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Drink This Now: Best Beers of Philly Beer Week

We break down the must-try collaboration brews of the ten-day celebration of suds.

Philadelphia has a long tradition of beer brewing with about a dozen breweries in city bounds. Every year, the city hosts Philly Beer Week (May 30-June 8). For this ten-day citywide event, many of the city’s brew masters get together to collaborate and create specialty brews. Here are four of the collaboration brews that you absolutely must try.


Second Street Pils

“At first I thought we should do something weird and wacky to get people’s attention, like a black pils,” explains William Reed of Standard Tap when he initially began brainstorming his seventh collaboration brew with Brian O’Reilly of Sly Fox. “Brian said, do you want to drink a black pils? And I said, no, not really. [Laughs] So we brewed a beer we really wanted to drink in the summertime.” This single deduction pilsner is 100% pils malt, hopped with Saaz, and dry hopped with Sly Fox’s new hop gun. “Circulating the hop gun in the fermenter extracts just the aromatic quality of the hops without the additional bitterness,” says Reed. “You capture the delicate, floral notes of the hops.”

Available: Johnny Brenda’s, Standard Tap, Sly Fox


Philly Tripel

Daniel Neuner drew the lucky ticket at the PBW Win a Trip to Belgium Raffle and chose Dock Street Brewery’s Justin Low to create the official collaboration beer of the week with some of the world’s top brewers. Together with Anne Catherine Dilewyns, a 26-year-old award-winning brewer, and the beer makers at Brouwerij Dilewyns brewery in Dendermonde, Belgium, they created the Philly Tripel. “I met with Tom Peters of Monk’s Café to decide which base beer we would use,” says Low. “We all really enjoyed Anne Catherine’s tripel and thought local honey would blend well with it and add a touch of sweetness.”

Available: PBW Beer Garden, Standard Tap, Monk’s Café


Just Off Walnut

Andy Farrell, who heads the city’s largest 60-tap beer program at City Tap House, joined forces with Yards Brewing Company brew master Tim Roberts to create this Belgium Brown Ale, featuring a fruity nose (beer talk for aroma) and spicy crisp finish. “It’s a beer both a Yuengling drinker and an IPA enthusiast can appreciate and enjoy,” says Farrell. “The spring and summer season is light and easy. This beer mimics that mindset.” Plus, 25 cents of each $6 pint sold is donated to Hold The Door For Others, an organization dedicated to empowering people to grow through loss and adversity. Drinking a beer has never felt so good.

Available: City Tap House, Pennsylvania 6, Public House, Field House, Yards Tasting Room


Brotherly Suds 5

The who’s who in the beer scene come together each year and brew up one amazing collaboration beer for PBW. This time around, Yards, Flying Fish, Sly Fox, Iron Hill, Nodding Head and Earth Bread breweries teamed up at Victory Brewing Company to create a 7% ABV pilsner. This year also marks the fifth anniversary of Brotherly Suds. It’s not available for sale so get it while it is on draft.

Available: PBW Beer Garden