The Philadelphia Zoo’s Fifth Annual Summer Ale Festival

Attendees of this sold-out event braved forecast showers to drink beer, gawk at animals.

The Philadelphia Zoo’s Fifth Annual Summer Ale Festival was held Sat., July 20, attracting nearly 1,200 people. The annual event combines an exceptional sampling of food and craft beer from Greater Philadelphia. During the evening the guests were able to see animal exhibits, as well as participate in fun activities. Left to right: Lindsay Still, Adrianna Yanez, Emily Yanez, Alyssa Alloy and Alyssa Waldt.

Gene Geller, Tali Wellner, Hadas Kuznits and Dan Reinherz (below, left to right) check out the exhibits in the new KidZooU — Hamilton Family Children’s Zoo & Faris Family Education.

The Zoo’s Molly Serfass (below) offers animal trading cards to Nabil Rahman and Kyle French, in between bites on their pretzel necklaces. Seems that beer drinkers really love their pretzels, and they like them to be close at hand.

I ran into Nikki Fisher (below) of Nifty Fifty’s, who told me the employees of the popular Bensalem restaurant, which burned down on Friday, will be absorbed by the other restaurants until a new one can be rebuilt. They’ll be coming back bigger and better soon.

Christine Herrero (below) tries out butterfly wings at the new KidZooU

(Below, left to right) Alyssa Mendoza, Emily Goergan, Emily Kahn wait to see the results Adriana Wallace‘s painting of friend Carla Menocal face.

(Below) Brett Bertolino and Andrew Morgan.

The Water Works: Chef Robert Miracle and Mick Hally (below) served up delicious braised beef for the evening’s soiree.

Forget about necklaces: Scott and Heather Bennett (below) carried around containers of pretzels. Guess they were prepared for a long night.

Katy DiSanto gets up-close and personal with a snake, held by education zoo keeper James Miller (below).

Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar was serving delicious crab cakes prepared and served by chef-partner Davis Langhorne, Valerie Crews and Nickolas Baitzel, manger (below, left to right). The trio tells me that long-time partner Patrick English now helms the Newport Beach, Calif., Flemings. Best wishes to him.

Jason and Kate Domanski, Christie Toy, Fred Clayton Jr., Colleen Clayton, and Mike Toy (below, left to right) check out a shed snake skin.

I found Tom Schmidt and Tom Corey (below) holding their souvenir glasses while waiting in line for Boxcar Brewing Company beer.

Laura and Anthony Seraballi (below) tell me this was their first time here, and it was so much fun. They especially liked seeing the animals at dusk, a time when the zoo isn’t normally open.

Debbie and Megan Demeter (below) enjoy coming to this event year after year, although this year it was a bit too hot and they made an early exit. Good thing, because about 15 minutes after I took this photo the skies opened up with a torrential rain shower.