“Philly is one of the best beer towns in the country but lacks breweries,” said John Wible, brewmaster for one of Philadelphia’s breweries in Old City.
My recent trip to the City of Brotherly love coincided with Philly Beer Week, an excuse to enjoy more brew I suppose, and was the perfect time to check out one of Philadelphia’s breweries, 2nd Story Brewing Company.
There’s nothing better than living your second story and the founders of 2nd Story Brewing Company are doing just that. Opened in October 2014, their brewing operation is on the second floor but the name also reflects the passions the founders have outside of other careers.
How 2nd Story Came to Be
Wible is the craft brewery’s brewmaster with a background in information technology and told me for about five years prior to being a founder in 2nd Story, he was a homebrewer. Owner Debbi Grandy, who is his mother-in-law, is a farmer and other founders had backgrounds in the food industry.
In September 2012 another Philadelphia brewery, Triumph Brewing, announced it was leaving Old City which prompted the group, led by Grandy, to pursue purchasing the space. It took the group about two years to purchase the space and in July 2014, they began working on 2nd Story.
My time at 2nd Story Brewing Company was limited but I liked the warm, welcoming vibe on the second floor. Windows overlook Chestnut Street in Philadelphia’s historic district and brick interior walls give the pub an old-school, yet hip feel. The bar is set in the corner but it’s fun to sit opposite the bar and look at the brewing vats across the way or pub patrons sitting at the bar below.
What to Drink
Standard brews are Fritzie’s Lager, a traditional German Vienna lager, and Declaration IPA made with four varieties of hops. I sampled two of the seasonal brews:
(Recipe No. 079/Batch No. 01)
Since December’s trip to Germany, I’m all about hefeweizen (wheat beer) and this is 2nd Story Brewing’s take on it. If you haven’t caught on, it’s named after John Wible, the brewmaster. Anyway, it was refreshing as a hefeweizen should be with a slight sweet flavor with notes of banana and clove. (My favorite.)
(Recipe No. 080/Batch No. 001)
This is their version of the classic German kolsch style beer which had a crisp taste.
The brewmaster invited me to see the brewing operation where he talked about hops, barley and the fermenting process. 2nd Story Brewing is currently producing 100 barrels of beer a month and distributes about 20 of them.
Fun tidbits I learned in speaking with Wible:
- Apartments are located above the brewery.
- Spent grains/barley are used by a farmer who makes compost from it.
- Hops are toxic to dogs.
- Philly should see another three – four breweries opening soon
“The brewing industry is returning to Philly,” Wible said.
And this, my friends, is the perfect excuse to raise a glass. Cheers!
2nd Story Brewing Co.
117 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links in order to support my traveling habit and this blog. I was a guest at 2nd Story Brewing Company, however opinions are my own.