Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Nodding Head in Philly's downtown

    The day after the wedding I ventured into Philadelphia to check a previously unvisited brewpub in the downtown area: the Nodding Head.  This is a second-story job--literally.  Another restaurant is on the ground floor of this old building on Sansom St. and the brewery is up the stairs.
     The interior is done in dark wood booths and bar with the brewing apparatus in the back. The name either derives from or has inspired an impressive bobblehead collection, on display.
   The taphandles have the bobblehead look as well.
   Nodding Head was pouring a modest assortment this evening: the Grog in the foreground is a brown ale, the 700 level is a blonde ale, and the IPA was called Wet Chinook, which I ordered for the Washingtonian name.  It's styled a Double IPA at 8.5% but that seemed to refer to the dry hopping after the first batch of chinook hops went in the boil.  It had nice body but not the suck-a-lemon bitter that we occastionally run across here in the NW.  Then with mussels for dinner I had their Ich Bin Ein Berlinerer Weisse: they call this a sour wheat beer, not a hefeweizen.  It was tart but not quite like a sour ale.  Nice.
    My server said this brewpub has been going thirteen years, making it one of the older brewing pubs in the city.  A quiet, relaxing spot.  About three blocks on down 16th St., I finished the evening libations at the legendary Monk's Cafe.  West Belgium, they could call it for the lovers of all things flemish and fermented.  I had a Cazeau Tournay Black Stout--who knew the Belgians went in for such English things as a stout with coffee and chocolate tastes?  Not me until then.
(Visited 10/7/12)

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