Friday, June 25, 2010

Philly Beer Week 2010: Contemplations, Conversations, Ruminations, and an occasional Diatribe: Part 5

(This is the fifth in a series of ten installments documenting both my time during Philly Beer Week 2010 and insights provided to me by customers, importers/distributors/representatives, brewers, brewery owners, publicans, et cetera. All of whom wanted their comments to be aired, but very few who wanted their name associated with them. Some of you may not appreciate the anonymity, but that's the way it needs to be if we're going to talk about these things around here. You'll need to trust in me that I've gathered up all of these notes and opinions during PBW '10 and am sharing them with you in order to continue the conversation about what will make a better Philly Beer Week 2011.) Click back to see the fourth in the series. Click forward to see the sixth in the series. Hammer of Glory. I'll admit it. Last year, when this thing debuted I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. Sure, it was beautifully crafted. And used in the spirit of tapping firkins, it had a functional use as well. But, the symbol for Philly Beer Week? I didn't know if it would survive as the ubiquitous symbol of Philly Beer Week. By the end of this year's Opening Tap on June 4th, the word of mouth both in real life and in online forums was spreading the legend of the Hammer of Glory. Okay, so the symbolism has took, though I'm still a little sketchy on the name (reminds me of the movie comedy, Blades of Glory), but why quibble?! This thing has become as big or bigger than just about any other event during the 10 days. It was shear brilliance this year with the 15 or so mini-events that broke out around each stop on the afternoon-long criss-crossing tour that it took. From those I've heard that saw it at least once during the afternoon of June 4th, or heck for that matter anywhere during the many weeks leading up to PBW '10 (this thing is like the Phillie Phanatic with off-season appearances!), some sort of story bordering on urban legend wasn't far behind. Maybe none much more than this year when Jim Kirk of Kite & Key and Nick Johnson of Tröegs incorporated its leg from Kite & Key to Nodding Head into a mock funeral for a Blackhawks mannequin that was put on display for the Chicago Blackhawks players as they boarded their bus outside The Four Seasons hotel before game three of the Finals. It will be one of the events that I'll dread missing the most as I await to see how the organization attempts to out-do itself with next year's Hammer of Glory Tour. Well done, folks. Were you there for any of The Tour? Your thoughts, if you will? Coming tomorrow...we'll dive a bit deeper into how a Philly Beer Week event is defined and if they should be "policed" in future years.

1 comment:

Gateway Beers said...

The Hammer of Glory Tour was awesome this year! And especially the stop at Kite & Key (p.s. Troegs Citra of Brotherly Love firkin was delicious!)... From Fergie's grand entrance to the Blackhawk Down! to the departure in the Hearse - all fun. In fact, the overall Opening Day HoG Tour netted 3 of our 15 Best of Philly Beer Week Awards: http://gatewaybeers.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/philly-beer-week-2010/

The HoG is officially a rock star in Philly now.