Forest & Main Brewing Company

BEER AVG
3.97/5
Forest & Main Brewing CompanyForest & Main Brewing Company
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

61 N Main St
Ambler, Pennsylvania, 19002
United States

(215) 542-1776 | map
forestandmain.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by Rifugium on 11-17-2011

BEER STATS
Beers:
152
Ratings:
975
Reviews:
105
PLACE STATS
Score:
93
Ratings:
84
Reviews:
28
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
4.26%
 
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 |  Reviews: 28
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

 4,723 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of schroeder1200
4/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of rorjets
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Had a job in the area so I thought I would check out this Brew Pub. It's in an old victorian home right on the Main Street; I actually drove past it without see in it the first time. Very casual but cool atmosphere, with tables outside on the porch and several rooms inside. I went to the small bar area, which is on the left as you enter. Only 6-7 stools can fit at the small bar, but the room was big enough for many more. The bartender was attentive, and I ordered several IPAs and an ale. There were a couple of small annoyances: no flights available, so you have to order a 10, 16 or 20 ounce glass of each beer you want to try. I prefer flight so I can sample a wide range of beers. The bartender did offer small samples on request, so that helped mitigate the issue. Also they were out of growlers and 'crowlers' (what we use to call 'oil cans') so I could not take any beer with me. I did not sample any food. But the beer was tasty and fresh, the place was fun, and I would go back in a heartbeat the next time I'm in the North Philly suburbs.

 1,053 characters

Photo of bluehende
3.66/5  rDev -13.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.5

Photo of ACarp
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

Go there for the cask ale, saison, and New England hops, stay for the cozy atmosphere of their converted house. Generous sized pours of really high quality beer for way cheaper than tired hands and most others in the area

 221 characters

Photo of Jacobob10
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I'll start off by saying this is one of the most enjoyable places I have ever had a beer. I arrived right before opening (4pm) on a Wednesday. Parking was a breeze on a side street around the corner. I took a short stroll through the neighborhood since I had a few minutes to kill and it's a quiet suburban area with some local businesses scattered throughout and a main drag a few blocks from Forest & Main.

Walking in, you feel like you're trespassing into someone's house. The bar area is immediately off to the left and is very small. Five or six seats at the bar with minimal additional seating against the walls. I was the first person to arrive and saddled right up to the bar. An attractive bartender handed me the beer menu consisting of 8 beers on-tap; 4 IPAs, 2 dark milds on hand pump, a dubbel, and a saison. The dark milds and one of the IPAs were on hand pump. All beers were available in 10, 16, and 20 oz servings. There were bottles available as well, and several people were in and out throughout the day just to purchase bottles from the bar to-go.

As for the beer itself, it's fantastic. The dark milds were both outstanding, with the one called Snuggle Hitch the highlight. One of the best beers I have ever had. No joke. The saison was enjoyable as well, but was overshadowed by the mild ales. I ordered the fish and chips which was top notch, and elevated to the next level when paired with the aforementioned Snuggle Hitch. Even the music was on point, Grateful Dead, Neil Young, Rolling Stones.

Around 6pm it was time to leave and the bar had started to fill up by then. I felt an immediate wave of sadness come over me as soon as I stepped food outside. I look forward to my next visit to Forest & Main, or as I like to call it, my "happy place."

 1,777 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.66/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

Photo of bobpgh
4/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Food was sold out (late night during restaurant week), but it smelled amazing. Greeter was sweet and very apologetic. Beers were average, no flights or taster size options. Did have 10oz pous though.

 199 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

For me the coolest thing about Forest & Main is the structure. It's located in a former house, and it has an unusual feel to it. It's small but it's comfortable, with lots of wood, and that's the way I imagine lots of places were a hundred years ago. In warm weather you can dine on the front porch, or enjoy a beer beneath the tree in the front yard; and in the winter you can cram in at the bar with the locals.

Beyond that the food is very good (we already know the beer is good!). It's limited, but it's a small place, and it's basic but with a twist. White Bean Dip, for example, replaces salsa and chips, and you've got 4 different kinds of flavored popcorn. There's a burger, and fish & chips of course, but there are also paninis, one of which happens to be Mediterranean with feta, roasted red peppers, and olive tapanade. The prices, depending on how you look at it can be high, but I'd rather pay a little more for quality, fresh food than go to a Chili's or Applebee's. On to the beer...

What drew me to Forest & Main in the first place was their focus on English style ales. Not a lot of places do them anymore, and of those, most of them don't do them quite right. The guys at F&M have it down though, and they make balanced, drinkable ales. But they also have a penchant for Belgian-style beers, which is interesting because there seems to be a little bit of a cross-over in the styles. I've really liked every beer that I've had from them, finding them quenching, but also interesting as well.

 1,512 characters

Photo of thebeers
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

This place is nestled into an old Victorian house. The bar room is literally a living room-sized room with a bar at one end and then some seating along the walls. Very small. Then there's another room you can sit in on the same floor, an upstairs, a front porch and maybe a backyard (which I didn't see because it's January).

It's all really-old wood floors, antique lighting fixtures, crammed and cozy. There were a good number of people there when I went,but not so many that I had trouble finding a seat. If you just wanted to hit the bar and not get food on a busy night, I could see it being annoyingly crowded.

They have eight tap handles. Most are either English inspired (think Bitters, Milds, Old Ales) or Farmhouses, although they did have two IPAs on when I visited, which I didn't bother trying. I think half of their handles are hand pumps, which adds to the experience for the English Ales. Tried four beers while I was there, and while none were transcendent, all were really solid.

The staff there is super friendly, knowledgeable and they hustle -- which I always appreciate.

The food was exceptional. If you get something with a choice of chips or fries, go with the chips. They put a little cumin on them. Tasty as hell.

 1,260 characters

Photo of Stofko1992
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of CAcker
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5

We were heading out to Free Will, but the wife had to find a restroom real bad so we exited 276 near Ft Washington looking for a place. Google told me that Forest & Main was about a 7-minute drive away. Lucky!

Ambler is a quaint little suburban town, and Forest & Main rocks the brewpub game with a cool location off the main street in an old house. If the weather is nice, sit outside on the yard or the porch and you could spend hours there relaxing. If it is too cold, the bar and dining room are plenty cozy. This jawn reminds me of those classic country pubs in the middle of nowhere in England.

Seven beers on tap, of which 3 of them are “Of British Inspiration” and 4 are “Of Belgian Inspiration” (fermented with foraged Ambler yeast). I was a fun of the Sailboat Birth IPA, hazy and funky and reminiscent of those unique Tired Hands IPA’s. I also tried the smoked Saison Rainbow Crow and didn’t like it. The better brews appear to come in bottles but are super limited and there are lines at the door during the releases.

Overall, I don’t love the beers here but love the place and will definitely come back. I want to try the food menu. Don’t miss Sundays when they have discounted growlers!

 1,222 characters

Photo of Giantspace
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

I did not eat here so no food review. Very cool old house turned into a bar. The bar is quite small and I can see it being a bit tight when busy.
The front porch has small tables to sit and there are two larger tables on the lawn. The bar tender was great. She made suggestions and offered up very nice size samples to taste before deciding. I would say about 2-3 oz pours.....very cool. Beers come in 16 or 20 oz pours. We had 6 pints total and all were very good. We also got a growler to go. We had a non F&M growler and they could care less. Beers are English and Belgian inspired and use local foraged yeast in some of them. All beers were from 4.5%-5.5% and 16oz pours were $6 and a growler was $20, I did see a sign saying something about $5 off growlers Sundays. We hung at the bar for our first pint and moved outside to the front lawn for the next. Really laid back place with a good non snobby feel. We had 6 of 7 beers on tap and all were really good. I drive by here 3 times a week so growlers will be coming home weekly with me. I suggest stopping by.

Edit.....Stopped in a few times to eat. Grilled cheese is really good and its large. I had it with local grilled tomato the second time and the sandwich was soggy. Onion rings were served as a side and are nice. Chips that come with the sandwich are house made and really good, wish I had a bag of them right now. The pannini was really good as well. All the food we ordered was good and will be going back again and again. Sitting at the bar during the week is nice to have a beer and food. Tables on the other side are nice for a group. Be prepared to wait at least 30-40 minutes on a Fri-Sat night to sit and eat. These guys are making some really good beers right now.

 1,742 characters

Photo of funicular
3.91/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.5

Great place to try new beers. Food is good but the menu is limited.

67 characters

Photo of cp45
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Photo of Knapp85
4.06/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of blassor
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Photo of justintcoons
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Photo of TheNakedStiletto
4.66/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Photo of McMatt7
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of ShanePB
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of Dumsboa09
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I have a thing about dirty glasses, that aside the place and space is awesome. Great food and the beer is even better.

118 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

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Forest & Main Brewing Company in Ambler, PA
3.97 out of 5 based on 975 ratings.
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