In today’s competitive beer market, a brand must make a statement. Yards Brewing Co. has been making statements in Philadelphia since 1994. The regional craft producer has grown from a garage-sized operation in the Manayunk section of Philly to a 38,000-square-foot facility along the city’s Delaware River waterfront. Now, it’s ready to make an even bigger statement with a new 70,000-square-foot facility in the thriving Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philly. That statement?
It wants to be the most recognized brewery in the city.
This November, Yards Brewing will open Yards Brewery and Taproom at 500 Spring Garden Street. Located less than six blocks from the famed Liberty Bell in downtown Philadelphia, Yards is investing in a slew of coolness — a new taproom, canning line, brewhouse and a main bar, constructed from repurposed wooden bowling lanes. Wait, what? From the press release:
“Yards is continuing Philadelphia’s brewing history, carrying on the proud and rich traditions of Philly’s breweries that came before us,” said Founder and Brewmaster Tom Kehoe, a man WHERE magazine called The Mayor of Beertown. “Those early breweries were very much stitched to the fabric of the city, serving as integral parts of the community and helping lead downtown revival efforts. Since opening our doors in 1994, that is something we have always strived to do – and this investment only strengthens that commitment.”
Let’s talk about the taproom
Chef James Burke, a James Beard Award semifinalist and prominent face in the city’s culinary scene, will helm the first kitchen in the brewery’s 23-year history. Chef Burke’s menu will complement and incorporate the choice hops and grains used in Yards’ beers, with special attention paid to local purveyors, Philly favorites and classic pub fare. The bar will feature 20 total taps, including all Yards signature beers and a number of limited releases only available in the taproom.
Let’s learn about the design
Yards Taproom and Brewery, designed by Philadelphia-based architecture firm DIGSAU, will be “modern industrial” — an expansive, open floor plan with 25-foot ceilings, large hanging metallic lights and long wooden tables designed by local non-profit The Challenge Program. It will also offer 360-degree views of the entire brewing operation — from the new canning line to the state-of-the-art brewhouse. The taproom will comfortably accommodate 280 guests. Adjacent to the taproom will be the Brewer’s Lounge, a hangout spot complete with a pool table, TV, dart board and shuffleboard.
At the forefront of the taproom stands a main bar, constructed from repurposed wooden bowling lanes. Located a few feet from the main entrance, the bar will serve as the central location for visitors to meet up and mingle upon entering the taproom, and a great spot for fans to cheer on all the local sports teams. At the entrance, guests will be able to purchase Yards beer to-go and merchandise.
Separated from the main taproom by a roll-up garage window is an outdoor area where fans can linger under towering fermentation and aging tanks while enjoying a Philadelphia Pale Ale paired with Chef Burke’s Roast Pork. On the second floor, a private event space (2,900-square feet) overlooks the brewery and taproom, available to accommodate 200 guests, perfect for hosting corporate gatherings and weddings. In fact, Yards is already accepting reservations for holiday parties.
Let’s detail the new brewery
Kehoe and partner Trevor Prichett turned down more lucrative offers to move Yards outside the city limits, and both the vibe and design inside the new brewery reflects their dedication to Philadelphia. The brewery, constructed by local firm TN Ward, will remain 100 percent committed to wind power and sustainability, and their new 100-bbl brewhouse will mark further innovation: Yards will operate the only Ziemann Holvrieka brewhouse on the East Coast. The 100-bbl brewhouse has the capacity to produce more than double Yards’ current output of 42,000 barrels, with the ability to increase production in the future.
The new brewery will allow Yards to can its fine beers for the first time in company history, with a brand new KHS canning line capable of filling 216 cans per minute. In early 2018, Philadelphia Pale Ale, IPA and Brawler will be available in 12- and 16-ounce cans, just in time for tailgating playoff games at the stadiums on South Broad Street. In addition, they will continue to bottle all their year-round offerings and seasonal favorites in the new 70,000-square-foot facility. Brewery tours will be limited while the final production equipment install is completed.