Recently, the topic of developing the Philadelphia Union’s riverfront property has ratcheted up. The original plans were put on hold due to an economic downturn, but the team is actively pursuing a master plan for their waterfront campus, which may include things like a sportsplex and/or destination retail.
Caitlin McCabe’s article does a good job summarizing the history and the current developments, but the opportunity for development in the area goes beyond the Union ownership group.
Enter The Larimer Beer Co. Larimer started as a side project for Matt Lindenmuth, a former X-Games skater, and they currently brew larger batches for distribution out of Mainstay Independent in the city. The new Chester location will be used as an R&D brewery and taproom, letting the company experiment with new brews.
The area around the Union’s complex is full of run-down buildings, with large spaces ripe for development. With promises of future large-scale development in the area, the small brewery seems to be a smart gamble and they will be sure to capture good crowds on game days. I’m really excited to check them out as soon as they open, and I’m sure other people share that sentiment.
They’re located at 15 Engle St G Unit, Chester, PA 19013, just behind the Union’s practice fields, and a short walk from the Toyota Plaza and most of the lots.
Just look at how close @thelarimer is going to be to the stadium. That’s the training field fence in the lower right. pic.twitter.com/831HzwV2XZ— Brotherly Game (@BrotherlyGame) April 12, 2019
The target date for opening the taproom is the July 6 match against Orlando City, but they mentioned that they will open before that date if they are able.
The brewery scene is definitely growing exponentially, especially with the younger millennial crowd (just look at Fishtown). Many times, when a new brewery opens and is successful, another opens close by, almost creating a destination for the thousands of people who like to check out new breweries. Creating a place that’s a destination for people would figure to go a long way in improving the Union’s attendance struggles, and I know I have plenty of friends who may be on the fence about coming to a game that I could sway with the prospect of visiting a new brewery before the game. They currently have a few sours as well as an IPA in their lineup, and recently collaborated with Dogfish Head.
If you like beer, be sure to check them out this summer. If you want Chester to get more small businesses, be sure to visit often. The large-scale development that should take place is great, but seeing a small brewery take a chance on Chester is really awesome, and I hope more follow in The Larimer’s footsteps.
Are you more likely to make the drive to Chester if there were more things (like breweries) to do on game days? Let us know in the comments.