I was originally going to be doing a preview of the second Tropicana Beer Week for another publication but I’m doing it here now. Anyway, after some of the coldest days of winter weather that I’ve experienced during the decade I’ve lived in South Jersey, next week looks like it might be warm enough for me to venture out of the house again, just in time for Beer Week.
From Sunday Jan. 12 through Saturday Jan. 18 over 20 bars, restaurants, and shops in The Quarter of Tropicana in Atlantic City will be doing their own specials and events celebrating all things beer. Last year’s had a good turnout, and this year they have some pretty cool stuff lined up.
“It’s going to be a fun event,” said Tropicana Vice President of Food and Beverage Ray Bertschy.
“It’s going to be a good week, we’re very excited about the dinners at Fin and Il Verdi, and Gary [Monterosso] doing his top five.”
Seafood restaurant Fin will be having a Flying Fish Pairing Dinner on Tuesday hosted by Flying Fish founder Gene Muller. For $75 you get a reservation for a five-course dinner paired with seven beers and. They’re New Jersey’s biggest craft brewery and make a ton of great beers, and I think their history is pretty cool. The full menu can be found on Flying Fish’s events calendar.
And on Friday, Il Verdi is doing an International Beer and Food Pairing with food and beer from six different countries, including Germany’s Warsteiner and Kingfisher from India.
The Broadway Burger Bar is not only doing a dinner on Thursday, but they’re also starting things off Sunday with a beer brunch. They’ll have dishes like bananas foster french toast with a variety of wheats and whits including Allagash White Ale. And at $20 per person, not a bad way to spend what should be a mild Sunday afternoon.
There are a couple opportunities to up your beer knowledge as well. On Saturday January 11, Anheuser Busch is doing Beer 101 at Tango’s Lounge, which sounds like a good chance for the unacquainted to find out how your beer is made and what goes into it.
And on Wednesday night at Top of the Trop, the beer expert and writer Gary Monterosso is presenting five of his favorite beers. Gary has been covering fine beers in the Philadelphia and South Jersey areas for a while and was actually on the History Channel as a beer expert. Dude knows his stuff, and this sounds like a good chance to learn from a master. His picks will be paired with food, and at $25 it’s an inexpensive way to really treat your palate.
A couple of my favorite bars in The Quarter are doing some great beer specials to celebrate Beer Week.
Firewaters has always been my go-to spot for craft beer in Atlantic City. They maintain one of the biggest and most extensive beer menus in the area. And this week they’re doing five dollar flights! For those who don’t know, a flight is a number (in this case four) of smaller pours of beer or wine, so you can try a bunch of different ones at once. It’s a really fun little bar, and if all the different names on the beer menu seem overwhelming, you can try them out four at a time until you find what you like. They have a few really good New Jersey beers on there too, including Carton’s Boat Beer.
Ri Ra Irish Pub usually has some good craft choices on tap, but this week they’re also doing $4 craft bottles, or six for $20. I hear a lot of people citing price as a barrier to the world of craft beer, but Beer Week specials like these can make it a little more wallet-friendly.
I really like the style of Tropicana’s Beer Week- it’s less of a beer festival, and more of a week-long theme for The Quarter. The Tropicana sets the dates and does special rates for the week, but other than that each bar or restaurant plans their own ways of celebrating it.
“We say we’re doing beer week or we’re doing bacon week,” Bertschy said. “And we’ll ask, ‘What do you want to contribute? What do you suggest?’”
Tropicana has the full list of events and specials here. Let me know if there’s anything in particular you’re looking forward to! I’m going to try to at least get to Firewaters but that Flying Fish dinner sounds awesome too.