Who We Are, And How We Came To Be.
Let's rewind about three decades and go grab a beer. Let's find a good beer. Let's find a great beer. Forget local, we'll settle for domestic. In 1985, amidst a proverbial sea of watered down and adjunct-plagued lagers, Rosemarie Certo and Jeffrey Ware founded Dock Street Brewing Company, one of the first post-prohibition craft breweries in the country - and Philly’s first all-grain brew pub.
Fast-forward about a decade to 1996 and Dock Street would become the 26th largest microbrewery in the country, producing over 25,000 barrels of beer a year, distributing to 24 states, and earning medals in the world's most prestigious beer competitions.
Dock Street was sold in 2000, but then reacquired by Certo in 2002. For a decade or so, Dock Street produced two of our flagship brews, Royal Bohemian Pilsner and their Amber Ale. In 2007, Certo oversaw the completion of her new brewpub at the corner of 50th and Baltimore Avenue, in the beautiful, progressive West Philadelphia.
We’ve come a long way since our first location at 18th and Cherry - 3.9 miles, to be exact - but to this day, countless craft beer drinkers credit Dock Street as the beer that turned them away from watery macro-brews and domestic light lagers. Now, we’re known as much for our fearless experimental beers like the Walker (brewed with goat brains in honor of our favorite show, The Walking Dead) as for staples like our Bohemian Pilsner or our Rye IPA, which Beer Advocate ranks among the Top 15 Rye Beers in the World. (An impressive feat, considering that only about 500 barrels of the Rye IPA are brewed a year and sold exclusively in Philadelphia.)
Our name, Dock Street, was chosen in honor of the seaport district which was, in the late 1700's, the largest producer of beer in the then-newly-formed country. Today, we still brew with the spirit of Philadelphia's sudsy history, and Dock St. (below, in 1908) in mind.
THE BREW PUB.
When Dock Street Brewery was founded in 1985 in Philadelphia, we were one of the first post-prohibition craft breweries in the country - and Philly’s first all-grain brew pub. Our award-winning beers are among the top-rated in the world, and have earned us several silver and gold medals along the way.
Today, Dock Street Brewery practices our craft in a 110-year-old converted firehouse at the corner of 50th and Baltimore Avenue in West Philadelphia. The neighborhood stays true to Dock Street’s bohemian philosophy, with its progressive and eclectic counterculture and a mixture of race, creed and background.
We converted roughly one third of the firehouse into a semi-production brewery, devoting the rest of the space to a sensory-stimulating restaurant. Many of our drafts travel less than 65 feet from conditioning tanks in the brewery straight to the pint glasses and mouths of our patrons, making our offerings quite literally some of the freshest beers available.
Complementing the handcrafted brews is impressive lineup of hand-tossed, wood fired pizza, char-grilled burgers, numerous vegetarian and vegan friendly options, fries and bites, Pennsylvania wines, and beer cocktails. Neighbors and travellers alike enjoy two bars, an open kitchen, a massive EarthStone Wood Oven, outdoor seating, and ceiling high windows displaying copper-clad brew kettles.
THE CANNERY + tasting lounge
Our newest venture is a cannery and tasting lounge built in an airy garage next door to our brewpub on 50th Street in West Philadelphia.
The mixed-use space functions as an expansion of our brewery: we’ll be fermenting, aging, and canning beer onsite round-the-clock, and the bar there will be open for beer (obvi), draft wine, a few classic cocktails and beer cocktails (both draft and made-to-order) plus small bites every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. The cocktail lineup includes Pennsylvania spirits, local, fresh ingredients and garnishes, house-made syrups and infusions, and of course beer.
This marks the first time ever that Dock Street will be canning beer. We have a compact but mighty canning line with a stellar group of brewmasters at its helm, led by Head Brewer Mark Russell and including Assistant Brewers Edwin Lopez and Sasha Certo-Ware.