Philadelphia Beer Week 2017 has announced a new venue and updates for Opening Tap Celebrations, the official kick-off celebration for the 10-day of beer drinking in America’s Best Beer-Drinking City™.
Philly Beer Week (PBW) will celebrate their 10th year on Thursday, June 1 starting with the Hammer of Glory (HOG) Relay which leads up to Opening Tap, their signature kick-off party featuring more than 40 breweries, at The Fillmore Philadelphia. Opening Tap will be followed by PBW2017 (Friday, June 2 through Sunday, June 11), 10 days of lively beer-soaked events in America’s Best Beer-Drinking City™. Hosted by 501(c)(6) non-profit Philly Loves Beer (PLB), PBW2017 is the culmination of 10 years and nearly 10,000 events, and remains the 10 most important days on Philadelphia’s beer calendar.
See More and Events at Philly's Beer Calendar
PBW stands alone as the largest beer celebration of its kind in the United States. The 10-day festival (seven days weren’t enough for America’s Best Beer-Drinking City™, a name trademarked in 2012) features hundreds of dinners, tours, pub crawls, tastings and meet-the-brewer nights, and highlights the region’s top-notch breweries, neighborhood taverns, trend-setting restaurants and masterful home brewers. PBW is the “Founding Father” of Beer Weeks, and continues to evolve and grow amid a crowded field of friendly imitators, with 77 Beer Weeks held annually in the United States, and almost 100 worldwide.
“Looking back at 10 years, I have to admit Philly Beer Week has exploded beyond my wildest expectations,” says Tom Peters, PBW Co-Founder and Proprietor of Monk’s Cafe. “The first year I remember saying I’d be really happy if we had 20 participants and 30 events. Now, there are Beer Weeks all over the world and we are proud Philadelphia once again was leading the charge. It’s been a remarkable ride and stunning achievement!”
Opening Tap is PBW’s marquee event, bringing the entire craft beer community together for a solemn “first tapping” of the festival – followed by a high energy party with endless samples. A highly-anticipated night, Opening Tap features rare and limited pours from 40+ breweries and live entertainment.
In addition, PLB will present The Orchard at Opening Tap where guests will have the opportunity to sample the country’s best ciders and chat with cider makers. Hard ciders have been gaining popularity in recent years, thanks to new fermenting methods, including the use of big, bold hops and dry hopping. Entry into The Orchard is included in both VIP and General Admission.
Opening Tap will take place on a Thursday night, June 1, from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. (click for tickets):
· General Admission: $46 includes a souvenir glass + complimentary beers from 40+ local and national breweries in 4-oz. tastings, including the debut of Gravity Never Fails, a collaboration porter brewed with experimental hops created by 2SP Brewing in Aston, PA and Brouwerij De Ranke in Belgium
· VIP Admission: $92 includes an additional hour of access, beginning at 6 p.m., plus a buffet dinner from US Foods and sponsor RCCB Law
· Designated Driver Admission: $15
Leading Up to Opening Tap: The Hammer of Glory and HOG Relay
The official mascot of PBW, the Hammer of Glory (HOG) is a custom, hand-forged keg hammer that travels throughout the region and across the United States as an ambassador for Philadelphia beer throughout the year. Starting in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday, June 1 the HOG will be passed Olympic torch-style from venue to venue along the HOG Relay, a day-long, beer-fueled carnival that visits 40 bars, breweries and restaurants across the city. Conveyances have included a festive mix of the weirdly absurd (ziplining from atop Standard Tap, for example, or escorting the HOG to Yards Brewing in a DeLorean) and insanely practical (ascending 51 floors to take in the majestic views from SkyGarten, then leading a cavalcade of motorcycles at TIME). This year’s HOG Relay schedule and means of transport will be announced at a later date. The HOG Relay will conclude with the HOG’s arrival at Opening Tap for the ceremonial first tap of PBW2017: the newly nickel-plated keg mallet will strike a firkin of Brotherly Suds, a collaboration beer from local breweries Tröegs, Victory, Yards, Sly Fox, Stoudt’s, Iron Hill and Flying Fish.
PBW: The History
A casual conversation between friends Tom Peters and Bruce Nichols in the comfortable back bar at Monk’s Café grew into PBW, a 10-day celebration of beer culture in Philadelphia. Peters was quickly earning a national reputation as the “Godfather of Belgian Beer” for introducing interesting beers and new brewers to a novice U.S. audience; and Nichols (affectionately known as the “Great Gatekeeper of Philadelphia Beer”) was already establishing the city as a craft beer destination by hosting beer dinners and tasting events with famed British beer writer Michael Jackson. Ten years later, their pioneering efforts have accounted for thousands of beer-savvy consumers flocking to Philadelphia every June to seek out rare collaborations and one-of-a-kind events.
Executive Director Kristine Kennedy, President William Reed and Co-Founder and Counsel Tom Peters will lead the festivities in 2017. Their energy and passion maintains the tremendous pace set by former Executive Director and Co-Founder Don Russell, a noted author and beer columnist (“Joe Sixpack”). The annual festival has grown from a local gathering to a national powerhouse run PLB, a group of dedicated beer insiders, tavern owners, world-class brewers, wholesalers and distributors, and top hospitality professionals. PLB’s capable Board of Directors includes: William Reed, Casey Parker, Curt Decker, Andy Dickerson, Matt Satten, Sheila Ballen, Christina Dowd, Terrance Leach, Mike Scotese, Erin Wallace, Alex Bokulich, Adrienne Renzelli, Ed Friedland, Tom Kehoe, John Stemler, Aaron Peskin and Tim Patton.
PBW2017: 10th Anniversary Happenings
In celebration of PBW’s milestone 10th Anniversary, organizers will announce a slew of special events, one-off collaborations and rare tappings, including:
· Art on Beer: On Tuesday, June 6 starting at 7 p.m., Frankford Hall will host a panel discussion on artwork and beer labels featuring Lindsey Tweed (Tröegs), John Trogner (Tröegs), Keith Shore (Mikkeller), JP Flexner (Neshaminy Creek), moderated by Jason Kernovich of The Heads of State, the design firm behind Philly Loves Beer’s branding. Tickets are $30 (including a pint of beer) and will go on sale in the coming weeks.
· “Gravity Never Fails” Luncheon: On Monday, June 5 at 12 noon, Monk’s Café will host a meet-and-greet with Nino Bacelle and Guido Devos (De Ranke) and Bob Barrar (2SP Brewing) to taste and talk about their Philly-Belgo collaboration. This special beer was made possible due to the fundraising efforts of PBW’s annual European Vacation, an all-expenses-paid raffle trip to Belgium for one lucky beer lover and their favorite local brewer (won by 2SP for 2017), organized and funded by PLB. The three world-class brewers will convene again on Tuesday, June 6 for a Brew Day at 2SP in Aston, PA to rekindle their European magic on an American version of the collaboration beer.
· Philly Loves Beer Garden: During every night (except Wednesday; including weekends) of PBW2017, Uptown Beer Garden (1735 Market Street) will host the official Philly Loves Beer Garden, with special attention devoted to breweries located within 100 miles of downtown Philadelphia. On Saturday, June 3, Jolly Pumpkin and Coppertail Brewing will headline the Uptown Luau BBQ, a sour beer extravaganza with a Hawaiian-inspired theme and live entertainment from a solo ukulele singer. The event will feature a whole-roasted suckling pig and Spam sculpture, along with plenty of fruit-forward beers and tropical collaborations, including Sobrehumano Palena’ole.
PBW2017: 10th Anniversary Greatest Hits
In addition, PBW will also celebrate the return of long-established and much-anticipated favorites:
- · It’s A Firkin’ Riot (Johnny Brenda’s)
- · Fishtown FestivALE (various bars in Northern Liberties)
- · Pin-Up Block Party (Varga Bar)
- · 10th Annual Extreme HomeBrew Challenge (Jose Pistola’s)
- · Wayne Music Festival (Teresa’s Next Door)
- · Canwood Derby (Good Dog Bar)
- · Pils & Pierogies (Grey Lodge Pub)
- · Dock Street Music Fest (Dock Street Brewery)
- · Beers Under the Bigtop (Philadelphia Navy Yard)
- · Tailgate Olympics (Devil’s Den)
- · Pennsylvania Brewer’s Battle Royale (TIME)
- · Terrapin Turtle Races (Tiki)
- · Beer and Boats on the Schuylkill River (Bartram’s Garden)
- · TTUD – That Totally Unnecessary Drink (Fergie’s Pub)
- · The Wild Brunch (Cinder)