Beer is perhaps the great American equalizer—enjoyed enthusiastically by members of every societal status. No matter how different our days, when we sit down after hours and find time for ourselves, that ice cold brew tastes just as good. Whether you’re drawn to an ale, a lager, or an in-between hybrid, the breweries of Pennsylvania offer the perfect pour for blue collars and blue bloods alike.
With locations in Downingtown, Kennett Square, and Parkesburg, Victory Brewing Company is a big shot on the local brewing scene. Founded by co-owners who met in 5th grade on the school bus (presumably developing a love of beer much farther down the road), Victory offers 10 year-round brews and 15 seasonal selections, as well as non- alcoholic root beer. Visit for a trivia night, sporting event, or just spend some time with the gang and experience excellence first hand.
2nd Story Brewing Company is based on the idea that people have two stories to tell. The first is the who, what, and where, biographical details that border on the impersonal. Your second story is the tale of your passion and drive. This Philadelphia brewery is a result of just such a passion, and combines their impeccable beers with an outstanding food menu, alongside cocktails and wine.
The type of community place that can get lost in the big city bustle, Earth Bread Brewery is a homey, quality spot serving beer, kambucha, and flatbread pizzas. Even those who don’t drink will marvel at their menu, which features several standouts including the “Black and Blue” and “Wild About Mushrooms” flatbreads.
Run by childhood best friends turned in laws, Grist House Brewing takes its beer seriously. Set in a renovated slaughterhouse and featuring a beer garden, this Pittsburgh knockout offers a wide array of quality beers and a relaxed atmosphere.
Bordering on the experimental, Tired Hands Brewing Company specializes in small-batch beer. Food is available, but decidedly not the main event, and includes delicious charcuterie and panini. This Ardmore staple has a second, nearby location known as the “Fermentaria,” which is a little less exploratory but offers a broader selection of eats.
Tröegs is a bright and shiny place that manages to hang onto a local, sustainable model of operation. Visit on Thursdays to try their “Scratch Beer” series, inventive small brews that tend to impress the more adventurous beer enthusiasts. Take a tour, or kick back with a beer and a nosh from their truly incredible snack bar (the popcorn with brown butter and rosemary salt will change you).
Otto’s is a place even those who aren’t so passionate about beer can love. A full roster of events, from music to magic, and an impressive American pub menu, would be enough to make this a worthwhile destination even sans suds. For those who do like to imbibe, try “Firkin Fridays,” occurring each Friday at 5 p.m. when a fresh keg is tapped by hand and served up old school.
This nationally recognized brand started the way all great things do: Small and local. Now operating six brewpubs in state, Appalachian Brewing Company maintains the dedication and customer appreciation that fostered earlier successes. Take a tour, or just stop in for delicious American fare and a few cold ones.
Adhering to the strict German purity laws, Lancaster Brewing Co takes quality beer seriously, but has fun doing so. While the methods are old school, the product is decidedly inventive, with available flavors including “Double Chocolate Milk Stout” and “Shoo-Fly Pie Porter.” Almost the entire food menu is scratch made in house, with ingredients sourced from Lancaster county family farms.
As America’s oldest brewery, Yuengling has perfected both process and presentation. While the beer is pristine, a site visit is even better, offering a glimpse into a time when brewing was more art than science. Take the tour, and buy a growler of the good stuff to go.