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Appalachian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Appalachian Brewing CompanyAppalachian Brewing Company
Based on:
70 Beers
2,404 Ratings
Place Score: 90
Ratings: 138
Reviews: 112
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

50 N. Cameron St.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 17101
United States
phone: (717) 221-1080

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @abcbrew

Notes:  Master Beer Listing
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

The Appalachian Brewing Company, also known as ABC, was founded in January 1997. ABC has a specialty beer each month.
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 138 | Reviews: 112
Photo of Chugmonkey
2.68/5  rDev -33.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

Ate here approx 10 times while working in Harrisburg in 2001. Nice looking place, very clean, good place to take a family for a meal. Beers were good, but nothing I really fell in love with - nothing memorable that's for sure.

Food and service really varied, sometimes really disappointing and others were okay. I recall having a decent steak once or twice. It really seemed to be a gamble on the food & service. I would recommend to get some good beer, but the food really was hit & miss. I found myself going here when other restaurants I liked were too busy, kind of a second choice.

NOTE: My experiences were from 2001, could be much different now in 2008.

Photo of wardough
2.75/5  rDev -31.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I went to the Harrisburg location after being recommeded this place by my friends. Parking was pretty easy to find down the street. There was parking near the restaurant, but it was full.

The atmosphere was exactly what I expected for a brewpub: open tables and a large bar. We were promptly provided a table.

The service from there went downhill. Our waitress was unfriendly, unknowledgeable. It took 20 minutes to get the sampler (they only have a few sampler carriers....so only a few customers could get. They definitely need to fix this.

I ordered the sampler, which is 8 8oz beers. It included all of their major products (pilsner, APA, IPA, Abbey Ale, Stout). The beer was pretty average for a brewpub, but I thought that the Abbey Ale and the IPA were great beers.

They had 10 beers on tap. I wished that I had tried their 2 cask conditioned ales.

Food was above par for a brewpub. All of the food at the table looked good. I had the Santa Fe Chicken salad, which was delicious.

Overall, a good experienced marred by horrible service. I would still try this place again, as it may have been an isolated incident.

Edit: I visited a second time to give it a second chance. Second time, I had their Susquehanna Stout, which was enjoyable. The Abbey Roade was also enjoyable. The service was again horrible (rude service people, unresponsive), which affected the overall atmosphere. This place seemed more about quantity of beer served rather than respecting beer. Recommended only if you like bad service.

Photo of Bmoyer0301
2.78/5  rDev -30.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

Harrisburg's first brewpub huh ? Well I must admit this place has a neat rustic old building feel to it and is laid out well with a great view of the brewery from all seats. The quality is another story though a lot of their beers seems to be rather flat and boring with little variation. The service was so/so when we stopped to grab a bite to eat and it wasn't even that busy. Their selection of beer is actually pretty amazing that they have 17 beers on tap at one time. But I HIGHLY suggest sticking to one of the most recent seasonals or a flagship beer because they had Zoigel Lager and Celtic Knot Red still on from January and March 2010 its January 2011 now. Why the need to keep so many beers on, especially old ones? My opinion if you cant sell out of your monthly beer in a month or two make smaller batches rather than letting it linger all year. Food was sub par and the prices were not that good what what we got ($11 for a dry burger and soggy fries). My suggestion grab a small sampler and get out. real beer advocates wont fall for these guys. A novelty beer stop for people who are trying to ween into craft beer

Photo of tuowl74a
2.84/5  rDev -29.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3

It's just okay. The beer selections are fairly standard and not very exciting. I'm an IPA guy and their Hoppy Trails is very disappointing, just not much to it. Service seems to run hot and cold from visit to visit. This is a good idea that seems to be more interested in expanding the franchise than concentrating on the product.

Photo of Shandycan
3/5  rDev -25.2%

Photo of bonbini26
3.13/5  rDev -21.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Went here on a Saturday night for dinner & drinks with some friends

A- Kind of an older crowd. Was a little disappointed in the size of the 3 TV's in the place, probably 27'ers. Any bar I go to in New Jersey no matter how nice or shitty has at least one 40'+ flat screen. Music was pretty lame here too

Q & S- as far as the brewery beers go they had pretty much every style represented. From IPA, Barleywine, Porter, Stout, Rauchbier, Scotch Ale. Also a cask line. All seemed fresh, none of the beers were over the top spectacular. There was also a pretty decent Belgian bottle selection of about 50+

Service- This was the low point, service was slow and the place wasn't even that crowded for a Saturday night. The staff also knew little to nothing about beer. Was brought the wrong beer twice when we ordered off the Belgian list

Food- All the food we ordered was pretty good from starters to dessert, no complaints , mostly your typical brew pub menu

Prices were pretty reasonable- Food & Beer for 4 people was $180 w/ tip...and that was with everyone having at least 4 beers, entree & starter/dessert...Beers were around $4-$5, most of the Belgians were priced fairly

Overall, a middle of the road brewery as far as beers go. Better than average food. Poor service/knowledge of staff. So-so Atmosphere

Photo of rudimon
3.16/5  rDev -21.2%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 2.75 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5

selection was good with the bar upstairs..

Photo of dungledauf
3.25/5  rDev -19%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Atmosphere: Visited during their anniversary celebration. The place was friendly and comfortable with everyone having a good time

Quality: The food, beer, and waitress were good. Great diversification of beer and food to choose.

Service: Hostess and waitress were both outstanding. Friendly, patient. Both did their jobs very well. A bartender, Dawn, was the exception. After lunch, I approached the bar to purchase a drink, but I had to wait 15 minutes. I complained to the manager, but he instructed me to not bother the bartender. There was not resolution to my complaint. My guess is that the bartender and manager were to busy distributing drugs instead of tending to the bar customers.

Photo of boelker62
3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I have a different view of this place, as I had had their beers a few times before, but was rather unimpressed. The wife and I went there for a concert on a friday night to the Abbey Bar upstairs, only walking through the main hall downstairs. Both flors were filled and lively, families dining downstairs, and a younger crowd upstairs. On our particular night, the upstairs Abbey Bar was smoke free as well. But they did have a cigar humidor in back of the bar, which was confusong, at first. There was a private party and one end, and a light cover for the band.

The atmosphere was VERY lively and loud, well before the concert. It was a surprisingly young crowd, and as this Abbey Bar has about 100 Belgian bottles, and many of their own brews on tap, as well as a full liquor license, it was well-received by all ages. Maybe because it was a concert night, but it quite apparent you were not welcome, wait, that's unfair, it was unexpected for us to get food at the bar, like we do EVERYWHERE else we go. It was so crowded, so early, it was dificult to keep people from constantly hovering over our shoulders ordering drinks. Not their fault, though.

The quality of the overall presentation was good. The barkeeps were knowledgable, but were certainly there to sling drinks to the masses. I think they were understaffed (3 bartenders) for the 500 people on that floor, with no service bar and very few floor servers.

Tap selection was not as good as it was donstairs, but the 100 Belgian bottles puts this above average. The food we had was average bar food, and I mean that in a good way. I love bar food. Some of the best wings I have had in a while, actually. The value for the drinks was good, the IPA hit the spot, the porter above average, but, I did see someone drinking Chimay from the bottle, as if it were a Bud Light. Sorry, I am not trying to be a snob about it, but that's a minor form of beer disrespet, if you ask me. Oh well, to each his own. If I were a server, however, serving a $20 bottle of beer, I would want the customer to get the best value from it, and it is an objective assessment that most any beer is better after breathing a bit. Oh well.

Overall, my impression of the place is much higher than that of their bottled beers, and would not hesitate going back when in Harrisburg. I'd certainly go there for a concert again, but wouldn't make the 90 mile trip for it's on sake.

Photo of Throckmorton
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

A- this is the best part of this place. great old building, had been burned out, and they did a great job of cleaning it up and installling the tanks, etc. all exposed wood and brick, good second floor with large outdoor rooftop deck.

Q - of the beer? something below average. Most offerings have little real character, they brew for mass tastes for the most part. has the occasional interesting brew.

Service and food are a cut above, and prices are reasonable.

For me the beer is OK, but the atmosphere, pool, deck, music, look and feel that keep me coming back. I don't really go there for the beer. having said that, they have a decent selection of bottles from other breweries, especially Belgian.

Photo of BeerCon5
3.38/5  rDev -15.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

I have been here a few times, each time was a different experience. The outside has a very old, rugged look to it, while the inside looks very comfortable and has a warm atmosphere. As you walk in you are able to see the actual brewery through the glass walls. There is a large L-shaped bar at the far end, with hanging glass mugs lining the back of it.
I've had quite a few of their beers, of most I would call average. The best would include the Obbie's Grand Cru and the Watergap Wheat, which were both excellent.
The wait staff was very knowledgeable on all of the beers, although there were a few times where it seemed we were left to fend for ourselves.
The food also varied in quality. One time I had a Delmonico that wasn't very good, just kind of warm and not very juicy and another time I had the Susquehanna Stout Wings which were probably the best wings I've ever had.
Both the food and beer prices were very reasonable. They also have growlers available, although they are very difficult to get as they are often sold out as well as cases and six packs to take home.
Overall, this isn't a bad place to visit. I will most likely stop to fill my growler or to get some wings.

Photo of stakem
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

It's a nice establishment but depending on where you are seated it can feel a little cramped. (Regarding the small landing on the left side of the building and lack of walking space for waiting staff.)

The burgers and wings are delicious. The other members of my party spoke highly of their BBQ pork.

I had the opportunity to take their tour with plenty of samples afterwards. The selection of beer is great. If you visit, be sure to scope out the chalkboard behind the bar that is an ever-changing list of their small batches of beer.

June 2010 Update:
After deciding to become a mug club member and visiting more than once a month my perception of this place has drastically changed. The vibe and atmosphere remain a decent setting. The food menu has undergone a reconstruction and while 2 of my favorites have been removed, there is still a decent selection to choose from. The staff is friendly and as of late has been having an issue with "newbies" who don't necessarily give you accurate information when you inquire about takeout beer and their new "brewery direct" beer purchasing. As for the beer, I don't know what to think anymore. Your experience can honestly be a total roll of the dice. For roughly 4 months I was never served a beer with a head, every single pint/mug was served with no head and unacceptably low in carbonation. The final nail in the coffin for me was when I realized this place just generally doesn't care that much about their beer. Why would you serve seemingly flat beer for that long? The most recent occurence which I cant swallow was experiencing them switching lines without cleaning. Ok, I can understand a busy establishment emptying kegs in a short amount of time and not cleaning the lines on every single kick. However, I cannot believe they interchange root beer lines with their beer lines. I literally was served a glass of barleywine which was mixed with root beer. I took it to the bartender who smelled it and said "whoops, guess we didn't pour enough beer through the line that previously had the root beer in."

Photo of ottobon100
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3

While visiting Harrisburg for the first time I went here on Monday evening, Oct. 30th. Found it on "Beer Fly." Started off - and finished - with the samplers, 8 of them brewed on premises + a root beer sample. First, I thought all of the beers tasted "weak" or watery. I am a big IPA fan and their "Hoppy Trails" was not good at all. I really didn't like any of their beers that much. I guess if pressed to pick one it would have been the Stout or Porter but even that tasted watery to me. To be honest I can't remember if it was a Stout or Porter that was served. Just wasn't memorable. Maybe worth going back to see if some of the beers they carry other than the ones they brew are any good.

Photo of philbe311
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Had a late dinner here with my wife this past weekend... A big brick building situated in an older slightly run-down section of Harrisburg... A big open space inside, but one that was a little to dark for our liking... Some nice blown-up images of their beer's labels line the wall... There is a small glimpse into some brewing equipment... One refrigerator unit sits in back with a small selection of six-packs for patrons to take home... The service was the textbook definition of average... There was nothing wrong with it, but I wasn't too impressed either... The food again, was the textbook definition of average... The beer selection and quality was the best part of this establishment... There was a wide variety of styles, all of which we sampled were slightly above average... Everything was very reasonable priced... Dinner for two, one shared desert, and three beers came in under $40, so I can't complain... Overall if you're in the Harrisburg area, this place is definitely worth a visit, but I'm not sure I would go too out of my way to get there...

Photo of Mipper
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of qcbrewer
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of lgcberry
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I visited ABC in Harrisburg last Saturday (April 12). We arrived around 6:30 or so and the place was already pretty full. Got a seat near the front which was quieter but prevented me from having a good view of the bar which was huge.

They had about 10 of their own beers on draft. I was going to get a sampler (8-5 oz. glasses for $13) but decided against it as many of the beers were hoppy-style ales which aren't my favorite. Instead I tried the Kolsch and my friend tried the Wheat.

The Kolsch was ok - fairly light in body, not harsh on the palette, mild hop character, clean after taste. Not quite bold enough to go with the bratwurst and onion rings I'd ordered. The wheat was listed as unfiltered, but it looked filtered and didn't have the mouth feel of an unfiltered ale. The body of the wheat was also light, there were hints of spices (couldn't pinpoint exactly what) and it stood up to fish & chips quite well.

Overall, the it's a nice facility, The food isn't that great - my brats were cold and when I sent it back, I think they just micro'd the meat and sent it back out. The fish part of the fish and chips was really good. The fries were just warm, not hot and fresh. The server came by and checked a couple of times but it seemed more obligatory rather than out of genuine concern for our needs.

Bottom line - if you're in the area and jones'in for a brewery, it'll do the trick. Just don't expect to be overwhelemed.

Photo of Jeremy_Zim
3.53/5  rDev -12%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2

I chose Appalachian Brewing Company to help me celebrate my 21st birthday in a tasty, responsible manner, and I was (mostly) not disappointed. The establishment is clean, and quite presentable. Plenty of lovely old wood can be found inside the grand brick building, giving an ancient but magnificent feeling to the dining and drinking experience. As I was with my family and a couple of close friends, we sat at a table as opposed to the bar. Service was quick and attentive, and my Broad St. Barleywine arrived promptly along with the other drinks from members of my party. We chose to get an order of the pretzel sticks to hold us over until our entrees arrived, which were tasty and complemented the beer well. I was not thrilled by the cheese/mustard combination sauce, but I could see how others would have liked it.
As a vegetarian, the menu didn't provide me with a huge variety of options, but the food was not exactly the point of the evening. I chose a veggie burger. I noted on the menu that the veggie burgers are baked, instead of grilled, in order to make sure they don't come into contact with any animal products (I am not an extremely picky vegetarian, so while interesting, it wasn't critical to my palate). Eating the veggie burger, it was mushy and pasty. It's hard for me to say whether this is due to the fact that it was baked not grilled, or due to the recipe itself. Either way, I was not pleased.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the beer and the experience, but not the food (although other members of the party quite seemed to enjoy their portions, so take me as an exception, not the rule). I am excited to come back to ABC for more great beer, as well as shows at the Abbey Bar upstairs!

Photo of yergermeister
3.54/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of Maestro
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I really like this brewpub. They have a ton of space which makes it a great place to take the family for dinner. The service is sometimes a little slow. The food is very good and they offer several vegetarian options for those who are interested. The beers are average at best. They have a few standouts. The Hoppy Trails IPA is good, the Pennypacker Porter is good, and the Pale Ale is decent. Aside from this, most of their beers have very little body and aren't very exciting. Definitely a good place to eat but not the best brewery around.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Big cavernous brick walled old warehouse has a cool atmosphere, but is a little too open to provide any coziness or feeling of privacy (the latter being, perhaps oddly, how I like public drinking establishments). Food, what I had anyway, was underspiced and eggplant was undercooked, but it wasn't a disaster. Lots of their beers were available, good selection, and the ones that were seasonal were clearly maked as such on the menu. Found all three beers that I had decent to underwhelming (barleywine, cask pale ale, scottish ale). Attentive service, from both waitress and bartender, were the best part of the visit.

I dunno, was left a little cold by this place overall, but they're giving it a great shot, and you gotta love that they have a Belgian beer bar upstairs. Will try that next time.

Photo of dwarvenspirits
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Wife had a business trip so we stopped in at this place. First off, it looks like it is in a ghetto neighborhood. Everything around it is dilapidated and ugly looking. Not very respectable.

Inside it is clean and large. You can clearly see many of the fermentation vessels. The beer list was decent. The beer itself was OK. The raspberry framboise was fantastic. I don't know what they did but that stuff was killer. The peach lambic wasn't that good, though. Had a few sip of the wit they serve and that was sub-par, same with the IPA. The pale ale was solid but overall I wasn't super impressed with the quality of the beer. It was mediocre.

The food was good. We sampled a cheese appetizer that was fantastic, too. Very good. Came out paired with some wine and beer, can't beat that. The food was good to eat but nothing too fantastic to shout about. However, the quantity was impressive. You get a lot of food for the price at this place.

I would say check it out if you are there. It's one of the few microbreweries in the area. Clean, decent and affordable.

Photo of NickTinyRace
3.64/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Open layout, fun atmosphere, great beer, and the staff is more than willing to answer any questions in regards to the beer. Highly recommend if in the area.

Photo of bosco7
3.65/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Went here after the Troegs tour for lunch. Very close proximity to each other make.

The brewpub is located in a very attractive old brick building with hardwood flooring. The brewhouse is fully visible behind huge windows. Very nice feel to this place for sure.

The beer selection was pretty good with 20 or so of their beers on tap. I found the quality a little underwhelming. I had their IPA and there Dry Stout. The IPA had an odd hop character and the stout was very watery.

I think that food besides the atmosphere was probably the best thing about this place in my opinion. As a recent recovering vegetarian I chose to have the bacon cheeseburger and I was very impressed with the quality.

Overall this is a nice place for lunch and is conveniently located near the Troegs Brewing Co. I would say give it a try.

Photo of scottbrew4u
3.66/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

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Appalachian Brewing Company in Harrisburg, PA
90 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.