It’s been a little more than a week since Tangier, a Graduate Hospital neighborhood bar, closed after 32 years in operation. Owner Jack Roe decided to finally sell the building and bar after receiving an offer he could not turn down.
Though I lived but four doors down from the bar, I was by no means a regular at Tangier. Friday happy hour or Saturday nights would usually take me to other neighborhood establishments. Many of my visits consisted of just picking up take out food or filling up growlers. Still, it was always a nice comfort having it there. It wasn’t just any neighborhood bar; it was MY corner bar. The bartender and chef knew me by name and were always friendly.
In the years of doing Philly Beer Week, the week (plus) long celebration of America’s Best Beer-Drinking City, I’ve learned one important lesson in how to make it through: pace yourself. With over 1,000 events in ten days, you can’t possibly hit up everything. In fact, you won’t even be able to make it to many of the events that sound appealing because they either conflict with each other or you need to rest or stay sober one or two nights. Instead, the best practice is to make it to a maximum of perhaps one event a night (ok, maybe two, if you do the other one during the day). Go through the list, pick and choose some favorites and enjoy those without feeling bad about missing others.
The second most important advice: find events for brewers you don’t experience often or for specialty beers. There are so many great regional brewers, and most have special events throughout the week. Likewise, there are many brewers from other parts of the country who produce beers we don’t typically get here in town. Take advantage of their presence.
Philly Beer Week has become the largest beer festival, in terms of events, in the country devoted to craft beer. Let’s all enjoy.
I was a long-time veteran of Erin Express, the Irish bar-themed pub crawl that annually takes place the two Saturdays prior to St. Patrick’s Day, and I was proud of it. It was a lot like the Ron Burgundy quote from Anchorman: “We’ve been coming to the same party for twelve years. And in no way is that depressing.” Of course, at some point, you realize there may be better things in life than long lines to bars, loud music and questionable commercial beer (isn’t there?). Over the last couple of years, I have made it to the Craft Beer Express, the quality craft beer alternative to Erin Express. Which bus bar crawl is better? Well, let’s look at the tale of the tape.