From May 29-June 7, Philly Beer Week returns for an eighth year, and it’s back in style — the hundreds of events on the calendar include interesting options for every kind of drinker. For those who appreciate the harmony of beer paired with food, we’ve picked the 12 best food events at PBW 2015. From tapas to tasting menus and pig roasts to “pigs in space,” here’s where to eat as you sip your way through the week. Cheers.
11:30 AM-2 AM, Friday, May 29
Start slow and easy at this Grays Ferry bar with the best trifecta of things you can (legally) put in your mouth. A pairing of six local and imported cheeses, six kinds of chocolate (milk, dark, chile, bacon-covering, etc.) and six different beers will be available for a set price, or pick and choose from the extensive collection and pay as you go.
2229 Grays Ferry Ave.; 215-893-9580
3 PM-2 AM, Saturday, May 30
The first of several Beer Week roasts goes down at this Girard Estate tavern, where chef Christina DeSilva will help oversee a whole pig (or two) on a spit, served platter-style to go with a selection of great draft beer from Shangy’s.
2400 S. 19th St.; 267-687-7817
Noon-5 PM, Saturday, May 30
Southern food expert and author “Hoppin’” John Martin Taylor will return to the Fairmount pub he’s patronized for all 24 years of its existence to host a book signing and small-plate beer pairing. Look for fried pickles, pimento cheese, shrimp ‘n’ grits and more to match beers from Georgia’s best-known brewery.
2301 Fairmount Ave.; 215-978-4545
6:30 PM, Sunday, May 31
Vetri’s North Broad birreria is hosting several of its famous challenge dinners during Beer Week, and this one pits PA against NJ. Reserve a seat to see chefs from Osteria Philly face off against Osteria Moorestown with four “secret-ingredient” courses designed to pair with beers from either Pizza Boy Brewing (for the former) or Carton Brewing (for the latter). Translation: for your $65, you get eight dishes and eight beers.
1410 Mt. Vernon St.; 215-600-0017
6 PM, Sunday, May 31
Pick up a ticket ($50; here) to score a seat at the fifth annual shindig at the Center City hangout. Five courses from chef Jessica O’Donnel will be paired with specially brewed beers from the various Iron Hill brewpubs.
224 S. 15th St.; 215-985-9600
Noon-3 PM, Monday, June 1
As if the return of the famous fried chicken from this West Philly spot’s former sister bar wasn’t enough of a draw, you’ll get to crunch it while sipping with two beer-world superstars: Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione and Wells & Young’s Jim Robertson. Everything is pay as you go.
4333 Spruce St.; 215-222-2337
Noon, Monday, June 1
It won’t be easy to get your hands on tickets to any of the weekday lunch sessions held at this legendary Belgian beer emporium, but it’s worth a try, especially this one. New chef Michael Joyce is creating four animal-free small plates using only local ingredients, an homage to the featured Colorado brewery, which is known for its commitment to sustainability. Eight samples of Trinity beer are included in the $55 ticket price. Show up at Monk’s or call to reserve your spot.
264 S. 16th St.; 215-545-7005
7 PM, Tuesday, June 2
We’re still not sure how Adan Trinidad is going to fit all these great chefs in the tiny kitchen at his Fishtown cantina, but we are sure the eight courses they serve will be fantastic. Look for food from Chris Kearse (Will), Kris Serviss (Blue Duck Sandwich Co.), Sean Magee (Heritage), Tim Spinner (La Calaca Feliz) and more, all paired with a lineup of beers you won’t find anywhere else, Cantillon St. Lamvinus included. Seats to the extravaganza go for $125 per person; call for reservations.
19 W. Girard Ave.; 267-324-3530
4-11 PM, Thursday, June 4
As has been tradition for the past four years, Erin O’Shea’s South Street ‘cue haven will host a Beer Week mechanical rodeo competition — and this year the animal is a theme-appropriate wild boar. Wear your best intergalactic outfit and come prepared to feast on crispy pig fritters, pulled-pork sliders, pork pancake roll-ups, pigs ‘n’ grits and more. Cans of Oskar Blues will be on hand to give you strength for your boar ride.
900 South St.; 215-625-8510
Noon-Midnight, Thursday, June 4
Not only are the folks from Hershey’s finest brewery bringing a slew of great beers to the throwback game bar at the junction of East Passyunk and Ninth Street, they’re also bringing the truly outstanding food from the tasting-room kitchen. It’ll be served from the in-house food cart (pay as you go).
1231 E. Passyunk Ave.; 215-278-2429
3-9 PM, Friday, June 5
What do you get when you roast a 200-lb pig fattened on spent brewery grain? If you’re talking Beer Week at this Pennsport tavern, the answer is a competition between Founders Brewing reps and Port Brewing reps as to who can make the best beer-based BBQ sauce, complete with a great selection of pay-as-you-go brews from each house. Vote for the winner and it’ll go on the permanent menu.
1401 E. Moyamensing Ave.; 215-271-9500
2-8 PM, Sunday, June 7
Yes, there are other pig roasts on this list, but none feature the spit skills of Chicago’s acclaimed Paul Kahan, who’ll cook up whole pigs, sausages, ribs and other Publican dishes. Goose Island is taking over the taps with some rare brews — be one of the first 90 people at this pay-as-you-go fest and you’ll get access to Bourbon County Vanilla Stout.
1410 Mt. Vernon St.; 215-600-0017