McKenzie Brew House
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Ratings: 4 | Reviews: 2 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BeerForMuscle:
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4.23/5 rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
“Ed’s secret brewpub”, by that I mean he was talking like we were going to hit some new brewpub for dinner when we got back east from Pittstheburg, but he wouldn’t tell me where. McKenzie’s. Oh yeah, that’s right, they opened another location, I ‘memember now...
Something stripmallish, on the other side of the 202way from where Valley Forge Brewing was back in the day. Dodged the hostess stand and set out in search of where beer lives. A large industrial space with a drop framed piece over a long rectangular bar of granite center set up; stainless steel panels fronting, a piping foot rail, and seating for 30 on backed chairs 3 sides around. Bar towers of 10 nondescript handles at opposite corners of the bar. Long narrow bar island inside with slight tiered booze lining, and wines on the end. More wines on their side below in the middle, and glassware shelved to both sides. 3 flats above the bar island in a row, viewable from both sides.
The walls of plank wood painted olive front & rear, the sides done in shades of checkerboard yellow & olive. Blinded windows looking over the road and some peek thru windows vertical, horizontal, vertical, horizontal, to the dining side opposite, with mounted wall lampings in between . More flats here, on the end and over my shoulder. Square tilings around the bar tightly, strip brickings beyond, and then a carpeted area away from the bar. Spot lighting barside, and roundy glass lamp chandeliers to the rear and over the dining space.
Nearly a ½ dozen 2-seat booths in the forward windows, and 7 hightops wrapping around another 2 sides of the bar. And then on the open end, a single strangely placed raised roundy (the only one in the whole place), and 10 tables & booths mix and match running up to a stone front fireplace past there. On the dining side, 30 or so booths & tables sectioned; the booths pretty much running the perimeter. The ones on the far end offering views where the man brews, and others looking in on the kitchen scene there. A side room holds another 10 tables; you could probs play the banquet game there if you had the posse.
Meanwhile, back at the bar, it would seem they do samples of just the standards or everything, both options unpriced. I opted for neither and ordered shortys of what I wanted, drank off of Ed & Heather’s, and then the servers offered up everything else (thank you). 6 house standards (McKenzie Light Lager, 3.5%, it has flavor and a decent malt presence; English Brown Ale, 4.6%, light hoppiness, slight toastiness; Oatmeal Stout, 5.7%, chocolate, licorice, love; Saison Vautour, 7%, a Farmhouse Ale, spicy yeast goodness; American Pale Ale, 5.5%, lightly fruity, pleasant hoppiness; Wit, 4.5%, don’t really get the coriander, meh, and murky, garnished with an orange), and 2 seasonals (Application IPA, 6.5%, good bitterness, a bit on the sweet side all in all; La Soeur Mechant, 8.5%, strong Belgian on wine & apple brandy casks, I get all apple & no wine, not so sour as apple brandied up). The Oatmeal Stout & Saison Vautour were the best of ‘em. Beers are served way too cold, which is uncool.
Spinach & Ricotta pizza for Miss Heather (“She dug it” was the official verdict), and Ed had the Mahi fish tacos, seemingly lacking of fish. I had the Key West salad with spicy tuna (fresh greens, tomatoes, salsa, candied walnuts, seasonal berries, honey lime dressing). I don’t know what seasonal berries will be, oh wait, blackberries, strawberries, booberries, snozzberries, and mandarin oranges, which yes, are not of the berry variety, but consider not being a douche bag. It was a hearty salad of the not suck. Jack offered up the fresh pepper, um, hell yes, thank you.
‘Growlers to go’, but they’re a brewpub, and this would be standard at this point, no? Just into the hours of happiness, and, no, they don’t appear to be jammed. Ed says it’s because they’re too new. I say it’s because it’s too early; because people, you know, work. I, of course, am correct, as the place filled in nicely around us during the time we were there. Better food than I remember this group doing, and the beers were pretty good. All in all, it’s a much better space than the other 2 locations (though hitting the basement gaming space at Glen Mills in the Scotty 750 days was king).
03-16-2012 13:32:18 | More by slander
3.94/5 rDev -1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $
Down the road at Westlakes, couldn't not swing by, especially in lieu of rush hour traffic.
Atmosphere: The restaurant is split into two sections, separated by the entrance: dining and bar. The bar was a rather popular place for 6PM on a Tuesday. The bar, a large rectangle, is situated in the center of the bar. TVs are plentiful, at least two in easy sight no matter where you sit. I didn't venture into the dining area or check out the brewing equipment but there is a full set-up there.
Quality: The location, formerly a Charlie Browns, was completely gutted in the renovation process. The result is a clean, fresh look. The beer list was good and a tapas menu had cheaper offerings.
Service: I was greeted at the bar quickly and visited several times as I sipped through my two glasses. Ryan Michaels, the headbrewer, ponied up to the bar beside me and we struck up a conversation - always a nice occurrence at a brewpub.
Selection: 5 house beers and two seasonals. Vautour was a house beer, La Soeur Mechant a seasonal; I had both. Conifer, a collaboration with Tired Hands, was scheduled to come on today (Friday). The two beers that I had were excellent.
Food: A full menu, including the aforementioned tapas. I didn't eat though, so I can't judge that.
Two pints, $7.75 pre-tip with happy hour prices, and those two pints were Vautour and Mechant. Can't beat that. I'll be back.
01-14-2012 02:52:21 | More by akorsak
McKenzie Brew House in Berwyn, PA
- out of 100 based on 4 ratings.