33 can't-miss happenings in Philly Beer Week's first five days

By Jared Axelrod
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted May. 28, 2014

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FRIDAY, MAY 30

Hammer of Glory Relay with Philly Roller Girls. 9:30–10am. Hop Angel Brauhaus,  7980 Oxford Ave. The Hammer of Glory, a weapon suitable for the God of Thunder himself, will be cradled in the tough-knuckled fists of the Philly Roller Girls and skated from bar to pub to brewery, starting at the Hop Angel Brauhaus at 9:30am before ending up at Beer Week’s Opening Tap at the 23rd Street Armory at 7pm. Stops along the way include the Philadelphia Brewing Company, Johnny Brenda’s, Standard Tap, Yards Brewing Company, Fergie’s Pub and SugarHouse Casino.
 
Meet the Brewer: Chris Wilson of Weyerbacher. 11:30am–3pm. Jose Pistola’s, 263 S. 15th St. Sit down for lunch with Chris Wilson, head brewer at Weyerbacher, and learn everything you ever wanted to know about beer but were afraid to ask. Weyerbacher’s been around for nearly 20 years, so Chris has a wealth of beer knowledge to draw upon. He’s also got a degree in physics, so feel free to get your science on over some of Jose Pistola’s crab guacamole.

Barcade’s Philly Beer Week Kickoff Tapping.
Noon–2am. Barcade, 1114 Frankford Ave. Barcade’s Beer Week kickoff is absolutely massive, with a ridiculous number of beers on tap. There’ll be Allagash Red Howes, a stout brewed with 3,000 pounds of cranberries; Bull Frog Plaga Roja, a golden ale aged in tequila barrels with sour cherries; Evil Twin Imperial Doughnut Break—with doughnuts; Harpoon Gingerbread Dunkelweisse; Russian River Supplication; Southern Tier Bourbon Backburner; and so many more on tap from noon until they’re empty.

5th Annual H.O.G Relay, Big Hair & Big Beer Party. 4:30pm–2am. The Institute Bar, 549 N. 12th St. The Institute Bar brings its usual off-kilter sensibility to its leg of the Hammer of Glory Relay with a party of truly metal proportions. It’s all about ’80s hair metal and hard rocking ‘tude.

Tapping: Leipziger Gose. Fiume, 229 S. 45th St. The gose style is a sour wheat beer, and tonight’s rare serving of this Leipziger Gose is an unusual twist on the classic brew, with orange peel, coriander, vanilla, nutmeg, clove, and cardamom. Get it before the goze goes!
 
Opening Tap 2014. 7–10pm. $45 admission. 23rd Street Armory, 22 South 23rd St. The Hammer of Glory relay comes to an end at Philly Beer Week’s grand Opening Tap ceremony. Over 30 local breweries will be represented—plus, catch the debut of Philly Tripel, a special-for-the-occasion collaboration beer from Dock Street and Belgian beer makers Brouwerij Dilewyns. There will be live music from Philadelphia soulsters York Street Hustle, and more brews than anyone could possibly drink—so choose wisely!

Paper Football Challenge: A Literal Kickoff Party. 7–11pm.  Varga Bar, 941 Spruce St. Varga Bar launches its annual festivities with a kick... er... flickoff. Weyerbacher Brewing puts up prizes for this paper-football challenge—and sends its own ringer, Mike, to lord over the proceedings. Think you’ve got a wicked way with a folded paper triangle? Time to put your finger to the test and see if you can beat Weyerbacher at their own game.

Sixpoint’s Opening Tap ’80s Afterparty. 9pm–2am.  Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Ave.  If The Institute’s ’80s metal party was too metal for you, or maybe not ’80’s enough, Johnny Brenda’s has you covered. Sixpoint’ll be there, with special brews and old favorites—and the Strange Brew DJ crew will help you quaff down those beers with appropriate audio indulgences from DJ Jersey Dan and DJ Mikele Edwards.


SATURDAY, MAY 31

Meet Anne-Catherine Dilewyns.
Noon–1:30pm. Admission TBD. Monk’s Cafe, 264 S 16th. Remember that special Philly Tripel you tried at Opening Tap? St. Anne-Catherine Dilewyns of Belgium’s Brouwerij Dilewyns collaborated with Justin Low of Philly’s Dock Street Brewery to come up with the new signature brew. She’ll lead a lunchtime discussion on the history of Brouwerji Dilewyns and her beers—the full lineup of which Monk’s will be serving in their back room, along with small dishes made with the same local honey that’s in the Philly Tripel.
 
International Great Beer Expo.
12:30–5pm. Admission $46. Philadelphia Navy Yard. A beer festival within the beer festival, the International Great Beer Expo gathers 75 international brewers from 25 countries, offering more than 200 beers to sample. All this globally-sourced goodness comes together upon the Navy Yard’s Parade Grounds; taste the world without leaving the city!
 
Take It in the Can. 3pm–2am. Doobies Bar, 2201 Lombard St. The folks at Doobies Bar have had it with bottle snobbery—they’re celebrating canned craft beer for the 5th year running, and they don’t care who knows it. Marten’s, Sly Fox, Oskar Blues, Lancaster, Harpoon, Leinenkugel, Sixpoint, 21st Amendment: All are in cans and ready to be popped open.
 
Talking English Beer. 5–7pm. Admission $30. The Victoria Freehouse, 10 S. Front St. The Shelton Brothers are known as discerning beer importers who bring quality brews from the world over—and the jewels of the Shelton crown are their British ales. They’ve sent their British beer expert, Kevin Brooks, to the Victoria Freehouse to talk about what goes into his favorite ales; the ticket covers a tasting of five ales, plus appropriately British pub snacks. Look for the TARDIS behind the bar.
 
Be Your Beer Dance Party. 9pm–2am. Field House, 1150 Filbert St. Anyone can drink a beer. Anyone can love a beer. But do you love your beer so much that you’re willing to BE that beer? Field House is holding a beer-themed costume party, with a $250 prize for best group theme and Phillies tickets for best individual costume. Dance the night away and show your love and allegiance to your favorite brew!

Varga Pinup Block Party. 11am–7pm. Varga Bar, 941 Spruce St. The 2015 Varga Calendar Girl search begins here! If you’ve got a pinup outfit you’ve been dying to show off, go get your photo taken for your chance to literally embody one-twelfth of the year. Meanwhile, anyone and everyone is invited to the block-party BBQ, too: The grill will be hot, the beers will be cold, and there’ll be games and prizes, including wing and hot-dog-eating contests. 


SUNDAY,  JUNE 1

Lobster Bake and Wheat Beer. 11am–8pm. Hop Angel Brauhaus, 7980 Oxford Ave. Hop Angel Brauhaus throws a huge outdoor family-friendly lobster bake tent party: tons of wheat beers, tons of tasty lobster treats and tons of outdoor fun, including keg bowling and Kan Jam frisbee!

Race Day with Yards Brewing. Noon–5pm. Old Eagle Tavern, 175 Markle St. It’s Manayunk Bike Race Day, and Yards Brewing Company—which started in Manayunk—is at the Old Eagle Tavern to celebrate. After the bike race is over, keep the speed fever going with Pinewood Derby races on a specially-built track. Cars will be provided for those who need them, but where’s the fun in that? Bring your own and show everyone how it’s done!

Steady State Theory. 11:30am–2am. Grace Tavern, 2229 Grays Ferry Ave. Grace Tavern embraces all the beers of North America, offering tasting flights that feature beers from Canada, Mexico and assorted islands in addition to classic United States brews. Geographically appropriate snacks will accompany the grand continental journey.
 
It’s Jolly Pumpkin Charlie Brown. 1pm–2am. BRU Craft & Wurst, 1318 Chestnut St. Like Jolly Pumpkin’s brews? Then you better make a run for BRU Craft & Wurst: They’ll have 12 lines of Jolly Pumpkin going on at once. Bam Biere, WeizenBam, Bam Noire, Oro de Calabaza, Calabaza Blanca, Noel de Calabaza, Madrugada Obscura, Maracaibo Especial, Fuego del Otono, Luciernaga, La Parcela, Baudelaire iO. Can’t decide? BRU has you covered, with flights of six ready and waiting.
 
’80s Night w Deschutes. 6–9pm. City Tap House, 3925 Walnut St. Like ’80s music? ’80s clothes? How about some ’80s beer? Two Class of ‘88 breweries, Deschutes and Brooklyn, are severing up vintage beer at City Tap House, complemented by music from 1201 Social. They’re offering bonus beers for those truly decked out in true period style, so break out the shoulder pads and leg warmers and prepare to drink like they did three decades ago.
 
Cage Match: He’Brew vs Goose Island. 6:30–8:30pm. Admission: $45. Alla Spina, 1410 Mt. Vernon St. Wade from Goose Island and Jeremy from He’Brew will enter the squared circle table and face off in a no-holds-barred, four-course beer-pairing battle royale at Alla Spina. Snap into a house-made slim jim and bask in the smack talk as these two breweries battle it out.
 
Doggie Brunch. Noon–4pm. Cedar Point Bar and Kitchen, 2370 E. Norris St. The dogs have their day at the Cedar Point Bar and Kitchen, as Dogfish Head and Flying Dog breweries take over the taps in a charity event for a local dog park, Palmer Doggie Depot. One dollar from any beer, wine or spirit purchased will be donated to the park. Your four-legged pals are welcome at the event, too: Water bowls and treats will be provided, so pets can enjoy themselves along with their owners.


MONDAY, JUNE 2
 
Spend $10, Get $25. All day. SugarHouse Casino, 1001 N. Delaware Ave. SugarHouse gets into the Philly Beer Week spirit by offering $25 of Match Play cash if you spend $10 on beer and food. Menu items include appropriate pairings such as bratwurst and a beer-and-cheese fondue. No point in gambling hungry, eh?
 
Fried Chicken Countdown with Wells & Youngs and Dogfish Head. Noon–7pm.  Resurrection Ale House, 2425 Grays Ferry Ave. Jim Robertson and Sam Caligione from Wells & Young stop by the Resurrection Ale House for a Top 100 fried chicken countdown! Join the brewers in eating through the day’s 100 orders of fried chicken and pie, and wash it all down with several select beers on tap.
 
Sam Adams Burgers & Bubbles. 4pm–2am. The Industry, 1401 E. Moyamensing Ave. Chef Bryan Burger has teamed up with Sam Adams for a hearty beer-and-burgers pairing at The Industry. The menu is still a closely-guarded secret, but the beer lineup will feature the patriotic brewer’s Blueberry Hill Lager, Word to the Weisse, Roggen Wolf, Imperial Stout and Rebel IPA. Only Chef Burger knows what you’ll be eating alongside them.

A Rabbi, a Priest and a Minister Walk Into a Bar a Second Time. 5pm–midnight. Fergie’s Pub, 1214 Sansom St. What happens when three men of faith who make use of beer in their respective ministries discuss God and alcohol at Fergie’s Pub? If it’s anything like last year’s gathering, it’ll be a packed house with plenty of beer to go around.
 
Yards and Dad’s Hat. 5pm–midnight. The Dandelion,124 S. 18th St. A good boilermaker is hard to find. So Yards Brewery and Dad’s Hat distillery decided to rise to the challenge, teaming up to combine their beer and whiskey in an attempt at harmony. They’ll be at the Dandelion to offer three boilermaker pairings, as well as a special Dad’s Hat beer cocktail and Yards’ bourbon-barrel-aged porter.

Brew ’n History Tour. 5:30–6:30pm. Admission $10. Christ Church Burial Ground, 485 Arch St. Look back through Philadelphia history books, and you’ll find no shortage of beer. Debating the Declaration of Independence is thirsty work, after all, and the Founding Fathers—many of them home brewers themselves—continued their arguments throughout the taverns and pubs of colonial Philadelphia. The Christ Church cemetery offers a tour of Philly beer history and its connection to the luminaries buried there, including Benjamin Franklin and Francis Hopkinson.
 
Allagash Sausage Bash. 8:30pm–1am. TIME Restaurant, Whiskey Bar & Tap Room, 1315 Sansom St. What goes better with beer than live music and fresh sausage? Nothing, according to TIME restaurant—and the fact that this is now their third annual Allagash Sausage Bash suggests they’re not alone in that opinion. House-made sausages will be paired with select Allagash brews.

South Philadelphia Tap Room’s Annual Founders Dinner. 7–10pm. Admission $100. South Philadelphia Tap Room, 1509 Mifflin Street. For the high rollers: SPTR has tapped Chef Scott Schroeder to prepare a lavish feast celebrating the Founders Brewing Company. Courses will be paired with Founders drafts—a collecton of favorites and rarities such as KBS, Sweet Repute, Smokey Porter and Hand of Doom.


TUESDAY, JUNE 3
 
Pajama Party with Saucony Creek and Bell’s Brewery. 10pm–2am. Varga Bar, 941 Spruce St. After five days of beer-centric celebration—even with five more days worth ahead!—you may be feeling like it would be nice just to hang out in your pajamas. Varga Bar understands this. Keep your jammies on, come on over and have some brews from Saucony Creek and Bell’s Brewery.
 
Blues, Blues and Bleus. 4pm–3am. The Cambridge, 1508 South St. The Cambridge has invited Oskar Blues to pair some of its tastiest beers with special selections of DiBruno Bros finest blue cheeses. Filling out the blues trifect is the legendary Mississippi blues guitarist and singer George Urgo. It’s one-stop-shopping for all your azure-hued needs!
 
Brew-au. 6-8pm. McGillin’s Olde Ale House, 1310 Drury St. The weather is warming up, but at McGillin’s Olde Ale House they’re going absolutely tropical with a beer Luau—or “Brew-Au.” They’ll have craft beers from Flying Fish and other island delights. Hula skirts and Hawaiian shirts are optional.
 
Let’s Make a Deal. 7–10pm. The Grey Lodge Pub, 6235 Frankford Ave. The Grey Lodge hosts another edition of its massive white elephant party: Bring something wonderfully odd you want to get rid of, and see if you can deal with the hosts for some cool gifts in exchange. Be careful, though—you may be asked to keep trading. And remember: The trader in the craziest costume is most likely to get the most attention, so dress to impress!

Stoudts Brewery Presents the Mix. 10:30pm–midnight. Fergie’s Pub, 1214 Sansom St. Stoudts Brewery takes over Fergie’s Pub with The Mix: a band playing the kind of rock ‘n’ roll that only musically-savvy professional brewers can provide. “By day they hawk beer, by night they are rock gods”—or so the legend goes. Prepare your eardrums for a sonic keg-full of audio brew! 


Follow PW’s on-the-scene Twitter, @phillynow, for daily updates from Philly Beer Week events. And follow beer blogger Eric San Juan’s daily craft-beer journey all year long at philadelphiaweekly.com!

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