|Chatty Monks Brewing Company
610 Penn Avenue | Reading, PA 19611
On Saturday, June 28, 2014 Chatty Monks had their grand opening (and pig roast) in West Reading. Just down the road from the recently opened Barley Mow and the future home of Pierce Brewing Company, Chatty Monks marks another addition to the growing craft beer scene along the Penn Avenue corridor from the VF Outlets to the Schuylkill River.
The journey to establishing this new brewpub began with founders Joe and Rob, two friends that spent their weekends tasting every craft beer under the sun. Eventually, they set up a “Beer Bunker” in a home kitchen and set to brewing various Belgian style concoctions. Soon after they met Norm, a fellow homebrewer, and began collaborating.
Wanting to share the fruits of their labors, they began donating their brews to parties and fundraisers. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with many people assuming there was an established brewery somewhere in Wyomissing cranking out these beers. And so, fate was calling. To put the final pieces in place, they brought into the fold of “the Brethren” executive chef Jim to bring in the eats and Brian to flush out the brand.
For the grand opening, the following beers were available on tap:
- Belgian Blonde – 7% ABV, 24 IBU traditional Belgian blonde ale
- Belgian Dubbel – 7% ABV, 23 IBU classic Dubbel using premise-made Belgian candi sugar
- Endoplasmic Reticulum IPA – 7% ABV 70 IBU American IPA
- Indulgence White IPA – 6.5 % ABV, 30 IBU White IPA with a Belgian Witbier profile
- Revelation Ale – 5.5% ABV, 48 IBU English style ale, born out of “a comedy of errors”
A selection of wines was also available as well as soft drinks and grape smoothies. All the drafts were available in 5 oz. pours, pints and growler fills. We had a flight of all five and a round of waters for the table. I mention the water because it is served in mason jars with a slice of cucumber, which was very refreshing. As for the beers, the Belgians were the strongest and most developed. I definitely hope they keep their focus on those styles.
The menu boasts standards like wings and fries, an assortment of mouth-watering BBQ staples such as chili (made with Chatty Monks beer) and pulled pork as well as some German fare like the Bratwurst & Krautwich and some intriguing paninis.
The atmosphere at Chatty Monks is relaxed and comfy, with exposed brick, hardwood flooring and dark wood accents, warm colors mixed with smoky grey. Photos of monks doing monk-type things adorn some of the walls. Overall the feel is modern but homey. Unfortunately, due to the layout of the building, the guts of the operation – the brewery itself – is in the basement and out of view. But, you can find videos of the beers being born in the Brew Lab section of their website.
Best of luck to the Brethren (and Sistren) at Chatty Monks. It is awesome to see our local community continue to embrace craft beer.