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 – Sunday, June 11 with beer-soaked events in America’s Best Beer-Drinking City™. Hosted by 501(c)(6) non-profit Philly Loves Beer (PLB), the week’s activities are a culmination of 10 years and nearly 10,000 events, and remains the 10 most important days on Philadelphia’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 is 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 45+ breweries and live entertainment. Opening Tap will take place on a Thursday night, June 1, from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. (click for tickets)
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.
The Hammer of Glory and HOG Relay: as the official mascot, 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 various bars, breweries and restaurants. 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 will be sponsored by SugarHouse Casino and revelers can jump on and off their double-decker bus by purchasing a $10 ticket (click here).
Collaboration Station: 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 seven local breweries, including: Tröegs, Victory, Yards, Sly Fox, Stoudt’s, Iron Hill and Flying Fish. In addition to Gravity Never Fails and Brotherly Suds, many participating venues and breweries will be releasing rare collaborative brews throughout the week. Please follow PLB’s social media channels for updates and the most current news on availability. Confirmed collaborations for 2017 will include:
- Lot 215, a collaboration brewed at Evolution Craft Brewing, in tandem with PLB Board Members
- Stones of Iron, a smooth-sipping Pilsner brewed by 2SP Brewing and Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
- Morning Fix, Coffee Cream Ale brewed at Manayunk Brewing, in tandem with Whole Foods Philly and Royal Mile Coffee Roasters
- Paradise 160, India Pale Lager (IPL) brewed by Cape May Brewing and Weyerbacher
- Velcro Fweak, Double IPA brewed with a ton of hops and lupulin powder, a collaboration brew from Forest & Main, Second District, 2SP Brewing and Crime & Punishment
- Lucky JAWN, a collaboration between Lucky’s Last Chance and Neshaminy Creek Brewing
- Not Too Distant Future, a collaboration between Wyndridge Farm and Clarkville
- Northern Liberties Standard Lager, a collaboration between Standard Tap and Sly Fox Brewing, with fourth-generation brewmaster Bill Moeller from Philly’s historic Schmidt’s Brewery
- La Cabra Brewing and Levante Brewing are working together on a Tart IPA (name is TBA)
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:
- Almost 3K Run: On Saturday, June 3, from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m., Red Owl Tavern and Founders Brewing will lead a nearly 2-mile run around Independence Hall. Tickets (click here) are $30 and include a tank top, beer mug and an exclusive wristband good for discounts on Founders beers all day.
- “Gravity Never Fails” Luncheon: On Monday, June 1 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.
- Art on Beer: On Tuesday, June 6 from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m., Frankford Hall will host a panel discussion on the process of beer label design featuring the artists behind the most trend-setting breweries in the industry, including: Lindsey Tweed (Tröegs), Keith Shore (Mikkeller), JP Flexner (Neshaminy Creek), Keith Greiman (Highway Manor), Daniel Endicott (Forest & Main) and Alex Peltz (Hill Farmstead) moderated by Jason Kernovich of The Heads of State, the design firm behind Philly Loves Beer’s branding. Tickets are $20 (click here) and include a pint of beer, with 20% of the proceeds being donated to a Philadelphia-area non-profit organization that supports art classes and supplies.
- Raven Society Rooftop Biergarten: On Tuesday, June 6 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., The Raven Society and Free Library of Philadelphia will host a Simulcast Party and Beer Barden on the Skyline Terrace for the launch of Patrick E. McGovern’s book, Ancient Brews: Rediscovered and Re-created. The book chronicles the journey of McGovern and Dogfish Head owner Sam Calagione as they seek out beer recipes dating back to ancient times, such as Midas Touch: a recipe found inside the tomb of King Midas from 700 B.C. McGovern and Calagione will lead a short lecture inside the library, free to the public; tickets (click here) for the rooftop beer garden are $35 for members and $40 for non-members.
- Philly Beer Week Gets Scientific: On Wednesday, June 7 from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m., The Franklin Institute will host an interactive workshop meant to explore the science of brewing. Guests will receive a Beer Lab passport and learn how water, hops, barley, yeast and carbonation all work together to create the perfect pint. Tickets (click here) are $30 for non-members and $25 for members.
- Philly Loves Beer Garden: During every night (except Wednesday; including weekends) of PBW2017, Uptown Beer Garden (1735 JFK Boulevard) will host the Philly Loves Beer Garden Presented by visitphilly.com. On certain nights, draft lines will be devoted to breweries located within 100 miles of downtown Philadelphia; and on Saturday, June 3, Jolly Pumpkin and Coppertail Brewing will headline Uptown Luau BBQ, a sour beer extravaganza with a Hawaiian-inspired theme and live entertainment. The event will feature a whole-roasted suckling pig and Spam sculpture, along with plenty of fruit-forward beers and tropical collaborations.
In addition, PBW will celebrate the return of long-established and much-anticipated favorites. Remember to check-in on Untappd and use the official PLB badge. The badge, courtesy of LoveYourBlock, is valid from June 1 through June 11, available within a 50-mile radius of City Hall; and users will receive a 15% discount on Opening Tap tickets.