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Average Rating
Beer Quality
Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great
Great Great Great Great

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

Establishment: Peter B's Brew Pub, Monterey, CA

I cannot say a whole lot to upgrade the previous so-so reviews of this place. I stopped in only briefly on a Sunday afternoon. I caught a little football on TV and had one pint of the "dark wheat", which is actually a mix of their wheat and their stout. It wasn't bad, reminding me slightly of Shiner's award-winning dunkelweizen, their Winter Ale. If in or near Monterey you may wish to give Peter B's a try, but don't go too far out of your way.....

(11/10/2002)

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

Establishment: Hop Yard Alehouse and Grill, San Ramon, CA

I made a return visit to the Hop Yard last week on Tuesday's "Brewery Night" (featuring Rogue Ales). The taps literally change daily at this place as new beers replace those that have just been emptied. This day the draft choices included a few good but unremarkable imports, a pair of megalagers, a cider or two, and a wide range of craft beer selections. Hopheads and wheat beer fans were especially well considered with the draft options. Here is the rundown for that night: Rogue Brutal Bitter and Hazelnut Brown, Lagunitas IPA Maximus, Hoptown IPA and DU IPA, Mad River Jamaica IPA, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Redhook ESB, Anchor Wheat, Pyramid Hefeweizen and Apricot Ale, Abita Purple Haze, Hopyard Hefeweizen and Golden Haze (both made by Hoptown), Kelly Bros. Wheat, Bear Republic Hefeweizen and Red Rocket, Moonlight Lunatic Lager, Golden Pacific Hibernator Ale, Pale Ale and Golden Bear Lager. Good food, too....try the Baja swordfish tacos.

(11/09/2002)

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

Establishment: Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery and Restaurant, Walnut Creek, CA

I arrived at this Pyramid Alehouse location just in time for the tour one day this past week (M-F at 4:00 PM and several times on weekends). The tour consisted of a close-up look at the brewing equipment, a history of Pyramid and some free samples of the available brews. We were told that a more interesting tour is offered at the Berkeley location, as it is a much larger facility with a bottling line. This Walnut Creek location has a fairly small brewing facility, inherited from the Faultline Brewing Co. that used to occupy this location. Some beers are brewed here on-site while others come from nearby Berkeley and sometimes even Seattle. A good variety of offerings are available, including nitro versions of the stout and pale ale, and a wide selection of Thomas Kemper sodas. My favorite is still the Snow Cap Ale. They still had the Octoberfest on as well. I'll try the food next time.

(11/09/2002)

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

Establishment: Monterey Coast Brewing Company, Salinas, CA

This relatively new brewpub is in Old Town Salinas, just a block away from the National Steinbeck Center. The brewing equipment is prominantly visible just to the right of the front entrance and behind the bar. The menu listed four or five regular beers, including a pale ale, a wheat, and an amber (which was out). I opted for both of the special brews on my visit. The Scottish ale was not what I expected for the style, drinkable but looking and tasting more like a mildly hopped amber ale. However, the Bavarian Bock was very well done, rich in color and served with a good foamy head. My grilled chicken sandwich was generously portioned and delicious. I arrived shortly before 9:00 PM on a Saturday, just in time to enjoy a live blues combo (no cover) that played to essentially a full house. This brewpub is not far from highway 101, and is worth a visit.

(11/08/2002)

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

Establishment: E.J. Phair Brewing Company, Concord, CA

I just recently had the E. J. Phair Harvest Ale on tap at the Hop Yard in Pleasanton. This Fall seasonal is a dark reddish-brown ale with a complex taste often found in some of the better winter seasonal ales. I've enjoyed their seasonal brown ale as well in the past, but not their other beer styles. I'll look for other E. J. Phair offerings on subsequent trips to the SF Bay area.

(11/08/2002)

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

Establishment: Buffalo Restaurant and Bar, Idaho Springs, CO

The Buffalo is one of those classic mountain town bars, occupying a group of historic structures on the main street of this legendary mining town. It is no surprise that the specialty of the house are a variety of menu items featuring buffalo meat. The beer selection is not overwelming, but there are some beers from Colorado micros (Tommyknocker is just down the street) and some import choices on draft or in bottles. It is easy to stop at the Buffalo and also the Tommyknocker Brewery & Pub when passing by Idaho Springs on I-70.

(10/27/2002)

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

Establishment: Big Easy Brewing Company, Marrero, LA

The Day Brewing Co. began in 1999 when brewer Sonny Day began producing Day’s Louisiana Lager. This beer is now available on draft and in bottles throughout much of Louisiana. Day’s Lager has a deep gold color and a moderate hop character. I felt like I was drinking a quality European lager. You will not confuse this beer for Bud. Recently, new brewmaster Doug Lindley, formerly the brewing force at the now defunct Acadian Brewing Co., has come on board and is beginning to produce some other beer styles. The first to join the Day lineup is Creole Amber, a Vienna-style lager that will be available on draft this fall and in bottles early in 2003. Since Doug’s Vienna Lager at Acadian earned a bronze medal at the 1998 GABF, I would expect this version from Day Brewing to be a good representation of the Vienna style. There are also some contract brews in the mix.

(10/27/2002)

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

Establishment: Hubcap Brewery And Steakhouse, Vail, CO

I stopped in here once a couple of years ago. There was a good tap selection of house brewed beers and guest taps. However, their website indicates that they closed up shop as a brewpub last Spring and are planning to reestablish the brewing operation in some form or another in Birmingham, Alabama.

(10/26/2002)

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

Establishment: Southern Sun Pub and Brewery, Boulder, CO

This is a new sister brewpub to the Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery on Boulder's fabled Pearl Street. They are transitioning from house beers produced at the Mountain Sun location to the 10 barrel brewery at this new location this month. At the time of my visit there were a total of nine house beers plus some additional craft beer and import guest taps. I had house version of a rye pale ale and something called a Colorado Mild, along with one of their signature burritos. This place has become immediately very popular on the south side of Boulder, with a waiting list for a table on a Tuesday evening, but they would serve you a beer while you waited. The Southern Sun is on the second level of the Table Mesa Shopping Center. Recommended.

(10/13/2002)

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

Establishment: Old Chicago, Silverthorne, CO

This Old Chicago is located just off of the Dillon/Silverthorne exit of I-70 at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel. On an October 7 visit the thirty taps included many of the usual imported beer suspects: Guinness, Boddington's, Bass, Newcastle, Lowenbrau, LaBatt Blue, plus Oktoberfest beers from Beck's and Paulaner, and Warsteiner Dunkel. Other than an Ace cider and several megalager taps, the rest were devoted to craft beers: Boulder Fallfest and Porter, Singletrack, Buffalo Gold and Hazed & Infused Dry Hopped Ale all from Rockies Brewing, Odell's Easy Street Wheat and 90 Schilling Ale, Avery Ellie's Brown Ale, Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown, Fat Tire, Flying Dog K-9 Cruiser, and Kaltenberg Dunkel...all from Colorado, and Sam Adams, Shiner Bock, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Blue Moon. Not a bad set of choices - I opted for the Kaltenberg Dunkel and the Avery Brown Ale. Just across I-70 from Dillon Dam Brewery, so one can hit both places easily if staying in the Dillon area.

(10/13/2002)

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

Establishment: Amicas Pizza and Microbrews, Salida, CO

A new name and a new brewer, but otherwise this place seems the same as when it was Il Vicino. Only four house beers available during my visit and nothing that would please a hophead. New batches of their Headwaters IPA (a derivation of Il Vicino's Wet Mountain IPA) and an amber ale were in the fermenters and not available. I very much enjoyed the nut brown ale and the roated rye porter, but my taste of the scottish ale was not what I expected - lighter in color than a scottish should be and with a heavier, sweeter mouthfeel that seemed more like that of a barleywine. I opted not to have a full pint of that. For a good scottish ale drive the 30 some miles up the road to Leadville's Boomtown Brewpub. My pizza and salad were good amd the service was adequate on a busy Sunday evening.

(10/12/2002)

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

Establishment: Breckenridge Brewery, Breckenridge, CO

This was a return visit for me to the original Breckenridge pub after many years away. There were four regular beers available plus two seasonals. I had the Oatmeal Stout and a very tasty seasonal Colorado Special Bitter. I had a pretty good portobello sandwich. The bartender did not make a great first impression as he seemed to have difficulty getting off the phone. Still a fine place to visit.

(10/12/2002)

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

Establishment: The Cheshire Cat, Arvada, CO

I made a brief visit to the Cheshire Cat before the Great American Beer Fest last weekend - I was there once before over a year ago. I had a sampler of five beers - you can pick the ones you want from a house beer list of about ten or so - 3 on hand pump. I went with some of the darker beers - a bock, a porter, a strong ale....I don't recall them all, but they were quite drinkable. I did not have food this time so I will not comment on the food (my recollection of lunch from over a year ago is not clear, other than to say I was not disppointed at that time. The Chesire Cat is located north of I-70 between Wadsworth and Kipling. It is worth seeking out.

(10/11/2002)

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

Establishment: The Stag's Head, Houston, TX

A wide selection of draft choices, weighted heavily toward the imports. I was a bit disappointed to only find one Octoberfest tap (Spaten) during the first week of October. Good representation from the local Texas microbrews as well - Saint Arnold had at least three beers, including their cask conditioned amber, and Brenham Brewery had all three of their beers on draft - Helles Lager, Pilsner, and the newly released Bock. Our group jus had appetizers - I especially liked the fried zucchini.

(10/04/2002)

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

Establishment: Brenham Brewery, Brenham, TX

The Brenham Bock is now available. I found it at the Stag's Head in Houston, and I've heard that the first keg of Brenham Bock went quite fast at the Hops House. The bock has a nice medium brown color. It did not have the strong malty sweet taste that some bocks deliver, and was really quite refreshing. I will be looking forward to trying it again soon.

(10/04/2002)

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

Establishment: Denver ChopHouse and Brewery, Denver, CO

I've been to the Denver Chophouse several times over the years, but this was the first opportunity to take my wife. It is a great place to demonstrate what an upscale brewpub is really like, especially after dragging your spouse to many places that are no more the pub grub/sports bar brewpubs. The Chophouse food is outstanding, well presented while offering substantial portions. Most dinner entrees are $20 or more, and include an impressive salad and tasty corn bread served in a skillet. As for the beer, a good variety of regulars and special beers is always available. On this most recent visit, I started with the brown ale, but eagerly switched to a brewmaster's special blackberry black lager. What a treat that was, with just a hint of berry tartness in a full flavored dark lager.

(09/27/2002)

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

Establishment: Two Rows Restaurant and Brewery, Houston, TX

I have been to Two Rows a number of times over the years. The menu is broad and the food is generally quite good - this most recent time no exception. You can usually find at least six different beers on tap. On this visit, I had a nice, malty Octoberfest, and a solid cask-conditioned red ale. However, I was not impressed with my wife's Strawberry Blonde Ale, which seemed fairly tasteless when I sampled it. Two Rows is Houston's only brewpub these days, but it does reside in a pubcrawler-friendly area near Rice University. Right across the street is Brian O'Neill's Irish Pub, a new location of Little Woodrow's, and the legendary Ginger Man. Parking is a real challenge in this area on a weekend evening.

(09/24/2002)

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

Establishment: Buffalo Restaurant and Bar, Idaho Springs, CO

The Buffalo Restaurant is one of those classic Colorado mountain town pubs. The building dates from the late 1800's and you can feel it. As the name suggests, buffalo is featured in a number of the menu items. The beer selection is not overwhelming, but the bar does feature several taps from Tommyknocker (the brewery is less than two blocks away), and a few other craft and import beers. When passing through Idaho Springs, the Buffalo represents a good second stop or an alternative to the Tommyknocker brewpub.

(09/11/2002)

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

Establishment: Tommyknocker Brewery and Pub, Idaho Springs, CO

I've made several stops at Tommyknocker over the years. This recent visit included a light lunch. We enjoyed a nice salad, chicken quesadillas, and a small serving of their signature green pork chili. Instead of one of their regular brews, I opted for a limited edition rye porter, an interesting version of the style with a nice dry finish. My wife sampled one of five different bottled Tommyknocker sodas. As others have noted, the brewery side of the pub can be loud when they are bottling - the Jack Wacker Wheat was on the bottling line that day.

(09/11/2002)

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

Establishment: Seabright Brewery, Santa Cruz, CA

A bright and airy pub, away from the busiest part of downtown Santa Cruz. Lots of folks were enjoying lunch at the outside seating, but I sat at the bar where I could talk beer with the bartender and the brewer. The amber ale was very good and the brown ale was outstanding. I also got a free taste of a newly tapped porter. Other taps I did not get to try included their popular pale ale and a strong ale that had just been tapped as well. My sandwich and salad were quite good as well. Well worth a stop!

(09/05/2002)

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

Establishment: Eldos Grill and Brewery, San Francisco, CA

This new brewpub is on 9th street just south of Golden Gate Park, right on the train line. Eldos occupies the location of the former Golden Gate Brewery. It is a fairly contemporary place with a upstairs dining area along one side of the long narrow building opposite the bar. The brew tanks are in the back and up high level with the upper seating. There were three house beers on tap during my visit - a pilsner, a Vienna style amber and a Munich style dark (the most interesting of the three). They also brew a pale ale which was not available that evening. Eldos offers numerous guest taps of other West Coast craft beers and some imports. I arrived after the kitchen had closed on a slow weeknight, but the bartender seemed proud of the chef and his menu, and said business was generally good. I give Eldos qualified "Good" ratings, recognizing that they are still quite new.

(09/03/2002)

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

Establishment: Rosie McCann's Irish Pub and Restaurant, Santa Cruz, CA

A better than average selection of imports and craft beers on tap, including a pair of ciders. I cannot comment on the food here, but the menu looked pretty good. Rosie's occupies a second floor location on one of the busiest streets in downtown Santa Cruz.

(09/02/2002)

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

Establishment: 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall, Santa Cruz, CA

Over 40 taps dedicated to a mix of West Cosst craft beers and imports, with a couple of ciders and a draft root beer. Many more choices in bottles. I seized the opportunity to try a couple of pints from breweries I had not done before - Fire Rock Pale Ale from Kona Brewing, and Hemp Ale from Humbolt Brewing (an excellent malty, nutty red ale). The menu featured many of the usual pub items and some more interesting sandwiches and other choices as well. My Philly Chicken Cheese sandwich with waffle fries was excellent (although nothing like what I would expect to find in PA). Almost certainly the best beer selection in Santa Cruz.

(09/02/2002)

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

Establishment: Stoddard's Brewhouse and Eatery, Sunnyvale, CA

I enjoyed a tasty ESB on a late night visit to Stoddard's. I had a good conversation about beer and my former college town in Ohio with Brad behind the bar. Thanks also, Brad, for the extra taste of that fine-tasting porter as well. Next time I get a chance to visit, I'll try to do a meal at Stoddard's.

(09/02/2002)

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

Establishment: Faultline Brewing Company, Sunnyvale, CA

Nine house beers available, including two on cask. I arrived later in the evening and just ordered sample sizes of five different beers. My problem was they just did not seem very different from each other....a Vienna, a pale ale, an ESB, a brown ale (another that I can't remember now)....they should have been more distinguishable in both color and flavor from each other than they were. None of the five made a strong statement.

(09/02/2002)


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