Philadelphia is a beer-drinker’s town, and a recent boom in new places to sip suds proves it. From no-frills micro-breweries to large-scale motherships, these are the must-visit spots.Read More
17 Essential Philadelphia Breweries
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1. Wissahickon Brewing Company
An unpretentious, family-owned shop with plenty of reasons to visit: live music, bar games, beer yoga (yes, really), and regular food trucks. Wissahickon offers flights of eight beers and tours in a lively setting. This is a destination brewery on the rise, offering solid beers like the popular Kelpius Kave. Plus, the space is pet friendly.
2. Tired Hands
It isn’t necessary to leave the city limits for good beer, but in the case of this cult label, it’s mandatory. Having made an international name for itself among aficionados, there is a steady stream of pilgrims picking up growlers to take back to their beer caves. Why? The Belgian and French-style farmhouse ales here are some of the very best.
3. Philadelphia Brewing Company
Philadelphia Brewing offers one of the best local beer experiences, with a flight of five beers for $10and free tours on Saturdays. There’s a deck, occasional live music, and a friendly staff. Open since 2007, this is an essential Kensington mainstay.
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4. Saint Benjamin Brewing Company
This attractively trendy, shabby-chic brewery serves excellent food and offers tours on Saturdays. Experience flights of both seasonal and year-round beers in a space that feels more like a restaurant hangout that also happens to make its own killer suds.
5. Evil Genius Beer Company
Exposed brick? Check. Skylights? Check. Evil Genius boasts a hip, industrial-chic space in Fishtown serving tasty and inventive beers with names like #icanteven and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Head Was In a Box. Intrigued? Fortunately for enthusiasts, the limited-production beers here earn the right to be called whatever they want.
6. Crime and Punishment Brewing Co.
Named for the Dostoevsky novel, this relaxed brewery serves up Russian-esque fare like dumplings and a beet Reuben with Russian dressing. The beers on offer include fascinating rarities (at least in the U.S.) like Polish Grodziskie, made with smoked wheat. There are also more mainstream options, like their softly citrus-tinged pale ale.
7. Bar Hygge
Pronounced “Hoo-guh,” Bar Hygge lives up to its name with a cozy setting, alongside a lineup of excellent beers and a focused kitchen (confusingly, not Danish). Expect curiosities on tap such as a “sourdough” beer with rye, a lemon meringue IPA, and a banana-walnut stout.
8. Urban Village Brewing Company
Excellent brick oven pizza and outdoor fire pits make for a good game-day option at Urban Village. Sample multiple drafts in a setting with neighborhood brewpub vibes, and don’t sleep on the happy hour.
9. Goose Island Brewhouse
Chicago-based Goose Island likes to say its beers are “brewed for food,” so it’s good that the Philadelphia brewery outpost offers elevated pub grub including mussels and dry-aged hanger steak. Beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev bought the company in 2011, rendering it a poster child for either the staggering growth or sellout of the craft beer movement. Ultimately, inability to keep up with demand made for the decision to sell — and sampling a Sofie with charcuterie or a Matilda with pork, it’s easy to understand what the fuss is about.
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10. Yards Brewing Company
The massive Yards Brewing taproom is a sun-drenched and cheerful space designed for the whole family. An ambitious menu features foie gras poutine and even ramen: perfect for Yards enthusiasts who want to see where the magic elixir is made.
11. Roy Pitz Barrel House
A large octopus presides on the wall of Roy Pitz, a brewery a few short steps away from Union Transfer, making it an ideal spot before or after a show. A quirky urban space and a seasonal menu of salads and sandwiches make for a well-rounded beer tour stop.
12. Love City Brewing
Situated just down the street from Roy Pitz, the new Love City brewery features “approachable” beers (pilsners and lagers) in a 9,000-square-foot former industrial space. It’s an especially good spot for those weary of too-weird beers who want to imbibe in a charmingly arty and low-fi spot.
13. Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant
Local chain Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant just opened its 15th location in the greater Philadelphia area and this one is right downtown. The newest Iron Hill is part of the East Market development and includes an onsite brewery that can produce 900 barrels a day, seats for 275 thirsty (and hungry) patrons, and outdoor tables. The food menu is massive, with a section of gluten-free fare and several kid-sized options.
14. 2nd Story Brewing
Located in the heart of Old City, 2nd Story features a light-drenched room and a comfortable wood interior. It’s made for groups in the heart of Philadelphia looking for a place for snacks and true-to-their-style beers like tripels, stouts, and lagers.
15. Dock Street Brewery
The OG brewery in Philadelphia, Dock Street manages to churn out some of the best brews in the city while also serving some fine pizza. So while West Philadelphia may make this brewery a destination for many, the trek is well worth it.
16. Second District Brewing Company
This hip, convivial bar and brewery serves inventive beers and mighty delicious nosh in a rustic-chic warehouse space. Noteworthy vegetarian and vegan bar food (think: vegan pork rinds) pair with eight taps in regular rotation.
17. Brewery ARS
Relaxed, hole-in-the-wall vibes and short hours (open only four days a week) may keep the mainstream away, but that makes it all the better for true beer aficionados who know that twin brothers Sean and Andy Arsenault make some of the best beer within the city limits. Catch food trucks on site on select weeknights and weekends.