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A beer-truck strike during Philly Beer Week?

That's the fear. But negotiations have just begun between Local 830, which represents drivers, and the bigger beer distributors in town.

Contract talks are always surrounded by threats, rhetoric, and assorted huffing and puffing.

On the eve of Philly Beer Week, there's been some hyperbole floating about a possible Teamsters strike against the city's big beer distributors. Delivery truck drivers for such giants as Origlio, Muller, and Penn are represented by Local 830.

Local 830's contract with the Delaware Valley Importing Distributors Association expires at 12:01 a.m. June 12 -- in the event's final weekend.

Beer customers (e.g. bar owners) served by the union drivers got this memo, headlined "Beer Contract Alert," from an attorney representing the distributors. It urges customers to stockpile beer in case of a strike.

It should be noted that most bars will get their Beer Week deliveries of some highly sought-after brews well before the deadline.

But Adam Ritter, who owns Sidecar and operates the new Kraftwork, says he has been stockpiling as much beer as he can in anticipation.

A rep for Local 830 said that negotiations began today. The local has never in its 68 years gone out on strike against the distributors.

Fred D'Angelo, the attorney representing the distributors, did not return my e-mail message.