Hawthornes Bier Café


52 Ratings
Hawthornes Bier CaféHawthornes Bier Café

Type: Bar, Eatery

738 S 11th St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19147-2651
United States

(215) 627-3012 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-19-2009

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Ratings: 52 |  Reviews: 35
Photo of KentEisenhuth
5/5  rDev +19.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This place is excellent. I would go as far as saying they have the best brunch in the city. The staff is amazing, attentive and super friendly. You can sample beer while waiting for your table. If you frequent Hawthorne's they remember your beer preferences. The draft list changes frequently and the bottle list is very impressive. The food is also outstanding. They feature very interesting specials and also some amazing comfort food. This is a fine place to go for any occasion and I highly recommend it.

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Photo of fnsweet
5/5  rDev +19.6%

I was at hawthornes today it's my second time back since they opened the bottle selection was great with over 750 bottles to choose from and a 16 beer draft system for growler fills the two owners Chris and Heather were extremely helpful and have great knowledge of the beer that they carry they also have a really good food menu I will be making my way back real soon oh the fireplace is a nice touch some of the beers they feature are peche mortel, petrus oak aged pale, meantime brands, alot of local beers also like sly fox ,philadelphia brewing co.,victory,troeggs,stoudts,and yards some of the food items are homemade potato chips, hand carved sandwiches what a great place to go and just hang and relax.

 710 characters

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Photo of cassanoj
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%

I get so excited every time I go to Hawthorne's. It's my favorite beer land in Philadelphia for a number of reasons.

#1. Really solid selection - Sculpin IPA, Papier by Bruery, The Rochefort triplets, etc...I also picked up their last bottle of Temptation.
#2. Chris and Heather are wonderful and knowledgeable. They have a sign when you walk in that says "We love beer, food and you." Perfect!
#3. Growlers - and not just any growlers, really nice beers (Blind Pig, Mischief #3, Sculpin, whatever the hot ticket is, they've got it.)
#4. Food. Their sandwiches and soups are damn good. Asparagus Creme/ Gouda, Ham and Olive Tapenade sandwich, woof. Always a treat.
#5. Sample nights. Often on friday nights, I'll walk in and its like a party in there. People strewn about talking about the finer things in life and having a blast. Couldn't ask for a better environment. Oh ps, they have a fire place!

*The only thing strike I can give to Hawthorne's is that their prices are high. Weyerbacher Riserva for 33 dollars!!! Wowzers! But other than some shocking price tags, Hawthorne's is the new place to go in Phillly.

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Photo of mbudner
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

A- I really like the way it's laid out and the vibe it gives off. There is a fireplace with a fire roaring at all times and couches and armchairs. I'm always a fan of the no-TV beer bars (Monk's, Brick Store, Tria all have that going on just to name a few other great bars/restaurants that have taken this approach.) Very open and airy with a lot of natural light coming through. You almost feel as if you are in someone's house (that's a good thing.) Another notable feature is the lack of pretension with the best example being the mason jar glasses. Chris actually explained to me where he got the idea and showed me the back of an empty bottle of Blind Pig that discusses just that. He also showed me how mason jars naturally lend themselves to great beer drinking. I am not saying that nice glassware is a bad thing, but the 500 different glass approach is sometimes a little much.

Q- Overall, the quality seems great and, while it is new, there are no 4 month old IPAs sitting on the shelf under the illusion of "freshness." The growlers are also a major player in the high quality score. I know that people are pissed that they are $15 and not swing top (threads, other reviews, etc.) but the fact that they are more than willing to fill ANY growler with the same size opening (pretty much anything other than swing tops) makes up for it in my opinion. Chris created this counterpressure filling system to offer the best possible on tap experience and I'd rather pay a premium for that instead of cheaper growlers with massive oxygen exposure (i.e. worse from the second they are poured.) I have picked up a few growlers, but never held onto any for more than a week; carbonation and mouthfeel were great and I will probably pick one up to hold onto to put Chris' 9-month guarantee to the test.

S- The food service was great and people are very attentive to help out with beers selections. Like pretty much every bottle shop I've been to, there are some employees who clearly know a lot more than others, but one great thing: none of them lie to you. I can't tell you how many times I've had someone trying to help me select beer and say something absurd, a lie, make something up out of the blue, etc. simply because they are afraid to say "I don't know." All of the employees seem to at least have tried many of the beers, which is always nice. All in all, very solid service.

S- Up there with the Foodery (northern liberties) as one of the best bottle shops in Philadelphia. It sounds like Chris is working hard to get new breweries into the area and in that respect it seems like Hawthornes has everything the foodery has and a little bit more. Being the only place in Philadelphia (that I know of) to offer counter pressure fills and of rare beers, at that, makes this place really standout.

F- I only ate here one time, but I had a slider with onion rings on the side. Both were great, and I will definitely have to make a point of eating a full meal at Hawthornes another time.

$$$- I can't really give anything in Philly less than three dollar signs, but that says something about the asinine distribution laws and not the place itself. As far as relative pricing, I have seen some bottles here that are more expensive than its competitors and some than are less. I'm assuming that has to do with how much they buy from a particular brewery. It is definitely not higher across the board. In downtown Philadelphia, its only real comparison is the Foodery and I would say they are both around the same. The other thing is that some of the bottles I see that are priced higher than I might expect (Bullfrog, for instance) are not available anywhere else in the city, so comparing isn't really even fair. The other thing is the growlers. There are a few bars that fill growlers, but those are open tap fills and usually pretty expensive. The fact that Hawthornes fills growlers and counter pressures them makes any comparison unfair. There are some beers that I have opted not to purchase because of high price, but that doesn't mean high relative to bottle or competitor prices, that just means high. One example, they had Marshal Zhukovs on tap and I decided not to, but that was partially because I wasn't ready to commit to 64oz of RIS. I have no problem paying $20 (sometimes less, sometimes more) for a quality growler fill.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.64/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Transcribed from notes dated T, 10 August 2010.

I was on a mission on this day. I had received a trade request for Sly Fox CANs and I was getting ready to head to Madison, WI that Thursday so I needed to reload and ship mos' quick. I had a list of all Beer Stores on BA Beer Fly at the time and I decided to visit as many of the ones that offered singles and sixers as I could, taking notes at each one.

Another corner location, this time at 11th and Fitzwater Streets and on the approach, the geography began to look familiar. It is located catty-corner to Bella Vista Distributors! The entry was in the center of the building along 11th Street with booth seating immediately upon entering and running along that wall and its windows as well as along a small corner window along Fitzwater. The center of the space was filled with heavily laminated restaurant tables and standard chairs. The left-facing, south wall had a small lounge area with a couch (!), a divan and a faux (?) fireplace with a sculpted stone owl perched atop its mantel.

Further aft, on the left-facing side, the bank of coolers began and wrapped around to the back (west) wall. There were five (5) doors on the left side, each with six (6) shelves and five more doors on the back wall for a total of ten (10) doors. The prices were clearly marked and I was told that they have the capacity to stock up to 1000 (1K) different beers at any given time. Zounds! For we shoppers of singles, a Mix-6 garners a 10% discount and a Mix-8 rates 15% off of the total.

They also offer draft beers and will fill growlers as an extension. The free-to-join Growler Club asks you to fill twenty (20) growlers over time with the expectation that your 21st fill will be on the house. Nice! As to the growlers, they have specially-made ones to go with their fill process which requires a special cap also.

Chalkboards above the counter area detailed "Lunch"; "Hours"; "Today's Specials" and "What's On Tap?". Coupled with the pressed tin signage (tackers), ceiling fans and exposed ducting, I wondered if they had designed the place with me in mind.

Another draft, some H2O and I was again on my way.

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Photo of Perkuno44
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I love Hawthornes. Since they opened last year I have been in there pretty regular for lunch, brunch and just to get growlers and beer.

Chris, Heather and the Staff (Duckie!) are always a pleasure to interact with whether I'm rushing in for a quick growler fill or lounging about with the kids waiting for my party to get some food.

The food has been consistently good with some real home runs (Mediterranean Plate, French Toast, Angry Neighbor) mixed in. And speaking of kids mine absolutely love the pancakes.

Beer wise the growler list can feature some real finds and the bottle selection has never failed to produce something that I am aching to try. Like one of the other reviewers I do wish they would keep things stocked a bit better (I've seen the refrigerators a bit bare after busy weekends), but there is always something good to be had.

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Photo of deapokid
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Right when I walked into Hawthornes (a new cafe/six pack store from the guys behind Bella Vista), the cozy atmosphere and overall good vibes sunk in immediately. Imagine buying and enjoying craft beer in one of those English manor libraries that Vincent Price sulked around in endless 70's horror films.

That might be a slight exaggeration, but the always lit fireplace, sweet smell of smoke and warm armchairs and sofas definitely give off a relaxed and elegant ambiance.

The staff also added to the experience; the manager basically walked me through the ins-and-outs of the entire shop. He gave me a rundown of all the new beer in stock, showed off the pressure-sealed growler fill station (15 taps, prices range from $15 to $35) and talked beer for a solid 30 minutes.

The warm bottles are conveniently placed on wooden shelves in the middle of the shop and many rarities were prominently featured. BrewDog's Dogma, Bullfrog's farmhouse ale, Scaldis Bush de Nuits and Sculpin caught my eye. The cold beer is split by country/region in 10 coolers and prices were on par for Philadelphia proper.

I was so taken by the place that I decided to sit down with a beer and one of their homemade sandwiches. I grabbed a Hop Slam and the "Change Order 2500," an absolutely delicious mixture of gouda cheese, ham and tapenade on an onion roll. The food and brew were well worth the $15 and I definitely plan on enjoying this grilled delight many more times, if I'm not swayed by an amazing dinner menu featuring mussels, braised pork and steak.

All in all, this is a top notch beer store/cafe and I definitely think it's a great contender for The Foodery's Center City crown.

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Photo of soulcougher
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of RPH2327
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of JohnParadee
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Nathan_Snyder
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Ezekiel81923
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Just got back from Hawthornes.

Real nice looking place, lots of tables to sit and eat at, they'll let you drink whatever you buy there, and there was a wood burning fireplace and some couches. Food menu is on a chalkboard above the one counter. Appears they do lunch and brunch on weekends. I had a chicken house salad and my girlfriend had a chicken salad sandwich. Both were good.

Beer is in the back. Passed on some Pliny because of the bottled on date, same with Blind Pig, but it was nice to see someone having those in bottles. Found some RR Temptation and LA Angels Share, which I had never seen before around here. They had lots of Bruery (Papier, Hottenroth, Saison Rue, Autumn Maple, 2 Turtle Doves, Trade Winds, White Orchard, Black Orchard, Levud's) as well as Russian River, Lost Abbey, Port, Stone, Founders, Saint Somewhere etc. etc. The coolers are marked with signs showing what kind of beer is in there (mostly by country). The growler station is on the left if you're walking in the front, and the tap selection and prices are on a chalkboard. Passed on a growler of Blind Pig, i think it was $33, but they had a lot of cool stuff on tap (LA Red Barn, Bruery Mischief, Blind Pig....)

Seem pretty well staffed. I saw at least 5 people up front, all trying to help. At least 2 in the back cooking. Pretty busy, but it was lunch hour. Also gave me an itemized receipt, with prices. Never had that before at a bottle shop. Prices were not on the bottles, but I hear they are working on a price list. Most prices seemed reasonable, but some of the bottles and growlers were over $30 and $40 a piece for the rare stuff.

Definitely check it out. Great selection and the growler station is sure to be stocked with sweet kegs.

 1,740 characters

Photo of Joeynocturnum
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Just discovered this place two weeks ago and stopped in to pick up some Terrapin to finish off a trade. They have a great selection and seem to have an advantage being owned by Bella Vista Beverage across the street. I was in there again yesterday and picked up some Big Black Voodoo Daddy 22's for $13/bottle which I thought was good pricing. They also had Ballast Point Sea Monster, which I passed on. They have Growler fills, whic I didn't dig into yet, maybe on the next visit. The pricing on their sinlge were a little pricey, but everything else was priced well. They are going to be stocking Alesmith soon which is exciting...Speedway and Wee Heavy with out having to trade would be nice. Also have some RR, offering Damnation and Consecration. For my money I find this place a better stop than the Foodery, pricing is more competitive because they have the distributor across the street.

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Photo of captainkrad
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Photo of Joshua1973
4.43/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.36/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This was my first time here. There was no street parking directly in front of the place, but plenty to be found along the adjacent side street. There were several groups of people sitting outside for lunch. When my wife and I entered, we were greeted immediately by a host who asked if we would like a table. I said that I was just here for the beer, and he told us to take our time, very polite.

The place at sort of an upscale cafe feel to it. There were lots of people eating inside as well. It was very clean. The beer coolers were in the back, and there was plenty of room to maneuver around other shoppers. They had a great selection including Founders.

Overall, it was a bit pricey, but I was impressed. My wife said she would like to eat there sometime, which is a plus.

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Photo of corby112
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I've been here a few times and have yet to enter a review. A nice addition to the Phily craft scene. This is a nice combination artisan deli/growler filling station/bottle shop. The atmosphere is very nice, wide open with plenty of seating, nice decor and working firepace. Upon enterig the deli counter is on the right, coolers and room temperature beers straight ahead and growler filling station onthe left.

The service is exceptional here. The staff is very knowledgeable about beer, especially the owner, and they were very friendly and helpful with all of my questions. In addition all of he food is of very high quality. I would go here to eat regularly een I'd they didn't serve beer. One of the beat spots in the area for lunch. Apparently they have a good breakfast menu but I don't wake up that early.

The bottle and draft selection is very good here. Lots of limited beers and one offs as well as beers that don't come to the area too often. Their relationship with Bella Vista gives them dubs on the best stuff that comes into the area. Plenty of Lost Abbey, are, Cigar City, Ballast Poin, etc.

The only problem with this place is that it is terribly expensive. They make The Foodery look like Sams Club. The growlers are also expensive for fills and their glassware is expensive too. You can have any screw top growler filled but you still have to buy their cap(which is only $1.50). Other than that this place has a great selection, excellent service and delicious food. Recommended.

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Photo of Sheaffdogg
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I've been here a few times now and thought it was time for a good review. They have a solid selection of craft beer, including Russian River, Firestone Walker, Bells, Founders, and a bunch of up-an-comings that are always fun to try. They also have a couple of rotating drafts with growlers to go. Servers are extremely friendly and accommodating. People here are also knowledgeable about what they sell and can make good recommendations if you are itching to try something new, as I always am.

I went to a Firestone Walker beer dinner here and was extremely impressed with the food quality and the pairing choices. Obviously they put some thought into what they do here and I appreciate it immensely.

Bonus, its not too far from a Broad Street subway stop so its a good spot to grab some great beer to go on the way down to the sports complex. Go Phils!

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Photo of papat444
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Came to Philly for a quick day trip to get some Geno's and go visit Rocky! Decided to peek in here.

This is part pub, part store. Everything to go is in a coolers at the back. Really cool that they split six-packs. Bought some Speedway Stout, some Founders Red's Rye, Bell's (Expedition, Double Cream Stout and Kalamazoo), Rabid Duck and Plead the 5th. The staff was really helpful and you get some discounts: 10% of a mixed 6 and 15% off a mixed 8. Selection is not as good as Bella Vista but this place is worth coming if you just want singles. Prices were actually not too bad.

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Photo of FightinIrish88
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of Rifugium
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Located at 11th & Fitzwater, not too far from South Street. Draught beer (impressive rotating menu), growler fills (rotating), bottles (impressive beer garden), food (interesting, diverse menu).

The layout is simple, but very nice, almost like you're, well, basically eating in a polished-up bottle shop. Several tables, outside dining, a fireplace. There's a certain charm to it, though without a bar, it's quite awkward, and when I go here alone looking to get something on tap, I feel like a fish out of water. But if you don't mind standing around and browsing while sipping on a beer, then there's really no problem. Staff is knowledgeable and generally friendly. Events are typically handled very well.

The tap list is usually top-notch, and the take-out bottle selection is typically above average as well, with both selections often getting some very nice rarities, especially during events. The food is very good too, with a diverse menu and rotating specials.

Honestly, despite not having an actual bar to sit at, Hawthornes is really one of my favorite beer venues in Philly. Like top 5. On average, pound for pound, they have one of the best beer selections around.

Side note: Bella Vista is right across the street, for your case needs.

 1,254 characters

Photo of hoppymcgee
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Gatordaddy
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Pint of Hill Farmstead, growler of Tired Hands, plate of scrapple. Not sure how many other places on this planet can offer all three of those.

142 characters

Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

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Hawthornes Bier Café in Philadelphia, PA
4.18 out of 5 based on 52 ratings.
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