The Sessionis a monthly event in which beer bloggers (and bloggers who just like beer) write about a common beer-related topic on the same day. This month’s edition of The Session is being hosted by Tomme Arthur, brewmaster for Lost Abbey, and the topic is Beer and Music. This is our first contribution to The Session. For the words of more experienced beer writers, head to Tomme’s blog, where all the posts will be rounded up.
The best jukebox in the entire city of Philadelphia is in a non-descript bar at the corner of 22nd and Lombard called Doobie’s. I know it’s called Doobies, because there’s a little chalkboard that rests outside the bar on nice nights–not too cold, no rain–and it sometimes has the word “Doobie’s” written across its top. Sometimes. It’s sort’ve a hole-in-the-wall. Barely even looks like a business from the outside.
Walking inside, the place is dark. Dark wood, dark floors, dark walls. Until Philly passed the smoking ban within city limits, the place was constantly smoky, too. Mrs Thursday (before she became Mrs Thursday, hell, even before she became Mr Thursday’s girlfriend) went there first, with a couple of friends, a few years ago. At the place, she tried a bottle of a beer called Aldaris Porteris, which is a Latvian porter with roasted malts and molasses and all sorts of other, lovely, flavorful stuff. She adoredit. It was her first real venture into craft beer, and Aldaris Porteris is about as big a step away from Bud-Miller-Coors as can be made.
Inevitably, a couple of weeks later, she took me there. It was just the two of us, and she wanted another Aldaris. We get to the place around 10PM on a Saturday night. It’s kinda crowded but there are two seats at the end of the bar. The jukebox is on the right just as you walk in. We plan to be there for a bit, and so, before checking out the beer selection, I look to the music.
Now, normally, I hate jukeboxes. They almost always contain that same 50 odds albums, most of them things like “I Love the 80s, Vol 3” and “The Best of Elton John” and “Monster Ballads”. Generally, I can live without the music in your average jukebox. But, what does this one have? My personal holy trinity of musical goodness: David Bowie, Elvis Costello, and Tom Waits. So we pop in a dollar, and sooner or later, “Queen Bitch” and “What’s So Funny ‘Bout (Peace Love and Understanding)” and “Big Black Mariah” come floating out across the bar.
Doobie’s was all out of Aldaris Porteris, but they did have Paulaner Hefe-weizen in 500ml bottles and Yard’s on a handpump, both of which taste great in a dark, smoky, nameless bar. If that’s the kind of place a girl brings you, Papa Thursday always said to me, you be damn sure you hold onto her tight.