Philly Beer Week: Let the games begin

Beer Week co-founder and Monk’s Cafe owner Tom Peters says he “wanted to show the rest of the world our deep beer culture.”

Two guys were sitting at Monk’s Cafe, drinking a bottle of wine, when the idea hit. They shared some thoughts, made a few phone calls and within a month, Philly Beer Week was a reality.

At first, they wanted to call it Philadelphia Beer Week. They sobered up and soon came to their senses. “We can’t call it Philadelphia Beer Week. It has to be Philly Beer Week,” said Tom Peters who, along with Bruce Nichols, co-founded PBW in 2006. “We just wanted to show the rest of the world our deep beer culture.”

So began the love story between the City of Brotherly Love and beer. When Philly Beer Week 2012 taps Friday at Independence Visitor Center, it will feature 2,000 different brews. It used to be a boastful slogan, but now it’s fact. Yes, Ben Franklin, Philly is “America’s Best Beer-Drinking City.”
“Philadelphia is the model for what we consider the modern beer week,” said Jay Brooks, 53, a noted beer week expert and syndicated columnist.

Some have debated whether Philadelphia is the originator of the beer week phenomenon. Not Peters.  “No doubt,” he said, when asked if PBW was the first.  “Everyone knows Philly is the s–t.”

Still, there are some with legitimate claims. In 1992, Brooks launched a nine-day festival called Beerapalooza that morphed into San Francisco Beer Week. But it wasn’t until Brooks visited the first Philly Beer Week, back in 2007, that everything changed — forever.

“I came back to San Francisco and said that we should be doing this here,” Brooks said. “Philly was an inspiration. Any town that considers itself a beer town should have one.”

Philly’s influence doesn’t end there. Peters is constantly traveling and meeting with Belgian distributors. One common request: Can we come to Philly Beer Week? His best story involves a tasting with Armand Debelder, owner of the famous Drie Fonteinen brewery in Beersel, Belgium.

“He told me, ‘In Belgium, we understand that Belgium is the beer paradise of the world, but in my hometown people don’t know as much about my beer as they do here. Philadelphia is the true beer paradise.’”

More than tastings

It’s the pure spectacle that sets Philly Beer Week apart from the copycats. The “weeklong” celebration (actually 10 days) is filled with wildly entertaining events, not just boring beer dinners.
   
This year, Frankford Hall is doing a beer-themed version of Nickelodeon’s “Double Dare.”
   
Of course, the main celebrity is the “Hammer of Glory.” The HOG gets paraded around town with a reverence reserved for the Olympic Torch, and Beer Week can’t begin until Mayor Michael Nutter is handed the baton.
   
“People on the streets would see the hammer and know what it was,” Brooks said, reflecting on his first visit. “That was impressive.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Bike-sharing is in Philadelphia's future

The B-Cycle bike that Philadelphia will use is already part of bike-sharing services across the nation and in Santiago, Chile.

National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

Manson Family member Squeaky Fromme told a mental health examiner in newly released interview the "X" she carved in her forehead was meant to separate her from "the system."

Local

New York-based Century 21 store coming to The…

The former Strawbridge & Clothier building will once again host a department store. City officials on Thursday announced New York-based Century 21 Department Stores will…

National

Electric Zoo tickets on sale Tuesday as festival…

Electric Zoo tickets go on sale Tuesday. The festival announced plans to amp up security after two attendees died last year from apparent drug overdoses.

Movies

Tribeca: Nikki Reed on going funny for a…

"Intramural" star Nikki Reed talks about being the straight person in a broad comedy, spending time in Austin and how "Thirteen" was a "miracle."

The Word

Taylor Swift has a hard time leaving the…

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

Movies

Interview: 'The Quiet Ones' star Sam Claflin on…

"Hunger Games" co-star Sam Claflin talks about his new horror film "The Quiet Ones," plus how technology connects him with fans.

Going Out

Spend an evening in Franklin Square

Support historic Franklin Square on May 15 during the sixth annual Evening in Franklin Square soiree. The evening includes dinner, dancing, a silent auction and…

MLB

Tony Gwynn Jr. a nice surprise for Phillies

Tony Gwynn Jr. has been a plus in every way for the Phillies.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.

NHL

Four things the Flyers must do to win…

It's do or die for the Flyers. Well, almost.

Food

Hai Street Kitchen opening in Rittenhouse May 22

Japanese cuisine will get a Chipotle-style twist at Hai Street Kitchen & Co., a new casual, quick-food restaurant opening near Rittenhouse Square on May 22.…

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.