The opening tap at the Fillmore on Friday evening, officially launched Philly Beer Week, now in its ninth year. Everyday leading up to June 12th, our fair city will celebrate all things beer and beer culture, through food pairing dinners, races, games and more.
So just how many events are on tap this time around? Executive Director Kristine Kennedy says she “doesn’t have an official count yet,” but last year saw over 1000 different events at 180 venues in the Philadelphia region.
“People add events up to the bitter end," says Kennedy. "They can be as simple as a tap takeover or a meet the brewer event."
A good place to begin your exploration is Spruce Street Harbor Park, which is the site of Philly Beer Week’s Official Beer Garden, hosting themed events daily including a Women in Beer event on Wednesday, Swan Boat Races on Thursday and Art Star Craft Bazaar on Friday and Saturday.
Yes, we did say Swan Boat Races. Kennedy further explains: “Four breweries will be decorating swan boats and racing an obstacle course by the Seaport Museum.”
The fun doesn’t stop there. There’s a whole events category dedicated to “Fun and Games” with quirky picks like Kalamazoo Kazoo Day at Varga Bar in Washington Square; '90s Pop and Pour Karaoke at City Tap House in University City and a Rock, Paper, Scissor Tournament at P.O.P.E. in South Philly.
All games aside though, let’s not forget about the brews. Board President, William Reed, says that some of his favorite aspects of Philly Beer Week have to do with the many collaborations between breweries as well as breweries and bars.
“This is the eighth time I’ve done a collaboration with Sly Fox at the Standard Tap, which I own," he says. "This year we concocted the Standard Saison — It’s very hoppy."
Reed is also excited about the official European Collaboration Beer, which teams up a local brewer, a raffle winner and a European Brewer. This year, Yards brewer, Tom Kehoe and raffle winner, Adam Anderson flew to the Netherlands to work with Dutch brewers, DeMolen to produce a Porter with 9.5% alcohol content.
The result: A brew with "a salty Belgian licorice added to it. It’s so good,” says Reed.
If that sounds like a bit too much for you — Kennedy chimes in that fruity beers like “mango and passion fruit” are popular with Philly Beer Week participants this year, especially with it being warmer outside.
For more info, visit: phillybeerweek.org
If you go:
Philly Beer Week
June 3-June 12
Pay as you go