The Other Farm Brewery will reopen in July as a full restaurant with a new name — The Other Farm and Forge. The venue temporarily closed for renovations in late March.
After a few years of operation following a brew pub model, the brewery’s management team decided it needed to add a food dimension, according to co-owner Hank Frecon.
“We struggled for a while to find the right model. What are we going to do? We didn’t want to be just a pub grub kind of thing and we didn’t want to just put charcuterie on the menu — which we had some of that and we had some sandwiches, but we really didn’t have a full menu and a kitchen,” Frecon said.
They began looking at what kinds of food they can do that aren’t already being represented in the area and focus on it. He said what they’ve landed on is not ultra-high end and it’s also not traditional pub grub.
“We kind of looked at what’s going on in some of the cities and we really have locked into sort of a gastro-type theme,” he added.
The Other Farm and Forge will be a gastro pub. Frecon says it especially means there will be more of a gastronomic flare to cuisine they’re coming out with.
“It’s still the kind of thing you’d expect to have in a traditional brew pub environment, but with a farm-to-table locally sourced gastronomic focus to it,” he said.
The Other Farm’s menu featured Panini sandwiches, soups, a few small plates, and gourmet beverages through the coffee shop.
“This positions us more in line with a full menu. You can come in, you can bring the kids, you can make a reservation, you can get served and there’s also still the self-service model up in the front.”
With the expansion comes a new name, The Other Farm and Forge. Frecon said the “forge” part has been added to tie in with the nearby train operation which follows the old iron forge line.
The iron forge idea will be represented with the menu options and design. Many of the menu options will be served in a cast iron skillet, sharing plates and small plates, and the design that has been chosen will make visitors feel like they’re back in time.
“We built a wood fire pizza oven from scratch,” said Frecon, explaining how they will be using a variety of hard woods, like apple and hickory, from the orchard and surrounding landscape. “We’re going with an open kitchen concept so the whole area is going to be designed like the workings of the iron forge in the kitchen.”
Beyond the kitchen — the bar will also see some changes.
“We’re adding a lot more depth to the bar,” said Frecon, adding that the location will increase its tap lines by 20 to bring the total to 28 tap lines. There were originally 8 tap lines. The back bar will also be expanded to include a line of Pennsylvania spirits.
These changes come along with the team’s efforts to expand its brewing capacity and a partnership with the Allentown-based Birthright Brewing Company.
Eight of the tap lines will be dedicated to hard cider. “We’re really going to be focusing a lot on getting people to understand more about the apple and Frecon orchards through the cider lines,” Frecon added.
There will be a special aspect to the new location — the team has taken an apple tree out of the orchard and they’ve built tap lines right into it.
“We’ll pour cider right out of the apple tree,” Frecon explained. He said he’s never seen a tap tree before, and that tap will strictly feature ciders from Frecon orchards.
When it comes to entertainment — the focus will be shifted and expanded a bit. Some of the shows will be geared towards a dinner hour format, such as conversational jazz. After dinner, there will be shows for late night activity. The stage has been relocated and rebuilt.
“Essentially, we’re now going to be a full blown restaurant and full bar,” said Frecon. “We really want to use this opportunity to showcase a lot of the local artisan products in the area.”
The Other Farm and Forge won’t be holding a big grand opening event, but will instead ease into the process — opening around early July.
“It’s been a long time coming. I think Boyertown is evolving at a pace where it makes sense for us to be doing this,” Frecon added. He mentioned neighboring Durango’s Saloon, Iezzi’s Tavern, and Firefly Café as others making an effort to keep up with the changes of downtown.
“It’s time for everybody to step up and put a bigger foot forward.”