I am not outdoorsey. But in weather like this, the transitional time between summer and fall, all I want to do is be outdoors. Manayunk Brewery offers an excellent venue in which to appreciate the outdoors (at least in the way I like to appreciate it) -- a sprawling, huge back deck, overlooking the Manayunk Canal and bridge that makes for a relaxed, pleasing way to spend an evening.
Its brewery options are pretty good, too. I opted for the Manayunk Lager, an "octoberfest" style beer that was rich without being overpowering, flavorful with a sweet undertone. MFDC went from the lager to the "Schuylkill Punch," a raspberry lager with a 7% alcohol content. It was a bit too sweet for my tastes, even tasting sweeter than an average framboise, but this was to be expected given the description. Manayunk Brewery offers about 6 beers as daily specials, in addition to a few American beers.
Although the menu seems to have been updated, featuring ambitious-sounding entrees, I got the feeling that I shouldn't branch out. Beer pairings are suggested on the menu, but many of the beers were not being offered that evening, which was curious. We started with the crab dip (pictured right, in dim twilight with my apologies). It tasted better than it looked, which was oddly dark for a creamy dip. With notes of Old Bay and hints of lump crabmeat, however, I liked it, although the toast squares had turned more into hard croutons long ago.
I'm sparing you pictures of the Brew House Burger ("8oz of grilled Certified Angus Beef, tomatoes, lettuce and Onions on a brioche, served with beer-battered fries & spicy pickles"), which MFDC reports was very good and my Brew House Cobb Salad ("iceberg lettuce, diced tomatoes, marinated chicken, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, Roquefort cheese and avocado"), which was also good. You probably already know what those things look like. I have no idea why they are called "Brew House," considering the particular take on these dishes was far from novel, but they were adequately executed and tasty.
Not all restaurants are gourmet destinations. But Manayunk Brewery delivers good beer and a great view, a pretty perfect offering this time of year.
Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant is located at 4120 Main Street, Manayunk, http://www.manayunkbrewery.com/.