As the weather heats up, little pink sweaters and loose-fit tees peel off, layer by layer, making summer’s sizzle almost too intense to bear. You need something to quench that heat before it destroys your every semblance of decency. Summer and a cold one are natural companions, and Philly Beer Week presents fun-in-the-sun while quenching the throat with welcome refreshments.
“What’s hot in outdoor activities?” you ask. This grab-bag of Philly Beer Week Must-Dos promises to keep your social calendar on ice:
Saturday, June 5
City Brewery Bike Tour
The tour begins with Philadelphia Brewing Company at 11 a.m. sharp. It’s limited to the first 100 people, so bring your helmet (required) and bike lock. The tour runs until 5 p.m., and will also stop at Yards, Triumph, Nodding Head and Dock Street breweries.
Bermuda Triangle Run
You’ve heard the tales of mystery surrounding the Bermuda Triangle. Tempt fate at the Bermuda Triangle Run from 2-4 p.m. Teams of four or more begin at Bishop’s Collar (2349 Fairmount Ave.), then circle to St. Stephens Green and Kite & Key. Just when you think you’re finished, you do it all over again.
Brauhaus Schmitz echoes German culture and beer as it links up to the annual Sommerfest at the German Society of Pennsylvania (611 Spring Garden St.) from noon-6 p.m. The sunny biergarten behind the GSP headquarters is sure to overflow with European Gemutlikeit. Look for genuine German foods—perhaps Schweinegraten or Wiener Schitzel—to harmonize with six on-tap offerings: Franziskaner Hefeweizen, Gaffel Kölsch, Warsteiner “Premium Verum” Pils, Jever Bitter Pils, Warsteiner “Premium Dunkel” and Spaten Oktoberfest. This mini Oktoberfest brings family together with music, dancing and children’s games. Break from the heat in the Versammlungssaal at noon for a seminar with award-winning Philadelphia author, sommelier and beer authority Marnie Old as she presents the history of German beers and the diversity surrounding their development.
Beers on Broad Street
Philly Beer Week stretches into the ’burbs with Beers on Broad Street in Kennett Square (South Broad between State and Cypress) from 1-5 p.m. Get that feel-good feeling with unlimited tastings of artisanal beers, fresh local foods and live music by the Steve Liberace Band, knowing that your attendance benefits Historic Kennett Square, a nonprofit. Each brewery will serve three to four different beers, including at least one “connoisseur” beer brewed for the fest. Tickets are $50, with a $10 entry for designated drivers.
Sunday, June 6
Philadelphia International Bike Race and Liberty Classic
Hang with the pros, meandering through the streets of Manayunk to watch the 26th Philadelphia International Bike Race and Liberty Classic. Billed as “America’s Top International Cycling Classic,” the men’s division endures a grueling 156-mile course in 10 laps from the Ben Franklin Parkway through the hills of Manayunk, including the famous Manayunk Wall. The women endure 57.6 miles in a four-lap course. You endure 31 bars and restaurants with liquor licenses in a five-block area. Life’s tough, isn’t it?
Wednesday, June 9
Craft Beer Express Bar Crawl
Take to the streets on the Craft Beer Express Bar Crawl from 4-11 p.m. Buses run every 30 minutes in rotation, with stops at the Institute, Kite & Key, Brauhaus Schmitz, Johnny Brenda’s, Sidecar, Devils Den, P.O.P.E, Bishop’s Collar, Standard Tap and Kraftworks. Buy tickets online for $15 plus processing fee, or waive the processing fee by purchasing directly from one of the bars on the route. Events vary in each location: ROCKTITS with DR. Joel at P.O.P.E.; Bartender There’s a Fruit in My Beer Event at the Institute; Shelton Brothers Franconian Firkins at Brauhaus Schmitz; and more.
Sunday, June 13
Amazing Philly Beer Run
Dock Street Beer and the Brew Lounge host the 3rd Annual Amazing Philly Beer Run followed by Dock Street’s Annual Music Fest from noon-7 p.m. Start out at City Hall and conquer four “challenges” as you follow a 6-7-mile course, collecting points all the way. Rosemarie Certo, veteran owner of Dock Street, says: “It’s back by popular demand. People love this event!” At 2 p.m., the block party begins with outdoor grilling, live music by Dock Street employee bands and a palette of Dock Street beer including these summer quenchers: Summer Session, Bubbly Wit, Saison Du Potts and West of Center Pale Ale.
Beer Week BBQ and Outdoor Bash
If you’re a fan of "The Barbecue Song "by Rhett & Link, be sure to make time for Beer Week BBQ and Outdoor Bash at Bella Vista Specialty Beer Wholesalers (755 S. 11th St.) Rhett & Link can’t be there, but you can. Enjoy Caribbean music, food and beer from noon-5 p.m. for a $15 cover. This Philly Beer Week closing event features more than 17 breweries: Brooklyn Brewing, Flying Fish, Magic Hat, Ommegang and more.
Brews ‘N’ Blues
As the aromas of roast pig waft through the air, follow your nose to Cork Restaurant’s Brews ‘N’ Blues festival at 90 Haddon Ave. in Westmont, N.J., as Philly Beer Week wraps up. Whether Bebop, Dixieland or Fusion, smooth jazz sounds will sooth your nerves from 1-6 p.m. for an entry fee of $25 per person. Ten microbrews will be served side-by-side with BBQ and that succulent pig that made your mouth water in the first place.
Founded in 1985 as the first microbrewery in Philadelphia and one of the earliest in the country, Dock Street Brewery stands as the epitome of innovation, independence and creativity.
Your drinking habits have always fascinated me. And so, with some free time on my hands, I decided to play social scientist. My theoretical foundation? Who gives a shit. My methodology? Rigorless. My apparatus? A pen, a notebook and a love of beer. Here, for the first time in print, I present my quasi-scientific study for peer review.
Local brewers talk about their personal favorites, trends and why Philly is the best place to brew.
Keep your eyes open for our friends at Fox 29 TV for beer-centric broadcasts throughout Philly Beer Week.
Despite the economy, the door has opened on a far greater number of bars, many of which exist primarily to pour the world’s best beers into our collective mouths.
Philly Beer Week 2010 is nearly upon us, and whether you’re enjoying a flight from a bomber or taking home a growler, we’ve got the beer terms you need to know. (Hint: Brett is more than just the name of that cute androgynous chick you picked up at McGlinchey’s last night.)
The proud result: a small handful of kegs or casks you’ll be lucky to taste once.
PW's Year of Beer: Founder Dissenter