13 October 2011

Elfreth's Alley Museum Brew Fest 2011

 Originally posted on the Elfreth's Alley Museum Blog

The mercury has lowered and the leaves are changing, it's October and that means that something wicked this way comes. And by wicked, I mean wicked awesome. In less than a week, the Elfreth's Alley Museum will present Brew Fest 2011, a celebration of our city's sudsy past, present, and future.

During a tour of the museum at Elfreth's Alley, many are surprised to learn that beer was the beverage of choice for Philadelphians of all ages back in colonial times. This little tidbit is much less shocking than the reasons why! Philadelphia has always been a beer haven, from it's first European settlers in caves along the Delaware River right through Prohibition and into the modern trends of micro-brewing and home-brewing.

Attendees of Brew Fest will get all the juicy details regarding Philadelphia's rise to prominence in the brewing world. America's best tour guide and noted historian Edward Mauger will discuss Philly's role as the beer capital of the colonies. Also on hand for a chat will be Mixed Pickles director/president of the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides, Bob Skiba, discussing the Prohibition Era of bathtub booze and speakeasies. With all of that history, we will also get into current events with a talk on pairing beer with delicious food from the experts at Triumph Brewing Company as well as a quick lesson on how to start home brewing from Saint Benjamin's Brewery.

Once your thirst for knowledge is quenched, it will be time for the beer. Leading the charge of participating breweries is our proud sponsor Triumph Brewing Company. With several locations throughout the Delaware Valley, including right around the corner on the 100 block of Chestnut Street, Triumph is a great spot to try some of America's freshest micro-brews while enjoying some particularly delicious eats. Neighborhood restaurant Race Street Cafe will also kindly be donating a couple of kegs to our cause. Joining Triumph and Race Street will be the pirate-friendly brewers of Heavy Seas out of Baltimore and up-and-coming local favorite Saint Benjamin's Brewery. With such a wide selection of beer, you are sure to be satisfied!

With the Autumnal Equinox behind us, it would be remiss not to pay homage to the great German tradition of Oktoberfest, albeit a few weeks late. Therefore, to accompany the stellar brews being served there will plenty of snacks to please your palate. Chef Walter Staib of City Tavern and A Taste of History fame is generously donating his delicious German sausages to be grilled on site. If tubular meets are not your thing, feel free to chow down on some soft pretzels, a Philly tradition brought over by early German settlers.

Beer, food, and a little bit of learning would be enough for most people, but the Elfreth's Alley Museum wants to give you more. So in addition to all of the above, troubadour Joe Becton will be on hand to entertain you with tavern tunes both past and present as a group of Philadelphians compete to determine who has the best home brew. The winner will be determined by a panel of judges including Elfreth's Alley Association board member Danniel Gaidula, GEDO Project co-founder Adam Piazza, Elfreth's Alley Museum docent Karisa Blake, Saint Benjamin's Brewery founder Timothy Patton, Port Richmond Pour House owner John Boswell, former bartender/current teacher Alyssa McIntyre, and Brian Krisch, who has worked at too many Philadelphia cultural institutions to name.

Finally, we have one more thing for you to look forward to for this year's Brew Fest. Each person who purchases a ticket to the event will automatically be given a raffle ticket. Prizes to be raffled off include cases of beer, books autographed by the authors, souvenirs from the Museum Shop at Elfreth's Alley, gift cards to local businesses, tickets to events, and more. There is also the soon-to-be-legendary Swag Wagon. The Swag Wagon is a wagon chock full of all of the aforementioned prizes. One lucky winner will walk home with that wagon. To increase your chances of winning, you can purchase more raffle tickets throughout the evening!

We here at the Elfreth's Alley Museum are eagerly anticipating this huge event and hope to see you there. We also encourage you to visit the links in this article as we would not be able to host this event without the help of all of these wonderful organizations.

6:00 - Doors open
6:15 - Welcome/Food Pairings
6:45 - Home Brew How To
7:15 - Philadelphia: The Colonial Beer Capital
7:45 - Prohibition Preview/2012 Plans
8:00 - Raffle Prizes and Home Brew Competition Winner

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