1Philadelphia has always been a beer city. It was in Philadelphia taverns that the American Revolution took hold, and 100 years ago, Philadelphia was known as the greatest brewing city in the Western Hemisphere, or the “Cradle of American Libation.” In the mid-19th through the early-20th centuries, more than 90 breweries operated in Philadelphia proper, and another 100 operated in the surrounding areas. But Prohibition in 1920 brought the brewery boom to an end, and the decline — and near demise — of virtually all of Philadelphia’s beer producers all the way into the 1980s.
Things couldn’t be more different today. Philadelphia, experiencing the same craft beer boom that has thrived the U.S. since the late 1980s, has regained its reputation as one of the preeminent beer cities in the country and around the world. Need proof? Philadelphia has won a slew of beer-related accolades, from being recognized as one of the “The 5 Best Beer Cities in America” by GQ Magazine, to being named one of the fourteen best beer cities in the entire world by Frommer’s. Philadelphia-area breweries and brewpubs also took home seven medals at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival.
Help setting the local craft beer scene apart, Philadelphia breweries range widely in size and scope. There are the major craft breweries like Victory, Sly Fox and Yards, which produce and distribute some of Philadelphia’s most well known and widely accessible craft beers. Then there are the mainstay brewpubs like Dock Street and Manayunk Brewing that have been around for years, putting out consistently great craft beer. And in recent years, they’ve been joined by even newer microbreweries and brewpubs like Tired Hands, Forest & Main and Round Guys, who are garnering ever more accolades and buzz for the region’s beer scene. Many of these breweries have tours and/or tastings at their facilities, and a number of local groups — including Philly Brew Tours, the Philly On Tap tour from Urban Adventures and Liberty Brew Tours — offer comprehensive tours of multiple breweries while covering the breadth of Philadelphia’s beer history.
So where can Philadelphia’s acclaimed beers be tasted, and what breweries can visitors and residents tour? Read on for our comprehensive guide to Philadelphia’s craft breweries and brewpubs, complete with an interactive map to help you plan your visit.