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8th Annual Philly Great Beer Expo

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(The following is a special series on Bluejeanfoodcritic.com written by guest contributing writer William Knowles. He highlights his passions of of trying something new whenever the opportunity presents itself, or possibly something old, but new again since it has been a while. I hope you enjoy his very special perspective that I am sure many of you can relate to. Follow him on his exciting journey “Around Town”)

One of the premier events of Philly Beer Week this and every year is the Great Beer Expo, held on the grounds of the Philadelphia Naval Yard. I visited the 8th annual staging, on Saturday June 4th.

As you might have guessed by this point, I am somewhat of an expert, and lover, of beer. And with it being Philly Beer Week, there are many events to try and attend. While there will be others that we talk about here on Around Town in the coming days and weeks, this event seemed to be a highlight of the weeklong affairs for all of those that I spoke with. Like the Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival several months back, people traveled from all over to attend and sample brews from over 60 establishments, and enjoy some favorite Philly food offerings.

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Breweries such as Neshaminy Creek, Conshohocken Brewing Company, Stable 12, Sterling Pig, Double Nickel, Naked Brewing, Ballast Point, Saint Benjamin, McKenzie’s and Crabbie’s were there. Food trucks were everywhere, with Baby Blues BBQ and PBon’s Fresh Phood again on hand. Wahlburgers, the Grill Cheese, the Jerky Hut, Kono Pizza and Hai Street Kitchen and Co. also provided sustenance for a hungry and thirsty crowd. There were games for people to play, arts and crafts vendors selling their wares, and a silent auction with some significant sports and cultural memorabilia available.

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This event has become a hallmark for Philly Beer Week each year, and serves as this city’s high point for summer brew fun. The atmosphere in the historic Navy Yard was lively, the scenery interesting. On top of all this, I got to attend the invent with Bluejean Food himself! We loved the festival, and hope to see you there next year. As mentioned, I’ve been “around town” a lot lately, and will talk to you again in a few days…

2015 Philadelphia Inquirer’s annual Travel & Culinary Expo

(The following is a special series on Bluejeanfoodcritic.com written by guest contributing writer William Knowles. He highlights his passions of of trying something new whenever the opportunity presents itself, or possibly something old, but new again since it has been a while. I hope you enjoy his very special perspective that I am sure many of you can relate to. Follow him on his exciting journey “Around Town”)

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I had the good fortune to attend the Philadelphia Inquirer’s annual Travel & Culinary Expo on Sunday, February 21st.  This year’s event was held at the Valley Forge Casino Resort, located right off the Schuylkill Expressway near the King of Prussia Mall.

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The festival contained a wide variety of events and expos that are intended to entice you to try some new ideas and exotic locales while planning your travel.  On site travel agencies enabled those interested in booking vacations right away the convenience of doing so.  For those who are new to international travel, a passport station was on hand to provide detailed information on how to apply.

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Themed food stations included New England based Cabot Cheese (tied into vacationing in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York), Passanante’s Home Food Services, chain restaurants such as Bahama Breeze, Godshall’s Meats (with delicious turkey bacon fried on the spot), and some local favorites like Tony Luke’s and Fat Jack’s BBQ. 2 Chicks with Chocolate, previously featured in the Around Town segment, provided some fantastic desert.

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To wash all of this wonderful food down, our next stop was the Mid-Atlantic Craft Beer Pavilion.  Joe Sixpack, a beer expert and columnist featured regularly in the Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and philly.com, was on hand to offer insight and opinion as well as Tara Nurin.  Local and old favorites were well represented, with Lancaster Brewing Co., Prism Brewing Co., Yards, Neshaminy Creek, Ballantine Ale and the Conshohocken Brewing Co. all setting up shop.
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Additionally, food seminars like the one put on by Hell’s Kitchen Season 10 Finalist Barbie Marshall and guest speakers entertained the gathering crowds who were taking a break from visiting the many exhibits.  All said and done, the Philadelphia Inquirer sponsors a fun and lively event each year that will surely make you look at planning your next vacation differently.  Be sure to check out next year’s event, and I will be seeing you “around town”…