READING / REAMSTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA
Former Stoudt’s, Neversink, and Pretzel City brewer, lager-loving Tom Rupp set up shop in nearby rustic village, Reamstown, April ‘07. Visited three months hence, UNION BARREL WORKS is located in a red brick garment building with silver brew kettles peeking out front window (and towards back). Beautiful wood-carved mural adorns left bar, burgundy-framed ceiling tiles add Old World ambience, and oak barrels are utilized as tables near spacious dining area.
Fair-priced light menu included fabulous trout chowder, sandwiches, and salads to go with light fare such as buttery hop-peppered fig-pecan-teased Dortmunder-styled Lager, lemony sugar-daubed straw-wheat acridity Kolsch, and bittersweet lemon-wedged banana-clove-bubblegum-softened Hefeweizen.
Dry Cascade-hopped lemon-peeled apple-grapefruit-soured wood-lacquered Pale Ale, fig-honeyed date-soured almond-tinged Wobbly Bob Doppelbock, and dry coffee bean-roasted nut-oiled black chocolate-y Roundboy Stout also sufficed.
Best bet: tangy cherry-peach-pear-fronted orange-bruised banana-backed maple-sugared pumpkin-tweaked Mai Bock (a sticky fruit beer with sharply bitter hop bite).