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Jay Z Budweiser Made in America Festival: Where to Find Good Beer

Don't settle for the bland macrobrew
Jay Z Budweiser Made in America Festival: Where to Find Good Beer

On the Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend (August 30 and 31), music fans from around the world will descend on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia for the third Budweiser Made in America music festival. Kanye West is headlining with The National on day one, and they will be joined byStave Aoki, J. Cole, Chromeo, City and Colour, R3hab and many others. On day two, Kings of Leon front, along with Tiesto, Pharrell Williams, Girl Talk, Spoon, Grimes, Awolnation and plenty more. Tickets are still available for one ($89.50 for Saturday or Sunday) or both days ($150).

The music will be played outside at Eakins Oval, with a backdrop of the impressive Greek revival facade of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the flag- and tree-lined boulevard of the Parkway. The event offers something for everyone, except for one critical thing: great beer. As headliner, you can be sure Bud is what the festival organizers will be serving, but it would be nearly criminal to come to Philadelphia — America’s Best Beer Drinking City — without sipping on some real beer.

You won’t be able to bring outside drinks into the concert area, but we suggest that you take a few minutes before or after to sample some of the amazing selection of local, American and even foreign craft brew available in almost every single Philadelphia bar. Seriously, the city gets more varieties of beer distributed than anywhere else on the East Coast, and perhaps anywhere in the world. Here are places to find good beer in the Art Museum, Fairmount, Franklintown and Logan Circle neighborhoods, right next to the concert. Drink up, and enjoy the show.

The Belgian Cafe:
A dozen choices on draft are backed up by over 200 bottles at this Green Street tavern, best enjoyed with a bowl of mussels or side of frites with the addictive house dipping sauce. (601 N. 21st St.; 215-235-3500)

Bishop’s Collar: Twelve taps pour local and other crafts, along with another 14 or so in bottles and cans at this unassuming Fairmount pub. (349 Fairmount Ave.; 215-765-1616)

Bridgid’s: One of the first bars in the city to specialize in Belgian beers (there are more than 25 on the hundred-long bottle list), this tavern recently underwent a total renovation. (726 N. 24th St.; 215-232-3232)

Con Murphy’s: Though the drafts don’t pour anything more exciting than the expected Guinness, this Irish pub fills out the bottle list with a sprinkling of local craft faves, and you can’t beat its proximity to the concert site. (1700 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.; 267-687-1128)

Fare: Known for its organic, healthy food, this Fairmount dining room does a good job on the bottle front even though there are no taps, offering more than two dozen crafts from around the world. (2028 Fairmount Ave.; 267-639-3063)

Jack’s Firehouse: Sit inside the converted 19th century firehouse or out in the spacious patio and sip on half a dozen all-local drafts or another dozen in bottles. (2130 Fairmount Ave.; 215-232-9000)

Kite & Key: Another super-close option, this gastropub fills all 17 taps with U.S. craft brew, and abets the selection with several dozen more in bottles and cans. (1836 Callowhill St.; 215-568-1818)

La Calaca Feliz: Incredible contemporary Mexican food awaits, and if you don’t get swayed off the brew-track by one of the many margaritas on offer, pick from six well-chosen bottles. (2321 Fairmount Ave.; 215-787-9930)

London Grill: For over 25 years this neighborhood fave has served food and brews, including bottles and cans of a dozen crafts from overseas and another 20 from in the States. Don’t miss the selection of beer cocktails — yes, they exist, and they’re delicious. (2301 Fairmount Ave.; 215-978-4545)

McCrossen's Tavern: You'll find better-than-usual grub at this pub just a few blocks north of the Parkway. You'll also find an awesome lineup of all-American beers on draft. (529 N. 20th St.; 215-854-0923)

Rembrandt’s: This neighborhooder keeps its taps well-stocked with an interested assortment of ales, and also offers eight craft cans and around 20 more in bottles. (741 N. 23rd St.; 215-763-2228)

St. Stephen’s Green: Ample outdoor seating expands this corner pub in close proximity to the music fest, where you can find a dozen choices on draft and two dozen more in bottles. (1701 Green St.; 215-769-5000)

Urban Saloon: This local saloon is kicking things off a little early when the Budweiser Clydesdales roll into town on Thursday. You won't go thirsty either since this Fairmount spot has 12 taps and a decent bottle and wine list. (2120 Fairmount Ave.; 215-232-5359) 

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