By now you've probably heard that Philly is getting invaded by up to 15,000 craft brewing industry workers this week as the annual Craft Brewers Conference descends on Philly for the first time in more than 10 years. It's going to feel a lot like Philly Beer Week for the next four days, just with significantly fewer events and more people with cool accents.
Though the conference itself is industry only, craft brewers can't let a big national event go by without marking their territory with adjunct events of their own. What this means is that if you like beer (or if you like to party), you'll have 100 different tap takeovers, concerts and general merry-making lunacy to entertain you every night this week. Here is a sampling of some notable public events. Check individual bar websites for times and details. For a more complete list, visit CBC's official event page.
City Tap House, Logan Square, 11 a.m. — The Bell's Brewing crew will redecorate the Tap House to resemble their Eccentric Café tasting room in Kalamazoo, MI, and they'll exclusively serve their beers and signature dishes from home. Brewmaster John Mallet and members of the Bell family will tap incredibly rare beers at scheduled times throughout the day.
Monk's Café, 4 p.m. — Beer geeks get their proverbial panties in a bunch when someone mentions cult North Carolina brewery Wicked Weed, including Monk's co-owner Tom Peters, who says, "This is the best beer to come out of the South, period." Peters and brewer/owner Walt Dickinson are debuting the brewery to Philadelphia with 20 dedicated taps and some cellared specialties from Dickinson's stash. Like sours or IPAs? Don't miss these award-winning brews.
City Tap House, University City, 6 p.m. - Welcome New Belgium Brewing's top brass to town by celebrating the Colorado brewery's 25th anniversary with them. A who's who lineup from NBB (including legendary co-founder Kim Jordan) will pour 25 of their beers, plus a few from Fat Heads and New Orleans Brewing. It's the first time any of these New Belgium people will be in town since they started selling in Philly last year, so let's show them a ton of love.
Union Transfer, 9 p.m. — Were you one of the lucky people to attend Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp Across America fest last summer? Well, the crew from Chico, CA is doing it again this year, but they aren't stopping in Philly. Don't cry too hard, at least you can attend the Kick-Off Party and sample all six Beer Camp collaborations and jam out to live music by Love Canon. RSVP here.
Hawthornes Beer Café, 4 p.m. — The Surly Brewing folks will be sharing some of their rarest beers and bringing people from Champion Brewing Company, Jack's Abby and Gigantic along with them. For the occasion, Hawthorne's is staying open until 2 a.m. for the first time.
Devil's Den, 5 p.m. — At some point, right under our noses, Michigan went and grew some of the best breweries in the country. Now they're all high on themselves, with Grand Rapids winning a national best beer city contest and some other such things. While we'll fight them for honors in the beer world, we still admire them for putting out consistently solid stuff. Founder's, Bell's, Dark Horse, New Holland and Jolly Pumpkin are just a few of the Michigan breweries on tap here at the MI brewers guild takeover.
Manayunk Brewing, 5 p.m. — Feeling a little bit left out of the Center City festivities, Manayunk is throwing A Taste of Philly party complete with live music, rare beer tastings, brewery tours, a Philly-themed feast and free shuttle service from the Convention Center. Manayunk's head brewer, Evan Fritz, says, "We want to show ‘em what Philly hospitality is all about."
Union Transfer, 8 p.m. — Wild Goose Canning is sponsoring Memphis band Lucero. Here's how they describe themselves: "From sad bastard country rock to soul and R&B, we realized we were a Memphis band and came by it honest. We have always brought Memphis with us wherever we went."
World Café Live, 10 p.m. — One of the greatest live music venues in the city hosts Dogfish Head's Beer Music Mash Up. All you need to know is that DFH owner Sam Calagione is going to rock out some Violent Femmes and that Brian Grossman (scion of Sierra Nevada co-founder Ken Grossman) is going to play, too — as are John Mallett from Bell's and Harry Schumacher from Beer Business Daily. Oh, and from the taps will flow these breweries, plus Russian River, Allagash, Port Lost Abbey and Firestone Walker. CBC attendees get in free.
The Cambridge, 4 p.m. — The brewing deities behind Florida's Funky Buddha Brewing, very rarely spotted around these parts, are pouring 16 beers next to all the variations of AleSmith's Speedway Stout.
Alla Spina, 4:30 p.m.— Foodies will love this one. Brewers Association executive chef Adam Dulye and Colorado chef Kyle Mendenhall are taking over the kitchen to prepare some of their specialties, which they'll pair with Alla Spina's awesome beers. Reservations recommended.
City Tap House, Logan Square, 5 p.m. - Terrapin Beer, 2SP Brewing and Captain Lawrence Brewing are hosting Cinco de Sunlight at Collaboration Station, which is another way of saying that the three breweries will be pouring collaborations they've done with one another, along with 10 beers each from their own breweries. At 9 p.m., Grateful Dead tribute band Splintered Sunlight plays a free show.
National Museum of American Jewish History, 5:30 p.m. — Victory Brewing is hosting Amber Waves, a display of craft beer-related artwork created by people in the industry and paired with beer.
Penn Museum, 6 p.m. — To celebrate CBC and The Golden Age of King Midas museum exhibition, Dogfish Head owner Sam Calagione and Penn beverage archeologist Dr. Patrick McGovern present the stories and beers in their Ancient Ales series in which the pair recreates beer recipes from the ancient world. Their first? Midas Touch.
Philadelphia City Hall, 7 p.m. — If you like running and you like beer, join the International Beer Run from City Hall to Philadelphia Brewing with the Fishtown Runners Club, RunTOBeer from Canada and the Mikkeller Running Club from Denmark. Food trucks and DJs greet you at the end.
Electric Factory, 8 p.m. — Surly, Champion and BSG present heavy metal band Mastodon, with The Dillinger Escape Plan opening.
Reading Terminal Market, 8 p.m. — In the midst of celebrating so many relative young ‘uns in the brewery world, it's important to remember the OG. The description for the American Legacy Brewers Hospitality Night reads, "Come sample over 615 years of America's brewing history with the four oldest family-owned American breweries," Saranac, Schell's, Straub and Yuengling. Respect your elders.
Varga Bar, 9:30 p.m. — Planners of The Officially Unofficial Award Show After Party Award Show have spent all month taking polls like "Best Philadelphia-themed beer name" to prepare the awards given out at this satirical show that takes place after the World Beer Cup presentation. Come celebrate with reps from Terrapin, Firestone Walker, and Weyerbacher