Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Beyond The Golden Age Of Beer

It seems like just a few weeks ago that I was savoring an impressive sampler of pilsners with my friend Scott at Triumph Brewpub's Old City location during their "Klash of the Kaisers" event for Philly Beer Week. In fact, it's been almost a year and Philly Beer Week is joyfully upon in just 2 days, and the schedule for this year's extended (10 day!) "week" is very impressive. Stretching across the great expanse of the city itself and deep into the suburbs, this year's celebration is the pure embodiment of its slogan, "America's Best Beer Drinking City."

Beginning with the Hammer of Glory Relay Race to the Opening Tap at the Constitution Center on the evening of June 3 to the Ladies Beer Tea (!) at the Belgian Cafe on Sunday June 12, all the way to a "Scraps and Leftovers" event at Rembrandt's restaurant in Fairmount and a "Kick The Kegs" party in Blue Bell, the "week" if chock full of beery fun. You can even download a Philly Beer Week app for your Android or iPhone.

When I ran annual beer tours of the city for The Book and the Cook festival beginning in the late 90's, I printed up a Tour booklet for each participant that proclaimed that time frame as "The Golden Age of Beer in Philadelphia" and Philadelphia as the "Best Beer City in America." It was probably true even back then, but it is emphatically and dramatically and deliciously true now.

Philly Beer Week shines a huge spotlight on the rich, diverse and welcoming beer culture of the Delaware Valley, and even living an hour away from the city, makes me proud to a Philadelphian, even at a distance. I haven't begun to select the events I'm planning to attend, though I'm sure I'll make to at least one Grey Lodge event and make my way to Kraftwork and Memphis Taproom and the new With Love Beer Garden at the Four Season hotel.

Hope I get to raise a pint or two with you!

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