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“Fresh Beer, Great Food.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Union Barrel Works

Union Barrel Works
6 N Reamstown Rd, Reamstown, PA 17567
717-335-7837
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Ranked #1 of 2 Restaurants in Reamstown
Price range: $10 - $15
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
“Fresh Beer, Great Food.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

Great beer, always fresh, excellent seasonal's. The beer is only found at the bar, no mass production here, you may take a growler for home enjoyment. This is a great find, about a minute off of the "antique row (272)" that is open daily from 11 am til ?. Homemade quality food, with some nice additions. (blueberry sausage, elk meatloaf....) The owner is usually there, so there is a continuous high level of service and quality. Parking is easy, either on the street or in their lot. There are always friendly, local people at the bar. As always, trust the locals.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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72 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    28
    22
    11
    8
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Great micro brewery with lots of character”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

This restaurant was suggested to us for a great place to go for an evening out. We enjoyed the champagne scallop cream soup as well as the french onion soup. The Hostess knew all about the building & it's characteristics - what it was in it's lifetime & it wasn't a Barrel works factory! The micro brews were inexpensive & the samples of 6 was a great way to have a variety of their products. The food was plentiful & the wait staff was always attentive to the water refills & checking back on our needs. We hope to visit the area again & will most certainly stop in again!

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Interesting, comfortable place, great beers, good food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

Union Barrel Works in Reamstown, PA is a brew-pub, and the test of a brew-pub is the quality of the beer. The beer is excellent! They have a wide variety of styles, mostly German - which seems to be typical for small breweries in Pennsylvania, which has a strong German heritage. They also brew a couple of English style ales.

The feature that drew us to the pub is the traditional hand-pump serving cask-conditioned beer. They have only one, alas, and it featured the porter, which was not our favorite. Still it was a worthy beer, and the pub seems to know how to make and serve it via the hand pump. Operating and maintaining a hand pump takes skill and knowledge to do it right. It was served at the proper cellar temperature, too.

Standouts were the Stout and the Maibock. The Union Pale Ale got high marks from the British beer fans. One of the party singled out the "Uncle Fester" Octoberfest Maertzen beer. They go in for a few playful names for their beers: "Wobbly Bob Dopplebock," and "Hop Knockers IPA", for example.

They didn't have the Pilsner on tap, unfortunately. But, the Hefeweizen (wheat-beer) was fine, so were the fruit-flavored variations: mango and blueberry. I'm not a big fan of fruit-flavored beers, but these were decent - not sweet, and the fruit flavors were subtle.

The bar/restaurant is housed in an historic old building that was once a hardware store and then a sewing factory, we were told. The ceilings are high, and the space is airy and pleasant. It is a comfortable place to hang out, but it is not a dive by any means.

The staff is friendly and efficient. Obviously, the owner has a sense of humor. There are amusing little touches. For example, the Wobbly Bob effigy that apparently gets "dropped" every New Year's Eve. And just what's up with that big photo in the men's room of what appear at first glance to be a group of middle-aged ladies? Or are they?

The lunch and brunch menus offer above average pub-grub with some unique dishes such as elk meatloaf and smoked trout chowder. Both are good, though the chowder was a bit starchy. The sweet-potato fries are delicious, served with maple syrup on the side. They have a supper menu, but I didn't study it. My impression was that it offered meat-and-potatoes entrees that had a touch of sophistication.

You can buy growlers at UBW. They are the quality sort with a ceramic, sealable top attached. $16 for just the growler - unfilled! They will also fill your growlers purchased elsewhere. But, be aware that if they are the screw-top variety, you must bring your own caps - they don't have any.

Costs up to $10 to fill a growler. Pints are $3.50.

Union Barrel Works
6 North Reamstown Road
Reamstown, PA 17567

http://unionbarrelworks.com

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Long wait and loud entertainment”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2012

We ate dinner here on a weekend night and they had a piano player that really banged on the piano. Although we were on the other side of the room, conversation was difficult. Our service was unbelievably slow. We got a table without a wait but our waitress seemed like she was in training because she didn't appear to know what she was doing. At one point we thought she might have quit in frustration because she seemed to disappear. Other people seemed to get their food much more quickly. They came and left and we were still waiting.... We actually started wandering around the restaurant reading the stuff on the wall because it took so long! We thought the beer sampler was a good idea and the guys in our party ended up ordering the ones they liked best. I didn't find any that I liked enough to order a full glass. The food was pretty good but with the noise and the wait, I am not eager to go back to try this place again. Hopefully we just had bad luck and your experience will be much better.

  • Visited February 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Great beer. Food okay”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012 via mobile

I have been to many microbreweries around the world. Both my husband and I found the beers at Union Barrel to be very authentic to their names. We started off with the sampler of beers (6 of our choice). We just wished the food lived up to the descriptions on the menu. I do not wish to be too critical. Perhaps this is typical for the area, but our main courses weren't up to what we would expect for the price and description. My special for the weekend, eggplant parmesan, was four small sections of eggplant placed on the plate. My side of linguine and sauce was much larger than the eggplant portion. I was truly expecting at least two layers of eggplant, like you would see with lasagne. My husband's dinner, the mixed sausages was better. The best sausages we've tasted...unfortunately the side red cabbage served with it was disappointing. No flavor, just red cabbage, carrots among other vegetables sautéed in oil. No cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg or other spices. If we ordered his dish again, we'd ask to not have the cabbage.

I have reviewed many places in the US and Europe. I don't think my standards of a nice tasting meal is set too high. I have eaten true German and Italian cuisine and would expect similar tastes, if they have similar descriptions on the menu.

If going there for pub food, the ambiance and beer, I'd rate it a five.... Otherwise for dinner a three. I don't think I'm alone with my review. The table with four people next to us also had similar complaints about their food....

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