Four Sons Brewery Restaurant
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Ratings: 8 | Reviews: 8 | Display Reviews Only:
4.78/5 rDev +12.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Four Sons was the highlight of my late summer "Brewpubs of Northwest PA" trip. After reading write-ups and ratings of the other pubs in this part of the state, I wasn't expecting it to be so good so it was a very pleasant surprise.
My travelling beerfly and I camped in the area and took advantage of the very nice Oil Creek State Park bike trail. It is about a 10 mile paved trail along old railroad bed and oil creek. I suppose for a nice day adventure one could bike from southern portions of the trail, stop at Four Sons for lunch, and then bike (slight downhill) back to the starting point.
Plissken Pale Ale, Heavy K Scotch Ale, and Rebecca's Revenge are some of the highlights on the beer menu. Rebecca's revenge is an authentic tasting German Schwartzbier. A very smooth, dark, and drinkable beer. I never had a schwarzbier I didn't like, but this was perhaps the best. It was a hard choice for what to fill our growlers with because there were so many great varieties of beer. The high quality of the beers here is surprising, given that they are have just transitioned brewers. Though most beers are true to style, the brewer is not afraid to experiment with non-traditional ingredients.
There is a nice big bar in the front, with ice tray built into the bar to keep your beer cold. Large store-front windows allow patrons to view the action in the sidewalks and streets. With the high ceilings, the only drawback is that you don't get a real "cozy" feel, but otherwise a very nice place. Patrons can view the brewkettle in a glass enclosure on the first floor, but the fermentation and kegging takes place in the brew cellar downstairs. All the workers there are very friendly and make you want to keep coming back for more. We left titusville for a couple days but did return later for more good beers and to refill our growlers. We started to feel right at home here and it was lots of fun watching the staff walk around in their kilts.
Definitely a place that is underrated probably only because it is so far out of the way they don't get many visitors. So, if you would like to visit the Drake Oil Well Museum, ride a scenic train, mountain bike, or camp in the area, this is a great area of the state to visit, and well worth the trip to the brewpub alone!
09-17-2006 17:43:38 | More by Beerquester
4/5 rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
The Four Sons Brewpub in Titusville, PA is in a refurbished store front. The old store windows give the otherwise darkly paneled bar plenty of light. The ten-barrel kettle is in a separate glass-enclosed room, and the rest of the seven-barrel system is in the basement. The dining area is small with about ten tables...the medium-sized bar has seating for about 20, plus several tables of it's own. The food was quite good and not over-priced. On the bar is an embedded, frozen metal stip, a "cool tray" to keep the glasses of beer cold. There are six beers on tap; four year-round and the other two seasonals. The beers are tasty but not true to style. Doug Caldwell, the brewer, said he likes to keep them interesting by adding interesting extras. For instance, he said he wanted to call his IPA a "Rye PA", as it had a stong rye presence.
08-30-2006 00:48:17 | More by foamee
4/5 rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
In Pittsburgh this would be an average brewpub with beers that didn't blow you away but with redeeming qualities. In Titusville surrounded by a craft beer desert Four Sons deserves a better rating. That being said my review is colored by my access to a plethora of great beers and bars near my home outside of Pittsburgh.
Four Sons sits in the heart of the town that started the world on the path to petroleum dependency. The Drake Well is just outside of town. The wealth generated by the oil boom was well hidden on my visit to Titusville. The brewpub is housed in a distinguished old building that has been refurbished but not gussied up to a Disneyesque shadow of it's former self. The interior is rather stark with a few malt bags hanging on the wall as well as one picture of a family. The brewing equipment is located in a prominent position in the front window. Standard and seasonal brews are on a chalkboard above the bar.
The long wooden bar sits in an open spacious room with the dining room behind a low wall on the other side. Wooden tables and chairs give the room a post-Prohibition feel and on our visit it was quiet and comfortable. Service was attentive but unobtrusive although the lack of a full house probably made this easy.
As far as the beers go we had the Porter, Stout and Scotch Ale. All were well made and to style, just not with the added layers of complexity that would make one's taste buds stand up and take notice. This may be a business decision and may change as the clientele expand their beer knowledge.
Nachos, soup and pizza were ample and tasty, presented appropriately and with a smile. We enjoyed our visit but Four Sons didn't rise to a destination brewpub. The lack of any big beers, like an Imperial anything or a Belgian monster for the big beer geek left us wanting something more. Surely would stop by if in the vicinity, but no more 2 hour drives.
06-18-2005 20:53:30 | More by QXSTER1
4.8/5 rDev +13.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5
Atmosphere: Located in downtown Titusville, Four Sons stands out in what otherwise looks like a rather desolate place. Four Sons sits in what appears to be an old hotel bar, with a very ornate look to it, with lots of wood put in, along with a little balcony consisting of glassware. The bar was fairly large, with at least 20 stools there; behind it was a large chalkboard listing the beers. The brewing equipment was right in the main window for everyone to see; looked like about a 10 barrel system. As for the people, the only other people there when we were there were the bartender, a couple servers and the brewer, so we couldn't comment on how social/hangout the place is (though there is a University of Pittsburgh branch campus in Titusville, so I'm sure there's some going on.)
Quality/Selection: Four Sons had 8 beers on (plus a 9th which we weren't supposed to know about....it was right before St. Patrick's Day and they were saving the Irish Red for Mug Club members...of course, we didn't get a taste or anything...); 5 regulars and 3 seasonals. The 5 regulars included the standard light lager, pale ale, but also some nice surprises with a schwarzbier and the award-winning Heavy K Scotch Ale. Our seasonals included a Belgian Pale Ale, an Imperial Stout and our favorite, the Route 8 IPA with Perle and Bullion hops, named for the Pearl/Bullion exit off of the 4-lane section of Route 8 just south of Franklin (not because Four Sons sits on Route 8, as we thought). Considering that we were mostly in the middle of nowhere, the beers were absolutely fantastic; all in all the best we had on our trip, and tossing out the light beer (of course) and the schwarzbier, any of the rest were growler-worthy!
Service: Unfortunately, it's probably a bit tough to judge service when you're the only two in the bar; however, that's when you also get a chance to find out just how cool your bartender is, and we must report that she really was cool as all hell! She was genuinely surprised that we went all the way to Titusville from Washington and questioned us about the recently-opened North Country we'd previously visited that day. She was even cool enough to give us a little try of the Red Ale. In addition, we were lucky enough to meet the brewer, Matt Allyn, one of the most respected brewers in the whole state of PA. We talked for nearly an hour (pausing only when there was a strange noise...brewers being paranoid that way and all!) about the beer scene in Pittsburgh, his time in Michigan and the very underrated scene up there and much more. We didn't leave until after 5:30 so who knows how late he stayed...just to stay and spend some time with us, which we definitely appreciate. (Incidentally, we did get a confirmation of just how good a brewer he is when we talked to Jeff Quidos at Red Star and he mentioned that he taught him to use his system!)
This was originally meant to be just a side excursion from North Country (on the theory that 50 miles round-trip is less than 120!); however, this may well have been our favorite brewpub we visited on spring break! Simply fantastic beers which I begged for limited distribution in Pittsburgh (no dice) and an awesome experience. This goes alongside Red Star for Most Underrated Brewpub in the State of PA. I definitely recommend the trip from anywhere in Western PA (or even Western NY...it can't be THAT bad!)....with such amazing beer and downtown parking only a quarter an hour, I know we'll be going back...this time though, a growler might just not be enough and I might have to bring back a sixtel!
04-08-2005 00:45:10 | More by beergeek279
4.15/5 rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
I hope this place lasts. I grew up in nearby Oil City and have seen so many cool places get discarded. This restaurant is great. As a restaurant, it is one of the only decent places to take an out-of-town guest or someone from a large metro. The food is good with many choices including vegetarian stuff. The beer is really good. Their styles are broad and offer good examples of ales and lagers. The prices are exceptionally good for the quality. I think this will balance well with the economy of the region. The IPA and Oatmeal Stout stand out in my mind. The lager is good for the "yellow beer drinkers". Good place. I hope it stays around.
04-21-2004 22:43:22 | More by Maestro
4.4/5 rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
While looking for it in the little downtown area of Titusville this little brewery just popped up on the corner, when stopped at an intersection. Atmosphere is very inviting when you walk in dining area off to the right with brewing equipment located in the corner to the right. Smoking and bar side to the left nice long bar modern light fixtures very nice looking restaurant small little high tables make up the seating around the bar. I have two major compliments for this place, one being smokeless ashtrays great idea for us beer tasters and when I got a growler of the dubbel when leaving they place plastic around the screwtop lid and heat seal it great innovations I have never seen from a brewpub. Server very friendly clad in her quilt, bartender fielded a few questions and the brewmaster was walking around talking to patrons nice brewpub atmosphere. Selection ranged from the Titusville Lager a helles, a scotch ale, a schwarzbier, an APA, IPA, dubbel (sort of), and an Oatmeal stout. Food that we ate I went with that Burbon steak and it was fantastic cooked perfectly my lady had the burger we both enjoyed our food immensely. Beers here were brewed well I was very impressed nothing like this brewpub exists in the Northwestern PA so it's a huge milestone to have it opened and doing so well this place was packed.
04-03-2004 15:12:39 | More by WVbeergeek
3.85/5 rDev -9.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5
This place just opened up a few weeks ago. It is small, and at peak times there can be a lengthy wait for a table. All of the servers wear real scottish kilts. The food was typical brewpub fare, which in general is a cut above the average restaurant. A few recipies utilized their brews. The beer quality was above average. 7 beers on tap - the obligatory american lager, a german dark lager, an american pale ale, a scottish heavy, an ESB, a Belgian dubbel, and an oatmeal stout. Some of those are seasonal, and will rotate out, but I'm not sure which ones. Well brewed beers. Well worth a stop if you are in this part of Pennsylvania.
03-21-2004 01:32:44 | More by soilguy
3.93/5 rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5
Old downtown building with high ceilings and nice woodwork at the bar and trim. This is truly an oasis in the desert in Northwestern PA. I anticipate that this place will do well because there are no really decent establishments in the area and nowhere to dine that is casual but not wings and Coors Light oriented. I have been there twice in the first two weeks of operation and it has been pretty busy both times. The staff did a pretty decent job considering the newness of the business. I was able to speak with the bremaster several times. I believe he said that he learned to brew from a family in Iceland while in the military.
The beers are pretty good and the selection is not too bad considering the area. I believe there were about 7 different selections, some of which like the Schwartzbier and their lager are good stepping stone beers for those who are used to the macros. They offer a sampler and the staff explain it quite well.
I am most impressed with the quality of the food. They have a great burbon steak, and have bread made from the grains.
03-09-2004 13:58:41 | More by canoehornpoint
Four Sons Brewery Restaurant in Titusville, PA
- out of 100 based on 8 ratings.