Philadelphia Makes Its Case as Best Beer-Drinking City

Posted by Andy Gradel | News & Notes | Monday, 10 March 2008

Philly Beer WeekGreat article in USA Today about how Philly is quickly becoming known for much more than cheesesteaks and brotherly love. Glad to see my favorite city, which always seems to get lost in the shuffle between New York and Washington, get its due. Of course, my mind quickly started racing trying to figure out some way that I can get my wife to let me go to a few “Philly Beer Week” events. Hmm…

Seriously, there’s some great stuff I didn’t realize about the Philly beer scene:

  • Philadelphia’s beer history dates back at least to 1680, when city founder William Penn began work on his brewery.
  • The first American lager is said to have been brewed in Philadelphia in 1840.
  • By 1870, there were 69 breweries in Philadelphia and eventually an entire neighborhood called Brewerytown. But Prohibition shuttered many facilities, and the last city brewery, Schmidt’s, closed in 1987.
  • Today, there are at least 20 breweries in the Philadelphia area, including Yards, Flying Fish, Stoudts, Sly Fox and Victory.
  • Yuengling, the oldest brewery in America (1829), continues to operate about 75 miles away in Pottsville.
  • The beer industry employs 16,000 workers in Philadelphia, producing about $422 million in wages and $122 million in taxes.

Be sure to check out the complete article at and raise a glass at Philly Beer Week, which actually runs a ten-days, but who’s counting?

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