Appalachian Brewing Company

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Appalachian Brewing CompanyAppalachian Brewing Company
2,640 Ratings
Appalachian Brewing CompanyAppalachian Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

50 N. Cameron St.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 17101
United States

(717) 221-1080 | map

The Appalachian Brewing Company, also known as ABC, was founded in January 1997. ABC has a specialty beer each month.

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Ratings: 167 |  Reviews: 114
Photo of jeffstinson
2.06/5  rDev -48.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 2.25 | selection: 1.5 | food: 2.25

Photo of Chugmonkey
2.68/5  rDev -32.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

Ate here approx 10 times while working in Harrisburg in 2001. Nice looking place, very clean, good place to take a family for a meal. Beers were good, but nothing I really fell in love with - nothing memorable that's for sure.

Food and service really varied, sometimes really disappointing and others were okay. I recall having a decent steak once or twice. It really seemed to be a gamble on the food & service. I would recommend to get some good beer, but the food really was hit & miss. I found myself going here when other restaurants I liked were too busy, kind of a second choice.

NOTE: My experiences were from 2001, could be much different now in 2008.

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Photo of TTripp725
2.74/5  rDev -31.2%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 2.75

Photo of wardough
2.75/5  rDev -30.9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I went to the Harrisburg location after being recommeded this place by my friends. Parking was pretty easy to find down the street. There was parking near the restaurant, but it was full.

The atmosphere was exactly what I expected for a brewpub: open tables and a large bar. We were promptly provided a table.

The service from there went downhill. Our waitress was unfriendly, unknowledgeable. It took 20 minutes to get the sampler (they only have a few sampler only a few customers could get. They definitely need to fix this.

I ordered the sampler, which is 8 8oz beers. It included all of their major products (pilsner, APA, IPA, Abbey Ale, Stout). The beer was pretty average for a brewpub, but I thought that the Abbey Ale and the IPA were great beers.

They had 10 beers on tap. I wished that I had tried their 2 cask conditioned ales.

Food was above par for a brewpub. All of the food at the table looked good. I had the Santa Fe Chicken salad, which was delicious.

Overall, a good experienced marred by horrible service. I would still try this place again, as it may have been an isolated incident.

Edit: I visited a second time to give it a second chance. Second time, I had their Susquehanna Stout, which was enjoyable. The Abbey Roade was also enjoyable. The service was again horrible (rude service people, unresponsive), which affected the overall atmosphere. This place seemed more about quantity of beer served rather than respecting beer. Recommended only if you like bad service.

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Photo of Bmoyer0301
2.78/5  rDev -30.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

Harrisburg's first brewpub huh ? Well I must admit this place has a neat rustic old building feel to it and is laid out well with a great view of the brewery from all seats. The quality is another story though a lot of their beers seems to be rather flat and boring with little variation. The service was so/so when we stopped to grab a bite to eat and it wasn't even that busy. Their selection of beer is actually pretty amazing that they have 17 beers on tap at one time. But I HIGHLY suggest sticking to one of the most recent seasonals or a flagship beer because they had Zoigel Lager and Celtic Knot Red still on from January and March 2010 its January 2011 now. Why the need to keep so many beers on, especially old ones? My opinion if you cant sell out of your monthly beer in a month or two make smaller batches rather than letting it linger all year. Food was sub par and the prices were not that good what what we got ($11 for a dry burger and soggy fries). My suggestion grab a small sampler and get out. real beer advocates wont fall for these guys. A novelty beer stop for people who are trying to ween into craft beer

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Photo of tuowl74a
2.84/5  rDev -28.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3

It's just okay. The beer selections are fairly standard and not very exciting. I'm an IPA guy and their Hoppy Trails is very disappointing, just not much to it. Service seems to run hot and cold from visit to visit. This is a good idea that seems to be more interested in expanding the franchise than concentrating on the product.

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Photo of Shandycan
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of BcOneSeven
3.08/5  rDev -22.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.75 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

Photo of bonbini26
3.13/5  rDev -21.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Went here on a Saturday night for dinner & drinks with some friends

A- Kind of an older crowd. Was a little disappointed in the size of the 3 TV's in the place, probably 27'ers. Any bar I go to in New Jersey no matter how nice or shitty has at least one 40'+ flat screen. Music was pretty lame here too

Q & S- as far as the brewery beers go they had pretty much every style represented. From IPA, Barleywine, Porter, Stout, Rauchbier, Scotch Ale. Also a cask line. All seemed fresh, none of the beers were over the top spectacular. There was also a pretty decent Belgian bottle selection of about 50+

Service- This was the low point, service was slow and the place wasn't even that crowded for a Saturday night. The staff also knew little to nothing about beer. Was brought the wrong beer twice when we ordered off the Belgian list

Food- All the food we ordered was pretty good from starters to dessert, no complaints , mostly your typical brew pub menu

Prices were pretty reasonable- Food & Beer for 4 people was $180 w/ tip...and that was with everyone having at least 4 beers, entree & starter/dessert...Beers were around $4-$5, most of the Belgians were priced fairly

Overall, a middle of the road brewery as far as beers go. Better than average food. Poor service/knowledge of staff. So-so Atmosphere

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Photo of rudimon
3.16/5  rDev -20.6%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 2.75 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5

selection was good with the bar upstairs..

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Photo of dungledauf
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Atmosphere: Visited during their anniversary celebration. The place was friendly and comfortable with everyone having a good time

Quality: The food, beer, and waitress were good. Great diversification of beer and food to choose.

Service: Hostess and waitress were both outstanding. Friendly, patient. Both did their jobs very well. A bartender, Dawn, was the exception. After lunch, I approached the bar to purchase a drink, but I had to wait 15 minutes. I complained to the manager, but he instructed me to not bother the bartender. There was not resolution to my complaint. My guess is that the bartender and manager were to busy distributing drugs instead of tending to the bar customers.

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Photo of chicagoish
3.26/5  rDev -18.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Photo of boelker62
3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I have a different view of this place, as I had had their beers a few times before, but was rather unimpressed. The wife and I went there for a concert on a friday night to the Abbey Bar upstairs, only walking through the main hall downstairs. Both flors were filled and lively, families dining downstairs, and a younger crowd upstairs. On our particular night, the upstairs Abbey Bar was smoke free as well. But they did have a cigar humidor in back of the bar, which was confusong, at first. There was a private party and one end, and a light cover for the band.

The atmosphere was VERY lively and loud, well before the concert. It was a surprisingly young crowd, and as this Abbey Bar has about 100 Belgian bottles, and many of their own brews on tap, as well as a full liquor license, it was well-received by all ages. Maybe because it was a concert night, but it quite apparent you were not welcome, wait, that's unfair, it was unexpected for us to get food at the bar, like we do EVERYWHERE else we go. It was so crowded, so early, it was dificult to keep people from constantly hovering over our shoulders ordering drinks. Not their fault, though.

The quality of the overall presentation was good. The barkeeps were knowledgable, but were certainly there to sling drinks to the masses. I think they were understaffed (3 bartenders) for the 500 people on that floor, with no service bar and very few floor servers.

Tap selection was not as good as it was donstairs, but the 100 Belgian bottles puts this above average. The food we had was average bar food, and I mean that in a good way. I love bar food. Some of the best wings I have had in a while, actually. The value for the drinks was good, the IPA hit the spot, the porter above average, but, I did see someone drinking Chimay from the bottle, as if it were a Bud Light. Sorry, I am not trying to be a snob about it, but that's a minor form of beer disrespet, if you ask me. Oh well, to each his own. If I were a server, however, serving a $20 bottle of beer, I would want the customer to get the best value from it, and it is an objective assessment that most any beer is better after breathing a bit. Oh well.

Overall, my impression of the place is much higher than that of their bottled beers, and would not hesitate going back when in Harrisburg. I'd certainly go there for a concert again, but wouldn't make the 90 mile trip for it's on sake.

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Photo of Throckmorton
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

A- this is the best part of this place. great old building, had been burned out, and they did a great job of cleaning it up and installling the tanks, etc. all exposed wood and brick, good second floor with large outdoor rooftop deck.

Q - of the beer? something below average. Most offerings have little real character, they brew for mass tastes for the most part. has the occasional interesting brew.

Service and food are a cut above, and prices are reasonable.

For me the beer is OK, but the atmosphere, pool, deck, music, look and feel that keep me coming back. I don't really go there for the beer. having said that, they have a decent selection of bottles from other breweries, especially Belgian.

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Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25

Photo of BeerCon5
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

I have been here a few times, each time was a different experience. The outside has a very old, rugged look to it, while the inside looks very comfortable and has a warm atmosphere. As you walk in you are able to see the actual brewery through the glass walls. There is a large L-shaped bar at the far end, with hanging glass mugs lining the back of it.
I've had quite a few of their beers, of most I would call average. The best would include the Obbie's Grand Cru and the Watergap Wheat, which were both excellent.
The wait staff was very knowledgeable on all of the beers, although there were a few times where it seemed we were left to fend for ourselves.
The food also varied in quality. One time I had a Delmonico that wasn't very good, just kind of warm and not very juicy and another time I had the Susquehanna Stout Wings which were probably the best wings I've ever had.
Both the food and beer prices were very reasonable. They also have growlers available, although they are very difficult to get as they are often sold out as well as cases and six packs to take home.
Overall, this isn't a bad place to visit. I will most likely stop to fill my growler or to get some wings.

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Photo of stakem
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

It's a nice establishment but depending on where you are seated it can feel a little cramped. (Regarding the small landing on the left side of the building and lack of walking space for waiting staff.)

The burgers and wings are delicious. The other members of my party spoke highly of their BBQ pork.

I had the opportunity to take their tour with plenty of samples afterwards. The selection of beer is great. If you visit, be sure to scope out the chalkboard behind the bar that is an ever-changing list of their small batches of beer.

June 2010 Update:
After deciding to become a mug club member and visiting more than once a month my perception of this place has drastically changed. The vibe and atmosphere remain a decent setting. The food menu has undergone a reconstruction and while 2 of my favorites have been removed, there is still a decent selection to choose from. The staff is friendly and as of late has been having an issue with "newbies" who don't necessarily give you accurate information when you inquire about takeout beer and their new "brewery direct" beer purchasing. As for the beer, I don't know what to think anymore. Your experience can honestly be a total roll of the dice. For roughly 4 months I was never served a beer with a head, every single pint/mug was served with no head and unacceptably low in carbonation. The final nail in the coffin for me was when I realized this place just generally doesn't care that much about their beer. Why would you serve seemingly flat beer for that long? The most recent occurence which I cant swallow was experiencing them switching lines without cleaning. Ok, I can understand a busy establishment emptying kegs in a short amount of time and not cleaning the lines on every single kick. However, I cannot believe they interchange root beer lines with their beer lines. I literally was served a glass of barleywine which was mixed with root beer. I took it to the bartender who smelled it and said "whoops, guess we didn't pour enough beer through the line that previously had the root beer in."

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Photo of ottobon100
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3

While visiting Harrisburg for the first time I went here on Monday evening, Oct. 30th. Found it on "Beer Fly." Started off - and finished - with the samplers, 8 of them brewed on premises + a root beer sample. First, I thought all of the beers tasted "weak" or watery. I am a big IPA fan and their "Hoppy Trails" was not good at all. I really didn't like any of their beers that much. I guess if pressed to pick one it would have been the Stout or Porter but even that tasted watery to me. To be honest I can't remember if it was a Stout or Porter that was served. Just wasn't memorable. Maybe worth going back to see if some of the beers they carry other than the ones they brew are any good.

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Photo of philbe311
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Had a late dinner here with my wife this past weekend... A big brick building situated in an older slightly run-down section of Harrisburg... A big open space inside, but one that was a little to dark for our liking... Some nice blown-up images of their beer's labels line the wall... There is a small glimpse into some brewing equipment... One refrigerator unit sits in back with a small selection of six-packs for patrons to take home... The service was the textbook definition of average... There was nothing wrong with it, but I wasn't too impressed either... The food again, was the textbook definition of average... The beer selection and quality was the best part of this establishment... There was a wide variety of styles, all of which we sampled were slightly above average... Everything was very reasonable priced... Dinner for two, one shared desert, and three beers came in under $40, so I can't complain... Overall if you're in the Harrisburg area, this place is definitely worth a visit, but I'm not sure I would go too out of my way to get there...

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Photo of VanTango
3.46/5  rDev -13.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of Mipper
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of qcbrewer
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of mk66
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of lgcberry
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I visited ABC in Harrisburg last Saturday (April 12). We arrived around 6:30 or so and the place was already pretty full. Got a seat near the front which was quieter but prevented me from having a good view of the bar which was huge.

They had about 10 of their own beers on draft. I was going to get a sampler (8-5 oz. glasses for $13) but decided against it as many of the beers were hoppy-style ales which aren't my favorite. Instead I tried the Kolsch and my friend tried the Wheat.

The Kolsch was ok - fairly light in body, not harsh on the palette, mild hop character, clean after taste. Not quite bold enough to go with the bratwurst and onion rings I'd ordered. The wheat was listed as unfiltered, but it looked filtered and didn't have the mouth feel of an unfiltered ale. The body of the wheat was also light, there were hints of spices (couldn't pinpoint exactly what) and it stood up to fish & chips quite well.

Overall, the it's a nice facility, The food isn't that great - my brats were cold and when I sent it back, I think they just micro'd the meat and sent it back out. The fish part of the fish and chips was really good. The fries were just warm, not hot and fresh. The server came by and checked a couple of times but it seemed more obligatory rather than out of genuine concern for our needs.

Bottom line - if you're in the area and jones'in for a brewery, it'll do the trick. Just don't expect to be overwhelemed.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.52/5  rDev -11.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.25

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Appalachian Brewing Company in Harrisburg, PA
Brewery rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 2,640 ratings