Now that the bitterest hops of the business divorce between Yards Brewery's former partners have been settled, it's time to celebrate a birth: the Philadelphia Brewing Co.
Recently opened inside Yards' old Kensington building by Bill and Nancy Barton, who parted ways last year with Tom Kehoe (who's still running Yards at its new Delaware Avenue location), PBC unveiled its opening roster of four new beers this spring.
They're diverse and solidly crafted, with names that evoke a distinct local flair, from the hoppy Newbold IPA to the crisp, kolsch-style Kenzinger, the Belgian-spiced Rowhouse Red, and a citrusy Walt Wit wheat. On the whole, the clever packaging is still a step ahead of the brews, which I give a B to B plus.
My two favorites, though, are growing on me fast. I especially like the sweetly spiced, well-rounded red - which I get to sip on the steps of my very own rowhouse. And the Belgian Wit, a likably cloudy draft that swirls with orange and coriander, has "summer drink" written all over it. There's even a giant, Whitman-esque pencil on the tap handle to get me started.
Philadelphia Brewing Co. beers are available at most good bars and beer outlets. A 24-bottle assortment case costs $29.95 at the Springfield Beer Distributor, 600 Schuylkill Ave., 215-546-7301.
- Craig LaBan