New Breweries In and Around Philly
By Tony Forder
Philadelphia has long had something of a reputation as a beer city – from its industrial breweries of yesteryear, to its love of Belgian beers and its craft breweries and bars. Heck, it established the nation’s first Beer Week.
Now it’s getting another shot in the arm. On the heels of the recent announcement by Mass.-based brewery, Night Shift, to open a $10 million, 130,000 sq ft brewery and distributorship in northwestern Philly, Victory, the venerable craft brewery which launched in Downingtown, PA in 1996, has announced plans to open a Brewery/Taproom in Center City.
But, whereas Night Shift is going for more of a production brewery (sure, there’ll be a taproom – can’t build a brewery without one these days!) and distributorship, Victory is aiming more directly at the retail end with a Taproom and Innovation Brewery. The 14,000 sq ft space will be located in Center City’s Logan Square and will feature a brewhouse, scratch kitchen, three bars, street level outdoor seating, and a rooftop patio. The new taproom, Victory’s first in the heart of Philadelphia, will be located at the historic address of 1776 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Victory co-founder, Bill Covaleski, sees this as an important next step for the 23-year-old brewery. “We’ve been patiently looking for the perfect downtown Philadelphia location for years. This property, and its iconic address, 1776 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, presents the perfect venue for us to expose both Philly residents and visitors to innovative, quality craft beer, while expanding the audience for the entire craft beer industry,” said Covaleski.
The new Philadelphia taproom will complement its other Pennsylvania locations in Parkesburg, Downingtown and Kennett Square. The 2-level facility will have two indoor bars and one outside bar with a total of 3,500 sq ft of outdoor space with street level seating and a rooftop patio overlooking Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The brewhouse will have a custom Prospero Brewing System and will become an innovation hub for Victory’s entire business. The design is a collaboration between Victory and architecture firm, Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel (GKV); the property is owned by Pearl Properties (Pearl), a Center City based real estate investment and
Both Night Shift and Victory are planning completion in 2020. Meanwhile Center City is going through a bit of a beer boom. Iron Hill opened a brewpub on Market Street last year and the arcade bar chain Barcade has plans to open its second Philly location in CC in 2020.
Iron Hill Building Brewery in Exton, PA
Speaking of Iron Hill, the successful brewpub chain has announced plans to open its first production facility an hour outside Philly in Exton. While production breweries like Victory are embracing the brewhouse/taproom model, Iron Hill is going the other way. Instead of a Taproom and Innovation Brewery, it will be a Brewery/Taphouse with an Innovation Kitchen, testing out recipes for its 18 other locations.
The production brewery is not designed to replace the brewhouses at their brewpubs but to bolster in-store brewing capacity as well as bring current canning operations in house.
Iron Hill Brewery & Taphouse will have an initial capability to produce 6,000 barrels annually and eventually expand to 20,000. The site, which boasts more than 18,000sq ft, will house a 10,000 sq. ft. brewery while the taproom will occupy 4,500 sq ft and share the training room for use as a private dining room with approximately 150 seats.
Iron Hill will once again partner with Boulder, CO-based Bray Architecture to design the brewery and taphouse locations. Iron Hill Brewery and Taphouse will be joining a number of businesses developed by Eli Kahn Development Corp. and J. Loew & Associates, both of Malvern, PA, at The Shops on Eagleview Boulevard.