I never really drive down to Philadelphia. I understand that it’s a great city for beer, but it’s a rare occasion when I can actually get down there. Living in Central/Coastal NJ, it always seems like a chore driving across the state into Southern NJ and then over the bridge. However, I decided that I needed to make an exception for the event that took place over this past week.
Monks Belgian Café was doing their annual Russian River tap takeover. However, instead of making it just a normal takeover, they decided to turn it into a benefit for childhood cancer. They were tapping kegs of Pliny The Younger, Pliny The Elder, Supplication, Damnation, Consecration, and Blind Pig. 6oz cups of Pliny The Younger were selling for $15 and all of the proceeds were being donated directly to Alex’s Lemonade Stand (http://www.alexslemonade.org). I found out about this tap takeover less than a week before the event was to take place and thought that this was probably one of the best ways to not only introduce this beer to Philadelphia, but also raise a great amount of money for such a noble cause.
I arrived at Monks Café at around 11:45am and was actually shocked to see that there wasn’t anyone standing outside. After hearing about the lines that formed at other venues when Pliny The Younger was tapped, it was surprising that there wasn’t the same ovation. However, considering that it’s a Monday and before noon, it sort of makes sense. Although the outside was desolate, the inside was very busy.
Upon walking into Monks, you were greeted at the door by the owner of the bar on your right who was collecting $15 from each person entering for their share of Pliny The Younger. On your left, there was about 40 glasses of the sought after beer waiting to be purchased. I immediately got my 6oz share, and went out to find a place to stand and enjoy it.
I can’t lie, Pliny The Younger was an incredible beer, but at $15 – even considering the charity aspect – I couldn’t justify purchasing another glass of it. I was very glad that I had the opportunity to try it, and was even gladder that trying the beer also benefited a great cause. Instead of getting another one, I decided to purchase a few pints of Pliny The Elder and Supplication. Both were fantastic beers – just as good as Pliny The Younger, but in their own way.
Besides the Younger tap, Monks was also raising money by doing raffles. There were four different raffles – each for a different prize – that they were selling for $10 a ticket. The odds of winning were obviously increased if you purchased more than one ticket and they only sold 100 tickets for each raffle. I entered for the American Rarities raffle, but lost. But again, it was all in good fun and was good to realize that although I lost, the money was going to a good cause.
Although I would have loved to stay at Monks all day, it became increasingly difficult to move and we decided that it would probably be best if we got out of everyone’s way. We drank the beers we came for and gave some money, but there was plenty more to see in Philadelphia.
I was told that Monks Belgian Café was able to raise over $10,000 and Russian River Brewery donated an additional $5,000 to Alex’s Lemonade Stand. It was a great event and a complete success.
Monks Belgian Cafe
264 S 16th St Ste 1
Philadelphia, PA 19102