Philly Beer Week 2013 promises to be the largest PBW yet. Under the steady hands of Don Russell (aka Joe Sixpack), Tom Kehoe of Yards and a host of other local beer icons (Tom Peters, etc.) Philly Beer Week continues to be the “gold standard” of city focused beer events. They started it all in 2007, and never expected it to grow into what we see today – hundred of events (in just one day!) hundreds of participating venues from Center City to Delaware.
Being based in the Montgomery/Delaware county area, I am always looking to promote our local beer venues, and publicize local Philly Beer Week activities. BeerAppreciation has been participating in PBW since the start, hosting events in the Philly ‘burbs at various locations.
This year I noticed that even more than before – there are less and less Philly Suburban beer sites participating. There are over 150 Center City venues listed, but only about 40 venues from anywhere outside the city – and that’s a lot of territory – from the local Montgomery/Bucks/Delaware County – through all of NJ and Delaware. We beerappreciators KNOW there are many dozens of great craft beer bars, brew pubs and other fine establishments in the suburbs – though you couldn’t tell from the PBW site.
And it’s not just the venues, it’s the events as well. Today June 1st – day one of PBW 2013, there are about 90 events in center city yet less then 20 in the ‘burbs. Of the 18 or so events listed for the suburban venues – a third are from the four Uno’s locations, with another third from Whole Foods and Iron Hill. So what happened to the suburban Philly Beer scene?
Well, I can tell you that many of the suburban bar and brew pub owners I talked to told me that PBW isn’t really that relevant to them – it doesn’t increase business significantly by registering with PBW, and the advertising you get for signing up – isn’t worth the cost. Local suburban beer places are popular – in most cases – with their local crowd. Much of the local crowd is family oriented, or more “mature” than the hipster Center City craft beer crown tends to be. Apparently out of the city word of mouth and local loyalty is what matters most. Which is, by the way, what has built the popularity of craft beer in the first place
So, see my other post on PBW participating great local suburban beer venues like the Oakmont Pub, the Beer Shoppe and others. Enjoy the week – and after you are done downtown – maybe you can take a train out to a great suburban beer experience. Or maybe it’s time to drop by your local next door. Share in the beer love of PBW 2013.