Every year Pliny the Younger tappings consume many beer lovers in the Philadelphia area. Philadelphia is the only city east of the Mississippi that gets the super limited release of the Russian River Triple IPA. That scarcity makes the tapping events an even bigger deal for beer nerds up and down the East Coast.
Looking for weekend drinking options? Perhaps you’ll find inspiration in Draft Magazine’s 2014 Best Beer Bars list. Six area bars make the list, which has been reimagined for 2014. In past years, having a ton of tap lines might matter, but today Draft Magazine defines a great beer bar as more than that. “We needed to walk out of these places saying, “Now there’s a bar that really, really cares about your experience with beer.”
In the Philadelphia area, six bars made the list including two from Brendan Hartranft and Leigh Maida.
For the last five years, Memphis Taproom has hosted a Boxing Day Beer Festival. And this year will be no different. Starting at 11:30 a.m. today, the beer bar will be serving some of the best holiday and seasonal ales from around the world. They’ll also be helping neighbors in need. This year they’re collecting new children’s books for area school children. Earn a dollar off each draft beer for every children’s book you donate today.
The Cambridge – Since you’ll surely be up and shopping by 4 a.m., you’ll be ready for a Bloody Mary by 11:30. And that works out well since that’s when the Cambridge opens and your first Bloody is free through 2:30 p.m.
Kraftwork and Sidecar – Both these bars are offering their annual Blackout Brunch. Sidecar is making Thanksgiving leftovers sound appealing with specials like “green bean casserole quiche” and yam soup plus dark beers like Great Lakes Blackout Stout and Goose Island Bourbon Country Stout. Kraftwork is offering almond pumpkin coffee cake and Thanksgiving biscuits and gravy. The Fishtown bar will also be going dark on tap with Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout highlighting an impressive list.
The Philly Beer Week festivities get serious at Memphis Taproom where, all week long, they’ll be kicking kegs and running through a killer list of beers with NO REPEATS. Check out the beer list here: NO_Repeat_Menu_2013
Leigh Maida and husband/business partner Brendan Hartranft–along with other parnters and investors–own and operate four neighborhood bistros that emphasize quality brews and delicious pub fare. Each outpost shapes the neighborhood it’s in and is shaped by the neighborhood as well. Their newest project? Strangelove’s in Center City, which is much anticipated.
We asked Maida how the couple decides where to open next. Her answer? “I can totally reveal our master real estate plan for you: there isn’t one. (Ta-da!)” Still, she gamely answered a few questions via email–better than phone when you have a baby on your arm.
On the first Monday of the month the Memphis Taproom hosts a staff training that is open to the public. You, John Q Public can get in depth beer training right alongside the Memphis Taproom staff. Today that class focuses on three lambic beers and because of the pricey nature of the beers, the training will cost $25 (normally there is no cost).
Joining beer school today is special guest, Port Brewing and Lost Abbey head brewer Tomme Arthur. Arthur will help teach the class and his Santas Little Helper, Gift of the Magi, Wipeout IPA, Angels Share 2011, Older Viscosity 2011, Cuvee De Tomme and Red Poppy will be on tap all day.
Reservations are not required but you must arrive by noon and once the bar stools are filled, the class is full.
Leigh Maida and Brendan Hartranft’s Memphis Taproom and Local 44 are putting some special beers on tap today.
At Memphis Taproom a lineup of great beers will be on tap all day.
- Russian River Blind Pig
- Russian River Consecration
- Leipziger Gose
- Stone Enjoy By 02.15.13 IPA
- Ridgeway Porter
- Tröegs Mad Elf
- Marston’s Pedigree (on cask)
- Greene King Abbot Ale (on cask)
- Yards Love Stout
- Baladin Noel
- Corsendonk Christmas
- Russian River Pliny the Elder
As is its Boxing Day tradition, December 26th, Memphis Taproom will be serving some of the best seasonal beers from around the world. As the bar is also fond of doing, they’re collecting canned and non-perishable food items as well as winter coats. Earn a dollar off your first beer by bringing in three cans of food or a warm coat.
Also, 5% of all draft beer sales through 5 p.m. will go to Taste of the Nation Philadelphia, which raises money to fight childhood hunger.
So yes we know Black Friday is a big shopping day, but who says it can’t be a big drinking day too? And it seems like every bar out there is running specials with black and other dark beers.