Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It Pays to go Local

When we finally mustered up the energy to leave our hotel room and hit the bars, we found ourselves faced with a tough choice: visit the Applebee's near our hotel, or drive 15 miles to check out the newest great beer bar to open in Philadelphia in the past 6 months: Local 44. Hmmm...signature cocktails served in a garage sale atmosphere or 20 taps of the best craft beers served in...who cares! With a tap list like they had, I would be happy to drink the beer in the most piss-infested subway stop on the Broad Street Line. Thankfully, Local 44 has fully functioning bathrooms as well as a welcoming atmosphere, and the bartender was an added bonus.

When we lived in Philly a few years ago, our neighborhood had NO bars that had any craft beers, unless you consider Heineken craft. Plus the atmosphere at the Triangle Tavern (Cher dance hits blasting out of the jukebox) and Big Charlie's Saloon (closed-circuit TV horse race betting) just weren't our thing. Of course, now that we have moved away, there are a number of choices in our old stomping grounds, but back then we would always end up at McGillin's or Moriarty's. Moriarty's is where we became familiar with, and then friends with a regular bartender there, Nathan. He always took prompt care of us, which is important to a guy like me who starts shaking when his beer gets less than half full. So it was a pleasant surprise when we saddled up to Local 44's bar and Nathan was behind the bar there! We enjoyed some Russian River Blind Pig IPA and casked Victory Hop Wallop DIPA and caught up on things with Nathan. The crowd was friendly too, which can be a rarity in some Philly bars. Sometimes you find a place that has good beers but Patsy Cline will be blaring over the speakers and the patrons all stare morosely into their glasses. Not so at Local 44. Mark this place down as a must visit when you are in Philadelphia.

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