March 11, 2010

Beer Tour of Philly

When packing for Philly, we made sure to bring along a couple bottles of wine to enjoy at our BYOB dinners.  Though we have access to a lot of different wines in NYC, Philly is probably the best place (on the East Coast) to find different craft beers.

You can't find Founders, Port Brewing, Bell's or Russian River brews in New York but you can in Philly (although, given recent events, we hope it continues.  So glad we got our bottle of Supplication!)

Sit back and enjoy as my husband (HLFD's beer and wine guy) takes us on his beer tour of Philly.
Since we were in the Olde City area, we stopped by Eulogy Tavern, one of the better craft beer bar and restaurants. They have two bars (upstairs and downstairs) and while we were sipping our beers there was a surprisingly large dinner crowd for an early Friday evening.

The bottle selection was phenomenal. We couldn't pass up a big bottle of Russian River Brewing's Damnation, a Belgian-style strong pale ale. Another fun fact about Philly - you can buy beer to go (in bottles) straight from the bar.  Hence, we also picked up bottles of Founders Nemesis (very hard to find!) and Bell's Expedition Stout to go.
For lunch one afternoon we stopped at the new Hawthornes Cafe (since we couldn't carry cases of beer to go at Bella Vista across the street).  The food service has great potential (we think they're still working some kinks out) but the beer and growler selection is spectacular.
You can take your beer to go and stay and kick back a few while eating some food in the restaurant part. We had some beers from Dark Horse Brewing in Michigan, including the Crooked Tree IPA (photo, above right), to wash down our panini.  At Hawthornes, we were able to grab rare bottles like The Lost Abbey's The Angel's Share.
We made a return visit to Monk's Cafe in Center City. This is still one of the best beer bars anywhere, but like Hawthornes, the food and service could be a little better. Don't get us wrong, we'd go back for the beers from The Lost Abbey and Cantillon and hope we can get a seat at the front or back bar.
So if you are a craft beer lover, we recommend taking a trip to Philadelphia. Whether you stop by world-renowned places like Monk's Cafe, local places like the Pub On Passyunk East (one of our favorite bars anywhere - we've had Pliny and Bell's Hopslam there)...
 ...or finding pleasant surprises at old school watering holes like the Khyber, Philly is a great craft beer city.  So glad we had room in our suitcases to bring a few beers back to enjoy at home!  Next time we'll also hit up the South Philly Tap Room again. Cheers!

Eulogy Tavern is located at 136 Chestnut St (at S 2nd St)
Hawthornes Cafe is located at 738 South 11th St (at Fitzwater St)
Khyber is located at 56 South 2nd St (at Market St)
Monk's Cafe is located at 264 S 16th St (at Spruce St)
Pub On Passyunk East is located at 1501 E Passyunk Ave (at Dickinson St)


  1. This is such a great post... I love the slice of life posts

  2. This is a great idea to have a beer themed tour through Philadelphia. Looks like fun!

  3. Amazing post! I do hope you come back for Beer Week in Philadelphia June.

  4. Thanks Dave and Christine! It was a lot of fun!

    @Caroline - Thanks! Philly's so close, so we will try to make it out there in June.

  5. I am not even going to TELL Neil about this since he won't be coming with me to Philly. But oh my - GREAT selection! And do I see you might be there in June? As in, end of June? (hint hint!)


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