Subscriber Exclusive

Beercation: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Beer Done with Intensity (and a Wry Sense of Fun)

Tara Nurin Jun 15, 2015 - 13 min read

Beercation: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Primary Image

As an epicenter for nineteenth-century brewing, Philadelphia seized hard on this century’s beer resurgence long before most East Coast cities had even caught a hops-scented whiff. Brewing pioneers such as Carol Stoudt of Stoudts, Rosemarie Certo of Dock Street, and Tom Kehoe of Yards Brewing still help set the pace for the Philadelphia region, which continues to set standards with its breweries, bars, and Belgian connections. As with everything, including their sports teams, Philadelphians do beer with intensity. Unlike with their sports teams, with their beer, they also add a wry sense of fun. You can walk into almost any bar on almost any corner and find at least one local knob and a “Citywide Special”—a shot of whiskey and a PBR chaser.

“Almost every section of Philly has a little brewery now, and there are so many more in planning,” marvels Kehoe. Because it’s so hard to wrap your lips around the breadth of beer in this region, it’s practical to concentrate on a few walkable neighborhoods.

Northern Liberties and Fishtown

Said to be the bar that birthed the term “gastropub,” Standard Tap (below) is dog friendly and beloved for its rooftop brunch and burgers. The Tap’s local-beer-only policy first brought awareness to the native brewery scene and anchored the revival of Northern Liberties (NoLibs). “From day one we wanted this to be the neighborhood’s unofficial town hall, the neighborhood’s living room,” says William Reed, who launched Standard Tap in 1999.

Make & Drink Better Beer

Subscribe today to access all of the premium brewing content available (including this article). With thousands of reviews, our subscribers call it "the perfect beer magazine" and "worth every penny." Your subscription is protected by a 100% money back guarantee.