The Best Craft Beer Bars in Philadelphia

Philly’s reputation for craft beer—bolstered by the success of regional breweries, as well as local bar owners’ skill at securing rare kegs from around the world—is well-earned. There are more good places to drink and learn about beer than ever, from iconic Belgian landmarks to weird, wonderful West Philly hideaways. The options in this category are many, meaning serious beer tourists should also add Grace Tavern, Khyber Pass Pub, Johnny Brenda’s, Prohibition Taproom, Standard Tap and Strangelove’s to their liquid itineraries.

  • 1

    American Sardine Bar

    Sixteen American beers on tap and a functional-stoner menu of sandwiches and snacks are the formula at Point Breeze’s best pub, identifiable by the enormous sardine-can “sign” dangling out front. The rear courtyard also happens to be one of the most comfortable open-air drinking spaces in the city.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • jukebox
    • cheap date
    • bar food
    • full menu
    • craft beer
    • craft cocktails
    • day drinking
    • outdoor / patio
  • 2

    Dock Street

    A pioneering small-scale brewery far ahead of the American craft curve, Dock Street also counts itself as an inclusive gathering place for West Philly types (and there are a lot of West Philly types). The draft lines, reserved for flagships and seasonal brews produced on the premises (Bohemian Pilsner’s a good place to start), stay busy filling glasses and growlers to-go. In 2017, the brewery added an adjacent canning facility to its repertoire, the front room of which has been converted into a lounge serving cocktails mixed with local spirits and Dock Street beers.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • live music
    • full menu
    • bar food
    • craft beer
    • historic
  • 3

    Fiume

    This low-key, living room-like locale is the rare craft bar that isn’t overrun with odious beer dorks. (Thank its undercover coordinates, cloistered above a West Philly Ethiopian restaurant, for that.) Lower traffic translates to better chances at landing limited-edition bottles, which appear or disappear at the whim of management.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • cheap date
    • live music
    • craft beer
    • craft cocktails
    • lots of whiskey
    • lots of rum
    • lots of tequila / mezcal
  • 4

    Fountain Porter

    A neighborly fixture in a residential chunk of South Philly, Fountain Porter is an old man bar for people of all ages. Its come-hither neon signage, creative drafts and picnic-table seating satisfy every corner bar requirement and its 100-percent vinyl soundtrack is an unlikely added bonus.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • cheap date
    • bar food
    • full menu
    • craft beer
  • 5

    Garage

    Another solid drinking option in close proximity to the Pat’s-and-Geno’s Cheese Whiz vortex, this former auto body shop is now a well-stocked beer bar that values your elbow room. Billiards, Skee-Ball and pinball machines provide ample diversions, as do the 150-plus craft beers filling the fridges.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • jukebox
    • cheap date
    • bar food
    • craft beer
    • sports
    • games
  • 6

    Kraftwork

    A wink-and-nod paean to industry in the heart of blue-collar Fishtown (check out the wrench-shaped sign), Kraftwork dedicates its two-dozen taps to high-class liquid, laid out on a sheet mocked up like a construction blueprint. The gorgeous tiger-maple bar is the right place to start, but there’s no crappy music no matter where you sit—owner Adam Ritter makes sure of it.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • cheap date
    • bar food
    • full menu
    • craft beer
    • craft cocktails
  • 7

    Monk's Cafe

    If you only have time for one Philly beer stop, it should probably be Monk’s, one of the most influential Belgian beer destinations in the country. Owner Tom Peters, one of a select few responsible for proliferating Belgian draft beer in America, keeps his draft lists and his moules frites tight, which translates to tightly packed quarters most nights.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • bar food
    • full menu
    • craft beer
    • day drinking
    • historic
  • 8

    Local 44

    A stalwart in West Philadelphia’s Spruce Hill, 44 keeps neighborhood thirsts slaked via two distinct rooms—its main bar, pouring 20 selections on draught (lots of local representation), and its adjoining retail shop, where the options bump up to some 500, including hard-to-find large-format bottle. They sell wine, too, thanks to the recent relaxation of some Pennsylvania liquor laws.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft beer

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