The Best of Beer Fest | NBC 10 Philadelphia

The Best of Beer Fest

Hear from brewers about what makes their beers special

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    Try these brews next time you throw one back.

    With Philly Beer Weekend on the horizon take a look at some of the fan favorites from the 4th Annual Philadelphia Craft Brewer’s Festival held last Saturday at the Navy Yard.

    The PCFB featured more than 100 brews from about 50 brewers ranging from local brews to nationally recognized names to international treats.

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    Harrisburg-based Troegs was one of the Pennsylvania favorites serving up the suds.

    It was difficult for self-described Troegs brewing ambassador Nick Johnson to pick a favorite beer but he offered some suggestions.

    HopBack Amber Ale -- I could sit somewhere and drink that all day long,” said Johnson.

    Nugget Nectar -- that’s our seasonal. We take HopBack double the malt, triple the hop -- it’s like a beefed up version.”

    But this fest was about more than just beer as was evident by Warwick Valley Winery's Doc’s Draft Hard Cider.

    “We use champagne yeast which kind of distinguishes our cider,” said brewer Mark.

    The Upstate New York brewer has been in the cider game since 1994 when a doctor purchased an apple and pear orchard -- hence the “Doc’s” moniker, said Mark.

    Another fine and crisp New York cider came from upstart Original Sin Hard Cider.

    “It’s got a third of the sugar of most domestic ciders… nothing artificial and we try to use the highest quality ingredients,” said brewer Gideon.

    The Manhattan cider just began sales in Philly about two weeks ago, according to Gideon. So look for it at finer beer distributors.

    Looking for a brew a bit closer to home? Check out Lafayette Hill’s Prism Beer (Yes, the name is an ode to the old Philly-based TV Station as well as a reference to Pink Floyd).

    Brewer Rob DeMaria began brewing his signature Bitto Honey IPA at the General Lafayette Inn in November.

    “It’s honey-based IPA. But, it’s not so much honey that it’s just super sweet and you don’t like it,” said DeMaria.

    Prism was born almost by accident after DeMaria served his home brew at a party.

    “I came up with the recipe for this (Bitto) and it was such a hit at this party. Everyone kept asking where could I buy this?”

    Prism is in the process of setting up their own brewery so expect more unique brews (including beers utilizing bacon and chives) in the future.

    Some of these brews could be hard to find but upscale distributors like Back Alley Beverage in Drexel Hill, Pa. or Bella Vista Beer near South Street carry many unique brews and should be good starting points. And, you could also ask your local distributor to start carrying some of the smaller micro brews.

    Also go to Hawthorne’s Cafe in Bella Vista to sit down with some big bottles of frothy brew.