Road Trip – Triumph Brewery

DSCN1537At the beginning of the year, I decided I would take beer posts less seriously.  Focus on beer travels, less educational,  more personal experiences.  It makes no sense to have so many breweries within a couple of hours drive and not visit them.  Weyerbacher, Troegs, Evolution, Yards, Flying Dog, Sly Fox, and many more. Why the hell have I waited so long?  Get on the bus Huff! Continue reading

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“In Like A Monkey” A Trip To Victory Brewing

White_Monkey_Jan2013-300x178What happens when you take a Belgium triple, age it in white wine barrels and email thousands of fans?  You get a sophisticated ale with a side of bacon.

It never ceases to amaze me how I spend so much time following breweries, and receive countless newsletters and my blog partner always  locates the beer events before I do.

Her explanation is that she is just awesome.  Well in this case she really was. Don’t tell her I said that.  If you know anything about Victory beers you know that their Golden Monkey, a Belgium golden triple stands out as a leader among American triples.

A couple of days before I received my monthly Victory newsletter, Sarah sent me a link to a not to be missed release party.

“In like A monkey”

“In like a monkey”, a play on the saying “in like a lion” refers to a Victory Brewery release party starring the Golden Monkey aged in white wine barrels.

This party however was introduced breakfast style.  I know what you are thinking, beer for breakfast?  That’s an invitation for an intervention.  Actually beer breakfasts are all the rave.

862336_10100720517519100_285106383_nSarah asked me to meet her at Victory around 8:45 am.  Victory is about an hour from home so I got an early morning start.  I actually arrived a half hour early and just figured I would nap in the car before she arrived. What I failed to miss were beer fans  forming a line outside the brewery.  “Duh!” Not to worry, we were still close enough to get seated right away.  About 9:00 we were given a choice to enter the pub for breakfast or enter the store to purchase bottles sans breakfast.  Just ahead of us was a  lady and her crying child. I feel your pain kid, I want that monkey too.

Victory was smart and offered a choice of three different plates.

Stuffed Cornflake French Toast with Blackberry Compote, Butter and Maple Syrup

Quiche — Spinach, Mushroom and Feta

Scrambled Eggs – Bacon or Sausage, Home Fries, English Muffin862866_10100720517539060_729336734_n

Full beer menu was available including Primamosas, but Sarah and I were there for the White Monkey. Sarah ordered the french toast and I ordered the quiche.  Our beer came out after the food but what did we expect with as many monkeys they were serving.  Food was pretty good and we raised our glasses to the highly anticipated golden elixir.

We both really enjoyed the ale.  The brewers timed the aging perfectly.  White Monkey was drier than it’s older sibling and had a nice subtle oak flavor.  The citrus and spices were still there but less intense.   Certainly good enough to order a bottle to go. As a belated birthday present, Sarah added my White Monkey to her bill.  What a friend!

This was Sarah’s first visit to the brewery so she wanted to check out the retail store.  The small861832_10100720517534070_924247891_n store room was quite busy and packed with cases of Victory beer.  Sarah had her eyes on a t-shirt and stayed out of the way of screaming fans.  Well it wasn’t quite that bad.  Sarah pointed out that Victory just released a spring saison and I suggested we hit the bar for a sample first. I was quite impressed with the saison. Fruity and spicy with some obvious funk.  A bit to funky for Sarah.

While Sarah was purchasing her t-shirt, I decided to hit the road.  All in all, it was a successful event.  Props to Victory.862018_10100720517524090_1700253174_n

Do you have any beer release stories you want to share?

Real Ale Lover Or Wanker

bth_old-speckled-hen-2Some stories just can’t be made up.  For some reason, I always manage to get myself into strange situations when I travel overseas.  First, the strip search in France, then, the near boating disaster in Cambridge, England and well here goes another one.

We had the most fortunate opportunity to travel back to England learning our friend was getting married and wanted us there. Well duh. Good enough reason for me.  A wedding celebration over seas. I was pumped. Continue reading

A Few Cider Terms You May Want To Know

bth_img_1848_smIf you haven’t noticed, the cider industry has been receiving much notice lately.  It has a long way to go, but it will go. While I can only guess how the industry  w ill grow, it certainly will be a fun ride. And I will be holding a glass of cider the whole way through.

I had my first real cider in 2000 while visiting a friend in the U.K. We took a trip out west to visit the little town of Cheddar and I was fortunate enough to purchase a jug from a little shop.  Had I thought about it, I would have visited a cidery and experienced it the local way. Continue reading

Punting For Pints – A British Story

Drinking for me is much more than just throwing down a couple beers or getting a quick buzz.

For centuries drinking has been a way to celebrate, mourn, release stress, compliment food, and to accompany socializing.

The latter has been my favorite.  I prefer to imbibe with friends or family.  It is not that much different then eating.  And not many people enjoy eating alone.

But one of my favorite ways to drink is one that follows a memorable experience. Continue reading

For The Love Of Beer And Cheese. Worth A Strip Search?

One of my favorite things about meeting new friends is I can tell those old cool stories that everyone else is sick of.  My blog post is perfect for this so let me tell you how I got myself in the most unusual predicament during a culinary trip to France.

About fifteen years ago,  just before I graduated from The Restaurant School of Philadelphia, the class took a trip to France to experience the amazing food and drink culture in the Burgundy region.  We visited wineries, chateaus, escgarot farms, foie gras farms and ate and drank like kings. Continue reading

A Day At The Beach – Without Dogfish Head

Say Goodbye To Summer

Well, Pumpkin Beers are out and the evenings are getting cooler so the beach days are pretty much gone but we did manage to get down to the beach recently.   Nothing like the beach right?  Not.  The beach sucks.  I know what you are thinking. What could possibly be wrong with the beach? Let me rephrase.  The way my wife enjoys the beach sucks. 
 
Here is a typical beach day.  First of all, let me tell you all that we live in Wilmington, DE and usually trek down to Rehoboth, DE, about a 2 hr drive or if you have three girls, 2.5 hours. We get up early enough but here is where the fun, or shall I say the unnecessary tasks, start.  My wife believes in packing the car as if we are camping for a week.  This is what we take:

Continue reading