Philly Beer Week celebrates a vibrant sudsy culture

Fri Jun 4, 2010 12:56pm EDT
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By Jon Hurdle

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters Life!) - Wielding a ceremonial hammer, Mayor Michael Nutter will tap the first keg on Friday for Philly Beer Week, an event that bolsters the city's claim to be the best beer-drinking town in America.

The Opening Tap ceremony will sample Brotherly Suds 1, an English-style ale that plays on Philadelphia's sobriquet as the "City of Brotherly Love."

Five local brewers created it to exemplify Philadelphia's vibrant beer culture.

Philly Beer Week features about 1,000 tastings, talks by local, regional and national brewers, and pairings of beer and food by local bars, restaurants and breweries in about 150 locations in and around the city.

The number of events is about three times what it was when Beer Week began in 2008.

"It's always been a beer kind of town," said Don Russell, the executive director of Beer Week. "In the tight-knit, row-house neighborhood, the local bar is always the center of the community."

The festival, which runs until June 13, showcases the city's growing number of local craft breweries. It also attracts brewers, beer distributors, bar-owners and drinkers from across the United States and overseas.

Zythos America will celebrate Belgian beer with about a dozen of Belgium's brewers discussing their craft and offering sample at the University of Pennsylvania's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.   Continued...

<p>The Philly Beer Week mallet used to tap the first keg during the Opening Tap kickoff night, in an undated photo. REUTERS/Philly Beer Week</p>