WHAT ARE YOU, a Philly Beer Weakling?
Now is not the time to slow your celebration of America’s best beer-drinking city, for the final four days of Philly Beer Week feature some killer drafts and some typically incomprehensible entertainment.
For example, turtle races.
You have not experienced the thrill of sport until you’ve witnessed two-inch hard-shells in a mad dash across a piece of felt. The glory, the sheer athleticism, the …
Oh, what the hell am I talking about? The third annual Turtle Races at Drury Beer Garden (1311 Sansom St., midtown) on Thursday at 6 p.m. are just a silly excuse to drink lots of Terrapin beer in the urban outdoor square.
Which is not a bad thing, right?
But if that’s too much excitement for you, well, here are my picks for the best events of Philly Beer Week’s second half:
Today, June 9
Captain Lawrence Simpsons Did It IPA Launch, Barcade (1114 Frankford Ave., Fishtown), all day.
With the beer-centric focus on Philly, it’s no surprise breweries use Beer Week as a platform to launch new brands. New York’s Captain Lawrence will unveil its pineapple-flavored India pale ale. Yes, other breweries already make fruit-flavored IPAs; perhaps that’s why they named this one after the classic South Park episode that comically proved The Simpsons had already done it.
Hangin’ with Hitachino, Tria Taproom (2005 Walnut St., Rittenhouse Square), all day.
Kiuchi Brewery, which started in 1823 as a sake brewery, was the first Japanese craft brewery to export to America. Its Hitachino Nest label is well known for uniquely flavored styles, including strawberry-like Red Rice Ale made with barley, red rice and sake yeast. Try five of them at Tria’s taproom just off Rittenhouse Square.
Friday, June 10
Doorway to Norway, Khyber Pass Pub (56 S. 2nd St., Old City), all day.
Yes, Bjørn drinks beer – but mostly it’s low-alcohol, fizzy, yellow water. That’s because it’s almost impossible to find the really interesting small-batch brews from icy boondocks such as Grimstad, Drammen, and Stavanger.
But who needs to go tromping around the fjords when one of the city’s original craft beer bars is conveniently bringing Norway’s best to Philly? Don’t miss Hesjeøl, a traditional Norwegian farmhouse ale from HaandBryggeriet that’s made with smoked malt and fermented with wild yeast.
Saturday, June 11
Deschutes Brewery Street Pub, Headhouse Square (Second above South Street), all day.
Longer than a football field. Louder than a Sunday afternoon at the Linc. Enough bartenders to handle a rowdy Eagles crowd. And it’s pouring 60 taps of Bend, Ore.’s Deschutes beer.
This is the bar of your dreams.
The traveling 402-foot pop-up bar makes its return to Philly, serving dishes from local restaurants and entertaining the neighborhood with live music. It’s crowded, raucous, and a helluva lot of fun – plus it raises big bucks for the Vetri Community Partnership, to cover costs for preparing healthy meals in Philly public schools.
Barks & Brews, Devil’s Den (1148 S. 11th St., South Philly), noon-5 p.m.
Man’s best friend gets his day with a selection of dog-themed brews, including Lagunitas Dogtown Pale Ale, Thirsty Dog Citra, and, of course, Flying Dog Raging Bitch. The event raises money for Morris Animal Refuge.
That’s not the only doggie event of the day. Craftsman Row Saloon (112 S. 8th St., Center City) will pour Yuengling and raise bucks for PAWS, while the Whole Foods beer cafes in Devon and Glen Mills will donate a buck to animal-protection groups for every pint they sell.
Florida Jawn, Bru Craft, & Wurst (1318 Chestnut St. Center City), all day.
If you’re a Phillies spring training trekker, you already know Florida’s craft beer scene, especially in the vicinity of Tampa, is in full throttle. If not, well, this tap lineup will introduce you to the likes of Coppertail, Saint Somewhere, Due South, Saltwater, and the always inventive Funky Buddha.
Sunday, June 12
Russian River Sunday, Local 44 (4333 Spruce St., West Philly), all day.
Cult fave Pliny the Younger – available just once a year in early spring – gets all the ink, but beer lovers know northern California’s Russian River Brewing is far more than just an intensely hopped triple IPA. Here’s a chance to enjoy the complexity of Supplication, a sour beer aged on cherries; and Damnation, a strong, spicy Belgian-style golden ale. The Younger won’t be there, but his father, Pliny the Elder, a superb double IPA, will be pouring, along with some of this West Philadelphia bar’s favorites from Tired Hands, Pizza Boy, and more.