Monday, May 21, 2012

Philly Beer Week 2012: What's On Tap

Last week, The Four Seasons Philadelphia hosted a Philly Beer Week press conference for the local media, assorted beer bloggers and a handful of industry folks. With less than two weeks to go it is time to start getting both excited and prepared for this year's festivities because, as Beer Week veterans know, PBW is no joke.

Joe Sixpack & the legendary Hammer of Glory
Philly Beer Week Executive Director Don Russel, aka Joe Sixpack, gave us all a preview of what we can expect for this 5th annual affair, the first and largest Beer Week in the country. Seeing how the event was held in the With Love Beer Garden, they were the main focus of discussion. I never made it down to the Four Seasons last year but wouldn't rule it out this year. Given all the hustle and bustle that Beer Week brings this could provide some much needed refuge...and of course beer, a different area brewery will be featured each night with the brewers making appearances as well. It seems like a good spot to meet up with people or even to end your day of Beer Week activities, get all the details over here.
Pretty certain that Sommelier Scott Turnbull got sick of posing.
The highlight of the event, for me, was getting the first sips of this year's Philly Beer Week collaboration beer, Dupont Spéciale Belge. A group of lucky Philadelphians including Tom Peters of Monk's and Chris LapPierre from Iron Hill Maple Shade ventured over to Belgium to brew this exclusive ale at the almighty Brasserie Dupont.

The amber ale really hit the spot standing around under the sun, some great fruitiness mixed with earthy malt flavors and a refreshingly dry finish, I might even venture to say tart but don't want to get you thinking this is sour by any means. There was a lot of discussion of the addition of smoked malts but I couldn't find any trace of them in there. Spéciale Belge will make its official debut at Opening Tap and will be featured throughout the area during the week. A bit of Philly, a bit of Belgium, a whole lot of goodness.
Proud brewer, Chris LaPierre
Despite the fact that Philly Beer Week has become a daunting part of my job at work, I'm still pretty excited. I'm quickly learning just how much work and effort goes into the whole thing, it is quite impressive. Let's all be thankful that we have a city that takes beer so seriously and has such an impressive community of publicans, wholesalers, retailers, publicans and drinkers. 
There a ton of great events lined up with still more being added so get your schedule in order!

June 1 - 10

Also, I have the great pleasure of having a birthday during Beer Week so if happen to run into me, forget the can just get the tab.

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