Drafting Room - Spring House
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 42
Reviews by ithacabaron:
2.38/5 rDev -40.9%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 1 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
For being a place called "The Drafting Room," they could use a little improvement with their drafts. I've been coming here for a while, and the place keeps going down hill.
Atmosphere really isn't all that great -- a small bar, with too many TVs, little room to sit, and, if you do end up in the larger dining room, too many tables for one waitress to ever cover. Never quite felt comfortable here.
Quality is the big issue -- I've run into some serious problems here: Foamy, wasteful cask pouring, mis-labeled lines and kegs (my friend ordered a 90 Minute IPA and had a Hop Daddy, or something else delivered to him...twice), you get the idea. Even had an "off" brew here once or twice before. Lines are often dirty. Not the place you'll find a truly crackin' pint.
Growlers deserve their own quality remarks: They use the grossest, brownest, rotting yeast-filled plastic tubes to fill the growlers, and don't bother washing them well afterwards! I was mortified the first time I noticed it. If you don't believe me, ask to see the tubes for yourself. You might never order a growler fill here again. The last beer I had filled there had huge scrod chunkers (clearly from the tube) floating around in otherwise clear beer. Just nasty. I didn't realize it till I got out to my car (it's too dark in the bar), and I was going to take it back, but it took so long to get it that it wasn't worth the hassle of going inside again. I ate the 10 dollars and left.
Service tries its best, and they're usually nice folks, but the traffic here is too much for the small staff to handle, and inexperience rears its ugly head too often. Even when it's quiet, things move at a glacial pace, and it can be hard to get another pint.
Selection is decent, with a combination of locals and hard to find west-coasters. The other day, there was Victory Hop Devil on cask, a Rogue or two, LaChouffe, and a few obscure California hop bombs, to give you a basic idea. The only problem is that some of these terrific brews get destroyed by either the travel, cellaring, or service. Their menu is very detailed about each beer, but almost never accurate. It doesn't matter how many mind-blowing beers they might have -- if they're poured through dirty lines, and poured incorrectly...well, then I could care less. I've had some spectacular brews fall short due to lack of care.
Food is bar food, and okay in quality (wings are small), but a little pricey.
Prices aren't bad, but a little high, again, considering the quality, maybe they are. Growlers are $10 dollars a piece, and 15, I believe, for Belgians. So, take that for what it is.
All in all, I would, at one point, have suggested this as a place to get a growler and run, as it's not a place I've ever really enjoyed spending time at,. but now I can't even suggest that. More and more, the quality continues to slip, and bringing it back up wouldn't be hard -- it would be as simple as hiring another waitress, cleaning the lines once a week, and actually keeping their growler-fill tubes in a bucket of idophor. If they did that, I'd be willing to pay a few bucks more for the growlers to make up the difference...and I might even stay for a pint or two.
The last time I reviewed this, I said, "Until I see some changes here, I can't see myself coming back."
After six months, I came back to give it another shot.
This time -- forget it. I'm done with the Drafting Room.
Why To Make The Scene: Don't. With no vendetta or malice, I'll simply say that there are better places to take your beer-drinking dollar.
01-06-2006 16:17:54 | More by ithacabaron
More User Reviews:
4.28/5 rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Been coming here for a few years and recently a hell of alot. TDR annual hopfest is a must year after year.
This place must have been a old bank from the awning on the left side of the building. The look of the building outside is kinda southwest style housing with a few tables out front. They break out the outside white tent for shade at the hopfest. Once inside, this place looks like a very classy bar and in many ways it is, but not at all snobbish. I like the people that drink here, always up for a convo. The vibe is beer bar/ semi sports bar( Sports is always on the tele) and a fine dining establishment. A nice sized bar with plenty of seating around it. There is also a seperate dining area, but to tell you the truth, I have never stepped in there.
The quality is up there. Clean taplines, clean glassware, clean everything. The bathroom is top notch and I've never seen it trashed. A very inviting bathroom that just asks you to do your buisness there. Wrapped silverware. I believe they also have empty growlers for sale if your looking for them.
I said I like the people who drink here, but the people who work here are no slouches either. I believe that I have never had bad service fro the bar or the tables. Quality service with a smile. The bartender was on top of his knowledge and the waitresses know a bunch about beer to. There's a few bars where I can ask a simple question about a beer and all I get is head scratching, not here. Michael is good people, the owner is good people, just good people all around.
Being a beer bar in SEPA, this place is kinda packed to the gills with good beer. The tap lines are about 20 in number with mostly craft. I will admit that the tap list can be lagging here at points throughout the year, so really it's luck of the draw for a very respectable taplist. There are some brews up there that are not exactly craft, but they have to cater to everybody. Michael is good people, the owner is good people, just good people all around. TDR always seems to have a few Rouge John locker's in the bullpen. A good array of styles both on tap and in bottles. There is also one of the best hard alcohol selections in any Beer Bar in the suburbs. Last time I was there I got Brooklyn Blast, Ommegang Belgian pale ale, Southern Tier Hoppe and six glasses of Russian River Supplication. Awesome, kinda pricy bottle selection thatI would not mind having in my basement.
The food here is very good. You can tell this is a tightly run ship. I got the quesadillas, awesome. I got some other appetizer bites, and they are awesome. Also got a 5$ burger at happy hour, which was delish and awesome. Im going to need to try an entree here the next time I bring a date here.The prices are not out of this world either, it's definatly more worth your money than lets say a SPTR.
One last note: This bar has the best Jukebox in SEPA and anywhere else I have been in this small world. This juke has everything under the sun. Im like a kid at a candi store when Im looking up funk jams here. I wish more bars had a box with the selection on this. Here's a small amount of the music I found there, Kool Keith(really!!!) The Headhunters (really!!!!) Average White Band, MF DOOM, 10CC, and countless others. I actually made some fans as some customers were really digging my playlist. I want that Jukebox yesterday.
Get out to the drafting room soon and enjoy yourself. The bar has seen it's better days buisness wise(and that's not a knock at the quality or popularness of this bar, it's basically because SEPA is a beer bar heaven, there is alot of competition out here) so get in there and help these people out, I guarentee you will have a good time.
04-27-2010 04:05:26 | More by BARFLYB
4.44/5 rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Pulling into the parking lot, I liked the way that the building ran lengthwise with some patio seating and an overhang to the extreme left. There were two entryways, one to the far left that opened onto the restaurant area, but that was less compelling. On the right end of the building was another door that opened directly onto the bar area with a satellite jukebox and Golden Tee to the immediate right and a big screen TV against the right wall. Standard rectangular tables and chairs filled most of the space, and close to the bar was a short wall, fronted on the bar side by circular high tables and high chairs. The bar had a gorgeous dark green marble top that ran about half the length of the space. In the middle of the ar was the setup of 20 taps and one cask engine. The back bar consisted of glass shelves that were being used to house their VERY impressive collection of single malt scotches.
Beers: Those twenty (20) taps continually rotate and if you cannot find something worthwhile, then you need to head out, Jack!
12-09-2009 10:16:30 | More by woodychandler
4.53/5 rDev +12.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Been to this place many times over the years, here's my latest experience mixed in with overall impressions.
Visited HopFest V on 9/12 with a buddy. We sat at a hightop right in front of the bar and was immediately greeted by a waitress who presented us with the tap list and explained how their HopFest worked. Great service all day despite how busy the place became. Always makes you feel good too when the waitress goes out of her way to flirt and be playful with you. I always have a good customer service experience at this place.
The Drafting Room also always has a good daily tap list and they are no slouch in the bottle department as well. Plenty to choose from, always fresh and good.
What keeps bringing me back to this place over some other beer bars is the food. Everything is always well done, and there is a lot of one-off specials that are always interesting.
Great place. nice atmosphere, great food and beer - and not a bad scotch list either!
09-16-2009 16:26:59 | More by bwd110
4.5/5 rDev +11.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
The outside looks strange at first (was it a bank with a drive thru?) but they have a huge parking lot which is great. Inside the bar and bar table are kind of like a sports bar but without that many TV blasting, very good to catch a sports event waiting talking with friends (no need to scream).
Their draft beers changes almost every other day along with a list you can view on the internet. Prices are normally about $5.50 for a A+ beer. They have a big updated beer list to read all about the contents of their draft which is great and makes it hard to select which one to try out of the 15 your really want.
No problem with the beers or service here.
Food selection is much better than other bars/pub. 95% of the food I have tried were excellent. Soups are the best!
One more thing, restroom and tables are very clean, keep up the good job. Everyone is very friendly.
All said, I would recommend this place to be a place to stop in and have a few good beers along with some food, you will not be disappointed.
09-13-2009 12:30:59 | More by cartagena
4.15/5 rDev +3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
Stopped by on a business trip for a beer after heading to Iron Hill.
The place looks like it used to be something else, what I don't know. The place isn't much to look at. However, the draft list and bottle list is something to look at. They had a wide selection of styles, a few imports, but mostly domestic. When I went they had a Rogue theme going with a number (4 or 5) Rogue special releases on tap. I decided to go with the Troeg's Drafting Room Anniversary beer, an IPA which was quite good. Lots to try, if I was in the area I'd definitely head back.
08-20-2009 01:20:53 | More by LabBrewer
4.13/5 rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Friends took me to lunch here a while back and I was really impressed and am now looking for a reason to go back to the area and visit again.
A nice family dining atmosphere plus an upscale beer bar pretty much define this place, except to note that that it is a craft beer bar!
The food was excellent. The service was exceptional, especially considering the size of the lunch crowd.
The selection of beers on tap and in bottle left little to be desired. The Bar manager here knows the world of beer!! The selection of food was pretty much what you'd expect from a lunch time family dining establishment.
Although I was a guest for lunch, I scanned the menu and found the prices were fair and certainly not out of line for the quality of the food, beer and service.
05-25-2009 22:34:13 | More by drtth
4.28/5 rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I've stopped in to the Drafting Room now a number of times over the past 7 or 8 years. Each time I have received excellent and prompt service from courteous waitstaff. The bartenders are always willing to tell you about the draft beers and are knowledgeable about most of the bottle stock as well. Even when I asked for a second taste of something they didn't hesitate. It is no wonder that this establishment was one of a very few to get the Duvel Green on tap for the opening of Philly beer week. If you are in the area and want a great beer, good food, and a nice place to talk, The Drafting Room is a good choice.
03-08-2009 18:36:12 | More by Gilgemesh
4.13/5 rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
Located about 5 minutes from PA Turnpike Exit 339 which is convenient for any travelers. When entering the establishment, you have a greeter that welcomes you in. Dining room on left, bar on the right. I opted for the bar.
Bar is small with about 10 stools and has mirrors and a neat clean look. The rest of the room has high tops and regular tables, 3 TVs, and a video game. There are about 20 taps with a nice variety of local beers like Victory, Penn, and Appalachian Brewing Company. They also had Bass, Miller Lite, Rogue, Brooklyn, and Maredsous beers on tap. About 100 bottles are listed in the beer menu.
Bartender was friendly and knew the beers he was serving. Food was decent, but not overwhleming.
Beers are fresh and constantly changing, so when you arrive you may see something you didn't see last week. This has been a great place to stop for me when passing by the area.
01-31-2009 20:47:15 | More by Gavage
4/5 rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
My old drinking spot. I say old because I used to go here a few times a week before the kids came. I still make a point of stopping by whenever I can (especially when I hear a rare or hard to get beer is on tap - which the seem to be able to get). The tap selection changes regularly so don't trust the web site listing or even the chalk board & beer menu. Food is good and the kids like to come here too (which is always a plus for me!). They sell Growler fills too which is another big plus. I haven't bought any, but they sell their bottles from their bottle list to go.
11-11-2008 18:00:37 | More by hopdog
Drafting Room - Spring House in Spring House, PA
90 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.