10 Philly Beers You Need to Drink Before You Die
The bad news is, someday you will die. The good news is, there’s a lot of stuff to keep you busy, including drinking these 10 quintessential Philly beers, before you do. Just don’t drink them all at once, lest our beer bucket list be the ironic reason you kick said bucket.
Maybe it’s not quite as cheap and easy as when you go to the bar and just bark out “Lager,” but the malty coffee and caramel tones of the Black & Tan stout is worth the upgrade. Think of it as Philly’s attempt at a Guinness.
Yards’ most approachable beer is coveted by beer connoisseurs and newbies alike thanks to its delicate hops, hints of caramel, and English-inspired toasty flavor. The year-round brew is an especially sweet companion to any of Philly's better slices of pizza, and though Yards is at the top when it comes to introducing seasonal beers, this year-round mainstay will never leave you hanging.
Tröegs’ winter specialty is the perfect (and dangerous) combination of tasty and potent: this strikingly red Belgian-style ale boasts hints of cherry, honey & chocolate, and is so smooth you probably won’t even notice the incredibly high ABV.
This traditional spring beer is called something different each year, because each year it’s named after the goat (yes, you heard us right) that wins the surprisingly popular/competitive goat race at Sly Fox’s annual Bock Fest. That alone is enough to get it on this list, but the beer, which’s brewed with German Vienna and Pils malts and Hallertauer hops, is excellent in it’s own right.
The Belgian-style tripel combines pilsner malt with an Abbey yeast strain that yields a dry finish with flavors of spice, banana, and pear. On the creamier side, the beer dries with age so we suggest hanging on to a few bottles for highly scientific observational purposes. The year-round brew is a perfect pairing for Mediterranean and Italian foods alike.
Don’t let the sweet smell of this creamy vanilla-caramel-toffee stout fool you: the flavors combine to create a smooth roasted flavor that’s made it one of the most popular local stouts. Plus Iron Hill mixes its RIS up a bit by offering 16oz cans at a relative bargain.
A lot has changed since Yards first brewed this dry English-style stout in 1997 -- the brewery is practically a Philly landmark/tourist destination now -- but this rich, well-rounded beer is still combining chocolate and coffee notes, which pair well with both sweet and savory eats, and earn it a spot on our list.
This time J.A.W.N refers to Juicy Ale With Nugget, tugging at all our heartstrings with a name almost too Philly for Philly, even though the brewer is from... ugh... Jersey. One taste of this crisp, malty, and hoppy brew with dark citrus and tropical tones and you’ll totally forgive him though.
Founded by two dudes who went to elementary school together here in Pennsylvania, Victory is currently winning this whole brewing thing (its suds are available in 34 states!), and winning a spot on our list with an American IPA with bold spices and citrusy notes that should convert any IPA nonbeliever. It's best served chilled to bring out flavors of apricot, banana, florals, and pine.
The cranberry sour ale is released every year and has local beer lovers savoring every drop 'til it runs out. The cranberry is low key enough to nullify any dizzying sweetness, while traces of lavender and herbs give it a well-rounded, but complex taste.
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