The Drafting Room Taproom and Grille
Taps: 13 / Bottles: 120
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 66 | Reviews: 60 | Display Reviews Only:
4.3/5 rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
How did I miss this place? This "totally on the way" place. This "you practically pass by it" place. This "you just miss being able to see it as you hit the Pottstown Pike intersection" place? Yeah, it's on the way to Sly Fox from Victory, you ain't kiddin'...
Split between 2 rooms with separate entrances, there's the "this room" where the bar is and the "other room" where the dining thing goes on. The bar is "S" shaped, marbled topped and seats upwards of a dozen, with 5 bar tables (2 high and 3 low) lying adjacent and a marble bar island seating 4 in the center of the room. There's a flat screen over the bar in the corner and smaller TV's in the other 3 corners. Burgundy lowers and beige salt & pepper uppers with a lit pink ceiling (I don't care what Phil says, they're not pink lights, that's a pink ceiling. We got the waitress to turn the overhead lights off. Guess what? The ceiling's still pink). CD juke box against this wall and to the left of it are some blackboards, with the current drafts and their tap dates listed on one long horizontal board and "big beers" listed on another.
15 taps over 2 towers. Some good local and regional micros (Troegs Troegenator & Rugged Trail Brown, Appalachian Broad Street Barleywine, DogFishHead Snowblower, Cricket Hill Hypnotic IPA, Brooklyn Pils), and beyond (Avery Old Jubilation, North Coast Old Stock '03, Grant's Deep Powder), token Belgian Lindeman's Framboise and a group of beers termed the "usual suspects" (Guinness, Harp, Bass, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Amstel Light). Hey, they've got a cask and it's... Sly Fox Centenial IPA. Oh, and, uh, some large coolers behind the bar with a whole lot of bottles, well over a hundred but fewer than a gross. About 2 dozen Belgians, a dozen termed "local flavors" (DogFishHead, Victory, Weyerbacher, Troegs, Heavyweight, Yards, Heavy Seas, Flying Fish), micros, macros, and maltos. Some big bottles and bombers in there (Allagash Curieux, Piraat, Stone 8, Double Bastard, Avery, Chimay). You can get growlers to go from here and they do a Monday night mug club.
Service was attentative, pleasant and responsive to my "mo' water please" requests. Going forward, if I'm driving the clown car by this part of the day, I'm definitely stopping here...
02-27-2005 01:32:30 | More by slander
4.5/5 rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I entered on the taproom side, being a taproom kinda guy. Right away, the decor jumps out with the logo being etched onto a glass partition. Scanning the room from top to bottom, the ceiling is unquestionably magenta/flat red raspberry, followed by an orangish mocha/deep tan, followed by faux speckled, finished by plum down to the baseboards. Hope this helps, slander.
The (loosely) S-shaped bar is topped wth faux serpentine and so is the separate short bar with its four high stools. This second bar is positioned to allow its patrons to look at the chalkboard that lists the "Keg Counter", as well as the "Featured Drafts", "Style/Month", "Ususal Suspects", and "Combinations" boards.
Some statistics: fifteen taps, one beer engine (usually featuring nearby Victory's Hop Devil), three small monitors and one large monitor above the bar. Behind the bar are three coolers, each with a maximum of six shelves with each shelf capable of holding up to nine beers. You do the math and get back to me.
There is a short flight of stairs that lead up to a small restaurant area with its own specials blackboard, several art prints by local artists, and a cocktaill sculpture. The Men's and Ladies' are off to the right.
Continuing aft in the building is the main dining room. Here the color scheme changes to plum, cornflower, and a pinkish-tan. The dining room also has a couple of blackboards, each touting specials and the like. One board is flanked by Chimay and Rogue jeroboams and a five-liter stein. They also have a working fireplace with a beer sculpture and a "Big Beer List" in situ.
My uncle and I spent a leisurely afternoon here over Labor Day weekend 2005, drinking and eating, engaging in converstion and working on his crossword puzzle. Our waitress was very pleasant and unobtrusive. I ran into one of the kitchen staff who I knew from his previous employment at Victory. All in all, a winning place, to which I would return.
11-24-2005 21:10:59 | More by woodychandler
4.22/5 rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
While staying at a hotel on the Rt 113 & 100 intersection, the question was to drive to Victory or Sly Fox as we usually do, or finally hit the Drafting Room. Since it was late, we decided to hit the Drafting Room figuring we would try something different.
Pretty easy to find with directions, but it is buried in a strip mall so if you aren't paying attention you could miss it. Upon entering we notice a large a dining area, but opt for the bar. The bar is quite small, only about 10-12 stools, a small counter table, and two high tops. The bar was packed which I found surprising for a Wednesday evening.
A large blackboard lists the selections, and a beer bottle menu is available upon request. 208 unique beers have been served on tap as the sign states. The bottle beers are very prominent behind the bar. About 13 beer were on tap ranging from some staples as SNPA, Sly Fox, and Victory, but there were some unique offerings like Troegs Mystery Pils #2, Rogue Imperial Porter, and Sly Fox Palisades IPA. Beers were fresh and tasty.
Service was a bit slow, but knowlegable. But it was very crowded too. We did not try any food.
This is a great beer bar anyone travelling through the are must hit for at least a pint before hitting the brewpubs in the area.
09-01-2006 22:51:19 | More by Gavage
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
4.1/5 rDev -6.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
The drafting room is a nice little bar in the Philadelphia suberb of exton, PA. The atmosphere is very sports-bar-like, making this place a great place to catch the big game. The quality of the beers seems to be very good, as they have tapping dates for kegs *and* casks on their menu. The service was fast, friendly, and attentive, but nothing mind-blowing. The selection was nice, but can be boring. About 14 beers on tap, with 5 "usual suspects" as they put it, lindemans framboise, 1 or 2 Belgian-style ales, and 6 or so local micros. They have a "beer style of the month" listed on their menu, and this month it was Belgian style ales. However, all this meant was that 2 or 3 belgian-style ales were on tap, one being Flying fish grand cru, and the other being the already mentioned Lindemans! I opted for a fresh(ish) cask hop devil, and a pint of good ole' Sierra Nevada Harvest. Both were good pours that arrived in nice shape. The food was decent, and well priced. Erica and I opted for a Belgian beer (which beer!?) and cheese fondue that consisted of melted swiss, provelone, and mozzarella. Twas good, but the bread it came with was a *bit* too hard for my liking and the fondue was *very* rich.
Bottom line: A great place to catch the game (awesome Monday night and pint night beer specials are here), and a few fresh brews.
11-16-2004 17:28:28 | More by francisweizen
4.38/5 rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
I entered a review for this place a few weeks ago but it was lost in one of the site crashes so here we go again.
I never really heard of this place until recently but decided to make the trip out there from Philly because of an impressive tap list.
My wife and I went there for dinner but waited in the bar area until our table was ready. The bar area is small but has plenty of seating. The bar is L shaped with few stools but there is a small island that has ample seating as well as high top tables in the back. Behind the bar there are about four or five coolers filled with bottles and on the side wall there is a chalkboard with specials and draft list. The restaurant section is very nice looking but still casual.
The service was very friendly and knowledgeable but there must have been something going on in the kitchen because it took at least 30 minutes for each course to arrive. Although it took this long for each course the food was still at the correct temperature and our server was very hospitable.
The quality of the food and beer at this establishment are excellent. They have everything from very casual gastro pub food to full entrees. Also, the selection was very impressive. They had a very large bottle selection, broken down by country and about 12 taps. Some of the beers available were Lost Abbey Angel's Share, Port High Tide Fresh Hop and Cask conditioned Nugget Nectar all on draft!
Overall I had a great time here and am looking forward to returning many times.
11-24-2009 01:52:02 | More by corby112
4.22/5 rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
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
4.13/5 rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
The Drafting Room has it all.
On one side, its a restaurant, that does a great brunch and is awesome for dinner and lunch as well. On the other side, its a bar/pub with an excellent tap and bottle list. When its warm out you can sit outside on the limited seats out in front.
Atmosphere is as good as it gets for what is essentially a strip mall beer bar. The menu is great and the dining room is a cut above pub food.
Service and quality are both great. Bartenders are friendly although the beer knowledge varies.
Tap and bottle selection is excellent! Its PA so you can also get all those great bottles to go!!!
I love this place and go there whenever I am down in the area visiting family.
05-13-2009 00:56:41 | More by indiapaleale
4.5/5 rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Visited this establishment for Sunday brunch. We ahd reservations and we were promptly seated. Our server soon arrived and took our drink orders and we all selected the brunch. The selection of food was excellent and well worth the price. Tere was a very good assortment of beers on tap and I was able to find 2 beers which I had yet to try. The beers were sevred promptly and the buffet was always well stocked. If you are looking for a place in the area to have Sunday brunch and a few drinks, I highly reccomend the Drafting Room.
05-05-2007 23:50:20 | More by tgbljb
The Drafting Room Taproom and Grille in Exton, PA
96 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.