The most wonderful time of the year

The city's an­nu­al Beer Week cel­eb­ra­tion is set to kick off June 1. "Think Beer, Drink Beer" colum­nist Tim Pat­ton gives you the in­side info.

Re­joice, all ye hop heads, la­ger lov­ers and stout sup­port­ers—Beer Week is here again.

Run­ning from June 1-10, this “one week” (leave it to beer lov­ers to pro­long the length of a week) event of­fers a dizzy­ing ar­ray of beer events meant to please cas­u­al beer drink­ers, brew geeks and every­one in between. Events stretch from Cen­ter City to the sub­urbs, and this year even De­li­l­ah’s and Sug­ar­house Casino are tak­ing part.

This column seeks to keep things loc­al, and it turns out there are some in­cred­ible beer week events tak­ing place right in our own back­yard.

Beer Week be­gins with the jour­ney of the “Ham­mer of Glory (HOG)” throughout the city. The HOG is used to tap the first fir­kin at the kick­off Open­ing Tap event June 1 at the In­de­pend­ence Vis­it­ors Cen­ter. 

The HOG starts at 9 a.m. at Hop An­gel Brauhaus in the North­east and travels though Kens­ing­ton, Fishtown and North­ern Liber­ties on its way to Old City. In the past, the HOG has traveled by way of as bi­cycle, kin­et­ic sculp­ture, and even pogo stick. Clearly, beer is a big deal.

The Mem­ph­is Tap­room al­ways im­presses for Beer Week, and on Tues­day June 5 from 7 to 1 p.m. their beer garden will host a spe­cial Maine Beer din­ner with Alla­gash head brew­er Rob Tod. 

The beer garden will also host the Homebrew Beer Fest on Sat­urday June 9 from 12 to 4 p.m. The best loc­al homebrew­ers and start-up brew­ery own­ers will serve their beer. Look for Barry’s Homebrew, Bomb­shell Brew­ing, Mel­lody Brew­ing and my own brew­ery, Saint Ben­jamin Brew­ing Co.

Tick­ets for both events are avail­able ahead of time at the bar or at www.mem­phistap­

Beer week is also a great time to head up to the North­east. On June 9, Hop An­gel Brauhaus will be host­ing Unib­roue, a French-Ca­na­dian brew­ery that makes great Bel­gian-style beer. Their head brew­er will also hold a tap­ping of sev­er­al of their beers.

At the Grey Lodge, there are plenty of events for large brew­er­ies but two that stand out fo­cus on small start-ups.  Ne­sham­iny Creek will have three beers on tap on Fri­day, June 8 and Shawnee Craft Brew­ing Com­pany will be on tap June 9. Beer from these brew­er­ies is hard to come by in Phil­adelphia, so rack up some hip­ster cred­ib­il­ity points by check­ing them out be­fore they get cool.

Phil­adelphia Brew­ing Com­pany keeps a low pro­file for Beer Week, but they are part­ner­ing with the Fishtown Beer Run­ners and spon­sor­ing the second-an­nu­al Chick­en Run. Run from the brew­ery in Kens­ing­ton to Amer­ic­an Sardine Bar in South Philly, and then en­joy fried chick­en and PBC beer at the end (what bet­ter way to jus­ti­fy eat­ing fried chick­en and beer then by say­ing you already ran it off?).

If fir­kins are your thing, then check out the Fir­kin Ri­ot at Johnny Brenda’s on June 2. Last year, the bar was lined with over a dozen fir­kins of loc­al beer, some of which are rarely avail­able in this serving style.

In­ter­state Draft House is also get­ting in on the small brew­ery ac­tion. On June 3 from 4 to 7 p.m., Saint Ben­jamin will be pour­ing free samples of beer. On June 5, Prism will be in-house with six beers and a bur­lesque cab­aret.

As if Sat­urday wasn’t full enough, Stand­ard Tap is host­ing a sour beer brunch.  All loc­al beers will be served, and since many loc­al brew­er­ies don’t brew sours, there will be some unique beers avail­able.

For the his­tory buffs among us, El Cam­ino Real will be host­ing Beer His­tory Quizzo on June 5 from 8 to 10 p.m. Then again, every­one thinks they’re a geni­us after a few beers…

Frank­ford Hall and Great Lakes brew­ing are host­ing “Dunkel Dare,” a com­pet­i­tion with some new beers. The de­scrip­tion is a little vague, but new Great Lakes beer is al­ways a treat, and if the com­pet­i­tion is a play on the old Nick­elodeon game show “Double Dare,” the antics should be amus­ing. And pos­sibly covered in green slime.

Keep up with oth­er Philly Beer Week events at philly­beer­ The or­gan­izers have also made a smart phone app avail­able for iPhone and An­droid users.

Tim Pat­ton, Star’s now-monthly beer colum­nist, is a Fishtown res­id­ent and the brew­mas­ter at St. Ben­jamin Brew­ing Com­pany, a brew­ery open­ing in Kens­ing­ton this sum­mer. Got beer or brew­ing news he should be clued in on? Email him at brew­mas­ter@stben­jamin­brew­

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