Forest & Main Brewing Company
Active Beers: 56
Beer Ratings: 388
Beer Avg: 3.9
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 21 | Reviews: 17 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by slander:
4.33/5 rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Had been meaning to get out here for a while now. Just went one night without Ed, ‘cause I’d been waiting on him forever and he’s all about the maybe tomorrow, and I am of the now; or the then, anyway. Ran 73 down, left at the Axe, train tracks, left, park post meter and look for the what am I looking for? Oh, a little house on the corner of (duh)...
Pushed past the porch and in, swing to the left, a small room with a straight bar to the rear. Wide 3 plank wood topped bar from wall to wall, with a framed dinged copper panel base, a foot box, and seating for 5 on non-backed cushiony leather squared stools.
Entranceway to the next room closed off is the barback wall of fat beam framing. Center board listing tap selections, and a row of 5 taps below on another dinged copper panel piece. Vertical mirrors to both sides of center over jarred somethings and other pieces of, um, stuff. Down below, something cupboardy fronted dinged as such and glassware shelved on the ends. Twin candleholders mounted to both sides of the tap board, and tulip glassware dangling over the bar area. A single flatscreen in the corner shows the Phillies already losing. 3 handpumps on the bar, some pint glasses with tea candles fronting.
Wood plank floors, lime painted wall, and a white ceiling. Bar counter space for 3 on the near inside wall, with a tap board mounted above, and a smaller counter piece on the opposite wall below an arched framed mirrored piece. A corner table for 2 with a dartboard over it (danger!), a barrel in the other corner, framed pics, fishing nets, mounted lamps and chandeliers. Small, but comfortable enough, with tunes piped in from somewhere. Owner Daniel popped out for a bit to chat while I was there.
Around the bend, the other front room, equally as tight with a ½ dozen tables. Wandered upstairs, there are 2 small front rooms; 1 with a single table, the other with 4 shorty 2-seaters on a shared bench, and a roundie in the corner. And out front, porchside, 4 little 2-seaters to 1 side, and a large table to the other. Hanging plants about, it’s really comfortable.
They do flights of pick 4 shorty 4oz glasses for $6.50, the sampler served on a slot wood board with your choices chalk written upon it. I must have done 2 of them because all 7 beers were somehow sampled. 3 of British inspiration on cask (Queen Anne, 3.5%, Dry Irish Stout, a baby stout, really, roasty, dry, chocolatey, sooo smooth; Tiny Tim, 4%, Ordinary Bitter, lovely, caramel, nutty, excellent bitterness; Kinch, 7%, IPA, slight slight hop bite, piny, grassy, won 6th in the new beer sixpack in the brewvitational), and 4 of Belgian inspiration on draft (St Mary, 7%, Saison, peppery, dry, very nice, smells bubblegummy; Lunaire, 5%, amber from Chardonnay barrels, oh, winery overtaken, some good sourness; Cosette, 5.5%, light Farmhouse with malted spelt, pleasant spiciness; Saison Bonne, 5%, orange hued Saison, honey sweetness follows, nice Saison). Tiny Tim Ordinary Bitter, St Mary Saison & Cosette Farmhouse were the best of ‘em, but there were no slouches in the mix. And then wound down with a pint of the Tiny Tim (there can be only one). They’ve also got a handful of wines if that’s your thing.
And necessary food decisions. It’s a small tight menu; 2 kinds of popcorn, a salad, a soup, a cheese plate, mussels, pierogies, 4 entrees, and a few desserts. Started with the bacon popcorn. It was just as awesome as you would think that would be. And then, I was toying with the pan roasted chicken, and she made it sound very awesome, but also told me I needed the burger, which apparently I did, so I did. The Forest & Main burger (medium, please), with aged cheddar & bacon, mayonnaise (is that even legal?), and served with house pickles and chips (Coulda shoulda traded up the chips for fries. Grrr!). It was a killer burger, it’s all gone now, so sad.
A revisit with Ed 3 weeks later found 2 new beers up (Plowman’s Bitter, 4.5%, an Ordinary Bitter, a little warmer than I would have liked, but nicely bready, & good floral, grassy hoppiness, and Ablution, 9.5%, a Belgian Tripel, lovely, fruity, peppery, boozy, love).
And we took in dinner seated on the porch, both starting with the Summer corn soup, and then I had the pan roasted chicken, served with Swiss chard, while Ed had the fried oyster sandwich. He did enjoy it, but said it was difficult to maneuver. Food was tasty and unusually flavored with things I cannot easily put the identification on. Now, I’m kind of wanting on the fish & chips. Next time. Oh yes, they will be mine.
I like what they do here. English sessionable & Belgian Farmhouse, oh hell, yes. And solid food, too. It’s a good house, literally.
10-26-2012 05:26:44 | More by slander
More User Reviews:
4.19/5 rDev -3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Forest and Main has a great interesting design. The restaurant takes its shape in one of the oldest Victorian houses in Ambler, a suburban neighbor 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia. The house is extremely quaint, walking in one runs into a lively hostess as if you were entering a family member s home for a holiday meal they gladly invite you in. Similar to the holidays at a family event the place can become full and very busy. I recommend visiting on a week day as opposed to the weekend. If going solo a separate small bar area is available. Which many will guest will stop for their first delicious pint prior to being seated. I recommend walking around the place and really seeing how the space works. It very odd to see a brewpub run its business through the walls of a home but something about it is also very nostalgic, or historical. It’s a beer lovers dream to enter a brewpub that fancies themselves in farmhouse and British ale styles and feeling the love through brick and mortar of the facility, a romanticized view but one I think many can relate to. The beers are very well made and they have a great balance for those people that are interested in multiple styles. The food is also very good, it can be a bit pricey after you include your beer prices as well but both are highly recommended. I think anyone in the area should visit F&M if presented the chance.
01-22-2014 01:33:20 | More by t8s8l8
4.18/5 rDev -3.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
Had a few rounds of beers here on a Saturday night, in the bar area. We only got an order of fries to snack on, so I will not review the food. Menu looks good though.
The location has it's pros and cons. The Victorian style house is very nice and is a nice chill atmosphere. But over the course of a couple of hours, the bar room fluctuated from being appropriately filled, to being packed with people and really hot. So there isn't much space for crowds, so I would probably recommend visiting on an off-night.
The beer however was fantastic, and most were on cask, drawn with the hand pump. Every beer I tried was top notch. The selection is good but if you're not a fan of English or Belgian styles, you would be out of luck. Beers were pricey but you are getting quality for your money.
09-26-2013 16:11:38 | More by jmdrpi
4.42/5 rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25 | $$
This is a very quaint little spot in Ambler. It's a converted home, with numerous rooms for seating and outdoor/patio seating as well. Four beers on draft, four on cask. Four of them were Belgian inspired and four were English inspired. Bartender was ridiculously friendly and the atmosphere was cozy, though a bit warm. The sampler of four cost just as much as a pint of one, and all of the beers were really good, including a barrel-aged saison with Brett, a slightly funky stout, and a hoppy porter. Didn't try the food, though the menu looked a bit limited. This might be more of a seasonal stop as opposed to a monthly one, but it's worthy.
09-23-2013 16:59:01 | More by bigfnjoe
4.36/5 rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4 | $$
Visited back in July 2013:
As another BA noted, this is an old house turned brew pub...and if you are driving too fast you will miss, I did. Upon entering, the place has a nice porch, but I headed to the bar where my wife was already waiting for me and I think that by the time that I got there, the bartender had let her try all the beers that were on tap. This did not change once I showed up, great bartenders, let you try anything you wanted. I think that I only purchased three beers total, but must have had more like 5 total. All beers we tried were very well done, but the selection could have been better as they must have kicked two of the kegs in the hour plus that we were there. The food was well done as well. I think that I tried the fish and chips. When I arrived, we were the only people in the bar area, but that was certainly not the case when we left. Great vibe, great people and good beer. I would recommend this place to any BA in the area. Just another reason why Philly is the best beer city in the US.
09-07-2013 19:46:46 | More by PhillyStyle
4.28/5 rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25 | $$
An old house turned brewpub. Awesome. A porch outside contains some tables and a grassy area where people were hanging out. Downstairs features a small bar area to the left once you enter the front door and a small dining area to the right. The brewing operation and kitchen take up the back half of the downstairs, and is not visible. I did not venture upstairs. I found a seat in the corner of the bar.
They have 4 British style beers and 4 Belgian style beers on tap at all times. I had three different saisons, all of which were barrel aged and absolutely delicious. I also ordered the burger, which was cooked perfectly and damn good.
My first time visiting left a very good impression. I will be heading back here soon. The ripping reggae all night didn't hurt either.
08-21-2013 16:45:16 | More by ColForbinBC
Forest & Main Brewing Company in Ambler, PA
94 out of 100 based on 21 ratings.