Yards Brewing Company

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Yards Brewing Company
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Opened 1994
Key people Jon Bovit & Tom Kehoe
Annual production volume 32,000 US beer barrels (38,000 hL) in 2013
Owned by Tom Kehoe

Yards Brewing Company is a brewery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, specializing in ales, particularly those in the English tradition. The brewery was established founded in 1994 by friends Tom Kehoe and Jon Bovit, who began producing their own homebrews in 1988. Within the first few months, "the Yards Guys" were producing one six-keg batch at a time out of their 3.5-barrel brewhouse, and supplying ESA, Entire Porter, and several other cask-conditioned ales to bars. In 1999, Bovit left Yards for financial reasons. The same year he was replaced by new partners Bill and Nancy Barton.[citation needed]


The first public pouring of Yards ESA was at the initial Philadelphia Craft Beer Festival on May 18, 1995. Many people refer to this day as "Ground Zero" for today’s Philadelphia beer scene.

Dawson Street Pub bought the first keg of beer from Yards.[citation needed]

Yards eventually outgrew its first garage-sized brewery in the Manayunk section of Northwest Philadelphia. In 1996 Yards moved to the neighboring section of Roxborough. This larger facility allowed Yards to bottle its beer for the first time. Yards also expanded production of its Extra Special Ale and introduced new beers including Philadelphia Pale Ale. The New York Times rated it as one of the best Pale Ales in the country in 2003. The Yards line up expanded to include India Pale Ale, Saison, Brawler, and other limited release specialties.[citation needed]

In 2001, Yards Brewing Company moved into the old Weisbrod & Hess Brewery in the Kensington section of Northeast Philadelphia. Bill Barton and his wife Nancy located the new brewery site. Vacant since 1939, Yards improved the facility and steadily increased production.

In 2003, Yards Brewing Company collaborated with the City Tavern—a favorite bar of the nation's founding fathers—to create the Ales of the Revolution. Yards drew inspiration for this series from recipes belonging to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, to recreate a line of historic beer.[1]

In July 2007, Kehoe and the Bartons announced that they were dissolving their partnership, effective August 2007. Kehoe retained the Yards brand and recipes. He moved to 901 North Delaware Avenue in the Northern Liberties section of North Philadelphia. This location once again increased their production capabilities and expanded their product line.[citation needed]

In 2009 Yards was the recipient of the Penn Future Green Power Purchaser Small Business Award for becoming the first 100% wind powered brewery in Pennsylvania and for continued commitment to sustainability.[2]

In 2010 Yards opened its Tasting Room, a 100-person capacity pub room with a 12-tap system. The tasting room features a century-old billiards table.

Philadelphia Pale Ale won Philadelphia Magazine's Best Of Philly award for "Best Local Beer" in 2012, and ESA took home the bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival that same year.

Yards ales are currently distributed throughout the Mid-Atlantic region with 80% of its nearly 40,000 barrel production being distributed in the Philadelphia tri-state area (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware). As of May 2015 Yards is the largest brewery operating in the city of Philadelphia.


Signature Ales
  • Philadelphia Pale Ale
  • Extra Special Ale - ESA
  • IPA - India Pale Ale
  • Brawler
  • Love Stout
Ales of the Revolution
  • General Washington's Tavern Porter
  • Thomas Jefferson's Tavern Ale
  • Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce
  • Alexander Hamilton's Federalist Ale
Limited Release Series
  • Saison
  • Cape of Good Hope (double IPA)
  • Old Bartholemew Barley Wine
  • PYNK
750 Series (750mL bottles)
  • Trubbel de Yards
  • Chocolate Love Stout
  • Grand Cru
  • Cicada
Small Batch and Specialty
  • Bourbon General Washington
  • Bourbon Love Stout
  • Bourbon Old Bart
  • Bourbon Thomas Jefferson
  • Root Beer


Year Presenter Award Winner
1998 Philadelphia Magazine Best Local Beer Yards
2000 Philadelphia City Paper Best Use Of Oysters Love Stout
2001 Philadelphia City Paper Best Guys In A Tough Town Brewery Staff
2009 Penn Future Green Power Purchaser Small Business Award Yards
2010 World Beer Cup Bronze Medal in "Extra Special Bitter" ESA
2012 Philly Beer Scene Best IPA/Pale Ale Philadelphia Pale Ale
2012 Philly Beer Scene Best Session Beer Brawler
2013 Philly Beer Scene Best Barrel-Aged Beer Bourbon Love Stout
2014 Philly Beer Scene Dark Beer of the Year Love Stout
2014 Philly Beer Scene Humanitarian of the Year Tom Kehoe
2015 Good Food Awards Beer Extra Special Ale[3]


  • Smoke ‘Em if Yous Got ‘Em: A smoked beer and barbecue event on the brewery grounds takes place later in the year. The festival highlights smoked or rauch beers and features many other breweries as well as homebrewers.
  • Real Ale: A session focused around cask conditioned beers is offered once a year on site at the brewery. This event features a wide array of firkins of varied ales from a large selection of breweries in addition to the traditional Yards lineup and one-offs. Food and entertainment are offered.


  1. ^ Galster, John (June 2009). "Ales of the Revolution". BeerScene.com. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Session Daze". Pennfuture. August 28, 2009. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Award Winners 2015". Good Food Awards. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°57′46″N 75°08′07″W / 39.9628°N 75.1354°W / 39.9628; -75.1354