7 Craft Breweries to Visit by Bike, According to Philly Cyclists
Whether you’re going on a short, leisurely ride or pedaling out to the ‘burbs, finish your route at these Philly-area breweries.
With nearly 20 trails, the Philadelphia area is perfect for cruising paved streets or training on the trails. Regardless of your preferred terrain, all that pedaling calls for a refreshing post-ride brew. Although the Philly region spoils us with so many breweries, some of them are easier to access by two-wheeler than others. That’s why we chatted with three local cyclists who have led — or have participated in brewery rides — to find out the best ones to visit by bike. And folks, make sure to save the drinking for the end of your ride. If you can’t, give yourself ample time before hitting the road, as cycling (like driving) under the influence is prohibited by state law.
Conshohocken Brewing Company
739 East Elm Street, Conshohocken
Conshohocken Brewing Company is a beer-loving cyclist’s dream. Situated right off the Schuylkill River Trail, the brewery and tap room’s original location is “about a 12-mile ride from Center City, perfect for a light workout rewarded by a beer,” says Jonas Oesterle, a tour guide for Philly Bike Tour Company. Conshohocken Brewing Company features 10 taps and a menu of snacks (think: small bites and tacos) plus indoor seating, an outdoor deck overlooking the trail, and bike parking. Even better: The brewery is dog-friendly, so bring your furry companion in a bike cargo trailer.
Forest and Main Brewing Company
61 North Main Street, Ambler
If you’re looking to venture a bit farther by way of the Wissahickon, aim to land at Forest and Main in Ambler. Jeff Appeltans, founder and owner of GoCycling, suggests biking Forbidden Drive until you get out to Northwestern Avenue. “As you continue on, you’ll meander through Fort Washington,” Appeltans says. “On your route toward the Green Ribbon Trail, give yourself a break and make a pit stop at Forest and Main.” Forest and Main Brewing Company now has two locations next door to each other. The pub, situated inside a nineteenth-century Victorian house, serves up draft, cask, and bottled beer, as well as a full food menu. The larger space is can and bottle only but features live music.
Mainstay Independent Brewing Company
901 North Delaware Avenue, Northern Liberties
If you’re looking to enjoy Delaware River views, head to Mainstay Independent. An easy ride along the Delaware River bike path, the brewery is housed in Craft Hall, aka the former Yards Brewing site. Mainstay Independent currently pours 16 beers, several specialty cocktails, and wines, and dishes up small bites and comfort-style sandwiches. Craft Hall is also the home to Lost Bread Company, so you’ll have the chance to learn how beer and bread are made in one facility.
Manayunk Brewing Company
4120 Main Street, Manayunk
Manayunk Brewing Company is located at the southern end of the Manayunk Canal Towpath, which is part of the greater Schuylkill River Trail. According to Oesterle, a trip to the brewery is good for bikers from various Philly locations. “It could be a quick, four-mile ride from Center City, or a nice, longer ride (about 18 miles) from Valley Forge or the western suburbs.” Once there, head to the outdoor patio with views of the Schuylkill to enjoy a brew of your choice — the tap list features everything from IPAs to sours — and a dish off the extensive food menu. (Try the sushi!)
Root Down Brewing Company
1 North Main Street, Phoenixville
Appeltans, who has led several bike rides during past Philly Beer Weeks, raves about Phoenixville, as it’s easily accessible from Valley Forge Park. “[The town is] great for beer tours. It’s a destination location where you don’t even have to get on main roads.” He recommends hitting Root Down, which is feet from the Schuylkill. The brewery’s vibe is historic meets urban with exposed brick, high ceilings, graffitied walls, and Wu Tang-esque playlists. Not only are its beers refreshing, but Root Down sits next to Twisted Cog Bike Shop, so you can get your bike serviced while you take a brew break.
215 West Clinton Avenue, Oaklyn, New Jersey
Maybe you’re tired of trail-riding and need something more concrete (pun intended). Appeltans advocates pedaling across the Ben Franklin to get to Tonewood in South Jersey. About a 40-minute ride from Center City, the route to the 15-barrel brewhouse is actually fairly easy to navigate. Appeltans’ route looks like this: Cross the Ben Franklin Bridge into Camden and follow the perimeter of the Campbell Soup Company complex along Pine Street until you reach Magnolia Street. Make a left on Park Boulevard and take that to Kaighn Avenue, then turn left down to the Cooper River. After crossing the bridge, make a right onto North Park Drive, cross Route 130, and stay right over the bridge to continue onto South Park Drive. Take that to Browning Road until you hit Newton Lake Drive. Make a right, then left onto Route 30. Tonewood will be a few blocks away on your right.
Yards Brewing Company
500 Spring Garden Street, Northern Liberties
Yards is a consistent favorite among Philly cyclists, including Lucas Drecksage, co-owner of Philadelphia Bikesmith and national cycling organization Bikes and Beers. Although you’ll have to navigate city streets, the Northern Liberties brewery and taproom is worth all the potholes you’ll likely encounter. Yards has bike racks and seating both inside and outside, so chain up wherever you prefer before enjoying a tasting flight, refueling with a dish from the pub-style menu, or touring the facility. As a bonus: Love City Brewing is just a five-minute ride up the street.