In an official sense, Philly Beer Week 2011 doesn’t start until Mayor Michael Nutter pops the first bunghole at Friday’s Opening Tap ceremonies at the Independence Visitor’s Center. But in a less formal sense, it’s already begun. So from now through June 12 scores of restaurants and watering holes throughout the city and its surrounding suburbs will have thousands of sudsy activities and events on tap. They range from opportunities to meet brewers (some famous, and some not so), beer dinners, breakfasts, luncheons and plenty of chances to sample rare and exceptional beers form all over the world. What follows is an attempt at navigating Beer Week’s sudsy seas.
Friday, June 3
Independence Visitor’s Center
The ceremonial start to Beer Week begins with the tapping of the first keg with the official Philly Beer Week keg mallet (better known as the Hammer of Glory). In years past, Mayor Nutter was on hand to do the honors. There’s no word yet if he will be on hand this year. Nonetheless a keg will be tapped, and that keg will be Brotherly Suds 2, a special collaborative beer brewed with the help of Yards, Victory, Troegs and Nodding Head. Following its tapping a celebration unfolds with food and beers from dozens of participating breweries.
Philadelphia Bar & Restaurant
Opening Tap After-Party with Sly Fox and Ommegang
After the Opening Tap join this Beer Week newcomer for draught specials from Sly Fox and Ommegang.
Sat., June 4
Bacon. Beer. Brunch.
Start day two off on the right foot with brunch and Chocolate Bacon Beer Floats with Prism Brewing Company’s Insana Stout.
Pin Up Block Party
Varga Bar multitasks by kicking off its search for its 2012 Calendar Girl Search with a cookout, music, games and a slew of beers.
It’s a Firkin Riot
JB’s will have more than a dozen cask conditioned brews on tap at this firkin fest, plus British-inspired dishes and a DJ spinning Brit Pop.
Sun., June 5
East Passyunk Ave.
East Passyunk Avenue Day of Craft Beer
From the South Philly Tap Room to the Royal Tavern, this diagonal stretch of South Philly has so many beer-dork worthy destinations, its beginning to resemble some sort of craft beer trail. And throughout the day, most will offer assorted beer and food specials.
Tria Fermentation School
Sierra Nevada: From the Beginning
Learn the story of trailblazing brewery Sierra Nevada from its founder Ken Grossman and drink some of his cool beer with him.
Lost Abbey with Tomme Arthur
Join Monk’s Tom Peters as he hosts Lost Abbey/Port Brewing Co.’s Tomme Arthur, for an evening of truly exceptional and equally mind-blowing beers.
Mon., June 6
Punk Rock and Finger Sandwiches with Dogfish Head and Nodding Head
See what happens when you put two heads together. Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione joins Nodding Head’s Gordon Grubb for an afternoon of butlered beers and finger sandwiches created by Homebrew Chef Sean Paxton.
The Farmers’ Cabinet
Stillwater Experimental Cocktails with Brian Strumke
For this one-time-only tasting, Stillwater Artisanal Ale’s Brian Strumke teamed up with Farmers’ Cabinet’s Phoebe Esmon to create five cocktails based on the flavor profiles of his beers.
Dock Street Firkin Happy Hour
Oyster House kicks off its Five Days of Firkins happy hours with a barrel of cask-conditioned suds from Dock Street.
Tues., June 7
Ancient Ales with Sam Calagione and Patrick McGovern
Once again Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione is providing an excuse for a lunchtime tipple with an informative chat with his longtime Ancient Ales collaborator, Patrick McGovern from University of Pennsylvania’s Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory. Calagione will also debut two new Dogfish Head beers.
Philadelphia Bar & Restaurant
Forum of the Gods
Carol Stoudt (Stoudt’s Brewing), Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head Craft Brewery), Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River Brewing), and Brian Grossman (Sierra Nevada Brewing) are some of the big-name brewers turning out for this low-key hang and round-table discussion.
The (Iron) Chef, The Brewer and The Farmer
Iron Chef Garces is teaming up with Casey Hughes and the Flying Fish crew to pair seven courses with the New Jersey brewery’s seven Exit Series beers.
Wed., June 8
Left Hand Dan’s Funk Lunch
Left Hand Brewing’s Dan “Damn right he drinks it” Conway spins funk at lunchtime, while the Jose Pistola’s peeps pour Left Hand brews and serve Mexican food.
Grilling With Victory
Victory Brewing Co. is bringing a real wooden barrel, full of real beer straight from the brewery (along with a host of its other tasty brews) for this cookout. JB’s will grill up brats, while Birchrun Hill Farms’ Sue Miller serves a selection of farmstead cheeses.
Beer Pairing Dinner with Port Brewing Co. and Lost Abbey
Tomme Arthur joins Chef Jeff Michaud at Osteria for a multicourse pairing with Lost Abbeys’ rare and unusual barrel-aged beers.
Thurs., June 9
With Love Beer Garden at Four Seasons
Sly Fox’s Cans and Lawn Games
Sly Fox brewer Brian O’Reilly takes over the With Love Beer Garden for the night, serving cans of his beer, lawn games and an exclusive pours of Broederlijke Liefde (Brotherly Love), a one-of-a-kind Beer Week collaboration beer he created last winter at Belgium’s famed De Proef Brouweij.
Kite and Key
Dogfish Head Tribute Thursday
Kite & Key scored Dogfish Head’s Bitches Brew, Hellhound and some other rare brews for this tasting.
The Blockley Beer Garden
Philadelphia Night Market
The Food Trust and the Blockley have teamed up to bring the city’s most popular food trucks together in one place for a night of street food, live music and beers from Vicotry, Yards, Troegs, Rogue and Brooklyn Brewery.
Fri., June 10
The Beers of Philly Beer Week with Joe Sixpack
Beer Week co-founder and Daily News columnist Don Russell (aka Joe Sixpack) leads a guided tasting tour through some of Beer Week’s best brews.
Brew N History Tour
This tour focuses Philadelphia’s rich beer history with a talk about some of its most famous drinkers, including Benjamin Franklin, Francis Hopkinson, and Benjamin Rush, who are all buried in Christ Church Burial Ground.
Ride the Rails
Boxcar Brewing takes over the West Chester Railroad for a night of food, beer and music. The train takes passengers to Glen Mills picnic grove for festivities and then back to West Chester.
Sat., June 11
Pub on Passyunk East
Sixpoint Record Fair
Buy, sell or trade vinyl while sipping Sixpoint beers and grooving to Sixpoint’s Jersey Dan spinning records.
Zythos America Belgian Beer Festival
The festival’s organizers are saying that this will be on par with Belgium’s premier beer festival of the same name.
Sun., June 12
Bang Your Nodding Head Brunch
Nodding Head’s crew brings the beers and Team Southwark will cook the food for this brunch aimed at alleviating the Beer Week hangover.
Dock Street Philly Beer Week Music Festival
Bardo Pond headlines this afternoon rock fest. Dock Street will pour its beers and serve its pizzas, while the Buttercream Cupcake truck will be on hand with cupcakes and other sweets.
TTUD - That Totally Unnecessary Drink
Toast the end of Beer Week with the ladies of In Pursuit of Ale, local brewers and the Fergie’s crew with tons of beer specials and karaoke.