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McKenzie Brew House

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McKenzie Brew HouseMcKenzie Brew House
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Place Score: 85
Ratings: 19
Reviews: 12
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Eatery, Store ]

240 Lancaster Avenue
Malvern, Pennsylvania, 19355
United States
phone: (610) 296-2222

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Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-07-2006

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Ratings: 19 | Reviews: 12
Photo of greg4579
3.91/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of newbeeraday
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of beerded_drunk
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of sholland119
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of ssimpson89
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of tobelerone
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of garuda
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Went to McKenzie's with my family on Saturday. I enjoyed the beer, and the atmosphere at this brew house.

The location in Malvern is new, very clean, and the employees we met were friendly. I have not tried their other locations. The beer selection was very good. I had their local Porter, and really enjoyed it.

The food was tasty feel-good style, typical of pubs, which is what we wanted.

I will definitely eat & drink at McKenzie's again when I am in the area.

Photo of DaveHack
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Stopped in last night (been here a few times before too)

It was happy hour! Ordered the Spinach and Artichoke dip. For Happy Hour it was $5, awesome deal. It came seved in a large, banana shaped dish, with plenty of chips for dipping. This was a really good SnA dip. Dip not come off as a frozen dish, as it had nice artichoke chunks and a nice golden, melted layer of cheese on top. Tried the seasonal, La Soeur Mechant. I enjoyed this refreshing, funky beer. http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/1872/76511

The bartender was attentive and good. I wasn't there long, and didn't order much. It would've been hard to mess up.

I didn't browse to food menu much, but the beer selection is impressive. I think it can be hard for a smaller, lesser know brewpub to offer almost strictly their own offerings, but they do it, and pull it off well.

I'll definately go back. Some of the beers they are outting out are pretty impressive. Given some time and more bottling, they would be embraced by the beer loving community.

Photo of pvequalsnrt
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

stopped in here after a few people recommended i should; went here for lunch on a day off. bar area is huge. lots of tables, booths - plenty of seating. even a small stage area for live entertainment. the overall feel (since it looks recently renovated) is a bit sterile and bland for my liking... really my only complaint.

had a grilled chicken sandwich.... it was great. fries were top notch, too. sandwich was ~$10. i got the sampler, which was very reasonably priced. all the regulars + 4 seasonals for $10. the regulars were OK... pale ale, english brown, oatmeal stout/porter, wit, and the saison vatour (the one they're known for). i was disappointed because there was a filtration problem... the beer poured a light tan and completely opaque, my vision obscured by yeast sediment. unlucky. the seasonals were great. an IPA that was good, but wouldn't hold it's own against many of his bigger brothers, but there was a dubbel that was delicious. and my 2 favorites were a couple of sours. aged in wine and brandy barrels to boot (if i remember correctly). i would look forward to more sour/wild offerings if they choose to go in that direction.

i would come here more if it didn't take me a half hour to get there!

Photo of Rifugium
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

This is a pretty nice place with a good selection of microbrews. There's nothing tremendous going on here, but it's one of the few microbreweries in the area, somewhere between Sly Fox, Victory, and Iron Hill, and lesser known than all of those named.

Sort of a sports bar / pseudo-hipster joint / business lunch atmosphere. Fairly big bar with plenty of tables. Service was fine; maybe a little slow at times, but the bartenders are typically friendly and attentive. Beer selections are pretty run of the mill, but there are still some interesting choices to be seen, as well as some rotating seasonals. Food has always been very good and reasonably priced, though the entries can get into some coin. Tasty desserts.

I do like to go to this place once in a while, but I wouldn't exactly call it a beer connoisseur's paradise.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.56/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

After coming from the drafting room and then Victory Brewing, I noticed a DUI checkpoint up ahead so I made a quick right into a parking lot. Phew, hey, where are we? Oh, it's mckenzie's brew house, I've been meaning to come here, just not from avoiding the cops, LOL.

The atmosphere is pleasant but a bit loud from all the TV's surrounding the bar area. Im sure the dining area is a bit more subdued. A big large space and bar with a weird lighting arriaingment above. Outside was beautiful, I would love to drink here all day. I don't remember too much but I know I liked the outside.

Service was good, although I think the bartender is a bit shy as it took a while for him to warm up.

They brew beer here so Im guessing it's fresh, I had a saison (what mcKenzie is known for) it was really good. For a seasoned beer drinker like me though, the offerings are a bit pedestrian and I would get bored here quickly. They have hard alcohol and I guess wine too. They need to throw some brett into one of their saison's in the future.

Did not try the food. I'll come back here when Im not on the run from the cops, now I just need to find a different route home, DOH.

Photo of ljbrisson
2.53/5  rDev -30.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 2 | food: 4.5

Went to this place after 10pm, after watching The Dark Knight. The restaurant took a cue from the movie, as the non-smoking section was so dark I could hardly see the wife and in-laws, with whom I went.

Selection was pretty good, standard fare for a brewhouse, and more complex than bar food. I ordered a specialty 12" pizza, moderately priced at $10, if I remember correctly. I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was.

The atmosphere was average; non-smoking was deserted since it was after 10. The bar looked spacious and sounded casual and friendly, not nearly crowded for a Saturday night, from what I could see; the wife and family detest cigarette smoke and are still not inclined to visit a bar of a restaurant even if there is no smoke.

I worked in a restaurant for 6 years, hence I have high standards and expectations for service. I know when waitstaff needs to hustle and when they're shooting the breeze in the back. There was no hustling (despite us being the only people in the joint) and there was no hospitality. Service was bad.

I have already reviewed the beer: McKenzie's Black Lab Stout. Beer selection was not very good; there were only a few brews on tap that I could find. The darkness may have caused me to miss something, but I doubt it.

Overall, despite the underwhelming beer I had and the eerie feeling of being in a large, dark dining room by ourselves, especially after having seen such a dark and dour movie, I would attend this place again just to try another pizza and give the beer another shot. I would probably go to the bar though.

Photo of deluded1
1.98/5  rDev -45.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 1 | selection: 2

I've been here twice, once on a business lunch, and once after work with my g/f for dinner.

Service is awful. Screwed up our order during our business lunch, some of us never received food, and an unapologetic waiter and manager. Food was tasty, but overpriced.

Came again with the g/f just to try the beer, and take her to dinner. I drank one uninspired saison...It was rather bland.
This occured only after waiting 25 minutes for my waitress to appear a second time, and actually take an order. The first time she only set the table. I finally had to flag down the manager after 30 more minutes (and I went to the bar for another beer, but I was so annoyed, I didn't pay attention to it)to tell him I wanted my check.

However, credit is due to the ambience which is trendy without being plastic or cheesy. I especially liked the bar area, but did not have the oppurtunity to sit down at it.

The manager apologized and offered me a $15 card, but I've been unable to convince my g/f to go back. Perhaps I'll stop by after work sometime and give it another chance.

Photo of Gavage
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Driving in mid-week around 6:00 pm - what a zoo! Drove around the parking lot twice waiting for a spot. Finally I get one, and we are thinking there'll be a major wait for a table, so the wife and I discuss eating at the bar before we walk in the door. Boy were we wrong. The bar was packed several deep of mostly professionals sipping beers, wine, and mixed drinks. Since there were tables open we opted for that.

The interior is clean and modern, with a nice view looking into the kitchen. Plenty of windows give it an airy look too. Bar area is quite large, but I never ventured into check it out. Neither did I check out the game room downstairs.

The beer list consisted of the 5 main house beers - Gold, Amber, Light, Pale Ale, and Stout. 4 special brews were available, a Independence Ale, French Country Ale, Hefe, and a Summer Wheat. The beers we had were very fresh and of high quality. Most diners around us were drinking the Light beer. The French Country and Independence Ale were awesome.

The food was also quite good as we had some basic apps and two nice dinners. Nice Caesar salad too. Service was good, but a bit lacking on beer knowledge. The Summer Wheat was described as an Amstel Light type of beer. I also overheard the waitress really pushing the Light because it was her favorite and not so heavy as the other beers. Well the other beers are not heavy at all. The food also seemed rushed, as we barely had a chance to put the forks down before the next course was coming out. But there was a large crowd so I guess they wanted a quick table turnover.

I am looking forward to a return visit in a less zoo-like atmosphere, when I can sit at the bar and enjoy McKenzie's great beers.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.98/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I must agree with the other reviewers and say that this Makenzie’s is just about the same as the other one, except different. My girlfriend and I headed up here to meet BA Enlil and some friends of his who were in town for a wedding staying at the Holiday Inn down the road. This seemed like the place to meet.

From the outside, this looked just like the other MacKenzie’s with the same styling and whites and greens in the paint job. That’s not a bad thing and I suppose it’s expected. Once inside, it was the same story, only reversed. Off to the right was the family dining/ open view to the kitchen/ deli looking section and the brewing equipment behind glass. Off to the left was the bar. This bar seemed a little more roomy than the other location but with the same feel to it to include the exact same lowered, black metal lighting over the bar. Almost too similar… One thing I would change however is to pull up the hostess’ podium. When we walked in, there was just this huge space to stand in, so we weren’t immediately confronted by anyone. It was rather awkward really. Seems like things would flow smoother if the hostess was a little more intuitive to find. Moving on, for seating this evening, we opted for seating out on the deck which was rather nice. The only problem was a lack of lighting after the sun set. Granted there were candles at the tables, but a romantic candle-lit dinner between long lost friends was a bit on the odd side. Not that I’m complaining. We knew what we were getting into sitting on the deck when it was dusk, and I must say, it was nice. There was a gentle breeze, there were no bugs and we were pleasantly removed from the karaoke that was going on inside. I must note that the basement of this location seemed a lot more inviting with a seemingly higher ceiling, more pool tables and about a gazillion dollars worth of flat screens.

For dinner, I ordered a turkey and bacon sandwich of sorts that came with some pretty good fries. The sandwich wasn’t all that great, but far from bad. My lady friend helped herself to an appetizer which was filling enough for a meal. With the monstrous portion the Nachos came in at the last location, this wasn’t too unexpected.

Our server was all right. She would come and go and she was generally pleasant dealing with. She impressed me with her concern with a stumbling drunk who made his way out of their establishment and started bumping into cars in the parking lot. She said that they had called him a cab, but she was just making sure he didn’t do anything stupid. It was nice to see she cared.

The beers were pretty good. My out of state visitors each ordered the sampler. Sadly, the server returned and said they were out of little sample glasses. To compensate, the bartender just sent them a half pitcher of each of the five beers! Wow! Talk about a hook up. I had a tall mug of their independence ale, which was all right, and my lady had the bitter, also all right. What was smoking’ was their stout. It was smoky, but not burnt or carbon tasting. That really impressed me. Also, their red was astonishingly drinkable. I’ll be back to try those two on my own for sure. As we left that night, the boys each grabbed a growler to take back to the hotel.

Over all, the food was tasty, the beers were good and we got hooked up in a big way with the sampler fiasco. I’m already planning my next trip back. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that they’re out of sampler glasses again!

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Well I'm not sure what exactly I was expecting, or why I was expecting it, but I must have been thinking that there'd be something different about the new McKenzie's. Nope. Not really. It looks pretty much the same, just flip-flopped. The TV's at the bar are nicer though. And I guess the brewhouse is bigger. Other than that it's really just the same. Same great beers. Same much-better-than-average food. Same good service. Same happy after-work crowd and families enjoying dinner. But what can you say, if it aint broke don't fix it!

Photo of slander
4.16/5  rDev +14%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Day 6.
It's Saturday, and I'm planning on getting down to Victory for the crawl, but we've got a whole lot of work to clean up from the last 2 days, and there's quite the unruly crowd outside the gate on the picket line. So much for getting out by 9 AM, any or all usual suspects will have to catch a ride with (Evil) Davo. Suddenly, it was noon, and then the email came for a 2 PM conference call. I'm never getting out of here. Now a smart man would've called it a day and gone home to sleep but I ain't that guy so I drove to Downingtown and caught the end of the crawl at Victory, things winding down, someone feed me beer. And we're in the neighborhood, so I figured I'd get to see the new McKenzies at some point...
This is the "Mirror, Mirror" episode; (Evil) Spock with a beard, Sulu with the big scar, and you advance to lead brewer by offing your superior in the chain of Federation brewing command. It's all twisted McKenzies in reverse. What's here should be there, and vice versa. Exactly backwards. A mirror image of the Glen Mills McKenzies location.
One side is a very big room, with a large new wood bar, rectangular with slight angles, seating about 30, sporting 8 taps on towers at alternating ends and a center bar island holding booze above and glassware below. Large metal rectangular frames above, one inside the other. Spot lights hang from the inner frame while drop copper cone lamps dangle from the outer frame over the bar seating. A pair of large bulb chandeliers, ceiling fans, and drop lamps above the seating areas. 5 booths and 5 tables along the windows at one end, a handful of bar tables at the other end, and half a dozen bar tables running the long wall between them. The room is done in calming colors, wood lowers and lime green wall uppers, pale yellow, beige, alternating shades of green. Mounted flatscreens at both ends, and a row of them on the long wall, and the obligatory Ben Franklin, Ernest Hemingway, etc, beer quote prints. A small corner of the room seems elevated for musical performers. Doors on the long wall run out to the deck, tables abound but currently unpopulated.
The other side holds a pair of dining areas, one beyond the other. The far rooms holds 2 dozen plus tables and booths, and a dozen and a half of the same in the closer room, looking over the a glass front fermenter room on one side and an open kitchen to the other. More crazy pastels, green, yellow, orange, blue. A clean well lit place.
Back at the bar... 8 taps, one already kicked from their grand opening just the day before. 5 regulars (McKenzies Light Lager, Shane's Gold, Wicked Wills Pale Ale, Unicorn Amber Ale, Black Lab Stout) and 2 rotating brews (Abbey 6 & French Country Ale). The Abbey 6 was candy sugar sweet, deeply fruity, and the French Country Ale had a wonderful spiciness to it, dry, floral, nice. Phil claimed that the French Country Ale said, "Snap, crackle, pop", to him (Yes, he really said that). Beers were fresh and tasty as usual. The place was near empty, service was what we needed it to be.
After my drunken friends insisted that I check out the Palcon Water Free Technologies pieces in the bathroom, I ventured downstairs to the Underground Pub. A square bar seats 30, with the same grouping of alternate end of bar taps, 3 pool tables at one end in a tiled area with flatscreens above & a dart zone nook. 3 bar tables and another pool table in an end nook, Big Buck Hunter, Silver Strike Bowling, Fast & Furious Car Race & Phil's Golf Game. Yet, 2 more pool tables on the other side of the bar, a giant flat screen and smaller ones here and there.
A most welcome addition to the area. Another McKenzie Brew house means twice the Scotty goods.

Photo of bmills1608
4.05/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Located about a couple miles west of the route 29 - route 30 intersection in Malvern. If you have ever visited the original on 202, this is, basically a carbon copy, in terms of the building layout. Large, fine structure with high peaked roof, brew tanks, kettle etc prominently displayed in the front of the building behind large windows.

Inside, to the left, the bar, to the right, the dining room. Bar is large, dominated by tan colored woods, wooden floor, bar and stools all of the light tan variety. Lots of windows in the room letting in a great deal of sun. Quite bright during the day. Also, lots of flat screen TVs surround the square shaped bar. Several tables surround the bar as well, mostly towards the back of the room. Doors leading out to a nice deck on the far wall. The deck overlooks the parking lot and Lancaster pike and at the time of my visit, was lacking in any kind of tables and or chairs, but was nice anyway.

Back inside, downstairs is the "Underground pub", which is just the opposite of the upstairs in terms of light. Quite dim with another square bar and lots of open space and more flat screens. Many a pool table available, I believe 7 in total, as well as darts and a few video games. Less seating down here as well.

Visited on a Thursday after work, the day before Good Friday, and the place was jammed packed at 5:30. The lot was completely full and cars were starting to park pretty much any place they could, regardless of whether or not it was an "official" parking space.

The 5 Mckenzie standards were on tap, as well as 3 seasonals. This is a prime location in terms of a lunch and happy hour crowd, pretty much being in the middle of corporate park land and should do very well. Again, if you have been to the original Mckenzie's, this one is very similar on pretty much all aspects.

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McKenzie Brew House in Malvern, PA
85 out of 100 based on 19 ratings.