If you’re looking for good beer AND good food, may we recommend Saint Benjamin’s Brewery. And what’s even better is that they’re serving up brunch so you can avoid all the insane weekend brunch crowds at other spots. Brunch is available on Saturdays 11 am-4 pm and all-day Sunday until 1 am! St. Ben is also offering an industry discount, for fellow hospitality professionals, on Sunday nights.
Saint Benjamin Brewing Company is a craft brewery and taproom operating in Kensington, Philadelphia. The brewery is located in the historic carriage house and stables of the defunct Theo Finkenauer Brewery. At Saint Benjamin they interpret classic styles and design new creations such as the India Cream Ale and Junto (thier coffee kolsch). The name “Saint Benjamin” is a reference to founding father Benjamin Franklin. The idea for this brewery was devised in founder Tim Patton’s 190 year old home and former firehouse in Philadelphia. The founder of the city’s fire companies, Franklin was also an avid home brewer.
The taproom at 1710 North 5th Street features 12 taps and a beer engine, with 50 seats at the bar and at tables. Exposed brick and original plaster set a reclaimed-chic scene, while the walnut bar and wood flooring add to the warm ambiance. A glass viewing wall, directly against a drink rail, offers sweeping views into the brewery, while shelves of old books and games invite drinkers to linger and vintage photos of the brewery and the building anchor St. Ben’s as a piece of its history. Saint Benjamin’s Taproom is open Tuesday-Friday from 4 pm- 2 am and Saturday-Sunday 11 am- 2 am.
This summer Saint Benjamin Brewing Company expanded their offerings to include a full cocktail menu, comprised only of locally distilled spirits, plus a list of meads and local wines. The new drinks complement the taproom’s selection of St. Ben beers, and will be available until 2 am six days a week, alongside a tempting menu of pairing-friendly fare; and St. Ben offers fre brewery tours every Saturday from 12 noon until 4 pm!
The wine list includes white and red by the glass, from popular local vintners such as Penn’s Woods, Stone & Key and Nottingham’s Wilson Vineyard. In addition, St. Ben will offer one of Philadelphia’s largest selection of meads, serving a rotating list of four meads, all sourced from The Colony Meadery in Allentown, PA. Mead, an alcoholic drink created by fermenting honey and water, is a distinctive and sweet alternative to traditional fermented beverages and cocktails.
Featured specialty cocktails include:
- Ms. Read’s Tonic, with Liberty Gin from Manayunk’s Palmer Distilling Co., elderberry-lemon shrub and violet syrup
- The Nectar of Forgetfulness, Ben Franklin’s orange shrub recipe, made using Faber Rum from Quakertown’s Midnight Madness Distilling, with falernum and fresh lime
- The Plain Truth, with Rowhouse Spirits Distillery’s Poitin (96 proof white whiskey) standing in for whiskey, plus honey-grapefruit-pink peppercorn syrup, cardamom bitters and fresh rosemary
- Smoked Watermelon Old Fashioned, featuring Kinsey 7 Year Old Whiskey from New Liberty Distillery, made with smoked malt and watermelon reduction, with watermelon bacon
Guests can also expect a selection of vodkas, including popular flavors such as citrus, orange and vanilla, and a specialty Vodka Cocktail made with Philadelphia’s own Stateside Urbancraft Vodka. St. Ben also features a wide selection of local rums, whiskeys and gins, alongside cordials and liqueurs such as coffee and amaretto, many made in-house. Drinks vary seasonally and are based on the availability of these hyper-local ingredients, including a selection of tempting beer cocktails, as well.
Many breweries focus so much on the beverages that you don’t expect much from the food. St. Ben is NOT that kind of brewery, they’ve got a chef in the kitchen from Rouge and they’re serving up some food that totally blew away our expectations. The food menu is available during all business hours and it includes both snacks and heartier plates.
We started off with some smaller bites as we sampled from the wide variety of craft brews with a beer flight. Ploughman’s Lunch is a wonderful variety of cheeses and charcuterie ideal for snacking while enjoying your favorite beverage. The French Onion Soup is also perfect as the winter rolls in lower temperatures and you’re looking for something to warm you up. And do NOT overlook the French Fries here, something simple but done so well- they’re a mix of potatoes and perfectly crispy and salty.
For your main brunch course there are plenty of delicious options, our top pick was the Kiss My Grits with grilled chorizo, jalapeno grits and two eggs any style. These are some of the best grits we’ve ever had, creamy and a little bit spicy, plus this dish is gluten free! We also tried the Carmelized Apple Pancakes which where thick and fluffy. Next time we’ll surely be back for the Texas Cut French Toast with candied pecans and grilled peaches. And for all you picky eaters they’ve got “Any Way You Want It”, a combo platter of two eggs any style, a choice of house-made sausage or house-cured pastrami bacon, and a choice of white, whole wheat or rye toast; whats not to love?!