Good morning! Hope your weekends were warm and fun-filled. This post is a bit overdue, but better late than never! Last week I took a quick trip to Philadelphia with my friend Amanda. I had never been to the City of Brotherly Love, and I was pleasantly surprised by how clean it is, and all the beautiful, historic architecture.
We stayed at a cute AirBnB near Rittenhouse Square, and were just a short walk from tons of cool bars and restaurants. We visited the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall–both really exciting to see in person! I particularly enjoyed the little museum leading up to the Liberty Bell, which has tons of information about how the bell has been used as a symbol in important social movements like the abolition of slavery, first-wave feminism, and the Civil Rights Movement.
This site isn’t called History Babes, though, it’s called Barley Babes, so let’s get to the beer! Monk’s Cafe had been on our agenda since we first started planning this trip. Amanda went there on a visit to Philly back in the winter and knew I would love it. It’s consistently rated one of the top beer bars in America by magazines like Draft and Travel & Leisure. In addition to an impressive draft list (they had Pliny the Elder!), they have a Beer Bible with over 300 beers from around the world. We got a beer there on Monday night, and then I made Amanda go back again on Tuesday before we left!
On Tuesday morning we went to Reading Terminal Market, a huge indoor market with every prepared food you can imagine, local produce, fresh meat and seafood, baked goods, and sooo much more. Joy the Baker, one of my favorite bloggers, posted about it the week before our trip, so we took that as a sign that we definitely needed to go.
We were meeting a friend for lunch, so when we arrived at Reading Terminal at 11, we just grabbed a quick snack of doughnuts and beers (I know, breakfast of champions). Being the sugar fiends that we are, we of course had to try the Fruity Pebbles doughnut, and we were not disappointed! In fact, we thought that the residual sugar/fruit flavor that the doughnut left on our palates was a nice complement to the beers we got at Molly Malloy’s! They had a great draft list with tons of PA beers. I ordered an old standby, the Victory Golden Monkey, and Amanda tried Ma! The Meatloaf!, a mango wit ale by Evil Genius. Ma! The Meatloaf! is light, refreshing, and has a subtle, not syrupy, mango flavor, but let’s be honest, the best part about this beer is the name. 😉
Later that afternoon as we walked back to our AirBnB to collect our things, we happened to pass Brü Craft & Wurst, and decided to pop inside and check it out. SO glad that we did, because they have a really cool self-serve beer system that I had never seen before. You simply purchase a “Haus Key” from the bar and then insert it into the “Bier Wall” to pour your own beer from any of the six self-serve drafts. You can refill the key as many times as you’d like, and the money that goes unused when you leave for the night holds over until your next visit. I think this would be great for those times when you want to sample a few different beers, but not commit to a whole pint of any one thing.
We decided to leave the Bier Wall for our next visit, and just ordered small pours from their huge draft list at the regular bar. I got the Anderson Valley Brother David’s Triple, which I won’t waste space on because I wasn’t a huge fan. Amanda’s beer, the Anderson Valley Horse Tongue, definitely stole the show. Since she’s such a good friend, she shared quite a few sips with me. 😉
Horse Tongue, a Brettanomyces Wheat Beer, is fermented with Belgian yeast in a stainless steel tank for 6 months, and is then transferred to wine barrels and fermented with AV’s wild yeast and bacteria culture for another 6 months. This extended aging gives the beer its pleasantly sour, funky, flavor. Amanda was on the fence about sour beers before, but after trying Horse Tongue, she’s a convert!
Despite a long, unpleasant trip back to NY that involved layovers, missed trains, and rerouted subways, we’re already looking forward to going back to Philly! Next time we’re taking Ed with us, trying more food at Reading Terminal, getting “Haus Keys” at Brü Craft & Wurst, and maybe taking the bus…
p.s. For those of you who don’t know, the title of this post is an It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia reference, from the ep when the gang gets another chance to compete in an annual Philly flip cup tournament after being banned for ten years. Our entire trip I kept singing to myself, “Flip, flip, Flipadelphia!” And Amanda kept saying, “Uh…what?”