Put away the brewery tour boots and expectations of tank ogling. Philly is a city where beer drinking happens in world-class bars, some of which are intimately connected to the vast international world of beer. The city has long appreciated Belgian beer styles and boasts its own rich history of lager brewing (Victory, anyone?). These days, it seems like every town is putting on a beer week, but the Philly Beer Week is one of the pioneers and does it right. The defining 10 days are packed with more than 1,000 events, from beer dinners to tap takeovers.
Best Brews, Breweries, and Bars
Worship at the altar of fine Belgian brews at Monk's Cafe, an unparalleled beer bar when it comes to draft imports. For the patriotic, domestic beers come from places like Russian River and Allagash, plus there's a mind-blowing bottle list to pair with mussels and frites. Marc Vetri's Alla Spina, which means "from the tap" in Italian, has a deep tap list with an Italian focus, plus beer cocktails and, for dessert, beer floats. Try the exclusive Alla Spina Novello blonde ale by Victory Brewing. Continuing the global theme, the German-styled Brauhaus Schmit carries rare German beers, which dominate the 30 taps.
The sleek new Tria Taproom has no official national allegiance, which produces an alluring mix of Belgian, German, and American beers on tap. Peruse the list and order using one of the taproom's iPads.