Philly Beer Week returns for its fifth 10-day extravaganza of all things sudsy on Friday. Your best bet is to parse the calendar by day at www.phillybeer week.org or download the iPhone/Android app to create your own schedule. But to get you started, here are six must-hits. Stay hydrated, arrive early, bring cash and prepare for the deluge.
1. Worlds Collide
Aging craft beers in used liquor barrels is hot among America's most interesting brewers. Prohibition Taproom 'tenders created eight cocktails inspired by eight barrel-aged brews, each incorporating the base spirit that occupied the barrel first. Special desserts will also be available to pair with each cocktail/brew duo.
Monday, 6 p.m.-1 a.m.
Pay as you go
2. Not That Kind of Acid
In 2006, Colorado brewer Adam Avery said, "Sour is the new hoppy." Though sour and wild ales don't yet command an IPA-size spotlight, the style is influencing brewers and drinkers on every level. Learn the canon from Cantillon and Rodenbach to Russian River at this tasting class.
Monday, 6-8 p.m.
$40 (call 215-238-5888
Khyber Pass Pub
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3. Festival Exclusive
Devised collaboratively by Philly Beer Week brass, Iron Hill brewer Chris LaPierre and Brasserie Dupont in Tourpes, Belgium, Dupont Speciale Belge boasts an infusion of lightly smoked malt, adding an aromatic edge to this refreshing amber brew. This year's featured beer will be tapped Sunday at this reunion of its makers, plus importers VanBerg & DeWulf -- the folks that get the beer here.
Sunday, 8-10 p.m.
Pay as you go
The Grey Lodge Pub
4. Schmooze 'n' Booze
Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head isn't just a pretty face -- he's the guy who dragged craft brewing into the mainstream with extreme brews and smart marketing. Trade jokes with Sam and other cool kids at this cocktail party-style gathering, complete with butlered bites paired with rare brews.
Tuesday, 4:30-7:30 p.m.
$75 (call 215-569-9525 for tickets)
Nodding Head Brewpub
5. Bang Your Head
Iacopo Lenci of Bruton Italian Craft Beer is a self-described "weird" brewer. The son of a Tuscan winemaker, Iacopo launched his first iteration of Bruton as brewpub (with no seats) that hosted punk and hard-core shows. He'll be showcasing little-known metal bands for bargoers swilling discounted flights of unusual brews from the boot.
Tuesday, 9 p.m.-1 a.m.
Pay as you go
Alla Spina, 1410 Mt. Vernon St.
6. Chicken Run
Work your thighs, then eat some on this Beer Runner's stomp from Philadelphia Brewing Company to American Sardine Bar, where chef Scott Schroeder will lay out an all-you-can-chew fried chicken feast. Ticket price includes food, three PBC brews and a commemorative T-shirt.
June 10, 3- 8 p.m.
$35 (call 215-334-2337 for tickets)