Vince Capano
is a two time winner of
the Quill and Tankard
writing award  from the
North American Guild of
Beer Writers.  

Vince's column is now
a regular feature of
Let’s play word association.  If I say “Easton, PA”, you would say?  Well?  Alright, take a guess then.  Did you say
Larry Holmes the former world heavyweight champion?  You’re right but since that’s not the answer I’m looking for
you’re incorrect; sorry but that noise you hear is the Jeopardy wrongo buzzer.  Here’s a clue – this is a beer website.  
Ah, you’ve got it; the answer is beer!  Easton is home to one outstanding brewery, Weyerbacker, one excellent
brewpub, Two Rivers, and one destination stop that’s hard to describe, Daddy’s Place.

Following FFD rules - no that's not three grades from one of my old school report cards - I’m compelled, under threat
of having to watch a Presidential Candidates Debate in its entirety, to tell the truth.  I never actually made it to
Weyerbacher on this trek to Easton.  Nothing against the brewery; Weyerbacher is outstanding.  And no that doesn’t
mean Mr. Weyerbacher should be out standing in the rain.  His beer is uniformly good especially the Double Simcoe
and Last Chance IPA.  I didn’t get there simply because I spent too much time at the other two places.  I did have a
three stop game plan but was forced to call an audible.  I promise that will be the only football reference in this
article.  It’s just that I won this week’s NFL pool here in the BeerNexus office and wanted an excuse to rub it in to all
my colleagues.

My first stop was Two Rivers though I didn’t see even one flowing tributary anywhere in the area, never mind two.  
The brewpub is located in a tired looking building near the top of a hill about 500 meters from the center of town.  
The old exterior doesn’t prepare one for the energy inside.  On a very early Saturday evening the bar and restaurant
were already packed and it seems with good reason.  Twelve house made beers were available on tap; I drank ten of
them and they were all good.  Why not all twelve?  I didn’t want to be a glutton; moderation is my middle name.  

Service at Two Rivers did not match the quality of the beers however.  There was only one bartender and she
seemed overwhelmed with drink orders from the packed house, especially the restaurant area.  When she finally
ordained to consider we thirsty pilgrims at the bar she took care of all her regulars first regardless of when they came
in.  If her goal was to make sure there won’t be many new regulars she succeeded.  Still, the beer was so good I’d
return.  Maybe.

My second stop turned out to be a revelation. According to their website “Daddy’s Place is a family owned restaurant
serving a blend of authentic-style Mediterranean cooking with a strong sense of Easton tradition, making for an at
home atmosphere.”   A lovely description to be sure but it’s clearly a cover story to keep hordes of beer nuts from
inundating their building.   Actually, part of the building is a real restaurant but that shows their genius – always put a
little truth in any fabrication; it goes a long way in effectively hiding the real deal.   Now however
, in the great tradition
of investigative journalism
like Woodward and Bernstein (just call me  "BeerStein"), I’m exposing them for what they
really are – a great place to drink over 600 different beers.

In a way they are correct in saying the place has a “home atmosphere”, well, that’s if your home’s decor boasts of
two  gigantic (as in over 50 ft. long) coolers facing each other filled with over row upon row of bottles and cans of
beer.  Even the blindingly bright lights of the coolers were enhanced thanks to every inch of interior space being
filled.  The eye popping effect of fluorescents bouncing off of so many shinny cans was worthy of any crazed home
decorator planning a 5 million Christmas bulb light display.

I took a cursory stroll up and down the line.  It took nearly 30 minutes.  That may seem a bit plodding but if people
can stare at just a single painting like the Mona Lisa for hours upon hours my pace was actually far too fast. Seeing a
functional gallery of beer art takes time.

I took another excursion of the coolers then stopped to reflect upon the glorious tableau before me. It was then I
noticed something quite unusual.  In the lane between the two coolers were a series of tables and chairs. My first
thought was they were there to serve the overflow from the restaurant which probably happens often if the Yelp
reviews were accurate.  Bring back that wrongo buzzer – I wasn’t close.  Insight then hit me like a Larry Holmes left
hook (a/k/a “The Easton Assassin”).  The tables were there to provide a place for people to drink beer.  What a
concept – instant beer gratification. Food was served but who cares when engulfed in an envelope of beer.  Most
tables were filled with smiling people with numerous bottles and cans of beer (an indisputable case of cause and

I scurried to an empty table near the far end of the lane and sat down.  My immediate task was to figure out the
system of getting beer since there is no waiter service in this section. The quality of service  would be totally
dependent on my own efforts. Under those circumstances I knew a big tip would be in order.  The process seemed
simple enough.  You get up and make a selection, admittedly not an easy task.  Each individual bottle or can has a
small, colorful circular sticker on it.  Strategically placed every few feet were signs that translated color to price.

Prices seemed to range from $2 to $10 with all points in-between.  That’ a lot of colors.  Daddy’s management
however doesn't have to worry about getting so many different ones since Easton is also the home of the Crayola
Crayon factory.  Since the introduction of Crayola crayons in 1903, the company claims that more than two hundred
distinctive colors have been produced.   Wait, 600 beers but only 200 colors doesn’t seem to fit.  Not to worry, many
of the beers were the same price.  And a good thing too since even with only 200 colors there’s no way I would be
able to tell the difference between Medium Chrome Green, Mountain Meadow Green, Fern Green,Jolly Giant Green,
and just plain Green.  

After making a selection you take the bottle to a long bar/counter.  By the way, there are not taps behind the counter
(over or under either, just more bottles).  You pay for the beer and in return they provide you with an appropriate
glass which in my case was a chalice with stunning gold rim.  The gentleman at the register offered to open my
selection but I declined since I always have my “Anchor Brewing” titanium opener  on my key chain ready for action.  
Hey, a true beer professional is always prepared. All that was left was to enjoy my beer and repeat the process….and
repeat the process…..and repeat the process and…...  

Every table has a menu card on it for those who want to allow eating to get in the way of their drinking.  Food is
ordered in the same fashion as the beer. Wanting to file a full report I ordered a delicious humus platter at the
counter which was promptly delivered to my table.  The only downside is that several of my empty bottles had to be
removed to make room for the plate.  There are few better things in life than reading a beer bottle label while drinking
its contents.  However since I was hungry it’s probably fair to just call it a draw.

I had hoped to take a look at the adjoining restaurant but opted instead to check out the many warm bottles stacked
up and waiting for sale.  Some might say they were haphazardly strewn around the place but to me it showed
thoughtful planning.  It was a décor any self respecting beer geek would call elegant.  I purchased a few bottles
highlighted by Springhouse’s The Martins Kidnap Santa an “eggnog stout”.   Have to admit that’s one style I never
heard of before which probably means it will be yet another new category at next year’s GABF.

As I reluctantly left I couldn’t help but think of the slogan used by I-Max / 3D theaters - “Don’t just watch a movie. We
put you
IN the movie!”   Daddy’s Place had done the same thing – I wasn’t just at a beer store I was actually IN it.
And I didn’t  even have to wear 3-D glasses.


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Jan.  2016