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Beer Tasting Terminology So You Can Sound Cultured

April 7th, 2018

We all have that friend who is an amateur professional in every subject. Maybe you’ve tried to achieve this encyclopedic mastery yourself but discovered it’s easier said than done. It turns out that sounding like a beer pro doesn’t actually require you to know the ins and outs of brewing. A few key terms and distinctions can take you a long way. Check out our beer tasting terminology to brush up on your vocab before your next night out.

Your Beer Basics Glossary

Accessible: An accessible beer is one that’s smooth and easy to drink for both beer experts and novices alike. A great introductory beer.

Ale: A type of beer created with top fermenting yeast strains that result in forward tastes and aromas. Often associated with fruitiness.

Amber: A top fermented ale between pale and dark in color.

Balanced: Beer that has complimentary flavors, none more prominent than another.

Body: Beer can be have rich, warm, and full bodied flavors. It can also be be light and without much body. Fuller bodied beers are generally heavier and more viscous.

Bready: A tasting note derived from malt. Reminiscent of fresh bread.

Dark: Having a darker brown color paired with richer flavors. Generally lacking in light fruity notes.

Dry: Refers to an absence of sweetness.

Fermentation: A chemical reaction where active yeast converts sugars into equal parts ethyl alcohol and CO2. Top fermentation and bottom fermentation are the two methods used.

Hops: An herbal flower added at either the beginning, middle, or end of the boiling process to add a bitter aroma or flavor. Calling something “hoppy” can refer to either taste or aroma.

Head: The amount of stable foam on top of a poured beer.

Lager: A type of beer created with bottom fermenting yeast, resulting in crisp and clean flavors.

Malt: An alternative to yeast, using barley malt. Results in flavors similar to molasses.

Microbrewery: A microbrewery produces less than 15,000 barrels of beer per year.

Nitro Brew: A new innovative method of brewing with nitrogen instead of carbon dioxide.

Test Your New Knowledge Out at Bell Beverage

If you want to try out your snazzy new beer vocabulary, Bell Beverage provides the perfect opportunity! Every Friday between 3:00 – 6:00 pm we host beer tastings at the store. With over 1500 different beers in stock, we highlight a different brewery weekly so you can expand your palate and try a new brew each time. This way, you can learn more about the beer you love before showing off to your friends. Swing by Bell Beverage at 2809 South Front St in South Philly.

Craft Beer vs. Microbrew: What’s the Difference?

March 30th, 2018

Bell Beverage has developed a reputation as the go-to place for beer lovers. We carry over 1500 beer brands of all varieties. In this blog, we’d like to focus on two main types: craft beer vs. microbrew. These two kinds of beer are often used synonymously, but there are a couple of key differences we’ll explore.

Craft Beer

Craft beer is made by small breweries that aren’t controlled by any of the big beer companies. Sometimes these breweries are traditional, calling back to historically significant brewing methods. Other times they’re highly innovative and original, using unique ingredients and new fermentation methods. Every craft brewery works hard to develop its own distinctive flavor palate. Craft beer is entrepreneurial and creative. These are just a few of the reasons it has become so popular in the last few years. Examples

  1. Victory Brewing Co.
  2. Goose Island Brewing Co.
  3. Sweetwater Brewing Co.


So what’s the big difference? Microbreweries are also small breweries that use their size and beer savvy to produce great beers. They are both part of the American beer movement to resist mass production and focus on specialty brewing. Overall, the answer is simple. While a microbrewery could make craft beer, not all craft beer is made in a microbrewery. In order to be classified as a microbrewery, the cap on gallons produced per year is 460,000. On the other hand, a craft brewery can brew up to 2 million gallons. The other big difference is that craft breweries have strict ingredient guidelines, whereas microbreweries can be more experimental. A microbrewery can also be a craft brewery if it adheres to the same ingredient and technique standards. Examples

  1. Dock Street Brewery
  2. Dogfish Head
  3. Founders Brewing Co.

Swing by for Specialty Beer!

Stop by Bell Beverage to grab a variety pack from a local craft brewery, pick up party snacks, or enjoy a Friday evening beer tasting! We’re located in South Philly at 2809 South Front St.

Philadelphia’s Top Selling Beer Brands

March 12th, 2018


At Bell Beverage, beer is our passion. We know that’s something we share with many of our fellow Philadelphians, so we thought you might want to know about last year’s top-selling craft beers! Out of the over 1500 different beer brands we stock, these ten sold better than the rest:

The Top Ten Most Popular Craft Beers

  • Bell’s “Two Hearted”

This American style, India pale ale is rated outstanding on Beer Advocate. Hailing from Michigan, it’s brewed with 100% centennial hops and has tasting notes of pine and grapefruit.

  • Founders “All-Day”

Founders’ “All-day IPA” is a crisp and satisfying beer with citrus aromas. With a taste this refreshing, it’s no wonder it’s one of our most popular beers.

  • Sam Adams

Mostly known for their craft lagers, Samuel Adams aspires to make their brews as revolutionary as their namesake.

  • Goose Island

While the original brewery is in Chicago, we’re glad to carry Goose Island beer. Year round, they brew pale ales, a pilsner, an urban wheat ale, and their famous Goose IPA

On to the Local Brews…

  • Victory Brewing

Founded in Downingtown, PA, Victory Brewing has been crafting delicious brews since 1996. They always have a variety of creative flavors on tap.

  • Yards

It’s no surprise Yards Brewing Co. made the list. They brew some of the best ales in the Philadelphia area. Stop by to try their Brawler, Pynk, Pale Ale, and many more.

  • Evil Genius

If you’re looking for an interesting new beer with a witty name, this is your brand. Some fan favorites are Bye Felicia, Hold Me Closer Tony Danza, and Pure Evil Chocolate Stout.

  • Sly Fox

Long-time Pennsylvania favorite Sly Fox brews a variety of year-round beers. Check out Incubus (their Abbey style trippel), O’Reilly’s Stout, or 360 IPA.

  • Dogfish Head

Whether you’re looking at their 120 minute IPA, Bitches Brew, or Truth Serum, you can’t go wrong with a casual Dogfish Head beer.

  • Flying Fish

Over the bridge in Somerdale, NJ, Flying Fish is busy brewing up some of the most delicious beer in the area. We recommend trying their Extra Pale Ale, American Trippel, or Blueberry Braggot.

Try our Top Ten Sellers for Yourself!

Swing by 2809 S. Front St in South Philly to get a taste of these Philadelphia bestsellers—free beer tasting every Friday!

Take Out Beer: Philadelphia’s Best Selection at Bell Beverage

February 28th, 2018


If you’re looking for the best selection of take out beer Philadelphia has to offer, check out Bell Beverage. Hailing from South Philly, we stock an enormous beer selection of over 1,500 brands. Bell Beverage has classics like Guinness, Bud Light, Miller, Blue Moon, and Yuengling. We also carry Philadelphia craft breweries like Yards, Neshaminy Creek, and Evil Genius – not to mention craft beers from around the country and international trappist beer. Whether you want a casual beer, a hard-to-find favorite, or the chance to try something new, Bell Beverage is your best bet.

Keep An Eye Out for These Deals

  1. Bell Beverage maintains a rotating seasonal beer menu and specials list on our website. We also do regular weekend beer tastings on Fridays and Saturdays starting at 4:00 PM. If you’re an adventurous beer drinker, these are three great ways to expand your palate and find your next favorite brew.
  2. We are a convenient one-stop shop for your hangouts or parties! And if you’re stopping by to grab a quick six pack for the evening, don’t forget that Bell Beverage also sells snacks and mixers. We stock pretzels, chips, snack mixes, cups, coolers, and ice. We even have soda, juice, sports drinks, and party mixers (lime juice, tonic, bloody mary mix, etc.) for your non-beer-drinking friends.
  3. If you’re interested in exploring a specific brewery, we recommend our variety packs. You’ll find deliciously diverse craft brews from across the country like Victory, Flying Fish, Shock Top, and Great Lakes Brewing. If you’re looking for a particular brewery, call ahead to speak to one of our expert staff members about what’s in stock.

Want More Variety?

Bell Beverage prides itself on providing Philadelphians with endless options. We love beer and want to provide other beer lovers with a convenient way to find whatever they’re looking for. Our employees are happy to answer all of your questions as you search for the next best beer, so swing by South Philly at 2809 South Front St. to see our vast beer selection for yourself!

5 Beer Variety Packs to Make Any Party Better

February 22nd, 2018


Variety is the spice of life—or when it comes to beer variety packs, it’s the life of the party. Having a great beer selection is the best way to ensure any party is a hit. Choosing variety packs from trusted breweries will ensure all your guests find a beer they enjoy. It’s also a great opportunity to be adventurous and try something new!

Our Top 5 Beer Variety Packs

  • Neshaminy Creek Brewing Co.

Named after the nearby creek, this brewing company takes local to the next level by brewing their beer with water straight from the Neshaminy. They’ve been winning Best of Philly awards since 2014 and specialize in brewing hoppy IPAs, American pale ale, and vienna style lager.

  • Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, Great Lakes Brewing Co. has a reputation for making consistently great beers. Their year round beer includes a variety of lagers, ales, an IPA, Pilsner, and a Porter. Not to mention, they always have delicious and creative seasonal brews every few months.

  • Southern Tier Brewing Co.

This craft brewing company is located in Lakewood, NY, and their “pack-o-pales” should not be missed! From their lightest session ale to their well-known Double India Pale Ale, this pack is perfect for both the craft beer newbie or the seasoned drinker looking for a range of flavor.

  • Otter Creek Brewing Co.

Otter Creek Brewing in Middlebury, Vermont has been crafting creative brews since “acid-wash jeans were hip.” They’re known for their seasonal treats and innovative, hop-soaked ales and lagers, which make a delightful variety pack.

  • Yards Brewing Co.

Last but not least, Yards Brewing will always be a Philadelphia favorite. Whether you’re looking for something light and hoppy or something smooth and malt forward, Yards delivers a solid brew. They’re sure to please every kind of beer lover.

Want More Variety?

Bell Beverage has literally hundreds of other variety packs available, so if you’re party planning, swing by and try something new! Bell Beverage is located in South Philly at 2809 South Front St.

Don’t Miss our Selection of Winter Seasonal Beers

January 22nd, 2018


The holidays are over and the weather just keeps getting colder. While some people are hurrying for lattes and cider, we know that a great beer can also keep you warm in the Winter. Bell Beverage’s Winter seasonal beer collection is full of rich dark ale, brown sugary flavors, and warm spices.

The Winter Beer Collection

There are so many winter seasonal beers worth trying, we’d love to highlight a few of our favorites.

21st Amendment Fireside Chat

This beer is one of a kind. This Winter warmer is a dark, English style ale brewed with festive spices. This flavourly rich, strong beer has an abv of 7.9% which they brewery describes as “a kick in the butt and a hug and the same time.”

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

This beer is something truly spectacular with a fun bit of history. It’s a spin on the Russian Imperial Stout that was made exclusively for Catherine the Great. Brewed every winter, this beer tastes great when newly bottled, but also ages well for years. Pairs well with cheesecake, fine cheeses, and anything chocolate.

Bells Winter White Ale

Simply because it’s that time of year, this beer was crafted with Winter’s coldest days and heaviest snow in mind. This Wheat Ale boasts flavors of clove and fruity aromas and toasty malt goodness. It’s the perfect beer to keep around just in case you find yourself snowed in or taking a “sick day.”

Keeping Great Beer Affordable

At Bell Beverage, we value our customers and whether you are a casual beer drinker or a connoisseur we work hard to provide you with great beer at great prices. We pride ourselves in maintaining weekly specials, seasonal specials, and everyday low prices. A quick look at our website and you easily can find out what’s on sale this week.

Come See our Selection for Yourself!

Bell Beverage is located in South Philly at 2809 South Front St. We carry a massive selection of 1,500 different beer brands. Whether you’re looking for Bud Light, Guinness, trappist ale, craft beer, or a Philadelphia favorite, Bell Beverage has what you’re looking for.

The Best Place to find Cheap Beer in Philadelphia

December 19th, 2017


Whether you’ve just moved to Philly or you’re a long time resident of this great city, it’s well known that the high prices for beer in Center City can take you for a ride. It’s clear that prices must be cheaper somewhere, but with so many local options, where’s the best place to start? At Bell Beverage, we’d like to offer you a better beer buying experience. We pride ourselves on wide variety and cheap beer Philadelphia residents love.

That’s Right: “Cheap Beer,” Philadelphia!

Bell Beverage supplies Philly with the most inexpensive beer prices. You’ll frequently find coveted brands like Miller, Sam Adams, Yuengling, Troegs and more! On top of that, there’s all kinds of ways to find discounted beers in our store. We have weekly specials, bi-weekly specials, seasonal specials, and everyday low prices.

Bell Beverage has developed quite the reputation for stocking the best beer at the best prices. In fact, we were even recognized on reddit’s Philadelphia forum as having the cheapest beer in the city: “Hands down the cheapest beer per bottle in the city is the cases on special at Bell’s beer distributor in South Philly. You can also look up the specials online, although normally they have more in the store that aren’t listed.”

Most importantly, the creme de la creme of beer review sites, Beer Advocate, rates us as “exceptional.” Their page features glowing reviews about our great beer and low prices, calling us “the best place to pick up beer in Philly” and praising our employees for their beer knowledge and excellent customer service.

Swing by & Take Advantage of our Great Deals

For cheap beer, Philadelphia’s Bell Beverage can’t be beat. We are located in South Philadelphia and specialize in providing a great beer selection at even better prices. We’ve been here for over 50 years and consider ourselves the South Philly beer experts. We have over 1,500 different types of beer to choose from, so whether you’re looking for trappist ale, American IPA, local craft brews, or a trusted favorite, we supply it!

Our Favorite Hard-to-Find Craft Beer in Philadelphia

November 20th, 2017


Bell Beverage has developed a reputation for being Philly’s it place for hard-to-find beers. We pride ourselves in stocking the greatest craft beers available and we make sure to have flavors for every season – so you’ll always have something new to try.

5 Craft Beers for Every Season

Autumn | Cigar City Brewing & Russian River Brewing

In the most classic fall fashion, Southern Tier made the Pumking beer. This tasty beer is brewed with cinnamon, allspice, and clove. Drink it with dinner or as a dessert beer, this is liquid pumpkin pie for your palate.

For those of you who are tired of all the pumpkin spice latte versions of everything autumn, a fantastic spiced beer would be Consecration by Russian River. This sour beer is a dark ale aged in cabernet sauvignon barrels. Tasting notes are currents, tobacco, chocolate truffle, spice, and of course cabernet.

Winter | Firestone Walker Brewing

We can’t say enough about Firestone Walker Brewing. They are constantly impressing the beer world and this delightful winter brew is no exception. An oatmeal stout, the Velvet Merlin is a smooth, dry cocoa and espresso informed beer with the perfect dose of hoppy bitterness.

Spring | ABDIJ Der Trappisten van Westmalle

This Belgium brewery makes some of the most delicious beer we know. The Westmalle Tripel is a great beer for all seasons and occasions but is especially suited for Spring. Its dry, spicy flavors are reminiscent of banana bread accompanied by more light fruity sweetness.

Summer | Neshaminy Creek Brewing

There’s nothing better than a perfectly crisp and refreshing Summer beer. Sly Fox created just this when they crafted their Grissette beer. This is a light saison/farmhouse ale with subtle hints of hoppiness and floral aromas.

Pick up your favorite craft beer today!

Bell Beverage on the corner of Front & Oregon specializes in stocking those hard to find craft beers in Philadelphia. With a selection of over 500 beers, the best thing you can do for your palate is stop by and see for yourself! Call us at (215) 468-0222 for more information on our inventory.

Bell Beverage is Philly’s Craft Beer Finder

November 3rd, 2017

One Stop Beer Shop

Craft beer is all the rage these days. It’s made in small, independently owned microbreweries. These breweries focus all their energy into creating the most unique and delicious artisanal beers: think quality over quantity. Luckily for you, Bell Beverage loves craft beer too. In fact, we are the best craft beer finder in Philadelphia.

Craft Breweries

Craft brewing, or microbrewing, was revived in the U.S.A. around 1965. It was a movement away from mass production and towards ingenuity and creativity. It allowed Average Joes to start small businesses brewing whatever they cared about most. Fueling the American movement was centuries of inspiration from the UK, Germany, and Belgium. This is why Craft Brewing is the United States’s first real, grassroots beer tradition.

Philly is one of the best cities to find high quality local craft breweries. We’re near microbreweries like DogFish Head Craft Brewery, Yards Brewing Co., River Horse Brewery, Weyerbacher Brewery, and so many more. This is where Bell Beverage is your personal beer resource: we gather all of these great brews and bring them right to South Philly.

See What’s in Stock

On our website it’s easy to see what’s in stock and how to find the beer you’re looking for. You can easily search by brewer, style, and region. We provide seasonal recommendations all year round. Some of our autumn favorites right now are Lancaster Brewing Co.’s Baked Pumpkin Ale  and Lagunitas Brewing Co.’s Brown Shugga. Our specials are always changing and available to view online as well.

Stop By & See Our Inventory!

Bell Beverage is located in South Philly near the corner of Front & Oregon. It is our pride and joy to be giving Philadelphia locals access to over 500 different beers. Tailgate beers? We’ve got them. Seasonal Beers? We have those too. We’ve even developed a reputation for having those “hard to find” beers. Discover what’s currently in stock with a quick trip to our store or by calling (215) 468-0222.

Philadelphia’s One Stop Beer Shop | Bell Beverage

October 9th, 2017

One Stop Beer Shop

Bell Beverage has beers for every occasion. Whether you’re looking for local beer or specialty beer, we’ve got it. We pride ourselves on being the one stop Philadelphia beer shop for all your planning needs.

We’ve Got You Covered

Beverages. Football season has just begun and in Philadelphia that means tailgating and house parties. At Bell Beverage, we want to be able to provide everything on your checklist. In addition to beer, we stock a variety of sodas, juice, water, and sports drinks. We even carry party mixers (lime juice, tonic, bloody mary, etc.) for your friends and guests who’ll pass on the beer and have a cocktail instead.

Snacks & Extras. We know just how important snacks are for your house party or tailgate. That’s why we save you an extra trip to the grocery store and stock pretzels, chips, and snack mixes on site. We also have cups, coolers, and ice (the necessities) for your convenience. Lastly, we have lotto tickets and vast cigarette selection with low prices and daily specials.

Beer. At Bell Beverage, bringing you a great beer selection is our number one priority. We have so many options that the best way to get a feel for our inventory is to stop by our store. We have everyday low prices on beers like Neshaminy Creek and Moosehead. We also sell kegs from breweries like Evil Genius Brewing Co., Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Lagunitas Brewing Co., and Magic Hat Brewing Co. Bell Beverage has every kind of beer for every kind of occasion: Bud Light, local microbreweries, European imports, Trappist beer, we’ve got it all.

Ready for the Game?

With over 500 different beers, we are more than equipped to meet your party or tailgate needs. Our great selection, customer service, and reputation for stocking those hard-to-find beers makes us the best shop in the city. Bell Beverage is located on the corner of Front & Oregon. Stop by soon and see for yourself!

Refreshing Philadelphia Pale Ale at Bell Beverage

September 21st, 2017


seasonal beers

At Bell Beverage, we can’t get enough of Yards Brewing Company’s Philadelphia Pale Ale. New York Times even named it one of the best pale ales in the country. If you love it as much as we do, we have some great recommendations for similar beers to try.

Who is Yards Brewing Company?

Yards Brewing Co. was established in 1994, but its story starts long before. It began in the 1980’s in a garage in Manayunk, PA, when two college buddies decided to try their hand at brewing beer. The operation grew until eventually, they ended up with the  brewery we know today in Northern Liberties.

Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale

This is one great pale ale and it has the resume to prove it. In 2004, it made New York Times’ Top Five Pale Ales in the Country list. In 2009, during Philly Beer week, it was awarded the Best Beer to Pair with a Cheesesteak. In 2012, it won the Best of Philly: Best Beer and the Atlantic City Beer Festival: Best Light Beer awards.

This hoppy pale ale is brewed with pilsner malt and has bright citrus notes. It pairs well with cheeses like feta, fontina, asiago, and parmesan. Bell Beverage stocks Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale it in 12 oz bottles, ⅙ keg, and ½ keg.

Similar Beers You Can Find At Bell Beverage

If you want to stick with what’s tried and true, we have plenty of Yards in stock. If you’re ready to branch out, however, we have some fantastic pale ales on queue.

Our Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is made from Cascade hops that create a floral flavor with extra spice. Although it’s more medium bodied, the Sly Fox Phoenix Pale Ale we carry is similarly crisp and refreshing with its Cascadian hops. Lastly, the Lagunitas Dogtown Pale Ale is a deliciously malty APA with tropical citrus notes.

Bell Beverage is located on the corner of  Front & Oregon and we are proud to supply Philadelphia with the best pale ales.

Beer Events in Philadelphia

September 7th, 2017

philadelphia beer events


Autumn is here and that means beer festivals! Specifically, the many Oktoberfest celebrations. If you’re in Philadelphia, you’re in a great place for craft beer, delicious food pairings and fun events and fests. Check out these beer events Philadelphia has to offer!

South Street Oktoberfest | September 16

The South Street Oktoberfest hosted by Brauhaus Schmitz is one of the most exciting fall beer events. For the 9th year in a row, the Bavarian restaurant will be celebrating on the 700 block of South Street. A Bavarian buffet will be open from 1 – 6 with 10 German beers available on draught.

Oktoberfest Elmwood Park Zoo | September 9

If you are an animal-lover looking for a craft beer event, then Oktoberfest at the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown is where you want to be. Just a short distance away from Center City, there will be over 100 craft beers including everything from local breweries to some international selections. Beer pairings include live music, amazing animals exhibits, and great food! While it’s normally a great idea to bring the kiddos to the zoo, this event is 21+ only.

Midtown Village Fall Festival | October 7

The Midtown Village Fall Festival draws thousands of people to Philly every year. It’s one of the city’s most popular fall events! This family friendly event includes entertainment, shopping, arts & crafts, as well as beer and food vendors.

Find More Beer Events at Bell Beverage

You don’t have to wait for a festival to find great beer events in Philadelphia. Bell Beverage regularly hosts beer tastings. Every Friday from 3:00 – 6:00 you can expect to see a brewery on our calendar. Coming up soon we have New Holland Brewing Co., Wyndridge Farms Beers & Ciders, and Terrapin Brewing Co.

Bell Beverage is on the corner of  Front & Oregon. With a selection of over 500 beers, we are proud to supply Philadelphia with endless options. Our offerings don’t stop at just beer, there’s soft drinks and juice, lotto tickets and more—we’re your one-stop party shop! Come by to see for yourself!