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South Philadelphia Taproom
Taps: 14 / Bottles: 75
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
1509 Mifflin St.
phone: (215) 271-7787
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
I really like SPTR, it is one of my favorite Philly Beer Bars.
The first time I went was for a Founder's Tasting during Philly Beer Week. They had at least 13 if not more taps all devoted to Founder's offerings including KBS, FBS, Backwoods Bastard, Doubel Trouble, Cherise, Red's Rye, Dirty Bastard, Curmudgeon, Hand of Doom. Needless to say, we stayed there long enough to have brunch and dinner. Regularly, they will have a couple Founders, Russian Rivers, or Lagunitas, but more local and east coast breweries, which is also nice. They also have an extensive bottle fridge although, there don't ever seem to be prices on anything, you have to ask, which I hate.
The food here is great, I always get the breakfast burger if I can make it in early enough, which is grass-fed beef, a fried egg and bacon on a harty roll. The homemade ketchup and the fries are good as well. They make a ridiculous grilled cheese sandwich with 3 kinds of cheese on garlic texas toast served with homemade tomato-lager soup. I'm sure not everything on the menu is a home-run, but the few things I always get are great.
The service is nice, bartenders offer suggestions. One time, I asked for a beer, but by the time the waitress got the order in the keg kicked and the same thing happened to my second order, so they told me they would give me a Russian River Damnation for free since I had to wait so long for a beer. I didn't ask for this nor was I making a fuss, but staff here are very attentive and want to make you happy.
I would rate this a 2.5 $ if there was an option, a lot of the beers are 5-6, which can add up quickly especially for the stuff that is less alcohol and not as special. But for what you spend, you will have a good time
09-08-2009 13:41:21 |
More by Soonami
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Been here a few times and have been impressed so on to a review. This place has gone far in just a short time since it opened. Located deep in south philly this is a great place to go for beer if your in the neighborhood. Nice looking from the outside, once inside you can tell alot of work went into this place. A semi small bar area with a lot of table seating for small or large groups. Some outside seating also.
The quality is one of the best i've seen in philly. The taps are always clean tasting and the place is very clean and modern. The service is up there to with servers that at least know what's on the beer and food menu and have a good knowledge of beer. Never sat at the actual bar so I cant comment on that.
A limited but well thought out selection of food that I feel would appeal to a lot of people. I had some type of tacos plus some head cheese which was off the chain and some wings that were not all that. The portions are on the small side though.
The tap selection is also not that huge but is put together well with varying styles and brewery's. I had the pleasure of having Canadian Breakfast Stout and a few other gems. Again the serving sizes seemed small for some offerings. A bottle selection as well with good choices but be prepared to drop the ducket's. SPTR is a bit pricey but hey were in Philly and you get what you pay for, and the SPTR brings it in terms of quality.
05-24-2009 21:28:28 |
More by onix1agr
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped by during their Founder's event during Philly beer week.
The SPTR is an interesting, almost hole in the wall beer bar located right on Mifflen street in what looks like a blue collar south philly neighborhood. As you walk in the front door, there is a fairly long bar running along the left side of the beer bar. There are also a few tables and chairs scattered about, with a slightly larger area up a small rise to the left above the bar. Still, this is a fairly small establishment, that was just about crowded out the door on the Saturday afternoon I stopped by. The place has a couple of TV's over the bar, and there is a lot of wood everywhere you look. I'm thinking on most "normal" days this is a good place to hang out, relax, and enjoy a nice glass of craft brew. Not today, however.
As for quality, what can I say? They had 13 Founders beers on tap, which included the KBS, Hand of Doom, Curmudgeon and Backwoods Bastarnd. In other words, with a line-up like that, I'm not sure how quality could have been much higher.
As for service, I initially was going to give the place a straight average score. The waitstaff and bartender were working their butts off, but the fact is that there was close to 50 people trying to get service at the bar, with just a single bartender most of the time. She did a competent enough job, but the fact is that she was in the weeds most of the time I was there. Waits for a beer were up to 15 minutes long, despite her best efforts. I blame the owner for much of the problem, as the bartender was clearly doing her best. However, the fact remains that service was just not very good on this particular day, at least most of the time I was there.
As for prices, they were pretty fair I thought. The really rare stuff was expesive of course (KBS was $9 a six ounce glass, and hand of doom was $6 for the same size), but otherwise everything was $5 for a 12 ounce pour. All things considered, I thought prices were pretty fair.
In any event, this is yet another very solid beer bar in Philly. Hopefuly I can stop by again some time when the place isn't mobbed. Still, I thought the slow service and huge crowd were a small price to pay for the incredible selection here today. So all things considered, I would still call this is very good place.
03-14-2009 23:49:12 |
More by johnmichaelsen
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I've ventured down here 3 times now and this place is really growing on me.
There is a small amount of sidewalk seating along the front and side of the building. The main entrance opens into a tight room with a 15 person (or so) bar along the left and a cozy table and chairs on the right. The whole right wall is a line of various kinds of tables, including one rathe comfy looking one right near the door. The interior is primarily of brick and gives a real homey feeling. Just past the bar, stands a small but action packed cooler. Beyond the cooler on the left, are 3-4 stairs that lead up to a second level dining area. All in all not a huge place and the bar can get rather packed. Luckily the waitstaff are on their game.
Always a rotating tap selection of 10-12 beers. They have a chalkboard hanging directly across from the bar listing all tap beers. Last time I was there, they had 3-4 offerings from Arcadia (it was an Arcadia event), Obamagang, RR Damnation and Pliny the Elder, Bear Republic Apex IPA and a few other tasty treats on tap. I have never seen a bottle list, but that's not really a big deal since you can walk right up and check out the cooler.
In addition to the Obamagang and Pliny, I had an Arcadia HopMouth (firkin) and split a bottle of Old Viscosity with my two friends. The only issue I have with this place is that their cooler is a little too cold.
As far as the food goes, the mac and cheese is dynamite, the hummus plate rocks and the roast pork sandwich is solid.
Quickly becoming one of my favorite bars in the area.
03-09-2009 19:53:01 |
More by ColForbinBC
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Hit up the SPTR after a Flyers game... Perfect place to gather for a couple pints and some bar grub.
Decent tap selection, locally based, but some interesting regionals, and international flavors, and a solid bottle selection. Unfortunately, prices on some of the bottles bordered on the absurd. I casually asked about Hopslam, thinking about my depleted stock and home, and the bartender apologetically told me they were $8 a bottle! Thanks, I'll pass.
For about 11 or 11:30pm, the place was packed although we found two bar seats right at the corner of the bar by the front door. Bartender seemed friendly and in control of the thirsty crowd. He didn't have time to talk much with us, nor did he comment or offer suggestions when we ordered, but he made sure our beer arrived promptly with the correct, clean glassware.
Food was very good! A friend and I split some very tender calamari and a chicken quesadilla. Both were better than your average bar fare.
Music was loud and there wasn't much elbow room to be had, but this is still a classic Philadelphia neighborhood bar. It'll be a regular south philly stop...
02-18-2009 21:04:23 |
More by bwd110
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
The bartender was friendly and knowledgeable, pouring us a few samples before we decided on a pint...I had the Riverhorse Oatmeal Milk Stout, Amy had a Pliny the Elder Double IPA. Beer selection was good and focused primarily on the local breweries, it looks like there are about 12 taps here, and a small but decent bottle selection.
The food was good - Amy had the eggplant parmigiana and I enjoyed a rustic sandwich. We shared a Mediterranean plate.
The atmosphere was very corner bar, with an elevated / second floor seating area with tables and a long bar on the lower level. The music was searingly loud, especially considering the small crowd.
There are some good happy hour specials to be had - no complaints about getting a cheap pint of a good beer - that's for sure.
Between SPTR and the Devils Den, its nice to see some good beer bars making their way into South Philly.
01-16-2009 21:52:34 |
More by ImHereForTheBeer
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This place has come a long way in the last year and it is now a destination that will get me to trek down to South Philly. The atmosphere is dark Old Philadelphia bar-room, which used to be rather claustrophobic, but they have expanded into the neighboring building and opened up the bar area into the new dining room. That change has made a huge difference in the atmosphere.
The food is simple but reliable. The fish & chips are delicious, the burger is tasty, the grilled cheese and soup plate has possessed my wife's mind. The macaroni and cheese is among the best I have tasted in restaurants.
The beer list isn't vast, but its colorful and well thought out. They always have an interesting selection of locals on tap - Troegs, Yards, Victory and the like - with at least a couple of unusual choices from farther afield, like Rock Art, Founders, and Russian River.
This is an excellent choice for a good meal and a well-chosen beer.
12-10-2008 14:39:33 |
More by Seanibus
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
A surprisingly good beer bar in South Philly. Recently they have extended and built a new dining room with nice art work. The menu has also ben overhauled predominatly featuring exotic meats. While I admit that the quality of their food has improved, I miss being able to order a simple pulled pork sandwich with fries. They have removed lion from their menu recently because of public outcry. The SPTR along with the Devil's Den have the best happy hour with half price drafts from 4-6 M-F. They have a nice selection of draft and bottled beer with the focus being primarily on American Craft. This was the first place I ever hap Bells Hopslam. Alays a nice selcton with decent service and good food.
11-26-2008 08:03:56 |
More by corby112
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
My, how the neighborhood's dropped off, or coming in from south of here maybe it's never really come up. I can't really say for sure. I'd planned on taking this in after the Philly beer thing at the navy yard a few months back but I was kidnapped by the family Manny for late night steaks so here it is I is, better late than never. A corner joint in a section of Philly considerably more dodgy than the one we just left up north, but we can hang...
"J" shaped wood bar with gray swirly swirly top and lip seating 12 on the inside brick wall with barback wood unit, center mirror with tiered booze below, and tall narrow shelves holding Rums and Vodkas over mirrored backings to each side, and Tequilas, Whiskeys and random bottles on shelving extending out from there over brick walls. Strung leafage atop the unit, fixtures and pieces (stuffed owl, Rocky figurine, football helmets, steer horns) and blackboards to both sides, talking happy hour and brunch hours. Glassware and more booze below.
Mostly big brick walls and some painted yellow pieces over wood lowers to the rear. Massive panel windows on wood framing over Hicks and Mifflin, lined with strung lighting and holding macro signage and neons. Light blue ceiling, spinnin' fans and sunken spots, slate floorings, mounted TV's at both ends of the bar, and brewery signage riddled about. A single roundy table sits adjacent to the bar with cool cut barrel chairage, and 4 tables down past there sharing common bench action. And then 5 raised bar tables further along to the rear of the side door leading up to a large flatscreen in the back corner, and a pair of shorty tables across the way. Bathrooms to the back, all chalkboarded up ala Spuyten, and stairs there to the raised side room holding a dozen tables. Brick walls with a peekaboo cut through lookin' in on the bar, framed pics & mirrors, and a single drop chandelier. Also, some light seating outdoors to both sides of the corner.
Saturday's bartender is an inked funny girl, lookin' to cut off drunk boy aaany minute now. She knew I wanted food before I did. Hmmmn, yeah, okay. I 'et a 3 cheese grilled cheese sandwich (carried itself like a 4 cheese grilled cheese sandwich) and a cup of lager tomato soup (veggie, tasty), served with giant wedge crazy fries (it was like they quartered a goddamn potato and fried the bitch up). Dave had a burger, cooked to order, rare was rare, he was good with it.
13 taps spread across the bar, 3 on a tower on the corner of the bar and 10 more on a tower further down some. The tap handles are all blackened out with the names of the beers written on them in colored chalk. Kind of hard to tell what's what what what there but if you spin around, the tap selections are listed on a board in colored chalk behind you. A good mix, ½ Pennsylvania brews (PBC Kenzinger & Newfold Pale, Sky Fox Saison Vox, Troegs Nut Brown, Stoudts Pils, Lancaster Milk Stout, Roy Pitz Hefe), ½ not (Russian River Pliny the Elder, Ballast Point Black Marlin Porter, Atwater Blocktoberfest, Founders Red Rye, DogFishHead Punkin'), and a cider (Wyders Pear Cider). I asked inked girl for a recommendation, Ballast Point Porter or Founders Red Rye and she went with the porter, a very tasty one at that, good roastiness (I know what you're thinking so let's just put it out there... this wasn't the first place we visited today. Had I kept drinkin' the Pliny, it would have been a very short afternoon).
Fuck! 5 dozen bottles in the coooler down at the end of the bar; nearly missed that. 3/4 of them US micros (Bells, Founders, Yards, Troegs, Victory, Anchor, Smutty, Sierra Nevada, DogFishHead, and big bottle Southampton, Port, Lost Abbey, Bear Republic, Russian River, Jolly Pumpkin, Brooklyn, Ithaca, Stone, Allagash, Sly Fox), the remainder being a bunch of Belgians (Orval, Saison DuPont, De Ranke Cuvee, Cantillon 1900, Duvel, Val Dieu, Maredsous, Malheur), and some other imports (Dieu Du Ciel, Unibroue).
I'm looking for that guy who built them tables all shittily, but he's not here. Anyway, they've got a good tap selection, beer's well kept, fresh, and there's always the bottles if the taps won't do. Food, service, it's all good. Quiet and comfortable on this and the other Saturday afternoon I've visited. If I had to live in this neighborhood, this would be the place I'd come to drink my troubles away.
10-26-2008 19:58:56 |
More by slander
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
We just made our first visit to SPTR in over a year after a couple of bad experiences put it off our radar. I am glad we gave it another shot.
An additional dining room has been added to the main bar/dining room area, giving the place a much more attractive look overall. It was kind of dingy before. Now that only applies to the restrooms.
The tap list is quite good with about a dozen mostly American craft brew handles. This is supplemented by a substantial bottle list (50 or more). On our visit we had Racer 5, ST Hop Sun, Oscar Blues' Old Chub (never seen that on tap before) and Stoudt's Smooth Hoperator (bottle). All drafts are half-price during Happy Hour, which is obviously awesome for drafts of this quality.
The menu has been recently overhauled and looks great. We had the frito pie and the scallop sliders, both of which are highly recommended. We are looking forward to going back.
04-22-2008 17:38:00 |
More by sholland119
South Philadelphia Taproom in Philadelphia, PA