As part of visiting e. coast family members, I scored a few good brewpub visits. The first was down along the Delaware River shipyards in Philadelphia, at Yards Brewing Co. This establishment likes to remind its patrons that much of Philly's history is well over 200 years old now.
Yards is a fairly sizable operation, producing 16,000 bbls in 2010 and looking at maybe doubling that output with larger new fermenters.
Their business model is to concentrate on four core ales (pale, IPA, Brawler (a session type ale) and an ESB) and three Ales of the Revolution. These last are said to be based on recipes actually used by George Washington, Ben Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. I had to try a schooner of Jefferson's (he was the original T.J., after all) Tavern Ale, a strong (8%) Golden Ale with some honey in the boil. Washington's recipe produces a porter, and Franklin's is for a spruce ale, using spruce essence and molasses as barley and hops were not readily available when Ben concocted this version.
Yards is cautious enough to say that Franklin may or may not have said "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy," but adds that if he didn't say it, he should have.
Here, my T.J. captures me in note taking mode with the new fermenting tanks gleaming in the background. Yards' bartender also offered a sample of the current seasonal, a nice malty Saison.