The annual Philly Beer Week festival kicked off Friday with a Philly Roller Girl led bar-hop. The tour stopped at The Grey Lodge in Mayfair with the Hammer of Glory (HOG) in tow. The hammer is the symbol of Philly Beer Week.
The Grey Lodge participated in all of the previous Philly Beer Week celebrations, which began in 2008. Each year they pick a new theme for the event.
“Every bar tries to do something really cool,” said Mike Scotese, owner of The Grey Lodge. “The bar has been raised really high. So this year we’re doing Ferris Beerler’s Day Off.”
Scotese dressed up as Ferris Bueller, err Beerler. Others played the roles of Cameron Frye and Principal Ed Rooney. A white Corvette filled in for the red Ferrari after the Ferrari’s owner bailed at the last minute.
The festivities started when the Philly Roller Girls arrived with the two-foot long, ten-pound hammer.
“We had a group of five of us,” said Lynzee Coble, a four-year member of the Philly Roller Girls, “so we got to switch off hammer-carrying duties.”
The Grey Lodge staff wasted no time when the HOG arrived as they got to spend less than 15 minutes with it.
“We’re recreating one of the key scenes in the movie,” Scotese said, “[which] is when Ferris is on the parade float and he lip synchs to ‘Twist and Shout.’”
Scotese led a group including Grey Lodge regulars riding a bus following the HOG and women on roller skates in a three-minute dance to the Beatles version of “Twist and Shout” in the bar – all while holding the HOG on his shoulder. The party ended when Principal Ed Rooney ran in to the bar.
The procession continued to Philly Brewing Company in Kensington in the Corvette with “Ferris Beerler,” “Cameron Frye” and, of course, the HOG.
But while everyone enjoyed the spectacle, many just came for the beer.
“We come here a lot because we like it,” said Mike Matijkiw, of Rhawnhurst. “The beer is always rotating, great variety. It’s not that often you get the same beer twice and I like to taste a lot of different beers.”
The Grey Lodge has been providing that experience for close to 20 years now.
“I added craft beer…in ’96,” Scotese said. “Now we’re a neighborhood bar with world-class beer.”
Philly Beer Week runs through June 8.
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– Text, images and video by Bob Stewart and Jeff Neiburg