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
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
2.9/5 rDev -25.8%
Visited McKenzie in September 2011 while in Philly for a wedding; this is actually where the rehearsal dinner was held. Anyways, the service was slightly above average for a busy Friday night, but the beers here were not so good. I tried the Oatmeal Stout, English Brown, Wit, and Pale Ale and I'd say the average of all four combined couldn't be above 2.5. Either way, such goes life with a small joint like this. The food was fairly decent for a buffet-type spread, but I could get over how simply off the beers were. I guess some places stay in business because people don't know what the quality of what they are drinking. Maybe their lines were unclean or something was funky with their taps, but I just thought the beer was off. The bar area was a decent size and the dining room seating area was quite large as well. Worth a stop if you want some quality food, but maybe skip the beer unless your just looking to tick some stuff.
02-03-2012 23:21:10 | More by spdyfire83
3.15/5 rDev -19.4%
This review is based on my latest visit (7-13-07). I didn't think I would be back after the Dude was released from his duties. My wife and I were going to go to Firewaters but after being told I couldn't come in with out dress shoes on (are you f'n kidding me? it's attached to a Hooter's!) we headed back down the road to McKenzie's. As far atmosphere goes it's the same as always. The place is too big and open, imo. Dining area is to the left when you walk in and the bar area is to the right. Huge rectangular bar with a bunch of TVs hanging all around. There are tables and booths on the bar side, also. The waitress we had on this particular evening was very difficult to find. She would disappear for 15-20 minutes at a time and didn't clear any glasses or plates away. "I'll be right back to get them" she kept saying. You would have thought there were ten people sitting at our table. The beers seemed to have fallen off a bit, too. I was afraid that would happen. The IPA I had was good, but fairly average. The Honey Maibock I had was horrible. Tasted like I licked the underside of my lawnmower and then drank the gas that was left in the tank. Yuck. We did have an appetizer, which was barely average. I haven't had much luck with the food in the past for some reason. Not sure if I will ever be back.
07-14-2007 18:20:42 | More by Imstillthegman
3.25/5 rDev -16.9%
Have been a here a few times, but recently visited last week for lunch. The beers regularly on tap are pretty tame. Obviously, this is mostly due to attracting as large a crowd as possible. The beer is good...found nothing unpleasant with any of the brews that I tried. The food, however, could use some improvement. Portions are big, but the taste is somewhat on the "eh" side. Service is fine. Atmosphere is a grey area- I've been here on a Friday night in the downstairs where it was so smokey I was disgusted to even sniff my clothes the next day. The upstairs has a circular bar- okay, but nothing that really attracted me all that much. Overall, not a bad place although I think it still lacks something. Maybe in the food or beer category. Basically, there's nothing that really draws me to this place.
12-21-2009 22:11:20 | More by jwhancher
3.3/5 rDev -15.6%
Review from 12/18/2012: McKenzie Brewhouse in Glen Mills, PA was in a fork in the road and hard to pull into at night, but walking up and seeing the tanks made it worth the trip since I was in the area. It's a big place with a decent sized bar area, as well as separate dining areas so this could handle big crowds. Overall it looked clean.
Atmosphere was very laid back and casual with an after work crowd lingering on a Tuesday night. Music was playing, TV's all had games and ESPN on and it had an open feel to the place. Very basic sports bar decor, perfect to just sit at the bar alone and drink.
Bartender was OK with the personality of a stick, and didn't offer up any beer explanations and seemed to care less, but he was attentive so that's all I cared about since it's a brewpub and explains all the offerings in the menu.
Food was edible; had a bowl of gumbo that was decent and a crab-cake dinner, which both went well with the Application IPA. The gumbo was the highlight of the meal, so I would not make this a food destination. They had 6 standard beers on tap representing all of the basics and 2 seasonals, so the variety was decent. They also had a bottled winter old ale which sounded very interesting. The IPA I had was average in every way.
Overall it was better than sitting in my hotel room, but I'm doubtful I would come back here. The place was boring. The patrons all seemed boring, the bingo announcer was boring, the music was boring and I almost had to check to see if the bartender had a pulse. Beats going to a funeral or old age home, but not by much. Don't mean to offend anyone, but this is an honest assessment of my night at this place.
12-21-2012 05:37:47 | More by CHickman
3.35/5 rDev -14.3%
(Reviewers' note: I've volunteered as a brewer with Scott here, but I'm writing my review based on a recent visit, when I came with a friend for lunch here. Scott wasn't there, and we didn't go into the brewery to say hello to anyone, so we did not recieve any special treatment or other considerations. In this way, I think that this review could be considered as if it was written by any other patron, and nothing more).
McKenzies helps prove the old adage that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover.
Pulling up to the building (which resides just north of the DE/PA border on Route 202), it looks like any other chain-restaurant, from the dated 90's font of the sign up front, to the almost cookie-cutter look of the building itself. All in all, it appears more like where you'd go for jalapeno poppers and other "fryolator" foods, not a beer mecca.
Inside, again, there's nothing particularly distinguishing about the dining room, except for the fact that it looks incredibly sterile - another restaurant with no soul of its own. I might have thought I had been standing in an Applebees or a TGI Fridays, if it wasn't for the top of the mash tun and brew kettle that I could see from one part of the dining room. The bar to the right has a lofted ceiling, which was nice, but we'll get there in a minute.
Service was not bad, but not spectacular either. We ordered a sampler (regular beers, and special one-offs), and, when it arrived, the young man serving us did make a nice attempt to explain each of the kinds of beers. He did, however, fall back on a few unoriginal chestnuts ("This is a stout, it's a lot like Guinness, if you've ever had that."), but I'll forgive him for the effort, and I'm sure, for someone trying their first flight of beers at their first brewpub, it would have been a nice intro. It should be noted that the beers in the sampler were not mind-blowing, but definately solid -- something has to pay the bills, I guess.
Food was not bad, and reasonably priced. The brie and crab bisque, I should note, is a must have. Delicious.
It took a while to get a check at the end of our meal, even with only three other tables in the dining room filled, but that's not a big deal.
After eating, we went into the bar area to get some bottles to take home. The bar is slightly more attractive, but again, built more to be a "party" bar, then a place you'd go for some serious beer appriciation. The bartender wasn't familiar with what varieties they had, but since I had previous knowledge of what varieties were in stock, I was able to give her the names of what I wanted. She was able to find all the bottles we needed, which was nice, but it should be noted that every one of them had to be 40 degrees at the warmest. Cold, cold, COLD beer, my friends.
I noted that all of the beers were in different coolers, along with other items. If they consolidated all of their bottles into one cooler (definately possible), and kept it at a more reasonable temperature, it would go a long way in terms of service. I can only imagine that drinking a 750 at the bar there, one would need to let it warm up for a good 30-45 minutes.
All in all, if you're within a two hour drive of this place, go for the bottled selections and maybe a little bisque. Luckily, with the majority of the good stuff in bottles, you don't have to worry about the lack of atmosphere here -- just take it home!
P.S.: If The Dude is here when you visit, do say hello to him. He is quite awesome, and incredibly friendly. A brewer's brewer.
12-30-2004 20:05:34 | More by ithacabaron
3.4/5 rDev -13%
A: Typical micro, nice and clean, bar, dining, and outdoor porch area. Big place, can easily accommodate 300 or so customers.
Q: Good brews, good food, nice place. Their oatmeal stout was especially good.
S: Service was average.
S: Selection was also average, about 20 different food choices and about 8 or so homebrew choices.
F: Food was good, above average for sure. Went nice with their brews.
V: It was a bit pricey I thought at about $20 for a meal and $6 a draft. Probably not bad for that area, but more than I'm accustomed to.
12-13-2010 04:54:32 | More by bundy462
3.41/5 rDev -12.8%
After visiting Iron Hill Brewing Co. in West Chester on December 1, my wife and I made the short trip over to McKenzie Brew House for some after-dinner brews. We pulled in to the huge parking lot, and it looked pretty busy. My wife commented that the building looked like a chain brewpub, which I think it is.
The atmosphere was just that a huge, chain-type brewpub with lots of TVs strategically placed around the inside bar area. The bar itself was quite large (and full of people), so we found a nearby empty raised pub table and made ourselves comfortable. Overall, this brewpub was a bit too spacious and impersonal for me, but still comfortable.
After perusing the beer menu, which was at our table, we were greeted by a friendly female server who was also able to answer some questions about their beers. I decided to try their seasonal Funf Smoked Dopplebock on draught. I asked about the ABV%, and she wasnt sure, but found out for me, so that was cool. By the way, it was 7.2%. Their dopplebock packs a pretty weighty malty aroma combined with roasted, nutty and barley overtones. Not much of a hop presence here, but it did have a tinge of alcohol. There was also a very strong smoky aroma, giving it more of the characteristics of a porter than a dopplebock. It was served in a 16-oz. pint glass with a single finger creamy light brown head that virtually disappeared. Not a bad selection. My wife had their Unicorn Amber Ale, which she did not care for.
I decided to try another selection, so I went with their East Kent IPA, another seasonal draught offering from McKenzie. I went with a 12-oz. glass this time. It came to me in a tapered beer glass and appeared somewhat hazy with a blonde/light amber color and nice carbonation. There was a moderate hoppy aroma with citrus notes, but not as strong as other IPAs Ive had. It boasted a white frothy head that mostly diminished, but retained excellent lacing as the beer went down. This is an unfiltered IPA made with East Kent hops, as the name implies. At 67 IBUs, this offering had a decent spicy, biting hop flavor that stays with you at the back of your throat. It was definitely more spicy that fruity. Not a bad IPA, but not one of my favorites either.
Overall, I wouldnt go out of my way to go there again, but would likely stop in if I was driving through. The beer was pretty good, but we didnt have any food, so I cant comment on that. The service was very good and the atmosphere was just a little too cookie cutter for me to make a special trip there. But Id rather go to a chain that actually served decent craft brews that the typical American swill found at other restaurant chains.
12-03-2006 23:06:18 | More by ffejherb
3.43/5 rDev -12.3%
Went to McK's with some BA's - first time at the place. Had a nice atmosphere - the kind of laid back attitude I like in a watering hole. Wood and other dark tones were much in evidence, giving a nice comfort feeling on entering the establishment. The quality of the beers was good, if unremarkable for the most part. (Perhaps that is the idea - to focus on the food...) Foodwise though, the jambalaya I had was very, very good - spiced just right, with a large portion to be sure. Service was slow at first - it took a while for someone to come over to the table to begin taking orders, but after that things picked up. Overall, a nice place to visit - I just wish the powers that be would let the brewer be more daring with his recipes/choice of beers.
12-29-2004 22:30:42 | More by stingo
McKenzie Brew House in Glen Mills, PA
88 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.