove’s Eden – Saison 4%
This was not your typical saison, in fact it was so different I questioned whether or not the correct beer had been served – it had. The citrus was there as were some white pepper notes but something was odd and not in a bad way but in a way that I can’t wrap my taste buds around it.

Tastes of:
Nodding Head Monkey Knife Fight – Lemongrass Spiced Lager 5%
Surprisingly wonderful. You can really taste the lemongrass but it doesn’t over power. This would compliment Thai food perfectly.

Stranglove’s Manayunk Minor Brett – All Brett Belgian- Style Pale Ale 5%
Tart! The edge is taken off the tartness by a hint of citrus.

Conshohocken Brewery Puddlers Row – ESB 5.4%
Had a young taste to it with a mix of grass, malts and citrus. Not a favorite but very drinkable.

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Muffaletta

To accompany the beer we ordered some much needed food. The food menu at Strangelove’s  is eclectic and certainly offers something for everyone. This Gal went for the Smoked Tempeh Muffaletta which was out of this world good. My friend had the Oyster Po’Boy and said it’s one of the best he ever had. Now we have both visited New Orleans’s a couple of times so we know what a good Po ‘Boy and Muffaletta should taste like and these ranked up their with the best NOLA has to offer.

Po 'Boy
Po ‘Boy

The same owners recently opened two other establishments in Philly, that this Gal needs to check out, Clarkville and Coeur. In the mean time I’m happy I finally got to spend a fun afternoon at Strangelove’s.

Jimmy’s No. 43

IMG_3982Jimmy’s No. 43
Facebook   Twitter @JimmysNo43

Something you should know about this Gal, if you already haven’t figured it out, I can be stubborn when I want to be. Although, I like to think of it as more determination that stubbornness. That being said way back in the late spring/early summer a friend and I ventured into the city for a self made pub crawl. One of the places I wanted to try the most was Jimmy’s No. 43. I kept hearing how great the beer selection is and it has appeared on many top beer places in NYC lists. Needless to say I was beyond disappointed when I arrived to find them closed. Ever so determined to check out Jimmy’s No. 43 for myself I once again trekked back to the city and voilà found myself at Jimmy’s No. 43 and it was open!

IMG_3984You have to go down a flight to enter Jimmy’s and when you do you feel you’ve been transported back in time to the catacombs of Old World Europe either that or a vampires lair. Jimmy’s is small and cozy with arched brick ceilings, lots of wood and carved cathedral style openings. Over all a very inmate setting. The bar is in front of you when you first walk in and is smaller than I thought it be maybe seating 9 or 10 people. I loved the marble bar top and all the old wooden barrels around the ceiling perimeter.

Besides wanting a beer my friend and I were in need of some food too. Jimmy’s offers a small but interesting menu so we were looking forward to enjoying something different. That being said as we scoped out the joint I asked the bartender if they were serving food. Normally they would be but since things seemed pretty darn quiet I figured I better ask. Sadly they were not, the kitchen wasn’t ready yet. Ummm, OK. So we took a seat at the bar and scanned the area for the tap list. Not spotting one I asked the bartender what was available. She pointed to the clipboards near the entrance said the tap list was on that but she hadn’t had time to update it. Alrighty then.

The list consisted of 12 beers on tap and a rather extensive bottle list. The tap list was indeed good but not as impressive as I thought it be giving all the hoopla I’ve heard about Jimmy’s. Although, I feel spoiled with the wonderful tap selections in such close proximity to home. Heck, this Gal is just 30 minutes from soIMG_3983me the best tap lists the City of Brother Beer (Philly) has to offer.

I had finally decided on my beer request but the bartender was busy behind the bar doing I’m not sure what. So I waiting patiently for her to take my beer order. Instead she announced she had to go check on her food, grabbed her purse and left. I looked at my companion and said,”did she really just leave?” She sure did. So we sat and waited because no matter what I was having a beer at Jimmy’s No. 43 . Upon her return I requested the Greenport Harbor Black Duck Porter but unfortunately, that was one of the beers they were out of. Instead I opted for the Black Hog Coffee Milk Stout (Nitro). It was lovely how it cascaded into the glass and I was looking so forward drinking it but it sat and sat and sat and then sat some more while, once again, the bartender did – God knows what behind the bar. Seriously, we were sitting at the bar and I do not for the love of anything sane understand what she was occupying her time with but it certainly wasn’t attending to her customers. I was to the point that I was ready to reach over and grab the beer when she finally served it to me. I will say it was worth the wait.

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B.H. Coffee Milk Stout

Coffee Milk Stout, Black Hog, CT (Nitro) – 5.5%
This pours beautifully leaving gorgeous rings on the glass as you sip it. Rich roasted coffee, bitter on the backside with the silky smooth creaminess of a milk stout. Velvet silk in a glass.

By the time I had been served the Black Hog I pretty much figured I would only be having the one beer and moving on. I don’t have a whole lot of patience for bad service and the service or lack there of at Jimmy’s was getting increasingly bad. Wait…it gets worse.

The beer was $8 and I put on $10 on the bar next to my glass. As the glass became empty I figured at some point the bartender would acknowledge the empty glass and I could settle up my tab. Yeah, that wasn’t to be the case. It really became very clear that she didn’t care about her customers. So my companion and I got up to leave with the $10 clearly sitting next to my empty glass. I was first up the stairs when I realized my companion was still inside. Turns out our leaving FINALLY got the bartenders attention and she yelled at him about leaving without paying. I find it curious that her first reaction would be to accuse a customer of not paying instead of perhaps nicely saying something to them or looking on the bar first to see if they left money. She was informed the money was indeed on the bar next to the EMPTY glass and her response – “oh”. Not ok, thank you or sorry about that – just Oh.

As a former bartender I completely understand one can have an off day but by the end of our visit I really just got the feeling that this type of service was the norm at least for this bartender. As someone who lives on a budget and carefully chooses when and where to spend my money I much rather spend it somewhere that truly appreciates ones customers. That being said there are plenty of bars in NYC with great tap list and good service that appreciates the business their customers bring. Sadly this was not the case on this visit.

2nd Street Brew House

IMG_38702nd Street Brew House
Facebook    Twitter @2ndstbrewhouse

Don’t you just love when you discover a gem of place by accident? That’s exactly what happened to this Gal – I was looking up 2nd Story Brewing when I came across the website for 2nd Street Brew House. I had never heard of 2nd Street Brew House but what I saw online I now had a new place to check out. So I recently made plans to meet up with an old friend to see whats what at 2nd Street. 2nd Street Brew House is located, well on 2nd Street in a South Philly neighborhood which means street parking but no worries there seemed to be plenty around. The Brew House is located on a corner and looks like it was once a row home. Inside it’s very much a bar in fact just about all bar. When you enter the bar is to your left and goes into the back room area which also hold a few tables plus Ms. Pac Man and a pinball machine. The establishment is dark and has a friendly warm atmosphere to it with lots of dark wood, old tin ceiling and fairly lights that add some twinkle. Of course, I was completely  won over when I saw a metal Star Wars lunch box sitting on a shelf. Any place that displays Star Wars memorabilia scores major points with this Gal.

IMG_38722nd Street Brew House is very much a neighborhood bar with a top notch beer selection that consists of 14 beers on tap and a generous listing of bottles and cans. They also serve wine and liquor and offer a food menu that is small but has something for meat lovers and vegetarians a like. I was happy that their full menu was still available during brunch. Sometimes this Gal just wants lunch not brunch on a Saturday.

The bartender, Chris, provided great service, conversation, good music and was very accommodating with pouring tasters. My taster selection between taster pours for myself and trying my companion beers were as follows:

Veggie Panini
Veggie Panini

Exit 15 Coffee IPA – Flying Fish 7.5%
I’ve been hearing a lot good buzz about this beer and happy to say it’s worthy of the buzz. The coffee and hops help to balance each other with hints of pine and fruit. This Gal loves that breweries are brewing different styles with coffee.

Cubano
Cubano

United Ale – Do Good Brewery 5.8%  Never thought I see the day that this Gal would enjoy cream ales so much. Citrus and hops add a floral quality to the beer that is smoothed out by the malts.

Boulder Shake Chocolate Porter – Boulder 5.9% Holy molly this beer is smooth and chocolaty. Reminded me of chocolate milk but the adult version with alcohol. It was delish but reminded me more of a dessert beer so the taste was enough this time around.

Full Pours:

25P Patina Saison
25P Patina Saison

Patina Saison – 2SP Brewing Company 7.5%
This Gal is super stoked that saisons are rising in popularity. It used to be rare to find one on tap and now it’s rare not to. Yippy! Good yeastiness with strong fruit qualities in the taste and nose. Very refreshing and pleasing to the palate.

Chocolate Sombrero – Clown Shoes 9%
Imperial stouts oh how I love you.  The bittersweet chocolate is counterbalanced by the vanilla, chilies and cinnamon which all contribute to making this a black beauty.

Almanca Ginger Gose 5.0%
I understand the gose style isn’t for everyone but it is for this Gal. The coriander and ginger are alive and well in this gose. This beer has a nice wheat/malt earthiness to it and was great way to cap off my visit to 2nd Street Brew House.

Clown Shoes Chocolate Sombrero
Clown Shoes Chocolate Sombrero

Tap turn around is quick  at 2nd Street Brew House so what’s there today may not be tomorrow which also means there’s  always something new to try. I was also informed that the owners make sure to keep a stout and porter on during  the summer for us stout lovers. THANK YOU!

Almanac Ginger Gose
Almanac Ginger Gose

 

2nd Street Brew House was a great accidental find and is the perfect place to spend an afternoon or evening hanging out with friends playing scrabble or just conversing while enjoying some fine beers. For this Gal it’s everything I look for in a bar a welcoming warm and cozy atmosphere that begs for you to sit back and relax. I’m placing 2nd Street Brew House in my top 5 beer bars to visit in the city of Brotherly Beer. That’s how much this Gal enjoyed  2nd Street Brew House.

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Newportville Inn

005Newportville Inn
Facebook     Twitter @newportvilleinn

This Gal has been to the Newportville Inn numerous times over the years but it had been a while since my last visit and thought it time to see what’s what. Glad to say nothing much has changed. It’s still a German place through and through. With an outside beer garden, German food and excellent selection of German beers on tap along with a few craft beers too. Oh and let’s not forget the German music playing or the complimentary pretzel nuggets accompanied by the house made mustard on each table. The mustard is wonderful and was a perfect accompaniment to the Paulaner Weiss I enjoyed.

The Inn sits in a large old stone building that seems like it was once someone’s homestead and has that wonderful old world feel to it. You first step into an enclosed porch area that now serves as the waiting area on crowded nights and I believe it’s safe to say they utilize this spot quiet often. From the porch you walk into the bar area. The bar itself is a good size and sits in the middle of the room with fireplaces and tables on either side. The room is very dark and cozy to begin with add in lit fireplaces in the winter time and you have a perfect spot to sit back, relax and stay warm. There’s a long porch/dining area on the other side of the bar and another dining room across from the bar as well. The Inn can hold a lot of folks but because of the lay out is able to maintain a warm personable feel. The one drawback is parking. Even on not so crowded nights parking can be a bit of a challenge but don’t let this sway you from visiting Newportville Inn. The German beer selection alone is worth a visit with 17 German beers on tap plus a hard cider if that’s your thing and the beer is dispensed via ceramic German beer towers.

Potato Pancakes
Potato Pancakes
Schweine Braten

 

Keeping in mind this is a German establishment the menu is heavy on German selections but does offer a few vegetarian options as well. My companion and I decided to go full German on this particular evening with both beer and food. Food: Turtle soup, pierogies, potato pancakes and Schweine Braten.

 

Weiss
Weiss

Paulaner Weiss 5.5% – crisp and refreshing with hints of orange to accent the wheat.

Paulaner Salvator Doppel Bock 7.9% – Yes, yes, yes! There’s a reason this Gal named one of her cats after this beer – Salvator – because it’s an amazing! Truly a favorite that I rarely see on tap. I love the combo of caramel roasted malts with hints of chocolate and hops. This beer has been brewed for over 375 years so you know their doing something right.

Next time you’re in need of some time away but your wallet says otherwise spend and evening visiting Germany at the Newportville Inn.

Salvator
Salvator

If you’re looking to make a day of it two of this Gal’s favorite breweries are just down the street from Newportville Inn –  Neshaminy Creek Brewing and Broken Goblet Brewery.