The Brewer’s Plate is a celebration of local food and beer in Philadelphia. Presented by Fair Foods, Brewer’s Plate 2015 was loaded with food, beer and fun.
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.
Tasting 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 is a food festival that we really like for its selection, vibe and value. This festival has been presented by Fair Food in Philadelphia for the past eleven years and at the Kimmel Center for the past two years. Founded by Judy Wicks in 2001, Fair Foods is focused on bringing locally grown food to the masses. As food lovers, we heartily support the Fair Foods mission.
What makes Brewer’s Plate unique among the plethora of food festivals is that local beer takes an equal, if not lead, role to the food. In fact, each food sample is 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.
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.
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Disclosures: We were guests of Brewer’s Plate to facilitate this article. Also, Daryl is an employee of Garces Group, a sponsor and participant at this year’s Brewer’s Plate.
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