Cheers: A Toast to Philly Beer Week

Philly Beer Week has come to a close. It was a fun, eventful week and there were plenty of events to choose from, ranging from tap takeovers to street festivals. If you haven’t experienced Philly Beer Week and you’re at least a casual beer drinker, circle the dates on your calendar next year. I made an attempt to do something every night of the week. I didn’t get out to a bar each night but managed to hit quite a few events.

Monday: We went to The Farmers’ Cabinet (1113 Walnut St., for part of its Eurotrip celebration. Monday was Italy and we got to try some good food and some Italian beers. They were sour, and I normally don’t go for that, but they were tasty. We followed that up by going to the Dandelion (124 S. 18th St.,, a quaint Starr-owned bar that featured a Yards Brewing Co. and Dad’s Hat Whiskey pairing. The Dad’s Hat Rye went well with a Yards ESB.

Tuesday: We went to Lucky’s Last Chance (4421 Main St., for a Locals Only event. The locals were area breweries such as Sly Fox and Spring House that featured some odd but delicious beers. Also in attendance was Alaura Candy Co. (, which provided delicious homemade caramel that perfectly complemented the beer.

Marc Summers. Craft Beer. ’90s nostalgia. Philly Beer Week truly has it all. (Credit: Philly Beer Week)

Wednesday: It was a trip down memory lane with Dunkel Dare at Frankford Hall (1210 Frankford Ave, The event featured a layout similar to the popular ’80s and ’90s Nickelodeon show Double Dare, with Marc Summers returning for hosting duties. He brought along his old crew, including announcer Harvey, who rattled off the prizes (sadly, none was a pair of Sketchers). Paulaner, Great Lakes, Yards and Victory breweries competed for a prized spot on the bar’s tap list. It was a fun, booze and pie-in-the-face filled time. We finished with a Funk Bewery tap takeover at Johnny Brenda’s (1201 Frankford Ave., The Crimson Sour Cherry Saison was the right kind of sour, sweet and hoppy.

Thursday: We needed a breather.

Friday: We started at Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery (646 Germantown Pike, for a dessert and Free Will Brewing Co. pairing. The best, in my opinion, was the Will.I.Am stout with tiramisu. We then ventured to the Fieldhouse (1150 Filbert St., for a carnival and a tap takeover from Bell’s. They brought 25 beers with them, and the Special Double Cream Stout was smooth. We then walked over to Perch Pub (1345 Locust St., for a Carton Brewing Company tap takeover. I am a big fan of this New Jersey brewery (a lot of it is my Jersey pride showing, but their beers are also delicious). I ordered the Ricky, the brewery’s take on a Lime Ricky. My girlfriend, Erin, opted for Something Like Sandy. The founder of the brewery, Augie Carton, sat down with us and talked beer for 20-30 minutes. He is a great guy and offered to pay for my beer if I didn’t like it (I did) and then relayed the story of Something Like Sandy – intended to be a sour milk stout, the beer was left untouched for too long due to Hurricane Sandy shutting down the shore. They decided to brew with what was left in the barrel for charity and brought the last keg to this event. It was pretty cool having the last of a beer, and it was also interesting to see inside the mind of a brewing master.

Saturday: Khyber Pass Pub (56 S. 2nd St., featured $1 off all its Beer Week brews, so naturally we had to sample the leftovers from the previous night’s Doorway to Norway. The HaandByggenet Norwegian Wood was delicious and tasted like you were sitting next to a bonfire (in a good way). And we couldn’t pass up their food; they have arguably the best sandwiches in the city. We ventured back to Fishtown, as Frankford Hall and Johnny Brenda’s had a joint block party. It was beautiful weather and the Hofbrau Munchner Sommer was perfect for the day.

Sunday: Ah, the last day. After checking out the weekend’s Punk Rock Flea Market, we headed to Alla Spina (1410 Mt. Vernon St.,, as they had a street festival with Yards. The Novello from Victory, brewed for Alla Spina, was a good citrusy ale. We followed that up with another block party, this one at Dock Street Brewing Co. (701 S. 50th St., Live music and a good crowd highlighted this event, in addition to the beer. The Coco-nut Saison was sweet and delicious. We closed the week out with burgers, beers and a cider tap takeover back at Lucky’s.

It was a fun week and something I will definitely do again next year. Until then, live every week like it’s Beer Week. Cheers.

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