Forest & Main Brewing Company

Brewery, Bar, Eatery

33 E Butler Ave
Ambler, Pennsylvania, 19002
United States

(215) 542-1776 | map
forestandmain.com

Notes:
BEER STATS
Average:
3.99
Beers:
366
Ratings:
1,414
PLACE STATS
Average:
4.29
Reviews:
33
Ratings:
63
pDev:
10.49%
View: Beers | Place Reviews
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Ratings by thebeers:
Photo of thebeers
Reviewed by thebeers from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
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.
Jan 16, 2017
More User Ratings:
Photo of AlfromPA
Reviewed by AlfromPA from Pennsylvania

4.41/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
The old Forest and Main in Ambler was in an old Victorian house and served really nice cuisine along with the beers. The cozy pub on the left as you entered had a wonderful ambiance. For whatever reason that venue, and the one next to it, have closed, and the relocated pub on Butler Ave. is serving beers only. It's now just a big, roomy bar with a beer fridge. You can get takeout from the restaurants nearby and bring it in. Well, the beer is still good but it's (obviously) not what it was.
Jul 23, 2022
 
Rated: 4.87 by chiefz1 from New York

Oct 25, 2020
Photo of bl00
Reviewed by bl00 from Pennsylvania

4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25
Visited the newer large space last week. Loved the murals and art and the town was very inviting. Didn't get to drop into the original location or try food. The saisons that we sampled were very good, though the barleywine was quite strange. Took a 4 pack of DIPA home along with a saison bottle. The DIPA was good. Not a bad stop if you are in the area, though it was a bit out of the way the drive around was pretty.
May 30, 2019
Photo of Lambdon
Reviewed by Lambdon from Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -10.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75
Wonderful, Victorian style gem of a brewpub in the heart of Ambler, PA. Beers are a bit monotonous, but some selections they do have work and the whole feel of the place is homey and comfortable.
Feb 17, 2019
 
Rated: 3.73 by Bluescooter from North Carolina

Dec 17, 2018
 
Rated: 4.43 by TheSupremeAJ from Pennsylvania

Oct 12, 2018
 
Rated: 3.85 by acurtis from New Jersey

Sep 02, 2018
Photo of RutgersBeerGuy
Reviewed by RutgersBeerGuy from New Jersey

4.11/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75
A group of four of us went to Forest and Main two weeks ago.

We started at their original place, which is in a lovely old house. It was the first dry day in a few, so people were rushing to sit on their lovely porch, but we settled for a table inside. It really is very cute and quaint.

The list that was on was a fun mix of farmhouse ales, juicy IPA, and English-style cask offerings, including a bitter and a little 3.1% oatmeal stout. To that last point, they have an impressive commitment to having multiple very low ABV beers on at any given time, which is great for the person looking for a proper session. Between us, we tried everything and it was all good or better. You can order a few different sizes and I found the price of the pours very reasonable.

There are a few local wine selections, a local cider, and some basic highballs using local vodka and gin.

Food is limited, but well-considered. We had a mix of sandwiches and burgers and they were all very solid. Wonderfully fresh tomatoes on my BLT that I assume were locally sourced.

After lunch, we moved next door to their more communal, beer hall-esque space where a live jazz quartet was playing. It was a pretty dead scene, but it was also mid-afternoon on a Sunday.

We tried some more beers, no casks on this side, and liked what we had. The Jazz was good. They also sell their cans and bottles, as well as glasses and other merch, out of this space. We took home a few 4-packs of a 3.5% saison (pricy, but that’s the deal with these bespoke pint cans these days).

I really liked F&M. The beer is great and they’re not just falling in line with the haze trend, even if they do pander to it a little. The food was rustic and good. The original location is far more scenic than the new space, but the latter clearly serves a purpose.
Aug 01, 2018
 
Rated: 4.54 by spointon from Illinois

Apr 16, 2018
 
Rated: 3.13 by IdrinkGas from Pennsylvania

Feb 24, 2018
 
Rated: 4.8 by Ryften from Pennsylvania

Jan 15, 2018
 
Rated: 4.75 by jkrug5 from Maryland

Nov 15, 2017
 
Rated: 4 by schroeder1200 from New Jersey

Jul 20, 2017
Photo of rorjets
Reviewed by rorjets from Connecticut

4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
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.
Jun 24, 2017
 
Rated: 3.66 by bluehende from Delaware

May 22, 2017
Photo of ACarp
Reviewed by ACarp from New York

4.88/5  rDev +13.8%
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
Apr 25, 2017
Photo of Jacobier10
Reviewed by Jacobier10 from New Jersey

4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 5 | 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."
Apr 10, 2017
 
Rated: 4.66 by oriolesfan4 from Maryland

Mar 07, 2017
Photo of bobpgh
Reviewed by bobpgh from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -6.8%
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.
Jan 22, 2017
Photo of NeroFiddled
Reviewed by NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
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.
Jan 19, 2017
 
Rated: 4.75 by Stofko1992 from Pennsylvania

Nov 18, 2016
 
Rated: 4.63 by CAcker from California

Sep 04, 2016
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
Reviewed by DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

3.92/5  rDev -8.6%
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!
Aug 24, 2016
Photo of Giantspace
Reviewed by Giantspace from Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
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.
Aug 18, 2016
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Rated by funicular from Pennsylvania

3.91/5  rDev -8.9%
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.
Jun 15, 2016
 
Rated: 4.31 by cp45 from New Jersey

Jun 07, 2016
Photo of Knapp85
Reviewed by Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4
Stopped in here with a friend. It's a pretty cool place, I like that it's basically an old small house with some small tables for dining and then a tap room for anyone who just wants some beers. The selection is usually pretty good. The service is good too. It's definitely a place that I would like to go to more often.
Jan 31, 2016
 
Rated: 4.59 by blassor from New Jersey

Dec 08, 2015
 
Rated: 4.68 by justintcoons from Pennsylvania

Sep 29, 2015
 
Rated: 4.66 by TheNakedStiletto from Pennsylvania

Jul 23, 2015
 
Rated: 4.8 by McMatt7 from Pennsylvania

Jul 06, 2015
 
Rated: 4.33 by ShanePB from Pennsylvania

Jun 25, 2015
Photo of Dumsboa09
Rated by Dumsboa09 from Pennsylvania

4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
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.
Jun 21, 2015
 
Rated: 4.26 by Slatetank from Pennsylvania

Jun 16, 2015
 
Rated: 4.19 by Kurmaraja from California

May 10, 2015
Photo of mwa114
Reviewed by mwa114 from Pennsylvania

4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25
Cool spot in Ambler with awesome summer brews. Has both inside and outside seating but I recommend grabbing a table on the porch on a nice spring/summer day. Wish they opened before 4:00 PM but that's my only complaint.
May 04, 2015
 
Rated: 4.04 by epyon396 from Pennsylvania

Mar 01, 2015
 
Rated: 3.81 by ColdOne from New York

Feb 22, 2015
 
Rated: 4.64 by BigMike from Pennsylvania

Feb 12, 2015
Forest & Main Brewing Company in Ambler, PA
Brewery rating: 3.99 out of 5 with 1414 ratings