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South Philly’s Birra: More Than Pizza and Beer, But Who Needs More Than Pizza and Beer?

BIRRA pizza South Philly’s Birra: More Than Pizza and Beer, But Who Needs More Than Pizza and Beer?By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight

Nicely situated on an East Passyunk Avenue corner, Birra first catches your eye because of its outdoor seating and hip signage.  But the real treasure of this South Philly pizza and craft beer joint is inside, where we found Birra’s light and airy space to be nearly as inviting as their scantily clad wait staff.  Did they know that nothing makes us hungry like a hot girl with a see-through shirt?  Grrrr!

Lucky for us, there was plenty on the menu to fill our bellies.

We started with a cheese plate, which came with a generous assortment of cheeses and well-paired sweet and savory accoutrements, along with tasty flatbreads and ultra-fresh baguettes sourced from local bakery Boulanger Pattisier.

Birra Peroni Draft 300x217 South Philly’s Birra: More Than Pizza and Beer, But Who Needs More Than Pizza and Beer?We couldn’t resist ordering the Noni’s Brisket Panini, and we were not disappointed.  The aforementioned fresh baguette was the perfect vehicle for the tender brisket with peppers and caramelized onions.  It was served with a side of jus, but we happily didn’t need it.

Wait, did I say we started with a cheese plate?  I meant to say that we started with beer.  We love beer!  We almost always start with beer.  This time it was a Peroni draught and a Menabrea Ambrata, an Italian lager we’ve never found in an Italian restaurant or a craft beer bar.

And then there’s the pizza.  Just as we almost always start with beer, we almost always have a hard time choosing between pizza offerings, and this was no exception.  After a serious discussion and an empassioned vote, we decided on both the margherita and the truffle pizzas; a logical order with one selection from each of the red and white categories.

The crust was thin and light, with a crispy edge.  The margherita was fresh and sweet, light on cheese with a nice layer of tomatoes.  The truffle pizza was rich, creamy, and delightful.  We would suggest re-naming this pizza Twelve Inches of Love, but that might bring the wrong kind of traffic to this family-friendly restaurant.  The lightly fried egg in the center of the truffle pizza was our favorite moment of the meal.

We’d like to point out that both the brisket Panini and the truffle pizza were even better when we reheated them the next day.  Suffice it to say we didn’t have room for dessert, but next time we’re going to order it anyway.

We’re going back as soon as the cops in South Philly forget our drunken faces.




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Philly Beer Week at the Iron Abbey

Iron Abbey PBW Full Events Promo 199x300 Philly Beer Week at the Iron Abbey          One of Philly’s Best Gastro Pub’s

The Iron Abbey gastro pub in Horsham PA has a stacked line up for Philly Beer Week.  From the Founders Beer Dinner to rare La Chouffe tappings, the Ommegang Happy Hour and the New Holland Mad Hatter Costume Party, the Iron Abbey is a must for any Philly Beer Week enthusiasts.  Don’t forget to check out the great pub food and sample platters from N’Brasa Brazilian steakhouse.






iron abbey gastro pub horsham 257x300 Philly Beer Week at the Iron Abbey

Iron Abbey Founders Beer Dinner Promo 200x300 Philly Beer Week at the Iron Abbey

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It’s Philly Beer Week at Tria

Philly Beer Week It’s Philly Beer Week at TriaOne of Philly’s Best Wine Bars with some Great Craft Beer Events.

Happy Philly Beer Week, Everyone!  Here’s an update of some cool happenings at Tria over the next ten days.  Check out the Philly Beer Week events lined up at Tria, one Philly’s best wine barts and happy hour destination.  It’s Philly Beer Week Bitches!  Sit back and enjoy the taps…

Friday, June 1

Meet the Brewer: Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of Evil Twin

After their Ferm School class tonight, Brian Ewing of 12% Imports and Evil Twin brewer Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, visiting from Denmark, will hang out at Tria Rittenhouse starting about 9pm. We’ve got a few of their beers to celebrate, so roam like a gypsy and stop on by.


Sunday, June 3

Meet the Brewer: Kevin Lemp from 4 Hands Brewery

Join us for this special Sunday School in which you’ll get a chance to try two beers on tap from a hot new brewery from St. Louis that’s in Philly only for Philly Beer Week. And if you time it right, you’ll get to meet the brewer.


tria logo.2 It’s Philly Beer Week at Tria4 Hands Pyrus (St. Louis, MO ∙ 6.0%)

$8/10oz DRAFT   $4½/10oz DRAFT for your first glass

Saison flavored with pear juice, white peppercorn and orange


4 Hand Prunus (St. Louis, MO ∙ 6.0%)   $8/10oz DRAFT Saison flavored with sour cherries


Where Tria Rittenhouse and Wash West

When Beers tapped at opening (12 noon)

Meet the Brewer Rittenhouse 3-4:30pm, Wash West 5-6:30pm


Monday, June 4

Meet the Brewer: Tomme Arthur from Port Brewing Company

Tomme Arthur is truly a rock star of the U.S. craft brewing scene, and he’s a rock star at Tria as well; he arranged for us to pour three of his legendary sour beers on tap at the same time AND he’s going to stop by to chat about them. Quantities are limited and demand is high, so don’t hesitate.


The Lost Abbey Red Poppy (San Marcos, CA ∙ 5.5%) Very special, very scarce! Flanders Red Ale brewed with sour cherries, aged in French oak


The Lost Abbey Framboise de Amorosa (San Marcos, CA ∙ 7.0%) Pucker up—this ale spends a year in wood and is spiked with three additions of raspberries. Funky!


The Lost Abbey Cuvee de Tomme (San Marcos, CA ∙ 11.0%) Huge Belgian strong dark ale with wood aging, cherries, Brettanomyces, the whole nine yards



Where Tria Wash West

When Monday at 3pm

Meet the Brewer 4-5pm


Friday, June 8

Meet the Brewer: Kris Herteleer of De Dolle Brouwers

This legendary Belgian craft brewery was founded in 1980 by brothers Kris and Jo Herteleer. Meet Kris next Friday on his first visit to the United States! Stop by Tria Wash West, now open for Friday lunch, between 1-3pm, to give him a warm Tria welcome. Oh, and there’ll be four De Dolle beers! More info in our Monday weekly email.



Tria Cafe

Rittenhouse Square

123 S. 18th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19103



Washington Square West

1137 Spruce Street

Philadelphia, PA 19107



Tria Wine Room

University City

3131 Walnut Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104



Tria Fermentation School

1601 Walnut Street, Suite 620

Philadelphia, PA 19102





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It’s Philly Beer Week Bitches: Check Out Philly Tap Finder for the Best Craft Beers in the City!

philly tap finder logo Its Philly Beer Week Bitches: Check Out Philly Tap Finder for the Best Craft Beers in the City! Hello, craft beer lovers.  Everybody is so excited for Philly Beer Week.  But with so many events to chose from, you crave information.  And just knowing that brewery X is taking over the taps at bar Y doesn’t cut it.  You want to know what beers are actually pouring.  Enter PhillyTapFinder.

We work extremely hard, scouring the interwebs and contacting the bars to compile the tap lists for the Philly Beer Week events.  And of course, we want you to have that information so that you can go to that special event that is pouring that super rare beer or an all-time favorite.  The days of going to an event, only to be disappointed by the tap list, are over.

So this is what we’re going to do.  During Philly Beer Week, from June 1-10, we are going to post the tap lists for the current  and following day right here — BOOKMARK THIS PAGE!  We are also going to post lists for particularly appealing future events.  To make this service even more valuable, we have included the descriptions of the beers (where available) so that you know what these new beers are.  We already posted a whole bunch of tap lists for June 1 and June 2, and we will post more everyday so please check back.  Please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check out our blog, “Tap Talk,” where we will be highlighting exceptional tap lists and events.

The beers coming into Philly for this wonderful “week” are absolutely incredible.  I can’t wait for you to see the information that we’ve collected.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO YOUR CRAFT BEER FRIENDS.  We work very hard to compile this information and want everybody to be able to take advantage of this service.


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Sly Fox Bock Fest and Goat Races May 6th

Sly Fox Goat Race and Bock Fest 258x300 Sly Fox Bock Fest and Goat Races May 6thReady, Set, Goat…

A runaway ruminant at last year’s Bock Fest created a few days of anxiety for its owner and a bit of excitement for some local homeowners. Rachel Bearoff, a resident of Phoenixville, owns several goats which she houses at Winding Brook Farm in Warrington, Bucks County, and she has entered one or more of them in the annual Sly Fox Bock Festival Goat Race the last few years. She never raced them herself since she was a server at the pub and working during the fest. Her sister or friends would run with the ruminants and she also lent out goats to non-goat owners who wanted to race. “They could name them whatever they wanted for the race,” she says.

The plan last year was for a friend, Ben Bell, to race Trey, while Rachel would run with Trey’s mother Sugar, her boyfriend Mike Johnson with Brom (Trey’s older brother), and another friend, Jordan Bravato, with Ginger Spice (Trey’s younger sister), whom he renamed Leonidas. It was to be the first race for Trey, a 150-lb and somewhat rambunctious animal. After they arrived, the man from Winding Brook whom Rachel calls Farmer Bob tied him to his trailer while he was tending to the other goats. Trey got spooked and broke free, trailing 30 feet of tie-line behind him. “I was so worried,” says Rachel. “I was afraid he’d get hit by a car or get stuck in the woods if his line got tangled around something.” She turned Sugar over to Ben to race while she and Mike, driven around by Mrs. Jacqueline Giannopoulos, matriarch of the family which owns Sly Fox, searched all day and into the evening for Trey and distributed flyers with the goat’s photo and a contact phone number, all to no avail.

“There were sightings reported all day long,” Rachel recalls, “the farthest away was near the Bevans Orchard neighborhood, which is about three miles from the pub. The police saw him jumping over cattle fences from the farm there but never caught up with him. After that, I didn’t hear anything until Tuesday morning when a guy called to say Trey was on Maryhill Road and his line was caught under the tire of a parked car. When we got there, he broke free again and ran behind a house. The owners came out and said he’d been around for a while, so I gave them my number and they called me later that night to say that Trey was under a neighbor’s porch. I went over to see but I didn’t have a trailer so I told the people whose house it was that I’d be back in the morning with Farmer Bob. They said that was fine and Trey was no problem. They enjoyed watching him.”

It was raining Monday morning when Rachel, Farmer Bob, an animal control officer and two assistants arrived at the house. “Trey was just laying on the front porch like it was his house,” she says, “just chilling. It was so cute.” When Farmer Bob walked up to the porch, Trey leaped to his feet and jumped off but Bob caught him in midair and his runaway adventures were finally over. Rachel says that a perfect ending to the whole affair was provided by Trey’s mother Sugar when they got back to Winding Brook. “After we put him back in the pen, she gave him this long stare and then went over and head-butted him like she was punishing him for running away.”

✔ Keep your goat on a leash!

✔ Bring your I.D.

✔ Bring cash to buy tickets. *

✔ Do NOT bring beer.

✔ Do NOT bring disposable water bottles.

✔ Bring refillable water bottles.

✔ Be courteous. Be safe. Have fun!

✔ Please recycle!

* Sly Fox will only accept tickets for all Bock Fest purchases.




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One of the World’s Best Porters: Evil Twin Biscotti Break Imperial Porter

Evil Twin Brewing 300x144 One of the World’s Best Porters: Evil Twin Biscotti Break Imperial PorterCritically Acclaimed Evil Twin Brewing

By Matt Goldstein

There’s a few golden rules about craft beer like searching for that ever allusive Pliny the Younger, drinking as many different beers as possible at a beer fest and whenever an Evil Twin Brewing beer is on tap, ordering a pint is an absolute must period.  From what started as a beer geek making beers in his basement, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso of Coppenhagen has now turned Evil Twin into one of the best craft beer brands in the world.  Jeppe is the evil twin of Mikkel Borg Bjergsø from Mikkeller Brewing, also one of the most coveted craft beer brands in the world.

The Evilo Twin Biscotti Break Imperial Porter is made with espresso, vanilla and toasted almonds.  This beautiful malt beverage is awesomely crisp, bitter and refreshing.  With flavors of vanilla, espresso and nuts, this imperial porter is very balanced and a straight up stud!  The Evil Twin Biscotti Break is simply one of the best balanced imperial porters in the world and comes with one of our highest recommendations.




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Featured Craft Beer of the Week: The Westmalle Trappist Dubbel Belgian Ale

westmalle trappist dubbel belgian ale 1 Featured Craft Beer of the Week: The Westmalle Trappist Dubbel Belgian AleMade by Trappist Catholic Monks in Belgium

By Matt Goldstein

The Westmalle Trappist Dubbel Belgian Ale is made by Trappist Monks at the Westmalle Abbey Monastery in Belgium.  An Abbey is a Catholic Monastery and Trappist is the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, a Roman Catholic Religious Order.  According to Westmalle, out of all the beers in the world, only seven of them can use the name ‘Trappist’: Achel, Chimay, La Trappe, Orval, Rochefort, Westvleteren and Westmalle, all of which have an “Authentic Trappist Product” logo.  A Trappist beer is only given this name if the beer is brewed within the walls of a Trappist abbey, by the monks themselves or under their supervision.  The brewery must be controlled by the monastery and be monastic in its business.  The profit from the beer and cheese making is only for the modest livelihood of the Monks and the up keep of the abbey.  Having brewed beer since 1837, there are three beers brewed at the Westmalle Trappist Abbey, the Westmalle Dubbel or double, the Westmalle Trippel, and the Westmalle Extra.

For a Belgian Ale the Westmalle Dubbel is actually pretty mild and balanced.  Many Belgian Ales can be extremely strong in alcohol and yeast, but the Westmalle Dubbel is subtle in both.  A dark, reddish-brown with a secondary fermentation in the bottle the Dubbel is subtle enough for the malts to shine through the yeast and 7% ABV.  With flavors of fruit, toffee, chocolate and coffee, the Westmalle Dubbel is complex but not overbearing and could be considered a session beer when comparing it to other heavy Trappiste beers.  The Westmalle Dubbel is simply one our favorite beers and absolutely recommend it.




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Best Christmas Beers 2011: Ridgeway Brewing’s Lump of Coal Dark Holiday Stout!

Ridgeway Brewing Lump of Coal Stout Best Christmas Beers 2011: Ridgeway Brewing’s Lump of Coal Dark Holiday Stout!By Matt Goldstein

Have you been bad this season?  If so, Santa might be punishing you with coal under the Christmas tree.  I know what you’re thinking, “What does this Jewish guy Goldstein know about Christmas?”  Fear not my friends, I got connections.  You best believe I got some Christmas gifts on the way.  On another note, a good kind of coal this holiday season is coal that comes in the form of a beer.  The Ridgeway Brewing Lump of Coal Dark Holiday Stout is a classic wintery stout perfect for any holiday celebration.  Making over 19 Christmas Ales, Ridgeway Brewing out of England is one of the world’s leading holiday beer makers.  Black in color with a brown bubbly head, the Lump of Coal Stout is a malty stout with subtle crispness.  Thin in body for a stout, the malty and coffee notes make a pretty flavorful stout.  Not full of all those Christmas spices in most craft beers, the Lump of Coal is simply a solid stout.  Malty, smoky and bitter, we would definitely try this stout again.

Ridgeway Lump of Coal

Country of Origin:  England

Brewery:  Ridgeway

Beer Style:  Stout, Winter/Holiday Beer

Alcohol By Volume:  8.0%

Format:  500 ml bottles, 50L kegs




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Best Christmas Beers of 2011: The Sly Fox Christmas Ale

sly fo christmas ale Best Christmas Beers of 2011: The Sly Fox Christmas Ale By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight

The Sly Fox Brewery plans a major expansion in brewing and a new Pottstown location later this year which will inevitably add to more beers from the already stacked Sly Fox line up.  However, one Sly Fox staple beer continues to deliver year after year and still reigns as one of the best holiday beers available, the Sly Fox Christmas Ale.  “This malty, full-bodied red ale is made with traditional mulling spices: Ginger, Clove, All Spice, Cinnamon & Nutmeg. If this one doesn’t get you into the Christmas spirit, you truly are a Scrooge.”  The malt and the spices are a perfect balance as opposed to some other Christmas brews in which the spices completely take over.  Balance and subtly is key for the best beers and the Sly Fox Christmas Ale simply becomes a ginger bread cookie in liquid form.  This is a classic Christmas Ale!

16.5 OG | 16 IBUs | 6.5% ABV

Availability: Seasonal




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The Lagunitas Butterfly Bottle Opener: Opening Your Craft Beer like a Master!

lagunitas butterfly bottle opener 300x222 The Lagunitas Butterfly Bottle Opener: Opening Your Craft Beer like a Master!Mastering the Butterfly Bottle Opener Part 1: The Basics

By Matt Goldstein

The Lagunitas Butterfly Bottle Opener is literally the coolest god damn way to open a beer.  And we have the instructional video for you to master the butterfly bottle opening techniques.  What’s that, you have a butterfly knife?  That’s for bitches.  We got a butterfly bottle opener and we have the butterfly bottle opener master to show you how to open that beer like a man.  Check out this amazing instructional video that will give you a degree in beer opening badass.  Mastering the Lagunitas Butterfly Bottle Opener Part 1: The Basics.


To Purchase a Lagunitas Butterfly Bottle Opener Click here!



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