Archive for Rachel Riot

Better Late Than Never

Posted in Beer, event, Unofficial News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2009 by philadelphiaexbeeriment

Dear Readers,

We apologize for what seems to be a summertime hiatus.  We have our reasons for not being able to fill your mind with reviews, events, and interviews for the past few weeks but we will not take this time to drop a bunch of excuses on you.  Shame on us for not updating as often as we would have liked.

That being said, we are returning next week and will once again provide you with what we refer to as “beer necessities”.  We are also in the midst of planning some great ExBEERiment events for the fall and winter!  So please, stayed tuned.

Thanks again!

The Ladies of PE

P.S. We can neither confirm nor deny the rumors that we have been busy over the last few months traveling through time, trapped in a battle between elemental forces of good and evil:

Clip from Time Bandits (1981), Terry Gilliam

Cause YOU Can Help By Drinking AND Rocking!

Posted in event with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2009 by philadelphiaexbeeriment

research flyer

Doc Watson’s Pub is located at 216 S 11th St (between Locust and Walnut Sts.)

Drink Specials include $2 Bud Light drafts and PBR cans, $3 drafts, $4 wines, and $5 well mixed drinks.

Philly Weekly Street Team will be there doing their thing!

Hope to see you there!

Showdown at the Saloon

Posted in bar hopping with tags , , , , , on May 6, 2009 by philadelphiaexbeeriment

The Fairmount bar scene is an area that we South Philadelphians have yet to frequent.  So in honor of long since passed Philly Beer Week we decided to go take a gander at what Fairmount had to offer.  One stop along the way was Urban Saloon.

Rootin' Tootin'...from the outside at least...

Rootin' Tootin'...from the outside at least...

Standing outside of Urban Saloon makes one imagine being at a bar where Maverick or Cheyenne might have grabbed a pint or two before they had to outwit and outlaw.  But beyond the old western saloon doors lies something unexpectedly different.

The single-floored, wide room has the architectural structure of a place that was once a storage shed or facility. The gathered curtains separating bar from dining area give a modern take on the saloon doors at the entrance.  However, the combination of new wood floors, brick inlays, spot lights, and four flat screen T.Vs.  makes you wonder if you’re still in the same “saloon” you walked into.

Maybe Urban Saloon is code-word for “fourth dimensional entrance” in these parts.  Which would not only explain the mismatched atmosphere, but would also excuse the hour-long wait we experienced after ordering only a salad and a cup of soup in what was not a crowded restaurant.  Time simply ran differently for the customers and waiters, as the kitchen crawled along in Twilight Zone space.

Green dressing was neither appetizing or tasty.

The green dressing was neither appetizing nor tasty.

When at last the plates of food sallied forth with the slow tread of Yosemite Sam, we could not help but react like a pair of yellow-bellies staring down the barrel of a gun: our meals didn’t so much resemble food, as slop fresh from the trough.  Miss Riot’s “Caprese Salad” was no more than an ant-hill made out of tomatoes, with a few mozzarella balls stuck on top for good measure.  And Kunoichi’s Clam Chowder was about as leathery as a jacket stripped from the back of Steve McQueen.

In the end, we couldn’t even resort to a decent array of beer to fortify our pallets.  Although the menu includes some interesting craft bottles, like Victory and Flying Fish, nevertheless the assortment resembles more nearly the standard beer menu available in any chain restaurant.

As the Western Code saying (sort of) goes, this Saloon ain’t saloon-y enough ‘fer the both of us!  This bar didn’t fulfill what two spaghetti western-watchin’ lasses had wished for.  In fact, Urban Saloon was just as unexpected as this gun fight!

From The Gun and the Pulpit (1974)

It’s not easy being green. Or underground, for that matter.

Posted in bar hopping with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2009 by philadelphiaexbeeriment

“…I was walking among the fires of Hell,

delighted with the enjoyments of Genius;

which to Angels look like torment and insanity.”

–William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

We’re all familiar with the stairway to heaven and the ladder of success, but very few of us would realize that descent can also lead to new worlds and good things.  Not so the people at 12 Steps Down.  They have hidden their bar away in a den below ground, daring the adventurous to climb down and discover what lies hidden for them in the darker depths.

The brave will encounter, not a haven for Morlocks, but a strangely inviting expanse of sensual overload.  Like a well-made spaghetti western, 12 Steps Down offers a little bit of everything: the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Some traits may overwhelm the newcomer with delight, others may annoy; but overall, these traits combine to create an experience well worth reliving again and again.

Upon first setting foot on the green carpet, we couldn’t resist the impression that we were walking across a giant pool table.  The viridian field spread out before us, beckoning us inward as smoothly as entrants to the Emerald City.  We passed the actual pool table in the back; it seemed to grow out of the ground, a living extension of the rug.  Even the light stretching forth from the restroom corridor was green, glowing eerily like the special effects from a Stephen King TV special.

Soon, our ears were seduced by the strains of Jimi Hendrix and Cream, and we were forced to admit that we had finally discovered a bar where we didn’t feel the need to feed more money into the jukebox.  The final assault to our senses came in the form of a television with gigantic proportions.  It was Ray Bradbury’s wall-screen, transformed from fiction into reality.  What better way to enjoy our beer than to accompany it with a bit of sleuthwork, and take in the latest episode of Dateline in mammoth dimensions?

True, the service at the bar was a little slow.  But we really couldn’t fault the bartender for finishing his conversation with a regular before moving on to the uninitiated newbs.

Something truly pleasing about this bar is their beer list.  Even though three taps sit meekly at the corner of the bar, they are filled with a beer for everyone: one for the cheapos, one for the everyman, and one for the aficionados.   Although itty bitty in the eyes of most places blooming up these days, the bottle selection is shockingly varied.  Beers from PBC,Yards, and Victory line the shelves as well as other well known, non-locally crafted beers.

If you take a gander at the board behind the bar you’ll see what’s on tap and a dozen bottles that might only be available for a limited time.  But the most wonderful thing about this board is the prices scribbled alongside the beer (which is something all cash strapped beer lovers can appreciate).

But the most important thing we discovered at 12 Steps Down is a lesson Rowan Atkinson learned a long time ago: sometimes, things can be a little more fun down below.

* this post was previously posted at our Philadelphia Weekly page.

A Little Bit of Saving Grace

Posted in bar hopping with tags , , , , , , , on April 17, 2009 by philadelphiaexbeeriment
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Don't judge a bar by its cover.

Grace Tavern.  It was a name we’d heard passed back and forth between the lips of locals, peppered throughout conversations behind the bar and in the midst of parties.  We were informed of its status as a hole-in-the-wall that was, nevertheless, well worth a visit.  For us, it became like a legendary El Dorado, a promised land that only those in-the-know could reach.

We were not disappointed by our nighttime venture.  We walked through its misleadingly shabby exterior, into a realm cut directly from a Pink Floyd album cover.  Like Dr. Dave Bowman after confronting the Black Monolith, we were drawn forward into a landscape of strange hues and distorted geometry.  Grace Tavern can be summed up in only a few words.  The atmosphere?  Psychedelic.  The color?  Purple Haze.

Nevertheless, don’t let the trippy atmosphere fool you.  This hippie haven is well-stocked with the best in beer.  With featured drafts from Monks Cafe and Nodding Head, and a bottled beauty for almost every letter of the alphabet, this bar at 2229 Grays Ferry Ave will keep you happy all night long.

Sure, the bathroom may be kind of small, and the Bevador in the corner may look like a leftover prop from Forbidden Planet, but this bar screams “cool” as fiercely as a Bob Dylan record.  From the floral pattern etched into the ceiling, to the funky lighting, Grace is sure to please the flower child in all of us.  So hop aboard the magic bus and take a ride to Grace Tavern.

And if you should have trouble spotting it, just remember, it vaguely resembles the background from the original Whose Line Is It Anyway? set:

When Beer and Poetry Collide

Posted in Beer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2009 by philadelphiaexbeeriment

“Work is the curse of the drinking classes.” — Oscar Wilde

Many a writer seems to lead a life that runs hand in hand with alcohol, yet none so much as the American writer.  From Ernest Hemingway to Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac to F. Scott Fitzgerald, creativity and a passion for the drink have danced along that same fine line that separates genius from insanity.  How fitting then that one of our next beers up for discussion is named after that all-too-familiar poem by one of our most famous alcoholic Americans.

The Raven

Special Lager, 5.5% ABV

The next invention we're hoping to see come out of Japan: the beer bookmark.

The next invention we're hoping to see come out of Japan: the beer bookmark.

Baltimore-Washington Beer Works joined hands with Germany to give us this lovely lager.

kunoichi-erica-thumbnail-33

Kunoichi Erica:  The Raven cannot be described as anything other than perfectly Poe-like.  The first glance of its golden hue immediately recalls sunlight breaking through the rent in the House of Usher.  Its murky texture speaks of mysteries swirling within one’s glass–mysteries as curious as the mind of the poet himself.  The crisp fragrance is as wholesome as Landor’s Cottage, as comforting as the embrace of Lenore.

True, its flavor is not complex.  Nor is it particularly potent.  Rather, it is the longevity of the taste that reels one in.  Like the meter of Poe’s poems, it sticks to the pallet, locking the unwary drinker into a state of satisfaction sealed as tightly as the tomb of Fortunato.  While The Raven may not be destined to be ranked among the finest of beers, its haunting quality guarantees it a role as loyal companion to many a lager-lover.  One cannot help but wax poetic:

Once from out a bottle trimly, as I poured it, nice and nimbly,

Tumbled outward a smooth and syrupy lager of some writer’s lore–

While I sipping, slowly savored, suddenly there came a flavor,

As of fresh bread newly lavored, lavored with a caramel score.

”Tis a tasty brew,’ I muttered, flavored with a caramel score–

‘Drink the Raven, evermore.’

————————————————————————————————————

While Kunoichi tackles America, Miss Riot will be mingling with ancient alcoholics from the Mediterranean.   Thanks to the generous donation of Doc’s DeLorean, she was able to kick it old-school with the wine-guzzling Roman wonder: Ovid.  Together, they sampled a magical beer aptly named for his most famous mythical character.  Now go exBEERiment, before you metamorphose into an insect:

Midas Touch Golden Elixir

9 %/ ABV

Deemed a Herbed/Spiced Beer and royally crafted by

Dogfish Head Brewery.

King Midas: “Fiddlesticks! Give me gold, not advice!”
Goldie:  “So be it. I gave thee advice. Now I give thee gold. The golden touch is thine. Toodle-oo!”

The Golden Touch, 1935

rachel-riot-thumbnailRachel Riot: This “elixir” is fit for a King himself.  It lays within a bottle decorated in purple and gold and pours a color of golden coins.  A smooth beer with little to no head and perfected with features of  honey and fruit.  It’s sweet but not overpowering and sits well on the tongue and in the aftertaste.  It’s definitely not a session beer so take your time and enjoy the texture and taste.   You can experience this golden beer for $6.00 a bottle at 12 Steps Down.  Purchasing Midas Touch might leave recession affected people without riches but, just like King Midas, you will be richer in the things that really matter:  good beer.

Now check out Tim Burton’s Vincent (1982).  It’s about as close as you’ll get to a glimpse into our childhood.

Picture Perfect: Philly Beer Week 2009

Posted in event with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2009 by philadelphiaexbeeriment

The kegs are tapped, the brewers have gone home, and the events are now just a memory of a successful Philly Beer Week 2009. While you mourn the loss of a good reason to drink everyday, we hope you remember all the good times you had, the people you met, and the good beer you tried.

But let’s face it. Some of you might have partied too hard and can’t seem to remember where you left your hat (it was on the South Philly Beer Bus), who you “accidentally” fondled, and what bar you face-planted in front of.

That’s what we’re here for.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Ladies of  PE are proud to present pictures from our favorite beer week moments. We hope you enjoy!

PCBF 3/7/2009

Philly Craft Beer Festival at the Naval Yard


ROCKBAND @ POPE 3/8/2009

RockBand night at the POPE


PAWS @ Bishops Collar 3/11/2009

PAWS at the Bishop’s Collar


LeftHand Lumberjack night @ SPTR 3/12/2009

LeftHand Lumberjack night at SPTR

View all pictures from Philly Beer Week 2009