Where drinking identity is concerned, it’s tempting to characterize Philadelphia as yet another post-industrial shot-and-beer town—one of the dozens of whiskey-drowned stopovers that contribute to the East Coast’s alcoholic ID. Tempting because it is one, and the natives are damn proud of the distinction.
But that doesn’t mean Philly’s a city filled with Miller Lite-swilling chumps. No, no. Like a reckless linebacker who leads with his helmet, Philly initiates contact with the roughest intentions. In fact, a favored pastime among Philadelphians is balking at anyone who characterizes their town as even half-cosmopolitan. It’s a fun pursuit, but we could stand to give ourselves a little more credit.
What works so well about the drinking scene here is that’s less categorized—beer nerds go here, fancy cocktail people there, etc.—than it is righteously commingled. You’re not relegated to certain neighborhoods or certain bars just because you have certain preferences. In Philly, drinking is a forever-unfussy pursuit, as long as you know where to go, why and when. —Drew Lazor