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Dock Street West closed down at the end of May (Photo from Dock Street Brewery).

West Philadelphia staple microbrewery Dock Street West closed down at the end of May. 

In an announcement on the Dock Street Brewery website on May 3, co-founder Rosemarie Certo said that the Dock Street West brewery would be closing down at the end of the month. The location was sold to Carbon Copy, a brewery and pub specializing in beer and wine.

Dock Street was founded in 1985 by Rosemarie Certo and her husband at the time, Jeffery Ware. They opened their first location near Logan Square in 1989, nowadays occupied by City Tap House's center city location. Dock Street West moved in 2007 and has since been located at 50th Street and Baltimore Avenue in West Philadelphia for 15 years. 

In the announcement on the Dock Street Brewery website, Certo emphasized that while she was selling the building and equipment at Baltimore Avenue, the Dock Street brand will continue on. The Dock Street South location on Washington Avenue in Point Breeze opened in 2017 and has a similar setup to the West Philadelphia location. 

Certo also told the Philadelphia Inquirer that she will be focusing on other projects, such as reinvigorating Vicio, a spirits brand she co-founded. Certo said she hoped to make “more impact in the brewing side of things.”

When Dock Street Brewery began over 30 years ago, it was Philadelphia’s first microbrewery and one of the first independent breweries in the U.S. in the post-Prohibition era. At the time, Certo was a pioneer in the male-dominated craft brewing industry.

In 2007, Certo and Ware were able to get zoning approval to open up Dock Street West, which became known for its wood-fired pizza and fun local events, such as block parties, music festivals, and release parties for specialty brews. 

One of Dock Street's creative endeavors included using West Philadelphian yeast in their brews. With the help of then-molecular biophysics doctoral candidate Michael Soo, Dock Street collected and cultivated wild yeast strains from West Philadelphia through a wild fermentation process.

“The idea was to capture the spirit of West Philadelphia, the attitude and the mentality in the beer, and this is a fun way to do it. It’s a tribute to the area around us,” Sasha Certo-Ware, daughter of Rosemarie Certo, told the Daily Pennsylvanian previously.

Over the decades, Dock Street's beers have gained national recognition. Its Man Full of Trouble Porter won two bronze medals at the Great American Beer Festival. The brewery won second place for pale ales and first place for its Porter in the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Former Dock Street West employees and Certo’s kids plan on opening a Dock Street taproom in Fishtown later this year, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“I’m truly grateful for the impact this beautiful neighborhood has had on me. I remember often saying that West Philadelphia served as a Utopian model for what every community in the U.S. should be. Every time I walk into Dock Street Brewery, I am proud of the fact that we are a melting pot of so many races, creeds, and genders, ranging from newborns to grandparents,” Certo wrote in the announcement.

Carbon Copy will open around Labor Day weekend. The restaurant will specialize in hand crafted beer and wine with a menu created around its wood burning pizza oven. “The opportunity to be able to carry it on and breathe new life into the space is really interesting and exciting for us,” Kyle Wolak, co-founder of Carbon Copy, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.