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Beer Garden in Philly

w
wpstafford Jun 17, 2010 07:05 PM

Can anyone point me to a beer garden in Philly? I had read in an article or on a post that Staven Starr was planning on opening one, but I haven't heard anything since.

If not a beer garden, how about a nice open air spot to enjoy a couple brews on a hot afternoon?

Thanks for your help.

  1. bluehensfan Jun 18, 2010 03:31 AM

    There is a beer garden at Reading Terminal Market but it's indoors. I think you are looking like something they have at the Midtown Village Fall Festival?

    1. b
      barryg Jun 18, 2010 04:08 AM

      There are lots of places to drink outdoors but no real "biergarten" themed places that I know of. AFAIK the Steven Starr one in Fishtown is going to happen. Plenty of bars have nice outdoor seating arrangements and even more have questionable outdoor seating arrangements on the sidewalk. Where and what are you looking for?

      3 Replies
      1. re: barryg
        w
        wpstafford Jun 18, 2010 04:50 AM

        Barry, thanks for the reply. I'm a beer geek, so I'm looking for a good craft brew lineup and a place when I can sit outside where there are some folks around. I like the opportunity to get into a random conversation. I'm from Delaware and head to Philly quite a bit because I can get a beer selection that Delaware doesn't have and I like getting to know new parts of the city.

        Cheers!

        1. re: wpstafford
          b
          barryg Jun 18, 2010 05:52 AM

          In Northern Liberties you have a lot of options. The patio on the second floor of Standard Tap is a nice place to sample local-area brews (that is all they serve, draft-only). Other options are The Swift Half in the Piazza at Schmidt's, which has outdoor seating on the pedestrian mall, and Silk City, which has an enclosed outdoor space (they actually call it a beer garden). Both have good beer lists. El Camino Real has a decent beer list and seating on Liberties Walk, and North 3rd and Cantina Dos Segundos have sidewalk seating.

          In Center City, Varga Bar has a lot of sidewalk seating and a great, fast-rotating draft list (I think all American?) that they keep reasonably up to date on their website. Tria, the Spruce Street location, also has some nice sidewalk seating and good beers on tap. There must be other CC spots I can't think of, but Varga and Tria Stand out for the al fresco seating and good drafts.

          Passyunk Ave has some good beer spots with sidewalk seating, like Pub on Passyunk East, 1601, and Cantina (it's better for tequila and mezcal, actually). Nearby South Philly Tap Room has al fresco, too. These could be cool to check out if you haven't seen the neighborhood, but the combination of the crowds and South Philly street "ambiance" make these less desirable spots for visitors, I think.

          1. re: barryg
            rabidog Jun 21, 2010 07:50 PM

            you covered it really well, but i'll add a second for silk city and standard tap... awesome beer lists, good food, beautiful outdoor space! definitely easier to get a table at silk city's beer garden - it's huge. 5th & spring garden. easy parking too.

      2. j
        jaba Jun 18, 2010 06:06 AM

        Some places with good patios or decks:
        1) O'Neal's - 3rd between South and Bainbridge. Beautiful back patio. You won't find any obscure microbrews on their list, but occasionally they'll have something interesting along with usual lineup of Bud/Miller/Yards/Guiness
        2) M Restaurant - I have no idea whether they have beers on tap, but this really is an incredible outdoor space to drink in
        3) Noble supposedly has a great deck
        4) Standard Tap - I was unimpressed with the food and attitude of this place, but the tap list is good, and they have a good deck

        3 Replies
        1. re: jaba
          c
          cwdonald Jun 18, 2010 08:25 AM

          I do not think M is open as a restaurant anymore. I do agree its a great space however! Doesn't Time (successor to Ludwig's) have an outdoor patio?

          1. re: cwdonald
            j
            jaba Jun 18, 2010 09:22 AM

            M is definitely open. Was just there the other day.

            1. re: cwdonald
              b
              barryg Jun 18, 2010 10:35 AM

              I don't think Time has a patio. They do have nice, big open windows on the wine bar side, and the beer list is very good. Only place I've seen the Yard's Thomas Jefferson Ale on tap, and they have it all the time.

          2. PattiCakes Jun 18, 2010 10:14 AM

            Outside of Philly, in Horsham: Otto's Brauhaus. They have a legit biergarten outside, and a vast selection of imported beers. It used to have a more bucolic feel, but general commercialization along that stretch of Easton Road (Rt. 611) has made it much less so. Recent reviews show that the German food may be just so-so. Still, it's a great place to sit outside with friends, and hoist a few.

            1. m
              mikerichi Jun 20, 2010 06:43 AM

              The new City Taphouse in University City has a nice outdoor patio with garden and they have a great selection of good beers, probably 45-60 of a variety of styles. The patio's about 30 feet above street level so you have a bit of a view as well.

              5 Replies
              1. re: mikerichi
                m
                micreynolds Jun 22, 2010 06:39 AM

                I will second the City Taphouse in West Philly. Went there during beer week, they've got over 60 taps of really great beers. We experienced quite a few rare beers there (but it could be because it was during beer week). We sat outside by the fire pits and had a fantastic outdoor beer drinking experience!

                1. re: micreynolds
                  l
                  Lewes Jun 23, 2010 01:19 PM

                  how about Brauhaus Schmitz – German bierhall & restaurant with 20 draft & 80 bottles at 718 South St.

                  1. re: Lewes
                    b
                    Buckethead Jun 23, 2010 01:30 PM

                    I love Brauhaus but they don't have any outside seating.

                  2. re: micreynolds
                    rabidog Jun 25, 2010 01:12 PM

                    how's the food at city taphouse? i'm getting a group together for beers and dinner tonight, and we want somewhere outdoors. it's gorgeous out, and i'm starving.

                    1. re: rabidog
                      j
                      jaba Jun 25, 2010 04:17 PM

                      pretty good actually. some things are better than others. the pizza is good, the mac and cheese is not great. i liked the wings. i'm not remembering what else we had (between our group, we almost made it through their entire tap list). we didn't venture away from the appetizers, but everything was generally very solid.

                2. r
                  rcrawford May 27, 2011 09:22 AM

                  better late than never I guess. Currently I know of 3 beer gardens in the city.

                  1. The new Stephen Starr place - Frankford Hall - This place is awesome. The beer and food are amazing...but not something I could afford to do every week. They have girls walking around with those old style cigarette things around their necks...but they are selling pretzels. When I went, they even had a tuba and horn player playing German drinking songs. Make sure to try the homemade dijon mustard and pretzels (made from imported German Flour) they are both to die for.

                  2. Memphis Taproom - They just opened this garden up this summer. They serve food out of a fancy lunch truck that serves gourmet hot dogs. (they are delicious and huge). In addition they serve an excellent selection of micro-brew cans outside. This place isn't huge, but the food at Memphis Taproom is always a hit.

                  3. Silk City - They recently finished renovations on their outdoor dining area. It is now a full fledged beer garden. I haven't been here since they made the additions, but I have driven passed it a few times and it looks awesome.

                  4.....Sorta....If all else fails you should definitely check out Brauhaus Schmitz on South Street. They have a stellar German and Belgian themed beer list as well as delicious German food. I suggest going and getting the 2 Liter Das Boot of Franzeskaner. It is indoors, but whatever...it's awesome there.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: rcrawford
                    c
                    Cpmullie May 27, 2011 09:32 AM

                    Brauhaus Schmitz is a must if you're willing to forgo the the outdoor seating. Some of the entrees can get pricey but no need to look any further then the sausage platter which is about the cheapest meal on the menu. Make sure to try the knockwurst as one of your two sausage choices, its amazing.

                    Whil on the subject of great places without outdoor seating, you have to try Monks Tavern if you haven't already. The beer list is hundreds of beers long with roughly 15 or so rotating beers on draft at any given time. The staff there is about as beer knowledgeable as they come as well. Good food, once again the cheapest is the best (mussels are a must, go with the red light district mussels)

                    1. re: Cpmullie
                      b
                      Buckethead May 27, 2011 11:13 AM

                      One entree there that's absolutely worth getting is the Schweinshaxe.

                      1. re: Buckethead
                        c
                        Cpmullie May 27, 2011 11:23 AM

                        You know when I was writing that reply I was supposed to remember towrite something about the Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle). Buckethead is right, its amazing and totally worth it.

                        I'm not sure if anyone else has had the same experience with the red cabbage but the first couple times i went there (shortly after it opened) the red cabbage was some of the best I had in my life. My last few visits its been FAR too high on the cinnamon and nutmeg or whatever spices are in there. I'm not sure what happened, maybe the head chef took his focus off the product after the restaurant was humming.

                    2. re: rcrawford
                      Chinon00 May 29, 2011 08:35 AM

                      I've visited Frankford Hall and have had a great time but mostly due to service, atmosphere and food I had. The beer selection was broad and diverse but from fairly pedestrian German breweries with a few American craft beer thrown in. I'd like to see a Brauhaus Schmitz depth of rare German breweries offered in that setting. That would make it perfect to me.

                      1. re: Chinon00
                        c
                        cwdonald Jun 2, 2011 09:39 AM

                        Thanks for the great discussion on this Chinon. Its interesting that the one thing that Philadelphia is behing New York beer wise is beer gardens. There are over 30 of them in the great Manhattan area. The NY Times did a great write up on them last week. While it might be faddish, it is interesting that it has not caught on as much here in Philly. Link to the times article is below:

                        http://tinyurl.com/3vnbhdc.

                        1. re: cwdonald
                          f
                          foobooz Jun 2, 2011 01:10 PM

                          Just this past weekend I did a Beer Garden Bar Crawl through Philadelphia. I hit the Memphis Taproom's Beer Garden. It features a food truck that serves up gourmet hot dogs, fried pickles and a great list of craft beers in cans. Then we went to Stephen Starr's new Frankford Hall with room for 400. It's a bit pricey but a fun time with authentic German food. Then we finished off at Silk City's beer garden which is an oasis away from Spring Garden Street.

                          For an Italian take on a beer garden there is Le Virtu. The Passyunk Avenue restaurant has a surprisingly good beer selection and outside there is the grilled menu of regional Italian delights.

                          1. re: foobooz
                            Chinon00 Jun 2, 2011 02:59 PM

                            Is Virtu's grilled menu "outside only"? What's on it? And which beers do they have?
                            Thanks

                    3. Bacchus101 May 29, 2011 06:00 AM

                      Ok, not a Philly Beer Garden but perhaps a destination for a beer lover looking for great microbrew in a beer garden with music and food. Here is a link www.stoudtsbeer.com . A bit of a drive but check out the web site. The 20th ANNUAL MICROBREW FESTIVAL is there on June 11th.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Bacchus101
                        Chefmonty Jun 2, 2011 10:51 AM

                        I love the beer garden at Stoudt's, but unless things have changed, they only open it during special events

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