Philly Beer Trip: Beer Week Opening Weekend (Saturday)
Philly Beer Week is packed to the gills with events all over the city during any hour an establishment can legally serve alcohol. There are hundreds of events from almost every bar worth its salt in any corner of Philadelphia—and they even stretch to the suburbs and New Jersey. While there is plenty of time to spread yourself around over the week, a lot of places will be going big the first weekend. If you’re only going to be in town for that weekend or just don’t plan on doing anything throughout the week, you need to make your first weekend as enjoyable and efficient as possible. I’ve included a timeline so you can make sure you get to everything you need to get to.
Start your day off at Memphis for a tap takeover by Half Acre Beer, one of the most recent new-to-Philadelphia breweries and completely worth diving into. In addition to trying a variety of their beer, you’ll get to hang out with the brewer and chat about his offerings and ask and questions you’ve been dying to know. While you’re here, be sure to get some brunch—you’ll need it, and there’s possibly no better spot on the list to grab food.
Johnny Brenda’s is just a quick walk through Fishtown from Memphis Taproom—just take Memphis all the way down to Frankford and hang a left and you’ll be there in no time. You could get a cab, but trust us: the amount of walking you’re doing now will be appreciated later on in the day. And you’ll get to Johnny Brenda’s in time for It’s A Firkin Riot, their all-day cask ale event with six firkins pouring from atop the bar at all times. If you’re looking for a cask ale fix, this will be the place to get it, but you’ll also get more at the next stop.
Turn right out of Johnny Brenda’s and walk a few blocks down Girard until you get to 2nd Street. Turn left and a few blocks later you’ll come to Standard Tap, where they’ll be starting their Kingpin event. More cask ale! You’ll miss the first hour, but that’s okay. They’re pouring to see which brewery kicks their pin first, but there will still be plenty after the first firkin is gone. Stick around and enjoy, and maybe get yourself some dinner from one of the best gastropub kitchens in town.
If you walk three blocks from Standard Tap to Spring Garden Street, you’ll run into the Market-Frankford Line. Hop on for one stop and get off at the 2nd Street station, which will dump you almost directly into PBR. Here you’ll be able to get a few beers at their Local Heroes event, celebrating all things from the area. Enjoy a few local brews and then get walking to the next stop.
E. The Farmers’ Cabinet | 8:30pm – 10:30pm
1113 Walnut Street
You can walk down Market Street until you get to 6th and cut down to Walnut, but I would suggest going down 2nd to Walnut and taking a right and walking the nine blocks to Farmers’ Cabinet—it will be a much more pleasant experience that way. Here, you’ll come upon their now-annual Mikkeller tap takeover, where all 25 of their lines will be dedicated to everyone’s favorite brewery from Denmark. Enjoy the beer, along with the gallery of signed Mikkeller label art and Thomas Shoen from the brewery.
F. Boilermaker | 10:45pm – ??
216 South 11th Street
Just around the corner from Farmers’ Cabinet is the team’s other bar, the new Boilermaker. For the rest of the night, their 40 lines will be running the Keystone State Showcase, a celebration of all things local. Enjoy yourself for the rest of the night sipping and supporting the breweries that make Philly Beer Week possible and that supply the beverage of choice to Philadelphia, America’s Best Beer Drinking City. If you’d like, you can go back to Farmers’ Cabinet or head somewhere else in the area, but this would make an excellent stopping point, and their French fries accompanied by some delicious dipping sauce makes for a great late night snack.