Philly Beer Week 2017 – 10 Events You Can’t Miss!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year….

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Philly Beer Week – There’s nothing quite like it. And, with ten days (or less, who knows when you’re reading this) until Opening Tap, the city’s beer bars, reps, and drinkers alike are gearing up for Christmas in June.

2017 marks the 10th Year of this 10 Day Beer Bonanza (“week” is a relative term, right?) and I’m pretty sure that folks are pulling out all the stops to make it the most memorable year to-date. As I did before in 2015 (missed most of last year due to a poorly timed Whole 30), I spent an unreasonable amount of time poring over the lineup of events. I recognize that not all the events are released yet, but I think enough are out that I’ve crafted a pretty dynamite list.

I wouldn’t recommend attending all 10 of them. But, if you do, best of luck to you and your liver.


May the odds be ever in your favor…

  1. For the person who takes Thursday off… The Hammer of Glory Relay – June 1st, ALL DAY
    For $10, you can hop a seat on a double decker bus and follow the iconic HoG (Hammer of Glory) throughout the city, watching as it passes from spot to spot using themed vehicles, roller derby gals, weird man-powered machines, and ridiculous costumes. Most of the stops, coincidentally, are bars, so if day-drinking is your thing, you can’t start the “week” off any better.
  2. For the one that likes to run for fun… Red Owl Tavern / Founders Brewing Almost 3k – June 3rd, 10am18527242_1358343947548692_3634553842382043062_o.jpg

    Y’all. 3k… that’s not even 2 miles, so no excuses. $30 gets you your first beer, your last beer, a glass, and a t-shirt. PLUS FITNESS! The run is around Independence Mall, and you’ll be hanging before (and hopefully after) at Red Owl Tavern sipping on tasty Founders brews. The ideal way to start your PBW Weekend!

  3. For the one who loves Sunday Funday… Poppin’ Wheelies and Doing the Hula June 4th, 12pm-7pm 

    Two parter – Part 1 – Noon, get some hair of the dog whilst at Drury Beer Garden for some epic Big Wheel Races in the back. Or just laugh and laugh while sipping Evil Genius offerings.
    51PQ9835YGL.jpgPart 2 – 3pm Head just a few feet over to Tiki for an all-male hula contest. Just try to keep your 2SP beers down as these hairy, bearded brutes shake their groove things…

  4. For the nerds who love brews and views… Raven Society Rooftop Biergarten with Sam from Dogfish Head, June 6th, 6-9pmScreen Shot 2017-05-23 at 2.25.05 PM.png

    The Dogfish Head will be flowing, Sam Calagione (founder and owner of Dogfish Head and recent James Beard Award recipient) will be speaking, and the sun will be setting. This will likely be one of the most Instagrammable events… Just saying.

  5. For the one who never wakes up early enough for brunch… Breakfast for Dinner with Rob from Allagash – Jose Pistola’s, 9pm-midnight 

    If you’re like me, you might prefer your eggs served alongside kegs. And if you’re NOT like me, you’re not really a morning person. Head over to Jose Pistola’s to have your (pan)cake and drink beer, too.

  6. For the karaoke all-star… LIVE-Band Karaoke at Johnny Brenda’s with Yards! June 8th, 8:30pm
    Yeah, I’m sure you’ve done karaoke. But have you ever done karaoke with a live full band?! Let the Yards brews give you the liquid courage you need.
  7. For the Mrs. Doubtfire fan… Left Hand Brewing’s PBW Drag Show Taproom on 19th, June 8th – 8-11pm
    Taproom on 19th is known for their burgers and beer year-round, so you can be sure that the draft list is going to be incredible when they’re highlighting Left Hand Brewing. But, let’s be honest, you’re not just coming for the drinks.18274940_1368095863272820_3503969321176695260_n.jpg
  8. For the one that still can’t stop singing “I’m on a Boat“… Beers & Boats at Bartram’s Garden June 8th, 4-8pm
    This is always a crowd pleaser AND has been known to sell-out, so get your tickets fast! $15 gets you a 30-minute kayak rental & your first beer. PLUS, on the Schuylkill, you can sing as loudly as you want (important if you’ve already indulged in a beer or two…) Don’t worry, lifejackets are mandatory!
  9. For the Picasso of Pilsners, or the Kahlo of Kolsch… PBW: The Art of Beer at Frankford Hall, June 6th, 7-9pm
    A picture’s worth a thousand words, but that art on bottles and cans… that’s priceless. This event is a panel discussion on beer label design featuring the artists behind Tröegs Independent Brewing Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company, Hill Farmstead Brewery, MikkellerForest & Main Brewing Company and Highway Manor Brewing! Edutainment at it’s finest.
  10. For the grand finale… Tailgate Olympics at Devil’s Den, June 10th, 12pm-6pm
    No better way to kick off the last weekend of PBW 2017 than with games galore. Giant Beer Pong, Washers, Huge Jenga, & Cornhole to name a few… Bring out your inner jock and soak up the Saturday sunshine with your friends from Free Will, Yards, Evil Genius, 2SP, and Weyerbacher!

There are TONS of events this year, really with something for everyone. Whether you’re a foodie, in it for the games (keep your eyes out for the goldfish and turtle races), a sweet-tooth, or looking for super rare brews… You’ll have a harder time not having fun during the first 10 days of June than you will finding a beer-focused way to spend your days!

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:



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.