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Danya Henninger

Philly Beer Week 2017: The best events across the city

Can’t decide which of the hundreds of things to do are worth your time? Here’s a handy guide.

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Danya Henninger
danya

From June 1 to 11, Philly Beer Week returns for its tenth year, bringing literally hundreds of brew-focused events to venues across the city.

There’s plenty of great liquid pouring, sure, but there’s also opportunities to meet brewers from all over the country, taste rare one-offs or unique collaborations you won’t find elsewhere, play ridiculously fun games, make a fool of yourself on stage and even learn a thing or two about art or science.

Which events are worth your time and money (and maybe even a vacation day or two)? We sorted through the entire calendar and came up with the picks below. Catch you out on the town.

Thursday, June 1

  • HOG at Hop Angel Brauhaus: Meet the Hammer of Glory at its first stop while having breakfast beers. Worth the trip to Fox Chase to see the Philly Roller Girls take over Oxford Avenue, and you can always take an Uber there and then hop on the SugarHouse bus for $10 to follow the HOG for the rest of the day — or at least back to Center City. 9 a.m., 7980 Oxford Ave.
  • Pre-party/afterparty at Sancho Pistola’s: The official afterparty for Opening Tap actually starts before the main event, but will continue long after it’s over. Featuring beers from Coppertail Brewing — from Florida but with a Philly expat brewer — and special flatbreads from chef Adan Trinidad. 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., 19 W. Girard Ave.
  • Opening Tap at the Fillmore: Now that it’s at this concert venue, the kick-off event no longer gets overcrowded. Samples from 40+ breweries, snacks, and a chance to take your pic with the HOG at the Billy Penn table. Also, Casey Parker of Jose Pistola’s singing on stage (the man has serious pipes). 7 to 10 p.m., 29 E. Allen St.
  • Lucky JAWN release at Lucky’s Last Chance: If you prefer to be away from the crowds, hit Queen Village for the first sips of a special Neshaminy Creek collaboration beer, plus some specials from Chicago’s Half Acre Brewing. 8 to 10 p.m., 848 S. 2nd St.
  • Maudite Madness at Devil’s Den: A Beer Week tradition. Toast the first night at this Bella Vista hang with owner Erin Wallace and a glass of Unibroue’s black-as-night Belgian strong dark ale. 12 to 2 a.m., 1148 S. 11th St.
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Danya Henninger

Friday, June 2

  • Shangy’s Beer Garden at El Camino Real: Why has no one ever turned Liberties Walk into a beer garden before? There’s different breweries and events featured each day of this pop-up, which continues throughout the week, plus live music, a dunk tank, quizzo and other activities. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., 1040 N. 2nd St.
  • Firkin Face-off at Prohibition Taproom: Chef Val Stryjewski and GM Amy Hartranft each collaborated with Yards on a special beer, and now it’s up to you to decide which is better — whichever firkin gets drained first wins. Yards brewers in the house; free t-shirt and pint glass to whoever kicks the first cask. 5 to 7 p.m., 501 N. 13th St.
  • Firkin Friday at Brauhaus Schmitz: What if you could walk into a bar with a bunch of friends and just tap your own keg — kind of like a college house party gone upscale? Artisanal Imports will be selling 10-liter casks of unfiltered Sünner Kölsch for $100, and once your crew drains it (4 people minimum), the glassware and holder are yours to keep. 7 to 11 p.m., 718 South St.
  • Night of Nicethings at Heritage: Philly hip hop artist Chill Moody and his band will be jamming at this NoLibs tavern to celebrate the release of his latest collaboration with Dock Street Brewing, Nicethings IPA. 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., 914 N. 2nd St.
  • Late Night Breakfast at Rooster Soup: On both Fri and Sat nights, the philanthropic CookNSolo spot is opening up to serve your late-night munchies (look for a new breakfast burger on the menu). Limited release beer from Round Guys on night one, from Evil Genius on night two. All profits go to Broad Street Hospitality Collective. 10 p.m. to 12 a.m., 1526 Sansom St.
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Danya Henninger

Saturday, June 3

  • Almost 3k at Red Owl Tavern: Give yourself an excuse for a day of beer-drinking by starting with a mini race around Independence Mall. Admission includes tank top and mug, and deals on Founders beer at the Hotel Monaco restaurant when you’re done. 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., 433 Chestnut St.
  • Pints ‘n Pinups at Varga Bar: The annual block party outside this Wash West beer haven takes over 10th Street with outdoor BBQ, a dunk tank, a photo booth and street games. It’s also the start of the search for the 2017 Varga Girl calendar, which features real, normal-looking Philadelphians in all their gorgeousness. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., 941 Spruce St.
  • 10th Birthday Party at Teresa’s Next Door: We’re mostly skipping the ‘burbs here, but the tin anniversary of this — arguably the Main Line’s best beer bar — is worth a ride out (it’s right next to the Wayne train station). Why? For starters, the chance to taste a 10-year-old sixtel of Dogfish Head World Wide Stout. 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m., 124 N. Wayne Ave., Wayne
  • Luau BBQ at Uptown Beer Garden: The official PBW beer garden has a different theme every day, but it kicks off with a tropical-inspired lineup. Snacks on offer include kalua pork and SPAM musubi, to go with fruity rum cocktails and beer from Coppertail and Jolly Pumpkin. Billy Penn will be there with our giant beach ball. 2 to 10 p.m., 1735 JFK Blvd.
  • Brewery Science Theater 3000 at Clarkville: Ok, it’s not actually a movie showing, but experts from Wyndridge and Vault Brewing will be putting on a show. They’ll teach a beer sensory and evaluation class as they serve a bevy of special drafts, including sours and ciders. 6 p.m. to 12 a.m., 4301 Baltimore Ave.
  • Philly Lit Spelling Bee at Johnny Brenda’s: Watch local authors and editors compete with each other on stage in a spelling showdown for the literary ages. Winner will be crowned Majesty of Orthography. Proceeds benefit nonprofit indie publisher The Head and the Hand. 7 p.m. to 12 a.m., 1201 Frankford Ave.
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Danya Henninger

Sunday, June 4

  • Escape the Room at Jose Pistola’s: Escape rooms are more fun when they start and end with beer, and that’s what’s included with your ticket to this Center City escape event hosted in collab with Victory Brewing. Times vary based on group sizes, but tickets are available throughout the day. 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., 263 S. 15th St.
  • Ninja Cowboy Bear at Evil Genius: Get a team together and sign up for this scavenger hunt that’ll send you walking through bars all around the brewery’s new Front Street taproom. Must have tasks completed and back to home base for the final showdown. 12 to 7 p.m., 1727 N. Front St.
  • Can Art Contest at Garage Fishtown: Pick up a blank can provided and Saint Benjamin and Brooklyn Brewery and cut, build, color or design it to try for the coolest artwork in the joint. A panel of guest judges will hand out prizes for first, second and third place. 1 to 5 p.m., 100 E. Girard Ave.
  • PAWS Benefit at Garage Passyunk: If South Philly is where you’ll be, head to this outpost of the game-happy tavern, where $1 scores you three chances to send your favorite brewer into the dunk tank. All proceeds to PAWS, plus deals on Yards drafts. 2 to 4 p.m., 1231 E. Passyunk Ave.
  • Cinder House Rules at Cinder: It’s not exactly beer, but close enough — the PA Cider Guild is hosting a PBW event anyway! Features seven local apple-booze producers and discounts on meat and cheese plates provided by Fair Food Philadelphia. 6 p.m. to 12 a.m., 1500 Locust St.
  • Chalk Above the Bar at U-Bahn: Local Phish-meets-Zappa band Hueman will be live on stage, but potentially even more exciting is the pop-up food from Reading Terminal’s new Fox & Sons Corndogs. Plus lots of Forest & Main beer on tap. 8 p.m. to 12 a.m., 1320 Chestnut St.
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Danya Henninger

Monday, June 5

  • American Pie at Drury Beer Garden: Yuengling will be in the house at this Midtown Village beer garden, and what better to pair with America’s oldest brewery than pie? A pie eating contest will go down, with winners taking home prizes like Phillies tix and Yuengling swag. 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., 1311 Sansom St.
  • Oyster Cult at Victoria Freehouse, Bait & Switch, Johnny Brenda’s: Hit up each of these taverns for the shellfish deal of the week — 10 freshly-shucked oysters and a pour of beer for a grand total of $15. Go ahead, order twice. 3/5/6 p.m.
  • Zombie Apocalypse at Tria Taproom: Indulge your inner spook and enjoy meads and ciders from Michigan’s B. Nektar while you get your face painted in full zombie regalia. Candlelight atmosphere, spooky soundtrack. 5 to 7 p.m., 2005 Walnut St.
  • Chimay at Moriarty’s: Chimay’s US brand ambassador is so well-known he only goes by one name — Bobo — and his jolly, bearded self will be holding court at this Wash West wings destination. Buy a Chimay and you’ll get to keep the glass. 6 to 8 p.m., 1116 Walnut St.
  • 23 Years of The Special at Bob & Barbara’s: Apparently, after 23 years, PBR and Jim Beam are finally “making it official” at this South Street West dive that created the iconic pairing (don’t call it a Citywide here…). Expect a drag show wedding and live music. 7 p.m. to 12 a.m., 1509 South St.
  • Hot Wheels at Bar: Get your own personal NASCAR on by breaking out your best vintage Hot Wheels and racing them on tracks set up by Oskar Blues. There’ll be bracket style eliminations to crown a champ at the end of the night, with prizes for winners along the way. 7 to 9 p.m., 1309 Sansom St.
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Danya Henninger

Tuesday, June 6

  • Raven Society Biergarten at Free Library: The library’s young friends group is hosting its annual fundraiser as part of PBW at the new rooftop beer garden overlooking the Parkway, and the party will feature Dogfish Head beers. Why? There’s also an author discussion with Dogfish founder Sam Calagione and his Ancient Ales collaborator Penn prof Pat McGovern. 6 to 9 p.m., 1901 Vine St.
  • Free Pig Roast at Bar-Ly: The Chinatown bar with 60 taps is giving away free platters of fresh-roasted pork for happy hour while serving Yards beer for just $3.50 a pint (that deal runs all day). Also look for special Conshohocken Brewing pours on tap. 5 to 7 p.m., 101 N. 11th St.
  • Art on Beer at Frankford Hall: Especially in today’s crowded market, label art can make or break a beer. A panel discussion with the artists behind branding of Troegs, Mikkeller, Forest & Main, Highway Manor, Hill Farmstead and Neshaminy Creek; 20% of ticket sales donated to a Philly art nonprofit. 7 to 9 p.m., 1210 Frankford Ave.
  • Let’s Make a Deal at Grey Lodge Pub: Bring something to trade and join in as Scoats and folks from Yards, Harpoon and Sam Adams recreate the classic game show. Will you score a sweet prize or get zoinked with a clunker? Costumes encouraged. 7 to 10 p.m., 6235 Frankford Ave.
  • Stickman & Stones at Gaul & Co Malt House: Get a taste of some of the unique Belgian-style farmhouse ales from Royersford, Pa.’s Stickman Brews while listening to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards rock out over the speakers at this Port Richmond newcomer. 7 to 10 p.m., 3133 Gaul St.
  • Late Night with Joe Gunn at Jose Pistola’s: If you’re out at this hour, this is where you want to be. The upstairs room turns into a hilarious talk show, and no one in the audience is safe from being called up on stage. Also happening Wednesday night, same time, same place. 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., 263 S. 15th St.
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Danya Henninger

Wednesday, June 7

  • THC Whiffle Ball Derby at Memphis Taproom: So yeah, the THC in the name of this event that starts at 4:20 stands for T-ball Hitting Cans. Sure it does. Join the crew from Founders to practice batting skills, fuel up on hot dogs with a free fixins bar, then compete in the derby. Prizes for best hit. 4:20 to 7:21 p.m., 2331 E. Cumberland St.
  • Video Game Tournament at Sancho Pistola’s: Take on reps from Yards, Brooklyn, Founders and Dogfish in old school classics like Golden Eye, Mario Kart and NHL94. 3 to 7 p.m., 19 W. Girard Ave.
  • Beer Camp at Clarkville: The Cedar Park pizzeria will simultaneously tap all 12 of this year’s Sierra Nevada Beer Camp collaboration beers. A chance to try one of the world’s best multi-packs before it hits shelves. 5 p.m. to 12 a.m., 4301 Baltimore Ave.
  • Puppy Happy Hour at Founding Fathers: Adoptable pups will be on site for cuddles and potential take-home at this South Street West sports tavern, and a portion of proceeds from the five Dogfish Head beers on tap will benefit the PSPCA. 4 to 7 p.m., 1612 South St.
  • Free the Trees at Garage Passyunk: TreePhilly will be giving out free trees to any homeowner who wants one, Troegs seasonal Nimble Giant double IPA will be available in cans, and Stargazy pies will be slinging in the on-site food cart. 6 to 9 p.m., 1231 E. Passyunk Ave.
  • Dinner Under the Shambles at Pizzeria Stella: Dine al fresco on Headhouse Square at four-course dinner featuring pizza and more paired with beers from Delco’s 2SP for $60 per person. 6:30 p.m., 420 S. 2nd St.
  • Beer Lab at the Franklin Institute: Sample and sip your way to scientific discovery with a new signature workshop. Hands-on activities will make it clear how brewers turn water, hops, barley and yeast into the delicious beverage we know and love. 7 to 10 p.m., 222 N. 20th St.
  • Evil Idol at Craftsman Row Saloon: Like American Idol, but helped along by Evil Genius beers. Belt out your best karaoke and show the judges panel you’ve got what it takes to make it big. Sly Fox beers also featured. 8 to 11 p.m., 112 S. 8th St.
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Danya Henninger

Thursday, June 8

  • Beer & Boats at Bartram’s Garden: Bring the fam and spend the afternoon on the water. Per person cost of $15 includes your first beer and an excursion on the Schuylkill via kayaks or rowboat (available on a first-come, first-served basis). One kid free for each guardian. 4 to 8 p.m., 5400 Lindbergh Blvd.
  • Big Fish Challenge at City Tap House UCity: Hang your rod over the terrace balcony and see how many “fish” you can hook — each one you reel in is worth a prize from Harpoon or Ballast Point. 5 to 8 p.m., 3925 Walnut St.
  • Deutschland at Dusk with Brauhaus Schmitz: The bierfest moves to the Headhouse Shambles for a night, with $6 half-liters or $14 full liters (keep the mug!) of Germany’s best brew. Also: Food, live music and family-friendly games. 5 to 10 p.m., 2nd & Lombard St.
  • 2 Priests, 2 Ministers & a Rabbi at Fergie’s Pub: The fourth annual edition of this conversation with actual ordained leaders in Philly, who’ll discuss how beer figures into their various religions and why it’s a good medium for discussion about life…and god. 6 to 8 p.m., 1214 Sansom St.
  • Turtle Races at Drury Beer Garden: Terrapin Beer is bringing out miniature live versions of the brewery mascot for you to bet on as they crawl their way toward the finish line. Proceeds from beer sales donated to the Philadelphia Zoo. 6 to 9 p.m., 1311 Sansom St.
  • Drag Show at Taproom on 19th: Josh Schonewolf Entertainment and Left Hand Brewing are putting on a night of drag, comedy and beer at this Girard Estates taphouse, featuring Bev, Vinchelle, Sutton Fearce and Fahrenheit. 8 to 11 p.m., 2400 S. 19th St.
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Danya Henninger

Friday, June 9

  • Canwood Derby at Good Dog Bar: Pick up a wooden derby car in advance at this Center City bar, then trick it out and bring it to the races to win prizes and take advantage of a special lineup of Troegs and Sly Fox beer. 5 to 9 p.m., 224 S. 15th St.
  • Funky Friday at Alla Spina: Get down with funk. Three farmhouse ales from Allagash will be paired with three cheeses from the Farm at Doe Run for $20. Appropriately funky music streaming from the speakers is a given. 5 to 9 p.m., 1410 Mt. Vernon St.
  • Black as Midnight on a Moonless Night at Cinder: Twin Peaks will play on the bar screens and a dozen black as black stouts will pour from the taps, all available at $7 to $9 full-size or in samples or flights. 10 p.m. to 12 a.m., 1500 Locust St.
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Danya Henninger

Saturday, June 10

  • Magic Hour at Evil Genius: Puppet master and magician Kevin Kelly will be in the house all day, wowing audiences with his sleight of hand. The more beer you drink, the better the show gets. 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., 1727 N. Front St.
  • Tailgate Olympics at Devil’s Den: Join local breweries in fierce battles to win tailgate favorites like giant Jenga, Kam Jam, Ladder Golf, beer pong and more. Teams from Levante, Free Will, Yards, Evil Genius, Weyerbacher and 2SP will compete. 12 to 6 p.m., 1148 S. 11th St.
  • Fishtown FestivAle: This annual block party takes over Frankford Avenue with beer and food stands, food trucks, arts and crafts vendors, games, DJs spinning music and more. 12 to 10 p.m., Frankford & Girard
  • Ladies Beer Tea at The Belgian Cafe: A civilized way to sip some of the best brews around. Nancy Rigberg of Home Sweet Homebrew helped put together the menu, which features three courses paired with beer for $28 per person. 2:30 to 5 p.m., 601 N. 2nd St.
  • Carnivale at Hop Angel Brauhaus: A fortune teller, magic tricks, a doggie kissing booth, Plinko and card reading are just some of the curiosities at this outdoor fest in the Northeast. Beer from Cape May, Evolution, Manayunk and Wyndridge will be pouring at tents. 3 to 12 p.m., 7980 Oxford Ave.
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Danya Henninger

Sunday, June 11

  • Kick the Keg Growler Sale at Whole Foods: To clear the taps from all the PBW fun, the grocery’s pub is running a special of $2 off 64-oz. or $1 off 32-oz growler fills. A good way to keep the party going. 12 to 4 p.m., 2101 Hamilton St.
  • Homebrew Class at El Camino Real: A week of beer have you itching to make your own? Join folks from Philly Home Brew for a quick-start session on how to make it happen. Expect samples to get you revved up as you learn. 2 to 4 p.m., 1040 N. 2nd St.
  • Baker’s Dozen at Heritage: Cape May Brewing is bringing a dozen pie-flavored beers to pair with actual pie, which will be available in everything from key lime to coconut cream. Participate in the pie-eating contest to win swag. 2 to 10 p.m., 914 N. 2nd St.
  • Beer Share at London Grill: Break out your best bottles (since you’ve been out and about all week instead of drinking at home) and bring them to a beer swap at this Fairmount pub. A whole stuffed hog will be roasting and live acoustic music will set the communal mood. 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., 2301 Fairmount Ave.
  • TTUD at Fergie’s Pub: The acronym for this traditional PBW finale stands for “That Totally Unnecessary Drink” — and it is that, but it’s also hella fun, thanks to live band karaoke and the knowledge that you won’t have to do it again until next year. 7 to 11 p.m., 1214 Sansom St.