It’s a new chapter for this pioneering brand. Dock Street Brewing Co. jump-started the craft beer revolution in 1985, before brewpubs were ubiquitous, and it was an early addition to the ever-changing West Philadelphia landscape when it opened in a restored firehouse at 50th & Baltimore in 2007. Now, the brand has landed in Point Breeze, a burgeoning neighborhood with a strong, well-established community of residents, but very few businesses that service them.
Dock Street South is a 10,500 square-foot production facility and taproom situated at 2118 Washington Avenue that serves as an anchor for neighbors in Point Breeze, Graduate Hospital, Greys Ferry, and beyond. Dock Street President and Co-founder Rosemarie Certosays the new location marks a new era of expansion for the beloved brand. “Basically, we are quadrupling our brewing capacity and it also marks Dock Street's return to the east side of the Schuylkill since our original location at Two Logan Square in 1990.
While many breweries in Philadelphia expand - it isone of the brewery capitals of the country - Dock Street is one of the few that is doing it completely independently. “It’s been over three decades and we still stand fiercely solo and a little bit quirky,” says Dock Street’s VP Marilyn Candeloro. “In a way that is very much the Philadelphia story, although it’s pretty unique in our industry, which is male-driven and tethered to investors - of which we have none.”
The expansion to Point Breeze was a no-brainer. "There are so many people living here - artists, teachers, nurses, builders, business owners and baristas - but this South side stretch of Washington Avenue has remained largely industrial," says Renata Certo-Ware, who heads Dock Street’s Marketing and Events. "We want to be this community space, filled with art, neighbors, beer and food, sunlight and green plants, where everyone from Point Breeze and other parts of the city can gather, enjoy a beer or a cocktail, and just be. We want to be a great example of what a brewery can do for a neighborhood and its community."
Dock Street South will be part brewing facility, beer hall, and neighborhood spot centered around a rotisserie, exquisite fresh small plates, a daytime coffee bar and multiple seating areas, including a small private sala (or lounge). Award-winning JacobsWyper Architects transformed what was once an auto repair shop and warehouse that needed some TLC into a breezy, open showpiece on western Washington Avenue. Certodescribes the décor as industrial, casual and homey, yet worldly. “Our goal was to create a place where everyone feels at home as soon as they enter — a place that fosters a spirit of conviviality,” said Certo. The new brewery has seating for 120, plus an additional 24 bar stools. “I describe the style as modern industrial. We’ve tried to keep to a minimal and clean look with the use of neutral and grey materials,” said architect Mark Wieand. The front room, which sits along Washington Avenue, is meant to create a “communal hall” feel, similar to a German beer hall or a University dining club. Materials are reminiscent of ship-building themes, such as shiplap paneling and weathered floorboards. There are also pops of color, such as nautical flag symbols on the bar front, neon graphics, and works from local artists. The design borrows from the wood-working industry; the bar top and large group tables are made of live-edge silver maple. The wood was harvested from a tree in a family friend’s yard in Wayne, less than 15 miles away from the 22nd and Washington Avenue location. Some of the original brick and masonry is exposed, along with steel and wood ceilings containing a ton of rustic character.
Artisanal manufacturing will be the main focus at Dock Street South with mostly production brewing, plus more lagers and innovations. Head Brewer Mark Russell and Brewer Edwin Lopez Jr. will create fresh, distinguished high quality beers, with an emphasis on producing and canning staples, including the Dock Street Rye IPA, Dock Street Golden IPA, Dock Street Bohemian Pilsner and seasonal releases such as the Dock Street Man Full of Trouble Porter, Dock Street Summer in Berlin, Dock Street Winter Haze and Dock Street Barracuda. “We will have 12 beers on tap at a time, as well ashand-pumped cask beers at the bar. In addition, we have plans for some exciting new year-round and seasonal offerings that include a pale ale and decocted lagers,” said Russell. The brewery will be canning on site and will have a variety of products available for takeout - both core styles and seasonals, one-offs and collaborations. “We brewed over 50 styles last year, and have no plans of that number going down now that we have two operations! Our taps are always a mix of staples and one-offs, and I plan to keep it that way,” said Russell. In addition to the core brands, the company will be focusing on continually improving, experimenting, and developing new beers in both the new South Philadelphia location, but also at its existing West Philadelphia brewery. “Dock Street West will be where new and experimental brews are concocted,” noted Certo.
Dock Street added a few aces to its star-studded cast. Philip Breen, formerly of Starr Restaurant Group, is on board as Director of Operations. “We want to be a fun, neighborhood location that we think is also going to draw people in from all other areas of the city. We are bringing a new version of Dock Street forward with a large communal mess hall and a beautiful event space.” The kitchen is led by Chef Peter Pray, Vintage Wine Bar and French Bistro, who’ll be serving up a menu of rotisserie, Modern Mediterranean, and European small plates with some focus on Sicilian dishes. “Expect a sandwich on rustic bread with olive oil here and an inventive salad there, international cafeteria classics, and lots of good food that stands on its own and also pairs well with good beer and cocktails,” said Certo. But you won’t find pizza at this location. ”We already have phenomenal wood-fired pizza at Dock Street West. Why duplicate what we already have?” added Certo. However, something new on-site – a coffee bar – where guests can enjoy espresso, cappuccino, scones, smallbites and bagels beginning at 7a.m. during weekdays and 9 a.m. on weekends. “We believe an important part of becoming involved with the neighborhood is having our doors open all day for residents to enjoy. Dock Street South is a place where you can bring your laptop and work in the daytime, and a vibrant gathering spot filled with lots of laughter and sharing in the evening. We want Dock Street to be a home away from home for everybody,” explained Certo. “We’re excited to be a new centerpiece of the Point Breeze neighborhood!”
Dock Street South will be open for both lunch and dinner. Hours of operation are 7a.m. to 11p.m. Monday through Thursday; 7a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, 10 a.m.to 2 a.m.Saturday and 10 a.m.to 11p.m.Sunday. To learn more, please visit http://www.dockstreetbeer.com/dock-street-south-point-breeze.