The funny thing about Philly Beer Week is that it is like visiting a foreign country. You are overwhelmed by so many sights and sounds and things to do you have a hard time getting a grasp on anything. Decision paralysis can set in even. A week later when you are on your way to the airport you’ve got it figured out and wish you had a few more days to really enjoy the place. There were some fantastic events this year and luckily with the guidance of some new friends I was able to check some out (and participate in a few, which was awesome). I’ve got to thank Don Russell/Joe Six Pack, the crew at Beer Camp Philly, Mellody Brewing and TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb for including me in their events, for the most part people reached out to me otherwise I would have just been serving my beer at a backyard party.
I definitely learned a lot this year as well, having the opportunity to meet the owners and brewers of PBC, Weyerbacher, Stoudt’s, etc… gave me a lot of insight into the business. Hopefully these people will also be a source of support and advice in the future. I am sure I will need it. I also made a point of watching what other brewers were doing at tasting events, I learned a lot by seeing how Left Hand set up at the Yelp event a few weeks back. I also stole the idea of placing two full glasses of beer on top of my serving cooler from Weyerbacher. That really helped people decide what they wanted. Little details like that in the presentation and marketing seemed to pay off well.
Twitter was huge this year, I don’t think it was really on the radar for beer week as much last year. Facebook was big as well for planning but for last minute decision making following the feeds of breweries and attendees was great. This was especially helpful because the official web site was a bit overwhelming, it could have had better organization. And the official app was quirky. Hopefully next year’s version is a bit more helpful.
All in all a fantastic week, I am really looking forward to next year. I’ll be an actual licensed brewery then, too. I plan to clear my whole week of scheduled activities. This year having to brew two batches of beer, wait on contractors and have a few other important tasks sucked away a lot of time I would have rather been out meeting people and drinking beers.
I’ll finish by saying I am glad I biked to as many events as I could, I think the calories burned helped keep my weight stable this week. Next year I just need to remember beer, water, beer, water….