Brewery ARS’ opening on tap

What would you do with a vacant South Philadelphia garage? Well, for twin brothers Andrew and Sean Arsenault, it’s an ideal space for starting a new business: Brewery ARS.

“We signed a lease last December. It was an empty garage, so it took a while to retrofit it what we wanted to do,” Sean Arsenault, who is handling the marketing end of the operation, said.

For the two South Philadelphians, it’s a concept that has been in the works since 2008. Andrew Arsenault even enrolled in the University of California, Davis master brewers program. Yes, he doubles as an environmental engineer and professional brewer, including time at Victory Brewing Co.

The dream project moved closer to reality last year after the brothers raised $30,000 via a kickstarter campaign. The engineers by day purchased a space at 1927–29 W. Passyunk Ave., and have spent the last year converting it into a 1,600-square-foot, 31-seat brewery that will welcome its first guests on Saturday from noon to 10 p.m.. There is a full-day celebration planned, with Michael Strauss, owner of Mike’s BBQ and Taproom on 19th, providing the food offerings.

In terms of the South Philly location, it’s all about keeping it in the neighborhood. The brothers, who hail from Upstate New York, are able to bike to and from their new business as Sean Arsenault resides in Bella Vista while Andrew Arsenault calls Girard Estate home. Plus the space is ideal for the “keep it nice and small mindset.”

For now, the establishment will be open three days a week, with the hours being 5–10 p.m. Fridays, noon-10 p.m. Saturdays and noon-8 p.m. Sundays. The “relaxed atmosphere” will include light snacks paired with a selection of three beers: Bright Lights, a spelt saison hopped entirely with Columbus hops; Clymer, a wheat saison hopped with mosaic and cascade hops; and Ashland, a rye rhobust porter with a plethora of English chocolate and black malts. Patrons can choose between 4-, 8- or 16-ounce pours. In terms of which one to try first, Sean Arsenault suggests going with the Clymer — named after the South Philly street on which he resides.

Come Saturday, the doors to this former garage will once again swing open, this time to toast a very special occasion.

“The neighborhood has been absolutely amazing. The West Passyunk Civic Association [leaders] went to the zoning meeting with us,” Sean Arsenault said. “They’re excited, and we’re excited.” SPR

Contact Bill Gelman at or ext. 121.

Brewery ARS

Owners: Andrew and Sean Arsenault

Opens: Dec. 16

1927–29 W. Passyunk Ave.

Twins Andrew and Sean Arsenault are preparing to unveil Brewery ARS to the public this weekend.

Photo courtesy of Brewery ARS