Iron Hill Brewery, West Chester

December 20th, 2003

Corner of Gay & High Sts.
West Chester, PA

Rating: 3 silver spoons out of 5

Overview: Typical Microbrewery atmosphere with above average food & beer for a microbrew pub. Often tremendous waits on weekends or even for lunch during the week.

Food: Upscale pub fare — great burgers and the like but also some more intricate dishes that are better than expected. Start with the artichoke & cheese dip or the hummus — both are excellent. The burger comes on a garlic pretzel roll and is one of the better ones around, and the pork barbeque sandwich is also very tasty. I’ve never eaten the pizza but some fellow diners swear by the Lejon (shrimp, bacon and horseradish). At dinner, the salmon entree changes daily and is normally very good.

Ambiance: Noisy brewpub, but a fun place to hang out that isn’t too over the top. Can be difficult to find a seat at the bar on weekends (if you’re just drinking or waiting for a table). Try the bar in the back. In nice weather there are some seats out on the sidewalk… if you go at an off-peak time, its a great place to hang out.

Service: Fine for this type of place.

Value: Suprisingly good food & award-winning beer at reasonable prices — I’d say that’s pretty good.

# of times we’ve eaten there: 5+
Reservations: No – long waits are common.
Payments: Cards
Bar: Full

There are other Iron Hill locations in Media, PA, Newark, DE, Phoenixville, PA, Wilmington, PA and North Wales, PA.

17 Responses to “Iron Hill Brewery, West Chester”

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  1. Jen says:

    My husband and I eat here very frequently and we absolutely love it. I’m not sure why some of the other posts have commented that their food is below par, as I’ve been very pleased with almost everything I’ve ordered–with two exceptions: the cheese plate (seemed like I only got about 5 squares of cheese and crackers …. totally not worth the price and disappointing) and the shrimp linguine entree (just tasted strongly fishy). Other than that their food is fantastic! We live for the nachos and my husband loves the cheese steak egg rolls. The hummus plate, carrot soup, the roma tomato and goat cheese pizza, and mesclun salad are a few of my favorites. Iron Hill has it all, at least for us: a slightly up-scale yet cozy atmosphere, servers who remember us and who provide timely service, food that satisfies a hard-core meat-eater AND a vegetarian, and good beer. By the way, you can’t really criticize a BREWERY for only offering beer that they BREW. The customer should be aware of that upon making the decision to dine there … it’s kind of the whole point.

  2. Joey M. says:

    The parking is not good and will not get any better. The beer selection is limited to their own selection which is OK at best. The food is simply dreadful and their limited menu needs to be updated. They have been surpassed by every new restaurant in town who strives to be fresh and new. Eating outside on the busiest street corner in town is not appealing at all. The appetizers are mundane and trivial much like you would find at the big chains like TGIFriday’s and Applebees. The main courses are brutal with no selection, nothing different – unless you consider a platter with cheese and sausages to be “exciting”. The taste and preparation of the dishes is often sloppy and haphazard. Unless they make some serious changes, starting with the removal of their gregourious head chef, with whom run ins with customers have taken place in the restaurant, the place will most likely be bought out by a national chain and one day become a Chili’s or Ruby Tuesday, which, at this point would be a welcome change.

  3. Chris says:

    Iron Hill is a good place to have drinks with friends, but the food is another story. I am not a person to bash a restaurant based on one lousy meal, but 4 or 5 is another story. They do cajun food about as well as McDonald’s does seafood. They attempt to have an original and exotic menu, however they forgot to give the food any flavor. Their pizzas are horrendous as well. So if you are going out for drinks, it’s worth your time; if you are looking for something to eat and don’t feel like cooking, you might just want to order out instead!

  4. Spadea says:

    The beer there is good for a Brew Pub but Victory Brewing is much better. The food there is and has always been lousy bordering on boring, mundane and tasteless. The food main course dishes have never been exciting, the appetizers have been edible. Recently, within the last year, the food has gotten considerably worse, in my opinion and with all of the new restaurants opening up in town, they now have serious competition. I would recommend a beer but heading elsewhere for a much better dinner at the same price. Smoke free is a plus but almost every place in West Chester has gone smoke free as well.

  5. John S says:

    Had lunch there a few months back, the food was so-so and the service was too. My order was fine, but others in my group were disappointed. Took way too long to get our food and was a bit pricey for the lackluster meals and service.

  6. Anita says:

    I love this place and get a little extra pep in my step when we arrive. Their appetizers are delicious especially their bruschetta and their entrees are also delicious. I love their pan seared sea scallops and shrimp with leeks and tomato fricassee. It will make you get up and do a jig.

    The atmosphere is very nice too. There doesn’t seem to be a bad seat in the dining room. A nice bonus is that they’ll validate your parking for you if you park in the garage across from the YMCA — I really do appreciate that.

    There’s only one thing that I wish they would improve upon and it’s their desserts. Don’t get me wrong…they’re good but I just wish they would offer a plain chocolate cake. No peanut butter center, no cremy filling — just a rich dark chocolate cake — similar to the one that Magrogan’s offers. If they do that we’ll be cutomers for life.

  7. Spesh says:

    A lot of hardcore beer geeks will turn their backs to chain brewpubs. Is it because they make mediocre beer? Is it because they use the same cookie cutter theme at every location? Maybe the food is uninspired and boring. Well, I can tell you, none of these reasons apply to Iron Hill. I even balk at calling them a chain of brewpubs because the recipe for success that Iron Hill uses is as far from a chain that you will get. Each well chosen location has its own charm and decor, the brewers get to create their own portfolio of brews and be totally independent. The food here is top notch, and the chefs, like the brewers, get to show off their own talents and be creative, and not conform to the same old thing, day after day.

    I think the thing that impresses me most about Iron Hill (aside from their beer) is how they choose their locations. Each one just feels right, and they seem to just fit right in with the community and take on that hometown vibe. Each of their brewpubs are doing very well, with the latest one set to open soon in Lancaster.

  8. Brian says:

    I agree with Balan that the beer at Victory is far better. But the ambiance at Victory is like eating at an industrial brewery. Sly Fox also has much better beer but not the ambiance. Iron Hill has far better beer than McKenzies however. Love that it is smoke free. The monthly dinner is fun. For twenty bucks you get two courses each paired with a beer. It’s better some months than others but generally good. I have found the food at the Phoenixville location to be better than West Chester. I ordered the same monthly dinner at both locations once and it was far better in Phoenixville. I don’t have any other direct comparisons but the food in Phoenixville has always been excellent.

  9. Steph says:

    The food is pretty humble… but it’s smoke free which makes it a great place for drinks. It’s good to come home at night without smelling like an ashtray.

  10. […] Iron Hill Brewery, West Chester — Main Line Restaurant Guide There are other Iron Hill locations in Media, PA, Newark, DE, Phoenixville, PA, Wilmington, PA and … Blush Restaurant & Bar, Bryn Mawr; CafĂ© Fresko, Bryn Mawr; Christopher’s, Wayne; Coyote Crossing, West … […]

  11. Balan Ashbridge says:

    The beer they serve is OK, much better ones can be found at Victory Brewing – worth the extra 10 minute drive. The food at Iron Hill is awful, I have tried just about everything on the menu without any luck. Once again with all of the new restaurants which have opened in the Borough of West Chester, I would try them all before I would return to Iron Hill. The chef seems very limited in what he is able to create and some of the more “creative” dishes he/she is unable to pull off. It is nice that they are non-smoking but then again so is just about every restaurant in the Borough. For a greater variety, much better food and better atmosphere try Kooma or Baxter’s.

  12. hc says:

    I’ve been going to Iron Hill for years and have always found it to be great upscale pub food for the price. But lately I wonder if something over there has changed… The service has been terrible and there have been constant problems with our orders. Hope they square that issue away — we might need to find a new Friday happy hour spot if they don’t…

  13. kate D says:

    Thank you for going smoke-free! My husband and I have always loved Iron Hill’s brew and menu, but now it is absolutely our first choice to hang out with friends in town, as we don’t come home stinking of cigarette smoke!

    The dinner specials are always fantastic, and we love the friendly service. Never a disappointment.

    Iron Hill is very family friendly, too. We have 4 children under the age of ten, and we find Iron Hill to be reasonably priced for a last-minute family dinner, and they have plenty of family-sized tables. The wait staff really know how to make a family experience pleasant.

  14. Ann and Dan says:

    I like there Beer but some of the cajun style food is not up to par, If you want Cajun goto High Street cafe, they have the best Cajun Creole food around..Also I think the cook at Iron Hill took a lot of High Streets Menu! Whats up with that?

  15. Jeremy M says:

    My wife and I love Iron Hill Brewery in WC. It is our favorite place to grab dinner or a drink anytime of the week. The service is almost always excellent and they are willing to make things right if things don’t meet up to your expectations. The servers and bartenders always seem to be very educated about the food and beer. Being a big beer drinker… I typically stick to the featured beers and am almost always happy with the selection. I have heard a some people complain that they do not like their beer… but that is usually coming from the type of people who have little appreciation for craft beer or generally have poor taste in beer.

    As for the food… its not typical bar food. There is always something new and interesting to try. The Turkey burger is one of our favorites along with the Wings, Nachos, and cheesesteak egg rolls… which are all excellent.

    The wait is typically not too bad… if you are going to be there during peak hours… call ahead seating is available… but you may still have to wait long enough to finish a beer… so head over to the bar once you get your vibrating coaster.

  16. Brooks says:

    Since Iron Hill is smoke-free it is a great place for those of us who like the beer but hate the smoke. Thanks Iron Hill!

  17. Kris says:

    We stopped in for lunch last Sunday…A must order is the cheesteak eggrolls…Also got the beer sampler..Great !!

    Our server was amazing…We had a wonderful time!!!

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