The Drafting Room Taproom and Grille
Taps: 13 / Bottles: 120
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 66 | Reviews: 60 | Display Reviews Only:
4.53/5 rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
This place has been on my list of places to get to and last night was my first visit. My girlfriend and I went for a nice dinner and will definitely be back in the future. We started out with the Belgian beer and cheese fondu which was outstanding and could have been enough for a party of 4. As far as beers go, I had a Racer X from the cask and she had Anchor's Christmas Ale and both were fresh and delicious. My entree, pork tenderloin with a pomme lambic reduction, was amazing. My girlfriend had the gumbo which was delicious and very spicy. We ended the night with the East End winter warmer which I can't recall the name of but was also great. The draft list was very good, but seemed heavy with IPA's and then some winter warmers, a stout and a porter. It would have been nice to have a good pilsner or some sort of lager to have with dinner, but if I really wanted it I could have ordered from the bottle list. Atmosphere was very nice, but nothing really stood out for me. Candles were on the tables so it could be a bit romantic, but by no means a couples only type of place. There was a good mix of people there.
The beer was great, but the food is what will get me to come back. As other people have said, there are many great beer establishments in the area, so to stand out the food needs to be on par with the great beers and the drafting room satisfies both of these conditions.
01-04-2009 19:16:28 | More by psurandy
3.6/5 rDev -18%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$
I stopped off to kill time here on my way to Victory Fall Fest.
I gave this place a low score on atmosphere. At the risk of sounding mean, it just didn't have anything distinctive to it. It resembeled a no-name place that you'd expect to see attached to a Days Inn or something equivalent.
The beer selection was nice. They had approximately 16 tap lines of all micro/craft beer along with a beer engine. My disappointment with the tap lines was unique to me. I'm from upstate NY and most/all of the beer available on tap is readily available by me. So I wasn't intrigued by anything I couldn't get back home. I was hoping to see something I can't get in NY but that just wasn't the case. Something from Erie or Bells would've been nice to see. Instead I saw a lot of NY beers instead of PA-Locals (with the exception of Troegs)
The bottle selection was impressive. They had three floor-to-ceiling coolers with glass doors behind the bar; with ~ 85% dedicated to bottles. It was something you'd expect to see at a really good micro-brew distributor store not at a bar. So this was nice to see and very unique.
I had a burger like I usually do in most places. It was reasonably priced, and a really tastey aged-cheddar on it and was served on a hard roll.
Given the other beer bars in the area that I dind't get to, I probably wouldn't return here without checking out the competition first.
09-28-2008 21:46:08 | More by madmanjf
4.43/5 rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I go here almost ever Sunday and occasionally after work during the week. All of my experiences have been during mostly off peak hours in the bar area.
The bar area is small but I never feel too crowded. It can get smoky but nothing that has caused me to leave. The staff from the managers on down are friendly and knowledgeable. The beers that they get there are always top notch and move much quicker than anywhere else I have seen. It is almost a new tap list everytime I get in there. The price are great and you can order pints or 10oz. which is something that I look for a bar to offer so I can try a couple of beers in a sitting.
The food is also really good. There is a brunch buffet offered on Sunday morning/midday that seems great but I have yet go for it. I have had the Cream chipped beef of biscuits with potatoes that I can never finish, roast beef sandwhich that was well better than par for the course, and the open face portabello sandwhich is by far my favorite. The staff has also gone out of there way to make my 2 year old daughter feel welcome when she was in there with me.
I can't say that I have ever had a bad experience here.
07-09-2008 20:48:39 | More by Biscuit033
4.5/5 rDev +2.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
The layout of the building is nice and compartmentalized. On the right, you have the bar which is pretty well cut off from the fancier restaurants half. The bar is an L shape nestled into a corner touting some nice taps. The cooler behind the bar is in plain sight and offers again some nice selections. One of my favorite parts of the bar is a little half wall with a thin strip of counter top running down it for people to hang out and enjoy their beer. It really says, "Come here and drink!" Maybe I'm over thinking it, but it made an impression on me. The restaurant half is unremarkable, but it's quite spacious and often quite.
The beer list screams SEPA! Sweet. The bottles cover a wider region, but after you see the tap list, you won't even consider the bottles. The list is up on a chalkboard that is quite easy to read. Someone with a little artistic ability must work here. This also lists the big beers available in bottles. Just so much of this place encourages the consumer to enjoy themselves.
The food is all right when it comes to bar sandwiches, but their resturant meals and specials are really quite wonderful. I had a lamb dish from the special menu that blew my mind. Every time we've come, dinner has been great, but as I mentioned, their bar sandwiches are just so-so.
The servers are quick and the bartenders are extremely educated, but not snooty at all. The professionalism and ability to get information to the consumer is duly noted.
I wish I lived a little closer. This is clearly one of the better places to drink in the greater Philly area.
04-24-2008 02:11:52 | More by DarkerTheBetter
4.53/5 rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
At long last, I had occasion to visit the drafting room.
Located right off of hiway 100, just before you get to the turnpike, yet another outstanding beer bar in a bizarre location. This place is located in a small strip mall, just off of hiway 100. You have to want to visit this place, as the traffic flies by on hiway 100 right here.
The atmosphere at this place is hard to describe and is clearly not it's best feature. There is a very sterile, industrial feel to the drafting room. As one walks in, there is a wrap around bar with a few tables and chairs in front of you. Most of the dining area is off to the left, up a couple of steps. In any event, I spent my time in the bar area, which even on Sunday was pretty crowded by 3:00 in the afternoon. It's a pretty comfortable place, with 4 or 5 flat screen TV's over the bar for watching various sporting events.
The TDR had something like 16 beers on tap and the quality was impressive. At least on this day, it included the Maharaja, Nugget Nectar, Heresy and Hop Devil on cask. Very, very nice.
Service was odd. The young lady serving me was very friendly and pleasant, but she seemed very distracted much of the time as well. Also, she had this annoying habit of taking my order, and then puttering off to go do something else for 5 or 10 minutes. Nevertheless, she was pleasant, polite and relatively attentive the entire time I was there.
As for food, got the ceaser salad and for what it was, it was very, very good. Ingredients were fresh and the ceaser dressing very good.
All in all, was impressed with the Drafting Room and would undoubtedly be a regular if such existed in Baltimore. However, when I compare it to Capones, Quotations, TJ's, TND's and some of the other better beer bars in the area, I have to say I'll continue to take my money elsewhere. Competition in this part of SEPA is very, very stiff indeed.
For whatever reason, I find myself going here more and more often, as I've come to enjoy and appreciate TDR all the more. While the atmosphere hasn't changed a great deal, I've come to appreciate the low key, relaxed vibe. Also, the service here is now so good, it's nearly bewlidering. Not only is it fast and efficient, but on one occasion the bar tender lent me a growler so I could bring home some breakfast stout that was on tap. Also, the attentive and knowledgable young lady who frequently serves me, on one occasion gifted me with a bottle of beer for an upcoming BA event I was attending in Baltimore. It was a beer not available in Maryland, and she wanted me to share it with the folks at the gathering (Heather, you're the best!).
What more can I say. This place is exceptional and just seems to get better and better. Food also continues to be quite good here. What's not to like? I just wish it were closer to my home.
03-30-2008 22:19:22 | More by John_M
4.4/5 rDev +0.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
A really terrific beer bar in Exton.
The atmosphere is nice but nothing special. The place can get pretty smoky.
The beer selection is quite good, and only pales in comparison to the bigger selections at some really outstanding beer bars in the area (TJ's, Teresa's Next Door). This is, however, the only place I have seen Three Floyds Dreadnaught and Stone XI (bottles only) and one of the few places with Hop Slam in bottles (they also have a keg they are holding for something special). Only about a dozen taps, which is again very nice but we spoiled Chesco types are used to 24 or so.
Service is knowledgeable and friendly. Not everyone is a beer geek (or aficionado or expert or whatever noun you would use as a compliment) but Heather and Sean are, and most everyone else knows a fair bit.
The food here is consistently excellent. From the chicken quesadillas to the sandwiches and even the entrees, you will find good stuff. Phyllo-wrapped cheesesteak, crab and corn cakes and the brisket are some of my favorites.
Only 20 minutes from our house but rarely on the route to or from anywhere we go so we're not here as often as we might be. But we always enjoy stopping in when we can.
02-18-2008 18:54:06 | More by sholland119
4.4/5 rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
My first trip to the Drafting Room was for the Victory/Heavyweight release party. Went back there recently for on a non event weekend night to get a real feel for the place. And I must say, a very high quality bar with an excellent rotating tap selection and a large cooler of bottles proudly displayed in the small bar area. Bartenders know what they are doing and had a tidbit or a suggestion for everything they brought over.
Food was pretty solid, with a pretty extensive menu.
Only negative was that smoking was allowed in the bar, and given its size, its can be a little much.
This place is highly recommended for a visit.
02-09-2008 23:42:28 | More by ColForbinBC
4.4/5 rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
The Drafting Room- Exton
My wife and I showed up for the Heavyweight/ Victory fest. Got here in about an hour. Easily got seats but the place filled up quickly afterward. We were here at 11:45am.
Anyway, Excellent tap selection, excellent bottle selection. My portabella sandwich was very good, my wife's turkey burger was mediocre. The waitress did a fantastic job even though see had to deal with a packed room! Much farther from me than the Spring House establishment but just as good if not better. A definite spot to hit if you're nearby.
01-08-2008 00:02:29 | More by NJpadreFan
4.22/5 rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
I went down to the Drafting Room in Exton w/ BitterBeerFace and Mughugger for the Baltic Thunder release. Walking in the bar side noticed the draft tower and beer cooler prominently displayed in a somewhat small eating/bar area.
The selection is pretty darn good, with a plethora of local beer -Victory had several beers featured that day and the menu is even divided by locals and Countries for ease of ordering. The service was pretty good considering the crowd the Baltic Thunder release brought to the place. We were checked on frequently and everyone was friendly. A member of management even replaced a dish when asking if everything met our satisfaction.
I found the food to be just above average since some items were great and others were ordinary. The atmosphere is better than average for dining and bar atmosphere w/ nice decor and some of the big beers were displayed on the mantle to get your attention. I enjoyed the cheese plate shared and the flight offerings very much.It was fun to meet many other BA's like: Phatz, gottajiboo2, Beer Island, etc. also. I am sure I will be back to the Drafting Room.
edit-I have visited the Drafting Room several times since I continue to be impressed with the commitment to craft beer - ex. West Coast Beer night and brunch brought harder to find stuff like Pliny and Racer X, SN Chico IPA.
01-07-2008 15:41:32 | More by Slatetank
4.83/5 rDev +10%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
I've been going to the Drafting Room in Exton for a little over a year now, and at no time have I ever been disappointed in the least. With a great and always changing variety of microbrews on tap and a great bottle list, it's almost impossible to not find something that appeals to everyone. The staff, especially those in the bar area know their stuff, and after a few trips, they begin to know you as well.
The bar area seems a little on the small side, but usually it isn't too hard to find a seat, and there is sufficient standing room. Only downside to the bar is that smoking is allowed, but the dining area is smoke free, so it's not that bad.
As far as the food goes, whether it be lunch, dinner, or just a snack, they've got a wide variety of fantastic items; from nachos and wings, to burgers and sandwiches, to fondue, to steaks and seafood dishes. Their daily specials are always unique and delicious, and their happy hour prices are very reasonable.
12-31-2007 20:54:25 | More by HopDerek
The Drafting Room Taproom and Grille in Exton, PA
96 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.