June is a busy month for outsiders to celebrate annual traditions in Manayunk. That could grow, as the Belvedere Restaurant Group hopes its new Philly Beer Week event will further establish Manayunk's reputation as a destination neighborhood.
Nestled between the and , the Manayunk Summer Classic debuts June 9 as a high-end, craft beer and food festival.
"Manayunk is one of the premier craft beer destinations in the city, and it's unrealized. We want everyone to know that Manayunk is a grown-up beer destination," said Rich Rivera from the Belvedere Restaurant Group.
Held at Manayunk's C-lot, at Main and Levering Streets, the three-hour tented event pairs more than 70 domestic and international craft beers with targeted food from local eateries. Each restaurant will prepare three, 2-ounce sampling portions with a 2-ounce beer. The ticket provides unlimited access to food and drink.
Belvedere Restaurant Group owns and , in addition to Cervisia, a craft beer-centered restaurant and bottle shop also planned for Manayunk. Rivera and business partner Rob Nydick wanted to establish an anchor event that made Main Street an important part of Phily Beer Week.
"Our idea was to create an event that really made people come to Manayunk. Sure, it's a Belvedere event, but we wanted to make it an opportunity for all of Manayunk," Rivera said.
In addition to the Belvedere-owned restaurants, , , and , , , , , , , and will participate.
Nydick also said net proceeds will be donated to Philabundance and PAWS—people are encouraged to bring canned food for people and pets, as well.
Anchoring Beer Week
Manayunk has had a role with Philly Beer Week since its inception, but nothing like this large-scale anchor event.
"Main Street has an incredible number of restaurants, and the bars have really picked up the craft beers," Philly Beer Week organizer Don Russell said. "Before, it was mainly a Bud, Miller, Coors atmosphere. Now, you see some amazing craft beer selections."
A push for diverse craft beers made the Belvedere event stand out as something Beer Week wanted to spotlight. Nydick said, "We wanted the best. We're not making it a Saison, or IPA festival. We wanted variety and some rare beers."
The list of craft brews is growing. Nydick said they update the website as kegs come in. Currently the festival promises No Apologies from Blue Point (New York), Bourbon Barrel Aged Gonzo Porter from Flying Dog (Maryland), Hitachino Nest White Ale from Kiuchi Brewery (Japan), and Dark Force from HaandBryggeriet (Norway)—among many, many, many others. Track the website or Twitter for updates.
Held on the festival's last Saturday, Russell said Beer Week will work to spotlight the Manayunk Summer Classic.
"These anchor events are things we promote as larger events on weekends. We want to designate them as important, and we began talking about it" in our March sampler preview magazine, he said.
The Manayunk Summer Classic costs $50. Other than designated driver tickets (which cost $30 and give you food and nonalcoholic drink access), tickets must be purchased in advance—either online or at participating restaurants. There is an afternoon (2-5 p.m.) and evening (6-9 p.m.) session. There is also VIP access. Deadline for purchase is June 7. Get all ticket info online.