The German Society of Pennsylvania is thrilled to announce that, after a 2-year hiatus, it will once again host a world-class beer tasting event on, Saturday Feb. 25th 2023 from 2:00pm to 5:30pm, showcasing Pennsylvania’s German brewing heritage and this state’s leadership in the brewing of (and appreciation of) German-style lager beers. The German Society of Pennsylvania is located at 611 Spring Garden Street.
The long-delayed and hotly-anticipated 10th Annual Philly Bierfest will feature German-style beers from both Pennsylvania craft brewers and breweries in Germany, as well as rollicking entertainments and engaging educational opportunities to help Pennsylvanians learn to take pride in our centuries-long prowess in lager brewing. As always, this unique event also benefits and is presented in partnership with two additional non-profit organizations, the ferocious female athletes of Philly Roller Derby and the Brewers of Pennsylvania, a trade association that advocates for PA brewers and beer lovers and aims to foster a healthy, ethical, and growth-focused beer industry in our state.
“Locals may not realize that Pennsylvania brewers lead the nation in championing beer styles of German heritage, from refreshing pilsners to malty doppelbocks,” says Victory Brewing Company president Bill Covaleski, who served as founding president of the Brewers of Pennsylvania trade association. “Bierfest is a perfect showcase for what should be a point of pride for Philadelphia’s beer lovers.”
Brewers of all sizes from across the state, from Erie to Philadelphia, will join forces with importers of German beers to pour their sudsy wares at Bierfest. Even Pennsylvania’s smallest breweries and brewpubs tend to place greater emphasis on styles of German heritage – including weizens, kölsches, dunkels and bocks – than their competitors in other parts of the country, simply because of the depth and breadth of Germany’s cultural influence here. Pennsylvania is home to the two largest American-owned breweries in the USA – the Yuengling & Sons Brewery in Pottsville and the Samuel Adams Pennsylvania Brewery in Breinigsville – each of which is known for their lagers.
This event features delicious German-style beers from over two dozen Pennsylvania brewers plus many more German imports, spread between 2 beer halls in historic buildings.
Attendees will enjoy German and American live music, from Pennsylvania Bluegrass to Polkadelphia’s oompah-funk, plus variety acts like rafter-roaring Roller-Derby Arm-Wrestling, eye-popping Berlin-Style BEERlesque and traditional Tyrolean Shuhplattler Folk Dancing. Guests can also participate in engaging pursuits and feats of strength, like Beer-Jello Masskrugstemmen (a cheeky spin on Bavaria’s traditional “liter lift” contest), sponsored by Philly’s favorite German taproom, Brauhaus Schmitz.
Bierfest is also packed with education for the beer-curious as well. Fans of crisp, German-style beers can learn what distinguishes lagers from ales, discover which beer styles derive from which regions of Germany and learn about the truly fascinating medieval abbess St. Hildegard of Bingen, who was the first to document the use of hops in brewing.
Local beer author Tara Nurin will host a signing of her new book, A Woman’s Place Is in the Brewhouse: A Forgotten History of Alewives, Brewsters, Witches, and CEOs, and will also team up with Bierfest co-founder and wine author Marnie Old to lead a guided tasting seminar for VIP Seminar ticketholders before the main event begins.
Bierfest is decidedly European-influenced in its family-friendly and community-supporting vibe. Free supervised ‘kinder-care’ is offered for thirsty parents at this event that draws everyone from college students to their grandparents, and ‘beer-less’ tickets are available for designated drivers. Those who prefer not to drive home can make it a weekend at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown with a room night package.
To encourage local home brewers to try their hand at brewing the hard (German) way, Bierfest’s Home Sweet HomeBräu Taste-Off will award the winning home-brewer an incredible opportunity to brew a commercial batch of their recipe in collaboration with the custom craft brewers of My Local Brew Works, to be served at Bierfest 2024!
Over two dozen Pennsylvania craft and legacy brewers will participate in Bierfest, including Attic Brewing Co. [Philadelphia], Dock Street Brewing Co. [Philadelphia], Evil Genius Beer Co. [Philadelphia], GearHouse Brewing Co. [Chambersburg], Human Robot Brewery [Philadelphia], Lavery Brewing Co. [Erie], Liquid Art Brewing Co. [Chambersburg], Love City Brewing Co. [Philadelphia], Mainstay Independent Brewing Co. [Philadelphia], My Local Brew Works [Philadelphia], New Ridge Brewing Co. [Philadelphia], Philadelphia Brewing Co. [Philadelphia], Shy Bear Brewing Co. [Lewistown], Sly Fox Brewing Co. [Phoenixville], Stoudts Brewing Co. [Philadelphia], Susquehanna Brewing Co. [Pittston], Tired Hands Brewing Co. [Ardmore], Triple Bottom Brewing Co. [Philadelphia], Tröegs Brewing Co. [Harrisburg], Victory Brewing Co. [Downingtown], Wallenpaupack Brewing Co. [Hawley], Yards Brewing Co. [Philadelphia], ZeroDay Brewing Co. [Harrisburg], and more, plus the oldest and largest independent brewer in the USA, Yuengling & Sons Brewery [Pottsville].
Over two dozen German imported beers and ciders will also be poured, ranging from high-profile flagships to lesser-known artisanal products, including brews from Augustiner, Ayinger, Bitburger, DAB, Gaffel, HofBräu, König Ludwig, Köstritzer, Krombacher, Pinkus, Possmann, Radeberger, Schöfferhofer, Warsteiner and more, plus the oldest continuously-operating brewery in the world, the Bavarian State Brewery at Weihenstephan. Bierfest will also host spaces dedicated to showcasing other local fermented foods and drinks that feature a German influence at the Pennsylvania Cider Bar and in our Pennsylvania Cheese Cave!
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