Philadelphia’s beer history dates back at least to 1680, when city founder William Penn began work on his brewery. The first American lager is said to have been brewed here in 1840. And U.S. Marine lore holds that the corps was conceived at long-gone Tun Tavern in the Old City neighborhood in 1775.
By 1870, there were 69 breweries in Philadelphia, according to Russell, and eventually an entire neighborhood called Brewerytown. But Prohibition shuttered many facilities, and the last city brewery, Schmidt’s, closed in 1987.
It wasn’t long before the microbrew trend caught on and the region began returning to its roots. Today, there are at least 20 breweries in the Philadelphia area, including Yards, Flying Fish, Stoudts, Sly Fox and Victory. Yuengling, the oldest brewery in America (1829), continues to operate about 75 miles away in Pottsville.