For those in need of a little professional guidance, here's a six-pack of can't-miss events during the Craft Beer Conference.
All day Tuesday: Bell's Eccentric Cafe at City Tap House (2 Logan Square). The beer and food menus are the same as those at Bell's popular brewpub in Kalamazoo, Mich. Don't miss Hop Grandslam, a beefed-up version of Bell's Hopslam.
4 p.m. Wednesday: Craft Maltsters Guild Tap Takeover, Fox & Hound, 1501 Spruce St. All the beer - from Jester King, Burial Beer Co., Chimera, Pigeon Hill, and Selinsgrove Brewing - is made with specialty grains from small malt houses.
3:30 p.m. May 5: Funky Buddha and AleSmith at the Cambridge (1508 South St.). Funky Buddha, known for the likes ofMaple Bacon Coffee Porter and No Crusts peanut-butter-and-jelly ale, makes its way to the city only about twice a year. If that weren't enough to draw beer freaks, the six AleSmith styles, including three variants of Speedway Stout, should seal the deal.
5:30 p.m. May 5: Amber Waves, with beer-inspired art and amber brews. Includes commissioned artworks from 26 breweries, to be auctioned in support of Philadelphia's Mural Arts Program. National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 S. Independence Mall. Tix $35. victorybeer.ticketleap.com/amber-waves.
8 p.m. May 5: "Iron Hill Takes Over the Industry." The regional brewpub chain Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, which has collected more medals than anyone can count, will show off 25 of its entries in this year's World Cup beer competition. The Industry Bar, 1401 E. Moyamensing Ave.
9:30 p.m. May 6: For those without tix to the sold-out World Beer Cup dinner, the Officially Unofficial Award Show After Party Award Show at Varga Bar (941 Spruce St.) looks like a winner, with Firestone Walker, Terrapin, and Weyerbacher drafts.
* For a full schedule of nearly 150 public events, visit joesixpack.net.
- Don Russell