Philadelphia, PA - It was in Philadelphia taverns that the American Revolution took hold (see City Tavern for proof), and 100 years ago, Philadelphia was known as the most magnificent brewing city in the Western Hemisphere, or the “Cradle of American Libation.” In the mid-19th through the early 20th centuries, 90 breweries operated in Philadelphia proper, and another 100 operated in its environs. Prohibition in 1920 brought the brewery boom to an end, and the decline—and near demise—of virtually all of Philadelphia’s beer producers.
Today, craft breweries have reclaimed the region’s reputation by brewing some of the world’s best beer. Victory, Sly Fox, and Yards produce and distribute some of the Philadelphia region’s most well-known and accessible craft beers, and in recent years, they’ve been joined by newer microbreweries and brewpubs, such as Tired Hands, Forest & Main, and Round Guys, along with spectacular craft distillers.
In the warmer months, beer lovers head outside. The seasonal Independence Beer Garden offers a beer break right on Independence Mall, while Spruce Street Harbor Park and Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest attract people to the Delaware River waterfront with food, beer, hammocks, games, and a roller-skating rink. Pop-ups including The Oval and the PHS Pop Up Gardens activate underused spaces, much to the delight of beer fans and urban dwellers.