Ghost Bottles with Garrett Oliver

The ever-wise UrbanDictionary defines fangirl as such:

A rabid breed of human female who is obesessed with either a fictional character or an actor. Similar to the breed of fanboy.

I don’t consider myself a fangirl too often. There was that one time with Jason Segel, but he and I both agreed not to dwell on that too much. However, when the opportunity presents itself to geek out over incredible beer with one of the humans that defines the craft beer industry (he, quite literally, wrote the book on the stuff. And then wrote the other book on beer [and food, COME ON!]), I can’t help myself.

I go a little gaga.

Well, guess what I did on Monday?


You’re damn right I did.

You might remember me obsessively following Brooklyn Brewery’s events during their annual Philly Mash this summer. But Monday was something especially special.

The entire evening at City Tap House Logan featured a full-fledged Brooklyn Brewery tap attack. They had slews of those rare Ghost Bottles RIPE for the drinking. Proceeds from the sales of these bottles went to Philabundance. (This made me feel especially charitable when, between the roomie and myself, we sipped every single one.)


I’d love to describe the beers to you, but I’m not cruel. See, chances are, unless you’re stalking all of Brooklyn’s events or a close personal buddy with one of the brewers, you may never see these bottles in your life.

I will say: they were fantastic, complex, and I can’t believe my tongue was #soblessed to taste them.

Then there was a panel of beer bros discussing the industry:


Sorry for this shot, Curt. But doesn’t Garrett look SO CUTE?!

They talked shop. Highlights of this included:

  • Garrett Oliver comparing the beer industry to a) The Cage/Travolta classic, “Face/Off” AND b) Dick Cheney [had to do with him shooting you in the face, but being honest about it… You get it, right?]
  • Lew Bryson reflecting on how folks that exclusively drink “craft beer” putting back major brands’ spirits without giving it a second thought.
  • Garrett explaining how, when he hears someone mention “I’m thinking about starting my own brewery,” his first thought tends to be, “Of course you are.” I feel that.
  • How many brewers approach the industry for the love of money (there was a moment where it sounded like they were discussing an episode of ANTM).


    We get it

  • Craft beer in the US: Sours make up like, 1/3 of 1% of sales, but about 80+% of talk.

There was a Q&A session during which I, giddily, asked Garrett Oliver what he would pair with the Philly classic, the Roast Pork Sandwich.

His answer was their Galahad (Local 1 aged on cider lees in bourbon barrels). I was drinking that beer at this exact moment. FATE! So we took a photo together.


Garrett, myself, and Miles Moser, local Brooklyn rep AND fellow Tar Heel

I’m not saying that my heart was racing the entire night…. but I will say, it was tough to go to sleep following all the excitement.

Garrett, you beautiful brewer, you eloquent author, you magical man…. thanks for coming out. I’ll see you in Brooklyn soon, I hope. You bring the ghost bottles, I’ll bring the unending buckets of enthusiasm.

Sharing is Caring: Philly Bottle Share

Wanna find all most of the cool beer people in your city at one event? Might I suggest throwing a bottle share event? Not only will everyone FLOCK to the opportunity to enjoy each others’ company, but I guarantee that they’ve all been holding onto something special. A bottle, big or small, that they’ve been itching to show off and share in the company of fellow beer geeks.

Let your Geek Flag fly, y’all!

And, in Philly, despite being tardy for the party (err…. the RSVP), I managed to secure a coveted spot to one of these events, Bottle Share #2 hosted by Philly Tap Finder and Philly Beer Scene. I grabbed my Prickly Passion Saison from my beloved New Belgium, which I’d been saving for something (though I didn’t know what until last Sunday) and was dropped off, bottle in hand, inches away from Soup Kitchen Cafe, our hosts for the afternoon/evening.  And, shortly after the rare beauties hit the table, the bottles started popping.

Some of them were corked, so there were literal bottles popped.

There were some incredible brews brought to the table (literally). And I fell in love with a few. Highlights?

  • Cigar City’s Cucumber Saison
  • Terra Incognita, the collaboration that Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and Boulevard Brewing Co (made specifically for the Savor beer and food festival, which I’d love to attend in 2013 when it moves to NYC! Fingers crossed things work out…)
  • Prickly Passion Saison

    Beautiful bottle!

  • Flemish Primitive Wild Ale and Crooked Stave’s Pure Guava Petite Sour (the only other time I had Crooked Stave was at the Sour Beer Tasting Class!)

    The Mac and Cheese helped

There were so many other beers that I tried/enjoyed, but I think I was itching for some sour brews. And, though that picture washes out the mac & cheese, I promise, it was creamy, cheesey, and heavenly.

To let my inner vegetarian out, I requested the veggie-friendly dish first (there were lots of meaty sammies too, I’ll get to them next).

Just beet it.

Goat cheese, arugula, beets!! Totally enamored.  However, since it was a small portion and I needed something to soak up all that beer, I tried a few of the other offerings….

Sorry for the lousy framing of this picture, I was hungrier than I was interested in snapping the perfect shot

Meatloaf sammy, pulled pork on a perfect little roll (my favorite!), and short rib sloppy joe. True story: I tried them all. Just call me quality control….

The rare and exotic beers flowed freely, the conversation and geeking out was incredibly pleasant, and I felt like I was among my people. That also resulted in very few shots OF those people, as I was trying to chat and enjoy and not get drunk all at once. This inevitably resulted in a glass of water or a handshake occupying my hands much more than the camera.  But man, we did some work.

Just a fraction of the bottles consumed.

Big thanks to Jared from PhillyTapFinder and Mat from Philly Beer Scene for putting it together AND for letting me know I snuck in off the wait-list.  Because this was an event NOT to be missed.

What would you bring to a bottle share?

HOW ABOUT what would you bring to a potluck dinner with all of your classmates on a Friday night? (because I have one, but have to travel a bit with my dish… on public transportation….)

I wonder if I could host one of these of my own…. potluck bottle share at Chez Jordan? That sounds too cool…

Philly Girls’ Pint Out Takes Flight at City Tap House

When people ask me what I miss most about North Carolina, sometimes I think about the stunning UNC campus. Other times, I think about the hip, welcoming town of Durham, complete with giant bull statue and delicious eats and my favorite minor league baseball team. And there’s always Cheerwine, Bojangles, and all the beauty of Honeysuckle Sorbet… But then I remember what I REALLY miss most of all.


It’s my NC Beer Family, of course! This amazing group of men and women were some of my best friends, and they always welcomed me with open arms and open bottles!! They gave me a community, a place to be myself and geek out over my favorite things in the world (craft beer…. cheese…. chocolate…. friends.)  And, though it’s still in the early phases, I think I’m finding that community in Philly.

You know what helped?

Well, that logo looks familiar!!

Philly’s very own Girls’ Pint Out!!

Though this was my second event with the ladies of PAGPO, it was definitely the first where I really got to meet and know some of the women. And they’re fantastic!

We all got together on Monday night at City Tap House for a DIY Flight-Night personalized for each gal. For $10, we each got 4-5 oz pours of different beers. And, since… tis the season and all, I just WENT FOR IT!

Fueled by Luna!! All pumpkin, all the time!

As you can see on the bottom there, I claimed the name “Pumqueen” for the night since every beer I was enjoying featured a Pumpkin spin. Lavery’s Stingy Jack, Old Forge Smashing Pumpkin, Long Trail’s Imperial Pumpkin, and Fegley’s Brew Works’ Devious Imperial Pumpkin!!

So much pumpkin on one paddle.

Unfortunately, there was some confusion at City Tap House which beer was which on the paddle. However, through careful deduction and detective-like skills (and some discussion with other ladies) I figured out my beers and their order (maybe). Either way, I’m PRETTY sure that my favorite was Long Trail’s Imperial Pumpkin. Smashing Pumpkin was a little low on carbonation, and the Brew Works’ Devious Imperial Pumpkin had a little sharpness to it that I didn’t love, and not enough pumpkin.

Unfortunately, one of the beers had a little extra something and, while I was chatting with my new lady friends over how we all got into craft beer (Brothers! Working at a brewery! boyfriends! Buddies! so many routes to the inevitable destination of beer love!) Into my mouth went….



I told one of the servers and, don’t worry, no one got hurt (no one = my mouth). They comped my paddle and, though I’m not sure if it was because he felt bad OR because this had been planned long before, Andy decided to treat all my new lady beer buddies to some special bottles!!

Andy, you the m-ANDY!

Sorry about my lousy iPhone shots, but I didn’t even consider bringing my fancy camera.


My favorite was HANDS DOWN the Russian River Consecration Ale. Sour dark ale aged in Cabernet Sauvignon Barrels with CURRANTS!


Glory, thy name is Consecration and I’d like to drink you ALWAYS.

Despite the glass-y shard, the night was fantastic and had me smiling the whole time.

Happiest camper.

And the best thing of all?


Do you think the pink tint was to go with the GPO colors??

No one could replace my NCBeer family, but I’m SO STOKED to be starting a new bunch of beer loving pals!

Thanks to City Tap House for handling a problem with grace and courtesy, thanks to Andy for spoiling us (and introducing me to Consecration, my new love), AND thanks to my new buddies for sharing your Monday night craft beer loving with me!!

I wonder what tasty beer event is next on the horizon….