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Union Barrel Works
Active Beers: 21
Beer Ratings: 134
Beer Avg: 3.68
Taps: 6 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Eatery, Store ]
6 N Reamstown Rd
phone: (717) 335-7837
Non smoking, closed on Mondays; all others and Sundays open at 11am.
(Place added by: Phatz on 03-07-2007)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 32 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I visited Union Barrel Works in September 2009. It is located in an old brick building which gives it great character. However, in this part of PA, empty old brick buildings are not hard to find since most industry has left. Still, the inside has high ceilings with pressed tin decoration, and the place is decorated with beer memorabilia from local PA breweries that have long since shut down. Very cool to look at while drinking your beer.
In stock they had five regular beers and two seasonals. They had a cask pump too, but sadly no cask beer. I had two beers - the MaiBock and a seasonal hefewiezen. My wife had the seasonal Double Barrel (barrel aged) which I also tried. I thought the hef was very good, not overly clove-y which makes me dislike other examples. The Maibock and double barrel were good, but I thought they were a little too sweet. Especially the maibock which according to the description contains 'generous amounts of honey' which should dry the beer out some.
I heard another waitress ask the bartender for the 'lemon wheat' which was not on the beer list. I asked her about it and she said 'You'd better try that' and gave us a sample glass of that and their mango wheat. I see why its not on the menu - not really beer. It was dry with zero malt or hop presence (and I mean less than light lager), and a lemon (and mango) flavor much like that in flavored seltzer water. I'd avoid that, but I don't think its really for the beer drinking crowd either. We thanked the bartender for not letting us order it!
The food was good, nothing fancy, but I was happy with it. I came out fast, but we did get there after 9pm, so there was no competition in the kitchen.
10-13-2009 13:14:09 |
More by JimmyK77
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
Edit on 26-Sep-09: Stopped by for lunch. Menu has a German/PA Dutch comfort food feel. My carver sandwich was layered with thick ham slices and punctuated with spicy mustard. Pretzels were okay. Food upped from 3.0 to 3.5.
Original Review on 7-Apr-07:
The day seemed to get off to a bad start. Arriving at UBW at noon, we were greeted with a notice that there would be no lunch service because last night was packed and they had no one available. A brief WTF crossed my mind and we hightailed it to Stoudt's for lunch. Luckily we decided to return after lunch to try a few beers.
Atmosphere: The place is a beautifully restored building. The interior is full of intricate wood and breweriana. The bar is up front with a sizeable dining room in the back. There is brewing equipment in the front (bar) window but I think it is for show, the guts of the brewing operation is between the bar and dining area.
Quality: The entire place is pristine, well maintained and a real treat on the eyes. Well worth a trip.
Service: When we arrived, I couldn't tell if it was bar service or if there was a waitstaff. Hopefully some shakedown will cure that. The bartenders were friendly.
Selection: Six beers on tap, including an excellent doppelbock and maibock. I was not a fan of the stout (tasted from my wife's sampler). I look forward to returning to try the kolsch and lager again.
Food: We passed on food this time (there was none available). My son was given a bowl of ice cream that he really seemed to enjoy (and for which we were grateful). When we have a chance to return for food, an update will be posted. In the meantime, we'll chalk it up as a 3.0 because there obviously is food available.
Value: The beer is very good and dirty cheap. I didn't look at a menu to comment on those prices but the pints are a great value.
10-05-2009 21:40:17 |
More by akorsak
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
Tried this place out on a suggestion of a friend. Went on a Tuesday night and sat in the bar area. There wasn't a lot of customers throughout the time I was there; I'd say the bar was about half full. Cool atmosphere and there were 9 different choices on tap. I had the sampler of their 6 most popular beers, and then a pint of the Wobbly Bob and a pint of the Lager. The Wobbly Bob was by far my favorite, and the Maibock was a close second. The waitress was a little ditzy and wasn't very helpful as far as suggesting beer or food (everything I asked her about she hadn't tried) but overall it was a pleasant experience. Would definitely go back again.
03-04-2009 17:52:32 |
More by shangwang
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2 | $$
Visited last Saturday, after visiting Stoudt's.
The staff was very nice and you can tell that they were into the beer. Cool Building, good atmosphere.
I tried the 10 beer sampler and I was not impressed. (I think I was tainted by the Stoudt's experience.)
The issue I had is as follows...I was drinking a beer that was supposed to be this or that...and it had no semblance of what they stated it should be. (Ex: I could see through their stout). The only sample that I did like was the wheat beer (The irony is that I am not a wheat beer fan).
I did not have a taste from the menu.
If I am in the area again, I think I'll stop in to try with a fresh perspective.
08-15-2008 17:07:04 |
More by TonyT
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | $$
We hit this place right after our journey to Stoudts. The building was pretty cool, and atmosphere was pleasant in the brewpub. Our group did not get anything to eat as we already had dinner over at Stoudts.
We each tried a 10 beer (2oz) sampler. ($7?) Even though the bartenders were very attentive, some of the pours were not correct. Most of the beers were very bland, and in my opnion the bare minimum in order to have it actually be considered a pilsner,lager, etc..
The beers were not very impressive, and my favorite the Dubbel was only slightly above average. Unfortunately they were out of their Octoberfest which is one of the beers I wanted to try.
Pretty sure I would not come back to this place unless they upgraded their beer. On a positive note, they do growler refills.
08-10-2008 15:37:56 |
More by krukster
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
This is a great addition to Reamstown. In fact I don't know why I don't end up here more often.
You are not going to find a huge beer selection. There always seems to be 5-7 beers on tap. These are all brewed in house. If you are looking for something barrel aged, imperialized or double anything, you will most likely not find it here. Tom brews everything to style and it is all very good.
The food here is just wonderful. Everything I have every had has just been great. Its really nice to sit down and have a great beer and great food to go along with it. I really can't say enough good things about the food.
As for the atmosphere in the place. You have to remember this is a old building that has served many purposes but it has been restored beautifully. You could spend hours staring up at the tin ceiling and beautiful crown molding. The bar is equally ornate, restored from a bygone era when bars were made to be looked at and not just a place to set your beer on. In the bar area you will find a few tables (some are even barrels). If you go back to sit in the dining room and its busy you may find it a bit loud as the dining area is a very large area with tall ceilings.
This is a great place to visit to have a quality beer brewed in house and have some great food to go along with it.
02-07-2008 16:06:24 |
More by davide169
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
A-Lovely interior with lots of wood . Nice touch of NO SMOKING. Beautiful wooden bar with ~15 stools. Very cool old bar back that dates from the late 1800's from the old Showboat Bar in Reading, PA. Lots of Brewerania around to iclude a Gunther Beer light sign, last name of a good friend who is distantly related to the brewing Gunther clan form Baltimore, MD. ABout a dozen tables in the bar area with a single TV in the corner. A very cozy atmosphere. A more formal open dining are in the back has about 20 tables.
Q-Both the beers and the food were solid. A very nice place.
S-Suzie was friendly and supportive. It was rather slow at 230 PM but she did a fine job. Not overly attentive. Needs to learn a bit about the beer business though...had no idea about the stout being on nitro, Why do I need to know that? she stated....Because some beer geek like me might ask....that's why!
S-7 beers on....5 lagers or lager -like (the Kolsch) only two ales...a pale that was more malty than hoppy and a nice stout. The lagers were solid but not my cup of tea....a want for maybe a truly hoppy beer.
F-Wonderful! Some of the best Brew Pub food I have had. Smoked Trout Chowder was outstanding. A chipotle encrusted sea scallop salad with mango, red onion over mixed greens with a house vinagrette was innovative and very lovely.
V-A very reasonable place for the quality of food and beer you are getting. A nice addition to the southeastern PA beer scene.
01-17-2008 14:13:35 |
More by Deuane
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I visited this place around Christmas with waldo567, fish113d and some other friends. Found out the pub is only 7-8 months old so that was kinda cool, always gotta be happy with new brewpubs opening.
The pub is located in a large brick building with ample parking behind and some street parking in front. It used to be a hardware store and a bank I think.
We walked in the backdoor and headed towards the bar. It was lunch on a wed and seemed a little slow, but folks trickled in as we were there. We walked past a private function room and all the brewing equipment is easy to see through some glass windows behind bar and around the room. Lots of old PA breweriana around with the majority being frmo Reading Brewing Co. The main dining/bar area features a 12-15 seat rectangular bar and several table chair combos spread around the room. We sat at a long table near the bar and started to peruse the beer list. 8 house beers on tap! That is pretty ambitious for a new place and most of the brews were lagers, even more ambitious! I like it.
The stout was served on nitrous and I sampled that and the Maibock, my brother had the sampler so I did taste all the beers and all were good to excellent for the Kolsch. They do growlers and bring anything you have 2L 1L, 1/2 gallon, they fill em all.
Prices seemed reasonable for take home beer too.
Food was pub grub I had a chicken pesto sandwich with sweet potato fries. The sandwich was good and the fries were great! Others had a variety of sandwiches and everyone seemed very happy with their food.
The only drawback I had was the pub was a little drafty so if it is really cold out that could be a negative, but otherwise I think this is a nice little gem in central PA. I WILL be back.
01-11-2008 02:21:57 |
More by sulldaddy
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$
A fairly new establishment located in the heart of a little town, UBW is a nice place in a what looked to be a converted office or municipal building. A beautiful mahogany bar is the centerpiece of the room.
We started with the sampler (9 beers currently), which yielded a nice hefeweizen, a tasty maibock and a solid pale ale. Also some decent beers (kolsch, stout, lager, oktoberfest), a disappointing dopplebock and a (to us) undrinkable vienna lager. All of the beers seemed oddly undercarbonated and, excpet for the hefe and the maibock, a little thin.
The bartender was very pleasant but not very knowledgeable about beer. I prefer a little beer geekiness in a brewpub bartender.
This place has potential and will be worth dropping in on from time to time.
12-28-2007 20:31:54 |
More by sholland119
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I made a stop at this place yesterday with a group of friends including fellow BA, Sulldaddy and Waldo. The atmosphere is nice. Smoke free, which is a good idea for a brew pub/beer bar in my opinion. That added big time to it, and the fact taht I'm a "sometimes" smoker should make you feel better. The bar is 'L-shaped' with about 20 stools in my estimation. We sat at a table to grab lunch. We all enjoyed the food. I had the "special" of the day which was a pastrami/provalone sandwich on frocaccia bread (spelling?). It was quite good. I also ordered sweet potato fries that came with the meal instead of regular french fries. They came with maple syrup, which was "different" than the usual offering of ketchup. It was very good! Food was very reasonably priced ($8). I also had a few brews, and I even took a growler home, which is nice because they'll fill any growler, not just their own. However, it cost me $11 for a fill which was somewhat steep in my eyes, but I got a doublebock, so maybe that ain't so bad. The service was solid; our waitress warmed up to us as we "warmed up" from the brews.
I'll definitely make another trip here. They've been only open for 9 months according to our server, and I'll bring the wife back! Very nice place!
12-28-2007 00:19:49 |
More by Fish113d
Union Barrel Works in Reamstown, PA
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