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Two major seasonal beer gardens open in Philly this weekend

Josh Middleton

Get ready to get your al fresco-boozing on. Two of the city’s most popular seasonal beer gardens open this weekend—one for the entire season, while the other is giving us a little sneak peek before launching a full-fledged opening next week.

As of press time, the weekend calls for partly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid- to high-50s and low-60s—perfect for a little outdoor drinking with friends. Here are your options:

Morgan’s Pier

First off, Morgan’s Pier returns for the 2018 season on Thursday. The self-proclaimed “backyard beer garden” offers jaw-dropping views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and Delaware River. Picnic tables line the venue, so you can chill and drink your way through a menu of more than 40 delicious craft brews and chow down on barbecue-style grub from Chef Adam Lazarick.

Besides food and drink, the 2018 season at Morgan’s Pier promises a host of events, such as weekly “Yappy Hours,” where you can drink with your mutt, game nights, succulent workshops, monthly mini beer fests and craft brew tastings and live music. The annual MANNA Guac Off competition happens there on May 24, for all you avocado fiends.

Morgan’s Pier officially opens on Thursday, April 19, and will be open all weekend, on Thursday and Friday from 4pm to 2am, and Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 2am.

Independence Beer Garden

This sprawling beer garden within viewing distance of the Liberty Bell and all its surrounding attractions opens temporarily to give folks a sneak peek at what’s in store for the 2018 season. Check it out this weekend, on Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22, from 11:30am to 2am. Look out for an extensive beer menu, including 15 drafts and nine in cans, and a selection of wine and cocktails. Hungry? The menu includes large family platters, which come with your choice of brisket, pulled pork or chicken wings and are served with picnic-style sides like coleslaw. Lighter bites include pretzels, cheese curds and hummus; fried chicken, cheesesteak and pulled pork sandwiches; and, for the healthy set, a variety of salads.

Independence Beer Garden returns for the whole season starting Friday, April 27. For more details, including dates and times, go here.

Beer gardens coming very soon…

In the coming weeks, you can also look forward to the openings of Parks On Tap, the roving beer garden that pops up each weekend in a different park around Philadelphia with food trucks, plenty of seating and delicious picnic-weather fare. See the full schedule here, which begins on April 25 and includes a whopping 23 stops in 2018.

The PHS Pop-Up Garden on South Street

Photograph: Rob Cardillo

Both locations of the extra-verdant PHS Pop-Up Gardens also return that weekend, on April 26 for a weekend-long soft launch. Check them out on South Street, at 15th and South, and at uCity Square in West Philadelphia. They each promise loads of beer, wine and cocktails and inventive grub from a rotating selection of restaurants, such as the Cantina, Khyber Pass Pub, and Jose Pistola’s. After the soft launch, the PHS Pop-Ups will open for the season on May 3, with Cinco de Mayo-themed fiestas. More details here.

And of course the grandmama of them all, Spruce Street Harbor Park, opens a little further down the road, on May 11. Stay tuned for more details on that.

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