With more than 30 breweries in the city, Philly Beer Week has a lot to celebrate. And despite a marked slowdown in the national scene, new beermakers continue to join Philly’s ranks.
“Philly is a beer-drinking city,” Kyle Wolak, co-owner of Baltimore Avenue’s recently opened Carbon Copy Brewing, told Billy Penn. “I’m really excited for the future of the scene here, I feel there’s a lot of old guard breweries that can pave the way for smaller breweries like us.”
What newcomers should Philly beer lovers make a point to check out? Here’s a look at six of the city’s newest brewers, and what they’re offering for Beer Week and beyond.
There’s a lot of history behind this Fishtown brewery, from its repurposed building to its namesake.
The brewing company’s logo is derived from the one used by the Ambler dairy farm run by the family of founder Mike Meyers, which operated from the 1860s through 1950. It’s an ongoing theme: flights at the brewery come in milk bottles, and drafts poured into signature milk glasses.
Operating out of a refurbished 1880’s carriage house, Meyers Brewing makes everything on site using a tiny 3.5-barrel brewhouse. “We love lagers and pilsners, and always make sure we have one sour at all times,” Meyers said of the lineup, a rotation of 10 beers and a cider. “New England IPA is also something we do really well.”
The brewery hosts rotating food trucks, bingo on Wednesdays, Quizzo on Thursdays, and speed dating or comedy nights on Fridays. Outdoor seating is available, but sitting inside is equally refreshing this time of year, thanks to the open 12.5-foot garage door.
Celebrating its second anniversary in July, the brewery is participating in Beer Week for the first time.
At the one-day Local Love Philly festival hosted by Germantown’s Attic Brewing on Thursday, June 8, beers will pour out of the back of a 1950’s pickup truck, and Meyers also produced a special collab for the occasion.
East Girard Avenue IPA, brewed in partnership with Fishtown’s Humble Parlor, will be available across a five-bar crawl on Saturday, June 10, with stops at Interstate Drafthouse, Lloyd Whiskey Bar, and Kraftwork Bar.
436 East Girard Avenue | 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, 5 to 11 p.m. Thursday, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. Friday, 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Saturday, 12 to 8 p.m. Sunday
Step right up to this Manayunk brewery where the big-top theme is a throwback to when circuses were “family for people who didn’t feel like they fit in other places in society,” owner Jane Lipton told Billy Penn. “That’s the way we want it to be here.”
Since its September 2021 opening, the brewery has become a neighborhood hotspot for its welcoming vibes, eccentric decor, and range of entertainment options, from board games to shuffleboard, darts, and ping pong and foosball tables (BYO food).
The flagship beer is the Giant Jim Tarver, a 6.9% ABV homage to the former world’s tallest man and a staple from when the brewery’s initial focus was on IPA’s, since expanded.
“We’ve worked hard to broaden our internal palette and external offerings,” Lipton said. The current lineup includes a golden lager and several ales, all in the 5%-7% ABV range. “Easy drinking, not too heavy for the summer.”
Fat Lady heads into Beer Week with six drafts on tap — its most ever. “We’re a tiny, one-location taproom, so this is an exciting thing for us,” Lipton said. “We wanted to hit a milestone for Philly Beer Week.” Among them are the Top Hat, a pale ale hopped in citrus, cashmere, and azacca, the Ring Master, brewed with German malts and hops, and the Sideshow, an American pale ale with “floral notes.” Throughout the week, Fat Lady will offer mix-and-match four-packs to go with a 20% discount.
The queer-owned and operated brewery hosts a Beer Week drag show and lip sync competition on Saturday, June 3 (tickets are $20), and a queer dance party on June 9 in collaboration with LGBTQ event producer Sip City ($5 cover).
The brewery also hosts regularly scheduled dance parties and speed dating nights, and has a robust lineup of events for Pride Month, including queer comedy nights and a film festival.
4323 Main Street | 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 2 p.m. to 12 a.m. Friday, 11 to 12 a.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, 6 to 10 p.m. Monday
Opened in the former Dock Street West location last December, this newcomer aims to continue the tradition set by what was, in 1989, Philly’s first brewpub, by offering something for everyone.
Not only is Carbon Copy also a winery, but “we try to make a spectrum of styles and strengths so that everyone can find something to drink,” co-owner Kyle Wolak said.
Alongside its pilsners, pale ales, and lagers, the brewery currently offers three vintages for $11 or $12 a glass: Riesling, pinot gris, and a Mid-Atlantic red blend . The food menu features starters like vegan housemade chips and 12-hour onion dip, whipped burrata, and chicken wings, as well as a range of pizzas, and a selection of tinned fish. For Beer Week, Carbon Copy has a new Munich-style helles lager called Laud, which premieres at Human Robot’s Logjammin’ event on Saturday, June 3.
The brewery is also embracing the spirit of collaboration. “It’s great because everyone’s got their own perspectives on old techniques,” said Wolak.
A West Coast double IPA made with Two Locals Brewing called Coasty debuts June 7 at Local 44. A pale ale brewed with New Zealand hops is a collab with Other Half Brewing. Out-of-town brewers from Vermont’s Freak Folk and North Carolina’s Burial Beer Co. will be guest-brewing throughout the week on offerings that will be available after the fest.
Carbon Copy will pour at Standard Tap’s New Kids on the Block party on June 2, showcasing their light lager Gage, West Coast IPA Spur, and English light mild Biddable, a collaboration with Ambler’s Forest & Main Brewing.
The brewery is also working with Kensington’s Sacred Vice on a murder mystery dinner at Varga Bar on June 4, and will pour at Attic Brewing’s Local Love Philly festival on June 8.
Beyond Beer Week, keep an eye out for Carbon Copy in South Philly.
The brewery is set to expand with a summer-long — and “hopefully after as well” — pop-up in the recently shuttered Separatist Beer Project on 12th and Morris in South Philly.
701 S 50th Street | 4 to 11 p.m. Wednesday & Thursday, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. Friday, 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Saturday, 12 to 9 p.m. Sunday (kitchen 4 to 10 p.m.)
Married duo Alex and Maria Howell are behind this bootstrapped Fishtown brewery, balancing bar duties with Maria’s 9 to 5 and Alex’s accounting business — and doing it well enough to win a gold medal at the 2023 Best of Craft Beer Awards for the 7.2% ABV Humble Nectar NEIPA.
“Our main focus is to serve our immediate neighborhood the best beer possible and be hands on with that service,” the couple told Billy Penn. “[We’re] one of the only places where you can sit at the bar and be served by the owner and brewer every day we are open.”
With a shared passion for creating “small batch, craft beer,” the Howells began brewing in February of 2022 before opening the doors of their taproom in January, where they host Quizzo on Wednesdays, bingo on Thursdays, and rotating events like comedy shows, Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. tournaments.
The newly opened beer garden features a 120-inch projector screen for sports and movies, as well as a setup for quoits, with the couple aiming to host a league over the summer and fall. The taproom is currently BYO for food, with plans to incorporate a small menu in the future.
Beyond the East Girard Avenue IPA and bar crawl with Meyers Brewing, Humble Parlor will premiere new beers throughout the week, including a West Coast Style IPA brewed with South African hops, and hazy session made with Cryo Sabro hops. The brewery will also pour Hop-2-0, a zero-percent ABV “hop wooder” made with New Zealand’s wai-iti hops.
Activities include an Anxious Millennial-hosted Beer Week Quizzo on Wednesday, June 7, and an event with Northern Liberties Run Club on Thursday, June 8, with the run ending at the taproom with dollar-off beers. Humble will be pouring samples at Attic Brewing’s Germantown event on the same day.
530 East Girard Avenue | 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday & Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, 12 to 11 p.m. Saturday, 12 to 8 p.m. Sunday
The Kenwood crew keeps it light and tight: the brewery makes one beer, the 4.1% ABV Kenwood Original, aka “Kenny,” dubbed a craft American lager.
“There are a lot of great beers in Philly, but nobody’s focusing on solely one thing,” co-founder Matt Serra said. “We wanted to differentiate ourselves and focus on making one good product.”
For Beer Week, Serra’s plan fits with his brand: “Keep it simple, working with partners we know and love.” He’s doing giveaways at a bunch of events, including Varga Bar’s day-long block on June 2 and Quizzo at Strangelove’s on Monday, June 5.
For more information, visit kenwoodbeer.com
This nano-brewery from cofounders Wayne Humphrey and Tim Montague specializes in bespoke brews.
Founded in 2010 in a Philadelphia backyard before moving to Global Dye Works in Fishtown, the brewery’s entire variety of beer styles, strengths, and flavor profiles are all the product of the same original mash, a point of pride for Humphrey and Montague, winners of Home Sweet Homebrau’s 2020 People’s Choice award.
That lineup includes signature brews like the Philly Phinger, a heavily-hopped mix of Kolsch, Sticke Altbier, and WC blonde ale; the St. Marmotte, a 9% Belgian Abbey-style Tripel, and Pigeons Punching Pigeons, a West Coast Cold IPA with “ridiculous amounts” of Zappa hops and California lager yeast.
Visitors to the brewery can experiment with their own preferred flavor profiles. MLBW offers craft consultation sessions and “brew day experiences,” where visiting groups can tailor to their tastes, from ingredient selection to packaging.
Coinciding with the start of Beer Week, MLBW is premiering a 6% American wheat beer called Franklin Frost, the result of a collab with Philly “blogazine” Wooder Ice.
Franklin Frost comes in three seasonal varieties — passionfruit, mango, and dry-hopped — and it debuts at Old City’s Stratus Rooftop Lounge on Thursday, June 8. Not yet available for purchase elsewhere, the limited edition beer will be raffled off during the event: a case for the grand prize winner, a 12-pack to each of the second place winners, and variety six-packs for runners up. Tickets are $25, with a portion of the proceeds going to Broad Street Ministry.
4500 Worth Street, STE J2 | For appointment scheduling, visit mylocalbrewworks.com
Philly Beer Week runs from June 2-11. A full listing of events can be found here.