The Poconos: Battle of the Breweries + Where Else To Eat!

Happy Travel Tuesday my loves! This post feels like it’s been WEEKS in the making. I’ve been so excited to share it with you, but life happened. So it feels SO GOOD to finally get this post up for you!!

Today, I’m here to talk about my favorite subject. FOOOOD. If you don’t know me personally you might not know but I really love to eat. It’s kind of my favorite hobby. (JK. Sort of.) Every time we travel one of the first things I do is look up the best places to eat. And I ALWAYS choose at least one brewery and one sandwich shop.

So you can imagine how ecstatic I was when I found out that there was a secret sandwich shop that serves up some of the heart sammies in ALL of PA and multiple breweries in the heart of The Poconos.

When we chose two of the breweries to eat at for dinner we 100% didn’t mean to put them up on the blog as a battle of the breweries. But there was a clear winner between the two and while sitting there drinking some seriously delicious beers under a TERRIFYING flying corpse nun (we were there just before Halloween) The Poconos: Battle of the Breweries was born.


Weighing in at… HAHA I won’t do that to you. although I think it’s be hilarious. Today we’re talking about two breweries in The Poconos: Pocono Brewery Company and Barley Creek Brewing. With both breweries claiming to be the best in the Poconos, it was super hard not to compare. We “judged” them based on 5 categories: The Location, The Service, The Atmosphere, The Beer, The Food.

And just to get this out there, I’d like to apologize in advance for the lack of photos! The lighting was horrible in both places. We were really trying to take some time away from everything and just spend time together.

The Locations

FYI Because The Poconos is SO spread out, the location of one might be better than the other so,he based on where you are staying.

Pocono Brewery Company. You’ll find Pocono Brewery Company in Swiftwater, PA. It’s just a quick little jog off the free way. It’s easy to find and right on the main road. To me, the building doesn’t look like I’d imagine a brewery to look. It’s like a massive log cabin that’s destined to look like a chain restaurant. Does that make any sense? It just didn’t have the brewery look to it that we were expecting.

Barley Creek Brewing Company. Barley Creek calls Tannersville, PA home. This one is a little bit further off the highway. This brewery is impressive from the second you pull up. If you come in the the same way we did, it looks small… until you turn the corner and see that you’ll see just how big Barley Creek truly is. They have a crazy cute Pint Size Park and Beer Garden that is open in the summer as well.

The Winner: Poconos Brewery Company had an easy to access location, and was closer to our hotel. However, we liked the location and looks of Barley Creek Better.

The Service

I HATE calling out the service at restaurants. I know what it’s like to be a waitress and I know how hard it can be to keep up with customers demands on busy nights. And I can honestly say we had decent service st both restaurants. However, we Had two completely different experiences at these breweries and I really think it was the staff at one that made all the difference.

Poconos Brewery Company. We walked in to the brewery and were greeted by a very friendly man instantly. We were seated right away in the back room. This room seemed to be like a banquet hall/concert venue? I’m really not sure how to explain it. It was huge and we were the only people sat back there near the wait staff who was rolling silverware. Our waitress was friendly and really knowledgeable. She gave us recommendations of her favorite drinks and food. Our drinks and food came out quickly.

Barley Creek Brewing. When we pulled up to Barley Creek the parking lot was PACKED so we knew we would have a bit of a wait. The hostess told us it would be about an hour, but directed us to a back bar where we could grab a drink while we waited. The bar tender was super friendly and gave us all sorts of taste tests before we decided on beers. He got to know us and even gave us coasters to take home after he found out we like to collect them. Our hour went by fast and we were seated at a cozy table in the main room. Our server was insanely busy, but he never once made us feel like he had forgotten about us. Our food came out super fast for it being so busy and our beers were always kept full.

Winner: Barley Creek.

The Atmosphere

Poconos Brewery Company. When we walked into Poconos Brewery Company, it wasn’t what we expected. It just didn’t feel like a brewery. After doing a little research, we found out that this brewery was recently bought by new owners. And that the people who owned it before didn’t actually brew beer. So maybe we caught them during this change over process, which is why it didn’t feel like a brewery to us. Like I mentioned above, we were also sat in the back room, so maybe we didn’t get the full experience. To me, this place felt more like an Italian restaurant than a brewery.

Barley Creek. We were in the Poconos a few weeks before Halloween and this place goes ALL OUT for the holiday. I mean, from the zombie nuns and clowns flying across the ceiling to the creepy table set out for the dead skeleton, there wasn’t a single Halloween detail they missed. However, set aside the the Halloween decor and you’re left with a really chill brewery filled with friendly locals and tourists alike.

Seriously… ALL.OUT.

Winner: Barley Creek. (Simply because when I go to a brewery I expect to get a certain vibe from it. And I got that vibe from Barley Creek.)

The Food

Poconos Brewery Company. We heard the wood fire pizza at Poconos Brewery was amazing and guys… it was! We also ordered mozzarella sticks that were literally the biggest mozzarella sticks I’ve ever seen. In fact, I thought maybe they brought us deep friend pickles instead. Our dinner was delicious and we really enjoyed it!


Barley Creek. You guys… I ate the best appetizer I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. They were just Garlic Knots but holy crap were they delicious! They are served in a cast iron skillet with a smoked gouda and fontina cheese sauce, drizzled with tomato sauce. I was trying to find them on their menu and couldn’t, but I think it’s because I remember them only being available after 4 pm. So if you go and you don’t see them on the menu, ask about them because they were seriously so yummy! We even considered stopping by on our way home the next day to get another order for the drive. HAHA Our main meals were delicious too. I had the Brewer’s Burger (wild choice, I know) and Trev tried the Shrimp Tacos at the recommendation of our server and loved them.

Winner: Barley Creek for the best Garlic Knots in the history of America.

The Beer

Being from Michigan, we really enjoy our craft beer. (I mean, we went to college in Beer City, USA.) So we’re pretty picky about what we like. (#beersnobs) We liked the beer at both locations, but we preferred the beer at Barley Creek.

Overall, Barley Creek was our winner. In fact, we loved it there so much more it wasn’t even a contest.

Looking for another really great place to eat in The Poconos? Try the Shawnee General Store! I’d heard this was THE place to grab food if you’re spending the day hiking in the Delaware Water Gap. And ya’ll. It’s so true! My sandwich was delicious and bigger than my head! We ate in the store, but you can grab your sandwich to go making for the most perfect picnic food in PA.

I had their Italian and it was wonderful! I took half home with me.

Have you been to The Poconos? Where is your favorite place to eat?

Looking for other great things about the The Poconos? Check out my previous posts below!

The Poconos 

Hiking The Poconos (Mt. Tammany Summit)

The Poconos City Guide

Chasing Waterfalls Across The Poconos

Jim Thorpe: The Most Charming Small Town In Pennsylvania

Alright friends. My work day isn’t done yet. (We have a meeting tonight. Ugh.) Fingers crossed it goes by fast and I get out before the snow storm hits! Have a great rest of you Tuesday everyone! I’ll be back tomorrow!


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