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Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Best of Philadelphia Beer Awards

Best Local Beer

Gold - Iron Hill Oak Aged Old Tom – This gem was actually released in late 2008 but many local beer geeks kept growlers and hand bottles of this rare beauty floating around in ‘09. Pray that Iron Hill unleashes this one again…soon!

Silver – Tröegs Nugget Nectar

Bronze – Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA

Local Brewery of the Year

McKenzie Brewhouse – Brewer, Ryan Michaels continues to expand upon the base knowledge handed down to him from previous McKenzie Brew Master & Farmhouse Ale expert, Scott Morrison. Ryan took home another GABF medal and is wow-ing the beer community with newly concocted Farmhouse Ales aged in barrels. Once a somewhat “sore” subject, the brewery has given into the demand by releasing special beers in bottles. They have also given patrons an incentive by offering the Sunday Passport, which offers 10% discounts, half price meals for the kids, and discount beer!

Local Bar of the Year

Gold - Capone's - Owners, Andrew & Angel Capone have invested time and money into making Capone's a more family friendly atmosphere. Beverage Manager, Matt, has gone full tilt on supplying the best beers in the area during events, and in the takeout room. Capone's was already a top notch bar by gaining accolades as's #1 Beer Bar in the World for 2008 & Beer Advocate Magazine's # 6 Beer Bar in the World for 2008. Since then, they've added 14 more tap lines(late November, 2009) to keep the great beers flowing at all times.

Silver - TJ's Everyday - TJ's always has wonderful events, meet-ups for beer fans, and specials on craft beer. They've got a nice selection of mix/match take out, as well.

Bronze - Teresa's Next Door - TND has rotating extreme beers, great events, pairings, and excellent burgers, mussels, and fries. On Sundays, they have brunch and 1/2 price cheese.

Honorable Mention:
Craft Ale House
Devil's Den

Local *New* Beer of the Year

Philadelphia Brewing Shackamaximum – Brewer, John Rehm told me before this beer was released that this had some similarities to a homebrew I had given him a few years back when he worked at John Harvard’s Brew House in Devon. This far exceeded my expectations...and blew that homebrew away.

Best Non-Local Beer in the Local Market

Look no further than the Belgian beers available. These 3 are the best emulations of Trappist Westvleren beers (not available in the United States ) that you will find. As with freshly bottled wine, it’s recommended to let these beers rest in the cellar for a few years for increased complexities, and a softer feel on the palate.

Gold – Trappistes Rochefort 10

Silver – St. Bernardus Abt 12

Bronze – St. Bernardus Prior 8

Honorable Mention (& a U.S. Brewery!) – Avery’s The Beast Grand Cru

Best *New* Non-Local Beer in the Local Market

Tied – Founders Brewing Hand of Doom & Arcadia Brewing Whiskey Dick’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Olde Ale.

Best *New* Non-Local Brewery in the Local Market

The Bruery

Honorable Mentions:

Cigar City

Dark Horse

Duck Rabbit

Sixpoint Craft Ales


brooksiedj said...

Nice list. No love for Union Jacks in Glenside or The Flying Pig in Malvern? As for non-local beers, I've been enthralled with Founders, Southern Tier, and Port Brewing to name a few.

Mike said...

Thanks. I love U.J. I've only ever been to the Glenside location once, so it's hard for me to make a fair judgement with them. I'll have to make it out there again. I actually like the Manatawny(Boyertown) location a little bit more. Flying Pig is another good spot. I get there from time to time but they need a website, or something to show what they currently have on tap, or will be featuring. I kind of feel like they're a diamond in the rough that needs a little bit of polishing.
All great mentions with the brews. We're lucky to have them in the great state of PA.