Though these Profiles that I've been doing have not been paid advertisements, this one may sound more like one than any I've done thusfar. Most likely because Dock Street sits fondly at the beginning of my trek along this life with better beer that I've been enjoying.
For those younger of you in the audience, that would be the first Dock Street at 18th and Cherry streets just off Logan Circle and behind the Four Seasons hotel. Memories in the early 1990s include experiencing well-crafted and locally-made beers, drinking my first yard of beer, falling in love with "trio fries" (potato, sweet potato, and dried leeks), and hanging out in the billiards room. Speaking of falling in love (there's a topic I haven't gone to here at TBL in the past!), Patty and I spent several hours at Dock Street on one of our first dates during the 30+ inch snowstorm of January 1996, convinced the snow accumulation couldn't be that bad! Just one more beer and game of pool...
Over the last 10 years, the name has come full circle back to its original owner. Occasionally, a few stray cases of Dock Street beer could still be found on local beer distributor shelves. During the intervening years, it had continued to be contract brewed at FX Matt and Saratoga Springs in New York. Now, the brewery stands in West Philadelphia with restaurant seating that gives all patrons a glimpse into both the kitchen and the brewery. Scott Morrison and company are manning the brew kettles and turning out old favorites like the Amber, Pilsner, and Double Bock in addition to new favorites like the Rye IPA which has generated quite a bit of favorable buzz. And, the pizzas? Surely you've heard about the pizzas that are being dished out of the kitchen. And, oh yeah, the Trio Fries are back!
While I certainly enjoyed Dock Street for what it was back in the 90s, I believe that their new endeavor reflects even better still what craft brewing is about. For anyone concerned about the location, fear not. Drive in from the east and street parking can usually be found between one and two blocks from the brewery. Or, better yet, from Center City heading west, you can pick up the '34' trolley line for $2 cash one way fare (or $1.45 token) and be deposited directly in front of the brewery doors. Walking? Well, just a few blocks to the east of the brewery and you start to get into college campus life of UPenn and Drexel and lots of street life. Any way you go, you'll thank yourself and wonder why you didn't go sooner and when you'll return again.
As you ready yourself for Philly Beer Week 2008, study up on some background notes on Dock Street and consider yourself lucky to be part of such a vibrant and rich beer region that PBW 2008 will celebrate.
Dock Street Brewery
Location: 701 South 50th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19143
Major BrandsBohemian Pilsner; Gold Stock Ale; Illuminator Double Bock; Premium Amber; Rye IPA
Distribution12 oz. bottles of Illuminator Double Bock, Bohemian Pilsner, and Amber Ale available at the brewpub and at beer distributors throughout the metropolitan Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Delaware area
ProductionRoughly 2,500 bbls/year
History & Tidbits
Major Yearly Events
Where to Find Dock Street During Philly Beer Week