There's nothing more satisfying than cracking a cold, local beer after a long day of hiking. Luckily for Philadelphians, the tradition of good craft beer is as old as the city itself, dating back to revolutionary tavern days. There are a multitude of picturesque trails to explore and local craft brews to sip on in Philadelphia, so whether you prefer smooth singletrack, technical terrain, hoppy IPAs or strong stouts, this city has something in store for every adventure-seeking craft beer enthusiast. Here are our four top pairings of local trails and nearby breweries to check out this weekend.
1. Pennypack Park and Yards Philly Pale Ale
Hike: Pennypack Park is the “little brother” of Philadelphia’s larger and more famous Wissahickon Valley Park. But that doesn't mean it’s any less exciting. The Pennypack Creek stretches for 9 miles, and the surrounding park covers 1,300 acres of wilderness in the heart of Northeast Philly. The park includes a paved bike path and miles of winding single and doubletrack trails for a nice day of fairly easy hiking.
Brew: Just a few miles south of Pennypack is Yards Brewery , located on Delaware Avenue in Fishtown. Yards' Philly Pale Ale could easily be described as the best session ale from Philadelphia, if not the whole East Coast. This easy-drinking, slightly hoppy, pale ale, brewed with pilsner malt and American hops, is a go-to for any situation. Visit the iconic brewery for a tasting flight, or pick up a six pack of PPA at any local bottle shop.
2. White Clay Creek State Park and Dogfish Head Festina Peche
Hike: Though White Clay Creek State Park is technically located in Delaware, it butts up directly against the Pennsylvania state line and is definitely worth making the 40 minute drive from Philly. Explore a variety of hiking terrain at White Clay, including shady, rolling singletrack and sunny, wide-open meadows. Check out a detailed online map before heading down and spend your day discovering some of Delaware's finest nature trails.
Brew: A Delaware hike deserves a Delaware beer, and Milford-based Dogfish Head is undoubtedly the First State's most well known and inventive brewery. Festina Peche is a seasonal brew, so get your hands on this refreshingly sour neo-Berliner Weisse during the hot summer months. The peachy flavor is subtle and tones down the inherent sour flavor of the weisse. If fruit beers aren't your thing, grab Dogfish Head's most iconic beer, the 60 minute IPA, instead.
3. French Creek State Park and Sly Fox O'Reilly's Stout
Hike: French Creek State Park sits in the Northwest suburbs of Philly, near Reading, PA. With more than 35 miles of marked trails winding through 7,730 acres of land, French Creek is a hiker's paradise. The park offers campgrounds, a disc golf course, swimming, boating, fishing, and other recreational activities beyond hiking. Be sure to stay on marked trails since 6,000 acres of the park are also open to hunters during certain seasons.
Brew: Located just down the road in Pottstown, PA, is Sly Fox Brewery. If you enjoy stouts, try O'Reilly's Irish Stout, which at 3.6% ABV is a perfectly hydrating post-hike pint. Brewed with Cascade and Target hops, this draft is light-bodied and full-flavored with a dark, black color.
4. Ridley Creek State Park and Victory Dirt Wolf Double IPA
Hike: Ridley Creek State Park, located in Media, PA, is just 16 miles from Center City Philadelphia. The park's 2,606 acres includes 13 miles of marked hiking trails and a 5 mile paved walking path for hikers and pedestrians alike. Enjoy hiking the rolling hills while watching fly fishers catch trout in the Ridley Creek. Choose one of the hundreds of picnic tables to enjoy a post-hike picnic in this scenic, suburban oasis.
Brew: Just 30 minutes west of Ridley Creek State Park is one of Philly's most famous breweries, Victory Brewing Company. Their Dirt Wolf Double IPA is hailed as “world class” by the beer aficionados at Beer Advocate, and with one taste you'll understand why. Dirt Wolf is supremely hoppy without the bitter aftertaste and has some light fruity, citrus flavors that balance out the taste.