Thursday, July 28, 2011

Drinking with the Animals

The Philadelphia Zoo held its annual brewfest this past weekend and man was it fun. Where else are you going to be able to drink and look at animals? Actually, I might not want an answer to that. So yeah the brewfest. They give you free run of the zoo, including inside exhibits, have about 20 breweries, and a decent amount of pretty good food, some from local restaurants like The Khyber and Rembrandt's.
That's the crowd milling about before the gates opened. It actually grew quite a bit larger than this as it got closer to get into the zoo. Once the gates opened, Jo and I decided the best plan of action, based on our experience from last year, was to hit the back of the zoo first before the lines got too long and the beers became effectively inaccessible. For whatever reason, those two areas get monstrously crowded while the front two areas are perfectly reasonable. The first sample I got was Weyerbacher Verboten and I took a picture just because it was the first, ya know?
Mmm, beer. After that we wandered to the complete back of the zoo, passing some peacocks randomly walking in the middle of the path, and seeing a freaky emu or ostrich or whatever. Seriously, it just seems like it is sizing you up to bite off your head every time it looks at you. Luckily, by the back of the zoo, there were some awesome looking gophers. So much better than emus.
Look at those guys. A whole gopher habitat. And my beer, whatever it was. Wandering to the back two areas really was a great decision. Ahead of the crowd, we were able to sample all of the breweries in the back without a problem, get some pretty tasty BBQ and even some ice cream. By the time we left that area, the lines were at least 10 people deep with some much longer. So, we wandered back to the front tents and got some more samples plus some food. That was when a freaking goose bit me.
Look at that guy! A killer, if I've ever seen one. I was just minding my business, trying to eat my pretzel, when it wandered up. Luckily, goose don't seem to have teeth so we just slowly backed away and I was no worse for wear. Just another ridiculous happening at the zoo brewfest.

We wandered around a bit more, visited the big cat exhibit while sipping on some Box Car Brewing, and then decided we'd basically had enough. One last stop at McKenzies for their delicious Saison Vatour, a trip through the super cool reptile house (maybe I thought it was cooler because we were a bit drunk, but it really did seem awesome) and finally we were ready to go. I did get one more picture of my beer with some bats.
Lots of bats in there although you can only see one there.

So that was the Philadelphia Zoo Brewfest. It's supposed to be a fund raiser for them so the fact that the beers are just every day offerings never bothered me. Really, it's about having a beer, looking at animals, and being at the zoo without children. Getting to finally try the McKenzies saison was pretty cool as I'd heard a lot of good things about it. Definitely want to try to get to their brewpub at some point now. Other than that, the only downside to the fest is it's in the middle of July and, just like last year, it was nearly 100F outside. But, once you're moving around a bit, you stop worrying about the heat and just sweat like a beast. This year was definitely better than last year because of our plan of heading to the back first and when we go next year we'll for sure be doing that again.


  1. Thanks for the feedback and glad you had fun! Hope to see you at some other Rolling Barrel Events this year! I'm a partner in the company that organizes this event and we just want people to have a great experience.

  2. Yeah we had quite a good time this year. Maybe next year it won't be so freaking hot.