10 Best Breweries in Philadelphia

10 Best Breweries in Philadelphia

Philly is known as the city where beer brewing was born in the United States. We traveled to Philadelphia for a weekend to find the 10 best breweries. Our first stop was to find an IHG hotel near downtown Philly and close to the breweries to serve as a base camp after each long day of drinking research.

Tired Hands

Image via Tired Hands on Twitter

This brewery, located outside of Philadelphia, offers some of the most unusual flavors around. This beer is as good as gold, according to the underground beer trading world. The small-batch beers that the brewery distributes are inspired by the farmhouse style of France and Belgium as well as traditional American brewing.

Crime & Punishment Brewing Co.

Image via Beer Busters Podcast

The Russian literature-inspired brewery is bringing back West Philly’s old tradition of beer brewing while adding modern techniques and turning out Russian bar food to seal the deal. Opening a craft brewery that celebrates Russian literature was nothing more than a pipe dream until the brewer’s friends started tasting his experiments. With playfully named beers that pack unique flavors, like Indecent Exposure, The Guillotine, and House Arrest, this brewery aims to blend the once-great local brewing tradition with newer craft techniques and international inspirations.

Forest & Main

Image via Times Herald

Something special happened when the co-owners took their popular Kinch IPA and let it swelter in a Philly summer instead of a temperature-controlled chiller. What was already an award-winning hoppy ale suddenly revealed itself to be so much more than it first appeared. The citrus hops became more pronounced without the bubbles, and the bitterness found balance, yielding an almost creamy malt coming forward. This beer is not for the Corona crowd.

Earth – Bread + Brewery

Image via Visit Philly

From using reclaimed furniture to composting organic waste, the one-time owners of New Jersey’s renowned Heavyweight Brewing Co. are committed to reducing their footprint at this Philly spot. Here, they’re also creating wood-fired flatbreads and pouring a small selection of beers and wines on draft. Regulars know not to get attached to any particular beer style, as brewer Tom Baker almost never repeats a recipe. Earth makes its own microbrewed kombucha, too.

Levante Brewing Company

Image via Levante Brewing

Hailing from Italy, Levante rose up from two friends who brewed together and wanted to make beers in the exploitative tradition of the Old World. Their mission was to create the perfect beer in a three-gallon pot in the kitchen of a tiny apartment. At Levante, there are more than half a dozen beers on tap, ranging from IPAs to Belgian wits to an imperial vanilla stout. Levante Brewing currently brews on a 15 bbl production brewery system in West Chester, and it also services several local restaurants, pubs, and distributors.

Victory Brewing Co.

Image via Victory Beer

Victory Brewing Company tells its story through its hops. The brewers here use whole-flower hops for fuller flavor, as opposed to the pellet hops used at most breweries. Victory was founded by childhood friends who met on a school bus in 1973, and the two founded the brewery in 1996 in an old Pepperidge Farm factory. The brewery began to gain recognition with its very first beer, Victory Hop Devil, a hoppy IPA.

Manayunk Brewing

Image via Visit Philly

In the 1800s, Manayunk was an exciting mill town populated by skilled workers, weavers, tradespeople, and artisans. The brewery’s building was once a cotton mill that turned into a wool mill. In 1922, it was turned into Manayunk Brewing Company and Restaurant. Since then, this spot has brewed more than 600 different beers, selling many all around Philadelphia and New Jersey. The founder’s daughter took over the building in 2004 and runs the restaurant and brewery along with her business partner.

Second District Brewing

Image via Philly Beer Scene

This brewery, located across two floors of adjacent buildings, is a joint project from Philly’s Sardine Bar and the former Nodding Head. Ben Potts is the head brewer and has an impressive resume that includes positions at Tired Hands and Dogfish Head. A tasting of early beers includes a 9.5-percent ABV vanilla barleywine that’s way too easy to drink. A nitrogen-carbonated Vietnamese coffee stout called Huy is made with coffee from Ultimo, which has a roastery in the same building.

Dock Street Brewing Co.

Image via Visit Philly

In 1985, Dock Street Brewing Company was founded as Philly’s first all-grain brewery. Alongside traditional unfiltered ales and lagers are experimental styles, such as special releases like Walker, a beer brewed with smoked goat brains to honor the TV show The Walking Dead. Located in an old firehouse, the brewery features wood-fired pizzas, local wines, beer, and cocktails. It also hosts a popular weekly movie night.

Tröegs Brewing Co.

Image via Pinterest

Tröegs had some growing pains and had to move to a new facility that has two brewhouses. One is for daily production, and the smaller brewhouse has a pilot brew system for experimental beers. The Scratch Beer Series continues to grow, tallying more than 250 different brews with local and exotic ingredients.

No matter your beer palate, you’ll surely find some brews you love in Philadelpia. Love IPAs? You’ll find more of those in the hot summer months. More of a porter or stout fan? Winter months are known for these heavy hitters. Whats your favorite Philly brew?

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  1. Julia Dent
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