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Memphis Taproom

Not Rated.
Memphis TaproomMemphis Taproom
BA SCORE
97
world-class

67 Ratings
Ratings: 67
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 6.14%
Taps: 12
Bottles: 127
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

2331 E Cumberland St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19125-2205
United States
phone: (215) 425-4460

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: carlosd74 on 06-01-2008)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 67 | Reviews: 48 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of edskirk3
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%

I finally had a chance to check out Memphis Taproom the other night.

It's on a small corner which I'd imagine would be difficult to find parking if you weren't early enough. When you walk in the bar is to the right and there's some tables and high chairs to the left. Ahead of you, beyond the bar, is the dining room. We sat at the bar and were given menus without having to ask. I noticed several clearly marked vegetarian and vegan options.

I ended up having a Yards ESA, Victory Storm King (on cask!) and Elysian Bifrost Winter Ale along with the Port Richmond Platter (kielbasa, pierogies, potato pancakes, sauerkraut and really good mustard). The beers were presented in appropriate glassware.

The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. The prices are reasonable. I felt welcome in this bar that I was visiting for the first time.

I'll definitely visit again. It's not very close to my neighborhood but I'll be back.

edskirk3, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of Cubed2ce
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%

The Taproom is located right in the middle of a neighborhood. Little to no parking. The entrance walks in to the bar are that has about 20 seats an 2 or 3 high-top tables. If you continue past the bar you will find about 10 tables. Small, but cozy place. The waitress was very helpful with detemining which draft to select. The list changes frequently. I had checked thier website to look at thier list and knew what I wanted to have. Unfortunately, the list had changed but not on the website. I noticed that they had Ommegang Abbey Ale on tap so I decide on that since I had never had it. Next was the food. The menu wasn't big but very good. I was told to have the Port Richmond Platter. Although it's an entree, it made a good sampler as an app for 3 of us. For an entree I had the Russian River Blind Pig and the Slow Roast pork sandwhich. Delicious!
Overall, great little place to go for some great food great beer and an low key night.

Cubed2ce, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of BeerZombie
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

I remember when I first heard of this place and thought to check it out ASAP. well I never really got around to checking it out on my own accord, until I ended up moving down the street. so now it's my local go-to bar, and I love it. what a perfect neighborhood to live in when the Memphis Taproom is your local bar. I couldn't have worked this out more perfectly for myself.

I remember the first time I went looking for it, without really knowing the exact intersection, I couldn't find it. the steel sign hanging in front of the bar doesn't really stick out, and they don't have any of those obnoxious neon beer signs in the windows. and that is fine. for as long as the beer is good, I'm happy. and that it is.

inside the bar is small and comfy, with a few hightops off to the side. honestly, I still have not even so much as walked into the dining room. the decor is nice, nothing obnoxious. just enough to let you know that you're in a beer bar. there's a chalkboard on either side of the backbar, one telling you of all the drafts (including upcoming drafts) and the other side telling you about all the bottles that they have. prices are clearly marked, including whether it comes in a pint (by default) or a tulip glass.

all the bartenders are extremely knowledgeable, and I've had 4 different bartenders serve me in the many times I've been there. they are always willing to ask any beer geek question that I may throw in their direction. they seem genuinely happy to talk beer with their customers.

the beer selection is great. I love how they always try to have at least one beer of each style on tap, and no more than one of the same style. drafts are moderately priced, usually $4-5 a pint, sometimes more if it's a specialty beer that is served in a tulip glass. the bottled list is superb, and changes with the seasons (I'm excited to check out their new winter seasonals).

as a vegetarian, I couldn't be more pleased with the food. I've had all their vegetarian sandwiches, now I'm ready to move on to the entrees. what makes me really happy is that ALL of the sandwiches are $8, and entrees run between $12-14 or so. very reasonable.

I'm so glad that the Memphis Taproom is my local bar. there's a LOT of bars in this neighborhood, but most are dive bars with really bad beer selections.

BeerZombie, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.65/5  rDev +5.7%

The Memphis is my local, and as such I'd guess that perhaps my review should be taken with a bit of skepticism, or at least a grain of salt. I'll assure you, however, that if anything, I'm probably being a little harder on them than I normally would be.

First off, I love what they've done for the neighborhood. How one bar can make such a positive change, I don't know, but I certainly see it in the way that outsiders view the neighborhood now. Additionally, they've given us a much needed place for socialization.

The outside of the bar looks great, and it completely fits in architecturally. It has a little bit of a retro feel to it, which works perfectly. It has class. And they take care of it and the sidewalks around it. Very well run. Oh, I forgot to mention that I know Brendan, one of the owners. More skepticism. I wouldn't give him credit if it wasn't warranted.

Entering from the corner it can be kind of tight between the door and the first high top table. It's a kind of small bar. But that's the way corner bars used to be. And, that happens to be just about the right size for keeping it comfortable. Except for when they're busy, which seems to be the norm.

The decor is kind of retro. Not "real" retro, but retro-ish. Nice details. The dining room in back is just a little more modern, and just a little bit brighter. The art on the walls helps with that, and it's surprisingly good (changes monthly). It's a nice change, and it helps to separate the two areas. Nice bathrooms too.

Moving onto the things everyone wants to hear about... the beer list is fantastic. Always changing. Always something good, and always something that you wouldn't expect. Cask ales on Saturday afternoon. A great bottle selection.

The bartenders are top notch. I only know Brendan, but there are two other bartenders that I've seen several times who are great. And service in the dining room has been top notch as well, which, honestly, is a little surprising. Wait service these days has decreased to the point that if you don't have food spilled on you and you're not entirely ignored you've done pretty well. Not the case here at all. In fact, I'd consider it right up there with some very expensive, fancy restaurants that I've been to. (Cross my fingers, I hope that continues).

The food is kind of hipster-hippy-healthy. I don't know if that makes any sense. They have gluten-free items. They have vegetarian AND vegan items. They do standard kinds of things, but they put a twist on it. The BBQ Seitan sandwich ($8) is my favorite. It's comfort food, but it's also healthy. How bizarre!!! Ham on Rye harkens back to that corner bar thing. And they do unusual stuff like Grilled Marlin, and seasonal things as well. So maybe I don't mean hipster, as much as just hip. BONUS: All of the prices are reasonable! Entrees top out at around $15, which is $3 to $5 less than most places. Hmmm, maybe that has something to do with their popularity!

Alright, I think I've covered it. They have my definite seal of approval.

NeroFiddled, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of slander
4.4/5  rDev 0%

Ooooh, the neighborhood's gone I don't know what, but it's dropped off since wherever it was we was. No, I can tell, 'cause I'm not driving for once and can take in the sights, such as they are. Overshot and circling again, it's somewhere here, wait, it's the corner spot there, are they open you think? Had to run north, way out of the way but I did want to see this place...

A pair of bar tables up front and a 13 seat straight old wood bar with a dark lip on the inside wall. The barback holds a stained wood unit with 3 large mirrored panels over tiered booze, wines, some bottled beers, pictures, brewery signage and other pieces, and looong shelves of glassware down below. A center flatscreen above & a vertical blackboard to each side listing tap selections on one, and bottled selections on the other. Drop lamps over the bar & center tracks spots. Fat glass cube windows on both walls off the corner entrance, pale mustard walls over brown wood lowers with some framed prints and brewery signage about, checkerboard tile floors in black & white, and a framed doorway to the rear room; a dozen + tables and booths there, some sharing common benches, the walls brick play with light artwork.

10 taps on a single tower on the center of the bar and a handpump off to one side. A good mix of locals & regionals (PBC Walt Wit, Sly Fox Oktoberfest, Stoudts Pils, DogFishHead Punkin', Allagash Dubbel), not so's (Russian River Blind Pig & Pliny the Elder, Sprecher Black Bavarian), a token import (Fullers ESB) and a cider (Original Sin). They put up a new cask every Saturday, we caught the Lagunitas Sirius on, but that's not where I'm at just now. You know what, Ed? I'm thinking this is going to be a "two beer" place. I started with a Russian River Blind Pig (Ooooh) and then had a Pliny the Elder (didn't suck), because, like you have to ask why. You're an idiot.

Yes, the 2 Russian Rivers, but I could have just as easily (not quite but nearly so) spent some time with the bottled selections. 3 dozen or so in all, roughly 1/3 of them Belgian (Orval, Petrus Aged Pale Ale, Saison DuPont, Cantillon Gueuze, Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru, Monk's Flemish Sour Red, De Dolle Extra Export Stout, Chimay Grand Reserve, Duvel, Corsendonk Brown, St. Bernardus Pater 6, Cherish Raspberry Lambic), another 1/3 US (4 from Port Brewing, Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale & Inferno, DogFishHead 90 & Raison D'etre, Sly Fox Pikeland Pils & Phoenix Pale Ale, Rogue Chocolate Stout, Allagash Dubbel, Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale), and the remainder a mix of Germs (Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock, Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier, Franziskaner Hefe, Schneider Aventinus), English (J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale '98, Theakston Old Peculiar), a few beers of the world and Miller Light & Amstel Light, for the roundin' it out effect.

Owner Brendan (aka Greg) was behind the bar, we spoke for a while. He used to deal at Nodding Head, picks good beer, knows New Haven pizza, and busted out a De La Senne Taras Boulba (a very nice low ABV Saison, lovely, really) for us. We like him; he may stay. Fewd? They ate brunchy things and wings of hot for me. There was pain, are you happy? Good tunes being piped in. I'm listening to Tom Waits "A sight for sore eyes" thinkin', "What's that from, Foreign Affairs? Yeah, right?" Solid selection, goodies both bottled and on tap (and the drafts running $4 or $5 at that), goddamn. I could do some serious time here.

slander, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of sirdeloin
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

This place has become my go-to spot. A bit out of the way, but worth it. The polish inspired food is tasty always seems to hit the spot. they also offer a variety of veg and vegan foods. not surprised as it is in Fishtown.

There is a reason this has become my favorite place. The beer selection is exceptional and priced much lower than the popular beer spots in Philly. The tap selection is always changing with a new firkin every Saturday. On my last trip, I was delighted to discover they had tap offerings of Ommegang Rouge(one of my favorites, but of course can never find) and St. Bernardus 12 on tap, among others I rarely see.

They always seem to have fun, unique events going on too. Not surprised, the bartenders there are great, and the atmosphere is really comfortable. It's not a huge place, and it can get packed some nights, but hey, that'll happen. Mostly friendly locals. All-in-all, worth the visit.

sirdeloin, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of marcpal
4.4/5  rDev 0%

I had gotten takeout food from here before which I have liked but finally got to spend a good long afternoon there this weekend for Mystery Beer weekend.

It is in whats called 'fishtown' and was actually pretty close to the Philadelphia Brewing company so this would make a tremendous day of beer.

The atmosphere is pure Philly, the bar up front with the dining room in the back. We got a table in the dining room but close to the bar and it was laid back as you can get. It was fairly crowded (not sure if due to event) but it was still comfortable and friendly.

The quality of the beer was high, very high. Outside of the offerings on the mystery beers, which they did not chince on, the bottle list had good variety. The only complaint is that they were out of Pikeland. D'oh. The food was good too, especially for vegetarians. I particularly liked the hummus dip but am more of a meat eater from the other things- the salads we got were all good as were the fried pickles.
Only other complaint about the food is that it was a bit overfried, cant believe I would ever say that.

The selection, as noted, was very good from what was on the mystery package. But from walking in there in the past, they always had a great local assortment on tap and in bottles which is a great positive for a local bar like this to have.

The value for the price was phenomenal and the service was also perfect in that they didnt rush you as long as you kept getting brews at the table and they didnt ignore you either.

This place surely is worth a visit for good beer, good food, good people and a laid back day or night. Look forward to getting back- another gem in an underrated beer and food city.

marcpal, Aug 31, 2008
Photo of carlosd74
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

I finally got down here as part of the English Premier League Season 2008 kick-off weekend promotion. This review is long overdue seeing as I requested The Alstrom Bros. add them to the site.

The place is easy to get to from Exit 25 off I-95. It is in Kensington but straddles the border with Fishtown. Don't let the fact it is in Kenso keep you away. This side of Kenso never was that bad and if you want proof that the place is on the ascent...just look at the rent/mortgages on Realtor.com for the 19125 zip code. The website has directions and maps. Speaking of websites, it is a very detailed site. Whoever runs it does a great job because it is visually pleasing and it is just organized. The drafts and bottles are listed.

The place has 11 taps including 1 handpump that featured Hop Wallop. The Bottle list is on the rightside of the bar; the Draft is to the left. Of course it has a full bar and a solid wine list. no its not Tria but it is beats out the likes of Monk's. Some of the drafts were: Walt Wit, Original Sin Cider, London's Pride, SN Anniversary Ale(but Southern Hemi was just behind it),Sly Fox Pikeland Pils, Ommegang Rare Vos, Stone Smoked Porter, Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale and Sly Fox Saison. Bottles were around 50 - 60 strong..running the gamet from Lionshead Light to Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen (smells like smoked bacon!). The only stinkers for the nonadventurous would be the High Life and Amstel Light. Drafts were all $4.

The service from Jessica was outstanding. Every thing I want out of a server. You can't miss her. She is a ginger and has many tattoos on her arms. Very attentive and knows her beers. She inspected each glass before using them. I mean she was holding them up to the light to ensure they didn't have a speck of hardwater stain! Plus she picked only good music off the bar's iPod. I never had to wait for her to ask me if I wanted another drink. She found time to chat. She even poured me an ounce of the aforementioned Rachbier from the wee bit that was lingering in an opened bottle. I think she knew the other punter rather well so it wasn't like she was just stiffing him on the last ounce.

The cost was descent. I got thre at 11:00 AM and didn't leave until 2:30. My Girlfriend and I ate and drank our faces off and the bill only came to $69.55! That's less than $20 an hour for pure utopia ($19.87 to be exact). Too bad my Manchester City (not UNITED!!!) club blew the match or else it would have been a perfect day.

Ohand the brunch menu rocked. It doesn't hurt to have a genuine Chef in your kitchen. What other Philly bar do you know that features Polish & Welsh cooking? My beef & onion pasties were great. Nothing frozen here folks. That pastry crust was light and flakey. My Girlfriend's eggs and hash were very good according to her....I have never eaten corned beef hash in my life. The coffee was solid and kept in a carafe as not to render the product ass-like from the heat and oxygen. Hey it was Sudnay at 11 AM and I needed to counter the beer. LOL. Shit even the water must have been filtered because I know Philly tap water's fine aroma all too well. Hey the little things do matter. Oh and the wings were done wel. The oil was peanut and it didn't taste like it was old oil. Plus the scallions were a nice addition as was the real blue cheese that seemed to have an added ingredient (Old bay?)...not sure but it was great. they were not greasy nor were they dripping in a hot sauce. Nice and crisp. Oh and I forgot the wasabi mayo that was under my Pasties was banging!
All I know is that Brendan is busting his ass to make this place awesome!!! That neighborhood deserve something this excellent. Kudos to Fishtown native Ken Correll and Nodding Head's Paula Decker for there $$$ in getting this place off to a great start. I have never seen a place get it so right out of the gate.

carlosd74, Aug 18, 2008
Photo of LunaChick
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%

I really like this place. We went late on a saturday night. As for atmosphere it was very nice. Not nearly as dark or noisy as some of the other places we frquent. It was very nice to have a normal conversation using my "inside voice" Quality, well the beer list is great, the food was yummy. One nice point is there are a few macros which helps keep a wide customer base. And its nice to see beer from all over, not just local places. I"m all for supporting local breweries but to really promote craft beer its important to have selections from all over. I think its important to cater to all tastes. Service was attenitive and fun though I think they thought I was there to scope them out. Its a small place so space is limited. That said they make very good use of it with the taps and bottles. Had the beef and oninon patsies. Yummy. Overall was much less expensive an outing than some of the other spots we like.
Its nice when a place gets everything right from the start. I'm sure this will be a very successful place. Its worth the trip if you come to philly.

LunaChick, Jul 01, 2008
Photo of Metalmonk
4.4/5  rDev 0%

A relatively new addition to the Philly beerscape. With a nice beer list and veggie-friendly menu, it was a no-brainer stop during a recent two-day jaunt through the city of brotherly love. The atmosphere is colonial meets old-west. I dig the chalkboard beer menu, split equally between micros and imports, most of them from reputable, outstanding breweries. Lagunitas, Franziskaner, Chimay, Victory, Bavik, Dogfish Head, and many more. Not the hugest tap or bottle list, but it's definitely quality over quantity here. The biggest treat was Founders Pale Ale on cask, which was indeed delicious.

Service was attentive, although we went at an off-peak time, with the bartender being knowledgeable enough. The food was freaking incredible. My host and myself are both vegetarian, and their menu is not only veggie/vegan friendly, but the food itself is of an incredibly high standard. We had the chili and bbq "pork" sandwich, both absolutely mouthwateringly awesome. (ie. my mouth is watering just writing this, days later). The "suicide rings" were very good too, but didn't compare to the main events. Can't wait to return, more for the food than beer, and the beers ain't no slouches.

Metalmonk, Jun 26, 2008
Memphis Taproom in Philadelphia, PA
97 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.