Beer in Paradise

Home for a snow day, I’ve got a little time to catch up with a party post.  As I mentioned in my “Adam” story, D and I came upon this party via Beer Advocate, and quite frankly, I was skeptical.  Spending the afternoon with beer enthusiasts is a great idea, but they were total strangers, and this was their event to attempt to bottle Pliny the Elder – I felt like a party crasher, which just isn’t my style – but Beer in Paradise was just too tempting to pass up.

What we came upon was a great gathering of beer and people we are glad we know now. Matt, the host, and his wife Grace welcomed us into their home. It was a family-friendly event with kids, pets and friends. Provisions for grilling were all set up, and most importantly, the bottles were sterilized and ready, and the keg was ready.

Unfortunately, things didn’t work out so well (I won’t go into the details here), but fortunately, the beer and bottles are still intact and the event can be repeated. Meanwhile, we had lots of beers to taste, and I certainly did my share (when I came up with this list, I was amazed how much I can remember…)

My first taste in the door was one of my summertime acquaintances – Arcadia Double IPA(is this Batch #999? I’m not clear…) – which Matt of Capone’s Restaurant in Norristown brought from his bottleshop.

I took my glass of hoppy goodness into the living room and sat with some of the other girls (gender separation was not an issue – we simply went to an area with less crowding!), and soon after, D brought me a pour of Brooklyn Monster Barleywine (2000).

Kate, sitting next to me at 8 months pregnant, could only sniff the barleywine, which she said is one of her favorites (I hope to hold the baby for a few Great Bubble!minutes at Dark Lord Festival, while she and Adam enjoy drinking together again!) Through conversation, we learned that they, and many of the people, are practically our neighbors. I learned that Marcy, a bigger fan of wine than beer, lives about a mile away. John, our chef for the night (MMMMmmm…did he say Golden Shower marinated sausage sandwiches?), created a beer group I joined in Facebook, and lives in the town where I work. Dakotablue lives right across the river, enjoys beer at many of the same places we do and had lots of advice for our trip to NC next week.

I can’t name everyone – I didn’t even meet everyone well enough to recall all the names. I enjoyed talking with Karen (who met D at the Drafting Room just one day earlier) and Frank (who we learned graduated from high school with one of our best friends.) I believe it was Alex who opened the Birrificio Le Baladinproduct – D swears it was a Cassis, although I can’t find record of one. I don’t remember the flavor or style notes…I remember the bubble (which I took a photo of – notice the sterilized bottles in the background!)

One of my favorite beers for the night was Oskar Blues Gordon in a can (described by the brewery as “a hybrid version of strong ale, somewhere between an Imperial Red and a Double IPA [made with] six different malts and three types of hops, then dry-hopped with a mutha lode of Amarillo hops. It is 8.7% alcohol by volume, and has 85 International Bittering Units.”) The Amarillo dry-hopping and higher alcohol probably explains why this one appealed to me, although I would have pushed for higher IBUs. I was aware of Dale’s Pale Ale in the can, but not this. Also, in this winter weather, I’m a fan of my Old Chub Stick – a gift. I Can’t believe in all my travels I’ve never been to Oskar Blues!

Matt gave us a house tour – the historical character is fascinating – and we got to peek in his beer cellar. He’s working on a raspberry cider, and we got a taste of his Apple Cider – well done!! There were some people sitting quietly taking notes, but we did not. Still, I remember a few of the things I tasted, so I’ll finish by making a list of “the rest”.

Alesmith  Speedway Stout – this may have been D’s favorite
Three Floyd’s Gumballhead
+ American Brown Ale in a growler from The Shed in Stowe, VT (really? WOW!)
+ Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale– MMMMmmm…Amarillo; first wort hopping really gives this a punch
+ Olde School Barleywine from Dogfish Head (side-by-side tasting of the ’05 and ’06)
+ Urthel Hop-it
+ Russian River Temptation (sour, but in a most wonderful way!)
+ Samuel Adams “A” (a honey porter – better as it warmed) and “B” (B for “blech”)

It was a great time, and we really appreciated being a part of an interesting night!

2 responses

  1. In a comment on BA, Adam filled me in on the Birrificio that we had – it was Cassissona. Adam is one person I barely got to know because of his “incredible journey to Manchester” (legend has it he went to Mr. Steve’s once, and then went back again…I never did follow the whole story, but the amount of driving he did for this project is commendable!

  2. Very nicely said. We were happy you joined us in Paradise and I hope this is only the beginning of what will lead to many more great beers shared.

    Phatz – in Paradise

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