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Jun 1 2016

Beer Gardens & Outdoor Drinking Spaces Bloom In Philly

A Sudsy Summer Awaits Thanks To Pop-Up & Permanent Beer Gardens

There’s only one place for beer lovers to be this summer, and that’s Philadelphia, where beer gardens abound and where craft beer is king. In past years, the city earned countless awards and glowing reviews for its outdoor drinking spaces. This year, these warm-weather venues are back—better, bigger and more numerous than ever. Among the most attention-grabbing: Spruce Street Harbor Park, a bustling oasis celebrating its third year on the Delaware River, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Pop Up Gardens, located in two different spots this year, and the highly anticipated SkyGarten, an alfresco German beer hall 51 stories up.

Here are some of Philadelphia’s best places for drinking outdoors at parks, pop-ups, patios and porches:

Parks & Pop-Up Spots:

  • The Oval returns to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for a summer of outdoor fun beginning on July 15. Along with food, musical performances, movies and mini-golf, visitors can say cheers to a beer garden on Wednesday through Saturday nights through August 21. The Oval’s beer selection varies throughout the five-week run. 2601 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, theovalphl.org
  • The Creamery brings the pop-up trend to Kennett Square this year by turning a converted industrial space into a community enclave. Open through the summer, the Groundswell-designed gathering area offers live music and entertainment, a craft beer garden and a menu by chef Jeremy Nolen (Whetstone Tavern, Brauhaus Schmitz), along with a changing list of visiting food trucks. 401 Birch Street, Kennett Square, kennettcreamery.com
  • The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s (DRWC) Spruce Street Harbor Park returns for a third year, attracting delighted visitors. Along with ample outdoor seating (including nets suspended over the river), local beer and higher-end grab-and-go food available from cargo containers, the seasonal park features an expanded hammock garden, more arcade games, an urban beach, fountains and a series of barges with lily pad water gardens. Through September 25. DRWC expands the fun with Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, complete with Philly’s only outdoor roller skating rink, a nine-hole mini-golf course and plentiful food offerings from Chickie’s and Pete’s Waterfront Crabshack. Through September 5. Spruce Street Harbor Park, Columbus Boulevard & Spruce Streets; Summerfest, Columbus Boulevard & Chestnut Streets, (215) 922-2FUN, delawareriverwaterfront.com
  • The Independence Seaport Museum’s Deck returns to the second-story perch overlooking Spruce Street Harbor Park and the Delaware River Waterfront this summer. Shaded by retired boat sails, the three-part space includes a game- and activity-stocked playground for families, a beer garden and a tall-tabled terrace. There’s pallet seating, canned craft beer, cheese and charcuterie plates, and a dog-friendly policy. Museum admission not required. Open Thursday through Sunday until mid-September. 211 S. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 413-8655, phillyseaport.org
  • Celebrating its second full summer season, Dilworth Park enters the outdoor drinking mix every Wednesday (5-7 p.m.) from June 1 through September 28 during the popular Center City Sips series. On the large outdoor terrace adjacent to the cafe, patrons enjoy discounted wines, beers and cocktails with DJs providing the soundtrack. West side of City Hall, 15th & Market Streets, dilworthpark.org
  • In the lot next to the taqueria that shares its name, Heffe Beer Garden expands on maverick chef Peter McAndrew’s Mexican operation. Servers from the restaurant deliver lamb-belly burritos and octopus tacos to the outdoor seats. A custom bar pours Hell or High Watermelon beer-splashed Fishtown Ritas, Victory’s Summer Love Ale and classics Coronas and Tecates. Call ahead for hours. 1431 Frankford Avenue, (215) 423-2309
  • After a wildly successful first season, Uptown Beer Garden reemerges for a second summer in Center City. The 9,000-square-foot courtyard of the BNY Mellon Wealth building is a popular early evening spot for after work happy hour. The garden encompasses two bars with a global street food menu courtesy of Jonathan Petruce, plus spirits, wines and beer, including an exclusive IPA concocted for the garden by Pizza Boy Brewing Company. Open through September 30. 1735 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, (215) 800-1079
  • The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) offers two Pop Up Gardens, each with a different vibe via foliage that helps set the mood. New this year: Garden at the Viaduct Rail Park, at 10th and Hamilton Streets. Landscape architect Walter Hood has merged post-industrial structures with urban green space, blending art, history and red cedars and staghorn sumac. Chefs Jason Cichonski of Ela and The Gaslight and Sylva Senat of Dos Tacos and Maison helm the Bun Box, serving steamed bao and other buns stuffed with tikka masala, Buffalo chicken and more. The garden bar will have six taps, canned beers and throwback-to-modern cocktails, from Fish House Punch to blood orange margaritas. Opens June 10. A beer garden returns once again to the South Street lot next to Jamaican Jerk Hut, where fragrant herbs, crape myrtles, climbing vines and a tall mulberry tree set a soothing tone. The Khyber Pass Pub oversees the beer and cocktail program, which features a botanical bar, frozen daiquiris and brewery favorites. The menu reflects the diversity of South Philly’s residents via sweet potato summer rolls, Italian charcuterie, and bacon guacamole. 1438-46 South Street. Opens June 1. The seven-days-a-week spots run through October 1. phsonline.org
  • Concession trucks meet permanent parks for several days at a time during Parks on Tap, a partnership between Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, the Fairmount Park Conservancy and restaurateur Avram Hornik. The new program takes advantage of lush extant spaces and Philly’s wealth of mobile suppliers to bring two trucks at a time (one food, one craft beer and other adult beverages), along with live music and outdoor games to such popular spots at the Schuylkill Banks at Walnut Street Bridge, Penn Treaty Park, Clark Park and Lemon Hill. Open through October 2, hours vary. (215) 422-3011, parksontap.com
  • The brand new pop-up Conshohocken Beer Garden takes up residence on the banks of the Schuylkill River. Open through October, the beer garden tempts with beer, wine and eats from local restaurants Pepperoncini and Bar Lucca, and features giant Jenga and baggo games to keep patrons entertained. 2 Ash Street, Conshohocken, morethanthecurve.com
  • The country’s oldest zoo has Philly’s newest beer garden. The Watering Hole opened to all Philadelphia Zoo visitors in July. Groundswell Design Group created landscape near the Eagles' Roost. The in-zoo oasis offers of-age patrons two wines and 10 beers, including Tröegs Sunshine Pils, Victory Summer Love Ale and Goose Island 312, served in eco-friendly cups. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday (closing date TBD). 3400 Girard Avenue, (215) 243-1100, philadelphiazoo.org
  • In anticipation of their forthcoming bricks-and-mortar brewery and taproom, beer maker Evil Genius offers an event-based beer garden in Fishtown. Between buildings, the pop-up hosts a roster of food trucks, bands, movies and barbecue. On tap: the brewer’s Turtle Power grapefruit pale ale, Stacy’s Mom India pale ale, I Love Lamp pineapple hefeweizen and more, as dreamed up by two Villanova University grads. Open July 22-24, August 19-21, September 9-11, October 14-16. 1730 N. Front Street, evilgeniusbeer.com

Beer Gardens, Patios & Porches:

  • American Sardine Bar’s backyard patio fronts 18th Street in the Point Breeze neighborhood. Throughout the warm-weather months, brew lovers can expect beer events and grill nights. Hungry visitors can pair their outdoor drinks with the $2 namesake sardine sandwich and the salt-and-pepper fries. 1800 Federal Street, (215) 334-2337, americansardinebar.com
  • Tucked behind Greek taverna Opa, the Drury Beer Garden—complete with its own Drury Street entrance—stocks two-dozen cans, five bottles and eight rotating drafts to complement its casual menu. With 24 hours’ notice, parties of six can celebrate summer with a PEI mussel ($25 per person) or pig roast ($35 per person) feast. 1311 Sansom Street, (215) 545-0170, opaphiladelphia.com
  • Stephen Starr’s Frankford Hall seats up to 240 people outside. The space is simple by Starr standards, complete with exposed brick walls, reclaimed industrial materials and ping-pong tables. Classic German foods—pretzels, bratwurst, spätzle—are available at a walk-up counter, as is a hefty beer menu that includes everything from traditional German beers to craft specialties available by the half-liter or liter. 1210 Frankford Avenue, (215) 634-3338, frankfordhall.com
  • With authentic German food, European glassware, wooden picnic tables and live foliage, Hop Angel Brauhaus’ courtyard comes pretty close to a traditional biergarten. Open every night for dinner in season, the Fox Chase beer garden welcomes well-behaved dogs and pays homage to the Fatherland with an Alpine-looking mural. Twelve taps change constantly, but one element stays the same: At least a few of them always carry German and German-style lagers.7980 Oxford Avenue, (215) 437-1939, hopangel.com
  • Located across from the Liberty Bell, the aptly named Independence Beer Garden brings 20,000 square feet of outdoor drinking and eating space to America’s most historic square mile. Helmed by chef-restaurateur Michael Schulson of Sampan fame, the seasonal beer garden serves up an all-American food and drink menu. Think pigs in a blanket, double-decker burgers, salads and strawberry shortcake washed down by a rotating can and tap beer list from breweries such as Victory, Deschutes, Yards, 21st Amendment and Fat Head. Adding to the atmosphere: Adirondack chairs, games, string lights and ivy-covered pergolas. 100 Independence Mall West, (215) 922-7100, phlbeergarden.com
  • Offering a stunning view of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, La Peg, which shares a building with FringeArts, offers craft beers aplenty (with prices as low as $3 a can) and live performances on select nights in its picture-perfect beer garden. This summer brings the opening of the Seafood Shack, a quick-service counter dishing up lobster rolls, fried clams and crab poutine. 140 N. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 375-7744, lapegbrasserie.com
  • Llama Tooth restaurant and beer garden boasts an ambitious beer menu that pays plenty of attention to local favorites from Yards, Philadelphia Brewing Company, Dogfish Head, Weyerbacher, Voodoo and many others. Drinkers size up their prospective beer’s state of origin, style and Beer Advocate score before making their selections. Situated across from popular music venue Union Transfer, the mural-clad beer garden also offers a simple menu of salads, burgers and shareable appetizers. 1033 Spring Garden Street, (267) 639-4582, llamatooth.com
  • The picnic table-furnished lot next to Memphis Taproom serves up an omnivore-, vegan- and vegetarian-friendly menu full of summer backyard flavors, along with canned craft beers, from a food truck parked permanently in the garden. Guests can catch nighttime Phillies games here as well. 2331 E. Cumberland Street, (215) 425-4460, memphistaproom.com
  • Open this summer, Mission Tacqueria, a Mexico City-inspired indoor beer garden from Sam Mink, owner of Samson Street Oyster House. Mink took a onetime brewery upstairs from his family’s longtime restaurant, added skylights, exposed beams and brick walls and installed plants, picnic tables, a juice bar, foosball and shuffleboard in the 4,500-square-foot space. A menu of large (lamb barbacoa) and small (tacos, ceviche) sharing plates accompany eight taps for beer, wine and house cocktails, along with a deep selection of tequila, mezcal and fresh-juice sangria and margaritas.1516 Sansom Street, 2nd floor, (215) 567-7683, phillymission.com
  • Conveniently located next to Race Street Pier, Morgan’s Pier draws people for weekend brunch, weekday DJs with no cover and close-up views of the Delaware River and Ben Franklin Bridge. In a backyard setting with wooden picnic tables, umbrellas, twinkling lights and Liden trees, the laid-back crowd enjoys a hefty selection of canned and draft beers, seasonal cocktails, along with a refined picnic menu overseen this year by chef James Burke. After dark, Morgan’s Pier hosts musicians and guest DJs. 221 N. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 279-7134, morganspier.com
  • Part island oasis/part junkyard, Silk City’s beer garden is filled with colorful tables, empty-kegs-turned-chairs, string lights galore and garden ornament objects likely salvaged at many a yard sale. The hipster clientele at this perennially packed spot enjoys a large selection of high- and low-end beers—from Dogfish Head Indian Brown to PBR and Miller High Life. The American fare with flair is so good it’s been featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. 435 Spring Garden Street, (215) 592-8838, silkcityphilly.com
  • The city’s tallest beer garden, SkyGarten combines the dramatic views of the uppermost floors of Three Logan Square’s SkyBrunch with the culinary magic of chef Jeremy Nolen and considerable mixology talents of Jesse Cornell. Visitors can choose from four drafts, canned German and craft beers, cocktails and a bar snack menu while enjoying a superb vista 51 floors up. Open Wednesday through Saturday through 2016. 1717 Arch Street, (215) 557-7887, skygartenphilly.com
  • A fun addition to the University City scene, indoor beer garden William Street Common expands into a 60-seat patio. Here patrons enjoy a casual menu of snacks, salads and sandwiches, along with a $3 drink menu that includes cocktails, wine and beers from a rotating draft list. 3900 Chestnut Street, (215) 397-4693, williamstreetcommon.com

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.
 

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Beer Gardens & Outdoor Drinking Spaces Bloom In Philly

A Sudsy Summer Awaits, Thanks To Pop-Up & Permanent Beer Gardens

Philadelphia has become a major hotspot for beer lovers (and food and wine lovers, for that matter) to drink outdoors, where beer gardens of the permanent and pop-up variety have sprung up all over the city and the surrounding suburbs. Summer staples such as Spruce Street Harbor Park, Independence Beer Garden and others have seen friendly competition from outdoor spaces at Evil Genius, the Philadelphia Zoo and others in recent years, and 2017 will be no different. Here are some of Philadelphia’s best places for drinking outdoors at parks, patios, porches, decks and docks:

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