“There’s a tavern culture in Philly that no other city has,” says O’Reilly of Sly Fox. “It’s a very cool thing where you’re in a place and you can’t decide—is it a bar or is it a restaurant? There’s great food and great beer at these taverns, and we have so many of them. They’re in every neighborhood. You can drink and eat better at most corner bars in Philadelphia than you can in any other city in the country, no doubt.”
“Probably the reason Philadelphia is the best beer-drinking city is that Philadelphians are passionate about Philadelphia, and therefore they’re passionate about local beer. It just so happens all the local brewers make good stuff. They have to. The consumer here has an incredible number of choices.”
So, Noonan believes Philly is America’s best beer-drinking city. How about the others? Wildy of Vetri: “100 percent.” O’Reilly of Sly Fox: “True.” Trogner of Tröegs: “Totally.”
Trust them. They’re professionals of high pedigree and they’re smarter then you on the subject. But not by much. Not anymore.
The New City Beer Scene
Here’s a handy list of new restaurants with excellent craft beer on tap that have opened since last year’s Philly Beer Week. We think you’ll agree, it’s pretty damned impressive.
135 S. 18th St. 215. 825.7030. akitchenphilly.com
Number of taps: 5
Cool PBW event: Weyerbacher Brunch, Sun., June 3, 10am-2:30pm. The impeccable a.kitchen team cooks brunch favorites with Weyerbacher, a stellar local brew.
American Sardine Bar
1801 Federal St. 215.334.2337. americansardinebar.com
Number of Taps: 16
Cool PBW event: Ommegang Cuts the Cheese, Fri., June 1, 5-8pm. Ribald Chef Scott Schroeder pairs cheese with Ommegang’s Seduction, Art of Darkness, Gnomegang and more.
1410 Mt. Vernon St. 215.600.0017. allaspinaphilly.com
Number of taps: 20
Cool PBW event: Sixpoint Tap and iPod Takeover, Fri., June 8, 6-8:30pm. The Brooklyn brewery stops by Alla Spina with some rare selections, and wildcard Jersey Dan provides the playlist. We once had a conversation with Dan about Skrillex. He doesn’t like his music. So this is a pretty safe bet.
1114 Frankford Ave. 215.634.4400. barcadephiladelphia.com
Wherever you go in this town, there’s good stuff to drink. And Philly Beer Week is a brilliant excuse to veer off your familiar routes of life and try something new.
PW's Year of Beer: Bell’s Hopslam