901 N. Delaware Ave, Philadelphia
Open seven days a week
I stop by Yards Brewery tasting room frequently, often when I am driving back into the city as they are just off 95 and offer a free parking lot. It’s a laid back, fun atmosphere, hopping on the weekends when food trucks are scheduled, and I like observing the brewery activities behind a glass wall, which you can tour for free on the weekends at half hour intervals, 12:00—4pm. Plan 40-50 minutes.
And then there’s the beer. Signature English Ales, year-round beers inspired by the Founding Fathers, and rotating Seasonal releases- there’s something for everyone. The best way to find your favorite is to order up a flight of four, pre-set or customized just for you for $7.
Yards was founded by a well-known local named Tom Kehoe in 1994, and is an institution in this town. There is a great article about Tom’s colorful history and what drove him to open a brewery in www.phillybeerscene.com
Without a doubt, Tom is one of the people who has put Philly on the map as an international beer city, evolving the craft beer scene to the delicious and deserving acclaim it receives today.
Now for the beer! My bartender was Ron, who was happy to share his Yards experience with me. A self-described ‘lackey’ at the current location since it opened in 2008, he’s worked full time for the past four years, doing what needs to be done- running the kitchen, pouring drafts, helping in the brewery, hosting the tours.
“The well-balanced English style ales attracted me to Yards, and the people, passion and camaraderie kept me here.” I found Ron to be as friendly, open and passionate about beer as the half dozen other people I have met at Yards during my visits, on both sides of the bar.
(Shout out to Natasha, with our Maine breweries connection. See Natasha’s MIA Beer Brunch at Varga)
Now for my beer flight!!
Thomas Jefferson’s Tavern Ale, 8.0%, was my first choice, as I have had it before and love the hint of honey, which Yards purchases from Fruitwood Orchards in NJ. It’s TJ’s own recipe, brewed at Monticello, made with rye and wheat along with the aforementioned honey.
Rob recommended the Brewbik’s Cube, 8.65%, which was made for this years’ Philadelphia Science Fair. I was WOW-ed by this deep golden Belgian triple.
I love a good Sasion, 6.5%, and this one holds the promise of summer in its yeasty banana-clove flavor and subtle spice finish. It was a great palate refresher alongside the full-bodied, high-alcohol others I was enjoying.
Which brings me to the Trubbel de Yards, my favorite of the pours. At 9.35% it is made in the traditional Belgian monastic method. Spicy, malty, biscuit, caramel and chocolate- just a treat to sip slowly.
Next up for Yards is a third expansion and new location, at Spring Garden and 5th. It will be more central for the growing North Philly population and easier to access with public transportation. I just hope they will still have a parking lot!