In honor of our Philly Bar Guide issue, Cary Carr and Ryan Rosengrant are encouraging readers to keep their drinking endeavors safe and classy, whether it’s relaxing with a good beer or walking in shambles down the street.
The Foodery on 10th and Pine streets does not carry Natural Ice, otherwise known as “Natty.” In fact, the six-pack shop doesn’t carry any low-end beers.
“Our lowest end is the Buds and the Miller family of beers,” Matt Johnson, a sales associate at the Foodery, said. “We don’t really try and tell people not to drink the lower ends. If they are looking for good suggestions, we will always point them in the classier direction.”
There are far too many young people on Main Campus, as well as college campuses nationwide, who only drink whatever shoddy beer they can get their hands on. It’s understandable. I, too, was under 21 at one point.
But for those of us who are legal, it only seems right for us to dig deep and dive into the foaming world of beer. The decisions are endless: Dark or light? Ale or lager? Can, bottle or on tap?
At the Foodery, you can sample a little bit of everything until you narrow your choices down. The store allows customers to purchase custom-made, six-pack cartons by choosing from its wide selection, which hails from 13 different countries, adding up to more than 800 different brews. That can be a daunting task, but helpful staff members will help you figure it all out.
And, for parties that require more alcohol than those dainty six packs, head to Bella Vista Beer Distributor at 738 S. 11th St. between Fitzwater and Christian streets in South Philly. It may be a hike for those living on Main Campus, but it also might be nice to enjoy a change in scenery from their usual stomping grounds in North Philly.
Bella Vista Beer has been around for more than 20 years, and the distributor carries beer from 48 different brands. Yes, Natty may be dirt cheap – one of its only attractive qualities – but the prices at Bella Vista Beer are reasonable.
Josh Arruda, Bella Vista’s sales and craft specialist, said when the holidays come around, he notices a “spike in the higher end [beers]” but said he encourages customers to drink specialty beers year-round.
“People are going to drink what they like,” Arruda said. “I personally like to see people drink on the classier end. Some people like really low-end beer. I’m not sure why.”
If a can of Natty is chilling your hand instead of a tastier blend, ask yourself, “Why?” A swig of a good beer should take you to another place. Maybe it’s because we finally have some nice weather and I can get away with wearing my sandals, but lately, I’ve been craving a good Samuel Adams Summer Ale, for example. This American wheat ale incorporates malted wheat and lemon zest to transport me to its grains of paradise.
And, if you don’t enjoy taking a journey with your beer, at least ditch the usual trip to the corner store for some cheap, 40-ounce brews, and venture to a new beer shop. The payoff will be a savory way to quench your beer gut. Ditch the Natty, and stay classy Philadelphia.
Ryan Rosengrant can be reached at email@example.com.