How to Tell the Erin Express From the Craft Beer Express
A few years ago I was working on a Saturday. I left my office to grab some lunch when I saw a woman sprawled out on the plaza in front of the Comcast Center. Another woman sat on some nearby steps looking like she was about to puke. A guy was farther down on the plaza on all fours.
They were all dressed in green. It was St. Patrick’s Day.
St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t fall on a Saturday this year, but tomorrow is the second weekend of the Erin Express this year. The original and “official” Erin Express hits a variety of Irish bars in Center City, University City and Fairmount.
Because the people on the Erin Express tend to be in their early 20s, they can get loud, obnoxious and insanely drunk by the end of the day. Some people don’t like it. “The Erin Express is the Wing Bowl on wheels,” Joe Beddia tweeted. “A trip that originates in hell, comes through town then reports back to Satan,” Joe Murray tweeted. “Erin Express is today,” Chip Chantry tweeted during the first weekend of the event, “and the City of Philadelphia drops the ball by not getting the guillotine up in time.”
Going extra hard at erin express bc I couldn't go last year… U may or may not find my body lying on broad st
— ➳ (@kim_k_xo) March 11, 2016
Honestly, I don’t think it’s that bad, but what do I know?
On April 9th, the Craft Beer Express sets off in Philadelphia. Because of its reputation as a more mature pub crawl, the Craft Beer Express doesn’t have any stigma attached to it. Searching “Craft Beer Express” on Twitter turns up nary a snarky tweet.
But perhaps you have some trouble differentiating the two. Never fear! I present to you a chart on how to tell the Craft Beer Express from the Erin Express. (I did a version of this for a since-defunct local site five years ago; it no longer exists online so I’m allowed to use the idea again!)
|Erin Express||Craft Beer Express|
|Organized by||Cavanaugh’s and Smokey Joe’s||“A handful of Philly bar owners wanted to share their love of beer with people who appreciate a fine brew as much as they do”|
|Time||Noon to 5:30 pm||11 a.m. to 6 p.m.|
|Buses||buses are free and run every 15 minutes||buses run every 25 minutes; tickets are $10 in advance/$15 day-of|
|Best Bar on Route||Bonner’s Irish Pub (120 South 23rd Street)||The Institute (549 N. 12th Street)|
|Bar You’ve Probably Never Been To||Liberty Bar (2204 Market Street)||Bourbon & Branch (702 N. 2nd Street)|
|Bar For Your Cool 21-Year-Old Cousin||Smokey Joe’s (208 S. 40th Street)||City Tap House (2 Logan Square)|
|Special Attraction||“Outdoor festival style party space” at Cavanaugh’s University City||Headhouse Square Beer Garden|
|What You Expect Everyone to Drink…||Guinness, Jameson||Sly Fox, Dogfish, Lagunitas|
|What Everyone Actually Drinks…||Miller Lite||Session beer (it’s a long day!)|
|Chances of seeing vomit?||Over 100 percent||Maybe if someone eats too much|
|Chances of green beer?||Over 100 percent||Thankfully, pretty low|
|You Might Feel Old If You’re…||25||65|
|Philly sports jersey||Throwback Brian Dawkins jersey||Green Claude Giroux Flyers jersey|
|Pants?||Shorts (c’mon, this is Philadelphia)||Shorts (c’mon, this is Philadelphia)|
|Okay, okay — type of shorts||Athletic||Cargo|
|Footwear||Nike||“What are thoooooose?!”|
|Supposed type of service||Express||Express|
|Actual type of service||Local||Local|
Follow @dhm on Twitter.