Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Philly Beer Week 2018. What's Up?

(A top 5 PBW 2017 event. What will be at the top of this year's list? Click the picture for more from 2017.)

Well, a little bit of this and little bit of that, but not a whole lot of anything as of yet, judging by the official events calendar over at PhillyLovesBeer.org

With just a bit more than two weeks until showtime, the Hammer of Glory, and Opening Tap, the calendar shows just around 100 "events" as of this afternoon. If I were to apply my expert eye, I'd say the unique, significant, PBW-worthy style events number significantly less.

So far, BAR, Bartram's Garden, Bonk's Bar, Christopher's, Devil's Den, Good Dog Bar, Grey Lodge Pub, Hop Angel Brauhaus, Interstate Draft House, Johnny Brenda's, Jose Pistola's, La Cabra Brewing, Lucky's Last Chance - Manayunk, Lucky's Last Chance - Queen Village, Manayunk Brewery, Memphis Taproom, Monk's Cafe, The Fillmore, The Pub on Passyunk East (P.O.P.E.), Twisted Tail, U-Bahn, Urban Village, and Victoria Freehouse are on the board — with 21 events belonging to the Lucky's family, 19 to the Scoats family of Bonk's, Grey Lodge, and Hop Angel, 10 to Memphis Taproom, 7 to Devil's Den, and 6 to Interstate Drafthouse together comprising more than 60% of the total events scheduled thus far. Some solid bars on this list to-date, but yet a far cry in number from years past. However, if the past is any useful guide, these next two weeks could show a flurry of event additions. If not, it could be an interesting conversation.

Putting all that aside, here's what looks interesting to me at this point. Not enough information about the Hammer of Glory tour yet, so can't really speak to that. Opening Tap is back on Friday night where it belongs and that's a good thing. Another good thing is that it's still being held at The Fillmore, an excellent venue for it. Though, why any other events are allowed to advertise concurrent events with Opening Tap continues to be beyond me. That's Friday.

Saturday is Firkin Riot at Johnny Brenda's, which is always a solid bet. At Monk's Cafe, John Kimmich of The Alchemist and a handful of his beers will be in the house. And I can imagine what Fluff Ed and Russian River means at Memphis Taproom even though it still says Details Coming Soon. It starts at 4:20 so that's helpful! Bar Olympics on Sunday is a perfect fit for Grey Lodge and a good way to put a bow on the first weekend.

On Monday, there's a homebrew challenge event at Jose Pistola's and the annual Omme-gash, It's Alla-gang just down the street at Good Dog. Tuesday? I feel like a suburban visit to Christopher's could be a good call for a beer dinner with 2SP.

Dad Joke Face Off on Wednesday at Devil's Den has all the makings of a debaucherous night. And Thursday at Urban Village, I'd prefer to hear first who's on the panel, but the Don’t F*#k Up The Beer industry panel discussion about quality control sounds like a great afternoon diversion to Northern Liberties. There's a tap takeover at London Grill, but no description. Do we go with blind faith, or ask more of event planners listing these things? But I trust London Grill for a good meal and beers.

To close out PBW 2018 on the second weekend, Friday looks like a good time to check out Mikkeller at Memphis Taproom and then Love City, Singlecut, and Hermit Thrush at The P.O.P.E. On Saturday, it's a party in the street for Fishtown FestivAle on Frankford Ave. outside Johnny Brenda's and Sour Beer Saturday around the corner at Interstate Drafthouse. And on Sunday, sticking near home and La Cabra seems like a good idea, particularly given their Suburban Love Pop-Up Beer Garden featuring breweries of DelCo and ChesCo.

If and when the schedule starts to beef up some more, I'll be back to share the what's-what and maybe even share one of those good ol' fashioned Excel spreadsheets to help navigate the tricky schedule waters.

© Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge, 2018. All content is owned and uniquely created by Bryan J. Kolesar. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Kolesar is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, images, and links may be used with advance permission granted and only provided that full and clear credit is given to Bryan J. Kolesar and The Brew Lounge with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Contact Kolesar at TheBrewLounge@gmail.com

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