I don’t know about you, but I like my alcohol. Wine, cocktails, beer, you name it, I drink it. In moderation, of course! And I’m not the only one.
Many Americans may be trending towards a more healthy lifestyle these days, but many are also drinking more. In 2015, it was reported that heavy drinking among Americans grew 17% between 2005 and 2015. According to a 2016 article, 43% of alcohol guzzling Americans said they prefer beer over wine and liquor. Which leads us to our topic of, you guessed it, brewries!
Between 2014 and 2015, the number of U.S. craft breweries jumped 15% to a good 4,269 across the nation. In 2016, the Brewers Association reported the number of brewers grew to 5,300, growing an additional 17%.
Surprisingly, Philadelphia has a huge beer market. According to JLL, only a few breweries existed in Philadelphia in 2012. By 2018, the number of operating breweries is expected to reach 30. The growth is a concoction of many things. Perhaps two main factors are the 2016 reformation of the Pennsylvania’s liquor laws as well as well-positioned real estate.
For the first time since the Prohibition, Pennsylvania passed a liquor reform bill. Suddenly, wine-to-go became a thing at bars, restaurants and grocery stores. State stores now can tweak that once-required 18% markup to maximize profit. Distributors can even sell six packs or single beers to customers now.
Since Philly was once “The Workshop of the World,” there are a lot of vacant large spaces where factories once were. Many of these spaces seemed off the beaten path, far from Center City. However, with the success of gentrifying areas like Brewerytown and Fishtown, the real estate is perfectly positioned.
Along Delaware Avenue, next to the Delaware River, sits the Yards Brewery which attracts many passing drivers and young residents of Fishtown and Northern Liberties. However, the success of the brewer has caused it to move. Yards is currently working on its new $19MM, 70,000 square foot headquarters. The new brewery, event space and tasting room will be in Destination Maternity Corp.’s former headquarters at Fifth and Spring Garden, where established Northern Liberties and up-and-coming Spring Arts neighborhoods merge.
But an additional handful of breweries and distilleries have or are set to open this year. Brewerytown boasts its new Flying Fish Crafthouse, Philadelphia Distilling re-located to Fishtown, Olde Kensington will be blessed with Sir Charles Hard Cider brewery, and more.
In 2017 alone, 10 new breweries are set to open in Philadelphia. By next year, breweries, distilleries, and fermenteries will account for 267,200 sq feet of the city’s commercial space. So it looks like the City of Brotherly Love is poised to get boozier.