The John DeBella Show

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Close up of bartender pouring draft beer in glass

A craft beer explosion has happened in this country, and due to our love of these craft beers Pennsylvania is a top 5 beer state in the US. Brewing beer has lasted the test of time, but within the last half century it seems smaller breweries have cracked the code for making really good beer without being tied to one of the mega beer producers in the country. An article from went through all 50 states ranking them by best beer states.

Sadly for the 6 states that share any sort of border with the Pennsylvania state lines proximity to a highly ranked beer state doesn’t do much for you. None of those 6 crack the top 10. West Virginia – 48, New Jersey – 36, Maryland – 35, Delaware – 17, Ohio – 15, New York 14. Poor showing New Jersey.

Luckily these same states do share a border with a great beer state, and they can cross over any time they want to find a delicious brewery. Another benefit of being in close proximity they probably can find some of Pennsylvania’s craft beer in their local stores. On Vine Pair’s list, PA comes chugging in at #5 thanks to the sheer number of breweries in the state. 486 Pennsylvania breweries puts the state 2nd behind California’s 931. With that many breweries it’s going to be pretty tough to go wrong when you choosing where you’re getting beer from, but if you can’t find at least one beer you like from the first brewery you choose in PA, you’ve only got 485 more to.

Find the full list of state rankings here.

5 Pennsylvania Breweries To Try Beer From This Summer

If there is 1 thing Gen X & Millennials have done right, it’s making beer better. I say this in all seriousness. This is not to say the the back end of the baby boomers haven’t joined in and had an impact on the craft beer scene (you need to say this because they get upset easily), but let us have this one would ya! Thankfully we’ve had a beer revolution, and we have some really great craft breweries in Pennsylvania. Imagine if we were all still drinking Piels or Schaefer. Pour one out for my grand pop Dave Connelly, Schaefer was his go to for a long time.

All of the beers listed here can be found in beer stores, and now certain grocery stores since PA finally began pulling back some of the antiquated alcohol laws here.

Disclaimer: I’m not some beer connoisseur who has any clue what certain hops taste like. I just know what tastes I like, so here are 5 beers from Pennsylvania breweries you should give a try this summer.

  • Conshohocken Brewing Company - Blood Money

    Blood Money ABV 6.7%

    A seasonal offering during the spring and summer from Conshohocken Brewing Company. I’m sure you can find it in one of their 4 tasting rooms throughout the area Conshy, KOP, Bridgeport and Phoenixville but if you’re at a Phillies game before you get to the brewery you can find Blood Money at most of the carts at Citizens Bank Park that sell craft beer options. I’ve never had an issue finding it along the 100 level concourse.

  • Free Will Brewing - Cloudy with a Chance of Charcuterie

    Cloudy with a Chance of Charcuterie ABV 7%

    Freewill Brewing is based out of Perkasie, PA and their beer labels are almost as god as their beers. I’ve had a handful of their beers over the years each of which I found delicious. Including, and surprisingly, a habenero peach beer that I was gifted. Most recently when a warm February Sunday turned into a Sunday Funday for the parents while the kids played outside my neighbor brought down Cloudy with a Chance of Charcuterie. Add it to the list!

    If you’re ever in Peddler’s Village Freewill has a small tasting room that is a great place you can stop in while seeing the sights or attending whatever festival may be going on. You’ve never deserved to stop in a tasting room for a beer more than after building your kids 2 scarecrows at a scarecrow festival… without their help.

  • New Trail - Broken Heels

    Broken Heels ABV 7%

    New Trail is out of Williamsport, PA, so there is a slim chance you’re making it up to their brewery unless you’re going to the Little League World Series, or camping up that way. I discovered New Trail in my Giant Food store’s beer section. I was just perusing the selection and I’m not really sure what caught my eye, but I’m glad it did. Now New Trail has become a staple in my beer fridge and it might become one in yours too. Introduce yourself to New Trail Brewing Company with Broken Heels.

  • Neshaminy Creek - Ultracush Hazy IPA

    Ultracush Hazy IPA ABV 6%

    I’m disappointed it took me until I was 35 to try anything from Neshaminy Creek. I mean it’s been a short 20 minute drive from me since I was 21. The first time I had anything from Neshaminy Creek was at a birthday party a few weeks ago. There are probably a few beers I could have put in this spot, but we’ll go with something that is available year round from Neshaminy. Ultracush is a solid beer to dip your toe into their selection.

  • Workhorse - Queen of Prussia

    Queen of Prussia ABV 5%

    Workhorse Brewing Company is based in King Of Prussia, but I’ve always found them available in my local beer stores and supermarkets if you don’t have any plans on being in KOP. I’ve tried multiple selections from workhorse and they get a lot of thumbs up, but here I’ll mention a session beer they’ve got. Queen of Prussia beer is a good beer for your summer drinking, especially if it’s an extended afternoon like a bbq or some summer party. It’s got great flavor, but it won’t knock you on your butt after 2 or 3. If you want that, try their Clocked In Hazy Double IPA (ABV 8.8%).