Philadelphia-area brewers join forces to create center piece of Beer Week

Paul Kurtz
April 20, 2019 - 4:00 am

Paul Kurtz/KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- The official beer of Philly Beer Week is now in the fermenting stage, six weeks before the festivities begin.   

Brew Day has come a long way from its humble beginnings when seven local breweries busted out Brotherly Suds ahead of the inaugural Beer Week in 2007.  Since then the community has exploded to the point that the original core group has taken a more inclusive approach to Brew Day.

"Now it's an open house and a bottle share in order to invite people into the community they're already a part of," said Victory Brewing's Bill Covaleski. "We hand off the recipe that the small group has formulated and allow other brewers to riff of it, experiment with it, improve upon it, if possible."

The event, held at Yards this week, was eye-opening and inspiring for micro and nano brewers, almost a religious experience for some.

"When you walk into a place like this, brewing on a smaller system and having to do a lot of the trouble shooting yourself, it's like walking into the Sistine Chapel," said Mark Armstrong, head brewer at Round Guys.

"When we first walked in the door Jason looked at me and said, ‘this will be us someday,’” said Corey Nickerson, assistant brewer at Pinelands Brewing.

This year, Yards owner Tom Kehoe and his fellow brewers have come up with a wit beer that packs lots of lemon zing.

"We have lemon drop hops in there,” Kehoe said. “We have Sirochi Ace hops, which is like a lemon grass as the dry hop. We're also doing lemon zest in there. It's going to be easy to drink and really palatable and give you that nice refreshing lemon, when it's really starting to get hot in the beginning of summer in June."

Brotherly Suds will be at the center of the ceremonial Opening Tap on May 31.