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Reviews on PubCrawler from john dicken
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Reviews By
john dicken

Beer Reviews
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29
Beer Reviews from john dicken
   

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

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

Establishment: MaGerk's Pub, Baltimore , MD

Was there last night at around 7:30 and couldn't get any service. We sat in the lower street level section at a window, the bartender and a waitress working the area looked over at me multiple times but i guess the empty table and thirsty and hungry look on our faces escaped them both. Usually we have had good prompt service here as we have been going there for years for a cheesesteak and cold pint. With all the 20somethings there maybe my 40ish business was not welcome any longer. After 25 minutes of being ignored we left and went to the Mad River across the street where we were noticed within a minute of sitting.

(04/17/2005)

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

Establishment: Ryleigh's Oyster, Baltimore, MD

As with the previous reviewer I found the beers to be sorely lacking. I was there about in April on a Friday afternoon. The IPA was sweet with little to no hop signature, a true disappointment. The porter was also far to sweet to style. One sip of the Golden Ale and again excessive sweetness. The Amber Ale, though the best beer of the lot, was somewhat bland. I met the brewer who was very nice and enthusiastic. He told me he was a former home brewer and this was his first professional brewing job. He admitted that there was a problem with the "sweetness" of the brews and that it would be worked out. The food that I had was a crab pretzel. It was pretty mundane, some crab dip slopped on a couple of soft prezels. The Happy Hour Buffet consisted of chicken strips and tater tots. The remodeled building does remind you more of the original Sissons with the bar at the front but I believe they have a long way to go but i think they will be fine with time and experience for the brewer. (April 2003)

(07/15/2003)

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

Establishment: Ryleigh's Oyster, Baltimore, MD

As with the previous reviewer I found the beers to be sorely lacking. I was there about a month ago on a Friday afternoon. The IPA was sweet with little to no hop signature, a true disappointment. The porter was also far to sweet to style. One sip of the Golden Ale and again excessive sweetness. The Amber Ale, though the best beer of the lot, was somewhat bland. I met the brewer who was very nice and enthusiastic. He told me he was a former home brewer and this was his first professional brewing job. He admitted that there was a problem with the "sweetness" of the brews and that it would be worked out. The food that I had was a crab pretzel. It was pretty mundane, some crab dip slopped on a couple of soft prezels. The Happy Hour Buffet consisted of chicken strips and tater tots. The remodeled building does remind you more of the original Sissons with the bar at the front but I believe they have a long way to go but i think they will be fine with time and experience for the brewer.

(04/23/2003)

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

Establishment: John Harvard's Brew House, Washington, DC

Stopped here after the BBT basketball tournament at the MCI Center. They had a nice selection of house beers. I first tried the Swartzbier (a style of beer which is one of my favorites) which was a tad thick and overly malty for my taste, having more of a consistency of a stout than a lager. Next I tried the Pale Ale, a nice drinkable rendition. Lastly I had a Nut Brown Ale, again on the thick side but pretty tasty. I tasted my wifes Red Holiday Ale (nothing special there.... basically a Red Ale) and their Light Lager (I guess for the budcoormiller crowd) and it wasn't bad, not my cup or tea, or should I say pint of ale. We tasted the Wheat Wine a strong donpplebock like like strong beer, it was very good and next time I will have to partake in one. The food was very good and presented nicely. The service at the bar was outstanding and when we sat to eat the service was attentive though slightly indifferent. All in all I would go back!

(12/08/2002)

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

Establishment: Rams Head Tavern / Fordham Brewing Company, Annapolis, MD

Forgor to rate the place OPPPPSSSSS

(06/03/2002)

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

Establishment: Rams Head Tavern / Fordham Brewing Company, Annapolis, MD

I would like to comment on a couple of posts from guys from Severna Park (Duane and Todd) about the Rams Head. First let me preface myself by saying that I have going to the Rams Head somewhere between 10 and 20 times a year for the last seven years of so. Since Todd wrote his harangue in October 2001 I have been to the pub ten times by my count. Second I have been to around 45 brewpubs, not a amazing amount but I feel enough to get an idea of the business and to get a taste for good brew and swill. Third and finally I wouldn't know Allen Young if I tripped over him and even then I still wouldn't know him so there is no vested interest in my review. I do know this place and it's beer. Over the years one thing I have been able to say is that the Rams Head beers have been amazingly consistent, regardless of the brewer. I believe that the Oyster Stout (full robust flavor) and the Tavern Ale (which has a good hop bite for a pale ale) have EVOLVED into true class beers. If the house beers have lost their "edge" then my taste buds must have lost their "edge" also.Wanna taste losing their "edge" go to Sissons in Federal Hill where they no longer have a clue more or less an "edge" to their product. I cannot say that I have found ANY of the Rams Head product off tasting or off style. This is not true of Baltimore Brewing Company where in the last 8 month my wife and I have had off and nasty tasting beers on three different occasions (we went this past Saturday and the Weizen, always a favorite of ours, was just plain lousy). This brings me to corporate Rams Head. Is having three brewpubs and a microbrewery corporate??? It may be in your book but not mine. Gordon Bierch or John Harvards is corporate. The Rams Head is obviously successful but not in spite of the quality of its beer but because of it (and the restaurant and entertainment also). So when I am Laurel way I stop at Savage Mill for a beer and when I am in Rehobeth I may venture to their new spot there after a session at Dogfish Head. I go to brewpubs because of the beer and I will continue to go to the Rams Head until their product sucks which I think will be a long time. I hope to make it for the Weizen tasting Thursday. Oh and by the way Allen Young if you are looking for a corporate crony I volunteer, just pay me with some Oyster Stout!

(06/03/2002)

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

Establishment: Gettysburg Brewing Company, Gettysburg, PA

After reading the reviews of this place I was fully expecting to meet some sort of child hating beer nazi. What I did find was a laid back small pub that had fantastic beers but was basically self service. The beers a stout, an IPA, a pale ale, and a golden ale were just fantastic! All were appropiate to style and none were overdone or underdone, just real delights to drink. As far as food goes we got sort of olive sampler and it was tasty, nothing gourmet but it hit the spot. The beer nazi/owner/brewer may not have been kissing every customers butt but he was prompt and courteous in his interactions with me. Beside the register is pictures of beergod Michael Jackson inside the pub, his reveiw of the place in his next book. Would I go back? ABSOLUTELY!!!! No thought about that.

(06/01/2002)

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

Establishment: Franklin's, Hyattsville, MD

Went to Franklins a couple of weeks back and was VERY pleased with the place. It was very much worth the trip down from near Baltimore. We sat at the bar upstairs, which was kind of neat that the bar was upstairs, and had a sampler. As my memory serves me they had a golden ale, a stout, a brown, an IPA, pale ale and an ever changing anarchy ale which ended up being my favorite. All were excellent but not fantastic beers. I enjoyed the IPA immensely and found the pale ale a decent session beer. My wife enjoyed the brown ale (though I thought it was a tad "thick") and the transitional golden ale. The stout was good and with a little tweaking should be excellent. We ate dinner there and the food was hearty and tasty in generous portions. The service really shined. The wait staff was friendly and attentive. Our glasses did not see empty. I now have a spot to stop after seeing the National Champion Terps play basketball (though I know I will be there by then!)

(06/01/2002)

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

Establishment: Barley and Hops Grill and Microbrewery, Frederick, MD

Went to the Barley and Hops on Saturday afternoon to finish the Maryland Association of Brewers Brewpub Odyssey (to those how don't know what this is you go to the 12 member brewpubs and 2 microbrewerys and get a pint for a nickel and then have your passport stamped till you complete them all in a year). With Barley and Hops being the last one my wife and I was going to sit at the bar, have a couple of pints, then eat dinner and head on home. The restaurant is roomy and spacious. The bar has a great view of the brew kettles. There is a chalk board with all the relevant info about their house beers (a large bonus to me). This is all that I can really say good about this place. The barmaid, a young generation X'er with short unbrushed red hair, seemed almost bothered that we happened to sit at her bar. When I showed her the Brewpub Odyssey Passport she began to lecture me on how it was out of date (which it wasn't) and going on and on in a contemptuous tone of voice. I was really surprised, I just wanted to get a couple of beers. I tried to explain the program to her but I basically think she was just being pig headed and arrogant. Finally I said to her I didn't care if she charged me full price on the beer or the nickel I just wanted the passport stamped (I sure didn't drive an hour to have some arrogant barmaid deny the entire reason of the trip). She did stamp the passports, threw them on the bar in front of my wife and I and then said "I am only doing my job." My wife got a Honey Wheat which was didn't taste like a wheat beer (and it was as clear as a Bud), and i got a Pale Ale (which also was straw colored). Of the two the Pale Ale was the best but that was not saying much. We waited for service when we finished our beers but I guess i pissed the barmaid off. She just didn't come down to our end of the bar till another patron sat down near us. We ordered another beer and asked for a menu. She tossed the menu on the bar far out of the reach of my wife. We decided then and there we would get an appetizer to hold us over and eat near home. I got a Red Ale, pretty pedestrian bland stuff. The appetizer came quickly and was tasty. At one point I considered getting us a beer sampler but that would have meant trying to get service from the barmaid, which was one irritation I did not wish to bring on myself. To wrap up this review, if you want mediocre beers served by insolent indifferent staff, this is your place. If you are looking for decent beers served by courteous attentive staff go cross town to Brewers Alley. Absolutely don't make a special trip here!

(04/14/2002)

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

Establishment: Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, Las Vegas, NV

Stopped by Gordon Biersch to escape the noise, flashing lights, and clamor of the casinos on a recent trip to Vegas. We found some peace, contentment, and some damn good beer for our troubles. As a first time visitor to GB I was impressed with the large spacious bar and restaurant seating areas. It gave me the impression of a German beerhall. The physical building and layout reminded me of Baltimore Brewing Company. The beers also suggested BBC with the German styles of beer. The Blonde Bock was hearty and a definite thirst quencher. The Dunkles had a full flavored malt flair. The taste I had of the Marzen was flavorful. My wife got the Hefeweizen and though not up to par with Baltimore Brewing Company's (which is my personal favorite and the best Weizen I have ever had the pleasure of drinking) but it sure was delicious, full of banana and cloves flavors. Didn't get a chance to eat there but the food looked good and they had a nice selection of food on the menu. My recommendation to stop by when in the city of Lost Wages... opppps that's Las Vegas.

(04/01/2002)

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great N/A Awesome! Great

Establishment: Chicago Brewing Company, Las Vegas, NV

A little off the beaten path off the Strip it is well worth the visit to Chicago Brewing. The brews were most excellent and the service outstanding! Quiet by Vegas standards (the slot machines were turned way down) it makes it's noise with it's beers. We got a sampler and all were tasty. The Black Star Stout was robust, The Red Rocker was more than adequate, The Pale Rider pale ale nicely hopped. The Weiss was not the best I have ever drank but it was near to style and flavorful. The weizenbock (their seasonal) was fantastic, the kind of full body and flavor I expect from this style of beer. My wife got an All Nighter, a lager for the Miller/Bud/Coors crowd. It was pretty good though that is not my cup of tea (or should I say pint of beer). The service was outstanding, the gal working the bar was by herself and she had a bar full of patrons but was prompt and friendly even spending a couple minutes to chat with us. When I wanted a cigar she took me upstairs to the closed cigar bar and got it for me. Though Chicago Brewing is off the beaten path (miles away from the Strip) it is well worth the trip.

(04/01/2002)

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

Establishment: Monte Carlo Pub and Brewery, Las Vegas, NV

Happened in to the Monte Carlo's brewpub early enought to avoid the disco scene that happens there at night. A long line met us for dinner seating but we just went up to the bar which had plenty of seating. The bar is large and spacious, the dining area quite large itself. We had a mixed appetizer to eat (buffalo wings, onion rings, and fried zuchini sticks) which was good. The beers were not as good. Generally all the beers were a little off, off compared to style, off flavored, not nasty but not overly good either. I stayed with the pale ale cause I could at least taste some hop bitterness in it and it being somewhat superior to the other selections. After we had left and was exploring the casino we stopped by the Monte Carlo's beer booth just outside the pub and I got a porter was was outstanding, full bodied and flavorful. It was hard to believe that this beer was from the same brewpub it was so much head and shoulders above it's other beers. Of the three brewpubs that we went to inside casinos the Monte Carlo was far superior to the others (Triple 7 and Ellis Island).

(04/01/2002)

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

Establishment: Triple 7 Brewpub, Las Vegas, NV

The Triple 7 is what I came to expect out of all the brewpubs associated with casinos in Vegas. The promise of good beer but the failure to deliver. We had the tasting sampler and found none that caught our taste buds, to be truthful they all seemed a little bland. I had a stout and a pale ale and neither was commendable (the stout being somewhat medicinal tasting). All in all the were not particularly bad they not very good either. If you are at Main Street Station stop in and taste for yourself if not don't go out of your way.

(04/01/2002)

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

Establishment: Holy Cow Casino, Cafe and Brewery, Las Vegas, NV

Bad News.... The Holy Cow is closed. The local Vegas paper said something about money problems but they closed very quickly, like overnight.

(03/30/2002)

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

Establishment: Ellis Island Casino and Brewery, Las Vegas, NV

This is a brewpub inside a small locals casino just off the Strip. Avoid it at any costs. The beer was horrendous. My wife and I got a sampler as is our MO in a new brewpub and for the first time we could not even finish the sampler. They had (as the bartender stated to me) an Amber, a Wheat, a Gold (ale), a Dark and a Light. All imparted off flavors and none I could say was even remotely to style other than their color. The bartender squeezed the lemon in the Wheat and I could understand why, he was trying to cover up the taste of the beer and it still didn't work. The only beer closest to drinkable was the light and it had a dull flat taste to it. Enough said ... don't waste your time here go to Chicago Brewery or Gordon Biersch while in Vegas.

(03/30/2002)

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

Establishment: Old Stein Inn, Edgewater, MD

Went to the Old Stein on Saturday and as usual it was hopping. We have been to the Old Stein over a half dozen times and have not been disappointed any time. The beer is the reason to go. All German on tap (thougfh there are two Lambics on tap also) and what they call the tenth tap (which is usually a Germann style microbrew). Following is what is usually on tap. Spaten Lager and Optimator Dopplebock, Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock, Kostritzer Schwarzbier, Paulaner Hefe-Weissbier, Warsteiner Pilsner, Mahr's "unfiltered" Lager, Lindemans Framboise "Raspberry" Lambic, and Lindemans Kriek "Cherry" Lambic. The tenth tap Saturday was a spiced brown ale which was most excellent(sorry I didnt get the Microbrewerys name). The drafts are served in .3L ($3)and .5L ($5) mugs (or glasses for weiss beirs). Though a little pricey it is all imported German beers. They also had Spaten Octoberfest the night we were there and. They also have an extensive array of German bottled beers. The food is most excellent. The menu has plenty of German specialities with some American favorites. My wife loves their Beer Battered Onion Rings and gets them most every time we have been there. I have found the Wursts to be delicious and well presented the couple times I have had them. Also on Saturdays there is a gal who plays the accordion in Barvarian garb and is quite good and entertaining. Though it is a little out of the way it is well worth the trip. Enjoy

(03/14/2002)

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

Establishment: Wharf Rat At Fells Point, Fells Point/Baltimore, MD

Wife and I stopped for a tasting and an appitizer and here's the brew reviews. We shared a 3 for $3 first and had the Christmas Ale, nice full bady ale not particularly strong and not full of coriander, nutmeg, or any other nasty spices. The Golden ale was OK nothinng that really turned my head. The Vanilla Ice was listed as a wheat beer flavored with vanilla/vanilla beans. I thought it would be horrible but it wasn't bad ... seemed to be big with the women in the bar (my wife loved it) ... is kinda hard to describe but it was crisp and for a wheat beer somewhat dry. The next sampler included the Irish Red (one of my personal favorites here and it didnt disappoint), the Porter and full bodied robust beer, and the cask conditioned ESB which was exceptional. Met a couple from Delaware there tasting the brews and they were impressed. All in all most excellent!

(02/17/2002)

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

Establishment: Ryleigh's Oyster, Baltimore, MD

Went to Sissons on Friday evening for happy hour and found a place in true disarray. By reading some previous posts it seems that when they reopened they were on top of their game only to fall when some one left. My wife and I have been there a couple times since they reopened and it is progressively getting worse!

First off the beers. I started with a IPA which was flat and tasteless, bearly did it have any hop sharpness to it... yech! My wife got a Golden Ale which was ok but nothing to write home about. I then tried their Chocolate Stout which I found to be rather mundane, not particularly bad but by no stretch of the imagination particularly good. Next my wife (and I hehehe) tried the Amber Ale which was again just pretty middle of the road. I also had a Nut Brown Ale and found this to be the best of the lot. It was close to style with a fresh taste and color. Maybe just by default this seemed better than the rest.

The most entertaining (or unnerving) part of our visit was the interaction between the bartender (who was one of the brewers) and the resturant manager. These guys verbally fought tooth and nail over everything. There was some obvious bad blood between the two men. Though I seen it as far more entertaining than watching Sportscenter on the TV it was starting to become distracting to some of the other patrons. It seems that the agument had to do with whose responsiblity to it was to do something with the CO2.

All in all I think something is afoot at Sissoms and not for the best. An old gaot once told me that when craft brewers start skimping on hops in their brews it is the first sign of the bottom line on the ledger taking the place of the bottom line in the products taste. I believe that this is what is happening here. I think it may be a while before I check up on them and see if everything is improving!

(02/10/2002)

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

Establishment: Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats, Rehoboth Beach, DE

My wife and I had a great tasting and dinner here during the last weekend in September. The experimental nature of the brews here does grab your attention. First off we got a sampler. The Shelter Pale Ale was somewhat mild, a little sweet and lightly hopped. The Chicory Stout was indeed a find, a hearty full beer. The Raison D'Etre was interesting, a little sweet for my tastes but still very interesting. The 60 Minute IPA was right on. Nicely hopped, nice boquet, just a great beer. The Midas Touch Golden Elixir.... what the hell is this other than really good (and unusual). Somewhat of a beer, mead, and wine combined it is both a treat and a mystery but all the same well worth a tasting more than the small glass (which of course I did). I also tried the Indian Brown Ale which I found missed the head as an IPA or a brown ale but you can't hit a home run on every swing. My wife was partial to the Lawnmower Light (a light beer for the swill crowd) and the Pumpkin Ale. Dinner was most excellent, i had the seafood Penne and my wife had crabcakes. Both dinners were tasty and well presented. I have read in previous reviews that the service was poor and indifferent but i found none of that. When we sat at the bar we couldnt finish a pint without the barkeep checking up on us. when we sat in the dining room the service was more than adequate as we wanted for nothing. I would whole heartedly recommend Dogfish to anyone who has a open mind to beers and good times.

(10/01/2001)

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

Establishment: Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats, Rehoboth Beach, DE

My wife and I had a great tasting and dinner here during the last weekend in September. The experimental nature of the brews here does grab your attention. First off we got a sampler. The Shelter Pale Ale was somewhat mild, a little sweet and lightly hopped. The Chicory Stout was indeed a find, a hearty full beer. The Raison D'Etre was interesting, a little sweet for my tastes but still very interesting. The 60 Minute IPA was right on. Nicely hopped, nice boquet, just a great beer. The Midas Touch Golden Elixir.... what the hell is this other than really good (and unusual). Somewhat of a beer, mead, and wine combined it is both a treat and a mystery but all the same well worth a tasting more than the small glass (which of course I did). I also tried the Indian Brown Ale which I found missed the head as an IPA or a brown ale but you can't hit a home run on every swing. My wife was partial to the Lawnmower Light (a light beer for the swill crowd) and the Pumpkin Ale. Dinner was most excellent, i had the seafood Penne and my wife had crabcakes. Both dinners were tasty and well presented. I have read in previous reviews that the service was poor and indifferent but i found none of that. When we sat at the bar we couldnt finish a pint without the barkeep checking up on us. when we sat in the dining room the service was more than adequate as we wanted for nothing. I would whole heartedly recommend Dogfish to anyone who has a open mind to beers and good times.

(10/01/2001)

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

Establishment: Brewmaster BP and Brick Oven Restaurant, Ocean City, MD

Was here for the last weekend in September and all I can say is don't be bothered. Take a road trip up to Rehobeth Beach to Dogfish Head if you are looking for a decent brewpub to go to. I originally came here in April on a late Saturday afternoon... it was closed but hey it was still way out of season. My wife was there over the summer and picked me up a growler of Pale Ale.... well I found it to be sorely underhopped and flat which brings me to this weekend. We stopped in Friday night and the caverous pub was next to empty. Asking the barmaid what was the house brews and she replied a honey raspberry ale and that was it. Guess what folks ... you got it the beer was flat. when my wife inquired the barmaid she told us that some of their beers are "SUPPOSE TO BE FLAT". Needless to say i changed allegiance to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and my wife found refuge in her favorite megaswill... Miller Light. On the positive side was the crab drip which i think you can find pretty much anywhere in Ocean City but i think we hungry. All in All.... don't waste your time unless there is some major changes in their brewing!!!

(10/01/2001)

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

Establishment: Uncle Tucker's Woodfired Pizza and Brew Haus, Cumberland, MD

Was at Uncle Tuckers during the weekend of August 23rd for a Maryland State Chili Cookoff and Blues Festival. Friday night just stopped for taste with my wife. we got the sampler and i just feel in love with the Scottish Ale. Strong with a hint of smoke flavor it immediately caught my attention. I also enjoyed the Pale Ale they had though it could have been a bit more hopped for my likings (but i am just nit picking about that). My wife got a golden ale which was nicely light and a very drinkable beer. She also got a weizen (her favorite) and i must admit it was a hit. Nice cloves and banana flavors. Honestly i can't remember anything tasting bad there. Had the crab dipp as an appitizer and it was most tasty. The next night when we were at the Blues Festival across the road we decided to go back for dinner. We got a Brick Oven Pizza with lots of toppings and was not disappointed. Oh by the way i just stayed with the Scottish Ale and it was better the second night. Would recommend and as someone who was born and raised in Cumberland it gives me a stomping grounds when i visit.

(09/26/2001)

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

Establishment: Le Cheval Blanc, Montreal, QC

This pub had the usual suspects, a stout (which was pretty tasty), a lager (problably the best in the house), a blonde, a red (nice full malty taste, my favorite) amonst others. they had 500ml bottles also, one a framboise which was a raspberry lambic of sorts but was rather interesting and the other a honey ale which was down right awful (there was an overwhelming cider taste to the brew itself and a nasty aftertaste, yuck). So the beer was a mixed bag but hey it was still a hundred times better than Molson or LaBlatts. The nachos we got was medioce, just chips smothered with jarred salsa and cheese and zapped in a microwave. There was a limited menu of mainly munchie type foods. The bar itself was decorated nicely with black and white photos of Chichen Itza in Mexico (i know go figure), a stainless steel bar counter, quite unusual, and table built around two of the brewing tanks which was a nice touch. The service was friendly and attentive though a tad slow. All in all i would recommend this pub as stop if you are in Montreal.

PS: The Le Cheval Blanc bottled beer that you may see thoughout the Quebec region is not brewed at the brewpub. They lease their name to a microbrewer who produces it. Try it, it was pretty impressive. i especially loved the red wheat enough to bring back a six to the States.

(08/22/2001)

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

Establishment: Johansson's Dining House, Westminster, MD

Stopped last Saturday for dinner and a couple of beers. Went into the basement bar first and found it empty other than bartender and some gentleman nursing down a pitcher of what appeared to be Bud Light or such (at least by the color). My wife got a Golden Ale (seems to be one of those taste inhibited beers for the Coors Light crowd) which was not that bad of a beer if you are looking for something a "little bland". I had a Pale Ale and found it very tasty, nice hopped, and a full bodied beer. The bartender was not very knowledgeable about the house brands. By the looks of all the decorations and posters from American Megaswill brewerys this basement bar looked to draw from the local college crowd. We finished our beers and went on upstairs for dinner. (There was about 8 pool tables down in this part of the bar).Upon entering the dining room proper we were told we had an hour wait for dinner (It was the local high schools prom night). We waited at the upstairs bar. This bar was extraordinary. Truely an old English pub bar, darts boards, chalk board listing all the beers, and the bar itself was vast, old, and ornate and the ceiling fans are incredible. The service was much better up here. I got a Maibock (slightly flat but still tasty) and my wife had settled in with the Golden Ale. We had a couple of beers and then was seated for dinner. We had Crab Drip as an appetizer, which had plenty of crab in it, the salads were fresh and appetizing. My wife got the Stuffed Shrimp and i got a Veal Pasta. Both dishes were outstanding, well prepared and well presented. During dinner a had a Victory Hop Devil (one of my favorite beers) and we coffee and some dessert. I would recommemend this place to anyone... but i did get the impression the this was a restaurant which brewed beer as opposed to a brewpub which served food. All in all you will enjoy!

(05/19/2001)

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

Establishment: Founders' Restaurant and Brewing Company, Alexandria, VA

Went to the Virginia Beverage Co. for lunch this past week. I had the lunch special (a grilled chicken sandwich with cheese, BBQ Sauce, and Bermuda onions.) The sandwich was nothing to write home about, basically pretty mediocre, and smothered in the the BBQ sauce. Now on to the beers. I got the 5 house beer sampler and a taste of the Pale Ale which was passable to semi-good. I had the Das Brown Alt (a dark malty delight), the Go Veners IPA (most definitely the best beer i tasted there, a spicey blast of hops matching a smooth body), the Witty Blonde Weizen (tedious and tasteless), the Jones Point Kolch (Kolch's are not my favorite beer to begin with and this one reminded me why i don't like them. Bland and off tasting this one was way off base), and the Wee Dimm Scottish Ale (a full malt taste, not as bold as i would have liked but still a good beer). The bar and restaurant have atmostphere dripping from it. As an old building in Old Towne Alexandria there is the perception of a by gone day. You walk by the brewing kettles when entering and i was greeted promptly and enthusiastically. The ceiling is ornate and decorative. The lightly soft with shadows. The bar (where i sat) is old, wooden, and imposing. The bartender was knowledgeable as he told me the brews they had (they also had chalk board prominent to the bar with all the styles and beer geek info listed on it). All in all i would recommend this place other than for one thing. I was ripped off on the check. I had seen that the lunch special chicken sandwich was $5 and the beer sampler was listed in previous threads as $5 but my check was $13.76. It didnt dawn on me till i was in my car heading up I-295 and by then i was a little to late. So i cannot in good conscience recommend any place that rips me off even if it is for close to $4.

(05/13/2001)


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