March Goodness!

Keep your March Madness drinking games and green beers to yourself – our beer expert and renowned foodie suggests sophisticated, artful beers for getting hammered in style.

March is here and that means organizing those brackets and asking those age-old questions, “What will NOVA do?” & “Will Temple get snubbed?”

It also means warmer temperatures, and of course a certain day in which imbibing alcoholic beverages whilst navigating demented leprechauns, kilt-wearers, ginger-inflicted persons, and large green-clad masses becomes a contact sport in small Irish watering holes — such as our own beloved Murphy’s Irish Saloonery! (If you have never experienced the craziness of St. Pat’s at Murph’s, it is something to behold!)

TIP: St. Patrick’s Day is on a Friday this year so a warning: YOU WILL GET WET ON THIS RIDE SO KEEP YOUR HANDS AND FEET INSIDE THE VEHICLE AT ALL TIMES!

This being the arts & music edition of the East Falls Local, I’ll be touching on beers that fall into the seasonal framework, promote a better understanding of art & music culture, and are just damn fine works of art in their own right!

Dogfish Head Beer to Drink Music to ‘17
Milton, DE

  • Brewed with kiwi juice & hibiscus flowers
  • Floral, berry, & citrus notes
  • Tropical light-bodied blonde ale
  • 6.8% ABV 
  • 30 IBU

THE OFFICIAL BEER OF RECORD STORE DAY, April 22nd!

This pinkish-red thirst quencher pairs great with a mild cheddar or fresh mozzarella, try it with lighter fare, like grilled seafood or a lovely Caprese salad.

This beer is specifically brewed to be enjoyed whilst listening to your favorite album (preferably on vinyl).  Sam Calagione of DFH says, “The enjoyment of a beautiful beer with an amazing album at the same time is an exponentially awesome experience!”

He believes this so much that Sony & DFH are even releasing a vinyl compilation just for Record Store Day entitled, Music to Drink to Vol. 3.  As a vinyl junkie I highly suggest you stop by Main Street Music in nearby Manayunk for all the special pressings they have to offer on April 22nd, plus you’re supporting an amazing local business!

*INSIDER TIP—DFH is touring the country with Crosley Radio promoting this craft brew, indie artists, and original artwork and will be ending the tour right here in Philly on RECORD STORE DAY @ Johnny Brenda’s & Jose Pistola’s.

Flying Dog Lucky SOB Irish Red Ale
Frederick, Maryland

  • Sweet bread aromas & rich caramel/toffee malt flavors
  • Medium-bodied with a copper-red color
  • Irish red ale
  • 5.5% ABV
  • 28 IBU

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day this seasonal brew is brewed with 4-leaf clovers!  Better yet the artwork, done by none other than Hunter S. Thompson & Flying Dog collaborator, Ralph Steadman who illustrated such works as the revered, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas!

So as a highly trained professional, I suggest you take a drink from the bottle on your left, unlock your inner Dr. Gonzo, and enter your own “Bat Country!”

Black Hog Brewing Co. Ginga’ Ninja
Oxford, Connecticut

  • Apricot & pine aromas
  • Spicy ginger and vegetable notes followed by slight bitterness
  • Medium-bodied red IPA brewed with fresh ginger
  • 6.5% ABV 
  • 56 IBU

This interesting hybrid brew was originally brewed by the brewmaster to honor his red-headed bride on their wedding day, but the ginger-love doesn’t stop there, as each batch of this brew requires 6 lbs. of fresh ginger!

The label work alone is a reason to buy, simply beautiful psychedelic poster art harkening back to the 60’s and a badass beauty with freaking ninja stars!  This beer pairs amazingly with camembert & cheddar cheeses, Thai cuisine, and is also a stellar contrast to some slow-cooked bbq pulled pork.
Guinness
Dublin, Ireland

  • Aromas of coffee, toffee, & cocoa
  • Hints of chocolate and roasted malts
  • Smooth, creamy, medium-bodied, Irish dry stout
  • 4.2% ABV 
  • 40 IBU

This work of art has been being brewed since 1759 and although many argue that Guinness tastes different depending on your location, it’s still an impeccably devised libation.

There are even international competitions on the ART of pouring a Guinness, c’mon that’s just AWESOME!

IF you happen to catch Guinness enthusiast and pouring Picasso, Michael Murphy, drawing a pint of the stuff, ask him nicely and he may emblazon your Guinness with a clover or a deliciously lewd pictogram.

Warning: DO NOT BE THAT PERSON WHO ASKS FOR THIS ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

Guinness is a meal in itself, but also pairs great with a hearty stew, burger, or any chocolate or coffee-flavored dessert.


Robinsons Family Brewer’s Trooper
Cheshire, England

  • Balanced malt and citrus notes
  • Hints of lemon & biscuit with a hoppy finish
  • A creamy, medium/light bodied extra special bitter
  • 4.7% ABV 
  • 35 IBU

 This beer is triple threat, awesome artwork featuring Iron Maiden’s “Eddie”, it’s named after one of Iron Maiden’s classic metal anthems, “The Trooper”, and Iron Maiden front man/vocalist and real ale aficionado Bruce Dickinson helped craft the recipe!!!

Oh yeah, and the beer is pretty damn good to boot!  So, “Run to the Hills” & pair a Trooper with an English cheddar or some Indian food.

So get your art on East Falls, in whatever form it takes!

Here’s to Cheers and Plenty of Beers,

JK 

 

Beer tips and food pairings from Jonathan Kennedy, a badass foodie who eats pigs whole and has forgotten more than we’ll ever know about enjoying beer.

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