With a motto like “Elevate your craft” you know you can expect fabulous craft beers from Levante Brewing in West Chester, Pennsylvania!
We first visited this brewery shortly after they opened in 2015. Since then, they’ve remodeled a bit.
With so much variety, we ordered two flights of four beers each.
The first flight we tried:
- Bianco (2017) – A witbier with a 5% ABV and a low IBU. You know my affinity is for wheat beers so of course it was delicious!
- Split Rail – A saison/farmhouse ale with a 5.4% ABV and 27 IBU.
- Kolibri Kolsch (2017) – Traditional Kölsch with a 4.8% ABV and 25 IBU.
- Earl of Newlin – An 18th Century Colonial tea beer brewed with Earl of Grey tea. ABV of 5.3% with a 25 IBU.
The second flight we tried:
- Cloudy & Cumbersome – An East Coast IPA with a 5.9% ABV and 34 IBU. I find that I like the less hoppy taste of the East Coast IPAs over the West Coast IPAs.
- Edible Tropical Amalgamation (ETA) (Chardonnay) – A saison with some pineapple flavor and basil that was very yummy. With a 7.6% ABV and 31 IBU, this beer was a little stronger than my usual, but I bought a pint.
- Yesterday’s Weather – This beer was listed on the menu as a “wheat wine.” Apparently that is fancy for “double.” When I tried it, I was knocked over by how strong it smelled and tasted. The beer on tap was instead the Barrel Aged Yesterday’s Weather (9 Year Buffalo Trace Rye) which I would not have ordered since I don’t care for the bourbon flavor added by barrel aging.
- Flapjack County Maple Breakfast Stout – While I’m not a huge fan of stouts, I do like maple flavor! This stout has a 6% ABV but there was a smoky flavor to it that I did not enjoy.
We also sampled:
Charlietown Trail Ale – Named after the brewery dog, Charlie, this American pale ale was a good American pale ale with a 5% ABV and 25 IBU.
Hibiscus Living – A saison/farmhouse ale with a 5.5% ABV and 28 IBU. While I really like saisons, after my Hibiscus experience at Dieu du Ciel! [link] this summer, I was afraid to try a “flowery” saison. Levante did a nice job of not overpowering the base with the hibiscus and it really tasted good.
Towards the end of our visit Andi, our main bartender, convinced me to try Supernumerary and I wish I had tried that one earlier! This New England pale ale has a 5.5% ABV and 31 IBU. Because of the hops they used, you get hints of orange and pear that reminded me of my favorite wheats. Note to self – don’t be afraid to ask the bartender for recommendations!
The only food available are packets of jerky. Food trucks rotate on a steady basis, allowing lots of options for hungry patrons. There are plenty of tables, both inside and outside. I saw several workplace groups getting together for happy hour and this is so much better than a restaurant!
If you want to bring your four-legged friend with you, the website lets you know that they need to stay outside. Dogs can happily hang out with you at the outside tables while you enjoy some of this brewery’s craft beers. The outdoor tables are in an asphalted area – similar to a parking lot or driveway – by the front door.
I didn’t see any types of games at the original location, so while I saw one child there, I’m not sure how fun it would be for them to hangout while the adults are drinking. And the outside area is not appropriate for playing since cars can drive by.
Their WiFi was password protected. These days, I’m a little paranoid about someone hijacking my phone’s apps. I did not try it to see what the speed response was like but generally, password protected sites are more responsive.
I also admired their use of Untappd in a way I haven’t seen before. They use the digital beer menu from Untappd but with settings I haven’t seen before. For example, next to each craft beer, a small logo was visible for their mainstay beers. Next to each name, the Untappd score showed. The most fun part for me was that at the bottom of the screen where Untappd check ins with comments popped up. I did a few check-ins without comments and those did not show up on the screen. At one point, Allan and I were trying to see if we could “control” the board and I shouted “bingo” when we had all four spots. Yes, we’re dorks!
AND SOMETHING SPECIAL
I’ve also got to give a big shoutout for the staff here. Yes, we have had friendly and interesting bartenders before, but there was something unique about the three working at Levante on this particular Thursday night. Andi started us off and she was familiar with the regulars. Another bartender placed the beer in our flight from lightest to heaviest, which is something I see done frequently.
When Allan questioned whether Yesterday’s Weather was barrel aged, the third bartender asked one of the brewers. She then let Andi know. I loved that Andi poured herself a sample and tasted it to see if that was true. After approaching one of the brewers, she then set about to change the listing on Untappd to accurately reflect what they were serving. Bonus points for the fast response!
I’m so excited by the improvements at this craft beer locale that I can’t wait to see how they continue to morph over the next few years!
If you’re in the Chester area outside Philadelphia, be sure to make a stop at Levante Brewing! And while you’re in the area, check out these nearby microbreweries: Kennett Brewing, Dew Point Brewing and East Branch Brewing.
Annick, The Common Traveler