Saturday, January 9, 2010

Beer Travels

Greetings fellow hopheads and hoppy twenty ten to all of you! I hope it brings good fortune and pleasure to your lives and beer senses all around. For the New Years weekend, I decided to travel down to Annapolis, MD to visit the magician himself P-shoe. Here is a recap of my travels:

On my way down from snowy Connecticut that New Years Eve, I had to get off at the first exit once I crossed the border of Maryland on I-95. The exit is 109B and it is for Elkton, MD home of the infamous State Line Liquors. This place is so legit that I have a frequent flyers card that gives me deep discounts on some select items. Another pat on the back goes to State Line because they have been ranked the number 14th best beer retailer in the country. The main beer guru there is Bob and you can literally talk to him for hours upon hours about anything related to beer. His passion for the industry is like none other and is the main reason why I like to stop at this store anytime I drive by the area. I managed to walk away with spending over $100+ once again :o with beers like 21st Amendment Monk's Blood, Dogfish Head Olde School, Great Divide Hercules, Caldera IPA in cans, Green Flash West Coast IPA and some other sexy looking bombers. The only thing I miss from State Line is their ability to fill up growlers due to some bogus state law. Couple years back they had Old Rasputin growlers to fill up!!! Anyways, I highly recommend you check this place out if you are ever traveling along Interstate Ninety Five between Delaware and Maryland. [Note: picture above taken at State Line at another Chatoe Rogue bottle - Dirtoir Black Lager. I have only had their Wet Hop in this line before. Looking back now I wish I bought but I was way over my budget :(]

So after the ball dropped and 1/1/10 was coming along, we decided to head into Washington D.C. for some fun. First stop up off the metro was to grab a bite to eat at Capital City Brewing Company within pissing distance of the White House. For food, I split a nacho appetizer and some pretzels, and then commenced to devour a savory burger. This blended well with their Blackout Stout (bit too sweet for me) and and IPA (well balanced ride; difficult to distinguish from a pale ale). I was feeling extremely bloated and full after that meal so I stopped appreciating craft brew and went to the dark side of macros and mixed drinks for the rest of the evening at a couple of bars around Dupont Circle.

Instead of driving home back north on 1/2/10, fellow fraternity brother Johnny Crazy Balls and I decided to extend our weekend and venture into the city of brotherly love Philadelphia, PA to visit a good friend and beer aficionado Sir D. Allen. Before visiting Dave, I made a stop to fellow hophead Ryan!!! and his lovely lady beer godess Lex! We chatted for a bit and slayed a bomber of HERCULES HERCULES that was fresh and bottled in December 2009 :). After the Hayes camp stop and bathroom break, I ventured over to meet JB at Brauhaus Schmitz for some beer and food, which is also where Dave bartends. I forget what beer I had but it was damn good and blended perfectly with the meter long sausage we split for dinner. I also want to say that 1) I wish I knew more about German and international beer 2) Brauhaus had an extensive selection of beer glasses in all sizes and shapes...even a das boot!. Solid place, chill atmosphere and waitresses wear dirndls? (hot and sexy opposite of the male ledorhosen)...check it out next time you are in Philly on South Street. PROST!

Up next on our Philly visit was a stroll through the bitter and windy streets until we arrived at Varga Bar at the corner of 10th and Spruce. Place was quaint and busy as expected for a Saturday night, and was full of cute waitresses and a beer menu that would make you go ga-ga. We had to stand for our first beer, Yard's Old Batholomew off cask but lucked out on seats at the bar after a couple of minutes (Some head honchos from Yard's were there but I was too timid to shoot the beer grip with them). At the bar, I proceed to have Port Wipe Out IPA and Greenflash Hop Head Red by the pint in between conversations with the group, bartenders and waitresses. In the end, we were able to grab a table (food menu looked superb! but I was too full to taste anything) and I finished off my time at Vagra with some Rogue XS Imperial Red :) :).

Getting older sucks, but the night is not over! Up next in our adventures came the Irish Pol, a Jagermeister joint gone beer wild over the past couple of years I believe. Place wasn't that crowded but the 40+ beer taps on the wall was jam packed!!! While here, I stuck to my favorite IPA style and had Ballast Point Big Eye IPA and Great Lakes Commodore Perry IPA. I was a a bit disappointed of the Great Lakes one, but it could have been my taste buds losing their swagger. The first time I was here back in the spring of 2009 I took a body shot off some hipster chick, but this time was laid back and enjoying the warmth and craft draft beer.

Last bar on the agenda was actually a club, called something like Dancing With the Stars. I had some shots and a Stone's Pale Ale and that was all she wrote before I got my dance on or lack thereof....

Happy 2010 to everyone and hope the best of beer to all of you!!!!


Mike said...

Bravo James, that was a work of art.

Smacker said...

You sure that hipster chick wasn't really V in disguise?