This January, the Board of Philly Beer Week (PBW) – a group of 17 hospitality industry professionals and beer-savvy experts – will debut Philly Loves Beer (PLB), a year-round entity devoted to raising Philadelphia’s global profile as a destination city for beer tourism. PLB, working independent of a brewer’s guild or business association, is the country’s first and only non-profit 501 (c)(6) organization dedicated to beer appreciation. Through consumer education and professional advocacy 365 days a year, PLB will serve as the foremost authority on beer and beer culture in Philadelphia and the surrounding area.
A member-based network born out of demand, PLB will offer educational seminars, networking events, fundraisers, beer festivals, promotional support for their participants, and continue to expand beer’s imprint in Philadelphia. The PLB website will feature current news about beer, interviews with local brewers, forums on national beer trends, listings for marquee events, plus articles on Philly’s rich brewing culture. Fans are encouraged to like PLB on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram to stay informed on all that is brewing.
Belgium Brew Day: On January 18, Felicia D’Ambrosio (PBW raffle winner) and Bob Barrar (2SP, Head Brewer) will collaborate with Brouwerij DeRanke, under the guidance of PBW co-founder and Belgium beer ambassador Tom Peters, to create PBW’s 10th Anniversary Beer in Belgium.
Flan-Animal: On February 19, PLB will host their first official fundraiser, a flannel fashion show at Heritage (914 North 2nd Street) featuring PLB members and supporters, judged by a panel of local female beer celebrities. The event is open to the public and all proceeds will benefit PLB.
Beer Madness: On March 13, PLB will unveil their annual Beer Madness Bracket on the organization’s new website, featuring a highly-anticipated field of 32 ALL LOCAL beers. This marks the fourth edition of Beer Madness; last year, Evil Genius Beer Company’s Shut Up, Meg! was crowned champion.
Opening Tap: On June 1, PBW’s marquee event returns to The Fillmore Philadelphia – a raucous summer party, with rare pours from Philly’s best local breweries. Opening Tap caps a whirlwind day where the famed Hammer of Glory, aka The HOG, parades around the city from bar-to-bar and brewery-to-brewery on an Olympic Torch-style relay starting in the early morning.
PBW will celebrate its monumental 10th anniversary in 2017, running from June 1 through June 11 – and will be the biggest annual festival hosted by the new PLB. PBW bears the TM, America’s Best Beer-Drinking City, and it remains the nation’s first and largest beer week, a weeklong party that has sprouted more than 100 copycat beer weeks across the United States and internationally since 2007.
PLB’s leadership team is comprised of dedicated beer insiders, including: tavern and bar owners, brewpubs and breweries, local brewers and homebrewers, restaurants and restaurateurs, hotel operators, real estate agents, litigators, marketing managers, brand ambassadors, wholesalers and distributors, along with hospitality professionals. Led by Executive Director Kristine Kennedy, the Board of Directors will include: William Reed, Casey Wayne Parker, Curt Decker, Andy Dickerson, Matt Satten, Sheila Ballen, Christina Dowd, Terrance Leach, Mike Scotese, Erin Wallace, Alex Bokulich, Adrienne Renzelli, Ed Friedland, Tom Kehoe,John Stemler, Aaron Peskin and Tim Patton.