Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Institute: first visit

I dropped by The Institute at 12th and Green in Philly for the first time today. I wanted to have a drink with a friend, talk a little treason, and she suggested this brand-new place: good call. It's in the Brandywine neighborhood, a new one for me, but as I parked and looked around...well, if I had the money I'd be buying a few houses and lots -- Northern Liberties and Fishtown are practically around the block, and this place is ripe for upscaling. I think Charlie and Heather Collazo are getting in almost as early as Paul and William did with Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda's.

The joint? Not real big...for now. Charlie told us he has plans: a basement kitchen ("about two months," he said, because the low ceiling necessitates busting through the concrete floor first), a second floor lounge ("with a DJ booth, sofas"), and, down the road a bit, a rooftop deck with a cedar fence and I kid you not, a waterfall. Sounds like a summertime place to be.

Meanwhile, it's comfy, though the bar itself is kinda small. Taps were excellent: two Founder's (IPA and Rye; I got the IPA, it tasted like fish), PBC Walt Wit and Rowhouse, Yards ESA, Bar Harbor Blueberry (yeah, I had one, it was hot), Sly Fox Phoenix, Hennepin, Bear Republic RIS, an Ace Pear, a PBR tap, and the ubiquitous Lager.

Worth the trip? Maybe not on its own, at least until the kitchen opens and Charlie doubles the taps, but if you're in the area, you ought to stop by.

9 comments:

Steven said...

Tasted like fish?

Lew Bryson said...

I tried three sips, said to my friend, "Try this, I think it tastes like fish." She didn't disagree. It tasted fishy. It wasn't pleasant. The blueberry ale was fine...for blueberry ale.

Thomas said...

The more important question do you think it was an issue with the line or the beer?

Lew Bryson said...

Indeed. I don't remember ever tasting this before from tainted lines. OTOH, this was just a casual visit...so I didn't focus. I'm guessing it was hop character that just came together odd...though I've never had that flavor from Centennial before.

bill mc said...

Hey you got some Herring Hops? :)

okbrewer said...

Our water comes from a lake/reservoir and sometimes the lake gets overgrown with some sort of algae and when that happens our tap water tastes fishy. It isn't harmful, just smells funny sometimes. Kinda like picante shrimp ramen! So... maybe the culprit is the water source when they brewed that batch.

Lew Bryson said...

Picante shrimp ramen...you're a bad boy.

You know...there might just be something to that. Hard to say. I'll bet no one else tastes it, though: it's a favorite of the geekerie, and I suspect they'll be blinded by the label and squeal "Wonderful! Wonderful!" as they pee themselves.

Heather said...

This is heather--the owner. My husbands name is charlie, not joe but thats ok. You literally must have gotten one of the last glasses of Centenial. I try to taste each beer several times throughout the week to ensure it still tastes the way it should. When I am nearing the end of a keg of some things I try to pay more attention depending on the style.
Anyway we are totally new to having a bar so feedback, postive or negative is necessary. We appreciate all of it. I'm sorry I missed your visit. Would have loved to meet you in person.

Lew Bryson said...

Sorry, Heather, and sorry to you too, Charlie. Not sure how that happened. It was an overall pleasant experience, and I've already recommended your bar to folks. But that Founders was off. Last glass in the keg might make a difference.