As has it has been for the last 6
years, Rich Ruch and friends set up a great day of beer drinking for those
Beer Advocates able to get to Downingtown, PA or meet us somewhere along
the way. Unfortunately, they forgot to put in for good weather. Rain was
the order of the day though it did little to dampen the enthusiasm of this
die-hard group of beer lovers.
We all met at Victory Brewing at 11AM and quickly we loaded up the bus and headed on out. The bus was almost full this year with more people deciding the $20 was better than driving.
We arrived at Sly Fox Royersford around noon and we were set up in the bar area. Brian O'Reilly, the brewer, had an unbelievable selection of beers on(see pic) and they also put up a small buffet for all to enjoy. Growlers, bottles of Saison Vos and Rt. 113 IPA and cans of Pils and IPA were available for takeout. A short tour of the new brewhouse and canning and bottling lines was conducted by Brian for those interested. The inimitable Jack Curtin showed up and my wife and I talked to him bringing us all up to date with what is happening in the area.
After a couple of hours, it was time to pack it up and be on our way to Iron Hill West Chester. Though sorry to leave this great venue, I looked forward to once again visiting the West Chester location which was once our bi-monthly destination(90 mile trip each way) and favorite IH until we found Media to be more accessible and a lot closer.
We arrived amidst a hard rain, but dried out quickly and lined up at the small back bar with another very long list of special beers and take out bottles. The help was initially quite overwhelmed by the 40+ attendees and service bogged down. Food again was in order to keep up with the alcohol consumption.
Also, Bryan Selders of Dogfish Head happened to be there and we got a chance to talk for a short while.
I had my growler filled and picked up a couple of bottles of Old Ale and Dubbel before we had to once again get underway back to Victory.
We arrived at Victory around 4:30 and settled in for the long haul. Special tables were set up for us in the dining area and around 15 beers were on tap. Discounts in the brewery store were available also.
My wife and I were spending the night in nearby Exton, so we didn't need to rush out so we had some appetizers and several more beers while we conversed with the other attendees and the Master of Ceremonies, Rich Ruch. He is already planning the crawl for next year! What a guy!