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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Philly Beer Week: details on the Fork brunch and Real Ale Festival

Well... I thought we were doing the PA Preferred and PA beer brunch at Fork. Then Ellen Yin came back to me with a suggestion for a dim sum and beer buffet kind of thing, and I liked it. We can do the PA Preferred brunch next year (which gives me time to make better contacts at PA Preferred, too). So here's what we have this time:

Start Your Day Right: with Fork and Pennsylvania Breweries!
Join Fork in welcoming nationally-noted beer writer Lew Bryson for a special brunch featuring a breakfast variety of local beers from his book Pennsylvania Breweries. You'll enjoy pairing those beers with Fork's interpretation of dim sum, the Asian small plates traditionally served with tea. The menu will include items like potstickers, braised ribs, clams in black bean sauce, etc. Consider it a delicious preparation for the Real Ale Festival at Triumph, just two blocks away. Sunday, March 16, noon to 2:00 PM, $35 excluding tax and gratuity; beers extra.

Now, about that Real Ale Festival: Jay Misson called me about that. Tom Kehoe at Yards has been behind the idea from the start, but there were obviously some problems with the split of the business and ongoing issues with their new brewery building (the screw piles are all in, by the way, according to Kehoe's report at Groundhog Day). But with that old "work together" attitude that has characterized small brewing in this country for years, Yards and Triumph got together and the event will be on at Triumph. Jay said they may be alternating the site in years to come (note: "years to come." An event with a future).

Details: The festival will run from 1-4 on Sunday afternoon, and you'll have the choice of "in the neighborhood of 20 different firkins, and we hope more, from 20 different breweries," according to Jay. It's a one-price ticket: $50 a head, limited to about 300 people. There will be special food for the event, but that menu isn't set yet. "The spirit," said Jay, a radically traditional brewer, "is to try to maintain traditional cask styles rather than to have an extreme beer fest. Maybe there won't be enough hops for people, I don't know."

So join me at Fork for beer and dim sum, get a base laid in for the Real Ale Festival. Sounds like a great way to end Philly Beer Week to me.


Anonymous said...

Lew: Beers Extra for the Brunch, whats up with that I thought it was a BEER brunch? Just kidding looking forward to the Real Ale Festival, though. I hope that this is something that continues.

Lew Bryson said...

biscuit (that was my grandfather's nickname, or at least what my great-aunt Grace called him),

That's a fair point, and one other commenters brought up: you were just the first one to do it without being incredibly profane... The beer brunch at Fork is meant to offer you an array of beers. Fork's not cheap to begin with, and Ellen Yin is a noted chef: the meal AND beer would be quite a bit more, as it is other places. Rather than put the price up by quite a bit more, and decide for you what beers you would get...which is kind of antithetical to the whole idea of dim sum, too...we put the beers out there for you to pick, and brought the total price down.

That make sense? I'm looking forward to the Real Ale event too, by the way, a LOT!

Anonymous said...

Any further word on when tickets go on sale for the Real Ale Festival? There is nothing additional on the Philly Beer Week or Triumph sites. With only 300 tickets I'm sure they'll go FAST! I'm glad the event wasn't scrapped. I got a hankerin' for Real Ale! Hope to see you there.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute - $35.00 for Dim Sum, Beer costs extra and you want me to beleive that you brought the price way down?

I've had Dim Sum at the DimSum cafe in Seattle where they pushed carts full of all kinds of Dim Sum through the dining area and you took plates full of what you wanted off of the cart. You simply stacked the empty plates under your chair until you were done eating and then they would figure out whatyou owed based on the number of empty plates you had. I never even approached $35.00 and it was the best dim sum I have ever had.

Lew Bryson said...


I guess there are exceptions everywhere. All I know is that I've never eaten at Fork and felt that I'd paid too much. It's awfully good. On the other hand, I've eaten really good barbecue in the South in concrete block shacks for quite a bit less. Things...are relative.