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Reviews on PubCrawler from jason hirsch
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December 18, 2014 @ 04:49 PM EDT
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Reviews By
jason hirsch

Beer Reviews

Restaurant Reviews


Beer Reviews from jason hirsch
Average Rating
Beer Quality
Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great Great Great

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

Establishment: Barley Island Brewing Company, Noblesville, IN

Barley Island

A dated post to be sure- but while attending my Grandfather's funeral we ran across a brewery in Noblesville , IN, named Barley Island. Mind you the entire clan had gathered for a 'tea party' and the males were in desperate need of reclaiming their masculinity.

So it was in search of a bit of refreshment that we found ourselves entering Barley Island. I should note that Indiana has not banned smoking in bars or breweries- so unfortunately I wasn't enjoying myself as much as I'd like.

While there they had several beers on tap and a cask conditioned ale- all delicious and well priced. Sampler cost was picked up by my Uncle but I believe it was around $7.50.

Belgium - Strong belgium (duhhh) characteristics- was as good as a beer overseas. Not much aroma (but was that due to the smoking? I don't know)- 1/6/6

IPA Cask Conditioned Ale- Great hops, some off taste due to the cask- good room temperature. A little while later as it sat out and I made my way through the rest of the beers I tasted it again- and it was even better! 2/8/8

The Brown Ale- They said they added more hops in this batch but (I felt) it was wasted. There also was not much malt character- 2/5/7

The Pale Ale- Great Hops, great floral and bittering- 2/8/9

Wheat- Once again, I'm not a wheat fan, but this was very good. Practically no aroma to speak of, 1/7/7

I'd recommend stopping in for a pint- I was sorely disappointed by the lack of stouts (new production coming online after losing a boiler) but I'll get that the next time I'm around Indy.


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

Establishment: Silver Peak Restaurant and Brewery, Reno, NV

Reno, NV- Lots of beer, lots of food- and all I have is a camera with 3 days to find out whats good and not.

A year ago we visited a restaurant called Silver Peak. Met the head brewer there- Trent- and he spent some time sitting down with us talking about his beers. I told him I was in love with the Porter they had by far- turned out it was his particular beer that he made his way. When you've got a good one, everyone beats a path to your keg...

This time we went to the original Silver Peak Brewery, located at 124 Wonder Street, Reno NV.

They have a sampler there which, for the cost of 8.75, can be yours. The one we received had Red Roadster, XXX Blonde Ale, Baileywheat Hefeweizen, Sierra Amber Ale, Peavine Porter, Silver Peak India Pale Ale, and three specialties- Sunset Raspberry, Honey Ale, and Kolsch Ale.

The samplers weren't over filled so they didn't spill or contaminate (you'd be surprised) and were served in a stainless tray with accompanying documentation. Of course, a pair of ours were out of order but it's fairly easy to recognize the differences between a Pale Ale and a Porter :)

Red Roaster: Excellent hops but too much malt/unfermented sugars. Far too sweet to drink more than a sip- 2/8/10 (based on a sip. Based on an entire glass that 10 falls to a 2/8/4)

XXX Blond Ale: Not a fan, but that's me. 1/4/5 BaileyWheat Hefeweizen: A good Hef, if only I drank it more. Got very spoiled in Germany... so the low scores: 1/5/7

Sierra Amber Ale: Excellent taste with mild malts and good hops to finish. 2/5/7

Peavine Porter. When I had this last I don't remember it being so ... limp. Maybe it was a bad pour from the bottom of a keg, maybe it was just a low pressure day, but this beer needed more head than it was served in. 2/7/4 - and I LOVED it the last time I had it. Great coffee and bitterness to round out everything.

Silver PEak India Pale Ale: Extra hoppy but not overwhelming with a massive burst of one type of 'alpha acid rules' hops. Great nose- and even better finish. I wish I'd ordered a pint of this over the roadster- 3/8/9

Sunset Raspberry- Specialty beer. Skip it- you'll burn your taste buds. In fact, cut it with the Hef or the Blond, but served as it is it'll strip the flavour centers of your brain to their bare wires. I didn't even score it.

Honey Ale: Great flavor, not overpowered by the honey. Little more hops to give it some bite and it would be perfect, IMHO. 2/6/4 (for finish was lacking aroma hops)

Kolsch Ale: Great tasting all the way. Can't get much better than this in the US I'd imagine. 2/8/8

As for the food- Delicious. I had Rosemary flatbread with roasted garlic + brie. The brie I wish had been spread out a bit but that would have ruined the aesthetics of the dish, I'm sure. the main meal was the Brewers burger- undercooked slightly (I ordered medium, got medium rare) but they hit my double cheese with no problems.

Wait staff was attentive and quick on responses. Can't go wrong there.

This was the original Silver Peak and it's quality is excellent- Thanks for a great evening!


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

Establishment: BJ's Restaurant and Brewery, Reno, NV

Today we snuck out for lunch to B&J's Brewery- 13999 South Virginia, Reno NV (Summit Mall). Walking into the place was overwhelming- it was one of the nicest laid out restaurants I've been in. Everything practically gleamed- and looked brand new. I was told they'd been open for about 2 years so they must really take care of their equipment (or replace it monthly). Hardwood floors were in great shape, too- no obvious discolorations on the white wood (implying no spills ;P)

They offered a sampler of 7 beers for fairly cheap and would substitute, but today they were out of their cask conditioned ale. Included in the presentation was a handy dandy (see photos) chart with the beers and a great description of everything about them. Scores to follow.

I ordered the Melt- and it was delicious. Cooked to perfection the garlic and rosemary sourdough bread crust was crisp and dry as it hid the caramelized onion and two cheeses beneath it. I couldn't stop eating it- in between samples of beers- and snatched huge quarter cut french fries like there was no tomorrow.

This place gets a 10/10 for service, food, and beer. Did I mention I learned about it by overhearing one of it's employees while at Great Sinkhole, errr Great Basin?

Blonde: 2/5/4. Just not a fan of Blondes...

Heff: 3/6/6. Fairly exploding with floral aroma the finish was great, for a heff, but again just not my beer.

Pirahnna Pale Ale: 3/9/9. Excellent Hops with a nice complex mixture (or at least no overwhelming one type). Flavor was excellent and bitterness was spot on. Could drink another one or 5.

Jeremiah's Red: 2/7/7. Nice soft malt finish with a good sense of floral hops. Bitterness could be a bit more, but don't let that distract you from this great beer.

Nutty Brewnette: 2/6/6. I wish it had had some bittering malt in it- but that's not the mark of a good nut brown. Was very well received by several members of the table.

Porter: 2/7/9. Great porter- excellent head (N2/CO2) and even better retention. This head slid down the glass the entire time I was sampling beres.

Stout: 2/8/7. The stout was excellent but the finish was weak- it should be lower but I just can't bring myself to nail it for finishing sweet. Drop the SG by another 1/4 point or so and it'll be perfect. Great head as well and excellent aroma.


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

Establishment: Great Basin Brewing Company, Sparks, NV

Reno, NV. Lots of Breweries. Lots of beer. Lots of good food. Day 2.

Day 2 finds us at Great Basin Brewery, located at 846 Victorian Ave. The entire area is packed with food joints so Great Basin Brewery must have something special to attract attention.

It doesn't.

Now usually I can find a couple of great things to say about a place, so I will here too. There's free parking in the back in a garage, the beer is served cold and not over/under carbonated, and the lighting is great.

The food, on the other hand...

I had one of the more expensive items on the menu- a $17, 14oz (hah) "pepper encrusted rib eye". It was more along the lines of pepper dusted, and while I was very happy that it was cooked to perfection it quickly became a game of 'find the steak in the fat'. I don't get rib eye's from the supermarket with that much fat. This one was less than 3/4" thick- looking like it had been pounded to achieve that feat. The potatoes were excellent though.

My coworker had chicken shishkabobs. He remarked on their lack of ... ingenuity... when devising them. Chicken, green pepper, chicken, onion, repeat. Thats it. In a part of the country where practically EVERYTHING has colour, you can't do better than that? Can't even mix in some yellow/red peppers? How's about some mushrooms? Or onions bigger than 3 layers thick, sadly clinging to the chicken in a desperate attempt to flavour them.

Lastly, since this is a brewery, I should mention the beer. The beer was fairly good, if you didn't mind waiting over 25 minutes for the first waitress to come up to order one. Then to subsequently have to ARGUE with said waitress over the cost of a sampler pack (they don't do samplers, you can 'buy' 12 samplers for $12!!!!). When said samplers arrive you have to rely on the obviously busy waitress's memory to hope you get the right ones- they don't even provide a tearaway sheet for notes. I thought Silver Peak's was expensive from the night before- boy was I wrong.

The Icky (named after a fossil) was a strongly hoppy beer with an excellent finish- if you love cascade. There seemed to be quite a bit of that one particular hop in there with no other flavours- and if there were other hops they were simply overwhelmed. A score of 3/7/7

The Vienna Lager (At least thats what I think she brought me) was quite smoky and Delicious- it gets a 2/7/8 Score- very pleasant.

The Truckee Red had an excellently clean finish- could have used a bit more floral hops- and the malt wasn't overpowering at all. Score 2/8/7

Lastly she delivered a 'Boont Amber' guest beer from ?Anderson Valley?. Note the question marks and the quotes- I have no idea what I really was given and even though I asked her to repeat it 3x I still don't know. Score of 2/6/8

Overall the price for the meal was cheap but so was everything else. Good outdoor seating, lots of space, but just skip it unless you're coming in on "Tightwad" Tuesdays where beer is 2.50$ a pint.

On an aside, I overheard a conversation about another brewery south of town called "BJ's". Think I'm going to hit that in the next two days before I leave.


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