This year Philly Beer Week spans ten sudsy days (7 to 16 March). It’s right up there with the film festivals on my list of favorite things about Philly. Hopefully work doesn’t find me until beer weeks ends; so much good beer requires my undivided attention. The must-do event is the 19th annual tutored tasting at Penn; fI’ll be there for the 15:30 tasting on the 15th.
Many will raise glasses in memory of Michael Jackson. Despite many years of beer appreciation (a side effect of perl mongering), last year was my first time attending the tutored tasting. Jackson’s slightly rumpled appearance, British accent, and rambling stories imbued the large hall at Penn with a pub-like feel. Sam Calaglione, founder of Dogfish Head Brewery, shared the stage with Jackson that year, keeping the tasting on schedule and helping out a visibly frail Jackson. I regret not attending the tastings sooner, but I’m glad to have seen Jackson in person at least once.
Last year’s post-festival plan to tour local microbreweries fell apart due to work and the condo renovations. This year, barring an away contract, I’m going to make good on that plan. I may even go home to Pottsville and hit the Yuengling Brewery. I spent my first eighteen years within three blocks of the brewery, but I’ve never done the tour. I guess I’ve always been a late bloomer when it comes to beer, so I have plenty of catching up to do.