Every year Pliny the Younger tappings consume many beer lovers in the Philadelphia area. Philadelphia is the only city east of the Mississippi that gets the super limited release of the Russian River Triple IPA. That scarcity makes the tapping events an even bigger deal for beer nerds up and down the East Coast.
Looking for weekend drinking options? Perhaps you’ll find inspiration in Draft Magazine’s 2014 Best Beer Bars list. Six area bars make the list, which has been reimagined for 2014. In past years, having a ton of tap lines might matter, but today Draft Magazine defines a great beer bar as more than that. “We needed to walk out of these places saying, “Now there’s a bar that really, really cares about your experience with beer.”
In the Philadelphia area, six bars made the list including two from Brendan Hartranft and Leigh Maida.
Jose Pistola’s co-owner Casey Parker loves Monk’s Cafe and its proprietors Tom Peters and Fergus Carey. So much so he’s offering half-off beers for anyone who comes in dressed as either today. But that wasn’t his only Halloween plan for the day. He’s put a Monk’s Cafe costume on his 15th Street’s bar’s facade, complete with awning, mock neon and beer bottles.
Progressive Halloween parties seem to be a thing this year. Jose Pistola’s is encouraging Halloween revelers to pregame at their bar from 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. And if you want to get a drink for half-price, come as Monk’s Tom Peters or Fergie’s Fergus Carey.
And where might you head after Jose Pistola’s? Fergie’s Pub is going all out with its WonkaVision Halloween Party. There will be spooky quizzo followed by live band karaoke. We’ve been ensured that there will indeed be opportunities to sing along with your favorite Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory songs.
Tomorrow, September 14th is Zwanze Day and Monk’s Cafe is one of just 44 beer bars around the world that will be pouring this year’s version of Cantillon. And since it is Monk’s, they are making a big event around the 3 p.m. beer tapping with an epic list of beers on tap. It is also a fundraiser for Sutter Breast Care Center.
Today is also the first Monk’s Mad Monday of 2013. And as you might expect the Belgian beer spot has a ton of really great beer on tap. Monk’s Mad Mondays are also a charity event (benefitting Fair Food Farmstand SNAP program) so the proceeds from many of the beers and raffles will be donated to charity.
It isn’t just the Best 50 Restaurants in Philadelphia on the pages of Philadelphia magazine this month. There’s also a profile by Jason Fagone of Fergus Carey, the man who made Fergie’s and Monk’s legendary.
Almost every night, Fergie is on the premises of one pub or another, sweeping the floor, hyping the band. He greets his repeat customers warmly, asking after their wives and parents and cats, and if he doesn’t know a person’s name, he makes sure to learn it. Other pub owners do that, too, but Fergie is just better at it. His mental Rolodex includes many hundreds of Philadelphia drinkers. And it’s reciprocal: Thousands of Philadelphia drinkers know who Fergus Carey is. He isn’t the most famous person in the city, but he may be the most uncomplicatedly beloved. When he walks in the city, it takes him 45 minutes to go two blocks, because people are always shouting his name, stopping him, telling him stories and jokes. It drives his two young kids nuts.
Fergie Carey Would Like to Make a Wee Toast [Philadelphia Magazine]
Monk’s Cafe is celebrating Zwanze Day. And what is Zwanze Day you may ask? Well it’s the celebration of a rare beer from the Cantillon brewery in Brussels, Belgium. To be exact, it is a rhubarb lambic. And tomorrow, December 1st, Monk’s is tapping just one of very few bars in the country pouring the beer. Pours are $10 a glass and 100% of the money goes to Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Philadelphia’s premiere Belgian bar is also tapping Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek ($10) and Grand Cru Classic ($5). The proceeds of both of these beers are also being donated to Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
Stift Engleszell is a Cistercian monastery in Austria that was founded in 1293. And now it is the newest Trappist Monastery to commercially produce Trappist Ales. Stift Engleszell was granted membership in the International Trappist Association last month and ten of their kegs have made it to Pennsylvania, Monk’s Cafe to be exact. And at 5:30 p.m. they’ll be tapping the Pennsylvania debut of Stift Engleszell Gregorius Trappistenbier.
The beer is a dark ale made with organic honey and weighs in at 9.7% alcohol by volume.
Jean Broilet from Tired Hands Brewery has brewed a beer he’s calling R5 Saison. And in honor of the beer he’s having a bar crawl along SEPTA’s R5 line this this Saturday, October 20th. The beer includes five ingredients that begin with the letter “R” (Rye, ramon nut, roses, rhubarb and raisins). Each bar will have a customized version of the beer so it’ll be worth trying the beer at all four bars on the bar crawl.
The fun kicks off at Station Taproom in Downingtown at noon, runs down the R5 and finishes at Monk’s Cafe.