This past Wednesday night, Ray and I attended The Essential New York Times Cookbook Philly Food Blogger Potluck and Book Signing, hosted by NYT food columnist and food52 founder Amanda Hesser, Audra Wolfe of Doris and Jilly Cook, Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars and Victory Brewing. Attendees were encouraged to bring their favorite dish from the NYT, whether it be the paper, a cookbook, or even the newest cookbook.
I selected a Devil’s Food Cake cupcake recipe to reflect my baking blog, MelBee Says…, but decided that I needed something to reflect Bathtub and my writings for the Ladies of Craft Beer. After checking with lovely PR gal extraordinaire Katarina that I wouldn’t be stepping on Victory’s toes, I decided to bring some of our homebrews.
The first shocker of the night was when Amanda came over to chat a bit—I did my best to keep my cool, sipping Storm King and devouring Derek’s Sesame Noodles topped with peanuts. We discussed the dish, Ray’s peanut allergy, and then somehow got onto the topic of beer and homebrews. Ray and I chattered at her about the joys of homebrewing and she seemed genuinely interested, asking questions.
We also met Dave, online media guru for Victory, and got to talking about homebrewing and craft beer in general. It wasn’t long before bottles of Bee Sting were cracked open, red silo cups were partially filled and our own mini tasting began as other food bloggers, unaware of the huddle by the beer table, ate myriad NYT dishes and traded blog URLs. Dave was blown away by the Bee Sting, as was our newly-made homebrewing friend Christina. A few other party-goers became wise to the growing group of people around the drinks table and more cups were passed around.
Ray then cracked open the Ginpel. Our friend Jen requested that it’s aroma be made into a perfume. Others complimented the nose, and Ray realized that the bomber seemed more mellow than the 12 oz bottle we had shared for our tasting earlier in the week. More cups were passed around.
At one point, someone shepherded Amanda over, and a sample of Bee Sting was poured for her. She liked it, and even said so later on Twitter(!)
Dave also gave our homebrews a shoutout via Twitter the next day, but what he said before the end of the evening still rings in my ears. After trying the Barleywine and beginning to pack up his table, he told Ray and me that we had it in us to go pro. He complimented our skill and noted our passion for beer. I was probably grinning like an idiot, but it felt so good to be paid such a high compliment. What a night!