Raise a Glass at Philly's Beer Fest

This weekend is the time to taste some great beers surrounded by great people.

Suds from around the country will be on tap at one of the premiere beer events as the 4th Annual Philly Craft Beer Festival returns to the Navy Yard Saturday.

The beer fest -- no it’s nothing like the beer drinking competition in the movie Beer Fest (even though that could be fun) -- features more than 50 breweries serving more than 100 different brews.

"One of the nicest things about the festival is that we bring in new breweries," said organizer Andy Calimano. "It gives them a good opportunity to get in front of a... beer crowd."

Anyone who's made it to a PCBF in the past knows that the "beer crowd" at the event often likes making toasts and meeting fellow beer lovers.

And, for the true beer connoisseur there will be speeches (with beer tastings of course) on subjects like picking the best IPA and "How to Start Your Own Brewery."

This event is all about giving brewers the chance to meet the beer drinkers they serve, said organizers. And, some of the brewers, especially local ones, should be on hand to answer questions and promote their brews.

One local brewery making its PCBF debut will be Montgomery County's Prism, known for its Bitto Honey IPA. They won't be the only local brewer in the house as Philly favorite Yard’s returns to the fest. Also, keep an eye out for some national faves like Rogue (Oregon) and Gritty’s (Maine).

There should be a lot of libations to go around. Luckily they supply all revelers with a small glass and a few hours to try as many frosty beverages as possible.

With all that beer to be tasted from IPAs to stouts, things could get overwhelming, but organizers had some advice for drinkers.

"Taste what you'd like to taste," said Calimano.

One problem though, if you don’t already have tickets to either the afternoon or evening festival sessions you could be out of the fun. The 2010 PCBF is totally sold out and no more tickets will be put on sale, said organizers.

The hype surrounding this event was so big that people were even scalping $45 tickets for more than twice that amount on Craigslist.

For those who have a ticket, have fun. For those who don’t, make sure you order them early next year to get in on the fun.

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