Oh Whole Foods Market (with a pub!) How I Love Thee...

I (Lindsey) L.O.V.E. love to cook and bake. And, according to Eric, I'm pretty good at both (thanks for the ego boost honey!) It's a stress reliever for me, and I just really enjoy it. Places like Trader Joes, Wegmans and Whole Foods are my mecca. I get giddy going into one of them, and even more giddy as I find new and different products that I've never seen before. Throw in a pub and awesome beer selection to a place like this, and I'm pretty sure I've found my equivalent to heaven on Earth. The new Whole Foods has done just that. Introducing: Brew & Brau. My latest happy place.

Let me give you a little background. On our first trip up to visit Eric's parents a few years back, we were about to get on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted something so wonderful - the Whole Foods Market at the Plymouth Meeting Mall.  The closest Whole Foods at this point was about an hour away, so anytime I'm near one, I tend to stop in, if only to pick up a few of my usual staples from there. But this Whole Foods was special, because ohmygoodness, this is THE Whole Foods. This is the Whole Foods WITH A PUB! Cold Point Pub to be exact. Stopping on our way up? Probably not a good idea. But stopping on our way home - excellent idea! It's the best of both worlds. You can go in, pick up some of the Whole Foods awesomeness, then sit down and grab a pint of a local beer, and some yummy Whole Foods snacks while you sitting there. And now, we can enjoy this same atmosphere right over the DE line, at the Whole Foods Glen Mills in the Glen Eagle Square. Yes, yes, YES!

Our newest addition to grocery store coolness in our area opened on March 14th. I finally got a chance to make my way over there last Friday. Boy, was it awesome. I picked up all the goodies that I wanted (like truffled sea salt and fresh shrimp), and then made my way into the pub, Brew & Brau. I love the set up. They have a few high top tables, and some stools around the bar. The pub does share the space with the coffee bar within Whole Foods, so it can get pretty crowded in there, but if you have a seat, life is good. They'll always have eight local beers on tap, which isn't too shabby! Here's what I had to choose from on this particular visit:

Yards German Altbier - which is specially brewed for Whole Foods by Yards
Dock Street Rye IPA
Victory Hop Devil
Manayunk Brewery Krook's Mill American Pale Ale
Flying Dog Garde Dog
Flying Dog Lucky SOB
Dogfish Head Midas Touch
Philadelphia Brewing Company Joe Coffee Porter

With the Altbier being something unique to Whole Foods, I decided to try it. Besides, I'm a sucker for a good German style beer! The Altbier was smooth, and had a great aroma, and at $4 a pint, you can't beat it.

In addition to purchasing beer by the glass, you can also purchase a 32 or 64 ounce growler and fill it up with your favorite of the 8 beers. I did just that with the Altbier so that Eric could have a taste of it. They also have a pretty awesome selection of cold beers from both around the area and around the country (which to me translates to LAGUNITAS! One of my favorites!) They have a small snacks menu with items such as wings, hummus, sandwiches, salads, pizza, and even a cheese plate (which is $1!) As inexpensive as the cheese plate is, the rest of the food is also pretty nicely priced, ranging between $4 and $8. To me, this is the perfect little treat after navigating the aisles of the busy market!

Now, as awesome as my trip to the new Whole Foods was, I felt a little guilty about going there without Eric, so after a Sunday of brunch, art and a little window shopping, we made our way there. The draft menu was same, with the exception of a little Dogfish switch-er-roo. Midas Touch was kicked, and was was replaced with this year's batch of Aprihop. Eric went with his old faithful, Hop Devil, and this time around I went with an Aprihop, since I've really only had tastes of it at different Dogfish events over the last month or so.

Let's face it, you can't go wrong with Hop Devil. This American IPA is rich and hoppy at the same time. It's super smooth and just tasty from start to finish. On the other end of the American IPA spectrum is Dogfish Head's Aprihop. Eric's more of a purist when it comes to what he favors drinking, I on the other hand tend to be more open to twists on old classics. Aprihop still has the awesome hopiness of an American IPAthat I'm a huge fan of, with with hints of apricot throughout. The further I got into the pint of this perfect-for-spring beer, the more I got the notes of apricot. I really liked that about it.

After finishing our beers, we ventured into the beer cooler and found a lone Lagunitas Hop Stoopid Ale. I'll mention my love for beers like Lagunitas often throughout this blog. We can't get it here in Delaware (yet) but can find it in PA and MD, so when we do see it, I tend to do a little jump for joy. It's probably embarrassing to Eric, but I don't care. It's perfectly ok to be that happy when finding a beer you love!

Moral of the story: we love Whole Foods. We love Whole Foods even more when they serve beer. Just don't make the mistake of visiting the pub first, then doing your shopping. You may come home with some very interesting purchases. Trust me, you will!

Check out the pictures from our trips to Whole Foods...

Brew & Brau, inside the all new Whole Foods Market Glen Mills, in Glen Eagle Square

What's On Tap? During my fist visit to this little gem...

Trip Number 1's beer...Yards' German Altbier, specially brewed just for Whole Foods.

Trip Number 2's beer...Dogfish Head Aprihop. Perfect spring beer.

A little peak into what they have in their beer cooler....

...and what they have in "storage" down their hall. As we were standing there, I thought to myself, "that's a HALL lot of beer..."
Yeah, I'll stick to keeping tabs on beer, and not so much on the joke making!