The number of small breweries with Philadelphia city limits is due for a welcome increase. Saint Benjamin Brewing Company in Olde Kensington is hooking up electricity and equipment. The three barrel nanobrewery should begin beer production in late May, in time for Philly Beer Week. Meanwhile, out in Brewerytown, Crime & Punishment Brewing Co. has its space hosting some special events and is scheduled to officially open this summer.
The timetable of Crime & Punishment’s scheduled opening would be envied by most start-up breweries. As an entity, the brewery’s Dostoyevsky-inspired name was officially registered with Pennsylvania just in October 2013. It already has a seven barrel system, a brew pub license, a chef, a tentative menu, and a scheduled opening date of August 1, 2014.
Mike Wamboldt, who came up with the concept, writes the recipes for the beers, while he has a partner act as the head brewer. The menu will feature, of course, Russian street food items such as perogies and Russian-style vegetables including pickles and brined cabbage. Its brew pub license will enable sales of the beer on-site and eventual distribution to local bars and restaurants.
At a beer sampling and film screening it hosted at its storefront space on Girard Avenue, Crime & Punishment had three beers pouring, including the brand new Pull of Gravity (a pale ale with some bite named after the film being screened), Double Jeopardy (a dunkelwizen) and 100 IBUs to Life (a fresh-tasting imperial IPA).