Philadelphia Beer Week begins today. The craft-brew festival is in its third year and has quickly become a major draw.
The event last year attracted 35-thousand beer lovers to area bars and restaurants, making it the world’s largest beer-related fair. The craft-beer crowd can be as ferocious as it is friendly.
Just how hoppy can you get? Craft beers often emphasize hops, the ingredient that adds complexity and bitterness to beer but whose fresh taste easily evaporates with age.
Some small breweries whip up special, limited-edition kegs and share them with their favorite bars. Earlier this year, the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement raided selected tap rooms in Philadelphia for serving unregistered beers. George Hummel, the owner of a brewer’s supply shop in Philadelphia, says the raid may have been triggered by a rival bar owner.
“People in the beer business are friendly people, and they make friends, and their friends like to do them favors. A direct special releases in their direction. If other people want to be friendly, maybe they should be their friends too. Basically being nice to people, not dropping dimes on people.”
As part of Beer Week, Hummel will host a competition of amateur home brewers – the winner’s recipe will be produced by the famed Dogfish Head brewery in Delaware for another competition later this year.