Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The With Love Beer Garden

The With Love Beer Garden furnished two beer tickets and a food ticket to this reviewer.

In case the throngs of suds-addled folks ambling down the street haven't tipped you off, it's Beer Week here in Philly. The problem I find with Beer Week is that it's all so overwhelming. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a place to take your mind off all this stress, a place where you could, well, relax and have a beer?

Thankfully, there is such a place now, and it's in the courtyard of just about the swankiest hotel in town, the Four Seasons. Nestled between the hotel and an office building just off of 18th Street, the With Love Beer Garden is a welcoming spot with cold brews, hot food, live music, and a friendly vibe. I had the chance to stop by on opening day to check it out.

A most pleasant scene

First things first: the beer. Monday's featured brewer was Victory. To be honest, their very hoppy, sometimes very alcoholic beers are not always to my taste, but luckily their lighter Summer Love Ale was available. Though it still packed a flavorful punch, it didn't overwhelm with too much alcohol or hoppage, so it was a nice thing to drink on a warm June day. For me, the highlights of the upcoming schedule seem to be Thursday and Friday, when the Garden will play host to Sly Fox and Yards/Stoudt's, respectively.

On the food side of things, there's a nice array of large-snack-size offerings, from a "Philly slider" (featuring a slice of Taylor pork roll) to wings and shrimp tacos. I tried the "Port Richmond Kielbasa", a substantial piece of grilled sausage served on a slightly bready roll with grilled onions and mustard.

Another treat was furnished by one of the fabulous Berley brothers of Franklin Fountain fame - a (local) strawberry ice cream further enriched by the addition of some of the unfermented wort from the Summer Love ale. Maybe it was because I had just had a few of the Summer Loves myself, but I didn't taste much beery flavor in the ice cream, though I will say it was delicious nonetheless (and free!).

Oh, and what's this? An appearance by the star of Beer Week, the Hammer of Glory itself. Some people posed for photos with it, but I didn't feel right disturbing it. Shhh!

So cute! ^_^

If you're in the area, the weather is cooperative, and you're looking for a relaxing place to enjoy an al fresco bite and a brew, check out the With Love Beer Garden. You can tell everyone you dined at the Four Seasons, but without the expense or the embarrassment when the waiter informs you that wings are not on the Fountain's regular menu, and could you please put away that beer cozy.

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