The German Society of Pennsylvania is thrilled to announce that, after a 2-year hiatus, it will once again host a world-class beer tasting event on, Saturday Feb. 25th 2023 from 2:00pm to 5:30pm, showcasing Pennsylvania’s German brewing heritage and this state’s leadership in the brewing of (and appreciation of) German-style lager beers. The long-delayed and hotly-anticipated 10th Annual Philly Bierfest will feature German-style beers from both Pennsylvania craft brewers and breweries in Germany, as well as rollicking entertainments and engaging educational opportunities to help Pennsylvanians learn to take pride in centuries-long prowess in lager brewing. As always, this unique event also benefits and is presented in partnership with two additional non-profit organizations, the ferocious female athletes of Philly Roller Derby and the Brewers of Pennsylvania, a trade association that advocates for PA brewers and beer lovers and aims to foster a healthy, ethical, and growth-focused beer industry in our state.
“Locals may not realize that Pennsylvania brewers lead the nation in championing beer styles of German heritage, from refreshing pilsners to malty doppelbocks,” says Victory Brewing Company president Bill Covaleski, who served as founding president of the Brewers of Pennsylvania trade association. “Bierfest is a perfect showcase for what should be a point of pride for Philadelphia’s beer lovers.”
Many Philadelphians do not know that Pennsylvania is home to the two largest independent breweries in the USA – the Yuengling & Sons Brewery in Pottsville and the Samuel Adams Pennsylvania Brewery in Breinigsville – each of which is known for their lagers. Even Pennsylvania’s smallest breweries and brewpubs tend to place greater emphasis on styles of German heritage – including weizens, kölsches, dunkels and bocks – than their competitors in other parts of the country, simply because of the depth and breadth of Germany’s cultural influence here. Brewers of all sizes from across the state, from Erie to Philadelphia, will join forces with importers of German beers to pour their sudsy wares at Bierfest.
This event features delicious German-style beers from over two dozen Pennsylvania brewers plus many more German imports, spread between 2 beer halls in historic buildings. Attendees will enjoy German and American live music, from Pennsylvania Bluegrass to Polkadelphia’s oompah-funk, plus variety acts like rafter-roaring Roller-Derby Arm-Wrestling and eye-popping Berlin-Style BEERlesque. Guests can also participate in engaging pursuits, like Beer-Jello Masskrugstemmen (a cheeky spin on Bavaria’s traditional “liter lift” competitions), as well as sample the wares of some of Philadelphia’s leading German taverns, like Brauhaus Schmitz.
Bierfest is also packed with education for the beer-curious as well. Fans of crisp, German-style beers can learn what distinguishes lagers from ales, discover which beer styles derive from which regions of Germany and learn about the truly fascinating medieval abbess St. Hildegard of Bingen, who was not only the first to document the use of hops in brewing but also the first to write about the female orgasm from the woman’s point of view.
Bierfest decidedly European-influenced in its family-friendly and community-supporting vibe. Free supervised ‘kinder-care’ is offered for thirsty parents at this event that draws everyone from college students to their grandparents, and ‘beer-less’ tickets are available for designated drivers and children over 12. Those who prefer not to drive home can make it a weekend at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown with a room night package. To encourage local home brewers to try their hand at brewing the hard (German) way, Bierfest’s Home Sweet HomeBräu Taste-Off will award the winning home-brewer an incredible opportunity to brew a commercial batch of their recipe in collaboration with the custom craft brewers of My Local Brew Works, to be served at Bierfest 2024!
Two dozen Pennsylvania craft and legacy brewers will participate in Bierfest, including:
Evil Genius Beer Co.
Free Will Brewing Co.
GearHouse Brewing Co.
Human Robot Brewery
Lavery Brewing Co.
Liquid Art Brewing Co.
Love City Brewing Co.
Mainstay Independent Brewing Co.
My Local Brew Works
New Ridge Brewing Co.
Philadelphia Brewing Co.
Shy Bear Brewing Co.
Sly Fox Brewing Co.
Stoudts Brewing Co.
Susquehanna Brewing Co.
Tired Hands Brewing Co.
Triple Bottom Brewing Co.
Tröegs Brewing Co.
Victory Brewing Co.
Yards Brewing Co.
Yuengling & Sons Brewery
ZeroDay Brewing Co.
More to be announced
Tickets are available here. VIP ticketholders will have a chance to indulge in Bierfest’s offerings a full hour before general admission begins, and receive a keepsake Bierfest mug. The German Society of Pennsylvania is a nonprofit organization founded in 1764, devoted to furthering the understanding of German and German-American contributions to the growth of American history and culture from the past to the present, and into the future. Executive vice-president Tony Michels is a Bierfest co-founder and also organizes Philadelphia’s German Heritage Festival.
Philly Roller Derby is a skater-owned and operated roller derby league and a proud member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). Since their inception in 2005, this league of athletic women on wheels has brought roller derby back to Philadelphia.
Brewers of Pennsylvania is a non-profit trade advocacy organization whose mission is to responsibly serve the needs of Pennsylvania’s diverse beer-drinking audience and to empower the state’s brewers to join together to support and protect their common and individual interests. Bierfest co founder Marnie Old is a noted Philadelphia drinks author and one of the country’s top expert speakers on wine and beer. She is a wine columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer and the author of many award-winning books, most notably He Said Beer, She Said Wine ( DK 2008) and Wine: A Tasting Course.