I've been trying to get into G.G. Brewers for about six months, without success. I haven't been going by every day, mind you: it's out of my way, not really on my usual run, but I've been stopping in when I'm nearby. First time, I didn't realize they opened at 4...so I had a nice lunch at Athena and went home. Next time, it was after 4, late in the week...but they were closed. The next time, the lights were on, the TV was on...and the door was locked. That happened again about two weeks later. I kept trying, because I wanted to get them into PA Breweries 4. I wrote a letter -- no response -- I called -- no answer -- I sent an e-mail -- no answer.
But yesterday Cathy and I were over in Jenkintown to drop Nora off at a party, and I figured, what the hell, it's not that far out of the way...and fifteen minutes later, we were sitting at the bar. Very small bar, too, and not many tables. It's easily the smallest brewpub I've ever been in: maybe 20, 25 seats. Couldn't see a brewery, but there were kegs stacked to one side of the room. The bartender was friendly, welcomed us, told us we were in the world's second-smallest brewpub (I had no real reason to doubt her!), and asked us what we wanted.
The brewer/owner, Gerry Martin was very much in evidence, bustling around the place. Nice guy, talkative, informative, even pumped about the Pennsylvania wines he had from Galen Glen: "They make wines in the German style," he said, which pricked my ears right up, and then he mentioned that even their sweet wines weren't all that gloppy sweet, and poured us a sample of the Winter Mountain Red (he was right, too: best Concord grape wine I remember having).
But we weren't there to drink wine! We actually already had our beers: Cathy got an Irish Stout (good, roasty, and solid, but we both caught a raspberry flavor in it; maybe the line had been used for a razzbeer before?), and I got the Bachelor Party beer. I was going to order a Pale Ale, but Gerry said if I wanted a hoppy beer I should get the Bachelor Party. Okay, I did, and it was good: clean, hop-flavored, real drinkable, and not overly bitter. The kind of beer a geek wouldn't give a second glance, but the kind that most other craft drinkers would happily neck all afternoon. It was called Bachelor Party, he said, because a group of guys had 'commissioned' it for the wind-up to a bachelor party they were having over the weekend...but they got snowbound in the Poconos, and he had to put it on anyway. Their loss; our gain.
We ordered a round of pot-stickers. I was a bit surprised to find them deep-fried instead of pan-fried, but they were good (dipping sauce was a bit thick, but tasty). The menu was very reasonably priced (especially for Glenside), and covered steaks, seafood, pasta, and sandwiches, with most things under $14.
Just one beer and the dumplings; we had to get home for the dogs, they'd been cooped up for 7 hours at that point. Pleasant stop. I had been in once before not long after they'd opened, and the beer was clean, but...muddled. It's clearly found its way. Gerry has a reputation for not allowing note-taking in the pub (apparently some guy taking notes had berated a server for not knowing enough about the beer -- I'm shocked, shocked to hear that about a beer geek!) and he'd since asked folks not to indulge in that. Well, kinda odd, but eccentricity is hardly unique in the brewing and tavern trade. I'd go back again, especially the next time we go to a show at the Keswick.
Open message: I can do a very simple entry at this point, Gerry, but I'd love to do more. Give me a shout sometime soon! (If you know Gerry, or if you're a regular at GG, please let him know about this. Thanks!)