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Reviews on PubCrawler from d. a. birnstihl
Other Reviews by this User
December 22, 2014 @ 10:32 AM EDT
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Reviews By
d. a. birnstihl

Beer Reviews

Restaurant Reviews


Beer Reviews from d. a. birnstihl
Average Rating
Beer Quality
Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Awesome! So So Great Great

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

Establishment: Marble Brewery, Albuquerque, NM

Great beer, great service! Marble Brewery is a brewery first and a pub second. That's neither good nor bad, but you should realize that it's not a typical brewpub. The pub is a great place to sample the brewery's beer but not a great restaurant or bar. The limited menu consists of a few sandwiches and some pub snacks.

They had eight of their own beers on draft plus one guest beer. Their beers included a German pilsener, an amber ale, an IPA, a Belgian-style ale, a brown ale, an oatmeal stout, a pumpkin ale, and Doble Blonde, which as far as I could tell was a wit-style ale on steroids (assertive rather than delicate but otherwise true to style).

The beers ranged from very good to great. The pumpkin ale and the pilsener stood out as the best representatives of their respective styles. The pumpkin ale had a solid pumpkin note but even more prominent allspice. In contrast to most pumpkin ales, this is a beer that takes itself seriously, and rightfully so.

The pilsener was a pleasant surprise. Typically, the lightest beer that a brewpub makes is a bland offering aimed at non-beer drinkers. Marble's pilsener is a beer aficianado's beer, appropriately hopped and light only in color, not in flavor.

The IPA was intensely citrusy. Not a bad beer, but not truly typical of the style. Similarly, the oatmeal stout had a strong caramel note that was not typical of the style but not unpleasant. I would gladly order a pint or two of either of these.

The pub has hats and t-shirts for sale. There is one flat-screen TV. There was nearly a full house on the Thursday evening when I visited.

Beers are available in several sizes: 5-ounce, 10-ounce, 16-ounce, and 22-ounce. Growlers, six-packs, and kegs are available also.

Always glad to see a new brewery and pub on the scene. Marble takes obvious pride in their craft and produces a wide range of well made and sometimes surprising beers.


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

Establishment: Prison Brews, Jefferson City, MO

Great new brewpub in Jeff City! Prison Brews just opened in April 2008. The decor is prison kitsch and the beer names are corny, but the beers themselves are awesome. I tried the sampler - generous tastings of all seven beers. All of the beers were good and some were great, especially the Cellmate Ale and Big House IPA. Large bar, dining area, outdoor seating, and bocce ball court (!). Super friendly staff. Everything you would want in a brewpub.

Beers available when I visited (June 2008): hefeweizen, amber ale, brown ale, pale ale, IPA, porter, stout. The porter was very smoky, and the stout was sweet and creamy. The hefe and brown were good but plain jane. The amber was sweet and caramel-y and had a licorice undertone. The pale ale was cloudy and totally "in your face" with its floral hops. My first criterion for a brewpub is its pale ale, and Prison Brews passed the test with flying colors. The best of the lot was the IPA. Big and bold but not overblown.

Glad to see a great new brewpub in Jefferson City.


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

Establishment: Van Dyck, Schenectady, NY

The beer--the most important element of any brewpub--was very good, but as a restaurant, the revamped Van Dyck was not ready for prime time.

The food was hit or miss. My wife had a salad that she enjoyed very much, and the kids liked the chicken quesadilla that they shared (note there is no kids menu). I had the Three Meat Combo, consisting of barbecued beef brisket, pulled pork, and St. Louis-style ribs. The brisket was good, the pork below average, and the ribs horrible. I usually agree with Mr. O'Connor's reviews, but it is a travesty to put Van Dyck's barbecue in the same league as Dinosaur's. I lived in the South for seven years--long enough to learn a thing or two about real 'cue, and unfortunately, the Van Dyck doesn't come close.

Service was very slow, and there were many faults with the establishment: broken soap dispenser in the restroom, no paper towels in the restroom, out of large take-out boxes, out of spicy barbecue sauce.

I want to like the Van Dyck, I really do. To have high quality, freshly brewed beer in Schenectady is great. But a brewpub cannot survive on beer alone. Management needs to improve the food and the service to bring them up to the level of the beer, and fast, or this incarnation of the Van Dyck will not last long.


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