Ben Franklin was quite fond of beer. After all, he was famously quoted as saying, “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, and in water there is bacteria.”
Now, one of his most cherished and lasting legacies is taking his words to heart. The Free Library of Philadelphia, in conjunction with the Raven Society, is hosting Browse and Brews tonight, as part of Philly Beer Week.
The Raven Society organizes happy hours, book swaps and offbeat programs aimed at the Free Library’s younger supporters, usually in their 20s and 30s, drawing on that group’s thirst for knowledge — and beer.
The library will close its doors to the public at 6 p.m. and invite ticketed visitors inside to indulge their minds and palates in an event dedicated to uniting beer geeks and book nerds.
Four local breweries — Philadelphia Brewing Company, Yards, Manayunk Brewing and Saint Benjamin Brewing — will pair specialty brews with appetizers prepared by Diverse Catering. Confirmed beers include PBC’s Dry Cider, Pale Ale and Fleur de Lehigh; Yards' Brawler; Manayunk’s Schuylkill Punch (a raspberry ale); and Saint Benjamin’s Coffee Kolsch.
“We’re hoping to showcase the cool things that people in Philly are doing with beer. We didn’t give them any requirements," says Kayleigh MacPherson, 26, of the Raven Society. “Two things that don’t normally go hand-in-hand are beer and the library, but this works and it’s very exciting for us.”
The event will also include a viewing of the Free Library’s Brewed in Philly exhibit, as well as a Q&A session with noted beer historian Rich Wagner.
“It’s a unique event,” says MacPherson. “We have something more to offer than just drinking beer.”
If you go
Browse and Brews
Today, 6:30-8 p.m.
Brewed in Philly exhibit runs through June 30
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine St.
$30 (discounted tickets for Raven Society members and designated drivers)