A User’s Guide to Beer Week

Can't make all 940 events? Here are 15 of our favorites

This year’s Philly Beer Week (June 4-13) boasts 940 events (!) at 194 venues across the city and suburbs. While you probably wish you could make it to all of those beer-soaked happenings, you may not even have time to wade through the Philly Beer Week website to see which you might want to attend. So we’ve done the legwork for you, poring through the list of events to select out the 15 most intriguing beer dinners and events to facilitate barhopping (and keep the hangovers to a minimum). For you techies out there, there’s also a Philly Beer Week iPhone app, which you can download here. Click through to see our Beer Week picks – which includes everything from French Canadian beer extravaganzas at Le Bec-Fin to casual meet-the-brewer events in the suburbs.

Throughout the Week

Philly Foods/Philly Brews Menu at Bridget Foy’s, June 4-13
The South Street stalwart will celebrate all week long with a special three-course, three-beer pairing menu for only $35. The menu features refined versions of Philadelphia’s favorite eats (a deconstructed Cheesesteak) paired with local brews (Sly Fox IPA). Get the deal from June 4 to June 13 from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 5

Historical Beer Brunch with Yards Brewery, June 5
The Continental—Stephen Starr’s retro martini bar—hearkens back to our Founding Fathers with this brunch on Saturday, June 5 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Yards Brewing Company owner Tom Kehoe will teach patrons about how the brewery resurrected three recipes from Ben Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson for the Ales of the Revolution series. Call 215-923-6069 to make reservations.

Beer Week at Teresa’s Café and Next Door Bar, June 5, 7, and 10
This ‘burbs beer bar is kicking off its beer week with a 12% Imports Multi-Brewer Beer Tasting and Pig Roast on Saturday, June 5 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Come back on Monday, June 7 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to meet Armand Debelder of Drie Fonteinen, the last traditional geuze blender in Belgium. Teresa’s will be pouring bottles of Beersel Lager, Doesjel, Oude Geuze, and more. And, on Thursday June 10 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Teresa’s will feature a top-secret brew made at Sierra Nevada by the Philly Beer Week Campers—a conglomeration of Philly publicans, craft distributors, and beer writers.

Sunday, June 6

McGillin’s 150th Anniversary Celebration – Creative Black Tie Beef & Beer, June 6
McGillin’s Olde Ale House will be hosting a beer week/birthday bash on Sunday, June 6 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The event features an open bar with craft beer, wine, and cocktails; a carved beef dinner; and meet-and-greets with brewers from Stoudt’s, Ithaca, and Victory. Email mcgillins@aol.com to get your $45 ticket.

Stoudt’s Brewing Company at Brauhaus Schmitz, June 6
German Bierhall Brauhaus Schmitz is pairing its modern Bavarian cuisine with the best in local German beer from Stoudt’s Brewing Company. Join head brewer Carol Stoudt on Sunday, June 6 from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. for this beer dinner, which costs $55. Call 267-909-8814 for reservations. If you miss Stoudt’s in the city, head to the Craft Ale House in Limerick on Wednesday, June 9 from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. to meet Eddie Stoudt and head brewer Brett Kintzer. They’ll be tapping nine brews and one firkin, and giving away pint glasses with Stoudt’s purchases.

Lancaster Brewing Lunch, June 6
The Devil’s Den, which boasts one of Philly’s most extensive beer lists, will host Lancaster brewmaster Bill Moore on Sunday, June 6 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. They’ll be tapping Hop Hog IPA and Lancaster’s new seasonal Rumspringa and Milk Stout.

Monday, June 7

Beer Week with Chef Jose Garces, June 7 and 13
The ubiquitous Garces is bellying up to Beer Week with events at Chifa and Amada. Head to Chifa on Monday, June 7 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. for a meet/drink/taste happy hour with Yards Brewery. Garces will pair special Yards brews with Chifa tapas and dim sum. Call 215-925-5555 for reservations. Then, cap off Beer Week at Amada on Sunday, June 13 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. with a pairing of Garces’s authentic Spanish tapas and Casey Hughes of Flying Fish’s Exit Series brews. Offerings include Exit 4 with suckling pig and wilted spring greens, truffled white bean puree, and a sherry pork jus. Call 215-625-2450 for reservations for this $65 dinner.

Suburban Kickoff, June 7
Philly Beer Week spreads to the suburbs at TJ’s Restaurant and Drinkery in Paoli on Monday, June 7 from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Brewers and representatives from Stillwater, Cigar City, St. Somewhere, Voodoo, Boulder, Dark Horse, Ballast Point, and 12% Imports will attend.

Tuesday, June 8

Victory Fists of Feury Beer Release Party, June 8 and 13
Victory Brewing Company’s Bill Covaleski teamed up with brother-chefs Terence (Fork) and Patrick Feury (Nectar) to create Fists of Feury, a special brew just for beer week. Head to Fork on Tuesday, June 8 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. to celebrate the beer’s limited release and sample a special menu created by the Feury brothers, featuring slow roasted Lancaster County steamship round of beef, sliced to order. Nectar in Berwyn will be hosting a second celebratory beer dinner on Sunday, June 13 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Both dinners cost $55; call 215-625-9425 to reserve at Fork or 610-725-9000 to reserve at Nectar.

Southampton Beer Dinner with Phil Markowski, June 8
Fairmount tavern The Belgian Café hosts Southampton brewer Phil Markowski on Tuesday, June 8 at 8:00 p.m. for a special beer dinner featuring Southampton brews. The prix-fixe dinner is $45; call 215-235-3500 for reservations and menu information.

Beer Week at the Four Seasons, June 8 and 9
The Four Seasons’ Swann Lounge and Café, the happy hour favorite of CEOs, is classing up beer week. On Tuesday, June 8 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., meet Boston Brewing Company (Sam Adams) brewmaster Bob Cannon. Victory Brewing Company’s Bill Covaleski will also be on hand on Wednesday, June 9 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for a meet and greet. After you shake hands with Covaleski, stick around for a special $65 beer dinner with him from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Call 215-963-1500 to make reservations.

Wednesday, June 9

Le Bec-Fin Bière Semaine Dinners, June 9 and 10
On Wednesday, June 9 starting at 6:00 p.m., Le Bec-Fin will host a three course dinner with five French beer tastings at Le Bar Lyonnais, the restaurant’s underground counterpart. The classic French restaurant will go lowbrow—Joe Sixpack (the Daily News’ beer columnist Don Russell) will be on hand to offer his brew knowledge on the Shelton Brothers French beers, like Pietra Columba and Framboise, that will be served. Then, on Thursday, June 9, head north for another three course dinner with Canadian brewmaster Rene Huard and taste five French Canadian beers from Brasserie Illimites. Each dinner costs $75. Call 215-567-1000 to make reservations.

Allagash Brewing Company Beer Week Events, June 9-11
Rob Tod, Allagash’s head brewer, will be gallivanting all over Philly during beer week. Catch him first at St. Stephen’s Green in Fairmount on Wednesday, June 9 from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and sample some of the twelve special brews they’ll be pouring. Or, have lunch with him at Jose Pistola’s on Thursday, June 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Mexican joint will offer Allagash Black and Confluence on draft. If you’re not all Allagash-ed out by Friday, June 11, hang out with Tod at Tria in Washingon Square West from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sample Victor and Victoria drafts during this happy hour.

Thursday, June 10

Unibroue Night, June 10
Meet Jay Jones of Quebec microbrewery Unibroue at For Pete’s Sake Pub in Queen Village on Thursday, June 10 at 12:00 p.m. Sample some French Canadian brews like Chambly Noir, Ephermere, Maudite, and Blanche de Chambly.

Friday, June 11

Founders Beer Dinner, June 11
South Philadelphia Tap Room, known for its gastropub fare and great draft selection, hosts Michael Bell and Dave Engbers of Founders Brewing for a 9 course, 9 beer, $90 dinner on Friday, June 11 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Buy tickets on their website.