Brew and Booze News

Kicking off Philly Beer Week at the Valley Green Inn

Since Sunday mornings are usually family time I figured I would start Philly Beer Week with the kids.   What? You don’t drink with your 5 and 7 year-old kids?  Well before you call Family Services to report my bad parenting read the rest of the post.

Philly Beer week  has grown and evolved since it started in 2008.  It’s now more than a week and features hundreds of events. This year is a perfect example how much it has changed.  Their are expensive beer pairing dinners for Foodies with cash to burn.  Meet the brewer nights for those looking connect with the “brains behind the brew”.  Old fashion tap takeovers, pub crawls, festivals, and firkins galore.  But what about the children?  There are events for them too.

This year the historic Valley Green Inn is joining in on the Beer Week Fun and they kicked things off with “Beer Week for Kids”.  This isn’t 4oz kid sized servings of Dog Fish Head 90 Minute IPA in sippy cups for the wee ones.  It was a great brunch overlooking the Wissahickon Creek topped off with Hank’s Root Beer Floats for the kiddos.   Just the kind of Beer Week fun the whole family can enjoy.

The Brunch

The Brunch was a good solid food.  I had the Eggs Benedict, the wife went for the Huevos Rancheros, and the Wookettes each went with a Belgian Waffle.   The food was good but not spectacular.  The real appeal of the Valley Green is more the scenery than the food.  The food is done well but the location is beautiful.  With just a few minutes of driving or biking from anywhere in the Philly area you can feel like you have gone back in time and enjoy brunch at a colonial inn alongside a gently flowing stream.

The Brews

The Wookettes loved the root beer floats and what’s not to love about Hank’s Root Beer.  It’s locally made in the Philly area and is the perfect root beer to pair with ice cream.   Based on an old Philly recipe it is rich and creamy and I would agree with the “gourmet root beer” tag they have given themselves.

J.B.'s Root Beer Float - She went with Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Cream

The Service

It has been said in the posts of the blog, more than once, that service can make or break a dining experience.   The service at the Valley Green Inn could not have been better.  If you go for brunch ask for Andrew.  He was awesome and was supported well by his fellow servers making for a wonderful experience.  He also seemed to be pumped up about the upcoming beer week events they are hosting.

On Tap for Beer Week 2011 at the Valley Green

The Valley Green Inn will be hosting some of the more reasonably priced Beer Week  beer dinners ($35).   You can find the menus here.  Here are the highlights:

Wednesday – Brooklyn Brewery Paring Dinner
Thursday – Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Paring Dinner
Friday – Magic Hat Brewery Pairing Dinner

*** Reservations are recommended and can be done through Open Table

To sum it all up, if you looking for an off the beaten path Beer Week dinner or a Sunday Brunch any time of the year I would recommend giving the Valley Green Inn at try.  If you want to get the most out of your experience go on a cool spring/fall day for Sunday brunch or an evening dinner so you can sit outside on their covered porch and enjoy the rural colonial feel without leaving the city.  The weather should be perfect this week if you are looking mix a little romantic dining into your Beer Week itinerary.

Parent’s note:
Sunday brunch at the Valley Green Inn is pretty laid back and frequented by runners and cyclists the use the trail on the weekends.  They welcome kids, dress is casual, and they have kiddie brunch menu items like waffles, hot dogs, and fresh fruit.  Dining there is a little more adventurous than at McD’s or Friendly’s but still kid friendly.  Don’t forget to bring some “duck food” for the ducks and geese that live along the creek (or do like my kids did and save a muffin from brunch for our feathered friends).  

13 replies »

  1. Do not mistake this one event as a pass on your bad parenting. Of course, a good bottle of icy cold Hank’s is certainly one way to begin to make amends.


  2. Neat place…nice review Wookie! I can’t believe we live 2 hours from Philly and have never been there. HUGE item on our beer bucket list!


    • I live just over the bridge from Philly and didn’t even know this place existed until they showed up on the Philly Beer Week event list. This place is not regularly a must do for hop heads but is a neat hidden historical gem of Philadelphia.


  3. Looks like a great time! I’m a fan of Brooklyn’s Brown, and I bet it’d pair really well with many different entrees. It’s a bummer the pairing dinners cost a pretty penny, but it sounds like there’s plenty of other stuff to enjoy too.


    • Some of the beer dinner prices have gotten outrageous but $35 for a three course meal at the Valley Green Inn is a pretty good deal.

      Their Brooklyn Pairing Dinner looks pretty sweet:

        Course 1: Shrimp Custard and Green Mango Salad with Lime dressing, Thai chilies and cilantro foam. Paired with Brooklyn Pilsner.
        Course 2: New York Strip Steak and Parmesan Bone Marrow with wilted watercress and polenta cake. Paired with Brooklyn Pennant Ale.
        Course 3: Cherry Mocha Ice Cream with Bing Cherry, espresso and Callebaut dark chocolate. Paired with Brooklyn Chocolate Stout.


  4. In my opinion, any good brewery should make their own root beer – my daughter loves drinking homemade root beer! Our favorite pub in Nags Head even has an amazing outdoor playground and extensive kids’ menu.

    Another of our favorite restaraunts here in Richmond, VA, The Capital Ale House, has lots of events (Oktoberfest, Va Beer Fest) and they all have lots of events for the kiddos.

    I really love that a lot of breweries realize that beer lovers have families too – we’re not all a bunch of single party goers.


    • My girls go nuts for good root beer. Their favorite is the root beer from St John Brewers (made by Shipyard but only available in the islands). I suspect they only like it because we get it in the Virgin Islands but it is a great root beer.

      In general many brewers and brew pubs have shifted from catering to young party goers to families and more “mature” adults. I think this can be attributed to a couple of things:

      1 – Tougher smoking laws make pubs more family friendly
      2 – Many craft brewers started as home brewers at home with their family (little arms can clean a carboy better … lol.)
      3 – Lastly craft brewers and pub owners aren’t stupid and cater to a group with more disposable income who will pay more for less (so long as the quality is better).


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