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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Craft Beer Express 2015 in Philadelphia -- next stop America's Best Beer-Drinking City

Okay, my apologies. That headline sounds like quite the marketing pitch and for the record I've got absolutely nothing to do with any aspect of the Craft Beer Express except for giving it a bit of publicity here. Yet, even though I've never partaken in a full-day of the twice-annual Craft Beer Express (and only rode the bus once for a short hop across town), there's something about this day that comes every March and November that I really appreciate and feel compelled to share with you.

As during Philly Beer Week, these twelve establishments, which represent some of the best of the local beer scene, put on a display of unique beers and themed events for the day and early evening. Throw in an all-day unlimited $10 bus pass and you've got the making of a fun beer day-drinking Saturday in the city with friends. It's quite the showcase for the local bar scene.

Given the rain forecast for this coming Saturday, March 14, what else would you rather be doing?

As I mentioned, I typically pick 1-3 stops and swoop in, typically by way of train and walking, for a few hours. One time, I swear, I'm going to walk the entire route and hit every stop. Of course this means sticking to a schedule and limiting each stop to a beer, but I think this would be a fun (and healthy) approach all the same.

For what it's worth, you can expect to see me at some point at Johnny Brenda's (because it's a stout brunch at JB's and I'm a fan of both the food, the beer, and the people), Kraftwork (because they've got one of the last kegs of Captain Lawrence's Think Drink that I "helped brew"), Jose Pistola's (because Pi is fun and nutritious and I love me some Other Farm), and Brauhaus Schmitz (because I will never pass up a chance to get into a fine German Alt bier, kudos to the crew there for securing its arrival on US terra firma).

Here's the rest of the schedule for the day.

Kraftwork  541 East Girard Avenue -- 215-739-1700
"I Heart NY" -- Lovable, huggable, kissable beers from New York state! Featuring Southern Tier, Ithaca, Captain Lawrence, Ommegang, Sixpoint, Bluepoint and Doc's Cider.

Johnny Brenda's  1201 Frankford Avenue -- 215-739-9684
"7th Annual Stout Brunch" -- Back for the 7th year! We will be pouring a wide array of local stouts on draft from Dry Irish Stouts to Oyster Stouts to Russian Imperial Stouts. We will have an awesome Full Irish Breakfast on the menu in addition to our regular brunch menu, plus an array of delicious oysters!

Standard Tap  901 North 2nd Street -- 215-238-0630
"Big Wood Weekend featuring Bone-In Brunch!" -- Big Wood Weekend is coming! Over the weekend we'll be pouring a heady array of barrel-aged and wood-smoked beer as we welcome Craft Beer Express. There's even a Big Wood mystery firkin from Victory Brewing. Big Wood also means the return of Bone-In Brunch! From 11-3 on Saturday and Sunday our brunch menu will feature all manner of meat on the bone from marrow to chops and ribs. So come hungry because BIG WOOD WEEKEND featuring BONE-IN BRUNCH will leave you filled up!

The Institute  549 North 12th Street -- 267-318-7772
"Widmer Invades The Institute" -- The brewers will be in town to talk about their amazing brews from the State of Oregon. We will also have the outdoor draft trailer to help minimize your wait for any food or beverage.

Bishop's Collar  2349 Fairmount Avenue -- 215-765-1616
"Deschutes & Ladder" -- Inversion IPA, Fresh squeezed IPA, Abyss stout, Mirror Pond, Black Butte porter, Zarabanda, Bachelor bitter, and Red Chair northwest pale ale.

Kite & Key  1836 Callowhill Street -- 215-568-1818
"Doggie Style!" -- Flying Dog is taking over the taps for the Craft Beer Express. There are no fleas on these dogs! Pearl Necklace, Raging Bitch, Old Scratch, Gonzo to name a few. We will have a special treat if you are good!!

Jose Pistola's  263 South 15th Street -- 215-545-4101
"Pie Day Celebration" -- Celebrate PIE Day and Jose Pistola's! Mini PIE eating competitions (PIES provided by the delicious Frecon Cidery). Competitions to see who can recite the most characters of PIE. Possibly some PIEs in the face. Featured drafts include: Other Farms Hoppy Mon, Other Farms Saisoner, Bell's 2 Hearted, Bell's Oarsmen, St. Bernardus Prior 8, St. Bernardus, and Rodenbach Collaboration Kazematten Grotten cave aged brown and the Oskar Blues Pinner.

The Sidecar  2201 Christian Street -- 215-732-3429
"IPA's Greatest Hits" -- It's baaaaaack! Hop heads: REJOICE!

Pub on Passyunk East  1501 East Passyunk Avenue -- 215-755-5125
"Sour Beer Tap Takeover" -- Pucker up sour pusses.

Devil's Den  1148 South 11th Street -- 215-339-0855
"Ommegang and Boulevard" -- Ommegang and Boulevard breweries will be taking over the taps at the Devill's Den for a mix of the Best Belgian and American craft beers.

Brauhaus Schmitz  718 South Street -- 267-909-8814
"US Füchschen Alt Beer Premiere" -- Brauhaus will host the exclusive United States launch of Füchschen Alt bier, a traditional German ale that has been hand-crafted in Düsseldorf since 1848. This rare copper-colored ale is brewed from a centuries-old recipe using toasty malt and noble hops, giving the beer a crisp, hoppy finish with a subtle caramel flavor and hints of toasted bread.

Race St. Cafe  208 Race Street -- 215-627-6181
"Captain Lawrence & Sixpoint" -- Please Join us in celebration of Captain Lawrence (Sunblock - Wheat IPA, Captains Reserve - Imperial IPA, Elderflower - Belgian Blonde) and Sixpoint Breweries ( Bengali - IPA, Crisp Lager, Resin - Imperial IPA, Sweet Action Pale Ale). Stop by to sample their beers and speak with their brewery representatives.

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