Wednesday, March 12, 2008

PBW 2008 - We're Halfway There!

Half-way into Philly Beer Week 2008, I've got a mid-term wrap-up for you. While it's nearly impossible to cover every event, short of calling each establishment and getting their reactions, here's a short listing of what I've seen myself and heard from others. Shine on you crazy kids, we've got 5 more days to go!

Remember, you can always go back to my Philly Beer Week Index, which gets updated at least two, sometimes more, times a day.

From my first-hand perspective:
  • Sprecher Black Bavarian (do yourself a favor and find this drinking delight asap!)
  • Yards ESA is back with a sweet vengeance (do yourself another favor and drink this whenever, wherever, and as often as you see it, esp. on cask!)
  • Food and Beer never go better anywhere other than in Philadelphia (see: The Brewer's Plate; you haven't done this event yet? You may be able to undertake your penance later this year at its special second coming in 2008...stay tuned for more details)
  • Garrett's ability to eat, drink, and entertain never ceases to amaze me
  • The Stockertown crew is working like crazy to see their beers represented well during PBW; and they're just real great guys too, which always helps
  • Johnny is all about the good times

  • Others have told me:
  • Joe Sixpack event was the kickoff event to end all kickoffs; the Mayor impressed too! (the book reviews aren't too bad either)
  • the South Philly Bar Scene has officially arrived; the pub crawls and tastings have been well-attended, fun, and full of good beer
  • the Colorado brewers represented well at Center City's most recent beer phenomenon, Jose Pistola's
  • Lew Bryson's wheat beer brunch at Grey Lodge drew quite the crowd; his Not Belgian event? a crowd-pleasing eye-opener as well
  • Larry Bell and his brewery's brews have been well received
  • The Drafting Room's brunch with bottles of Lost Abbey was a great way to kick off Day 3
  • Suzanne Woods, Rich Wagner, and others each took their turns at showing the journalists a day around Philadelphia that they'll not soon forget.

  • While I still believe that there didn't have to be this many events scheduled for the very first year of this unproven undertaking to be a huge success, I do believe that things are going reasonably well and bodes well for next year's installment. But, there's an important lesson to be learned along the way here, especially for those who bemoan the overwhelming number of events. Philly Beer Week is what you make it; what it means to you. If you went to one tasting in the suburbs and had a great time, great. If you went to 16 events across the region, congratulations. But, no one is keeping score. You'll get no beer points and no one will recognize your accomplishment if you make it to 5 events every day.

    It's the same the rest of the year. We don't go to each and every event there is. We get to what we can get to. We pick and choose based on our tendencies and our wallets. Somehow, we make it through the rest of the year just fine.

    What also is important is that you find something to do, hopefully a new experience, and you enjoy yourself. And chat up the bartenders, brewers, owners, distributors, journalists, waiters, and anyone else that should hear what a great time we're all having with this spectacular "Imperial" week. Let them know that you appreciate the efforts that they went to in order to bring you a special beer, unique food, an all-around memorable experience. Make them want to do it again next year, and the year after, and...

    ...on to Day 6...

    1 comment:

    Lew Bryson said...

    What I want to know is...have there been any events that were outright failures? I mean, my Upstate thing at the Grey Lodge was nowhere near as well-attended as we'd hoped, but it still went acceptably well. (My other three events went extremely well, thanks so much to all those who came out!) I'm just wondering if the dire predictions of events failing because of over-extension came true.