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Reviews on PubCrawler from even holmboe
Other Reviews by this User
December 18, 2014 @ 08:32 PM EDT
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Reviews By
even holmboe

Beer Reviews

Restaurant Reviews


Beer Reviews from even holmboe
Average Rating
Beer Quality
Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good Good Good

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

Establishment: Creekside Brewing Company, San Luis Obispo, CA

6 House Brews, 1 guest tap, and over 20 bottled beers to choose from, the variety of bottled beer is clearly the highpoint of this establishment. Tried the Hefe (weak), Stout (good at first, but faded), Pale (good), and IPA (best of the bunch). Food was a bit of a disappointment. They hit that difficult combo of overdone and cold. Some decent flavors there is they work out the kinks of preparation. Service was mediocre, as we spent more time with empty pints than full.

All in all, especially considering the price of the food, one would be better of going around the block to Downtown Brew for a brewpub and one of the numerous other bars/pubs in the area for food and beer selection.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: Sundeck Tavern, Olympic Valley, CA

"Closed for the season" when I visited in late May. From what I can gather it features Gordon-Beirsch brews.


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

Establishment: Bullwhackers Pub, Olympic Valley, CA

This is now known as Sandy's Pub. Located in the resort at Squaw Valley. They had seven brews on tap, with Stella and Guiness being the most macro, the rest were decent craft brews.

Didn't try the food. Checked out the menu and it seemed a bit pricey and not a lot of choices.

Service was decent, but it was pretty slow so about what you would expect.


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

Establishment: Fifty Fifty Brewing Company, Truckee, CA

They had 9 brews on tap when I visited (6 regular and 3 seasonal)which represented a wide variety of styles. I tried the Kolsch, Foggy Goggle (Beligian White), a porter, the Base Camp Golden Ale, Altbier (seasonal), and the Belgian-style Tripel. All were very tasty and true to form. Try the Tripel if you get a chance. At 11% ABV it isn't a session beer, but it had a bubble gum like sweetness that really masked the high alcohol content.

Food was pretty good as well. The wings were decent, but I really enjoyed the onion rings and the BBQ burger. My wife raved about the french dip, calling it the best she has ever had.

Our server was brand new, so I didn't ask to many questions testing his knowledge of beers, but he was attentive and ready with a new pint everytime I finished one.

Definitely worth a visit. I visited a few brewpubs and beer bars in the area and this is by far the best.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: Mulligan's Irish Pub and Restaurant, South Lake Tahoe, CA

This is now called Brewers Branding Iron Barbecue. It was closed when I tried to stop by on a Tuesday evening, but from what I gather they serve brews from the local Mount Tallac Brewery.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: Dixon's Restaurant and Brewery, South Lake Tahoe, CA

Dixon's is closed. The restaurant currently at this location is called Rendevous Restauarant. It was closed when I drove by early on a Tuesday evening. Wouldn't bet on this being a beer bar anymore.


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

Establishment: Brewery at Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe, CA

They were out of several brews and had no seasonal styles on tap. I was left with the choice of an American Pale, an English Pale, an IPA, a Wheat, and their "Bad Ass" ale.

The Needle Peak American Pale was horrible. It had a slightly hoppy taste at first that quickly faded to warm tap water. The Prince of Pales English Pale was a bit better but still lacked any kind of malt balance. The Washoe wheat was drinkable but lacked any real complexity. The "Bad Ass" claims to be a style unto itself. I would characterize it an Amber IPA. The IPA was probably the best of the bunch. It waqs agressively hopped, so might appeal to hop heads, but it was mediocre in my book.

The food was decent. We had the wings and the pub combo as appetizers. Wings came with a variety of sauces and the marinara sauce that came with the pub combo wasn't bad at all. The Mac and cheese we ordered for may daughter was excellent. The ribs tasted pretty good, even if they were not fall off the bone tender. My wife's lasagna was also not bad.

Service wasn't anything special and they messed up our bill.

In general I wouldn't recommend this place. Find a decent restaurant with a good selection of beer and you will be better off. These beers can definitely be missed.


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

Establishment: Sequoia Brewing Company, Fresno, CA

Stopped by the northen location after shooting sporting clays up in Coarsegold. Tried four of the brews: Kolsh, Pale Ale, Amber, and Porter. I would have rated the beers higher if I hadn't tried the Kolsch. It wasn't a good attempt at the style and had almost no taste. The remianing three beers were excellent though.

Food was pretty good. The calamari appetizer had good flavor even if they were a little rubbery. My friend had the club sandwich which he said was pretty good. I had the Yeti (a monstrosity of a burger with bacon, cheese, onion rings, ham, and egg) which they will give you a prize for if you can finish it in 5 min. I could have but wanted to enjoy my meal. It was decent tasting. Fries were a bit weak.

Selection overall was relatively good. Nine selections available with a nice vareity to choose from. My single complaint would be the only Hefe they had was mixed 50/50 with the Pale.

Service was pretty good. The server seemd to know something about the beers. Would have rated it higher but I was kept waiting for my third beer for quite a while.


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

Establishment: Heidelberg Inn, Solvang, CA

Nice selection of European imports. Only three brews on tap, with the Dunkel being the best. The rest of the selection is bottles. Didn't try the food. but I will next time.

If you get dragged along to Solvang, I can't imagine a better place to hang out while the wife window shops then the beer garden at the Heidelberg Inn. Kick back with a 33 oz stein of the Dunkel snacking on sausages and watch the people go by.


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

Establishment: Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Buellton, CA

Tries several of the beers they had available. The Hemp Brown and the unfiltered Double Barrel were the standouts. The porter was alright, but I was hoping for better given what I had heard about it.

The food was hit and miss. The burger was excellent but the flat iron steak was rather ordinary and the onion rings were lousy. The menu suffers from a bit of an identity complex. It seems as if they are trying to go for a high end ala carte vibe but not quite pulling it off. The dearth of appetizers was disappointing, and I can't quite figure out why they would serve plates of green beans or macaroni and cheese as stand alone dishes when they come as sides to the main courses.

The service was friendly but extremely inattentive. The wife and I would have had at least a couple more brews if the hostess would have deigned to cehck in on us more. She didn;'t even get the hint when I ordered another round as soon as my previous order showed up. It was busy, but not busy enough to justify the amount of empty glass time we had.

They were out of several of their beers, most notabably the Nectar beers which I was looking forward to trying on tap after enjoying them from a bottle. If they had actually had all the brews printed on their menu I would have given them a "Great" for selection.

All in all though, not a bad place to stop if you are in the area.


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

Establishment: Santa Maria Brewing Company, Nipomo, CA

When someone says an establishment concentrates on one thing and one thing only, they probably had The Santa Maria Brewing Company in mind. This little brewery brews some pretty good beers but that is about it. The decor is trailer-park rustic, complete with a portable toliet for those who "break the seal".

All of their beers are pretty good. I enjoyed the porter the most, but all of them are decent selections.

Food is available next door at the Ranch Nipomo Deli and BBQ, which has some outstanding pulled pork sandwiches and some chili verde worth killing for.


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

Establishment: English Ales Brewery, Marina, CA

Consistently excellent selection of beers. The cask conditioned Porter is one of the best I have ever had. The fish and bangers with chips were pretty damn good, but most of the other food we tried was relatively unexceptional. The service was initailly a little slow, but once the server realized I was there to sample a variety of brews he opened up and discussed his brews. I even got to go behind the bar to check out the porter cask.


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

Establishment: El Toro Brewing Company, Morgan Hill, CA

The selection here was awesome. They had over 20 house brews to choose from. We tried the Porter, the Poppy Jasper Amber, the Kellerbier (seasonal), and the Johhny Blaze. The porter was probably the weakest but still pretty good. The Johhny Blaze (an amber seasoned with Anise) was a real standout, with the remainder of the brews we tried being pretty darn good.

I was a bit disappointed that they were somehow "out" of pizza, since that is what I had my heart set on. My wife's BBQ bacon cheeseburger was spot on, as were the fish and chips that I settled on as a substitute for the pizza. We tried the hot dog tacos. They get points for novelty, but came across as something someone got from a Better Homes & Gardens magazine in the 70's. They were accompanied by rather mediocre slasa and guacomole that would make me think twice about ordering nachos.

All in all I would highly recommend this place.


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

Establishment: Hoover's 101, Atascadero, CA

I really wanted to like this place. From what I could gather on their website, it seemed like this was a greasy spoon diner in a sleepy little central coast town that happened to brew it's own beers. The little history they include in the menu revealed that this diner moved to its current location, which happened to be the former home of a now defunct brewery and so came with a "state of the art brewing facility". Their master brewer is reportedly out of the Firestone brewery.

With all that going for it, they really dropped the ball in terms of quality of beer. They served an Amber, Porter, Pale ale, and IPA that were all flat. The IPA came the closest to having some of the flavor I expect from a craft brew, but the rest could only be distinguished from the other by their color.

The food was hot and miss. The French Burger was pretty good, as were the pork carnitas plates my wife and mother-in-law had. The sweet potato fries got points for novelty, but the regular fries, jalapeno popppers, and beans and rice were all pretty boring. My daughter got a chocolate shake for desert that for some reason included cherrys and nuts, much to our servers suprise.

In general I wouldn't recommend this place. I ended up getting a couple of six packs of Fierstone from a local liquor store to wash away my disappointment.


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

Establishment: Triple Rock Brewing Company, Berkeley, CA

The Black Rock Porter, Reindeer Ale (seasonal), Dragon's Milk and Red Rock Ale (on the nitro tap) were all good, and the Titanium was excellent, but the Stout was the real stand out amongst the beers available. The main complaint I had about the beers was that they were out of many of the beers on their beer menu.

The food was disappointing compared to the quality of the brews. The wings were pretty good, but the nachos and the my burger were unexceptional. My wife made the mistake of ordering the Brewhouse Burger well-done, and it came out as a charred hockey puck.

Overall the quality of the beer makes this place worth a visit if you happen to be in the area, but don't bother making a special trip to this pub.


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

Establishment: San Jose Tied House, San Jose, CA

Tried the Mull-tied (a winter seasonal), the seasonal fruit beer (passionfruit), the Ironwood Dark, the Amber, and the New World Wheat. Out of the five the Mull-tied was probably the most interesting. The Ironwood Dark and the Amber were alright. The Wheat was a bit weak, and the passionfruit was disappointing.

We tried the Tied-Combo appetizer plate, which inlcuded calamari, garlic pest fries, onion rings, and cajun shrimp. All were pretty good, but would have been better if the fires and the calamari were not seasoned the exact same way. The Brewer's burger with grilled onions and bacon added was pretty darn good. The Beer mustard chicken was well liked by my dinner companions. The tortilla soup was also good, while the Turkey club was unexceptional.

The service was a little underpar. I had to wait quite a while with an empty glass between visits from our server. This was especially egregious given that there were three tables with patrons and three servers. Our waiter seemed far more interested in watching the Sharks game than waiting our table.


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

Establishment: Hoptown Brewing Company, Pleasanton, CA

Hopyard has a great rotating selection of microbrews. We found the appetizers (chicken skewers, kettle chips, and garlic parmesan fires) to be a bit disappointing. The Sierra Madre burger, Blue Cheese steak sandwich and onion rings were better. I really enjoyed the fish and chips, specifically the tartar sauce that accompanied it.

We visited on a Friday night so the place was pretty busy and the service suffered a bit for it. We had a long wait between refills, and a few mix ups with our orders.

Probably a better place to visit when it isn't so busy. The beer club, which allows you to earn gifts for sampling different brews is a nice gimmick for locals.


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

Establishment: Buffalo Bill's Brewery, Hayward, CA

I visited Buffalo Bills with my wife, another couple, and three small children. This brewery is an excellent place for small children, facilitated especially by our server who was truly outstanding.

I was a bit disappointed in the overall beer selection. I was looking forward to trying the original Buffalo Beer, which had been replaced on tap by the Pumpkin Ale. Strangely enough they had also replaced the Orange Blossom Cream Ale (available by bottle) with a Blueberry Oatmeal Stout. I say this is strange because two of the five beers available were Oatmeal Stouts. Great if you are a fan of stouts but unfortunate if you appreciate a wider selection.

I really enjoyed the Pumpkin Ale. It is widely available in bottles, but it was great from the tap. The best of their regular brews would have to be the Tazmanian Devil. The Ricochet Red was alright, but a little bitter for my taste, but the Alimony Ale (a IPA)was better balanced than most IPAs. The Hayward Hefe and the standard oatmeal stout were unexceptional. The Blueberry Oatmeal stout was an improvemnet over the regualr oatmeal stout.

We tried the Jalapeno Poppers, which I gave extra points to for the novelty of their size, but were pretty plain tasting. The wings were just so-so, small and ordinary. Overall the pizzas we tried were great, with my favorite being the Wrangler. We also tried three of the deserts: the cheesecake, the creme brulee, and the chocolate cake. Of the three the chocolate cake was far and away our group's favorite.


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

Establishment: San Diego Brewing Company, San Diego, CA

SDBC has a great selection of guest brews, 36 brews by my count (although one of them was Bud Light, to go along with 5 house brews, and this is probably the highlight of the place. They were out of one of the five house brews on their board, so I only got to sample 4. The Porter was just so-so, but the Hefeweizen was better, and the Amber and Nutbrown were both very good.

Overall I was disappointed in the food. The hot wings were mediocre, the Bavarian sausage sandwich had a pretty uniteresting sausage coupled with a nearly inedible bun and a side of fries that lacked any real flavor. After one bit of her guacamole/pepperjack burger, my wife went in search of something to give it some flavor, but the onion rings were pretty good. Their house speciality is a Jalapeno Beer Cheese which I thought was excellent. At the suggestion of our server we began dipping all of our food into it and it saved the meal. If you are going to order food here I strongly suggest the the beer cheese bowl, and then dip away.

I probably won't visit here again, at least not until I have tried several other establishments in the area. From what I gather they have two affiliated brew pubs, one with a Mexican theme and one with an Irish theme. If these places are better I might return to SDBC and chalk my food experience up to a bad day. If the food was better the beer selection woul dmake this place a must try.


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

Establishment: Karl Strauss Brewery Restaurant, San Diego, CA

Got there at happy hour so I concentrated on sampling a wide variety of appetizers along with the beers.

They have a total of 10 brews on tap. The Altbier and Pintail Pale (both seasonal) were pretty good. I tried a sampler of the wheat wine, which was inbteresting but I don't have a good enough frame of refernce to actually rate it. The Amber was pretty good and the red Trolley was excellent. The real stand out for me was the Woodie Gold. On the first sip the hefeweizen was disappointing, but a second sip from my wife's pint after a bit of fod was much better.

The appetizers were unexceptional. The quesadilla was bland as was the spinach artichoke dip. The calamari itself was also bland. It came with a chilli dipping sauce that tasted exacytly like chilli cheese fritos, except saltier. At our server's suggestion we tried the fries with the light Cajun seasoning. They were good, but I they would have been overpowering with the regualr amount of seasoning. The Hot Wngs were pretty standard, butthey were the highlight of the dishes we tried.

The service here was excellent. The service was prompt and our waiter discussed our beer selections with an air of knowledge, and provided useful suggestions. He even chipped in a few free pint glasses when I bought a shirt.

I might not go out of my way to try this place again, but I certainly wouldn't avoid it.


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

Establishment: Blue Frog Grog and Grill, Fairfield, CA

This place was pretty good. Two seasonal brews were on tap, a Dunkel Weizen and one they called Pequeno on the nitrogen tap. Not sure what kind the Pequeno was but it was a light beer (in color and ABV) with some definite floral taste to it. The Red and the Blonde were also good. I really liked the Hefeweizen though, one of the best I have had.

I had several appetizers and generally they were hot or miss. I had to try the frog legs and they weren't too bad. The skewer platter was excellent, as were the fries. The roasted garlic/brie appetizer wasn't anything exceptional and the crab cakes were a definite dissapointment.

All in all I would defintely recommend it to anyone in the area.


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

Establishment: Monterey Coast Brewing Company, Salinas, CA

I tried a pint each of the Porter, Pilsner, Scottish Red, and Nut Brown. I usually look for a porter with robust flavor and a nice head, this one had neither. I really enjoyed the other three though, especially the pilsner.

The fried calamari was prepared well and a generous portion was served, but the breading lacked much flavor. The roasted garlic alioli, drizzled over the calamari was also relatively bland. The pizza was excellent though, with a thin cripsy crust and toppings that really complemented each other. It went really well with the pilsner.

My waiter was alright. I was initially served quiclky, but he committed the terrible faux pas of letting me sit for several minutes with an empty pint glass in front of me after that. The bus boy picked up the slack though and actually brought me two of the beers, so I feel a slight bump in the service category was justified.

I would defintely stop by this place again if I am in Salinas.


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

Establishment: Pleasanton Main Street Brewery, Pleasanton, CA

I was a bit disappointed in the beer selection. Only 4 house brews listed, and they were out of one. There were about 10 guest taps, but all standard run-of-the mill selections I could have picked up at the local grocery.

The food was decent. We had the dilly boppers (fried dill pickles) which were OK, but I have had better. The sampler platter with a variety of cheeses, salami, and fruit was a joke. The onion rings were pretty good though, as were the fries. The Guiness gouda burger had the potential to be one of the best burgers I have ever had but was spoiled by the rather pedestrian bun (straight from the grocery store).

I tried all three of the house brews that were available. The Mocha porter was pretty good. The IPA was suprisingly good, given that I am not much of an IPA fan. The Strawberry hefeweizen was rather ordinary.

Service was friendly, but I did have to wait a while between beers. I asked for a beer list but one wasn't available, which was odd considering there were only three house brews available.


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

Establishment: Downtown Brewing Company, Paso Robles, CA

The food selection was limited and what they did have wasn't exactly executed to perfection. They get points in my book for having both pretzels and a sausage platter, but the mustard that came with the pretzel was pretty plain and the three sausage varieties that came on the platter were drowning in peppers, making them virtually indistinguishable. The BBQ bacon cheeseburger was pretty run of the mill as were the fries.

The beers were a little better. The IPA was flavorful, but a little bitter for my taste. The seasonal porter, amber, and honey blonde were all good. The blueberry was interesting and good. I really enjoyed the wheat, which had a crispness that was refreshing.

The service was initially lousy, especially considering how empty the place was, but I got more attention was the server realized I was there to sample a wide variety of their brews.


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