Tag Archives: Philadelphia

Interstate Drafthouse

004Interstate Drafthouse Philadelphia, PA

This gal has been trying for some time to check out Interstate Drafthouse to no avail. I was beginning to think it wasn’t meant to be but indeed it was! I had added Interstate Drafthouse to my Philly Pub Crawl list (posted 12/13) fully trusting my Philly connection with the worthiness of the establishment to the list. Worthiness confirmed.

Located just a hop, skip and jump off Interstate 95 via the Gerard Avenue exit in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia, Interstate Drafthouse is a neighborhood bar that is also a destination spot. It really is smack in the middle of a neighborhood with easy off street parking. I would say from the looks of the building it was somebodies home in a prior life but fortunately for craft beer lovers it’s been converted into a great bar.

Upon entrance to the Drafthouse one is immediately standing in the bar area. The bar is to the right and few high top tables to the left. Walk back a little further and a step up to the dining area that consist of about 12 or so tables. Off the dining area is a cute little patio. Unfortunately, there was a summer rain storm taking place so a seat at the bar is where my companion and I found beer happiness.

009Interstate offers a warm, cozy environment with a good bar vibe feeling with an old style tin ceiling, lots of dark wood, holiday twinkle lights and hooks under the bar for umbrellas, purses etc., always a nice touch. Overall the place is a little kitchy but in a fun way. It reminded me of some of the neighborhood bars I’ve visited in New Orleans. It’s also a wee bit dark inside which can make reading the menu a tad difficult at times.  (flashlight app to the rescue). The owner is very welcoming and friendly as is the staff. They are also generous with beer tastings which is always a plus.

Not only does Interstate Drafthouse have a nice tap list, with a style for everyone, but they’re also very reasonably priced with great weekly deals! Happy Hour is offered Monday – Friday 4:30-6:30 with $4 Draft Beers. We happened to be there for Taco Tuesday $1 Tacos and $4 Beers ALL NIGHT – Sweet! Wednesday they offer a Beer and Meal for $10!

Veggie "Steak" Sandwich
Veggie “Steak” Sandwich

The food menu is pretty diverse with everything from gator to seitan on it. Another words both meat and vegetarian friendly with a fun Cajun/Creole influence to it. We started with the homemade guacamole which was spot on. My companion enjoyed a tasty brisket sandwich and this gal opted for a nicely done veggie “steak” sandwich. I hear the mac & cheese is lip smacking good.

As tasty as the food was the beer was even better…

As soon as I spotted an offering from Bullfrog Brewing I knew what my first beer of the night would be. Bullfrog Brewing holds a special place in this Gal’s heart. I use to visit it many moons ago on the way to and from vacationing in Western Pennsylvania. If you ever happen to be near Williamsport, PA (home of the Little League World Series) I strongly recommend, heck I insist you stop at Bullfrog Brewery for some beer and food. I’ve never had a bad experience there. Their beer put a smile on my face each and every visit.

Bullfrog Saison

Saison – Bullfrog Brewing
Blond Ale meets Farmhouse Ale. Classic Saison cloudy appearance with citrus, floral and enough tartness that it makes your mouthwater at the end but makes you want to go back for more

Next up…
Arcadia London Porter – Arcadia Brewing Company 7.2%
Well done English porter with a pleasant smokey nose. The flavor is a mix of roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, coffee and just a touch of hops. A good true-to-style English Porter that ends with a  slightly bitter finish.  (favorite of the night)

Arcadia London Porter
Arcadia London Porter

Finished with the
Summer Solstice – Anderson Valley Brewing Company 5.% (cream ale)
Had I known it was a cream ale I probably wouldn’t have ordered it since I’m not a big fan of the style. However, the Summer Solstice has changed my opinion of cream ales. It’s as good blend of spices, malt and caramel that make it an enjoyable summer beer.

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Anderson Valley Summer Solstice

Sips of:
Dead Rise Old Bay Summer Ale – Flying Dog 5.6%
This ale is brewed with Old Bay Seasoning which intrigued me but sadly the taste did not appeal to me at all. It was just odd. I would be willing to try a small taster of it with some food. That combo may work but on it’s on just not for me.

 Pynk – Yards Brewing 5.5%
I was super excited when I saw the tap handle go on for this beer.  It’s a delightful berry beer.  I wasn’t in the mood for a full pint on this visit but could envision myself enjoying this little tart beauty on my deck one warm evening. I also could see myself mixing it with a chocolate stout since it’s so lambic like. Don’t forget Yards donates $1 from each case sold to the Tyanna Foundation, which provides support for the care and treatment of breast cancer patients.

Galatica IPA – Clown Shoes 8%
This Imperial IPA smells and taste very floral so much so I felt I was sipping on perfume. It was a bit much for me to handle. A true love for hops is necessary to enjoy this beer. That being said my companion enjoyed it.

Sapient Triple -Dark Horse Brewing Company 9.5%
Crazy smooth, easy to drink without the high alcohol feeling. Delightful banana and coriander flavors.  Would have loved a glass but no triples on this visit since I still had to get myself home.

005This Gal was very happy to finally be able to try Interstate Drafthouse and looks forward to returning for $4 Beers!

Yards Brewing

 

Yards Brewing
Yards Brewing

Yards Brewing

Back in April I suddenly found myself with a free Saturday, which is rare occurrence in this Gal’s life as of late, so I decided to take full advantage of the day, a beauty at that, and get caught up on some overdue chores and errands. As a reward I treated myself with a jaunt to Philly. I had been feeling the pull to revisit Provenance Architecturals and see if anything inspired this Gal. Provenance is a great salvage place that inspires one to be creative. Oh and it also happens to be located right across the street from Yards Brewing.

IMG_0884
Love Stout

So once I had my fill of inspiration I walked, really ran for dear life after all its Delaware Avenue, across the street to Yards. It was later in afternoon and I had figured a nice beer or two would complete this wonderful day. I had planned that the brewery would be hopping but I did not expect the crowd that was there. Holy Cow the place was packed. At first I thought maybe there was some sort of event going on but I came to find out that every Saturday it’s a jumping. Even with the crowd I managed to make my way up to the bar pretty easily. Normally, I would prefer a taster round but didn’t feel like balancing a taster paddle while standing in my little corner of the world. Since the taster was out of the question I decided to go for a pint of one of my favorites…Love Stout. Yum! While enjoying my little piece of roasted malty goodness I noticed a free bar stool on the other side of the room and was able to weasel my way over. Score!

Tasting Room
Tasting Room

Since I had planted myself on a stool I figured I might as well stay and enjoy some more delish beer. I noticed they offered two different taster rounds/flights. Revolutionary Flight: George Washington Tavern Porter, Thomas Jefferson Tavern Ale, Poor Richards Tavern Spruce & Love Stout the other flight was the Signature Flight: Brawler (my go to beer for sitting out on my deck), Extra Special Ale, Philadelphia Pale Ale and IPA. Both nice flights but not really what I was in the mood for so I asked one of the many bartenders working if I could make up a flight – Sure Thing! Geeky Beer Gal Flight: Saison, La Colombe Corsica Coffee Love Stout, Swartzbier and the Special Belgian Triple.

Yards offers tours of the brewery, which I enjoyed on a past visit, and the tasting room has picnic and regular tables for hanging at, a nice size bar and pool tables plus a menu that is meat and vegetarian friendly. Also, every Saturday is Food Truck Saturday featuring a local food truck right outside the Tasting Room. Yards really is a place where a group of friends can chill for an afternoon or evening.

Tasting Room
Tasting Room

I have to give a shout out to the staff and their exceptional service. I can’t emphasis enough how busy this place was and yet they kept up with everyone’s drink and food orders, kept the place clean and things moving smoothly plus were accommodating to everyone. High fives all around!

Love Stout 5% – Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy this beer. This is a really smooth stout that has a nice balance of coffee, chocolate, roasted malts and just a tinge of earthy hops.

Saison 6.5% – Nice fruity presence with hints of pepper and coriander that pours a hazy golden color and finishes with just a touch of bitterness. Would go nicely with Indian or Thai cuisine.

La Colombe Corsica Coffee Love Stout 5.5% – Wow, wow, wow. Upon drinking this I felt like I stuck an IV of coffee in my body. Very nice but the coffee was a bit overpowering for me and usually I love a strong coffee taste to my stouts. Nice dark body but really couldn’t taste much but the coffee. This Gal is staying with the regular Love Stout.

Swartzbier 6% – Nice medium body German style beer that pours a nice reddish/brown color with a  slight roasted chicory taste and bittersweet tones that linger in the mouth.

Special Belgian Triple 8% – Oh how I love a Tripel! Not much of a nose by very smooth with a nice clear body. Not one particular over powering flavor, very balanced and easy to drink which could be a bit dangerous coming in at 8%.

Southern English Brown 5.3% (small taste) – nice nutty nose, very smooth and delish. Overall a very well down brown.

Taster Round
Taster Round

Local 44

IMG_0735Local 44 – Philadelphia, PA
http://www.local44beerbar.com

I recently had the pleasure of meeting up with a friend in Philadelphia for a nice lunch and beer outing. We were trying to pick something different for both of us and we quickly found that several of the beer places we had in mind don’t open until 4pm on weekdays. We narrowed the list to Local 44 and Kraftworks. Since both of us had only been to Local 44 once upon its opening a few years ago that became our go to place. I thoroughly enjoyed it on my first visit and quickly was reminded why upon entering this great beer establishment the 2nd time around.

This is a neighborhood craft beer bar (lucky neighbors) not far from Drexel and U of Penn. The décor is rustic (wood & brick) and the atmosphere relaxed and laid back. There is nothing pretentious about Local 44, right away you feel welcomed and know you are at a place you can kick back and enjoy yourself.

The bartender, darn I forgot to write down her name, was incredible. She was very knowledge about the beers, making recommendations to anyone that asked without being overbearing and knew the food menu too. She was attentive, friendly and kept the bar clean. Always a plus in my book. She quickly informed us of any beer substitutions from what was written on the chalkboard beer menu.

The beer list at Local 44 is so nice and inviting I felt it best to drink half pours so I could try more beers. Of course, deciding which was going to be the first pour was the hard part. There were so many wonderful beers to choose from that I struggled at first with my decision but then I remembered the bartender stating there was a Saison on tap and I do love a Saison. I find it’s highly under represented on most tap lists. So when I heard there was one on tap, let alone one I hadn’t tried yet, I knew this was my first selection of the day.

IMG_0724State Side Saison – Stillwater Artisanal Ales, Maryland 6.8% Farmhouse Style Ale
This ale is a nicely done U.S. Saison that put me in the mood for the Spring Beer Season. It’s not as complex as some Belgian Saisons but it still has the fun yeasty, skunky and slight sourness to it that I associate with a good Farmhouse Ale. It pours a nice golden hue with just a tinge of cloudiness and just a wee bit of bubbles. It’s a nice light body ale with hints of grapefruit, lemon & complimentary floral herbs & spices and ends with a slight peppery taste. This Saison was a winner and would pair lovely with so many foods.

IMG_0725Great Lakes Conway Red – Great Lakes Brewing Co. 6.5% Irish Red Ale
I do enjoy a fine Red Ale and have found anything Great Lakes brews is a winner. This beer pours a nice crisp amber/copper color with beautiful full head. It’s an easy drinking medium bodied beer with slight hop taste that adds to the experience but doesn’t overpower the toasted malts and fruits that finished with just a hint of bitterness. Over all a very well done Irish Red Ale.

IMG_0728Monchshof Schwarzbier – Kulmbacher Brauerei AG 4.9% Schwarzbier
Nice mocha color with chestnut highlights and a dense creamy head that leaves a velvety feel in the mouth.  The nuttiness hits your nose prior to tasting it. This beer is a delightful mouth full with light roasted flavors of bitter coffee, malts, nuts and fresh out of the oven crusty bread. Even though this is a more full body beer it’s crisp and easy to drink.

Rounding out the afternoon at Local 44 was the Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence Stout. I noticed this beer right away when I was pondering my beer choices upon arrival and knew I would be finishing the day with this savory delight.

IMG_0729Chocolate Indulgence Stout – Brewery Ommegang  7.0% Belgian Dark Ale
This stout sits so pretty in the glass with rich dark chocolate coloring and a frothy cream colored head. With roasted barley, sweet malt, toffee and bitter chocolate undertones it is a very palate pleasing stout. The chocolate really is very subtle and had essences of banana in the flavor as well. It’s not a very bold stout but true to its Belgian Dark Ale style.

I was able to try sips of the following beers courtesy of my beer companion:

Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA (on engine) – Belhaven Brewery Company 5.3% English India Pale Ale – Smooth not overly hoppy, nice British IPA

Duck-Rabbit Hoppy Bunny American Black Ale – The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery 7.3% American Black Ale
Nice deep rich black ale with hints of coffee, cocoa and hops

Lavery Rauch Lager – Lavery Brewing 7%
Nice smokey flavor without being overpowering

The food menu at Local 44 is a nice size with offerings for vegans, vegetarians and meatarians. Plenty to choose from without being overwhelming.  I enjoyed the vegetarian Reuben which was delish and an ample portion that I was able to take home the other half for dinner that night. My companion had the Beef on Weck which I was told was “very, very, tasty”. Sandwiches come with either a side salad or fries, always nice to have options. Oh and they have Kale on the menu, I LOVE a menu that includes Kale! Between the variety of food and beer selections it’s easy to pair your food selection with a complimentary beer. Something I like to take into consideration when ordering.

A nice ending touch was the “Good People Drink Good Beer” postcard attached to our check. It truly is the little things that makes one smile. Some lucky beer friend will be receiving this fun little surprise in the mail shortly.

There is a bottle shop next store which, unfortunately, I forgot to check out prior to my departure. This alone will require me to visit Local 44 again. Local 44 is the sister bar of one of my top favorite places in Philly, Memphis Taproom, which I plan on visiting in another week or two. Super excited about that. I still need to check out the other two sister locations Strangelove’s and Resurrection Ale House. All four locations made my Geeky Beer Gal’s Philly Pub Crawl List. Hopefully you’ll get to try all 4 Bars!

Philadelphia Pub Crawls

Looking to spend a day or two checking out the beer scene in the city of Brotherly Beer? Following is a list of suggested Pub Crawl destinations for Philadelphia broken up by neighborhoods. This is just Geeky Beer Gals suggestions for possible Philly Pub Crawls. YES, there are a lot of good beer bars in Philly but I tried to keep the list to exceptional beer places. So if you don’t see one on the list it could mean:
a. I didn’t know about it or
b. it’s good but not exceptional

I haven’t  tried each place personally, a number of them but not all of them. However, I trust my beer team with their recommendations.

Have fun tasting your way through the city of Brotherly Beer.

Old City –
Eulogy
Khyper Pass
Race Street Café
Bier Stube
Mac’s Tavern

Art Museum District (one of my favorite beer destination areas)
Bridgid’s
London Grill
The Bishop’s Collar
The Belgian Café (LOVE this place)
St. Stephen’s Green
Kite & Key

Fish Town
Kraftwork (wonderful!)
Frankford Hall (German beer hall)
Interstate Draft House
Johnny Brenda’s

Kensington (for this area don’t plan on it being a walking pub crawl)
Philadelphia Brewing Company
Memphis Taproom (one of my favorite places in the city)

Northern Liberties
Yards Brewery
Standard Tap
The Foodery
The Abbaye (another top favorite)
Blind Pig
Jerry’s Bar
Barcade

Center City
Monk’s Café
Nodding Head
Jose Pistola’s
Strangelove’s
Tria
Bru
Fergie’s (made the crawl because of the bottle list)

University City
City Tap House
Local 44
Dock Street Brewing
Mad Mex (Mexican Restaurant with great tap list)

Spring Garden
Llama Tooth
Prohibition Tap Room
The Institute

Graduate Hospital Area
Resurrection Ale House
Side Car Café
Ten Stone
Tangier

Random Great Beer Bars
Brauhaus Schmitz (German bar South Street)
Devil’s Den (South Philly/Italian…Market great cozy atmosphere)
Grey Lodge Pub (Mayfair…an oldy but still a goody)
Vargabar (Washington Square area)