There are things that everyone must do in Philadelphia whether you’re a visitor or resident–eat a cheesesteak, run up the Art Museum’s steps à la Rocky Balboa, and check out the city’s great brews. Tippler’s Tour is a colonial pub crawl through historic Philadelphia which makes stops at some of Philadelphia’s finest bars, taverns, and breweries–offering a nod to that colonial jack-of-all-trades Ben Franklin. Apparently, Franklin was quite the lover of liquid libations–beer in particular–and much of the tour offers great factual tidbits in the event you find yourself wracking your brain during final Jeopardy! (or the local pub favorite Quizzo). Did you know Ben Franklin invented the Pennsylvania lottery? Neither did I.
Arriving at our first stop, the opulent Omni Hotel, our guide, bedecked in colonial haberdashery warned our eager, raucous group to “take care lest ye be buzzey” and even though he didn’t have an accent, there was something very Oliver Twist about the moment. Obviously, I wasn’t the only one who felt that way–someone in the back of the crowd chimed in with a surprisingly good affected Cockney (“‘Ello Guv-nor!”) that would have made any Dickens character proud. (Cute accent. Wrong era.) At the Omni, we sipped Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale (a local favorite) and noshed on savory pastries and chicken skewers as our guide regaled our group with stories of yesteryear. Then, it was off to Old City’s National Mechanics.
Tucked away in a former colonial bank, National serves up modern-day marvels (bacon-flavored vodka anyone?) and a Strongbow hard cider that would’ve blown George Washington’s powdered wig off. It’s the kind of rowdy, dark pub that inspires its patrons to dissolve into fits of spontaneous pub songs or offer long-winded, lager-fueled toasts–the latter being exactly what happened when our tour guide urged us to “charge” (raise) our glasses and offer a toast to our nation’s enemies (in colonial times, it was only the British but today, take your pick). Just what did we wish for our enemies? The usual–“porcupine saddles”, “hard-trotting horses”, and an “eternal journey”. And with that, our journey continued to Triumph Brewing Company.