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Reviews on PubCrawler from wt
Other Reviews by this User
December 22, 2014 @ 12:47 PM EDT
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Beer Reviews

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Beer Reviews from wt

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Average Rating
Beer Quality
Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good Good Good

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
So So So So So So So So So So

Establishment: Orlando Ale House, Orlando, FL

What in the world does the fact that this place is located in Florida have to do with the pathetic number of ales. Ale is part of the name!!! And while I appreciate that AB/SAB Miller/Coors Molson is mostly crap, Rolling Rock and esp. Foster's isn't that much better.

It is clear our tastes differ. Enjoy the OAH. I'll head up the road to the Cricketer Arms for some decent food and ale (incl. cask cond.) served at proper temps.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great Good Good Good

Establishment: Skagit River Brewing Company, Mount Vernon, WA

Decided to try this place on the way home from Vancouver (two minutes off I-5, exit 226) during the holiday weekend (7/2).

They had a half dozen beers available. I tried the Yellowjacket Plae Ale and the Sculler's IPA. The Yellowjacket was a nice English style bitter -- well balanced. A good session beer at 3.5% ABW (yes, the quote by weight). The Sculler's was stronger (7% ABW) and hoppier. Both very nice.

I had the Turkey Melt, served on toasted rye, which was very satisfying. I particularly liked the honey horseradish coleslaw.

They also have a pleasant outdoor seating area.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good Great Great N/A

Establishment: Yaletown Brewing Company, Vancouver, BC

Despite my previous comments, I did revisit Yaletown for lunch on 6/29.

I retried the Bavarian style wheat beer. It was much nicer and flavorful than my previous visit. Also tried teh Nut Brown and the IPA. The IPA is balanced with a mild hoppiness. The Brown was a traditional English style -- malty with subtle sweetness. Also tried a Belgian Grand Cru which was a little disappointing. Obviously used Belgian yeast, but the flavor was evident early to the nose, but vanished quickly on the tongue.

I enjoyed a nice Tuna Salad Nicoise. Nice chunks of rare tuna with a lightly dressed greens, potatoes, green beans.

The bartender was very knowledgeable and clearly passionate about beer. Tipped me off to a couple of other beers to try while in town. He even went so far as to arrange a little tour of their brewing facilities with their brewer.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good Great Good Good

Establishment: Brugge Brasserie, Indianapolis, IN

Tried this place out over the USGP weekend (6/17). In addition to the three ales mentioned previously, they also had a pilnsner and a framboise.

The pilsner was a nice crisp, clean lager. The Abbey was more like an English brown ale. Sampled my friend's framboise -- very sweet. Not a big lambic drinker so I'm not sure how it compares in style. The Blonde was my favorite -- nicely spiced and unfiltered. Very nice attempt at the style.

Food is mostly crepes. Had the moules et frites. The P.E.I. mussels were nicely flavored. The fries are served in a traditional cone. The dipping sauces were very nice.

Look forward to returning on a future trip.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Awesome! Good Great Great

Establishment: T.H. Brewster's, Los Angeles, CA

This is a unique find if you are in teh LA area -- even if you have a layover at LAX. It's a little bar in the Four Points by Sheraton LAX hotel (they have a shuttle).

The place has about five or six taps, but the gold is in their bottled selection. They have an above average selection of Belgians -- Achel, Delerium Tremens, Deus, Westmalle, Affligem triple, etc. Also have good English and German selections and various selections from around the world. In total, I'm guessing about 60-75. And, for most beers, they have the proper glassware from the breweies.

The downside is that most of the more exotic ales are over chilled. Apparently LA County health codes require perishable items like beer to be refrigerated at 38ยบ or below. So you have to nurse your beer and wait for it to come up to temperature to fully enjoy properly.

Food in the bar is mostly appetizers and tapas. The fish tacos were very tasty.

All of the beers offered in Brewsters are also available in the main restaurant - Palm Grill. They are even supposed to have a beer sommelier which will pair beer recommedations with the meal you order.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good So So Great So So Good

Establishment: San Pedro Brewing Company, San Pedro, CA

Gonna buck the overall trend here. Given all the positive reviews I visited SPBC with high anticipation. And walked away a little disappointed.

First, they have four beers on their everyday menu -- Hefewezen, Bitter, Pale Ale and Red Ale. The day I visited (6/5/05) they were out of both the hefe and the Bitter -- sadly the two in which I was most interested. Said differently, they were out of half of their everyday offerings! Something's not right there. Additionally, they had a Dunkel. interesting that teh last poster also noted they were out of the Bitter. There seems to be poor planning on somebody's part.

I first tried the Pale Ale. It was nice, with mild hoppy finish, but reasonably well balanced with malt. Made me wonder how differ it was from the Bitter. Not very experienced with Dunkels, so I'll withhold my comments on it.

I had the grilled salmon sandwich, which includes grilled vegatables and pesto aoli on sourdough bread, and a side of cole slaw. The sandwich was tasty. With the grilled veggies, it was a reasonably healthy offering (somewhat offset by the aoli, which I'm sure you could get on the side). The slaw was respectable, but not as tangy as I like.

As for the service, it was confusing. There were two people that seemed to be serving the limited outside area I chose and both worked all the tables. One was slow-to-indifferent and one was attentive and quick without hovering. Had to flag one down to order food, but he was very accomodating when I did. So, like most places, it depends on the server -- clearly no consistency.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good N/A Lousy So So

Establishment: McMenamins Highland Pub and Brewery, Gresham, OR

Was staying in the area and thought I would give this place a try. First time at a Mc Menamins pub, and based on this experience, it could be my last.

It was a reasonably slow Thursday evening. I ordered a beer. I was asked if I had decided on food and state that I hadn't had a chance to look at the menu as I was deciding on the beer first.

Five minutes later, the beer came. I ordered a Ben's Better Bitter Brown Bear (nitro). Now, I'm not a big brown ale fan, but this one was rather nice. It had nice chocolate flavor and was rather smooth with a nice creamy head.

My beer was dropped off rather uncerimoniously. In fact, since I was behind a newspaper, I barely noticed it had been delivered. No, "here you are, sir. I'll be back to get your food order in a minute." With good reason, it seems.

Twenty-five minutes later, I had finished my beer (and another two sections of the paper) and, still the waitress had failed to stop by for a food order.

Needless to say, I walked. The best beer/food in the world couldn't offset the poor, inattentive service.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
So So Good So So So So So So

Establishment: Orlando Ale House, Orlando, FL

I understand that this place is catering to the masses. but if you label yourself an ale house, shouldn't you specialize in ALES? Out of about 30 taps, only about 8-9 were ales -- and many of those were the standard Guiness, Blue Moon, Sierra Nevada, etc. They did have Smithwicks and Tucher Hefe. The remainder were various versions of Bud/Miller/Coors and, for you "exotic" types, Stella.

I ordered a Smit'icks, which, naturally, confused the waitress. We sorted that out and she returned with an overly chilled pint. It took most of my meal to get it up to proper temp. so that I could actually enjoy it's flavors.

I tried the Mahi Mahi broiled. Can't put my finger on it, but it tasted off. Service was poorly timed. My entree came while I was still working on my my Conch Chowder. Then, getting the check took way too long. Meanwhile, I witness 2-3 staff lingering around the entrance chatting.

If you are a serious beer drinker, this place is not for you. If you want a large place, with plenty of cold Bud Light, sports on myriad TVs, pool tables, value-priced menu and indifferent service, this place is for you.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great Good Good Good

Establishment: Cricketers Arms, Orlando, FL

A nice English pub in the a mall. Four hand pumps. At this visit (4/25), I had cask conditioned Fuller's ESB and London Pride.

The fish and chips were nicely done, although nothing special.

They offer European soccer live. Watched the Champions League semi 1st round game.

Nice place to escape for a nice cask conditioned English ale in a land on mostly Bud/Coors/Miller.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
N/A Good N/A N/A N/A

Establishment: Northwest Brewhouse and Grill / Bear Creek Brewing Company, Redmond, WA

NOTE! This is no longer a brew pub. I went in today and the bartender told me it changed owners nine months ago. Interestingly the words brewpub are still pretty large outside the building.

I walked, but they did seem to have a respectable selection of beer, although about average for a NW pub.

This place may be worth a trip, but if you are expecting a brew pub, move on.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Good So So So So So So

Establishment: Waimea Brewing Company, Kirkland, WA

Go for the beer, not the food.

The previous poster is correct. The beer selection is among the best in Kirkland, however, that isn't a tall benchmark. They now have six of their own brews. Interestingly, they have knocked off 1-2 Boundary Bay brews. BB was (may still be) their contract brewer. I find it tacky that they displace a "valued" partner like that.

I am already on record as being luke warm about this establishment. I tried them one more time since someone mentioned a revised menu incl. fish tacos. I'm a fish taco devotee so I gave them one more chance. MISTAKE! The menu says they are made with corn tortilla, however, mine came with flour. They tried to pass them off as "white" corn, but my taste buds knew better. Each taco had two small pieces of fish that filled only half the tortilla. When I complained they replaced with smaller "yellow" corn tortilla. Unfortunately, these were greasy, partially fried and awful. Bottom line, these were the worse fish tacos I have ever tried. I'd go to a Baja Fresh any day for a better tasting fish taco at a better value.

Waimea Brewing, you have lost my business for good and have gained the worst word-of-mouth. As for a good fish taco, why don't you visit your partneres in Bellingham. You could learn a lot.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Great N/A Good Good

Establishment: Jack's Cannery Bar, San Francisco, CA

I've been to Jack's 3-4 times on my occasional trips to SF. This place strikes me as much novelty as it is anything else.

First, they promote 85 beers on tap, but I only counted 68 (11 of which are form the Big 3 domestic companies) -- and I checked all of the taps throughout the place.

They do have a range of styles. Most of the micro/craft brews are from the west coast. So those traveling from other parts of the country have an opportunity to explore.

The imports are weak. They occasionally have some Belgians on tap (Stella & Chimay Cinq Cent seem to be regulars), but they don't offer them in their proper glass styles. And they ice/chill their glasses -- not the sign of a serious beer place.

As for the ever present Jack, I met him once. I tried to talk to him about his import selection, but he seemed indifferent, answering with grunts or short responses.

All of this leads me to question whether there is truly a love for the beer or are the myriad taps more a novelty/gimmick for the tourists?


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Good Good Great Great

Establishment: John Harvard's Brew House, Cambridge, MA

Stopped by on a Sat. afternoon (12/11). tried the Belgian style Tripel called tripel Lindy. It was true to style. Flavor held up well throughout. I often find that US brewed tripels are disappointing and the flavor drops off as soon as it hits your tongue. Not so here. The porter was also nice - rich, chocolatey.

I had the meatloaf. It was okay -- part of it a little dry esp. if you run out of BBQ gravy. Good mashed potatoes and healthy portion of vegetables. Overall the portions were more than ample for $9.99. The porter was a good complement.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good Good So So Good

Establishment: Bloomington Brewing Company, Bloomington, IN

Visited BBC on 8/9/04 for dinner.

I had the Quarryman Pale (cask) and the Big Stone Stout (nitro). I have had the Pale before around town. It is a nice hoppy -- but not overly so -- beer that is very drinkable. On cask, at lower temperature, the malty quality came through and provided a nice balance to the hops bitterness (not true when not cask conditioned). The Stout was nice but nothing special. It had a nice choclate flavor, but lacked the rich complexity I prefer. Not much of a head.

The food is average pub fare. They really don't have a dinner menu to speak of - mostly salads, sandwiches, pasta and pizza. For dinner entrees, I'd go to Upland across town. The Roast Beef Dip I had was fine, although the au jus was extremely salty. Surprisingly, good was the Dijon cole slaw.

I was diasppointed in the service -- particularly the knowledge of the service staff. I asked the hostess that seated me what was on cask conditioned that evening. First, she didn't understand the term. When I explained, she said that she was under 21 and didn't know anything about the beer. Then, I asked the same question of my server. She also didn't understand the term (apparently they refer to it as on "hand pull"). When I explained, she said she didn't know and had to check. At risk of harping on this subject again, I find it extremely disappointing and frustrating that staff in a brew pub can't answer a simple question or understand standard beer terms. Does management take any time to train these people or do they seek people with an interest in or a love for beer? And why doesn't the staff inform themselves of what is on cask befor they come on shift? I later found the information posted on a blackboard in the bar area. It wasn't hard to know.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Good Great Good Great

Establishment: Upland Brewing Company, Bloomington, IN

I've been to Upland 3-4 times in the last year (Bloomington is the home of my alma mater).

I find many of their beers to be of good quality and loyal to their stules. Last trip, I particularly enjoyed the Weizen which is a German style hefe weizen with a slight tartness and hints of banana and cloves. Very true to the style.

Food has been very good. They have (or used to have) a nice hummus plate appetizer. This past trip I had the Classic Hoosier Pork Tenderloin. Unlike most places (esp. in cental Indiana) that have a packaged, frozen patty, this is the real deal -- pounded and lightly breaded. I also had the potato salad which is comprised of large pieces of red potato, very lightly dressed with red onions. It very light and a good alternative to the fries.

Service is generally good, if not occaionally slow.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Great Good Great Good

Establishment: Engine House Number 9, Tacoma, WA

This review will summarize two visits over the last three months.

E9 has about 20 or so taps, of which about eight are there own brews. Oddly enough, on my visit today (7/31), they had four fall/winter ale selections.

To their credit, E9 has tried to do a few Belgian styles. Unfortunatley they fall short. Their Saison lacked the floral nose expected of the style. It tasted more like a Tripel or a stronger Belgian golden ale. Not bad, but not a saison. And their Belgian wit was very pedestrain. It had a very slight citrus taste, but otherwise was rather insipid. Finally, the Oatmeal Stout, while the best of those I tried, was also disappointig. It started with a nice chocolate nose, but lacked the lucious creamy complexity of my favorite Oatmeal Stouts (Samuel Smith's, Boundary Bay in Bellingham, WA and Four Peaks in Tempe, AZ).

Both times I went for lunch and had the turket cranberry sandwich and the French Dip. Both were okay, but nothing to write home about. They give you the option of fires or a salad. They have a tasty honey mustard salad dressing -- I believe it had caraway seeds in it.



Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good Good Lousy Good

Establishment: Boundary Bay Brewery, Bellingham, WA

A third visit on the way back from Vancouver. This feedback mostly focuses on the service.

This time I went for dinner on a Monday night -- i.e. a slow, lazy summer evening. I originally planned on sitting in the regular dining area. However, after waiting for someone to seat me for five minutes, I gave up and sat in the "tap room". I guess they really meant it when their sign said "Please wait to be seated" (the key word being wait).

After another five minutes someone took my drink order. Now that was fine, but, for some reason, it took another ten minutes for the Best Bitter that I ordered to appear. Is it just me, or is that an excessively long time on a slow evening when I'm sitting twenty feet from the bar?

Then I ordered an Oatmeal Stout (a personal favorite). The waitress came back five minutes later to tell me that the Stout was out and "they" suggested a winter ale (forget the name). She couldn't describe it so she finally offered a sample. Now, again, perhaps I'm in the minority here, but I expect a server in a brew pub to be a) aware of what is available and, b) knowledgeable of the company's beers. Note to Boundary Bay management: Hire people that have an interest/passion for beer and/or train them properly before you expose them to customers.

Finally, the pork tacos were a poor cousin of the favored fish tacos.

I will return, but my next trip to Bellingham may take me to the Archer Ale House instead.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
So So Good So So So So So So

Establishment: Yaletown Brewing Company, Vancouver, BC

Made two trips to Yaletown Brewing during the Molson Indy and had two very different service experiences.

First, the beer. I would agree with Mr. Lester that their beers are rather insipid. I tired the Wheat, Red Brick bitter and the IPA (cask conditioned). All were drinkable, but rather simple and tame. The IPA had very low hoppiness. And the wheat had little evidence of the Bavarian hops/yeast they claimed.

On both trips I sat at the bar. On my first trip the service was very good despite the fact that it was extremely busy. There was one bartender who was supporting the table wait staff and she was worth watching. She was the queen of multi-tasking and earned every penny she made -- mixing drinks and serving beers. I get exhauted watching her. As for the food, I had the crab cake appetizer which was mostly breading and little crab.

The second visit I went back for dinner to try their Hunter Chicken. I sat at the bar for a good 5-10 minutes and the bartender did everything, except acknowledge my existence -- he cleaned glasses, chatted up a girl at the bar, etc. Needless to say I left.

While this place is extremely popular and is in a trendy neighborhood, I'm not sure it has much to do with the beer. As I sat at the bar watching the bartenders work, they were making a significant number of mixed drinks -- more than I have ever witnessed in a brewpub (50%+).

I have no reason to return based on these visits. I'll go back to Steamworks in Gastown.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Good Great Great Great

Establishment: Steamworks Brewing Company, Vancouver, BC

I returned to Steamworks for dinner while in town for the Molson Indy. I'm more in love with the place..

They were out of the Oatmeal Stout (despite a board that said it was on tap) so I tried the recommended Porter. It was very nice, unsually creamy with a nice malt (and a little chocolate?) flavor.

I paired it with the lamb tenderloin which was wonderful.

Forget Granville Island and Yaletown. This is the place to go.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great Great Good Great

Establishment: Boundary Bay Brewery, Bellingham, WA

The atmosphere is different depanding on wher you sit. The outdoor patio is pleasant during the summer. teh bar area is open and boisterous. The more "formal" (and I use that term loosely) is very cozy.

I only had two beers -- Best Biter (ESB) and Oatmeal Stout. The ESB is a nice hoppy bitter, but not overwhlemingly so. Very nice with spicier foods. The stout has a nice roasted chocolate flavor that I love -- nice dessert beer.

I had the fish tacos that were very nice -- close (for the NW) to the fish tacos I used to enjoy in Houston. Generous chuncks of fish with avocado, cabbage and a white sauce wrapped in two corn tortilla -- served with a nice (but, somewhat bland) rice and black beans.

This brew pub is worth the visit if you are in the area -- e.g. on your way to Vancouver/Whistler (just a couple miles off I5).


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Great Good Great Great

Establishment: Steamworks Brewing Company, Vancouver, BC

This was a pleasant surprise I stumbled upon while cathcing a jazz performance in Gastown.

There are some nice comfortable chairs to relax in with beautiful views of Coal Harbor/Burrard Inlet and the surrounding coastal mountains.

I tried three different ales -- hefe weizen, IPA and stout. The hefe was a nice Belgian-style wit. The IPA was the typical northwest-style (abundunt Cascade hops), but with slightly better malt balance. The stout was a dry stout with a nice roasted quality that got better as it warmed (I think they served it just a tad too cool).

I had a nice Asian saled with a nice balanced satay vinagrette.

I plan on returning during the Molson Indy weekend.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
So So So So So So Good So So

Establishment: Granville Island Brewing Company, Limited, Vancouver, BC

Nice place to stop for beer if you're on Granville Island, but not worth the visit as a destination by itself.

The day I visited they only had four brews available -- honey lager, hefe-weizen, maple creme ale and a "seasonal" nut brown ale. In my opinion that's a low number and poor variety for a brew pub.

I tried the sampler of all four. I found most to be rather pedestrian and simple - didn't have distinct taste finish.. The hefe was a decent attempt at a belgian-style wit, but I'd prefer a Hoegarden.

Food offerings are limited.

Save the trip to the Island. I prefered Steamworks in Gastown.



Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Good Good Great Good

Establishment: Claddagh Irish Pub, Indianapolis, IN

Our group stopped in after the Indy 500.

The beer selection was typical of an American Irish pub. I had a Smithwicks (which they had just placed on tap that week). It was served close to the proper temperature. I thought it was a tad pricey at $5 for a US pint.

I enjoyed the potato soup and the turkey/coleslaw sandwich. We shared a serving of their chips. Reminded me of a place near the Grand Canal in Dublin -- more like a roasted potato than traditional fries.

Service was good and attentive. Waiter was in good humor and dished it out right along with us.

I'd return.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great So So So So Good

Establishment: Taphouse Grill, Bellevue, WA

A return visit found the Fish & Chips to be disappointing (esp. the chips). Be sure to ask the size and price of the beer you order, because it can vary significantly. I've visited here 5-6 times, however a return visit is doubtful. This place is all flash and minimal substance.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
So So Good So So Good So So

Establishment: Waimea Brewing Company, Kirkland, WA

At my last visit they had four of their own beers plus several "guest" taps. I found their flagsjip Wai'ale'ale Ale to be very pedestrian and bland. The Napali Pale is a better choice -- more flavorful, yet nothing special. Since Boundary Bay is doing some of the brewing for their own beers, there are some BB brews on tap that are a better choice. Food is a little pricey. Their fries were different, but disappointing. And their unique slaw is tasty , but they offer an extremely small portion. Personaly, I miss the Roaster. It had an equal beer selection and better food.



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