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Reviews on PubCrawler from ct
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December 20, 2014 @ 08:51 PM EDT
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Beer Reviews

Restaurant Reviews


Beer Reviews from ct
Average Rating
Beer Quality
Beer Selection Food Service Overall
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Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: Brixx Wood Fired Pizza, Charlotte, NC

I would give Brixx another shot in the fall. I think they converted everything over to light summer beers but will return with some heavier offerings later in the year. I understand the idea of tapping more summer beer when the temperatures go up, but it seems like Brixx went a little too far this summer. They still offer some great beers, but there wasn't a single dark beer left on the menu (except, of course, for Guiness).


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

Establishment: Carolina Beer Company, Mooresville, NC

CBC's Carolina brand (Blonde, Lighthouse, and Strawberry) are mainly for those who drink the macros, but they will please "real" beer fans when they're in the mood for something lighter. The Strawberry Ale, even though it is long on strawberry, is a very tasty fruit beer.

The Cottonwood line is for the craft beer fan. My preference is the Low Country Pale Ale, a pleasantly/lightly hopped session beer. The Endo IPA is also excellent, but, with the recent trend in super-hopped beers, many hopheads will think it's not quite bitter enough.

Other beers worth trying include an American Wheat, Pumpkin Ale (the best pumpkin beer I've had - I know that's not saying much, but this really is a nice beer), the Irish Red, Low Down Brown, Scottish and Frostbite.

On the negative side are the two stouts. The Almond Stout, their most widely available stout (a winter seasonal, I believe), while promising, is slightly overdone on the almond flavoring. Similarly, the Hazelnut Stout contains so much hazelnut flavor as to be almost undrinkable. Really, it's only drinkable when blended with a high percentage of lighter beer (CBC Lighthouse, for example). The Hazelnut Stout is only available at the brewery, as far as I can tell.

The tours on Saturday are great and the folks at CBC have done a nice job on the tap room. The tour is well worth the $5 price tag.


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

Establishment: North Star Restaurant and Brewery, Denver, CO

At the time of my visit, only three house beers were on tap, but each was excellent. The owner/brewer was also our server and was very friendly, giving us generous samples of the one beer we had not ordered and a full canned beer from Ska Brewing. It paid off for Ska, since I have since purchased their great beers several times. The food was basic pub food (at least at lunch), but also outstanding, especially the tater tots, which are supposed to be the house specialty. In addition some great music was playing over the sound system, which consisted of a small boom box behind the bar.

The neighborhood appears to be one of those older areas that has been rediscovered and is being rejuvenated. If I ever move to Denver, North Star just might be the main influence on my choice of locale. North Star is my idea of the perfect neighborhood pub.


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

Establishment: Amos Howard's Restaurant and Brew Works was Olde Hickory, Hickory, NC

This was a great place - good beer, good pub food, good service, etc., etc. However, the beer is not brewed on site, but at the Olde Hickory Brewery in downtown Hickory. So, if you just want good beer and a good burger, then this is worth the stop. But, if you're one of those wants to visit the actual brewery, just beware that it's not made at the pub.


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

Establishment: Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, Bolingbrook, IL

The beer was fresher and tastier than the GB locations I've visited in the past. Unfortunately, they were also very expensive, though not outrageously so for the area. (I understand it's not cheap to run a brewery, but I still have a hard time paying $5 for a beer, and even more for a sampler of all five beers.) The five beers (there were no seasonals at the time) were all pretty good, but none really make me anxious to visit again. If you happen to be shopping nearby, I suppose GB is worth a stop, but otherwise there are many other places to have a great beer.


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

Establishment: Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee, WI

The service rating of awesome refers to the tour guide, Russ, who obviously enjoyed being there and was very informative and entertaining. Having done dozens of these tours, I didn't expect to learn much more about brewing, but Russ taught me a couple new things.

As for the beer, it's all great, with the mild (I forget it's name at the moment) being my favorite. The IPA was also excellent, without being one of those overblown super-hopped versions - just a nice hoppily pleasing beer. Russ also offered tastes of bottled versions of their pumpkin and cherry seasonals, both of which were very enjoyable.

Also, if you like root beer, you've got to try Lakefront's. Awesome stuff.


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

Establishment: Stonefly Brewing Company, Milwaukee, WI

I went at an off time, but this seems to be the type of place I'd really enjoy once the music got going. Sampled two beers and had a full glass of the bourbon stout. The ESB and pale were both well done, nicely balanced. The bourbon barrel stout was very nice as well, with a strong taste of bourbon. They also had two other beers. Stonefly is in an odd place, but is worth a stop if you're in the area.


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

Establishment: Longnecks Brew Pub and Restaurant, Big Bend, WI

I guess I shouldn't have expected much, since Longnecks is located in a sports complex and seems designed to pull people in after their volleyball or softball games. They only had four house beers on tap (to go along with a decent selection of outside taps) and it was really hard to tell one from the other. All were rather weak with the same off-flavors. The food was boring and not very good, but the cheese curds were really good. But how can you screw up cheese curds? Service was slow and disinterested.

The brewery is just a way to draw people in, but with the good selection of guest beers on tap, they should just leave the brewing to the experts and quit trying to make their own.


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

Establishment: Brockway Chophouse, Palatine, IL

I don't think I can add much to the previous reviews. Food was way overpriced, although there is a very limited bar menu with a burger for the usual price. Beer wasn't much to right home about - not bad, but not all that good either. When I asked about the beer, our server recommended the Fat Tire, which is a good beer, but you'd think they'd push their own beers first.

If you're one of those people who just has to add another brewery to your list, save some money and go to Brockway Chophouse between meals. Try their beers, but eat elsewhere.


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

Establishment: Barley's Taproom, Asheville, NC

I didn't try the pizza, which is their main thing, but their salads and appetizers weren't bad. Not outstanding, but we were here for the beer.

Barley's is exactly the type of beer bar I like to find. Sure, they've got a lot of taps, with all the usual suspects, from Sam Adams to Guiness, which is nice, but you can get those beers anywhere. What's great about Barley's is that they carry a large number of local and regional products. Catawba Valley, French Broad, Highland, Pisgah, and other great NC brewers were all represented on tap.

If your visiting Asheville and you want a sampling of the various local beers, Barley's is the place to go.


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

Establishment: Rock Bottom, Lombard, IL

In many ways, this is the typical Rock Bottom. Of course, they've all got the same basic beer and food, but after a few visits here, I haven't seen anything unusually creative on the seasonal beer list. However, they did offer a couple different versions of pale ale this past winter, and both were truly outstanding.

All the beers were above average, but other than those limited edition pales, nothing really stood out. Still, Rock Bottom is always a good place to go for a decent beer, and the food seems to be getting better over the years.


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

Establishment: J.W. Platek's Restaurant and Brewery, Richmond, IL

I don't get to Platek's very often, but it seems the beer menu rarely changes. However, that's not a problem as the quality is consistently outstanding. The pale and brown are exceptional, with the other varieties (stout, rye, wit) not far behind.

The food is also very good.


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

Establishment: Dry Dock Brewing Company, Aurora, CO

Located in a nondescript building in a nondescript strip mall, Dry Dock was anything but nondescript. The beer was outstanding, with at least ten styles available. The owner and staff, even the other customers, were very friendly and gave me great advice for further beer travels in the Denver area. A very worthwhile stop, but don't go hungry as Dry Dock does not serve food (at least at the time of my visit).


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

Establishment: Golden City Brewery, Golden, CO

I loved their slogan: Second largest brewery in Golden. Nice sense of humor, but if you measure the beer by flavor, Golden City is by far the biggest in Golden, if not in all of Colorado. With each beer I tasted, I thought I had found their best, but each beer was better than the next, so that I really can't tell you which one was best. Even the amber and the hefeweizen, styles I normally don't like, were great.

I didn't think this place was as hard to find as some reviewers have made it sound - it's just that it looks like it's just one more house on the block, so don't go searching expecting a restaurant or a big flashy sign. It's nondescript and unassuming, but well worth the trip.


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

Establishment: Tommyknocker Brewery and Pub, Idaho Springs, CO

The last time I was here, five years ago, I came away with a much better opinion than my recent visit. The dopplebock, which I thought was outstanding, was only okay this time around. The rye porter was still great, but the other beers I tried did not stand out. Nothing was bad, but nothing was really memorable either. If I'm in the area again, I'll stop by.


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

Establishment: O'Fallon Brewery, O'Fallon , MO

I rate their selection Awesome as they do brew some unusual stuff; I'm glad they take some risks as too many breweries don't try anything new. To me, beer is supposed to be fun and enjoyable, so why not a beer with mint or chocolate?

That said, I once thought pepper beers were the worst idea ever, until I tried O'Fallon's Happy Holidaze mint ale. It almost became the first beer I couldn't finish - awful stuff, but I give them a thumbs up for trying something new. When I saw a six pack of their Cherry Chocolate, I was a little hesitant, with the Holidaze still fresh on my palate. Fortunately, it was a nice surprise. Who would have thought - a beer with actual chocolate flavor? And it was pretty good, too. Other than those unusual beers, I have had their Gold, Wheat, and Light. All were pretty good, but not outstanding.

I like this place and hope to actually visit some time rather than just buying the six packs. It's good to see an adventurous brewer and I hope they keep having fun with their work.


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

Establishment: Yippie-ie-O Grille, O'Fallon, MO

The service was attentive and pleasant, if not quite outstanding. The salmon (mesquite grilled I think) was excellent. Unfortunately, the three "normal" beers (blonde or pale, brown, and red) all had an acid or metallic taste. The fourth beer was a jalapeno beer - it was the best of the bunch, but I think that was because the peppers covered the off flavors present in the other beers. Not that it's saying much, since I think jalapeno beers are a horrible idea, but this version was the best of the five or six that I've tried.

It seems like they're really trying to make this place work, but I don't think beer geeks will be too ecstatic about it.


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

Establishment: Vista Brewing Company, Columbia, SC

While I would never stoop to the level of previous reviews by mentioning the cute waitresses with the incredible curves, and I would surely never let that influence my ratings of the service, I must say the view at Vista was very appealing.

I don't remember what I ate, but there were only three beers on tap. Two of the beers were just okay, but the stout, which tasted like an imperial stout, was phenomenal. Based on the limited beer selection, and the lackluster lighter beers, I nearly passed on the stout, but fortunately I stuck around for this wonderful beer.


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

Establishment: Turoni's Pizzery and Brewery, Evansville, IN

Outstanding pizza - although I still fail to understand why some reviewers will try to compare Chicago deep dish to thin crust to New York, etc.. - they're all totally different things and all depend on how well they're made. Anyway... The beer was okay, nothing outstanding. I liked the atmosphere, but it took me over an hour to get a small thin crust pizza. Waitress told me the printer jammed, but apparently the people in the kitchen didn't think to find out if they lost any orders as many people came in after I did, ate, and left before I received my food. My waitress was very good, though; she couldn't help the mistake in the kitchen. I wasn't too upset as it gave me more time to taste the beer. I'll go back if I'm in town.


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