Best of the Best: Bars & Beers
137 Wallace Ave., Downingtown
Omnus (Latin for “everyone”) has a people-first approach to business and brewing, with diversity, inclusivity, equity, accessibility and trustworthy products as core values, plus a varied tap list at an accessible price point. Brewery and taproom will be housed in the 8,700-square-foot space, initially working with local food trucks and restaurants to feed guests. One of their first beers to give back was a West Coast IPA called
Twenty-Fun, part of a benefit for Down Syndrome awareness. Planned opening early 2024.
Saloon 151 Tequila Bar
155 W. Gay St., West Chester
610-701-8489 / Saloon151.com
Yes, bourbon and craft beer have been big, but it’s time for tequila to take the spotlight. Popular watering hole Saloon 151 opened its Tequila Bar next door (former Star of India space) now with a modern feel, to feature tequilas, tequila cocktails and mezcals, along with Saloon 151’s good eats. Try trendy agave-based cocktails like mezcal old fashioneds and tequila coladas — and yes, there are mere margaritas. Order tequila shots ranging from blanco to flavored, with celebrity brands mixed in (Michael Jordan’s to Kevin Hart’s brands available). Better than a shot in the arm!
Serum Kitchen & Taphouse
142 W. Market St., West Chester
Back in August, we wrote that the creators of Hatfield’s Imprint Beer Co., known for fruited sours and pastry stouts, planned to open Serum Kitchen & Taphouse in West Chester in the fall. Now their Instagram post says the “elevated neighborhood experience … [is] coming late 2023!”
Steel City Brewing
132 Lincoln Hwy. E., Coatesville
Former Coatesville YMCA will be home to Steel City Brewing, a restaurant, bar and meeting space, cum beerhall/rathskeller with pool tables, darts and dining room, spearheaded by Phil Ferro. The renovated 19th-century building retains architectural details like brick walls, Lukens Steel beams and a two-story atrium, plus fun details like a 100-foot bar, speakeasy entrance and beer garden in the back. Expect pub food, craft beer and plenty of historic photos and memorabilia, courtesy of the National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum. Plans to partner with the upcoming Velodrome and sports complex development. Opening 2024.
432 Leaman Rd., Cochranville
814-229-3928 / SuccessionFermentory.com
Enjoy craft beer in the idyllic countryside at Succession Fermentory, a sustainable brewery on the property of StellaLou Farm in Cochranville. Specializing in spontaneously fermented beer, they brew farmhouse and sour ales using local ingredients, including malted grain from Montgomery County and hops from Glen Mills. Find their beer at local farmers markets, at their brewery or order online. They celebrated their first anniversary October 2023 — sorry we missed you last year!
Tired Hands Beer Park
4901 West Chester Pk., Newtown Square
Fans of the renowned Adrmore craft brewery (James Beard nominee) got a warm-weather treat when Tired Hands opened a 15-acre seasonal beer garden just off Route 3. Although it closed in early November, beer is still available, now at Flight on Ice. Though the beer garden may have looked a bit … informal — string lights, colorful shade sails over picnic tables in a dirt patch parking area — there was music, a makers market, food trucks and, of course, great beer, to drink there or to go. Here’s hoping they find a permanent spot — like the Tired Hands Shop in the lower level of historic Letty’s Tavern in Newtown Square.
35 Bridge St., Phoenixville
484-685-1470 / Twelve78Brewing.com
This new crowd-sourced and family-owned, 5,000-square-foot brewery and taproom will join the many beer sources in Phoenixville soon. After 30 years of homebrewing, owner Steve Rogacki and wife Kara are taking the next step with their dream, centered around a 36-foot bar inside and a planned beer garden outside in the spring. Phase one will rely on food trucks to supplement their lagers, pale ales, unique brews (honey kolsch, chocolate brownie porter) and sour smoothies (sour beer base with soft-serve ice cream, fruit puree and more). Stay tuned.