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Philly2Philly's Hop Stops: Fergie's Pub, Fin McCool's Ale House and Moriarty's Pub

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It doesn’t have to be St. Patty’s Day to enjoy a good beer and some food at an Irish pub in Philadelphia. There are plenty of them here and a few of them happy to be right around the corner from each other in Center City. This week, the Hop Stops makes a visit to Fergie's, Fin McCool's Ale House and Moriarty's Pub. Fergie's Pub

Fergie's Pub

1214 Sansom St.

(215) 928-8118

Walking up to Fergie's, you may not know what to expect judging by the building’s brick facade, hulking red door and windows with iron bars laced across the front. But step inside and the bar's got a cozy, welcoming feeling to it. A decent sized bar top is off to the left with about a dozen bar stools. The main bar area is spacious with plenty of wooden tables to pull up a seat, grab a cold brew and relax with friends after a long day of work. Brought to you by the same owners of Noddinghead Brewery, Grace's Tavern, Monk's and the Belgian Cafe, you know when you come here the beer selection is bound to be good. And it is. The decor is rather interesting, with nearly salmon-painted walls and dark cherry wood paneling that extends to nearly the ceiling.

A large chalkboard hangs over the far right wall displaying the beers to choose from. On tap, that list includes option like Bear Republic Racer 5, Cricket Hill Colonel Blides Bitter, Nodding Head Grog, Sly Fox Royal Weisse, Stoudts Pils, and Yards Philly Pale Ale. Then also Guinness, Yuengling and Woodchuck Cider. If you actually consider that to be a beer. The bottled list is even more extensive with about 40 beers, including Bells Two Hearted Ale, Chimay, Rogue Dead Guy, Anchor Steam and Stone IPA. Whether you're just coming by for a beer or some grub (their menu offers mostly traditional bar food or Irish choices such as a turkey and brie sandwich, a long list of burgers, and entrees like fish and chips or Shepherd's pie) there seems to be some live music at Fergie's most nights of the week as well as trivia and open mic. But don't expect to watch games here - no TVs! Finn McCool's Ale House

Fin McCool's Ale House

118 South 12th Street

(215) 923-3090

Having recently undergone a major renovation, this corner bar in Center City has turned the focus around. The work they did includes adding a new kitchen and a chef who specializes in Irish cuisine. And one of the best parts -- they added 16 taps with a variety of beers from Ireland, Belgium, Germany and some local microbrews. The bar doesn't say much from the corner of 12th, with its funky red and green sign and large windows that look inside the dark interior. One thing you can definitely spot -- even from across the street – is the massive flat screens that have been installed above the bar. The marble-top bar offers a good number of seats for prime viewing but there are also plenty of tables throughout.

They also have a jukebox by the front door. If you're coming here for a good local beer, you won't find too many. It's definitely a step or two above the normal Coors, Miller and Bud. Some of the better choices include Magic Hat #9, Stella Artois, Victory Hop Devil, and Dogfish Head. Then there's also the traditional Guinness, Smithwicks and some European selections like Franziskanner Weissbier, and Leffe Blonde, or Spaten Optimator. Food options show the bar's love for Ireland and Germany and even other parts of Europe with selections like bangers and mash, a German wurst platter, and even paella. Burgers and sandwiches like the classic cheesesteak or hot roast beef are also offered, along with starters like crispy salmon ravioli, pork and shrimp rolls and Portuguese mussels. Since the redo, a new section has also opened upstairs ---Prime Lounge--- which can be rented out and often has DJ’s spinning some tunes. Moriarty's Pub

Moriarty's Pub

1116 Walnut Street

(215) 627-7676

Walking down Walnut, it'd be impossible to miss this place with its bright blue exterior. Makes you wonder just what it's like inside. Good food, friends and great beer is what this place boasts to be about. There's definitely a welcoming feeling to this pub when you first walk in. Pictures hang from tee walls, and green-covered lights hang from the ceilings. The bar is off to the right, with a small setting of tables by the windows when you first walk in, and even more, including booths, down the left and towards the back. There's a few flat screens behind the bar. There's good reason to come here any day of the week with a variety of specials, like Happy Hour from 5 to 7 p.m., with $5 Belgium drafts, and any of their 30 other drafts are just $3 for 20 oz. Yes, I said 30 drafts.

The food menu offers a bit of everything from lighter pub fare--award-winning wings or gourmet burgers--- to full-on entrees like a Guinness beef stew, Whiskey Salmon or Shepherd's pie. Then there's also some Mexican-inspired dishes…a little random. Beer options are vast, from local choices like Flying Fish, Dogfish Head, Victory, Yuengling and Yards, to Stella, Sierra Nevada, Paulaner, La Chouffe, Foster's, Chimay and Abby de Leffe. And that's just their drafts. In bottles, you'll find Anchor Liberty Ale, Arrogant Bastard, DeliriumTremens, La Trappe Quadrupel (all 25 ounces of it), Strongbow Dry Cider or St. Bernardus Triple, to name a few. If the beer and food doesn't give you enough reason to come by, they also have karaoke every Saturday and beer specials throughout the week.

contact Jessica Beym at: jessicabeym@gmail.com