Dock Street Brewing Company

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Dock Street Brewing Company
Dock Street Brewery West Philadelphia, PA.jpg
Dock Street Brewery in West Philadelphia, PA
LocationPhiladelphia, PA, United States
Key peopleRosemarie Certo, Marilyn Candeloro, Mark Russell, Renata Certo-Ware, Sasha Certo-Ware, Jeffrey Ware
Annual production volume2,000 US beer barrels (2,300 hL) in 2016[1]
Active beers
Name Type
Rye IPA American Style IPA
Bohemian Pilsner Pilsner

Dock Street Brewing Company is a brewery in the Cedar Park neighborhood of Philadelphia, USA. It claims to be the first craft brewing company based in the Philadelphia area following Prohibition[2] and one of the first in the country. The name Dock Street was chosen in honor of the seaport district of the same name in Philadelphia which was the largest producer of beer in the then-newly formed country in the late 1700s.


Dock Street was created in 1985 as a bottled beer operation based in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. It was founded by photographer Rosemarie Certo and her husband Jeffrey Ware, a Philadelphia restaurateur.[3]

In 1989, the pair opened a brewpub in the Logan Square neighborhood of Center City, Philadelphia's central business district.[4] By 1996, the company was producing more than 25,000 barrels of beer and distributing to 24 states, making it the 26th largest microbrewery in the U.S.

Certo and Ware sold the company in 1998 to Poor Henry's Brewery & Restaurant,[5] operated by a descendant of the family behind the Henry F. Ortlieb Brewing Company, also of Philadelphia.[5] In 2000, Poor Henry's ceased operations.[6]

Certo repurchased the brand and bottling operation in 2002.[7] In 2007, the brewery reopened as a pizza-centric brewpub in the former Firehouse Farmers Market in the Cedar Park neighborhood in West Philadelphia. The facility features a 10-barrel brewing system, four fermenters and six lagering tanks,[8] and produces about 1,000 barrels per year, with capacity for 1,200.[1]

In January 2017, Mark Russell assumed the position of Head Brewer.

In April 2017, Dock Street Brewing Company expanded with Dock Street Cannery + Lounge, a mixed-use space with a canning line, two fermenters, and a tasting bar with craft cocktails. With the expansion and the addition of the new fermentation tanks, Dock Street's capacity increased by 225%.

Awards and honors[edit]

Great American Beer Festival

Mark Russell Dock Street Brewer and GABF medal

Bronze Medal for Man Full of Trouble Ale (Brown Porter)
Silver Medal for La Biere des Amis (Saison)
Bronze Medal for ABT 12 (Belgian-style Abbey Ale)
Silver Medal for Cream Ale
Bronze Medal for Amber Beer

World Beer Cup

Bronze Medal for Prisoner of Hell (Belgian Strong Pale Ale)

The company has also been awarded multiple International Gold Medals for its Amber Beer and Royal Bohemian Pilsner.[2][9] Dock Street's Rye IPA is currently listed on Beer Advocate's list of Top Rated Rye Beers in the World at #15.[10]

Several of Dock Street's beers were included in beer critic Michael Jackson (writer)'s books, including the 1988 book New World Guide to Beer and the 1998 book Ultimate Beer. The original brewpub was also mentioned in Michael Jackson's Beer Companion in 1993. Dock Street Bohemian Pilsner was the only Pennsylvania beer included in Jackson's 1988 book New World Guide To Beer, and was among just a handful of Pennsylvania lagers in the Pilsner category a decade later in Jackson's Ultimate Beer, published in 1998. Dock Street's Illuminator Doppelbock and Dock Street Milk Stout were reviewed in his 2000 book Great Beer Guide.

Dock Street Brewery and Restaurant was named one Philly's Best Pizza Places in 2011 by Philadelphia (magazine) as voted for 'The Best Toppings.' [11]

In 2015, Dock Street was prominently featured as part of the exhibit "Hucksters: The Tumult of Dock Street"[12] at Philadelphia's Independence Seaport Museum in the museum’s Community Gallery exhibit space. The exhibit was curated by documentarian and author Erich Weiss.


Dock Street currently offers two year-round beers, two bottled beers, several recurring seasonal beers and many one-off varieties.

Year-round beers
  • Rye IPA
  • Bohemian Pilsner
Seasonal and occasional beers
Dock Street Summer in Berlin
  • Abbey Single
  • Abbey Double
  • ABT 8 (Belgian-style Abbey Dubbel)
  • ABT 10 (Belgian-style Abbey Tripel)
  • ABT 12 (Belgian-style Abbey Quadrupel)
  • Amarillo IPA
  • Ambitchous Blonde (Blonde Ale)
  • Aurora Pale Ale
  • Baltic Porter
  • Baltic Maple Porter
  • Barrel-Aged Barley Wine (Barleywine)
  • Belgian Black IPA
  • Born Again Tripel
  • Bubbly Wit
  • Chamomileon
  • Chupar un Limon
  • Cowboy Saison
  • Cream Ale
  • Cuckoo's Nest Red
  • Dark Hoppy Jawn
  • Devil's Double IPA
  • Dock Street Beer Ain't Nothin' To Funk With
  • Docktoberfest
  • Dude de Garde (Biere de Garde)
  • Gail's Ale (Belgian-style Ale)
  • Golden IPA
  • Helles
  • Hop Angel (Schwarzbier/American IPA)
  • Illuminator (Doppelbock)
  • Jip the Blood
  • Justin's Moustache (Helles)
  • Kolsch
  • Man Full Of Trouble Porter
  • No Exit Double IPA
  • OMG Pale Ale
  • Pimp My Rye
  • Prince Myshkin Russian Imperial Stout
  • Prisoner of Hell (Belgian-style Strong Ale)
  • Royal Bohemian Pilsner
  • Saison Du Potts (Saison)
  • Sexual Chocolate (Imperial Stout
  • Sexy Beast (Chocolate Stout)
  • Sudan Grass (gluten-free ale made from sorghum)
  • Summer in Berlin
  • Teuton Porter
  • The Great Pumpkin
  • Trappist IPA
  • Walker
  • West of Center (American Pale Ale)
  • Winter Warmer
Bottled beers
  • Rye IPA
  • Bohemian Pilsner

Experimental Beers[edit]

In 2014, Dock Street Brewery released Dock Street Walker, a beer brewed with roasted goat brains in honor of the AMC television show The Walking Dead, a favorite of then-Head Brewer Justin Low and current Assistant Brewer Sasha Certo-Ware.

In 2015, then-Head Brewer Vince Desrosiers, along with Assistant Brewers Sasha Certo-Ware and Mark Russell, devised Dock Street Beer Ain't Nothin' To Funk With in homage to the hip-hop group Wu Tang Clan. The barrel was fitted with a custom speaker set, build by Certo-Ware, that played the music of Wu Tang Clan on repeat 24/7 for six months. The finished product was served, alongside a control, labeled simply "The Control," to determine whether the music affected the flavor of the beer by agitating the yeast. Bottles of D.S.B.A.N.T.F.W. sold out in under an hour at the brewery and online sales crashed the website. The release party for the beer was attended by Wu Tang Clan member Inspectah Deck.

Inspektah Deck at Dock Street Brewery for the release of Dock Street Beer Ain't Nothing to Funk With


Dock Street has been a longtime partner and sponsor of the Philadelphia Film Festival.

In January 2012, the company partnered with the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia, its former neighbor, to jointly brew four limited-quantity, seasonal beers for sale in the hotel's Swann Lounge: The Truffled Old Ale, Caliente Golden Ale, Cherry Verbena Saison and Spanish Fly.[13][14][15][16] In April 2013, the companies renewed their partnership for a second year; O.P. Yum and Crackle and Squeeze are the first two varieties.[17]

In 2014, former brewer Justin Low traveled to Belgium to brew with Anne-Catherine Dilewyns of Brouwerij Dilewyns. The beer they co-brewed, an 8.5% ABV Belgian Ale named the Philly Tripel, was the official brew of Philly Beer Week.[18]

In 2015, Dock Street brewed a batch of Red Owl Ale for the Hotel Monaco, a Philadelphia hotel under the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants umbrella.

Also in the same year, Dock Street collaborated on the Little Chicken Pale Ale with Philadelphia-based band Flightschool.[19]

Dock Street began a collaborative beer with Chill Moody, nicethings IPA, in 2016 and releases the beer in cans and on draft 1-3 times a year. The beer sells out quickly from the brewpub, with fans of Dock Street and Chill Moody coming to buy cases at a time, and limited amounts are allocated to select bars and restaurants in Philadelphia as well.

West Philadelphia hip-hop artist Chill Moody next to a batch of Dock Street nicethings IPA, a collaboration between the brewery and Chill Moody.

Dock Street partnered with Di Bruno Brothers on a Truffled Honey Saison in 2016.[20]

Partnership Beers
  • Satellite Espresso Stout (Stout with espresso beans, Satellite Cafe in Cedar Park, Philadelphia)
  • Johnny Berliner (developed in conjunction with Johnny Brenda's in Fishtown, Philadelphia)
  • La Biere des Amis (Saison; developed in conjunction with Brasserie Thiriez, of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France)
  • The Truffled Old Ale (English Bitter with winter truffles; Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia)
  • Caliente Golden Ale (Belgian Strong Ale with blue agave nectar and chiles; Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia)
  • Cherry Verbena Saison (Saison with lemon verbena and cherry puree; Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia)
  • Spanglish Fly (Biere de Garde with wormwood, yarrow and ginger; Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia)
  • O.P. Yum (Brewed with wheat, oats and pomegranate; Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia)
  • Crackle and Squeeze (Saison with Meyer lemons and cracked pink and black pepper; Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia)
  • Red Owl Ale (Red Ale; Hotel Monaco)
  • Philly Tripel (Belgian Ale; Brouwerij Dilewyns)
  • Little Chicken Pale Ale (Pale Ale; Flightschool)
  • Truffle Honey Saison (Saison with truffled honey; Di Bruno Brothers)

Programs and Events[edit]

Dock Street Philly Beer Week Music Fest is held annually on the last Sunday of Philly Beer Week. The concert is usually outdoors, free to the public and highlights local Philadelphia musicians and artists.

Dock Street Philly Beer Week Run is held annually on the last Sunday of Philly Beer Week and coincides with the Dock Street Philly Beer Week Music Fest.

In December 2015, the company began the monthly initiative "Rare Beer for School Supplies" [21] as a philanthropic enterprise to collect school supplies and books for West Philadelphia Public schools. Dock Street gives away a glass of a special and rare beer, announced in advance each month, to any adult that brings a donation for the initiative.

Benjamin Franklin Bridge Lighting[edit]

In 1987, Dock Street Brewery was a sponsor for the installation of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge Lighting system [22] which was designed by the firm Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown (Robert Venturi).[23] One of the 592 bulbs remains lit in the name of Dock Street Brewery.

Television and Film[edit]

Bottles of Dock Street's Amber Ale were featured in several scenes in the movie Philadelphia. The Amber Ale was also shown on the U.S. television series Thirtysomething. The character Mac in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia wears a shirt advertising the brewery in a season 3 and season 12 episode.

On March 28, 2014 the cast of E! News drank and reviewed a bottle of Dock Street Walker on air.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Falco, Mat (June–July 2009). "A Project Of Passion". Philly Beer Scene. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  2. ^ a b "About the Brewery". Dock Street Brewing Company. Archived from the original on 2013-06-26. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  3. ^ Klein, Michael (September 19, 1994). "He's Gotten Ahead By Joining Food With Microbrewed Beer Jeffrey Ware Hates The Term "Brew Pub," But He's A Pioneer Of The Concept". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  4. ^ Greger, Mike (May 17, 2012). "Rosemarie Certo: Meet Philly's brew queen". Metro Philadelphia. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  5. ^ a b Russell, Don (January 30, 1998). "Poor Henry's To Pour Dock Street Into Brewery". Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  6. ^ Wagner, Rich (Winter 2005). "Ortlieb's, Brewers by Birth, Since 1869". The Keg. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  7. ^ "Dock Street Brewery". PhilaFoodie. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  8. ^ Noone, Kyle (December 5, 2012). "Thinking Local: Dock Street Brewery". The Temple News. Archived from the original on December 13, 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Alström,, Inc. - Jason and Todd. "Top Rated Beers: Rye Beer". BeerAdvocate. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-02-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Dock Street Brewing Co and Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia Announce 'A Beer Four All Seasons'". Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  14. ^ "Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia and Dock Street Brewing Co. Unveil the Spring "A Beer Four All Seasons". Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  15. ^ "Dock Street Brewing Co. and Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia: A Beer Four All Seasons Summer Release". Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  16. ^ "Dock Street Brewing Co. and Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia: A Beer Four All Seasons Fall Release". Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  17. ^ "Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia and Dock Street Brewing Co. Announce Year Two of a Beer Four All Seasons Collaboration". Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-02-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^
  24. ^ Renata Certo-Ware (2015-11-10), Cast Of E! News Drinks Dock Street Walker Beer With Goat Brains On Air, retrieved 2016-06-23

External links[edit]