Photographs by Tessa Marie Images
From respected veterans to promising upstarts, our region is home to some of the best breweries in the state, if not the nation.
— Best Newcomers —
Workhorse Brewing Company
Workhorse Brewing made its debut a little less than a year ago with a 70,000-square-foot behemoth of a facility in King of Prussia. Co-founder Dan Hershberg wanted to offer “accessible, approachable craft beer”—and he’s spared no expense to do so, bringing in Victory alum Nate Olewine as brewmaster. Workhorse eschews trendy niche and experimental styles in favor of a something-for-everyone approach. “It’s why we’re called Workhorse,” says Hershberg. “That’s exactly what we are.” The diverse mix includes Vienna Lager, the best-selling New England-style IPA and the Noble-hopped American Pilsner.
250 King Manor Drive
King of Prussia, (484) 997-8278
Locust Lane Craft Brewery
Once a hedge-fund trader by day and a home brewer by night, Tom Arnold doubled down on his hobby, opening Locust Lane in 2017 with business partners Bryan Brockson and Jason Cartwright. Arnold’s fermentations are creative but never overburdened with ingredients. Highlights include the deliciously hazy New England Amorphous Anniversary IPA and the straw-hued Kolsch. At 8 percent ABV, the BaltNick Porter is (as the name suggests) crafted in the Baltic style.
50 Three Tun Road, Suite 4
Malvern, (484) 324-4141
Bald Birds Brewing Company
Husband-and-wife duo Abby and Joe Feerrar know what they have in 26-year-old Patrick Thomas. A former protégé of Jon Defibaugh, head brewer at Philadelphia’s acclaimed Evil Genius Beer Company, Thomas has churned out an exceptional roster of 52 beers in just eight months. Standouts include the Super Decent Pale Ale, the hop-forward Corporate Complex Farmhouse Ale, the aptly named Good Hustle Lager, and the Distant Snowflake Mexican Lager, which nips the taste buds with chili and lime. For those who’d rather not hike it to Audubon, there’s another tasting room in Manayunk.
970 Rittenhouse Road, Suite 400
Audubon, (484) 392-7068
Stolen Sun Brewing & Roasting Company
The brainchild of Jonathan Zangwill and his wife, Deirdre, Stolen Sun is one part brewery, one part coffee roaster, one part craft kitchen—and somehow, it’s exceptional at all three. Zangwill’s current claim to fame is Baby Juices, the ambrosia of IPAs. New Exton, his riff on a New England-style ale, is highly sought after. Jumpy Jon’s Java Stout marries a rich stout with origin-sourced coffee in colder months. Zangwill avoids lactose in his brews, instilling sweetness and body through natural processes instead.
342 Pottstown Pike, Suite B
Exton, (484) 879-4161
Levante Brewing Company
Levante cofounder and brew master Tim Floros has made the most of the last four years, “elevating” his craft with a stable of beers that now command cult-like respect, if not outright fanaticism. Topping the list are his New England-style IPAs: Cloudy & Cumbersome, Tickle Parts and Glitter Parts. Or, if you dare, try the Death by Cloudy Triple IPA, at 10.1 percent ABV. Earlier this year, Levante launched its Project Mercury beer-delivery service. Also check out its pop-up beer garden at Highland Orchards on weekends through Sept. 1.
208 Carter Drive, Suite 2
West Chester, (484) 999-8761
— Suds Speak —
A primer in craft connoisseur terminology.
Alcohol by volume.
A 32-ounce aluminum to-go can re-sealed by machine at a beer purveyor.
Slang term for a well-balanced and super-drinkable beer—usually a hoppy with low to medium ABV.
An airtight sealed jug, usually made of glass, ceramic or stainless steel, that holds 64 or 128 ounces of beer, refilled by purveyors.
Refers to the murky movement toward juicy IPAs, Double IPAs and alcohol-laden Imperial IPAs. The haze comes from microscopic compounds that add flavor and aroma.
A sweetening agent usually added to beer during the brewing process. The body converts lactose into sugar, so too much can lead to feeling fuller more quickly.
New England IPA.
Currently a national phenomenon due to it hazy complexion, fruit forwardness, complexity and refined bitterness.
Poured directly from a tap, this mixture of about 70 percent nitrogen and 30 percent carbon dioxide converts bubbles into a creamy body that’s similar in texture to a milkshake.
An easy-drinking, lower-alcohol beer.
A refrigerator-friendly alternative to quarter kegs and cases, a sixtel is the equivalent of 56 12-ounce cans or bottles. Its contents usually lasts 60-90 days.
— Big Names in the Beer Business —
(Local, regional and otherwise)
Conshohocken Brewing Company
With its aromatic IPAs, award-winning English-style pale ale and a host of seasonal beers, CBC has spawned offshoot destinations, including a brewpub in Bridgeport, a taproom in King of Prussia, the Rec Room in Phoenixville and Havertown’s popular Town Tap. Visit www.conshohockenbrewing.com.
D.G. Yuengling and Son
A product of America’s oldest operating brewery and the long-running pride of Pottsville, Yuengling remains a reliable—and ubiquitous—lager. Visit www.yuengling.com.
Dogfish Head Brewery
Since 1995, founder Sam Callagione has taken a self-described “off-centered approach” toward the business of beer. The result is a top-rated assortment of beers with national scope, including the 60 Minute IPA and 90 Minute Imperial IPA. The Milton, Del., microbrewery recently merged with Boston Beer, brewer of Samuel Adams, for a cool $300 million. Visit www.dogfish.com.
Iron Hill Brewery
What began in Newark, Del., as a single brewery in 1996 is now a dining-and-drinking juggernaut that spans four states and 17 locations. A consistently executed menu, well-crafted beers and an atmosphere that pops with visual iconography make this the leading full-service brewery of its kind in the region. Visit www.ironhillbrewery.com.
Root Down Brewing Company
Right out of the gate, Root Down took home the gold medal in the 2018 Great American Beer Festival for its American Style IPA, beating out 310 other entrants. The in-house kitchen concocts some pretty savory eats, too. Visit www.rootdownbrewing.com.
Sly Fox Brewing Company
Sly Fox has been around since 1995, making it one of our region’s trailblazers. A distinctive malt backbone is what sets its Pikeland Pils, Route 113 IPA and Grisette Belgian Wheat Saison apart. Visit www.slyfoxbeer.com.
Stoudts Brewing Company
Pennsylvania’s first microbrewery also happens to be run by America’s first female brewer, Carol Stoudt. She introduced craft beer to our region in 1989, when a King of Prussia restaurant began carrying her Golden Lager. Stoudt’s Adamstown headquarters remains a destination for world-class beers. Visit stoudts.com.
Tired Hands Brewing Company
Tired Hands’ two Ardmore locations have garnered national acclaim thanks to Jean Broilet IV, an out-of-the-box brewer who finesses the highest quality and flavor profiles from his hoppy beers. Visit www.tiredhands.com.
Victory Brewing Company
Since 1996, Downingtown’s Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet have made the biggest national impact of any regional brewers in Pennsylvania. Its core beers—HopDevil, Golden Monkey, Storm King, Prima Pils, DirtWolf and Summer Love—are available in 37 states and counting. More recent local developments include a second brewery in Parkesburg, which opened in 2014. Visit www.victorybeer.com.
Yards Brewing Company
Yards’ signature IPA, Brawler and Love Stout are go-to brews for many an aficionado, and the pale ale may be the best value in the region. A Philly institution since 1994, Yards recently moved from Northern Liberties to an impressive new location on Spring Garden Street. Visit www.yardsbrewing.com.