Philly and Beer: A Regional Love Story
First things first; the famous quote about beer by Benjamin Franklin (you know the one; “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy”) is a lie. I know, it hurts your soul but it’s true. That quote was severely taken out of context and is also in reference to wine, which is just as delicious. However, there’s no denying Philly is a proud beer drinking town and we definitely don’t shy away from our love of beer. Perhaps the misquoted Franklin reference fuels our passion but with as many breweries and beer fests Philly has to offer there’s always an opportunity to express our love for the golden nectar in a multitude of ways. And beer enthusiasts in the tri-state area have a colorful palette when it comes to their favorite brand.
Great Beer Expo: Philly. June 1, 2019
For the past decade the Great Beer Expo has been providing imbibers with the opportunity to sample a bevy of brews at the Navy Yard in South Philly every June. The experience is absolutely amazing, and the entire day is a beautiful reminder of how deeply the well of beer enthusiasts runs in Philly. And that’s not even a joke.
Under the late Spring sun people laugh, smile and engage with one another all in the name of almighty beer. As lines form at each stand strangers become friends, and everyone collectively gets together for a huge cheer. It’s definitely something everyone should partake in at least once. But with so many brews to choose from there will never be a unified front on who has the best beer. Since tastes vary there really is no definitive answer to that question, though Philadelphians are having a great time trying to answer it for themselves.
In a 2018 article from Philadelphia Magazine a little over a year ago the mainstay top draught pick was the golden brown deliciousness known as Yeungling. Located a few hours outside of Philly in Pottsville the Yeungling Brewing Company has the distinction of being the oldest brewery in America. Many Philadelphians name Yeungling as their go-to beer while watching football on Sundays in the fall or grilling during a cookout in the summertime. However, not everyone is a fan.
“Yeungling gives me heartburn.” Adam Rice from Northeast Philadelphia admitted. Though he has attended many beer fests both regionally and in other states he did admit that he does enjoy Yards Pale Ale, which is another staple at many family functions and wedding receptions. Actually, Yards is also a very popular beer with many Pennsylvania residents. And one of their most popular brews, IPA, goes over well with those who want a stronger experience from their beer.
“It’s just a good beer.” Robert Harris of Lancaster stated when asked why he loves Yards’ IPA so much. “And it’s so much better than Coors Light, Miller Light and Budweiser.”
These two gentlemen represent the diversity in our appreciation of beer, especially since there’s no escaping either Yards or Yeungling while out for a night on the town. Aside from breweries right in our own backyard there are also other breweries that residents love just as much. Although Rice is Philly born and raised his favorite beer comes from a different colonial town; Boston.
“My favorite beer is Sam Adams.” He continued. “It has different flavors for the seasons and a way better taste.”
Another popular choice that actually was the number one selling beer of 2018 is Bud Light. Honestly this should come as no surprise since they basically were giving Bud Light away during the Super Bowl parade after our Eagles kicked Tom Brady and the Patriots right in their deflated balls. The term ‘Dilly Dilly’ became interchangeable with ‘Philly Philly’ during multiple celebrations throughout the city all thanks to genius marketing and prevalence of both the slogan and the blue cases of beer in every brewery in town.
And it’s not just Philly who’s in on the fun. According to Vinepair.com poll of the top ten states that consume the most beer Pennsylvania came in at number six! That’s a pretty cool accomplishment, aside from the beer bellies we’re all amassing as a state. But still, we will wear those extra pounds with pride because our love for beer isn’t going anywhere. As a city it is one of the things that bring us all together.