Philadelphia’s beer history is storied and colorful. Benjamin Franklin, Philly’s most famous politician, was an ardent beer-lover and some of his original recipes are used today. The city’s Brewerytown neighborhood was once home to hundreds of breweries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. And while breweries don’t line the blocks any longer, Philadelphia remains a destination for craft microbrews. Check out some of the best craft beer breweries in the city where the suds are always flowing.
MUST TRY: Love Stout, a creamy English-style stout with coffee and chocolate accents
TOURS: Free on Saturday and Sunday
Before Yards Brewing Company opened in 1994, no operational breweries had been open in Philadelphia for decades. With Yards, though, owner Tom Kehoe helped to spark a craft beer revolution in the city. Eight signature beers and an array of seasonals based on recipes by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington are crafted in the 100% wind-powered brewery. Check out the tasting room where visitors can play shuffleboard, shoot pool, or grab a snack while sampling beers.
90 N. Delaware Ave.
MUST TRY: Double Vanilla Strawberry Shake, an Imperial IPA with double the fruit, double the vanilla, and double the hops of its original iteration
TOURS: No tours, tasting room open Tuesday through Sunday
Though outside the city proper, Tired Hands Brewing Company is just a 20-minute train ride from Center City. And that train ticket is worth it—the self-dubbed “strange and beautiful” Tired Hands brews are well-known around the nation. The Belgo-French cafe and brewery has won some of the world’s most prestigious awards, and was one of the best new breweries on earth according to ratebeer.com. Rotating beers have included smoked sour saisons, blueberry imperial stouts, and milkshake IPAs. Visitors can also enjoy culinary options like charcuterie, candied bacon, and house-brined, whiskey-pickled snacks.
16 Ardmore Avenue
MUST TRY: Joe Coffee Porter, a coffee-flavored ale with espresso added at the brewery
TOURS: Free on Saturday between noon and 3 p.m.
In the facility that was once constructed as the Weisbrod & Hess Brewing Company, Philadelphia Brewing Company brews up a variety of microbrews. Four hand-crafted ales—the Kenzinger, Newbold IPA, Rowhouse Red, and the Walt Wit—pay homage to Philadelphia and imaginatively combine flavors. Seasonal styles like ciders and a pumpkin ale round out a strong list of enjoyable local beers.
2440 Frankford Avenue
MUST TRY: Rye IPA, a dry and spicy American India Pale Ale
TOURS: Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., by appointment
Situated in a charming, converted firehouse, Dock Street serves up award-winning beers and tossed wood-fire pizzas. Traditional ales and lagers are complemented by alternative and experimental concoctions, such as a beer brewed with smoked goat brains as homage to Walking Dead. Takeout specialty bottles also include La Biere des Amis, a collaboration between a French and an American brewer.
701 S. 50th Street