We gushed, blabbed and raved a few months ago about Philadelphia’s monthly TNT event, a must-see bonanza of bonhomie and beer, pizza and prizes. Well, coincidence and good fortune conspired to place Sprudge at Philly TNT yet again, for a second time, and we were delighted to be there.

Last night’s even was held at OCF, at their brand new second location in Philly’s Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. Their new space reminds us of Seattle’s downtown Trabant location and the Cafe Grumpy in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood.

Last night’s throwdown was packed! Stuffed to the gills! O.O.C! Each pour met with a deafening roar, close to $200 in competition treasure at stake, dudes from Lancaster County milling around for their shot at glory, a pony keg tapped far too soon, some dude in an upturned purple “Strange Brew” bicycle hat, and frequent “Happy Birthday” exhortations for a barista named Chip, who has three boyfriends and whose birthday was actually two days ago. Phil Proteau of CCC handled the scene from behind the bar, no small feat given the slam-bam energetic madness coarsing throughout this tiny, stuffy room.

The winner was Erika Vonie, of Milk Boy Coffee, located outside of the city on Philly’s famous Main Line. “I can’t believe it! I’ve been pouring like shit recently, but I took the Counter Culture milk lab in NYC, like, two weeks ago, and I know it sounds cheesy, but I’ve been working on it. Yes!” When asked how she planned to spend her winnings, Erika offered the most barista-universal ever: “I’m gonna pay my bills!”


Overheard at Philly TNT:

“It’s a gastrique of knowledge.”

“I’m gonna wait to get that tattoo til after childbirth. Then I’ll be like, yeah, whatever, bring it on!”

“I’m gonna party fuckin’ hard. It’s a secret what my plans are.”

“No #2’s. You’re pouring next.”