Dock Street Brewery’s location at 50th Street and Baltimore Avenue in West Philadelphia will close at the end of the month after 15 years; Dock Street founder Rosemarie Certo spilled the news on social media Tuesday.
Two brewers, keeping a low profile at the moment, will take over what is known as Dock Street West, she said. Her last day will be May 31.
Not that Dock Street is going away — its gleaming Dock Street South location opened in 2019 two miles away at 22nd Street and Washington Avenue, with a 40-bbl brewhouse.
“I’m proud of who we are to the neighborhood and what we’ve collectively accomplished,” Certo wrote. “I’ve watched members of our staff develop personally and professionally, whether they chose to make a career at Dock Street, or to supplement their own life’s passion. I’m truly grateful for the impact this beautiful neighborhood has had on me. I remember often saying that West Philadelphia served as a Utopian model for what every community in the U.S. should be. Every time I walk into Dock Street Brewery, I am proud of the fact that we are a melting pot of so many races, creeds, and genders, ranging from newborns to grandparents. We had a great time being there together.”
By phone, Certo said she had new goals — including a ramp-up of Vicio, the spirits brand she founded with Marilyn Candeloro, and “making more impact in the brewing side of things.”
Certo founded Dock Street in 1985 with her then-husband, Jeffrey Ware, and then opened its first location in 1989 near Logan Square, where City Tap House is now. (Dock Street and Yards were pretty much it in terms of local craft labels.) After selling Dock Street in 1998, they bought it back in 2002.
Dock Street has enjoyed a sunny recent past. A few years back, the brewery noted that Rob McElhenney of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia frequently wore Dock Street T-shirts on the sitcom and created a beer in tribute. Rapper Chill Moody brewed his own cream ale there.
In other Dock Street news : Brewer Mark Russell, her kids (Renata Certo-Ware and Sasha Certo-Ware), and manager Lauren Wash are putting together a Dock Street taproom for Front Street in Fishtown late this year.