Crafting beer has become so popular that I can even cycle from my lovely, suburban, childhood home to a top notch brewery. *Free Will Brewing Co. is even closer to my parent's house than any of the breweries in Bavaria are to the hut: astounding!
On our most recent visit back to the USA, Christian and I went to three different microbreweries in a WEEK without even trying!! They just happened to be there as we were driving by or in the area.
The first one we checked out was Triumph Brewing Co. in New Hope (it also has a Princeton location). This was a particular gem because not only did they have about 7 different drafts, but it's a straight up brewpub and happening bar. Our food was delicious and the menu is full of organic and locally sourced items. Triumph has a great location with a huge, sunny deck overlooking the rail tracks (old-fashioned tourist train - not a busy commuter line!). Inside is very spacious and includes a stage for the frequent live music - check the calendar! And go with a designated driver: the Sampler is 4oz of every draft... you can do the math.
That same night, we found ourselves at home and took advantage of our last opportunity (for the summer) to go to Free Will Brewing Co. with my Dad. He'd been wanting to go ever since our old neighbor and current hair extraordinaire, Scott, raved about it to my mom. This little gem in Perkasie was in a slightly sous-terrain warehouse and the 'tasting room' was just off the main production floor. You could try 6 of the many, many drafts for free. It used to be standing room only on a concrete floor surrounded by bags of grain, six-packs of beer, and a big refridgerator to take cold brews to go. Now, however, they have a brand-spanking-new tasting room in the front of the building at the street level that's just like hanging out at a bar. Nothing is free anymore, except a shot glass sized sample, but I guess they gotta pay for the shiny new digs somehow.
A few days later, we were driving south on Rt. 309 and saw a sign for McCoole's at the Historic Red Lion Inn. My friend Kerri was at McCoole's for her sister's shower a few days earlier, but had neglected to mention it's also a brewery! There were 3 or 4 proprietary drafts that were quite good. The ambiance was nice too - it had the feel of a rustic, country tavern. The brewmaster makes small batches in the adjoining arts & events center, which hosts the occasional beer fest.
The following breweries are great because they are within walking distance of the train stations for safe commuting!
*Round Guys Brewery is just off the main drag in Lansdale and a few minutes from the Lansdale train station. There is a special nearly every night of the week so brush up on your trivia and go on Thursday or fiesta with dollar tacos on Tuesday (I'm sure the taco meat is from happy animals).
*PRISM Brewing Co. is somewhat of an enigma. Even when you see the sign that says, "you've found what you've been looking for," we still couldn't find it! I think I'm gonna dig it though - they like Pink Floyd and rainbows. Prism is in between North Wales (10 min walk) and Pennbrook (15 min walk) train stations.