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Philadelphia Pub Crawl

Friends of ours, let's call them Captain and Tennille, are huge fans of a show all about adult beverages, Drinking Made Easy starring Zane Lamprey and Steve McKenna. In the show, the two go out on the town and discover what and where to drink in different cities. Prior to Drinking Made Easy, Lamprey had a different show called Three Sheets, which was similar except he was without McKenna and was mostly international. 

So, after watching many episodes and living vicariously through Lamprey, who states it is his job to drink,  we decided we needed to conquer a nearby city and do the same tour as the Drinking Made Easy team. Philly is close and so we figured it was doable.

We grabbed our pal Pleepleus and hit the streets of Philadelphia. We had a big agenda and set out with the goal of hitting as many as possible. Our game plan was to have one or two drinks only at each bar, drink water and eat something at at least every other place.

We started our journey at a place called McGillins Old Ale House. We parked (love the pay stations, swipe your card, chose the amount of money to put in based on how long you'll be there and go).  A short walk, past some dumpsters in an alley, from where we parked we found the first pub. Seemed like a big college hangout, lots of young guys with popped collars and flip flops.  Not exactly our scene but they had beers, yum. Well, the rules were broken right off the bat as Captain and Tennille opted to share a "tasting" of beers rather than just get one drink each. The place was packed and after standing and looking confused for a minute, we were able to find a couple seats at the bar. Sports were on all the TVs lining the wood paneled walls at McGillin's.  There were quite a few beers so the logic of getting the tasting does make sense. I started with the McGillins Ale and my companion started with the McGillins lager. Captain and Tennille were unable to really know what beer was what in their tasting because the bartender, who was very sweet, could not remember what order he poured them in. While talking to our bartender and another who was also working that end of the bar, we got to talking about stouts (some of my favorite beers) and so in addition to my ale, I also got to taste two stouts they had on draft (see photo). Oh boy.
Sly Fox O'Reilly Stout, O'Hara's Irish Stout and McGillins Ale

Next my companion decided we could walk to the next place and come back for our car. The walk was a little longer than he expected, I asked "are we there yet?' at least twice. Feeling bad for underestimating the walk my companion suggested he go get the car and come back to get me, Captain and Tennille to go to the place after that. Our long walk got us to one of the most unique places I have ever been. Eulogy Belgian Tavern is a narrow building with a bar and dining area both downstairs and upstairs. Seeing that the downstairs bar was quite full, we headed up stairs. On the steep, narrow staircase, I felt like I had been transported back to the row home I grew up in. The upstairs bar was cool, hip with an aura of secrecy. And you soon realize why they refer to this as beer heaven, the menu has more than 300 international beers. Our bartender, also super hip, must be used to the bewildered faces staring back at him, because he quickly offered that if we tell him what we like he'll pick us something. Still at a loss as to what we wanted, he started to name characteristics of beer, we stopped him at bacon. Yes, bacon. You know Skip and her companion love bacon, but Captain and Tennille (in addition to drinking buddies, are also fellow foodies) love bacon too. So, Tennille and I get them smokey delicious bacon beers, pictured above. And my companion and the Captain get lighter, fruity and yes even floral brews. All were very tasty. Also tasty was the food we had at Eulogy. We ordered two things to share. We got a dozen steamed shrimp, seasoned with old bay (great with the bacon beer by the by) and a duck confit strudel, which was yummy, juicy duck meat wrapped in buttery, flaky pastry dough, yum. We enjoyed our snacks and the atmosphere at Eulogy, the bartender was fantastic, really a great place to hang if you like beer and like to try new things. While my companion walked to get the car, Captain, Tennille and I shared one last beer. The next stop ended up being a closer walk than the our last walk, so my companion parked and we met him out front of City Tavern.



If you are a history buff, you'll love City Tavern, it is ripe with Philadelphia history. Given that, it is much less of a "hang out" type pub like the places we'd just come from. In this historic restaurant and bar, there was more formal seating for a meal, but we opted to sit on the back veranda and enjoy a couple drinks. My companion and I drank the same thing Zane did when he was there, the City Tavern Cooler, which is whiskey, rum, peach brandy and apple cider. It was really yummy and something that could easily sneak up on you because it is so sweet and refreshing you might forget there is alcohol in it. Again, Captain and Tennille ordered a beer sampler, but also shared a City Tavern Cooler so they could have the full experience. We stayed there long enough to have our drinks and chat and relax a little after our last adventure. It was a lovely day to sit outdoors with an adult beverage. Then it was time to move on again.

Dueling Pianos at Jollys
Next up on our itinerary was place I had heard about on local radio stations for years, always announcing shows that were happening there. So, we were not all that shocked when we arrived at the Blockley Pourhouse and were told they were only open for shows and you could not just go in and sit at the bar. So, we were directed to their neighbor, Jolly's. It happened to be a piano bar with dueling pianos. Given the time of day (at this point and time I am completely unaware of what time it was, but it was still light out) there was no one else in Jolly's but the four of us. By this time we were all feeling pretty good and so our memories from this point on are a little fuzzy. There was a cute, young, female bartender working who was very friendly and we harassed her for quite awhile. I remember having a watermelon beer by 21st Amendment. They have a great beer selection, including quite a few local beers on tap. I think Captain might have had the Lancaster Strawberry Wheat because he likes fruit beers. I have no recollection of what my companion or Tennille drank or how many we had. I know, I know, but we were having so much fun! So to keep things going we decided to move on to the next destination where we planned to eat.

On next stop is a Philadelphia legend, Monk's Cafe is a great bar and restaurant with an extensive beer list and awesome pub food. By this time we'd picked up a 5th, as we'd been joined by a friend of Captain's. We sat at a large round table and enjoyed food, drinks and laughs. The specifics are fuzzy, but I know that Tennille and I both had the pulled pork sandwich. It is possible that someone had the chicken apple sausage, I had it once on a prior visit and it is delish. The pulled pork was awesome the BBQ sauce was sweet and tangy and the pork was really tender and they really piled it on the sandwich, good for soaking up all the beer we'd had. My companion insists he had fish, he thinks it was tilapia, but there is only salmon and trout on the menu, so I am not sure what to tell you about that one.

We decided to trek to one last destination. As we arrived at the Ugly American, the power went out. It was only momentarily but it was interesting that it happened right as we arrived at the door. I recall feeling confused and a little unbalanced at this point. I think I had one beer and then some water. To be completely honest, I did not even remember the name of this place, I had to ask my companion prior to writing this. Upon consulting Tennille about this, she said, "we went somewhere after Monks?". So, beware, pub crawls are dangerous. Lucky for us, my companion had been drinking a lot less than everyone else and so after dropping off our 5th, he got us home safe and sound as the rest of us slept off our day.

Any of the places mentioned here are worth a visit. And Drinking Made Easy is worth a watch. So, check it out at http://drinkingmadeeasy.com/


 

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