Finally, I get to attend the Opening Tap for Philly Beer Week on Friday, May 31, 2019. What a wonderful event. With more than 60 breweries including local, national, and brand-spanking new in the Philly beer scene, there was more than enough beer for everybody to find something they truly love. DJs spinning tracks and even live band karaoke made sure to keep the party jumping until the last beer was poured.
Of course, the Hammer of Glory was on hand for the ceremonious first keg tapping at the start of the event. The Hammer of Glory is Philly Beer Week’s inanimate mascot. It’s not just a must-see – it’s a must hold. Throughout the year, the Philly Loves Beer team will pop into beer events and beer spots throughout the city, giving the average person the chance to hold this sacred hammer above their heads, and on the first day of Philly Beer Week, it is passed from bar to bar like an Olympic torch until it reaches Opening Tap.
Love City Brewing
I can’t get enough of Love City Brewing. Deep Cut was an excellent pilsner, but you know me, I gravitate to the hoppy. Eraserhood is their North East IPA. Pouring a lovely cloudy copper-orange with egg-white froth – this is one hell of a juicy NEIPA. Seriously, JUICY. Light tropical fruits alongside the citrus flavors with an incredibly smooth feel.
Cape May Brewing Company
Follow the Gull
Okay, at this point it’s ridiculous. I promise at some point you’ll hear about something that isn’t a juicy IPA. I’m going to have to force it soon. That being said – here is a wonderfully Juicy IPA from Cape May Brewing Company. 🙂 Pours hazy yellow, strong, clean, white head with pineapple, tangerine and mango on the nose. Incredibly juicy, refreshing and crushable. A must-have for the shore.
Troegs Independent Brewing
Raspberry Tart Ale
See? I can drink other beers. Here we have the Raspberry Tart Ale from Troegs Independent Brewing. A nice hit of raspberry without becoming overwhelming. This is a bold, crushable sour beer. Not much to it – just good raspberry.
Crime & Punishment
Being Ukrainian-American, Soviet references usually trigger me a bit, but I can’t get over this beer. And right from around the corner of my old house. Of course, they moved in not months after I moved out of the area (of course that’s how it goes) but I’m still happy to see some breweries coming back into the Brewerytown area in Philadelphia (north of the art museum). Personally, I would have leaned into the fact that the penitentiary where Al Capone was held is just a few blocks away, but that’s just me – this is their baby, they can do whatever works for them!
Back to what matters – the beer! I first eyed the citra mention on the sign – include citra, and I’m in – Vostok, their Double IPA, is a phenomenal combination of mango, honey dew, and peach. Fluffy clouds is the best way to describe this mouthfeel, with a slightly lingering hop bitterness. And at 8.1%, it is dangerously drinkable.