Good pubs, Good Beer, Good People

Sunday, March 30, 2008

That's Dr. PubScout to you, pal!

Congratulations are in order, dear readers, for me. After many years of arduous study and heart-wrenching self-sacrifice, I have obtained my Doctoral Degree, (Thank you, thank you!)

Now before you get all verklempt in your unbridled joy at my achievement, let me explain. My doctorate is not in medicine, philosophy or even education. It's in "Stoutology."

Yes, Stoutology. And what it means is that I know my stouts. Here's the story of how I got there.

The missus and I stopped for brunch at a roadside diner on Rt. 1 in Edison called the Skylark Diner. Though the design and the decor make it look like it's right out of the old Jetsons TV show, the food was very good and pretty reasonable, too.

And it has a bar.

And on the bar was a taphandle, among others, that said Bareknuckle Stout. It was a unique looking taphandle, so I ordered a pint with my breakfast of Virginia Ham and eggs. I watched it come from the tap and it poured like Guinness does out of a nitro-tap or when you empty one of those cans with the nitrogen widgets in it. Reverse bubble flow and all that, you know. Looked pretty appealing.

Tasted pretty good, too, even before the sweet ham. Nice, smooth, rich mouthfeel, decent nose and black as pitch (once it settled) with a creamy off-white head about a finger and a half high. It got better as it warmed, too.

But--call me ill-informed-- I hadn't heard of it before, so I resolved to look it up when I came home, because, while it wasn't Mackeson's Triple X or Lancaster Milk Stout, it was definitely very drinkable.

As Gomer Pyle would say, "Surprahz, suprahz!

It's made by Anheuser-Busch in Merrimack, NH. And it only comes from a tap, according to its blurbs.

Anyway, my research led me to the site below. Click on it, enter your birthdate and then a picture and some Lounge Lizard music will come on. Click on the group of people on the far right sitting at the bar, and take the final exam to see if you can get your Doctorate in Stoutology. I didn't miss a question. How about you?

If you get your doctorate, I'll buy you a Bareknuckle Stout at the Skylark someday. Go anytime. Just wait for me there.

(Hint: you might do better on the test if you click on the group of people on the far left of the scene first.)



Bare Knuckle Stout

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

McGillin's Olde Ale House

My friends at McGillin's (nee The Bell in Hand) are celebrating a special anniversary--a 75th--in honor of the repeal of Prohibition. While you never need an excuse to go to this classic pub, keep in mind that your taxes are due a week later....


McGillin’s Olde Ale House threw open its doors the year Lincoln was elected president. That’s shortly after the Liberty Bell cracked and long before ground was broken for Philadelphia City Hall. The beer taps have been flowing since 1860 -- making it the oldest continuously operating tavern in Philadelphia. It has outlasted Strawbridge’s, the Civil War and even Prohibition.
What’s the secret? McGillin’s has become just like the fictional “Cheers”- with comraderie, good food at a reasonable price and the best selection of local & regional beers on tap.

Prohibition Repealed -- Join us for 75th Anniversary party on Mon, April 7.

Trip to Ireland - Join us for a 7-day adventure in the Emerald Isle. Our longest road trip ever!

McGillin's Olde Ale House

Friday, March 21, 2008

Beer Trivia: Test your Beer Knowledge - AOL Food

Think you know your beer facts? Many answers may surprise you!

Click the link below!  Happy Easter! Cheers!


Beer Trivia: Test your Beer Knowledge - AOL Food

Saturday, March 8, 2008

KBC IPA--No Blueberries...

Well, beyond the bluish-purple coloring of the label, there was nothing blueberry about Kennebunkport Brewing's IPA. But it was a darned good IPA as far as style goes. Hoppy, but not blow-your-eyes-out hoppy, very nice in the nose and easy on the eyes with an absolutely beautiful color (almost looked like it had a tinge of blueberries in it)this IPA will not disappoint fanciers of the style. And the price is surely right--$5.49 a six. On my next trip to Trader Joe's, I'll definitely stock up.

Have you had a good craft brew lately? Let The PubScout know!


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Trader Joe's Surprise

The missus dragged me to this place in Westfield, NJ named Trader Joe's. It's difficult to describe this place as anything but a mini-Wegmans--and that's high praise from me because I enjoy going to Wegman's..

But unlike Wegman's, this place sells beer and wine. I sauntered over to the beer corner and saw Sierra Nevada and some other decent commercial beers. There's also a house brand called HofBrau, which looked appealing. Trader Joe also has his own beer, a brown bag, no-frills sixer of what may be a decent session beer, but I haven't tried it --yet.

What I did try was a six of something called JosephsBrau Brewing Co. (San Jose, CA) Winterfest. Billed as a "dark double bock lager" it looked like it might be interesting. What the hey, sez I. Winter's coming to a close, and if I don't like it, I always have Mike Sella's Scotch Ale to fall down--er--back on. And at $5.49 a sixer, the price was right.

I wasn't expecting much, but JB's Winterfest was surprisingly good--malty, smooth and well-balanced, and at 7.5% ABV, it packed a decent enough kick to warm most anyone's cockles. Really nice looking beer, too, with a superb nose.

Makes me look forward to the other sixer I picked up--we beer guys have to sample these suds in the interest of the craft, you know--called simply IPA by Kennebunkport Brewing Co. I seem to recall a suggestion on the sixer  pack that hinted that this was a Blueberry IPA, but I'll fill you beer lovers in more after I try it. Also just $5.49 a sixpack, it seemed worth a leap.

What I didn't try was the "Mystery Bag" for $4.99 proffered by the salesman, who was plying his pitch on a stunning, buxom and leggy blonde of about 24 who already had two cases of mix-n-match wine in her cart. (Hey, can't blame him for trying.) But when I heard him say that you could wind up with some good beers like Corona in the bag, I decided it wasn't my, um, bag. And I knew the missus would be looking askance at me if I decided to give this innocent young lady an instant primer in beer appreciation. She was still mad at me because in Newark Airport a skycap asked if he could carry my bag, I said, "Nah. Let her walk." My trip to Trader Joe's was part penance.

Anyway, Trader Joe's in Westfield. Check it out. Be back with the IPA report later.