I guess you could say Philly has a new brewpub. Technically it’s the “tasting room” at the Yards Brewery on Delaware Avenue in Northern Liberties. But they’re serving beer made on the premises, it has a kitchen, and it’s open every day from noon to 7 p.m. So that makes it a brewpub, right?
I got a look - and taste - at a fine opening reception last night. It’s a large room on the other side of glass wall from the actual brewhouse, with a bar (made from a recycled bowling alley), booth seating, hightops and a pool table. Nothing too fancy - this is a brewery, after all - but it’s decorated nicely. I especially liked the large Ben Franklin Bridge tapestry and a wall-sized collage of Yards beer labels.
Food is basic: chili and grilled cheese sandwiches (with bread made with the brewery’s spent grain). There may be more down the line. In addition to all of Yards’ beers, they’re serving Pennsylvania wine (I didn’t get a look at the brands).
The highlight for me was bumping into Jon Bovit, the guy who founded Yards with Tom Kehoe. Jon left the company some time back and he’s completely out of the beer biz now. The two of us just smiled at how far Yards had come in 15 years - from a tiny garage on Krams Avenue in Manayunk to a 26,000 SF facility in Northern Liberties. The tasting room alone is two or three times the size of that original brewhouse.
“I never imagined this,” Jon said. Me neither.
This is a definite must-visit for any beer lover. If you time it right, you can stop in for drinks before heading into N.Libs for dinner. Or drop by for a tour on Saturday afternoons between noon and 3:30 p.m.