Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wow. I'm in Delaware.

But not for long, and anyway, we had a good reason to be here: Total Wine and Spirits. I have written about this alcohol superstore chain before, and what sets this apart from the others is that all merchandise is tax-free. It is right across the state line from PA, so it is a good place to come if you really plan on stocking up. We can't do that since we are flying, but it is still fun to look.

Later that day we were back in Wayne, PA, home of the Beer Yard that I wrote about previously. We were visiting Teresa's Next Door, the bar portion of a restaurant called Teresa's Cafe. The bar is known for its limited but well-planned tap list, and was worth the drive back into this snooty neighborhood. They also had the largest selection of glassware I have ever seen at a bar. I had an Ithaca Flower Power IPA and Jenn chose Southern Tier Unearthly Double IPA. The Ithaca beer was full of Simcoe hops, which give the beer a great smell and keeps the bitterness level where I like it: high. Unearthly is an 11%palate killer that we were happy to see on tap, as we had been hoping to try it on this trip. We also had a taste of Victory's Old Horizontal Barleywine from 2007. The bar has a selection that makes you want to come back, but the yuppie atmosphere and bartender who looked like he was waiting to be discovered kind of turned me off. Glad we stopped in though.

Finally that evening we met up with Joseph Frantz, the noted Philadelphia-based filmmaker and beer lover who introduced us to 1601 Cafe, one of the fantastic new corner bars in Philly that serves up gastropub food and craft beers. I didn't bother with the food, as I was too busy trying the Mojo IPA on draft. We can get Mojo in Albuquerque, but for some reason no place ever has it on tap. So the brewery is 500 miles away from us, yet I have to travel 2000 miles to get Mojo on tap. The real find was Founders Breakfast Stout, probably the highest regarded coffee stout available in the country right now. And 1601 had it on tap! For only FOUR dollars, I found out at the end of the night! Most places that can even acquire it charge 7 or 8 bucks a glass.

So as I said, Joseph Frantz is a filmmaker (just released a new movie entitled Minghags starring Bam Margera, go to to order), but he also recently co-authored the book "Dreamseller" along with Brandon Novak. The book describes Novak's struggles with drug addiction, and to be honest makes me feel pretty good about my drinking. The book is a fast, entertaining read, and you can find it at the Barnes and Noble at Coronado or Cottonwood.

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