|Broken Chair Brewery
424 Penn Avenue | West Reading, PA 19611
Broken Chair Brewery recently opened its doors in the 400 block of Penn Avenue in West Reading inside the former home to Gehris Tile. Broken Chair is the first of two new Berks County breweries opening in November 2017.
The taproom itself is comfortable and welcoming. Exposed red brick, barn wood, patched tile, and warm lighting give an inviting feel. The staff is equally warm and inviting, including owner and brewer Todd Bray, who proudly poured our beers, while Joan Bray updated us on the changes Broken Chair has implemented after opening weekend.
There is plenty of seating including a long wooden bar, a drink rail along the wall, and several high top tables. There is a bookshelf full of games and several take-out menus from local restaurants, encouraging patrons to drink, eat, play, and hang out for a while.
Bray brews on a modest two-barrel brewhouse. Beers are available in 12 and 16 ounce pours, as well as flights of four beers of your choice. The beers on tap during our visit included:
- Merlins Magic EBB Ale – 4.3% ABV traditional English style beer
- Sparkly Pants Irish Blonde – 5.9% ABV malty, easy-drinking beer
- JJ’s Irish Red – 5.25% ABV malt, fruity, and flavorful beer
- Happy Habby Habanero Rye Stout – 4.3% ABV malty beer with a slight hint of pepper
- World Destruction IPA – 6.6% ABV IPA with 5 hop additions
- Key West Pineapple IPA – 5.25% ABV smooth IPA with a touch of pineapple
- Time Warp Citra IPA – 6% ABV IPA with 4 Citra additions
- Karma’s a Bitch Cream Ale – 3.9% ABV all day drinking beer
- StarLord Caramel Porter – 5.9% ABV malty beer with a caramel finish
- Dragon Stone Milk Stout – 7% ABV smooth beer with a hint of chocolate
- Braveheart Scottish Ale – 6% ABV malt forward drinking ale
- Silent Elevation Imperial Stout – 9.2% ABV strong but smooth imperial stout
- Sugar Skull Vanilla Porter – 5.25% ABV porter with vanilla
- Frosty Bun’s Winter Warmer – 6.5% ABV special ale with a kick
- Sedona Honey Pale Ale – 5.25% ABV pale ale infused with wildflower honey
I appreciate the variety of styles offered at Broken Chair. There is truly something for everyone. I really enjoyed the Time Warp Citra, which offered the hop aroma and flavor everyone desires. I also enjoyed Sugar Skull Vanilla Porter, which boasted a punch of vanilla with roasty, dark malt flavors.
While Happy Habby Habanero Rye Stout didn’t offer the punch of heat I was looking for, Bray assured me that he looks to increase the amount of habaneros in the next batch.
In addition to beer, hard cider and wine are available for purchase. A cranberry cider from Wyndridge Farm was on tap during our visit, and chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon from Penns Woods Winery were available. Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite are available in cans, and there is a water station in the taproom.
The brewery offers snacks including potato chips, pretzels, and various nuts from My Buddy’s Nuts. Merchandise is available for purchase including t-shirts, hats, stickers, and beer glasses.
Broken Chair is currently open Thursday from 5 to 10 PM, Friday from 5 to 11 PM, and Saturday 2 to 11 PM. Check their Facebook page for the most updated hours. Street parking is available.