TSN: C-P Preview of Philly Beer Week — Micro brews, maximum fun

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Philly Beer Week – and Haddon Pub Fest – are almost here – bridge toll optional

By TARA NURIN • For the Courier-Post • May 28, 2010

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If you’re unwaveringly devoted to beer that is light in color, advertised ad-nauseum during televised football games and originally brewed in St. Louis, Milwaukee or Golden, Colo., prepare to defend your drinking territory.

On June 4, the third annual Philly Beer Week begins its 10-day craft brew takeover of the city and this year, for the first time, it’s storming New Jersey’s shores.

The festival, founded in 2008 by three internationally renowned local beer writers, bar owners and historians, began with the mission to publicly proclaim Philadelphia as “America’s Best Beer-Drinking City.” It immediately succeeded, sparking copy-cat festivals around the country and widespread — although hotly contested — recognition of Philly as the epicenter of the craft beer movement, which typically shapes its identity in opposition to so-called “macro-brewed” domestics like Budweiser, Coors and Miller.

This year’s festival, which runs June 4-13, is the largest to date, both on the calendar and on the map. The 183 sanctioned participants are sponsoring more than 870 events, and the sudsy party runs from Center City to Amish country to South Jersey and all points in between.

On Saturday, June 5, Haddon Township will host Haddon Pub Fest, Jersey’s inaugural beer week event. Township bar owners, officials and neighboring brewers plan to formally introduce the Camden County enclave as a thriving destination for craft beer by throwing a day-long fete to celebrate the nation’s small, independent and traditional microbreweries that produce the only growing product segment within the beer industry.

From noon to 6 p.m., seven of the township’s eight bars (the exception is Giumarello’s) will participate in a pub crawl that connects each location, plus the Westmont PATCO station, by trolley. For $10, revelers can ride the trolleys all day so they’re not forced to walk or tempted to drive between sites. Once inside each bar, beer lovers will find food and drink specials and a featured brew on tap, along with a brewery representative standing by to answer questions and, in some cases, give away prizes.

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Andy Newell, co-owner of Cherry Hill’s Flying Fish Brewing Co. and an organizer of the fest, will pour the first glass of the latest in his acclaimed Exit Series while spending his day at Cork Restaurant. (The first beer in the series was Exit 4).

“Not only is it the kick-off of Exit 6 in Jersey but we think the pub crawl is the kickoff for an era of better beer in South Jersey,” Newell says.

Cork is hosting Jersey’s only other beer-week event, an outdoor pig roast in the parking lot with live music, 10 craft beers for $2.50 each, a home-brewing competition and a kid-friendly atmosphere. Blues N Brews will be held Sunday, June 13, from 1 to 6 p.m.

Across the river, there are heaps of events throughout the week designed to expose craft beer novices to the genre while simultaneously encouraging aficionados to explore new styles and breweries. Here’s a sampling of Philadelphia engagements. For details on all events, venues and breweries, visit www.phillybeerweek.org:

Friday, June 4

Opening Tap: Mayor Michael Nutter will tap the ceremonial first keg to launch beer week’s festivities. An all-regional line-up includes the first official beer week beer, a collaboration between five Pennsylvania brewers. Independence Visitor Center, 6th & Market Streets. 7:30 to 10 p.m. $40.

Saturday, June 5

Philadelphia Global Beer Expo: Sip fine beers from around the world while admiring an $80 million collection of some of the world’s finest automobiles. Simeone Foundation Museum, 6825-31 Norwitch Drive. Noon to 3 p.m.; 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. $45.

German Bierfest at the German Society of Pennsylvania: An outdoor family fair that features German food, beer and games, plus a chance to meet wine expert Marnie Old. 611 Spring Garden St. Noon to 6 p.m. Pay-as-you-go (Tickets for Marnie Old event, $30).

City Brewery Bike Tour: Bicycles. Beers. Five breweries. ‘Nuff said. Helmets required. Philadelphia Brewing Company, 2439 Amber St. 11 a.m. Pay-as-you-go.

Varga Bar’s Pinup Block Party: The bar that brought back the 1940’s pin-up girl is closing off the street for a block party where the search will be on for models for the bar’s 2011 calendar. 941 Spruce St. 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Price not yet announced.

Sunday, June 6

Smoke ‘Em If Yous Got ‘Em: More than 30 smoked beers and more than 10 amateur BBQ contestants will do their best to cloud up the air at Yards Brewing Co., 901 N. Delaware Ave. 1 to 5 p.m. $55.

The Brothers’ Bash: The Troegs Philly Beer Week Invasion!: The Trogner brothers, who own Harrisburg’s Troegs Brewing Co., will take over 12 taps at Johnny Brenda’s for the brewery’s biggest event of the week, while three rockin’ live bands might make it a little hard to converse with them. 1201 Frankford Ave. 3 to 9 p.m. $5.

150th Anniversary Celebration: Creative Black Tie Beef & Beer: McGillin’s Olde Ale House is the oldest bar in the city and will take all the congratulations it can get as it celebrates its 150th birthday with an indoor/outdoor dinner gala. 1310 Drury St. 5 to 8 p.m. $45.

Deschutes Philly Premiere: The new West Philly City Tap House is arriving on the scene in grand style by pouring what it claims to be the first Deschutes Brewery beers in Pennsylvania. Five of the Oregon beers will be available for sampling. 3925 Walnut St. 4 to 7 p.m. Pay-as-you-go.

Monday, June 7

Beer Class: Sipping Sierra Nevada with Brian Grossman: The son of the founder of the pioneering Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. — and a head honcho in his own right — will tell stories about his iconic California brewery and pour seven of his rarest and favorite products. Tria Fermentation School, 1601 Walnut St. 6:30 to 8 p.m. $45.

Meet 5 Belgian Brewers: Monk’s Cafe owner Tom Peters, one of the first Americans to bring Belgian beer to this country, is hosting five Belgian brewers together at his legendary bar. 264 S. 16th St. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Pay-as-you-go.

Tuesday, June 8

Christ Church Burial Ground Brew N’ History: A 20-minute tour of the colonial cemetery weaves tales of the founding fathers and their affection for brewed spirits. 5th and Arch streets. 3:30 to 4 p.m. $2.

Wednesday, June 9

Meet Wendy Yuengling & Lord Chesterfield: The granddaughter of Yuengling’s founder and the gentleman for whom one of the brewery’s oldest brands is named will discuss the history, legacy and humor surrounding the nation’s oldest brewery. Elephant & Castle Pub and Restaurant, 1800 Market St. 5 to 7 p.m. Pay-as-you-go.

Thursday, June 10

Philly Beer Week’s Forum of the Gods: Jim Koch, founder of Boston Beer Company, which makes Sam Adams, is one of four brewers leading a panel discussion about beer, moderated by Don Russell, the famed beer writer who’s better known as “Joe Sixpack.” Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Ave., 3 to 5 p.m. $25.

Friday, June 11

Ancient Ales Lunch with Sam Calagione and Dr. Patrick McGovern: Beer is one of the oldest and most geographically universal beverages known to man. Dogfish Head founder Calagione and Penn Museum archaeologist McGovern will discuss their collaboration to re-create three ancient recipes over lunch at the brand-new bar opened by the long-time caterer for the museum. The Head House, 122 Lombard St. 12:30 to 2 p.m. $60.

Duvel Moortgat Superstar Brewers: Eulogy Belgian Tavern, Old City’s best-known Belgian beer bar, hosts Mike McMannis, master brewer at Ommegang, which is Duvel Moortgat’s American subsidiary. He’ll be giving away tickets to the Cooperstown, N.Y.’s brewery’s annual festival. 136 Chestnut St. 7 to 9 p.m. Pay-as-you-go.

Saturday, June 12

Twentieth Annual Jackson Tutored Tastings: When Michael Jackson, arguably the world’s most venerated beer writer, passed away a few years ago, he left behind a 20-year tradition of hosting a popular and sophisticated annual tutored tasting at the Penn Museum. Now journalist Randy Mosher picks up where the late British writer left off at the bar belonging to the man who originally brought Jackson to Philly. The Head House, 122 Lombard St. Noon to 3 p.m.; 4 to 7 p.m.; 8 to 11 p.m. $50.

USA World Cup Kickoff!: It’s Brits versus Yanks on the field, on the telly and at the bar, where American brews will face off against those from across the pond. Dr. Watson’s, 216 S. 11th St. 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Pay-as-you-go.

Breweriana Show: Brewery-item collectors buy, sell and trade their historic artifacts. Yards Brewing Co., 901 N. Delaware Ave. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free.

Sunday, June 13

Dock Street Annual Music Fest: A handful of bands provide the beats to the BBQ and beer at this street fair outside of West Philly’s only brewpub. Dock Street Brewery, 701 50th St. 2 to 7 p.m.

El Camino Real BBQ Picnic with Philebrity and Miller High Life: Leave it to the king of Philly hipsterdom, Joey Sweeney, publisher of the philebrity.com website, to close out a 10-day craft beer festival with a festival of his own — one that features cheap domestic beer often sold in cans. At last there’s an event for all of the Bud/Coors/Miller drinkers who could, in the end, emerge victorious in the Great Philadelphia Beer Wars. 1040 N. 2nd St. 4:30 to 10 p.m. Pay-as-you-go.


One thought on “TSN: C-P Preview of Philly Beer Week — Micro brews, maximum fun

  1. […] Thursday , June 10. Philly Beer Week’s Forum of the Gods: Jim Koch, founder of Boston Beer Company, which makes Sam Adams, is one of four brewers leading a panel discussion about beer, moderated by Don Russell, the famed beer writer …This Blog […]

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