Thursday, January 17, 2013

Joe Sixpack puts me in the Wayback Machine

From Don "Joe Sixpack" Russell's Weekly Update email newsletter today, a note that took me way, way back:
Orkney Skull Splitter is making a big deal about sending Philly it's "first" U.S. draft ever. Its supposed debut is next Thursday (1/24) at P.O.P.E. (South Philly). I coulda sworn I'd had it on draft before, so I checked my notes and found that Jim Anderson, the former Philly beer entrepreneur, served a cask of it at his appropriately named Split Thy Skull barleywine fest 12 years ago... Just for kicks, check out what else was on tap at Sugar Mom's (Old City) on April 14, 2001:
  • Hair of the Dog Fred
  • Heavyweight Old Salty
  • New Road Ichor
  • Nodding Head Old Willie's Ghost
  • Rogue Imperial Stout
  • Schloss Eggenberger Samichlaus
  • Stoudt's Scotch Style
  • Valley Forge Imperial Stout
  • Victory Blacker and Tanner
  • Weyerbacher Quad
  • Yards Old Bart 
I borrowed this from the Tattooed Mom's website.
Look at that list. Heavyweight, New Road, Valley Forge: all closed (though Heavyweight's Tom Baker owns/brews at Earth, Bread + Brewery, and New Road brewer Brian O'Reilly is the famed head brewer at Sly Fox). Nodding Head: new brewer. Stoudt's: substantially different brewery and beer line-up. Victory: much bigger and building a very large production brewery. Weyerbacher: moving into a large expansion this week. Yards: split up, and booming.

Things change...but they remain the same, too. Great beers in this town. Great beer people. And yes...Split Thy Skull XVII is on for March 30 (as always, the day before Easter, from which stems my long-running habit of having a few very strong beers before singing the Easter Vigil mass) at Tattooed Mom's. Haven't been in a while; maybe it's time to take up that cross again. Thanks for the wake-up call, Don!

1 comment:

Gay Gillman said...

Lew, glad you mentioned Jim's name. I attended two or three of his early cask ale festivals in Philadelphia and always enjoyed our palavers. It seemed improbable to me that a high-spirited, quintessential American like Jim would hie off to faraway Scotland and start a completely different career there, but so he did, and it seems to have worked out very well. I enjoyed perusing the images on his website you linked. He looks pretty much the same as 10 years ago, all that Scotch fare and air must be agreeing with him!

Does he ever return to Philly do you know? Have you seen him since he left the U.S. to set up his eponymous business there? Say hi for me if you do please.