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Memphis Taproom

Not Rated.
Memphis TaproomMemphis Taproom

Taps: 12 / Bottles: 127
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
BA SCORE
97
world-class

67 Ratings
Ratings: 67
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 6.14%
$$ - reasonable
[ 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 slander
slander

New York

4.4/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

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.

10-23-2008 01:56:31 | More by slander
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
DoubleSimcoe

New York

4.2/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.5 | $$

Weekend trip to Philadelphia, the wife wants some brunch. I scramble to find a place and BA takes me to Memphis Taproom. Unlikely neighborhood for such a great beer bar, very working class and outright ghetto around the edges.

The Memphis is a classic Philly corner bar repurposed into a slightly-hipster-but-very-welcoming craft establishment. Very chill all around, we sat at a table by the bar upfront but there is also a dining area on the back.

The bottled beer list is excellent and includes Sucaba, Fantome Saison, J.W. Lee’s vintages, lots of Belgian brews, Angel’s Share ’09… the taps (ten of them) are more limited: Dogfish 60 and Olde ’12, Lees Moon Raker, Sly Fox, Allagash White and two casks. I was expecting much more from one of the best beer bars in Philadelphia, but I wasn’t terribly unhappy. The brunch bloody mary’s were wow!

And so was the food. I had a vegan brunch to die for, including a tofu scramble and smoked coconut. Serious flavor. Brunch and brews for two came up to around fifty bucks, while single beers are priced at six or seven dollars. Probably my favorite part of Memphis was the service. So incredibly nice!!

This could be the best local hangout EVER.

03-19-2014 15:09:02 | More by DoubleSimcoe
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.65/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

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.

11-01-2008 20:08:44 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

4.2/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$

Stopped by with some BA pals after the Firkenteenth festival over at Grey Lodge. What do you know, yet another excellent beer bar in Philly.

I don't know the Philly neighborhoods all that well, but was told this place is located in Fishtown (next to Northern Liberties). At least to my eye, this looks like another "iffy" Philly neighborhod that is undergoing some pretty impressive gentrification. The existence of this place is yet another example...

This is yet another unpretentious looking neighborhood bar in Philly, this one on Memphis Street. It's on the corner of Memphis (and some other street) and the bar area is pretty small upon walking in. I understand there's a large dining area in the back, which I didn't get a chance to check out on this Friday afternoon. The atmosphere in the bar area is low key, relaxed and informal. I think there's one TV over the bar, but otherwise it's a nice place to hang out and enjoy good beer. Seems to me there was between 12 and 15 beers on tap, with some pretty interesting, well thought out choices. There weren't a great many people in the taproom the afternoon we were there, but in any event, service was polite, pleasant and quick.

One of the cool things about this place, I thought, is the pricing of the beer here. Everything is $4 a glass, even the Belgiums. Yes, the Belgiums come in a smaller 10 ounce glass, but it still struck me that the pricing here is pretty gentle. $4 for a glasss of Maredsous 8? What's not to like? This is a very solid place.

06-15-2008 20:41:40 | More by John_M
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

4.14/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$

An unassuming exterior leads into a top-shelf beer bar. About 15 taps including gems like Russian River Blind Pig and 1 cask (unfortunately serving a dry stout - Love Stout - while I was there). The bottle list was written in chalk and not too extensive (but all good). The front of the establishment contains the bar room, with maybe 8 seats along the bar and another 15 seats or so at tables. The rear room is laid out like a restaurant, all table seating as far as I could tell. Beers were cheap, between $4-5 per pint on tap.

03-07-2009 02:13:41 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of sholland119
sholland119

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

Another fine local bar with a great vibe and friendly service (in a town that already has plenty).

Memphis Taproom is located in a section of town called "Port Fishington" on the website (intersection of Port Richmond, Fishtown and Kensington). The immediate area is up and coming, a little rougher than Northern Liberties, a lot more gentrified than the surrounding neighborhoods our GPS took us through on the way there.

There is about a 15 seat bar in the front, with a couple of hightops and a dining room in the back. Not a big place, probably holds about 60-75 tops. The bar has a great neighborhood vibe but is very welcoming to nonlocals as well. Also a good place to talk beer with some knowledgeable customers and spot BAs out on a day trip.

There are 11 drafts, including one cask beer, with a varied selection of local craft brews (among them Sly Fox Royal Weisse, Victory Prima Pils, PBC Fleur-de-Lehigh) and other fine domestic beers (Lagunitas IPA, Southampton Secret Ale, Founders Pale Ale on cask) along with Maredsous 8. There are about 25 or 30 bottles on the chalkboard with a nice selection of Port brews, a Cantillon Gueze and others. No BMC taps or bottles whatsoever. I don't know that I have ever seen this before.

Service was excellent. The bartender was knowledgeable, friendly and attentive. She was very patient, offering samples of appropriate alternatives to customers who were looking for Heineken or Yuengling.

The Sunday brunch menu was fairly broad and well executed, with several vegan and vegetarian options if you are into that sort of thing. We had the vegan stuffed french toast (with a side of kielbasa!) and the bbq pork (nice spicy bbq sauce).

In a city that is, thankfully, blessed with great beer bars, Memphis Taproom is right up there with our other favorites.

HV

06-23-2008 18:51:44 | More by sholland119
Photo of InspectorBob
InspectorBob

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

02-26-2014 15:20:03 | More by InspectorBob
Photo of seanchai
seanchai

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

12-31-2013 11:21:21 | More by seanchai
Photo of Deuane
Deuane

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

I have been to MT a handful of times now and with each visit my desire to have this place as "my local" grows greater and greater.

A "typical" small corner bar in a residencial neighborhood. Inside a fairly nice sized bar greats you with tables along the wall. In the back is a proper dining area with a mix of tables and booths. All in all the place feels larger than it looks.

Service gets better and better with each visit. Here is an example from the past weekend. Brandon, the owner, knew my name before I told him...due to our interactions with his wife Leigh of Local 44...how cool is that! Then...a hole opens up on the taps, he asks US if we would like to have the Double Dorado that we inquired about earlier to go on?! Hell Yeah we would, thanks for asking! The servers and tenders have been quick and friendly too.

Eleven taps with constant rotation...all good to great and NO crap, plus a hand-pull. Pretty damn solid if you ask me.

The food we have ordered has been good. Last time we had apps that included empenadas and fried okra. Both were done proper and were very tasty.

Prices are what one would expect for Philly...maybe even a bit on the "cheap" side for some things.

All in all I really love MT. Along with Local 44 Brandon and Leigh are building a mighty duo of local, friendly and desirable neighborhood hangouts. I know they work hard for what they are providing, I wish them the best of luck

03-12-2009 08:29:35 | More by Deuane
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.72/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $

This is a great little beer bar/restaurant in the Fishtown/Kensington/Port Richmond section of the city. A bit off of the beaten path but definitely worth seeking out. This is one of my top five place in Philly and is a must stop if you have the time while in town.

As soon as you walk in you are at the bar which is pretty large for a pretty small space. There is ample seating and always a cool crowd. Also, they play really good music which adds to the atmosphere. Behind the bar there are a couple of giant chalkboards listing what's on their excellent rotating draft list and what bottles are offered.

The main dining area is also pretty small but there is plenty of seating and there is never much of a wait to get a table. Plain decor with another small chalkboard of what beers are on draft.

The food and service here are excellent and the prices are very reasonable. The portions are huge and the most expensive thing on the menu was $16 the last time I went. They have some vegetarian dishes but mainly focus on traditional polish fare with an eclectic gastropub twist. The service is always excellent. Everyone who works there tends to be very friendly and knowledgeable and their bartenders are very attentive and great to strike up a conversation with. Also, the owner Brendan is often there and he is like a beer encyclopedia. Very approachable and loves talking about beer.

On to the beer. The selection at the place is truly impressive. They have a small bottle list which is very good but the rotating draft list s what keeps me coming back. They usually only have about ten beers on and one or two casks but they are all top quality. On one visit they had Pliny the Younger(yes Younger), Pliny the Elder, Consecration, Cantillon Kriek and Racer X! WOW! Highly recommended.

10-16-2009 15:03:39 | More by corby112
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Memphis Taproom in Philadelphia, PA
97 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.