7 Fall Beers to Try in Philly According to the Experts

Fest beers, smoky stouts and, yes, plenty of pumpkin
September 29, 2015
by Caroline Russock

Fall might be high season for warm drinks like mulled cider and hot chocolate, but in Philly, autumn (like pretty much every season in this beer-centric city) is an excellent time to hit the bar for a pint of something seasonal. We reached out to some of the city’s brewers, beer experts and beverage managers to see what’s on tap this fall in the city.

John Wible, 2nd Story Brewing
A few new fall offerings came on tap this past weekend at this Old City brewpub. Wible is particuarly found of Great Pumpkin Porter, a powerful 7.7% ABV that’s brewed with all of the usual suspects (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, allspice) plus rum-extracted Madagascar vanilla bean that makes for a beer that tastes like a pumpkin pie on tap.
17 Chestnut St.; 267-314-5770

Chloe Grigri, The Good King Tavern
Wine and cocktails might be the main draw to this South Street French bistro, but they also have a super-solid list of canned craft beers. Owner Chloe Grigri is especially excited about 2 Roads Roadsmary's Baby, a rum-barrel-aged pumpkin ale that’s not going to be around for long.
614 S. Seventh St.; 215-625-3700

Len Woods, Brick and Mortar
Woods’ seasonal pick for this Eraserhood spot is Tart of Darkness from The Bruery. “It's one of my favorite examples of a sour stout: the stout flavor comes through with a vinegary sourness and deep, dark stone fruit flavors. [It's] a great beer for richer fall foods and, like a great wine, will grow and change in the glass as it warms and oxidizes," says Wood. Plus, a little Joseph Conrad reference is always welcome.
315 N. 12th St.; 215-923-1596

Fergie Carey, Fergie’s Pub
This Philly beer OG went with a surprising pick, a Pear Cider from Bold Rock in Virginia. According to Carey, this gluten-free option is dry enough for serious beer drinkers and tastes just like fall thanks to the crisp pears that it’s made from.
1214 Sansom St.; 215-928-8118

Tom Peters, Monk's Cafe
For a season that’s deeply linked to the smoky scents of fireplaces and burning leaves, a smoked beer makes perfect sense. Monk’s owner Peters agrees: "In the fall, I especially enjoy any lightly smoked beer, such as Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen, which has the moderate maltiness of an Oktoberfest with a nice hint of smoke. It reminds me of fall camping with friends and enjoying a great beer while sitting around a campfire."
264 S. 16th St.; 215-545-7005

Terence Lewis, Bud & Marilyn’s
Beverage manager Lewis has been suffering from pumpkin beer fatigue over the past few years but New Belgium Brewing Company’s Pumpkick Ale has him rethinking the seasonal brew. This one is brewed with the traditional baking spices and pumpkin juice combo, but adds cranberries and lemongrass for a brighter, more well-balanced beer.
1234 Locust St.; 215-546-2220

Derek Gregory, Independence Beer Garden
S’mores and hot chocolate are two treats that taste better during the chillier months, but if you’d prefer to get your chocolate from a bottle, head over to this Old City beer garden for a bottle of Evil Genius Purple Monkey Dishwasher. “It’s a chocolate peanut butter porter with a big, full-bodied mouthfeel and notes and flavors of peanut butter, chocolate, graham cracker and coffee,” says Gregory.  
100 S. Independence Mall W.; 215-922-7100

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