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Liberty Ale House

Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Beer

Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Beer
In Southeast PA, the Liberty family of bars have become synonymous with good beer. Following in the footsteps of Tavern on Liberty in Allentown and Liberty Taproom in Reading, Liberty Ale House in Shillington already had the recipe for success. Heady Times talked with co-owner Tony Reber to get the scoop on opening his third (and the upcoming fourth) location. 
Heady Times (HT): How did you get into this business? 
Tony Reber (TR): I co-own Liberty Ale House, Tavern on Liberty in Allentown and Liberty Taproom in Reading with my parents, Sherry and Greg Russoli. Tavern on Liberty in Allentown was our original location, and as business grew there, my parents approached me about opening more locations in this area. We hope to have our fourth location, Liberty at Dryville, which will be housed in the former Dryville Hotel, open by the end of the year. 
HT: What on the menu sells well? 
TR: Each location has a different menu. Each is a mix of traditional bar food and some higher-end gastro pub-style food. All three locations are known for their wings, and the lobster grilled cheese sells well here. The menus rotate every season, so what sells well right now might not be the same in a few months. 
HT: How have you shown customers that Liberty Ale House is a place they can rely on for great beer? 
TR: We started out specializing in craft beer because we had a malt beverage license and not a whole liquor license. When we opened Liberty Taproom, the craft beer culture in this area was prominent, so the business model was built off the Allentown location. We look for what’s trending and what people are seeking out, and order accordingly. 
HT: The décor in here is very unique. What was your inspiration? 
TR: I took a lot of inspiration from Philly and other bigger cities. I wanted to bring a “big city” vibe to Reading. The antique lighting and industrial fixtures are made by local artists John Addieo and Jeff Press, respectively. 
HT: What sets you apart from other establishments and contributed to your success? 
TR: Above and beyond the craft beer, I think our dedication to providing an inviting atmosphere, having a friendly staff and being consistent with food and service sets us apart.
HT: How has Origlio helped your business? 
TR: Some of the best-selling products are from Origlio. Customer service has always been consistently fantastic, and they’re always willing to help with coasters and other extras for the bar. • 1501 Lancaster Ave., Reading • 610-370-7895