Thursday, July 26, 2012

Brewfest at the Philadelphia Zoo

This past Saturday was the annual brewfest at the Philadelphia Zoo. The first thing that was different from last year was most noticeably the temperature. Instead of being one of the hottest nights of the year, it was a reasonably cool night. And let me say it made a heck of a difference. I also wonder if that caused a lot more people to actually come as the beer lines this year were a bit longer compared to the past.

We arrived about 20 minutes before the event started and the lines to get in were already pretty long. Guess lots of people were excited! Here's the line just to get our tasting cups.
A few minutes before 6:30 they opened the doors and we took the same plan as last year, just head all the way to the back of the zoo immediately. When we got there, we found that the zoo made a big change this year which actually helped a ton. They spread out the brewery stands from the one small area into two, spreading people and lines out way more.
That's the area that last year was filled with a few more stands. This year, though, there was a second section off to the right here and it made this area way better. We also got to see our first animal, a peacock! Way nicer than that jerk goose from last year.
See, he's not even paying attention to me. Much better. After that, we wandered around, hitting up beer stands and food stands, and checked out some more animals. Since we went into the reptile house near the beginning of the event, it was basically empty which was neat since you certainly don't see that during normal hours.

More beers and more waiting followed with some more wandering through the zoo with beer in hand. The giraffes and hippos were actually out and about this year too which was cool.
See, look at those guys! It was probably because it wasn't scorching that they were actually mobile but it still made the night better.

My favorite beers of the night were definitely the two from the Cabinet Artisanal Brewhouse aka The Farmer's Cabinet brewery. They brought Marry me in Goslar, a gose, and MKUltra, a red wine barrel sour, I think. Both were quite sour and caused lots of people in line to react in hilarious ways. Half the people loved them while the other half thought they were gross and complained loudly about it. Still didn't keep the line from being long though.

But that brings me to my only real complaint this year. While the food lines were actually pretty short compared to last year, the beer lines were probably double the length. I don't know if the zoo sold more tickets or if more people just showed up since it was cooler, the lines were a bit much at times. To be fair, it could have been much worse but you basically had to get a sample then get back on another line while drinking it. I realize it's not the end of the world or anything, just waiting on lines all night gets a bit old.

Still, Jo and I had quite a lot of fun this year disregarding that one issue. The food was tasty, the beers were generally good, and it wasn't 100 degrees out. And I'd been hearing a lot about the Farmer's Cabinet gose and was super happy they brought that even if it was a bit out of place compared to mostly everything else there. Will we do it again next year? I'd say most likely. The zoo has learned a bit every year so hopefully next year will be even better!

1 comment:

  1. Glad you guys had fun and that the peacock wasn't a jerk to you guys. I know the encounter last year was pretty stressful :)