The Top 5 Summer Beer Gardens in Philadelphia

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society hosted pop-up beer garden.
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society hosted pop-up beer garden. Rob Cardillo
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There's nothing better than enjoying a frosty brew outdoors after a long stroll or bike ride around the city. Luckily for Philadelphians, beer gardens are seemingly popping up in every neighborhood from Fishtown to East Passyunk. Whether you enjoy summer wheats or hoppy IPAs, there's something for every beer drinker at Philly's many outdoor watering holes. But the five spots on our list have that extra special balance of refreshment, entertainment, and relaxation that will be sure to quench your thirst after any summer adventure.

1. Morgan's Pier

Morgan's Pier features great food from chef Nick Elmi.
Morgan's Pier features great food from chef Nick Elmi. Morgan's Pier

Morgan's Pier has become a staple in Philly's outdoor drinking and dining scene over the past few years, and has firmly cemented its place as a go-to outdoor hangout for summer thanks to its gorgeous location and wide variety of craft brews. Nestled next to the Ben Franklin Bridge, Morgan's Pier is named after George C. Morgan—the first person to cross the bridge 85 years ago. With outdoor seating available for roughly 500 people, and wonderful views of the Delaware Riverfront, you couldn't ask for a better setting. And the food menu is top-notch as well, with a menu that features eclectic bites like crab cakes as well as standard fare like the “backyard burger.”

2. Independence Beer Garden

The Independence Beer Garden features games like corn hole, Jenga, and shuffleboard.
The Independence Beer Garden features games like corn hole, Jenga, and shuffleboard. Independence Beer Garden

After an astoundingly successful first season in 2014, Independence Beer Garden  has only gotten better down the years. Located within shouting distance of Liberty Bell and Independence National Historic Park, it's a great place to unwind after a day of sightseeing. And with 40 regional and domestic beers on draft, there's no shortage of high quality imbibing options. If you're in the mood for more than drinks, play one of the many on-site games, including corn hole, Jenga, and shuffleboard.

3. Spruce Street Harbor Park

Kevin Jarrett

Spruce Street Harbor Park  is one of summer's hottest summer hangouts. Featuring hammocks, picnic tables, floating barges, and paddleboats, SSHP has something for every visitor. Grab an exclusive Yards Lazy Hammock IPA at one of the three bars at SSHP, then head a few blocks down the river to check out Summerfest , a warm weather reinvention of the highly successful Winterfest. The former Winterfest ice skating rink has been transformed into a roller rink for summer guests, and both inline and traditional roller skates are available to rent on-site.

4. PHS Pop-Up Gardens

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society hosted pop-up beer garden.
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society hosted pop-up beer garden. Rob Cardillo

One of the best things about Philly in the summer is the pop-up beer gardens installed throughout the city by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society . This year, the popular South Street location will return to its space next to the Jamaican Jerk Hut, and another garden will premier at the Viaduct Rail Park at 10th and Wharton. Both locations feature local, craft brews, exciting atmospheres with plenty of seating for visitors, and special programs and entertainment throughout the summer.

5. Frankford Hall

Stephen Starr's German biergarten Frankford Hall is the only year-round spot on our list, nestled in the heart of Fishtown's bar scene. The large, open-air beer garden serves 12 beers on draft by the half or full liter. While the selection is mostly traditional German brews, there are usually a few craft beers on draft as well. Humongous soft pretzels, sausages, and burgers round out the food menu, which also includes alcoholic milkshakes. The best part of this traditional beer garden is the casual vibe created by fire pits, picnic tables, and ping-pong tables.

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