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June 6, 2013

Roundup: Our Picks For Philadelphia’s Best Breezy Outdoor Beer Gardens

It's summer and Philadelphia's beer gardens have never looked better, drink your brews alfreso at any one of the loved establishments listed in our roundup. (Photos clockwise from top left: courtesy Morgan's Pier; courtesy Frankford Hall; photo by M. Edlow for GPTMC; courtesy Frankford Hall)

In the dog days of summer there is nothing quite like the big picnic tables and extensive brew selections at open-air beer gardens. We have compiled a list of the city’s beer gardens, all boasting vast beer selections and festive outdoor seating.

While we may have dubbed 2012 (and 2011) the summer of the beer garden, the title has definitely not timed out and still holds true in 2013, with an even larger beer garden selection — especially during Philly Beer Week — and more brews on tap across the city than ever before.

Whether you’re looking to grab a beer after a long workday, or spend a Friday evening outside with a cold one in hand, beer gardens are your answer.

Don your sunglasses for your fair share of frosty beers this summer at bars and restaurants all the way from one corner of the city to the other.

Read on for our roundup of Philadelphia beer gardens.

The Porch Beer Garden: 30th Street Station’s Bridgewater’s Pub takes it alfresco and sets up shop outside the bustling station for the Porch Beer Garden. Join in the merriment at the Porch tonight, June 6 and tomorrow, June 7 for the last beer garden of the season. From 3 to 8 p.m., enjoy four drafts on tap, live music and food pairings from The Cow and The Curd (on June 6) and Taco Mondo (on June 7).

Beer Week Beer Garden: Nothing says happy Beer Week more than a few alfresco brews steps from the always-bustling South Street. Head to the historic Shambles at Headhouse Square nightly until June 7 from 5 to 9 p.m. for the Philly Beer Week Garden to enjoy special one-offs and rare brews alfresco, plus live tunes and food from South Street Headhouse District restaurants.

PHS Beer Garden: Across from the Kimmel Center at a University of the Arts-owned lot at 313 S. Broad Street the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society hosts its third Pop Up Garden. The lot plays home to a landscaped garden and pop-up beer garden and restaurant until mid-October. Enjoy root beer, sangria and local craft beer from Philly favorites Victory Brewing Company, Yards Brewing Company and Philadelphia Brewing Company along with bites from Garces Group, who just signed on to serve up such eats as house-smoked turkey sandwiches, chopped salads, pies in jars and ice cream sandwiches. The beer garden hosts hours every day of the week.

Morgan’s Pier: The summer hot spot, Morgan’s Pier, is the place to be. Acclaimed chef, George Sabatino recently joined the Morgan’s Pier team and has prepared a drool-worthy menu to pair with libations. The new fare offerings consist of a picnic-centric menu, a vegetarian menu, kids menu and a nightly prix-fixe menu. Morgan’s Pier offers an awesome view of the river and the Ben Franklin Bridge, plus a spacious seasonal setting for hanging out backyard style with a top notch selection of craft beer — both local and national.

American Sardine Bar: American Sardine Bar very recently opened the doors to its brand new outdoor area. Enjoy some fresh air at the Point Breeze space with a few brews and one of the bar’s famous sardine sandwiches. The new spot boasts a number of outdoor tables and freshly cut grass to provide Philadelphians with the ultimate backyard summer spot.

Frankford Hall: The Fishtown hotspot, Frankford Hall, boasts everything your heart could possibly desire of a traditional German beer hall. Exposed brick walls, reclaimed industrial materials and ping-pong tables create the casually cool atmosphere, with classic German fare like bratwurst, spaetzle and ginormous pretzels available at the walk-up counter. Frankford pours an impressive selection of beers, too, with many available in traditional liter steins. Prost!

Opa’s Drury Beer Street Garden: Drury Beer Garden, Opa’s popular backyard hangout, in Midtown Village is in full swing for the summer. Open Monday through Saturday at 5 p.m. until last call, the outdoor city space offers a playful, nostalgic environment providing ping pong, picnic tables and colorful seating. Enjoy spiked lemonade, iced tea and punch available by the pint or by the cooler. Also sip on frosty brews from Drury’s more than two dozen cans and bottle beer selection or its extensive draft list.

Memphis Taproom: On its third anniversary, Memphis Taproom debuted a quaint, picnic table-clad beer garden, complete with a truck serving up gourmet hotdogs (of the beef, vegan and vegetarian variety) and canned craft beers. The outdoor space is used to hosts movie nights, Mommy & Me happy hours and more.

Hop Angel Brauhaus: Hop Angel Brauhaus, a German-themed restaurant and beer bar in the Fox Chase neighborhood in the Northeast, opened a beer garden of their own. Most beers are available in .5 liter, .4 liter, and .3 liter servings, with the mighty 1 liter glasses available for those looking to quench a massive thirst. Make sure you soak up that delicious brew with a few of the Brauhaus’ tasty bratwursts.

Silk City: A summer standby, Silk City is home to a spacious outdoor patio that features colorful tables, string lights and plantings to up the festive ante. Silk City’s tasty fare is available outside in addition to its imaginative cocktails, wine and a wide variety of brews.

More of the city’s loved beer gardens, below.

Le Virtu: The sweet smell of burning wood and charcoal searing meats on the grill welcomes diners to the alfresco area at Le Virtu, a newly-paved and beautifully landscaped patio adjacent to the restaurant. The menu extends beyond the grill to offer a taste of some of the region’s spring and summer favorites.

Llama Tooth: Across the street from Union Transfer on Spring Garden Street sits an unassuming tropical oasis called Llama Tooth, featuring a brightly painted Tiki Bar, Christmas lights hung from the ceiling, bright murals and locally made art all outside in a giant beer garden.

City Tap House: Take your pick of one of the 60 beers on tap at City Tap House. Bask in the outdoors glory of the green roof deck overlooking Walnut Street complete with fire pits.

Crosswalk Cafe: Located right on Independence Mall, the Independence Crosswalk Cafe is an ideal respite from sightseeing or the daily work day. Enjoy a snack or a drink (including local craft beer) while admiring the impressive surroundings which include Independence Hall, The Liberty Bell, the new National Museum of American Jewish History and the National Constitution Center.

Piazza at Schmidt’s and Liberties Walk: This hotspot in Northern Liberties offers plenty of choices for the discerning alfresco diner. PYT, Raw, Gunners Run, El Camino Real and Bar Ferdinand make the Piazza area a haven for outdoor drinks.

The Plaza Cafe at Table 31 at the Comcast Center: Bright orange umbrellas provide shade while dancing fountains offer calming distraction at Table 31’s Plaza Cafe, not to mention you are sitting in the shadow of the city’s tallest skyscraper.

Jack’s Firehouse: In the summer months, Jack’s Firehouse opens its firehouse doors and lets the breeze roll in, making it the perfect place to enjoy a local beer paired with locally sourced American cuisine.

Manayunk Brewery: Sitting right on the mouth of the Manayunk Canal, the Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant has a sprawling outdoor deck that boasts with amazing views of the Schuylkill River. Their variety of tasty brews are brewed on-site.

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