Friday, January 23, 2009

Beer Week Spawns Envy, Imitators; Sincere Flattery Not Always Included

Even the New York Times can't help but love Philly's Beer

Proving that there is, in fact, some value to the combination of good marketing AND good product, Philly Beer Week, which sprang to life in 2008 with a very successful (and well covered) debut, has officially become the envy of cities across the country.
Bay Area to answer Philly with big week of beer events

Have you heard about SF Beer Week? It's a Bay Area celebration of great craft beer beginning Feb. 6 with the tapping of a special barrel at Anchor Brewing in San Francisco and ending 10 days later with a festival of more than 60 breweries in Oakland.

In between are dozens of events, including more than a few in the South Bay: beer dinners, beer-and-cheese pairings, meet-the-brewer nights.

So what's this all about? Blame Philadelphia. Last spring, craft brewers and fans of good beer in Philly held a week of beer-related celebrations; they called it "Philadelphia Beer Week." It was a great idea — but they went too far. They proclaimed Philadelphia "the best beer-drinking city in America."
But the author has a good outlook on the whole thing:
Bottom line to all this: It's fun, but it's folderol. The important point is that the craft beer revolution has gone so far that two great, American metropolitan areas — and let's not forget Portland and Denver — can have a friendly quarrel over good beer.

It shows how far we've come from the time when most beer was brewed in a handful of big beer factories and mostly it tasted like water. Three cheers for SF Beer Week, and hats off to Philadelphia, too.
We’ll drink to that.

Meanwhile, it’s not just San Fran.

Other cities have jumped on the bandwagon and are trying to replicate the success of Philly Beer Week — New York, Baltimore and Seattle have all created official Beer Weeks over the past year, with Chicago supposedly trying to create one as we speak.
I love the growing trend of entire weeks devoted to celebrating local beer or at least beer in a specific place. This is a terrific trend that should be encouraged, and I say that not just because I’m involved with organizing SF Beer Week.
As far as I can tell, there are now nearly a dozen “official” beer weeks and at least three more “unofficial” ones. And I also understand a Chicago Beer Week is being discussed.
Well, to that we say: they can take our lives ideas, but they will never take… OUR FREEDOM BEER AWESOMENESS.

Bay Area to answer Philly with big week of beer events [ San Jose Mercury News ]
Beer, A Week at a time [ Brookston Beer Bulletin ]
Surfacing: Breweries of Brotherly Love [ New York Times ]
Philly Beer Week [ Official Site ]


salas said...

San Fran's more of a wine city than a beer city. Their 'local' beer that's on tap everywhere (the equivalent of our Yuengling or Kenzinger) is Fat Tire... which is brewed in Denver.

Dwight said...

It is fitting that Philly should be restored to its rightful, original place in the pantheon of great American cities since the founding of the Republic with its inspired use of the craft beer movement. Craft beer and its cousin home brewing strike me anyway as very American, as is the friendly rivalries between and among the cities sparked by Philly's Beer Week. Let the competition begin,let the participation be huge . . . and let the craft brewers lay the watery Goliaths low.

rick said...

I can see Portland challenging Philly, but not San Fran. Good to see all this beer appreciation.