Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Craft Brewers Conference/World Beer Cup 2016: Where To Drink/What To Do in Philadelphia

NOTE: My original commentary from 4/20/16 has been moved to the bottom to get you to the event listings faster.

Our local breweries and bars are not rookies in putting together events throughout the year. Here's what's on tap thus far and open to the public from May 2-7. It's where you'll get to drink some of the area's and country's finest beers and rub elbows with some of the industry's brightest. Of course, as usual, please let me know if I'm missing anything.

(Find my top recommendations, as of 4/22, over at this link)

Alla Spina
  Wed. May 4Happy Hour with Goose Island
  Thu. May 5Sour Happy Hour with Almanac Beer Co.

American Sardine Bar
  Wed. May 4Coronado
  Thu. May 5Cinco de Mayo w/ Ballast Point

Bainbridge Street Barrel House
  Mon. May 2Hosting Saltwater Brewery
  Tue. May 3Hosting Shelton Brothers Importers and their UK brewers and beers
  Thu. May 5Hosting Lakefront Brewery and Sprecher Brewing
  Thu. May 5Hosting Bruery and Bruery Terreux
  Fri. May 6Hosting Bunker Brewing and Finback
  Sat. May 7Hosting Voodoo Brewery

  Mon. May 2St. Benjamin Event
  Tue. May 3Stone Brewery Event
  Wed. May 4Dominion Pinup Girl Event
  Thu. May 5Lancaster Brewing Company Event

Bottle Bar East
  Tue. May 3Hardywood Park
  Wed. May 4Destihl
  Thu. May 5Stone
  Fri. May 6Burial Beer
  Sat. May 7Wicked Weed

Brick and Mortar
  Mon. May 2-Sat. May 7Ballast Point Tap Takeover

  Tue. May 3CBC '16, Take 1: Almanac and Forest & Main
  Tue. May 3CBC '16, Take 2: Surly and Gigantic
  Wed. May 4CBC '16, Take 3: Jolly Pumpkin
  Wed. May 4CBC '16, Take 4: Maine Beer Company
  Wed. May 4CBC '16, Take 5: Green Bench and Wicked Week
  Thu. May 5CBC '16, Take 6: Fat Head's
  Thu. May 5CBC '16, Take 7: Prairie and Grimm
  Thu. May 5CBC '16, Take 8: Cascade
  Fri. May 6CBC '16, Take 9: Shelton Imports

City Tap House-Logan Circle
  Tue. May 3Bell's Brewery Eccentric Cafe Experience
  Thu. May 5Cinco de Sunlight at Collaboration Station

City Tap House-University City
  Tue. May 3New Belgium & Friends
  Wed. May 4Charlie Bravo Charlie; $100

  Thu. May 5JDub's Brewing Night

  Tue. May 32SP + Bagby Brewing
  Wed. May 4The Montreal Express Brasserie Dunham + Trou du Diable + Dieu du Ciel + Les Trois Mousquetaires

Devil's Den
  Mon. May 2Ballast Point Tap Takeover
  Tue. May 3Terrapin Brewing Tap Takeover
  Wed. May 4Ommegang, Boulevard, & Duvel
  Thu. May 5Michigan Brewer's Guild
  Thu. May 5Stone Brewing Tap Takeover
  Fri. May 6Sour Beer Invitational

Electric Factory
  Thu. May 5Mastodon presented by Surly Brewing Co., Champion Brewing Co. and BSG Craft Brewing; $32.50

Fado Irish Pub
  Wed. May 4Craft Beer Pub Quiz

Fergie's Pub
  Tue. May 3Firestone Walker Beers, Bonney, Sweets, and Dice

Field House
  Thu. May 5Yards Comedy Night After Party

Fox & Hound
  Wed. May 4Craft Malt Tap Takeover; $Free

Good Dog Bar
  Mon. May 2Two Roads & Sly Fox Event
  Tue. May 3Firestone Walker Event
  Wed. May 4Brooklyn Beer Event
  Thu. May 5Green Flash & Alpine Beer Event
  Fri. May 6Yards Beer Event

Han Dynasty
  Tue. May 3Happy Hour with New Belgium

  Mon. May 2Sole Artisan Ales and Bunker Brewing
  Wed. May 4Surly and Friends Rare Beer House Party
  Thu. May 5Kings of Queens
  Fri. May 6Who Doesn't Like A Threesome

  Wed. May 4Hop Trüb Lime Machine 80's Bash

Johnny Brenda's
  Tue. May 3Introduction of Brotherly Suds

Jose Pistola's
  Tue. May 3Late Night with Joe Gunn: CBC Edition
  Wed. May 4Late Night with Joe Gunn: CBC Edition
  Wed. May 4Brasserie De La Senne & Bagby Beer Company
  Thu. May 5Cinco de Mayo Block Party Featuring Yards Brewing

Kite & Key
  Mon. May 2New Belgium
  Tue. May 3Firestone Walker Lunch
  Wed. May 4Green Flash

Local 44
  Wed. May 4Tired Hands + Bluejacket

Lucky's Last Chance
  Tue. May 3Tuesday Tapping with Mispillion River
  Tue. May 3Late Night with Green Flash/Alpine
  Wed. May 4Great Divide Joins Us on Whiskey Wednesday
  Fri. May 6Happy Hour with Stone Brewing

  Wed. May 4A Barrel-Aged Symposium with Scott Vaccaro of Captain Lawrence
  Thu. May 5Great Minds Think Alike: Jester King, Green Bench, and Tired Hands
  Fri. May 6Martha Goes to Space! with Other Half Brewing, Oxbow and Monkish

McCrossen's Tavern
  Tue. May 3Hop Till You Drop with Evolution and Fat Head's
  Thu. May 5Sour Showcase with Free Will Brewing Company
  Fri. May 6Get Goose'd
  Sat. May 7Honey Bunches of Hall and Oats

Memphis Taproom
  Wed. May 4The Mighty Memphis Taproom Welcome Wagon: Sly Fox welcomes Stone and Draai Laag
  Thu. May 5The Mighty Memphis Taproom Welcome Wagon: SØLE and Forest & Main invite Burial Beer Company and Other Half
  Fri. May 6The Mighty Memphis Taproom Welcome Wagon: 2SP hosts Half Acre and Wiseacre

  Tue. May 3CBC After Party with Ship Bottom Brewery

Monk's Cafe
  Tue. May 3Wicked Weed
  Wed. May 4New Belgium class; $45

Moriarity's Irish Pub
  Mon. May 2Green Flash & Alpine CBC Welcome Party

National Museum of American Jewish History
  Thu. May 5Amber Waves; $35

Philadelphia Brewing Company
  Thu. May 5International Beer Run

Prohibition Taproom
  Tue. May 3Goose Island CBC Tap Takeover
  Wed. May 4DMV does Philly

St. Benjamin Brewing Company
  Wed. May 4Kumpelbier Firkin Tapping

Smokin' Betty's
  Tue. May 3Food Pairing with Green Flash and Alpine

Standard Tap
  Wed. May 4May the 4th Galactic Pageant
  Fri. May 6Tired Hands, Stone, and Other Half
  Sat. May 7Sour Brunch

  Mon. May 2Pink Boots Society / CBC Kick Off
  Tue. May 3Victory Brewing + Australian Hop Growers Association
  Wed. May 4Brewery Pile Up (Perennial + Half Acre + JDub's + Free Will)
  Thu. May 5Brewery Pile Up (Neshaminy Creek + Night Shift Brewing + Against The Grain)

The Abbaye
  Tue. May 3U Buy The Glass: Taste of the Carolinas
  Wed. May 4U Buy The Glass: Weyerbacher

The Bishop's Collar
  Tue. May 3Jimmy Meiers & The Beers
  Wed. May 410 Barrel & More Event
  Fri. May 6Meet New Belgium's Head Brewer

The Cambridge
  Mon. May 2CBC Trio: Almanac, Half Acre, and Wiseacre
  Tue. May 3Short's 24 Tap Takeover
  Wed. May 4Lakefront Brewery Happy Hour
  Thu. May 5Funky Buddha, 3 Ways of Speedway, and more

The Industry Bar
  Mon. May 2Brooklyn Beer Pairing
  Tue. May 3Stone Brewing Late Night Snack & Beer Pairing Event
  Wed. May 4Fat Head's Rare Beer Event
  Thu. May 5Iron Hill World Beer Cup Event
  Fri. May 6Ballast Point Hawaiian Friday Beer Event

The Institute
  Mon. May 2I want Can-dy!
  Tue. May 3Slinging Suds with Southern Tier
  Wed. May 4Fun with Flying Dog and Play Doh!
  Thu. May 5Fun with Flying Dog and Play Doh!

The Khyber Pass Pub
  Tue. May 3Founders Takeover
  Wed. May 4Baird Beer Event
  Thu. May 5Epic & Elevation Event

The P.O.P.E.
  Tue. May 3Surly Tap Takeover

Tio Flores
  Wed. May 410 Barrel and Tacos

Tria Taproom
  Tue. May 34 Countries, 4 Brewers, 4 Beers: Shelton Brothers Showcase
  Wed. May 4A Romantic Evening with Dr. Bill and Rare Barrel-Aged Beers from Stone Brewing Company
  Thu. May 5The Wonderful World of B. United International

Tria Cafe-Fitler Square
  Wed. May 4Nebraska - Not Just A Bruce Springsteen Album

Tria Cafe-Rittenhouse Square
  Wed. May 4We Lost Our Opening Staff to El Segundo - a Tria Alumni Reunion

Tria Cafe-Washington Square
  Thu. May 5No Attitudes, Just Beer: Happy Hour with Surly Brewing Co.

Trocadero Theatre
  Thu. May 5Yards Comedy Night

  Tue. May 3CBC Underground #1: Founders
  Wed. May 4CBC Underground #2: Hwy. 128 Happy Hour
  Wed. May 4CBC Underground #3: New Holland Jamboree
  Thu. May 5CBC Underground #4: Firestone Walker
  Thu. May 5Beer-lesque: Vixens, Vintages, & Variety; $20
  Fri. May 6CBC Underground #5: Tröegs

Union Transfer
  Wed. May 4We CAN Jam

Varga Bar
  Thu. May 5Moscow Mule and Greyhound Lunch
  Thu. May 5The American Cinco De Mayo Party of the Year
  Fri. May 6The Officially Unofficial Award Show After Party Award Show

Xfinity Live! — CANCELLED
  Wed. May 4Philadelphia Craft Beer Invitational; $35

Yards Brewing Company
  All WeekCBC Week

In case you weren't aware, roughly 13,000 industry professionals will be in Philadelphia from May 2-May 6. While their conference doings are closed to the public — as is typical at this sort of convention — parties and events of all shapes and sizes will be taking place all around town and many will be open to all.

I couldn't wait to finish mowing last night because I was stewing up a rant about the variety of events that I'd become aware of in recent weeks surrounding the upcoming Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) and biennial World Beer Cup (WBC).

Lacking a centralized promotional vehicle for the city's bars and breweries (and I'll be pleased to be corrected if I'm wrong), during the past couple weeks I've gathered what I've found in PR e-mails, FB postings, and random tweets and whispers in the wind. And until later last night, I sensed a real lack of focus on local breweries in these scheduled events.

After a couple more hours of sifting through yet more leads (which I imagine will continue right up until May 2), I now have a list of over 75 events in the first week of May coinciding with CBC/WBC. Quite a few bar events that I see are on the list now have a more proper focus on the breweries of the immediate Philly city and suburbs.

Still missing, however, is an event or events that focus on what we are often fond to say that we're proud of, but maybe haven't done the best job of representing to the broader market. Yes, I know the market is irrationally fixated on IPAs and beers masquerading as IPAs in name but aren't really IPAs. But we've always talked a big game in the lager world.

We trot out Dock Street's Royal Bohemian Pilsner, Sly Fox Pikeland Pils, Stoudts Pils, Tröegs Sunshine Pils and Troegnator Double Bock, and Victory Helles and Prima Pils as beers that have stood the test of time. They're joined by newer guys on the scene such as 2SP's DelCo Lager, Philadelphia Brewing's Kenzinger, and Neshaminy Creek's Trauger Pils and Churchville Lager.

While the rest of the country has slowly caught up with their own lager brewing, the greater Philadelphia region has excelled in this area for quite some time. So hey bar event organizers, let's recognize that. You say that a lager-ish, session-ish type of beer event is a tough sell for bars? Remember that these 13,000-ish brewers, owners, reps, and other industry personnel are not your typical customers.

It was Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head that was recently quoted: "At CBC, you’ll learn about your own business. At Philly Beer Week, you’ll learn about Philadelphia consumers." And Tomme Arthur echoed similar sentiments in the same article with "The two events reach totally different audiences, which is why I’m coming back for both. Any brewery that thinks they’re going to reach consumers at CBC is crazy."

Sure, they want the sours, the double IPAs, the barrel-aged stouts, and the oddly spiced one-offs. But there are already plenty of those events around this year's CBC and, quite frankly, available in many other parts of the country where these attendees call home. They're coming to Philly and they've heard that we've got a great pub culture and a spectacular lager-based history (have you told them where they can find the John Wagner historical plaque in Northern Liberties — have you seen it?). Let's show them.

Well, that wasn't quite the rant I initially imagined. There are still gaps to be filled on the CBC/WBC off-site events calendar. And hopefully I'm still to be pleased as the coming weeks unfold.

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