The Brewers Association just released its top 50 craft breweries of 2016, and three of them are from the Philadelphia region.
About a month ago, we wrote about Saint Benjamin Brewing Company’s expansion, including a new taproom in the works. Well, that taproom is finished up, and the St. Ben’s team is softly opened this week for Craft Brewers Conference—and it’s pretty sweet.
This past Saturday, I was lucky enough to stop in to check out the taproom at 1710 North 5th Street, while on a Liberty Brew Tour as the finishing touches were being done. Quite possibly the coolest feature of the taproom is the retouched exposed brick and plaster walls, a labor of love by co-owner Christina Burris. She wanted the walls to be as close to the state as they were originally back in the 1800s when the three story building was built.
Breweries could bring alcohol to the previously dry borough of Collingswood. After months of gauging the town’s interest in having a brewery with a tasting room, officials were met with overwhelming support in favor of the idea. While the breweries will not be allowed to serve food (due to concern from local restaurateurs who fear competition to their BYOB establishments, and existing New Jersey laws), the ordinance is still big news for the otherwise dry town. Collingswood Mayor James Maley said, “There was little to no concern that this would affect the family-friendly nature of Collingswood or cause an unruly bar scene. Most people love that they can shop locally in Collingswood and it turns out good craft beer is no exception.”
If all goes as planned at the Commission Meeting on July 6th, craft breweries will be free to make their way to the quaint South Jersey town.