Missing your annual stripper dunk tank fix? Lucky for you, you haven’t entirely missed your chance to buy tickets for this weekend’s Atlantic City Beer & Music Fest where, in addition to hundreds of breweries and live performances by national rock bands, a water tank that invites you to dunk strippers is de rigeur.
If you’re a craft beer lover, by now you’ve heard that women have served in the capacity of brewer throughout history … that is until the art became industrialized at different times in different places and men took over a newly profitable profession. So you often read about modern female brewers “reclaiming” what was once a proud tradition.
Well, no better example of that exists than Women’s International Collaboration Brew Day, taking place in Philly, New Jersey and around the world on Sunday.
Maybe you’ve watched “Eyes Wide Shut” and found yourself intrigued. Or you and the missus need to throw a dash of spice into the ole’ bedroom. Whatever your motivation, lead your spouse, girlfriend, mistress, furry to Vintage Grille in Doylestown Wednesday night at 7 pm for a blindfolded wine dinner.
Imagine you’re blindfolded and taken to a $200 wine dinner, where a Spanish wine importer is pouring you six different Riojas dating back to 1928. Jose Garces Restaurant Group is catering a paired menu of small plates, which Garces ambassador Beth Koenig describes as you eat it. To end your meal, the two female owners of Menagerie Coffee, rated by this magazine as the best coffee shop in Philly last year, pour over Intelligentsia single-origin coffee selected for the occasion.
Then someone removes your blindfold to reveal your location. You blink to adjust to the fluorescent lights and you discover your high-class experience has taken place … at a liquor store in New Jersey. Surprised? Probably. Disappointed? Hopefully not.
On February 28, you have a chance to attend what may be the first beer festival held inside a former NASA training facility. Fermented Productions is organizing a festival of beer, wine, spirits and food at The Fuge, a catering venue and aeronautics museum in Warminster, Bucks County, that used to train every American astronaut embarking on a lunar mission. The room is entirely round, and attendees can visit the centrifuge simulator. Which is just cool.
If you haven’t made it to the Academy of Natural Sciences’ chocolate exhibition yet, you have until next Saturday, when it closes. As a “last shot” of chocolate decadence, the Academy is hosting a beer and chocolate pairing tonight led by Don Russell, who writes the “Joe Sixpack” column in the Daily News.
From 7-9pm, you’ll get to taste sweet and savory chocolate treats and have Don explain why they each pair well with the different beers you’ll be sampling. Also, reps from the museum’s catering company will be there to teach you how to cook and bake with various types of cocoa, so you can even tell yourself that this is an educational experience. Even if we know why you’re really going.
Tickets are $35.
Academy Of Natural Sciences [Event page]
You may have heard of the Hymn to Ninkasi, an ode to the revered Sumerian goddess of beer and one of the earliest known examples of word-based writing.
No? Well i you’re into craft beer, you may have heard of Ninkasi Brewing, the 30th biggest brewery in the U.S. (as of 2013), based in Eugene, OR. But unless you’re really into the scene, you’ve likely never tried its gold-medal-winning Bohemian Pilsner (Great American Beer Festival) or the Total Domination IPA, which Men’s Journal called one of the world’s 25 best beers in 2012.
Well, you may want to thank your favorite goddess that you live in such a beer-centric town because for the second time in its nine-year history, Ninkasi is sending special shipments into a market it doesn’t officially service. The first time it was New York. And this time it’s Philly.
Remember the singing California raisins? Of course you do. What about the state’s “happy cows?” If you’re older than 20, you probably remember that marketing campaign, too. Well, New Jersey has its own agricultural branding program, called Jersey Fresh, and it’s become the model for other states that want to implement similar locally-grown, quality-assurance seals. According to one former Jersey-based USDA exec, Jersey Fresh is even as well-known and well-respected nationally as those cute-as-a-shriveled-fruit ad spots have been for more than two decades.
Well, three-year-old Cape May Brewing Co. hasn’t necessarily made a national name for itself yet – in fact, it only late last year started sending its beer into Philly from its distribution area in South Jersey – but it’s now capitalizing on the cachet that comes with associating one’s company with the Jersey Fresh label.
If the thought of watching another Eagles game right now is just too much to bear, here’s something to do instead. Distract (or anesthetize) yourself by drinking a whole lot of beer at World Café Live’s seventh annual winter beer fest. A variety of styles will be represented, but there’ll be special attention placed on dark and winter beers (natch), of both foreign and domestic origin.
The Whiskeyhickon Boys will be playing, and among the 40+ confirmed breweries are Avery, Bell’s, Dogfish Head, Troegs (maybe with some Mad Elf?) and Duck Rabbit. Everything will be happening downstairs at World Cafe Live, starting at 1pm (same as game time). And all it’ll take is $40 to get you through the door.
Winter beer Festival [World Cafe Live]
It’s an oldie but definitely still a goodie: the Valley Forge Beer Festival comes to town on December 6, and this year, you’ll notice something different: cider and mead. Playing off the popularity of craft ciders – as well as the relationships forged by the promoter, Starfish Junction, through its annual cider fest – there will be cider and mead. And lots of it.
For two sessions, 75 breweries, cideries and meaderies will pour 150 different products at the Oaks Expo Center. A few of the cidermakers are local newcomers, so look for Haymaker Meadery, Wyndridge Farm and Kurant Hand Crafted Cider–some of which are so new you can’t even buy them in stores. Brewery stand-outs include Cigar City, Rock Art, Bullfrog, and plenty of local and national favorites. If you haven’t had a chance to try liquid from relative newbies like Iron Horse and Twisted Manzanita Ales, or less familiar imports like Le Brewery, here’s your opportunity.
Tickets are $40 and you can buy them here.
Valley Forge Beer Fest [Official]