Philly Beer Week: 10 Days, 10 Events (Part 1)
Everyone wants to do as much as they can during Philly Beer Week, and there is plenty to choose from. Last year, Bryan Kolesar at the Brew Lounge counted 896 unique events—that’s 90 events per day. How are you supposed to wade through it all? Hell, how is your liver supposed to make it past Tuesday? You won’t be able to make it to all the events, of course—that would be physically, emotionally, and financially impossible. But, if you pace yourself, you may be able to hit all the best ones and not burn out by mid-week. And since we always like to help, here is a list of what we think of as the best event for each day of the week. If you only do one event per day, you can’t go wrong with these.
Friday, May 30
Hammer of Glory Relay | Various Locations | 9:45am – 7:00pm | PAYG
The H.O.G. Relay is the most fun you’ll have all week. Follow the beloved symbol of Beer Week as it goes from bar to bar throughout the city to inaugurate the festivities. There will be plenty of goofy modes of transportation and the bars are all sure to have beer specials throughout the day—and most especially while the Hammer is in house. Everyone comes up with great transit each year, but not to be missed are the Hopangel/Grey Lodge legs, Standard Tap, and Kite and Key. Definitely worth a day off work.
Saturday, May 31
It’s a Firkin Riot | Johnny Brenda’s | 11:00am – 10:00pm | PAYG
The all-day celebration of local cask beer is one of our highlights of Beer Week every year. The event will feature JB’s custom-welded rack that can hold six firkins atop the bar at once, and as with past year the DJ will be playing British rock and there will be fish and chips and meat pies on special. You can get full or half pours from the firkins, so come in ready to try a little bit of everything. Philly Tap Finder has the taplist.
Sunday, June 1
Throwdown in Franklintown V | Kite and Key | 2:00pm – 6:00pm | PAYG
If you’ve ever wanted to see brewers, reps, and bar owners battle it out in the middle of the street in such events as boxing, sumo wrestling, chariot racing, and skills competitions, the Throwdown is as good as it’s going to get for you. This year will feature, as always, Tom Kehoe of Yards vs Jim Kirk of Kite and Key, Wendy Domurat of Dogfish Head and Suze Woods of Allagash, and now Greg Lehman of Victory and Nick Johnson of Troegs. Watch them make their grand entrances and then battle it out as you drink it all in—literally.
Monday, June 2
Surly Brewing “Pleased to Meet Me” | Pub on Passyunk East | 7:00pm – 12:00am | PAYG
This is it: the long-awaited Philly debut of Surly Brewing, and one of only two events they’ll be at this year (and the only one in the city). This one should be packed, so get there early and stake your claim at the bar—or wherever you can fit. Philly Tap Finder has the taplist, and you’re not going to want to miss these gems. One can only hope that there will be flights and tasting-sized pours so you can try a little of everything.
Tuesday, June 3
Dunk Tank | London Grill | 3:00pm – 7:00pm | PAYG
The Dunk Tank is a Philly Beer Week institution, and rightfully so. Dunk your favorite (or least favorite) beer or food personality in the city, and PAWS reaps the benefits. The street is shut down for live music and beer and food tents, so bring your family (and your pup) to this festival for a great afternoon. Throws at the dunk tank will cost you $5 for three, $12 for nine, or $20 for 15—and they can be shared amongst your friends. Pick out who you’d like to dunk (Yards’ Tom Kehoe, Chef Evan Steplow of Belgian Café, Bill Manley of Sierra Nevada, Sparks the Philly Beer Week web guy, and many more) and throw early and throw often—you benefit, and the animals of PAWS benefit.
Check out part 2 here!