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Tap Talk

Bringing good beer to the thirsty masses of Philly. Companion blog to PhillyTapFinder.com, Philly's craft beer locator.
May 27 '14

The Insider’s Guide to Philly Beer Week 2014

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Everybody is so excited for Philly Beer Week 2014.  Like past years, the events sounds amazing, including lots of beers that Philly has never seen before.  But with so many Philly Beer Week events to choose from, you crave more information to help you decide.  And just knowing that brewery X is taking over the taps at bar Y doesn’t cut it; you want to know what beers are actually pouring.  Enter PhillyTapFinder.

We work extremely hard, scouring the interwebs and contacting the bars to compile the tap lists for the Philly Beer Week events.  We want you to have that information so that you can go to that special event that is pouring that super rare beer or an all-time favorite.  The days of going to an event, only to be disappointed by the tap list, are over. 

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So this is what we’re going to do.  During Philly Beer Week, from May 30 through June 8, we are going to post PhillyTapFinder member bars’ tap lists for the current day and the following day (and some extra special tap lists for future days that I could not resist posting).  You can get that info right here — BOOKMARK THIS PAGE!  We already have a whole bunch of tap lists posted, and we will constantly post more so please check back. 

The event tap lists are in date order.  If you are looking for a specific brewery or beer, consider using the search box, which you can find on every page of the site (just type the name of the brewery or beer - no need to press enter/go). 

Please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check out our blog, Tap Talk, where we will be highlighting exceptional beers, tap lists, and events.  We work very hard so please help us spread the word via social media, etc.

The beers coming into Philly for this wonderful celebration of craft beer are absolutely incredible.  I can’t wait for you to see the information that we’ve collected: http://phillytapfinder.com/events/

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May 9 '14

Surly & Hardywood Invade Philly!

This is some amazing news.  Surly (MN) & Hardywood (VA) will be in Philly for Philly Beer Week!  If you are familiar with these breweries, you know why I’m so excited.  If you are not familiar with these breweries, you don’t want to miss this opportunity.  I’m confident that you will be impressed.

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The tap lists for these events, as well as the PBW tap lists for all PhillyTapFinder members, will be posted within the next couple of weeks on our event page here

May 8 '14

Bocks & Brats

Saturday and Sunday, May 10-11, Johnny Brenda’s (1201 Frankford Ave.) will be celebrating the bounty of local Bock bier! See the delicious tap list here.  The kitchen will be serving up house-made bratwurst and soft pretzels to wash down those tasty, malty bocks.

On Sunday from noon-3pm, Peggy and Simon, the dynamic 3-legged goat duo (that’s 6 legs all together) and winners of the last 3 Sly Fox goat races before this year, will be in attendance. You can visit with them and contribute to Team Peggy and the Humane Society of Bucks Co. For Sunday brunch, Johnny Brendan’s will be donating a buck a Bock to Team Peggy.

Apr 30 '14

Sneak Peek at Philly Beer Week

On Friday 5/2, Field House (1150 Filbert St.) will be hosting a “30 Days to Beer Week” event, which will be a sneak peek at what they have in store for Philly Beer Week.  More info below:

Apr 24 '14

Firkin Friday at Cook & Shaker featuring Neshaminy Creek!

This is going to be great.  On 5/2 at Cook and Shaker, in addition to a “sangria-conditioned” tripel, you will experience the Philadelphia release of Neshaminy Creek’s “Blitzkrieg Hops DIPA.”  You don’t want to miss this.

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Apr 16 '14

Split Thy Skull at Tattooed Mom on Saturday!

On Saturday 4/19, Tattooed Mom, 530 South St, will be celebrating one of my favorite beer styles, the barleywine!  Do not miss SPLIT THY SKULL

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AND NOW I HAVE THE TAP LIST & IT LOOKS AMAZING: http://www.phillytapfinder.com/event/split-thy-skull/

Apr 15 '14

Craft House & Beer Garden Grand Opening!

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On Thursday April 17th at 3pm, Craft House & Beer Garden on Route 70 in Cherry Hill, NJ will kick off its GRAND OPENING WEEKEND of festivities. 

  • Owner Tom Kehoe of Yards Brewery will be tapping a firkin of Yards IPA on Thursday April 17 at 6pm.
  • On Friday April 18 at 6pm, Brian Wallace and Nick Johnson, of Troegs Brewing Co., are tapping a keg of Scratch No. 137.

Craft House & Beer Garden will have a total of 48 taps: 24 inside the Restaurant/Bar and 24 outside in the Beer Garden.  You can find their tap list on PhiillyTapFinder right here.

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Apr 1 '14

First Firkin Friday at Cook and Shaker!

First Firkin Friday at Cook and Shaker on 4/4/14, featuring a delicious firkin from one of my favorite PA breweries, ShawneeCraft Brewing Company!

Mar 30 '14

Meet Sarah, the New PhillyTapFinder Intern!

With the hiring of an intern, PhillyTapFinder has grown by 50%.  Up until now, two very dedicated people took on the task of keeping the tap lists updated for over 100 bars (and on top of that, we actively participate in social media, search for new members and advertisers, and our favorite part of the job: we go to bars to “network”).  The two-person operation needed some help so we scoured the bars for the right person.  After an intense interview process, including a physical fitness test, psychological assessment, and most importantly, the ability to throw down some beers, we found the right person.  Meet Sarah B!

We asked Sarah a few questions about craft beer and interning for PhillyTapFinder.  You will quickly realize that she’s very smart (see below - we’re talking about a Jeopardy! College Championship participant!), witty, and really knows her craft beer stuff.

Favorite brewer:
Local: Tired Hands
Overall: Russian River, Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, Firestone Walker, Mikkeller

Favorite beer: Ok, yeesh. Stillwater Classique, Cigar City Dry Hopped on the High Seas Citra, Bourbon County Coffee Stout
The most memorable to me was drinking Row 2, Hill 56 (a fantastic simcoe-hopped pale ale) at the Russian River brewpub in Santa Rosa while listening to “Sweet Leaf” by Black Sabbath on the jukebox. The manager gave my friend and me a free beer and unlimited songs! What a great day.

Favorite style: I’ve been into goses recently. So refreshing. A good citra-hopped IPA trumps all for me, though.

Top 3 Favorite Bars:
1. Fountain Porter
2. Fiume/Khyber Pass if we’re going with strictly PTF bars
3. Sidecar (my Johnny Goodtimes quizzo spot on Monday nights)

Are your friends into craft beer or are you leading the beer revolution among our youth?
They all think I’m a snob. But you know what, I’ll take a Lager over a lot of beers out there. That being said, I am the Moses of beer among my friends.

How do you convince them to try craft beer? What beer/style do you start them on?
When people say they don’t like beer, they usually mean they don’t like beer that tastes like beer. I just notice what they like to drink and what they like to eat, and there’s most likely a beer for them out there. My friend who drinks Mike’s Hard Cranberry Lemonade now loves Lindemans Framboise. My sister (a huge oenophile) is getting into Belgian farmhouse ales and barrel aged sours. You just have to find similar flavor profiles to the tastes they like, and my friends usually aren’t disappointed with my recommendations.

What are the important considerations when choosing a bar to go to when going out?
Usually: cheap/good happy hour, unique beer selection, karaoke, quizzo.

Why do you think PTF is important?
Philly has an overabundance of fantastic bars. It’s a gift and a curse to live in a city with such a diverse range of distribution and so many great local options. I’ve been looking on PTF for years to find exactly what I’m looking for and to save myself time and money by seeking out my beers of choice before going out. I also love the events section because there are always exciting tap takeovers and festivals happening throughout Philly.

What types of projects to you plan to work on?
I’d love to get involved with event planning and promotion, whether on the website or on social media. I love doing the updates; it’s interesting to make the changes and the taps are constantly in flux.

Do you plan on working in the craft beer industry? If so, what would you like to do?
I’ve always been adamant about establishing a career path in an field about which I am curious, passionate, and in which I can continue to learn. There is so much knowledge to absorb surrounding beer. What people don’t usually associate with beer is how engrained it is in human history; as a former history major, my interests have grown from my college days of “expanding my palate” (that’s code for drinking copious amounts of beer) to spending more time reading about beer than drinking it. I would love to incorporate this into whatever I resolve to do in the industry.

I haven’t quite figured out how I want to forge my career in this industry, but I believe there is a lot of room for growth and experimentation, and that I can create my perfect job in craft beer.

Have you ever been on Jeopardy!?

See below for embarrassing interview questions:
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-02-01/entertainment/bs-b-0201-tv-jeopardy-20120201_1_jeopardy-contestant-answer

Told ya - isn’t she great!  So when you see Sarah at a bar (picture below), please buy her a beer.  She deserves it.

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Mar 22 '14

Pliny the Younger in Philly - A 2014 Recap

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Well that was fun, Philly, wasn’t it?  Overall, sounds like Russian River Pliny the Younger tappings in Philadelphia went smoother than ever.  Less complaints/whining from consumers.  Bars seemed to have learned from previous mistakes and have established an orderly way for handling things that works for them.  Several bars also had surprise tappings with the goal of letting their regulars enjoy this rare beer.  PhillyTapFinder always respects those bars’ requests to keep the information quiet or to not release until a particular time.  I’m told that those tappings also went well and achieved their goal.

Last year, 16 PhillyTapFinder member bars tapped a keg of Pliny the Younger; this year 17 PhillyTapFinder member bars tapped kegs.  So basically, joining PhillyTapFinder increases your chances of getting a keg (just kidding).  I’m also happy to report that at least three bars implemented some type of charitable component.  Monk’s achieved their goal of raising $25,000 to Alex’s Lemonade Stand!  We love to see bars turn the chaos into a good thing.

*Important - This year, for the first time that I can remember, Russian River put out the following “recommendation” regarding Pliny the Younger and freshness: "It is our recommendation that our accounts tap it as soon as possible after receiving their delivery to preserve the freshness and integrity of the beer. This beer is not meant to age AT ALL! Pliny the Younger is very much like the fresh catch of the day and best enjoyed right away!" 

I’m happy to report that Philly made some significant progress in this area.  Last year, the first keg was tapped on 3/2/13 and the last keg was tapped on 4/1/13 — a 31-day span.  This year, the first keg was tapped on 3/6/14 and the last keg was tapped on 3/19/14 — a 14-day span!  Well done Philly!

Thanks for using PhillyTapFinder as your go-to resource for providing this information.  We work very hard to establish these relationships so that we can bring the information to you.  See you again next year on the Philly Pliny the Younger Hunt 2015.

Updated - On April 7, Monk’s unexpectedly tapped a keg of Pliny the Younger.  I don’t know where this keg came from, but I’m confident that it was not Monk’s that held onto it.  I don’t have any confirmed info about where this keg came from.

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