Food & Drink

Top Pubs Serving Seasonal Beer In Philadelphia

October 10, 2012 7:00 AM

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com

Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com

When the temperature starts to dip and the leaves change color, many beer drinkers like to move from light, refreshing brews that are great for mowing the lawn to deeper, richer, more full-bodied choices that are more suited to sitting around a bonfire. Here’s where to get them in Philly.
Philadelphia Brewing Company
2439 Amber St.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 427-2739
www.philadelphiabrewing.com

Philadelphia Brewing Company is housed in a historic Kensington brewery. You won’t find any sliders or pub fries here; what you will find is good, freshly brewed beer and some awesome folks. In the fall, you just may catch its Harvest from the Hood Ale. Available only briefly after the Philly-grown hops are harvested in the fall, PBC promises Harvest from the Hood is a fresh-hopped auburn ale that’s perfect for the season. Brewed on the same day the hops are picked, it is the freshest of the fresh, too. Alcohol content is 7 percent abv. Stop in for a six-pack or check out tours every Saturday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., where you’ll be treated to free samples of all the beers.

South Philadelphia Taproom
1509 Mifflin St.
Philadelphia, PA 19145
(215) 271-7787
www.southphiladelphiataproom.com

SPTR is a laid-back gastropub with an always-interesting beer menu running from 13 taps. First-time diners are always surprised at the inventive menu. Fans love the tomato lager soup with baby grilled cheese sandwiches for $6, the wild boar tacos with guacamole at $10 and the deceptively simple salt and pepper chicken wings for $9. When there is a nip in the air, these dishes go great with many of SPTR’s seasonal beers on tap, including Sly Fox Oktoberfest (5.8 percent abv), a customary Oktoberfest beer that is full of malt flavor, brewed with German Vienna malts and hops ($5 for 12 ounces); or the Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale (8 percent abv), a malty, spicy, lightly carbonated brew ($6 for 10 ounces).

Monk’s Cafe
264 S. 16th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 545-7005
www.monkscafe.com

Monk’s Cafe is known for its mussels and offers eight different dishes made with them, served alongside the restaurant’s famous fresh-cut, double-fried pomme frites ($10 to $20). Serious fans of Monk’s know there is more to the cafe than the mollusks, though. There is always great beers to choose from, no matter the season, because there are more than 250 bottled varieties here. A fall favorite is the De Dolle Brouwers’ De Dolle Oerbier (9.5 percent abv), with a hazy amber color and a definite malt aroma. Smooth and sweet, this one hints at licorice (12 ounces for $8.50). Meanwhile, the Miles Davis-inspired Dogfish Head Bitches Brew (9 percent abv), an audacious, big three-imperial-stout fusion with gesho-root infused honey beer (12 ounces for $6).

Related: Top Spots for Rum Selections in Philadelphia

Dock Street Brewing Company
701 S. 50th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19143
(215) 726-2337
www.dockstreetbeer.com

Dock Street Brewing Company in West Philly is a cozy spot that attracts beer fans of all stripes. Along with its Tuesday Movie Nights and killer pizza (which won Philadelphia Magazine’s Best of Philly 2011), Dock Street brews some serious beers. Dock Street Great Pumpkin is a smooth russet ale that celebrates the season’s harvest time. Rich and creamy with a touch of spice, it’s brewed with 150 pounds of pureed pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices, including nutmeg and cinnamon (5 percent abv). It’s also a bargain, at 12 ounces for only $4.50. Treat yourself to a fig jam pizza and a glass of Great Pumpkin, and then settle in at the pumpkin patch to wait.

City Tap House
3925 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 662-0105
www.citytaphouse.com

Should your autumn wanderings take you to University City, you must make a stop at City Tap House and enjoy the huge open bar and outdoor seating, complete with blazing firepits. City Tap House is one of the few places in the city you can get Manayunk Brewery’s Yunkin Punkin (5.5 percent abv), which is brewed with six varieties of locally grown pumpkins. Enjoy cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and allspice flavors for a brisk, fall day’s pumpkin pie in a glass. Monday nights are Flight Nights at the Tap House, during which you can try a flight of brews for a measly $10.

Related: Top Tortas in Philly

Trish Deitemyer is a freelance writer living in Philly. She covers Food & Drink and has been writing since 1986. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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