Great Food, a Great Cause, Great Brews, and Drinking with Ben Franklin. What’s not to love?
Last night, LimpD and I had the good fortune to attend the 8th annual Brewer’s Plate Event at the National Constitution Center. The event brings together local brewers, farmers, artisans, and chefs to raise money for and promote awareness of Fair Food Philly.
About Fair Food (in their own words)
Founded in 2001 by Philadelphia entrepreneur Judy Wicks, Fair Food brings locally grown food to the marketplace. Through uniting local farmers with businesses and consumers, supporting the importance of family farms and creating a year-round marketplace for fresh, local and humane food products, Fair Food is promoting a humane, sustainable agriculture system for the Greater Philadelphia region.
After 2+ hours of exploring the best food, spirits, and brew that the Philly area has to offer, I was left asking myself, “Do I really need any food that doesn’t come from our local area?”. In my humble opinion, we are living in Philly’s golden age of craft beer and artisanal food. When I was a kid, the Philly food scene was limited to Cheesesteaks, Tastykakes, and scrapple. We still have those but can now include some of the world’s best brewers, top chefs, local artisans, and farmers that are crafting wonderful things to eat and drink.
The Brewer’s Plate does a tremendous job in bringing many of these local vendors together and showcasing their products. Many of the farmers and/or chefs were paired with a brewery to present products that complement each other. All the vendors were engaging and knowledgeable. Too often these festival style events are packed, tough to navigate, and have tables staffed by PR people that know little about what they’re serving. This was not the case last night. While the event was very well attended, it was easy to talk to each vendor, get a sample, and learn a lot about them and their products.
When we usually do a wrap up of events like this, we do a best and worst list, but I honestly didn’t have anything I didn’t like. It also wouldn’t be fair to single out “best” items, so here are just some of the memorable favorites that LimpD and I enjoyed:
- Favorite Brews: They were all great, but we were really impressed by Victory’s Otto in Oak. A barrel aged gem flowing from a firkin that, as I understand it, is a work in progress. It was one of the most complex and rich brews poured at the event. We also enjoyed Flying Fish’s soon to be released Exit 8 Brown Ale (pictured below), and the Farmer’s Cabinet’s Marry Me in Goslar.
- Food Favorites: The funniest was South Wark’s M.L.T. (Mutton, Lettuce, and Tomato) sandwich. I also loved the whole pig being carved for roast pork sandwiches by Country Time Farm (pictured below), and the mini beer and cheese sausage with smoked sauerkraut sandwiches that Brauhaus Schmitz rolled out.
- Favorite Treats: I am not a sweets person, but I fell in love with Eclat Chocolate’s truffles made with Victory’s Hop Wallop. Also good were the Schwarz Bier Floats scooped out by Triumph Brewing (pic below).
- Favorite Vendor Presentation: As I mentioned earlier, every vendor was knowledgeable and approachable, but I have to give special recognition to the Boak’s Beer crew. Not only did they really want to engage people about their beer, they had brought along a progression of three brews starting with their Two Blind Monks, and finishing with their Wooden Beanie. The middle beer was the “halfway” point in the aging and crafting process between the first beer and the last. Tasting them in progression was like a mini Boak’s Beer School.
I could go on listing plenty more favorites, but would probably need a couple more posts to do justice to all the great vendors. I’ll simply wrap up the post by suggesting that you put this event on the calendar for next year. If you can’t wait until next year, please check out Fair Food’s site to find great Philly area vendors, or follow the links below to support the local vendors that participated in this year’s event:
Art in the Age, Bar Ferdinand, Betty’s Speakeasy, Birchrun Hills Farm, Boaks Beer, Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse, Boxcar Brewing, Brauhaus Schmitz , BT Baking, C 19, Cabinet Artisanal Brewhouse, Cantina Dos Segundos, Capogiro Gelato, Choptank Oyster Company, City Tap House, Cookie Confidential, Country Time Farm, Cricket Hill, Doe Run Dairy, Dock Street Brewery, Dogfish Head Craft Brews, Eclat Chocolate, El Camino Real, Farm Fromage, Fegley’s Brew Works, Flying Fish Brewing Company, Forest and Main Brewing Co, FORK, Frankford Hall, Franklin Fountain, Garces Restaurant Group, Gilda’s Biscotti, Hoppin John Orchestra, Hot Club Philly, John & Kira’s, Kennett, Khyber Pass Pub, Lancaster Brewing Company, London Grill, McKenzie Brew House, Mugshots Coffeehouse & Cafe, Night Kitchen Bakery, Nodding Head Brewery, North Mountain Pastures, Philadelphia Distilling, Prism Brewing Company, Philadelphia Bar & Restaurant, Philadelphia Brewing Company,
Naked Brewing Company, Rembrandt’s, River Horse Brewing Company, Roy Pitz Brewing, Shellbark Hollow Farm, Sly Fox Beer, South Philly Taproom, Southwark, Stateside, Stoudt’s Brewing Company, Subarashii Kudamono, Sweet Stem Farm, The Abbaye, The Belgium Cafe, The Bent Spoon, The Farmers’ Cabinet, TRIA, Triumph Brewing Company, Troegs Brewing Company, Urban Apiaries, Varga Bar, Victory Brewing Company, Weyerbacher, White Dog Cafe, Yards Brewing Company, Zone 7