Appalachian Brewing Company
Ratings: 127 | Reviews: 109 | Display Reviews Only:
4.43/5 rDev +10.2%
The journey of a thousand pints starts with a single brewpub Mao Tse-tung, (1893-1976). Why arent we this enlightened in western culture? Were young, and theres still so much to learn about the ways of the world, Ive just got to get out on the road again and see it all. And so it begins. Even with having stopped in Easton for a spicy hot chocolate (full bodied and thickish, yet smooth, well homogenized, Im thinkin a whole milk base, its definitely 2% or greater, with a slight brown and tan swirled foam head that dissipates as it cools leaving lightly clumped powdery lacings along the cup, cinnamon and spices in the nose, bittersweet chocolate and cocoa flavors with some subtle smokiness, the heat is up front and pronounced, Habanero, yeah, and something else, maybe Cayenne on the end, spicy, good heat, consistent, close to being overwhelming but wow!!, some undercurrents of nutmeg in the finish. Great viscosity, I highly recommend!!), it still only took me 3 hours to get to Harrisburg. This is my halfway for the day, beer and a beer and a bite and move on
Parked in one of the spots with its metered head cut off, just a sad pole with no known story. Its a well filled, big brick building. The room is broad, seemingly cut in half by a center row of large round pillars with suspended flags. Thick wood beams above, plank ceiling, and massive industrial ductwork (It's huge, I thought it was a water slide, but only for like, a minute). Big brick, tracks above throughout. Framed magazine articles, brewery pics and awards, as well as old b/w pics of the building on an inner wall. ABC neon signs here & there and a mounted etched plate. In the back back, you can see a large L shaped wood bar, seating 20 or so. The smaller leg of the L holds the main bar back; a 3 piece wood unit with recessed spots over paneled dark glass. The center piece has a ½ barrel on the counter with the barleywine tap and a pair of soda taps running from it, glassware & booze to both sides of it & on the shelf above where mug club mugs dangle 2 and 3 deep from its underside below. And still higher above, ornamental pieces (trophies, a glass with emerging barley, ½ yard glass, etc) displayed. The pieces to each side of center hold ABC bottles & mugs, growlers & glassware, lots more dangling mug club mugs, and a pair of handpumps to one side. The longer leg of the bar looks on the brew room through large, tall framed windows. Massive fermenters in a big brick there. Racks of mugs run the length of the bar. A large board with tap selections, a smaller board with specials and a few mounted TVs. 3 raised bar tables inside the L along a divider wall separating the bar from the front & side dining areas; nearly 3 dozen tables there.
Spaced at the bar, ordered the (damn good) BBQ chicken wings to base some beer on, and contemplated the draft list. 2 towers of 4 taps a piece on one end of the L and the same at the other end. It was a little hard to tell whats what, but it appeared to be 6 house regulars (Wheat, Scottish Ale, Pale Ale, Lager, IPA, Barleywine), 5 seasonals/specialties (Weizenbock, Porter, Chocolate Cherry Porter, Kriek, Olde Ale), 2 casks (Stout & a dry hopped IPA) and 2 sodas (root beer & ginger beer). I paid to play, sampled as I went. The Jolly Scot Scottish Ale was dark & pleasantly malty; the Volks Weizenbock was deep & fruity, nicely Moonglowish; the Pennypacker Porter had a slight roasted flavor; the Paxton Kriek was very sweetly cherry, minimal tartness; the cask Susquehanna Stout was smooth & oaty; the Hoppy Trails IPA was floral & piney, okay; the Mookies Chocolate Cherry Porter was first chocolate, and then the cherry comes in behind it, real nice. The standouts were the Weizenbock, Chocolate Cherry Porter & the cask Stout. Wound down the wings, settled up, and started heading for the door, and thats when things took a turn for the yeah, huh?
The Abbey 2nd floor sign next to the elevator in the corner. Its their upstairs Belgian beer bar, 50 bottled Belgians (and Belgian style). Similar but different in size and shape to the floor below, its a large open room with an 18 seat straight wood bar, towers of 8 taps on each end, and glass front coolers housing the bottled selections on the bar back. Along side here, a bar counter runs the length on large windows looking down over the brew room. 3 angled burgundy topped pool tables sit out on the middle of the floor adjacent to the bar, TVs in all the corners, and a stage area at the front end. Old plank floors, lots of brick and maroon painted walls, mounted lanterns and drop lamps, leather couches, 18 low and raised bar tables. To the rear, a gallery spotlighting local artwork; and off to the far side beyond the bar; a doorway to a large outside wood deck with a few tables (Hold on, lemme look, yep, my car is still where I left it, thats a good thing).
Would have wrestled an Oer Bier or two had I more time. Real good place from top to bottom.
01-05-2007 00:03:53 | More by slander
4.53/5 rDev +12.7%
I always approach on Cameron Street, headed west, and the first thing that one notices is that it is an immense brick building. They have now begun to use a portion of the east side of the building as a billboard, currently to advertise The Abbey Bar At ABC. In fact, the sign hangs above the handicap entance and also the exterior entry to Abbey, all on the east side of the building. On the west side of the building is a small parking lot and a grain silo, where they store the two-row malt.
The entryway is flanked by a couple of converted turn-of-the-century gaslamps. Passing through the double doors puts you in a foyer with racks for free publications, a couple of historic printing presses, and to the right, a door and window overlooking the rest of the malt storage as well as the grist mill. On the other side of the short foyer are another pair of double doors, these of heavy wood, inlaid with stained glass depictions of the company logo, which itself depicts the Rockville Bridge.
Open these doors and you step inside the restaurant and brewery. Immediately to the right is the maitre d' station and to the left is the cooler with the take-away beer. Also associated with the maitre d' station is the ABC gift shop with their logo on a diverse number of wearables and collectibles. There are several waist-high partitions to section off various parts of the restaurant and off to the far left are large poster-sized depictions of the Water Gap Wheat, Jolly Scot Scottish Ale, and the Purist Pale Ale logos. Just a little past them is a wood and glass cabinet with a collection of beer trays to make the breweriana enthusiast's mouth water. The floor is highly polished blonde wood, which lends to the ambiance.
The entire room is bisected by a series of concrete pillars and hanging off of each one is a country's flag: U.S., (dark blue overlaid w an "'x" - UNK), Australia, Germany, Poland, and Ireland (from front to back). The U.K. flag hangs on one of the windows overlooking the fermentation room.
Back to our tour. This is a long, wide room, hearkening back to the building's original use, first as a printing company and later as an aircraft parts fabrication and storage facility, each requiring lots of space and solid structural work. Regarding this last - exposed brick and mortar, steel I-beams, ducting, and heavy wood beams abound. My heart leaps in an industrial atmosphere, but the place is a bit too bright for my liking.
Proceeding aft to the bar, you pass the aformentioned cabinet with the trays; a map of the Appalachian Trail (natch); a poster of the Mountain Lager logo; a fire door, still on its mountings; and the elevator to the 2nd and 3rd floors.
At last, the wood floor gives way to a brick area that coincides with the start of the bar. The bar is an "L"-shaped affair with four separate tap towers, each with four brass taps. "Let's get dahn ta brass taps," said the Pittsburgher. These towers are highly unique, very reminiscent of ones seen in Germany. They are tall ceramic and brass affairs with the ubiquitous logo on the front and back at the base.
Seated at the bar, the immense fermentation tanks stare out at you from behind glass, silently beckoning with their version of the Sirens' song. The Mug Club mugs are on racks hanging around the back of the bar. There is also a long wooden board, labelled "Beers On Draught", detailing the selection on any given day. On this day, they had twelve (12) (!) draughts listed, plus one (1) cask-conditioned beer (which I kicked), and the sixteen (16) taps, if you couldn't do the math earlier. Beautiful.
Off to the left of the bar are the lavatories and to the left of the Women's is the elevator. We're goin' up! Upon arriving on the second floor, the door opens to reveal three pool tables to your immediate right and on the opposite side of the room, several leather chairs and a sofa. To the immediate left of the furniture is The Abbey Bar At ABC, with a cooler full of bottled Belgian beers and twelve drafts, mostly house beers. The time to come in is at the first of the month, when two taps of Belgian ales are offered. The atmosphere is dark, dank, smoky - my kind of place. To the right of the furniture is the stage for live music, usually on weekends.
Continuing aft, there are the doors to the outdoor deck that overlooks several parking lots; and all of the way aft, through a doorway, is a banquet hall which was the scene of a wet coaster battle several years ago during the annual fest. Mind you, I'm not copping to anything.
Finally, the waitstaff. Artie and Alan can really hire quality people. Yesterday's lucky recipient of that special brand of joy that comes with a visit from The Beer Pest was Hillary, but an edit will name another server who was quite patient with me. Her name is in another notebook and will have to wait. They are really great people here.
EDIT: The other server's name is Amy.
07-17-2005 16:23:28 | More by woodychandler
4.45/5 rDev +10.7%
I think I may have spent too many long nights here to give it a proper review, but I'll try. The atmosphere, apart from sitting at the bar, is "open" but comfortable. The bar, on the other hand, can get crowded - even during the day! Although the decor is very "light maple, standard brewpub", it does have a certain charm due to the age of the building and so forth. I love the heavy doors at the entrance, the wooden floors, and the massive concrete columns. I personally don't particularily care to see the fermenters, but if you want to it's all right there. The service has probably been some of the best I've ever had at a brewpub and I have to give them credit for that. Also, the brewers are some of the most friendly guys I've ever run into (Hello Artie!). The beers are first rate and there's always a good selection. The regulars (bottled products) are always on tap, and I'm a big fan of The Jolly Scot - a dead label from a Harrisburg brewery that they've revived. But the seasonal brews are what interest me. On one memorable visit I had 2 remarkable beers - a German Hefeweizen and a Belgian wit. Both very nice, but I went back for seconds of the weizen! The Rockville Rye is also a head-turner; and the Pennypacker Porter and Broad Street Barleywine are also solid choices. And I shouldn't say I was surprised, but the food caught me off-guard. It was much better than I thought it would be! The pizza is great with a fluffy, doughy crust; but try a calzone instead! You won't be sorry. All the other regular suspects are great too! In fact, try some of the soup with lunch - the vegetarian chili is rich and hearty with a good bit of zing but not over-spiced. And it's a very family-oriented place so the children are welcome. T-shirts, glasses, and 6-packs to go are all readily available up-front, but if you've got a few empty growlers bring them!
07-27-2002 19:08:25 | More by NeroFiddled
4.4/5 rDev +9.5%
Stopped in twice during a recent visit to the Harrisburg area. Limited parking on the property. Both times there were nice size crowds in the lower bar / restaurant area, and fewer up stairs in the Abbey Bar which focuses on Belgian beers (about 50 in bottles set in shoulder height refridgerators for easy viewing). The downstairs bar is large, with about 20 stools, several high top tables, and a nice view into the brewing operations room. Huge warehouse feel with pleny of tables for dining. A refridgerator at the front door is full of ABC beer to go. There is also a large gift shop area on the other side of the front door.
Happy hour prices are nice - $3 pints. Food was good, especially the brickoven pizzas. Some of the other pub grub is ok, but not great. Bartenders were busy, but friendly and did their best to keep up with the orders. No time to discuss beers with the bartenders.
There were about 15 beers on tap covering just about every style. There is something here for everyone, from simple lagers, wheats, and pale ales to porters, stouts, and rye beers. There was an Abbey ale available too. The beers were of good quality and fresh.
The Abbey bar upstairs has 3 pool tables and a few dart boards. There is a stage for some bands along with a bar with about 13 stools. Nice and roomy overlooking the brewing room downstairs. An elevator is available to get up to the second level.
This is worth the trip if you are anywhere in the area. Surprised to see there is not more buzz about this place. The beers don't blow you away, but they are of good quality, tasty, and most beers represent the styles well.
04-09-2006 18:39:38 | More by Gavage
4.58/5 rDev +13.9%
My visit to The Appalachain Brewing Company came after a very solid visit to Stoudt's. I stayed at the Crowne Plaze Harrisburg and in the name of responsibility I made my way by foot which would have been a perfect walk had it not been 10 degrees with 20 MPH winds. On a Monday evening in mid Feb the restaurant portion was pretty much empty and the bar area was bustling with what I gathered were the regulars for the Monday mug club special. I had their very good English Pale Ale which I found to have a delightful hop character using English hops as opposed to the requisite Pac NW variety. From there I had a sampler with their Porter, Barleywine, Stout, and another I can't recall. All of the beers at ABC were excellent and this is a worthy stop for any beer conniseaur. What really blew me away was the quality of their bar food. I placed my order and almost forgot about it until it came out quite some time later. It was certainly worth it. I had flatbread pomodoro and the BEST bar hot wings I've ever had. Great beer and great food. What's better? A pretty cool facility in a revived old building. What's better? A Belgian beer bar upstairs. I wanted to focus on their house beers so I stayed away from the Belgian bar upstairs but I'm sure if I find myself back in Harrisburg I'll put it on my list to check out.
02-14-2008 04:05:26 | More by Yetiman420
4.1/5 rDev +2%
I met my parents at ABC in Harrisburg, PA for dinner tonight, the first time that I've been here in about a year.
Atmosphere: The building is a beautiful old restoration job that was famously purchased from the city of Harrisburg (pre-renovation) for $1. The restaurant has large glass windows that reveal the brewing operations.
Quality: No complaints as to the beer, food, service or overall experience.
Service: The service was better than average, fast efficient and pleasant.
Selection: They carry, on tap, about 10-15 of ABC's in-house brews. Several are quite good.
Food: The food is very good. I had bangers and mash, my parents had fish & chips and pot roast. All were very good and very cheap.
Value: Cheap food and beer in a beautiful location, what is there not to like? Resident PA expert Lew Bryson called it the best brewpub in PA and I agree.
05-11-2006 01:16:02 | More by akorsak
4.25/5 rDev +5.7%
This place is cool. Nice open warehouse atmosphere that reminds me a bit of Victory. Large wooden ceiling long wooden bar, tanks visible in the other room through big sheets of glass. Quality of the beers here is very good in general and the selection nearly blew me away, since I only have 3 or 4 of this breweries bottled beers available to me on a regular basis and at least 10+ beers were available on tap during my visit. Service was also very good, and the bartender talked shop with me for quite some time, and offered up some free samples. The "mead" here is not really a mead, and it was pretty lame, but the cask ESB was super British in style, and the barleywine really made me a believer! I had some veggie chili here that was quite good, and the prices were definately reasonable. A totally awesome place to fill up on beer on your wasy to Pittsburgh. Troegs is just a 20 minute walk away as well, an added bonus!
07-07-2005 21:49:56 | More by francisweizen
4.47/5 rDev +11.2%
I first hit up Appalachian for lunch on 27JAN10 while on my way to Ft Indiantown Gap for a Battle of the Bulge re-enactment. Enjoyed myself so much that I snuck off base for dinner on 29JAN10.
This brewpub is located in a rather large, nondescript, three-story building on the west side of Cameron St. There's a large sign proclaiming "Brewery" hanging out front. That being said, I drove right by the place first time through (the cop with blues flashing in the right lane had my attention!). They have a little free parking to the right, and lots of it in the rear.
Up a few short steps and through the doors to a small foyer. Through 2 more wooden, swinging doors adorned with their logo in stained glass, and you're there! There's a host/hostess station to the immediate right, a cooler with bier to go just to the left, then loads of tables in 4 or 5 rows heading towards the rear, with some low, dividing walls and large, circular white pillars interspaced throughout. Flags of the world (US, Ireland, Germany, etc) were displayed on these pillars. The bar starts about 1/2-way back on the right, and ells around the rear wall. The left side of the place has large windows bringing in lots of light about 1/2-way down, then it gets into all brick top to bottom. The rear is a light colored wall behind the bar, with large, open, wooden, mirrored cases holding scores of mug-club steins, as well as growlers and other glassware. The right side of the room is glassed, with the brew-works sitting behind the glass. They brewkettles are numerous and extremely large, as well as looking to be in tip-top shape. In addition to all the mugs and glasses behind the bar is a large selection of liquor for the non-bier imbiber. A few large HD TVs also hang from above for your viewing pleasure. On the bar were at least 4 porcelain bier-towers ready to dispense the golden nectar. In the air was a great variety of classic rock; damn, I was loving it... great stuff! The ceilings were quite high, with medium-hued wood and big-ass beams supporting things. I was told they do have an upstairs bar as well, though I didn't visit it.
I counted about 14 biers on tap here, running the gamut from Pils to Barleywine to Imperial Stout to Zoiglbier. If there's not a style here to your liking, well... Over the course of my 2 visits I tried 6 different biers. They averaged about a 4.2 overall, ranging from pretty good (barleywine and weizenbock) to very good (rauchbock and tripel). Their prices were decent, and even better during happy hour. I had a solid buffalo chicken wrap for lunch, and a great "Fire Jumper" burger for dinner. Verry good stuff; ample, filling, and tasty!
Service-wise, it was phenomenal. First there was Vicky on Wednesday, answering my more than numerous questions, giving me samples, filling my glass, etc... Then Britney picked up on Friday eve, also being the epitome of a quality server. On both visits I mentioned this to the manager on duty; I have rarely had such friendly, knowledgable, attentive people taking care of me. I even chatted with one of the brewers, and he was a pleasure to speak with as well. I was hoping to have time on Saturday, 30JAN, to get back for 1 last time, but, alas, it was not to be. I'll have to savor what I quaffed, as well as the bier to go I brought home (six-pack of Scottish Ale and a growler of the Rauchbock). High praise for Appalachian Harrisburg is indeed warranted here. Prosit!!
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 - $$
02-04-2010 21:49:33 | More by Bierman9
4.22/5 rDev +5%
I have been to ABC numerous times over the years. I joined the mug club one year w/ my buddy who got an ABC tattoo. I went with my bro tenderbranson69 the first time about 9 and a half years ago and yesterday we went again. I love the feel of the interior. They have lots of wood, a view of the brewing/ fermentation area, flags from nations known for brewing heritage, local brewery artifacts and high ceilings.
The bar area is spacious and there is an elevator that takes you upstairs to 'the Abbey' where you can play pool and see a band perform. The Abbey features beers of Belgium such as Achel, De Koninck, Delirium Tremens , De Dolle, Rochefort, and Westmalle to name a few. The Quality of the food is superb- I shared a crab quesadilla on a spinach tortilla and the Classic stromboli is just incredible w/ a honey mustard that gives it the right zip. We were there after the lunch crowd had passed and before dinner, so we got pretty good service and it wasn't too packed.
The selection of menu items and beer is great, they had about 12 styles on 20 taps, some of the beer is just average, but they had Susquehanna stout on cask and Oak aged Broadstreet barleywine. I have had many of the menu items and none of them dissapoint. You get a decent amount of food for what you pay for. They are hosting a brewfest and some of the Attendees will be Abbey Wright, Dogfish Head, Troegs, Victory, Stoudt's and Weyerbacher. They actually host several fests around summer/fall which are well attended.
I enjoyed the Penn State game w/ my bro and I got a taste of his beers which were Ok like Mad Cameron Wit and Dom Blonde Kolsch, but the Peach Lambic was so-so. It is a reasonable distance from my Grandma's house, so I swing by every so often. I got a couple of growlers filled to take to a gathering, but they also have six packs of their flagships in a cooler near the merch stand.
I recommend a visit to check out ABC, who seem like they are always growing w/ three locations now.
09-09-2007 19:19:28 | More by Slatetank
4.13/5 rDev +2.7%
I have been here plenty of times, I have no idea why I haven't reviewed this place yet, that changes now.
Parking can be tough if there is a concert going on at the abbey bar. Once you enter you are greeted by a huge dining room with lots of tables all over the space. The brewery can be seen through the wall on the right, with all different countries flags all over the walls. Toward the back of the room is the large curved bar with plenty of seats. TV's and the draft list hangs on the wall behind the bar. They usually have quite a few of there own beers on at all times. I always like to check what is on cask first, they are usually much better...I will say that they really do have a great variety of house beers, but some of them need some tweaks to compare to other local brewery standards.
I really enjoy there food. I have liked nearly everything I have tried, recent favorites include the Poutine and the switchback burger. The quality has always been pretty good. I do know quite a few people who have not been as lucky as I have, pieces of seafood shells in the cheddar soup comes to mind.
The abbey bar may be even better than the downstairs area. They have most of the same beers on-tap but they also have quite a few belgian beers. It is always nice to get a saison dupont and sit outside on the deck in the summer. They always have bands playing up in the abbey, it really is one of the best places to see a show in the area. Overall ABC is definitely worth the stop if you are in the area.
02-19-2012 02:56:58 | More by orangesol
Appalachian Brewing Company in Harrisburg, PA
90 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.