By BRIAN BINGAMAN
Nothing soothes the fatigue of a hot day quite like a cold beer.
This summer, discover some new favorites and beer brewers that are right in your back yard.
♦The fifth annual Lansdale Beer Tasting Festival is set for noon to 5 p.m. June 28. Tickets are $40, $10 for designated drivers and $75 for VIP tickets. For $125 get VIP tickets, which includes the Brewmaster Series, with a special presentation by Victory Brewing Co.’s Bill Covaleski, specialty and rare beers, and food pairings, from 7 to 9 p.m. June 27. Visit www.lansdalebeerfest.com or follow @LansdaleBTF on Twitter.
♦The Philadelphia Zoo Summer Ale Festival has more than 40 regional craft brews and live music 6:30 to 10 p.m. July 19. New for the 2014 festival will be food trucks parked right inside the zoo, which is off of West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia. Tickets include a souvenir tasting cup, free parking and shuttle from 30th Street Station. Tickets are sold online in advance only at www.philadelphiazoo.org. Cost is $55 ($300 for six tickets), $90 for VIP tickets, $25 for designated drivers.
♦Sample local and craft beers at the Indian Valley Public Library, 100 E. Church Ave., Telford, with Indian Valley Beer Fest 2014, set for 5 to 8 p.m. July 26. VIP tickets are $65 ($50 is tax deductible) and include Beer Garden access at 4 p.m., catered food, one-off and limited specialty beers and a souvenir beer glass. Food is not included with regular admission tickets, but will be available for sale. Get an early bird discount through July 19 for $35 ($30 is tax deductible). After the 19th, tickets are $40 ($30 is tax deductible). Designated Driver tickets (includes food voucher and one soda) are $10. Visit www.brewsforbooks.org.
Entries are still being accepted for the festival’s Indian Valley Home Brewer’s Competition. Qualifying brewers receive two free tickets to the festival, and the first, second and third place winners receive Keystone Home Brew Supply gift certificates. Entry forms must be submitted by July 14. The Pre-Qualifying Tasting is held July 16. For guidelines and an entry form, visit the website or call Lisa at (215) 279-2176.
♦Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America makes a stop in the area noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 2 at Penn Treaty Park, 1341 N. Delaware Ave., Philadelphia. Besides an armada of craft brewers from across the Mid-Atlantic region, there will be 12-packs of special collaboration beers, created by the Chico, Calif.-based Sierra Nevada and selected craft brewers (including Downingtown’s Victory Brewing). Tickets are $65, $30 for designated drivers. See http://beercamp.sierranevada.com/festival/mid_atlantic_edition.
♦Held Oct. 11 this year, The Kennett Brewfest in downtown Kennett Square has been known to sell out. So check www.kennettbrewfest.com for ticket availability for this rain or shine event with food and music. Doors open at noon for the Connoisseur Tasting and the regular festival begins at 2 p.m. All taps will close at 6 p.m. Your ticket will be scanned at the entrance, where you will receive your tasting cup. Tickets are transferable; however tickets are non-refundable.
Brewpubs that make their own house beer on the premises are even more prevalent in the Bucks-Mont area than you think.
♦Every third Friday of the month is Firkin Friday at the Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery, 520 Kimberton Road (Route 113), Phoenixville. To find out what will be available from the hand pumps, call (610) 935-4540.
Free tours of Sly Fox’s Pottstown Brewery, 331 Circle of Progress Drive, Pottstown, are held at 2 and 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. You have to call (484) 300-4644 for reservations.
♦Free Will Brewing Co., 410 E. Walnut St., Perkasie, offers free tours at 1 and 3 p.m. Saturdays. Reservations are not needed unless you’re in a group of eight or more.
♦Prism Brewing Co., 810 Dickerson Road, Upper Gwynedd, invites you to pair their beers with locally-produced Bespoke Bacon from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays. Sign up for tours held at 3 p.m. Sundays. Cost is $5 and includes one beer. Call (267) 613-8572. Hear live jazz with the International Bitterness Units starting at 9 p.m. every Thursday.
♦Tired Hands Brewing Co., 16 Ardmore Ave., Ardmore, has some wildly-titled beers on tap, including Go Ride a Bike IPA, Exploding Nuclear Cauldron, Experience Neutral Chamber, Only Void Imperial Stout, Modern Artisanal Tragedy Saison, and The Creative Type Double IPA. Call (610) 896-7621.
♦Triumph Brewing Co., 400 Union Square, New Hope, has Summer Blonde, Amber Ale, Kinder Pils, Irish Dry Stout, Bengal Gold IPA, Abbey Trippel and English IPA (hand pump) on tap, along with a schedule of live music, trivia, Texas hold ‘em, cornhole, an open jam and more. Check www.triumphbrewing.com.
♦Now on tap at Vault Beer Co., 10 S. Main St., Yardley, are Bravo Wheat, Chinook IPA, Meridian Blonde, Rye Stout, Simarillo IPA and St. Celeia Bitter. Live jazz can be heard Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Call ahead an hour in advance for seating at (267) 573-4291.
♦Round Guys Brewing Co., 324 W. Main St., Lansdale, features a jazz jam Wednesday nights. Check what’s on tap at www.facebook.com/Roundguys.
♦G.G. Brewers Restaurant & Brewery, 282 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside, has a Thirsty Thursday special on pitchers of their Keswick Light, Red Light and Amberly Eyes. Their website says live music is coming. Check out www.ggbrewers.com.
♦Conshohocken Brewing Co., 739 Elm St., Suite B, Conshohocken, has their India Pale Ale, Doll’s Eye Cascadian Dark Ale, Puddlers Row ESB, Pale Ale and Oak-Aged ESB on tap. Park in the large Quaker Chemical Lot past Sandy Street and East Elm.
♦Lafayette Hill has the Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery at 646 Germantown Pike. Check www.facebook.com/BarrenHillBeer.
♦Naked Brewing Co. is at 51 Buck Road, Huntingdon Valley. We presume they do not brew in the buff, but you can find out for yourself 5 to 9 p.m. Fridays and noon to 7 p.m. Saturdays, when they fill growlers.
♦Crabby Larry’s Brewpub, Steak & Crab House is in the Chalfont Village Shopping Center at Route 202 and Skyline Drive, New Britain. Visit www.crabbylarrys.com.
♦Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant has locations in Horsham Township, Media, West Chester, Phoenixville and more. Go to www.ironhillbrewery.com.
♦Harrisburg-based Appalachian Brewing Co. has a brewpub in Montgomery County, where they also make their own soda, on the second floor of the Collegeville Station building, 50 W. Third Ave., Collegeville Borough. Call (484) 973-6064.
♦In the King of Prussia Plaza is the Philly region Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery. Find out more at (610) 230-2739 and www.rockbottom.com/king-of-prussia.
Sources: www.ratebeer.com; www.thebrewholder.com.