Start with a section of an old city called Brewerytown--a nickname bestowed in the 19th century when this section on Philadelphia's north side had over ten breweries; all gone for many decades now. Bring in a couple guys with some new ideas in brewing and some background in eastern Europe, Poland and Russia particularly.
Crime & Punishment Brewing, working out of this storefront on the Girard Ave. trolley line with a seven-barrel brewhouse and an adventurous menu. A couple of brewers, Mike Wambolt and Mike Paul, started this business last July along with Denny Grivjack, who runs the wee kitchen and turns out pierogi and pelmeni dumplings, kielbasa sandwiches, and a variety of pickles of Polish and other styles. The dumplings come with sour cream and fresh dill and are the real deal.
But food is there to enhance the taste of beer, as we true believers all know. The two Mikes appear to have a rotation, so they come back to
Disturbing the Beets is a kettle-soured ale with a hundred pounds of beets in the boil, fermented with brett yeast and coming out with a distinct beety taste, but that's a note over a complex beer (5.7% abv).
The pub has a few tables and a bar area, with local artists on display in the front and some Russian and Polish posters on the walls back toward the brewing area. As the Brewerytown neighborhood gentrifies, becomes more trendy, it seems a safe bet that an unusual, adventurous brewery like this will become a big hit in years to come.