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South Philadelphia Tap Room

Not Rated.
South Philadelphia Tap RoomSouth Philadelphia Tap Room
BA SCORE
96
world-class

51 Ratings
Ratings: 51
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 6.88%
Taps: 14
Bottles: 75
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1509 Mifflin St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19145-2231
United States
phone: (215) 271-7787

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-29-2005)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 51 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JD_Lombardi
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of seanchai
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Dawkins
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of Fluffheady
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

This is a really cool place to hang out. It a bit out of the downtown district, so you get much more of a local crowd. The tap handles are all mini chalk boards which is fun and innovative. They have a beer cooler for bottles next to the bar. We went two nights in a row when visiting town.

Photo of cjoc83
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I found out about this place from my girlfriends father, actually. I moved in with her about a year and a half ago, about 3 blocks away from the Taproom, and shortly thereafter, he came up to take us out to dinner. He took us to SPTR. I was immediately smitten. I'll never forget what I first had there; the prime-rib cheesesteak sliders, a mainstay on the menu. Simply delicious.

The draft list changes every week or so, and always has several different styles and brewers to fit anyones palate. The bottle list is also quite exceptional, with a heavy emphasis on domestic crafts, but rest assured, they also have their fair share of imports, mostly from Belgium and Germany.

One of the best things about this place, as someone has already mentioned, is their happy hour, which runs from 4-6 every Monday through Friday and includes half off all drafts and appetizers. And the appetizers here are no joke. Mainstays include the cheesesteak sliders, wild boar tacos, some of the best wings I've ever had, and hands down the most amazing tomato lager soup I've ever had the pleasure of eating. And I don't even like tomato soup! The lager they cook it with really pops. And it also includes 2 mini grilled cheese sandwiches, toasted with a garlic spread, and dipping the sandwiches in the soup and tasting the medley of flavors is truly great. They also have a rotating list of specials, appetizers and entrées.

The service is, for the most part, knowledgeable and friendly. Once in a while, because of how busy the place gets, service can get a tad slow. And one time we had a waitress that was, shall we say, less than friendly. Not that she was outright rude, but she certainly wasn't very helpful. But this is a rare occurrence.

They have 2 floors, each with their own flat screen TV's, which you can count on televising Phillies and Flyers games. The ambiance is great. It's a dimly lit affair with candles at each table. Have I mentioned have great their food and beer are? Everything is reasonably priced as well. Basically, if you're in the area, stop by. You won't be disappointed.

Photo of shangwang
4.58/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

I recently dined and drank here for the third time this year and I've enjoyed every experience. I especially am a fan of the happy hour- half-price on all local drafts and appetizers, which makes for a pleasant and inexpensive afternoon. Perfect for hitting right before a Phils/Sixers/Flyers game. It's usually fairly easy to find a parking spot within a few blocks, but it's equally easy to access from the Snyder stop on the Broad Street Line.

The beer selection is pretty impressive- about a dozen taps with a good mix from brewers all over the country like Founders, Allagash, Troegs, and Lagunitas. Great bottle selection as well with some selections from Russian River and Firestone Walker the last time I visited.

The menu is very affordable- I don't remember anything above $15 and there are a lot of cool spins on typical bar fare like wild boar tacos, cheesesteak sliders, and a bacon cheeseburger that is unlike any I've had before.

Friendly service that is usually pretty speedy and knowledgeable bartenders.

All in all, a hidden gem in South Philly that I will continue returning to for a long time to come.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.95/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Visited Sat 9/11/10.

Less than an hour after wheels down at PHL, my rental car and I wriggled our way through South Philly neighborhoods to lunch destination/beer spot #1, SPTR. It's my first time in the city, so I'm trusting former Beerflys and my gut on this one...

Easy enough to find parking across the street at around 1pm on a lovely sunny Saturday. A very good thing to hear as I'm walking the half block to the corner: 3 old fellas, strolling past me, one looks over as I'm crossing and says loudly and wistfullly to his buddy: "Ah, look at da ol' taproom, dat's a good one...". True story. Nice, unsolicited love in the neighborhood.

I honestly haven't been in too many corner bars in my days, never having lived in a city bigger than Portland (and we sorta lack them here, at least quality ones), but this isn't quite what I expected: besides the streaming sunlight upfront, the interior is a cooling shade of gray on the ceiling, hardwood trim and wainscot, dark tile. A dining room is a couple steps up and is dressed in olive and red; it's all very inviting. The bar itself seats 10 or 12 and fronts a rather simple set of wood shelves. A few TVs, but only one was on, tuned to the Kansas/GaTech clash. A little kitsch above the bar: Temple & Eagles helmets, some misplaced steer horns and a large-sized Rocky figurine.

Not many folks inside (again, gorgeous day), so I snagged a seat at the crook of the bar near the door, a cool breeze through the open door and whirring fans above offsetting some midday warmth. The bartenderess came right over (friendly enough, so it seemed), but then looked impatient when I didn't know right away what I wanted. I settled for a Stoudts "Heifer in Wheat" ($4/pint), which came quickly but was short-poured by about an inch. I switched seats to grab some juice for my nearly-dead iPod, and ordered the Roast Pork sandwich. Took maybe 10 minutes for a reasonably stuffed roll full of drippy/salty pork and and provolone deliciousness to arrive. Fries were flaccid and a serious setback, but the tasty and robust house-made ketchup made them tolerable. My server stayed aloof from start to finish, choosing to spend time chatting with friends or other (bored) co-workers at the bar... lesson learned by me for all future stops: strike first with conversation...my bad here.

I added a second beer (Founders Red's Rye...mmm) and browsed the double-wide reach-in. Not an entirely accurate count, but I'm guessing 60-70 bottles, with a nice mix of Mid-Atlantic locals and (mostly Belgian) imports. Taps on this day totaled 14 (1 cask included); the handles aren't proprietary to the breweries, as they're all simply 'SPTR' taps with black strips for handwritten chalk tags - haven't seen that before.

Despite being kinda dead (crowd was trickling in by 2:00, filling a couple more bar stools and all three outside tables), this is a cool place and a tribute to what a fine pub can add to a neighborhood. May not be one I'd have to return to, but I'm glad I visited.

Photo of Cbfree
4/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Nice selection of rotating drafts, combined with a solid bottle selection. The food is good, but not great, but the consistency seems to be back so solid choice something to eat while having a beer. Their annual drink your wheaties event is one of my favorite events in the whole city, great idea with a great execution every year. Staff seems to know the product pretty well and if your server can't get you an answer they will find someone that can. It has become a lot more comfortable since they expanded and created a separate dining room.

They also get a ton of credit for single handedly revitalizing the whole neighborhood.

Not sure why, but this is the only bar in the city that I always seem to sit at a table instead of the bar, just saying.

Photo of rfgetz
4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Walking through the neighborhood, you would never guess you would eneter a beer bar as nice as this. The place is rather corner bar feeling with a quite nice feel from being surrounded by dark wood, a moderate sized bar takes up about a 1/4 of the space, with the rest didcated to seating amongst 2 rooms. A few TVs and a jukebox provide the entertainment.

The beer list focuses on local drafts with a small presence of other popular American crafts. Nothing spectacular, but solid ist of seasonals. The bottle list brings some variation in styles, overall a very nice selection, however a touch pricey on a few items.

The food is simply amazing for a bar. The grilled cheese and the BBQ chicken were two of the better sandwhiches in their respective styles that i have ever eaten, the appetizers, sides are all solid.

The service is attentive and friendly, as long as its not corwded, then it become quite hit or miss ind impersonal. The crowd is a mix of hipster with a touch of locals who wander in and out as well as beer tourists.

Overall the food shines and the beer menu gives just enough reasons to return, even if you dont live particulalry close by.

Photo of DIM
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Stopped by on a saturday afternoon for lunch before going to a Phillies game. Nice looking place, plenty of wood and exposed brick, which I like a lot. There are T.V.'s but they aren't in every possible line of sight. The tap list was great for my visit. Two different barrel aged offerings from Ballast Point(I had the Syrah aged Three Sheets, pretty tasty 8oz for $5), Registration Ale(great stuff, 12oz for $6) from Russian River, Pretty Things' Jack D'or, plus several others. The service was just okay, she didn't check back very often. I can't believe I'm saying this, but as great as the beer was, it wasn't the best part of my visit. The South Carolina BBQ chicken sandwich was one of the best food experiences I've had in a long time. Tender, flavorful bite size pieces of chicken topped with slaw on a toasted poppy seed roll. I loved it. The homefries I had on the side were pretty damn good as well. Not bad for $10. I'd love to come back sometime soon.

Photo of Atropina
4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Yum Yum and Yum. The food is fantastic (and consistant)I love the boar tacos but like the fact that i can get veggie stuff there too. Recently brought a small crowd there for my birthday and everyone was happy. The staff is charming, knowledgeable, intelligent and efficient-so very hard to find. The beer selection is excellent albeit pricey-i can't help it that I like the expensive ones! This is one place I return to over and over. I missed the Extreme beer Brunch but cant wait to try it some other day!

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Stopped in with my wife after we had dinner at Triumph Brewery, also in Philadelphia. We picked SPTR for after-dinner drinks. I've heard of it for a while, just never venture into South Philly. SPTR is on a small corner...surrounded by rowhouses...no other business' that I noticed. So I guess you could say, if it wasn't for the reputation they already have, a great hidden gem!

Not a real big place...kind of like a split level. Initially when you walk in, theres the bar right in your face...and some tables as you make your way torwards the back where the restrooms are. Then theres a small set of stairs that leads to a slightly elevaded upper level with more tables that leads back to the front of the building.

We arrived about 7:45pm on a Saturday evening and there was 2 tables open, along with a couple random seats at the bar. So we sat right away and decided to have dessert too. On tap, there was about 10 beers that I can remember, and about another 50 bottled maybe. Then again, the bottle and tap lists were all beers you wouldn't just expect to be on a beer list...so I'm sure there are a few more, considering the everyday normal beers you'd expect to see.

Prices for bottled beer was a bit high for some beers, others very high...but some were very rare, especially for the Philadelphia area...like the Bruery Papier, falling in at $30 for the 750ml bottle. If I didn't have one at home, I probably would have bought it considering it may not be found around me any time soon again. Regardless, very cool atmosphere. The service was very efficient and nice. I would definitely come back. O, and the food seemed to be enjoyed by all...our dessert was very tasty!
Cheers!

Photo of woodychandler
4.68/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

For you public transit types, take the Broad Street (Orange) line to Snyder Avenue, then head North on Broad, keeping Center City in your sights, two blocks to Mifflin, left two blocks to the corner of Hicks Street.

It is truly a corner bar, with awnings over the windows overlooking both Mifflin and Hicks Streets. The doorway was a recessed right angle on the NE corner that opened directly onto the grey, brushed steel-like Formica topped bar to the left. A Stella Euro-tap sat at the front end of the bar. The truly industrial brushed-aluminum ten-tap system sat in the middle of the bar and at the end of the bar was a cooler with some outstanding stuff, including Port Brewing, Sly Fox cans, Belgian imports and Casco Bay, plus Founders, just to name a few. The back bar was a beautiful lightly-stained wood and mirror construct. Theirs was the cheapest shot of Johnnie Walker (Blue) that I have ever encountered. Believe me, I ain't a liquor guy, but I like rye whiskey and I can appreciate a novelty. Continuing aft, past the cooler, was a set of steps leading to their back room/restaurant area. Further aft, still in the bar area, were a couple of standard restaurant tables, but with chairs upholstered with a neon lime-green, not encountered since MKE. The long, exposed brick wall along Hicks was fronted by, from fore to aft, a round table with swiveling chairs; a few standard tables with more garish chairs; and finally, several high tables and chairs. On the wall was their gorgeous wood and color chalk blackboard, listing their "On Draught" selections. A huge TV, as well as a satellite jukebox sat in the back right corner. The front of the restaurant area had a series of windows overlooking Mifflin with booths along the left wall, followed by standard tables and chairs, and finally, the kitchen. The kitchen was especially important to me, since I not only had the Greek Omelet, but their head chef splits his time here with Bridgewaters. A small world...

Beers: My visit - 2 Stoudt's; 2 Troegs; 2 Blue Point and one each of Old Rasputin, Sly Fox; River Horse; Smutty; plus the cask of Blue Point.

Photo of RobertColianni
4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I had originally planned to go to the South Philadelphia Tap Room for the selection of beer (obviously). When a short list of appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts was found printed on the other side of the bottle list I figured it was typical bar food. Ends up everything is actually amazing and most of the food that was served complimented just about any beer. Great service, outdoor seating, a long mind-boggling list of imports, and a short list of exclusive draughts, and the Tap Room quickly climbed my personal charts.
One note for the Haand Norwegian Wood that I ordered. Brew date was November 2007. Drink by was November 2009. The bottle was ordered in October of 2009. Try to check your dates before opening bottles or even go as far as asking when the shipment was obtained. This beer was in perfect condition, and still fresh, but it was dated a little close.

EDIT: I returned twice since my first visit, all about a year apart from each other. I didn't order food these last two visits, but purchased beer. The Tap Room always surprised me with the finds in the back of the bottle refrigerator. Two year old Angel Share Bourbon randomly found. $18/bottle, but whatever. If you're walking by, it's worth a peak and if you're out for date night, it's worth your time.

Photo of Soonami
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

I really like SPTR, it is one of my favorite Philly Beer Bars.

The first time I went was for a Founder's Tasting during Philly Beer Week. They had at least 13 if not more taps all devoted to Founder's offerings including KBS, FBS, Backwoods Bastard, Doubel Trouble, Cherise, Red's Rye, Dirty Bastard, Curmudgeon, Hand of Doom. Needless to say, we stayed there long enough to have brunch and dinner. Regularly, they will have a couple Founders, Russian Rivers, or Lagunitas, but more local and east coast breweries, which is also nice. They also have an extensive bottle fridge although, there don't ever seem to be prices on anything, you have to ask, which I hate.

The food here is great, I always get the breakfast burger if I can make it in early enough, which is grass-fed beef, a fried egg and bacon on a harty roll. The homemade ketchup and the fries are good as well. They make a ridiculous grilled cheese sandwich with 3 kinds of cheese on garlic texas toast served with homemade tomato-lager soup. I'm sure not everything on the menu is a home-run, but the few things I always get are great.

The service is nice, bartenders offer suggestions. One time, I asked for a beer, but by the time the waitress got the order in the keg kicked and the same thing happened to my second order, so they told me they would give me a Russian River Damnation for free since I had to wait so long for a beer. I didn't ask for this nor was I making a fuss, but staff here are very attentive and want to make you happy.

I would rate this a 2.5 $ if there was an option, a lot of the beers are 5-6, which can add up quickly especially for the stuff that is less alcohol and not as special. But for what you spend, you will have a good time

Photo of BARFLYB
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Been here a few times and have been impressed so on to a review. This place has gone far in just a short time since it opened. Located deep in south philly this is a great place to go for beer if your in the neighborhood. Nice looking from the outside, once inside you can tell alot of work went into this place. A semi small bar area with a lot of table seating for small or large groups. Some outside seating also.

The quality is one of the best i've seen in philly. The taps are always clean tasting and the place is very clean and modern. The service is up there to with servers that at least know what's on the beer and food menu and have a good knowledge of beer. Never sat at the actual bar so I cant comment on that.

A limited but well thought out selection of food that I feel would appeal to a lot of people. I had some type of tacos plus some head cheese which was off the chain and some wings that were not all that. The portions are on the small side though.

The tap selection is also not that huge but is put together well with varying styles and brewery's. I had the pleasure of having Canadian Breakfast Stout and a few other gems. Again the serving sizes seemed small for some offerings. A bottle selection as well with good choices but be prepared to drop the ducket's. SPTR is a bit pricey but hey were in Philly and you get what you pay for, and the SPTR brings it in terms of quality.

Photo of John_M
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped by during their Founder's event during Philly beer week.

The SPTR is an interesting, almost hole in the wall beer bar located right on Mifflen street in what looks like a blue collar south philly neighborhood. As you walk in the front door, there is a fairly long bar running along the left side of the beer bar. There are also a few tables and chairs scattered about, with a slightly larger area up a small rise to the left above the bar. Still, this is a fairly small establishment, that was just about crowded out the door on the Saturday afternoon I stopped by. The place has a couple of TV's over the bar, and there is a lot of wood everywhere you look. I'm thinking on most "normal" days this is a good place to hang out, relax, and enjoy a nice glass of craft brew. Not today, however.

As for quality, what can I say? They had 13 Founders beers on tap, which included the KBS, Hand of Doom, Curmudgeon and Backwoods Bastarnd. In other words, with a line-up like that, I'm not sure how quality could have been much higher.

As for service, I initially was going to give the place a straight average score. The waitstaff and bartender were working their butts off, but the fact is that there was close to 50 people trying to get service at the bar, with just a single bartender most of the time. She did a competent enough job, but the fact is that she was in the weeds most of the time I was there. Waits for a beer were up to 15 minutes long, despite her best efforts. I blame the owner for much of the problem, as the bartender was clearly doing her best. However, the fact remains that service was just not very good on this particular day, at least most of the time I was there.

As for prices, they were pretty fair I thought. The really rare stuff was expesive of course (KBS was $9 a six ounce glass, and hand of doom was $6 for the same size), but otherwise everything was $5 for a 12 ounce pour. All things considered, I thought prices were pretty fair.

In any event, this is yet another very solid beer bar in Philly. Hopefuly I can stop by again some time when the place isn't mobbed. Still, I thought the slow service and huge crowd were a small price to pay for the incredible selection here today. So all things considered, I would still call this is very good place.

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I've ventured down here 3 times now and this place is really growing on me.

There is a small amount of sidewalk seating along the front and side of the building. The main entrance opens into a tight room with a 15 person (or so) bar along the left and a cozy table and chairs on the right. The whole right wall is a line of various kinds of tables, including one rathe comfy looking one right near the door. The interior is primarily of brick and gives a real homey feeling. Just past the bar, stands a small but action packed cooler. Beyond the cooler on the left, are 3-4 stairs that lead up to a second level dining area. All in all not a huge place and the bar can get rather packed. Luckily the waitstaff are on their game.

Always a rotating tap selection of 10-12 beers. They have a chalkboard hanging directly across from the bar listing all tap beers. Last time I was there, they had 3-4 offerings from Arcadia (it was an Arcadia event), Obamagang, RR Damnation and Pliny the Elder, Bear Republic Apex IPA and a few other tasty treats on tap. I have never seen a bottle list, but that's not really a big deal since you can walk right up and check out the cooler.

In addition to the Obamagang and Pliny, I had an Arcadia HopMouth (firkin) and split a bottle of Old Viscosity with my two friends. The only issue I have with this place is that their cooler is a little too cold.

As far as the food goes, the mac and cheese is dynamite, the hummus plate rocks and the roast pork sandwich is solid.

Quickly becoming one of my favorite bars in the area.

Photo of bwd110
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Hit up the SPTR after a Flyers game... Perfect place to gather for a couple pints and some bar grub.

Decent tap selection, locally based, but some interesting regionals, and international flavors, and a solid bottle selection. Unfortunately, prices on some of the bottles bordered on the absurd. I casually asked about Hopslam, thinking about my depleted stock and home, and the bartender apologetically told me they were $8 a bottle! Thanks, I'll pass.

For about 11 or 11:30pm, the place was packed although we found two bar seats right at the corner of the bar by the front door. Bartender seemed friendly and in control of the thirsty crowd. He didn't have time to talk much with us, nor did he comment or offer suggestions when we ordered, but he made sure our beer arrived promptly with the correct, clean glassware.

Food was very good! A friend and I split some very tender calamari and a chicken quesadilla. Both were better than your average bar fare.

Music was loud and there wasn't much elbow room to be had, but this is still a classic Philadelphia neighborhood bar. It'll be a regular south philly stop...

Photo of ImHereForTheBeer
3.95/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

The bartender was friendly and knowledgeable, pouring us a few samples before we decided on a pint...I had the Riverhorse Oatmeal Milk Stout, Amy had a Pliny the Elder Double IPA. Beer selection was good and focused primarily on the local breweries, it looks like there are about 12 taps here, and a small but decent bottle selection.

The food was good - Amy had the eggplant parmigiana and I enjoyed a rustic sandwich. We shared a Mediterranean plate.

The atmosphere was very corner bar, with an elevated / second floor seating area with tables and a long bar on the lower level. The music was searingly loud, especially considering the small crowd.

There are some good happy hour specials to be had - no complaints about getting a cheap pint of a good beer - that's for sure.

Between SPTR and the Devils Den, its nice to see some good beer bars making their way into South Philly.

Photo of Seanibus
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This place has come a long way in the last year and it is now a destination that will get me to trek down to South Philly. The atmosphere is dark Old Philadelphia bar-room, which used to be rather claustrophobic, but they have expanded into the neighboring building and opened up the bar area into the new dining room. That change has made a huge difference in the atmosphere.

The food is simple but reliable. The fish & chips are delicious, the burger is tasty, the grilled cheese and soup plate has possessed my wife's mind. The macaroni and cheese is among the best I have tasted in restaurants.

The beer list isn't vast, but its colorful and well thought out. They always have an interesting selection of locals on tap - Troegs, Yards, Victory and the like - with at least a couple of unusual choices from farther afield, like Rock Art, Founders, and Russian River.

This is an excellent choice for a good meal and a well-chosen beer.

Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A surprisingly good beer bar in South Philly. Recently they have extended and built a new dining room with nice art work. The menu has also ben overhauled predominatly featuring exotic meats. While I admit that the quality of their food has improved, I miss being able to order a simple pulled pork sandwich with fries. They have removed lion from their menu recently because of public outcry. The SPTR along with the Devil's Den have the best happy hour with half price drafts from 4-6 M-F. They have a nice selection of draft and bottled beer with the focus being primarily on American Craft. This was the first place I ever hap Bells Hopslam. Alays a nice selcton with decent service and good food.

Photo of slander
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

My, how the neighborhood's dropped off, or coming in from south of here maybe it's never really come up. I can't really say for sure. I'd planned on taking this in after the Philly beer thing at the navy yard a few months back but I was kidnapped by the family Manny for late night steaks so here it is I is, better late than never. A corner joint in a section of Philly considerably more dodgy than the one we just left up north, but we can hang...

"J" shaped wood bar with gray swirly swirly top and lip seating 12 on the inside brick wall with barback wood unit, center mirror with tiered booze below, and tall narrow shelves holding Rums and Vodkas over mirrored backings to each side, and Tequilas, Whiskeys and random bottles on shelving extending out from there over brick walls. Strung leafage atop the unit, fixtures and pieces (stuffed owl, Rocky figurine, football helmets, steer horns) and blackboards to both sides, talking happy hour and brunch hours. Glassware and more booze below.

Mostly big brick walls and some painted yellow pieces over wood lowers to the rear. Massive panel windows on wood framing over Hicks and Mifflin, lined with strung lighting and holding macro signage and neons. Light blue ceiling, spinnin' fans and sunken spots, slate floorings, mounted TV's at both ends of the bar, and brewery signage riddled about. A single roundy table sits adjacent to the bar with cool cut barrel chairage, and 4 tables down past there sharing common bench action. And then 5 raised bar tables further along to the rear of the side door leading up to a large flatscreen in the back corner, and a pair of shorty tables across the way. Bathrooms to the back, all chalkboarded up ala Spuyten, and stairs there to the raised side room holding a dozen tables. Brick walls with a peekaboo cut through lookin' in on the bar, framed pics & mirrors, and a single drop chandelier. Also, some light seating outdoors to both sides of the corner.

Saturday's bartender is an inked funny girl, lookin' to cut off drunk boy aaany minute now. She knew I wanted food before I did. Hmmmn, yeah, okay. I 'et a 3 cheese grilled cheese sandwich (carried itself like a 4 cheese grilled cheese sandwich) and a cup of lager tomato soup (veggie, tasty), served with giant wedge crazy fries (it was like they quartered a goddamn potato and fried the bitch up). Dave had a burger, cooked to order, rare was rare, he was good with it.

13 taps spread across the bar, 3 on a tower on the corner of the bar and 10 more on a tower further down some. The tap handles are all blackened out with the names of the beers written on them in colored chalk. Kind of hard to tell what's what what what there but if you spin around, the tap selections are listed on a board in colored chalk behind you. A good mix, ½ Pennsylvania brews (PBC Kenzinger & Newfold Pale, Sky Fox Saison Vox, Troegs Nut Brown, Stoudts Pils, Lancaster Milk Stout, Roy Pitz Hefe), ½ not (Russian River Pliny the Elder, Ballast Point Black Marlin Porter, Atwater Blocktoberfest, Founders Red Rye, DogFishHead Punkin'), and a cider (Wyders Pear Cider). I asked inked girl for a recommendation, Ballast Point Porter or Founders Red Rye and she went with the porter, a very tasty one at that, good roastiness (I know what you're thinking so let's just put it out there... this wasn't the first place we visited today. Had I kept drinkin' the Pliny, it would have been a very short afternoon).

Fuck! 5 dozen bottles in the coooler down at the end of the bar; nearly missed that. 3/4 of them US micros (Bells, Founders, Yards, Troegs, Victory, Anchor, Smutty, Sierra Nevada, DogFishHead, and big bottle Southampton, Port, Lost Abbey, Bear Republic, Russian River, Jolly Pumpkin, Brooklyn, Ithaca, Stone, Allagash, Sly Fox), the remainder being a bunch of Belgians (Orval, Saison DuPont, De Ranke Cuvee, Cantillon 1900, Duvel, Val Dieu, Maredsous, Malheur), and some other imports (Dieu Du Ciel, Unibroue).

I'm looking for that guy who built them tables all shittily, but he's not here. Anyway, they've got a good tap selection, beer's well kept, fresh, and there's always the bottles if the taps won't do. Food, service, it's all good. Quiet and comfortable on this and the other Saturday afternoon I've visited. If I had to live in this neighborhood, this would be the place I'd come to drink my troubles away.

Photo of sholland119
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

We just made our first visit to SPTR in over a year after a couple of bad experiences put it off our radar. I am glad we gave it another shot.

An additional dining room has been added to the main bar/dining room area, giving the place a much more attractive look overall. It was kind of dingy before. Now that only applies to the restrooms.

The tap list is quite good with about a dozen mostly American craft brew handles. This is supplemented by a substantial bottle list (50 or more). On our visit we had Racer 5, ST Hop Sun, Oscar Blues' Old Chub (never seen that on tap before) and Stoudt's Smooth Hoperator (bottle). All drafts are half-price during Happy Hour, which is obviously awesome for drafts of this quality.

The menu has been recently overhauled and looks great. We had the frito pie and the scallop sliders, both of which are highly recommended. We are looking forward to going back.

HV

South Philadelphia Tap Room in Philadelphia, PA
96 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.