A Toast to Brewerytown: A Hidden Gem for Philly House Hunters
The fluctuation of Philadelphia’s real estate market has been on the rise most recently in Center City’s surrounding neighborhoods. With a steady increase in property values and an incline in infrastructure, buyers are becoming even more enticed to call Brewerytown their next home. Let’s take a look at the history behind this neighborhood and the direction it’s headed in the very near future that is starting to make Philly house hunters rethink buying in other parts of the city.
A Brief History
Dating back to the late 19th century, Brewerytown was given its name after breweries began lining the Schuylkill River taking advantage of its conveniently located resources. This historic North Philadelphia neighborhood unofficially sits north of Parrish Street, south of Cecil B. Moore Avenue and east of the Schuylkill River stretching to 25th Street. Brewers were most attracted to the area ponded by the dam at the Fairmount Water Works for the ice they could harvest from the river. This allowed Brewers to “ripen” lager beer for six to eight months. Close proximity to the river and nearby farmland were the perfect ingredients for success allowing these establishments to flourish. At its peak, approximately 700 breweries were responsible for over half of the city’s beer production, all produced directly out of Brewerytown. As demands were on the rise, the neighborhood began to thrive. Once the effects of 1920’s prohibition settled in, breweries began to close and ultimately vanished by the late 20th century.
If you drive through the neighborhood today, you can see some of the German-inspired breweries and factories built by architect Otto Wolf, who oversaw the construction of over 60 buildings in the area including the Bergdoll Brewing complex, and F.A. Poth Brewing. Bergdoll Brewing operated for more than 20 years. It has since been turned into a condominium complex offering its tenants a rich backstory to their home – And it’s this detailed architecture that has attracted many contractors to renovate and revitalize the neighborhood. Today, Crime and Punishment Brewing Company is the only operating brewery. Since its opening in 2015, it has quickly become a local favorite that gets packed with nearby neighbors every weekend and most week nights.
With the demise of the brewing industry came the fast decline of property values due to economic depression, white flight, and a number of other factors. More recently, as other neighborhoods on the outskirts of Center City Philadelphia began to develop, real estate investors are continuously looking for the next neighborhood to rebuild and return to its original roots…introducing Brewerytown.
Fishtown has become the face of gentrification in recent years, but more and more sections of Philadelphia are continuing to be on the rise with both a recent influx of young professionals and real estate investors working to rebuild neighborhood infrastructure. With property values quickly rising in Fishtown, other neighborhoods have been following the same path. Brewerytown has been on the climb being that it provides a short commute for Center City professionals without the Center City price. As popular businesses progressively begin to line Girard Avenue, the surrounding residents are increasingly given more options for local restaurants and shops adding convenience and attraction to this quickly changing area. The neighborhood also boasts beautiful views of the Philadelphia skyline.