Northern Liberties: The Foodery Finds Creative Ways to Meet the Needs of Customers and the Law

Customers looked through a selection of beers at The Foodery.

The Foodery, a craft beer bottle shop located in Northern Liberties is one place in the city that is set for Philly Beer Week. The celebration lasts 10 days, starting last Friday and running to June 8.

The Foodery has more than 900 beers for customers to choose from, as well as a variety of snacks, a full deli and gourmet drinks. Mike Varriale, The Foodery manager, got his start at the shop with experience in the food department and working in the deli.

“I wasn’t originally entirely into the beer side of things but after working here for over a year, I started drinking more and more and learning more about the craft side of things,” Mike Varriale, the manager of The Foodery said. “Now it’s my focus at work here.”

Since Philly Beer Week started in 2008, The Foodery has been involved in the festivities. The original Foodery opened in Center City more than 30 years ago.

The Foodery is a really old business,” Varriale said.

Miles Moser, a sales representative for Brooklyn Brewery, visited The Foodery because they sell his beer. He hung up posters to let people know about special events happening in the neighborhood.

The Foodery cashier helped customers check out their items.
The Foodery cashier helped customers check out their items.

“Philly Beer Week is all around the city, different bars, restaurants and bottle shops are doing a bunch of different events celebrating beer and the enthusiasm for really good craft beer that we have here in Philadelphia,” Moser said. “It is the biggest festival of its type in the country and Philadelphia kind of has a feather in its cap for being the first city that really organized the thing of this nature.”

The Pennsylvania law that requires business’ to sell food in order to sell beer may be why most bottle shops turn into restaurants or bars. The Foodery has remained a bottle shop that meets the needs of their customers and the law.

Fidel, a Foodery employee took a break at the seating area of the bottle shop.
Fidel, a Foodery employee took a break at the seating area of the bottle shop.

“I am absolutely glad that we sell food,” Varriale said. “It wouldn’t be interesting for the neighborhood if we only sold beer.”

“There’s a nice assortment of snacks,” said Ashley Horowitz, a Foodery customer who does not drink beer. “I just stop on in and hang out with people.”

– Images, video and text by Marissa Miller.

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