Memphis Taproom

BA SCORE
96
world-class

86 Ratings
Memphis TaproomMemphis Taproom
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

2331 E Cumberland St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19125-2205
United States

(215) 425-4460 | map
memphistaproom.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by carlosd74 on 06-01-2008

PLACE STATS
Score:
96
Ratings:
86
Reviews:
52
Avg:
4.4
pDev:
3.18%
 
 
Taps:
20
Bottles/Cans:
127
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
Y
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 86 |  Reviews: 52
Photo of jgasparine
4.51/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Atmosphere-
I visited this establishment during Philly Beer Week, 2011. It was completely packed upon arrival, which was fine, considering the circumstances. Definitely a good vibe; a laid-back neighborhood feel with the obvious specialty in beer.

Quality-
Appropriate glassware was used for every beer. Draughts were poured at a nice temperature. And, of course, the quality of beer was impeccable.

Service-
Despite the fact that this bar was packed, and the fact that there was only one bartender to 40-some-odd patrons, the service was fantastic. Once the crowd thinned-out into the night, the bartender even came out from behind the bar to pour bottles for us tableside.

Selection-
Not a great number of taps, but the selection available on those taps was incredible... and the bottle list, while also not very lengthy, was just PACKED with gems. Arguably the best selection in Philly.

Value-
A bit pricey, but the service and selection make it worth the while- most definitely.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

After the wife and I took a tour of PBC. We went down the block to this little place.

I must say I don't usually like the city type bars as they seem to be all the same but this just had an overall great feel about it. We were inspired to come here after after Guy Fieri's show Diners,drive ins and dives. This is a fantastic little bar with a great tap selection and tremendous food to match. The best yet I have been to in Philadelphia. Yes the service is a bit lacking even on a Saturday afternoon but it certainly makes up for the wait. I ended up having Cantillon Gueze,while the wife had a hairey eyeball.

A bit much in price I have seen certain bottles of beer half the price that I have bought here but still all and all a tremendous must visit bar when you are in the area.

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Photo of chcfan
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Memphis Tap Room is a true standout in a city filled with great beer bars and restaurants.

The taplist isn't huge (10 regular taps, one cask - everything is always rotating), but there are always some interesting options. Bottle list includes some great vintage stuff as well as some current favorites. They lean towards Belgian beers with bottles and have a good mix of American craft and good imports for draft.

The reasonably priced food (most expensive entree was $15) is what makes it an overall destination. When done right, fried pickles can be amazing, and the fried pickles at Memphis are the best I've ever had. The pork sandwich, tofu club and fries were also extremely good.

The indoor space is not large, so you will likely wait a while on most nights, but the bar will hold you over and it is well worth the wait.

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Photo of Chincino
4.4/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I went to the Memphis Taproom last night during a visit to Philadelphia and honestly I wish I was back there now instead of writing this review. The atmosphere of the Memphis Taproom was very relaxed and suitable to hanging out with friends and enjoying the incredible beer selection. I was very pleasantly surprised to see that Pliny the Elder was on-tap so of course I had to order a couple of those. It was exciting to see Pliny the Elder which is one of my favorite beers on tap somewhere other than at the Brewery in CA and the surrounding area. We ordered a couple appetizers including the hummus platter and the fried pickles which were very good. The service was very good and the bartender was very friendly and knowledgable. The Memphis Taproom is a great place if you're looking for a chill relaxed atmosphere and a great beer selection!

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Photo of Cmack15
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Checked this spot out on the last night of my recent Philly trip, and this place did not let us down. Really cool chill vibe and great selection of beers. the bottle list was pretty decent but since they had Pliny on tap it was hard not to keep ordering those. We ordered some apps and got the fried pickles and a shittake schnitzel and both were really good. The bartender was super nice and chatted us up about our hometown Boston. Make sure to visit this spot when your in Philly its a must for any beer geek.
Cheers

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Photo of acurtis
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Stopped here before Fistful of Mercy show. From the outside it looks unexpecting, the sign is dark and rusted. "Are you sure this is it?" said my companion. "Yes" I said, "Are you sure they are open?" as we walked in. Small cozy bar with about 10 seats. There are also a few small tables in the bar area. Towards the back is a dinning area that I did not enter. The tender was friendly and very cool. We chatted about the brews on tap and other breweries including RR as he had just been there. I was happy to see a lot of darker brews on tap. I ended up trying Great Divide Baltic Porter, Yards Love Stout and Stouterik. Each were quite good. Other taps included Walt Wit, Port Older Viscosity, Maduro Brown, Lagunitas IPA and others I can't recall. Their website is kept up to date as the taps change frequently. There was a large bottle selection behind the bar, it was nice to see that it wasn't all taken up with hard liquor. I also noticed an amazing glass selection behind the bar but most drinks went out in shakers, except my Stouterik, which was served in a tulip. This is my kind of place, quiet and full of friendly locals. All we had to eat was a cheeseburger and it was quite good. I'll be back in Philly next week and I'm planning on stopping back in.

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Photo of mymrnngjckt
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Stopped here with a few friends for brunch. The place is small but quaint. A small bar area opens up to a mid-sized dining room. The place is decorated in local advertising and breweriana. The service we had during this trip was awesome. We were quickly waited on questions were answered quick and friendly. The selection was good. Nothing rare or unique but a decent selection of regional craft and a few non-regional craft. Food was outstanding. I would go back here just to eat. I really reccomend this place. A great piece of the Philly beer scene puzzle.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Been here a few times since it opened, Memphis is a bit tricky to get to depending on your route, but once there, it's apparent this is a very chill bar. A nice array of flowers at the entrance. Inside is a nice dim area with wood all around and a tan color on the wall. Not alot of beer signs, just some various nostalgic pictures scattered here and there. The front room has a bar that seats ten or so with a few tables and a seperate back dining area. One television, a laid back feel, very easy to relax in here.

Never had a issue with off tasting beer here. In fact the Racer 5 that I had on cask on my last visit really hit the spot. Clean glassware and all that other jazz. A very clean place in general. A nice big chalkboard full of choices, easy for the eye to see, with prices for the draft selection. Service is nice as well, either busy or dead. On my last few trips it's been a bit quieter so I've had nice convo's with the bartenders there and they seem real chill and relaxed. Knowledgable about beer and passionate from what I can tell. I really felt at home.

About ten choices on tap plus a cask offering. They always seem to have one offering from Yards Brewing which is nice to see in support and very local and fresh beer. The tap choice is laid out nice with a wide variety of style. At least one Belgian on tap at one time plus some great west coast beers. Memphis gets in the goodies. I've heard of many tappings of some pretty marvelous stuff. I've had plenty, too long to list. A great bottle selection too with a bunch of sours, Cantillons, 3 fonteine(sp?) Vintage JW Lees, Thomas Hardy and a bunch of other stuff which is too long to type out. I've had the food here and I liked it.

Overall, this is a great bar nessled away in the cut. a very friendly staff, A well thought out draft/bottle list, and friendly patrons make this place a winner. Cant wait to see what this place does during beer week.

Edit 1-8-11--- I love this place!!!

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Photo of corby112
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.

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Photo of Finn
4.45/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Got to visit this place for the first time last night. I liked it quite a lot. It had a pretty basic pub feel, but I think it was a little less dark and drab than your average dark-wood paneled pub. it was clean, and had a separate dining area from the bar. It seemed mostly the younger crowd (25ish-35ish?) from around the neighborhood were the majority of the clientele. The service was great, partly because it wasn't very crowded, but the bartender was knowledgeable about what was on tap, and would let you try a small taste of something you weren't sure about. I also loved the fact that you can get half-pints here, so as to allow me to try more of the beers. Speaking of the beers, their selection was excellent, even though there were only about 10 taps and 1 cask. it was a well thought out list with something for most beer enthusiasts. They had, Elliot Ness, Chiswick Bitter, Sorachi Ace, Yards Cape of Good Hope, among them. A very good bottle list too.
The food was very solid, and left nothing to be desired. it wasn't the BEST I've had, but it was very good.
Prices were very fair, in my opinion. Alot of the top notch drafts were 4 bucks a pint. The food was also reasonable, but not cheap. Overall, Memphis Taproom is a bar I left feeling very good about, I think because of the atmosphere, well-thought out beer selection, knowledgable, friendly staff. I will definitely be coming back here. It;s a good example of a beer bar that can be excellent without having 30 beers on draft.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I had the chance to visit Memphis Tap Room with my fiancee when we met one of her High School friends.

The vibe is cool, casual and mellow -could be the time of day we were there, but I felt a relaxed atmosphere pervades the place. We were able to sit right down and get down to the business at hand. The gold walls and dark wood is inviting. They have a simple stylish silver tap with black handles. The beer selection is prominently displayed behind and above the bar with two chalkboards - one for draft and one for the large bottle selection.
The dining area is spacious for the size of the place and the bar area didn't seem crowded but wasn't huge.

The selection is excellent - I was very pleased to be able to taste Russian River's Temptation on tap, but they have many solid choices like Maredsous, Troegs, Duck Rabbit, Southampton, Philadelphia Brewing, Yards, Fullers and Sly Fox for example.
The bottles are very plentiful if you aren't particularly into the drafts - They have a good selection of Belgians like De Dolle, De Ranke, Chimay, Abbaye Des Rocs, Cantillon, Bfm, Oude Beersel, Orval, Dupont and Duvel, English choices like Sam Smith, J.W.Lees, Gales, German choices such as Schneider, Franzikaner, Ayinger and a nice variety of American beers like Lost Abbey Red Barn, Allagash, Dogfish, Stone and Rogue. I was happy to see La Fin Du Monde and Sinebrychoff Porter two beers I really enjoyed when I was first getting into craft beer.

I didn't try any food as we were there for drinks only but we had very good service - Friendly, sociable, and knowledgable about the products to match. I hope to return to try some food the next time, but the quality and overall satisfaction is high in Memphis -Taproom that is.

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Photo of lstokes
4.63/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

What a great bar. 10 constantly rotating and highly varied taps--lots of things you don't see often plus some standbys, a great variety of styles--plus a cask as well as a large selection of bottles.

The atmosphere was sort of fun and quirky--I liked the different maps on the back of the menu (I had "Radio Stations in Arkansas," my friend had a map of Toronto) and the comfortable vibe. We sat in the dining area, and the service was also superb. Both our server and the server we overheard at the next-to-us table really knew about the beer (and the food) and were friendly and prompt. I don't think I made the best choices from the menu--wasn't thrilled by the Fish and Chips, and the Beef Pasties were good but not great--but my friend loved his Chile Verde, and I was impressed by the vegan/gluten-free items. There's not many places I can take my gluten-allergic friends, but this is one!

The prices are also very fair, nothing more than $14 on the entree list and $4 for most drafts, going up to $6 for a few specialties. I just wish I lived next door.

Edited: I've been back several times since my first visit and just keep liking the place more, so I've bumped some numbers up. The burgers are great, the soups are great, the vegetarian sandwiches are great, the beers are consistently brilliantly chosen, my boyfriend and I like nothing better than their (AMAZING) vegan chocolate cake followed by whatever big gorgeous stout is on tap.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

A/Q: Out in Port Richmond/Kensington... nice neighborhood bar feel.

S: Solid service. No frills. But certainly helpful when you need something.

Sel: Excellent. Was in here for beer week. The no repeat beer week was one of the greatest displays of variety/quality of beer. Only downside is the limited number of taps on a regular basis.

F: Suicide Rings and a Burger. Top notch display of an ideal/classic bar meal. Haven't had anything else, but others I have been with have enjoyed their meals as well.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.4/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Located in a rather industrial and slightly run-down area in Philly, this "hole-in-the-wall" type place is difficult to spot and rather non-descript from the exterior...
The selection on draught was amazing... Was just informed that the previos week, they had Pliny the Elder and Younger, which I was extremely pissed about missing...
Was able to sample stuff from Russian River, including Blind Pig IPA, which was really impressive...
Good food, as well, a giant cheeseburger with delicious fries... Friendly staff, a great bartender...
A little out of the way, but definitely recommended...

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Photo of bwd110
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Been meaning to get to this place for awhile... Heard many good things about the atmosphere, staff and, of course, the beer list.

Made it down as part of the no repeats week, their mantra for the week as part of Philly Beer Week.

Walked in on Saturday about 3:30 after a Flyers game, the bar area greats you as you walk in with tables lining the walls. Bar was pretty full, big chalkboard above the bar across the length. The chalkboard was a little confusing - as they listed all the beers for the week, not just the ones currently tapped. I'm guessing that was just for that week and normally if it is on the board, the beer is tapped.

Anywho, good selection of some West Coast beers not found around too often. This particular day seemed to be focused on regional brews, a pleasant surprise because in this area you can't throw a rock without hitting a bar that only carries Yards, Victory, PBC, etc... (not a bad thing, though)

We settled in and were greeted with printouts of all the beers currently tapped. The wait staff was very attentive, and even let us know when a keg was getting low so we could order it before it kicked.

Decided to have a bite, the dining area, while small, had a comfortable feel and another chalkboard to keep the diners updated on the beer selection. The food, while mainly bar fare was very good. Had an awesome ciabatta pork and broccoli sandwich. My wife had a burger and commented that it was also damn fine.

Overall, a great example of one of Philly's many unique and interesting neighborhood bars. Plus it is very close to Johnny Brendas and Standard Tap if you want to expand your selection of brews for the evening.

Will definitely be back.

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Photo of Deuane
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

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Photo of TurdFurgison
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.

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Photo of roan22
4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I don't live anywhere near this bar, but I have two good friends [NeroFiddled and BeerZombie] who live in this neighborhood, and so therefore I like to go here if I'm gonna hang out with one of them [or both of them like a few weeks ago!].

The first time I visited MT I went by myself, and ended up having a memorable experience because I unknowingly sat next to Craig Laban when he was doing his review of the place. The second time was about 3 weeks ago.

Beer-wise..its a given..the place belongs up there with the usual Philly beer bar greats.

Atmosphere wise..it reminds me of when I used to go to North Star Bar,The Abbaye or Brigids when I never lived near any of those neighborhoods either. A pleasing, yet detached sort of experience.

I don't personally know the owners but I know people who do and I have the upmost respect for them.

The food...is the only issue I can waffle on. But I am ultra particular about food. The fish and chips I have had better. I had fish and chips fresh before from bloody old England [Brighton Beach], and from Vancouver, and MT's version weren't that great.

However the chili I had during the month of December was awesome, so it redeems things. It had lots of cheese, and they brought me extra sour cream..which is a must for spicy chili and I am a dairy product freak. I have been wanting to try the welsh rarebit for a while but I don't like eggs so I am wondering if its possible to do the welsh rarebit without eggs. Just cheddar cheese and toast. and beer MMMM. [LOL sorry].

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Photo of gdfan47
4.65/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

one of my favorite places to go in the city

the service is so great

im so bad with directions, I always have to plug it into my gps to get there

10 min from center city, 5 min from no libs

the place is a pretty good size with a big bar towards your right with at least one tv, im drawing a blank
the service is so friendly, they have a big chalk board with the drafts and an even bigger one with bottles...

they always have realy cool stuff on draft, and its very reasonable.... actually on the cheap side

the drafts change quite a bit, and they have a great webpage which seems to be updated with drafts and other vital info very frequently

the food is very awesome and ecclectic
i eat meat, but their menu is very veggie/vegan friendly
they do a spicy meatball sub which is incredible , they also have a sandwich with an omlet, bacon and oysters... which is amazing!

if im not mistakem, the most exspensive dinner is $14, very reasonable

I cant say enough great things about this place, one of my faves

update on dec 6th
the food menu had changed a little, still awesome... just some new items

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Photo of edskirk3
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

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.

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Photo of Cubed2ce
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 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.

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Photo of BeerZombie
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
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.

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Photo of slander
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.

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Photo of sirdeloin
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 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.

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Memphis Taproom in Philadelphia, PA
4.4 out of 5 based on 86 ratings.
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