McKenzie Brew House
Ratings: 58 | Reviews: 52 | Display Reviews Only:
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
4.28/5 rDev +9.5%
I wrote this review prior to The Dude's departure and am only now getting caught up in transcribing my notes.
I simply do not get down here often enough, despite its convenience. Headed north on US Route 1, we made a left on PA202, and staying in the left lane, continued a mile on and Voila! As we pulled into the parking lot, The Dude's setup was fully visible in the left-hand window at ground level. The west side of the building was the front, with the entryway up a set of steps with stairs on each side of the climb. Once inside, there was a wide vestibule with the brewhouse again visible on the left side, but behind glass. Passing through a second set of double doors, a chalkboard on the right wall announced specials and the m.d.s. was dead ahead, manned by a seeming cadre of waitstaff.
We sat in the non-smoking area, off to the left, in an "L"-shape, with the kitchen fully visible along the east side of the building. To the left of the kitchen and accessed through the restaurant seating section, was The Oak Room, a semi-private meeting facility for groups of ten to thirty-five. The restaurant area was mainly restaurant-style tables and chairs, but set off by some booths.
To the right of the entry was the bar area. The wood-topped bar was to the right of the m.d.s., past the "Underground" entryway, and was a flattened heagonal shape. The back bar was an island in the center of the hexagon. The washrooms were on the bar side on the east side of the building. On the bar side, booths ran along the west window and there were high tables and chairs along the south wall, as well as a raised floor with high tables and chairs along the wall beside the washrooms. There was also an outdoor deck on the south side of the building.
To the right of the m.d.s. and down an immediate flight of steps was the "Underground Pub - Billiards & Games" area with its own square, centrally-positioned bar; three pool tables; a CD jukebox; and a couple of video games.
I had the tortilla-ecrusted chicken breast sandwich and Cuban Black Bean soup for lunch. As always, the beers were fantastic.
02-16-2007 16:42:12 | More by woodychandler
4.18/5 rDev +6.9%
First stop on a memorable Saturday Beer Tour. Two Beermobiles were pressed into action early on a warm Saturday for a tour from NYC to Pennsylvania and then onto Philly. Leading the convoy was Davos Evil-Element which contained co-driver and navigator Slander, entertainment was provided by my good self the Bum, whilst a new version of Car Air Freshener was being field-tested by FeloniousPhil, we all agreed with Phil that the fresh grassy aromas really helped to battle the effects of long journeys. FeloniousPhil also provided a man size bag of BBQ Lays chips as well. The Support Car contained djgonzalez, rokotgirl and Mike (a.k.a. the young Michael Jackson).
Having avoided, Sofa Cushions, large Wooden Boards and flying Mattresses on the Freeway, we arrived at a fork in the road on the Wilmington-West Chester Pike in Glen Mills. This is the home of the legendary McKenzies and we had arrived. The Sun was out and interfering with everyones headaches (courtesy of the previous Friday Night session) as we exited our parked vehicles and squinted at each other in the bright light as we mingled in the Car Lot at McKenzies after the long road journey. Just at that moment the Evil one spotted Scott Morrison the Brewer who was heading out, pleasantries were exchanged and Davo got to touch him again so he was all smiles.
From the outside, it could easily be mistaken for a single storey, wooden built, modern road-side restaurant, for its appearance is unassuming, even down to the gray exterior. However, a closer look reveals the brewing equipment on display which is easily seen through four full height windows at the front. Entered via a dual sided elevated stairway, the small entrance area is a little clinical. The entrance is situated in the middle of the building, so rooms break to the left and right. There is also a downstairs room (with an ATM machine) as well as outside drinking area. Wood is the construction material of choice and it is everywhere, and when mixed with stainless steel fittings and lots of glass, it all lends a rather a modern feel to the interior.
Airy and well lit, the stand alone bar is to your right and is surrounded by high stools. Our group initially sat at the bar area, but with seven of us to accommodate, it felt a little unsocial as we all talked across each other, so we decided to grab a large table. Food was ordered and proved to be above average, but nothing outstanding, it was to be more of a filler for empty stomachs after a long drive. Nevertheless, we were here for the beer, and the food assisted in providing a good base prior to a days drinking, rather than a wholesome meal.
A chalkboard displays the beers available and includes a wealth of information concerning things like batch details, brewed on dates, etc. During our visit they had; McKenzie Light Lager, Unicorn Amber Ale, Black Lab Stout, Shanes Leap Golden Lager (Shanes Gold), Old Rogue Pale Ale, Belgian Pale Ale, Hefe Weizen and the Maibock. Mike managed to snaffle a Sampler of the beers on offer, which proved to be a great way to sample a lot of the beers early on in the day. As others have noted, the regular beers are all brewed to accommodate the often safe decisions of the drinking public. However, the real treats lie hidden at times; they are the specials that are frequently brewed here. In addition to the beers listed, Davo managed to snaffle a couple of specials, all of which were top notch. Many of our group even stocked up on some bottled take-outs.
Service was good, but it was quiet, and the de rigeur Glasses that are 'super-chilled' to 0° Kelvin are a tad annoying, be sure to ask for a room temperature glass or you will be picking your fingerprint skins off the glass.
Physically, there is nothing to differentiate MBH from other modern homebrew establishments, the food is good, and the 'regular' beers are solid, which although great wouldnt get me to come here in of themselves. Notwithstanding that, what really makes the journey worth while, especially the long drive from NYC, are the High Quality 'Special' beers, these are *exceptional* and are most certainly worth seeking out. If I lived within 100 miles of this place and knew of the specials release schedule, I would most definitely make a regular trip here every couple of months to stock up on the bottled special releases for sure and grab a bite to eat and a few beers whilst doing so.
A Huge Thanks to Davo for providing the transport and driving me (and others) here. For sure, without him, I would never have been able to get to this Penn State beer mecca.
Last Visit: Saturday 29th May, 2004.
07-04-2004 19:47:55 | More by TheLongBeachBum
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
4.08/5 rDev +4.3%
Finally got a chance to stop in this place after a round of golf nearby the pub. Entered about 12:30 mid week, and the place had a large lunchtime crowd. When walking in the large bar are is on the right along with an outdoor patio. To the left is the main dining area, and downstairs is the game room which has a smaller bar and several pool tables and dart boards.
We sat at the bar, and surprisingly only the 5 house beers were available, the special beers were gone. 3 new special beers on tap were coming on soon - usual bad luck for me. The Amber, Gold, and Pale were all very fresh and great tasting.
The food was also quite good, as the sandwiches and pizza were reasonably priced and quite filling. Service was attentive and friendly.
I wished I lived a little closer to this place as this is a great place to grab some grub and high quality beers.
09-01-2006 14:31:12 | More by Gavage
4.05/5 rDev +3.6%
Stop number 265 on my quest to visit every quality brewery/brewpub in North America.
Arrived around 8:30 on a Thursday night - thumpin! Quite a happy hour crowd in the bar. Lots of young professionals, loud music, and sports on TV in the bar. I also think I saw a sign for a lounge/club in the basement.
A very nice place. Well appointed and obvious someone spent the money to do it right. We ate in the bar, the dining room was dim and looked like a very nice place to eat in a more formal setting.
We took a booth in the bar for drinks and dinner. I had a French farmhouse ale. 10% served in a proper, flute glass. I finished that with the house pale ale that had a nice mild aroma and strong biterness for a pale ale.
I had seared ahi tuna and a steak/Belgian endive/gorgonzola salad for dinner. Aside from the entree coming out halfway through the ahi appetizer, the food was very good.
The beer was good and I would have liked to have seen more selections. The other seasonal was a scotch/wee heavy. There was maybe 5 house beers (pale, stout, amber, and can't recall the others).
03-15-2009 02:48:59 | More by Yetiman420
3.78/5 rDev -3.3%
This is from a visit on May 13, 2006 to the Glen Mills (Chadd's Ford), PA location.
Atmosphere: The restaurant has a wide open bar and several diffferent dining sections, with tasteful decoration throughout. There is also a bar downstairs, although I did not venture there.
Quality: The quality of the restaurant was good. We were the first to arrive (at the 11:30AM opening) and were only there for a few rounds. Despite that (and a local graduation that would most likely swamp them later), the staff was friendly, even with my hellion 16 month old.
Service: Service was just above average, nothing bad to say about them (this was reflected with a good gratuity).
Selection: Five house beers and three seasonals gave me plenty to choose from. The beer ranged from pils to stouts, so there is something for everyone.
Food: We only ordered nachos with chicken, but damn they were good. You know how a great plate of nachos really brightens your mood? Well this plate fits that bill. My food rating is somewhat incomplete because we only ordered nachos, so I guess I have to go back.
In terms of value, 3 beers, a plate of nachos and a growler set us back $30, so I call that reasonable.
05-14-2006 23:06:17 | More by akorsak
4.45/5 rDev +13.8%
McKenzies is a really awesome brewpub in the Glen Mills section of the Philly burbs. Sure, the atmosphere is not the best, but this place is clean and big with tons ot booths and tables for grabbing dinner, a huge bar with a 100"TV and a cool downstairs bar to boot (as well as seasonal patio seating and bookable private rooms. The quality of the beer here is awesome! I had 7 draught selections and 1 750ml of Baltic Porter and they were all excellent. The premium sampler with all 7 of their current brews on draught is a steal too at only $7.50. The service here was above average. Our server brought our drinks and our eats quickly and she was quick to ask how everything was, and fill up our glasses. The selection, as I stated above is great with 5 year round brews (Lite, Czech Pils, Stout, Amber, and Pale Ale) and 2 seasonals always flowing. Their is also the "beer cellar" which offers a few 750ml bottles as well. The food was absolutely awesome. Cheap and big portions as well. Erica and I split 2 appetizers (Tapas trio, and Wild mushroom quesadillas) and 1 entree (Grilled prtabello mushroom sandwitch), so this place is very vegetarian friendly. All in all a nice big place with good eats, and awesome brew. The dude, is doing well.
11-05-2004 00:27:08 | More by francisweizen
4.15/5 rDev +6.1%
This is your typical restaurant / bar style brewpub as far as appearance goes. Very spacious and the downstairs sports some pool tables, darts and other games. Very clean inside and out, nice patio deck on the backside. The food is pub grub style and prepared quite well the cobb salad was huge.
The beer selection is very broad; on-tap varies from the Light Lager to a pale ale to Baltic Porter with a few others that land in-between. The bottled beers are a real treat and are highly suggested; look for the Trappist Pale Ale, Saison and Bavay (Biere De Garde) these are for sale to go as well.
Certainly worth the visit for an out-of-towner.
04-01-2004 14:57:45 | More by Jason
3.68/5 rDev -5.9%
After two trips to McKenzie Brew House (and six years of being a waiter) my review is ready. Here is my starter line: Any brewpub that cant offer info about their beer right away is lame! Nobody in McKs garb could answer my one question: What are ALL the beers available? McK's is a flower in a mud puddle (to quote Crane) beset by 202 N & S. Upon entering, the restaurant is to left, and the fun part is to the right. There is an enclave bar surrounded by drinking floor and a few scattered tables about with plenty 'o big t.v.s to watch sports. The table we picked rocked back 'n forth like a presidential voter campaigner. Downstairs is cooler, but it was closed this visit to snaggletooth some bottles. Overall, it's clean but needs a boys room in the basement. Could you take Mom here? Yes. Its decent.
We care about the beer, eh? The brews are average at best on the sampler. The "dude" has extraordinary talent that is lost making light beer and other basic brews on the menu. His talents lie elsewhere. The Czech Pils is passable and the pale has some hops.
Service? What service? We had to inquire to four different barkeeps to finally get a beer menu. McK's waitstaff doesn't care about beer! They should!
Regular dinner and pub grub is the standard here. Don't expect to order a steak or lobster. McK's is burger, and appetizers. The nachos were ok, and this is from a nachos freek! The Thai pizza was good.
Last swigs: Dont bother traveling here for the regular beer and food. Our only redeeming quality is when Scott Morrison bottles. Period! If you live more than 15 minutes away, save yourself a trip. Not that it is bad, just not special for beer lovers.
Limited brews for the brew connoisseur
12-20-2004 06:30:09 | More by blitheringidiot
McKenzie Brew House in Glen Mills, PA
88 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.