balmorhea, philly beer

I been bad. The transition from San Diego to NJ to Haverford was a tumultuous one, and I failed to find any free moments for myself or “one palate.” It’s time to amend. Earlier this week, I went to see Balmorhea at Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown, Philly, PA. Impressed, I was, with the venue, the band (omgz), and, most importantly, the beer selection.

My night began with the Sly Fox O’Reilly’s Stout. When I think “stout,” I anticipate a heavy nose and a thick, deep flavor profile. The head on this beer was really light, and the brew itself was ridden with notes of chocolate and coffee, however, these notes were not as accented as I would have liked. Overall, I was pretty “meh” about this effort by Sly Fox.

Next, I had a Stoudt’s Scarlet Lady. When I saw this on the menu, I asked if it was a red ale because I recently discovered how much I like red ales. The bartendress replied with a coy “Yes” and told me that I looked like a “red ale kinda gal, even in the dark,” whatever that means, so I ordered it. Anyway, BeerAdvocate calls it an ESB, or Extra Special/Strong Bitter, which is not red ale. Despite her lack of knowledge and potentially creepy comment, I enjoyed this beer, even with a mouth that was expecting a red ale. It was much milder and less sour than I had hoped, but it served its purpose.

I can’t begin to describe my excitement for exploring Main Line and Philadelphia-area bars and bar-venues like Johnny Brenda’s. On the train ride home from this show, I encountered an overly friendly Philly native who took to recommending some places to me, including the Tattooed Mom where he works. Commence creation of “To Do”/”To Drink” list.

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