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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.
Feb 3 '14

Firkin Friday at Cook & Shaker!

Check this out.  Cook and Shaker in Kensington is starting up a series of First Firkin Friday events.  The first firkin in the series, which will be pouring on February 7 at 8:00 p.m., is an excellent choice - Susquehanna Southern Rye IPA.  Show the flyer contained in this post in hard copy or on your phone and get 50% off of your first pint and a free glass (while supplies last).

Enjoy this awesome beer and keep your eye out for future first Friday firkins.

Jan 25 '14

Whiskey v. Beer at The Goat’s Beard

Check out this upcoming matchup at The Goat’s Beard, Manayunk: Dad’s Hat whiskey v. Southern Tier beer.  Personally, I feel that they’re both winners. Get your tickets now:

Jan 18 '14

"The Greatest Bear Republic Show on Earth" @ Sidecar

Another awesome event (and awesome event poster) coming up at Sidecar on Wednesday, January 29.  Check it out…

For descriptions of the beers on this excellent list, see the PhillyTapFinder event listing here.  Tap time - 3:00 p.m.

Jan 10 '14

Jolly Pumpkin at Kraftwork!

When I first started getting into sour beers, Jolly Pumpkin (MI) was one of the first breweries that I was introduced to.  They are still one of my favorite.  In Philly, we’d be fortunate enough to get a few kegs here and there.  And then this happened:

I’m really excited about this event.  Beers will be tapped at noon, but the event will run all night. For more information about the beers, see the event listing on PhillyTapFinder.

Jan 7 '14

The Year in Philly Craft Beer: 2013

This is not a subjective top 10 list.  PhillyTapFinder's lists are based on actual data.  When you click, we track it.  When you search, we track it.  Every year, we crunch these numbers and give to you the most searched-for beers, breweries, bar tap lists, styles, and neighborhoods.  We think that you will find these results very interesting.

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Top 10 Most Searched-For Beers in Philly - 2013

  1. Russian River Pliny the Elder (CA)
  2. Russian River Blind Pig (CA)
  3. Russian River Pliny the Younger (CA)
  4. Southern Tier Pumking (NY)
  5. Troegs Mad Elf (PA)
  6. Bell’s Hopslam (MI)
  7. Russian River Supplication (CA)
  8. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (IL)
  9. Founder’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout (MI)
  10. Russian River Damnation (CA)

Honorable Mention:  Victory DirtWolf

PTF thoughts:  For the second year in a row (here are the 2012 results), Russian River occupies 5 of the 10 slots.  Very impressive and well deserved.  It’s also amazing that at least 4 of the beers are seasonal releases with a fairly narrow period of distribution (Younger, Pumking, Mad Elf, and Hopslam).  I was also impressed with the healthy distribution of styles: 4 IPAs, 2 spiced seasonals, 2 stouts, 1 Belgian-style, and 1 sour.  I was thrilled to see that a local IPA - DirtWolf - made such a great impression so quickly.  We may see DirtWolf crack the top 10 soon.

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Top 10 Most Searched-For Breweries in Philly - 2013

  1. Russian River (CA)
  2. Founder’s (MI)
  3. Bell’s (MI)
  4. Dogfish Head (DE)
  5. Goose Island (IL)
  6. Troegs (PA)
  7. Firestone Walker (CA)
  8. Stone (CA)
  9. Cigar City (FL)
  10. Evolution (MD)

PTF thoughts:  Philly is so fortunate to get distribution from all of these amazing breweries from around the country.  Goose Island moved up 5 spots from last year.  They made a big push in Philly in 2013. 

Hill Farmstead dropped off the list, but Philly has received very little from them (any?) in 2013.  Hill Farmstead brews some of the best beers in the world and they will likely always have trouble keeping up with the demand.  Their beers are that good.  When the supply is there, I hope that Philly will be on the list for distribution.  I never place blame on a brewery for satisfying their local market first. 

It’s great to see Cigar City back on the list, as after a brief hiatus, distribution seems to have picked up again in 2013 (like Hill Farmstead, they made the decision to serve their local market first, but now they are back distributing in Philly). 

I’m also thrilled for Evolution.  That’s an impressive ranking for a brewery that has only fairly recently made a big push into the Philly market.

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Top 5 Most Searched-For Bar Tap Lists - 2013

  1. Alla Spina:  tap list here.
  2. Monk’s Cafe:  tap list here.
  3. Growlers:  tap list here.
  4. Kraftwork:  tap list here.
  5. POPE:  tap list here.

PTF thoughts:  Wow!  Alla Spina has taken over the top spot.  If you’ve seen their tap list recently, this should not really surprise you.  They do a tremendous job.  Congrats also to Growlers, who made a quick move considering they are only about one year old.  Also, congrats to Monk’s and POPE, the only bars who have repeated in the top 5 back-to-back years.  Check out last year’s list here.

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Top 5 Most Searched-For Beer Styles in Philly - 2013

  1. IPA
  2. Pumpkin-spiced
  3. Stout
  4. Sour/Wild Fermented
  5. Ciders

PTF thoughts:  This list cracks me up because I don’t drink IPAs, pumpkin-spiced beers, or ciders.  Oh well.  I was a bit surprised that ciders were so popular.   It’s nice to see cider-lovers are using PhillyTapFinder that often.

Top 5 Most Searched-For Neighborhoods - 2013

  1. Rittenhouse
  2. Suburbs
  3. Fairmount/Art Museum
  4. Fishtown/Kensington
  5. Old City

PTF thoughts:  It’s great to see the suburbs section get so much attention.  We’ve actually recently split up the suburb section into various counties because so many bars were joining.  We hope to make a strong push in the suburbs in 2014.  I am surprised that South Philly did not make this list as I consider it one of Philly’s top craft beer neighborhoods.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this post.  Seeing how things evolve over time is so interesting to me as new bars and brewers break through in Philly and as consumers’ interests change.  Thanks to all of the brewers, distributors, bars, and consumers that make this one of the most vibrant craft beer cities in the world.

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Jan 4 '14

Bell’s Hopslam Returns to Philly in 2014

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Big news from Bell’s Brewery regarding the beloved Bell’s Hopslam.  

First, Bell’s has reported that are trying to brew more Hopslam than last year, but won’t know the final numbers until it’s all packaged and shipped.

Second, Bell’s has provided the distribution schedule for Hopslam:

It will start shipping to areas in Michigan the week of Jan. 6.

It will begin shipping to Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Missouri, Ohio and Arizona the week of Jan. 13.

It will then start shipping to Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington DC, Kentucky and Pennsylvania the week of Jan. 20.


If you want a good idea about what PhillyTapFinder member bars you can expect to find Hopslam, check out the list of tappings from last year.

So Hopslam geeks, just a few more weeks away until you can get your next fix. Keep your eye on this blog and PhillyTapFinder to be in know about when and where Hopslam will be tapped in Philly.

UPDATE JANUARY 22, 2014

According to Shangy’s, the distributor for Bell’s, they will begin their distribution of Hopslam to restaurants and bars on Friday, January 24.  This does not mean that restaurants and bars will have Hopslam for sale and consumption on January 24 as they are distributing to over 1,000 accounts throughout their 17 county footprint.

CONFIRMED TAPPINGS AT PHILLYTAPFINDER MEMBER BARS.
Bars that are crossed does not mean that the kegs have kicked.  Bars that are crossed out means that the tapping has already occurred on a previous day.

  • 1/30, Thursday, 11 a.m. - Side Bar (West Chester)
  • 2/1, Saturday, 12 p.m. - Iron Abbey (Horsham)
  • 2/1, Saturday, 5 p.m. - Cambridge
  • 2/2, Sunday, 10:30 a.m. - 320 Market Cafe (Swarthmore)
  • 2/2, Sunday, 2 p.m. - Misconduct
  • 2/2, Sunday, 5 p.m. - Jose Pistola’s
  • 2/3, Monday, 12 p.m. - Tria Taproom
  • 2/3, Monday, 12 p.m. - Tria Washington Square West
  • 2/3, Monday, 1 p.m. - Bottle Bar East
  • 2/4, Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. - Local 44
  • 2/5, Wednesday, 12 p.m. - South Philly Tap Room
  • 2/5, Wednesday, 8 p.m. - Belgian Cafe
  • 2/7, Friday, 12 a.m. - Baggataway (Conshy)
  • 2/7, Friday, 11 a.m. - Pinocchio’s (Media)
  • 2/8, Saturday, 11 a.m. - Fingers Wings & Other Things (Conshy)
  • 2/9, Sunday, 9 a.m. - Hawthorne’s
  • 2/9, Sunday, 8 p.m. - Varga
  • 2/9, Sunday, 8 p.m. - Pour House (Exton)
  • 2/9, Sunday, 9 p.m. - POPE
  • 2/12, Wednesday, 12 p.m. - Fox & Hound (Center City PHL)
  • 2/14, Friday, 12 p.m. - Bishop’s Collar
  • 2/14, Friday, 6 p.m. - North Bowl
  • 2/16, Sunday, 6 p.m. - Kite & Key
  • 2/17, Monday, 4 p.m. - Barcade
  • 2/19, Wednesday, 11 a.m. - American Sardine Bar
  • 2/20, Thursday, 6 p.m. - Flanigan’s Boathouse (Conshy)
  • 2/21, Friday, 5 p.m. - City Tap House
  • 2/21, Friday, 5 p.m. - Khyber
  • 2/21, Friday, 11 p.m. - Institute
  • 2/22, Saturday, 11:30 a.m. - Capone’s
  • 2/24, Monday, 7 p.m. - Prohibition Taproom
  • 2/25, Tuesday, 12 p.m. - Kraftwork
  • 2/26, Wednesday, 6 p.m. - Cambridge
  • 2/27, Thursday, 7 p.m. - Isaac Newton’s
  • 2/28, Friday, 7 p.m. - Garrett Hill Ale House (Bryn Mawr)
  • 3/3, Monday, 5 p.m. - Time
  • 3/7, Friday, 7 p.m. - Cook and Shaker
  • 3/8, Saturday, 12 p.m. - Fountain Porter
  • 3/9, Sunday, 9 a.m. - Sidecar
  • 3/9, Sunday, 11 a.m. - City Tap House
  • 3/12, Wednesday, time tbd - POPE (tap & firkin!)
  • 3/16, Sunday, 6 p.m. - Field House
  • 3/19, Wednesday, 11 a.m. - Bishop’s Collar
  • 3/19, Wednesday, 3 p.m. - Sidecar

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Dec 20 '13

The Brewery (Russian River) That Stole Christmas

Don’t miss this Russian River event on the day after Christmas. 

Also, how about this amazing artwork by my friend Jon Billet of Beer Paste and Billet Designs

For beer descriptions, please see the event posting on PhillyTapFinder.

Dec 15 '13

Sidecar Rare Bottle Event

Dec 9 '13

Russian River Pliny the Younger in Philly - 2014

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CONFIRMED TAPPINGS AT BOTTOM OF POST

Russian River released some important Pliny the Younger information that gives Philadelphia an idea on when we should see some kegs in 2014:.

  • As of December 2, 2013, Pliny the Younger had not even been brewed yet.
  • Pliny the Younger will be released at the Russian River brewpub on February 7, 2014.  It will be available every day at the brewpub for 14 days.
  • Distribution of Pliny the Younger begins the following week.  Therefore, distribution to Philly should begin during the week of February 21, 2014 (then it must be shipped, allocated, etc.).

Last year, the first Pliny the Younger keg was tapped in Philly on March 2. From what Russian River has stated, it looks like we should expect a similar timeframe this year. So don’t go away that week and submit your work leave slips now. Like previous years, PhillyTapFinder will have the scoop on when PhillyTapFinder member bars will tap the elusive Pliny the Younger in Philly. For an idea about where you should expect to see Pliny the Younger tappings, here’s the list from last year.

UPDATE 1/6/14

Although I do not have more precise information about exactly when Pliny the Younger will land in Philly, Russian River has provided a very clear message to bars about when they should tap their keg once they receive it: "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!"

Very interesting.  I do not remember seeing this “recommendation” in the past.  Last year, some bars sat on the their Pliny the Younger keg for almost one month.  We’ll see if that changes this year in light of Russian  River’s “recommendation.”

UPDATE 1/14/14

The first tentative date for a Pliny the Younger tapping in Philly has been announced.  Monk’s has announced that they will tap Pliny the Younger on the first Monday after they receive the keg.  They predict that the tapping date will be March 3, 2014 at 11:30 a.m., but THIS DATE IS NOT CONFIRMED (date changed! see below).  As always, Monk’s has generously decided to make this event a fundraiser, with the goal of raising $25,000 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand for this one-day event.  I will always respect Monk’s for choosing to do this and you should support them in generating money for this excellent charity.  I will post more when I have the details about the event.

CONFIRMED TAPPINGS FOR PHILLYTAPFINDER MEMBER BARS

  • March 6, Thursday, at 10:30 a.m. - Memphis Taproom (1st 50 to respond to Monday morning email get in at 10:30 a.m.; doors open at 11:30 a.m. for the rest; $8 for 12oz pour)
  • March 6, Thursday, at 11:00 a.m. - South Philly Tap Room (first come, first seved)
  • March 7, Friday, at 3:00 p.m. - Sidecar (tickets will be handed out at the door, beginning at 2:00ish p.m.; first come, first served)
  • March 8, Saturday at 10:00 a.m. - Capones (tickets will be sold outside before 10:00 a.m. opening; first beer is cash only)
  • March 9, Sunday at 12:00 p.m. - Iron Abbey (tickets on sale at 11:00 a.m., $5 for 5 oz pour, 1 ticket per person, cash only)
  • March 9, Sunday at 2:00 p.m. - City Tap House (65 Golden tickets will go on sale  at 1pm.  Place holders will begin as soon as the doors open at 11am with full brunch service. $10 for 8oz pour).
  • March 10, Monday, at 11:30 a.m. - Monk’s (Alex’s Lemonade Stand charity fundraiser - cash only)
  • March 11, Tuesday, at 12:00 p.m. - Tria Taproom ($6/6oz glass plus a $6 match for charity (aka $12 per Pliny purchase)
  • March 11, Tuesday, at 7:00 p.m. - Grey Lodge (at the bar’s request, this information was not posted until tap time - Enjoy!)
  • March 11, Tuesday, at 7:00 p.m. - Kite & Key
  • March 12, Wednesday, at 2:00 p.m. - The Pour House - Exton (first come, first served; $8 for 6oz pour with all proceeds going to Ronald McDonald House)
  • March 12, Wednesday, at 3:00 p.m. - Good Dog (tickets go on sale at 2:00 p.m.)
  • March 13, Thursday, at 11:30 a.m. - Isaac Newton’s (Newtown)
  • March 18, Tuesday, at 11:00 a.m. - Khyber (first come, first served)
  • March 18, Tuesday, at 11:00 a.m. - Side Bar (West Chester) (first come, first served)
  • March 19, Wednesday, at 11:00 a.m. - Bishop’s Collar (tickets on sale at 10:00 a.m. on 3/19)
  • March 19, Wednesday, at 7:01 p.m. - Barcade

***Several other tappings have been confirmed, but at the bars’ request, I will not post them. 

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Nov 21 '13

Bottle Share VI - the industry edition

THE 35 SLOTS ARE FILLED, BUT PLEASE RSVP IF YOU WANT TO BE ADDED TO THE WAITING LIST.

I hear it all the time from my industry friends, “Hey PhillyTapFinder.  Your bottle shares with Philly Beer Scene sound great, but Sunday afternoon doesn’t work for most of us in the industry.”  Always looking to please, we decided to do something about it.  On 12/16 (a Monday) at 7 p.m., we are hosting Bottle Share VI - the industry edition at Bufad!

Here are the event details:

Who: The industry.  So what’s “the industry” anyways?  We’re thinking restaurant/bar/bottle shop employees, beer reps, etc.  We’re not checking pay stubs or demanding that you show up in your work attire so use your own discretion.  You know it if you’re in the industry.  Reservations will be open to industry only until Monday 12/9.  If we have not filled up our 35 slots by 12/9, then I will open it up to everybody.

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To participate, don’t feel like you need to have an obscure bottle found in some hidden ruin from the other side of the world.  Just stop at a local bottle shop.  Bring a bottle or two of something that you think others will enjoy.  Of course, if you have the super-rare bottle and want to share it, then please bring it.  Most people bring large-format bottles. 

To get on the list, please email Jared (jared@phillytapfinder.com) from PhillyTapFinder with your name and number of guests.  We will be checking you off as you show up.  Please do not take a spot and then not show up as I expect that there will be a lot of people that want to come to this.  Also, we want to make sure that Bufad is taken care of (they are normally closed Mondays and they are opening just for us)!  If you sign up but then cannot go, please let me know.

What: PhillyTapFinder/Philly Beer Scene bottle share VI - the industry edition!

WhereBufad, 13th & Spring Garden

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When:  Monday, December 16, 7-10 p.m. 

Why:  Because beer is awesome, everyone likes to share, and we appreciate the industry.  Without you guys, PhillyTapFinder & Philly Beer Scene would not exist.

Cost:   The cost is $15 per person.  Please bring cash as we will be collecting money on your way into Bufad.  All of the money goes to Bufad; PhillyTapFinder & Philly Beer Scene do not take a cut.

Food: Here is a sample menu that Bufad has provided:

Antipasti
- Roasted Olives
- Fried and Marinated Butternut Squash
- Salty Egg
- Tritato Salad
- Roasted Apples Wrapped in Pancetta with Black Pepper Honey
- Pickled Fennel
- Tuna Stuffed Piquillo Peppers with Black Olive Tapenade dressing


Roman Pizzas
- Rossa
- Amatriciana (spicy tomato, pancetta, Pecorino Romano, parsely)
- Potato with Rosemary and Pecorino Romano Cheese
- Escarole with Roasted Apples and Goat Cheese
- Margherita
- Roasted Fennel with Prosciutto and Grana
- Puntanesca

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Miscellaneous:  Please bring your own glassware or consider buying a PhillyTapFinder/Philly Beer Scene snifter at the event ($5).  We may also have some PhillyTapFinder and Philly Beer Scene t-shirts for sale.

Please email Jared what you will be bring and I will post the running list

If you have any questions, please email Jared from PhillyTapFinder or Mat from Philly Beer Scene.  Hope to see you on December 16.

THE BEER LIST

  • Half Acre Ginger Twin
  • Cigar City Hunahpu
  • Ballast Point Barrel Aged Sea Monster
  • Three Floyds Doesjel
  • Stillwater Table Beer
  • Hoppin Frog Boris
  • Alesmith Speedway
  • Birra del Borgo Rubus-Lamponi
  • Perennial Peach Berliner Weiss
  • Perennial/Half Acre Plan B