Philly Beer Week 2013 from a Phirst-Timer

This time last year, I was JUST getting geared up to move from NC. I ogled Philly Beer Week 2012 from afar, following Twitter and Facebook like a stalker. Fast-forward to 2013 and I was ready for what was touted as “The Biggest Beer Week in the Nation”. With over 1,000 events during the course of 10 days (because 7-day weeks are for suckers and saps), I had to curate my week carefully (and, you know, continue to attend class, do homework, work at my internship, and maintain some semblance of responsibility). Luckily, I’m Type-A to a T and had lists on lists of beers I wanted to try, events I wanted to hit up, food pairings I was interested in, and a careful spreadsheet of my REM cycles to maintain appropriate homeostasis to sustain life (Fine, I didn’t track my REM cycles. But I DID fully engage in several naps to make up for lost night-sleep).

My first sight of PBW2013!

My first sight of PBW2013!

Friday, I had a whole schedule planned. I’d mapped out where I was going, had a time-frame, and a buddy to escort me from place to place. But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men, so after a quick bite to eat, my beer buddy got a bit of tummy troubles and I was on my own.

One is the loneliest number (though Sixty-One by Dogfish Head does help the loneliness a bit)

One is the loneliest number (though Sixty-One by Dogfish Head does help the loneliness a bit)

Luckily, this was not an issue. Because during Philly Beer Week, if you’re a fan of beer, you’re NEVER alone.

Varga Gals and The Hammer of Glory make great buddies

Varga Gals and The Hammer of Glory make great buddies

And over the course of the next ten days (only 6 of which I partook in any beer shenanigans, a girl’s gotta rest sometimes) I basked in the glory of Philly Beer Week and all that it had to offer.

Let’s try this by the numbers (well, a few numbers)

Number of New-to-Me Beers Consumed: 27

Best Beer I Tried: Allagash FV13 Tart, rich in flavor and body, beautiful copper color, can’t beat it.

Worst Beer I Tried: Evil Twin Blind Eye PA Belgian IPA? I don’t think so. This was a mistake to order with dinner, and a bigger mistake to drink the whole thing. Some things just don’t go together. This is one of them (IMHO).

Number of Times I Visited Varga Bar: 4. I think I’ve established my new favorite bar in Philadelphia for beer, ambience, and cheese fries (that I need to try according to the internet)

Coolest Event: BBQ (Broads, Brews, and Queens) at Smokin’ Betty’s

Oh hell yes.

Oh hell yes.

Nothing goes better with beer than drag queens

Nothing goes better with beer than drag queens

Ultimate End of Beer Week Event: Bathed in Victory Beer and Cheese Pairing at Dibruno Brothers

Talk about some Summer Love.

Talk about some Summer Love.

And here's your cheese pr0n for the day.

And here’s your cheese p0rn for the day.

And this is how I felt at the end of the week:

WIPED City, USA!

WIPED City, USA!

Full Disclosure: It was an INTENSE week, and I didn’t even participate in all the days I could’ve… Looks like I’ll need to train a little harder for next year. But I don’t think I’d rather train for anything else.

Cheers to everyone who made PBW2013 incredible, to my new friends, to my new favorite bars and my new favorite beers, and to a year to prepare for PBW2014. That’s right, the dates are set and starting May 30th, we’ll do it all over again.

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Put a Bird on It: Albion Fit Giveaway

**Contest closed: Congratulations to Brandi Dawn for winning the hoodie and being a badass little skydiver!!!**

It started out as a dream (as all the best things do). A regular ol’ young professional with a growing fondness for craft beers and a newly discovered passion for fitness and actually taking care of my body. And, two years later, Food, Sweat, and Beers is not only a part of my day-to-day living, it’s become part of who I am. I meet people IRL who I’ve only followed on Twitter and we’re fast friends. I’ve rekindled relationships with long lost buddies through blogging. I’ve had people that I see and talk to on a regular basis reach out to me to tell me that, in some small way or another, I’ve touched them or my words meant something to it.

Happy Second Birthday to my blog, my internet persona, and ALL that is Food, Sweat, and Beers.

And since birthdays are all about presents and celebrating why you came into this world in the first place, why not combine the two?

Aw, look, their logo donned a party hat!!

Aw, look, their logo donned a party hat!!

Albion Fit gave me a chance to do JUST THAT on this most sacred birthday. Albion Fit is a new-to-me company that revolves around providing gorgeous performance active- and swimwear for ladies like me who are gunning to live an adventurous lifestyle without having to sacrifice looking beautiful while doing it.

Having worked for Athleta earlier in the past year and being a frequent purchaser of Lululemon gear, I’m no stranger to this realm of workout clothing (just ask the two shelves I have dedicated solely to fitness attire). And so, when given the chance to try out some new women’s fitness and swimwear, I jumped at the opportunity. I was offered a choice of several products to try out, and honestly wished I could’ve snagged them all!

A few of the options that were in the running:

Go Long Crew with Thumbholes in Grape

Go Long Crew with Thumbholes in Grape

Or really any of the colors. This top is beautiful, and I don’t think it’s just because so is the model wearing it as she calmly does yoga on the rocks whilst getting misted on by the ocean.

U-Line top in white and coral

U-Line top in white and coral

This reminds me of some of my favorite workout tops, mostly because of the sleek appearance with a super-secure cross-back.

But then I saw the item that caught my eye:

Albion's Signature 26.2 Zip Jacket in Black!

Albion’s Signature 26.2 Zip Jacket in Black!

I had to have it. And, within no time at all (seriously, snaps on the quick shipping turnaround), I had the package in my grubby paws. I would’ve taken a picture, except I was too excited to not rip into it right away.

I donned it, pranced around in front of the mirror, and then gave it a whirl (you know, on one of the days in recent past where it hasn’t been PAINFULLY hot and I actually needed a jacket on my walk home from the gym). My thoughts?

Fashion show

Fashion show

First and foremost, I gotta drop credit where credit is due: this sweatshirt is (IMHO) cute. Come on, they ACTUALLY managed to “put a bird on it” without making it look tacky and ridiculous. I was a little hesitant of the detailing, but I love it. It is definitely a slim fit, and I don’t think I’d be comfortable wearing this shirt with a t-shirt under it. Luckily, most of the time when I hit the gym, I’m wearing form-fitting tank tops, so it works.

She-Ra.

She-Ra (also I hope everyone’s as entertained by what’s in the background of this shot as I am…. Yes, that’s a pirate hat on the lamp)

The slim fit, while certainly not forgiving in the stomach and chest area (not a problem since I’ve proudly renounced my larger chest of yore), makes me feel like a certified tough chick, especially as it clings to my massive almost-visible biceps.

The material is a little less soft than most of the Lululemon pieces that I have, but the structured feel really makes me believe that this is true performance wear that will hold up over time.

My only complaint?

Oh, long arms. How you plague me...

Oh, long arms. How you plague me…

Being part-chimpanzee, the length of my arms proved too much for this jacket and my delicate wrist bones are laid out for the world to see. Not a BIG problem, and certainly not an issue for those of y’all with normal-human length appendages… but notable from my end.

Plus, when the winds start whipping, I can whip up my hood and….

VOILA!

VOILA!

BAM! Super cute hood detail. Big thanks to Albion Fit for sharing. And, since we’re all in a giving mood, birthdays and such, let’s share this item with one of YOU!

GIVEAWAY SCOOP BELOW

Albion Fit’s offering up one of these sleek, chic hoodies (valued at $98) for a lucky reader (in either black, white, or teal). I wish I could offer up the easiest entry in the world like “just THINK about this post and you’re entered” but there’s a little more to it than that. To be eligible to win the giveaway you must:

  • “Like” Albion Fit on Facebook
  • Pin your favorite item from albionfit.com onto one of your Pinterest boards (and then leave a comment on my post with the link to your pin)

Not TOO tough, right?

Entries will be accepted until Friday, June 7th at 12:00pm EST. And I’ll throw in an extra entry if you ALSO tell me the best thing about your most recent birthday (OR your second birthday, if you can remember).

If you hate the luck of the draw but still wanna try some Albion Fit goods, use the code: fsb15 to get $15 off any purchase of $50 or more!!

IMPORTANT NOTE: You are not eligible to win this giveaway if you’ve already won another Albion Fit giveaway within the last 6 months.

Thanks for hanging out with me over these past 2 years. Cheers to many more years (and quite a few more beers).