That suds mustache was a ridiculous myth

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It’s time to clear up a few myths about Joe Sixpack.

I am not Millennium Man.

I do not drive a cab.

I did not start that fight in the 700 Level of the Vet.

And, contrary to what you may have seen in People Paper advertisements for next week’s Third Annual Philadelphia’s Favorite Beer People’s Choice Awards, I never – not even on my worst day – slop suds onto my mustache.

Onto my shirt, onto my lap, onto the bar, onto the guy sitting next to me at the bar, yes. But after a good many years with a pint in my paw and whiskers on my face, I have perfected the subtle art of sipping without sloshing all over my kisser.

As many beer-drinkers know, this is an important skill, apparently lost on whoever designed that milk-like mustache on the promo photos for the beer fest. (Turn to Page 90 for a gander and, remember, despite what some of you foul-minded mucks might presume, those are suds.) Slopping beer outta the mug and onto your mug is just bad form, suggesting a distressing inability to get close but not close enough to one’s destination, namely the gullet.

In other words, it’s a waste of beer.

We can clear up this beer-mustache myth easily enough if you join me for a few brews next week.

Fortunately, the Daily News, along with Beer Philadelphia magazine and the Leukemia Society of America, have made things easy for us by sponsoring the People’s Choice fest. It’s Thursday, 8 p.m. to midnight, at the Reading Terminal Market.

Joe Sixpack supports almost any reason to tilt a few good beers, but this festival seems like an especially excellent excuse. For starters, organizer Jim Anderson promises that EVERY MICROBREWERY WITHIN 50 MILES OF PHILLY will be present. That means you get a chance to sample the specialities from something like 40 micros and brewpubs, without driving all over the place. (Though, if you’re not taking public transit, find yourself a D.D.)

Jim suggested that, in mentioning the large number of craft brewers who will be on hand, the festival might be an opportunity to pound our chests about this vibrant part of our local economy. Those breweries employ scores of workers. They brew a locally made product for their neighbors’ enjoyment. The existence of these tiny breweries in an age when 95 out of 100 beers we drink is made by Budcoorsmiller is a testament to the rebirth of our region’s beer-making heritage.

If I’ve got my geography right, from Weyerbacher to the north, to Dogfish Head to the south, from Stoudt’s and Victory to the west, to Flying Fish and Tun Tavern in the east, it hasn’t been this good to drink in Philadelphia since W.C. Fields was bending his elbow at McGillin’s. These days, you’d have to schlep out to Portland or Seattle to find another city in this country that can match us.

Well, that’s a good excuse to drink local.

But, having tipped more than a few with Jim, I know the other, bigger reason we favor Philly-area micros: They’re mighty tasty.

Of course, that’s just my opinion.

Your opinion, on the other hand, is what this festival is all about. That’s why they call it the People’s Choice Awards.

Unlike most festivals which tell you which beer is best, this one lets you decide. It’s a blind tasting in which you’ll vote for your fave.

The past two winners tickled the tongue, from fruity to bitter. There was the light and freshing Peach Wheat from Valley Forge Brewing Co. (267 E. Swedesford Road, Wayne), then the hearty, roasty Pig Iron Porter from Iron Hill Brewery (147 E. Main St., Newark, Del.)

What will I be drinking on Thursday?

Not sure, yet. But I can promise you I won’t slop it on my face.

Join Joe Sixpack, the Daily News, Beer Philadelphia and 40 great beers at the Reading Terminal. Tickets are 25 bucks, and your beer consumption benefits the Leukemia Society of America. Call 215-232-1100 for info and tix. Note to Bonner and St. Joe’s Prep students: You must be 21 to enter.

Beer radar

Keep the fun going through the weekend at the Manayunk Brew Extravaganza on April 24, from noon to 6 p.m. Call Manayunk Brewpub for info: 215-482-8220. . .One thousand pardons to Dave Wilby at Dawson Street Pub for failing to direct fellow Bud-boycotters to the exact address of his well-hidden joint. It’s 100 Dawson St., Manayunk, where Cresson Street dead-ends along the SEPTA rail line. . .

Brewerytown’s Red Bell, still putting the finishing touches on its pub at Veterans Stadium and nearing completion on a brewpub at the Reading Headhouse (12th and Filbert, Center City), is launching yet another. This one will be pouring for Penn Staters in downtown State College. Among the co-owners: Frankford High great/N.Y. Jets ho-hum Blair Thomas, radio yakker Mike Missanelli, Pro-Bowl-why-didn’t-the-Eagles-draft-this-guy Sam Gash and whatever happened to ex-Nittany Lion QB Doug Strang.

Joe Sixpack (written this week with a bottle of Stoudt’s Abbey Triple) appears every other Friday.


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