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Separatist Beer Project opens its South Philly tasting room

The popular Easton brewery wants to cater to its core customers.

The bar at Separatist South Philly.
The bar at Separatist South Philly.Read moreCOURTESY SEPARATIST SOUTH PHILLY

Separatist Beer Project, the Easton-based brewery that started as a gypsy wholesaler and canner using other company’s equipment, has come to Philadelphia to open its second tasting room.

It’s on the ground floor of a new building at 1646 S. 12th St., at the corner of 12th and Morris Streets, just steps off East Passyunk Avenue. In a previous life before its move, Artisan Boulanger had the location.

Separatist South Philly’s opening will be 4 p.m. April 11.

There’s a certain logic to the location, explains owner Joe Fay, 28. “From the get-go, Philly took 95 percent of my beer," he said. “Without the bars and restaurants in Philly, we wouldn’t have a business.”

Fay and his wife, Laura, have set up a wide-open room with a 15-seat bar and mod-meets-retro seating for 70 people, inside and out; high windows open up to Morris Street.

Separatist offers 16 taps — 12 of its own, plus 2 draft cocktails and 2 draft wines. There also is an extensive bottle selection of beers coming from Separatist’s blendery space in Easton that are refermented and conditioned in champagne bottles; they are available to be uncorked and poured right at the bar.

“The other two brewers and I just really love to explore everything beer has to offer and then offer that snapshot here," Fay said. “Everything from the $4 frosted mug of American cream ale all the way to the three-year, barrel-fermented, cab sauv, musked, French oak, champagne bottle beer, which we have, too."

The only food offered is savory pies from Stargazy, the British pie shop around the corner. Separatist doesn’t even have a kitchen. “We’re not in the business of opening restaurants,” he said. “Besides, this neighborhood is one of the hot spots for food in the city.”

Separatist was known as Sole Artisan Ales before rebranding last year. But ale, of course, was not what Separatist was about.

“A separatist,” Fay explained, “is anybody that does not follow the status quo, and the status quo is something that is evolving rapidly in beer. When I got into beer almost 11 years ago [he was brewing as a teen], we were rallying against big beer and macro lagers and cheap ingredients, and really not having a wide variety of offerings."

"Fast forward to today, you see some of those same things replicated. The style of IPA, which was once a beer style that very few brewers made, it was very esoteric, is now the majority of what people are putting on their tap list. We always want to be offering what people want and then exploring and pushing those boundaries as well, and separating ourselves from the others. Creating our own path.”

Hours: 4 to 11 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight Friday, noon to midnight Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.