Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Independence Brew Pub in Philadelphia, PA

Now that Adam has spurred me to writing (well, first drinking, now writing), it looks like I'm back on the posting trail. Don't ask where I've been. The answer is probably somewhere between Nip/Tuck episodes, Lew Bryson's website, reading magazine back issues that have piled up, and the holidays. Of course, you can always blame the holidays.

Whatever....I'm back in the saddle and here to tell you a little bit about Independence Brew Pub in the heart of Center City Philadelphia. I've been to Independence many times, and have never before written on the subject. Why? Oh, who knows, maybe it reflects my general feeling about the place and its beers. My feelings have ranged from love to hate, from respect to ambivalence, from anxious curiosity to deflated pessimism. Sorry for the drama, it's just that I still don't know if I can nail down my feelings for Independence.

My last time at Independence was in November. You may remember me posting about The Foodery. Well, the day started with me taking the train to the Market East station and coming to street level to have lunch at the Reading Terminal Market and a beer at Independence.....then on to The Foodery....then on to Ludwig's (future post), eventually winding up at the Monday Night Football debacle that the Eagles participated in :( So, what if I instead list some pros and cons that I've come up with over my many visits to Independence. I'd be interested to hear other's reactions since I can't seem to commit to one point-of-view :-/

   - Located above the Market East train station; no need to walk outdoors after disembarking train
   - Large space for comfortable dining and drinking
   - Upstairs with pool tables and additional space for drinking, etc.
   - Relative to other breweries (is that unfair?), these are non-imaginative, unaggressive brews; i.e. easy drinking, inoffensive and can please anyone in your group
   - Food is acceptable and suitable to a group outing

   - Respectable beers, but not wildly impressive beers
   - Service staff not very outgoing, friendly, knowledgeable, or helpful (I suppose sometimes you do want to be left alone)
   - Relative to other breweries (is that unfair?), these are unimaginative, unaggressive brews; i.e. easy drinking, inoffensive ....no, this isn't a typo!
   - The size of the place, as well as two entrances on either side of the building, adds to some of the impersonal feel....and the lack of coziness.

On one hand, it's nice that the pub is in the middle of everything and easily accessible in Center City, but that can also be a detriment. So, where do we go from here? Trust me, I'll go back again....and again. It's especially convenient because we'll occasionally do shopping at the Reading Terminal Market and the brew pub is right across the street. Plus, it's not as if the beer is bad or offensive.

It's just that if I have time on my hands, I'm making my way to Monk's, Standard Tap, Bridgid's, Eulogy, TenStone, Tavern on Green, North Third, Druid's Keep, Triumph (coming soon to Old City), Ludwig's, Grey Lodge, etc. etc. etc. Just, when you go, keep your expectations within reason.

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