Dock Street Brewery & Restaurant
Active Beers: 55
Beer Ratings: 542
Beer Avg: 3.74
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 | Reviews: 33 | Show All Ratings:
2.3/5 rDev -39.9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2 | selection: 2 | food: 3 | $
If you live in the neighborhood and especially if you're a grad student or otherwise 20-something West Philly alterna-type, this is a fine place to hang out. If you don't fit that description but you live in the neighborhood it's still probably a good option for you on a weeknight or in off-peak times. Since I don't fit either of these categories, I can say that I probably won't come back.
I went with a group of friends the night before Thanksgiving, so it was a weekend-type crowd. As noted the place is LOUD. This is a former fire station, you're sitting on the concrete pad that the fire trucks used to sit on, and there was no effort made to soften any of the surfaces - just all hard reflective bare bones materials, the din made talking to anyone other than those right next to you difficult, and that's without loud music or a decent sound system. It was also crowded and hard to walk around, the servers kept bumping into us, sometimes hard. Ok for a college, post-college night out, but not at all the place for families or couples (again at least when it's busy).
Our server was nice enough but we had to ask for almost everything more than once, when we could get attention at all. I don't know how much was the server and how much was being understaffed for the crowd, so I don't want to point any fingers.
My friends were drinking the oatmeal stout and the kolsch when I arrived, but we were told the oatmeal stout kicked, to everyone's disappointment. I thought that later on I saw people getting it in their samplers, but we were never told there was a new keg or anything. Regardless this brought the number of drafts down to I think four - kolsch, helles, rye IPA, and the gold. I could be wrong, though, and the web site doesn't help because it's outdated. To have so few beers and to have two of them be a kolsch and a helles - in late fall - with no session ales, was strange. I sipped the stout and the kolsch, both were nice enough, the kolsch was very light with a bit of fruit, the stout finished a little ashy. Eventually everyone got their food after various ordering misadventures, the pizza was kind of nice but two of the three we ordered had too much cheese and lacked balance, I like thin crust pizzas but these got soggy on the bottom and hard to eat. My pizza had black olives, two of which still had the pits in them, which was an irritating surprise.
Shortly before the food arrived my friend and I ordered a pitcher of the rye IPA and HATED it. The reviews have generally been good here and I know the brewer is very respected, although I don't know whether these were his batches again or not, so I'm at a loss...we just didn't like it at all, the beer was completely and lastingly bitter with no spice or fruit character and couldn't make out the malt body, although another friend sipped it and tasted some fruit at the front before the bitterness kicked in - he said it tasted like a grapefruit wine. The table then went back to more pitchers of the kolsch, although my palate had been seemingly wrecked by the IPA. Where before it was light and harmless enough, if not that interesting, now I found this undrinkable too. We ended up not finishing the last pitcher.
Only the couple that lived a couple blocks away seemed interested in coming back. We were at least all happy that the tab was surprisingly low, although we agreed that we got so little attention from our server that we probably could've dined and dashed and no one would even remember. There were a fair amount of people bringing growlers home with them, and it was packed, so it is clearly filling a niche, but I have no need to go out of my way to go back like I do with Standard Tap or Gray Lodge. Perhaps if there's more investment in the space and staff I would re-consider.
11-23-2007 16:39:26 | More by TheCalculator
2.6/5 rDev -32.1%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $
My wife and I arrived with our two little ones around 5:00. We were unsure if it was seat yourself or wait to be seated, so we stood for a couple of minutes and then grabbed one of two open and dirty tables. After finding the only two high chairs ourselves, situating the kids, sitting for several minutes did the hostess saunter by. I had to flag her down and ask her to clear the last party's empties. After a while the waitress came over and delivered menus. We ordered two pizzas and fish and chips along with beers and milk for the tots.
By this time the loud, unpleasant industrial techno music became very wearing. The place has awful acoustics and the music selection was totally inappropriate for the clientele. There were several groups with seniors who looked unhappy.
Shortly after our arrival four other groups with young children came in. We had the only two high chairs. We bribed our daughter to give up her high chair for another appreciative parent.
Food came, pizzas were very good. My wife's fish and chips was coated with uncooked batter, large gooey clumps of it. We sent it back and figured we had enough pizza for all.
The beers were well done. We had the Pilsner, the Gold Stock Ale, the Rye IPA and the St. Albans.
We asked for the check when the desert was delivered. Tira misu, also pretty good. The check came about 25 minutes later, because the waitress had to wait for the useless hostess to remove the fish and chips from the bill. I actually took the kids outside for a walk because they were starting to get fidgety.
While my wife was waiting for the check she noticed another party waiting for a table. There was one available, but it was too full of the last person's dishes and empties to sit at.
Overall, it gave the impression of a very poorly managed establishment. I will not return unless I hear that it gets better.
03-17-2008 19:24:07 | More by beermcmahon
3.33/5 rDev -13.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $
Dock Street opened up about 10 blocks east of my house, so it's by far the closest place to get a good beer and (most likely) not get shot. On the west edge of UPenn's influence, its an anchor for the families to the east and for hopeful westward revitilization of the area.
Anyway, the old firehouse is a great building. This has a very different atmosphere from most brewpubs - it is loud, almost cafeteria like, and they keep jamming more and more tables in. Nice outdoor seating in the summer though, and on Fridays theres free jazz concerts in the park in front of the building so thats a great time. The atmosphere isnt appropriate for all people or occasions, but its a nice change.
Lots of families come in too, especially in the earlier part of the evening.
The RyePA is usually on tap and thats a solid beer; other than that in my experience the beers have been hit or miss. Many stouts feel like they need to age a bit more; some of the more experimental brews this summer were underwhelming, but generally, there are 2 or 3 solid-to-good beers available with usually 5 or 6 total on draft. They also usually have their two bottled beers available, but I have yet to get anything bottled.
The food is the real story here, the wood fired oven creates some awesome pizzas. Menu is limited to pizza, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and appetizers, but theres a large variety of pizza and it is excellent.
Service at the bar is generally more responsive than the seated tables, but overall service is acceptable.
I find that its just an enjoyable place to hang out with friends and have a good time. In my experience it hasn't been dominated by college kids, as the generally live much farther east, and its more locals of all age groups and income levels.
12-05-2008 22:24:45 | More by jmc44
3.4/5 rDev -11.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$$
This place has high ceilings and a quasi- industrial feel to it. The bar is a long hunk of formica that looked okay. The tables and chairs were all plastic and kind of uncomfortable. When we walked in, they were a little slow and we were told to sit anywhere. So we picked the nearest dirty table which was cleaned after we asked three times.
The trio fries were something different, white and sweet potatoes along with some leeks. I had a pizza made in a hard wood fired oven that was delicious. My girlfriend had a pear and gorgonzola salad that she liked well enough.
I sampled some beers from others at my table that I didn't like that much, an imperial Bubbly Wit that was too sweet and a red ale that was bland. I had two rye IPAs that I absolutely loved, probably the best I've tried. They won't fill growlers that have another brewerie's logo on it, but the ones they sell are plain. That doesn't make any sense to me.
Overall, the service and location are less than ideal, but I wouldn't rule out a return visit.
07-29-2008 10:54:31 | More by DIM
3.45/5 rDev -9.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
The wife and I stopped into Dock Street on a recent trip to Philadelphia. First off - I highly recommend going here in daylight as the surrounding neighborhood would be a bit scary at night. I say this in all seriousness. While I hail from a small town now, I have grown up and lived in places like Flint and Detroit, Michigan and was still uneasy at 1-2pm in this part of town. Ok - now about the place: it appears to be located in an old fire station, but the waiter didn't really seem to know exactly. It has a bit of an eccentric feel to the place; perhaps I got this feeling from the wait staff though. The beer in the sampler that we ordered was of decent quality, but nothing really jumped out at me: good or bad. They did have a lot of varieties available though. While I can say that my experience at Dock Street was not an unpleasant one, neither the beer nor the atmosphere were good enough for me to return especially with the current location. I think the proprietors should consider the location and their target market.
06-23-2008 12:19:55 | More by scoobybrew
3.45/5 rDev -9.9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
Went in on a Friday afternoon. Inside was empty, but the 6 or so seats outside were filled. Interior was hot, wood burning pizza oven gave off a decent amount of heat. black tables and seats. Nothing fancy, cement floors, some fans overhead.
Seemed like pizza was their specialty, so we ordered the Mexican and BBQ chicken. For a small crowd, the food took a long time to come. Worth the wait. Both were really good. Lots of flavor. Tasty crust.
In terms of beer, did the sampler. Nothing too out of the ordinary. Kolsch, Pale Ale, Porter, Coffee infused stout and a few others. All were good, fresh. I liked the stout the best, but went with a pint of the kolsch.
No parking lot, you have to park on the street. Overall, good beers, but the pizzas were actually my favorite part of the trip.
10-17-2011 20:45:44 | More by Nutleybeer
3.63/5 rDev -5.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2.5 | $$$
The most important aspect of a brewpub is, of course, the beer. Our group started with samplers. At $6, the sampler was reasonable. Nice selection of ales (gold, white, red) and seasonals (dark cherry, pumpkin) and a good IPA. All were solid offerings.
The establishment itself is very bohemian. The menu was called the "introductory menu" and was rather limited. Of the four of us there, all of us agreed that the food was pretty average at best.
My biggest complaint was the growler situation. We wanted to share the beer with friends at a party the next day. When we were told that two growlers would be $60, we were a bit shocked. They were charging a steep deposit price on the growlers. The cost to refill is pretty standard, but I'm certainly not accustomed to such a high initial bottle charge (~$16 if memory serves). But like I said, the beer was good enough to want a growler, so I guess we'll try to spread the cost of that growler out over a few additional visits.
09-29-2007 17:19:11 | More by tmp155
3.65/5 rDev -4.7%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Let's start with the beer. I was unfortunate to have missed the beers that Scott Morrison brewed before Julius Hummer took over. I WAS expecting something good however, as Hummer had such a good resume. The beers I tasted were far from spectacular, and were both incompletely attenuated, thus tasting a little like homebrew. That to me, is a very clear sign that the brewer doesn't know what he's doing. Thankfully Hummer got the boot less than two months on the job (a little too much taste testing there???) and Scott has returned. THAT will be the only reason that I'll go back, although I can say that the pizza is excellent. And seeing Jeff making pies behind the counter was great! (Rosemarie was there too, as was Mike Fava, the assistant brewer).
But pizza alone is not enough to drag me into that part of west Philly. And let's cover that now. No, the area's not great, but it's not too bad. Chinese take-outs are the best indicator. Do they have bullet-proof glass protecting them from the customers? Well, the one right down the street headed towards the city does, but that could just be a vestige left over from a worse time some years ago. Right in the area it's not too bad. Stick close though. Don't head any further west (and certainly not north of that) after dark.
So let's see... we should have great beers on (Mr. Morrison has never let me down), and the pizza rocks. But what about the rest of the premesis? Well, the outside of the building is beautiful, there's no denying that. And inside it's kind of cozy, but at the same time kind of not. It's small, but it feels loud and cold. And perhaps more tight than cozy. And the used furniture by the doorway doesn't exactly endear me, but it does fit the neighborhood. Hell, for all I know they might have taken it right off the curb at the end of last year over by Penn. The bar area looks as if it might have been a pizza counter in a past life. It's nice looking, but it's not really as warm or comfortable as a wood topped bar would have been in my opinion. The support beam covered with old labels and stickers, however, is just tacky.
I'm going to head back over to grab some of Scott's beers and a pie. I'll update if there's been any change.
YES!!! What a difference a beer makes. The pizza remains the same beautiful thing that it is, and now the beer is great too! After 4 visits I can say without question that Dock Street has won me over.
11-11-2007 15:42:26 | More by NeroFiddled
3.65/5 rDev -4.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 5 | $$
Dock Street Brewing Company…….Philadelphia
Dock Street is in an interesting location on 50th St, the road it’s on is very nice and jam packed. As you drive around to find parking you will stumble on areas that are…..not nearly as nice. All within minutes of each other, gotta love cities.
In a refurbished firehouse, love the old industrial look. Exposed brick, tough floor. Small tables out in front and in the main part as you walk in. A long horizontal bar houses about 15 stools, the taps and the infamous brick fired pizza.
My wife and I were devastated to find out they had just tapped their keg of Sudan Grass, the gluten free beer that got so many good reviews and was one of our reasons for coming. Rats rats rats.
As she sipped her wine in sorrow I began to try some of their offerings. I had the Summer Session, the Bohemian Pils, and the OMG Pale Ale. All were good, if not quite spectacular.
What was spectacular was the pizza. My god. I had a simple cheese one and it was amazing, the wife ordered a burger and sweet potato fries that were also amazing. Great to see the open kitchen and the food being made right in front of you.
We sat the bar, our bartenders were attentive and helpful. Place filled up quickly.
Overall, cool place to come. Ok beer, dynamite pizza, great vibe. Make it a stop.
08-09-2011 02:48:42 | More by TheDeuce
3.7/5 rDev -3.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
We made our long overdue first stop to the new brewpub. The long-shuttered original in one of the Logan Square buildings downtown was one of my early craft beer destinations long ago.
I love the location in a converted firehouse in a changing West Philly neighborhood. The inside had a rundown diner feel and could maybe be a little cleaner but it was a bit of a letdown after the very cool exterior.
Six beers on tap, including the Rye IPA, which I have enjoyed many other places. It was just as good here. I also enjoyed the Hop Garden double IPA.
We had the cheese plate (not bad but nothing special) and the trio fries that were a staple of the old place. As in the past, the ratio of (approx.) 60% regular fries, 25% sweet potato fries and 15% fried leeks is perfect for my taste, and something most places don't get right.
Service was pleasant if not particularly knowledgeable.
Not sure I would stop here regularly, maybe just a quick stop on our way to Local 44.
01-15-2009 16:49:07 | More by sholland119
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Dock Street Brewery & Restaurant in Philadelphia, PA
87 out of 100 based on 40 user ratings.