|Crime & Punishment Brewing Co.
2711 W Girard Ave | Philadelphia, PA 19130
Nestled in Philadelphia’s aptly-named Brewerytown neighborhood, Crime & Punishment recently opened their doors and taps to the public. Inspired by Russian literature, the food and beer menu infuse Eastern Europe culture with Philadelphia style.
Brewerytown had been home to over 20 active breweries for decades, until many started leaving the area due to legal and economic struggles. The last remaining brewery closed its doors in 2002, leaving the area detached from its name. Thirteen years later, Crime & Punishment aim to reimagine the tradition of yesteryear.
When first entering C&P, visitors are treated to an open design brewpub atmosphere. Behind the bar is also the kitchen, serving up traditional Russian cuisine. Past the seating area is a gated area featuring the brewing equipment, making it seem even more public-friendly. The walls are lined with Russian propaganda posters to demonstrate the pride in the history.
The beer list runs the gamut of style and flavor, ranging from a blonde ale to IPAs, and even a Grodziskie – a beer style from Poland typically brewed with smoked wheat and usually soured.
I was only able to sample a few of the beers during my visit. I started with Rolling Stop, the blonde ale. It was the perfect way to cool off from a hot day of golfing. Rolling Stop featured an impressive hop character with a strong malt backbone that combined into a crisp and refreshing beer.
Next was Ghost Station, a Berliner Weisse brewed with raspberries. It boasts an intriguing light red/pink color, and the nose doesn’t offer much of the raspberries. Its flavor journey starts with tartness and sweetness, quickly followed by a wheat character that almost cleans the palate.
Indecent Exposure, their single hop pale ale, was the first drink of choice during my entree. It offers a refreshing and pronounced slight hop bitterness while not wrecking the palate, followed by a hearty malt profile. The second drink of choice during dinner was the 100 IBUs to Life, an IPA brewed with several west coast hops.
Perhaps the most intriguing of the lineup is The Grod Inquisitor, the aforementioned Grodziskie. This little-known style is brewed with smoked wheat and is kettle soured to bring a unique and subtle tartness to blend with the smoky flavor. The Polish history pairs with the rest of the Eastern European culture, and the beer will leave an unforgettable impression. At first taste it seems akin to a Rauchbier, but the smoke is quickly met with a contrasting sourness that blends the two flavors in unsuspecting harmony.
Other beers on the lineup include:
- Eye for an Eye
- Fyodor Dankstoyevsky
- House Arrest
The brewpub menu highlights classic Russian dishes ranging from the popular kielbasa sandwich, to potato and cheese pirogies, and cold borscht, one of their vegan offerings.
Crime & Punishment is currently open Thursday through Saturday 4pm-12am, and Sunday 4pm-10pm. Beer is available in half- and full-pours and growlers to take home. Also available are cassette tapes under the label Crime & Punishment Packaged Goods, promoting friends and bands they discover and “want to share with the world.” Current releases include mewithoutYou, Oldermost, and Ring Them Bells.