Philly Beer Trip #1: Only In Philly
Philadelphia has a massive beer scene (which I’ve mentioned before) and if you’re here for the beer, there are endless possibilities. The thing you’ll want to get out of the way first, though, is the stuff you can’t get anywhere else. And I don’t just mean breweries that are local to Philadelphia—you can still have a Philadelphian friend send you a bottle of Philadelphia Brewing Co. if you’re really craving it. This is about the beers on tap you can’t get anywhere else. Our trip will take us all over Philly, so either have a good pair of walking shoes or a few SEPTA tokens to help you out. There are five stops and a total of four-and-a-half miles to cover, so it will be easy to make an entire day of it.
A. JG Domestic
Cira Center, Ground Floor – 2929 Arch Street
JG Domestic may not be the best place to start, as it’s only open early Monday thru Friday, but we’ll assume you’re on vacation from out of town and you can do something like this on a weekday. It shouldn’t be a hard sell, either—you can enjoy a delicious lunch from Iron Chef Jose Garces while you enjoy the aptly named Jose Garces House Brew, care of Victory Brewing Co. The beer is a refreshingly light wheat ale—a perfect way to start your beery exploration.
Next up is Pub & Kitchen, which you can either walk to or, since JG Domestic is at the biggest train hub in Philly, you can hop on the eastbound Market-Frankford Line to 15th Street and walk from there, though the difference is negligible. P&K is the only place on the list to have a specially-made beer from someone outside of PA, featuring the English brown Pub & Kitchen Middleton Ale from Sixpoint in New York. Grab a beer and maybe a bar snack before you move on to the next—and most historical—stop.
C. McGillin’s Olde Ale House
1310 Drury Street
Your best bet is to walk, since McGillin’s is on a street that basically only exists for them. As the longest continually running pub in the city—now going non-stop for 151 years—the city of Philadelphia has been built around the pub. While you’re inside checking out the original liquor licenses hanging on the wall, order the 1860 IPA that Stoudt’s brews just for the pub. It’s a citrusy, not-so-hoppy IPA that will quench any thirst you’ve worked up.
The easiest way to get to Prohibition, if you’re getting a little tired of walking, is to go to City Hall and hop on the Broad Street Line northbound to the Spring Garden station, which will put you about a block from Prohibition. Here you will find the Hoppy Lil’ Hudson, an American IPA using citra hops, from Yards Brewing Co.—and you’ll find it on cask. The beer is slightly fruity and extremely easy to drink, especially from the cask, so you may want to have two (or three). Order a little food, because the longest haul is coming up.
E. Sugarhouse Casino
1001 North Delaware Avenue
Meander down Spring Garden until you come to the river, and then turn left and follow that until you come to the Casino. The latter part of the walk may not be much fun, but the walk down Spring Garden will offer plenty of places to stop, and once you get to Delaware Ave, you’ll pass by the Yards Brewery, where you can stop in for a tasting and a tour. If you don’t feel like walking, though, the 43 bus will take you all the way in 10 minutes. At the casino you can party all night if you so choose, and you can also get the Sugarhouse IPA, brewed by Yards Brewing Co. Grab a few pints of the crisp IPA while you gamble and party until the sun comes up.