Philadelphia’s Winter Craft Beer & Warm Cocktail Festival took place during three sessions over the course of two days in February at the 23rd Street Armory, with a holiday-themed fest featuring tastes from more than 50 regional and global breweries, distilleries, and vendors. This festival is organized by, the same group that brings Philadelphia the awesome Philly All Star Craft Beer and Cocktail festival at Citizen’s Bank Park (coming up in May).

Guests at the Armory were able to enjoy as many samples as they wanted, with local, regional, and global craft beers alongside warm winter cocktails in their own commemorative tasting glass. VIP ticket-holders had an extra 30 minutes of early access in order to get a first crack at all of the beers & the warm festive cocktails, as well as VIP beer stations, event t-shirts, and larger sampling glasses.

The location itself has some interesting history. The 23rd Street Armor in Philadelphia is a fortress-like structure, standing out among the proliferation of high-rises and businesses. Built in 1901, the Armory is a granite building which houses the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry, the oldest cavalry unit in continuous service in the United States.

The Troop acted as George Washington’s personal bodyguard in the Revolutionary War, fought for the side of the Union at Gettysburg , fought in both World Wars, and defended Philadelphia and the country in local, national, and international conflicts. Even over the past 50 years, the troops has remained committed to service, now as part of the National Guard.


Favorite Craft Beers

Cloudy with a Chance of Charcuterie by Free Will Brewing Company

Cloudy with a Chance of Charcuterie is a New England-style IPA. Pours a faint yellow, low and quickly dissipating head, with aromas and flavors of grapefruit and orange, and a piney backbone. Fresh and juicy with a fluffy mouthfeel.


Mr. Cherry by Highway Manor Brewing Company

Pours an enticing and cloudy cherry red, moderate frothy off-white head and a faint acidic cherry aroma. The taste is all cherries. Thin-bodied and a balanced sour finish. Complex and sweet, yet somehow finishing dry.


S’more Porter by Saranac Brewery

Pours a dark brown with white foam head, looks like your everyday porter. The aroma, however, is 100% s’mores. Toasted marshmallow, chocolate, roasted graham crackers throughout, starting sweet but finishing dry and clean with roasted coffee notes.


White Caps by Cape May Brewing Company

This is probably in my top 5 at the moment as far as Double IPAs go. Fresh and fruit-forward with melon and mango alongside the resinous hops, all over a slightly sweet malt base. Pours a typical hazy straw color, higher than usual carbonation, and a creamy white head that dissipates quickly. It’s lower in ABV than most double IPAs, att 7.5%. but that’s a good thing – I can have quite a few more of these than the others on my list.


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Andrij Harasewych
Editor at The Craft Beer Diaries. Devoted husband and father. Excessively geeky. Comic books, video games, and craft beer are my vices. Favorite beer style easily the IPA. Growing love for the DIPA, specifically.
Andrij Harasewych
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