Friday, March 28, 2014

Recap of the 10th Brewer's Plate

At this point, it's been over a week (ok, now it's two weeks I think) since the 10th Brewer's Plate occurred. Simply enough, Jo and I had a great time at it and will definitely be back next year if we can. While I bought tickets for the two of us this year, I was also given a media pass which let me check out the VIP stuff as well.

The venue this year was the Kimmel Center which was very nice. The first floor, at least, was relatively spacious and handled the crowds pretty well. Here's a picture of it from the back corner though I think this was when only VIP ticket holders were inside.
The space also goes off to the right quite a bit where most of the first floor stuff was situated.

Along with that there were some stations on the second and third floors. These were a little harder to deal with just because those floors were much narrower. You can mostly see what I'm talking about in this picture.
See, not much space. I was a bit worried when I arrived that those areas would be packed since they were already quite full with just VIPs. However, it turns out those were the only two areas that were open during the extra hour so it was really just because the huge first floor wasn't available. It was busy up there during the event, sure, but not as packed as I expected.

After entering, I wandered around a bit and then headed up to the VIP only area to check it out. I had heard there was going to some sort of sausage contest at 6pm, but honestly I never managed to figure out where they were holding it so didn't see it. Oh well. The third floor this year was a little different than last year. This time the beers were all Victory and Sam Adams instead of the really fancy stuff like Forest & Main and Tired Hands, etc. Here's the Sam Adams pouring station.
And here's the special collaboration beer that was brewed by Victory and Sam Adams. I'm not actually sure where it was brewed but I'm guessing Victory. I could totally be wrong though.
The beer itself wasn't bad as it was a slightly hoppy dry irish stout. Fit the category well at least.

There were still some really good chocolates, though, along with some breads and such. Even Epic Pickles was here though I'm not sure if you've ever heard of them.
I'm mostly calling them out since I had a picture and didn't want it to go to waste.

Since it was quite crowded at this point up there, I decided to find Forest & Main since I never get to their brewpub. Lucky for me I did as the sour saison beer they had on draft was absolutely delicious and I'm super glad I got to try it. They ended up kicking both their kegs by like 6:30 or so which meant my wife didn't get to try it. Still, I'm happy I at least managed to get a taste but it would have been nice if they hadn't gotten slammed like that.

Before my wife arrived around 7, I wandered around the downstairs area as it was now open. I got some food, still fantastic, and grabbed a couple beers. Even saw a few familiar faces which is part of the reason I love this event. Here's Natalie from Weyerbacher pouring someone a beer.
Also I discovered that Colin, who used to work at Weyerbacher, now works at Stoudts as a brewer. Good for him! He's the one on the left, gesturing.
He mentioned Stoudts usually hires from within for positions like this so it's cool to see him get a try. Going to be interesting to see if we can see his influence on anything going forward.

And then Jo arrived and time kind of flew by at that point. I'm not sure when the next few pictures are from but they give a bit of a bird's eye view of the place.
Gives you a small idea of the front of the place. This is actually the opposite direction of the first picture I have up there to give you an idea.

Finally it was time to go after eating and drinking quite a bit. Here's one last picture of the PhillyTapFinder crew with my wife.
Jo and I definitely felt like we got our money's worth and had a great time. She was real happy to be able to come this year. The normal level ticket got you a lot this year, too, with most of the breweries being available to everyone. Even the Victory stuff in the VIP area was available elsewhere which was nice. As far as the VIP stuff I saw, the glass they gave you was really nice but the beers available to you weren't anywhere near as special this year. However, since I missed out on the sausage contest which seemed to be advertised as a big thing I can't really say if it was worth the money in the end. Regardless, the regular ticket is totally worth it and you should easily try and go next year.

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