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Great Beer Restaurant in Limerick

Needed lunch on the way to the premium outlets in Limerick and stopped by the Craft Ale House which is about a mile away. Amazing beer list and excellent upscale pub food. We had the best Mussels we have ever had, great short rib sandwich and amazing hand cut seasoned fries along with terrific craft beers you won't find in your corner bar. I will never complain about having to go to the outlets again as long as we stop there first.

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  1. Thanks for posting this! I haven't been yet but I thought I was going to have to eat at Arthur Treacher's or something when I finally do go there.

    1. It's funny that you mention this place. I've now had mussels there twice, though they've been far from the best I've ever had. In fact, the first time, the ones I got were lukewarm with some undercooked ones in the batch. I thought the broth was a bit bland in that one(can't remember which mix it was). The second time, they were decent. I got the ones with the blue cheese, which were tasty. I wouldn't say that they were in the upper echelon though, either. Maybe I'm just hitting them on off nights. I do agree with you on the fries being seasoned great. The buger I got was charred on the outside and completely raw inside. I'm a bit of a burger snob, too. Beer selection is very nice.
      I keep hearing good things about the food though, so it's worth at least another visit, or two.

      12 Replies
      1. re: weeare138

        For us who live in the area, we are extremely fortunate to have at least 3 world-class craft beer bar within a 20 min. drive of each other. Capone's, Ortino's Northsde and now The Craft Alehouse. A little futher drive, and you have the 2 Draftin Room bars (Springhouse and Exton) In other metro /suburban areas of this country, you may have to drive 1+ hrs to get to one beer bar of this caliber. Not to mention our close proximity to quality breweries/brewpubs such as Sly fox. Iron Hill and my personal favorite, Victory.

        And on the subject of mussels, all 5 of the above mentioned beer bars serve quality mussels

        1. re: Chefmonty

          You had me until you mentioned Sly Fox. Bad beer, horrible food and even worse service.

          1. re: mitchh

            I said nothing of Sly Fox's food and would have to agree with you. As for their beer, I disgree, and so does most of the craft beer community. Just go to Beeradvocate.com and you will see their beers are consistantly rated high. If they were not putting out quality beer in this competitive market, they would not survive

            1. re: Chefmonty

              Then I suppose I disagree with the craft beer community. As far as microbrews go, I find Sly Fox to be very mediocre. But, my opinion might have been swayed by the bad food and abysmal service that I got the two times I went there.

              1. re: mitchh

                Now I don't love all their beers but if you don't like Pikeland Pils, Phoenix Pale Ale, O'Reilly Stout, Royal Weisse or Abbey Extra; not to mention their annual IPA project which draws folks from Maine to North Carolina, one might conclude that you simply do not like beer.

          2. re: Chefmonty

            Where is Capone's & Ortino's Northside?

            1. re: obx_nancy

              Capone's in East Norriton on Germantown Pike
              Ortino's Northside in Zieglerville on RT 29 just outside of Schwenksville

              1. re: Chefmonty

                We've been to Craft Ale House (my wife twice) and she loved the mussels both times saying they were among the best she's had and she's had almost all of them in the region. :) My burger there was a perfect medium. We can't wait to return. Don't forget the original Ortino's in Schwenksville. Tiny place with a relatively astounding beer selection and Union Jack's on the Manatawny. As for Sly Fox, I found the Royersford food to be a cut above Phoenixville. In fact, I had my mother's wake there and it was (in spite of the circumstances) a great time. If you don't like Sly Fox beer, fine. To say it is bad however, stands in stark contrast to thousands of positive opinions including the late Michael Jackson.

                1. re: RC51Mike

                  The original Ortino's is still great. I started going there when John Ortino first started getting some exciting beers in years ago. I even remember he had a small Belgian Beer tasting, which was hosted by Ed Friedland. My wife and I were about 2 of 10 attendees. The Northside is a regular stop, as well. I too love Union Jack's in the Summer. We go outside and sit during the warm weather and enjoy the scenery. Outstanding beer selection for beer geeks, like us. Sly Fox...wow, I've been going there since '98. At one time, they had the best nachos and potato skins around. They changed suppliers, or chefs and they went the way of the canned cheese...blech. Their food is ok but it's not going to knock anybody's socks off. Capone's...I've known Matt Capone for a long time and he credits me as being one of the people who pushed him towards the craft beer scene. He first started bringing stuff in for me back in the late 90's but never put it out on the shelves. He would leave it for me in the cooler b/c I would be the only one who would buy it. My, how things have changed. I used to write all the beer descriptions for the menu when he first started having monthly Beer Advocate/Rate Beer events and help put tap list, and bottle shop orders together. I would also be the on site(in bottle shop) beer sommelier in making suggestions, explaining pairings, explaining styles, flavors, etc. I would pop in from time to time and work for beer. It's strictly a part time gig now, whenever I feel like it, or whenever I'm in the area. Capone's was rated the 2008 number 1 Beer Bar in the world by Ratebeer.com, and the 2008 number 6 Best Beer Bar on the Planet Earth by Beer Advocate.
                  As far as C.A.H. is concerned...I think it's decent but they've got some work to do(food wise) to be on par with a few of my other local favorite places like Theresa's Next Door, and T.J.'s Everyday. I'm sure they'll be there soon. The good news is that they're in a location where there was basically no beer buzz going on and now there's a place for people to talk shop. I wish them luck in their endeavors.

                2. re: Chefmonty

                  I originally posted it because I hate to shop and my wife usually bribes me with food and alcohol and I was impressed I found a place that close to the outlets. But I am glad the posting digressed because after checking out your recommendations I have a few new destinations to try the next sunny Saturday. We unfortunately live in Allentown and there are places that might have a couple of non-standard beers but nothing like these places.

                    1. re: Chefmonty

                      Thanks for the recommendation. We went to the Spinnerstown Hotel on Saturday for lunch and I could not believe the beer list. Two of the beers we planned on ordering had kicked but we had an unusual Creme Brulee Stout, Troegs Nugget Nectar and my oldest and I split a bottle of Allagash Victoria to finish. The food was very good and it was only 20 mins from home.

          3. Monday, March 2, I stopped by the new Craft Ale House in Limerick (the old Limerick Deli) and it really was a great little place. Had one of the best soups I ever ate; a cauliflower puree soup; not too thick, not too thin, perfectly seasoned. Then had a "short rib sandwich" which came on a big toasted roll with provolone, remoulade, lettuce, tomato and a crock of au jus to dip, served with rosemary and garlic scented fries. Washed it down with two awesome beers:

            Dogfish Head Aprihop
            Founder's Red Rye

            If you're in the Limerick area, you have to give it a try sometime:
            http://www.craftalehouse.blogspot.com/

            1. Because of this post I plan to take some friends who live in Collegeville to CAH this Saturday and am greatly looking forward to it. I'm a big beer and mussels fan. And I've gotta add that although I love their location, decor, service and beer, Teresa's Next Door in Wayne's food has never made an impression on me. I've been there for lunch and brunch a half dozen times at least.

              Thanks

              5 Replies
              1. re: Chinon00

                Chinon00,

                So what did you think of Craft Ale House?

                1. re: 94Bravo

                  The room was smaller than I expected but is laid out well. I was quite comfortable seated at the bar. It was 3/4 full basically the whole time we were there and the noise level was never an issue. The bar service was informed, pleasant and eager to answer questions and provide samples of beer. There were some issues with the food and food service. First, our order took about 45 minutes to arrive. My "Monk" mussels were fine; hot and yummy. My friend's burger though was charred on the outside and raw in the inside. He returned it and it came back to his liking. Note: The bartender took off two beers for the long wait. The tap list was mostly domestic (which is cool) but broad (e.g. Helles Lager, Alt, oatmeal stout, Imperial Stout, DIPA, Saison . . . ) The bottle selection was very very good with all the great well known Belgians (e.g. Gulden Draak) and a host of domestic (a lot in 750ml too).
                  I'd personally consider this place as a destination spot with a focus on domestic craft beer. They'll see me again soon.

                  Thanks

                  1. re: Chinon00

                    Sounds like your friend faired as well as I did with the burger...see my posting above regarding the charred outside and raw inside. I'm eager to get back, as I'm a lover of fine beers. I've been involved with the seen for a good number of years now and always welcome new places like this when they come around. The fact that they're a beer destination is a gimme. It's the food issues and speed of service that threw up a red flag for me. I'll give 'em a few more shots and a little more time. I'm just not sure if it'll get more speedy. Tiny kitchen right now back there with about a 6 foot hood to work with. If they're able to expand that, it would make things better.
                    The other problem that nobody has mentioned...what's up with the bathroom situation and the waiting in line back in the hallway?
                    Here's my full review of the place:

                    http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/...

                    I get a bit skeptical at reviews where several people have rated them as highly as they have and most of the raters have never posted, or rated any establishments before. IDK. Maybe it's just me.

                    1. re: weeare138

                      Keep in mind that this place was a tiny, podunk Deli. They really didn't expand it at all, so it's pretty small. I was surprised at what they did with the existing space, though as I ate many a hoagie at the old Deli.

                    2. re: Chinon00

                      That's one thing I noticed on my visit as well; the kitchen wasn't in any particular hurry to get food out, and it wasn't even 1/4 full when I was there. Maybe they will pick up the pace as the place gets busier and more exposure. At least you have some great beers to concentrate on while you wait for the food!

                2. We went to Craft last Friday and were very impressed. Great selection of beers and the food was really good. We loved our mussels, and then I had the roasted salmon, which was perfectly cooked and served with delicious sides, including brussel sprouts with bacon and I think sauteed spaetzle or something like that. Also, the service was great... our waitress was really helpful in picking out beers and brought me several tastes of different things. It was crowded and we had to wait, so people may want to call ahead!

                  1. Our family of four (two kids - 5 yrs and 15 months) went there on Friday night. We were surprised by how nice it looked inside. GREAT beer selection but no other liquor. Service was attentive but not cloying. We started with the french fry app - VERY salty and delicious. Our 5 yr old had chicken fingers and fries (that or grilled cheese are the only kids choices) and it was way more than any kid could probably eat but it was perfect for her and our toddler to share. Dh got the hangar steak (medium) and I got the halibut. Both were executed well - cooked perfectly - but the flavor was only fair. Seemed like just salt and pepper. We're fans of punchier flavors. His came with mashed potatoes and mine with asparagus and microgreens. There was a pool of green sludge-looking sauce under my fish that was off putting. Perhaps an asparagus pureé or pea pureé. Who knows.

                    Prices were mid-range. Not sure if we'd go back or not for dinner but definitely a good place for craft brew fans.