Buzz: Philly Beer Week Opening Tap

By AML Staff Writer
Photos courtesy of Mimi Janosy
Mimi Janosy Professional Photography Studios, Philadelphia, PA
www.mimiprophoto.com

Taps, like the terrific selection at Teresa’s Next Door in Wayne, will be pouring steadily starting March 6th as Philly Beer Week kicks off with a great reception at The Comcast Center in Philadelphia.

Taps, like the terrific selection at Teresa’s Next Door in Wayne, will be pouring steadily starting March 6th as Philly Beer Week kicks off with a great reception at The Comcast Center in Philadelphia.

The opening fete of Philly Beer Week 2009 promise to set the stage for a colossal-size celebration of beer, unlike any other event this region as experienced. Opening Tap, as it was dubbed by the PBW founding fathers trio of Don Russell, Bruce Nichols and Tom Peters, will take place on Friday March 6th at 7 p.m. in the spectacular Comcast Center lobby and Winter Garden (17th Street and JFK Boulevard) in Center City. Just as the second annual celebration of Philly Beer Week is surpassing the inaugural event (nearing close to 700 events on the itinerary), the opening night celebration will far exceed last year’s kickoff party. “In 2008, our opening event was out in Roxborough, we had the mayor come and tap the first keg and it was put on by a private company. It was a great time! But, this year, we were looking for bigger and better and what better venue to host such a party than the Comcast Center? Opening Tap is a major source of revenue; it’s a fundraiser for phillybeerweek.org which is our nonprofit industry organization. Having it in the breathtaking Comcast building brings great potential, especially with the cool video screen that will set the stage for a festive night for locals and those in the industry,” explained Peters. “This is one of the biggest events of the year for the city so it’s appropriate we are holding opening tap at one of the most visible and beautiful buildings in the city, the Comcast Center. The lobby is a spectacular venue and it is strategically located—all our friends from the suburbs can come down and walk from Suburban Station,” enthused Russell, best known as Daily News beer columnist Joe Sixpack.


A City of Brotherly…Beer<br>“People from all over the world are coming to Philly Beer Week—no one else can do this.  This event is the nexus of beer,” said Tom Peters, event co-founder and owner of Monk’s Café.

A City of Brotherly…Beer
“People from all over the world are coming to Philly Beer Week—no one else can do this. This event is the nexus of beer,” said Tom Peters, event co-founder and owner of Monk’s Café.

The atmosphere at Opening Tap promises to please as your ticket ($40) allows participants to unlimited samples of over two dozen beers from over thirty regional breweries. There will be live music throughout the Center and all the food vendors in the Comcast food court will stay open for attendees. Invited breweries for the Opening Tap include: Appalachian Brewing, Barley Creek Brewing Company, Brew Works, Dock Street, Dogfish Head, Earth + Bread, Erie Brewing Company, Flying Fish, General Lafayette, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, Lancaster Brewing Company, Legacy, Lion, Manayunk Brewpub, McKenzie’s, Nodding Head, Penn Brewery, Philadelphia Brewing Company, Porterhouse, Reading Brewing Company, Riverhorse, Rock Bottom, Roy Pitz, Sly Fox, Triumph, Stewart’s, Stoudts, Troegs, Twin Lakes, Victory, Weyerbacher, Yards and Yuengling.

In addition to the festive sampling and atmosphere, a group of local beer writers created some tongue-in-cheek awards that will honor each brewery represented at the event. An emcee will announce each award and invite the brewery representative to join them, get their photo taken and receive their PBW award. “These are not your traditional ‘Best Of’ awards. They have a definite Philly attitude! In this town, we may take our beer seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously,” said Russell who created the awards with fellow beer writers George Hummel, Bryan Kolesar, Lew Bryson (www.lewbryson.com), Jack Curtin, Suzanne Woods (www.beerlasss.com), Rich Wagner, Woody Chandler and Carolyn Smagalski.

Ten Days of Terrific Taps<br>PBW 2009 will bring over 10,000 beer lovers to the Philadelphia region.

Ten Days of Terrific Taps
PBW 2009 will bring over 10,000 beer lovers to the Philadelphia region.

Russell added that Opening Tap will showcase local breweries within the greater Philadelphia and Pennsylvania region to acknowledge where the celebration of Beer Week began, in the city of Brotherly Love. “To us, the heart of the Philadelphia beer scene is its brewers. And, there are so many high quality breweries around here that are producing some incredible styles. Philadelphia has a more diverse selection of beer than any other city. When people ask me, ‘What describes Philadelphia beer?’ That’s really impossible for me to put my finger on that because there are a myriad of styles, of craft beers. Whether they are very sublime, drinkable lagers to big, bold hoppy ales, it’s a range and that’s what makes this region so prime for such an event. Friday night’s Opening Tap will truly showcase this talent and taste for great beer, mostly brewed right here in our backyard.”

The second-annual Philly Beer Week (PBW) 2009 will kickoff on Friday, March 6 at 7 p.m., in the spectacular Comcast Center lobby and Winter Garden (17th street and JFK Boulevard) with the Opening Tap, a celebration honoring over 30 regional breweries whose beer help make Philadelphia “the best beer-drinking city in America.” The Opening Tap will begin with a ceremonial ‘first tap’ using the official Philly Beer Week Keg Mallet, followed by a strolling beer tasting and a festive awards ceremony. Opening Tap tickets cost $40 and can be purchased online at www.phillybeerweek.org ($50 at the door.).To purchase tickets for the Opening Tap or find general information including the ever-expanding schedule of events and list of participants, visit www.phillybeerweek.org.

Those wishing to take public transportation to Philly Beer Week can purchase Sip Safely with SEPTA tickets, an unlimited, all-day, bus-trolley-rail pass that will be sold for $9.00, valid any one day between March 6th and March 15th. This pass is valid on SEPTA services to encourage PBW participants to travel safely, rather than driving from event to event. Sip Safely with SEPTA passes are available for sale at most SEPTA locations. More information is available on the travel section of the PBW site (www.phillybeerweek.org) or read our feature on AroundMainLine.com.

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