Okay, then. After asking last week for your recommendations, I've received some pointers from many of you in the form of comments, e-mails, and Facebook recommendations.
I've taken these and cruised the PBW '12 calendar to put together a half-baked plan of attack for June 1-10. Along the way, I've made some observations and a list of things you might find interesting as well.
Allow me to selfishly get my endeavor out of the way here first.
There are currently 280 runners (and counting) signed up to do the first official Philly Beer Run 5-k at Dock Street on June 10, the last day of Philly Beer Week. The run coincides with the annual music fest which always draws many hundreds more.
We're capping it at 400 runners, and I fully expect to hit the cap as the week of PBW goes along. Don't be left out; sign up now. Great prizes, schwag, and post-party included! Plus, you can volunteer if you don't feel like running. (We'll love you just as much for doing that, too.)
All the details here: http://dockstreetbeer.com/PBR.html
I've covered all the years of Philly Beer Week. I feel pretty confident to say that no one has covered it more comprehensively. If you'd like some background and context (and pictures for added illustration), perhaps you can begin with this link to last year's wrap-up.
In my last few days of intense research to catch up post-Belgium, here's just a smattering of other goodies that I've uncovered that seem worth sharing with you. Random, incomplete, and in no particular order.
~ Hammer of Glory route stopping along the way at some of the best of the best
~ Opening Tap for a mayoral kickoff
~ All week long at the Four Seasons Hotel with the With Love Beer Garden, including Sly Fox's Kan Jam again on this year on Thursday. I'll be participating again with William Reed as my teammate. Wonder if there's a way the high-end hotel might include some mention on its own website?!
~ VIP pass for the hardcore
~ More kink this year than ever. Between Woodies, Delilah's, The Institute, and The Trestle Inn (others likely, too), you'll find event names and descriptions that could make you, or at least maybe your grandmother (unless she's the really cool type of grandmother) blush. Will be interesting to hear how those nights will go.
~ Ben Franklin/Casey Parker
~ I'd have to compare to last year's calendar, but a cursory review (and some talking around as well) gives me the sense that the suburbs are scaling back this year. I won't get in to it, but if you read closely enough, you know my feeling on this topic.
~ There are close to twenty events in the "Home Brewing" category. Pretty cool that this segment of brewing gets the proper nod as well. Historically, these events are usually home runs.
~ There are over 50 events categorized as "Free Beer for Sparks". What exactly is that?
~ Have many venues not yet posted events or did they pay only to advertise themselves on the PBW website? Curious, since I'm trying to envision which events might pop up at the Xfinity Live bars that are listed on the calendar. They're not the only ones.
~ Smartphone app is as good as ever. Still beats the website, imo, which in fairness, though, as come a long way in five years. Nice to see events can still be tagged as "favorites" in the phone app, however the ability to save private lists of events via the website seems to have disappeared this year.
~ Even in my absence this year, an enterprising soul has taken my spreadsheets of the past and done something similar, posting up a version and sharing it at Google Docs. Flattered, I am :)
Check it out, but don't forget for the most accurate Philly Beer Week schedule, consult the official PBW website...even better yet, contact establishments directly.
Hashtag: I've seen #PBW2012, but #PBW is more common and less than forty of those all-important characters in the Twitterverse
Facebook page: Philly-Beer-Week