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gbredben

Philadelphia Craft Brew Beer Festival

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The Philadelphia Craft Beer Festival held this past weekend was nothing short of a raging success. Over 50 major brewers were in attendance providing samples.

The festival took place at the Cruise Terminal located in the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia. Ample parking was available at the yard, and several shuttle buses ran from the yard to the numerous parking areas as well as to the Pattisson Avenue station on the Broad Street Subway. National brewers on hand included Ommegang, Southampton, Thomas Hooker, Magic Hat, Sam Adams, Leinenkugel’s, Peroni, Southampton, Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blues from Colorado, and Brooklyn.

Local brewers included Sly Fox, Flying Fish, Yards, Victory, Legacy, Stoudt’s, Lancaster, Appalachian, Dogfish Head, Nodding Head, Iron Hill, Triumph, Weyerbacher, and Troeg’s. Even Monk’s Café had their own table.

The festival consisted of two sessions. The first ran from 12 noon to 4:00pm. The second session was from 6:00pm to 10pm. Don Russell (Joe Sixpack) did a lecture during the afternoon session on beer in Philadelphia. A huge line of thirsty samplers were waiting to get into the noon session. When the doors finally opened, a steady stream of people commenced and continued till around 1:30pm. 1500 tickets were available first session. The second session was even more packed. The final count for the evening session was well over 2200. The terminal’s capacity is listed at 2500. Both sessions were listed as being sold-out.

Becuase I spent most of the festival as a volunteer, I was not able to sample as much as I really wanted to. What were the standouts in my mind? The biggest surprise and the most exciting: Lion Brewery out of Wilkes Barre who brought their Lionshead Lager and their Stegmaier Brewhouse Bock. To anyone who has not heard the news yet, Stegmaier Brewhouse Bock has to be some of the most fantastic beer to be had, and for a fantastic price. The bottled version of this alone is great tasting, but a sample from a fresh keg is unbelievable. Do whatever you have to get this on tap. It rocks!! Other sampling included Southampton Secret Ale which is one the most unusual beers I’ve ever tasted. Lyons’ Old Chubb, Victory Prima Pils, and Sly Fox O’Reilly’s Stout. Erie brought their great Mad Anthony’s Ale and Railbender. So much sampling and so little time.

Overall, the festival was nothing short of spectacular. Nearly all the attendees were well versed in procedure and those who weren’t got up to speed very quickly. Water pitchers were emptied almost as fast as they could be filled. Except for some isolated incidents, the crowd was well-behaved and seemed to enjoy themselves. Because of the success, planning has already started for next year’s event. Volunteering for the event was pretty much a labor of love for me. It’s great to finally have an event so close to where I live and to see it succeed. I hope that this is just the start of many beer festivals to come in South Philadelphia.


Edited by gbredben (log)

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The Philadelphia Craft Beer Festival held this past weekend was nothing short of a raging success.

Overall, the festival was nothing short of spectacular.

Hmmm... As someone with a touch of agoraphobia, I usually pass on these shows - one of the last ones I went to was outdoors, so I should have been alright other than the fact that "waiting on line" is a main feature of these things. But it was a hot muggy day, so being surrounded by a bunch of almost grown-up former frat guys on a "boy's day out" that featured a lot of cigar smoking (and, since being in a queue, one can't simply walk away to avoid the stench) I said 'Never Again' and I've pretty much given up on them.

I toyed with going to this Philly show but balked at the price- $40, plus $10 for parking AND they were charging $10 for a non-drinking, "Designated Driver" ticket (altho', apparently it was easy for these "non-drinkers" to get served, at 1/4 the price).

My suspicions were confirmed, as noted in these two long threads:

http://beeradvocate.com/forum/read/950612

http://beeradvocate.com/forum/read/952648

Perhaps, being a volunteer is the way to go at these things, since you're unambiguously positive review sure doesn't agree with most of them.


Edited by jesskidden (log)

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