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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
Great Great Great Great Great

Establishment: Steinkeller, Oxford, OH

In this college town where most bars and restaurants cater primarily to Miami University students who consume large quantities of light megalagers and malternatives, the Steinkeller was a pleasant surprise. This place pays tribute to the brewing tradition of Germany with 17 different German beers on draft. Some of the draft selections were not uncommon, but others seemed less familiar on tap in the US. Consider this lineup: Spaten Lager, Optimator & Oktoberfest, Hacker-Pschorr Munchner Edelhell, Hofbrauhaus Lager, Dinkel Acker CD Pils & Dunkel, Reissdorf Kolsch, Bitburger Pils, Lowenbrau Oktoberfest, Warsteiner Pilsner, Paulaner Hefe-Weizen & Salvator, Kostritzer Schwarzbier, EKU 28, and Schneider Aventinus Weizen Stark-bier. Three additional taps pour Guinness, Labatt Blue, & Bud Light.

The food menu is varied, with German food (of course) plus pizza, sandwiches and more. Try one of the wurst platters or the jagersnitzel with German potato salad and apple kraut. The Steinkeller is below street level (it is not hard to miss the entrance) in the John D. Minnis Building right in the middle of town.

(04/06/2004)

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

Establishment: Colerain Brewing Company, Cincinnati, OH

This place seems like sort of an upscale sports bar. I counted 32 taps that included six house beers, about six quality US micros, a mostly unremarkable selection of imports, and other selections from the US big three and one or two regional brewers. There are some quality choices: Stone Arrogant Bastard, Left Hand Sawtooth Ale, Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Rogue Dead Guy Ale, Abita Purple Haze, Redhook ESB, Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Old Speckled Hen, Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier. However, there were some important beer styles missing from the draft line-up: IPA, Scottish ale, a true European style classic pilsner for example. The available house beers tend toward the light side: Colerain Ladder Company Lager, Cardinal Light, Cardinal Ultra, Colerain Cream Ale, Mount Airy Amber Ale, and Springdale Pale Ale. I had a pint of the Mount Airy Amber, and then went to the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. Our sandwiches were good and our service started off slow but was generally adequate and friendly overall.

(04/06/2004)

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

Establishment: EinStein's Pub, Katy, TX

This is an update to my review of several months ago…

EinStein's tries to satisfy two distinctly different types of customers: those who like a variety of quality, flavorful beers, and those who believe beers made with rice or corn and hardly any hops taste the best. To be successful in Katy, Texas, a pub like EinStein's has to acknowledge both groups.

Recently, EinStein's has begun to step up its efforts to satisfy those that prefer beers with more flavor. On Fat Tuesday, the ZeigenBock tap was replaced with a a fresh keg of Abita Amber, with a Mardi Gras themed "buy the beer, keep the glass" special that was hard to beat. This past Thursday EinStein's hosted its first Saint Arnold Cask Conditioned Ale night, with a similar pint glass deal. The Cask Conditioned Amber Ale was gone in less than two hours. However there was plenty of Saint Arnold Amber and Fancy Lawnmower, and other good beers available for those who hadn't had enough.

The music stage and dance floor have been moved to the far end of the pub away from the main bar. The new floor plan provides distinct spaces for the two pool tables and for the darts. The pub food includes good burgers, sandwiches, fish and chips, wings and other appetizers.

My recommendation of this friendly pub is stronger as I have gotten to know it better.

(03/07/2004)

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

Establishment: Brewery Tap, Houston, TX

I finally made my first visit to the Brewery Tap, a brief stop on a quiet Saturday afternoon. I believe I can add to the previous reviews by offering details in two areas – the building that houses the pub and the beer itself.

This pub occupies a portion of the first floor of the Magnolia Brewery Building, which was built in 1912 and was once part of a larger brewing complex called the Houston Ice & Brewing Co. that spanned Buffalo Bayou, dating to 1893. According to the bartender, some of the wooden beams of the structure were later used to construct the bar top and the tables in the pub. For more details on the history of the brewery and the building check out this website: http://www.magnoliaballroom.com/historytexas.htm.

The taps are dominated by imported beers – few surprises, but an overall good selection: Guinness, Murphy’s Stout, Harp, Bass, Fuller’s ESB, Newcastle, Boddington’s, Whitbread, Old Speckled Hen, Young’s Special London Ale & Winter Warmer, Belhaven, Maredsous, Spaten Lager, Oktoberfest and Optimator, Bitburger, Warsteiner, Franzikaner, Pilsner Urquell, Amstel Light, Heineken, & Carlsberg. North American beers included Shiner Bock and Shiner Blonde, Saint Arnold Amber, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Fat Tire, Honey Brown, Fosters (hey, it’s made in Canada), Dos Equis Lager and three American megalagers.

For a greater beer selection, you should try the Flying Saucer a few blocks away. For a good beer or two and a piece of history, the Brewery Tap fills the bill.

(02/29/2004)

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

Establishment: Trader and Trapper, Moorhead, MN

No longer brewing...

(02/14/2004)

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

Establishment: Brian O'Neill's Traditional Irish Pub, Houston, TX

The beer selection at this pub is decent but otherwise unremarkable. The taps are dominated by many of the most common import choices and includes three domestic low calorie lagers. The last time I looked, domestic craft beer on draft was limited to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Fat Tire, Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower, and Shiner Bock (for those that believe that it is one). Although once voted the best place to get a Guinness in Houston, a serious beer drinker would have little motivation to patronize this place, especially with the legendary Ginger Man right next door. There seems to be a strong emphasis on hard liquor-based drinks at this pub. One might prefer Brian O'Neill's for the atmosphere and the opportunity to dine while drinking a beverage. The pub has a well appointed interior, and a patio area in front. Live music is featured on several nights (see calendar at the website).

(01/25/2004)

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

Establishment: Old Chicago, Wheat Ridge, CO

I visited this Old Chicago location again last weekend, and I thought it would be interesting to compare the draft beer selection I found this time with that which I reported two years ago. So here was the breakdown on the 30 taps: four megabrewer lagers…enough said; four predictable European imports…enough said; a cider; five widely distributed craft beers: Blue Moon Belgian White, Shiner Bock, Anchor Liberty, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Redhook Winterhook…leaving 16 taps for Colorado microbrews. Here was the lineup: Singletrack Ale, Buffalo Gold, Hazed and Infused, and Mojo IPA from Rockies Brewing; 90 Shilling and Easy Street Wheat from Odell Brewing; Fat Tire and 1554 Black Ale from New Belgium, Sawtooth ESB and Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing; Brown Ale and Raspberry Wheat from Twisted Pine Brewing, Breckenridge Christmas Ale, Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown, and Flying Dog Doggie Style Pale Ale. They had just run out of Full Wood Smoked Porter from Oskar Blues Brewery and had Rockies Brewing’s Never Summer Ale ready to go on next. A solid Colorado microbrew selection, and special pricing on Colorado pints on Friday night, made this a great stop.

(01/24/2004)

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

Establishment: Oskar Blues Grill and Brew, Lyons, CO

After the rousing success of their canned Dale’s Pale Ale, Oskar Blues has released a second canned beer – Old Chub Scottish Style Ale. This limited-release winter seasonal is dark and malty and pours with a well-developed tan head. A combination of crystal, chocolate and smoked malts provide a taste unlike anything that most folks would expect to encounter in a 12 ounce can. I recommend this canned brew if you can find it, as well as Dale's Pale Ale.

(01/23/2004)

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

Establishment: EinStein's Pub, Katy, TX

It has been several years since there has been a review of this pub, so here goes. Einstein’s features 25 or more taps – the beer selection is good, but not awesome as suggested by a previous reviewer. There are a few too many mega-lagers and predictable imports on the wall. I saw no reason for a tap pouring each of two A-B clones: Michelob Amber Bock and ZiegenBock. That being said, there were some good draft selections available on this recent visit: Sierra Nevada Celebration and Pale Ale, Shiner Hefeweizen, Saint Arnold Amber, Bellhaven Scottish Ale, and a few other notables. The pub has been enlarged to include a pool table and shuffleboard area, and a nice stage for live music. Einstein’s is a pretty good place on this far west side of Houston.

(12/22/2003)

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

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

BW-3 does not pretend to be a great beer bar – it is a sports bar. This is especially true for this location, with the legendary Ginger Man and the Two Rows brewpub within walking distance, and other fine bars in the vicinity. I was there with an alumni group to watch a bowl game, and BW-3 adequately served that purpose with lots of TV’s, and their well known wings and other pub grub. This location has probably 20 taps on the wall, featuring a largely uninspired selection of beers. However, on this evening my primary complaint was that there were too many empty taps. The featured beer special was Dundee’s Honey Brown – they were out of it before 8:0 PM (what, no back-up keg of your featured beer?!). I got the last quarter glass of Saint Arnold Christmas Ale (at no charge, thankfully). Sam Adams Lager – out. There were others out of service. When 25% of your taps have no beer, you either have a distributor problem or a management problem. I had an enjoyable evening (my football team won), but I was hoping for a little better beer experience.

(12/21/2003)

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

Establishment: Twisted Pine Brewing Company, Boulder, CO

According to a recent article found at www.ColoradoDaily.com, Twisted Pine Brewing Co. has moved into the space on Walnut Street in Boulder vacated when Oasis Brewing Co. closed up shop. The new location houses all of their production facilities and a new taproom. I hope to have a chance to check it out on my next trip to Colorado. This is the URL for the article: http://coloradodaily.com/articles/2003/11/19/food/food02.txt

(12/14/2003)

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

Establishment: Side Street Brewing, Houston, TX

Max Miyamoto, who has brewed at a couple of different Houston brewpubs over the years, has resurfaced at Side Street Brewing, which has been open less than a month. It is located just off of the SW Freeway (US 59) at Shepherd Street. On my first visit last week I found three house brews available at an excellent happy hour price: a blonde ale, a brown ale, and an India Pale Ale. The brown ale was decent but lacked much of the malty, chocolaty notes that I have come to expect from great examples of this style (Texas craft breweries Saint Arnold and Real Ale both brew fine brown ales). Side Street’s IPA was very nicely done and was the favorite of others at the bar. I did not sample the blonde ale. In addition, Max had a sweet stout in the works. A few quality guest taps were also available. I cannot comment on the food, other than to note that Side Street is open for lunch and that there is a children’s menu, indicating their desire to be a legitimate restaurant. The bar area is fairly small, with a couple of different dining areas plus an outside patio. Houston’s track record with brewpubs is poor in recent years – hopefully Side Street will meet with some measure of success.

(11/15/2003)

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

Establishment: Marietta Brewing Company, Marietta, OH

I found beers from Marietta Brewing Company at two different establishments on a recent visit to Athens, Ohio. Marietta’s Pilsner and Scotch Ale were on tap at Skipper’s, and the Pilsner, Oatmeal Stout and IPA were on tap at Casa Nueva (see separate reviews of both of these places). I had a pint of the Scotch one day and a pint of the IPA the next day, and I thought both were good examples of their respective styles. Since I was unable to get to Marietta to visit the brewpub, I was pleased to find this variety of Marietta beers to consider in Athens.

(10/07/2003)

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

Establishment: Skipper's Bar and Grille, Athens, OH

Skipper’s takes their beer more seriously than most establishments in this college town, with 20 tap handles offering a good range of beers on draft (Buffalo Wild Wings across the street may have more tap handles, but less beer diversity). In late September, craft beer on tap at Skipper’s included Columbus Nut Brown, Great Lakes Moondog Ale, Marietta Scotch Ale (excellent) and Pilsner, Harpoon IPA, and one of the Flying Dog Ales. There were several decent imports on draft as well including Lindemann’s, plus some lagers from the big three. There is also a good variety of bottled beer taking the total up around 100, great by Athen's standards. The food is generally good. This place is really more of a restaurant than a typical college bar, with one pool table and a small outside patio area in the back. It is right next door to O’Hooley’s Pub & Brewery.

(10/02/2003)

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

Establishment: Casa Nueva Restaurant, Cantina and Bodega, Athens, OH

Athens is a college town with more than a dozen bars providing an endless supply of megabrewer light lagers (BW-3 has four taps for Bud Light alone) and a few standard imports to thousands of Ohio University students. Casa Nueva stands out as an attractive alternative, with both interesting food and great beer. It is a restaurant serving somewhat eclectic variations of Mexican food and other things, with a separate although rather small bar area. The eight draft handles pour Ohio microbrews exclusively, at $2.75 a pint. Choices I found in late September included Dortmunder Gold and Eliot Ness Amber from Great Lakes Brewing Company, Columbus Brewing Company’s Pale Ale and Nut Brown Ale, and Marietta Brewing Company’s Pilsner, Oatmeal Stout and IPA. There is also a very solid bottle selection. I opted for a pint of the Columbus Nut Brown and one of the Marietta IPA and found both to be well done. The IPA was an excellent companion for the seasonal enchilada platter. The cantina hosts live music many evenings, often with a cover. An entertainment calendar is found at the website. This is a recommended stop.

(10/02/2003)

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

Establishment: Jackie O's was O'Hooley's Pub and Brewery, Athens, OH

On a late September visit, only three house beers were available at O’Hooley’s, along with Guinness and a modest selection of mostly larger brewer brands in bottles. The Golden Ale was more flavorful than a mainstream lager, but is no doubt targeted at that crowd. The Scottish Ale had a nice reddish-brown color and a malt presence expected for the style. The Ohio Pale Ale, which I have sampled previously, is aimed at the hopheads, with an IBU rating of 87. Live music is found here many evenings. For beer variety and overall quality, this is not the best choice in Athens.

(10/01/2003)

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

Establishment: Bristol Brewing Company, Colorado Springs, CO

Bristol Brewing's taproom is a great place to catch all their brews. In addition to their popular beers such as Laughing Lab and Mass Transit, you can find all of their available beers from the Edge City series. I enjoyed the nitro version of the Edge City IPA while the fellow next to me at the bar down several pints of the Edge City Saison. There was also an experimental "merlot stout", supposedly fermented in a wine barrel, but I did not try it. I was lucky enough to catch a live blues band and some complimentary pizza early on a Thursday evening.

(09/20/2003)

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

Establishment: Rosie's Brewpub, Leadville, CO

I made plans to spend a Tuesday night in Leadville on a recent trip, which allowed me to have several beers and a leisurely dinner at Boomtown, rather than a quick pint and perhaps a small bite while passing through town. I had pints of three of Boomtown's six house beers, and a taster of a fourth. The amber ale was not available and I passed on the wheat beer, which others seemed to enjoy. The pale ale was solid and seemingly true to style, the malty Scottish Ale has been a favorite since I first tried it several years ago, and the stout was filled with an appropriate amount of roastiness with hints of coffee and chocolate. I ordered the grilled tuna steak and was well satisfied. Be sure to ask for the made from scratch mashed potatoes. Our server offered me a taster of Boomtown's malt liquor, which at over 7% alcohol is potent at an elevation of greater than 10,000 feet. Don't think Colt 45, but rather something more complex, with the alcohol presence and a hint of fruitiness being the dominating qualilities. This always an enjoyable stop for me.

(09/20/2003)

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

Establishment: Tap Room, Vail, CO

With a name like "The Tap Room", frankly I was expecting a greater draft selection than what I found. For a Colorado pub, I was less than impressed. There are some fine bottle choices which improves the overall rating. I cannot rate the food, but the menu looked pretty good with a variety of sandwiches, pizzas, salads and entrees. This is probably one of the best beer selections in Vail, but it did not strike me as top notch by Colorado standards.

(09/15/2003)

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

Establishment: Yard House, Lakewood, CO

The successful Yard House concept has come to Colorado. This Yard House is located in the new Colorado Mills Mall just east of where Colfax Avenue meets I-70 on the west side of Denver. The Yard House features well over 100 draft beer selections, plus a few ciders, distibuted around the large centrally located bar. While there are many megabrewer and common import lagers, I had no trouble finding several quality brews that were new for me: Yellowstone Valley's Wild Fly Ale from Montana, Left Hand Brewing's Deep Cover Brown Ale from Colorado, and Austria's Gosser Dark. I could have found many more. Our party of three thought the food we selected from the rather extensive menu was well done, ranging from salads to appetizers to entrees. Our server was efficient and able to offer suggestions regarding the beers available. We were there during Monday Night Football, easily seen on numerous TV's, which leads to my one complaint: the volume was a bit too loud for comfortable conversation. Outside seating is also available when the weather is good. I'll return again on future trips to Denver.

(09/14/2003)

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

Establishment: Brewhouse Grill, New Orleans, LA

The Brewhouse Grill is a new brewpub that occupies the building that once housed Acadian Brewing Co. Much has been changed from that original set up which was largely a brewery with a small pub in the front. The Brewhouse Grill has expanded the restaurant to fill much of the building space and there is a large rectangular bar extending from where the old Acadian pub’s bar was built. There is lots of light colored wood and a fairly bright appearance to the place. At the time of our visit, house brews were not yet available, although one can readily see some of the brewing equipment perched above the back of the restaurant space. The brewer is Doug Lindley, who brewed here when it was the Acadian and who is also the current brewer at Big Easy Brewing. At the time of our visit, guest taps included Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Bass, Newcastle, Pilsener Urquell, Liefmans Frambozen, and Big Easy and Lagniappe Beers from Big Easy Brewing (see separate review). A modest range of bottle choices was also available. The menu features sandwiches, ribs, seafood, pasta, salads, and includes New Orleans favorites such as oysters, shrimp, gumbo, and po-boys. We only had the beer battered onion rings during our mid-afternoon visit, which came in a generous heap, and were hot and tasty. The Brewhouse Grill is located on the North Carrolton spur of the soon-to-be-complete Canal Streetcar line, just a block from where the two lines will intersect. Warning: currently, construction of the streetcar lines makes access to the brewpub a bit difficult. My ratings speak only to the beers available now and I'll not rate the food based on only one appetizer. This place has potential.

(08/21/2003)

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

Establishment: Big Easy Brewing Company, Marrero, LA

The Day Brewing Company became Big Easy Brewing Company early this year. Day’s Louisiana Lager, the original beer of Day Brewing, still seems to be around. It reminds me of a moderately hoped European lager. The new flagship beer is Big Easy Beer, a light gold lager with a bit of hops. It is commonly found on draft around New Orleans, and is reported to soon be available in bottles. Lagniappe Beer is an amber or copper colored brew which is flavorful but not overly so. I first tried it bottled several years ago when it was contract brewed by Celis, and had it again recently on tap during a visit to New Orleans. Lagniappe is the best of the three in my opinion. The brewer is Doug Lindley, formerly of the Acadian Brewing Co. Other beers are expected.

(08/20/2003)

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

Establishment: Boscos Nashville Brewing Company, Nashville, TN

So many flavorful beers, so little time. Boscos has some fantastic regular beers: Flaming Stone, IPA, Scottish Ale and Porter, plus always a few interesting seasonals. Like the previous reviewer, I really enjoyed Iggy's schwartzbier, a great example of a seldom seen style in US brewpubs. I followed that with the award winning Isle of Skye Scottish Ale - absolutely superb! Great pizzas, too.

(08/01/2003)

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

Establishment: Flying Saucer, Little Rock, AR

We stopped at the Flying Saucer for lunch on Monday, good timing in that I could take advantage of the Monday special price of $2.50 for most pints. Among the notable craft breweries represented on the tap wall were Diamond Bear (see review), Boulevard, Goose Island, Pyramid, Redhook, Flying Dog, Rogue, Sierra Nevada, and Abita. Our sandwiches were good - a nice German potatop salid comes with the reuben. Service was satisfactory during a fairly busy lunch hour. It is easily accessable from the Markham Street exit off of I-30.

(07/26/2003)

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

Establishment: Diamond Bear Brewing Company, Little Rock, AR

I found four Diamond Bear beers available on draft at the Flying Saucer in Little Rock. I tried two of them, bypassing the Southern Blonde and the Summer Wheat. The Irish Red had a deep reddish-brown color (at least in the low lighting of the Saucer), and a rich malty flavor with good hop balance that I found very enjoyable. The Pale Ale was true to style in color, with a noticeable yet understated hop presence that would likely disappoint some hopheads. I’d order either beer again, with my preference being the Irish Red.

(07/26/2003)


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