The First Brewery Adventure: Philadelphia Brewing Company and Flying Fish

What to do on a random Saturday? Explore Philadelphia and South Jersey's brewing scene! As you probably have already guessed, my boyfriend and I enjoy discovering and trying new beers. It's one of "our things" and we live in the perfect area to do it. Philadelphia and Pennsylvania have a deep history in beer making, which is no wonder considering the many German immigrants that raised their families and brought over their traditions, including the art of the brew. My boyfriend and I are proud of our German and Pennsylvania roots and feel very lucky to have such a great tradition to partake in! But enough about us, let's get to the beer! We visited two new places and an oldie but goody. 

Our first stop was the Philadelphia Brewing Company located in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. We have tried a few of their beers (Kenzinger, Walt Wit and, my personal favorite, Rowhouse Red) but wanted to get a first hand glimpse of their operations. The brewery is located in a historic warehouse on Amber Street which started as a brewery before Prohibition, was shut down, later became a warehouse and now has come full circle as home to PBC. They open their doors every Saturday from noon to 3pm for a free tour and tasting. The tasting room is located in a loft area with reclaimed tables and, being still close to the holidays, rocking some awesome Christmas decorations. You're given a "tasting passport" and a tour number. While you're waiting for your tour to be called, you get to sample a tasting size portion of any of their beers. I tried the amazing Winter Wunder, one of their seasonal offerings, a delicious spiced ale. The tour itself takes you through all of their operations, from the fermenters to the bottling line and exiting through their packing materials, exciting! Our tour guide was one of the brewers and, while most of the info goes over my head, brewing beer is a pretty cool technical process. It was a quick tour but it left us plenty of time to try some more of their really tasty beers! And did I mention it was free?! Free is always fun!

Stop number two was over the Ben Franklin Bridge into Cherry Hill, NJ. Despite a faulty GPS, we found the location of Flying Fish Brewery in an unassuming office building. It was super strange walking through their front office, complete with an awkwardly cublicled office, to get to the back "tasting room." Honestly, Flying Fish does not have the most impressive digs but they do have some delicious beers. We got a chance to try their new Red Fish beer and the Winter Grand Cru ale. Nick also snagged a glass of the tasty but strong Exit 4. I am proud of having a cool brewery in my home state and love their philosophy of creating high quality, high taste beers. They definitely delivered on their promise and I'm excited to discover that they will be moving their operations to a bigger spot in Somerdale in a few months. Looks like we'll have to take another trip!

A true Philly beer adventure would not be complete without visiting the brewery that started it all for us: Yards. Located on Delaware Ave., it's an old warehouse converted into a brewery cum bar. It's not really near anything except Sugarhouse Casino (if you're into that sort of thing) but it's a perfect place to go for a drink with friends. Whether it's a flight of the Ales of the Revolution, crazy beers following real recipes of the founding fathers, or my favorite, the Philadelphia Pale Ale, there is something for everyone. They also offer free tours all day long, during which you get a big glass of one of their great brews for free. Since it was too late for a tour, we settled for a tasty pale ale and relaxed after a long day of doing nothing but drinking.