By Amy Childs

Today was a big day in Kensington, and not just because I enjoyed my 3rd tour of the Philadelphia Brewing Company (and you know, three’s a charm), but it certainly doesn’t hurt to hang out at the PBC for an afternoon if you want to catch wind of some of the latest gossip.
For starters, the co-founder of the Fishtown Beer Runners (FBR) – Eric (with a “c”) –  is leaving Philadelphia (insert sad music here) and his farewell BBQ is tomorrow.  If you weren’t invited don’t be hurt, I wasn’t either.  I think they wanted to keep the guest list small, to spare the expense of so many boxes of Kleenex. Using my finely-tuned skills of nosy-question-asking, I uncovered that David met Eric and his wife Becky at the Frankford Ave Clean Up Party BBQ – held right there in the Philadelphia Brewing Company.  Such serendipity! (Because y’know, there we were talking at the Philadelphia Brewing Company …. Get it?  Okay, let’s move on. ) As the story goes, Becky was wearing some kind of a radio shirt, David came up to her and said “Hey, I have a radio show,” and the rest is FBR history (insert romantic music here). Something I’d like to say in Eric’s honor is that, while his partner in crime turned into a maniac (a marathon every month? seriously?), Eric has remained a “casual runner and dedicated drinker” throughout the lifespan of the FBR club. Admittedly slowed down with a broken knee (acquired on the FBR/SPS xmas light run (think: cautionary tale!)), I think Eric displayed a fitting FBR approach by showing up the following year with his knee enclosed securely in bubble wrap.
I probed Eric and Becky for some dirt on David, but they came up blank. (Personally I chalk this up to lack of concentration over a lack of material.) I did get to hear about David’s first run – the Dash for Democracy – a race that went through the historic parts of Philly.  “He was so nervous” was all the dirt I got, although (admirably) Becky said I was free to invent dirt and blame it on her. “We’re leaving town,” she reasoned.  And so, I pass this literary license on to all of you: feel free to make up any dirt you want to about David April, and simply claim that Eric and Becky said so.
Eric and David at the Dash For Democracy.
Okay, but why else was today a big day in Kensington?  Because – yes that’s right – today was Fleur de Lehigh’s first day of production!  I could’ve thrown my mouth right under that gushing tap, if only those bottling sharks hadn’t had such a watchful eye on us suspicious tourists.  They were right to be vigilant… my motives were not pure, and I can’t have been the only one.  But the moral of this story is twofold: 1) Fleur de Lehigh! and 2) spring must surely be on its way.
Okay, I admit it, that’s all the Big Day news I got.  But while I have your attention, I did learn an interesting tidbit that qualifies the first FBR run in March as another Big Day, and that’s because….
Next week the Fishtown Beer Runners are gonna be on TV (If you could, please read that in an appalachian drawl, preferably using the voice of Kenneth from 30 Rock).  If you haven’t yet enjoyed your lifetime’s Five Minutes Of Fame, be sure to gather at David April’s house by 7pm (“sharp!”) on Thursday and you’ll be a part of this historic taping of the run to O’Reilly’s Pub, to be aired on  6 ABC’s “FYI Philly” on March 12th at 7 pm and re-airs Sundays at 11:35 pm after the late news.

But back to me and to the PBC tour. Have all you FBRunners done this tour at least once?  Because let’s keep it real: if you’re a fan of Philadelphia, a fan of beer, and a fan of David April – then you have absolutely NO excuse to miss it.  I took my reporter’s notebook with me on the tour with the intention of capturing pearls for the blog, but was so engrossed in every educational and entertaining word coming from DNA’s mouth that I lost track of my pen. I did however have the presence of mind to record a few important things:

  1. There are 31 gallons in a barrel;
  2. Barley is to beer as grapes are to wine;
  3. Drink your beer fresh.
Did I mention that when you arrive for the tour you are given the opportunity to sample 6 of PBC’s delicious brews?  I had 3 of mine before the tour even started. (And it’s the craziest thing, but I swear I saw an enormous pig in there!!)
In closing I’ll share a quote, attributed to either William Penn, David April or Ghandi (I get them confused): “Philadelphia is known for its quality beer production, and its quantity beer consumption.” So do your part, Beer Runners!  You know you want to.