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Dock Street Brewery is closing its Dock Street Brewery West location after 15 years and the new Dock Street tasting room in Fishtown is on the way.
Renata Certo-Ware, who is in charge of Marketing, Events, and Business Development at Dock Street and is also the daughter of the owner and co-founder Rosemarie Certo, told What Now Philadelphia that the Fishtown location should be opening by the end of this year or early next year. Renata Certo-Ware, Sasha Certo-Ware, and brewer Mark Russell will be opening the spot and chef Nick Tisdel and chef P.J. Freeman will come over to the new tasting room from Dock Street Brewery West.
When What Now Philadelphia asked what Renata Certo-Ware what she would want people to know about Dock Street Brewery, she said she would like people to remember that Dock Street is “Female owned, fiercely independent, co-founded by an immigrant from Sicily, and it is a brewery that doesn’t have outside investors.”
Rosemarie Certo announced the closure on the Dock Street Brewery blog and said, “After fifteen amazing years, Dock Street Brewery West’s time in the beautiful firehouse we called home is coming to an end.” It is of note that Dock Street is one of the nation’s first post-prohibition microbreweries and was founded around the same time as the Samuel Adams brand, founded in 1984, and the Sierra Nevada Brewery, founded in 1980.
Certo added, “On August 27, 2007, Dock Street poured its first pint at the magnificent Firehouse. The path was far from easy. We fought zoning politics, and, although the restaurant and beer industries are now much more evenly represented (but still not perfect), gender biases at every turn. With immense help from the community (shout out to Maureen Tate), UCD, our phenomenal landlord Linford Martin, and at one point, hundreds and hundreds of letters from our neighbors, we were able to build a thriving brewery, restaurant, and hub for the community.”
Dock Street West closes as of May 31 and on June 1, a pair of mystery brewers will take over the location and open up a new brewery. There’s no word as yet as to who will take over the space, but the mystery is intriguing. For fans of Dock Street, the Dock Street South location in Point Breeze is very much open and ready to serve its beers and the brewpub’s hand-tossed and wood-fired pizzas to you anytime.
When What Now Philadelphia asked why the decision was made to close Dock Street West, Renata Certo-Ware said, “We’re just going to focus on the Dock Street South Brewery, we have lots of room to grow there and then focus on building Dock Street Spirits. It’s a really tough decision to leave it, but I think with our focus on growing the business and with such a big new brewery [Dock Street South], it just made sense for us.”
Dock Street Spirits is the project that Rosemarie Certo has chosen to focus on and the brand makes Vicio Mezcal in Mexico. The brand was founded by Certo and Marilyn Candeloro, both of Dock Street Brewing, in 2013. The word vicio means vice in Spanish. The spirit is referred to as a “voluptuous habit” and as “the first spirit in a line of exploratory, unique and, foremost, tasteful spirits”.
Dock Street Brewing and Dock Street Spirits seem poised to move forward confidently and make their own path into the future.