Philadelphia is overflowing with excellent beer. Whether you’re hankering for some humulus lupus (that’s Latin for hops), craving a cranberry cider, or practically reeling for a Russian Imperial stout, there are many an option for the eager drinker – but few places where you can experience them all under one roof. At City Tap House we pride ourselves on tapping the crème de la crème of craft beer. When you stop by during your stay, be sure to ask your bartender or server about one of these local breweries we absolutely love.
2SP Brewing (Aston, PA)
“For everyone else it’s personality, here it’s character,” says Mike Contreras, Director of 2SP Brewing Sales and Marketing. Always cool, but never compromising, 2SP takes pride in creating beer that showcases the powerful edge of a particular style, without sacrificing balance. Lately we’ve been drinking Up N’ Out, a “hazy, low-bittering” IPA with big hop aroma. We were also recently surprised by a boozy, fruity Saison known as Strawberry Switchblade. Of course, if 2SP’s The Russian (which took home a Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival) is on tap, drinking this roasty treat is a no-brainer. What should you keep an eye out for? Word on the street is, there’s kettle sour coming our way!
Wyndridge Farms (Dallastown, PA)
What do you get when an Orthopedic Surgeon and a Nurse fall in love with farming? You get
some of the most delicious, well-crafted cider in Pennsylvania. Steve and Julie Groff left
medicine behind to pursue cider at Wyndridge Farms. “It’s about half crazy,” says Steve, “We
did a hell of a lot of research. We’re not the typical dudes who were hanging out together and
home-brewing for 20 years.” With the expertise of cider master Scott Topel, their Hopped Cider
and Cranberry Cider provide a crisp, juicy booziness that’s hard to beat, especially on a hot day.
Dogfish Head (Milton, Delaware)
Dogfish Head, founded by Sam Calagione, entered the craft beer scene in 1995. You likely
know them for their grassy, earthy, citrusy lineup of timely ales – the 60, 75, 90, and 120 minute
IPAs – but they brew much more than that. Dogfish Head’s SeaQuench Ale is a delightfully
addictive medley of Kolsch, Gose, and Berliner Weiss styles all tied together with lime and seasalt.
Dogfish Head’s Flesh and Blood takes a step in a similarly fruity direction, adding lemon
flesh, orange feel, and blood orange juice to the mix for a zesty American IPA. It was also one of
the first fruit-infused IPAs. Lately, however, we’ve been coming back to Unencumbered
Antelope, a dry, refreshing saison loaded with hundreds of pounds of cucumbers and
cantaloupe. If you like a diversity of styles laced with an off-centered edge, then go with Dogfish.
Sly Fox Brewing (Pottstown, PA)
Born in 1995 from the collective efforts of Pete and John Giannopoulos and Brian O’Reilly, Sly
Fox Brewing has been ahead of the game for a long time. For instance, did you know that Sly
Fox’s Pikeland Pilsner was the first canned beer to ever win a Gold Medal at the Great
American Beer Festival? Pikeland Pils, a German-style pilsner, is gorgeous and light-bodied, but
dry enough to keep your thirst quenched. Stout lovers would also be foolish to skip Sly Fox’s
classic O’Reilly Stout. This creamy, roasty, dry Irish stout goes down smooth without feeling
overly heavy. Our favorite though? The Vulpulin IPA. This luscious, hoppy darling is named after
a mysterious creature (apparently made of hop bines) that roams the hop farms past midnight.
The true magic, though, comes from a cascade of Citra, Mosaic, Cascade, and Centennial
hops. We’re totally addicted.
Victory Brewing (Downingtown, PA)
Victory Brewing is foundational in the Philly brewing scene. After years of expert training in
Germany, Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet opened up shop in what was previously a Pepperidge
Farm factory on February 15th, 1996. For many a drinker, their first craft beer was Victory’s
villainously hoppy HopDevil IPA or Golden Monkey, a Belgian Tripel that goes down like a
bushel of intoxicating bananas. We recommend Victory’s super dank Dirtwolf Double IPA, the
twisted sister of sour known as Sour Monkey (lemony, tart, with a dash of brettanomyces), and,
if you’re looking for a lager with a refreshing hop-punch, try their Home Grown Lager. Fun fact:
Victory is one of just a few breweries that only uses whole flower hops in its brewhouse. Hopheads,
Want to try beers from all these breweries and more? Visit City Tap House at one of their two locations in Philadelphia–plus, Hilton guests who book the Weekend Like a Local package and visit on Sunday get a special treat!