Back in the days of the American Revolution, our founding fathers met in taverns over pints of beer to discuss the future of the colonies. According to food critic Craig Laban, even 100 years ago, Philadelphia was considered the “Cradle of Libation,” due to its status at the time as the greatest brewing city in the western hemisphere.
The Prohibition of 1920 brought the beer boom here to an end — until now. Over the years, Philadelphia has reclaimed its position as one of the best cities for beer in the world, recognized by national publications like GQ as one of “The 5 Best Beer Cities in America” and more.
While you’re in town, visiting the breweries in Philadelphia is a must. Here’s a running list of ones you should definitely check out.
Yards Brewing Company
901 N. Delaware Ave.
Open since 1994, Yards Brewing Company in Northern Liberties specializes in English-inspired beer, with favorites like Philadelphia Pale Ale and their Ales of the Revolution series (featuring General Washington’s Tavern Porter and Thomas Jefferson’s Tavern Ale) available year-round.
2nd Story Brewing
117 Chestnut St.
Open since 2014, this Old City-based brewery and restaurant now operates under head brewer Jason Ranck, who took over from original head brewer, John Wible, in January. Enjoy house beers like Fritzie’s Lager (done in the Vienna style) and Declaration IPA, their flagship IPA made with four varieties of hops.
Saint Benjamin Brewing Company
1710 N. 5th St.
Named after Ben Franklin (who was a home brewer of beer), Saint Benjamin Brewing Company is a brewery and taproom based in Kensington. Year-round varieties include the Inca (a cream ale with Cluster and Simcoe hops), Foul Weather Jack (an English Mild Ale) and Wit or Witout (a classic wheat beer).
Evil Genius Beer Company
1727 Front St.
Founded in 2011, Evil Genius Beer Company recently opened a 6,000-square foot brewery and brewpub in Fishtown in March of this year. Their signature beers include the Purple Monkey Dishwasher (a chocolate peanut butter porter!), O’Doyle Rules (an “almost IPA,” falling in between a Pale Ale and IPA), and This One Time at Bandcamp (a double IPA).
Philadelphia Brewing Company
2440 Frankford Avenue
Philadelphia Brewing Company was founded in 2007 and is located in the building that Weisbrod & Hess Oriental Brewing Company called home in 1885. Their year-round beers include The Kenzinger (a light-bodied beer with German pilsner malts and American Noble hops), The Walt Wit (a Belgian-style white ale named after the poet Walt Whitman) and the Session IPA (a light beer with an alcohol content of only 3.9% ABV).