OPENING TAP . . . the Philly Beer Week Garden . . . the International Great Beer Expo . . . Craft Beer Day on East Passyunk . . . the Haddon Pub Fest . . . the Varga Pin Up Block Party . . . Throwdown in Franklintown . . . the London Grill Dunk Tank . . . Philly Beer Geek . . . Fishtown FestivALE . . . whatever incredibly exotic beer dinner Monk’s Café cooks up . . .
These are among the can’t-miss events of Philly Beer Week, the traditional, signature fests that draw the most enthusiastic crowds. At last count, though, the weeklong event (for which I am director) offers a record 1,098 separate events over 10 days, beginning tomorrow. You won’t make every one of ’em, but here’s a selection of smaller events to fill out your calendar.
Find details and the full calendar at PhillyBeerWeek.org, or on the free smartphone app. All events are pay-as-you-go unless indicated.
The Hammer of Glory Relay, throughout the city, all day. If you haven’t caught a leg or two of this Olympic torch-style relay, you aren’t getting the full flavor of Beer Week. Philly Beer Week’s official symbol, a giant keg hammer, is passed from bar to bar on various forms of transportation, with each stop featuring a dozen or more tap handles. Catch a free ride aboard the SugarHouse Casino double-decker. (See route here.)
Perennial Artisan Ales, at Isaac Newton’s (Newtown, Bucks County). Newly imported to Philly, the St. Louis brewery will send in both its mainstays and some newfangled barrel-aged brews. 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Battle of the Bulge: Belgium vs. Germany, at Eulogy Belgian Tavern (136 Chestnut St.) and Bierstube (206 Market St.). Have a big glass of Kwak and a pound of frites at Eulogy, then sprint a block through Old City to Bierstube for a liter of German beer and a one-pound soft pretzel. BYOT (Bring Your Own Tums). Noon-5 p.m.
Meet brewer Jim Robertson at Strangelove’s (216 S. 11 St., Center City). Robertson, of England’s Wells & Young’s, is known best for his re-creation of the classic Courage Imperial Stout. The bar will serve America’s first-ever cask of the strong stout.
Southern Tier Dessert & Beer Pairing, at Devil’s Den (1148 S. 11th St., South Philly). Sweet Elizabeth’s Cakes, of Manayunk, will provide the desserts. See how well they pair with the New York brewery’s Mokah, Crème Brulee stout and more. 5-11 p.m.
Sour Power, at Mile Post Pub (Whole Foods, Wayne). Apparently, the beer guys have been stashing highly treasured bottles fermented with Brettanomyces yeast. They’ll break out some of the best. Noon-8 p.m.
Ancient Beers with Dr. Patrick McGovern, at Christ Church Neighborhood House (20 N. American St., Old City). Marvel at tales of exploration from the Indiana Jones of beer and enjoy samples of Dogfish Head’s Ancient Ales collection, including Theobroma and Ta Henket. Presented by Philly Homebrew Outlet. $15, 7-9 p.m.
Cigar City Happy Hour, at Barcade (1114 Frankford Ave., Fishtown). The Tampa Brewery is riding high, with some amazing bottles, including a yougottatryit Cucumber Saison. Ever-popular brewer Joey Redner will be in the house. 4-8 p.m.
5K Run with Brewer Adam Avery, at Hawthornes (738 S. 11th St., South Philly). A scenic run through South Philly followed by lunch with the brewer of the Reverend, Kaiser, Mephistopheles and more.
Tubing on the Delaware with brewer Tomme Arthur, at Bishop’s Collar (2349 Fairmount Ave., Fairmount). The tubing will precede the drinking. Either way, you’ll get wet with Arthur’s outstanding brews from Port and Lost Abbey breweries.
Cheese & Beer, at Di Bruno Bros. (1730 Chestnut St., Center City). Food writers Janet Fletcher and Tenaya Darlington (a/k/a Madame Fromage) will give you a wedgie – of brie, of brie, naturally! – and pair it with special beers. Tix $20, 5:30-8 p.m.
Alla-Clash, at Pennsylvania 6 (114 S. 12th St., Center City). One of the city’s newest bars cranks up the Clash to host Allagash brewer Rob Tod. Expect him to rock the casbah with some rare wild-yeast bottles. 8 p.m.-midnight.
Philly’s Backyard Beer Garden, at Four Seasons Hotel (1 Logan Square). Food trucks and the debut of the hotel’s latest collaboration with Dock Street Brewery, Crackle & Squeeze, made with cracked pepper and Meyer lemons. Tix $25, 5-8 p.m.
Yvan De Baets, from Brasserie De La Senne, at Teresa’s Next Door (Wayne). He’s the guy with whom Philly Beer Week brewed its annual Belgian collaboration beer, Manneken-Penn. Expect him to bring some of his own creations, including Taras Boulba, Zinne and Stouterik. 6-9 p.m.
Handcraft Beer, Handcrafted Mugs, at the Clay Studio (137 N. 2nd St., Old City). The studio’s artisans will offer handcrafted ceramic steins. Fill them with handcrafted ales from Philadelphia Brewing all evening.
Prince Erotic Party, at the Institute (549 N. 12th St., Spring Garden). It’s Prince’s birthday, so expect things to get Lovesexy with a fun evening of music, Quizzo and outstanding specialties from this popular neighborhood joint. 6-10 p.m.
Philly Beer Week Challenge, at Keg & Kitchen (Haddon Township, N.J.). Two-man teams compete in an unusual blind-tasting and beer-knowledge test. 12:30-4 p.m.
Bacon, Bluegrass BBQ, at Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St., Spring Garden). The “baconolist” from Bespoke Craft Bacon will pair some crispy fat slabs with brews from Doylestown, Fegley’s, Flying Fish, Sly Fox, Weyerbacher and Yards. 7-9 p.m.
Local Pour Tour, at McGillin’s Old Ale House (1310 Drury St., Center City). The all-day bus tour begins with kegs and eggs and includes stops at Twin Lakes, Boxcar and Yards. Tix $30, 9-5 p.m.
Oxbow Brunch at Kennett Restaurant (848 S. 2nd St., South Philly). Brewer Mike Fava, formerly of Nodding Head, returns to Philly with some farmhouse ales and oysters. 11 a.m.-4 p.m.