The Best Events of Philly Beer Week 2019
Beer Week is back and bigger than ever. Here are our recommendations for how to make the most of it.
Philly Beer Week is back for 2019 — and if you’ve ever perused their, er, substantial calendar of events, you know that figuring out how to choose between all the tastings, tap takeovers, beer dinners, happy hours, pairing sessions, and brewer meet-and-greets is enough to make you give up and switch to wine.
No worries. We’ve sifted through the schedule to bring you the highlights, from butchery demos that pair beers with meat to beer cocktail throwdowns to meet-the-cidermaker events. Here are our picks for the best of Philly Beer Week 2019.
Friday, May 31st
Opening Tap, 2300 Arena
6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Beer Week is made up of literally thousands of events all across the region — but Opening Tap is where its followers converge on one spot to get the libations flowing. There’ll be music and dancing with VJ Fava Le Chic, then a set of live band karaoke with Pat Finnerty & the Full Band, plus beers and ciders from more than 60 makers to taste. Head straight to Opening Tap, or hit up stops on the day-long Hammer of Glory Relay route to get there. Tickets for the party bus are already sold out, but you can still follow along — responsibly — on your own or pop into a single stop along the way.
Saturday, June 1st
Ancient Alcohol: A Taste of Bygone Booze Tour and Beer Tasting, Penn Museum
3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Tickets: $25 ($15 for designated drivers)
Pair beer and history with a guided tour of the Penn Museum and learn about early drinking games, how much beer the ancient Egyptians thought you’d need in the afterlife, and how archaeologists are reconstructing and reviving millennia-old recipes for fermented beverages. Finish up with a tasting of Midas Touch, Dogfish Head’s most-awarded beer, which was co-created with an archaeologist.
Sunday, June 2nd
Cider Sunday, Blume
2 p.m. until 6 p.m.
Pay as you go
Despite the name, Beer Week has come to mean much more than its namesake beverage. The bar at floral-patterned restaurant Blume, which specializes in natural wines and ciders, is hosting five regional natural cider producers: Pittsburgh’s Arsenal, Downingtown’s Dressler Estate, Ploughman and Big Hill from south central Pennsylvania, and D.C.’s Anxo, who’ll be in attendance to share wisdom about their wares. Each will have two drafts on hand, and the kitchen is serving $10 flatbreads and a special local cheese board to pair with your sips all evening long.
Monday, June 3rd
2nd Annual Beer Cocktail Competition, Prohibition Taproom
2 p.m. until 4 p.m.
Tickets: $30 at the door
This Chopped-style, three-round competition needs you to help find the best beer cocktail of PBW 2019. Drink your way through cocktails made by four of Philly’s top bartenders using a secret beer from Free Will Brewing, a mystery liquor from Boardroom Spirits, and a surprise locally sourced ingredient — then cast your vote for your favorite. In return, you get a welcome can of Free Will, nine two-ounce sips (about three cocktails’ worth) of the competitors’ entries, and complimentary snacks.
Tuesday, June 4th
Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen, Pistola’s Del Sur
6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Every year, chef Adán Trinidad gets a crew of his chef friends together for a six-course collaborative beer dinner, and the 2019 roster is impressive: Chris Kearse of the upcoming Forsythia, Chad Durkin of Carlo’s Bakery, Mike Strauss of Mike’s BBQ, Saté Kampar’s Ange Branca, and Triangle Tavern’s Mark McKinney. Tickets include a glass of Duveldelphia, PBW’s official beer this year. Check out the list of beer pairings and grab tickets here.
Wednesday, June 5th
CBD Beer Dinner, Second District Brewing
Tickets: $70 (includes tax but not gratuity)
Jennifer Zavala doesn’t just make killer tamales. The firebrand chef also specializes in cooking with cannabis, and Second District is hosting her for a CBD-infused beer dinner. Each full meal will include 15 milligrams of nanoparticle CBD emulsion provided by local entrepreneur Khara Cartagena, who will be on hand to answer questions about the product. Check out the menu here, and stop by Second District at 1939 South Bancroft Street or call the brewery at 215-575-5900 to reserve your spot.
Thursday, June 6th
Butchering and Beer at the Boucherie, Royal Boucherie
7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Tickets: $65 (includes tax and gratuity)
Beer gets paired with just about everything, from cheese to chocolate to…meat? Get an education in how your favorite cuts get on your plate with a live butchery demo from chef-owner Nick Elmi, then come full circle with a menu of meat-centric dishes paired with different beers from Founders Brewing Co.
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Beer: Our third favorite B word after Bourbon and Blues. Join us during Philly Beer Week for two great events, including our annual Barrel-Aged Beer Extravaganza on 6/7 and Blues & Brews, a Meet the Brewer tasting with Levante on June 6/2. Click Link in Profile for More Details *.* #phillylovesbeer #phillybeerweek #drinkphilly #foobooz #thrillistphilly #visitphilly #discoverphl #phillyfoodie #phillygram
Friday, June 7th
Barrel Aged Extravaganza, Twisted Tail
Pay as you go
The good folks at Twisted Tail start prepping for this special night months in advance with their very own barrel-aged beer: a batch of Dock Street’s Prince Mishkin Imperial Stout that’s been aging to perfection in one of their Maker’s Mark Private Select bourbon barrels for the past nine months. If that’s not enough, they’ve got barrel-aged varieties from Goose Island, Sixpoint, 2SP, and Crooked Stave and even some ciders from Michigan-based maker Virtue — with food and even spirit pairing suggestions to go along. The beer starts flowing at 4 p.m. on Friday, and they’ll go until it runs out.
Saturday, June 8th
Sour Brunch, Standard Tap
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Pay as you go
Gently ease yourself out of the Beer Week bacchanal with a sensible meal of locally sourced fare from one of the city’s OG gastropubs and a selection of refreshing, reviving sours from local and regional brewers like Referend Bier Blendery, Fodham & Dominion, Singlecut, and Tröegs. Check the ever-rotating chalkboard menu for what they’re serving that weekend — not like the Tap has ever steered you wrong — and pick your pairings.
Sunday, June 9th
Clam Bake on the Patio, City Tap House
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Pay as you go
One of the tragedies of Beer Week is that by definition, well, it’s in Philly — which means that beer lovers might be torn between an early summer weekend at the shore and staying in the city to avoid PBW FOMO. Get the best of both worlds with a chill afternoon of live music and beachy eats on the patio at City Tap House. Twenty bucks gets you in on their clambake, complete with kielbasa, corn on the cob, and potatoes, and you can order all the Cape May Brewing Company you want to tide you over until PBW 2020 comes around.