Inside a historic West Philly firehouse one mile south of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School lies DOCK STREET BREWERY, opened in 2007 and initially visited January 2nd, 2012. Formerly located at Logan Circle with a bottling plant nearby, Dock Street has been transformed into a vibrant brewpub taking up the entire first floor of a marble-pillared three-story red brick building (with a second floor bicycle shop and third floor acupuncturist).
Two black awnings welcome customers to the cement-floored pub, where glass-encased brew kettles, exposed ducts, several black tables and a 10-seat bar fill out the yellow tile-walled facility. An open wood-burning fire pit cooks 20 pizza varieties and the menu also features char-grilled burgers, sandwiches, wraps and calzones.
Owned by Sicilian-bred Rosemarie Certo and head-brewed by Scott Morrison (formerly of Mc Kenzie’s and New Haven Brewery), Dock Street maintains a casual café atmosphere.
The Flyers and Rangers faced off for an outdoor hockey game on the right side TV as I dabbled with six previously untried libations this cold mid-afternoon. Easygoing lemon-soured Kolsch pitted wheat-husked astringency and wood-dried undertones against tingly honey-sugared hop spices. OMG Pale Ale placed Cascade-hopped wood dryness atop floral red and orange fruiting.
But those were merely reliable moderate-bodied preliminaries for champagne yeast-soured Bubbly Wit, a Belgian-styled double witbier with lemony banana-clove frontage, vanilla-honeyed midst, mild coffee roast, toffee hint and white-peppered chamomile-lemongrass-basil conflux.
Best selling Rye IPA was an approachable dry-bodied moderation gaining resinous earthiness above light rye breading, lemon-seeded grapefruit zest and molasses-honeyed black tea mildness. Also retaining a viscous honeyed sweetness, Old Ale (traditional English altbier) plied brown-sugared caramel malting to a mild coffee roast and crisp tobacco-peat nuances.
For dessert, I enjoyed sessionable London-styled Man Of Trouble Porter, an espresso-milked relaxant pleating oats-toasted black chocolate with black-breaded pumpernickel and ashen hop-charred mineral grains. Too bad the highly regarded Prince Myshkin’s Russian Imperial Stout was temporarily out.