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Let's Talk About Forest and Main

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by xnicknj, Feb 20, 2013.

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  1. xnicknj

    xnicknj Initiate (0) May 25, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I've been reading a bunch of great things about this place lately and just realized it's about 10 miles from my office so I'm going to take a ride over in the next week or so.

    I know we've all been really busy showering Tired Hands with our adoration (and money), so what about Forest and Main? Favorite dishes? Beers? Random opinions?
  2. chcfan

    chcfan Devotee (466) Oct 29, 2008 California

    Big fan here. I've only been there a few times, but I've really enjoyed it. When they first opened, it seemed like they always had the same eight or so beers on tap, but I've seen a lot of changes to the beer menu the last few times I've been there or looked at it online. In fact, on the current menu, the only two I've had are Kinch, which I think is a very good British style IPA, and Solaire, which is delicious.

    As far as food, all I've had is the cheese plate and fish and chips. The cheese plate depends on which cheeses are available and the fish was really good. I keep meaning to get that bacon popcorn.

    The building itself is really cool, though the bar on the left is a little awkward because there's just a few seats at the bar and some stools around the wall with just standing room in the middle. Might be better suited with a few high-tops or something. They have seating on the front porch which is a pretty awesome place for a few beers when it's nice out.

    It's a great place and while I've admittedly been to Tired Hands several more times, I still think F&M is all-too often overlooked in terms of our beer scene/local brewers. If you like good beer, you'll like the place. If you especially like well-made British and Belgian beers, you'll love the place.
    hhkal17 likes this.
  3. joeebbs

    joeebbs Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2009 Pennsylvania

    No, don't talk about Forest & Main! It's too crowded there already!
    Coach, theGlasstronaut and zekeman17 like this.
  4. chcfan

    chcfan Devotee (466) Oct 29, 2008 California

    LOL, you sound like me with limited tappings. "Hey, let's make sure that everyone on BA knows exactly when and where each tapping of roughly 70 - 10oz pours of Pliny the Younger in Philly is going to be well in advance!!! It will be such a good time for the 200 people who show up to a bar that can comfortably hold 50!" Seriously, though. They are a great brewery and deserving of our business. I usually go to places like F&M on weeknights to avoid the big crowds.

    Edit: the last time I was there, we walked down to the theater from there and I was surprised to find that it's like the only place left to get a beer in "downtown" Ambler. I hope cool owners take over those other spots soon. Rosey's BBQ, Shanachie, and Finn McCool's (I know, but still) all gone. All that's left are the over-priced Deterra and Bridgets and regular old KC's.
  5. xnicknj

    xnicknj Initiate (0) May 25, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Yeah, this is what I was thinking since it sounds like it's fairly small inside. Hanging out on the porch for a couple beers sounds awesome though once it warms up around here.
  6. TomFoley

    TomFoley Initiate (198) Mar 19, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Have only been there once and loved it. Bit of a hike for me, but I happened to be in the area. It was a Sunday, and I got there just after they opened. There were two women at the bar and a couple of groups showed up while I was there. When I left around 5, there was a steady stream headed in, and as I mentioned this was a Sunday so you might want to head there during the week.
  7. stmgl01

    stmgl01 Aspirant (202) Dec 11, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I've been a handful of times and have really enjoyed it. The food I've had has been very good with the highlight being their burger. Haven't had a beer from them I haven't enjoyed but can't think of one that really stuck out above all of the rest. They bottle beers every now and then and the two of those I've had, Marius and Solaire Reserve, having been very enjoyable.

    I'd love to go more but its a little out of the way for me. Love the vibe of the building too!
  8. joeebbs

    joeebbs Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I went to Bar 31 when Forest & Main had a huge wait. It's....an interesting place. They have good beer there but it's a dive.
  9. chcfan

    chcfan Devotee (466) Oct 29, 2008 California

    Yeah, I lived in Ambler for two years starting in '08 and never went into there because it seemed a little too divey. I have grown to enjoy the occasional dive from time to time, but I'm not going to drive to Ambler for one when I can walk to several here in Conshohocken.
  10. TomFoley

    TomFoley Initiate (198) Mar 19, 2005 Pennsylvania

    chcfan likes this.
  11. chcfan

    chcfan Devotee (466) Oct 29, 2008 California

    I live about a 50 yard walk (or stumble) from there. Love it!
  12. xnicknj

    xnicknj Initiate (0) May 25, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I saw these were really small runs - did they do an announced release or just casually put them out whenever they were ready to go?
  13. stmgl01

    stmgl01 Aspirant (202) Dec 11, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I would say they would "casually announce" them. I think each time they've had a bottle for sale its been posted on their Facebook page the day of its availability without any kind of warning. However, I noticed last time I was in that they have an email list that probably gives more of a heads up of things going on with bottlings and other beer releases.
  14. schillman

    schillman Initiate (181) Oct 7, 2009 New Jersey

    I saw them announced on their facebook page just prior to release. I'm also only a few minutes away and have been meaning to check it out on the way home one day.
  15. zekeman17

    zekeman17 Defender (678) Feb 14, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Been there a bunch of times, the beers have been anywhere from good to really good, and the food has been excellent every time. The service has always been good, and everyone there has always been pleasant.
    Bacon popcorn is out of this world. Fish & chips and the burger are great. My favorite is the onion soup made with house beer.
    It has quickly become one of our favorite places.
  16. theGlasstronaut

    theGlasstronaut Initiate (0) Oct 2, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I know it was mentioned already, but the bacon cheeseburger is a damn good meal over there. I remember having the Solaire which was very tasty, but the Le Jeune was my favorite.
  17. nfo

    nfo Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Le Jeune was great, and I really like Fiso - like a smaller, slightly fruitier XX Bitter. They do tend to get filled up. To me, this is a good thing, because I want them to stick around, and I'm willing to wait or visit off-peak.
  18. PhillyTapFinder

    PhillyTapFinder Initiate (23) May 21, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Nick - just go. Trust me. I went there a few weeks ago for my first time and I've been talking about it ever since. 50% English-style beers (3 beers & 1 cider when I was there); 50% Belgian style. All beers are range from good to great. Le Jeune was a favorite - I left with a growler of it. I scored 2 bottles of Solaire Reserve and am excited to bring them to upcoming bottle shares. The vibe was great and service was excellent. Tired Hands and Forest & Main are both tremendous, but in very different ways.
  19. Keyes88

    Keyes88 Aspirant (278) Jul 19, 2011 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I'm honestly a bigger fan of F&m more so then TH. The beer selection has a bit more depth with as good as quality. Plus less obnoxious hipsters. (I went to art school in philly, I can hate on hipsters)
  20. ClarkHimself

    ClarkHimself Initiate (0) Jan 15, 2011 Pennsylvania

    F&M has been on my to-do list for a while now, I'll have to make a stop there soon. I actually enjoyed Finn McCool's the few times I went, as there was always a decent selection with acceptable prices. I'm sure its closing has only helped F&M.

    Completely unrelated, but I can remember walking into KC's Alley a few years back and seeing a sign behind the bar that read they'd be tapping PtE the next day. For a bar that only had (has?) 3-4 craft taps, I was pretty surprised... obviously so if I'm bringing it up 4 years later.
  21. Giantspace

    Giantspace Defender (644) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    FM is a really nice place. We hung on the porch for a bit as it was really crowded. Bit cold but not bad. Moved in after a bit. Really solid beers. Did not have food. I was told they will fill any growler and you can hang on the front lawn as well. Warm weather picnic? I had a funky stout, Farmer Mary or something like that. Nice cherry chocolate undertones and a real good funk to it. Solair is really god and I also had a rocket? stout I think it was called. Really good as well. Bartenders were really nice as was the host we talked with. Bar is pretty tight. Will be back to eat one day.

  22. callmemickey

    callmemickey Meyvn (1,236) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Farmhouse Anne is the farmhouse stout, and Rocket Bird is the strong stout.
  23. Steeeve

    Steeeve Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2010 Pennsylvania

    Love it. It makes me wish I lived in Ambler instead of Lansdale. The bacon mayo burger is off the hook. I've only had a few beers I didn't like there, all the others have been good to excellent. I'm not sure how much they still have (went on Saturday), but the Fiso and Le Jeune were very good. Mooncusser is good but not great. Farmhouse Anne is awesome. Kinch and Duke's Pale are always excellent on the hand pump. I wouldn't recommend their cider (not that most people here would even consider it with 7 other awesome beers on tap, but my sister is living gluten-free and I tried a sip). Solaire and Lunaire are two recurring beers that are both excellent. I was never a fan of low abv Bitters either, but F&M changed my mind on those forever.

    My only complaint is how annoyingly tiny the bar area is. It can be hard to get a drink on a Saturday night. The staff is awesome but the patrons are decidedly less awesome.
  24. Steeeve

    Steeeve Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2010 Pennsylvania

    I don't mind a good dive, it's just that most dives allow smoking, and I find that hard to deal with.
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