The 5th Annual Philly Beer Week (PBW), which pours throughout the City of Brotherly Love from June 1st to June 10th, is the largest event of its kind in the entire U.S. The official PBW iPhone app lists 869 individual events over the ten-day “week,” and the guidebook for its events now stretches to more than 80 pages. Whether you really believe it to be the biggest event of its kind or not, attendees will not be lacking options.
The growth of PBW in just five years speaks to the emergence of Philly as a top destination for foodies and beer enthusiasts alike, and has surely played a pivotal roll in Philadelphia making Travel and Leisure’s 2011 top 20 list of “America’s Best Beer Cities.” The event’s co-chairs, Monk’s Café’s Tom Peters and Standard Tap’s William Reed, both hail from establishments that have helped to put Philly on the map as a haven for far more than just cheesesteaks and Yuenglings.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter officially taps the first keg of the week on June 1st at Independence Mall. He will be using a tool called “The Legendary Hammer of Glory,” which will ceremonially parade through the city like the Olympic Torch that day, stopping at more than 20 establishments along the way.
The event types are as varied as the beers themselves, with an overall spirit of fun and playfulness as a red thread through it all. After all, how serious could something called “Beer Week” possibly be? Well, here are just a few of the hundreds of events that you might not want to be serious at:
- “Philebrity/Narragansett Underwater Moonlight”: New England’s Narragansett will be launching their Summer Ale poolside where you’ll be able to enjoy DJ sets from Pitchfork-acclaimed producer/emceeLushlife and O.G./Aqua Teen Hunger Force music contributor Schoolly D.
North Shore Beach Club, June 1st, 7-10PM, $5.
- “Beer Is Culture.” It’s a takeover! You’ll have the opportunity to taste 20+ delectable beers from rising Brooklyn brewery Sixpoint.
City Tap House, June 6th, 5PM-12AM., Pay As You Go.
- “Allagash Pie-Eating Contest”: Allagash Brewing Company will tap the rare and only keg ever offered in Philly of its “Respect Your Elderberries” brew during an old-fashioned pie-eating contest. Let’s hope that they don’t have a Stand By Me moment.
The Pub on Passyunk East a.k.a. The POPE, June 6th, 8-10PM, Pay As You Go.
- “Pizzeria Stella’s Italian Beer Garden”: Experience a little old world charm when Headhouse Square is turned into an Italian beer garden featuring a variety of Italian craft brews and a Peroni-sponsored bocce tournament.
Pizzeria Stella, June 7th, 5-10PM, Pay As You Go.
- “Dock Street Beer Run & Music Fest”: If you happen to love running long distances (5K to be exact) and listening to good music as much as drinking high-quality frosty beverages, then local microbrew pioneer Dock Street will have all of your loves while fine indie acts like Hoots & Hellmouth, o’death andThe Extraordinaires help you close out Philly Beer Week on a high note.
Dock Street Brewery, June 10th, 2-7PM, $35.
There are plenty more events of all flavors, from discussions to parties to food pairings. Just visit www.phillybeerweek.org for more information, and download the iPhone or Android app for the most efficient connection with ones that fit your style.