As the Spring weather rolls in, we are always looking for a chance to dine outdoors. Over at the Manayunk Brewing Company guests can enjoy outdoor dining on one of the largest outdoor decks in Philadelphia, overlooking the river. Plus Sunday, April 29th they’ll be celebrating by hosting the 19th Annual Manayunk Tacos, Tequila, and Tunes Craft Beer Fest! Rain or shine this beer lover’s delight offers over 4 hours of tastings featuring over 70 craft beers made by some of the best craft breweries in Philadelphia and surrounding areas. Guests will live music all day long by artists like Deb Callahan. Tickets also include a souvenir tasting glass, craft beer and tequila tastings. The Manayunk Brewing Co. staff will be serving up Whole Pig Pulled Pork, Tacos, and more. Tickets available here!
The history of the restaurant begins back in the 1800s, Manayunk was an exciting mill town populated by skilled workers, weavers, craftspeople, and artisans. The brewery building was located along the heart of Main Street was built in 1822 by Ann Dawson as a cotton mill, to take advantage of the key location at the mouth of the Manayunk Canal. She was one of the few, if not only, women in her time to open a factory. Nearly a hundred years later, the building was purchased by the Krook family in 1912, and transformed into a woolen mill. By this time, Manayunk had established itself on the world scene for the manufacture of truly superb textiles. By the end of the 20th century, textile manufacturing had almost completely moved overseas. The Krook family operated their woolen mill until 1992, when they finally closed their doors and sold the building to local entrepreneur Harry Renner IV. He brought the lagging facility back to life as a space for retail business, and established Manayunk Brewing Company and Restaurant in the process.
Mr. Renner made the decision to keep the original industrial scale for weighing wool, which you can still see inside the front foyer. The first batch of Manayunk Brewing Company beer was tapped on October 17, 1996. Since then, they have brewed more than 600 different varieties of beers, and have been selling these sought-after styles all around Philadelphia and New Jersey. Their brewers continue to explore new takes on classic styles, especially when it comes to sour ales and India Pale Ales.
Mr. Renner’s daughter took over the building in 2004, and runs the restaurant and brewery along with her business partner Mike Rose. Since then, they have expanded the restaurant by installing a stone pizza oven and sushi bar, as well as a chic banquet space for weddings and meetings. They’ve also begun to offer kayak tours along the adjacent Schuylkill River during the warm months!
We stopped by for dinner and were excited to try out all the rotating beers on tap (8 beers and 1 cider) with their flight offering 9 samples. We loved Belly Flop, which was just tapped! This is a bright and thirst-quenching sour wheat ale based on the top-fermented beers originally brewed in Goslar, Germany. Unlike the traditional version, they’ve added tangy English cucumbers and juicy melons to balance the briny and savory notes from the sea salt.
As we drank our way through the flight we also enjoyed Monk from the ‘Yunk. This strong, golden colored ale is brewed with pilsner malt and noble hops, but it is the traditional Belgian strain of yeast that provides the complex aromas of fruit and spice. With a dry finish and a relatively light body, you will find this Belgian Tripel very drinkable for a beer this potent (ABV 9%).
Be sure to check out Manayunk Brewing Company’s other collaborations with American Sardine Bar, Morgan’s Pier, and Whole Foods Market. Along with the beer, they’ve crafted a menu that pairs excellently with your drink. Everything from sushi to stone-oven pizza can be found here. The food is certainly no after thought, even if you’re just snacking on some appetizers. Guests love the newest addition of Fried Pickles which are breaded dill pickle spears served with sriracha wasabi dipping sauce.
We loved the Classic Cheesesteak Dumplings which are also very popular, stuffed with beef, cheese, mushrooms, shallots, and served over a spciy Japanese aioli. The Hot Crab Dip was also great with jumbo lump crab meat, four cheeses, Chesapeake spices, served with tortilla chips and flatbread seeded crackers. The Brew House Nachos and Mahogany Wings were also calling to us for next time. And how could we leave without trying a signature 10 inch stone oven-fired pizza? We opted for the Kennett Square with local assorted mushrooms, caramelized onions, goat cheese, mozzarella, and herbs. This cheesy delight was most certainly a highlight of our meal. The most popular pie, however, is the Chicken Bacon Ranch topped with light red sauce, fresh mozzarella, grilled chicken, smoked bacon, and a drizzle of ranch.
For our main course we couldn’t resist trying the Brewski Burger made with 21 day dry-aged, grass fed sirloin, topped with a fried green tomato, drizzled with balsamic aioli and cheese on a brioche bun. We were also blown away by the fresh pasta in the Farm to Table Pasta. This dish is made with local seasonal vegetables and grilled chicken breast served on top of pappardelle tossed in a light sherry cream sauce with fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Tempting is also the Truffle Ravioli stuffed with porcini mushrooms and served in light shallot and garlic cream sauce with asparagus tips and pine nuts.
Manayunk Brewing Company is serving up the whole experience for beer lovers and foodies alike. Check out their Sushi Bar open for dinner everyday except Mondays and all day on weekends. Happy hour is held 5:00 – 7:00 pm Monday to Friday with $1 off drinks, $5 wings, $6 quesadillas, $5 California rolls, $5 salmon avocado rolls, and $8 pizzas. Plus every Friday, they offer a complimentary pizza bar in the cocktail area from 4:30-6:30 pm!
Free brewery tours and beer tastings are held every Saturday from 12:00 – 2:00 pm. On the weekends you’ll even find local food trucks parked at the brewery. In addition to their outdoor deck, for private events on the 2nd floor is the “River Club” which can accommodate 200-300 including the upper deck space. And get Manayunk Brewing Company beer delivered right to your door using Go Puff!