OK, second beer post in a row.
I just read this story on TheAtlantic.com about the rise of high-end, dinner-party-ready beers. This paragraph annoyed me:
I'm sure that in places like Portland and Denver, it's common for people to bring a four-pack of your favorite microbrew to a dinner party. But here on the East Coast, I've yet to see it. At least in the circles I travel in, great beer is respected, but it has yet to knock over wine as the drink of choice with a fine meal.
The writer has obviously not spent a lot of time in contemporary Philadelphia—at least among my friends. We're becoming (or already are) a beer city to rival those westerly stalwarts. People regularly show up at parties with interesting beers—and when they do, the brews are often more popular than the fermented grape stuff.
Just last week at The Foodery, I plunked down a bottle-of-decent-wine amount of dough for a bottle of Flying Fish Exit 16 Wild Rice Double IPA. It was then BYOed to a restaurant, where it served as a perfect accompaniment to a mind-blowing meal at Han Dynasty. (Twice-cooked pork belly with leeks, chilis, black beans, garlic and ginger; OMFG.) It was downright classy.
As for Exit 16 itself, the beer is a huge, mega winner. It has an amazingly fruity aroma, balanced by nuanced yet pronounced hoppiness. I felt like I could drink it all day...which might not be such a good idea considering it clocks in at 9.5 percent ABV. Flying Fish wins again.