Jordan’s “Philadelphia Beer” & Philly History Lesson

Posted on 15 May 2012 by christie

Philadephia Beer!

Philadephia Beer!

After a much needed break in the U.S., we are back on the road kicking off our next travel adventures with Jordan. Neither of us have ever been to the Middle East and are excited to start exploring the ancient sights and culture in this historic region. We hopped in our rental car at the airport in Amman, capital of Jordan, and headed 20km south to the small city of Madaba. After checking into Queen Ayola Hotel, we splurged on a much needed Jordanian dinner. While eating our yummy hummus and sipping on the local wine from Mount Nebo, we noticed the table next to us was drinking beer cans labeled “Philadelphia Beer”. We asked the hotel/restaurant owner about “Philadelphia Beer” and he kindly gave us a little history lesson on what Philadelphia means to Jordan. Unfortunately, it sounds like Philadelphia Beer is just an average blonde pale lager.



Philadelphia in Jordan
Amman, the capital of Jordan, use to be called Philadelphia when the Greeks/Romans were in power during 3rd century BC. They named the city after the Ptolemaic ruler Philadelphus (283-246 BC). This is where the locally brewed beer we saw today got its name “Philadelphia Beer”. Amman/Philadelphia is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.

1st dinner in Jordan

1st dinner in Jordan

Meaning of Philadelphia
The owner told us Philadelphia means “sisterly love”. We explained we were from Philadelphia in the United States and Americans call Philly the “city of brotherly love”. Christie laughed and said she liked “sisterly love” way better. He joked that the Philadelphia in Jordan was obviously here first. We researched online and Philadelphia is in fact the translation of the Greek phrase “brotherly love” from philos “love” and adelphos “brother”. We aren’t sure why Jordanians say “sisterly love”, so we’ll have to further investigate.

Another interesting tidbit is that there is a Philadelphia University in Jordan. Who ever knew the name of the city where we grew up and always hold dear to our hearts, has a tremendous history dating back to B.C. And, why don’t we have a Philadelphia Beer in the U.S.? This just might be the opportunity to start importing some Jordanian brew!

Where are Christie & Brett?

Jordan Map

Where's Jordan?

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