Philadelphia is home to some of the nation’s greatest historic achievements. Not only was it where the Declaration of Independence was written, it is also the birthplace of the American lager in the 19th century. For years, the City of Brotherly Love has been home to thirsty beer lovers looking to celebrate a variety of Philly moments: the invention of electricity, the creation of the first American flag and, of course, when the beloved Phillies won the pennant. The city has such a long history in just about everything that its history with beer is just an addition to the list. Here are five spots that beer drinkers continue to enjoy year after year.
The German-style sour ale Ich Bin Ein Berliner Weisse has earned the Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant several accolades, including a 2010 Bronze Medal at the World Beer Cup. Same goes for the brewery’s British-style dark ale Grog. These two beers are just a couple of reasons why local magazines have named Nodding Head the best brewpub almost every year since opening. It also serves up three different kinds of Bloody Marys, which make a perfect addition to the restaurant’s delicious brunch featuring chicken and waffles on the menu.
Standard Tap is a neighborhood tavern popular with locals for its selection of draft-only beer made from award-winning local breweries. The tavern recently doubled its tap system and now offers more than 20 beers for customers to choose from. A menu of New England dishes can be ordered from the chalkboard menus placed throughout the bar. Signature entrees include the chicken pie, mussels and sausage and duck confit salad. Stop in for happy hour, when the bar offers a dollar off all drinks.
Being the first microbrewery in Philadelphia, Dock Street Brewing Company produces some of the city’s best brews. The Prisoner of Hell beer is a prime example. It won the 2012 World Beer Cup Bronze Medal for its fruity flavors of bubblegum, herbs and spice that make it a customer favorite. The beer pairs well with the pub’s gourmet pizzas, especially the Fig Jam specialty pizza, crafted using mozzarella, gorgonzola, apple smoked bacon and fresh herbs.
Monk’s Café is a Belgian beer emporium that serves up some of the city’s finest Belgian beers on tap and in bottles. Its MOA Imperial Stout has been aged in pinot noir barrels with flavors of coffee and chocolate. Customers come for the beer as well as the wide selection of mussels, cooked using some of the emporium’s very own beer. The Ghent mussels, for instance, are flavored with the Saison Dupont, fume, parsley, caramelized leeks, bacon, blue cheese and garlic.
McGillin’s Olde Ale House is the oldest continuously operating tavern in Philadelphia ever since opening in 1860. In true Philadelphia form, this Irish pub has stood the test of time and still serves up some of the best local and regional beers on tap. Originally called The Bell in Hand, locals started calling it McGillin’s after William McGillin, the Irish immigrant owner of the tavern. The locals have been coming here for years for the house beer — McGillin’s Real Ale and McGillin’s Genuine Lager — crafted by Stoudt’s Brewing, as well as the R.B. McGillin, roast beef made with Ma McGillin’s secret rub, on a Philly steak roll.