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Reviews on PubCrawler from dr. john
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July 28, 2014 @ 02:11 PM EDT
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Reviews By
dr. john

Beer Reviews
(42)

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42
Beer Reviews from dr. john
   

Review Page: [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ ALL ]
Average Rating
Beer Quality
Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great
Great Great Great Great

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

Establishment: Karl Strauss Brewery Restaurant, San Diego, CA

Go here for the food and the service, and a good place to watch sports. The entrees seemed well prepared, and the veggies weren't overdone. Our server was very attentive and got us small initial beer tastes w/o charge. Unfortunately, the beers are the weaker link, if only because there are so many really good breweries in the area. Having said that, their Hefeweizen was quite decent and the IPA was nicely balanced if not outstanding. The ESB was unremarkable, and the 8% barleywine definitely doesn't measure up to say, Ballast Point's. Karl's seemed to offer only pint servings; 10 or 12 oz. glasses would give the customer a bit more flexibility (and variety).

(01/24/2009)

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

Establishment: Ballast Point Brewing Company, San Diego, CA

Definitely worth stopping at! The B.P. folks enjoy chatting about their beers (and beer in general) while pouring tasters. All of their beers were outstanding. The Yellowtail was great, they had a nice oatmeal stout, a wit, and an India Pale Lager that was interesting. Most impressive were a double IPA (at 8%), and a barleywine that weighed in at 10% - a very nice, robust, but not overpowering flavor profile.

This combination with a homebrew shop reminds one of Drydock Brewing in Aurora, CO. As evidence of maintaining their homebrew roots, one of the brewers let us sample his own IPA, which was quite nice indeed. Glad we didn't miss it!

(01/24/2009)

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

Establishment: Coronado Brewing Company, Coronado, CA

Since our visit was only for some beer and a light snack, our food rating was by no means exhaustive. Their beer offerings were impressive, including two IPAs. Idiot IPA came in at 8.5% abv, a fine example. Their Nutter Brown was well hopped and maltier than most browns. The Islandweizen Hefe was well styled, and appeared to be the most popular among the clientele. CBC had a good crowd even in early afternoon.

Be aware that parking can be an issue, as Coronado Island is a popular destination! Traffic can get heavy, especially when folks are exiting the naval base after work. However, the myriad parking meters are free Sundays. (CBC probably should be listed in "San Diego" area of Pubcrawler, even though the island is a separate jurisdiction: it didn't show up on our S.D. list, and we just lucked into it)

(01/24/2009)

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

Establishment: Clipper City Brewing Company, Baltimore, MD

CC produces some high quality brews, however, as I recall, they had only 4 on tap. The Loose Cannon was a decent IPA; perhaps the lower range of IBUs by Colorado or West Coast standards, but an interesting profile nonetheless. Their Imperial Stout was unfortunately not offered on tap, and they were not willing to open a bottle for samples (they had some for retail sales). I was advised that one could sample some only by going on the Saturday tour, and the tour was filled up (tough luck). Breweries back home (Colorado) generally go to great lengths to proffer their beers, so this was rather disappointing, given there being only limited choices to try.

(11/27/2008)

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

Establishment: Vintage50, Leesburg, VA

We stopped here briefly for some refreshment midday. They had a reasonable selection of beer, and also food. We shared a large soft pretzel; it came with two dipping sauces, and we assign it high marks. I chose a pint of the CAT IPA. The menu describes it as "an aggressively hoped IPA with IBUs in the 40s". It was indeed a good beer, but by Colorado or West Coast standards only a potently hopped American Pale. Perhaps East Coast folks prefer lower hopped IPAs, but Western examples feature IBUs from the 70s up to 100 (i.e., Avery Maharaja). My wife enjoyed the Kolsch. Service was very good. Nice atmosphere, and they evidently do a big business on T-Day. A Wee Heavy with turkey and the works? Why not!!

(11/26/2008)

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

Establishment: Trinity Brewing Company, Colorado Springs, CO

We were a bit disappointed that they had only 2 or 3 Trinity beers on tap - after seeing 5 or 6 advertised on their website (that's what we really went for). Naturally, the most interesting ones were gone, the remainder being the more pedestrian (lighter) examples. By way of compensation, they had a very impressive guest tap selection (about 10-12). These included various other micros, import Belgians, etc.

The staff insisted on running a credit card in advance of the tab (apparently they've had customers absconding without paying). We just had time for the bread plate, but it was quite good, and the other food selections looked inviting. Perhaps the owners had too ambitious a brewing schedule, but my advice would be to have sufficient stock to meet the demand, even if it meant paring down a style or two. Next time we're in the area, we'll definitely call ahead (and not depend on their website) to check their inventory and decide if it's worth stopping again.

(10/03/2008)

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

Establishment: Dry Dock Brewing Company, Aurora, CO

This was my first visit to Drydock, and I have to give them high marks across the board. First, their selection was pretty amazing, given their relatively small brewing capacity (7 bbl.). Their sampler tray featured around a dozen beers; fortunately they were a reasonable 2 oz. size. Among their offerings were Winter Wheat, a fine ESB, a Rye beer, Poor Richards' (colonial) Ale, a robust stout, a vanilla porter (the vanilla really comes through well), an English mild, a standard IPA, a superb Imperial IPA, and a Braggot. Second, the quality was high as well. While you may not prefer every variety, all were correct for style, and it's impossible not to find something you like. Third, the server was very attentive, friendly, and happy to talk about the various brews. There's also a full bookcase featuring volumes on ships and brewing, an unusual but interesting combination. I got to chat briefly with the owner as well. Judging from the number of folks taking out growlers on a Tuesday afternoon, Dockyard has a very dedicated following. When customers can actually talk with the owner while sampling the beer, that to me is the epitome of the small brewery that hasn't forgotten why they're there.

(01/23/2008)

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

Establishment: Laurelwood Public House and Brewery, Portland , OR

This is a new Laurelwood establishment located only about half a mile from their other one. It appears to be much larger (the other one was closed when we went by). Their menu was varied and included both pub food and more upscale items. Service was top notch. Their beer offerings included a Workhorse IPA at 80 IBUs that gets top marks even by Oregon standards. The Boss IPA is a slightly milder version at 70 IBUs, 6.7% abv. Others included Mother Lode Golden Ale, Piston Pale, Tree Hugger Porter, and Space Stout. Food was of good quality and large quantity also. Didn't catch their operating hours, so you might want to check their website or call.

(08/07/2007)

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

Establishment: Rogue Ales Public House, Portland, OR

Rogue has a comprehensive beer menu fully equal in size to the food menu, with complete information on each beer. Unfortunately, with such a huge variety, only a portion is actually available at any given time, so one needs to be aware of that. Our server was very patient with us as we proceeded to order a succession of beers that were unavailable. He said new equipment was being installed (here or at the main brewery?), and would alleviate some of this in the fall. They had two nice varieties of beer bread that went very well with the beverages.

Unlike Bridgeport, Rogue tends towards high end malt and IBUs, and innovative hybrid styles. They offered an Extreme Bitter that was a cross between ESB & IPA that gets high marks indeed. I can only say kudos to a company that refuses to sacrifice their quality to shave production costs (unfortunately a very un-American trend these days).

(08/07/2007)

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

Establishment: Bridgeport Brewing Company and Public House, Portland, OR

In light of the comments by the reviewer below, guess I'm fortunate not to have seen the "old" Bridgeport. But that review hardly even addresses the beer issues, and that's what this site is supposed to be about. Bridgeport has opted for low-end malt and IBUs on all styles compared with Rogue and Laurelwood. This reduces production costs, but also yields less memorable brews. That said, the beers will be very satisfactory to those who prefer such styles. They do have a real bakery in conjunction with the pub, but as was pointed out, no pretzels or light vittles to consume while tasting different styles. The price of the sampler, at $7, was quite reasonable, and we were able to get some oyster crackers from our waitress to munch while working the sampler. However, most of the menu is geared toward high end (read 'price') appetizers more geared to an Applebee's or Chili's. Our server was almost too attentive, and was probably disappointed we there only to try the beer. An application of the old mantra that "the restaurants make their profit on the alcohol, while the waitstaff make theirs on the food".

(08/06/2007)

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

Establishment: Alameda Brewing Company, Portland, OR

Located in an interesting neighborhood in Portland NE. Service a bit slow at times/ Their IPA was good, but only about 60 IBUs compared to Laurelwood. The Black Bear Stout was also decent. Parking can be a problem at peak times.

(08/06/2007)

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

Establishment: Lucky Labrador Brewing Company, Portland, OR

This is the place we should have had dinner at. Unfortunately, we didn't realize we were right in the vicinity. We blundered across Lucky Lab after dinner - trying to walk off a couple of pints imbibed elsewhere. Their selection was outstanding, and didn't seem to be out of anything. They had everything from barleywines to IPAs to rye, wheats, etc. The Superdog IPA was excellent, but apparently they occasionally offer a "Super Duper Dog" IPA that's even more potent. The sample of barleywine was entirely too smooth, and could snare the unaware into trouble very quickly. The food looked considerably better than Roots, and there was plenty of room to spread out. The bar server was very accommodating with samples, and I really regret we didn't stop here first...problem with visiting Portland for the first time. (My companion still thought I enjoyed too much microbrew - although I still had sufficient margin to drive unimpaired. Next time she rents the car!)

(08/05/2007)

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

Establishment: Roots Organic Brewing, Portland, OR

Agree with comments posted by Beertrekker (below). Portland is indeed Mecca for those who appreciate great beer. Unfortunately, I can't afford to live there. Roots Brewing offers a Shark Bite IPA, at 102 IBUs and 8.9% abv, and was top-notch. They also offered a Heather Ale (as I recall made without hops tailored for folks of the female persuasion) and Excaliber Imperial Stout at 8.6% abv. Food was mostly microwave heated/cooked, but perhaps worth it if you're sold on organic. We didn't stay late, but could see that it might get really loud with entertainment and a larger crowd.

(08/05/2007)

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

Establishment: Silver Moon Brewing Company, Bend, OR

Place was closed when we got into town. However, tried some of their IPA at a local restaurant. Not nearly as good as Deschutes...

(08/04/2007)

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

Establishment: Trask Brewery and Public House, McMinnville, OR

Unfortunately, this establishment seems to have been "absorbed" a la the Borg, by the many-tentacled octopus called McMenamins. Same address, but no Trask. Not sure when it was acquired...

(08/04/2007)

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

Establishment: Rogue Ales / Oregon Brewing and Brewer's on the Bay, Newport, OR

My only adverse comment is that they don't have all Rogue brews available at any given time. Entirely understandable given their huge range of offerings. Still, they have some very high quality brews, and definitely not a place to casually pass by. Their beer bread was just right to accompany tasting.

(08/04/2007)

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

Establishment: McMenamin's Broadway Pub, Portland, OR

To be painfully honest, the beers were pedestrian. Not much hops, not much malt. They seemed to reflect using the minimum malt, hops, etc., to produce. Not at all up to other Portland establishments. The food was a bit better, but a local bar with guest taps would serve most patrons better. The view (from the 2nd story) is superior. Starbucks downstairs for after dinner.

(08/04/2007)

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

Establishment: Cascade Micro-Brewery and Public Firehouse, Salem, OR

We called first to verify the location, and were informed the number had been disconnected. Evidently out of business...

(08/04/2007)

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

Establishment: Lighthouse Brewpub, Lincoln City, OR

We were expecting an independent brewpub on our visit, but this place was apparently taken over by McMenamin's, the many-tentacled octopus. 'Nuff said.

(08/04/2007)

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

Establishment: Golden Valley Brewery, McMinnville, OR

These beers were designed for general public acceptance, not for those who appreciate high quality beer. Translation: Getting Miller Lite drinkers to try something slightly more adventuresome. Having said that, one can understand in a relatively small market, that there probably aren't enough folks who like 100 IBU IPAs to be profitable. McMenamin's evidently took over the other brewpub in town, so from a marketing standpoint, this is understandable. Just don't expect off the wall Oregon brews here.

(08/04/2007)

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

Establishment: Calapooia Brewing Company, Albany, OR

A bit out of the way, but not too far off I-5. Very impressive selection. - at least a dozen beers. Sampled the Shipwreck IPA, Boxcar brown. They also had a nice wheat. Beer garden inside/outside, e.g., within a fence, but outside the structure, very amenable. Didn't sample the food, but the portions looked quite generous. Well worth the drive. NOTE: this replaced/absorbed Oregon Trader brewing,which is essentially defunct, e.g., same address.

(08/04/2007)

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

Establishment: Oregon Trader Brewing Company, Albany, OR

Note: Calapoosa has replaced Oregon Trader. These ratings really apply to Calapoosa. If you look carefully, their address is the same. Pub Crawler should eliminate this site - it could be confusing.

(08/04/2007)

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

Establishment: Old Market Pub, Portland, OR

Old Market is definitely a challenge to find if you're from out of town. Having said that, they had a very fine selection. The Bombay IPA and Ratdog ESB were very good. They had Great White wheat, and a wit, and Terminal Gravity IPA as guest tap (a disappointment). The chips were somewhat stale. Easy to get back on I-5, not so easy to access off (there's no exit).

(08/04/2007)

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

Establishment: Ninkasi Brewing Company, Eugene, OR

Matthew, a co-brewer, graciously hosted us for tasting of 3 beers. Double Red, IPA, and Tricerahops - an Imperial IPA. Ninkasi had been in this location about 3-4 weeks, somewhat hard to find. No sign on location. My companion, who (being female) doesn't like well hopped beers, couldn't find anything she enjoyed drinking. For me, it was Beervana....

(08/04/2007)

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

Establishment: Deschutes Brewery, Bend, OR

Very accommodating. 4 samples offered at the brewery. The brewpub on Bond St. had some varieties not available at the brewery. Service was very good. The brewpub gets busy (because it's so popular).

(08/04/2007)


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