Reader: When is this year’s Brewvitational beer competition and festival at Reading Terminal Market?
Craig LaBan: I have good news, and disappointing news.
The good news is that the Inquirer’s annual Brewvitational competition for local beer is happening once again, and we are celebrating our 10th edition. It’s amazing how great ale can make time fly, and we’ve certainly documented a whirlwind decade for brewery growth, no doubt the biggest beer bump the Philadelphia region has seen since Prohibition.
To mark that maturing new wave, Brewvi X will put a special focus on barrel-aged beers as this year’s featured style category when the panel of expert judges convenes Monday, May 13, for a private blind-tasting at the Inquirer’s offices. We’ll also be seeking the region’s best “new” beer, so I’m hopeful that we’ll have as many local breweries represented on the tasting table as possible. To that end, any breweries that did not already receive an entry form with competition info should write to me right away at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no cost to enter, and the blind-tasting format — already with some legendary judges committed this year — never plays favorites.
The bad news? Unfortunately, the public festival complement to the competition — Taste of the Brewvitational — will not happen this year due to logistical hurdles. I’m hopeful that this is just a one-year hiatus, because that event was in growth mode and the Terminal was a perfect spot to showcase the best of anything local — especially beer. It was particularly rewarding to watch members of the public get a chance to taste what we judges were raving about and connect directly with the brewers who are doing such good work to revive one of the region’s birthright industries.