The Main Line Has Craft Beer On Lock
From the mid-1990s boom of Sly Fox and Victory to many burgeoning establishments, the area remains a destination for suds seekers.
Brewer Bob Barrar is a Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup medal machine, taking home 29 awards in the years he was with Iron Hill. The unpretentious 2SP experience is truly all about the beer. Don’t miss the Delco Lager and the Baby Bob Stout. 2SP’s menu includes a cheese board and two rotating panini. Food trucks visit the brewery Thursday-Saturday, and guests can even bring their own food or have it delivered from local eateries.
120 Concord Road, Aston, (484) 483-7860.
With its eco-friendly approach, Earth Bread + Brewery supports local agriculture and small producers with its flatbreads, salads, dips and
rotating beer selection. Brewer Tom Baker is known for his one-off beers, so get a taste before they disappear. Earth also serves well-regarded guest beers and house-made sodas.
7136 Germantown Ave., Mount Airy, (215) 242-6666.
Owners Daniel Endicott and Gerard Olson have transformed a Victorian mansion into an Old World pub that serves British- and Belgian-inspired beers. The Belgians are fermented with locally foraged Ambler yeast and include standouts like Caseosa, a tart farmhouse ale. The English-style beers are aged in the brewery’s barrel cellar. The food menu includes burgers, bánh mì sandwiches, mussels and wings.
61 N. Main St., Ambler, (215) 542-1776.
With 11 outposts and counting, chances are there’s an Iron Hill near you. It’s all about consistency here, thanks to its attentive service, award-winning brews and reliable family-friendly fare. All locations serve house brews like the outstanding Pig Iron Porter and Vienna Red Lager, though each has its own seasonal beers that rotate weekly.
Established just last year by two home-brewing friends, Levante makes the most of its industrial-park setting, bringing in food trucks and opening its garage doors when the weather is nice. Standouts include the Chief IPA and the Bullitt Train Imperial Vanilla Stout. The brewery also does tours—just ask.
208 Carter Drive, Suite 2, West Chester, (484) 999-8761.
Known for award-winning, approachable beers like its Grisette Working Class Ale, Sly Fox is also committed to the environment, donating proceeds from its Schuylkill River Trail Ale to the cause. A craft-beer-in-cans innovator, Sly Fox introduced aluminum back in 2006 and 360-degree pop-tops in 2013. Pottstown’s Tastin’ Room (331 Circle of Progress Drive) is home to popular events like the Bock Festival & Goat Race and the Can Jam Music Festival.
520 Kimberton Road, Phoenixville, (610) 935-4540.
Stable 12 is the surprising work of three high school friends who started brewing in a family barn. Upon perfecting their style, they moved to a brewery and tasting room on Phoenixville’s Bridge Street. Signature beers include the Belgian Russian Imperial Stout and the Farm Boy saison. Via the Randall system, beers flow through fresh additives like coffee beans or whole hops to add a new flavor dimension.
368 Bridge St., Phoenixville, (610) 715-2665.
With eight rotating drafts brewed on-site, a brick oven turning out interesting pizzas, and a parking-lot smoker for barbecue, Sterling Pig is a great destination for both the hungry and the thirsty. We recommend the Snuffler, an easy-drinking house IPA with hoppy notes of citrus and tropical fruit, and the Mediator, a rich, robust German-style doppelbock.
609 W. State St., Media, (484) 444-2526.
Tired Hands is undoubtedly one of the best breweries in the Philadelphia area. According to some, it’s also among the best in the world. Cozy and rustic, the original Ardmore location serves cheese, charcuterie, pickled veggies, house-made bread and panini to go with well-regarded beers like HopHands and SaisonHands. The larger Fermentaria has three towers with 12 taps each. Its menu features inventive tacos, burgers
Brew Cafe, 16 Ardmore Ave., Ardmore, (610) 896-7621; Fermentaria, 35 Cricket Terrace, (484) 413-2983.
A stalwart of both the local and national beer scenes, Victory is now up to three locations. Visit the Downingtown original for a bit of history and perennial favorites like Golden Monkey and Storm King Stout. Make your way to Kennett Square for inventive menu additions and exclusive brews, including the KSQ Golden Tangerine White Ale. Or, after grabbing a bite to eat at the brand-new Parkesburg location, order a seasonal Kirsch Gose or Summer Love Ale, and take the self-guided brewery tour on the second floor, complete with an interactive “hop sniff.”