5 Good Craft Beer Bars in Philly

by | December 7, 2012 at 10:00 AM | Local News

By Cassie Helper, Examiner.com

When a foodie morphs into being a self-proclaimed beer nerd, it is a glorious, whole new world with tastes galore. Gone are the days of drinking Natty Ice just because it’s cheap and provides a buzz. These days everybody from college students to corporate crews to refined hipsters want to actually taste and enjoy a good brew. Some beer even comes with its own glasses – some shaped like a wine glass, tall glass or glass beer cup. Regardless of what flavor your taste buds are screaming for, one of these top five beer bars will surely whet your palate well.
 
Dock Street Brewing Co.
701 S. 50th St.  
Philadelphia, PA 19143
(215) 726-2337

Located in West Philadelphia, this cozy brewery is tucked behind an old firehouse. Entering the bar, you immediately notice the wood fired oven. On the chalkboard hanging on the wall, the list of brews on tap is constantly evolving with such favorites as “Man Full of Trouble Porter” and “Spanish Fly,” which allegedly contains wormwood. This is the same ingredient that offers hallucinogenic properties in absinthe, which is not for the faint of beer-hearted. Soak it up with a wide array of tasty pizza pie baked to perfection. Or join in on Movie Night every Tuesday with $1 off drafts and $1-2 off select pizza pies.
 
Lucky’s Last Chance
4421 Main St.  
Philadelphia, PA 19127
(215) 509-6005

Once upon a time there was a bar on Main Street Manayunk called Tonic. Then is was Yunkers. Then it finally became appropriately named Lucky’s Last Chance. Out with the techno beats and popped collars and in with the old Manayunk crew, this place reinvented itself well into one of the best craft beer bars around. Also known for their artistic burgers such as a peanut butter and jelly burger, a good pairing would be Weyerbacher Winter Ale, Port Santa’s Little Helper or perhaps a Great Lakes Nosferatu. Switching up the drink list every Tuesday and offering Tuesday night flight club to sample newcomers, this bar has its finger on the beer tap. Every last Thursday of the month, take a trip down memory lane with the Pixies, to the Killers, to Fugazi Not the Pop from the one and only DJ Q Ball.
 
Old Eagle Tavern
177 Markle St.  
Philadelphia, PA 19127
(215) 483-5535

This is a bar that is pretty much unknown, hard to find, and has horrible typical Manayunk street hillside parking. However, the payoff once you’re inside is well worth it. With food here as equally delicious as the craft beer list, which changes usually seasonally, anything ordered will be amazing. Choose from 11 rotating drafts and over 60 beer bottles. Ales, wits, whites, cider, sweet, Belgians, porters, barleywines are just a handful of tastes. They even offer Harpoon Grateful Harvest Cranberry Ale with all proceeds donated to Philabundance. Beer for a cause! With specials ranging from week day happy hours from 5 to 7 p.m., weekend brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and free pool Monday night, there’s always a reason to pop by for a beer.
 
The Tomato Bistro
102 Rector St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19127
(215) 483-2233

It’s what happens when The Couch Tomato grows up, gets an upstairs kitchen and bar and pimps itself out. The Tomato Bistro is located above the area’s beloved pizza kitchen and offers an impressive array of craft beers on tap – as above, so below. Wednesday is the night to try some of the best brews around from pumpkin ales on tap to Merry Monks from the bottle to the glass. And with half priced pints, it is a beer lovers paradise. A gourmet duck pizza is always a nice addition as well as select appetizers and of course, they will try to tempt you with the tomato soup samples. With specials every day of the week, a points program to earn free food and coupons in the mail for a free beer on your birthday, the only think left to do is look for excuses not to go all the time.
 
Barcade
1114 Frankford Ave.  
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 634-4400

The amount of beers on draft when entering this old warehouse is staggering – and enticing. With 24 beers on tap and old school video games everywhere ranging from Donkey Kong, Pac Man and Super Mario Brothers, it is an 80s oasis beer garden. Stillwater Why Can’t IBU, Allagash Black and Anderson Valley Featherleggy Bulrusher are the latest on the ever-revolving list of beer selections. With descriptions of each beer following each name, it is much like studying for a test of beer-biblical proportions. Fortunately, they will allow you to sample before you buy. And while you’re at it, add on a side of Sriracha deviled eggs, beef jerky, pork tacos with cilantro sauce or get real sloppy with a mac and cheese pulled pork sandwich with watercress. This place takes bar food – and beer – to a whole new level.