5/10/2013 11:35:00 AM

Taste Brotherly Suds 4 at Philly Beer Week Opening Tap

The Brotherly Suds 4 brewmasters
The setting is Independence Mall, where the United States’ independence was defined. The Liberty Bell sits to one side, and Constitution Hall exudes history in the background. Mayor Michael Nutter lifts the Hammer of Glory, says something eloquent about beer being representative of our great freedoms, and taps the first keg of Philly Beer Week. It’s a great scene that'll make you swell with pride and love for life, if only for a few moments. Opening Tap is where you want to be.

The outdoor ceremony is free, but the beer fest that takes place immediately following is the best way to extend that happy moment, and tickets are now available. The $45 spots sell out every year, so don’t delay if you want access to beer from more than 30 regional breweries, plus a souvenir tasting glass ($90 VIP spots are still available; find both tickets here). Beer-friendly food will be available for purchase at the event, which takes place over two floors of the Independence Visitors Center.

One of the beers you’ll get to sample at the fest - and the one Mayor Nutter will tap on stage - is Brotherly Suds 4, the official collaboration beer of Philly Beer Week. This time around, it was a joint effort from Iron Hill (Mark Edelson), Nodding Head (Gordon Grubb), Flying Fish (Gene Muller), Victory (Bill Covaleski) and Yards (Tom Kehoe), who collaborated to decide on the style of English summer ale with citrusy hops.

The beer was then created at Yards’ Delaware Avenue brewhouse, and we stopped by last week to check on its progress. We peeked into a huge vat to see it fermenting away, and watched as a slightly hazy, golden-amber sample was taken and cooled for measurement. The assembled brewmasters were excited about the fourth PBW collab project, though they did joke that trying to say the name three times fast was near impossible, especially after a downing a glass or two. Below, they say the name only once (easy, though Nodding Head's Grubb seems a slightly confused.

Philly Beer Week runs 10 days, from May 31-June 9, and to keep up with everything there’s a brand new mobile app. It’s free, and features a new layout, event listings searchable by brewery, venue, date or type, and the ability to pre-plan your week by creating your own favorites list. Get it here. Lastly, if you live outside the city and don’t want to have to drive home, or have friends coming in from out of town, you can get PBW hotel discounts at the Hyatt Regency on Penn's Landing and the Embassy Suites on Logan Circle.


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