By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The beginning of June marks the return of Philly Beer Week, the ten-day festival that draws thousands of craft beer lovers from across the country and around the world.

When Beer Week was first launched in Philadelphia ten years ago, co-founder Tom Peters says those involved were hoping to recruit about 25 participants.

“We ended up with nearly a hundred,” Peters said. “And we had about 300 events in the city, and it’s been growing exponentially ever since.”

Cities across the country and beyond have copied the format but Philly Beer Week remains the biggest and most popular.

Organizers have scheduled some special tenth anniversary events this year, including a Franklin Institute workshop on the science of brewing, a luau barbecue at Uptown Beer Garden in Center City and a nearly 2-mile run around City Hall, presumably to work off some of that beer gut.

Opening Tap at the Filmore remains the big kick-off event, but for the first time it’s being held on a Thursday rather than Friday. Dozens of local breweries will be offering samples. Tickets are $46 for general admission and $92 for VIP. Beer Week Co-Chair William Reed says they’re encouraging folks to take Friday off for this one.

“We’re gonna have live bands, we’re gonna have 40 to 50 breweries there sampling beers from all over the place,” Reed said. “You’re gonna have every single person that’s really somebody in the beer world in Philadelphia at that event, and I think everybody should join us there.”

A full schedule of events available at