Thursdays with Ginger

This week, Philly’s official beer lass recovers from her illness and lists her top 10 beers.
Good News folks…My illness is in the check-out line. Very exciting… For a couple reasons…we can get back to my city slickin’ but more importantly you don’t have to read about the ever-growing tissue tower adjacent to my bed.

I know there was talk of whooping cough and avian flu, but I was eventually diagnosed with an Upper Respiratory Tract Infection. Two weeks! The hardest part of it all was I lost sense of taste and couldn’t indulge in my preferred potable. So now that I am back on the bar stool- I thought it would be a good idea to post my favorites for your viewing and hopefully drinking enjoyment
And in no specific order….

1. ROCHEFORT 10 – One of 7 Trappist Ales still brewed by monks. Swirls of belgian candied sugar. This beer has been described as a cosmic meltdown begging to be the last of the evening.( read How to Brew like a Monk).It’s probably my “island beer” You know, “If I could only drink one….”You can find it at Monks, Grace TAvern, the new bar ZOT (review to come next week)

2. PECHE MORTAL”Mortal Sin”(Coffee stout out of Quebec, Canada) Good F’in Luck.Anybody up for a trip North of the Border? Although- it has been sighted at Monks and Tria.

3. OLD DOMINIO OAK AGED BARREL STOUT .(Virginia) Aged in Chardonnay casks for two years, Vanilla added in the late hopping stages. Let it warm up for about ten minutes. oh me. oh my.

4. PERKUNO’S HAMMER (Heavyweight, NJ) Probably my favorite Porter. everything they made was great. This brewery just regretfully closed. But, and this is a big but, Heavyweight just licensed out the recipe to Victory and will be brewed as early as April, as late as May.

5. RESSURECTION (more like an honorable mention). (Brewer’s Art, Baltimore) I don’t know what it is about this beer, and I am used to drinking powerful stuff, but it always sends me over the edge..and for that I put it in my top 10. Plus the brewery handcrafts all their handles so they all look a tad different. Some our chalices…some our crucifixes.. Sip one down at the fine watering holes of North 3rd (get the ribs while you’re at it) . I also fell in love with the actual bar down in it’s got a special place…

6.BELL’s TWO-HEARTED ALE… I am not even one for IPA’s but this beer is different. I am in love with it. The hops are more flowery than piney…and there’s a mild accent of grapefruit. Bell’s is out of Kalamazoo Mi. Larry Bell started off his career as a baker. Thank God he found a better use for the yeast.

7. YARDS- These guys are just great. They do so much for the community besides making wonderful beer….If I had to pick one, I would go for the Trubbel de Yards, or the IPA…It’s a little bit maltier than most American IPA’s….Oh yea and grab a love Stoudt cask conditioned when you get a chance…a little more obscure but worth the search.

That’s right twelve syllables of deliciousness. Talked about this beer last week as I was sick…so I couldn’t get the full effect but I know from the past it’s a keeper. They brew it once a year on 2.24 (that’s this sat!) for Charles the V. They invite the public to view the brewing in Belgium.
Too bad we’re on the other side of the pond. however you can head to 16th and Spruce and celebrate with a 25 ouncer for $18.

9.BELL’S JAVA STOUT…Bell’s is actually a stout/ porter specialty brewery. They have a double cream stout, a java stout, a cherry stout, kalamazoo stout, and expedition stout. Go to ten stone, the Foodery, Monks, – they all have a nice variety.

10. SLY FOX -ICHOR. Sly Fox has packaging almost as amazing as the liquid contained. They have experimented with a few different belgian styles. They have their kegs of incubus that are only served at the brewery on the first Friday of every month…and they bottle that as well as the Quadrupel, ICHOR. where to find? Head to tenth and Pine..or better yet get to the brewery in Phoenixville or Royerford.
Oh- side note…they also started brewing their Pikeland Pils and Pale Ale, Dark Lager and Royal Weisse in cans….

11. (who says it has to be a top ten?) DOGFISH HEAD’S WORLD WIDE STOUT- the orginal brew Weighed in at 25% abv, but their most recent take was still a hefty 18% .This beer is a “sipper” but one of the most extraordinary sips I have ever had. Almost as rare as the Peche Mortal…This is an excellent excuse to head down to Rehobeth Beach and possibly meet the genius, Sam Calagione, himself.

12. Alright..this is it..promise
ALASKAN SMOKED PORTER…. God must believe in bacon, ham and all things smoked…This is one of the most award-winning beers in american brewing history…forget the blue ribbon..Pairs well with smoked meats and cheeses. I actually smuggled this back with me from the west coast b/c it doesn’t have distribution out in our parts.

That’s all folks,
G i n g e r

PS: You can look for reviews next week on James (8th and Christian) ZoT- (Pronounced “Zoot”(flemish for “madman”) Newest Belgian effort in Philadelphia, Govindas, and House of Chen (home of the “Flaming Volcano- a “fantastic drink for passion lovers.”)
If you are interested in joining In Pursuit of Ale, the Women’s beer club started by Ginger, just go to