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Summer Ale Festival at the Philadelphia Zoo

Summer Ale Fest at the Philadelphia Zoo

Beer and the zoo, is there a better combination? The Summer Ale Fest on Saturday, July 16th at the Philadelphia Zoo was just that perfect combination. Over 40 breweries from the region were represented, sampling hundreds of different beers while guests strolled through the animal exhibits.

Want a drink a grapefruit IPA and see the tigers? Or maybe a hard apple cider and check out the reptiles? You could do all of that, and so did the hundreds of other people who attended this “zootastic” event!

The energy was fun and lighthearted as you walked through the entrance. Music was playing, crowds gathered, and people were buzzing throughout the zoo with beer in hand. If there was ever a great way to keep cool during this hot and humid summer, this was the perfect event to attend.

There were stands stationed all over the zoo, so one could walk and see different animals, while hitting up the different breweries along the way. Featured exhibits were the Rare Animal Conservation Center, the Reptile and Amphibian House, PECO Primate Reserve, and (my favorite) the First Niagara Big Cat Falls.

Each brewer featured 2-3 of popular brews and new creations. Some creative standout beers of the night were: Gin Cider from Wyndridge Farm Brewery and the Frazzle Dazzle from Evolution Craft Brewing Company. The cider was sweet and sparkling, but had a bit of bitterness to balance out the taste. The Razzle Dazzle was a framboise (French for raspberry) that tantalized the taste buds; it was bright, fresh, and a change of pace from heavier beers.

If sweet isn’t your taste, there were many types of IPAs such as the local favorite from Yards Brewing Company, as well as lagers from Sameul Adams or Yuengling and different summer shanies from the Traveler Beer Company. There was a selection for everyone, and the event did not disappoint in its selection.

While the focus was on the beers, the food and entertainment were a huge hit. Food trucks were stationed along the way and included some trucks like the awesome Mac Mart and other delicious comfort foods. The KickBax Band provided the music for the night under a string light-lit tent and played everything from old rock favorites to today’s dance music. The lively music had people dancing, sampling, and having a good ol’ time all night long under the tent.

If you missed the event, but want to check out all of the breweries there, here is a complete list.

What’s your favorite type of beer to cool off during a Philly summer? Tell us in the comments!