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Forest & Main Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Forest & Main Brewing CompanyForest & Main Brewing Company
BEER AVG
3.9/5
Based on:
81 Beers
852 Ratings
Place Score: 94
Ratings: 59
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

61 N Main St
Ambler, Pennsylvania, 19002
United States
phone: (215) 542-1776

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: Rifugium on 11-17-2011

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 59 | Reviews: 19
Reviews by tobelerone:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Evahflow
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

When you arrive in fron of Forest and Main you wonder if you are at the right place. You look at the fancy old house, back at the GPS, back at the house. This MUST be it, a brewery in a quant house on a non descript street, hmm. You walk in and immediately you feel at home. The tap room is TINY. The beers on the other hand are not. Great prices and you can choose a 16 or 20 oz pour. Onto the beers! When I arrived they had 4 different saisons on brewed with foraged yeast, this style is so far up my alley it is practically in my house. The St. Mary was wonderful, dry full of flavor, with an earthy airiness to it. The Solair was similar, spicy hops slight tartness to the finish. Also had the Double dan IPA which was very very good. Really light bitterness, tasted like Amarillo and Galaxy were used but Im not 100% on that. Very good combo I would have loved to have more of this actually. The big winner for me was the Djed winter saison. The description of oranges, cocoa, and coffee and the fact that it was a winter saison made me think it would be a darker roastier one but I was wrong. This was a slightly darker saison than the rest with a slight reddish hue to it, the smell was outrageous, with all the descriptors, real big coffee bean aroma with some orange sweetness to it. The body of the beer was more substantial than the other saisons but I wouldn't say thick. This beer blew me away and made me wish I could get something like this more often. I did not try any food but certainly will next time. If you are on the fence about going here hop on to our side and try it, you won't regret it.

Photo of stakem
3.3/5  rDev -22.5%

Been really anxious to check this place out. It seemed to be in the same vein as tired hands so to speak. From their style selection (being saison focused) right down to cartoonish artwork. This place reminds me of tired hands in quite a few ways.

The place is tiny. Luckily they had seating outside to distract me from the feeling inside like I was at a college house/frat party. The beer selection was split with 3-4 brittish inspired brews and 4-5 belgian. I made the mistake of ordering a beer based off the written descriptions...seriously, whomever describes their beers is quite the creative exaggerator. The mild dark saison was not good and trying to put down a full glass of it was not enjoyable. I followed that up with a cask ipa that was pretty awesome. Having had 1 really good and 1 pretty poor beer, I decided to try a sampler of the rest of the belgian beers that were available.

This place seemingly has a wild fascination with using local microbes to ferment some of their beer. While that might appeal to some and sound super rad on paper, those beers I sampled felt quite flawed with notes of plastic, bandaids, cream corn and mineral/metallic notes.

Unless you have been here already and are familiar with their selection, I would highly suggest sampling prior to throwing down 6-7 bucks for 16-20oz. I was really hungry and looked at their menu and decided this place wasnt for me. $16 for a burger better be a fantastic burger. Sorry, but after having the beers my confidence in this place was not enough to take the chance. Call me cheap or that I made the wrong choice, thats fine. I would not go out of my way to visit this place again.

Photo of t8s8l8
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Photo of jmdrpi
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of mikem0487
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.75

Have been to Forest & Main BC 4-5 times since they have opened. Every experience I have had has been wonderful. From the not so customary beer selection to the small but extremely delicious food, everything is of high quality and executed out well. Everyone who has came up to F&M with me loves the atmosphere and their ability to turn a old victorian house into a workable and manageable brewpub.

The layout is great and with the space that they had I think they turned it into a great logistical brewpub. Only compliant I have with the layout is that though the bar is nice I do wish that it was larger so that it could accommodate more people and make access to getting a beverage more accessible.

The bar is only a minor thing for me but what keeps me coming back is the ever changing beer selection and the amazing food. The beer selection is not your typical beer selection that you might be use to finding at any other micro. They specialize in Belgian beers and British styles (the British styles being served at cellar temp only). The British beers being at cellar temp and being poured from hand pump do not allow you to fill growlers up of them which can be a disappointment. Even though I am not a huge fan of British style beers such as english IPAs/PAs and bitters it is always refreshing to try something new and expand your palate. They execute these well with their stout and porters being delicious off tap. When I was there this past Friday I had gotten a pint of Araby which is a 3.7% abv stout. It was good and had a awesome aroma from the falconers flight hops but was extremely thin. The Belgian beers they make are for the most part very good. There Solaire which is a saison is 4.5% and very crushable. Moving on from the beer the food is exceptional. I have had almost everything on the menu with the muscles and burger being my two favorites. Have yet to try their cheese plate but on my return will defiantly try it out.

Overall the place is great with good high quality food, beer and service. Try it out...

Photo of sackboy
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

My buddy and I really enjoyed this place, in the middle of our North Philly craft beer hopping trip I planned out. Cool old house re-purposed into a brew house and eatery. When I'm back in the area, I will visit again, next time I'll grab some grub.

Photo of zekeman17
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Over due review, been to F & M a number of times now, starting with opening week and as recently as yesterday.

I could just say bacon popcorn and leave at that, but I will go a little more in depth.

Most places this size would be "small", but "cozy" is a much better description. Seats for 5 or 6 at the bar, plus a table or two and ledge or shelf along the wall to set you beers on. The front porch has seating in the nicer weather as well.

The menu is not extensive, but it changes every so often, and everything that I have tried has been excellent.

If you are planning a visit, make sure to check the hours. Closed Mondays, and open from 4:00 on with food starting at 5:00 the rest of the days. I'd really like to see them open earlier on Saturdays and Sundays, even if it is with a limited bar menu.

Beers are either Belgium or British, served at cellar temp with 8 or 9 on all the time including 3 on hand pumps. Every one so far has been very good.

I really like the atmosphere they have created here, and wish them success.
Forest and Main is well worth a visit if you're in the area, and worth the trip if you're not.

Photo of orangesol
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

I have been wanting to check this place out for a few months now. Convinced foofaa to take me here on black friday, altho it didn't take much conniving on my part.

An interesting, albeit small, space. We arrived shortly after they opened and started in the bar area and it quickly became packed with people. We ordered a beer to pass the time as we waited for our table to become available. It didn't take very long and we were seated in the slightly larger dining room. Our servers were awesome. They helped us pick a few cheeses and we talked about where we had been that day and where we were from, they were very nice.

The quality of the food and beer was top notch. The selection of beer was pretty good. I was really looking forward to trying their blended BA saison but it was all gone, however they put a new limited belgian stout on and I got that instead. I enjoyed most of my beers but only one was really memorable, the dubbel which was very good. The real star of the show is the food. I would say that this place has some of the best food at any brewpub I have been to. The cheese plate we got was a little on the small side for what we paid for it but it was really good. I decided to go with their burger, at $15 it was the most expensive thing on the menu! I am not sure if it was worth that much but it tasted amazing so I guess it was.

Overall a VERY nice brewpub that I will definitely return to in the future. The sooner the better IMO.

Photo of LI2CDave
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Great neighborhood brew pub with terrific beers brewed on the premises. F&M is housed in an old Victorian house that was lovingly converted into what makes for a homey and friendly place to gather with friends over a pint or two. They are currently pouring their new Kinch the Knifeblade double IPA and that alone is worth the price of admission. Menu is limited but everything I've tried so far has been flavorful and well presented. If you are in the area you owe it to yourself to stop in. You won't be sorry.

Photo of slander
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.66/5  rDev -14.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Went here after some time waiting to go here.

It's a big house, guessing the brew equipment in the basement. Walk up the path to an outdoor seating area patio area that has tables to the left and right. Walk through the door and the bar is toward the left, it is a square room that seats about 6 or 7 or so at the bar and some standing area around. The room is small and white, The bar area is nice and dark wooden with 8 or so taps, 2 cask offerings, and some nibbles, I did not get a good look at the food menu

I had the two pale ales and some saison and a wine barrel aged offering, I really dug the bee bu the cask offerings were kinda booty. One of the pales was very well executed and a joy to drink. All of the beers were on the low end of the ABV spectrum.

I really dug the upstairs portion of the house. There were two separate rooms for larger parties that I would love to bring a group to a maybe a shingdig with a bunch of heads. Sitting at the bar though, I felt like I was 50 miles from the nearest town in the middle of Kansas.

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

The wife and I have been wanting to come here since it opened a few months ago. Very nice transformation from an old victorian home into an awesome little watering hole. Nice patio seating outside as you walk up the steps and into the front door. Host or hostess desk as soon as you walk in, and a staircase leading to extra seating upstairs. Nice comfortable bar area to the left with a smaller sitting area. As for the food I haven't had any but it did smell terrific. And now on to the beer. 8 beers to try 4 from the English inspired side and 4 from the Belgian side. We got a sampling of all eight and all of them were enjoyable. I ended up getting the Solaire and for the wife St. Mary. I would say the most unique thing about our experience here was the fact all of the beer is cellared temp. And naturally carbonated. It really complements what they are trying to do here not just going with the flow and selling over carbonated, frozen fizz water to the locals. Anyway very nice place I will definetly be back.

Photo of GnomeKing
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The type of place that makes you want to stay for hours and hours then come back and do it all again soon--it not only looks like a house, but feels like a warm, cozy one.

My wife and I tried almost everything on tap. The English style beers were very traditional but, even to my Americanized palate, which tends to prefer beers colder and bolder, interesting and very drinkable. The Belgian style beers were right on target and, I think less traditional, with a slightly de-funkified tuning to the American palate. As executed, this is a very good thing. I particularly liked the sour, which had just the right amount of pucker.

The menu was small but all of the food was comforting and well made, an eclectic home-style mix (with room for both pierogies and fish-and-chips) that nicely complemented the beer.

Photo of joeebbs
4.26/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Stopped in here for a sample on 5/27/2012.

The bar is literally right at the corner of Forest and Main streets in Ambler. You'll probably have to park a block or so away from the brewery but parking is free so that's good. When I got there a few people were dining on the porch. I went straight for the bar area which is immediately on your left as you go in. The bar is rather small (probably seats 6) with a TV suspended on the right. (which wasn't on) The decor is has a very cozy feel as if you're right at home. They serve their house beers and PA Wine so no mixed drinks. There a 8 beers available on draught with three beers always on the handpumps. This is probably the closest to having a British beer experience in PA.

Had the Kinch, Queen Anne, Pigeontown and Tiny Tim. Samples all tasted good but I can't give a full review on them all as most of them are hand-pumped and should probably be drank in pint form.

I brought my own growler and had that filled with Solaire. The bartender said they will be getting their own growlers in at some point. They'll do fills when they open and later in the evening but when it gets busy they probably won't fill them that often.

Photo of Rifugium
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

I got a chance to visit before the official grand opening, so things were really on the laid-back side, but I still got a good glimpse of the potential of the place. From the street you'd never think this place was a bar. Apart from the small sign outside, which I almost missed, it appears like a typical albeit rather large old-fashioned house.

Walking in doesn't change that much...it's essentially a refurbished Victorian house (just as they promised), simple decor, candles, lots of wood. To the right is a seating area, upstairs is a large table for accommodating a party, and to the left are more seats, and a very simple, 5-seat bar. The atmosphere is very nice (minus the TV - always a buzz kill for me, mainly because it means annoying Philly fans could pop out of the woodwork at any time), and hopefully the layout of the place keeps it from being obnoxiously overcrowded--though I obviously wish them a successful business.

The service was good (especially since I was one of two people there). I got to chat with one of the owners for a bit, and the bartender was nice. She seemed anxious to learn more about the beer scene, and more importantly, she was educated about the house beers. Speaking of which, 8 house beers on tap, including a British flight and a Belgian flight, and it looks like they have a capacity for 4 hand-pump casks as well, which makes sense for the styles of beer they make (heavy leaning towards saisons and milds). And supposedly they will be bottling soon as well. Additionally, they do ship out kegs, so it's not out of the question to see their beers on tap elsewhere in the Philly area, and perhaps beyond. The kitchen wasn't in service yet, and they only had little snacks available, so I can't make a judgement on the food yet.

Like I said, this is definitely a place with potential, and I'll be keeping an eye on them.

Photo of LMNOP
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped in during their "Soft Opening". Old Victorian home, literally a house. Bar area is extremely small, not a bad thing at all, just very quaint. Atmosphere is fantastic, old world style setting makes you feel instantly comfortable.

Waiting staff was helpful but not all over you the entire time. They had 8 beers on tap and I asked about their other wilds. Waitress didn't know, but went back to the bar and brought the brewer over. He spent a good 10 mins. just talking with me about the beer, real good to see that hands on approach.

I came for the Belgian styles, hoping for the barrel aged beers, but was blown away by the British styles. Not crazy in your face bitter, but fruity citrus, and just a damn good hop profile. Belgians were very good, but really the British styles shined.

Food was good, by selection was limited due to not being open yet. Bacon popcorn is just a great great idea. $6.50 for a flight, $5-6 for 20oz, can't beat the pricing. Overall this place will shine, I just hope (and at the same don't don't hope) they get popular to stay in business.

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Forest & Main Brewing Company in Ambler, PA
94 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.