PHILADELPHIA — This November, Yards Brewing Company will open Yards Brewery and Taproom at 500 Spring Garden Street in Philadelphia’s beer-savvy Northern Liberties neighborhood. The highly-anticipated expansion and move from their cozy tasting room on Delaware Avenue further establishes Yards as “Philadelphia’s Brewery” and provides them with a new 70,000-sqare-foot facility to produce their approachable ales and lagers, with a canning line slated to arrive in early 2018. Located less than six blocks from the famed Liberty Bell in downtown Philadelphia, Yards is the most recognized brewery in the city, and one of only a handful of urban, regional breweries in the entire United States.
“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.”
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 diverse menu will complement and incorporate the choice hops and grains used in Yards’ award-winning beers, with special attention paid to local purveyors, Philly favorites and classic pub fare.
The menu will be divided into Snacks, Sandwiches, Entrees and Desserts; and the kitchen will serve food until one hour before closing time. The bar will feature 20 total taps: including all Yards signature beers and a number of limited releases only available in the taproom.
Chef Burke has been a visionary in the city’s diverse culinary scene for the past 15 years and he has worked alongside nationally acclaimed chefs and forward-thinking restaurateurs, including Daniel Boulud, Marc Vetri and Stephen Starr. Helming the kitchen at Yards Brewery and Taproom will be a homecoming for Chef Burke in Philadelphia, where he was a three-time semifinalist for the James Beard Award as chef-owner at JAMES.
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 – and will offer 360 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. (Yards is already accepting reservations for holiday parties; contact the brewery for more info.)
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% 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-oz. and 16-oz. 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; please check yardsbrewing.com and follow Yards on social media (@yardsbrew) for updated tour information.
Tom Kehoe is the founder of Yards Brewing Company, and serves as president and brewmaster; he started brewing in 1988 as an apprentice for British Beer Company after studying engineering at Lehigh University and graduating with a business degree from Western Maryland College.
Trevor Prichett is partner and chief operating officer at Yards Brewing Company; he has co-founded several startups and served in business development roles worldwide after earning an AB in Economics at Harvard, as well as an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School of Business and a Masters of International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.
About Yards Brewing Company
Yards has proudly brewed Philadelphia’s beer 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 to a 70,000-square foot facility in the thriving Northern Liberties neighborhood. Philadelphia Pale Ale and Brawler, both nationally-recognized ales, lead a balanced portfolio of quality, handcrafted beers, including eight year-round offerings and several seasonal and limited releases. Founder Tom Kehoe and the Yards crew share a commitment to supporting the good people and organizations making their backyard a better place to live and work. It’s all about working hard, having fun and giving back: “Brew Unto Others.”
Yards Brewery & Taproom will be open from 11:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday; and from 11:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.