Yardley is a dreadfully boring town. The most rowdy place on Main Street was the Wawa mostly because teenagers had nowhere else to hang out and spend their parents money within a short bike ride’s distance. There used to be one other bar in town that was suitable for the younger crowd because the Yardley Inn doesn’t exactly draw the attention of the twenty to thirty-somethings looking for a good beer and the Country Club, well, let’s just say that only attracts country club people. So, when Vault Brewing Company – cordially known in town as “the Vault” – opened last fall, the town was in for an overhaul and a treat that would not disappoint any of the locals.
The Vault keeps things unique in three different ways. First is the name. Why is it named Vault? The brew pub is actually located in the old historic banks in town. The great part about the location is that they used the old bank design in the restaurant design and the actual old bank vault featured in the back of the bar. Old bank notes are used in some of the wall art around the place as well.
Second is the food. Sure, you expect good food when you go to a restaurant, but if you go to the Vault simply for the beer, then you’re really missing out big time. They source their foods from local farms in the Yardley area which is great to see in an area that is driven by chains. The Vault pumps out creative dishes and just about anything that can come out of a wood-fire oven.
A staple of just about any of my visits to the Vault is the buffalo brown sugar flat bread. Yes, buffalo brown sugar. It’s a delicious blend of prosciutto, buffalo sauce and just enough caramelized brown sugar spots to cut the heat of the buffalo sauce. The thin crust keeps the flat bread from getting too filling leaving plenty of room for the all-important third aspect.
Finally and certainly not forgotten is, well, you know, the beer. The delicious craft brewed beer. And the Vault has it all. Light and dark, Big hops and big body. Fruity and sweet. Their beers embody the same kind of creativity that goes into their food. Throughout the summer, the Vault ran an Aussie series of ales using full flower hops shipped straight from the source in Australia. They claim to be the first to use whole Aussie hop flowers in America.
I have had a variety of their beers and I have not had one that disappointed. They serve their beers from tap, cask, and nitro depending on the beer. Personally, I’m a sucker for a nice dark stout on nitro and their version was creamy and flavorful. They have also had a mocha stout which had a rich coffee flavor and was a great beer to end a meal. My only regret is not having been around with they had an imperial stout.
My favorite beers for the Vault, though, are their IPAs. I love deep bold flavors in my beer which is why I like stouts and bold, hoppy IPAs. As someone that has dabbled in homebrewing myself, I enjoy their IPAs because they all have a distinct flavor between the citrus-heavy hops, the more bitter plant-heavy hops, and everything in between. I remember the first time I took a sip of one that I could really tell the beer was dry-hopped and it felt like a personal brewing milestone for me. Also, the Vault is certainly not afraid to go bold with their IPA alcohol content with some pushing 7%, 8%, 9%. The best part about the high alcohol is that it’s subtle and not overpowering in the beer, tasting just like any other IPA.
Besides the hometown affinity that I have for the Vault, there is one wildcard that the place holds with me as a student of business. The Vault is very effective with social media. Active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the Vault has quickly and organically grown an engaged follower base that shares in the excitement for new beer releases and the daily food specials. Being active on social media and working on a business’ social media (a business that may be a little behind on the Internet times) portfolio myself, it is very refreshing to see a business that truly gets it.
If it is any indication for the future as the Vault moves closer to their one year anniversary, the first two places that I wrote about (Outer Banks Brewing Station and Weeping Radish Farm Brewery) have both been featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with the always entertaining Guy Fieri. The Vault is unique and it’s really a city concept transported to the suburbs. A risky move indeed, the risk has paid off as Vault Brewing Company is transforming the once boring town of Yardley into a place where people want to go and hang out. Move over Wawa, you’re no longer the big draw on Main Street.