This past Sunday, Mike, some friends and I attended the 4th Annual Philadelphia Real Ale Invitational hosted by Yards Brewing Company. Tickets sold out rather quickly and with good reason: this ain't your mama's brewfest.
Attendees were free to roam the brewery, help themselves to some delicious food and, the best perk of all, were given a cool commemorative beer mug to hold unlimited (and often heavy-handed) samples of over 20 cask ales from a variety of Mid-Atlantic breweries.
Cask ale (or "real ale" as it's often called) is unfiltered, unpasteurized beer that is conditioned in the same container it is served from (the cask) without any forced carbon dioxide. It's about as natural as it gets.
We started making our way down the list. My initial plan was to alternate between low and high ABV beers but eventually, I went for whatever appealed to my tastebuds regardless of alcohol percentage.
Betty's Speakeasy. Amazing fudge. Adorable staff, to boot.
A brewery is only as good as its t-shirts.
A beer t-shirt is only as good as the feisty Ecuadorian who wears it.
That's just a mac and cheese hot dog. With bacon.
Funkdafied musical stylings for the event were provided by The Jazz Horses and The Sermon!, a band from West Chester, PA. After the show, two of The Sermon! guys showed us a vintage tube amp they use during their sets which, up until that moment, I would have guessed was the world's first Lite Brite. Pretty cool stuff.
And with a final toast, the Philadelphia Real Ale Invitational came to a close.
It was such a great time. I'm already looking forward to the next one. A bonus if it's within walking distance by this time next year.
(I've been bitten by the moving bug. Hard.)
We'll see what happens. In the meantime, I leave you with my best PW impression.