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Average Rating
Beer Quality
Beer Selection Food Service Overall
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Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
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Establishment: Saint James's Gate Olde Irish Pub, Banff, AB

Delete this page, please - it is duplicate

(07/09/2005)

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

Establishment: Bottlescrew Bill's Old English Pub, Calgary, AB

I stopped at Bottlescrew Bill’s for lunch during a recent visit to Calgary. The daily special was the beef dip sandwich, which turned out to be pretty decent along with a side of tasty fries. I enjoyed a pint of the flavorful Wild Rose Brown Ale and a pint of the house beer, Buzzard’s Breath Ale, brewed by Calgary’s Big Rock Brewery, and only available here and the restaurant next door. The Buzzard’s Breath Ale was a very tasty amber ale, with a good balance of malt and hop flavors and a smooth, creamy head. In addition to the draft choices, this pub offers a fairly large bottle selection, including craft beers from Alberta, BC, and a couple of the eastern provinces as well.

(06/27/2005)

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

Establishment: WildWood Brewing Company, Calgary, AB

WildWood Brewing Company has a bit of a split personality, with a fine restaurant above a popular lower level pub. The street level restaurant is definitely upscale with an impressive (and not inexpensive) menu featuring wild game and many other interesting dishes. Our entrees (elk medallions and bison flank steak) were well done and well presented. There was a lot of wine drinking going on around us. I had two house beers – the Altitude Amber (good but not exceptional), and a more interesting red ale (an English-style bitter). They do offer a sampler but there were too many lighter beers to deal with. In hindsight, I do wish I had tried the honey brown as well. The restaurant had a warm feel, filled with wood, brick, and stone, with a fire in the fire place on a rainy Saturday night. The downstairs pub was crowded when we peeked in after our dinner. WildWood has won awards as the best brewpub in Calgary. With two ways to experience this brewpub – the upstairs WildWood Grill and the downstairs WildWood Pub - this seems to be a deservedly popular local establishment.

(06/27/2005)

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

Establishment: Wild Rose Brewery, Calgary, AB

Beers from the Wild Rose Brewery are not as easy to find as those of Big Rock, but they are on tap at a number of places in the Calgary and Banff area. My wife and I and our friends found the Wild Rose Brown Ale and the Wraspberry Ale on tap at the St. James’s Gate Irish Pub in Banff, and I later found the brown ale and the Velvet Fog unfiltered wheat ale at Bottle Screw Bill’s in Calgary. The brown ale, deep reddish-brown in color, is a flavorful brew, although perhaps not truly in the style of an English brown ale as claimed. The raspberry ale is light-bodied with a pleasant but not overpowering fruity aroma and flavor. I did not try the hefeweizen. In addition to the many draft accounts, the Wild Rose beers are available in large bottles.

(06/27/2005)

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

Establishment: Brewsters Brewing Company and Restaurant, Calgary, AB

Brewsters Brewing at the Eau Claire Market is located overlooking the Bow River on the north edge of downtown Calgary. It is a big place with two levels and outdoor seating in front and back. The large U-shaped bar has seating for about 15 patrons. The brew kettles and fermenters are clearly visible from the bar area. I ordered a five beer sampler along with a lunchtime grilled chicken salad. I chose the following from Brewsters’ rather list of extensive beer offerings: Hammerhead Red Ale, Lanigan’s Irish Ale, Rig Pig Pale Ale, Bighorn Bitter, and Bow Valley Brown Ale. The beers were generally good, with the Irish Ale a bit disappointing, and the Hammerhead and the Bighorn Bitter probably the most fully balanced with each having good malt and hop flavors. All in all, a pretty good lunch time stop.

(06/27/2005)

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

Establishment: Big Rock Brewery, Calgary, AB

During a recent trip to Calgary, I had the opportunity to try several Big Rock beers. I especially enjoyed the Traditional Ale, which is described on the Big Rock website as an English-style amber ale, but with its color and taste reminded me more of a mild but flavorful brown ale. The Honey Brown Lager and the Grasshopper krystal weizen were solid but less interesting. I also enjoyed a couple of bottles of a dark and malty seasonal maibock. Big Rock beers are readily found on tap at area pubs, and in both bottles and cans.

(06/27/2005)

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

Establishment: Saint. James's Gate Olde Irish Pub, Banff, AB

The St. James’s Gate is one of those Irish pubs that was built in Ireland and then shipped to North America and reassembled on location. This pub is dark with plenty of wood and things on the wall to make you think of Ireland. The draft beer selection is really excellent, with more than 30 choices, including Canadian craft beers and of course all of the expected imports for this type of pub. At our table, we had pints of the Brown Ale and Wraspberry Ale from Calgary’s Wild Rose Brewery, and Arctic Red Ale from Yukon Brewing. Our food selections were well done – including crab, Guinness & asparagus soup, shepherd’s pie, and steak, Guinness and mushroom pie. This is probably the best place for good beer variety along with good pub food in Banff. We did not catch any live music on Sunday (Father's Day evening).

(06/26/2005)

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

Establishment: Grizzly Paw Pub and Brewing Company, Canmore, AB

We had a very pleasant Father’s Day lunch on the patio of the Grizzly Paw brewpub. The beer sampler offers a taste of eight different house-brewed beers (the six shown on the brewery’s website, plus a lighter summer pilsner and an IPA. One can also order a smaller sampler with four beers from either the lighter or darker side. All of the beers were clean and reasonably true to style. Still, I thought some of the beers were just a bit beneath the level of flavor anticipated for the style. The best beers in my opinion were the Rutting Elk Red Ale, a nice version of a Scottish-style amber ale, and the Big Head Nut Brown. The IPA would have passed for a respectable pale ale but fell short of what I expected for an IPA. The stout was dark but a bit weak in flavor. Our food was good, sandwiches, fish & chips and such. They have some of their beers available to go in six packs of either bottles (three beer choices, I believe) or cans (for two of the beers). As a place to find decent if not outstanding beer and good food in a picturesque mountain town setting, I’d recommend a stop here.

(06/26/2005)

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

Establishment: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Houston, TX

I had been to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema once before, but I do not remember the beer selection being as fine as it was on this most recent trip. There were around 20 tap handles and only one of them poured a megalager. The others were about evenly split between American craft beers (mostly Texas) and imports. The Texas draft selections included choices from Saint Arnold in Houston, Live Oak and Independence in Austin, Real Ale from Blanco, and Shiner. Others beers were from New Belgium, Sierra Nevada and Anchor. The imports were not an extraordinary lot, but did include Hoegaarden and Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale, and a few that you would expect. I tried the Independence Bootlegger Brown Ale and the Alamo Drafthouse Amber Ale, the house beer also brewed by Independence Brewing. The brown ale was dark and notably hopped with more of the bitter taste of dark chocolate rather than the sweeter, maltier taste of some brown ales. The amber ale was medium bodied and also had a mildly hoppy finish. There are also some good bottle choices as well, as more megalagers for those that know no better. With a pretty decent pizza to enjoy and Star Wars Episode III on the screen, I had an enjoyable evening. It won't be long before I'll be back at Alamo again. I suspect the beer choices at the other Alamo locations in Austin and San Antonio have comparable beer selections.

(06/16/2005)

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

Establishment: BJ's Restaurant and Brewery, Webster, TX

After a little more than a year, I returned with my wife and some out-of-town guests to the BJ's Restaurant & Brewery for a mid-afternoon meal and some beers on Memorial Day. Our party of four was very pleased with our food, which included pizza, sandwiches, pasta, and salads. Our server, Stephanie, was very personable and efficient. She explained the beer menu for the first-timers in our group, and quickly noted that the Jeremiah Red Ale was not available (a bit disappointing, as it is a good one). My only complaint was that she did not at that time mention the seasonal bock beer on tap - I later discovered it during a pass through the bar area. I started with the Nutty Brewnette, BJ's solid interpretation of a nut brown ale, and then went on to the bock, which was right on target with a deep copper color, a malty sweet taste and a full mouthfeel. I was glad I discovered it in time to make it my second beer. One of my companions enjoyed the same two beer choices that I did while the others opted for BJ's Blonde and the Piranha Pale Ale. We finished with BJ's signature Pizooki, which went well with the last swallows of my pint of bock, and declared this a very enjoyable visit. BJ's made a favorable first impression with our East Coast guests and has never let me down for beer, food, or service.

(06/01/2005)

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

Establishment: Hoppers Grille and Brewery, Tampa, FL

We stopped at this Hoppers location with a large group on a Saturday night. The available beers, shown on a chalkboard above the bar, included some of the beers shown on the menu and some others. It is clear that the Hoppers brewer enjoys a fair amount of creative license while still brewing many beers to traditional styles. Many of the beers are German in style, but Lambics and English styles are produced here as well. And there were several “big beers”. Our group tried a number of the available brews: Cattail Pale Ale, Amarillo Light Pilsner, and a raspberry beer, plus a couple that I will comment on specifically. I started with a Dusseldorf Alt which tasted more like a German-style dark wheat beer, good but not what I expected. I never confirmed that there was wheat in the recipe, but with the number of other beers that clearly used wheat, I would not be surprised. The Old Porch Dog Brown Ale was excellent, pouring a deep brown color with wonderful chocolate notes. The wings were larger than the average wing one sees in many restaurants. The garlic wings come covered with a generous amount of minced garlic, and the medium sauce was just about right for me. Some of our group enjoyed the hotter wings, but watch out for the “insane” sauce.

(03/06/2005)

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

Establishment: Dunedin Brewery, Dunedin, FL

Four of us stopped at the Dunedin Brewery on a Friday afternoon for a couple of pints. The taproom is built right into the brewery space that houses the brewing equipment. We tried a number of the available beers and found them all to be well done. The Beach Tail Brown Ale pours a dark brown color with a good malt-hop balance (my favorite). The Celtic Gold kolsch-style ale has a deep-gold color and a clean taste. The Redhead Red Ale has a medium amber-red color, malty with not a lot of hop presence. I had the Pipers Pale Ale both at the brewery and again the next night at the new Old Chicago location in Palm Harbor – a solid version of an American Pale Ale. My wife enjoyed their Raspbeery Wheat. We just had a couple of simple appetizers, so we can’t comment much on the food. This is apparently a lively (and small) music venue at night, so the casual pubcrawler might do best to visit in the late afternoon or early evening. Dunedin Brewery beers are available in four packs of 16 ounce bottles in grocery and liquor stores in the Tampa Bay area.

(03/06/2005)

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

Establishment: Old Chicago, Palm Harbor, FL

I have been to a number of Old Chicago locations in Colorado over the years, but this was my first visit to one in another state. This particular location has only been open a few weeks, and is the third Old Chicago location in the Tampa Bay area. It is bright and airy with plenty of restaurant seating and a bar area to the right. There were the 30 or so taps that are typical of the Colorado Old Chicago locations I have visited, but the beer selection is miles away from those in the Rockies region. There were a number of industrial lagers, and plenty more import lagers and few common import ales. American craft brews on draft were somewhat limited, but did include Rockies Brewing Company’s Hazed and Infused Ale, two taps from local micro Dunedin Brewery including their award-winning pale ale, Abita Turbodog, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Anchor Steam, and Sam Adams Lager and White Ale. The bottle selection included some additional craft beers – several selections from Rockies Brewing, Redhook, and perhaps one or two other breweries, and a few interesting imports. Clearly, the beer selection here is restricted by the limits of beer distribution in Florida. You can find some decent beer here, depending on your style preference, but don’t expect to be overly impressed.

(03/06/2005)

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

Establishment: Odell Brewing Company, Fort Collins, CO

I had the opportunity to try Odell’s new 5 Barrel Pale Ale last week at the Old Chicago in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. This brew is reportedly produced on Odell’s smaller five barrel system that has been used to brew experimental beers generally found only at the brewery. I saw this smaller brew system when I toured Odell Brewing several years ago. 5 Barrel Pale Ale is brewed with whole hop flowers in the hop-back and is dry hopped (as noted on the Odell website). I found this amber-colored pale ale refreshing with a bit of a citrus taste, but it did not seem as complex as some other pale ales, nor did it have the amount of hop bitterness that some may expect from this style.

(02/05/2005)

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

Establishment: Pint's Pub, Denver, CO

This week I had a very enjoyable return lunchtime visit to Pint’s Pub, Brewery & Freehouse (after more than three years). The New World Fish & Chips is still superb, as were their signature British-style ales. I started with the Gael Force Ale, a mildly sweet and very smooth Scottish ale, followed by the excellent cask conditioned Dark Star Ale, one of two real ales created and served at this pub. Service and conversation at the bar were top-notch – each pint was served to me with a genuine and hearty “Cheers!” Pint’s Pub should be on the “must visit” list of any serious pubcrawler living in or visiting the Denver area. I’ve promised myself not to let 3 more years go by before I visit this fine pub again.

(02/03/2005)

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

Establishment: Hudepohl-Schoenling, Cincinnati, OH

For a history of Hudepohl-Schoenling and other breweries in this city, I recommend "Cincinnati Breweries" by Robert J. Wimberg, published by the Ohio Book Store in Cincinnati (second edition in 1997). If you have specific questions or names to mention related to the Hudepohl company history, drop me an email and I will see what I can find in my copy of the book.

(12/17/2004)

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

Establishment: On Tap Sports Cafe, Hoover, AL

This location occupies a store front in a shopping center and offers little outside visual appeal. Inside one finds a relatively dark pub with brick on the wall, a bar with a tap wall at the end, and plenty of beer signs and sports on TV. The taps included a few US goodies: Sweetwater 420, Abita Purple Haze, Samuel Adams Lager, Anchor Liberty Ale, and Sierra Nevada Porter. The bottle selection included others from these same breweries, plus Rogue and perhaps one or two others. There were some good import choices available as well, either on tap or bottled. They serve typical pub grub food.

(11/29/2004)

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

Establishment: Mellow Mushroom, Birmingham, AL

There is a small bar area on the far end of the restaurant as you enter. There are about twenty taps, but I did not find the beer selection to be exceptional on this visit, especially following on the heels of Dave’s Pub which is just next door. Still, there were several choices not seen at Dave’s or the 5 Points Grill down the street, such as Rogue Dead Guy Ale or DinkleAcker Dunkel. There are additional quality bottle choices, but no huge surprises. The folks serving behind the bar were friendly and had some knowledge of beer. I would include the Mellow Mushroom in a pubcrawl of this area, especially if pizza or calzones are your thing.

(11/29/2004)

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

Establishment: 5 Points Grill was Mill Bakery, Eatery, Brewery, Birmingham, AL

I visited this place years ago when it was the Mill Bakery & Brewery. The brewing equipment is still visible from the dining room, but Gary behind the bar has said there has been no brewing activity for quite some time. The good news is that they feature five draft choices from Sweetwater Brewing Company: 420 Pale Ale, IPA, Exodus Porter, Sweet Georgia Brown, and Blue. There were a few other good taps as well: Yuengling and one of the Flying Dog ales, plus Hoegaarden, Newcastle, and Weihenstephaner. We did not eat here, but we saw a large and varied menu, and a lot of folks dining on a late Friday afternoon. 5 Points Grill was voted “Best Outdoor Patio” by readers of Birmingham Weekly.

(11/29/2004)

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

Establishment: Dave's Pub, Birmingham, AL

This pub clearly has one of the largest beer selections in the Birmingham area (they claim to have the largest, but were voted #2 in Birmingham Weekly). The number of taps is modest, but there are no real duds in the mix. The bottles choices are extensive, and seem to be heavily weighted toward imports. American craft beers were in the minority, but I suspect that is largely a result of limited distribution in this part of the South. Dave’s Pub is a good stop on a Five Points area pubcrawl along with the 5 Points Grill and Mellow Mushroom.

(11/29/2004)

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

Establishment: Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar, Houston, TX

This BW3 has been nicely remodeled since I was here last Fall, with more typical restaurant seating on one side and sports bar seating with lots of TV's and sports banners and stuff on the other side. The bar itself has been repositioned, yet if anything the draft beer selection has worsened. There a few craft beer taps - Saint Arnold, Fat Tire, perhaps one or two others, and a few decent imports. Everything else is mainstream low-flavor lagers. It is a pretty good place for what it is, but don't go here looking for a great beer experience.

(11/05/2004)

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

Establishment: Molly's Pub, The Woodlands, TX

This pub, one of many Molly’s Pubs around the greater Houston area, should probably have been listed in Pubcrawler long before now. Among the more than 45 draft selections I found a respectable but not outstanding number of craft beers and roughly twenty quality imported beer choices. The American draft selections included Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower, Amber Ale and Oktoberfest, New Belgium Fat Tire, Sunshine Wheat and Blue Paddle Pilsner, Full Sail Amber, Anchor Liberty Ale, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Sam Adams, and Shiner Bock, Blonde and Light. The better import choices included Fuller’s ESB, Belhaven Scottish Ale, Whitbread Pale Ale, Newcastle Brown Ale, Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Old Speckled Hen, Murphy’s Irish Stout, Bass, Harp, Guinness, Boddington’s, Pilsner Urquel, Paulaner Hefeweizen, Lowenbrau, Warsteiner, Warsteiner Dunkel, and Spaten Lager, Oktoberfest and Optimator. The remaining taps offered several ciders and a number of American and imported mainstream lagers. Molly’s has a large outdoor deck area, made more attractive by the fact that the inside is a bit on the smoky side. A fellow at the bar said that Molly’s has the best beer selection in The Woodlands area, which would not surprise me.

(10/30/2004)

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

Establishment: Kenosha Steakhouse, Breckenridge, CO

I joined some friends, who had just recently moved to Breckenridge, for dinner at the Kenosha Steakhouse one day in September. They feature a number of nightly specials – the Wednesday night that we were there it was prime rib – a good deal. Kenosha also featured a good selection of craft beers on draft: Five taps from Breckenridge (Avalanche, Trademark Pale Ale, Hefe Proper, Summerbright, and Oatmeal Stout), three taps from Odell (90 Shilling Ale, EZ Street Wheat, and Cutthroat Porter), Oasis Tut Brown Ale, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Pyramid Apricot Ale, Sam Adams…..plus a few decent imports including Bass, Newcastle, Heineken, and about four mega-lagers. There are two large bar areas, one on the main floor, and another on the second floor. There is also a nice outside deck facing the ski mountain. Kenosha represents a good alternative to the always enjoyable Breckenridge Brewery and Pub which is a few blocks up the street.

(10/18/2004)

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

Establishment: Athens Steam Company Pub, Athens, GA

The Athens Steam Co. Pub occupies part of a historic building complex on the north side of downtown Athens, part of the Foundry Park Inn & Spa, and represents a fine alternative to the beer destinations in the heart of downtown. The tap handles include Athens Steam Company Red Ale brewed by Thomas Creek Brewing, and other microbrew choices from the likes of Thomas Creek, Highland Brewing, and Athen’s own Terrapin Rye Pale Ale, Terrapin Cream Ale, and Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Co. There are also some quality imports on draft and some other good craft and import choices in bottles. I enjoyed a pint of the malty and complex house red ale, and also a pint of Highland Brewing’s Oatmeal Porter. Parking is available in front of the pub. We were there for a late lunch on the Friday of UGA Homecoming weekend and the crowd was light. Try the Philly Cheese Steak or the Portobello Philly.

(10/18/2004)

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

Establishment: Republic of Boulder, Boulder, CO

This place advertises itself as Boulder’s largest dance club & brewpub. The Republic of Boulder features live music and DJ’s on various nights and offers a range of different nightly drink specials (most of which are not beer). It occupies the former Oasis brewpub and has maintained most of the previous Oasis look, including the unusual ceiling fans. The chalkboard listed five house brews, nine guest taps and a bottle selection that included some good craft brews plus a number of mega-lagers. I was able to sample four of the five house brews listed, as they had just run out of the milk stout that the bartender raved about the most. The other four beers were generally full of flavor and seemed reasonably true to style: a Belgian style white, an IPA, a very dark and sweet Scottish style ale, and an equally dark and mildly bitter dunkelweizen. I believe a food menu, if indeed there is to be one, is yet to be developed. It will be interesting to see of this overall concept will be successful.

(10/12/2004)


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