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The Beer Circle » Bars, Restaurants » Flannery’s Tavern on the Square in Mercersburg, PA

Flannery’s Tavern on the Square in Mercersburg, PA

“Never Graduate.” More than a simple catchphrase – it represents a mindset.  A state of being.  It’s not an inability to let go – it’s a celebration of the good times had during one’s undergraduate career.  After graduating from The Pennsylvania State University and starting their careers in Washington DC, Garrett and Russ often find themselves using nearly any excuse they can find to take a trip back to State College, PA. Easily bored by interstate routes, however, Garrett often opts to take a more direct route from Northern Virginia, straight up through the hills, valleys, and small towns of Central Pennsylvania.

Mercersburg, PA is one of these small towns. Garrett’s choice route takes him directly through the center of Mercersburg, which is where Flannery’s Tavern on the Square is located. Garrett’s interest in the place was originally piqued by the town and pub’s quaint outward appearance, and it wasn’t until several passes by later that he decided to do some research on the place. He had no idea that they had roughly 18 taps at any given point in time, truly remarkable for such a small venue. Reservations are strongly suggested for dining as seating is limited, lending itself to a very personal, intimate kind of atmosphere.  Garrett was resolute – he had to check it out.

Finally, on their most recent trip, he and Russ made a stop.

Outside Flannery's Tavern on the Square

Outside Flannery's Tavern on the Square

Upon entering, they were immediately greeted by a cordial hostess, who inquired if they had reservations.   They did not, but asked if bar seating was available, which fortunately was (barely), and they proceeded to sit.

Bar Area

Bar Area

The bartender (Garrett and Russ regret not getting her name at the time) was friendly and helpful, and quick to take Garrett and Russ’ drink orders.  Garrett grabbed himself an imperial pint of Lancaster Milk Stout (which he kicked the keg with), while Russ chose the Founder’s Breakfast Stout for his first brew.  Both were generously-poured, and reasonably priced.

Tap List

Tap List

 

More Taps than Seats

More Taps than Seats

After the Lancaster Milk Stout was kicked, it was replaced with a truly interesting selection with neither had seen before: Spring House Wet Paint Belgian Guava Ale.  Prior to departing, Russ got himself a half pour-size glass, pictured below. (As a side note, the willingness of this establishment to provide half-pours of beers at a reduced price is fantastic, particularly for travelers.) Dark, opaque, and almost muddy in appearance, the styling of this as a “Belgian” guava ale rather than a typical fruit beer added a lot of complexity to this selection.  In the end, Russ (and Garrett) were both glad to have had an opportunity to try this, but probably wouldn’t seek it out again.

Spring House Wet Paint Belgian Guava Ale

Spring House Wet Paint Belgian Guava Ale

For the regulars, Flannery’s offers a “Mug Club” which carries its share of unique benefits, including some fantastic specials on varying nights of the week.  These mugs hang atop the bar (reminiscent of a classier Phyrst, for the State College crew), and I imagine it’d be great to stroll in here any given Tuesday after work and enjoy a quality meal and inexpensive bew.

Mugs Hang from the Ceiling

Mugs Hang from the Ceiling

As for the food, the menu is not inexpensively-priced, but is loaded with premium food selections.  While a $26 salmon dish would surely have been delectable, it wasn’t what was on our travelers’ minds at the time.  Instead both opted for the more conservatively-priced “Mercersburger”, substituting perfectly-grilled asparagus for the fries.  There’s something to be said for being (somewhat) healthy, right?  The burger was well-prepared and satisfying, but for a future visit, making reservations and trying some of the more premium fare would be an excellent idea.

Next time these guys are passing through, they’ll probably make a stop again. If either Garrett or Russ still lived in a small town such as Mercersburg, a place like Flannery’s would be a real gem.

Flannery's Tavern on the Square

Flannery's Tavern on the Square Sign

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Written by Garrett Miller and Russ Beck

Garrett brings a somewhat different perspective on beer to the table. While always thrilled to try any new, exotic brew that finds itself his way, Garrett finds that he's often quite satisfied with reliable, common craft choices. As such, Garrett is a fan of trying and reviewing these (admittedly less expensive) beers, and using them to introduce the exciting, flavorful world of craft beer to those not-yet-acquainted. Garrett’s favorite styles are IPAs and bourbon stouts, but won’t turn his nose up at anything. Find Garrett Miller on Google Plus

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