Beer lovers of Philadelphia, start planning your reasons for calling out of work now.
Philly Beer Week is nearly upon us, and the folks behind the festival are ready to celebrate its 10th anniversary with hundreds of beer-soaked events from Friday, June 2 through Sunday, June 11. And with a decade of beer worship under its belt, this year's Philly Beer Week has some special ones planned.
But first, non-profit host Philly Loves Beer, the Philly Beer Week board that underwent a re-branding earlier this year, will kick things off in the traditional PBW way: With the highly anticipated Hammer of Glory relay and Opening Tap party. Opening Tap this year takes place Thursday, June 1 at 7 p.m. at The Fillmore, with the Hammer of Glory relay kicking off at 6 a.m. that day. As a result of the mid-week start, the PBW website advises that attendees "take some vacation days."
Featuring unlimited samples of rare and limited brews from more than 45 breweries, Opening Tap serves as a must-drink showcase for many cerevisaphiles in "America's best beer-drinking city." General admission tickets run $46 each, with VIP tickets (which provide perks like early admission and exclusive pours) go for $92. Designated driver tickets are $15.
For 2017, the Opening Tap party will also include a first-taste of this year's PBW collaboration brew, Gravity Never Fails, a porter brewed using experimental hops from Aston's 2SP Brewing and Belgium's Brouwerij De Ranke. A firkin of Brotherly Suds, a collaboration beer from area breweries including Victory, Yards, Tröegs, Iron Hill, and others, will also be on hand. An area dubbed "The Orchard," meanwhile, will provide cider-lovers with a safe haven.
While opening tap kicks off at 7 p.m. on June 1, the real party gets started at 6 a.m. with a visit from the Hammer of Glory — a custom keg hammer that symbolizes Philadelphia beer — at 93.3 WMMR. Bar-wise, the HOG will hit its first boozy stop at 9 a.m. with a visit to Hop Angel Brauhaus (7980 OXford Avenue).
From there, the HOG will be passed Olympic Torch-style, as is tradition, between bars, restaurants, and breweries including Grey Lodge Pub, Heritage, and Yards Brewing. The whole shindig concludes with the delivery of the HOG to The Fillmore for Opening Tap at 7 p.m, where it will be used to tap a keg of Brotherly Suds. Please, no one steal it this year.
Folks who want to join in on the tour can follow along on the "HOG Relay Bus," a double-decker bus that follows the relay, for $10.
The full schedule is below:
Many classic PBW events will also return for 2017, including the 10th annual Extreme Homebrew Challenge, Johnny Brenda's It's A Firkin Riot, and the Fishtown FestivALE, among others. So whether you're looking for rare sours and other off-kilter brews, or just want a nice day out with some brews, PBW has got something for you.
Touted as the "Founding Father of Beer Weeks," Philly Beer Week was first organized by Monk's Cafe proprietor Tom Peters, the late Bruce Nicholas, and former Daily News beer writer Joe Sixpack in 2008. Now, as CraftBeer.com notes, there are more than 70 beer weeks throughout the US every year.