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The 2012 Best of the Philly Beer Scene

The 2012 Best of the Philly Beer Scene

In early February, a comprehensive nomination survey went out to many of the industry professionals throughout the Philly beer scene to get their thoughts on who should be on the final ballot to be voted on as a Best of the Philly Beer Scene award winner. This year, nominations were so diverse, yet concise, to the many deserving brewers, beers, breweries and restaurants, that we lifted the restrictions of a designated number of nominees. Additionally, a few categories were consolidated as well as the introduction of a few new industry awards that were voted on solely by bar owners. 2012’s “Best of” has a total of 35 award categories which were opened to the public for voting the entire month of April.

Just like past years, there was an overwhelming response from the scene with some runaway winners and a few that won after battling it out in near tie situations; leading us to the proud victors of the 2012 Best of the Philly Beer Scene Awards!

Best Area Brewery
Victory Brewing Co.

Since our first Best of the Philly Beer Scene Awards in 2012, Victory has laid claim to this prize, making them a 3 time award winner. With their many diverse beers, ranging from the traditional Prima Pils to the bold Storm King Stout, it’s no wonder that Victory has become, in many ways, Philly’s craft ambassador across the country with their taps being found throughout the East and West Coast alike.

Best Area Brewmaster
Chris Wilson

In a highly competitive category, Chris Wilson from Weyerbacher in Easton, PA won title of best brewer, dethroning 2010 and 2011 Best of the Philly Beer Scene winner Casey Hughes of Flying Fish. In 2011, the increasingly popular Brewers’ Select series gave drinkers the opportunity to taste a greater diversity from Weyerbacher in the limited run series. Additionally, the introduction of Rapture, a sour in the vein of a Flemish Red, was a mass success.Not to mention the decision to reintroduce Blasphemy, a bourbon barrel-aged quad, which was on hiatus for several years. Weyerbacher also released the extremely rare barrel-aged beer Idiot’s Drool, a version of Blithering Idiot that laid rest in bourbon barrels for about 4 years.

Best Brewpub
Iron Hill

Best Bar in Philly
Standard Tap

Best Bar in the Burbs
Hulmeville Inn

The Hulmeville Inn has been a force to be reckoned with in our annual awards. This year, competition was fierce between the now 3 time winner and The Iron Abbey, a relatively newer destination that put up quite a fight. Fortunately for the Hulmeville, their dedicated and loyal following of regulars helped keep it on top. And why is the Hulmeville such a great place? It could be the fantastic selection of beer. It could be the awesome outdoor deck and grill open during the summer. It could be the wayJeff, owner of the Hulmeville, personally welcomes his customers like friends to his home. But generally, it’s the feeling of the bar being a neighborhood destination where every time you visit, you’re in a room with friends.

Best Bar in NJ/DE
The Pour House

Since opening its doors, The Pour House has become the go-to destination for beer drinkers in South Jersey. If it is rare one-offs or limited releases you’re looking for on tap, and they made their way to the state of NJ, The Pour House is probably the place to find them. If their 20 taps aren’t enough for you, they also boast one of the best bottle selections in area. Along with a handful of other nearby bars, they have helped establish Westmont as one of the premier areas in New Jersey for craft beer.

Best European Bar
Monk’s Café

Best New Bar

An implant from Brooklyn, Barcade® opened towards the end of 2011 to a booming reception. The mix of craft beer bar and classic video game arcade lets hipsters and beer lovers alike shoot down some Space Invaders with a pint in-hand, marrying childhood nostalgia with a love of a craft.

Best Bar Food
Monk’s Café

Best Happy Hour
South Philadelphia Tap Room (SPTR)

Best Beer Distributor in Philly
Bella Vista

If you’re looking for the widest selection of craft beer cases in the city, look no further than Bella Vista. Bella Vista is committed to carrying the absolute widest variety of craft and import beer offerings which is undeniably what makes then the best in the City of Brotherly Love and deserving of this 3rd annual win.

Best Beer Distributor in the Burbs
Beer Yard

What Bella Vista is to the city is what the Beer Yard is to the ‘burbs. Located in Wayne, the Beer Yard offers every beer imaginable, including many limited edition beers not easily found. Their staff is extensively knowledgeable on craft beer and makes it a point to keep their regulars well-informed on new releases and beer happenings in the area. Beer Yard is now a 3 time award winner.

Best NJ/DE Beer Store
Total Wine& More

Best Bottle Shop in Philly
The Craft Beer Outlet

Best Bottle Shop in the Burbs

Best Homebrew Shop
Keystone Homebrew

Best Bar to Watch a Game
City Tap House

Best Entertainment Venue
Citizens Bank Park

Best Beer Writer
Lew Bryson

Best Tap Handles
Dogfish Head

Best Label Art

Best Beer Festival
Philly Craft Beer Fest

Best Beer Event
Sly Fox Goat Races

Best IPA/Pale Ale
Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale

Best Stout/Porter
Victory Storm King

Best Lager
Victory Prima Pils

Best Barrel-Aged
Weyerbacher Insanity

Best Belgian Style
Weyerbacher Merry Monks’

Best Seasonal
Tröegs Nugget Nectar

Best Fruit/Spice Beer
Tröegs Mad Elf

Best Wheat
Tröegs DreamWeaver

Best Session
Yards Brawler

In the last year, there has been a substantial push by people in the beer community, in many ways led by Philly’s own Lew Bryson, to give the session beers a more deserving place among its higher ABV counterparts. With that said, a stand-out of Philly beers is Yards Brawler, an English style ale weighingin at only 4.5% ABV with robust and full flavors, making it the perfect beer for a casual pint or for the back yard barbeque.

Philly Tap Finder Award
Tröegs Nugget Nectar

Over the course of the year, Philly Tap Finder has developed a huge following in the area. It is the go-to source to find out what bars have on tap or where your favorite beer is on draft at the moment. In celebration of this great website, we have created a new award to give to the local beer that is most searched on their site over the past year. Coming as what may notbe a shock to most, the highly sought after Tröegs Nugget Nectar is the inaugural winner of this, along with the seasonal of the year award.

Industry Awards
The Industry Awards marks a new category in beer awards for the Best of the Philly Beer Scene. These two categories were exclusively opened up to members of the local beer industry for voting throughout the duration of the polls.

Brewery Rep of the Year:
Mike Lubieski- Weyerbacher

Wholesaler of the Year
Origlio Beverage

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