Rare Beer Roundup – Philly Beer Week Edition
The first week of June is upon us, with it coming America’s original and largest city-wide craft beer takeover – Philly Beer Week. Now celebrating its 7th anniversary, the occasion will descend upon bars, restaurants and bottle shops throughout the greater metro area with hundreds of events spanning the 10-day period from May 30 to June 8.
Hidden like sudsy little Easter eggs within the week’s festivities are a host of rare, one-off and nearly impossible to find beers by breweries from all over the country. The brightest and best typically poke their heads out for Philly Beer Week, so you can expect to (attempt to) grab a taste of some special treats if you know where to look. Let’s break this down play-by-play style to check out some of the most mouth-watering brews to grace the city over the next week.
- Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th – Heavy duty 14% ABV imperial stout aged in oak bourbon barrels
- Cigar City Brandy Barrel-Aged Hunahpu’s – Imperial stout with cacao nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon, Ancho and Pasilla chilies aged in brandy barrels…holy crap
- Hardywood Bourbon Cru – Abbey-style Quad aged in Virginia bourbon barrels from a brewery making their Philly debut
- Funky Buddha Pina Colada – Wheat ale infused with coconut and pinapples, it’s almost summertime baby!
- Perennial La Boheme Kriek – Cabernet barrel-aged Flanders Red Ale with Michigan sour cherries
- Bell’s Black Note – A decadent combo of Double Cream Ale and Expedition Stout aged in bourbon barrels
- Voodoo 2 Live Gran Cru Vol. 1 – A blend of Big Black Voodoo Daddy and Black Magick imperial stouts aged in Pappy Van Winkle barrels
- Voodoo 2 Live Gran Cru Vol. 2 – A blend of two Pappy Van Winkle barrel-aged beers, K13 (barleywine) and Tenacious Wee (wee heavy)
- Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout – Imperial stout with coffee and chocolate aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels (yep, it’s that one)
- Funky Buddha Snowed In – An imperial version of their Last Snow porter with coconut, coffee and white chocolate
- The Lost Abbey Duck Duck Gooze – A blend of 1, 2 and 3-year old sour ales aged in French oak barrels, similar to traditional Belgian gueuzes
- Surly Darkness – The one and only behemoth of an imperial stout from Minnesota’s most popular brewery, making their first appearance (of only 2) in Philly
- Perennial Barrel-Aged Sump – Imperial stout brewed with coffee and aged in rye whiskey barrels
- Allagash PNC Broken Elevator – Blended sour ale aged in a variety of oak barrels for over 3 years
- Goose Island Bourbon County Backyard Rye – One of the new variants in the Bourbon County series to debut in 2013, featuring mulberries, boysenberries and marionberries, aged in rye whiskey barrels
These, along with hordes of other limited and sought-after beers will be flowing at locations ranging from the Southeastern ‘Burbs to the heart of Center City. Other notables include Firestone Walker PNC, Founders KBS, Allagash Avance, Hardywood Bourbon Sidamo, Surly Pentagram, Evil Twin Brandy Barrel Lil B, Bullfrog Jong Bruin Kriek and much more. Also keep your eyes peeled for brewery events featuring standouts like Russian River, Oxbow, Bullfrog, Deschutes, New Belgium (Philly debut), De Struise, Half Acre and others.
Peep the insane job Philly Tap Finder has done at posting up taplists and check the official Philly Beer Week site for more event info – but don’t forget to install the app to keep track of all the craziness and surprises coming over the next 10 days.
Nick Alfonse is a writer living in the Philadelphia area. Follow him on Twitter @BeerServedRare.