La Chouffe d'Autumne

It must be fall. I'm seeing pumpkin everything everywhere and no one is wearing white. After this last jam packed week I'm sitting in my lavender painted high ceiling room with Aesop Rock's No City blaring while I look back on my planners day-filled events and notes. I'm finally getting excited excited about the beginning of fall even though I'm dreading what comes after. Mostly I'm excited to be able to order a porter at the bar without everyone asking "how can you drink that, its summer!"....of which I would never say the truth which is that I seered my taste buds by overindulging in all the hops from the first half of this years drinking and this American brewing trend of multi-million-hops-in-this-hop-forward-hoppy-as-shit IPA/Pale Ale kind of ruined it for me. So fuck hops right now I just want malts. Roasts. Chocolates. Nutmeg. Vanilla. Ill even take a cider over an I-I-P-P-A-A at this point. 

Or a Grand Cru. Which happened at Strangeloves last night. I wasn't going to grab my shift beer there since I'm planning to go there for the Goose Island Tap Takeover on Tuesday (Bourbon County Cherry Rye Stout anybody?). But I also didn't want to have to think of a place to go so around the corner and through the door I went. And I ended up with Ichtegems Grand Cru served in a pretty fancy looking wine glass which kind of turned me on; at 11PM; by myself; in my fucking server outfit and a hoodie looking sexy as shit ordering delicious ass beer and proceeding to savor each sip. If you haven't gotten around to testing out some of the Grand Cru's on tap then you're missing an opportunity to allow your taste buds to be thrown for a loop. Its weird that its in a wine glass already, and the fact that its beer but has suck fruity qualities as wine is pretty great. These styles of beer, previously more obscure, which are emerging on a scale available for the general public are a welcome diversification from the more general Lager-IPA-Pale Ale-Stout draft lists. Its also a nice segway into trying other styles such as sours, tart beers, aged and other adventurously styled specialty beers. 

Another part of what made this last week so hectic was that it was Brauhaus' Oktoberfest and street festival. A Philly must for German cuisine and culture enthusiasts, Brauhaus will never disappoint. From the tap list and food menu to the decor and knowledgeable and friendly bartenders this place just never quits. There were so many durndels in the VIP room I had to keep checking my phone just to make sure I wasn't being transported back 150 years....With all the steins and people shouting "Proooooooooost" every twenty minutes and of course the aromatic scents of sauerkraut and sausages its hard to think of anything better. It was such a good time that when I woke up the next morning with a 2XL Paulaner T-shirt and a half eaten sandwich in my backpack with my wristband was still firmly attached in place , I had to have a full belly laugh at the ridiculously fun event that is Oktoberfest. 

You know what else about last week? Gnome Week. Never heard of that before but its seriously a thing. I mean just when i though La Chouffe couldn't get any cuter (I want to name all things cute and cuddly Chouffe, such a cute word!) they go and have a thing called Gnome Week in which the Belgian lore of Gnomes creating beer is celebrated. I mean there's a beer called Ommegang Gnomegang. Yeah that exists (1). Freaking collaboration beers going so overboard and getting away with it. Pffft. This industry! Does anybody else have Gnome Week in their city (2)? I'm pretty sure London Grille, Iron Abbey and The Belgian Cafe had some events posted for Gnome Week, which people should go check out.