McKenzie Brew House
Ratings: 57 | Reviews: 52 | Display Reviews Only:
2.2/5 rDev -43.7%
Okay. I wanted this place to be good; great even... I live pretty close to Victory (the shock and awe brewpub), and I thought to myself "self, wouldn't it rule Earth if there's a second great brew pub near you?"
So I drove the icy roads of February to try out McKenzie's.
I walked in and was immediately told by the bouncers that the only dress code there is 'no hats'. No hats? Wacko. Who sat around and thought of that one? I'd like to see the minutes from that meeting... There's even a picture of a guy in a hat on the web site's front page... I respectfully removed my 'Beer Advocate dot com' hat... It was only a shadow of the lameness to come.
The place was packed with frat boy look-alikes and the girls who follow them... I must say the frat rats looked weird without their hats.
Anyway... there was also a band playing. Loud. Real loud. So loud in fact that the bar tender couldn't hear me ask if "there are any cask conditioned beers on tap"?
During a momentary break in the cover bands crap version of a crap song by a crap band, the bar keep heard my question and asked me what a 'cask conditioned beer' was... the shadow of lameness now loomed.
I ordered 'Abbys Oatmeal Stout'. Should have been named 'Shabby: we'll cross it out' (of our list of good beers that is)... it tasted like someone got a hold of 'powdered stout flavor crystals' and mixed them over gassed waters and didn't stir enough. Weak would be one word to describe it... another word: Anemic. For more words, go here:
With each sip of the stout I had hoped that I would get to the flavor layer or something, but it didn't happen... it stayed away from delivering any taste at all...
So, after one beer I bid goodbye to McKenzie and hurried back to Victory for some real brews, with my hat on...
02-08-2004 08:05:39 | More by jakdracula
4.28/5 rDev +9.5%
Well this is my first beerfly so McKenzie's gets the honor. I'll start by saying that I've eaten here at lunch or dinner at least 50 times. That should be indication enough that I like it. Sometimes the parking situation indicates that plenty of others do as well, especially in the summer, when cars will be parked on the shoulders of Rte 202. That is dangerous at best.
I think the atmoshere is pleasant. Not too pubby and definitely light and airy enough for families. We go as a family all the time.
I think the food is very good and would rate it higher than the national chains with similar menus. As a local comparison, it is better than Victory but a notch below IronHill.
The beer has come a long way. And that is not a criticism of where it started, it's just that Scott has been given the opportunity to create many new, great beers. You all know that the 750 ml line is not to be missed. The latest is Bier de garde and it will not disappoint.
And beyond the regular draft lineup, the East Kent IPA is wonderful, as is the current Raven Baltic porter.
My only nitpick is the annoying habit of serving beer in frosted glasses. It drives Scott nuts. No problem, just ask for a non frosted glass, but know you will get one if you don't request a non frosted.
All in all, a great place with an excellent brewer added to an area of great breweries and brewpubs.
01-11-2004 17:28:21 | More by ksqdomer
4.3/5 rDev +10%
EDIT: If you order their year-round offerings might be bored to death depending on the time of year and day of week; if you order their seasonals or their Belgian 750 ml. bottles you will enjoy truly great hand crafted beer. Adjust your thoughts accordingly.
Somehow came up with an excuse to get to this place, as I've been dying to pick up some of their 750's to go. Thought it would be a bad drive from Center City, but isn't that bad if you go 95 and blah blah blah. Anyways, I like how minimal the interior is, sleek and thin lined lights and chairs allow the expansive floors and ceilings to give this place its character. Tons of seating, with a quiet family area separate from a louder/smokier bar area - anybody could go to this place, as I saw a number of families with little kids. Wait staff was helpful and abundant, and the beer selection was good but I wanted more seasonals and, to be greedy, I wanted all of their award-winning offerings. Besides getting the Triple and Trappist Pale to go, me and the lady enjoyed the Saison (review coming, quite good), Oatmeal Stout (review coming, excellent), and Pumpkin Ale (eh...). Food was fine, though a bit uninspired American stuff (i.e. ribs and burgers), but that's okay. Enjoyed the big screen with sound (a rare pairing in many places), and will look forward to checking back monthly to pick up their famous, rightfully so, bottled offerings in those lovely 750 ml. bottles.
10-13-2003 16:30:29 | More by nomad
4.28/5 rDev +9.5%
Dropped in on what was to become a messy Saturday afternoon with Captain Evil to meet up with some other BA's which is always a fine time. Yeah, it just a slight haul to get to but definitely worth the time. They had the house standards on tap, and I went first with the East Kent IPA, floral and mad hoppy, and then ventured for the the Abbey Oatmeal Stout which was smoothy and chocolatey. Very nice. It was then that brewer Scott Morrison showed up and he busted out some bottles of the 750 ml seasonals. My absolute fav is hands down, the Abbey 8. Da-da-da-da-deep, alcohol, fruity, alcohol, sugary sweet, alcohol, beautiful. Just beautiful. The Saison was so very nicely spicy and the Trappist Pale Ale was dry and hoppy, but again, the Abbey 8, the Abbey 8. Scored me a bottle to go.
Food menu was solid. The Brew House Chili was all chorizo sausage and beans and the Hot Steamship Roast Beef & White Cheddar sandwich was the perfect base to hold me this Saturday afternoon. Sat at the bar in a large well lit but deceiving room that looks bigger than it really it thanks to the wall of mirrors. Never got around to seeing the main dining room except from afar or the basement room at all but I plan to be on back again.
09-27-2003 14:29:28 | More by slander
2.89/5 rDev -26.1%
Okay, I'll throw a little cold water.
Maybe I shouldn't review a pub after a visit on New Year's Eve (although I was there early enough that it wasn't all that crowded and the music hadn't started yet.) Maybe the downstairs game room is not where to enjoy ales, but instead to enjoy bubble-boy hockey and pinball, which I did. It felt like a church rec. room with metal post holding the ceiling up. Bathrooms were some of the poorest attended I've seen in an operation this size: wet floors, glasses everywhere, paper overflowing the trash.
The beers were very light tasting, right through the saison which is not one-fifth as good as DuPont. I appreciate the attempt at Belgian style; it just didn't happen. Anything my companion and I oredered was like a pale version of its namesake, not enough hop character here, not enough alcohol warmth there.
Service (again, on New Year's Eve) was more interested in talking to friends and regulars than actually serve. Jukebox was filled with middle of the road blue collar pop, rock, country. Next time, if there ever is, I'll try the upstairs.
03-25-2003 10:03:16 | More by ecoboy
3.64/5 rDev -6.9%
I've only been once, but I'll give it a shot. Nothing stood out to me in any way other than the very friendly service. Selection, to me, was very basic. (light lager, pils, raspberry wheat). I did try a Belgian Pale Ale that was nowhere near spicey enough for me. Seemed watered down. I will be going back soon, so I'll re-review.
12-20-2002 20:33:46 | More by jrancan
4.15/5 rDev +6.1%
A nice little brewpub on Rt.202 just east of where it meets Rt.1 (not far from Victory). It's nicely appointed with wooden floors, and a green & tan color theme (which I guess is supposed to be Irish). The kitchen is open, which can be distracting to some, although it doesn't bother me. The bar is quite large, and in a huge room with high ceilings. It has a very open feel to it with the exception of the smoky pool room and bar downstairs. There's a nice deck outside (except that it overlooks the parking lot and highway). The beers are above par, but the regular selection is limited: light, amber, pale, pilsner. Look for the seasonals! The dark beer seems to have been eliminated, probably because sales of Guinness (which has been on tap since day one) slowed it down. Of course, the place is called McKenzie's, so I guess having THE Irish beer on tap is OK. And thankfully, brewer Scott Morrison has not let things slow him down. He's been doing bottle conditioned versions of his specialty beers to keep things interesting for the more adventurous. Recently there was a Belgian "double" White (extra strong Witbier) and an exceptional Belgian Pale Ale. Unfortunately, they don't sell the bottles to go. You can, however, get growlers of their regular beers. The food is pretty good, and fairly priced, but there aren't many vegetarian dishes. Still, I like the roasted vegetable pizza alot - some of the best brewpub pizza I've ever had. A nice brewpub that's worth a trip if you're not too far.
09-03-2002 04:30:03 | More by NeroFiddled
McKenzie Brew House in Glen Mills, PA
88 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.