Am I Really Over Philly Beer Week?
Let me start by saying that I love Beer Week. In fact, I love almost everything about it. I love beer. (I like it so much I even try to make my own.) I love Philadelphia-area beer (going back to when Yards was in Manayunk and Dogfish Head was still considered small). I love that local brewers put their brains together each year on a new installment of the collaborative brew Brotherly Suds.
I love that Philadelphia has become home to so many champion drinkers that it can draw brewers and breweries from around the country and around the globe to town to drink beer we drink the other 51 weeks of the year, too. (It was suggested to me by someone who would know that during the depths of the recession, Philadelphia was more or less keeping Michigan’s brewing industry afloat.)
Hell, I love that Philly Beer Week has redefined the concept of a the week. (Beer Week is 10 days: one work week, its adjacent weekends, and the Friday leading into it all.)
So why am I so torn up about this Beer Week?
Maybe I’m too busy? Writing for the Philly Post is a full-time job, after all. (Editor’s note: It’s not). Maybe I’m too old? The big 4-0 isn’t that far off. (“We’re old, this is how it is now,” a friend wrote me when I bailed on an event.)
Maybe, like Morrissey, we hate it when our friends become successful?
Or maybe Beer Week, which seems to be growing exponentially each year, has finally gotten too big for its own good? Is Beer Week becoming for Philadelphia what South by Southwest has become for Austin: a good time for natives to take a vacation?
I suspect we’re not quite in danger of that yet, but hit the Philly Beer Week events page and tell me if you don’t feel panicked by the can’t-miss options. Then attend a meet-the-brewer or firkin event at your local beer bar and tell me if the crowds don’t give you claustrophobia.
Then again, maybe Beer Week’s only problem is that, like Russian River’s Pliny the Younger, it’s too good, and it’s not around long enough.
Maybe what we need now is a “Make Every Week Beer Week” campaign.
Or maybe I need to take the advice of homebrew guru Charlie Papazian, whose mantra in The Complete Joy of Homebrewing is: “Relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew.”
Yeah, that’s probably it.
Other things I may or may not be over:
- Shake Shack: I really like going to Shake Shack in New York. But I like that it’s in New York.
- Ruben Amaro: I’d like Pat Gillick back, please.
- The Killing: I wasn’t as wound-up about the deus ex machina that concluded season one as everyone else was, but I’m feeling a little angsty about season two’s impending finale.
- Welcome America: This, sadly, is our SXSW, a.k.a., the best time to get out of dodge.
- The Budweiser Made In America festival: At least Welcome America is free.