Northern Liberties (WTXF) - Yards Brewing Company came from small beginnings founded in 1994 in Manayunk. Well today, 23 years and many kicked kegs later Yards opened up its new 70,000 square foot brewery and taproom on Spring Garden Street in Northern Liberties.
"For everybody here and everybody that supports Yards, cheers, brew unto others!"
Tom Kehoe led a toast. He has come a long way in 23 years, back when he was Brewing Beer in his Manayunk garage.
"We started by buying equipment on our credit card, and having enough money to put down on rent, and we started making beer," he said.
Now, he and partner Trevor Prichett have tapped into something much bigger than beer.
"We got a lot of really attractive offers from other states and municipalities. But Philadelphia is our home and we wouldn't have wanted to invest anywhere else," Prichett said.
"They're great businesspeople, they're involved in the community. This is the kind of businesses we like to see grow," Mayor Kenney said.
They're growing alright from their old home on Columbus Boulevard into their new 70,000 square foot brewery and taproom on Spring Garden Street with the capacity to more than double their beer output. And with it, nearly doubling their employees with 50 just hired. Many believing a neighborhood Renaissance is in progress.
"Spring Garden is wider than Broad Street, which is wonderful but presents tremendous development challenges, so having marquee large anchor businesses here is essential to the budding redevelopment of this corridor," Matt Ruben, president of the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association, said.
It's on the right track. Northern Liberties population more than doubled since the year 2000. More than 8,000 people call it home. The residential vacancy rate sits at 2% and a Target store is slated to move in next to Yards.
Glass half full? Not here.
"This area is an untouched pocket. We were a first mover here. And this area is really gonna blow up," Prichett said.