Teddy Sourias and Craft Concepts Group (BRU Craft & Wurst, U-Bahn, Cinder, Tradesman's, Tinsel) announce the return of Uptown Beer Garden to 1735 JFK Blvd. Starting this Thursday, May 16, 2019, from 5:00pm to Midnight, kegs will start to pour for Uptown's fifth summer and fall season with a weekend-long grand opening party in the heart of Center City. Changes for the 9,000 square foot outdoor pop-up garden will include six exclusive beers specially for Uptown guests, the return of exclusive brew Uptown IPA, a new and expanded food menu, expanded bar service, brand new tents, more furniture and design elements, and a new charity partner in Sunday Love Project.
HOURS AND DAYS AND EXTENDED SEASON -
Uptown Beer Garden returns to Philadelphia's financial district and Logan Circle neighborhood six days a week. Uptown opens from 5:00pm to Midnight on Thursday, May 16, 2019. This weekend for the opening weekend, Uptown will be open Friday 4:00pm to Midnight and Saturday 2:00pm to Midnight.
After this weekend, regular operating hours are as follows:
Monday and Tuesday, 5:00pm to 10:00pm, Bar and Kitchen
Wednesday through Saturday, Noon to 2:00pm, Kitchen
Wednesday through Saturday, 2:00pm to Midnight, Bar and Kitchen
Sundays, Special Events and Private Bookings Only
SIX EXCLUSIVE BEERS - INCLUDING FIVE NEW FOR FIVE YEARS!
Craft Concepts Group wanted to continue to evolve the quality of products at beer gardens and take craft drafts up a notch by again creating exclusive beers only available at Uptown for the 2019 season.
Director of Operations and Beer Director Alex Bokulich collaborated and brewed each of the customer beers with some of his favorite brewers. Quotes and descriptions from Bokulich are below. He worked on this during the entire winter and early spring to be ready for this ambitious line-up for the May opening.
"In previous years, I worked with some of my favorite local breweries to get "special" beers that we collaborated on, and I went out to assist in brewing," said Bokulich. "Originally the idea was to create something available nowhere else, to set us apart from everybody else. While we started with a few selections as a test, last year we evolved to all six draft lines pouring exclusives. We will repeat that again this year and introduce five new products. This is a great way to challenge our team even more and work on creating a fully custom list for the summer - and this is now part of our tradition every year. The exclusivity is nice, but at this point, the greater intent is to custom make six products that perfectly suit the drinking trends and proclivities of the Uptown customer, and for the gestalt to be a unified list that fits together seamlessly, highlighting some of our favorite local breweries, and covering all flavor and body profiles to fit all tastes."
The six exclusive offerings are all designed to work well both on cooler spring/fall evenings and nights, as well as the oppressive summer heat - but still there is some variance in strength and body. They are listed here from lightest to heaviest.
* Lime City Lager - Love City (Spring Garden/Eraserhood) - American Lager 4.0%
Easy drinking, light golden lager brewed with a touch of lime. This beer is designed to reach macro and Mexican lager drinkers, while still supporting a local independent company, and of course using craft quality and flavor.
* Garden Weisse - Mainstay Independent (Delaware Ave/Fishtown) - Hefeweize 5.3%
Uber-traditional german wheat beer, harnessing what has historically been one of our best selling styles year-round at BRU, and of course every summer outdoors at Uptown and our other pop ups/special event.
* Bay 6 Pils - Sly Fox (Pottstown) - Keller Pil 5.1%
Clean, midly hoppy, unfiltered (or ‘Keller’) Pilsner. Brewed with all German malt, German Saaz hops for grassy/herbal notes, and finished with Saphir for floral aroma and flavor nuances.
* I Love You All… But You’re Terrible - Evil Genius (Front St//Fishtown) - Mango Blond 5.6%
Named after one of our favorite lines from Bob’s Burgers, this beer is a fruit bomb, specially designed to please the summer crowds.
* Party Boy - 2SP (Delco) - Pale Ale 5.5%
Crushable hoppy pale, with mild hazy/juicy qualities, big fruity aroma, and easy back end bitterness. Every year we brew a new beer with 2SP, and it is highly likely that this one will become the best seller yet.
* Uptown IPA - 'Dank' IPA, 6.5%. Pizza Boy Brewing, Enola
Back once again, this has been one of Uptown's top selling drafts each of the past three seasons. This hazy IPA is not quite as big as some of the monstrous hoppy ales popular on the market today, but the aroma and hop presence is certainly there. Bokulich added, "We used Pilsner and Pale malt to get a medium body, without too much weight for the summer - then hopped generously in the boil as well as whirlpool with Simcoe, Amarillo, Citra, and Falconer's Flight. The result is a slightly turbid ale, with medium body, huge hop aroma, and a piney/resiny finish."
FOOD AND DRINK MENU FOR OPENING -
Uptown Beer Garden will see a new face behind the massive outdoor grill with Executive Chef Nathan Kilbride taking the lead for 2019 from BRU Craft and Wurst and Craft Concepts Group. Building on the success of last year's food program, chef will bring you new elevated backyard grill fare and pub favorites. The new menu for 2019 includes some returning customer favorites and new items. The focus this year is to tighten up the menu and focus on what customers want - while we challenge our team and maintain high quality. Plus, add some menu items that customers have been asking for, specifically some seafood options and tacos.
Bokulich said, "Our goal has always been finger foods and approachable sandwiches. In years past we may have tried to be “too fancy” with some of our sandwiches in particular, but the hope is that this year by adding new kitchen equipment we can be more adventurous with our appetizers (and daily/weekly specials), and then settle into a groove with sandwiches that are easy and approachable - particularly when it’s 90 degrees out."
UPTOWN MENU 2019
Bavarian Pretzel $5
add wiz $1
Boardwalk Fries $5
add wiz $1
Grilled Peach Guac $9
tortilla chips, queso fresco
Chicken Satay $8
Coconut Shrimp $9
thai chili sauce
Fried Oysters $8
pico de gallo, black bean, pickled jalapeno, crema
add pork or chicken $2
served w/ pickles & UTZ chips
Pork Belly Banh Mi $9
pickled carrot & daikon, jalapeno, cilantro, dijon
Avocado BLT $8
Nodine’s bacon, heirloom tomato, bibb lettuce, garlic aioli
Grilled Chicken $9
artichoke bruschetta, bibb lettuce, lemon aioli
Housemade Sausage $8
Uptown Burger $9
Lancaster smoked cheddar, guacamole, heirloom tomato, bibb, garlic aioli
Tacos - $9
queso fresco, pico de gallo, chipotle crema
smoked cheddar, pickles, crispy onions
bacon, ranch, scallion
DRAFTS - $7
All drafts are all custom collaboration, brewed in partnership with our local (and not so local) friends! These are available at our location, and the associated brewery taprooms - but no where else in Philadelphia. Uptown will carry drafts from other breweries during special events and Philly BeerWeek. The new line-up for 2019 includes:
Lime City Lager American Lager, Love City 4.0% Lime Zest, Cascade Hops
Bay 6 Pils Keller Pilsner, Sly Fox 5.1% German Saaz & Saphir Hops
I Love You All... But You’re Terrible Mango Blonde Ale, Evil Genius 5.6% Mango, Lime Juice
Garden Weisse Hefeweizen, Mainstay Ind. 5.3% German Hops & Malt
Party Boy Pale Ale Pale Ale, 2SP Brewing 5.5% Mosaic & Denali Hops
Uptown IPA India Pale Ale, Pizza Boy 6.5% Simcoe & Amarillo Hops
CANS - $7
Jack’s ‘Pear Cider’
Firestone Walker ‘Rosalie’
Henry’s ‘Hard Seltzer’
Dogfish Head ‘SeaQuench’
Founders ‘Solid Gold’
Captain Lawrence ‘Orbital Tilt’
Look for a selection of cocktails, frozen cocktails, wine cocktails and margaritas - final menu coming by the week - stay tuned.
New signature cocktail - others coming soon:
Coco Mondo - Single Prop Rum (which is made with coconut water), Red Bull Coconut Berry, Pineapple, Lime
LAYOUT AND VENUES REMINDERS -
Uptown Beer Garden is nestled among the trees of the courtyard outside the high rise. The 9,000 square foot urban oasis features slab communal tables, outdoor lighting, outdoor bars, rustic decor, craft cans and drafts, cocktails and sangria, a giant outdoor grill, and a menu of backyard BBQ and elevated pub favorites. Uptown will also offer access to adjacent private event space for larger (or more exclusive) parties in the inner atrium of the BNY Mellon Wealth Building. Based on the popularity of Uptown in 2017, look for additional events to be announced this year, and private events will have the opportunity to work with an expanded private event staff for private party planning in the current space and adjacent spaces.
Uptown will return with the expanded 40, 25 and 20 foot bars from last year, as well as the full, 8-tap 20 feet long bar that was installed in 2017. Bars will feature a selection of spirits, select wines, eight craft drafts and craft cans. Signature cocktails will include Sangria, Dark n' Stormy/Moscow Mule, frozen Margaritas, and seasonal specialty cocktails. Look for more cocktail selections than any other year at Uptown.
Uptown will add even more lounge furniture and seating to supplement the new furniture added for 2017. Once again, many of the slate benches in the courtyard have been removed and replaced with more picnic style seating than the prior two years.
While some layout changes and decor are in place, look for new elements to officially debut after Memorial Day in early June for Philly Beer Week.
SPECIAL EVENTS NEW AND RETURNING FOR THE SEASON -
Uptown will again host special events for Philly Beer Week, Uptown Uptoberfest Oktoberfest and other special events during the season including tap take-overs, barbecues and more. Stay tuned for the season line-up.
HAPPY HOUR AND SIPS SPECIALS -
Happy hour will run six days a week, on Monday and Tuesday, from 5:00pm to 6:00pm and Wednesday to Friday, 2:00pm to 6:00pm. Specials include:
All drafts $4
Sweet Tea & Blackberry Sour cocktails $6
$4 Bavarian Pretzel
$5 Cheese Fries
$6 Tacos (three choices)
SIPS SPECIALS -
For Center City Sips, look for the following specials:
Wednesdays, 5:00pm tp 7:00pm
Select $4 Drafts (three lines)
$5 Rose Wine
$6 Specialty Cocktails
$4 Bavarian Pretzel
$5 Cheese Fries
$6 Tacos (three choices)
NEW CHARITY PARTNER -
Uptown Beer Garden announces the 2019 season charity partner, Sunday Love Project.
Sourias and his family - and Craft Concepts Group - have a history of feeding the homeless at the holiday time of year. Instead of just doing it when its popular and around Christmas, the company decided to expand and support feeding the homeless year-round through making Sunday Love Project this year's charity partner for Uptown Beer Garden.
"I am so fortunate and have been shown so much kindness during my work and time in the city - and I always am looking for ways to give back," said Sourias. "Being a business owner and leader in Midtown Village, I felt this was an important cause near and dear to my heart - and wanted to extend our efforts from doing it at Christmas to year-round. Philadelphia needs more people to step up and help combat our homelessness problem. This was our way to making a contribution and difference."
For more information, follow @uptwnbeergarden on Twitter, like Uptown Beer Garden on Facebook or call BRU at 215-800-1079.