There’s more to the numbers that make up Philly Beer Week than the alcohol content of the brew.
There’s a history and a science to the event that celebrates both a rich beer-making past and its revival to the region as, every day, more and more original craft breweries seem to be finding their rightful home here in Philadelphia.
Many of those same breweries have partnered with the folks at Philly Loves Beer to tell their stories, and through that collaboration, both the beer and the figurative buzz they’ve received have made for Philadelphia’s stance as one of the five best beer cities in America, home to some of the best award-winning beers both nationally and worldwide.
Along with that number here are a few others you should know before the start of Philly Beer Week, which kicks off with a relay of its iconic hammer throughout the city and Opening Tap, its swanky party chock-full of beer lovers of all types, both kicking off on June 1.
Number of days chock-full of Philly Beer Week events ranging from instructional events like “Don’t F*ck up the Beer” (June 7), a Philly Loves Beer curated event at Northern Liberties’ Urban Village, to offensive game events like Cards Against Humanity night at 2SP Brewing (1501 E. Passyunk Ave.)
The number of prime tasting hours at this year’s Opening Tap, the signature event for Philly Loves Beer. Held yet again inside the Fillmore, the event which runs from 6:30-10:30 p.m., will mark another night to sample great brews from all of the breweries (and a few that aren’t) under the PLB umbrella. Philly rapper/spoken word artist Chill Moody will perform at the event, fitting given he’s celebrating the third canning of his nicethingsIPA, a collaboration he’s created with West Philly-based brewery Dock Street.
Number of years Philly Beer Week has been an annual post-Memorial Day Weekend tradition in Philadelphia. In 2017, Philly Loves Beer celebrated “Ten Years of Beers,” a notable milestone and anniversary considering what it was to the massive event it’s become from those early beginnings in the Spring-Summer of 2007.
Number of head honchos that make up Philly Loves Beer. Christina Dowd serves as the organization’s executive director, and Casey Parker is the organization’s president. All of which is rounded out by a 14-member board consisting of guys like Tom Kehoe, the founder of Philly beer staple Yards Brewing, to Will Reed, co-owner of two of Philly’s best bars in No Libs’ Standard Tap and Fishtown’s Johnny Brenda’s.
Number of member breweries (both beer and cider) in addition to restaurants under the Philly Beer Week umbrella.
The number of Pennsylvania beers that took home awards at last year’s Great American Beer Festival, the highest prize for beer in North America. Of the 16 awards, two came from breweries within the confines of Philadelphia as Dock Street won bronze for its brown porter Man Full of Trouble, and Yards nabbed silver for its bitter Extra Special Ale. Gold went to one regional brewery in 2SP for its Belgian and French inspired ale, Grisette.
GQ Magazine named Philadelphia one of the five best beer cities in the country alongside Los Angeles, Denver, Cleveland and San Francisco.
Number of breweries in Philadelphia proper, the latest being the arrival of Love City Brewing (1023 Hamilton St.) which opened its doors in the Callowhill section in April, just a few steps from fellow Philly Loves Beer breweries Roy-Pitz Barrelhouse (990 Spring Garden St.) and just a few blocks from the new and improved mecca that is Yards on the corner of 5th and Spring Garden.
The two beers you have to make sure you try at Opening Tap and throughout the 10 days of Philly Beer Week. The first is Brotherly Suds, a hoppy saison arriving as arguably the official beer of the event. The second is another saison called Saison de Pale, a collaboration brew between Delaware’s Dogfish Head and Belgium’s Brewery De Brabandere-Petrus.
Number of current Philadelphia athletes (that we can be sure of) with beer made in their honor. That would go to Sixers center Joel Embiid, the inspiration behind Evil Genius’ Phantom of the Process, a 6.7 percent IPA infused with pineapple purée, you know for just the right amount of sweetness. Again, this is the only one we could find, but in the aftermath of an Eagles Super Bowl, there’s gotta be a “Big Dick Nick” brew out there somewhere, right?