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World Cafe Live Beats Brews & BBQ

February 26, 2007

About the venue first: I’ve got mixed opinions about World Cafe Live: I’m not a big fan of XPN, if fact, everytime I turn the dial to 88.5, I can’t turn it back to 91.7 WKDU fast enought. I appreciate what it’s done for the philly music scene, but the music is so damn…SAFE. Ditto for (most of) the shows at World Cafe Live. I’ve seen some good ones there, but they’re just a bit too few and far between. Anyway, the venue itself is quite impressive. It’s just really done well. Nice layout, nice bars, stage, soundsystem, etc.

So it was a really great indoor place to hang out on a cold February day for the third annual beer tasting. If I had to pick a REAL beerfest, I’d have waited till next wknd. for the Philly Craft Beer Fest at the Navy Yard, but a bunch of friends were all goin to this, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get drunk and hang out with everyone. I heard they oversold it last year so it was impossible to move. It was sold out this year, but they limited attendance to 1,000 so there was plenty of room and no lines.
Brewery-wise there wasn’t anything special- mostly locals, with a couple west coasters thrown in. I stuck to mainly my faves; pale ales and IPA’s. Some of the standouts included the usual suspects: Troeg’s Nugget Nectar, Stone IPA, Lagunita’s IPA, Great Divide IPA, Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA, Victory Hopdevil, blah blah blah. The one that took the prize (who’s prize? mine I guess) was Baltimore’s Clipper City Heavy Seas Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale (yeah, that’s a mouthful). made with Magnum, Centennial, Chinook, Amarillo and Palisade hops, It had the nicest hop flavor and a really floral nose. Sorry, no geeky descriptions from me. If you want that, get it here.
My award for the worst beer goes to Stone Mill Organic Pale Ale from the Green Valley Brewing Company. Does the name sound just a little generic? The website just a little slick? Of course; It’s really just a pseudonym for Anheuser-Busch. Microbrews make up a measly ~4% of the total beer market, but that’s too much for Bud to let go of, so they try to sneak their new brands into my fridge by giving them warm and fuzzy names. Hey Bud, I have an idea. Spend less on advertising and more on flavor.
If you plan to go next year, Save the extra 20 bucks and forget the VIP pass. The only benefit it had was an hour head start on the drinking.

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