The most joyous time of the year for beer aficionados arrives in Philadelphia in less than 24 hours. Tomorrow marks the beginning of the 5th Annual Philly Beer Week, a 10-day celebration of the city's rich diversity and rampant enthusiasm for the brewer's art. Excitement for this year's festival has been building for weeks, thanks to the well-timed pre-publicity and very active presence of the participants and the organizers of PBW.
Several helpful and terrifically useful articles dropped in the Philly papers today, the best by Don Russell (aka "Joe Sixpack" in the Philadelphia Daily News), who also acts as Executive Director for PBW, full of tips and suggestions for maximum enjoyment of the week's festivities. The Inquirer's Craig Laban chimes in with a look on the rapidly growing beer scene and the several small breweries and brewpubs opening in the 'burbs.
But I'll tell you what my main resource for scoping out the what's-what of PBW will be: Jared Littman's brilliantly ambitious website PhillyTapFinder.com, where Littman will track - and preview - the tap offerings for every participating bar and restaurant during the festival. Not only is the website easy to navigate, it's very easy to read, even on a smartphone (which may become a factor the further one explores each day's events).
Here is how Littman himself describes his format for Philly beer Week:
This is what we're going to do: During Philly Beer Week, from June 1-10, we are going to post the tap lists for the current and following day right here -- BOOKMARK THIS PAGE! We are also going to post lists for particularly appealing future events. To make this service even more valuable, we have included the descriptions of the beers (where available) so that you know what these new beers are. We already posted a whole bunch of tap lists for June 1 and June 2, and we will post more everyday so please check back. Please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check out our blog, "Tap Talk," where we will be highlighting exceptional tap lists and events.
I think this website will make for a stress-free week of beer in and around Philly. Now all that remains is the drinking--and sheer enjoyment--of the best beer-drinking city in America. I hope I'll see you out there. Let's enjoy a few together!