By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — What began as a salute to all things beer five years ago has grown into an annual rite of Spring. The fifth annual Philly Beer Week begins Friday evening.

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“It’s bigger than ever,” said Beer Week Executive Director Don Russell. “We’ve grown every year.”

Russell says more than 200 establishments will be taking part in this year’s ten day festival that begins with the ceremonial tapping of the first keg on Independence Mall.

“The Mayor will be on hand to tap the first keg during a public ceremony that’s for free,” he added. “It’s a festival featuring more than 30 local breweries inside Independence Visitors Center. And that’s just the kickoff. We’ll be going on with hundreds of events.”

Hear Paul Kurtz’s entire interview with Don Russell in this CBS Philly podcast:

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Everything from single brewer tap takeovers to beer and food pairings and meetups with some of the top brewers in the business.

Russell says Beer Week it seems like everybody wants to get in on the action.

“Delilah’s Gentleman’s Club. Delilah’s is now serving craft beer and they’re part of Philly Beer Week,” he said. “So they claim to have the most beautiful women in Philly Beer Week, I’m not going to debate that issue.”

Beer Week runs through June 10th.

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