First Annual Bierfest to Celebrate Philly’s German Roots
Philadelphia’s German brewing heritage goes back longer than anywhere in the United States—back to 1840, when German brewmaster John Wagner brought Bavarian lager yeast to what is now the Old City section of Philadelphia and brewed the first lager in America. On Saturday, February 25, The German Society of Pennsylvania, along with local author Marnie Old and the Philly Roller Girls, will celebrate the city’s long-standing German brewing heritage with the first annual Bierfest.
Victory Brewing Co. and Stoudts Brewing Co., two local powerhouses known for specializing in German-style beers, will be on hand to pour at the event along with ten other PA breweries serving German-inspired craft beers: Yuengling & Sons, Troegs, Pennsylvania Brewing, Appalachian Brewing, Berwick Brewing, Sly Fox, Roy Pitz, Round Guys, and Lion Brewery. There will also be a German Beer Bar manned by local favorite bottle shop The Foodery, which will be serving a rotating selection of imported German beers. Light German fare will be provided by Brauhaus Schmitz, with more substantial “wurst platters” being offered for sale by the German Society of Pennsylvania.
In addition to the German beer and food tasting, the Bierfest will host a brewer’s discussion panel entitled “The Future of Craft Lager – Pennsylvania’s Leadership in Brewing German-Style” which will feature brewmasters Bill Covaleski (Victory), John Callahan (Yuengling), Scott Rudich (Round Guys) and John Trogner (Troegs), as well as DrinkPhilly.com founder Adam Schmidt and Philly Beer Scene founder Mat Falco.
As a special addition to the Bierfest, there will also be a VIP seminar an hour before the festival, which will feature a guided tasting seminar by sommelier extraordinaire Marnie Old. Marnie will talk about the story of German brewing traditions and Pennsylvania’s brewing history all while comparing local and imported interpretations of classic German beer styles.
The Bierfest will be held from 1-5pm at the German Society’s Barthelmes Auditorium, with the discussion panel taking place from 4-5pm at the Horner Memorial Library. The general admission ticket, which is $38, will include both the Bierfest and the discussion panel. The VIP Seminar will be in the Ratskeller from noon to 1pm. Tickets are $25 for only the seminar, or $53 for the seminar and the Bierfest. There is also an $18 beerless admission for Designated Drivers.
Having recently been to Germany, I’m definitely looking forward to this event. The food promises to be great and the beer even better. With the panel of experts talking about beer, it’s sure to be an educational day as well. Be sure to order your tickets—available at phillybierfest2012.com—so you don’t miss an event that celebrates a great culture and a high level of excellence when it comes to beer and food.