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Philly Beer Week 2014
Top Picks and Events

Top events and festivals during the city-wide celebration of beer

Philadelphia shows its adoration for great beer over 10-days of dinners, festivals, tastings and pub crawls during Philly Beer Week (May 30-June 8).

Established in 2008, Philly Beer Week is the largest beer celebration of its kind in the United States, featuring hundreds of events and serving up countless pints of beer throughout Greater Philadelphia.

With hundreds of events taking place throughout the city over 10 days, it’s tough for a Beer Week attendee to know quite where to begin.

We’ve poured through the Philly Beer Week event listings and below are our picks of sudsy highlights.

Hammer of Glory Relay

Friday, May 30, tour starts at 9:30 a.m., arrives at Opening Tap at 7 p.m.
Pay as you go
The iron-clad symbol of Beer Week — the Hammer of Glory, a big branded mallet — makes its way around the city, from bar to bar, transported by everything from dog-pulled carts to a parade of pin-up girls. Trail the hammer around town to such bars as Grey Lodge Pub, Johnny Brenda’s, Standard Tap, Fergie’s Pub, The Institute Bar and or hop on the free double-decker (party) bus as a day-long spectator.

Opening Tap

Friday, May 30, 7-10 p.m.
Tickets: $45, general admission; $90, VIP; $25, designated driver
This year, the huge Opening Tap kick-off party is set for Friday, May 30 at the 23rd Street Armory, a brand-new, bigger venue for the bash. At 7 p.m., the doors open on the tasting celebration with more than 30 area brewers pouring for a crowd of thousands. Look out for limited edition brews, including the Philly Beer Week collaboration beer, Philly Tripel, brewed this year by Dock Street and Belgian beer makers Brouwerij Dilewyns. Tickets are available online.

International Great Beer Expo

Saturday, May 31, 1:30 p.m.
Tickets: $46; VIP, $75
Head south to the second massive tasting during Beer Week. Taste test more than 100 beers from 50 brewers at the fifth annual International Great Beer Expo at the Navy Yards, with proceeds benefitting the Committee to Benefit the Children. Tickets are available online, with designated driver passes for $10.

Varga Bar Pints and Pinups Block Party

When: Saturday, May 31, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Pay as you go
Now in its fifth year, the Pints and Pinups Block Party takes over 10th Street at Spruce with a DJ, dunk tank, photo booth, games, barbecue and — of course — pints and pints of craft beer. And hey ladies, the block party also includes the bar’s annual search for its calendar girls!

East Passyunk Avenue Craft Beer Day and Italian Festival

Sunday, June 1, 11 a.m.-midnight
Pay as you go
On Sunday, June 1, South Philly kicks off Beer Week with a blowout block party. East Passyunk Avenue gets into Philly Beer Week spirit with a full 15-hour day of craft-beer events alongside the neighborhood’s annual outdoor La Festa della Repubblica with great Italian street food, entertainment, vendors and more. Try new eats, meet brewers and quench your thirst for craft beer. Eight East Passyunk bars host events all day, from beer brunch to home brew demos to happy hours.

Throwdown in Franklintown

Sunday, June 1, 2 p.m.
Pay as you go
Now in its fifth year, the Throwdown in Franklintown at the Kite & Key pits Yards Brewing Company founder Tom Kehoe against Kite & Key’s Jim Kirk in a battle royale. The two beer titans have fought as Sumo wrestlers, gladiators and more, bringing jolly entertainment to the Fairmount neighborhood.

Race Day & Pinewood Derby with Yards Brewing Company

Sunday, June 1, noon
Pay as you go
Coinciding with the annual Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic, Old Eagle Tavern and Yards Brewing Company get in on the racing action. After cheering on the cyclists during the race, the folks from Yards host an amateur-friendly pinewood derby. Roll down to Old Eagle for $1 off all Yards beers and to try a hand at pinewood racing with in-house cars.

Philly Beer Week Garden

June 2-5, 5-9 p.m.
Pay as you go
Head to the historic Shambles at Headhouse Square nightly June 2-5 for the Philly Beer Week Garden to enjoy special one-offs and rare brews alfresco, plus live tunes and food from South Street Headhouse District restaurants. The Garden will be open nightly June 2 through June 5, and admission is free, with brews and bites on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Carts & Cans Craft Beer Fest

Wednesday, June 4, 5:30-8 p.m.
Tickets: $25; $30 at the door
At the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia, kick back at an outdoor beer garden on Wednesday, June 4 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The hotel’s lovely lawn hosts Carts & Cans, a fest featuring the canned craft beers from 21st Amendment, Manayunk Brewing Co. and Sly Fox and more. Plus, street food from top food trucks like Mac Mart, Street Food Philly and Spot Gourmet Burgers will be on hand. A $25 entry fee to the beer garden allows for unlimited canned brews and a commemorative koozie, but snacks are pay as you go. A $15 ticket allows entry to the beer garden plus one beer ticket, so additional beers can be purchased separately. Tickets are available online.

Dunkel Dare at Frankford Hall

Wednesday, June 4, and Thursday, June 5, 7-9 p.m.
Pay as you go
Get ready, Double Dare fans. Come out to see host Marc Summers lead a raucous German-beer-knowledge challenge for the third year of Dunkel Dare at Frankford Hall. Four breweries face off and folks from The Franklin Institute lends a hand in replicating the challenges from the original game show.

Fishtown Festivale

Saturday, June 7, noon-8 p.m.
Pay as you go
Johnny Brenda’s, Frankford Hall and Fette Sau team up to bring beer lovers the third annual Fishtown Festivale, an outdoor daylong beer carnival with DJs, a dunk tank, fine food, and a heady mix of classic German lagers and full-flavored craft ales.

The Great Philadelphia Craft Beer Crawl

Saturday, June 7
Tickets: $20; $10, designated driver
In what might just be a new Beer Week tradition, The Great Philadelphia Craft Beer Crawl hits the Fairmount neighborhood on Saturday, June 7 with a bar hop to 14 bars restaurants. For a $20 ticket, participants get beer samples, drink specials, snacks and more.

Dock Street End-Of-Beer-Week Free Music Fest

Sunday, June 8, 4-8 p.m.
Pay as you go
Finish out the 10-day beer bash with a final daylong music festival. The sixth annual Dock Street Free Music Fest draws crowds to West Philadelphia with free live music all afternoon, plenty of Dock Street brews, delicious pizza and a scavenger run. The live music lineup includes Grandchildren, West Philadelphia Orchestra and Gliss and more.

view all Philly Beer Week events

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