Selin's Grove Brewing Company
Ratings: 131 | Reviews: 103 | Display Reviews Only:
4.95/5 rDev +13.5%
Having learned the news that this pub was voted #13 out of the top 50 best places to drink beer I was not surprised. The owners Steve and Heather do a great job of producing excellent beer in a friendly, comfortable setting, an historical stone governor's mansion that must be over 200 years old!
I consider myself fortunate to live only about an hour away from this establishment, and it has always been worth the drive. I have never had a bad beer here. Although many of the beers would likely win gold metals in many national contests the owners choose instead to maintain a low profile and put all their energy into producing the finest possible product for the customer. The new brewhouse, still on the property, seems to have solved the capacity problem, so that there are many selections offered on tap throughout the year.
A trip here a few days ago was very rewarding. There were 11 beers on tap. I am usually happy to see a porter or a stout on the list at most brewpubs, but they had 4 at this time! Outmeal Stout, Snakedrive Stout, Whitehorse Porter, and a special limited edition: Chipotle Porter. This chipotle porter was not nearly as hot as the Hot Shot Pilsner they produced last summer. The taste profile started out as a regular porter but then at the very end the heat kicked in. Although I usually consider hot pepper beers as somewhat of a novelty, this one was very drinkable and after having a pint of it could have ordered another if it were not for other good beers to try!
Perhaps my favorite beer this vist was the MaiBock. This was exceptional, the best MaiBock I ever remember drinking. Flawless. What more can I say. This beer greatly impressed even some noninitiated guests who were with me . I did not try (due to high alcohol content) the Belgian Tripple that was available, but based on past experience, the belgian-style beers produced here are always top quality. The Scottish Ale also was a winner. My friend took home a growler of this one.
On to some of the more lighter beers of summer. The cream ale, usually always on tap, was good. India Pale Ale was very good as well and was also offered as cask conditioned. Usually I prefer the cold and carbonated version, but for some reason this time the hops seemed to be coming through a lot better with the cask-conditoned version so I liked that one better.
Lastly, I enjoyed the classic summer beer- a refreshing hefeweizen in a tall wheat beer glass while sitting at an iron table in the shady back courtyard, watching the hops growing only a few feet away. These hops will be harvested by hand and used to brew some end of summer specialties.
I especially enjoy Selinsgrove Brewing for the friendly, slow-paced atmosphere. A great place to sit down and have some refreshing top-quality beers and talk with old friends (or make some new ones with other friendly customers). A word of caution though: no burgers and fries served here, just a variety of delicious healty food selections, and don't expect incredibly good small batches of specialty beers to hang around forever.
06-18-2006 16:15:45 | More by Beerquester
4.55/5 rDev +4.4%
This is yet another place that I just do not get to often enough, largely due to a dearth of public transportation to and from this area. Booo to PennDOT! The term "rustic" gets thrown around a good bit, but this place is it. It is located in the basement of a stone house right on North Market Street, which also doubles as PA Routes 11 & 15. It is so convenient as to make me shake my head in wonder that I cannot get a bus up here, from say, Harrisburg. Ach du lieber!
If you visit, and you park at street level, you head down a short flight of stone steps, arriving at a vine covered archway. Passing through, you come to a small patio with wrought iron tables and chairs and you are at their front door. There is a table with bench seating just inside the door and the one bench has a high back which faces the doorway, To the left of this table is a brick fireplace with a small, working potbelly stove inside.
They use a lot of exposed brick and wood as part of the decor, including exposed beams, especially in the overhead. They also display a good many antiques. To the hard right of the doorway is the teeny-tiny eight-person bar. The taps are in front of the left side, two (!) handpumps in the center, and to the right, behind a pair of shutter doors,is the kitchen. Directly behind me, while seated at the bar, were a couple of tables, one of which seemed designed for Valentine's Day, with two heart-shaped wrought iron chairs.
Headed aft, behind a false wall with a wood and glass doorway, is the restaurant area. The walls are exposed stone and mortar with a brick fireplace in the center of the room. Along the left wall is a wheelchair- friendly ramp that leads to the lavatories. On the wall, along this ramp, is a small wooden cabinet with books and board games (as if you couldn't entertain yourself on your own).
The brewhouse is now out back, in a stand-alone building and includes the former Foundry Ale Works' equipment. This is a change from the first time that I visited and the brewhouse was still to the left of the bar, inside of a room now used for storage.
There is a great sense of camraderie here. The locals have really embraced this little brewpub and Steve and Heather always make visitors feel welcome. I love their sammiches, especially the ham on a pretzel bun, which just screams Central PA. Fully worth visit after visit (if you can get here on your own).
04-18-2006 23:30:40 | More by woodychandler
4.65/5 rDev +6.7%
I am a little late in writing this review for the Selin's Grove Brewing Company since the time I visited Labor Day 05. After many hours spent looking for an excuse to make the 3 ½ hour drive to the brewpub often described as the best, I finally found it. So when the wife and I set out on an extended weekend camping trip, I managed a slight detour. An easy to find location right on Market St. in the center of Selins Grove stands the old converted Governors Mansion. There is plenty of parking in the back but I was able to find parking on Market Street. The entrance is located downstairs in the back of the house in the basement. Since it was a beautiful sunny day it took me a minute for my eyes to adjust to the dimly lit interior. Upon entering the brewpub this place was definitely starting to live up to its fame. The bar area was decorated in an early colonial style to match the age of the building with its uneven wood floors, massive stone fire place and exposed wood ceiling joists. Since we beat the lunch crowd we were able to grab a table right by the bar. With 10 beers on tap we decided to try the $7 sampler and what a sampler it was. Almost all of the beers were excellent but some of the more memorable selections were the double bock, oatmeal stout and the triple. The menu was surprisingly diverse with its offerings and provided a fair amount of vegetarian options. Our server was friendly enough but the service was somewhat slow at times due to the lack of staffing combined with the growing number of patrons. It is not often that I leave a brewpub with 3 growlers but with excellent beers and a price that cant be beat, I couldnt help myself. This is certainly a place I would go out of my way to go to visit again and I definitely rank this brewpub at the top.
03-22-2006 23:25:15 | More by Plughfish
4.58/5 rDev +5%
There are a couple regular beers here that could easy win any competition they enter in my opinion. They are solid but interesting enough for me to get them over and over. There are also a few seasonals tossed in throughout the year. My favorite season comes around Christmas when they make their Razz Merry Ale. Simply amazing.
When you are sitting in this place on a cold winter night, you could clearly imagine George Washington coming in out from the cold to rest. It is hard and old. Amazing atmosphere for drinking good beer. The summer months are also nice, sitting outside, looking at the hops growing over the enterance arch.
The food is tasty and the people are generally awesome. Sometimes it gets a little slow because the place is so small, but most of the time you get great service quick.
The best brew pub I've ever been to and a must-go if you are ever in the Selinsgrove area.
03-09-2006 01:10:15 | More by chakadrum
4.47/5 rDev +2.5%
As part of a business trip to Central PA, I made it a point to schedule some time to visit this palce...especially since I (literally) was driving right by it.
I guess my initial reaction upon parking is....how in the HELL does this place survive? I mean, it's not like the establishment itself is located in or near any metropolis. It's pretty much in the middle of a very small town in the middle of nowhere.
Very charming, quaint interior. Dark...with lots of wooden beams and unfinished brick floor. Not a chintzy, "ye old pub", trying-to-appear-rustic-but-coming-off-as-'manufactured'-feel. Very warming...like a great place to have a pint during their frequent winter snowstorms. Grab a pint and sit by the fire.
I was the only person in the place when I arrived. Immediately, I was greeted by the owner's wife (I think) and the guy who delivers the pretzels (which were awesome) and bread. Very friendly and chatty (but not in an obtrusive way). Main bar area has about a half-dozen tables, with a 10 or so seat bar. Side dining area has another half-dozen tables. It really filled up during the 90 minutes I was there. Struck up a conversation with a lawyer on his way home...he loves the Porter and I convinced him to try the coffee stout. Many "regulars" filtered in...most known by the staff by first name.
11 taps (2 of which were nitro) plus two cask offerings. Only one beer was out during my visit. Broad spectrum of offerings: saison, cream ale, stealth tripel, IPA, grizzly stout, hop nouveau, O-fest, porter, East Kent IPA, stout, plus a barleywine and hop nouveau on cask. Everything was very fresh and tasty. I had the casked nouveau (see my reviews for comments), IPA, tripel, and grizzly stout.
Opted for a bowl of the mushroom soup made with some of the...um...Captain's Cream (Ale).
Prices were cheap: 1/4 pints from $0.75-$1.50. 1/2 pints from $1.50-$1.75. Pints from $2.75-$3.25. Growlers to go ($3 for the 64oz. growler), with prices for fills ranging from $8-12.
Simply an amazing place. Nothing pretentious or flashy. Just a very solid and diverse lineup of beers, diverse menu, and friendly staff (and fellow pubbers). Anyone living or traveling anywhere near this place should visit. You'll be very glad you did.
10/3/06 Update: This place just rocks. Gotta bump up the atmosphere and food (their pretzels are, without a doubt, the BEST pretzel you'll ever taste. I'm not kidding.) a notch or two. How lucky am I to live within 20 minutes of this place?
11-03-2005 02:13:49 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
4.6/5 rDev +5.5%
Well the first time I was here, I think it was in December 2004, I was quite sick and the weather was bad and wintery. So I felt I couldn't write a proper review at that time. I don't even think I could drink any beer!! I do remember though that the service was excellent and the staff were very friendly, probably because there were maybe only 5 people in the whole place that day. I took in enough of the place through the haze of cough syrup and cold medicine that I knew I'd have to get back here someday when I felt better...
...And so I did, the last weekend of August, a much nicer day for weather, though we did go through a few rainstorms, and I felt much better. I had along with me TheLongBeachBum, who insisted on acting like we were going to die every time I hit the brakes. Other than that it was a nice, sometiems senic, 2+ hour drive along I-80. They have a small parking lot in the back of the place, which I didn't notice the last time I was here. From there you walk into the place through the back, which is a floor below street level in the front of the building. As you walk to the entrance, you go through a little archway into an shrubbery-enclosed garden area with a stone patio and a few tables with umbrellas. We were both really hungry, and I remembered the last time getting a bowl of pretzels when we sat down, so I was all excited when I saw some guys at an outside table munching on pretzels. So we went in, sat down- no pretzels!! Oh well. The interior is dim and almost entirely wooden. Wood bar, wood beamed ceiling, wood chairs, wood staircase to your right as you're sitting at the bar. A huge brick fireplace with some cast iron tools and a kettle I think in there, some stone walls I think, most of it keeps it's old charm but is also well-restored. The taps come out of the wall behind the bar, and are labeled clearly, except for the sad-face stuck over the Porter label, indicating it's out. It just looks like a circle so we didn't know what it meant.
They had about 10 or so taps on, and 2 handpumps, so no shortage of selection. From Captain Selin's Cream Ale, which kept making us laugh, to the Peche Saison (very sweet and not Saison-y, but I liked it!!) to the Shade Mountain Oatmeal Stout (too smoky). You can get varying sizes as well, which I always like, that way I can try more things and still do the 2+ hour drive home! They've got pints, half pints, 4 oz. (half half pints?), pitchers and 23 oz. wheat beer glasses. Nice.
Service was questionable- the bartender seemed pleasant enough but also seemed to be in her own world at times, or just not looking our way for a good amount of time. I first ordered IPA on cask, and I got an IPA on tap. No big deal, but people should listen!! I gave Service a 4.0 because of the 1st time I was there. The beers were excellent- I think between us we tried everything but the Porter, which was out :(.
Food was great- they have a *very* veggie-friendly menu, which made me happy, I went with the hummus sandwich on a pita, which was huge and overstuffed and I could only eat half of it. So Mr. Darren ate most of the hummus out of the other half when he was done with his salad. The hummus seemed to be homemade, it was so good!! Great fresh food, washed down with great fresh beer, it was a good time.
Overall it's a great place to visit at least once, it's in a charming small town the middle of nowhere (to me) but well worth the drive. If you're up for a road trip, I highly recommend a visit.
09-07-2005 14:51:39 | More by erica
4.38/5 rDev +0.5%
A 2 hour drive through some quiet green PA countryside including a traffic slow down thanks to a broken van, an almost-run-in with a female driver falling asleep at the wheel, a heavy rain shower, passing a big dead black thing (bear!?) finished with a pleasant drive alongside the Susquehanna River. Soon after my interest was piqued by the Sunbury Power Generation Station at Shamokin Dam it seemed like BA Erica had skillfully orienteered us into the small town of Selinsgrove. We hooked a left to park the car at the back of what looked like a typical wooden private house. The small parking lot has an outside Garage which actually contains the Brewery.
A small sign and winding path runs up to the roadside frontage, but dont the mistake we did and walk up it from the back, for the frona level is empty. The path is actually intended to lead *from* the roadside frontage and *down* to the back of the establishment that houses the Selins Grove Brewing Company. A small secret garden encompasses a smaller outside seating area that had two or three round tables and a few garden furniture type seats, these all lead to the back door entrance, one floor down from the roadside.
As you enter there is a fantastic looking stone built Inglenook fireplace to your immediate left which contains a stove and many old (seemingly original) black pots & pans. In front of this beautiful fireplace is a high back wooden bench which fronts a small area that contains two wooden tables and a few chairs. The stone floor leads your right. The bar sits against a back wall, a door to the left of this leads to a small room which housed the cellared Kegs. The wooden L-shaped bar has a handful of stools that line the edge. To the immediate right a wooden staircase leads upstairs, presumably to the empty room we saw earlier. An additional room opposite the bar at the back of the building houses more tables and seemed popular with those wanting food with their beer with some privacy away from the bar. The whole interior has a very dated historic look to it, the ceiling is basically the wooden floor above, and although it has obviously been replaced at some point, it has been done sympathetically. Some empty Belgium beer bottles line the stairs, and plenty of Photos decorate the walls.
Behind the bar, twelve black attachments were fitted with eleven black flip taps in a large white panel, one of which had a longer proboscis then the others, the classic Nitro-tap which served the Shade Mountain Oatmeal Stout. Two large ebony handled Angram Beer Engines sit high on the Bar near the entrance to the small Kitchen, they had the East Kent Pale Ale and IPA hooked up to them.
Service was a little patchy, good at times, slow and inattentive at others. Initially Erica ordered an IPA from the Cask, but before she completed her sentence the woman at the bar had just picked up the first words and quickly turned and started pouring the IPA from one of the eleven taps before she had chance to absorb the whole sentence. No big deal but it was a strange start. We stayed here for a few hours though and it all evened out, and all in it was a very pleasant experience. Small smaples and half pints are avilable, but I majored in Pints most of the time, sampling the Weizenbier (OK but annoyingly served with a lemon without me asking for it which was at odds with what the Menu stated), East Kent Pale Ale (nice), India Pale Ale (solid but English like), Maibock (a tad too thin and sweet), Scottish Style Ale (very nice) and Shade Mountain Oatmeal Stout (a real treat). Sadly the White Horse Porter had a little round decal on it which indicated that it had run out (bugger!). However they did have a specialty beer on, the Pêche Saison raised interest from both Erica and I ..sadly it failed to live up to its mouthwatering name, turned out to be a tad sweet not really Saison like at all. Finished with a strangely named Captains Selin's Cream Ale...why did I think of Captain Pugwash when I had this!?
Food is of the healthy organic variety; Deli like sandwiches, wraps, salads. No complaints, the Chicken Curry Salad was superb, I wiped the bowl clean, very tasty indeed. Erica had a large sandwich which she failed to finish because of the serving size. Fresh and tasty fare and good value.
A *Big* Thanks to BA Erica for the patient ride out here, it was most certainly worth it and greatly appeciated. Selin's BC is Impressive and Highly Recommended, well worth a road trip if you fancy the drive.
Last Visit: Saturday 27th August, 2005.
09-03-2005 04:15:24 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4.6/5 rDev +5.5%
Well, what a trip this was up the Susquehanna River an hour that Sulldaddy and I took a few days ago.
There's a small parking lot around back (rear entrance), but I parked on the street to which isn't a big deal. Walking in, it was almost like going back in time and walking into Grandmas basement. The brewpub is located in the basement of a house, which is only half-occupied, and the bartender did tell me that the restaurant part will be expanded upstairs eventually. Pretty dark, the bar is a small L-shaped bar, with only 7 stools around it, which 5 were occupied. A few tables sit behind the stools against the wall, and in another room is more restaurant seating...very quaint and quiet. Dave Matthews plays lightly in the background. Behind the bar are 2 handpumps along with 9 other taps, along with a nitrous tap, which was Oatmeal Stout.
I looked at the menu, and decided to imbibe a little, as well as devour a very tasty turkey and bacon sandwich on multi-grain bread with a side of 'tater salad and a pickle. The sandwich was very good for a $7 pricetag, and they didn't skimp on the meat...very hearty sammich! Sulldaddy talked me into chips and salsa before that, while we both consumed a few yummy beers at about $2.50 a pint (i think). All the beers i tried were good, along with the food i ate!
The bartender was fairly knowlegable about all of the beers they had, and was very nice. Not busy enough to have crap service, and I doubt it woulda been anyways.
Weird note: On my way to the bathroom, I was looking at a hanging picture outside to which I notice a very special person in a few of them...MICHAEL JACKSON...no, not the moonwalking freak, OUR MICHAEL JACKSON!!!
A great place to stop. They also fill any growler you bring in for pretty cheap, to which all the beers we had there we enjoyed!!! I'll definitely go back soon!!!
08-22-2005 03:38:01 | More by Fish113d
4.5/5 rDev +3.2%
I visited this pub with fellow BA and buddy fish113d. The brewpub is around the back of a house and in the basement. Nice signage on main street with parking on road or around back.
Walking in there are 3-5 tables and chairs for outdoor dining and drinking.
Through the entrance is a L shaped bar with about10-12 stools. There are several table and chair sets and a few booths.
The decor is sort of revolutionary war era beam and post walls. THere are some photos of the owners with various beer folk around the walls and some empty bottles of belgian beers as decoration as well.
There was a selection of board games to chose from as well to play if it isnt too busy. Cool idea!
There were two beer engines on the bar and a lineup of 8-9 draft lines plus a nitrous stout. The beers were a porter,IPA, Stout, Scottish ale, cream ale, maibock. I missed one or two, but not every line was running and the tripel was out. They had the IPA and an East Kent IPA on cask.
Food reminds me of Deli meets brewpub. Tons of coldcut sandwich options, plus some vegetarian choices. I had a great ham and bacon sandwich. Sweet selections for toppings including sprouts, avacado, and cucumbers, on top of the usual stuff.
Also used organic corn chips which is always cool in my book.
THe beers were great. Had teh east kent and cream ale in house and growlered up the porter and scottish. THey will let you fill any growler you want. Some of the bigger beers cost a little $$ in growler, but it is worth it. That is the only reason I rated value a little high, but I would and will pay it again.
This is an easy 50 minute drive from HArrisburg and well worth the drive if you are visiting the area.
Great little secret in North central PA!!
08-22-2005 00:59:40 | More by sulldaddy
4.55/5 rDev +4.4%
This brewpub, in the basement of the old Governor Snyder Mansion, has a neat cozy, comfy feel to it as soon as you enter. It has a log cabin like appearance, with wooden plank floors, a low wood ceiling, and what appears to be the original cooking hearth in the bar area. There are about 15-18 tables, and 8 seats at the bar.
The locals were very friendly and knowledgeable about the operation of the brewpub. They all knew Steve, the brewer, and his trials and tribulations with trying to keep things running smoothly. The actual brewery is in a shed accross the street in the rear, a 7 bbl. system.
The nights we were there, there were 10 beers and one rootbeer on tap. The two casks were, alas, not in use. :-(
I came home with four growlers, only one of them bought there. I can't imagine a better brewpub. The food was very good, (perhaps a little eclectic), the service was very good, and the beers were good to great. Selinsgrove is a must visit for any beerflying to be done in Pa.
07-03-2005 19:58:51 | More by jakester
Selin's Grove Brewing Company in Selinsgrove, PA
96 out of 100 based on 131 ratings.