Smorgasbeer (American Swedish Museum, Philadelphia, PA)

American Swedish Museum
1900 Pattison Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19145

Review Date: 7/21/19

Reported by: Pretzel

So The Beer Posse headed across the bridge on a rainy Saturday in July to attend the Smorgasbeer at the American Swedish Museum in Philadelphia, PA.  This museum is on beautifully landscaped grounds, and there is plenty of FREE parking!  Yes FREE PARKING!  How nice!  We’re used to dropping about $20 for various beer fest parking.  We weren’t quite sure what to expect, and were pleasantly surprised at how much fun we had.  First and foremost, the tickets were $30 per person, and $10 for designated drivers.  All the drinks and food were included, as well as a sampling glass made of real glass.  That beats the normal plastic crap we get at most Beer Fests, although the lst time we had an actual glass taster, The Stoutmeister broke his while playing a rather sloppy game of Beer Pong.  Amateur!  The food included a smorgasbord of Swedish delights (loved the Swedish meatballs!) as well as gourmet popcorn.  Also included was access to the museum itself, and if you partook of the museum trivia while touring, you were entered into a drawing for a prize.  There were also corn hole games, and some Scandinavian lawn games, but since it was raining, I’m not even sure these events happened.  For an additional cost, you could make a nice flowered headband, and there was a Chinese Auction with fun prizes.   There was a good DJ from WXPN playing great tunes, and many of the party goers were taking to the dance floor.

So since this was not a normal beer fest, and not knowing what to expect, I toned down my usual beer fest garb to beer and pretzel jewelry, and my trusted hand-painted beer and pretzel shoes.  Luckily I stashed my Beer Mug hat and beer sunglasses in my backpack, and soon added them to my ensemble once I saw what a fun crowd was in attendance.  What I particularly appreciated was the mix of beer, cider, and Swedish glogg.    And they weren’t your normal everyday Beer Fest brews and breweries.  A lot of them provided Scandinavian beers such as Carlberg’s Danish Pilsner, Omnipollo shoutao (A Swedish peach slush IPA and my favorite of the day), Sinebrychoff Finnish Porter, Sjoeblom Swedish Glogg (a mulled wine), and Einstok Icelandic Toasted Porters.  All these were new to me, and very delectable on the taste buds.  The Stoutmeister and I attended the Tutored Tasting lecture which featured representatives from about 6 of the featured breweries.  The sound system wasn’t great, so I couldn’t hear everything they were saying, plus this woman behind us was asking to take pictures of my shoes.  Samples from each brewery were distributed to the participants.  This was fun, but my only feedback is that 5 out of the 6 representatives gave us samples that we already had in the tasting tent.  Only 1 representative provided a wine (not beer) that was not available on the main floor.

Our trusty DD (Designated Driver, not Dunkin’ Donut) Princess wandered off to explore the museum.  B3, The Stoutmeister, and I were more focused on trying all the beer, and I am happy to say, I did manage to taste every one.  It was the perfect number of brewers.  Not too few, and not too many.  Although I must say, I did not try many of the ciders.  I like cider, but they are awfully sweet, and I can only manage a few before my teeth melt out of my head.  Soon B3 got a phone call from Princess asking him to bring her $10.  I told him if it was for bail again, just let her rot in jail for a few hours to teach her a lesson.  But apparently, she needed it to make her flowered headband, and all she had was a credit card.  Gee, I hope he didn’t tell her about my comment.  So B3 went off to find Princess, and the two of them took the museum tour, while The Stoutmeister and I continued our beer tasting and photo ops.  It’s really amazing how many people want to have a picture taken with you when you are wearing a beer mug hat on your head.  Plus I kept following the official event photographer around so that I could photo-bomb various photo-ops.  I feel like such a celebrity!  Of course, stupid me left my Brooklyn Orange Seasonal brew unattended for 2 seconds while I was posing with some fans for a pic, and that darn B3 chugged it down!

As the night was winding down I wandered down to the rest rooms, while the Chinese auction started.  Now normally I never win at these auctions, so I usually look for the lamest prize and put all my tickets in that one.  Once back from my pit stop, The Stoutmeister gave me our tickets and said we haven’t won anything.  Princess had won a cool prize of a 6 pack of Dog Fish Head beer (good prize for a non-drinker, right?) and a 6 pack of tickets to Eastern State Penitentiary.  Cool Beans.  As prizes were awarded, there was a small polite amount of clapping from the crowd for the winners.  Then it happened!  They called one of my numbers!  I scream “Bingo” and made my way up to the from to receive my awesome prize!  The crowd went wild, clapping and cheering for me!  See a beer mug hat does wonders!  Again I am a celebrity.  I won a beer mug full of Swedish Fish and $50 in gift certificates for Italian Water Ice.  Wow, that’s a lot of Italian Water Ice!  I didn’t remember bidding on that prize, but hey a win’s a win!  Anyone want to join me for a road trip to Pop’s Water Ice on Oregon Ave in Philly?

So we soon headed home after a fun evening at the Swedish History Museum.  Tack sjalv!


Available Activities:

  • Beer / Cider tasting
  • Tutored tasting
  • Games Station – Corn Hole, Viking lawn game Kubb
  • Flower Wreaths
  • Hot Food
  • Water Ice
  • Gourmet Popcorn
  • Raffle/Chinese auction
  • self-guided museum tour and tour trivia


Favorite Beers / Ciders of the Day:

  • B3 – Nice selection, but nothing really stood out
  • Pretzel – Omnipollo Shoutao – A Swedish Peach slush IPA
  • The Stoutmeister – Omnipollo Shoutao – A Swedish Peach slush IPA


Additional Posse Comments:

  • The Stoutmeister – I will do this again if available next year.
  • Princess – This was a really fun beer fest!  There was plenty for people to do besides drink beer.  It’s almost as good as the Zoo Fest which is my absolute favorite.
  • B3 – Best tasting glass yet!  Solid, heavy base!
  • Pretzel – That darn B3 chugged my Brooklyn Narajito Orange Peel Pale Ale!  >:(




Overall Pretzel Score (8.4 out of 10):  


Final Scorecard (click to open):  Smorgasbeer

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