A real beer drinker’s town since the very beginning, Philadelphia has played—and still plays—a crucial role in American brewing. In the past year-and-a-half alone, small to larger breweries have tremendously grown Philadelphia’s craft brewing scene.
Philadelphia’s well-established players have expanded into both exciting new digs (Yards) and experimental upstarts (Fermentery Form, Roy-Pitz Barrel House). Hyper-local neighborhood brewpubs have popped up, providing modern gathering places that nonetheless nod to colonial glass-clinking tradition (Love City, Second District, Urban Village, Wissahickon). Craft cideries (Hale & True, Original 13 Ciderworks) are entering the fold, offering an exciting alternative for local drinkers. And practically all of these beer-making operations inventively pair food with drink. Philly’s beer action is bolstered by a lineup of still-in-the-works concepts, a promising sign for the brewery boom.
New To The Scene:
Fishtown & Northern Liberties:
- Evil Genius Beer Co. – A significant name in the recent Fishtown food-and-booze boom, Evil Genius opened its doors in spring 2017, drawing drinkers from the neighborhood and well beyond with cheekily named craft-draft picks (#ICANTEVEN, Pics Or It Didn’t Happen) and a spacious, interactive atmosphere with board games, outdoor seating and live performances. 1727 Front Street, (215) 425-6820, evilgeniusbeer.com
- Fishtown Brewpub – As its neighborhood’s local and national profile expands, so grows its craft beer reputation. This pitstop, opened in summer 2017, is a welcome addition. The brewpub and restaurant focuses on English and German traditions, offering signature black lagers, IPAs, wheat beers and more. 1101 Frankford Avenue, (215) 990-1396, fishtownbrewpub.com
- Goose Island Brewhouse – The Chicago-based Goose Island Brewery, nowadays a brand under the international Anheuser-Busch InBev umbrella, has an eastern foothold in Fishtown with this open-floor-plan brewhouse and restaurant. The 28-tap beer selection includes recipes exclusive to Philly, including MFL, an India Pale Lager; and Spelt Correctly, a crisp, fruity saison. Beer garden opens mid-June. 1002 Canal Street, (215) 560-8181, gooseisland.com/brewhouse-philly
- Original 13 Ciderworks – A player in Philly’s fast-growing cider scene as of fall 2017, Original 13 was inspired by president John Kowchak’s grandfather, who taught his grandson how to do it right. In addition to their flagship Sir Charles Hard Cider, named in his honor, Kowchak and Co. serves a slew of craft ciders flavored with various fruits, plus local beer and spirits, and food. 1526 N. American Street, (215) 765-7000, original-13.com
- Urban Village Brewing Co. – In the heart of Northern Liberties, Urban Village is well-suited to satisfy two of humanity’s most universal cravings: beer and pizza. Customers quaff pleasantly hoppy IPAs like Huntingdon Drive creamy oatmeal milk stouts like Otis while chowing down on brick-oven pies, smoked wings and fried pickles. 1001 N. 2nd Street, (267) 687-1961, urbanvillagebrewing.com
- Yards Brewing Co. – Tenured and respected since launching in Philly in 1994, Yards debuted a brand-new headquarters in late 2017. Green energy completely powers the 70,000-square-foot combination brewery, taproom, restaurant (chef James Burke’s menu draws crowds) and event venue. Twenty beers on tap quench thirsts before or after guided tours, which take place seven days a week. 500 Spring Garden Street, (215) 525-0175, yardsbrewing.com
- Brewery ARS – Twin brothers Andy and Sean Arsenault started this small, independent West Passyunk brewery and cafe-style tasting room, focused on small-batching the styles they like best: dark beers, hoppy ales and saisons. ARS’ ever-changing lineup provides an incentive for return visits, as does the rotation of food trucks vending outside. 1927-29 W. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 960-5173, breweryars.com
- Hale & True Cider Co. – This brand-new cider company just off South Street on the border of Queen Village and Bella Vista pours a lineup of dry and off-dry draft ciders crafted from Pennsylvania apples. Their onsite taproom also serves beer, wine, cocktails and light bites to accompany their hyper-local handiwork. 613 S. 7th Street, (267) 639-4334, haleandtrue.com
- Second District Brewing Co. – A quirky, welcoming pint-pourer new to South Philly’s Newbold section, Second District came onto the scene in 2017, courtesy of the teams behind South Philadelphia Tap Room, American Sardine Bar and Nodding Head. The brewed-on-premises draft selection includes many unorthodox choices that shift with the seasons. The menu, from chef Doreen DeMarco, is similarly creative (vegan “pork” rinds, footlong corndogs, for example.) 1939 S. Bancroft Street, (215) 575-5900, seconddistrictbrewing.com
Callowhill & Spring Garden:
- Love City Brewing Co. – Melissa and Kevin Walter unveiled their new brewery and tasting room in early 2018, in a well-appointed Loft District warehouse space honoring the neighborhood’s industrial roots. Selection-wise, Love City provides both accessible flagship brews (Love City Lager), creative seasonal offerings (Eraserhood, a triple-hopped “hazy” IPA, inspired by former neighborhood resident David Lynch), light fare, “bottomless” bar snacks and food trucks (Thursday-Sunday). 1023 Hamilton Street, (215) 398-1900, lovecitybrewing.com/
- Roy-Pitz Barrel House – In addition to offering beers that originated at their Chambersburg, Franklin County, headquarters, Roy-Pitz uses this new, Spring Garden brewpub to experiment with small-batch, barrel-aged and sour beers. The colorful outpost offers a full menu and an extensive carryout selection. 990 Spring Garden Street, (215) 995-6792, roypitzbarrelhouse.com
- Fermentery Form – A pet project of three longtime friends that blossomed into a full-on North Philly operation, Form doesn’t actually brew on-site. Instead, neighboring St. Benjamin Brewing Company crafts wort to their exact specifications, which they then ferment, age and blend in a series of carefully monitored barrels. The result: crisp, refreshing beers, executed in the style of Belgian lambics and French farmhouse ales, that have garnered a cult following among the city beer cognoscenti. 1700 N. Palethorp Street, fermenteryform.com
- Wissahickon Brewing Co. – It’s a real family affair at this fast-growing East Falls brewery, run by founder/head brewer Tim Gill and an assortment of relatives, including his wife and four children. Available both in the spacious tasting room and to-go, their best-selling beers are named after well-known landmarks in the immediate area, like Kelpius Kave and Devil’s Pool. 3705 West School House Lane, (215) 483-8833, wissahickonbrew.com
- Borough Brewhouse – Open since the spring of 2017, the Jenkintown HQ of Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company has its main facility in Croydon, Bucks County. The brewpub offers 16 Neshaminy beers on tap, plus extensive lunch and dinner menus with muffaletta sandwiches and soft-shell crab tacos. 208 Old York Road, (267) 636-5858, boroughbrewhouse.com
- Locust Lane Craft Brewery – Extending the reach of new-blood craft brewing beyond city limits to nearby Malvern, Locust Lane offers a playground for suburb-based beer fans, specializing in lower-alcohol by volume, sessionable recipes that encourage multi-round exploration. Locust Lane’s menu comes from Nick’s Roast Beef, of Cottman Avenue fame.
50 Three Tun Road, Malvern, (484) 324-4141, locustlanecraftbrewery.com
- Kurant Cider – This small-batch cidermaker started out sharing space with Free Will Brewing in Perkasie, Bucks County and will graduate to its own HQ in Fishtown by mid-2018. Their product line, currently available in cans and on draft, includes options like the warm weather-friendly Arosé and Bees, a dry variety made with local honey. 436 E. Girard Avenue, kurantcider.com
- Separatist Beer Project –Separatist, an off-kilter brewing operation founded in Easton, Pennsylvania, plans an expansion into the city with a forthcoming concept just off red-hot East Passyunk Avenue. Joe and Laura Fay plan on opening their cafe and bar, selling their distinctive Euro-inspired beers plus food before the end of 2018. 1646 S. 12th Street, separatistbeer.com
- Iron Hill – Regional brewpub powerhouse Iron Hill, with 14 successful locations across four states, is poised to expand its imprint into Center City, as part of the ambitious, four-acre East Market mixed-use development project. The nearly 8,500-square-foot space is expected to be ready for business by late 2018. 1150 Market Street, ironhillbrewery.com
- Attic Brewing Co. – Germantown will get its first new brewery in more than a century with this project slated for early 2019, the brainchild of two married historians who started out home-brewing in an attic apartment. Laura and Todd Lacy’s in-the-works facility will feature a production floor and taproom split between 6,000 square feet; they are currently taking on public investors for the buildout via the platform WeFunder. 137 Berkley Street, atticbrewing.com
- Dock Street Brewery – This longtime local brewer and cannery will keep its firehouse-based West Philly spot while expanding to a 11,000-square-foot space on the border of Graduate Hospital and Point Breeze, for spring 2019. 2118 Washington Avenue, dockstreetbeer.com
- Workhorse Brewing Co. – Residents of King of Prussia, an underserved town as far as great local beer is concerned, will soon be able to raise a glass at Workhorse, the production brewery and tasting room targeting a summer 2018 opening. It’s a mammoth 70,000-square-foot space set to crank out a well-rounded product line from brewmaster Nate Olewine, formerly of Devil’s Backbone and Victory. 250 King Manor Drive, King of Prussia, workhorsebrewing.com
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