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2015: The Year Of Craft Beer In Philly
Every Month Brings Large-Scale Showcases Of Suds To The City Of Brewerly Love
As home to the world’s original and biggest craft beer week—Philly Beer Week—Philadelphia sets a high bar for beer events. In the city and suburbs, beerific happenings take place all year long that draw hundreds and thousands of beer lovers. Here’s a look at some of the oldest, largest, quirkiest and most popular celebrations of artisanal suds slated for 2015:
- Called “one of the top 10 beer festivals in America” by Forbes Traveler, the Philly Craft Beer Festival returns under tents at the Philadelphia Navy Yard with more than 75 national and international breweries, food trucks and a VIP session that presents some very rare brews. March 7. (631) 940-7290, phillycraftbeerfest.com
- If there’s one annual event that Philly’s food and beer insiders try not to miss, it’s The Brewer’s Plate, Fair Food’s annual fundraiser. Celebrating its 11th anniversary this year at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the event serves up food-and-beer pairings to a crowd that’s committed to the “buy fresh, buy local” philosophy. A VIP ticket ups the ante with exclusive offerings and local collaborations. March 8. brewersplate.com
- Nearly a dozen bars from Fishtown to South Philly participate in the Craft Beer Express, a day-long bus crawl through some of the city’s most serious-minded craft-beer pubs. Bus tickets are just $10, and buses run approximately every 25 minutes. March 14. craftbeerexpress.com
- Yards Brewing Company puts out more than 30 cask ales for its Philadelphia Real Ale Invitational to showcase the old-style British serving method and the inspiration for the brewery’s original beer, Extra Special Ale. April 19. (215) 634-2600, yardsbrewing.com
- Brauhaus Schmitz partners with the South Street Headhouse District to close South Street from Headhouse Square to 8th Street for the 3rd annual Maifest celebration. Some 15,000 revelers sample German beers and shop from street vendors while watching German dancers perform the traditional Maypole dance. May 2. (267) 909-8814, brauhausschmitz.com
- To help raise money to operate the historic Washington Crossing Historic Park, 60 breweries descend on the pastoral landscape by the Delaware River for the Washington Crossing Brewfest. The event features beer samplings from more than 60 national and regional breweries, live music and multiple food vendors. May 2. washingtoncrossingbrewfest.com
- “Are you going to the goat races?” That question reverberates throughout the region’s craft-beer community every May in anticipation of the Sly Fox Bock Festival & Goat Race. The event pits several dozen goats against one another in a friendly race being held, for the first time, at Sly Fox’s production brewery in Pottsville. The winner lends his or her name to the seasonal Maibock-style beer released that day. May 3. (610) 935-4540, slyfoxbeer.com
- The South Philadelphia Tap Room calls its Wheat Beer Fest its all-time favorite event. Live music, barbeque and more than 30 wheat beers on tap (for three dollars each) and some big surprises help make the 10th anniversary of this event a special one. May 16. (215) 271-7787, southphiladelphiataproom.com
- It’s the largest beer celebration in the U.S. Lasting 10 days and nights, Philly Beer Week attracts people from all over who come together for beer-pairing dinners, beer gardens, spirited homebrew competitions, citywide pub crawls and meet-and-greets. May 29-June 7. phillybeerweek.org
- The International Great Beer Expo brings 75 international brewers to pour more than 200 beers from 25 countries underneath tents on the Marine Parade Grounds at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. May 30. (631) 940-7290, greatbeerexpo.com
- The riverfront grounds of Pennsbury Manor, William Penn’s 43-acre country estate, paint a picturesque landscape for Brews & Bites. Hundreds of guests wander around the property sampling regional beers and food and watching brewing and open hearth-cooking demos. June 20. (215) 946-0400, pennsburymanor.org
- New Jersey brewers showcase their liquid delights at the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild Beer Festival, a tasting festival on the deck of Camden’s Battleship New Jersey, which provides a panoramic view of the Delaware River, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and the Philly skyline. Participants enjoy tours of the ship, live music, a souvenir sampling mug and food and beer from 21 breweries throughout New Jersey. June 27. njbeer.org
- At the Philadelphia Zoo’s Summer Ale Festival, beer lovers sip craft beers from the Philly area and beyond, enjoy food-truck fare and revel in the birds, great apes, big cats and other wildlife surrounding them. July 25. (215) 243-1100, philadelphiazoo.org
- Where better to celebrate craft beer than in the neighborhood that helped launch the craze? All afternoon and evening, Northern Liberties vendors close down North 2nd Street for the family-friendly 2nd Street Festival, complete with beer gardens, food, workshops, art and music and event stages programmed by the Philadelphia Folksong Society. August 2. 2ndstfestival.org
- Classic rock station WMGK fires up the cannons at MGK Brew Blast, a beer-tasting on the deck of the Battleship New Jersey that features 50 breweries, live music, free tours of the ship and unbeatable views of the skyline. September 12.
- Boasting relatively rare appearances by sought-after breweries like Bell’s, Founders, Bullfrog and Clown Shoes, the Newtown Beerfest draws beer connoisseurs to the parking lots of the Newtown Stocking Works Complex, overflowing with approximately 100 different beer producers. September 19. newtownbeerfest.com
- Frankford Hall’s Oktoberfest lasts two weeks. The kick-off takes place on a Saturday and features German beer, a mobile German bier pub, BBQ and German food stations, warm Bavarian pretzels, pony rides and carnival games on Frankford Avenue. In the weeks following the block party, the beer garden hosts extended happy hours and stein-holding contests and offers new beer releases and specials. September 19. (267) 909-8814, frankfordhall.com
- Brauhaus Schmitz closes down the 700 block of South Street for an all-day Oktoberfest that celebrates the holiday with live oompah music, a traditional pig roast, 2,000 pounds of sausage, a liter-lifter competition and much more. September 19. (267) 909-8814, brauhausschmitz.com
- Yards Brewing Company’s annual Smoke ’Em if Yous Got ’Em pays tribute to beer and barbecue. The outdoor shindig features more than 30 beers (some smoked, some that pair well with barbecue fare) from breweries all over the world, along with some of the city’s best barbecue and live music. September (exact date TBA). (215) 634-2600, yardsbrewing.com
- King of Prussia Beerfest Royale and Donnerstag: Happy Hour brings King of Prussia’s restaurants together with craft and international brewers to serve up bites and brews to thousands of attendees. The all-inclusive Thursday night Donnerstag previews the main event with dishes and desserts, a cocktail lounge, a pumpkin beer bar and a cigar lounge with complimentary cigars. Saturday brings a more traditional beer festival, though live music, German dancers and a cigar lounge give it a special feel. October 3 & 5. (484) 681-9452, kopbeerfest.com
- More pumpkin beers get poured at The Institute Bar’s Pumpkin Beer Festival than anywhere else in the country. How? One ticket grants an afternoon’s worth of access to more than 100 gourd beers, along with ciders, lambics, sours and a few styles brewed exclusively for the fest. October 4. (215) 787-0888, institutebar.com
- Kennett Brewfest provides an outdoor afternoon opportunity to sample some of the best regional and national craft beers. Also on tap: food, live music, vendors and a VIP tasting. Proceeds benefit Historic Kennett Square. October 10. (610) 444-8188, kennettbrewfest.com
- Xtoberfest sets up a maze of beer tents offering 150 Oktoberfest-style beers, games and demonstrations for this German party taking place at Xfinity Live!. October 10. xfinitylive.com
- The original Philly cider fest comes back for its third-annual iteration under the tents at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Pore the Core brings more than 75 cider makers from around the region and across the globe to show off their sips and lead educational seminars about one of craft brewing’s latest crazes. October 17. (631) 940-7290, pourthecore.com
- Several neighborhood organizations partner with local businesses to produce Bloktoberfest, an all-ages celebration of beer, food and music that stretches across the afternoon and along four blocks of South Street. October (exact date TBA). (215) 732-8446, bloktoberfestphilly.com
- The Craft Beer Express carries beer lovers by bus through some of the city’s best craft beer bars. See March listing for more details. November 14. craftbeerexpress.com
- Producers of the Philly Craft Beer Festival return to the Philadelphia area with the Valley Forge Beer Festival at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks. Seventy five brewers pour more than 150 beers over two sessions. December 5. (631) 940-7290, valleyforgebeerfest.com
VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, formerly known as Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the five-county area.
On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.
- Donna Schorr, (215) 599-0782
18 Reasons To Book A Trip To Philadelphia This Year
Recently named the first and only World Heritage City in the United States and Lonely Planet’s “Best in the U.S.” destination for 2016, Philadelphia is enjoying an action-packed year filled with attraction openings and expansions, only-in-Philly events and don’t-miss exhibitions—all happenings that will complement the immensely walkable city’s buzzed-about dining scene, vibrant art offerings, plentiful parks and public spaces and history galore.
Roaring animatronic dinosaurs will lumber into The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University for Dinosaurs Unearthed. Historic Philadelphia, Inc. added a new women-focused exhibit to the Betsy Ross House, and America’s most historic square mile welcomes Colonial...
Philly Region Festivals Celebrate Art, Music, Mushrooms & More
With just the turn of the ignition key and within less than an hour, visitors to Philadelphia can explore the region’s quaint towns and charming settings. And what better way to discover them than with the homegrown festivals and events that celebrate their distinct personalities. Some festivities are quirky—think tens of thousands of folks coming together to pay tribute to the mushroom. Others honor the culinary talents of their hometown chefs or the creative handiwork of local artisans. While still others harken back to the town’s proud role in American history. Whatever the topic or the time of year, local...
Festivals Keep Philly Neighborhoods Hopping All Year Long
Philadelphians can always find a reason to get festive. It could be a gathering of artists and artisans in Manayunk, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair or zombies taking over South Street, a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue or a weekend celebrating all things Harry Potter in Chestnut Hill. Throughout the year, Philly’s neighborhoods make merry with special events and activities that reflect their distinctive personalities. Here’s a look at some of the mark-the-calendar happenings for 2014:
Benjamin Franklin Parkway:
- For the fourth year running, the Philadelphia Science Festival unleashes nine days of exploratory exhibitions, lectures,
Philly's More Fun When You...Race A Goat? Indeed.
As if making an international name for itself in the 19th and 20th centuries with an underdog championship boxer movie character, dueling cheesesteak purveyors, the Mummers and, well, a cracked bell didn’t make Philadelphia quirky enough, it seems the 21st century will continue to propagate that fun-loving mystique with strange and wonderful annual events held every month of the year. Here’s a look at the city’s quirky side:
- Setting the standard for quirky events, the Mummers Parade kicks off every New Year with more than 15,000 men, women and children spending thousands of dollars on
Quirky Events In Philadelphia
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Philadelphia gained an international reputation for being a pretty quirky place, thanks to an underdog championship boxer movie character, dueling cheesesteak purveyors, the Mummers and, well, a cracked Bell. It seems the 21st century will continue to propagate that fun-loving mystique with strange and wonderful annual events held every month of the year. Here’s a look at the city’s quirky side:
- The perpetually sold-out SportsRadio 94 WIP’s Wing Bowl 21 pits amateur speed eaters against one another in a race to see who can gobble the most chicken wings
Philadelphia And The Countryside® Calendar Of Events
March 1-May 14, 2017
AMERICAN WATERCOLOR IN THE AGE OF HOMER AND SARGENT. This exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art charts the rise and evolution of watercolor in America from 1860 to 1925, with a focus on the works of Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent. (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org
March 4-May 27, 2017
THE QUIET CIRCUS. Headlong Dance Theater continues a 15-month-long residency at
Festivals Keep Philly Neighborhoods Hopping All Year Long
Philadelphians can always find a reason to get festive. It could be a gathering of artists and artisans in Manayunk (Manayunk Arts Festival), a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street (Odunde), a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue (Italian Festival and Craft Beer Day), a weekend celebrating all-things Harry Potter in Chestnut Hill (Harry Potter Festival) or a gathering of would-be scientists at multiple neighborhoods throughout the city (Philadelphia Science Festival). Philly’s neighborhoods make merry all year long with special events and activities that reflect their distinctive personalities. Here’s a look at some of the mark-the-calendar happenings for...
Get Out And Get Active In Philadelphia And The Countryside®
GORUCK CHALLENGE. For those adventure seekers who wish to recreate the experience of participating in urban military combat, this 15- to 20-mile overnight challenge sends teams across the city to navigate a course while wearing backpacks stuffed with bricks. The challenges are led by Green Berets, and a portion of every entry fee benefits the Green Beret Foundation. goruck.com
BLUE CROSS BROAD STREET RUN. The largest and one of the fastest 10-mile runs in the nation goes from North Philadelphia down the length of Broad Street to The Navy Yard to raise money for
Philly Neighborhoods Host Fun & Funky Festivals All Year Long
Philadelphians love their festivals. Whether it’s local artisans and craftspeople sharing their wares in West Philadelphia, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street, a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue or a re-enactment of the storming of the Bastille in Fairmount, there’s always a reason to celebrate in the authentically Philly neighborhoods outside of Center City. The following are some mark-the-calendar happenings for 2013:
Fishtown & Northern Liberties:
- Lining the cobblestone street with artists of all stripes and genres, the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival includes the storied Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, a quirky competition for the most