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The Brewers Plate in Philadelphia

The Brewers Plate was an annual celebration of local food and beer in Philadelphia before the festival was discontinued. Presented by Fair Foods, Brewer’s Plate 2015 was loaded with food, beer and fun.

Brewer's Plate 2015 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Suddenly everybody is a foodie.

We don’t know exactly when this happened. There was a time, not so long ago, when we stood out for our love of food.

Now, it seems that every Tom, Dick and Harriet is talking about grass-fed this and organically grown that. As we listen to new foodies and their oh-so-earnest diatribes on food, we often hold our tongues since half of what they’re saying doesn’t make any sense.

But the heightened awareness of food is not all bad. Food quality has increased at almost every level, as has the availability of artisan foods and beverages. There are also more food festivals, or eat and greets as we call them, offering the chance to sample a wide variety of food and mingle with chefs.

Pro Tip

There are lots of food festivals these days, and some are better than others. It’s important to do your research about the participating restaurants before you plunk down your hard-earned money.

The Brewer’s Plate was a food festival that we really liked for its selection, vibe and value. This festival was presented by Fair Foods in Philadelphia.

Founded by Judy Wicks in 2001, Fair Foods was focused on bringing locally grown food to the masses. As food lovers, we heartily supported the Fair Foods mission during its years of operation.

Chef at Brewers Plate 2015
Brewer’s Plate features food from local restaurants paired with beverages from regional breweries and distilleries. This year’s event was held at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia for the second year in a row.

What made Brewer’s Plate unique among the plethora of food festivals is that local beer took an equal, if not lead, role to Philadelphia food favorites. In fact, each food sample was paired with a complimenting beer or, in some cases, spirit. It’s a concept that makes perfect sense to us.

The normally quiet Kimmel Center was alive with the buzz of activity during Brewer’s Plate. As we wandered around the bustling festival, we tasted foods from restaurants that we love as well as from restaurants that are new to us.

We nibbled on cheeses made by farmers whom we know and respect, and we chatted with friends, old and new, from all parts of the Philly food scene.

Brisket Taco
Distrito Sous Chef Josh Shapiro’s sweet and spicy brisket taco highlighted many of the eclectic culinary options at this year’s Brewer’s Plate. The taco was paired with hand crafted cocktails from Philadelphia Distilling.
Black Mission Fig Wrapped in Serrano Ham
Food festivals have become a ubiquitous part of America’s food culture. At this year’s Brewer’s Plate in Philadelphia, Chef Jose Garces’ Amada presented black mission figs wrapped in Serrano ham paired with beers from Philadelphia’s Yards Brewing Company.
Raw Oysters
JG Domestic took Brewer’s Plate to the next level by including Sly Fox beer both as an ingredient and as pairing partner. Chef Chris Beyer spooned up raw oysters made with herb oil, smoked chives, dehydrated tomato skins and a reduction of the local brewery’s Nihilist Russian Imperial Stout.
Meyer Lemon Cheesecake
Desserts are also available at Philadelphia’s Brewer’s Plate. Varga Bar’s cups of Meyer lemon cheesecake trifle were a colorful addition to the event.

Beer – The Best Part of Brewer’s Plate in Philadelphia

As much as we enjoyed the food, the real highlight for us was the opportunity to taste such a wide selection of local beers. We’re huge fans of craft beer, and we found some new favorites which we will look out for around town.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that there’s so much great beer at this type of event in Philadelphia. The city has a rich beer history that started before the Revolutionary War.

Back in the day, Ben Franklin, a founding father and Philadelphia resident, said that “beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” More recently, the Philadelphia region has stepped up as a national leader in the art of beer making, fueled by a veritable explosion in the number of quality breweries and pubs. It’s no wonder that the country’s first Beer Week started in Philadelphia and is a huge annual happening.

We hate to pick favorites, but it was fun to try the special Bon Vivant collaboration beer made by local Victory Brewing and Michigan’s Brewery Vivant. As for the other beers, we plan to visit many of the breweries and meet the brewers in the coming months. There are so many local breweries that we want to untap and explore. It’s a tough challenge, but we’re ready and thirsty.

A nice touch at Brewer’s Plate is that each attendee gets a souvenir glass to use at the event and to take home. At last year’s Brewer’s Plate, our glasses mysteriously disappeared after we briefly left them on a table while we were talking, forcing us to scrounge for replacements.

This year, we were more careful and no such disappearance occurred. These new glasses will surely come in handy with all the beer tasting that’s ahead of us.

Hungry for More?

Check out our Philadelphia food guide with the best restaurants in town.

Red Beach Selfie in Santorini

About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

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Disclosures

Sponsorship
We were guests of Brewer’s Plate to facilitate this article.

Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

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Meghan

Saturday 7th of January 2017

This looks delicious. Next time I go to Philly, I know where I need to go!

MrandMrsAdventure

Monday 30th of March 2015

This tasting experience sounds amazing!! Wish we were two weeks further into our journey and could have been there for it :)

Amanda

Friday 20th of March 2015

Everyone loves to put Philadelphia together with Cheesesteaks but there are so many places all around Philly that have amazing foods. Now I don't drink beer or anything like that but food festivals are amazing and such a great way to try new foods and see what else is out there. =D The photos you shared are beautiful and it looks like it was a lot of fun!!

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Friday 20th of March 2015

Thanks Amanda for your kind words about the photos. And you're so right - there's so much great food in Philly beyond cheesesteaks!

geanine

Wednesday 18th of March 2015

Although I am not a huge fan of craft beer, we will be traveling to Philadelphia to at the end of the month. I am looking forward to the opportunity to taste test such a wide selection of beers. Hoping to find a new favorite as you have!

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Friday 20th of March 2015

Awesome - let us know if you want any suggestions on where to taste test beer in Philly.

Amy Kelsch

Wednesday 18th of March 2015

I grew up in a family that valued the importance of trying new foods and appreciating food from different cultures. Food festivals are something I always want to try but feel apprehensive because I am allergic to wheat and would need gluten-free food. Always such a bummer to love food and to not be able to enjoy all aspects of it! ;)