Try not so swoon, but Ron’s Original Bar & Grille has 200 bottled beers available plus 20 beers on tap. Never mind, go ahead and swoon.
While manager Tom Mastronardo is quick to cite the collaboration with his fellow managers and bartenders, it was Tom who first approached owner Ron Inverso about tracking down a specific beer request for a customer. Ron, being customer-focused and then some, dispatched Tom to research the beer and pre-approved the purchase of up to five cases. Like a kid in a candy store, Tom eyed the beer distributor’s inventory and reluctantly brought back only five cases.
That first foray occupied one shelf in Ron’s Original’s beer cooler. Positive customer feedback grew, leading to an entire door of craft beer or microbrews. Then two doors, then three doors. When the renovations took place a few years back, the cooler was expanded to offer today’s vast specialty beer offerings.
And that’s all kinds of awesome.
It’s also the reason Ron’s Original has its well-earned reputation for taking requests and bringing in such a wide variety of tasty brews.
“Back then was the peak of craft beer hitting the scene,” Tom noted. “Ron is open to suggestions and changes, so it was a mix of different breweries and beer bars popping up, better craft beer offerings and our crowd’s requests that kept us building that beer list.”
OK beer lovers, you’d better sit down. All 200 beers are available at the bar and to go, and the 20 draft beers are available in growlers to go. In short, you have 220 beers from which to choose whether you belly up or hit the road. Careful, you’re swooning again.
And while it must be tough for Tom and his colleagues to do all that “research” (read: tasting), Tom doesn’t bring in anything he hasn’t first personally tried. He strives to make sure there’s a variety on tap and in bottles, and assures you’ll always find old stand-bys like IPA, wheat beer, stout and porter alongside the bigger name, less crafty, yet still popular brands.
“Everyone has individual tastes, and our customers know we care about what they want,” Tom said. “The research alone could be a full-time job because I don’t just taste it, I check it out online and in publications to get the latest buzz.”
Both Tom and Ron note their bartenders are in the know (one is a home brewer) and are ready and able to assist customers who want to try something new. Curious beer lovers may snag a short taste of any draft free before they buy, and beer flights are available for purchase, a great way to mix it up.
So how does this communications major from West Chester University describe the vibe at Ron’s Original’s bar? “Laid back; if you have an attitude, leave it at the door.” After 11 year’s with Ron’s Original, Tom describes it as the perfect fit for him, a guy whose first Chimay turned his head and who then started making friends mixed cases for Christmas. Visits to beer bars, brewery tours, tastings and the rest is history.
It would take a second article to cover the extensive bar specials, but in short: there’s a deal pretty much every day of the week. Sure, there’s Happy Hour Monday to Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 pm featuring $1 off drafts, $4 specialty martinis, and half-priced wings, ovals and mussels, and a $6 bar menu after happy hour until close, but there’s also specials during Phillies and Flyers games, for those in the restaurant/bar business, and unusual pairings like Pizza & Peroni Mondays. Click here for what’s hot.
And don’t forget no-cover live music and dancing on Fridays and Saturdays. Plus special events. On the run? Mix a six and get $1 off each bottle. You can even buy gifts at Ron’s, such as a beer bucket with a glass and six beers, or brewery-specific gift packs. How about the entire Ron’s menu as take-out or delivery (within a four mile radius)? Catering? Yes, got that too. Seems like you’ll need a R.O.C.K. card (Ron’s Original Customer Klub) to earn some swag for all the trips you’ll be making to this local gem.
Ron’s Original Bar & Grille is located at 74 E Uwchlan Ave (Route 113 just north of Route 100) Exton, PA 19341 . Visit them online for more updates at ronsoriginal.com, on Facebook by clicking here, and on Twitter by clicking here. Plus, they even have an iPhone app, available by clicking here.
Photographs credited to Nina Lea Photography and Amy Strauss.