COLUMN WRITTEN BY MATT BRASCH
For Digital First Media
The month of September brings two new tap houses to eastern Montgomery County — The Brick & Barrel, which opened on Labor Day weekend, and The Pour House, which will open on Sept. 21. Between the two pubs, craft brew fans now have an additional 72 taps and more than 100 bottles of beer to try.
Brick & Barrel is located at 870 Welsh Road in Maple Glen. Named for its wood burning brick pizza oven and well-curated menu of beer, wine, and cocktails, Brick & Barrel plans to fill a void in the Maple Glen craft scene. Co-owners David Schiano and Karl Diehl had the inspiration for Brick & Barrel one night while enjoying some craft beer across the street at David’s other restaurant, Maple Glen Pizza. According to David, “I looked at the location and just wanted to take it over — because Maple Glen needs a place like this!”
Dave and Karl
spared no expense in creating a space that encourages you to sit back and enjoy a pint or two. Stone walls, barrels and wooden tables throughout the spacious main room harken back to a time when people from the community would meet at the local tavern to exchange news and share in each other’s company. In addition to the comfortable atmosphere in the common area, the bar features multiple HD televisions to catch the game with a few friends.
Julius Facenda is Brick & Barrel’s beverage manager and plans to make Maple Glen’s newest tap house similar to other well-known pubs such as The Hulmeville Inn and Isaac Newton’s. Facenda previously worked at the Iron Abbey in Horsham and most recently at M.O.M’s in Doylestown. Building on his experiences, he’s looking to create a menu of “craft libations” including craft beer, wine and hand crafted cocktails. Both Schiano and Facenda agreed that local beer, from brewers such as Round Guys, Prism, Stable 12 and Conshohocken Brewing will soon be on the list of 32 taps, and speciality cocktails will be aged in small barrels on the bar. According to Facenda, “it’s a place for everybody — from the craftiest beer guy to the family looking for a great meal in a welcoming environment.” Special events will be happening soon — keep up to date on Brick & Barrel’s Facebook page and website — http://www.thebrickandbarrel.com.
A few miles up the road from Brick & Barrel, an additional 40 taps, including one hand pump, are featured at The Pour House in Montgomery Township. Located in Airport Square on Route 309, the Pour House is a fantastic addition to a busy corridor that is filled with restaurants — but not filled with craft brew. The Pour House North Wales exudes “fun” through its warm wooden furniture and natural hued lighting, as well as the classic rock decor including a Woodstock mural and framed photos of the Grateful Dead and the Rolling Stones.
During a pre-opening event, Remo Croce, the Pour House’s general manager, showed off the cooler where a large variety of kegs and bottled beer stood ready in anticipation for the thirsty crowd. Among the tap list were local favorites Free Will Brewing Saison De Rose and Sly Fox’s O’Reilly’s Dry Stout, and selections from breweries around the country such as Allagash and Deschutes.
Croce pointed out that in addition to the 40 taps at the bar, they also have a kegerator for special, hard to obtain beers, like kegs of Russian River Pliny the Younger or Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. “We like special events, and plan to have them regularly here,” Croce said. His favorite event is The Pour House’s “Anniversary Party,” during which they bring in very special, limited availability beer to celebrate the anniversary of the opening of the location each year with their patrons, Croce said. In addition to beer, The Pour House will offer a variety of wines on tap by the glass.
The Pour House menu, described as “casual American cuisine,” includes fries, burgers, salads and flatbreads. According to a press release, several special menu entrees were created for the Montgomery Township location, such as the “Dogfish Head Bratwurst skillet,” “Mediterranean Braised Chicken with olives, Meyer lemon, cumin and coriander,” and “Pan Fried Crab Cake.” If you like horseradish, the “Short Rib Flatbread” is a must try — short rib, sautéed red onion, roasted red pepper, honey goat cheese, and horseradish cream sauce all adorn a nicely baked dough baked in a pizza oven and pairs well with one of the several IPAs available. To find out what is on tap and what special events are coming, go to http://www.pjspourhouse.com.
Columnist Matt Brasch is a Souderton Area High School graduate and a beer enthusiast. For more, check his blog at http://thebrewholder.com.