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Active Beers: 33
Beer Ratings: 117
Beer Avg: 3.63
Taps: 6 / Bottles: 30
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
102 N. Market St.
phone: (717) 653-2056
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 40 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by woodychandler:
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5
We begin outside of the building, on the opposite side of the street, on North Market Street, facing west towards the building. From left to right, the Central Hotel, with its red and alternating black brick exterior and blue and blue-green paint color scheme that is very reminiscent of the Victorian houses in San Francisco, is the first structure. The next structure is one of brown sandstone. Following that is a limestone and mortar bulding with two garish yellow doors that are the entrance to the establishment. The fourth structure, and it should be noted that all of these buildings are connected, is more red brick with the logo painted on the side and is half of the bar area. Finally, we come to another brown sandstone structure that constitutes the other half of the bar and restaurant area.
As we enter through the two yellow doors, you should note that there is a short antechamber and then two swinging doors, which once broached, put us in the foyer of the building. The bar is to our right, and just past the first wall is the pulley system (still supended in the overhead) that was used to pull kegs from the underground storage area.
By going into the room with the pulley, we turn right and go up a flight of stairs to the Cooper's Shed with its Brewery Store and Museum, as well as the original Fermenting Vault. The museum is numerous glass cases filled with all sorts of brewing antiques, like equipment, as well as memorabilia from area breweries, both defunct and still operating.
Let's go back downstairs and into the lobby. Now, by turning slightly to the right and descending a long flight of stone steps, we find ourselves in The Catacombs. This is something that must be seen to be believed. You need to remember that Bube's (boo-beez) Brewery was originally a lager brewery under Alois (ow-oh-wees) Bube from 1859 until Prohibition and they needed a lot of underground space to age the beer. To this end, they created caves with rock and brick walls that are now largely wide open spaces in which the current owners hold what can best be described as Bacchanalian feasts. Still, some of the original wooden lagering vessels are still in situ.
Back at the entry, instead of turning right to go to the catacombs, or going left and upstairs, try going left and downstairs. This takes you to the original Stocktub Cellar, where the wort cooled in wooden tubs and through a door on the right, to the Brewery Gallery with its series of paintings by local artists. At the back of the gallery and through a curved archwayto your left is the back entrance to The Catacombs, with a steep set of wooden stairs.
In the other direction at the back of the gallery and up a short flight of steps is the Alois Martini Bar with the original bar, merely sans spittoon/urinal trough. This also marks the original entrance to the Central Hotel. The bar area is festooned with the kind of oil paintings that have made Carol Stoudt's men's lavatories famous. It must be something about those Victorians ... There is another room toward the front of the building that features game heads and more of those oil paintings. The rest of the floor is banquet rooms, but still worth seeing. In the hallway is another set of stairs, leading to the second floor and a lavish Banquet Hall that includes the working Bakery. Continue up another flight of stairs and you are on the third floor, which is the big secret that I am about to let out of the bag. They are restoring all of the rooms to be themed guest rooms, like the Southwestern Room, the Gothic Room, and others. This will make Bube's a real beer tourist destination in Fall 2005, which is the planned implementation date. You will be able to take in all of the building's grandeur, drink Doug and Tim's microbrew and crash out without any concern of driving or trying to find lodging.
The last area is The Bottling Works, which has two bars and tables and chairs for a casual dining area. Bube's has been known to have bands in The Bottling Works, especially around St. Pat's and you should also see the original tin advertising sign that dominates the back room. There is also a Biergarten, which is accessed to the left of the bar, but is for fair weather only. Finally, for you breweriana buffs, they have a large collection of vintage bottles on display with a layer of dust that puts Cantillion to shame.
Finally, the food. It is excellent! I eat every time that I come up, which is nowhere near often enough. I highly recommend either the Black Russian or Croque Monsieur sandwiches for lunch and the dinner menu is too extensive to mention. Suffice it to say that I had my birthday dinner here last year. The only place that there is a breakdown is in the beer selection. Tim and Doug are operating in a tiny (think Selin's Grove tiny) brewhouse and with only four storage tanks, they really keep busy trying to keep up with demand, but that is not their fault.
02-06-2005 02:00:19 |
More by woodychandler
More User Reviews:
vibe: 5 | quality: 1 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 1 | $$$
We were seating right away. We ordered the beer sampler which was good. We then ordered our appetizer which seemed forever to get, probably 30 min or more, we had the crab dip, which was nice. I then ordered the Cajun Combo, I asked for a loaded baked potato as a side, and she said ok. When I got the meal, the meal SUCKED !! Chicken was overdone as anything, the steak was pork (said they had to substitute) which was too loaded with Cajun seasoning which i couldn't eat, and the shrimp had NO TASTE at all. Worst of all, I asked why my baked potato didn't have any cheese or bacon on it, and server said that the chef would not allow it !!!! WTF !!!! REALLY ! My friends had potato skins for an app and they got bacon and cheese. I called for the OWNER and she didn't give a rats behind that I was unhappy. Honestly, this place sucks and will NEVER go back, please don't waste your time, the atmosphere is GREAT, but food sucks and servers are untrained. We had a party of 6 and most of us were unhappy and will NOT RETURN. What a waste of money !!!! I'm so bummed with this place, and I was really looking forward too it.
11-03-2013 14:48:01 |
More by jubraa
10-30-2013 02:29:41 |
More by canawler
10-16-2013 17:22:04 |
More by Varkias41
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$
So I've driven by the general area of Bube's multiple times when I head to the Lancaster area after leaving work in Harrisburg. It wasn't until Monday, 5/23/11 that I finally decided that was the day I was going to check this place out. Their website leads you to believe that Bube's is broken down into several areas of interest: homebrew shop, biergarten, bottlingworks and catacombs. On my visit, it was decent outside and the biergarten was open so that is where we headed. We had to walk through the bottlingworks en route to the outside and seriously I needed a flashlight to see where I was going. This is hands down, the darkest place I've ever been in. I understand the idea of ambiance but seriously, turn some lights on that is rediculous. I can only imagine what the catacombs look like... I couldn't help but think this was their low-budget means of saving money by not turning lights on. Being fairly early on a Monday evening, we were the only patrons in the garden. It was peaceful and had a good vibe to it despite the frustrating dark interior.
The quality of this establishment is interesting. We enjoyed some typical bar food while enjoying a few pints so I can't complain. All the beers for the most part were average or slightly above. The food? Well it's kind of hard to screw up deep frying hot poppers, cheese balls and pickels. The menu had the expected bar food, nothing really stuck out as a must-try.
The service was quick and attentive. Lacking a bit in general knowledge of what their beer offerings were but I guess not every waitress cares about what is on tap except for what they like? I was agitated that I had to go into the bar area myself just to see what was on tap because our waitress didn't know other than "we got a blueberry and a wheat" and didn't offer to get the info for us.
The food selection was a bit lacking but covered all of the usual suspects you would expect. The beer selection is what pissed me off. Their website clearly listed 6 of their house made offerings, 2 of them in particular sounded interesting and were my deciding factor in stopping. Upon my arrival, none of the listed brew's were on tap. However, they did have 4 selections to choose from along with guest taps along the likes of Victory, Flying Fish, Guinness, Lost Coast, Spring House, Long Trail and some BMC.
This is a place I wanted to stop at for quite some time. I see I haven't really been missing out on much. I would not visit this place on a regular basis but I might give it a shot sometime again in the distant future to see if anything changes.
05-26-2011 15:06:07 |
More by stakem
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 1.5 | food: 2 | $$
I live a few miles away and I have always wanted to try this place. It was a brewpub long before brewpubs were cool. But for one reason or another I never made it here before. I found out today that I wasn't missing much. I tried two beers and they were very unfortunate - like so many less than mediocre "microbrews" in unknown corners around the country I've had. You can't just take a biker bar, brew beer in the basement, give it a clever name, get hipsters to serve it, and call it "craft." The beer, food, and service were below average. The place leans on it's history and doesn't seem to try very hard on anything but image.
11-14-2010 04:33:46 |
More by ritter57
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
I've patronized Bube's once or twice a year for the better part of a decade and I never know what kind of experience I'm gonna get. Sometimes it's great, other times it's disappointing. The last few years, however, have been more of the latter. That includes the food, service and most importantly, the beer. This time I was impressed. Hopefully, this means things are on the up there. We sat out in the garden and it was packed. Service wasn't great but wasn't terrible either. Food was better than my last few visits. I had a grilled cheese with crab, bacon and tomatoes and a side of onion rings. It was quite good. Everyone else at our table enjoyed their food too. I had the beer sampler to start and enjoyed each beer. Berliner Weiss (very good), Alois Lager (decent), Hopback Amber (good), Scottish ale (decent) and Kolsch (very good). They also had a bunch of other craft brews on tap. Looking forward to going back in a while to see what's brewing. Check it out if you've never been. The building alone is worth the trip.
08-10-2010 22:19:10 |
More by JunkYardJake
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$
One of my favorite places, especially for the atmosphere! The setting is an historic brewery dating from the 1800's. I may be sketchy on some details, but i believe they basically padlocked the doors during prohibition. The equipment remained in the building for decades and now is still viewable in secret hidden rooms throughout the establishment. Historically, this is one of the best kept secrets in American Brewing history.
The brewhouse is tiny and the brewer is doing his best to produce a quality beer in the space he has available. I went there last summer and was disappointed but a couple weeks ago i was there and I enjoyed about 3 of the 6 house beers which i tried in their sampler. I couldn't decide on which to bring home in a growler. I decided on the DoppelBock. A Belgian trippel was very good but i felt the doppel bock would be better for the party for which i intended it.
Service was great, food was good. They just expanded the space in the Biergarten. I always like to sit outside in the warmer months. As always, there are lots of things going on . Everyone I bring there is always impressed. A worthwhile stop when travelling through the Lancaster/Harrisburg area.
05-21-2010 01:46:46 |
More by Beerquester
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$
I think the most alluring of this place is the atmosphere. The place looks as it would have looked when it was built in early 1800's. The most interesting room to me was the dining area underground which was lit only by candle light and gave you an even more colonial feel.
For a brewpub I was disappointed that they only had 3 of their own beers on tap, though they did have a few other tasty beers on tap including some Troegs and Dogfish Head. I had their Belgian Pale which was ok and also the Chocolate Porter which also was just average.
Since my wife an I were there for one of their Murder Mysteries the staff was in full character including the wait staff which made it a bit more entertaining.
The food was average, we were served roast beef and chicken breast family style both were decent, nothing exceptional.
I thought for the show and dinner the price was reasonable, I believe the ticket was $40.
01-08-2010 19:33:30 |
More by BeerCon5
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
Visited late Saturday afternoon; sat outside in the Biergarten on a pleasant Sept day.
Atmosphere: Not to repeat what others have said but if you have never been here before, it is well worth your time to take 15 mins and walk around especially if you can get down to the Catacombs. Very cool indeed.
Quality/Selection: Bube's has taken some hits on this site more than once for brewing mediocre to bad beer served in a unique atmosphere. Being here 5yrs ago, I would completely agree. At the time, the beer was unpalatable. Having said that, the beers I tasted were quite good. Had the Bohemian Pils, Brown Ale and Fresh Hop IPA. All were good with the Bohemian Pils being the standout. Had an opportunity to talk with 1 of the Brewers (Rick) who really seems to care about the beer and is making some interesting styles to say the least. He gave us a taste of a Berliner Weiss that was still in the Fermenter Tank. They only have a 2 barrel system, so there are no year round beers.
Value/Service: service was fine, waiter was attentive as well as the bartender when we moved inside. Value was good. That day, the special was $3 for the Bohemian Pils.
Food: we did eat lunch there and food was average. I had an Omelet which was good. My wife had the Tuna salad and the Tuna was badly burned. What is interesting, last time we were there the food was the standout while the beer was mediocre. Complete turnaround this time.
Overall: I believe they are trying to turn around their image of brewing mediocre beer. I would hope that others give it a try again, just as we did because we were pleasantly surprised.
09-10-2009 11:12:58 |
More by Kolsch
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Bube's Brewery in Mount Joy, PA
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