Manayunk Brewing Company
4120 Main St
Visited on November 8, 2008
Reviews of Manayunk Brewing Company going in weren’t the greatest. Most of what I saw online led me to believe it almost wasn’t worth my time. I decided to try it anyways. All I have to say is that people in Philadelphia must be pretty spoiled; I thought it was a pretty decent spot.
I drank some beers and watched the Buckeyes play a football game while enjoying a bit of lunch. To be fair, I don’t remember anymore what I had or what I drank. What I remember is it being a pretty decent sports bar and also being pretty satisfied walking out the door.
This place is absolutely HUGE! Set along a river several miles outside of downtown Philadelphia, the unassuming entrance belies the enormity of the complex that lies behind. The main dining room and bar is elegant and upscale without being pretentious. Several televisions provide access to the local game, and sometimes the corner is home to a big screen with projector. A second room is dominated by a very cool mural of some jazz musicians that encompasses the entire wall. Yet another room is filled with round dining tables. It’s this room that you must traverse to get to the back patio that commands a very cool view of the river and bridge behind. And if that weren’t enough, the building next door houses a balcony with another bar and even more seating. I can’t imagine this place ever being full.
The wood-fired pizza is delicious. It is not the best I’ve ever had a brewery, but it certainly ranks in the top five. The crust is thin and tasty, but could use a pinch more salt.
Every beer on the sampler of eight was quite drinkable. I wouldn’t count any of them among my favorites, and I wouldn’t return just to get to any of them. However, the blueberry lager was actually very pleasant. I don’t usually go for fruited beers, but the taste of blueberry seemed to envelop my entire mouth before giving way to the familiar finish of a fine lager. Also delicious was the IPA, which I was sorry to hear is seasonal. It had a depth and complexity often lacking in IPA’s and was in no way dominated by the initial bitterness.
The manager (I think) had no qualms sitting us directly in front of the big screen and changing the channel to the Ohio State game we were wanting to watch. The glasses stayed full and the pizza came quickly. No complaints about the service at all.