The Philadelphia region is blessed to have several excellent locally-based breweries. Some bars, such as Johnny Brenda’s Tavern and Standard Tap, exclusively serve only area beers on tap. Even with the geographic limitation, they still feature a significant variety of excellent beers.
Within Philadelphia city limits, in addition to a few brewpubs, there are two craft breweries: Yards Brewing Company (901 North Columbus Boulevard) and Philadelphia Brewing Company (2439 Ambler Street). Both beers have a significant presence at bars and stores selling beer.
Yards was established in 1994 and specializes in producing fine ales. Yards Brawler is a flavorful, malty dark ale. The Philadelphia Pale Ale is one PPA in Philly whose presence is welcomed by all. Yards also has the Ales of the Revolution series, which includes beers based on recipes of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.
Philadelphia Brewing Company only came into existence in 2008, but it’s become a mainstay on the beer scene. It pays homage to the region with its beer names and offers beer styles for most tastes. Among their year round beers are Kenzinger, which is a Kölsch-pilsner beer, and Walt Wit, a Belgian-style ale. Fleur de Lehigh, a seasonal beer that comes out in the spring, even features a picture of Connie Mack Stadium, the old home of the Philadelphia A’s and Phillies on Lehigh Street.
Interestingly, Yards and Philadelphia Brewing Company also share some history. The latter was formed after its founders resigned from Yards in 2007 and established the new brewery. In fact, Yards was previously headquartered in the Kensington facility (which itself is over 120 years old) that Philadelphia Brewing Company now calls home. Yards moved to its current location on Columbus Boulevard after Philadelphia Brewing Company started operations.
Both breweries offer tours on Saturdays with beer samples. Yards also has a tasting room that offers some light food and recreational games. If you’re looking for something cheap/free and fun to do on a Saturday, check out a beer tour at either of these fine breweries.
Nice summary of the history of these breweries. While both breweries make some respectable beers I have found most of their offerings unremarkable at best and a few undrinkable at worst. There are better offerings in other near Philly breweries (Flying Fish, Dogfish Head, Troegs, Sly Fox, Stoudts, Weyerbacher, etc..)
I just had some Weyerbacher Heresy the other day. Great stuff. DFH 90 Minute is also one of my favorite beers. I enjoy all those other breweries you mentioned as well; it just happens that none of them are within city limits. . .
I guess the wage tax and other city conditions (politics, etc.) keeps many of the brewers in the ‘burbs. Nevertheless Philly is a great beer drinking city.
BTW … Love Weyerbacher’s Merry Monks.