Monday, June 11, 2012

Philly Beer Week 2012: Day 10 Wrap-Up

-->A link to the Philly Beer Week Index

-->A link to Day 9 highlights

The beauty of doing a Philly Beer Week wrap-up is that there's almost no way in which I, or anyone else, can be wrong in my assessment. After all, with an average of 80 or so "events" a day (and let's be honest, after five years, there are still quite a few questionable "events" on the calendar, but let's move along), no one will or can see it all to render an opinion on how the whole of the day went down.

So, instead, here is my account of the tenth and last day, June 10, of Philly Beer Week 2012 based upon my whereabouts. To the extent that I have credible second- or third-hand accounts of the day, I'll be including them in each day's wrap-up as well.

First, a link to Picasa and my day 10 of PBW wrapped up in pictures.

And, now, some brief notes in no particular order other than perhaps chronologically.

~ Things I've learned in the past week about people and their places: Jon Defibaugh moving from Earth Bread + Brewery in Mt. Airy to Tired Hands in Ardmore; Mike Fava moving from Nodding Head in Center City Philly to Oxbow Brewing Company in Maine somewhere an hour or so north of Portland; and Justin Quinlan moving from Dock Street in West Philly to somewhere in Seattle much farther than Fava. Got all that?

From Philly Beer Week 2012, Day 10

~ I run the risk of boring some of you to tears — or at least indifference — by talking about the Philly Beer Run that I put on yesterday in conjunction with Dock Street. But, why should I demure? How many other Philly Beer Week events attracted nearly 400 attendees yesterday? Or at any point during the last 10 days? How many customers paid, in effect, a cover charge to personally participate in the event and then stick around for up to four hours paying for more food and beer while taking in great local, live music? Yes, it was pretty special, if I do say so.

~ This isn't all about me and I know I run the risk of making it sound that way. Truth is, I've been conducting this run in various forms over the first four Philly Beer Weeks going back to '08. Dock Street has always been an integral part of these runs, but they've been "fun runs" that never attracted any more than roughly 80 attendees. There was no cost to the runners and the rules were simple: show up, run, get prizes, eat and drink.

~ This year, to take it to the next level, Dock Street and I agreed to make this a truly bona fide 5-K race, complete with official timing and everything it takes to make a "real" race. It took months of very detailed planning (you don't realize how much goes in to organizing a race until you're on the other side of the starting line. Amazing.) to get to this point yesterday.

~ Dock Street went "all-in" with their commitment this year. Without the very careful attention to detail that Marilyn Candeloro (Brand Ambassador for Dock Street) was able to provide, this never would have happened.

~ Let's see, did I get all the groundwork laid for you there? If so, let's get to the weather. It seemed that as each day that went by in the week leading up to June 10, another degree or two got tacked on to the forecast. Very little chance of rain though. (Which actually does beg an interesting question. If PBW is in June accompanied by the typically volatile weather, would you rather have rolling violent thunderstorms in the forecast or blistering hot sun and oppressive humidity?)

~ To the runners credit, there was barely 10% in no-shows. Roughly 370 runners of all shapes, sizes, colors, and backgrounds came out to put in their 5-Ks and then kick back with some beer, pizza, and live music.

~ On the concrete and macadam of West Philly, in 94 degree heat with barely any cloud cover, the runners took to the course. Nearly half of it had some tree and building shade and that worked out nicely. But 90+ degree heat is still hot. As with everything in life, there are many areas of the race that our preparation rewarded us nicely with and other areas in which we can learn a little from our shortcomings.

~ At the end of the day, however, the kudos from numerous runners told us that we did better than well in our first official running of the Philly Beer Run 5-K.

~ The pictures I've linked to are nearly 100% running-related. Whomever was toting my camera filled the memory card with nearly 600 pictures before I got around to presenting awards, so the pictures basically run out of timeline at the race.

~ As a nice complement, I've got a link here to the pictures Carolyn Smagalski took and posted on Facebook. And, there'll be one coming as well to the pictures from the photographer that Dock Street employed.

~ Not much else I think would add to this picture of how pleased I am while doing some Monday Morning Quarterbacking. The day came together nicely and we're already looking forward to the second installment of Philly Beer Run 5-K in 2013.

~ The only other events that I lined up as remote possibilities were at Local 44 (and any leftover "scraps" from their Russian River event earlier in the day) and Fergie's (for the annual post-celebration amongst mostly industry folk called the T.U.D., Totally Unnecessary Drink). I had a strong hunch, however, that after being in the sun and 90+ degree heat for over 7 hours, that I'd be sapped of any energy or care to do much else.

~ So it was off to home where, if you look at the last picture in my set, you'll see we created our own T.U.D. which included three beautiful Russian River beers.

~ I may be back in the next few days with some closing thoughts on Philly Beer Week 2012.

~ Cheers to all who worked so hard to make PBW '12 another great display of what the Philadelphia region offers in the wonderful world of craft beer and why it is hands-down one of the country's all-around best beer regions.

From Philly Beer Week 2012, Day 10

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