On Sunday November 20th, PAAFF ’16 will close our 9th annual film festival with a Hawaii-themed Closing Night Party. The evening kicks off with a screening of Mele Murals, a stunning documentary highlighting the power of art to inspire, transform, and connect. In addition to the screening, this event will feature a live mural painting, catering by Poi Dog Snack Shop, a limited-edition flavor ice cream by Little Baby’s, and tastings by five of Philadelphia’s most creative home brewers and members of HOPS (Homebrewers of Philadelphia & Suburbs), the area’s oldest homebrew club.
Two of the beers we’ll be sampling are ales. Matt Johnson—an archaeologist by training and currently a writing instructor at the University of Pennsylvania—is a recent addition to the HOPS club. He will be pouring his Akamu Ale. Akamu means “red earth” in Hawaiian, and this ale derives its russet hue from the addition of 1.5 oz of dried hibiscus flowers during the brewing process. Matt describes his beer as “light, refreshing ale with a bit of tart, fruit-like flavor.”
Our second ale artist and tap master, Jeremy Hancher, works as an environmental consultant. But he’s also an award-winning brewer. Most recently, Jeremy won first place awards in the highly competitive HOPS BOPS for both his Milk Stout and German Schwarzbier. This Sunday Jeremy will be unveiling a British pale ale he’s dubbed PAAFF Pale Ale. We’re particularly thrilled that Jeremy has chosen to name this brew in honor of our film festival, as he took first prize in the 2010 War of the Worts in the English Pale Ale category.
Nothing says “the tropics” like fresh fruit. But fruit is only one reason we’re so excited about Tyler Flynn’s contribution to our party. Although he is a specialist in U.S. History at Eastern University, Tyler has brewed Mango Saison—a multigrain, Belgian-style farmhouse ale with a touch of mango—to pair with Poi Dog’s Pacific-fusion snacks. Considered one of the area’s rising stars in home brewing, Tyler has won numerous awards at both Philly Beer Week’s Extreme Homebrew Challenge and HOPS BOPS. Tyler has also written artfully about his journey from “ale consumer to ale producer.”
Michael Soo began brewing when his wife bought him a homebrewing kit from Home Sweet Homebrew for Christmas. Eight years and countless brewing medals later, this “breakaway star” in beer brings his knowledge as a doctoral candidate in Biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania to his brewing. While sour beers have only recently taken off in the Philadelphia area, connoisseurs have long prized sour ales, in part, because brewing them entails considerable time and a deft hand with tricky microorganisms. So make sure to sample Michael’s Sour Grapes of Wrath, a sour Flemish-style Brown Ale (Oud Bruin) fermented with concord grapes.
Finally, PAAFF is honored to be offering Blood on the Tracks—a hefeweizen/IPA hybrid using Mandarina Bavaria hops and a touch of blood-orange puree—brewed by Philadelphia’s own beer legend, George Hummel. Both George and his wife Nancy Rigberg are the owners of Home Sweet Homebrew, and they have been award-winning writers, speakers, and homebrewers since 1986. They are the founders of HOPS and have been recognized for their part in making Philadelphia “the best beer city in America.” And in case sampling inspires you to try your hand at brewing, click on the keg for more information on HOPS and Home Sweet Homebrew.
PAAFF would like to thank all the brewers for generously donating their time and their talents. We offer special thanks to George and Nancy for allowing us to borrow their beer-serving equipment.