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Philadelphia International Great Beer Expo 2011

Posted in Food and Drinks on June 6th, 2011

On Saturday I went with some friends to the afternoon session of the annual Philadelphia International Great Beer Expo as a part of Philadelphia Beer Week. I had a good time, although I think that the selection was better at the craft beer festival. I don’t want to get too hipster about it – obscurity does not make a thing inherently better. But there were a lot of mainstream beers there, although they were ones I do enjoy – Carlsberg for example. The crowd was spirited but not too big. It was really easy to walk around and try whatever you liked. The only thing there wasn’t enough of was cinnamon roasted nuts from the Nutty Bavarian. There was the same issue with no map of the festival, but since there were fewer people and I believe fewer breweries, we were able to find everything we wanted to try.

There were so many beers that I loved at this festival, it’s hard to decide which to write about!

There were a large selection of Cider’s including Original Sin, Magners (Advertised as Ireland’s favorite, but when I was in Ireland everyone drank Bulmer’s…), and my favorite – Doc’s. The apple, pear and raspberry are all crisp, refreshing and delicious.

Always interested in beers made in NYC, I tried Sugar Hill Golden Ale from the Harlem Brewing Company. It was smooth and light, perfect for summertime.

Eager to recapture a bit of my recent trip to Spain, I tried the Alhambra Negra, which was dark and rich, almost chocolaty.

My favorite beer of the day was the John Henry 3 Lick Spiker Ale. It’s a stout aged in a bourbon cask. If you are a fan of Innis & Gunn you will LOVE this beer. I am looking forward to trying to decide which one I like better.

After the expo, we stopped at Frankford Hall, a German Beer Garden to continue the merriment. It was a really fun place with plenty of room for large groups and ping pong tables. The beer selection was excellent, and I had the best potato pancakes I have ever had. (Sorry Aunt Lorraine.) This place should be on your to do list the next time you are in Philly.

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