The Quest for the Holy Grain - Best Beer Bars
Pennsylvania

 

 

Allentown

Camp Hill

Columbia

Dallastown

Exton

Franklin

Harrisburg

Lancaster

Lititz

Malvern

Norristown

Oley

Paoli

Philadelphia

Pittsburgh

Reading

Red Lion

Scranton

State College

York

 

 

 

The Beer Monger's
3000 S Queen St, Dallastown, PA 17313
(717) 501-4251

Beer Monger's is a beer bar and bottle shop located on Route 74 between York and Red Lion.
The bottle shop has around 400 different beers, mostly craft and imports, for individual sale.
There is also seating for about 36 patrons at a large community table and several smaller ones.
Pub food is available, and draft beer is also served.
We tried the egg rolls which were scrumptious.
Growlers can be filled.
Next door is a very large barroom, featuring 18 taps.
The bar, which is sizable, can seat about 30 imbibers, and there is other seating, and 2 pool tables.

 

 

 

Golden Crust Pizza
59 East Broadway
Red Lion, PA 17356
717-246-2773

Golden Crust Pizza is a cool little place for great pizza and beer located in the rural town of Red Lion, PA...just a little southeast of York.
One enters the venue into the take-out area; to the left is a restaurant, and straight back lies the taproom.
Naturally, we chose the latter.
The taproom seats about 10 patrons at the bar, and maybe another 18 or so at tables.
Golden Crust offers over 40 taps, most of which are rotating craft beers, about a dozen of which were new to this Questor.
Many of the drafts were locals.
The bottle list consists of about a dozen macros.
Not only does Golden Crust deliver pizza and other food, they also deliver beer!
See their website for details.
Aside from delicious food and beer, one of Golden Crust's best assets was Kaitlyn, our bartender.
She proved to be hospitable, professional, and knowledgeable.
Golden Crust also fills growlers, and offers a carry-out section of hundreds more craft beers to choose from.
You won't accidentally pass through Red Lion...you have to want to go there.
Now, I want to go there again.

 

 

 

Voodoo Brewing - Homestead
205 E 9th Ave
Homestead, PA 15120
(412) 368-8973

This outlet for Voodoo Brewing is in Homestead, PA, just upstream from Pittsburgh along the Monongahela River.
It is an outlet to the brewery located in Meadville, PA, where all the beer is brewed.
The building, in an older, run down area, had been a fire house. Thus, roll up doors make one wall of the fairly spacious room.
Voodoo has about 8 of their beers on tap, as well as in bottles.
No food is offered, but a food truck schedule is posted.
At 5:00 on a Sunday of a holiday weekend, this Questor was the only customer.
Maybe it was the neighborhood.

 

 

Fat Head's Saloon
1805 E Carson St Pittsburgh, PA 15203
(412) 431-7433

Fat Head's Saloon is a famous bar in the Southern Flats entertainment district near downtown Pittsburgh.
The saloon is three storefronts wide, with the weight-bearing walls separating the rooms.
The area to the far right is kitchen with a small patio out front.
The center section is dining area, and the front half of the left side is bar, with more dining in the rear.
Fat Head's offers 11 of their own beers, produced near their other location in Ohio, as well as 30 guest taps.
The pub grub seems kind of pricey, but the portions are huge. Burgers and sandwiches are about 8 inches across, heaped with fries or chips.
By 1:00 Saturday afternoon, there was a line at the door.

 

 

Liberty Street Ale House
1411 Liberty Street
Franklin, PA 16323
855-334-8115

Franklin is a small town in Northwest PA. As in any American small town, one can find a place or two to watch the game and have a cold beverage.
Alas, these beverages are usually B or M/C. That said, the Liberty Street Ale House, the lobby bar of the Quality Inn, is a true oasis. The white board has a bottle list of over 40 craft beers.
The manager showed me a prototype of the new beer menu soon to be introduced, with over 60 craft beers.
I did have one complaint - there was no listing for the 3 draft beers in the corner.
I did ask, although I expected B M/C.
I was surprised that the current beers were Arcadia Jaw Jacker Pumpkin, Thirsty Dog Octoberfest, and Hoppin Frog Rye IPA.
A true oasis !!

 

 

Bulls Head Public House
14 E Main St

Lititz , PA 17543
717 626-2115

The Bull's Head Public House is Lititz's premier drinking establishment.
The bar seats about 12, with a number of tables and booths. Beers and food are ordered right from the bar, U.K.-style.
The barmen were friendly and extremely professional.
Bull's Head has 16 taps, with two additional hand engines dispensing cask conditioned ales.
If a bottled beverage is more to your liking, Bull's Head offers about 85 kinds.
There are no TVs, so there is much conversation transpiring.
On a whimsical note, visitors to the men's room are greeted by a naked woman in a bubble bath tub.
No trip to Lititz (voted "America's Coolest Small Town) would be complete without a visit to the Bull's Head.

 

 

Bully's
647 Union St  
Columbia, PA 17512
(717) 684-2854

Bully's is a restaurant and beer bar located in Columbia, PA...a town just south of Route 30 on the banks of the Susquehanna River.
Bully's, named in honor of President Teddy Roosevelt (of "bully pulpit" fame), dates from 1903, when it was called the Uniln Hotel.
The long bar, also an original fixture from 1903, seats about a dozen, with 5 two-person tables right behind it.
There is also a dining area with approximately 20 tables.
The taps number 11, five of which rotate, and they offer everything from Lite to barley wine.
Duly noted was the fact that they had a number of different glasses for different styles.
Bully's prides themselves on their bottle selection, which runs to about 250.
The barkeep was very knowledgeable and seemed to enjoy relating the history of the building and the bar.
Bully's is a worthy stop when you're on the road between York and Lancaster.

 

 

 

Mike's Tavern
135 Exeter Street  
Reading, PA 19601
(610) 374-3857

This is a dark and welcoming place.
Mike's Tavern is pure Reading PA.
with board games and a deer head.
Four well-selected taps - all good craft beer, one Stella.
Cheap good beer is readily available and a laid back atmosphere and clientele predominate.
Mike's is owned by Pete Cammarano, who used to own the Northeast Tap Room.
The way I heard it, Pete had a lot to do with introducing Reading to good craft beer.
Mike's also has a selection of about 80 bottles.
Don't go to Mike's for the food...they offer free pretzles and sell bags of chips.
As one patron said, "...this is about as close as you are going to get to Cheers in this area."
Mike's is a really nice old school bar...try it.

 

 

The Liberty Taproom
237 Prospect St
Reading, Pennsylvania 19606
610-743-3228

The Liberty Taproom is a spacious beer bar and restaurant located on the outskirts of Reading. The stone building and wooden beams in the ceiling create a cozy atmosphere that invites you in from the cold. Opening in July of 2011, the Liberty Tap room sports 32 taps, has a sizeable bar seating 30-plus, and a patio for those who wish to eat outdoors. There is plenty of parking and enough tables to limit the wait time for a seat. If a great beer bar wasn't enough, they also have a bottle shop that sells hundreds of single bottles and bombers. This place, which is owned by the proprietors of the Tavern on Liberty, should be around for a while.

 

Northeast Tap Room   
1101 North 12th St
Reading PA, 19604
610-372-5284

Tucked away in a slightly seedy part of Reading, the Northeast Taproom is truly a diamond in the rough. 
12 rotating taps and plenty of additional bottles to choose from make this a place that any beer lover should visit. 
As one patron said, "once inside, you'll find an old dive filled with nothing but heart."
Any out-of-towners should be aware that this is definitely a Phillies bar and houses much Phillies paraphernalia throughout.
Sign reads, "Non-Phillies fans please use 13th street entrance" on the door. There isn't one.

 

Ugly Oyster
21 South Fifth Street
Reading , PA 19602
(610) 373-6791

In the heart of downtown Reading , Ugly Oyster is a true English Pub.
Constructed in England, it was dismantled, transported to Reading and then reassembled. The bar has a Celtic atmosphere and knowledgeable bartenders to help you make your beer selection.
With about 10 beers on tap and 100+ bottles the Ugly Oyster is a great place to visit.

 

 


Canal Street Restaurant & Pub 
535 Canal Street
Reading, PA 19602
Phone:  610-376-4009

The Canal Street Pub is situated in an old factory, and combines an unusual atmosphere with great food and beer. The 12-14 taps are well-chosen and well-cared for, combining craft brews, locals, and imports. The styles cover the spectrum. 50-60 bottles are also offered. Our bartender and waitress were friendly and knew their craft.

Canal Street hosts brewfests and live music, and is located on top of Reading's Legacy Brewing Company.
Canal Street Pub is a great place to stop in for a quick one, and an ideal venue for meeting a couple of your best old friends if the situation should arise.


 

 

 

Taproom
25 W King Street
Lancaster, PA 17603
phone: (717) 399-4009

Taproom sits in downtown Lancaster and is a dispensary for the Spring House Brewery in close by in Lancaster.
It is totally beer-dedicated, featuring no other liquors. They do offer a nice food menu, though.
It was a mixed crowd on the evening of our visit, running from business suits to grunge. The taps included seven Spring House beers with 2 wits, a porter and stout, and several high and lower octane IPA's. My Hoppy Wit was unique and very good...at $4.00 for an imperial pint it was a deal! Growlers were also being filled, but to my chagrin I had left mine in the truck.

The bar seats 16 patrons, and the 7 tables seat about 30 more. Approximately 8 drinkers can sit at the long table facing King Street. The large windows provide a panorama of historic Lancaster.
There are several non-intrusive TV's, shuffleboard, and for those who wish to see into the future, Zoltar.
My fortune indicated that I would be returning to Taproom.

 

 

The Fridge
534 N. Mulberry St.,
Lancaster, PA 17603
Phone: 717-490-6825

The Fridge is a beer bar, bottle shop, and fresh pizza emporium located near the Franklin & Marshall campus in Lancaster.
The Fridge is one of those hybrid bottle shops in which Lancaster seems to be rich; a place to choose from quality draft beers, get some food, drink with folk from the 'hood, and take some beer home.
There is seating for about 40 patrons inside, and also outdoor seating at the sidewalk counter.
Draft beer is sold by the pint, in its correct glassware, and also may be purchased by the growler.
Of course the customer may also choose from the more than 400 bottled and canned craft beers, either taking his or her purchase home, or consuming it right there in the friendly neighborhood atmosphere.
Kevin, the proprietor, was helpful and informative in talking about The Fridge, beer, and Lancaster's burgeoning brew scene.
He informed us that The Fridge is the only spot in Lancaster County with a dedicated tap line for Tired Hands...the award-winning brewery in Ardmore, PA.
Regardless of how many beer venues you are able to visit while you are enjoying Lancaster, stop at The Fridge to take some of the quaffable goodness home with you.

 

 

Hunger & Thirst
Craft Beer and Provisions
920 Landis Ave
Lancaster , PA 17603
phone: (717) 208-3808

Hunger & Thirst is a delightful combination of beer bar, gastropub, bottle shop and marketplace located on the northeast side of Lancaster not far from F & M University.
The bar in the pub seats about 20 patrons.
In addition, there are about 15 tables in the bright and tastefully decorated dining area.
The gastropub has a draft beer menu numbering 24...all carefully selected.
There are also about 30 bottled beers in the cooler.
In addition to this, any of the more than 200 beers from the bottle shop may be served to a thirsty customer at the bar.
After the Questor has been served his beer at the bar, he may browse through the bottle shop to see what may be taken out for consumption elsewhere.
At the time of our visit, the gastropub was offering food and beer specials on certain nights of the week, such as Gourmet Taco Night, Oyster Night, and Burger & Brew Night.
And in the marketplace one may find an assortment of provisions and gifts for the home. Hunger & Thirst would be a welcome addition to any neighborhood; I wish there was one in mine.


 

 

Federal Taphouse
201 N Queen St
Lancaster , PA 17603
phone: (717) 490-6932

Located in downtown Lancaster, and boasting 100 taps, the
Federal Taphouse has the largest variety of draft beer in the region.
Federal Taphouse has so many beers, that they employ a Tapmaster to supervise the inventory of the brews.
The venue is large, with lots of glass and natural light.
A long and winding bar seats about 20 customers.
A large dining area contains numerous tables where many more guests can eat and drink.
There is also an upstairs, with service and an art gallery.
Our bartender, Emily, was friendly, professional, and extremely helpful in telling us about the Taphouse and its offerings. She helped make our visit fun and informative.
And she really knows about the beers.
Federal Taphouse also has a location in Harrisburg.
Either one is a magnet for the serious beer Questor.

 

 

551 West
551 W King St
Lancaster , PA 17603
phone: (717) 208-3658

551 West is a great neighboorhood bar dedicated to providing fine craft beers to the populace of Lancaster and any other Questors who happen to be in the region.
The U-shaped bar seats about 20 patrons.
There are a few tables in the barroom, and there is ample seating in the dining area.
Craig, the proprietor, offers 24 taps, well-chosen, with a few macros thrown in.
551 West also provides a bottle list averaging around 50.
Craig was very helpful in explaining the philosophy of 551 West, as well as informing us about other beer venues in Lancaster.
551 offers many interesting themes, such as a "Walk Across America" menu and "Flights & Bites", which pairs craft beers with dipping sauces for chicken tenders.
551 West is an apt resting spot for any beer Questor surveying Lancaster's rich brew tapestry.

 

Quip's Pub
457 New Holland Ave.
Lancaster, PA 17602
phone: (717) 397-3903

Quip's is a pub on New Holland Avenue, very near Lancaster Brewing Company, Friendly Greek bottle shop, and Cork and Cap Hotel, Restaurant & Bar.
Quip's is a British-style pub where the prices are in
, sandwiches are sarnies, and darts are flying on three boards.
The bar is the focal point and seats about 30, with tables around the perimeter of the room.
The taps number 16, mostly leaning toward macros and beers of the British Isles. But Quip's beer-strength lies in their bottle list. They offer about 50 different bottles, some very unusual, and once again, leaning toward the British.
Quip's is not just a great beer bar, it's a darn good bar in which to have a few beers.

 

Pour
114 North Prince Street
Lancaster, PA , 17603
phone: (717) 290-8080

Pour, located on gallery row, is urban upscale and its brick walls and non-representational pieces give it an an artsy intimacy. Textures are mixed between polished and rough, with green back-lighting: the place makes a statement.
Pour also makes a statement with the beer selection. The taps number 10 and are very well-chosen...also featured are about 70 bottles of all sizes and prices. Our barkeep, who manages the brews, was knowledgeable and eager to talk about the choices.
The bar seats 10 with some cozy seating nearby. There is also patio dining in nice weather.

Pour is another fine example of Lancaster's burgeoning beer scene, and a must-stop on any Lancaster Better Beer Crawl.

 

 

 

Victor's
554 S Ogontz St
York, PA 17403
Phone: (717) 854-7958

Victor's is located in a former church on a residential street in York, PA.
The building itself dates from 1923, and in previous incarnations has served as a general store, a soda shop, and a tavern.
It became Victor's Italian Restaurant in 1984, and now serves up modern Mediterranean cuisine.
On the right of the entrance is an elegant dining room.
We went to the left...into the bar.
Victor's bar was quiet on a Tuesday afternoon, cozily illuminated with natural light.
The L-shaped bar seats about 20, and 8 small tables seat many more.
Victor's offers 8 taps and 1 hand engine.
The selections cover most of the styles; it was a creative list, quite diverse, including beers from all over the U.S., some unusual.
There was nothing run-of-the-mill.
If a Questor is not in the mood for one of the drafts, he can ask for the Beer Bible...a pamphlet listing the current bottle selection, numbering about 100 organized by style.
Our bartender was quite friendly and helpful during our stay.
Great food and excellent beer are more than enough to make Victor's a stop on York's beer-friendly map.

 

 

Stone Grille & Taphouse
204 Saint Charles Way
York , PA 17402-4645
(717) 741-1159

Stone Grille and Taphouse sits just off the S. Queen St. exit of Route 83.
The long, circuitious bar seats maybe 30 patrons, with numerous tables and booths rounding out the seating.
A covered, heated deck also adjoins the barroom.
All this adds up to what the proprietors refer to as "polished casual."
The many TV's mounted around the room could give one the impression of a sports bar, but the beer list indicates otherwise.
Stone Grille offers 30 drafts, the vast majority of which are craft beers, and most rotate.
The brews seem to be well chosen and well cared for.
The bottle list numbers about 16, and is mostly for the macro drinkers, although there were a few specialty bombers listed.
Stone Grille's menu is of the now popular farm-to-table variety. All I can speak for is the pastrami reuben that I had...it was awesome.
They also have a bottle shop, Brew-Ta-Go, stocking a large selection of microbrews.
Stone Grille & Taphouse is a rewarding stop for any Questor in the York area.

 

 

The Cove
1500 S. George St.
York, PA
717-793-3771

If you're tired of parallel parking in downtown York, try heading about 2 miles south to The Cove.
The Cove is bigger inside than its roadhouse exterior would let on.
The large bar seats about 24, and 12 or so tables could handle another 50 patrons. There is another whole separate Whiskey Bar featuring pool, Foosball, live music, and smoking.
Customers can drink and dine outside in nice weather on a deck which seats 80.
And the beer? The Cove has 24 well-selected taps, about 50 bottles, and fills growlers. Patrons who are real thirsty can order an 80-oz beer tower, or groups can corner one of the two beer tables and pour their own drafts.
The Cove always has one craft beer that is a $3 special, and runs a Happy Hour from 9-11 PM.
For food or beer or both, for large groups or parties of one, you can't go wrong at The Cove.

 

 

Holy Hound Taproom
57 W Market St  
York , PA 17401
(717) 855-2410

Holy Hound Taproom is located in the restored National House building in downtown York.
Holy Hound is long, not too narrow, and features a lot of wood. The lengthy, staple-shaped bar seats about 25, and 5 tables could seat a couple dozen more. There are also window-leaners for when things get crowded.
There is outdoor seating in warmer weather.
Let's get to the beer...that's why you're here.
Holy Hound has 30 very carefully chosen taps. They are well-cared for, and rotate quickly. Two things caught my trained eye right away; the beautifully kept chalkboard which is the focal point behind the bar, and the fact that both ABV and $price are listed for each brew.

Samples were cheerfully offered.
If you can't find a draft selection to suit you, Holy Hound has a bottle list of about 70, which they plan to expand.
Growlers are also filled.
Holy Hound also offers wine, and a limited but apparently tasty food menu. The fare is all locally prepared.

Holy Hound is an absolute must-stop for Questors while in York. It is an establishment by beer lovers for beer lovers.
I wish it were in my neighborhood.

 

Vito's Pizza and Beer
1734 South Queen Street  
York, PA 17403-4612
(717) 843-1143

As it's name implies, Vito's Pizza and Beer is a pizza restaurant in York that offers a fine selection of brews.
The 9 or 10-tap selection features the macros and a few craft surprises. But Vito's real beer strength lies in their 100-bottle selection cooler. There were many craft and import selections here, offered for on- or off-sale consumption. This Questor was able to score a few bombers which I had not seen before.
Vito's has a restaurant side and a bar side; both clean and spacious. The long, hairpin-shaped bar seats about 35. About 10 tables are also available on the bar side, in addition to 6 TV's.
Vito's was an unexpected surprise, and a nice place for a Questor to stop, while in York.

 

Cobblestone's
205 South George Street
York, Pennsylvania 17403

717-848-FUNN

Cobblestone's is the only beer bar in York...and it's a great place to visit. It's a huge venue in an old Knights of Columbus hall, so there is plenty of space for electronic games, TV's, poker games, a huge bar, and about 63 different draft beers. Needless to say, the selection is diverse, and food and beverage manager Lucas told us that the taps are well-cared for, and that about half of the taps rotate. They have a compact little beer book telling what's on tap, and what beers are coming up . They also fill growlers.
So if you are in the habit of bypassing York on I-83, you may want to re-think your travel plans, and make some time for a stop at Cobblestone's.

 

 

The Tavern on Liberty
2246 W Liberty St
Allentown, PA 18104-4358
(484) 221-8765

This great corner bar, which alternately seems to be called the Liberty Street Tavern, does not appear to be much from the outside, but one step inside the doors will change your opinion immediately.  With 17 taps and over 400 bottles (large and small) you are sure to find something you'll enjoy.  With a very knowledgeable owner and bartenders even the beer novice will find a brew for them.  They offer a mug club for locals and mix and match 6 packs to go.  A definite must when in the Allentown area.

 

Ron's Original Bar & Grille
74 E Uwchlan Ave (Route 113)
Route 113 just north of Route 100
Exton, PA 19341
610-594-9900

Ron's is located just south of the Turnpike in that beer-friendly region west of Philadelphia.
The bar seats about 20, with several tables, and was bustling on an afternoon in mid-winter.
The 5 draft towers featured 20 well-chosen taps and maybe 150 bottles.
Flights could be ordered.
Our bartender was helpful, albeit very busy, and gladly provided samples.
Ron's, which used to be called Ron's Schoolhouse Grille, also included several dining rooms separate from the bar. A trip to this beery area is a must for any Questor within range, and a visit to Ron's will be rewarded.

 

The Drafting Room
635 N Pottstown Pike
Exton, PA 19341
(610) 363-0521

The Drafting Room is a beer bar in a run-down srtip mall near Exton, PA, that specializes in local beers. They have about 15 taps of beers from local brewpubs as well as over 100 different bottles on the menu, sorted by style. Everything served is available to go. The pub grub on the menu seemed reasonably priced. The bar itself is quite small and the bar area only has about six tables, but there are several other dining areas.

 

Union Jack's Inn on the Manatawny
546 Manatawny Rd
Oley, PA 19512
610-689-0189

Nestled in a quaint Pennsylvania valley a little ways east of Reading,, this hidden treasure boasts about 15 rotating beers on tap and at least 200 bottles to choose from.
Enjoy a summer evening on the 3-level patio or a night in the English- style bar.
During summer months at Union Jack's, an additional patio bar is open that offers 6 beers on tap that are different from the inside bar.
Great beer selection and atmosphere...only downside is they do not accept credit cards.

 

 

Capone's
224 W Germantown Pike
Norristown, PA 19401
(610) 279-4748

Located in an extremely beer-friendly region, Capone's is a beer Mecca by any standard. The tavern's long bar offers 16 taps comprised of local microbrews and imports. Clients who are unsure may order a sampler, and if you are enamored of one particular brew, you can fill your growler. The restaurant scores five stars, but that's not the best part for a Questor...adjoining the restaurant is a small beer store stocking over 650 hard-to-find brews; you can carry them out or order them from the bar. Proprietor Matt Capone was accomodating and glad to offer samples from the taps for those unsure of what to order. Any trip to the West Philly suburbs should include a stop at Capone's.

 

The Flying Pig Saloon
121 E. King Street
Malvern, PA 19149
(610) 578-9208

The Flying Pig lies in quaint little Malvern, a few minutes south of Lancaster Pike.
Flying Pig has small town atmosphere with a big beer selection.; 23 taps are offered, along with about 250 bottles. This array is augmented with about 15 different bottle-conditioned brews. The bar is horseshoe-shaped and copper-topped and contains about 15 stools. The place also provides about 15-20 tables.
Staff were amiable, helpful, and generous, and the place was hopping on a Saturday night. The Flying Pig is a can't-miss attraction in this beer-friendly region.


 

T. J.'s Restaurant & Drinkery
35 Paoli Plaza,
Paoli, PA 19301

...or T. J.'s Everyday as it seems to be affectionately called is a friendly, neighborhood beer bar in a region that knows how to frequent such establishments. Located in a strip center just off of Lancaster Avenue, T. J.'s offers 25 taps of well-selected rotating beers and about 200 bottles. The drafts are clearly presented on a chalk board along with the prices. The staff was friendly and knew their products, and were quick to provide samples. The bar patrons were welcoming to strangers, and were eager to tell of other beer bars in the region. There were many bottles, large and small, that were offered for sale to go. T. J.'s seems to always have something going on, as a trip to their website will illustrate.

 

 

 

Federal Tap House
(Harrisburg)

234 N 2nd St
Harrisburg, PA 17101
phone: (717) 525-8077

Federal Tap House is a beer bar in Harrisburg's bar district on Second Street.
It is the sister bar of the Federal Tap House in Lancaster.
The long bar seats about 25 patrons and there is a large dining area of tables and high-seats.
The place was jumping and the bar staff seemed harried on a Thursday evening at about 7:30.
The numerous TVs and loud thumping music didn't help matters any.
But that's just me...most seemed to be having a great time.
But we were not here for ambience, we were here for the beer.
Federal Tap House offers 100 taps...all craft brews.
The drafts
were listed on a large chalk board along with the ABV.
Individual lists were also presented to us.
There was a list of about 15 large bottles of the corked and caged variety.
Both my beer and my bison burger were delicious; I would have just preferred it a little quieter.

 

 

The Millworks
340 Verbeke St
Harrisburg , PA , 17102
phone: (717) 695-4888

The Millworks is a 150-seat restaurant and bar in Harrisburg's Midtown district.
According to their mission statement, the goal is " to create a regional destination which showcases Central Pennsylvania's wonderful artistic talents as well as our region's bountiful, sustainable agriculture."
The bar/restaurant is surrounded by art studios and galleries which the customers can peruse.
More importantly, Millworks has 20 rotating taps...all from Pennsylvania.
No bottles...nothing but local craft beer.
I tried IPA's from Pizza Boy, across the river in Enola, and St. Boniface which is located in Ephrata.
The wooden bar seats about 20.
There is lots of wood and brick, and the upscale industrial design and style pay homage to the building's former incarnation as a wood mill.
Millworks also has an open air Biergarten in a courtyard to enjoy in pleasant weather.

 

 

The Sturges Speakeasy
400 Forster Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102
717-412-0931

The Sturges Speakeasy is located a few blocks off Harrisburg's well-traveled 2nd Street strip.
The place had just opened previous to our visit, but was jumping with a bar and dinner crowd on a Thursday night.
Proprietor Adam Sturges, previously of McGrath's, was eager to explain his commitment to quality in his renovation of the previous bar, his choice of food, and of course...the beer.
The taps number 16, and of course are well-chosen and cared for. The Speakeasy also offers about 50 bottles to choose from.
The granite-topped bar seats about 20, and 2-person window seats handle another dozen or so. There are a few more tables in the bar area, and a secluded alcove in the back could seat about 20 additional patrons.
The entire ambience was one of coziness and conviviality.
Adam also hosts firkin events and thus attracts even more enthusiasts of fine beer.
The Sturges Speakeasy was not on our original itinerary for this trip to the Capital City. We were tipped of to it's existance by a patron in another bar.
It was good information.

 

Anthony's Micro Pub
225 North 2nd Street
Harrisburg , PA 17109
phone: (717) 238-2009

Anthony's Micro Pub is a beer bar on Harrisburg's colorful strip known as Restaurant Row.
Anthony's boasts Harrisburg's longest line-up of 80 taps; those drinkers who have trouble choosing can get a 4-sample selection of different drafts for $12.
Anthony's also offers about 50 different bottles for on-premise consumption or carry-out, and...fills growlers.
The bar is long, as befits the establishment itself...long and narrow. About 20 thirsty patrons can sit at the bar, and the rest can seat themselves at high-top tables.
As far as food goes, Anthony's did start out as a pizza place, so the pizza, pizza fries, and wings are well worth trying.
The staff, both on and off duty, were extremely friendly and knowledgeable about the brews, and interested to help with selection and state their preferences.
On your next visit to Harrisburg, stroll along 2nd Street and make Anthony's Micro Pub one of your stops.

 

T. Brendan O'Reilly
800 E Park Drive
Harrisburg , PA 17111
phone: (717) 564-2700

O'Reilly's is the restaurant/bar inside the Best Western Premier Central Hotel and Conference Center located about 12 minutes east of downtown Harrisburg, PA.
It is a well-hidden gem whose management should probably spend a little more on advertising.
T. Brendan O'Reilly offered 24 taps and one hand engine. The vast majority of these were micros indiginous to the local region.
There was also a large bottle menu.
The place is spacious and the generous octagonal bar must seat about 30 patrons. There are also numerous booths and tables on several different levels.
O'Reilly's has the traditional Irish bar decor, including lots of wood, old photos, bookcases, and a sign telling us there are only 233 days 'till St. Patrick's Day.
There are some large TVs that can be attended to if necessary, but do not detract from the conversation or general ambience.
I had the feeling that such a well-selected tap rotation was somewhat wasted on a crowd consisting mostly of hotel guests. Our bartender tended to agree.
For now, T. Brendan O'Reilly's remains one of Harrisburg's well-kept secrets; one that you may thank me for letting you in on.


 

Shady McGrady's
204 Verbeke Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102
(717) 234-4070

Shady McGrady's is located just off 2nd Street in the Capital City of Harrisburg, PA.
Shady's has a U-shaped bar that seats about 20, and 10 tables provide the rest of the seating. There were also TV's, pinball, a pool table, and several other electronic games.

McGrady's is the real thing; don't look for frills. No ferns, no exposed brick, no nod toward the popular upgrades that represent gentrification. Just an old neighborhood bar that just happens to serve great beers, and plenty of them.
The taps number 48, all micros... coolers display possibly 100 others in cans, bottles, and bombers for on- or off-premise consumption.

As stated, this is a neighborhood bar.
At 6:45 (alas, we had just missed Happy Hour) the predominantly male crowd was eschewing the several TV's and pretty much just drinking, smoking, and talking. They soon warmed to a couple of outlanders who were also there for the beer.

If you're hitting the bars of 2nd Street, a Questor would be well-advised to travel the several blocks northwest necessary to visit this genuine Harrisburg watering hole, and partake of their outstanding selection of draft beer.

 

McGrath's Pub
202 Locust St.
Harrisburg, PA 17101
717-232-9914

Located near Restaurant Row, McGrath's is much more than an Irish Bar...it is no doubt Harrisburg's best beer bar and a must stop for any Questor in the Keystone State's Capital City. It boasts 20 carefully selected, well-chosen taps. Many rotate, and included hard-to-find Stone IPA and an ale from Middle Ages. They also offer a selection of 80 bottles to a friendly, eclectic crowd. Beer Manager Adam was happy to talk about the trade, and cheerfully proffered samples.

 

Brewhouse Grille
2050 State Rd.
Camp Hill, PA 17011
717-737-0030

If you set out to find this place, be prepared to stop for directions...especially if you use MapQuest. It helps if you know it used to be called "The Iron Kettle."
The Brewhouse Grille is worth the search; it's a beer bar done right. They have 25 taps - a diverse selection that should please everyone. Then there's the 180 or so bottles rounding out an impressive inventory. The barkeep and the customers were extremely friendly, and ready to talk beer as well as consume it. Brewhouse is about 5 minutes off I-83 and a short drive across the lovely Susquehanna from Harrisburg.

 

Zeno's Pub
100 W. College Avenue
State College, PA
814-237-4350

Zeno's bills themselves as "State College's Best Pub" and this is no idle boast. With 29 taps, and nigh on to 200 bottles, Zeno's offers a beer selection that is well-planned and well-managed. Drafts include Germans, Belgians, Canadians, micros, and 1 hand engine. The bartender knew his beer. In a college town it must be a temptation to pump out the Miller Lites and Silver Bullets, but Zeno's crowd knows where to go for good beer and a comfortable atmosphere. Regulars can gain fame in the Beer Club, and if you don't feel like sitting, there's darts and pool. Yes, I'm thinking of going back to college. There's so much to learn.

 

Cooper's Seafood House
701 North Washington Ave
Scranton, PA 18509

(570) 346-6883

Cooper's is an upscale seafood restaurant in Scranton with excellent taste in beer. Cooper's offers 36 taps and maybe 175 bottles...our sources say even more. Any of the bottles shown above can be consumed on or off premises. They offer a Passport beer Club, tastings, and other special events. Their website also features a very useful beer guide. So if you're ever in Scranton, or on your way to Syracuse...