Patrons raise a glass to start Philly Beer Week

Beer aficionados line up for samples and savor them under the big tent at the Navy Yard. About 100 brewers from the United States and abroad were represented there.
Beer aficionados line up for samples and savor them under the big tent at the Navy Yard. About 100 brewers from the United States and abroad were represented there.
Posted: June 02, 2014

Purple Monkey. Two Blind Monks. Chain Breaker.

You just have to love the names of the beers at the International Great Beer Expo, held Saturday at the Navy Yard as part of Philly Beer Week.

About 100 brewers from the United States and abroad offered 2-ounce pours to the crowd of beer lovers who hopped from one line to the next to sample the cold beverages. The day began with a VIP hour catering to the most ardent beer fans, who paid $75 for the opportunity to try a special sampling of limited beers. General admission was $46 for the day.

Philly Beer Week, established in 2008, runs through next Sunday and offers hundreds of events - dinners, tours, pub crawls, and tastings at restaurants and bars throughout the region. Ten days of festivities make Philly one of the best beer-drinking cities in the country.

"This is our tailgate party before the Phillies game," said Jesse Hulse, 57, of Kimberton, N.J., who came with his wife, Jane, and daughter Erin, 23, of East Falls.

Ken Cantwell, 57, of Collegeville, was sporting a shirt covered in a beer-bottle design.

"I'm a beer guy," Cantwell said. "It is the kind of shirt I should wear."

Liam Woods, 30, of Roxborough, and Brennan Flanagan, 30, of Center City, were meeting up with family and friends.

"We like beer, it's a fun time, and the weather is beautiful," Woods said, summing up the day.

The event offered more than just beer.

Kilt vendor Michael Butler, co-owner of Amerikilt Co., saw the opportunity to sell his product. After a few beers, male customers are more likely to try on kilts, he said.

"Men and beer . . . it's a good spot for me," Butler said.

There were also T-shirts, hats, vintage bottle openers, and cup holders for sale. And the typical beer-related foods of jerky, peanuts, and pretzels, which were worn around beer drinkers' necks for easy access. Pretzels, evidently, cleanse the palate.

Greg and Kathy Kovach of Oxford made their own pretzel necklaces using three varieties of the salty snack.

"By the time this is all done, everyone will be wearing these," Greg said.

And then there were the other food pairings.

Punjabi Popcorn of Old Bridge, N.J., offered a sampling of exotic flavors, including Indian caramel with fennel and cardamom, turmeric, and spicy curry.

"We are popping on site," said owner Deepak Kanda, who started the business after being laid off in the pharmaceutical industry.

As it turns out, people who drink beer love bacon - even the spreadable kind.

"They taste it, they love it," said Bruce Kramer, partner of Bacon Jams.

For more information on Philly Beer Week activities, visit http://www.phillybeerweek.org/.


mschaefer@phillynews.com

610-313-8111

@MariSchaefer

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