Thursday, June 29 2023 10:28

Brandywine Valley Brew Foods

Written by Shannon Montgomery

Come for the beer, stay for a meal!

Levante Beer Garden at Ludwig’s Corner Show Grounds

The days are still warm, and sunsets are fashionably late. That means it’s time to sit outside with a cold drink! The brewheads among us know summer is perfect for visiting beer gardens. Luckily, many of our local breweries have great food as well as quality craft beer to enjoy.

Here are some of our favorites for lunch, dinner and seasonal sipping.

Beer Gardens

Levante Brewing Company hosts two beer gardens this summer in addition to their West Chester taproom. They’re at Ludwig’s Corner Show Grounds on weekends (Friday to Sunday) through September 30. Grab single-can “crack ‘ems” or a four-pack of Levante beer from their Tap Trailer to pair with something tasty from the rotating selection of food trucks, including Epicurean Garage, PA Boys BBQ and, for pups, Off the Leash Treat Truck. Also enjoy live music and axe-throwing hosted by Angry Jacks Throwing Axe Club. And Levante is back at Highland Orchards on Saturdays and Sundays through October 29.

The Creamery

In Kennett Square, The Creamery welcomes you to the 1902 Eastern Condensed Milk Company building, where they host live music and events all summer long, along with food trucks. Their in-house menu features local, seasonal ingredients — including, of course, Kennett portobello mushrooms. Nosh on wings, flatbreads, burgers and handhelds surrounded by warm wood tones and twinkly string lights. Plus craft beer on tap and in cans, as well as hard seltzers and kombucha, wine and craft cocktails.

The Stables Kitchen & Beer Garden

In Chester Springs, the former Levante Stables has become The Stables Kitchen & Beer Garden. Take Flight Restaurant Group (Bloom Southern Kitchen and other ventures) built a new kitchen featuring a custom Napelese pizza oven. Expect classic and seasonal pies, as well as classic bar food with a twist — footlong grass-fed beef hotdogs, bratwurst with sauerkraut, pickle dip and a Lancaster charcuterie plate. There’s a rotating list of 20 beers on tap, along with a robust can and bottle list, cocktails and wine by the glass. Enjoy live music on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Lot 6 Beer Garden

Over in Malvern, Lot 6 Beer Garden returns in August with more food, brews and fun. Sit outside under string lights as you sip craft beer (or canned cocktails, seltzers, wine), and bring the whole family (dogs included) for a round of cornhole or other lawn games. Check their website for updates. In past years, they’ve had food trucks, live music and other events, including markets featuring local vendors.

Pinocchio’s may be best known for its Beer Garden To-Go, offering 1,000 specialty beers with new ones arriving daily. But Media’s oldest restaurant built its reputation on its pizza and Italian fare. Try a hand-tossed, Sicilian or gourmet pizza (Philly cheesesteak, Buffalo chicken, Greek goddess) next time you fill your growler there.

Constitution Yards

In Wilmington, drop by Constitution Yards, a seasonal beer garden on the Riverfront, for a changing selection of craft beer, wine and specialty cocktails enjoyed with classic American fare. Order waffle fries, onion rings, jumbo wings and sandwiches to nosh at picnic tables on the deck or in Adirondack chairs on the sand. Live music on Fridays and Saturdays, sports on the big screen and Wilmo Axes axe-throwing.


The Barracks Taproom at Artillery Brewing

Starting in West Chester, Artillery Brewing’s Barracks Taproom recently launched a new menu, featuring apps, sandwiches and Roman-style pizzas with sourdough crust. Brews with their Revolutionary War-inspired names (Paoli Massacre, The Musket) are on tap, along with custom cocktails, wine and spirits. Plus, live music on weekends and other events this summer.

Nearby Wrong Crowd Beer Company has two dozen draft lines, dispensing beers from the on-site 15-barrel nanobrewery, alongside wine, cider and spirits. They serve classic pub fare — wings, nachos, jalapeño poppers, sandwiches and several kinds of pizza, including Hawaiian, honey mustard chicken and upside-down pizza (cheese on the bottom, sauce on top).

Sterling Pig Brewery

Sterling Pig Brewery has two locations for double the brews and food. Their original Media brewery has eight rotating beers, brewed in small batches and tapped onsite, along with standard pub offerings (apps, pizza, handhelds). The standout is their barbecue — pulled pork, smoked ribs, brisket. West Chester’s Sterling Pig Public House has a similar menu, but with an expanded selection of locally distilled spirits.

Iron Hill Brewery TapHouse

You can’t cover local breweries without Iron Hill and their 19 locations across the East Coast, including their newest local spot, Iron Hill Brewery TapHouse in Exton. What sets the TapHouse apart is the sheer amount of beer produced in the 5,000-squarefoot brewpub — 20,000 barrels a year, 19 times more than other locations. The menu is smaller here, consisting of sharables, salads, flatbreads, burgers and sandwiches with many beer-inspired recipes, but quality and taste remain the same. There’s a massive beer menu — 24 on tap and plenty more in bottles — including IPAs, Belgians, stouts and the Engine 49 Pils, helping support the Lionville Fire Company.

Also in Exton, newcomer VK Brewing Co. & Eatery is a veteran-owned brewery, taproom and restaurant located at the historic Ship Inn property. The menu consists of upscale pub food, brick oven pizzas, seafood and a raw bar. Try their flagship beers, VK Grand Opening and Haunted Haze, brewed with the help of Stolen Sun Brewery, or the brand-new VK Honey Belgian, their first beer brewed onsite in a converted horse stable.

Suburban Restaurant & Beer Garden

Suburban Brewing Company has two locations to sample. The 322 Taproom in Honey Brook has an outdoor patio, downstairs bar and second-floor bar lounge. Enjoy Suburban brews and a diverse menu, including nachos, egg rolls, falafel and burgers. Over in Exton, the Suburban Restaurant & Beer Garden serves inventive, upscale fare — pan-roasted duck breast, lamb Bolognese, dandan noodles, pork schnitzel — as well as craft beers from Suburban and other breweries, craft cocktails and wine.

The Rec Room by Conshohocken Brewing Co.

Visit the four locations of Conshohocken Brewing Company, including a tap room in King of Prussia and Phoenixville’s Rec Room. The Rec Room has 12 Conshohocken brews on tap, including two-time World Beer Cup silver medalist Puddlers Row. They serve small bites, grain bowls, flatbreads, sandwiches and pita handhelds, including the Bridge Street Pita, an eight-ounce burger on a grilled pita. The KOP tap room has a similar menu, swapping the pita for 12-inch pizzas and adding craft cocktails, hard seltzers and wine by the glass.

Victory Brewing Company

One of the top 10 U.S. craft brewers, Victory Brewing Company has three locations in our area — in Downingtown, Kennett Square and Parkesburg. Each has plenty of Victory brews on tap, including HopDevil IPA and Golden Monkey, weekday specials and a beer-infused menu. Many dishes incorporate Victory beers, like flash-fried cauliflower with Sour Monkey sauce, the Victory cheesesteak with Prima Pils cheese sauce, and chicken pot pie with Festbier gravy.

Over in Kennett Square, Braeloch Brewing partnered with Jamestown Hospitality Group to create TBG at Braeloch Brewing (a spinoff of Wilmington’s Tonic Steak & Seafood) and offer a full menu. There’s plenty of sharables — nachos, jumbo Bavarian pretzels and a “pound of wings” — as well as flatbreads, tacos and handhelds to accompany craft brews. The outdoor beer garden welcomes dogs, who get treats made from spent grains.

Nearby is Kennett Brewing Company, a brewpub offering a friendly atmosphere, plenty of live music and craft brews. They have a diverse, global menu including dishes like Irish potato soup, classic bangers and mash, and chicken gyros with homemade tzatziki sauce.

In Malvern, Locust Lane Craft Brewery has 14 taps featuring their flagship brands, seasonal offerings and small-batch “Test Batch” brews. The taproom features a 35-foot live-edge bar with a growler/crowler filling station. Wednesday through Friday, their in-house food truck, Foster Ave. Carvery, serves hand-carved sandwiches — including Korean barbecue pork, biercured chicken and smash burgers. Plus, menu items have beer pairing suggestions, and pets are welcome outside on the deck. Try brunch on Sundays from 10 to 1.

La Cabra Brewing

Last but not least, La Cabra Brewing has two unique experiences on the Main Line. Their Berwyn brewpub serves upscale bar food — menu highlights include duck fries with La Cabra beer queso, blackened shrimp tacos with honey chipotle glaze and jalapeño lime slaw, and pork belly burgers with fig jam, spinach and goat cheese. Sip La Cabra brews, mixed drinks and a rotating draft cocktail from the mixologists at A Casual Beverage. Farther east, the Bryn Mawr Smokehouse cooks up smoky goodness from their smoker and wood-fired oven. Get sliced brisked, baby back ribs and pulled pork “From the Pit,” or try signature mac and cheese dishes. Visit for tacos on Tuesdays and wood-fired pizzas on Wednesdays.


As you can see, there’s no shortage of good food and good brews in our area. Happy sipping!

More Spots for Beer Lovers

Bierhaul: A self-described “Lagerhaus and New American Kitchen,” this happening spot in Thornton has over 20 taps, with a rotating draft list focusing on European beers. Menu highlights include charcuterie boards, lobster grilled cheese and bier-braised bratwurst. Play cornhole outside in the beer garden, or head upstairs to The Attic for live music, comedy, workshops and more.

Rivertown Taps: This Phoenixville gastropub draws a crowd for its self-pour beer wall, offering beer, wine, cider and kombucha. Sample their innovative menu, featuring fresh local ingredients — applewood bacon lollipops, kimchi burgers and Phoenixville hot chicken and waffles.

Brick & Brew: Try any of the three Brick & Brew locations — Malvern, Media, Havertown — each with unique décor and vibes, yet all featuring excellent craft beer, creative cocktails and upscale pub fare. Try confit wings slow-braised in duck fat, shrimp po’boy sliders or pizza with Turkish fig jam and feta. The Malvern gastropub has Sunday brunch!

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