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Best Local Beer

What's your opinion on local beer? I guess local in this sense can mean South Jersey and Delaware, too. Please, don't say "Lager" or Yuengling; I don't think it's any different from Bud in that it doesn't taste like anything---no, really, it doesn't. I just had Dogfish IPA 60 min, and it was just wonderful. I am wondering whether there is something better you guys can recommend? I know PA is a good brewing state. Is there a place where I can go to sample local beers in Philadelphia? All the beer geeks, welcome!

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  1. dock street brewpub in west philly....google for an address

    1. The South Philadelphia Taproom has a large selection of local, national, and international beers.

      http://www.southphiladelphiataproom.c...

      1. Standard Tap (Northern Liberties) and Johnny Brenda's (Fishtown) ONLY serve local beers (breweries located within 70 miles). Typically, beers from the following breweries will be available:

        Dogfish Head (DE)
        Flying Fish (NJ)
        Lancaster (PA)
        Riverhorse (NJ)
        Sly Fox (PA)
        Stoudt’s (PA)
        Victory (PA)
        Weyerbacher (PA)
        Yards (PA)
        Yuengling (PA)

        These are probably the best two places to “localize” on good Philadelphia regional beer served on tap. Both have solid food as well.

        24 Replies
        1. re: Chinon00

          Two places to go to taste local beers are: Standard Tap, and Greylodge Pub.

          Local beers to try include:

          Troeggs
          Sly Fox (especially their stout)
          Victory (try HopDevil)
          Dogfish Head (try their 90 minute IPA or their 120 if you can find it)
          Flying Fish (I really like their Farmhouse Ale)
          Yards (especially try their George Washington Porter)
          Weyerbachers (Blithering Idiot is great)

          Brewpubs to try include

          Noddinghead
          Iron Hill (I like the North Wales Branch)
          Sly Fox
          General Lafayette Inn
          Crabby Larry's
          Dock Street
          Triumph (in Old City or New Hope)

          And a note about Yuengling. I did a blind taste test a few years ago run by Lew Bryson (the author of Pa Breweries), and son of a gun threw Yuengling Lager into the mix. Yuengling holds up in terms of being an interesting beer, and having a nice balance. I will drink it on occasion, though I will only drink it on tap.

          1. re: cwdonald

            If you go to Standard Tap, the Foodery is right across the street - the best place in Philadelphia to buy local beers by the bottle.

            1. re: cwdonald

              I went to Greylodge Pub's website and they currently have four locals on taps (the other six on tap are outstanding beers but just not local as the OP requested). I suggested Tap and JB because ALL their taps are local ALL the time . GP doesn't provide a greater variety of locals beers on tap than either Tap or JB.

              1. re: Chinon00

                Both Standard Tap and JB are nice places as is Greylodge. And there are many places that serve local beer in the area. I personally find that the selection at Greylodge rotates frequently, and therefore its a worth place to send someone to try local beers. As is Southphilly Tap room, the Draughting Room (Spring House consistently has Victory Hop Devil or another local beer on cask). Bridgits is also notable for its down draught system which has often had Yards ESB on down draught. The point is that there are many places in the city that serve the great beers from the Philadelphia region!

                1. re: cwdonald

                  "The point is that there are many places in the city that serve the great beers from the Philadelphia region!"

                  Well I certainly agree with that. However, can you name for me any other places in the city where you can get 8 - 12 local quality craft brews on tap, all the time, without question, other than JB or Tap?

                    1. re: Boognish

                      According to the Grey Lodge website they are currently offering only four local beers on tap (Local in CAPS):

                      Rogue Hop Heaven
                      DOGFISH HEAD PUNKIN ALE
                      Schneider & Brooklyner Hopfen-Weisse
                      Barley Creek Angler Black Lager
                      VICTORY HARVEST PILS
                      Flying Bison Aviator Red
                      Ramstein Oktoberfest
                      YARDS ESA
                      Boulder Single Track Copper Ale
                      WEYERBACHER R & R

                      1. re: Chinon00

                        Grey Lodge has about 25 taps running at all times all with different beers (per their website). The list above is just a sampling of the beer they offer.

                        1. re: Boognish

                          And in your experience how many of the 25 taps are local craft (typically)?

                          Thanks,

                          Dave

                          1. re: Chinon00

                            At least a quarter if not more. It does vary. I like that in addition to the rare (ish) local beers they carry on a regular basis, they carry a lot of beers you simply cannot find in the city.

                            Personally, I don't get up there very often, but am always happy I made the trip once I have. Friday the Firkinteenth shouldn't be missed. All of that said, I frequent Standard Tap and Jonny Brenda's more often, mainly due to their proximity to me. But if you haven't been up to the Grey Lodge, go!

                          2. re: Boognish

                            Well I ventured to the Northeast tonight strictly due to this thread to visit Grey Lodge. As I walked in I noticed that they had exactly ten taps. I asked the bartender how many total taps that they had and he told me ten and that they have always only had ten taps. The ten they had were fantastic (I had Great Divide Fresh Hop, Stone Ruination and Sly Fox Target IPA). But of the ten only two were local (the aforementioned Sly Fox and Yards Washington Porter).
                            So, again it is my contention that if one wishes to have broad access to local Philadelphia regional beer in one location on tap, there are only two places that I am aware of: Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda's. Each regularly have 8-12 local Philadelphia regional beers ONLY on tap all the time.

                            1. re: Chinon00

                              Did you go upstairs? They have other products on tap upstairs.

                              1. re: cwdonald

                                I second cwdonald's question...upstairs? I know there's a good 10 taps downstairs, but there's plenty more upstairs. That said, I hope you tried either their mussels or the cheesesteak. Droooool.....

                                I don't disagree with the idea that JB's and Standard are the two places to go for strictly local brews...just look at the entrance of Standard! Yards and Victory! That said, there have been times when I've felt constricted by the choices at both pubs. Too narrow a selection, which is why I trumpet Grey Lodge despite the fact I've only been there several times.

                                I can't wait for the big beer festival this spring. Does anyone know who to contact for volunteer positions?

                                1. re: Boognish

                                  If we we're strictly talking great beer selection, neither Tap nor JB would make my top 5 in the city personally.

                                  1. re: Boognish

                                    Ok, so I visted Grey Lodge (upstairs) tonight and again I had just a wonderful beer experience. However, as I got seated upstairs, I noticed (as downstairs) that there were ten taps available. So I asked the bartender "are these all of your taps upstairs"? He responded "yes". I said "are you sure?" He again said "yes". I went on to ask "are the taps upstairs identical to downstairs?" The bartender for a third time responded "yes" (save for woodchuck cider served downstairs as well).
                                    So to clear up any nonsense and for the last time; Grey Lodge has a great beer selection. However, they had tonight, out of ten taps, four local beers:
                                    Sly Fox Black Raspberry
                                    Yards Washington Porter
                                    Troeg's Dead Reckoning Porter
                                    Victory Hop Wallop
                                    And as I've stated repeatedly in the past, both Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda's serve 8-12 local Philadelphia regional taps all the time. Therefore, if one wants to experience a wider variety of locals beers on tap, there are only two places to go that I am aware of:

                                    Standard Tap
                                    Johnny Brenda's

                                    Thanks

                                  2. re: cwdonald

                                    According to their website the second floor is open from Tuesday thru Sunday (I visited on Monday). I will visit again and venture upstairs (expecting fifteen additional taps of which at least half will be Philadelphia regional beer products).

                                    Thanks

                          3. re: Chinon00

                            The point of a thread like this is to provide the person who asked options.. Take Tria for example, which has a great variety of beer, including options like Double Simcoe from Weyerbacher or Dogfish Head Golden Era Pilsner and paired with food. It deserves to be mentioned as much as Brendas or ST or the Grey Lodge.

                            1. re: cwdonald

                              That's a good point. My only goal though was to offer "one stop shopping" to the OP.

                              Thanks!

                      2. re: cwdonald

                        I think the problem is that I'm more of an ale person than lager person. Yuengling has a pretty good finish (slightly grainy and nutty, although the finish is a little shorter than I'd like) compared to commercialized beer like Bud. But in terms of fragrance and taste, it doesn't hold up to good ales...but then again, this is just my humble opinion. Thanks for all the nice response. I'll try these places. I've been to foodery, but is it me or is the place very overpriced? I understand that they charge slightly less than bar prices, and I do like the "mix-and-match".

                        1. re: baekster

                          I understand exactly what you are saying however I personally hate to see "lager" generalized in such a fashion. Samichlaus is a lager at 15% abv and with the flavor and aroma of scotch, raisin, leather, honey, toffee . . .

                          Thanks!

                          1. re: Chinon00

                            I'm not sure what aroma of scotch may be (since that can vary so much from one to another). Samichlaus sounds interesting, I'll give it a try.

                              1. re: baekster

                                Ludwig's Biergarten sometimes has it on tap. A true treat.

                            1. re: baekster

                              If you are not from PA, you will defintely find The Foodery to be overpriced. The problem is that until recently, beer stores could only sell beer by the case in PA. A few places like The Foodery operate under an exemption that permits places that serve food to sell beer by the bottle. Every place you go in PA that takes advantage of this exemption is very expensive but the only option if, like me, you want to buy beers by the bottle and not the case.

                              Plus The Foodery's selection is excellent and you can also find Russian River and Lost Abbey beers there (more Californians worth seeking out).

                        2. Here is a resource that can help you with directions:

                          http://beermapping.com/maps/citymaps....

                          1. Check out the restaurant at the Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown, PA. Beers are great and the food is pretty decent, too. It's about a 45 min drive from the city