Walking back into a bar….

Philly Beer Week is now upon us.  For those of you who aren’t familiar its a ten day festival celebrating all things craft beer.  You can meet brewers, get to sample special one-off brews and take part in so truly amazing and sometimes even insane events that cover beer trivia, music, dunk tanks and even seeing who can assemble Ikea furniture the fastest after down several pints in rapid succession.


For the second year in a row I am pleased to be an official part of it.  On Monday, June 2nd  I will reunite with Rabbi Eli Freedman and Pastor Bryan Berghoef to present “A Rabbi, a Priest and a Minister Walk into a Bar…”    I hope you can join us as we share stories and perspectives on how we have found that beer is not simply permissible in religious life but in fact has sacred potential.  It all takes place at Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St) at 5 pm.  The event itself is free and beer is pay as you go.

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A shot of last year’s packed house at Fergie’s.


On Thursday Rabbi Eli and I are honored to be part of a special event at Impact Hub Philly.   This Brew Ha Ha fundraiser will benefit their community kitchen and is designed to support food justice initiatives in the city as well as to provide a space for entrepreneurs to try their hand at food innovation.


I hope to see you at these events and who knows, with so much good stuff going on this week there’s a good chance you might see me lots of other places too.  I’ll be the one in the collar.

And the winner is…. hungry people in Philadelphia

140510_biblical brew off_030On May 10th six brewers went head to head to answer the age old question… which religion makes the better beer.  The Biblical Brew Off brought together the beer clubs from St. Timothy’s and Congregation Rodeph Shalom as well as many others to settle the issue.


Rodeph fielded JezebALE (a Poor Richard’s Porter), BEERsheba (an orange cardamom Hefeweizen) and Saison and Delilah (a classic Saison).

St. Tim’s fielded Job’s Stout (a mocha Stout), Barrabas Bitter (an ESB) and Abraham and Sara’s Saison (a four grain Saison).


The four judges took nearly ninety minutes as they thoroughly evaluated each entry 140510_biblical brew off_022according to BJCB standards.

In the meantime the crowd gathered sampling the beer and feasting on BBQ.  They chatted with the brewers and looked at the awesome beer baskets at the silent auction.  But they too were judging the beers and registering their votes for the “People’s Choice” award.


After reps from The Food Trust and North Light Community Center (the charities who would benefit from the event) told the crowd about their causes it came time to announce the winners.


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BEERsheba was the big winner of the People’s Choice.  Its brewer, Karenann, will get to go brew with Scott Morrison of Barren Hill Brewery.  We’ll report back on that once it happens.


When it came to team results St. Tim’s won with a very strong total score proving that 140510_biblical brew off_036although Moses was able to produce water from the rock, it was Jesus who took that water and turned it into wine.  Abraham and Sara’s took the high score with JezebALE close behind.

But the real winners were the two charities who will share the $1100 we raised.


Of course not everything can be measured in terms of dollars or points.  Perhaps what matters most is that people from two different faiths (and no faiths at all when you count in some of our guests) managed to get together to share fellowship and to work together to help others in need.  While I have no doubt that we could have done with without beer, I also have no doubt that the beer made it a whole lot more fun.

For more pics from this awesome evening keep on scrolling!

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