I love beer and I love Philadelphia—and I’m not sure which came first, the chicken or the egg. I might love Philly because I love beer but I might also love beer because in Philadelphia, beer is king.
We may not be the first batch of bars that believed in basements piled high with crates of bottled Belgian imports, or hand-pulled and hand-made craft specialties. These were long standing fixtures of daily life in, say, Brooklyn—but Philadelphia did make good beer way more accessible and abundant.
Beer in Philadelphia is vastly different than beer in New York and while I’m not interested in comparing the two cities, it’s almost too easy realize the difference.
To this day, beer culture is still unique to Philadelphia despite the widespread aftermath of the craft beer revolution. And while most of the US took pretty quickly to this phenomenon as well, the difference lies in the ubiquity of good beer in Philly.
Brewery and neighborhood rivalries aside, the greater Philadelphia area is still arguably the best beer drinking city in the United States. Even old neighborhood dive bartenders won’t stick their tired noses up at a request for Yards or Victory—though, they still might make fun of you and give you a Miller Lite anyway.
In the City of Brotherly Love, craft beer is just not pretentious. And I would say that’s something to feel good about.
In Philly, beer feels less like a commodity. Though it may sometimes be too closely associated with underground hipster bars on self-proclaimed “fringes” of Port Richmond, beer has become something much more evolved than a hipster’s social accessory.
So long as your not talking to the kid whose pointedly obsessed with the irony of his own Franco-Prussian style mustache, you can quickly pick up what beer actually means to Philadelphia…
It’s really tasty and it will get you drunk. It is as simple and as complex as that.
That being said, pour some Bud into a nice glass and wait for the weatherman to announce the coming of the next snowpocalypse. In the meantime, here’s a list of my favorite beers that I wish I could afford on a regular basis.
In the coming weeks, I’ll still be eating, drinking and writing. I’ll also be trying new beers for Philthy Beer of the Week. If you feel I made serious oversights in our 2011 Beer Guide, or just know a good beer, shoot an email over to [email protected] and we’ll mention you in our reviews.
Send us your favorite dives, brunch spots, and taquerias! We love those too!