In support of the New England Patriots and their 10th Super Bowl appearance, I decided to do some homework on our opponents, the Philadelphia Eagles. We are all familiar with the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, or the famous Rocky Statue and the Rocky Steps, but what about their beer history?
Did you know there is a neighborhood in North Philadelphia called Brewerytown? This neighborhood earned its stripes as Brewerytown because of all the breweries that called this 35 acre spot home in late 19th century and early 20th century. This part of North Philly runs along the banks of the Schuylkill river, which makes this real estate highly desirable to breweries. In fact, in its heyday over 20 breweries were operating in Brewerytown. To put that in perspective, the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston is roughly 340 acres, that’s over 10 times the size of Brewerytown. Being along the river allowed breweries to harvest as much ice as they needed to be able to hold and finish their lagers at the right temperatures.
Sadly, as the local industry began to collapse in the later half of the 20th century which started with prohibition, all the breweries either closed or moved their operations to the mid-west. Finally, in 1987 all breweries had gone extinct in Brewerytown and in 2016 there was only one actively brewing brewery, Crime and Punishment Brewing Co.