Brewers (Really Full) Plate 2014

The Brewers Plate is the annual event in Philly where beer geeks and foodies come together to celebrate a smorgasbord of craft beer, cheese, charcuterie and other gastro treats. Its an ultra casual trade show for locals. No pretentiousness, just a good time. I did something I find very hard to do on a Sunday night and got myself ready to join the crowds of drinkers for the BP 10th anniversary.

It was worth it. While not the best space for crowd flow, the centrally located Kimmel Center accommodated the nearly 100 breweries, restaurants, bars and other local spots that came to peddle their creations. And it was one of the best, low stress and entertaining Sunday nights I've had in a long time.

After waiting in the wrap-around-line on Broad St., we beelined for the Tria table (I’ll write about Tria soon – we’re loyalists to our favorite Philly wine bar) – and to be expected, their black olive caramel topped mitibleu cheese on toasted brioche was delicious with Troegs Brewing Co.’s Cultivator Helles Bock. After that, the bar was set pretty high. I guess I thought I’d love everything but there were several meat creations and overly hoppy beers I didn’t care for. I was relieved to learn I’m not just up for inhaling everything I see and that I do actually have my own taste and standards. Thank goodness I set some boundaries for myself or I would have been bloated by table #5.

Pleasant surprises:

Vault Brewing Co.’s Oatmeal Stout – smooth and nutty. (Yardley, PA)

Philadelphia Brewing Co.’s Schwarzinger Black Lager – comparable to Guinness  (Kensington)

Abbaye’s roast pork slider with jalapeno relish and sharp provolone – great contrast of flavors and really tender meat (Northern Libs)

And my TOP 3 picks of the night:

Beer: Round Guys Brewing Co.’s Berliner Weisse – so sour and so refreshing. (Lansdale, PA)

Food: Fette Sau’s pulled pork w/ spicy slaw – one of the best sweet n’ sour BBQ sauces I’ve ever tasted. (Kensington)

Sweet: Franklin Fountain’s pumpkin ice cream – how FF slipped in there, I don’t know, and you would think I would be sick of pumpkin after last season, but tasting this made me ready to go back to fall again. (Old City)