Philly’s Brewpub Boom

From Kensington to Berwyn, six standout examples of the new neighborhood spots bringing small breweries and excellent kitchens together under a single roof.

Saint Benjamin’s Taproom. Photos by Samuel Markey

Saint Benjamin’s Taproom. Photos by Samuel Markey

Craft beer has been good to Philly. It’s made this one of the great drinking cities in America. It fueled the gastropub boom. And now there’s the rise of the neighborhood brewpub — small breweries and excellent kitchens brought together under a single roof. Here, a rundown of those that have opened in the past few months.

Saint Benjamin’s Taproom

1710 North 5th Street, Kensington
You know what Ben Franklin liked? Beer. The avid home brewer is now the patron saint of this brewery, which opened in the former Theo Finkenauer Brewery and recently debuted a taproom where house beers are paired with pork tacos, brisket melts, vegan jackfruit banh mi and flatbread pizzas.

Flying Fish Crafthouse

1363 North 31st Street, Brewerytown
A collaboration between Brian Duffy (of Spike TV’s Bar Rescue fame) and Flying Fish brewery (of New Jersey), this new spot has wines on tap, bottled cocktails, and a full bar, along with all those NJ Turnpike exit-named ales. The menu is straight-up American Brew Pub, offering pizzas, a bunch of different burgers, and a long list of bar snacks—including “Duffified” wings, which are baked, fried and grilled, and served naked, beer-glazed or hot.

Crime & Punishment Brewing

2711 West Girard Avenue, Brewerytown
Sure, the easy hook here is that C&P helped bring brewing back to Brewerytown. But the coolest thing here is that they take their Eastern Bloc name very seriously, so their beers have monikers like Space Dogs and Ghost Station, and the menu has butternut squash pelmeni, sauerkraut-braised roast pork sandwiches with smoked paprika aioli, and big plates of pierogies with caramelized onions and dill.

La Cabra Brewing

642 Lancaster Avenue, Berwyn
La Cabra, which opened in a former furniture showroom across from a train station, is a rustic, comfortable space with taps full of brewer Dan Popernack’s barrel-aged ales. The menu is inspired by the flavors of Latin America, so there are jerk chicken tamales, jalapeño bacon, and a jumped-up Cuban sandwich with manchego cheese sauce.

Bridgeport Brewpub

3 Dekalb Street, Bridgeport
This new pub from the crew at Conshohocken Brewing Company features a bunch of small-batch, experimental beers that come straight off the in-house system (so, things like a kettle-soured German pilsner and a coffee-infused ESB) and a kitchen that does beer-fried cheese curds, burgers and tacos and also offers a kids’ menu.

Evil Genius On Front

1731 North Front Street, Fishtown
Not yet open by press time, this brewpub proves this whole trend isn’t just another flash in the pan. They’ve got a space under the El, just down the street from Wm. Mulherin’s Sons, and a plan that will finally put Evil Genius’s brewing, offices and drinking activities under one roof. Once completed, the large warehouse space will have a 15-barrel brewing setup on one side and a pub on the other.