After last year’s Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby adventure, with our fish-headed team of silver-caped bicyclists winning BEST ART for their incredible hand-cut designs, we knew we’d be back for more. But when planning began in February, we had no idea we’d be offered an awesome 4-seater surrey bike from the Franklin Institute—the very vehicle they won an award with 2 years prior. But we jumped at the chance to use the bike, rethink the engineering, and, well… strip it down to the bones and create something everyone can get behind. A giant beer can. Or, more precisely: The Hamm’s-ster.


The Kensignton Kinetic Sculpture Derby is part of an annual street-based art festival designed to bring the community together for food, fun, drinks and a giant mud pit at the end, all coordinated by East Kensington Neighbors Association (EKNA) and NKCDC. Each derby team is charged with building or designing a human-powered vehicle that’s also a piece of art. Thousands come out to witness the madness.


So, with a concept we brewed up special for the Philadelphia crowd (and cheap beer lovers in general), a couple 160 designers and a copywriter met in a Fishtown backyard each day for a couple weeks to teach themselves how to grease up bike chains, drill into aluminum, saw curved shapes in wood, and to do something that’s never been done before—-create a giant, 4-person-powered can of Hamm’s Premium Beer. We won’t say the inspiration came from our office tradition of beer Fridays, but we will say that Hamm’s is probably going to be present at all of them from now on.


The day went off without a single snag. Our costumes (t-shirts) arrived just in time, and the chain was just greasy enough that the vehicle didn’t screech the entire way. Cans jangled behind us. Classic rock tunes blared out the front. And, needless to say, every single person in the entire neighborhood was thrilled. And while we didn’t win anything this year with the Hamm’s-ster, we do want to give a shout out to our fearless friend and counterpart Robb Leef, who took home the Best Art award for his incredible lizard/alien mask, entitled “Reptilikus.” Congrats Robb, and congrats to anyone who loves cheap beer. This Hamm’s is for you.


Greg Puglese, Austin Addis, Ben Harrison, Sean Corbett, and a friend named Moy, with moral support from Patrick Fennessey, Patrick Macomber, and Steve Penning.

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