Lager-Loving Pennsylvania Brewers Celebrate German Brewing Heritage

Lager-Loving Pennsylvania Brewers Celebrate German Brewing Heritage


PHILADELPHIA, PA – Many people know that Philadelphia has been described as the best city in the nation for beer drinkers, thanks in part to the diversity of styles available here.  But, few realize that Pennsylvania leads the nation in the production of high quality German-style beers, and especially of lager-brewed beers, thanks to the region’s strong German cultural roots.  Pennsylvania’s craft brewers make more German-inspired beers than their peers around the country, who focus more on ales of British or Belgian heritage.  Plus, Pennsylvania is home to Yuengling, the oldest and largest American-owned brewery, whose name is nearly synonymous with lager on the east coast.

To celebrate Pennsylvania’s German brewing heritage, the German Society of Pennsylvania and the Philly Roller Girls are teaming up to host the 2nd Annual Bierfest on Saturday Feb. 23rd, 2013.  This lively and entertaining family-friendly beer tasting will take place at the German Society’s 19th century auditorium and library on Spring Garden St., only a few blocks from the historic marker identifying the site on which lager beer was first brewed in the United States in 1840.  Bierfest will feature a lively beer-garden vibe, traditional bluegrass music and dozens of delicious German-style brews from both Pennsylvania and Germany.

For beer geeks, history buffs and Philly boosters, though, the real action at Bierfest will be the ‘Brewer’s Discussion Panel’ at 4pm that will bring together some of the top brewers in the state to discuss how Pennsylvania is leading the nation in the production and appreciation of premium German-style beers and why such beers are poised to grow in popularity.  This presentation titled ‘Lager-Love and the Resurgence of Session Beers’ will be moderated by world-class sommelier and drinks author Marnie Old and will feature as expert panelists:

-Bill Covaleski – Brewmaster of Downingtown’s Victory Brewing Co.

-Andy Rich – Head Brewer of Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Brewing Co. [aka Penn Brewery]

-Artie Tafoya – Brewmaster of Harrisburg’s Appalachian Brewing Co.

-Lew Bryson – Beer and Whiskey writer and author of ‘Pennsylvania Breweries’

-Lars Dahlhaus – Legacy Brand Manager for St. Killian Importing

“In the beer world, German styles are the most popular by far, with over 90% of the world’s beer made in the image of lagers that trace their roots to Germany,” says brewmaster Bill Covaleski.  “Among American states, Pennsylvania has the longest history of German immigration and the strongest bonds to German culture.  It is no surprise, then, that it is the brewers of Pennsylvania who lead the nation in the production of high-quality beers made in the German style – from quenching lagers to artisanal doppelbocks and everything in between.”

“Premium craft beer has racked up year after year of double-digit growth, but remains a small percentage of the total beer market,” says author Marnie Old, who speaks on beverage topics across the country.  “The British-style and Belgian-style ales that dominate the craft landscape are far more bitter, more alcoholic, more caloric and higher in sugar than lighter, crisper German-style lagers.  They appeal to a niche audience, but haven’t proven to hold mass appeal.  Most beer drinkers prefer refreshment over power, and more and more are beginning to look for higher quality versions of the most popular styles.  Pennsylvania brewers are poised to lead the nation as more attention swings to German-inspired lagers and pilsners.”

Is it time for a lager revolution?  Have the German styles spent too long out in the cold?  Can Pennsylvania hold onto its lager-licious lead over other brewing states?  Join some of Pennsylvania’s leading brewers to find out what they think on these and other questions at Bierfest 2013.

[Media access can be arranged on request.  Brewers of Pennsylvania president Bill Covaleski and Marnie Old are available for further comment before the event.]


Date:  Saturday  February 23, 2013

Location: German Society of Pennsylvania ▪ 611 Spring Garden St.  Philadelphia, PA  19123

Main Beer Tasting Event in Barthelmes Auditorium – 1pm to 5pm

Brewer’s Discussion Panel in the Horner Memorial Library– 4pm to 5pm

VIP Seminar – 12pm to 1pm   [VIP Ticketholders only]

Tickets: Online Sales – www.PhillyBierfest.com   By Phone – 215-627-2332

$45 General Admission  $60 VIP Package – Main Event plus VIP Seminar

$20 ‘Beer-Less’ Admission for Designated Drivers    $30 Seminar Only / No Admission to Main Event


Contact Info

Company: German Society of Pennsylvania
Contact: Beate Brockmann
Email: info@germansociety.org