Bowties are no longer limited to washed-up Vegas lounge singers, magicians and the uber nerdy. Instead, city-wide, secret-agent wannabes (and suburbanites too!) flocked to Philadelphia’s Ethical Society building in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, donning the sharp fashion accessory for a great cause – and to spend an evening sampling craft beer and fine food.

In early April, Rolling Barrel EventsMole Street Productions, and Henry A. Davidsen Master Tailors & Image Consultants collaborated to present the 2nd Annual Brews & Bowties fundraiser, an event encouraging ticket-holders to get dolled up and add a taste of flair to their standard suds-infused affairs.

While I could elaborate about the perfection of the guests and their gussied up dress that flooded the bi-level space of Rittenhouse Square, what’s most important is the evening’s featured beer and grub – am I right?!

Local heavy-hitting breweries including Victory Brewing Co.Yards Brewing Co.Philadelphia Brewing CompanyDock Street Brewing Co. and Triumph, satisfied thirsty fans with endless pours. From Victory’s Headwaters Pale Ale, to PBC’s commemorative 1892 Market Stout, Dock’s Super Saison (super, as in 10.3% ABV), and  Triumph’s Belgian Something Else, no tasting glass was empty as attendees sashayed through the fundraiser’s venue to the smooth jazz stylings of Luke Carlos O’Reilly.

But, the pour which sent me swooning over the first sip was Cabinet Artisanal Brewhouse’s spunky Marry Me in Goslar, a crisp gose concocted with a punch of coriander and a hefty helping of pink Himalayan salt. For the record, I am anxiously awaiting for brewmaster Terry Hawbaker to bestow on me a little more of his sour-brewing love. [A quick briefing for you Cabinet Artisanal newbies – the five-barrel brewery is based in Alexandria, Virginia, brewing up specialty beers for Philly’s Farmers Cabinet. Hawbaker is formerly of Bullfrog Brewery.]

As nothing goes better with full-flavored craft beer than luxurious food, the following highlights made this month’s event a success: Del Frisco’s melt-in-your-mouth filet sliders were the first to be gobbled up at the high-end soiree, and Farmer’s Cabinet’s pinch-perfect tuna tartare came in at a close second. Zsa’s Gourmet Ice Cream’s expertly calibrated chilled treats, swirled with brews special for the night, will–without a doubt–rock your world. We were tied between two favorites – the 1892 Market Stout Ice Cream and the Salted Caramel, regretfully neglecting to mash the two icy treats into one rockstar flavor.

Many members of the esteemed gang at Victory Brewing Company joined in for the affair as the Downingtown-based brewery acted as the presenting sponsor for the posh party. Their attendance supported Victory brewpub’s General Manager Matt Krueger’s campaign to be named Man of the Year for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, as did a portion of the event’s proceeds.

Continue reading up about the annual high-end craft beer tasting via our friend Chris Daguanno’s recent post on In Search of Beer, available by clicking here.

View more scenes from the 2nd Annual Brews & Bowties by clicking here. All photographs are credited to Bob Scott.