April 22-30, 2016
This Friday represents the start of Harrisburg Beer Week. There are 200+ events in Harrisburg and the surrounding Central PA area. Every day there are multiple events. Nearly all of which are offering either a special on craft beers or tapping sought after rarities. Here is a quick rundown of what I think are the some of the events worth your time. These are both some of the signature events and a couple “deep tracks.”
April 22: Day 1
Sturges Speakeasy Firkin Kick-Off: Every devoted beer drinker knows that before the party starts you have to pre-game. Before the VIP Kick-Off Party swing by Sturges for a Victory Brewing Company firkin. Victory rarely sends firkins out of their brewery so getting one is kind of a big deal. Tapping is at 4.
HBG Beer Week VIP Kick-Off Party: The official start of Harrisburg Beer Week actually starts with the VIP Kick-Off at Appalachian Brewing Company. Tickets are limited and this is your first chance to get a sip of the 2016 (717) Collaboration Ale. I will be at this event even though that seriously damages the VIP cred. I am more of a VMP (Very Mediocre Person). Expect a write up about the (717) Collaboration Ale the next day. I am really looking forward to this beer.
Goose Island BCS & Sushi Pairing: Rich, greasy stouts pair beautifully with oysters; this is true. Bourbon County Stout by Goose Island is a world class beer and finding it can sometimes feel like looking for a snowflake in hell; this is true. Does Wegman’s pairing BCS with Sushi taste good? Find out if that is true at this event.
April 23: Day 2
Al’s of Hampden Founders Breakfast Stout Tapping: Look, you can’t drink all day unless you start first thing and there are few beers that taste better while you still have bed head than Founders Breakfast Stout. Tapping is at 9 am.
HBG Beer Week Maybe 5K: This is a race, sort of. You see you run as far as you want over 60 minutes which is plenty for a very, light stroll to 5K or a respectable 10K pace. Either way it’s a great way to “Earn your Beer.” Plus you get to support the PA Beer Alliance and Zeroday is hosting. It’s cool… I promise.
April 24, Day 3:
Scotzin Bros Battle of the Homebrew Clubs: Big event last year going to be even bigger at this time I moves to the baseball stadium on City Island. These are serious brewers and they will all be bringing their best work to win the crown.
April 25, Day 4:
Beer vs. Wine Chocolate Tasting: The Black Gryphon in Elizabethtown is a secretly good beer bar that also has great food. In the home of Dove Chocolate, watch beer and wine go head-to-head in pairings with artisan chocolates.
April 26, Day 5:
Battle of the Brewers at Grain + Verse: Local welterweight Zeroday goes toe-to-toe with Mid-Atlantic heavyweight DuClaw Brewing to see who the crowd favorite is.
Meet the Owner Beer Dinner at Funk Brewing Co.: Elizabethtown’s Funk Brewing opened less than a year ago and has already gathered quite the following in my neck of the woods. This event is a chance to sample their beers and enjoy a four course meal while meeting the owner, Jon “Norm” Norman.
April 27, Day 6:
ZerØday Brewing Co. Firkin Event: Many firkin sometimes just taste involve tasting the beer with some crazy shit put into the “can.” ZerØday firkins tend to have a little more thought behind them. Expect something great when Theo & Brandalynn Armstrong are tapping one. This will also be a “Keep the Glass Event.” Should be great.
HBG River Rescue Open House: While celebrating and drinking beer are the method, the purpose of HBG Beer Week is to support the Harrisburg River Rescue. Do a little more of the later by visiting the Rescue and enjoying a glass of Bent Propeller IPA, some BBQ and some home brew version of Bent Propeller.
April 28, Day 7:
Moo-Duck Brewery’s Jack Daniels Cherry Wine Imperial Porter Release: Moo-Duck Brewery in Elizabethtown took their Imperial Pops Porter and aged in a Jack Daniels barrel that previously held a cherry wine by The Vineyard at Grandview. It will be on tap along with Fifty (50) bottle available to take home. Mike Brubaker is really gunning for a unique beer on this one, should be great.
April 29, Day 8:
Aroogas 2nd Street Session IPA Release: Aroogas, Hop Hedz and St. Boniface brewed up this special session IPA just for this week and this is your chance to get it as God intended all beer to be, fresh and on firkin. Tapping is 6 pm.
April 30, Day 9:
Little Big Beer Fest: This is the signature event of the HBG Beer Week in my opinion If you can go to only one event all week, this is the one you want to be attending. Little runs of some absolutely devastatingly good beers with massive ABVs. I went last year and it was by far the best event of the week. Tickets will sell out… get yours soon.
Post Script: I mention this above but it demands further attention. While celebrating the wealth of great beers we have access to and are producing in Central PA, it can’t be forgotten that HBG Beer Week supports the Harrisburg River Rescue. Many of these events directly and the through the purchase of HBW merchandise support the River Rescue.
In advance a big thank you should be made to the girls from Stouts and Stilettos (Chelsea, Sweet Colleen and specifically, Tierney… This is her baby.) Sara Bozich, and Jimi the Intern; along with all their volunteers. Big local events like this take a ton of work and heavy lifting. If you see them out, thank them and buy’em a beer.
Support the River Rescue.
Support your local Brewer. Drink Local.