Favorite beer: Founders Breakfast Stout. Because I am perpetually in need of coffee. Even if it’s just a flavor in a beer.
Favorite place to drink: The Venture Inn! The best gay bar with the best jukebox in the city and the best bartender, Sandy Beach! You never know if a tranny who’s naked from the waist down might come in for last call—I actually did witness this!
Eric Smith, co-founder, Geekadelphia.com
Favorite beer: Yuengling Lager. While I’m afraid it’s somewhat of a dull answer, it is the first beer I ever tried and enjoyed. When I first moved to Philadelphia—this is hard for me to talk about—I drank a lot of Smirnoff Ice. While this eventually made me invincible in the popular “Bros Icing Bros” game, it embarrassed the hell out of my friends. And then Yuengling came along. Simple, tasty, sweet, it was the beer that got me into beer. I’ve since ventured off and tried others, but I always come back to the brew that can be ordered simply by saying, “Lager.”
Favorite place to drink: National Mechanics. Hands down. Forget that a lot of my friends go there and that they have an excellent happy hour. The events that go down there are fantastic. It’s the go-to joint for geeky events (Geek Girl Dinners, Wordpress Meetups, BarCamp after-parties, etc.) and they host the excellent Science on Tap lectures every month. Drinking beer while learning about science? Yes, please. It also helps that the food is great, they’ve got a nice beer selection, and the servers and staff are some of the friendliest people around.
Jose Garces, restaurateur, Iron Chef
Favorite beer: My favorite beer changes often, because there are so many great ones always being brewed—especially here in Philadelphia, where we have access to the best of the best. At the moment though, I’m loving Bear Republic’s Hop Rod Rye, which is on the new beer list at Village Whiskey at Revel.
Favorite place to drink: I never get tired of drinking at Village Whiskey. I created it as the kind of bar where my team and I would want to hang out after a long night, and it is, to this day, my favorite place to drink beer in Philly.
Lily Cope, executive director, COOK
Favorite beer: I love Gaffel Kölsch ’cause it’s simply refreshing as can be.
Favorite place to drink: My fave place to sit on my bum and drink beer is Tangier ’cause (a) they have mystery beers and that’s fun, and (b) they have a fish tank. The city needs more fish tanks.
Eric Slick, drummer, Dr. Dog
Favorite beer: My favorite beer is probably the Lancaster Kölsch summer seasonal. I only drink in the summertime, and the rest of the year I’m pretty much sober. My friends can attest to this—I’m a sad lightweight. Anyway, the Lancaster summer seasonal is light and easy, like most Kölschs. Reminds me of German rock festival beer. Mike Sneeringer, the drummer from Purling Hiss, once came up to me at a Dustin Wong concert and had a 12-pack of the Kölsch in his messenger bag. I knew we’d be lifelong friends after that.
Favorite place to drink: Johnny Brenda’s. It’s a block away from my house and the constantly changing drink selection is completely in tune with my ADHD brain. Great staff, great music. Most nights I skip the drinking, and I usually eat a Cubano. Then I waddle home.
John DeBella, radio legend, The John DeBella Show
Favorite beer: I am an ale guy. I like a drink that bites back. I drink 126 proof bourbon, super Tuscan wines and BIG HOPPY ales. I never was really a beer drinker. But in the ’80s I was making regular trips to England and decided I need to try ale. I loved it! At first I drank what was available and later found an ale from Kent called Bishops Finger. YUM! It was available in the states as well so a habit was formed. I love a lot of the Rogue ales, especially Dead Guy Ale. I am currently on a search for an ale that Joe Sixpack turned me on to called Timothy Taylor’s Landlord, but have yet to find it.
Favorite place to drink: I drink anywhere they have good ales, but overall I’m most comfortable at Kildare’s. It just fits.
Jay McCaroll, designer
Favorite beer: Although I like to pretend that I drink fancy seasonal brews like an autumn wheat or blueberry something or other, I usually get down with a Pabst, Rolling Rock or Coors Light because they’re typically inexpensive and I can get more fuck for my buck.
Favorite place to drink: I like the local leather bar the Bike Stop for beer because they have this seemingly million-ounce mug that weighs about 10 pounds and is like six bucks or something ridiculously cheap. I also like it because it’s dark and sleazy and, if you are lucky, there will be some old dude walking around in leather chaps and a jockstrap with his ass hanging out.
Wherever you go in this town, there’s good stuff to drink. And Philly Beer Week is a brilliant excuse to veer off your familiar routes of life and try something new.