BeerCamp Philly 2011: Serving 10 Gallons to the Masses 

Photo by the ever talented and lovely Marissa, who writes the most excellent Food in Jars.

It seems like eons ago, but on June 4 Ray, my dearest friend Rach and I served nearly 10 gallons of Bathtub Brewery’s homebrewed beer to a crowd of beer enthusiasts. And it was AWESOME.

We joined the BeerCamp crew earlier in the year, meeting 1-2 times a month at IndyHall where we would taste each others beer, chat and slowly figure out how we wanted the event to turn out (though really, Kelani, Johnny, Dave and Alex were the logistical masterminds behind ALL of it…we just made the libations!)

And then the first weekend of June rolled around and we hauled 4 cases of our bottled beer into the patio/garden area of the Jamaican Jerk Hut on South Street. We iced down some bottles, poured chilled beer into mammoth pitchers … and then got to drinking our fellow brewers’ beers during the VIP Brewers Hour.

Mel and Rach serve Bathtub Brewery's homebrews at BeerCamp Philly

Mel and Rach behind the table, working the crowd. Gotta love Rach's "Say wha?" face.

The three of us worked seamlessly as a team, with 2 people pouring while the other either cracked open bottles, ran to get food, or took a bathroom break. Rach and I attracted quite the crowd from time to time, and it was funny to see guys’ reactions to the fact that I was a brewer, not just a “table babe.” Ray and I fielded a fair amount of questions, and even Rach picked up enough lingo to explain what she was serving. We’ll make a brewer of her yet!

We served the much hailed Bee Sting and a new beer, simply named Cherry Wheat (recipe to be posted soon). We were happy with our offerings, but what blew us away was people coming up to the table and saying, “So we heard about this Bee Sting …” Say wha?! Apparently our fellow brewers were sending folks our way, heaving praise on our little hybrid pale ale. Talk about an awesome feeling.

Parker samples the Bee Sting

Parker samples a Bee Sting as a friend looks on

And we surprised more than a few people with our Cherry Wheat. Typically you say “Cherry Wheat” and people shudder at the Robitussin-like memory of a bottle from Sam Adams. But our brew was far from that. Instead, it was light, wheaty and a balance of sweet and tart. Attendees were shocked and asked for seconds.

After sampling the beers of my fellow homebrewers throughout the night, I’m proud to say I was part of BeerCamp, and I’m pretty sure Ray would agree with me. Why at least half these brewers aren’t pro already floors me. What I was drinking that night was innovative and downright delicious.

Tom and the Big Spoon Brewery Gang

Tom (far left) and the rest of his Big Spoon Brewery crew

Tom, from Big Spoon Brewery, brought his Wobbly Bass Brown, Mmmmm Creamy Milk Stout—and for the lucky—some bottles of his Russian Imperial Stout brewed with coffee. We were blown away and super happy when he took the Brewer’s Choice Award at the end of the night. People’s Choice Awards went to MelloProto Brewing’s Blood Orange Berliner aka B.ö.B., Saint Benjamin Brewing Co.’s Transcontinental (a California Common or “steam” beer) and B WeeRd Brew D’s CHOCRILLA, a stout brewed with sarsaparilla.

The food was fantastic, the beer superb and the company we kept was excellent. I can’t wait until the next BeerCamp Philly event!

Last 3 photos courtesy of Ray who isn’t in any photos because he was too busy taking them!

3 Responses to “BeerCamp Philly 2011: Serving 10 Gallons to the Masses”

  1. Aw come on!! I’m chewing!!!

  2. And, ummm, how can we get some of your awesome beer here in NE?!!!! The Bee Sting, particularly????????????! Do tell. xxooxx

  3. Looking forward to the recipe of Cherry Wheat !

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