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Friday, January 18, 2008

Philly Beer Week 2008 is almost here

I haven't yet said much about the fast-approaching Philly Beer Week. The fact is that it will be here very, very soon. Up until just a few weeks ago, not much had been planned, at least not officially planned. So, I didn't feel that there was much to add to, or opine on, the topic. From what I gather, there had been much in the way of fragmented discussion but nothing really pulled together until the last couple of weeks or so. The marketing arm of Philly Beer Week (as in, the 10 days of events) is Philly Beer Week (as in, the promotional group) which is comprised of around twenty beer industry folk, publicists, and lawyers who are promoting the 10 days through the website, print material, and radio spots. Last week, a large group of interested brewers, proprietors, luminaries, and the like gathered at Nodding Head to banter about various events that were at varying stages of planning. During the last couple of weeks, the website finally started posting actual dates, times, and prices for the events that were further along in the planning stages. Not surprisingly, hosting a good number of events during these ten days is the Monk's Cafe family. Michael Jackson is a presence that will be seen throughout the 10 days, given his propensity to enjoy the Philly beer region, the way in which he extolled the virtues of it, and his overall impact on the region. No less than three events will carry some influence of the late MJ. Though, in reality, much of the region's and industry's success throughout the past 30 years can be at least indirectly attributed to his life's passion for well-crafted beer. While the PBW website does keep an up-to-date listing of events, I found it to be a bit cumbersome to aid in my own personal planning of to-do events. So, I took the liberty of putting the events in a spreadsheet and sharing it with all of you. You can access it through this link, download it, and print it out. I will do my best to always keep it current with dates and times as they may change. Though, for the most reliable details, you should probably stay in touch with the PBW website and/or the individual hosting establishments. There's no doubt this is going to happen. What remains to be seen is the degree of participation from all of my fellow beer lovers. Will this be primarily a regional event? Will beer lovers come from across the country to take part in the many festivities? Will the shuttles around town make the various venues all easily accessible? Who will be the most frequently spotted beer celebrity around town? Will Lew's Main Line Express ever leave Bridgewater's? What will be the most talked about aspect of PBW 2008? Will it occur again in 2009? Will it eventually rival some of the country's foremost beer festivals and gatherings? Will Bryan ever stop with his questions? Will Bryan shut up and conduct his own PBW event? Hm, now there's an interesting question. Stay tuned for more information on the last question, since that's the only one that I can definitively answer.

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