Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Pretty Good Night







This video premiered last night at the Philly Beer Scene Best of Philly awards show at World Cafe Live, and while it wasn't the highlight of the night, it was an amusing moment. Almost as good as the line about a homebrew being so funky that Sam Calagione called for the recipe, or William Reed's Carol Stoudt impersonation.

Joe Gunn: a touch sarcastic
First, about the show: fantastic. Mat "Red Shoes" Falco put together an incredible thing, a fun in-crowd show that had a great back-up band in Swift Technique, an excellent venue (with great beer, as always -- I drank a lot of Nodding Head Grog and Ric Hoffman's IPA from Stewart's, with a tasty glass of Forest and Main IPA thrown in for fun), and an indefatigable machine of an MC, Jose Pistola's own Mighty Joe Gunn, who didn't really keep things moving...but he did keep them pretty damned fun.

No, really, it's not Carol Stoudt!
Awards? They were presented by a full spectrum of the folks from Philadelphia's beer scene (appropriately, right?), from brewers to bar owners to wholesalers to distributors to homebrewers, and even beer writers, and that was a lot of fun too; sometimes intentionally. I haven't found a full list yet, but...here's what I remember, and it's not necessarily in order, because things didn't completely correspond to the list I was given. I'll flesh this out later. (Actually, Uncle Jack did, with a complete list that includes awards that weren't even mentioned last night...lookie here.)
Carolyn Smagalski & Mat: Red Shoes!
  • Best Brewery Rep: Weyerbacher's Mike Lubieski
  • Best Distributor in the City: Bella Vista
  • Best Local Lager: Victory Prima Pils
  • Best Local Belgian-style Beer: Weyerbacher Merry Monks
  • Best Bottle Shop in the City: Craft Beer Outlet
  • Wholesaler of the Year: Origlio
  • The Philly Tap Finder award for the Most Searched For Beer of the Year: Tröegs Nugget Nectar
  • Best Homebrew Shop: Keystone Homebrew
  • Best European Beer Bar: Monk's Cafe
  • Best Local Stout/Porter: Victory Storm King
  • Best Local Barrel-Aged Beer: Weyerbacher Insanity
  • Best Local Pale Ale/IPA: Yards Philly Pale
  • Best Brewpub: Iron Hill
  • Best New Bar in the City: Barcade
  • Best Bar in the Burbs: Hulmeville Inn
  • Best Brewery: Victory Brewing
The Weyerbacher Love Crew (Colin Presby w/the award for Best Barrel-aged Beer)
Uncle Jack Curtin and I got to present the final award, for Brewmaster of the Year, and I have to admit, by that time, we were all dragging a bit. So it was a good thing that they ran that Tröegs video (which is, of course, about the event Jack and I are doing at Standard Tap on June 3rd), which gave us a chance to sit and relax before taking the stage. We made a few weak jokes, then got right down to it: the winner was Chris Wilson of Weyerbacher, which brought the whole Weyerbacher Love Crew up on stage again, and Chris, resplendent in a white dinner jacket and green Weyerbacher t-shirt, made an acceptance speech that was pure Chris. And that...was that.

Jack announcing; I'm having a private moment w/my award.
Except for one other thing: I won Best Beer Writer of the Year, which I have to admit floored me. Because the competition has seriously stepped up around here, truth be told. From Uncle Jack's shoot-from-the-hip opinions, to Bryan Kolesar's in-depth reporting, Lisa Grimm's thoughtful considerations, Suzy Woods's personable and personal enthusiasm, and of course Don Russell's completely connected professionalism...plus Craig LaBan's great occasional beer forays in the Inky and all the local blogs, Philly's a great place to read about beer, too. Winning this award was humbling, and I want to thank all the people who voted, as well as all the fantastic people who make this such a great business.

Got some odd looks with the trophy on the way home on the train, but talking to Eddie Friedland on the way was well worth it. A good night, indeed.

All photos courtesy of Stephen "Click-click" Lyford; thanks, fella!

2 comments:

Lisa said...

Congrats - and thanks for the namecheck! Should have a new beer history article coming up soon for Serious Drinks...

Charles Bockway said...

Beer Writer of the Year! Nice, very nice. Keep up the good work.