So You Wanna Be A Beer Nerd

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To my mind, there are basically two ways to become a bona fide beer expert.

Method One is to spend a lot of time drinking. A lot of time hanging around barrooms talking with other aspiring experts (read: drunks). A lot of time befriending and talking to people a lot smarter than you about barley pop in all its myriad variations. You should drink basically everything that’s put in front of you–from the worst mass-market brews to the best craft beers you can convince someone else to buy for you. And then, after years and years of haunting the long oak and learning everything you can about beer and brewing and the history of both (it might help if you read a couple books, too), go online, find a picture of a Harvard diploma, Photoshop in your name and the necessary details to make you a Certified Master Of Beer, then print that sucker out, frame it and hang it on the wall.

Congratulations. You’re an expert. You got your education the same way I did–haphazardly and blurrily.

Method Two, on the other hand, is a bit easier, a bit cheaper and a whole lot faster…

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Tap Check: Local Pumpkins and Fruitier Beers

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Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale is out. It’s just one of the local pumpkin beers you can find right now.

 

Can’t keep up with the swift pace of change in the region’s beer drinking scene? Neither can we. But here are some of the latest beers and biggest news that we’ve caught.

Want to win a case of Neshaminy Creek’s Shape of Hops to Come, the brewery is running a contest on Social Media between now and September 10th.

Tröegs has rolled out a new Kolsch, When in Doubt. The 4.2% alcohol by volume beer is available in both bottles and on draft. Tröegs has also rolled out a fall seasonal, Hop Knife Harvest Ale.

More beer news »

Tis the Season for Tomato Dinners

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It’s local tomato season | Shutterstock

Just about every restaurant worth its salt has is celebrating local tomatoes with at least an heirloom tomato salad nowadays. But a couple of restaurants are going to the next level by creating whole menus with the tomato as the centerpiece.

Meritage is offering a special tomato tasting menu from Friday, August 28th through Friday, September 4th. The four-course dinner includes lobster with tomato conserva to a tomato sorbet with lemon biscotti.

At Jamonera, the Midtown Village Spanish restaurant is celebrating Lo Tomatina, Spain’s huge tomato throwing festival. On Sunday, August 30th and Monday, August 31st, Jamonera is offering a 10 dish, tomato tapas dinner for $45 per person. The local tomato menu will feature everything from tomato gazpacho to tomato sofrito with chorizo.

Check out both menus »

Going Down The Shore At The Franklin Bar

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Back to school is around the corner for most Philadelphia families, but the parents at least can still enjoy a little summer in a glass–four actually, at the Franklin Bar.

Down the Shore is head bartender Sara Justice’s latest edition of the bar’s cocktail tasting menu. Like her winter tasting Dutch Country Memories, this menu plays on seasonal flavors. One change to this menu is that Justice has edited it down to three drinks as well as an amuse bouche, which helps to keep each distinctive and it keeps the price point at a reasonable $35.

All the drinks, right this way

Larry’s Steaks Burglarized

larrys-steaks-400Larry Steaks at 920 West Girard Avenue, a branch of the popular St. Joseph’s University cheesesteak shop was

burglarized early in the morning of Thursday, August 20th.  According to the Philadelphia Police, “an unknown male gained entry to Larry’s Steaks located at 920 West Girard Avenue by shattering the front door glass of the business. Once inside the suspect took two cash registers containing an unknown amount of cash then fled in an unknown direction.”

No Belly Fillers were reported taken in the theft.

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Clambakes, Crab Boils and More

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Varga Bar is hosting a three-day crab boil.

If you’re a fan of clambakes, crab boils and bargain oysters, now through Labor Day is your time to strike.

Tonight is Oyster House’s last Twin Lobster Dinner of the summer. That’s two one-pound Maine lobsters, corn and drawn butter for just $28.

On Thursday, August 27th, Brick and Mortar is hosting a family style lobster and clam bake. The feast is $55 per person in advance, $65 in person. There are two seatings (6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.) and beer from Nantucket’s Cisco Brewery will be included.

But there’s more »

Hey, You Know How You Always Complain About COOK Tickets Being Sold Out…?

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One of the biggest complaints about COOK has nothing to do with my constant (and HILARIOUS) excoriations of the crowds at Open Stove for not loving Barfly and Strange Brew (two of the best drinking movies EVER), but the fact that tickets for the best classes are often sold out before most people even get a chance to register (hence our monthly sneak preview posts).

But now, you all have nothing to complain about. Because right now, there are some awesome September classes that still have seats available because, you know, its the end of summer and kids are going back to school and people have other things to worry about than getting the chance to talk about ice cream (and other desserts) with the guys from Big Gay Ice Cream.

Anyway, here’s the good stuff that COOK has left right now:

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Bud & Marilyn’s Opening Wednesday

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Things have been going so smoothly at Bud & Marilyn’s now that an actual opening date has been chosen, that owners Marcie Turney and Val Safran have now…decided to change the date again.

But wait! This time it’s good news. They’re actually opening a day early (meaning tomorrow), and have opened the books for reservations starting right this very minute.

Not excited by this? Jeez, Buzzkill. What do we need to do to get you excited about this? Show you the opening menus? Tell you about the late night beer, shot and cheese curd deal?

Because we have all that, too…

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SugarHouse Is Adding New Restaurant in Expansion

sugarhouse-hugo-frog-940SugarHouse Casino is intending on opening its 300,000 square foot expansion before the end of the year, and the riverfront casino is including a higher end restaurant in the new space.

An announcement regarding the new restaurant and exclusive caterer for the casino’s new event center is set for Wednesday, September 2nd. The event will include a grilling demonstration and taste of a special “Philly Cut” steak. The press release also features a hashtag, #froginPhilly. After briefly hoping this would mean the return of Rib-It or Steve Poses’ Frog, we applied some positively Sherlockian deduction, (we googled frog+steakhouse and clicked the first result) we’ve concluded that the new restaurant will be from … Spoiler ahead »

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