Yards and Dock Street are still with us, although each has been transformed as other beer makers and brewpubs have hopped onto the scene.
And they, along with many of the later arrivals in the city and region (see accompanying list), will be part of the talking and tasting that is being called Philly Beer Week.
In Yards' case, a divorce between business partners resulted in a cellular split that has created two separate breweries - no bad thing to beer lovers.
The Yards name remains with founder Tom Kehoe, while its former brewery in Kensington is making beer under the Philadelphia Brewing Co. label with Kehoe's former partners Bill and Nancy Barton at the helm.
Kehoe has moved into an industrial building at Delaware Avenue and Poplar Street in Northern Liberties and has been installing vats, pipes and drains, aiming to start making beer in April.
In the meantime, he has been brewing Yards' signature Philadelphia Pale Ale and India Pale Ale (IPA) at Lion Brewery in Wilkes-Barre, and relying on inventory for other types.
He said that when the new brewery is in full operation, he plans to make 10 types of bottled beer, from ales to stout, and two seasonal keg-only brews for different times of the year.
"We're going to bring back some of the old favorites we weren't able to do because we didn't have the capacity before," Kehoe said.
Those include Old Ale; Trubbel de Yards, a Belgian-style dubbel ale; and Brawler, an Irish-style dark ale.
Kehoe plans to make 12,000 barrels, or 372,000 gallons, of beer in the first year and increase production after that.
Over in Kensington, at the former Yards Brewery - now renamed the Philadelphia Brewing Co. - at Amber and Hagert Streets, the smell of boiled grain and hops is again in the air after a lull.
The Bartons' brewers, including one who once worked for Dock Street, have started making four types of beers that will be PBC's signature brews.
There's Kenzinger, a hoppy Kolsch-style pilsner; Newbold India Pale Ale; Rowhouse Red, a Belgian farmhouse ale; and Walt Wit, a wheat beer with a hint of chamomile and grapefruit named in honor of poet Walt Whitman.
The first shipments should reach taverns any day now, said Nancy Barton, adding that bottled beers should be available in Southeastern Pennsylvania by the end of the month and in South Jersey by late spring.
Barton, who along with her husband hails from South Jersey, said one obstacle to the startup had been a hop shortage that affected craft brewers nationwide.
"We've been adjusting our recipes to what is available to us," she said.
Barton said the brewery planned to make about 10,000 barrels of beer - 310,000 gallons - the first year and more in subsequent years.
In a former brick firehouse built in 1903 at South 50th Street and Baltimore Avenue in West Philadelphia, Dock Street is six months into its latest incarnation. It also is back in the ownership of cofounder Rosemarie Certo.
During a recent visit, the small brewery behind the glass wall was producing Bohemian Pilsner; a wheat beer called Curacao Double; Satellite Stout, which uses espresso beans; a Viscount St. Albans ale that includes wormwood and other herbs; and the standby Rye IPA.
The mostly young crowd - a mix of academics and pierced hipsters, with a few jackets and ties thrown in - is considerably different from the clientele that inhabited Dock Street's former Center City home at 18th and Cherry Streets, next to the Four Seasons Hotel.
And the menu is different, too, featuring pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven.
Where 18th Street appealed more to business types and tourists, the new Dock Street has a real neighborhood feel that is highlighted by the number of guests arriving with empty bottles to be refilled for take-home enjoyment.
Called growlers, the 2-liter containers are a throwback to another era when you could get a quart container, even a bucket, of draft to take home.
If any saying applies to beer these days, it is that everything old is new again.
For Certo, who bought back the Dock Street name and its bottling company in 2002, the brewpub has revived a passion from the early days, when the thirst for something different from Budweiser or Coors was quenched mostly by import beers.
"What this place gives me is an opportunity to continue the experimentation and to continue championing the American craft movement we helped start on the East Coast," she said.
And we'll drink to that.
Contact staff writer Joseph Gambardello at 215-854-2153 or firstname.lastname@example.org.