In case you weren’t already convinced that the Philadelphia area is home to one of the best beer scenes in the country, no less an authority than BeerAdvocate agrees. Today, BA founders Jason and Todd Alström flew their crew down from Boston to once again visit a good sampling of the city’s best beer bars.
The Alström brothers established BA as a way for beer enthusiasts to connect, support and promote good beer. In addition to general beer discussions through its forum, the website provides a pretty comprehensive database of beer reviews and ratings. If you’re visiting another city and looking for bars serving good beer, the BA website also features reports and reviews of bars and other places of interest. Its motto is “Respect Beer,” which is simple and yet a great way to live life.
On occasion, BA goes on the road to check out the local flavor. Previous trips have included the Great American Beer Festival in Colorado as well as two prior visits to Philadelphia. This trip’s rather ambitious itinerary included drinking beers at Grey Lodge Pub in Northeast Philly, Jose Pistola’s and Monk’s in Center City, Earth Bread + Brewery in Mt. Airy, Farmers’ Cabinet in Midtown Village and Khyber Pass Pub in Old City – all from noon to about 10 p.m. Fortunately, there was no need for a designated driver. As soon as they landed and checked into their hotel, they put away the keys to their rental cars and are depending on cabs to get from place to place. The BA crew liked the scene at Grey Lodge, which features a mix of neighborhood patrons and craft beer drinkers. While at Grey Lodge and Pistola’s, they enjoyed some of local beers, such as Dock Street and Sly Fox. At Monk’s, where I met up with them, BA took advantage of the phenomenal beer selection of beers not commonly found elsewhere. Some ordered the Mikkeller Red/White Christmas beer, while others took part in the Russian River Damnation on tap.
BA Magazine managing editor Courtney Cox believed that the Philadelphia craft beer scene was bigger than that of Boston, describing her hometown beer environment as much smaller than here. Indeed, she envied the distribution of Russian River and Bell’s to this area.
On Thursday, BA continues its road trip down to Dogfish Head in Delaware. Dogfish Head collaborates with BA to brew a specialty beer for BA’s Extreme Beer Festival, which is held every February.