New season, new menus, new drops from locals in beer and spirits, and fall-themed events.
In Old City, La Peg (140 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd.) has crafted a fun outdoors hangout spot with the Hay Bar which debuts on Oct. 24 with massive bales of hay, fire pits and hard cider. Hay Bar will last for a limited time only, offering seasonal drink specials and carve-your-own pumpkins through Halloween, Tuesday, Oct. 31.
Drink specials will appeal to the PSL-loving set and those who like to indulge in the spirit of the season: pumpkin beers.
A few offerings to warm you up are the Pumpkin Spice Mule made with vodka and house-made pumpkin-ginger syrup with lime juice and club soda. Rich Spiked Hot Chocolate, with a choice of Bailey’s, peppermint schnapps or Fireball whiskey. Luscious Mulled Red Wine with cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, orange peel, cognac, allspice and clove. There’s also Pumpkin beers, like Neshaminy Creek’s Punkless Dunkel and Lake Front’s Pumpkin Lager.
Seasonal Hay Bar at La Peg snacks will includea Fall Burger that comes with a six-ounce patty on a Martin’s potato roll with mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and clothbound cheddar.And hearty Sweet Potato Poutine, which consists of sweet potato fries topped with cheese curds and Montreal brown gravy.
Over in Kensington, St. Benjamin Brewery Company (1710 N. 5th Street) and Reanimator Coffee (1523 E. Susquehanna Ave.) are back with their collaborative brew, Junto. This kolsch-style beer is a straw-colored brew aged on whole coffee beans from Reanimator Coffee. Grab it in 12-ounce cans at their brewery and in selected bottle shops. Their seasonal beer rotation includes, Carriéres a rustic, amber ale with notes of dark fruit and bread crust that dominate the aroma of this expressive, malt-forward beer. And Franklin’s Abbey Stout, a rich, velvety full-bodied beer with notes of dark chocolate and hints of dried fruit.
In the “yeah, but I like festivals and stuff” column...
Mark your calendars for Thursday, Nov. 16 and Thursday, Dec. 21 as the brewery will be hosting a series of “De-BREW-tante Balls” at their taproom on the third thursday of each month. Broad Street Burlesque performers will be on deck and attendees can enjoy a specially featured firkin; admission is just $10 per person, and includes the show and a first beer from the week’s firkin.
Performers will vary monthly, with acts ranging from neo-burlesque to vaudeville to sideshow and beyond. Doors will open at 7 p.m., and the show begins at 8 p.m.
Despite only being around for two years, 2SP Brewing Company (120 Concord Rd. #101-103, Aston, Pa.) has made their mark both locally and nationally by taking home awards for their brews. Head brewer Bob Barrar, dubbed “The Medal Machine,” has galvanized his reputation as being America’s preeminent brewer of the Russian Imperial Stout style with his 12th medal in the category. This year 2SP brought home their second consecutive gold medal in the Imperial Stout class at the Great American Beer Festival forThe Russian.The Russian, an extremely labor intensive beer that they only brew twice a year. At nine percent ABV it’s got notes of chocolate, coffee, licorice and hints of vanilla — giving the beer a nuanced creamy flavor.
Coming to Northern Liberties this November will be Yards Brewery and Taproom (500 Spring Garden St.). The new brewery will allow Yards to get into the canning game for the first time in company history. The bar will feature 20 total taps, including all Yards signature beers and a number of limited releases only available in the taproom.
Chef James Burke, three-time semifinalist for the James Beard Award as chef-owner at JAMES and prominent face in the city’s culinary scene, will helm the first kitchen in the brewery’s 23-year history. He’s put together a casual menu with beer friendly snacks and entrees including, Yards Patty Melt, brawler onions and swiss, Smoked Cheddar Bratwurst with sauerkraut and house-made mustard, Roast Pork with fermented broccoli rabe and provolone, and Beer Can Chicken served with fried potatoes.
Adjacent to the taproom will be the Brewer’s Lounge, a hangout spot complete with a pool table, TV, dart board and shuffleboard.
On the spirits front, over on Passyunk Ave, Manatawny Still Works (1603 E. Passyunk Ave) released BATCH14, a honey-flavored whiskey, as part of their small batch series. This release blends whiskey with Buckwheat and fall wildflower honey from local apiary Swarmbustin’ Honey. On the nose you get honey, oak and wildflowers, while on the palate look for sweet honey, caramel, vanilla and malt.
Several vintages of Swarmbustin’ Buckwheat and fall wildflower Honey were blended to create this cloudy spirit that comes with the note, “shake well” before imbibing. The whiskey starts with a velvety sweet honey taste, balancing the tannins from the oak, then it shines through with a pleasant bite before fading into the intricacy of the honeys. Try it at their tasting room on the avenue.
For wine lovers, starting on October 25, Le Virtu (1927 E. Passyunk Ave.) will be hosting a series of wine dinners called Vini e Amici, which include a complimentary hour-long wine tasting in their outdoor garden(weather permitting), followed by a cozy family-style meal of rustic, southern-Italian inspired fare such as, Roasted Eggplant with rosemary honey, Cavatelli with mushrooms and ricotta salata, Whole Roasted Branzino with roasted potatoes and salsa verde, dolci Olive Oil Poundcake with figs, port, rosemary honey and olive oil gelato. Catch the next dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 29.
Also on the avenue, Fond (1537 S. 11th St.) just reopened after a short break for some interior design upgrades. With the redesign comes a new menu including, Butternut Squash Risotto with brussels sprouts, pomegranate, pumpkin seeds, and a Lamb Stroganoff with pappardelle, sour cream, mushrooms, truffle. Take advantage of the amazing weather and grab a seat outdoors and enjoy the view of the ‘Singing Fountain.’
The Good King Tavern (614 S. 7th St.) in Queen Village, is one of the best spots to dig into classic cocktails and relaxed French-fare. This season they’ve introduced a Duck of the Day to their signature chalkboard specials. They’ve also updated their cocktail menu, and it doesn’t get much better than a classic Sazerac (rye whiskey, Demerara, bitters, absinthe) on a cool fall evening. Also give a go to the Paper Plane (bourbon, fresh lemon, aperol and nonino amaro) and the very intriguing Calindri Cure (cynar, malted gin, fresh ginger, Thai chili and tawny port).
To end things on a sweet note, in Fishtown, the folks at Weckerly’s Ice Cream (9 W. Girard Ave.) will release a limited edition ice cream sandwich called “The Creature,” which will go on sale starting Oct. 27.
Drawing on inspiration from Frankenstein’s Monster, this special sandwich gets its name from the variety of tasty parts “sewn” together. Sandwiched between a chocolate cookie and a butterscotch cookie is pumpkin caramel ice cream topped with dark chocolate peanut butter ganache and chocolate ice cream with “cookies & cream” marshmallow swirl topped with peanut butter icing, and a thin square of waffle cone separating each layer. You might get lucky and end up with one of the specially made chocolate-dipped “Creature” sandwiches as guests who unwrap these special chocolate-covered sandwiches will find a gift card to enjoy at the Weckerly’s Ice Cream shop.
There’s nothing to say, except you’re welcome.