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Tap Into Local Fun at Philly Beer Week

  Beer-drinking opportunities abound in the Riverwards in the coming days.

  Philly Beer Week, the nation’s largest and oldest celebration of all things beer, gets underway June 1, with Opening Tap at The Fillmore.

  Dozens of local and national breweries and cideries will be showcased at the kickoff event, which will also include a DJ and live music by American Deluxe and Welcome to My Face.

  About 1,000 people typically attend Opening Tap.

  At 7PM, officials will stage a ceremonial tapping of a firkin of Brotherly Suds, a collaboration among Tröegs, Victory, Yards, Sly Fox, Stoudt’s, Iron Hill and Flying Fish. Christina Dowd, executive director of Philly Loves Beer, the nonprofit that stages PBW, said the 2017 festival features the debut of nearly a dozen specially crafted, collaborative brews.

  “In this industry, people are naturally working together, and we certainly want to encourage that,” Dowd said.

  While there is a heavy emphasis on local, PBW welcomes international travelers. Two years ago, a couple from London incorporated the event into their American vacation, and last year a couple from Maine spent their honeymoon taking in the entire festival.

  PBW is now in its 10th year, but this is the first festival since organizers reconfigured as the nonprofit Philly Loves Beer.

  “We re-branded and we want Philly Loves Beer to curate programming throughout the year to educate and promote craft beer in the Philadelphia region,” Down explained. “One big reason we switched to Philly Loves Beer was to educate the consumer about beer and beer culture.”

  Education will be at the heart of several PBW activities, such as Art of Beer 7 PM. June 6 at Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Ave. The event features a panel discussion with the artists who design beer labels for a number of local breweries.

  “There is nothing quite like Philly Beer Week in terms of size and participation both in our membership and people attending events,” Dowd said. “Events range from beer dinners to beer Olympics to education and the process of beer-making and -tasting.”

  About a dozen venues in the River Wards have events on tap for PBW, ranging from food-and-drink pairings and specials to games to fundraisers. Johnny Brenda’s will stage the second-annual Philly Lit Spelling Bee at 8 PM. June 3 at 1201 Frankford Ave., with 10 local literary organizations competing for the $200 cash prize for their respective organization. El Camino Real, 1040 N. Second St., will also get in the philanthropic spirit as a presidential impersonator sits atop a dunk tank for “Dunk-a-Trump-for-Charity” contest from 2-6 PM. June 3; proceeds from the event will benefit the American Civil Liberties Union.

  A beer-themed block party is among the biggest PBW events happening in the Riverwards.

  The sixth-annual Fishtown FestivAle takes over the area outside Frankford Hall starting at noon June 12. Frankford Hall will provide food and drinks along with Fette Sau, Johnny Brenda’s, ROOT restaurant + wine bar, Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop, Bottle Bar East, Fishtown Tavern, Kensington Quarters, Front Street Café, Barcade, Sancho Pistola’s and Weckerly’s Ice Cream.

  The event is family-friendly and features a dunk tank, carnival games, art, music and more.

For a full listing of PBW programming, visit www.phillylovesbeer.org.

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