Yards Brewing Co., opening its massive Yards Taproom & Brewery at 500 Spring Garden St. on Nov. 16, has a chef on board.
He's Jim Burke, whose culinary run includes the South Philadelphia restaurant James (with his wife, Kristina), New York City stints at Caffe Storico and db Bistro Moderne, and the chef in residence in 2016 at Morgan's Pier. Lately, he's been teaching at Drexel University and consulting.
Burke says he was introduced to Yards partner Trevor Prichett as their young sons play in Taney Youth Baseball. As Prichett and partner Tom Kehoe described the project to him, Burke says: "It was an easy decision to make. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the people at Yards and it felt like a perfect fit all around."
"They do things the right way," he said. "That goes a long way these days."
Burke has designed the menu around beer. Among dishes on a draft menu — as it were — was a Yards patty melt, with Brawler onions and Swiss; crab toast, with Calabrian chilies and chives; smoked Cheddar bratwurst, with sauerkraut and house-made mustard; and beer can chicken, served with fried potatoes.
Yards, moving from its longtime home on nearby Delaware Avenue, will offer 20 beers on tap.
The brewery will feature a 100-bbl brewhouse, which has the capacity to
produce more than double Yards' current output of 42,000 barrels, with the
ability to increase production in the future.
Yards also will can its beers for the first time, thanks to equipment capable of filling 216 cans per minute. In early 2018, Philadelphia Pale Ale, IPA, and Brawler will be available in 12-ounce and 16-ounce cans. Brewery tours will be offered initially on a limited basis.
Yards' main bar is constructed from old bowling lanes. Designed by DIGSAU, the new Yards location has an open floor plan with 25-foot ceilings, large hanging metallic lights, and long wooden tables designed by the nonprofit Challenge Program. The entire brewing operation, from the new canning line to the brewhouse, will be visible. The Brewer's Lounge, a hangout next to the taproom, will have a pool table, TV, dart board, and shuffleboard.