It’s finally starting to look a lot like summer. The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and soon, in Philadelphia, the beer will be flowing. In Philadelphia, “the best beer drinking city in America,” the beginning of summer means one thing – Philly Beer Week.
Philly Beer Week is the largest beer celebration of its kind in America. Featuring hundreds of festivals, brewery tours, pub crawls, block parties, dinners, and tastings at bars and restaurants across the Philadelphia area, the 10 day celebration, lasting from May 29th to June 8th, brings thousands of visitors to the city and is one of Philadelphia’s key annual tourism events.
It’s almost impossible to narrow down all of the many options available during Philly Beer Week into a list of highlights, and no matter where you go, if the beer is flowing you’re guaranteed to have a good time. We’ve given it a shot, though, and put together a list of some of the many can’t-miss events going on during Philly Beer Week.
- Hammer of Glory Relay – Friday, May 29th, Tour starts at 9 AM: Philly Beer Week’s symbol and mascot, the Hammer of Glory, a giant, iron sledgehammer, goes on tour to kick off the week’s festivities. Transported from bar to bar by dog-pulled chariot, a parade of roller derby girls, and more, the Hammer will travel to bars like Hop Angel Brauhaus, Grey Lodge, Johnny Brenda’s, Standard Tap, St. Benjamin, and Time and will finally finish its journey at the Opening Tap celebration at the 23rd. St. Armory. You can follow the Hammer around the city on a free double-decker party bus, so don’t miss out on the celebration.
- Opening Tap – Friday, May 29th, 7 PM – 10 PM at the 23rd St. Armory (22 S. 23rd St.): The official kick-off party for Philly Beer Week, over 40 local breweries and home brewers will be featured at this rocking beer fest along with live music and the debut of Leuven on a Prayer, a collaboration between local favorite Free Will Brewing and Belgian brewery Hof ten Dormaal. Tickets are $46, VIP passes are $92.
- The 5th Annual Pints and Pin Ups Block Party – Saturday, May 30th from 11 AM to 7 PM at Varga Bar (941 Spruce St): A local favorite, Varga Bar’s takeover of 10th and Spruce features a block party complete with a dunk tank, DJ, wing eating contest, games, and, of course, lots of beer. The pinup girl-themed bar will be starting its search for its 2016 calendar girls at the block party as well.
- International Great Beer Expo – Saturday, May 30th from 12:30 PM – 5:00 PM at the Philadelphia Navy Yard: Check out Philadelphia’s historic Navy Yard for this massive beer tasting event, with more than 100 beers from the local Philly area, across the US, and from around the world on tap. Tickets are $46 for general admission and $75 for VIP passes, and proceeds benefit the Committee to Benefit the Children, a local charity that raises funds for the treatment of children with cancer, leukemia and serious blood disorders.
- East Passyunk Craft Beer Day – Sunday, May 31st with events from 11 AM – 12 AM on East Passyunk Ave: 12 of the great bars near South Philly’s East Passyunk Ave, home to famous cheesesteak destinations Pat’s and Geno’s, contribute to this 13-hour block party with music, games, and special beer tastings. Don’t miss the Victory Tap Takeover at Lucky 13, or the outdoor grill and beer sampling at Le Virtu.
- Philly Beer Week Official Beer Garden – Monday, June 1st through Friday, June 5th, 5 PM to 9 PM at the Shambles at Headhouse Square (200 Pine St.): There’s a new list of brewers featured every night at this outdoor beer garden, hosted nightly throughout the week with live music and food from the South Street Headhouse District restaurants.
- The Great Philadelphia Craft Beer Crawl – Saturday, June 6th, 1 PM – 6 PM across the Fairmount neighborhood: The Great Philadelphia Craft Beer Crawl hops across 13 bars in Philadelphia’s scenic Fairmount neighborhood. Tickets are $20 and include a custom beer mug along with two craft beer samples at every location, along with discounted food and drinks. You can start at any of the 13 featured bars, and the Crawl makes for a great walking tour of the Fairmount neighborhood.
- Fishtown FestivALE – Saturday, June 6th, noon-8 PM at Johnny Brenda’s (1201 Frankford Ave.): Fishtown favorites Johnny Brenda’s, Frankford Hall and Fette Sau shut down the corner of Girard and Frankford for an all-day carnival with DJs, a dunk tank, barbeque, and of course, loads of German beer and craft brews.
What: Philly Beer Week
Where: Bars across Philadelphia. For a full list of events, click here.
When: May 29th – June 8th, 2015