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Q&A with Tom Kehoe and the New Yards Brewery

As you may know by now, on November 16th, Yards Brewing Company will open their new Brewery and Taproom at 500 Spring Garden Street in Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties Neighborhood. We spoke to Yards owner and founder Tom Kehoe to get a little more insight on this new venture.

Here are just a few of the questions we asked him:

BiPA: “Being as experienced as you are, how do you keep your brand fresh against so much new competition?”

TK: “We’re going to be canning and bringing a new energy to some of our favorite brands.”

BiPA: “Are there any beer styles you’re looking forward to putting on tap at the new place, that you haven’t done before?”

TK: “We just tried a Loral Lager, and are very excited as it got a lot of compliments. The new taproom will have a lot more lines available. Also by expanding our barrel program, a lot of those will be available”

BiPA: “What can people who know the Yards brand expect out of this new place?”

TK: “A real experience of getting to see what the brewery is all about. We will have separate event space available which will allow us to expand the events we host. We will be so close to the historic part of town which is also very exciting for us”.

BiPA: “What’s the long term growth look like for Yards?”

TK: “Yards will be there for a long time. We signed a 15 year lease and can add 15 more. We want to grow into the space. We took advantage of the opportunity to move closer to center city; something we are excited about”.

Expected to be the largest brewery in the city with a 70,000-square-foot facility, this location will boast it’s own executive chef, private event space and state-of-the-art brew house. And a canning line is set to arrive in 2018.

Pictured left to right, Tom Kehoe, Yards founder with COO Trevor Prichett

The bar will feature 20 total taps: including all Yards signature beers and a number of limited releases only available in the taproom. And the menu will be divided into Snacks, Sandwiches, Entrees and Desserts; and the kitchen will serve food until one hour before closing time.

The brewery, constructed by local firm TN Ward, will remain 100% committed to wind power and sustainability, and their new 100-bbl brew house will mark further innovation: Yards will operate the only Ziemann Holvrieka brew house on the East Coast. The 100-bbl brew house has the capacity to produce more than double Yards’ current output of 42,000 barrels, with the ability to increase production in the future.

Check out renderings of the new taproom and brewery.

At 70,000 square feet and having been in operation since 1994 it’d be really easy for Tom Kehoe and the rest of his staff to forget their humble beginnings. And honestly, we probably wouldn’t blame him. But if there is one thing we walked away from during our conversation with Tom, it was the exact opposite. It’s hard to tell what is his greater passion; the city of Philadelphia or brewing beer.

So when he told us he prides Yards on being “a part of the fabric of the community” we just knew why this brewery has been as successful as they have for 20+ years. Because Yards is truly a beer Philadelphian’s can be proud to have brewed right in their back yard

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