Exclusive Summer 2018

The Story Behind Opening Tap’s Official PBW Beer: Saison de Pale

Try Saison de Pale at this year’s Opening Tap celebration at The Fillmore on June 1st or seek it out throughout the city during Philly Beer Week.

Every year, members of Philly’s beer community come together to try their luck at the beer prize of a lifetime: a trip to Belgium to brew the official beer of PBW. This year’s lucky winner, Nick Kilkenny chose Bryan Selders of Dogfish Head to accompany him to Brouwerij De Brabandere in Harelbeke, Belgium.

Bryan Selders of Dogfish Head (left) with Pieter Maes of Brouwerij de Brabandere

At first glance, a collaboration between Brouwerij De Brabandere and Dogfish Head might seem like an odd pairing. On one side is brewer Pieter Maes and the age-old brewery responsible for classics like Petrus Aged Pale. On the other side is Dogfish’s Selders and the beloved off-center brewery that churns out endless experimental beers year after year. But true to the old adage, opposites do attract, and together these minds dreamed up something special for this year’s PBW beer: Saison de Pale, a saison brewed with jasmine and finished off with a blend of Petrus Aged Pale.

“Pieter was interested in doing a saison because they don’t actually brew one at Brouwerij De Brabandere,” says Philly Loves Beer board member Ed Friedland, who attended the trip to Belgium as well. “It just so happened that Bryan had a GABF gold-medal-winning saison recipe in his back pocket from the days when he brewed at The Post, so it ended up being a match made in heaven. They really learned a lot from each other brewing this beer.”

In years past, the beers brewed in the lead-up to Philly Beer Week have been on the heavier side (such as last year’s hoppy porter Gravity Never Fails, or 2016’s Imperial porter Fire, Flood & Plague), but this new collaboration was brewed with summer in mind. “I think what’s great about this year’s beer is that it’s a warm weather drinker,” says Executive Director of Philly Loves Beer, Christina Dowd. “It’s a bit of a shift, but a purposeful move.”

Among those on the trip to Belgium to brew the official beer of this year’s PBW: Nick Kilkenny and his twin brother (far left), Christina Dowd, Director of Philly Loves Beer (back row left), Dan Leeman, Sales Manager for Global Beer (kneeling left), Ed Friedland of Origlio Beverage (back row middle), Bryan Selders, Dogfish head brewer (second from right) and Emmanuel Ghesquière, Export Manager of Brouwerij De Brabandere (middle).