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Prohibition Taproom

Not Rated.
Prohibition TaproomProhibition Taproom
BA SCORE
89
very good

23 Ratings
Ratings: 23
Reviews: 14
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 10.61%
Taps: 9
Bottles: 55
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

501 N 13th St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19123-3632
United States
phone: (215) 238-1818

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @prohibitiontr

Notes:
Hours:
Sunday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 2:00am

(Place added by: eldondre on 12-03-2008)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 23 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by DoubleSimcoe:
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.66/5  rDev -7.6%

***Re-reviewing Prohibition***

I had a better experience my second time around. I still don't love how loud and dark and slightly claustrophobic the place gets, but service was much more professional this time.

We visited on a weekday evening during happy hour- dollar off brews and five-dollar food items. The fried cheese curds were fantastic, a perfect beer snack.

Dogfish 90, Founders Sweet Repute, Bell's Cherry Stout... some cool beers on tap this time. Still not a destination, but fine if you happen to be around (not sure why you would, though)
---
I had this bar mapped out before we even got to Phila because it is close to the hotel we were staying at in Chinatown-Convention Center. We parked in a desolate street and walked to Prohibition. Odd neighborhood, isn’t it? A bit sketchy, pretty empty… not much around.

A ten-minute walk to the Convention Center but it feels like a world apart. I was surprised at how pack the bar was, considering how empty the streets are outside. A little too loud for my taste, and then I got lame service from a lame bartender who didn’t know beer from bourbon.

The draft menu was lost on a board above the bar, too blurry to see in a dark bar. The wife had a Stone Sublimely, and beyond that I saw Lost Abbey Red Barn, Smuttynose, 21st Amendment, Voodoo Pitzilla, Great Divide Orabelle. Not very impressed.

I did love the bar, funky-shaped and with islands jutting out of it that act as tables. It is unlikely I will visit often...

DoubleSimcoe, Mar 19, 2014
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Photo of pburland23
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%

My brother lives in the neighborhood so we stopped in last night for some beers and dinner before heading down to the Phillies game.

Located on a quiet corner and marked with a big "BAR" sign and a much smaller one with the establishment's name, the Prohibition Taproom is a great neighborhood bar with an interesting beer list and good food.

The space is small but the bar has several peninsulas jutting out from it which creates more seats. Since it was 4:30 on a Saturday, we opted to sit at the bar and watch the Olympics which were on the two small televisions on either side of the bar.

The tap list and daily specials are listed on a chalkboard above the bar. There were 9 beers on tap including one on nitro and one cask. The selections were quite diverse ranging from Ommegang Biere D'Hougoumont to PBC Porter. I opted for a few Evil Genius hefeweizens while my brother had the Twisted Pine saison.

The food selection was pretty standard pub grub - burgers, wings, sandwiches, fish and chips, etc. I had the burger which was real quality. Perfectly cooked to medium rare with sautéed onions and sharp cheddar...served with some tasty thin but french fries. My brother had the brisket sandwich and said it was good as well.

Service was good. The bar wasn't particularly busy but our bartender did a good job of keeping tabs on us without being too intrusive.

Prices were reasonable...two sandwiches and four beers for $40.00. Not bad at all.

Overall, a nice little corner neighborhood taproom. I plan to stop in regularly when I visit my brother.

pburland23, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of BARFLYB
4/5  rDev +1%

Located on a corner in Philly, went here during Philly Beer Week.

Driving up, I see a large neon light with the word BAR on it. It looked pretty snazzy so I guess this is the spot. I did not see any Prohibition Tap House signs outside so I guess this place likes it's obscurity. It was anything but though. A packed house all there for Funky Buddah beers while I was just chilling with friends.

The vibe is that of a Gastropub and a neighborhood community bar. A lot of patrons all having fun and drinking beer. Tap list was stellar and I had a bunch of great beer. A decent sized bottle list, well thought out. Chalkboards behind the bar that spell out the food and drink choices yet it's a bit too small to see. The bar area is pretty large and stretches throughout the front of the building.

I did not have the food here but my friend who is a chef said it was stellar.

BARFLYB, Jun 08, 2012
Photo of MsRif
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%

I've been here several times, and for some reason have yet to review the Prohibition Taproom. This little bar is a bit out of the way but very accessible from the Broad Street Line (Spring Garden Station). There is no sign indicating that you have come to the right place other than a neon sign that simply states "bar." They have certainly made the most out of the rather small space that they have by creating bar peninsulas in several areas of the bar to have more seating available. There are also a few tables throughout, but the majority of the seating is definitely at the bar. Atmosphere is nice...usually very laid back. When things do get crazy, the bartenders handle it VERY well. I am rating the service a full five because the bartenders here are some of the best I have ever seen. You will get served quickly no matter how packed it is! They also really know their stuff regarding beer, which I appreciate. Selection isn't massive but it is high quality, which I think is more important than having a ton of options that are only so-so. I would like to see a few more taps here...hopefully soon. Food is great, but limited. The menu is very small so make sure you check it out online before you go. They usually have pretty interesting specials including a grilled cheese of the day. I had the cranberry/turkey grilled cheese the first time I went to PT and it was very tasty. The fries are also extremely good and make a nice bar snack.

Overall, I really enjoy the Prohibition Taproom. If you are visiting Philadelphia, I'm not sure I'd say you MUST go here, but if you find yourself in the Broad and Spring Garden area, it's definitely worth a try!

MsRif, Jun 07, 2012
Photo of Rifugium
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%

Sometimes I can't believe the places I've forgotten to review.

Well, I do love the Prohibition Taproom, despite clearly overlooking them in my review log. Walking down the street, you won't see the place advertised other than a little neon sign that reads: "BAR." It's a fairly small place, but the bar is pretty big, with two peninsula-type extensions that allow more people to sit at it, but often create a little slice of hell for the servers. A few tables and booths also flesh out the room. It's a great place to hang out at night, for the nostalgic atmosphere, nice and dimly lit...it's a city bar, and it's lots of fun. And they have beer too, lots of good beer.

The tap list is usually stocked with craft favorites and occasional rarities, with a "mystery keg" every Wednesday that has contained everything up to and including Pliny the Younger. Nitro and cask options. And if that's not enough for you, they also keep a good selection of bottles.

Menu contains mostly pub grub, from soups and salads to fish & chips to steaks, with specials on mac'n'cheese and burgers changing regularly. Prices are on the upper end of reasonable. Service has always been fine as long as I've been going there.

This is a great little bar that has embraced the beer scene, and though they may not seem like it on the surface, they do go above and beyond to bring in lots of good stuff that's hard to find elsewhere.

Rifugium, May 23, 2012
Photo of Dennycurr
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%

I was heading to an Art Museum, (The PA Academy of Fine Arts), and needed a place to stop for lunch. Thru Beer Advocate---I found this place, a few, (long), blocks from the museum.

I liked...the "BAR", sign, outside. Was striking. Classic too.
Inside was a ....regualar ol' bar.
BUT...
This bar was serious about it's beer selection.
From the reviews I read...I knew they had some GOOD, Belgian's...and that was the lure.
Once there...
I was greeted with a very friendly, "Hi", from a beautiful hostess/server. She was a wonderful part of the Prohibition Taproom, experience.
Her name is Nina. A classy redhead, with... heh...a ring in her nose!
She knew her stuff.
The food was ok. I had a burger and fries. The hamburger was good...but the fries were limp.
The beer was the calling card for me, tho.
I had a Westmalle and an Aventinus.

This was a very good beer list for a neighborhood bar.
Among the others I didn't have were..Delirium Tremons and Rochfort 10.
They had the "Pliny Elder", too---albeit a few months back.

Had a nice experience and will recommend to everyone. AND---I can't wait to go back there.
Unfortunately---I have to travel on pub/trans, (am disabled---eyes), and walk the rest of the way. It is a 10 mile trek with pub/trans and a 3 mile walk, here and there for me to get there.

STILL---heh...I'm plotting my next trip----somewhere in the future.

Great place.

Den

Dennycurr, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of corby112
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%

Stopped by here for a few beers and to check this somewhat new place out. This place is a little off of the beaten path but worth the trip. It's in the "Spaghetti Warehouse" neighborhood on N 13th street.

The place is kind of small but the bar s long and they chalkboard of rotating draft is visible from everywhere in the place. They have between 7-10 taps, all of them of high quality. When was there they were having a CA promo and had Lagunitas A Little Sumpin' Wild on. They also have a small but quality bottle list, featuring many of the better beers that make it to Philly.

I didn't eat there but the bartender who was working was, friendly, knowledgeable and made sure my glass as full. They have an awesome juke box there but the crowd is very young and filled with hipsters. If you don't mind this then highly recommend seeking this place out. They don't have anything particularly rare or a ton of taps but it's a really fun place to just hang out and drink good beer.

corby112, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of rfgetz
4/5  rDev +1%

The bar succeedes in acheiving its throwback, neighborhood dive appearence with the dark interior, old school lighting, and average joe looking bar, seating and fixtures. The crowd is a mix of hipsters, urban professionals, neighborhood folk, etc.

The beer menu is generally good but can be hit or miss on occasion. The tap list occasionally features a great beer like PtE, sometimes focused on the bigger local crafts and sometimes less widely distributed American craft. Also the occasional something halfway decent bottle like a brew from Lost Abbey can also be found.

The food ranges from bland to good, and that could be the same meals, but it has leaned good more often then not. Serivce is usually good, although when its packed, 2 bartenders dont always cut it. A nice, change of pace neighborhood establishment.

rfgetz, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.88/5  rDev -2%

I must say, this place could use a coat of paint and a decoration or two. I'm thinking of something like Ten Stone or the like that has a little life to a potentially dreadful building. Decoration is in order! The grey paint and hardwoods just doesn't cut it. Now, the huge bar with the little bar islands was pretty nice. Quite a few could squeeze in there on a busy night. Also looking at my notes here, I've got "a cross of Franks and Johnny Brenda's." I suppose that's partially true. See for yourself.

The service was fine, but there were only two people there this afternoon, so it's hard to judge.

The tap list was 8 local beers, a hand pump and two coolers full of locals. I presume that's where one could find some BMC if so motivated. Very nice! I grabbed a Red Nectar and a New Bold IPA on cask.

A nice place to grab a beer. I hear the food is pretty good here. I'll come back for a sandwich some time.

DarkerTheBetter, May 18, 2009
Photo of slander
4/5  rDev +1%

At least twice, maybe three times now, I've shown up to not find them open. Thought it was 2 but no, they don't open 'til an inconvenient to me 4 PM (and it's all about the me). It's not like I'm just sittin' out front waiting for them to open, no. It's just that I could've gotten my drink on elsewhere, first, and then come back for opening. And I've got nothing but time as Randy'll be busy for hours yet with the Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia. I told him to break it up over a few visits, it's not like he's not down here every other weekend, but he actually likes something so, go, Randy, go...

Corner joint with a big easy to spot neon "BAR" sign out front pointing "right here!!" Longish wood bar with 2 rounded pieces jutting out like bar islands runs the rear wall, with some 2 dozen leather swivel chairs with them things where you put you feet wrap in and out and around. The set up adds bar space but is slightly awkward in that the bartender can't get to you if you're down one of the juts. Large wood barback unit with mirrored panels over two tiered booze and stacked glassware below, to both sides of a center nook where the cash register lives. Tap & bottle selections written on long horizontal Blind Tigeresque boards above.

Dark Phil's ugly paisley shirt patterned wallpaper on the barback walls & diamondish tiling white walls over wood slat lowers elsewhere, dark ceilings with sunken spots, ceiling fans & drop bare bulbs exposed over the bar points & small glass candles lining the bar. Larger red glass candles on the nearly a dozen 2-seat tables running in front of and around the bar on the outside walls, and more amidst the booze on the barback. Larger candle holders still in the window sills, and wall mounted light bulb lighting. For all the candles and bulb lighting, it is dim as shit here. Framed mirror on the outside wall above a pretty damn good juke, a flat screen mounted on the far wall, and a TV over the stand up cooler holding bottled selections at the end of the bar, next to another shorty cooler in the corner.

8 taps (7 beers and a cider) on a single tower on the bar and Yards ESA on the handpump below. The taps are all American micro; a mix of local/regional (Troegs Dreamweaver, Sly Fox O'Reilly's Stout, Yards Philly Pale Ale, DogFishHead Shelter Pale Ale, Doc's Hard Apple Cider) and not (Peak Organic Espresso Amber, Lagunitas Censored Ale, Avery Hail to the Chief). Was strangely curious about the Peak Organic Espresso Amber, she let me try a bit of it first. I like a full on slave to the bean heavy espresso packed punch from a coffee beer but it'll do. Moved to the Yards ESA once Ed & Heather showed up.

Nearly 4 dozen bottles, about ½ of them American micro, about an even split between local/regional (Philly Brewing, Yards, Victory, Sly Fox, Troegs, Yuengling, Stoudts, DogFishHead, Flying Fish, Brooklyn), and not (Anchor, Rogue, Stone, Laguinitas, Speakeasy, Oskar Blues). The remainder holds nearly a dozen Belgians (Westmalle, Rochefort, Chimay, Duvel, Delirium, Blanche De Bruxelles, Leffe, Lindemans), and then a few Germans, a few English and a few blah imports.

It's kind of dead here not long after opening, but beginning to fill in nicely. Friendly enough folks, they let me try some of this and that. Beers are fresh, no problems there. I'd entertain another, but I've got a flatbread in my future up north some. Comfortable, good for a one-two with that other place just north and over a block.

slander, Feb 23, 2009
Photo of mrandypandy
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%

I heard about the Prohibition Taproom from the in-flight magazine they currently have on AirTran flights, and since it's like half a mile from my Hotel, I figured I would check it out.
The Taproom is not in the best location/part of town, but it's easy to find with the huge neon "BAR" sign out front. Once inside I was pleasantly surprised, as everything was clean and new, with some decent tunes playing out of the jukebox (and, thank god, the jukebox wasn't set too loud, which I can't stand when places do that). There weren't too many people there when I arrived (early), but it picked up as the night wore on.
The selection was surprisingly good, but not great. I counted 8 beers on tap, 1 on cask/beer machine, and 50-60 on bottle/can. Quite a few locals to try, including a couple of Sly Fox offerings on tap and can. Some quality Belgians thrown in with the mix, but sadly none on tap.
On recommendation from the bartender I tried the grilled cheese sandwich, which was actually much better than I just made it sound. Quality cheese, bacon, apples (yes, apples. don't knock it untill you try it), arugula on grilled sourdough bread. I did not try the highly touted fried green beans, but my fresh cut fries served me just fine.

Overall, a newer establishment in the "loft district" section of Philly, but so far a good one. The beer selection shines, but nowhere near as bright as Monk's. It will be interesting to see how the selection changes as time goes on. Regardless, I had a really tasty meal and three beers for less than $25, which is a steal if you ask me. I will be stopping by again soon, and recommend you do the same.

mrandypandy, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of TooleBurger
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%

Great beer bar with nice tap rotation. The food is very good, especially the grilled cheese with spinach and bacon.

This place has been a number of bars that could never stay open, but now the Taproom seems like a keeper. However, it could use a dartboard and a little better lighting.

The servers are nice and helpful. Overall, they are knowledgeable about beer.

They get some nice local brews, like Sly Fox, on tap. They change out the taps every week or so which is a plus. The Taproom offers a good bottle selection as well. Sometimes they even serve their beers in "das boot!"

A relaxing place to get some good cheer and eats!

TooleBurger, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%

Off the beaten path, for sure, but surprisingly full of people even on a weekday night... ? (What is the draw?) And I'll admit that I was kind of concerned about parking there except that there were several spots right in front and it was fairly well-lit.

Inside they've done a good job with the decor given a few minor mis-steps, and I like the feel of the bar with it's "peninsulas", the "Edison" lightbulbs (except above the server station), and the decorative quarry tile floor (although that was already there).

The appetizers are a bit pricey, but the rest of the menu is OK except for $11 mac and cheese (it must be huge!!!). What I had was good, but not spectacular, and I'd consider it slightly above average.

The beer selection can't be faulted, although the server knowledge is just average - on the other hand, even that is a great plus compared to most places!

Time will tell if they can develop a greater following, and what will happen with the beer selection, but for now it seems to be going pretty well. If it was in a better location it could already be a contender as a destination spot.

NeroFiddled, Jan 17, 2009
Photo of eldondre
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%

This place has been a number of things over the years. Most recently it had a short stint as canavan's and maker's local, two ill-fated establishments whose main contribution is the gorgeoous bar now anchoring Prohibition Taproom. the owners of PT also own Cafe Lift down the street. Not surprisingly, they seriously upgraded the menu and the space which now feels comfrotable and somewhat hip, and the chalkboards add a little tap feel. the giant Bar sign makes this place easy to find, a necessity in its out of the way location. Food is pretty good, though I don't appreciate the use of ciabatta rolls for the burgs and pulled pork sandwiches. I did have an excellent steak frites there for $15. Prices are typical, $4-$5 per pint.they had about ten taps and one beer engine (yards ESA) and no macros. Good jukebox to boot. It's not a groundbreaking place but certainly an excellent addition and worth a stop if you happen to be in the neighborhood.

eldondre, Dec 19, 2008
Prohibition Taproom in Philadelphia, PA
89 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.