The owners of Liberty Taproom revere the art of brewing—so much so that they've turned their establishment into a sort of beer museum, filled with framed pictures and steins emblazoned with microbrew brands. American craft and Belgian beers are prominent throughout the 32 taps and more than 500 bottle selections. If the beer menu gets overwhelming, Liberty's staff will happily make recommendations, whether you want to try a beer at the bar or get a mix-and-match six pack of some of the beers for takeout service. As you sip a beer or enjoy some of the restaurant’s creative gastropub fare, you’re encouraged to shoot pool, kick back on the patio, or watch favorite sports teams on the flat-screen televisions.
At MMAXOUT Fitness, certified trainers fuse high-impact circuit workouts with the punishing training techniques of MMA fighters. A sample class might find students transitioning from slicing upper cuts through the air to dropping down and pounding out mountain climbers and muay thai elbow strikes against a pad on the ground. Each week focuses on a different muscle group, helping participants build a balanced, toned body. Instructors challenge their students to dig deep, leading the charge through vocal shouts of encouragement and silent yet stirring kabuki movement pieces.
The Sovereign Performing Arts Center has been a part of Reading since 1870, and has played many roles in that time. Built as a market, with a Masonic Temple on the upper floors and a bird university on the roof, it soon became the Academy of Music. Then, in 1917, the Rajah Shriners purchased the facility and turned it into a venue for vaudeville, motion pictures, and live appearances, laying the foundation for its current incarnation. Decades later, the Berks County Convention Center Authority purchased the Rajah Theater and treated it to a $7 million renovation, including a new air-conditioning system and more comfortable seating.
Taking up three studios inside the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, Berks Ballet Theatre Conservatory of Dance teaches ballet, tap, jazz, and modern dance to students aged 3 and older. Each rung up the conservatory ladder features more responsibility for students and more technique-based training from owner Nathan Bland and his staff. Once students reach Ballet 3 or higher, they can try out for performances at the Berks Ballet Theatre, a pre-professional theater that has been orchestrating performances, such as its annual Nutcracker performance, since 1976.
In the 1930s, Prohibition-era bootlegger Max Hassel was blacklisted by a Pennsylvania country club due to his illicit wheeling-and-dealing?so he took matters into his own hands. Hassel commissioned Sir Robert White, a renowned Scottish course designer, to craft a 9-hole course on his Robeson Township estate, where no one could deny him access. Though it's received several upgrades since its original construction, the 2,934-yard, par 36 course still bears the characteristics of links-style golf, with intricately contoured greens, deep bunkers, and blotches of thick rough that punish inaccurate play.
At Bowl-O-Rama, the old-school sport finds favor with every age group. For kids, bumper lanes and leagues elevate sportsmanship to the same level of importance as hand-eye coordination. For teens, Saturday-night Rock-N-Bowl combines the thumping beats and lights of a club with a wholesome evening of strikes and spares. And for adults, regular open-bowl hours or leagues offer the beloved pastime whenever the alley is open.