Recently I had the opportunity to head down to Reading, PA and experience a night of beers and food at Chatty Monks. Opening in June of 2014 and already setting up a second location in Phoenixville, PA I knew I wanted to find out how expansion could be happening so quickly. I met up with a couple of friends on a Friday night around 7 to do just that. Walking into the 1400 square foot brick wall and wood floor main area you are surrounded with activity. As I make my way to the bar in the back I see happy customers drinking and chatting away while music plays lightly overhead without overpowering the conversations at each table. Church pews line the walls for seating at all the tables with single chair on the opposite sides. When I get to the bar I am greeted by my friends, a very nice bartender, and a huge board hung behind the bar listing all the liquid offerings.
Perusing over the list my first choice was the “227 Double IPA”. This IPA had great citrus flavor with a ton of hop power behind it too. After having a flavor attack straight to the taste buds I figured we should knock it back a notch and go with something that might be a little lighter and smoother. I choose the “PA Harvest Pale Ale”. This beer is made with ingredients procured directly from our great state of PA including malt from Deer Creek Malthouse. The Harvest Ale was a light refreshing pale ale that you could easily drink a few of and not feel over full or far from sober.
My friends and I then moved from the bar to a table to see if the food measured up to the brews we had already tasted. While pouring over the menu I ordered a “Citra Pale Ale” and quickly noticed some “Hoppy French Friars” that sounded amazing. I cannot give a better description than the menu so here it is:
“Thick, hearty hand-cut potatoes, deep fried in peanut oil, then finished up in true Chatty Monks style with a dusting of flavorful, home-grown hops. Salty, crispy and the perfect snack to share while discussing the meaning of life over a Revelation Ale.”
Yea…you read that right. DUSTED IN HOPS! How can you go wrong? You can’t these fries are amazing! They are served with an aioli sauce that was equally terrific (We actually had to ask for more aioli sauce it. It was that good!). The 5.5% abv Citra Pale ale that I ordered along side this went perfectly with these fries. It was refreshing and not overly hopped that along with the hoppy fries made a perfect compliment of each other.
From there the table ordered another appetizer and more beer of course. The “jalapeno popper dip” we ordered was another tasty dish. Just the right amount of heat without being overwhelming and just the right amount of saltiness to the nachos that came with the dip made it another hit among us all. This time around I went to another IPA on the menu in the form of the “Endoplasmic Reticulum”. This 7% unfiltered creation had a very smooth upfront taste with a bitter finish that made you want to go back for another sip time after time. Before I knew it the glass was empty along with the dip and we were onto ordering the main course.
For the main course I ordered the “Flat Iron Steak”, while my friends ordered the “Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich”, and the “Bratwurst & Krautwich Sandwich”. The final course came out and I was greeted with a perfectly cooked medium steak already sliced atop a plate of delicious fries. The steak was juicy and tender and really did just melt in your mouth. My friends with the “Bratwurst & Krautwich Sandwich” enjoyed their sandwich only wishing that there was a bit more fat in the wurst so that it wasn’t so dry. Still the flavors were good and the kraut was delicious. The Pulled Pork Sandwich got a good review as well with great smoke flavors but maybe just a touch over salted. Overall the entire meal including the appetizers got a “Hell yea we will eat here again”. So that must be good right?! For my final beer I tried the “Epiphany Saison”. Another 7 percenter that was nice and smooth and make a perfect end of night beer to finish up on.
I was excited to check out Chatty Monks and after visiting I truly can’t wait to go back and to also check out their new location in Phoenixville, PA when it opens up. The brewery is a great place for a group of friends or a quiet dinner with your significant other. Go check them out and be sure to tell them Matt from PACraftBeer.com sent you!
Beers Drank: 227 Double IPA
PA Harvest Ale
Citra Pale Ale
Endoplasmic Reticulum IPA
Food Ate: Hoppy French Friars
Jalapeno Popper Dip
Flat Iron Steak with Fries
Bratwurst & Krautwich Sandwich
Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich