Liked Their Beers
2.75 w/ 3 ratings

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

6410 SE Milwaukie Ave
Portland, Oregon, 97202
United States

(503) 239-8544

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Ratings: 4 |  Reviews: 3
Reviews by beercollector:
Photo of beercollector
3.35/5  rDev +33.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

This Sellwood establishment is a mini-micro brewery. Right on the main backway between Milwaukie and Portland, it is in a nice neighborhood and fun place to have a lunch.

Try a Philly Cheese Steak and IPA. This a a good pairing. The food is basic pub and the beer selection is limited mostly by space I would guess. In a small place you only have so many tables and so much sotrage so you can not have that many selections or the beer goes bad.

I've only experienced it as a place to meet folks from Portland about half way to Milwaukie and only for lunch so I don't know if they have a better night menu.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of jtosch
2/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of mashmstr2
2.45/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 1.5 | service: 3 | selection: 2 | food: 4

I think every quality beer drinker I’ve met in Portland has a great story about Philadelphia’s!

Here’s mine:

Philly Cheese Steaks and Beer! Wow, what a great combo… We could only wish.

I brought a friend along to check out this place for the first time. As we entered, we notice the place is packed to the gills and we noticed the bar area was empty. What a Break! We run to the bar area and take a seat. After a little while a server comes over and asked for an order. We responded, “We’d like to try and sampling of all of your beers, please!” I think the place went silent…. The server was excited and started pouring us each little sampler glasses.

Around this time, I suddenly looked around the pub and noticed no one; “NO ONE” was drinking a beer! Soda pops all around, but not a single beer. Hmmm…

The glasses started to amass on the bar top: 4,5,6,7,8… I figured…. Well, one of these has to be good. We order food too…

With 9 beers lines up in front of us, we started into the tasting.

#1 Golden ale: Mop water with a tinge medicinal aftertaste.

Hmmm… Bad keg!

#2 Pale Ale: Mop Water with a rancid buttery note and a medicinal aftertaste!

We started moving faster!

3,4,5,6,7… All the same! Soapy mop water and medicinal!

We looked at each other in disbelief! “OK! Funny, funny! Where’s the camera??? Who’s behind this?? My wife?” I said out loud.

No response.

We started to laugh. We live in PORTLAND OREGON, BEERVANA of the WEST; this can’t be happening!

Ah…But, it was and yes, it was bad, very bad.

I suddenly felt embarrassed for the poor guy who owns the place! Maybe he doesn’t know the beer is THAT bad? Maybe he doesn’t know that Portland has a reputation to maintain? Then, I started getting mad! I couldn’t believe that this could be a mainstay and that someone, anyone (!) hasn’t told this place, that they’re beer is horrible and is an embarrassment to the entire Northwest brewing community!

I was in such shock, I (like another reviewer) said the beer was fine, when asked by the server…. ;-}

BTW, the Philly Sandwich was pretty damn good!

They may suddenly make a killing on beer sales, but I have to warn everybody…. Have the Philly Sandwich, but DO NOT DRINK THE BEER!

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Photo of RedDiamond
2.1/5  rDev -16.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 1 | service: 2.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3

Philadelphia's earns the regrettable distinction of being the absolute and uncontested single worst brewpub in the city of Portland, if not the entire Pacific Northwest. Their beers are so uniformly and consistently wretched, they must unfortunately be tasted to be believed. I've endured four full pints of their folly and sampled several others and what puzzles me most is how anyone would give even the most fleeting consideration to the notion of offering them for sale to the general public. The beer is so bad, it hurts the glass.

Philadelphia's is essentially a sandwich shop specializing in Philly cheese steaks, hoagies, and a few Italian sausages. Everything follows a theme of tribute to the city of Philadelphia and its historic denizens. Beers are named for revolutionary colonists such as Ben Franklin Brown or Betsy Ross Golden Ale. There are photos on the walls of Sylvester Stallone as Rocky and assorted Independence Hall memorabilia. The decor is tasteful enough and the smallness of the place makes it almost cozy. The main eating area has perhaps just ten tables. A bar sits off in the corner with all of six barstools.

On my first visit, I sat for 30 minutes overlapping 9PM on a Saturday night and I was the only customer in the joint. By comparison, the best sushi bar in Portland is about two blocks away and people there line up ten deep spilling out into the street waiting to get in on a weeknight. Residents of the Sellwood / Westmoreland neighborhood are clearly willing to step out and support the local restaurant scene -- a demographic sadly neglected by the management at Philadelphia's.

I've counted 11 beers on Philadelphia's menu. Ten are usually available, all produced in the closet-like brewery in the back. An employee boasts that Philadelphia's is actually the smallest commercial brewery in the state -- essentially a homebrewing operation in the rear of a sandwich shop. A disproportionate number of Philadelphia' s offerings are fruit or spiced beers. You can't find a stout here, but you can get an ale seasoned with jalapeño, cranberry, strawberry, apricot, ginger, or raspberry. I can attest that the strawberry mansion blonde is quite awful and the ginger ale positively revolting. No other commercially produced beers are available. Neither is liquor or wine. If you're tempted, Philadelphia's infamous beers are available to go in half-gallon growlers for ten bucks, eight if you bring your own.

Other things about Philadelphia's don't especially grab me. There are no condiments in the main dining area, for example. If you want some ketchup for your fries, you have to get up, leave the main dining room, and step upstairs to the back room where condiments are arranged on a designated countertop. Handicapped patrons will find this inconvenient to say the least. And the only time I ever ate there, the first peppershaker I grabbed was empty.

I also didn't care for that blinding spotlight that shone in my face as I sat at the bar. And the waitress's insistence on disinfecting the floor in front of me while I was the only patron in the house did nothing to whet my appetite.

I'm no capitalist to be certain. But I delight in the notion that market forces will inevitably conspire to purge Philadelphia's from the Portland brewpub scene. Their food is not entirely bad, and I wouldn't discourage anyone from grabbing a sandwich to go. But if you want a worse beer than Philadelphia's, you'll have to brew it yourself.

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Philadelphia's in Portland, OR
Brewery rating: 0 out of 100 with 3 ratings
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