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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 N/A Great N/A

Establishment: No Label Brewing Company, Katy, TX

After a couple of years doing draft only, the first No Label beers in 12 ounce bottles hit the shelves this week... amber ale, pale ale, and hefe. We hear that seasonals will start being bottled in the Fall with the milk stout. Other seasonal beers of note include their Black-Wit-O, jalapeno ale, and Mint IPA. They have an open house/yard party/brewery tour every Saturday afternoon.

(08/11/2012)

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

Establishment: Archipelago Brewery, Singapore,

This is not the actual brewery, which is outside of the city core, and is related to the major Singapore brewery that brews its international brand Tiger. This location is a small taproom in the touristy Boat Quay area. I think there were four Archipelago brews on tap and four or five other European brands plus Tiger. I opted for the Archipelago Irish Ale, their darkest offering. It was a solid brew. I did not eat here. This place is worth a brief stop on a Singapore brewpub crawl.

(08/11/2012)

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

Establishment: Avondale Brewing Company, Birmingham, AL

This new brewery occupies a historic building in Birmingham's Avondale neighborhood. The brewing and fermenting equipment share space with a taproom serving Avondale beers by the pint or in multi-beer samplers. We did the four beer sampler before opting for a pint of our favorite. On tap on December 19th were the following: Spring Street Saison, Belgian Brown Ale, Vanillaphant Porter, and Battlefield IPA. All were solid, with the porter being (as my son put it) a bit "young" and still perhaps a work in progress. Interestingly, the IPA was the lowest strength of the four beers on offer at 5.8% ABV, with the most potent being the saison weighing in at 7.2%. A more sessionable kolsch-style ale is reportedly coming soon. One of the Avondale guys indicated that more fermenters were on the way that will double or even triple capacity in the near future. It is evident that Avondale is off to a good start with the promise of some early growth.

(12/24/2011)

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

Establishment: Flying Saucer, Sugar Land, TX

I've been to the new Sugar Land Saucer twice in its opening weeks. The first was a very memorable beer dinner with Brooklyn brewmaster Garrett Oliver, held in a nicely appointed private room, with a very special lineup of Brooklyn beers paired with some nice (not on the menu) food offerings. On our second visit on a Wednesday evening, we joined some friends for a quick dinner and a beer or two before attending the America concert at the nearby Stafford Centre. We each had a nice sandwich of one sort of another with some tasty hot fries. Our beer choices that evening included Saint Arnold Santo, 512 Bruin, Karbach Yule Shoot Your Eye Out, Brooklyn The Companion (a repeat of one of the beer dinner offerings), and Boulevard Dark Truth Stout. This new Flying Saucer is a keeper.

(12/10/2011)

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

Establishment: The Generous Squire, Perth,

This is essentially a tied-house for the James Squire line of beers produced by the Malt Shovel Brewery. In addition to five James Squire beers (IPA, Amber Ale, Golden Ale, Sundown Lager, and Porter), we found a draft cider and a guest tap pouring Kosciuszko Pale Ale from a relatively new pub brewery in the mountains of New South Wales. The food menu at the Squire has pub items and full meals. We visited in early November, and our dinner choices were indeed nicely done. This is a popular place after work in downtown Perth. A small brewing system prominently displayed near the front entrance, along with a sign, indicated a plan to begin brewing small batches of beer to offer at the pub. I don’t know if brewing onsite has commenced yet, and if not when it might.

(01/19/2011)

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

Establishment: The Monk Brewery and Kitchen, Fremantle, Western Australia,

Formerly named the "Mad Monk" (the coasters still showed that name), this brewpub features a largely tapas type menu and a modest selection of house beers. On tap were kolsch, wheat, pale ale, rauch, and porter. Seasonal brews are also done. I opted for the pale ale with a Sunday afternoon special of paella cooked right outside amongst the diners. I followed that with the porter. Both beers were solid in their interpretations. The brewing equipment is not readily apparent to the casual eye. With luck, you may be able to secure an outdoor seat overlooking the busy pedestrian traffic along South Terrace Street.

(01/05/2011)

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

Establishment: Mash Brewing, Henley Brook, Western Australia,

This contemporary styled brewpub lies in the middle of the popular Swan Valley wine country, very close to the Duckstein Brewery. There is plenty of indoor and outside deck seating. We did not eat here and I only had one pint, a tasty special release black IPA called Black Knight. Several Mash beers are available in the bottle. Freo Doctor, named for the westerly winds that blow off of the Indian Ocean onto the Southwestern Australia coast, is a golden lager that I had with a seafood dinner in a restaurant near the harbor in Fremantle. I found it to be rather ordinary. An additional Mash location is found in the town of Bunbury south of Perth, and another is planned for the town of Rockingham, also to the south.

(01/01/2011)

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

Establishment: Ironbark Brewery, Caversham, Western Australia,

This brewpub features a large "alfresco", yet covered, casual dining area, with live music sometimes playing during weekends. Try the warm garlic prawn salad or a wood-fired pizza. The beer range on our mid-November visit included a pilsner, red ale, brown ale, bitter, cherry ale, plus a couple of ciders and even a non-alcoholic ginger beer. The website indicates that this little brewery produces more than 20 beer styles throughout the year. Ironbark is located in a complex called Valencia Centre, along with the Lilac Hill Estate winery.

(12/22/2010)

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

Establishment: Sail & Anchor Pub Brewery, Fremantle, Western Australia,

The Sail & Anchor Brewery Pub, near the historic Fremantle Market, is truly a beer lovers' pub. Their own house-brewed beers, such as IPA, ESB, and stout, are complimented by a wide-ranging and ever-changing line-up of Australian craft beer guest taps. The bartender will set you up with a beer sampler of six choices for $10. This pub is listed in Rick Lyke's original "125 places to have a beer before you die" list, and after one visit, you will understand why.

(12/22/2010)

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

Establishment: Duckstein Brewery, Henley Brook, Western Australia,

This is the original Duckstein brewpub, centered in the picturesque Swan Valley, just northeast of Perth. The beers are traditional German styles, and the food menu has a strong German influence as well. There is a large beer garden which sometimes features live music. I only sampled the dunkel during our brief stop (there are lots of wineries and several other breweries in this region), which was quite true to the style of a nice Munich dunkel. Other beers styles include pilsner, hefeweiss, alt, and seasonals such as festbier and maibock.

(12/17/2010)

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

Establishment: Bootleg Brewery, Margaret River,

This was one of my favorite of the 15 breweries/brewpubs I visited in Western Australia. Bootleg has a fantastic, lakeside setting in the Margaret River wine country. Like most of the wine country brewpubs, one can order a sampler of the Bootleg beers. Settler's Pale and Tom's Amber Ale were both tasty session beers. Bootleg brews an unusually strong ale (for Australia) called Raging Bull that is big and malty. Warning: the burger really is a steak burger! One can the brewing facility from a second floor brewing area along with Bootleg and other brewing memorabilia. Bootleg's slogan is no joke.... "An oasis of beer in a desert of wine".

(12/17/2010)

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

Establishment: Indian Ocean Brewing Company, Mindarie, Western Australia,

This is an expansive and modern feeling brewpub, with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating looking out over the Mindarie boat harbor. Our visit was a short one, late on a Sunday afternoon. I passed on the regular beer line up (Pilsner, White, Pale, Mid) and opted for a pint of a special release brown ale. I seem to recall it being labeled a nut brown, but it seemed more like a Belgian-style brown ale to me. Our garlic prawn and mushroom pizza was superb.

(12/08/2010)

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

Establishment: The Old Brewery, Perth, Western Australia,

This is an upscale steak house with an imbedded microbrewery that occupies part of the old Swan Brewery that is perched along a portion of the Swan River just outside of downtown Perth. The steaks are outstanding (and pricey). The beers include Riverside Reserve Lager, Angus Pale Ale, Mounts Bay Brown Ale, and Heritage Wheat. A stout has also been produced, but it was not on during our visit in late October of this year. I had the pale ale with our appetizer sampler tray, and the brown ale with my steak, smothered in mushrooms. Both beers that I had were excellent.

(12/05/2010)

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

Establishment: Ranger Creek Brewing and Distilling, San Antonio, TX

I enjoyed a pint of Ranger Creek OPA (Oatmeal Pale Ale) this week at the Flying Saucer in Houston. It made a very good first impression.

(12/02/2010)

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

Establishment: Elmar's in the Valley, Henley Brook, Western Australia,

Elmar's is a large restaurant/brewpub right in the middle of the Swan Valley wine country. There is plenty of indoor seating and a large open-air veranda. The beer range is all German styles. Our samplers in early November featured a traditonal German style pilsner, a Bavarian style wheat beer, a smokey rauchbier in the Bamberg style, a Dusseldorf type altbier, and a Bohemian inspired schwarzbier (my favorite). The rauch and the schwarz are identified as seasonals on the Elmar's website, along with a few others we did not see: an unfiltered kellerbier, a marzen, and a traditional bock. We were just drinking on this stop so no comments on the food. The menu, as you might expect, as a strong German influence to it.

(12/02/2010)

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

Establishment: Feral Brewing Company, Baskerville, Western Australia,

This award-winning brewery occupies a rustic location near the north end of the winery-rich Swan Valley, just northeast of Perth. A wide range of beers is offered, with some permanent and some rotating styles. Feral White and Hop Hog IPA are the stalwarts, found on tap at pubs in the region as well as in bottles. The Feral brewpub features plenty of outdoor seating, under the sheltered deck and under umbrellas in the grassy areas beyond. On our visit on a sunny Saturday afternoon in early November, our beer sampler included a pilsner, Belgian-style pale ale, double IPA, and a porter, in addition to the Feral White and Hop Hog. Feral was named champion small brewery and Hop Hog was named champion ale at the 2009 Australian International Beer Awards. Highly recommended.

(11/27/2010)

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

Establishment: Kelburn Brewing Company, Barrhead, Scotland,

I very much enjoyed a pint of Kelburn's delicious Dark Moor ale, drawn from a handpump and paired with a bowl of mussels at the Cafe Royal, an Edinburgh pub renown for its beautiful Victorian interior. I kind of wish I had tried another Kelburn ale or two at other pubs we visited, but there were just too many other choices.....

(07/25/2010)

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

Establishment: Cooperstown Brewing Company, Milford, NY

This small brewery south of Cooperstown brews a family of British-inspired ales with baseball-inspired names. $3 buys you a tasting of all six ales and a tour by someone who truly loves to brew fine beer. In our instance, we were guided through the brewhouse, fermentation tanks, and bottling room by the assistant brewer, who described each step with the detail that comes from an individual who indeed does all of that work on a regular basis. The beers are well made, with the Benchwarmer Porter and the Pride of Milford Special Ale (similar to an English strong ale) being my favorites. Their tasty flagship beer, Old Slugger Pale Ale is the beer most readily found in pubs and restaurants in this area. Cooperstown Brewing beers are apparently difficult to find on draft. As we were tasting the beers, the brewer was describing the difficulty of getting and keeping tap handles, competing against the larger brewers and distributors. He indicated that they had lost all of their previous draft accounts in Albany due to big brewer/distributor pressure. If you are in the Cooperstown area, do yourself a favor and visit this fine little brewery.

(07/24/2010)

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

Establishment: Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY

We did the Ommegang tour on a very hot Wednesday afternoon in early July. Because brewing was going on, we were somewhat limited in what we could see in the brewhouse itself. The bottling line was inactive late in the afternoon, so that part of the operation was included on the tour. The tasting room is small. The beer tasting includes a range of Ommegang beers: Witte, Ommegang Abbey, BPA, Rare Vos, Hennepin, and Three Philosophers. Considering the alcohol content of some of these Belgian-style ales, we felt that the tasting, while informative, was too hurried. The gift shop has both Ommegang beers and a range of souvenirs available. In fairness, this brewery’s popularity has outgrown the capacity of their facilities (expansion projects are planned or underway). As a result, some aspects of a tour and tasting experience may be less than ideal, especially if a lot of visitors are present.

(07/24/2010)

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

Establishment: Cave Mountain Brewing Company, Windham, NY

I was impressed with the beers at this cozy little brewpub in the northern Catskills town of Windham. The beer sampler includes generous tastes of the six standard house beers: American Blonde, Irish Red, English Nut Brown, German Hefe, Centennial IPA, and Oatmeal Stout. All were solid, with the brown ale and IPA being most noteworthy. I followed the sampler up with a pint of a very tasty nitro-dispensed Black IPA. My wife enjoyed pints of the American Blonde and a seasonal Blueberry Wheat ale. The brewpub opens at 4:0 PM with happy hour half-priced appetizers and discounted beer prices. Cask-conditioned ales are coming soon on the first Friday of each month. This place is definitely worth a stop, but note that they did not have lunchtime hours when we visited in early July.

(07/18/2010)

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

Establishment: Montgomery Brewing Company, Montgomery, AL

We stopped at Montgomery Brewing for lunch on a Monday afternoon in June. The lunchtime business was fairly brisk. With further travel ahead of us that afternoon, we only tried the beers via the sampler, which included Montgomery Blonde (2008 GABF silver medal winner), Riverboat Red, Goat Hill Pale Ale, and Wipe Out Stout, along with a seasonal raspberry wheat beer and a high gravity Belgian-style farmhouse ale. Our sandwiches and fries were good and tasty. There is some parking available in the brewpub’s adjacent lot, something that was not made especially clear on the brewpub's website. From this brief visit, I would say that "The Brewpub", as it is known locally, seems a good beer stop in a state with still limited options.

(07/18/2010)

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

Establishment: Inveralmond Brewery Limited, Perth, Scotland,

I have become familiar with several different Inveralmond ales during two different visits to Scotland in recent years, including a rather extended visit this past May. The popular Ossian is a golden ale named for a legendary Gaelic heroic figure of the 3rd century. This was the 2001 CAMRA Champion Beer of Scotland. Lia Fail, which means "Stone of Destiny" in Gaelic, is a very fine dark ale with a complex malty flavor balanced by a spicy hop aroma and moderate hop bitterness. Lia Fail is named for the centuries-old coronation stone of the Kings of Scots. Inveralmond also brews some nice house session ales. Examples of these that I have sampled include Prince of Wales Ale for the acclaimed Prince of Wales Pub in Aberdeen and Dunnattor Ale for the Marine Hotel in Stonehaven.

(06/25/2010)

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

Establishment: Cairngorm Brewery Company Limited, Aviemore, Scotland,

I found a variety of Cairngorm ales in reputable pubs in different parts of Scotland. Each beer I sampled was flavorful and distinctive. Notables: Trade Winds (multiple CAMRA awards) and Wildcat on cask at the Prince of Wales in Aberdeen, Sheepshagger Gold on cask at the Rose Street Brewery in Edinburgh, and Nessie's Monster Mash from a bottle at McNabb's in Portree. The Cairngorm beers are worth seeking out when traveling in Scotland.

(06/20/2010)

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

Establishment: Isle of Skye Brewing Company, Isle of Skye, Scotland,

This brewery is located in the village of Uig on the northern coast of the Isle of Skye, opposite the ferry terminal that takes passengers to the islands of the Outer Hebrides. The brewery’s retail shop (open Easter through mid-October) offers logo items and other Scottish souvenirs, and bottles of the brewery’s line of beers (some refrigerated and ready to enjoy immediately). Several of the Isle of Skye beers are available on cask at the bar across the road from the brewery and at the Uig Hotel. I also found cask Isle of Skye ales in pubs throughout Scotland (Prince of Wales in Aberdeen, Castle Tavern in Inverness, and Applecross Inn in Applecross are notable examples). Actual brewery tours seem to require making previous arrangements. During my Scotland visit, I had the opportunity to sample a number of Isle of Skye ales. Red Cuillin (a malty red ale) and Black Cuillin (a rich and roasty dark ale) are each named for different portions of the famous Cuillin mountains of Skye. Hebridean Gold is a smooth blonde ale brewed with the inclusion of porridge oats. Young Pretender is a dry, hoppy golden ale. I also had a house ale brewed by this brewery at The Isles pub in Portree. Isle of Skye beers are worth seeking out, as is the brewery when visiting the island.

(06/03/2010)

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

Establishment: Lao Brewery Company Limited, Vientiane,

Beerlao Lager and Beerlao Dark are now available in parts of the US. I tried the dark lager at the Classic City Brewfest last weekend in Athens, Georgia. Not quite as dark as the familiar dark lagers of Europe, this all-malt beer is deep reddish amber, medium-bodied, with a malty sweet, slightly nutty flavor profile. I did not try the pale lager, which is brewed with European barley and hops, Laotian jasmine rice, and Himalayian spring water. I would not mind running into these again in an Asian-themed restaurant.

(04/16/2010)

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

Establishment: Lager's Ale House, Metairie, LA

We returned to this fine pub during Mardi Gras after an absence of many years. The tap selection is quite strong, with a good representation of regional craft beers: a number of choices of from Abita, the blonde and brown ales from NOLA Brewing, and a couple of taps from Lazy Magnolia. We opted for the NOLA ales. The food menu goes beyond traditional pub grub, with local favorites like crawfish etouffee, gumbo, poboys, and grilled entrees.

(02/20/2010)

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

Establishment: Yard House, Houston, TX

The Yard House concept has come to Texas, with new locations in San Antonio and Houston. The Houston location is in a newly developed entertainment and retail complex called the City Centre, situated near I-10 West and Beltway 8. The beer selection is typical Yard House, with veryy good variety in terms of style and brewers. local Texas breweries seem under-represented, however. Craft beer pints at $6 and up seems a bit steep for Houston, especially when the pints come not quite fully filled. All in our group of four were pleased with our meals and our beer choices. Service on a Saturday evening that became quite busy on the weekend before Christmas, was generally attentive. We will go back; weekday happy hour from 3-6 PM would be a more economical time to do so.

(12/24/2009)

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

Establishment: Bayerischer Bahnhof Gasthaus and Gosebrauerei, Leipzig,

I visited this remarkable brewpub with my wife and some friends in April of 2005. It is located just outside the historic city center of Leipzig in a restored portion of the old train station. This brewery is one of a three in either Leipzig or Goslar that continue the tradition of producing Gose bier, a top-fermented wheat beer that is unique to this small region of Saxony. Gose bier is brewed with coriander and salt, and fermented with wild yeast, resulting in a tartness similar to that of Berliner weisse. This brewpub commonly serves its Gose beer with either raspberry (red) or woodruff (green) syrup to sweeten the taste. Bayerischer Bahnhof also brews a traditional Bohemian-style pils (Schaffner), a dunkelweiss (Kuppler) and a schwarzbier (Heizer). The pub itself has a bright and open feel to it, with plenty of indoor seating and an outdoor beer garden. We did not have a meal during our visit, having already enjoyed an incredible lunch at the historic Auerbachs Keller, but our visit to this brewpub while brief was indeed memorable.

(11/28/2009)

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

Establishment: Il Bovaro Birreria Artigianale, Florence,

Il Bovaro is a cozy little brewpub that is found just outside of a 14th century city gate called the Porto San Frediano in a section of Florence just west of the Arno River. We found four house beers on tap the night of our visit in mid-October, three that are regularly available and a fourth that was a limited release or seasonal brew. Riki is an unfiltered lager, golden orange in color, with a nice fruitiness in the finish. Titan has a rich, reddish-amber color and a full caramel malt taste with a slight smokiness. Axel is a strong beer (in Italian, a doppio malto) with a nice amber hue and a complex malt/hop profile. Riki, Titan, and Axel are also available in 750 ml bottles for purchase. The fourth offering was simply called a "black beer" by our server, and it was indeed. Very dark with garnet highlights, it exhibited some nice schwarzbier characteristics. The food offerings include many of the traditional Italian items. I had farfalle pasta with salmon and it was very good. The brewing equipment is readily seen in the left front of the pub, and the historic building features a painting on the ceiling near the bar. There is also plenty of outdoor seating in front of the pub. Il Bovaro seems to be a one-of-a kind place for enjoying a fresh hand-crafted beer in this Renaissance Italian city.

(10/27/2009)

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

Establishment: The Goose's Acre Bistro and Irish Pub, The Woodlands, TX

This is a fairly new and fairly large Irish Pub located next to the Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. Many of the interior features, including two bars, were taken from a now defunct Irish Pub in County Cork, Ireland that stood in front of a public park known as "the Goose's Acre" in the town of Midleton. This pub has plenty of seating on two levels, the two aforementioned well-appointed bars, plus outdoor seating overlooking the water taxis that travel the adjacent waterway. The beer selection is pretty good but not overly great, with plenty of pale and light lagers, and one or perhaps two examples of many (but not all) of the major beer styles one would look for in a better beer bar. I had a Guinness 250 Anniversary Stout with my corned beef and cabbage, and my buddy had a Saint Arnold Elissa IPA with his fish and chips. All in all, this is a pretty good stop in The Woodlands area.

(09/07/2009)

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

Establishment: Southern Star Brewing Company, Conroe, TX

My wife and I joined some friends for a visit to the Saturday afternoon tour at Southern Star on September 5. A small crowd began gathering just before 1:00 PM, with beer available from the taps at that time. The brief tour began about 1:45 and included a discussion of the malt used in the brewing, a look at the brewing and fermenting equipment and processes in place at Southern Star, and a visit with their canning equipment. Beers available on Labor Day Weekend included Pine Belt Pale Ale, Bombshell Blonde Ale (their two canned beers at this time), the very potent Buried Hatchet Stout, and a saison. Southern Star is selling all the beer they can make, and they have more fermentation capacity coming soon.

(09/06/2009)

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

Establishment: Karl Strauss Brewery Restaurant, Carlsbad, CA

I was part of a small group that visited this Karl Strauss location on a Sunday evening in early August. The place was busy but we soon we soon had a table on the covered patio. Several of us really enjoyed the Black's Beach Extra Dark, a superb schwarzbier. For dinner I opted for the brewer’s special, a rye IPA … a perfect match for my fish tacos. Everyone in our group enjoyed their meals, which ranged from shrimp to pork chops to pasta. All of the brews were well received also. When we ordered the Ceviche Tres Mares appetizer to start off with, our server brought us each a small sample of the Windansea Wheat beer, which was the featured monthly beer and food paring.

(08/24/2009)

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

Establishment: Copper Creek Brewing Company, Athens, GA

The venerable Copper Creek Brewing Company has been offering a special cask-conditioned house beer on the first Wednesday of each month. I was lucky enough to be able to catch the cask tapping on the first of July this year. The featured cask, presented by brewer Matt Buley and Georgia beer ambassador Owen Ogletree, was an English-style dark mild. We quaffed not only a pint of the special cask-conditioned mild, but also a pint of the mild that was being dispensed through the regular tap system. The cask version was lighter in mouthfeel with little carbonation and a nice clean finish. We actually enjoyed the tap version better, which featured a creamier, somewhat fuller mouthfeel with a toasty caramel sweetness. It was a treat to taste this rarely seen English-style ale, quite enjoyable in either version.

(08/23/2009)

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

Establishment: Trappeze Pub, Athens, GA

I have had the good fortune to visit this superb beer destination a number of times over three different visits to Athens within the past year. The draught list offers nearly 40 choices, ever changing, featuring everything from rare American craft to distinguished foreign brewers. Trappeze offers special glass promotions and beer dinners, and often has one-of-a-kind barrel-aged and cask-conditioned ales, along with ciders and meads. Some of the rarer draught beers I have enjoyed at Trappeze include Uerige Doppelsticke Alt, Left Hand/Terrapin Terra-Rye'zd Black Rye Lager, Holy Mackerel Mack in Black, and Sinebrychoff Porter. This is clearly one of the premier beer destinations in the southeastern US.

(08/23/2009)

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

Establishment: Real Ale Brewing Company, Blanco, TX

A couple of weeks ago I finally made it to the tasting room and tour (Friday afternoons only) at Real Ale. Our tour was lead by Eric, one of the brewers, and it was very informative, with thorough discussions of the various steps of the brewing and packaging processes. The tap room is open before the tour, so visitors can sample the beers both before and after the trek through the brewery. You can even carry a beer with you on the tour (as did our guide). Five Real Ale beers were available for tasting during our mid-May visit: Firemans #4 Blonde Ale, Rio Blanco Pale Ale, Full Moon Pale Rye Ale, Devil’s Backbone Belgian-style tripel, and their new ESB. If you find yourself in this part of the Texas Hill Country on a Friday afternoon, be sure to check this place out.

(05/31/2009)

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

Establishment: Wimberly Brewing Company and Brew Pub, Wimberley, TX

This relatively new Texas brewpub is located several miles south of downtown Wimberly in a complex known as “The Junction”. Since we had already had lunch, my wife and I just had the beer sampler on this early afternoon visit. The sampler consisted of five house-brewed beers plus one guest beer, Shiner 100. The blonde ale had an unexpected clove aftertaste and it failed to impress either of us. The pale ale was more crisp and refreshing, reminding me somewhat of Rio Blanco Pale Ale from nearby Real Ale Brewing. The IPA was pale gold, comparable in color to the first two ales, with an earthy hoppiness. Surprisingly, the red bitter displayed the citrusy hop character that I was expecting from the IPA. With its hints of grapefruit, it was quite quaffable. Last and certainly not least was a mesquite smoked porter, dark and opaque with a roasty, smoky aroma and taste… very nice indeed. The Junction is owned and operated by former San Francisco 49er offensive lineman Bruce Collie, and the walls of the brewpub are filled with photos and other memorabilia from Collie’s football career.

(05/25/2009)

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

Establishment: Dahlonega Brewing Company, Dahlonega, GA

At Caruso's we found a modest selection of draft beers plus one available house-brewed beer. During our visit in November, the house beer was a high-gravity golden lager, served in a 10 oz glass due to its higher alcohol content. It was a decent smooth-tasting brew, but I would have preferred a beer with a cleaner, crisper finish to pair with the marinara sauce of our pasta lunch entrée. Other beer choices included a few imports and crafts such as Terrapin.

(12/13/2008)

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

Establishment: Trappeze Pub, Athens, GA

This is a superb beer destination with an exceptional draught list and an imposing bottle selection. There are 32 taps, pouring an eclectic mix of American craft and import offerings. During our visit in late November, the American draft choices included beers from Dogfish Head, Terrapin, Ommegang, Stone, Flying Dog, Sierra Nevada, Avery, Oskar Blues, Brooklyn, Breckenridge, Allagash, Left Hand, and Weyerbacher. Imports included beers from Belgium, Germany, Austria, Canada, and even an Italian craft brewery. Some of the draft choices were really quite notable: Oskar Blues Whiskey-Aged Gordon, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Terrapin Oaked Big Hoppy Monster, Ommegang Rouge, He'Brew Barrel-Aged Messiah Bold, Allagash Curieux, Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale, and a special collaboration roggen schwarz lager from Left Hand and Terrapin called Terra-Ryezed. The imported taps included Delirium Tremens, Ichtegem's Grand Cru, St. Bernardus Christmas, and Aecht Schlenkerla Helles. The folks here are very beer knowledgeable. Trappeze is a must stop.

(11/30/2008)

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

Establishment: Troll Tavern, Helen, GA

We had a couple of meals at the Troll Tavern on a recent visit to Helen. My wife thought her Reuben sandwich was one of the best she has ever had… so good she ordered it each visit and rated it highly each time. I had a couple of different bratwurst/knockwurst combinations and I thought they were very good as well. In Helen, a good beer selection generally means that the restaurant has a good variety of German and other European imports. American craft beers appear relatively scarce. The Troll Tavern has a few beers on tap and more choices in the bottle but the overall beer selection was not exceptional. Indeed we saw some more interesting bottle choices at another restaurant in Helen. That being said, the Troll did have an Erdinger Hefe Dunkel promotion that included a nice logo glass that you could take with you. We liked the Troll's location under the bridge along the Chattahoochee River, but the cold weather during our November visit did not encourage use of the outdoor seating.

(11/29/2008)

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

Establishment: The J. Clyde, Birmingham, AL

The conventional wisdom is that this pub in Birmingham’s Five Points area has the best beer selection in the state of Alabama. After my visit, I am a believer. More than 40 taps pour predominantly American craft beers with a few quality imports as well. Emphasis is on offerings from southern craft breweries. Five taps are devoted to Birmingham’s own Good People Brewing Company beers, with other draught choices include beers from Sweetwater, Terrapin, Lazy Magnolia, Yazoo, Abita, plus non-southern breweries such as Brooklyn, Left Hand, and Anchor. The pub has a special relationship with Rogue Ales, with as many as nine Rogue taps available, plus occasionally a cask-conditioned Rogue offering as well. There is also a superb bottle selection, with choices from breweries such as Saranac, Wisconsin’s Lakefront, California’s Fire House, and a host of imported beers. We did not sample the food, but a solid menu of pub food choices is available. There are a variety of both indoor and outdoor seating areas. A good time to visit is during happy hour when beer prices are discounted. I rated the beer selection as "awesome" with the caviat that this is Alabama with its restrictive 6% law still in effect. This pub is a “must visit” when in Birmingham.

(11/26/2008)

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

Establishment: Good People Brewing Company, Birmingham, AL

On a visit to Birmingham I had the opportunity to taste five beers from this relatively new Alabama craft brewery. The actual brewery sits below the Five Points Grill, in a place once occupied by the brewing operation of The Mill Bakery and Brewery that produced beer in Birmingham's Five Points South area in the 1990's. The Good People Brown Ale pours a deep russet brown with a tight tan head that clings to the side of the glass as it is enjoyed. It is rich and malty with a bit of a hop finish. The GP Pale Ale has a copper color and a notable presence of Cascade hops. The IPA has a subtle floral nose and pronounced citrus hop presence. The Good People Oatmeal Coffee Stout pours an opaque black with a dense tan head. The aroma is that of coffee, while the taste is smooth and chocolaty with a lingering mild coffee bitterness at the finish. I also had a small sample of their roggenbier, which had a light amber color and a tart and slightly dry finish fitting for the style. All five Good People offerings were on draught at the Five Points Grill and at the nearby J. Clyde pub. Other pubs and restaurants in the Birmingham area reportedly pour one to several of these very solid and drinkable beers.

(11/26/2008)

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

Establishment: Bryggeriet Apollo, Copenhagen,

Bryggeriet Apollo enjoys a superb location in downtown Copenhagen, just outside of the main entrance to the famous Tivoli Gardens. This brewpub occupies a contemporary space across two levels with brew tanks that are prominently featured in the middle of the restaurant space. I have managed to visit the Apollo on each of three trips to Copenhagen in the past year, and twice I have had a meal here. Each time I have opted for one of their German-inspired dishes: the Nurnberger bratwurst, and most recently the leg of pork, each served with a generous side of sauerkraut. The beer choices are not expansive but I have noticed a greater variety with each visit. Their flagship beer is Apollo Pilsner, a traditional golden lager. I have preferred the seasonal or special beers on each of my visits. On this most recent visit in mid-November, there were no less than four beers available, including a spicy, amber-colored Julebryg, a very dark Lakrids Øl (licorice beer) with a smooth mouthfeel and the taste and aroma of licorice, and a ginger beer called Thai Øl. After talking beer and pubcrawling with one of the staff, I was treated to a couple of samples beyond the Julebryg that I ordered with dinner. The first sample was the aforementioned Lakrids Øl, and the second was a sample of a second Julebryg spiced with cinnamon and other flavors, that was not yet being served to paying patrons. I thank the generous Apollo staff member (whose name I don't remember) who talked beer with me and then kindly offered the additional samples of the Apollo brewer's beers. Bryggeriet Apollo is worthy of a visit when in Copenhagen.

(11/16/2008)

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

Establishment: Brauhaus Georgbraeu, Berlin,

We visited this brewpub along the River Spree back in the Spring of 2005. The location is really special with plenty of outdoor seating where patrons sit next to a statue of Saint George and the Dragon, and watch the people and boat traffic pass by. Two basic German lagers are offered, pale and dark. The beers as I recall were good but not great. Traditional German faire is available. Many of us in our group enjoyed a nice bratwurst platter. Worth a stop for the setting alone.

(10/08/2008)

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

Establishment: Bryghuset Braunstein, Køge,

On a visit to Denmark in May, I had the opportunity to try several Braunstein beers. A great place to enjoy a number of Braunstein brews is a floating bar in the Nyhavn part of Copenhagen called the "Boat Bar". I sampled their Noble Helles and their Dark Lager while taking in very colorful and crowded scene on a late sunny afternoon. Both of these lagers seemed to be solid examples of two traditional German styles. On another day I had Braunstein's Viking IPA, a crisp and moderately hoppy version of a British-style India pale ale, at an Irish pub along Strøget. Bottled versions of some of the Braunstein beers are also available.

(08/31/2008)

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

Establishment: Bryghuset Braunstein, Køge,

On a visit to Denmark back in May I had the opportunity to try several Braunstein beers. A great place to enjoy a number of Braunstein brews is a floating bar in the Nyhavn part of Copenhagen called the "Boat Bar". I sampled their Noble Helles and their Dark Lager while taking in a colorful and crowded scene on a late sunny afternoon. Both of these lagers seemed to be solid examples of two traditional German styles. On another day I had Braunstein's Viking IPA, a crisp and moderately hoppy version of a British-style India pale ale, at an Irish pub along Strøget. Bottled versions of some of the Braunstein beers are also available.

(08/31/2008)

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

Establishment: Uncle Billy's Brew and Que Smokehouse and Brewery, Austin, TX

I stopped in on a late Saturday afternoon and found a light crowd inside the restaurant and at the outside seating. Six house beers were joined by a number of beers from other Texas craft brewers. I opted for a five beer sampler to accompany a pulled pork barbeque dinner. Back 40 Blonde Ale is brassy yellow with a crisp and surprisingly assertive hop profile. Organic Amber Ale is medium brown with a dominant malt presence along with a touch of balancing hops. Axe Handle Pale Ale has a golden-copper color, a subtle hop aroma and a spicy hop taste. Woodeye Rye IPA pours a deep reddish-amber color with good foam retention. The rye malt is apparent, with the hops less assertive than I have come to expect from an IPA. Tet Offensive Pils (in place of the rotating dark tap) has a clear, bright gold color and a white head, with a bready malt taste and a spicy hop finish. I followed the sampler with a pint of the pale ale from Austin’s newly launched (512) Brewing Company. Other taps included Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower, Real Ale Lost Gold IPA, Southern Star Pine Belt Pale Ale, and Live Oak Big Bark Amber and Pils. My only beer criticisms were the lack of a true dark beer choice (even if it is August in Texas), and that the guest taps were too often redundant with the house beers in terms of style, as the bartender agreed. If you visit this brewpub during the summer, keep in mind that it is only a short drive to see the famous Congress Avenue Bridge bat flight.

(08/27/2008)

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

Establishment: (512) Brewing Company, Austin, TX

I had my first beer from this new Austin brewery, the pale ale, which was a guest beer at Uncle Billy's Brew & Que. This is a solid interpretation of an American pale ale. I expect that other Texas pubcrawlers will soon weigh in on the other beers from (512), which at this time also include an IPA and a wit.

(08/26/2008)

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

Establishment: Uncle Billy's Brew and Que Smokehouse and Brewery, Austin, TX

I stopped in on a late Saturday afternoon and found a light crowd inside the restaurant and at the outside seating. Six house beers were joined by a number of beers from other Texas craft brewers. I opted for a five beer sampler to accompany a pulled pork barbeque dinner. Back 40 Blonde Ale is brassy yellow with a crisp and surprisingly assertive hop profile. Organic Amber Ale is medium brown with a dominant malt presence along with a touch of balancing hops. Axe Handle Pale Ale has a golden-copper color, a subtle hop aroma and a spicy hop taste. Woodeye Rye IPA pours a deep reddish-amber color with good foam retention. The rye malt is apparent, with the hops less assertive than I have come to expect from an IPA. Tet Offensive Pils (in place of the rotating dark tap) has a clear, bright gold color and a white head, with a bready malt taste and a spicy hop finish. I followed the sampler with a pint of the pale ale from Austin’s newly launched (512) Brewing Company. Other taps included Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower, Real Ale Lost Gold IPA, Southern Star Pine Belt Pale Ale, and Live Oak Big Bark Amber and Pils. My only beer criticisms were the lack of a true dark beer choice (even if it is August in Texas), and that the guest taps were too often redundant with the house beers in terms of style, as the bartender agreed. If you visit this brewpub during the summer, keep in mind that it is only a short drive to see the famous Congress Avenue Bridge bat flight.

(08/26/2008)

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

Establishment: Uncle Billy's Brew and Que Smokehouse and Brewery, Austin, TX

I stopped in on a late Saturday afternoon and found a light crowd inside the restaurant and at the outside seating. Six house beers were joined by a number of beers from other Texas craft brewers. I opted for a five beer sampler to accompany a pulled pork barbeque dinner. Back 40 Blonde Ale is brassy yellow with a crisp and surprisingly assertive hop profile. Organic Amber Ale is medium brown with a dominant malt presence along with a touch of balancing hops. Axe Handle Pale Ale has a golden-copper color, a subtle hop aroma and a spicy hop taste. Woodeye Rye IPA pours a deep reddish-amber color with good foam retention. The rye malt is apparent, with the hops less assertive than I have come to expect from an IPA. Tet Offensive Pils (in place of the rotating dark tap) has a clear, bright gold color and a white head, with a bready malt taste and a spicy hop finish. I followed the sampler with a pint of the pale ale from Austin’s newly launched (512) Brewing Company. Other taps included Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower, Real Ale Lost Gold IPA, Southern Star Pine Belt Pale Ale, and Live Oak Big Bark Amber and Pils. My only beer criticisms were the lack of a true dark beer choice (even if it is August in Texas), and that the guest taps were too often redundant with the house beers in terms of style, as the bartender agreed.

(08/24/2008)

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

Establishment: Godthaab Bryghus, Nuuk,

Upon arrival at Greenland's international airport at Kangerslussuaq, one is greeted with a large banner promoting the Godthaab Bryghus in the capital of Nuuk. My travels did not take me to Nuuk, but I did have the opportunity to taste one of this brewery's beers at the Hotel Arctic in Ilulissat. Godthaab Moskusbajer, inspired by Greenland's musk ox (also featured on the Godthaab logo), is a strong beer that pours with a rich amber color and some nice lacing. This beer's malty taste is similar to what one might expect in a bock. Other beers from this brewery include Godthaab Pilsner and Godthaab Classic. There seem to be two websites, both in Danish: http://www.godthaab.gl/ghb/index.htm and http://www.bryggeriet.dk/godthaab.

(08/12/2008)

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

Establishment: Icefiord Bryghus, Ilulissat,

The onsite brewery in the restaurant of the Hotel Icefiord produces two rather unique brews. Kvan Ale is a variation on a traditional pale ale that is made using a native Greenlandic plant known as angelica that has notable aromatic and flavor properties. This ale pours a bright amber color with herbal and floral notes and a mild bitterness. Sortebaer Ale is an adaptation of a brown ale, brewed with native Greenlandic crowberries. This ale pours a warm opaque brown color. The taste is malty with a tartness that brings to mind some of the flavors of a Belgian dubbel. The restaurant and the small outdoor deck have superb views of Disko Bay and the endless supply of icebergs that come from the remarkable Ilulissat Icefiord. The restaurant features traditional Greenlandic fare, such as reindeer, musk ox, and halibut. With Ilulissat's location well above the Arctic Circle at greater than 69 degrees north latitude, this is one of the most northern breweries in the world.

(08/09/2008)

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

Establishment: Greenland Brewhouse, Narsaq,

When the Greenland Brewhouse was first opened in 2006, their beers were not available in Greenland. A pale beer and a brown ale, plus seasonals were bottled in Germany and marketed in Denmark. I found a large bottle of Greenland Christmas Ale in Copenhagen in the Fall of 2007. However, more recently, this brewery's products are now available in Greenland. Our group found Greenland Mountain Ale and Greenland Iced Flower at the Hotel Uummannaq, in the standard returnable brown bottle used for all beers in Greenland. It is not clear to me if these bottled products are renamed versions of the original pale and brown ales that were packaged and sold in Europe, or are different beers all together. Greenland Mountain Ale, pours a dark amber color and has a malty taste with a nice balance of bitterness. Greenland Iced Flower is a light golden ale with a floral aroma. A third bottled beer variety, a pale lager called Cave Beer, is also reportedly available in the same standard Greenland bottle.

(08/09/2008)

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

Establishment: 't Arendsnest, Amsterdam,

This pub resides on a quiet street and canal a few blocks from the busier central core of the city. It specializes in a wide assortment of Dutch beers both on draft and in the bottle, with at least one example from every brewery in the Netherlands. The beer menu is extensive and informative and the bartender seemed quite knowledgeable. I had two of their featured drafts: Jopen Extra Stout (a beautiful five-minute pour into a wide-rimmed stemmed glass), and Budels Meibock (bright gold with a full malty mouthfeel and an earthy, spicy hop finish). Seating is available inside the narrow building that houses the pub and at outdoor tables along the canal. A must stop.

(08/06/2008)

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

Establishment: Cafe Studio, Haarlem,

Cafe Studio has a prime location on the square in this historic Dutch city, directly across from St. Bavo Cathedral, a Gothic basilica that dates from the 13th century. This pub has a long bar and two areas of indoor seating, plus a very large outdoor seating area overlooking the square. Among the beer choices are beers of the Jopen brand, which has revived a unique style of beer native to Haarlem.

(08/06/2008)

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

Establishment: 't Arendsnest, Amsterdam,

This pub resides on a quiet street and canal a few blocks from the busier central core of the city. It specializes in a wide assortment of Dutch beers both on draft and in the bottle, with at least one example from every brewery in the Netherlands. The beer menu is extensive and informative and the bartender seemed quite knowledgeable. I had two of their featured drafts: Jopen Extra Stout (a beautiful five-minute pour into a wide-rimmed stemmed glass), and Budels Meibock (bright gold with a full malty mouthfeel and an earthy, spicy hop finish). Seating is available inside the narrow building that houses the pub and at outdoor tables along the canal. A must stop.

(07/18/2008)

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

Establishment: Williamsburg AleWerks, Williamsburg, VA

We stopped here for the 3:00 PM tour on a Tuesday afternoon. We heard the story of the brewery and toured the small brewing facility in the building next to the tasting room. The $5 tour included an opportunity to sample six beers in a logo tasting glass that we got to keep. Our tour group sampled a new seasonal Heather Ale, along with Chesapeake Pale Ale, Drake's Tail IPA, Washington's Porter, Red Marker Ale, and one of their Brewmaster's Reserve series, a strong ale called Wolfe's Trap Ale. I brought home a bomber of the Rapadou Porter, another in the Reserve series, to cellar and later share with friends.

(06/15/2008)

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

Establishment: Green Leafe Cafe, Williamsburg, VA

We had lunch at the Green Leafe Café on a Tuesday, which was well-timed because ALL Virginia pints were priced at $1.50 for the entire day. Bypassing the choices from A-B’s Williamsburg brewery, we selected Legend Lager, Dominion Lager, and St. George IPA. Other Virginia options included Legend Brown Ale, Starr Hill Jomo Lager, Dominion Oak Barrel Stout and one or two beers from the local Williamsburg AleWerks. There were also plenty of other draft and bottled choices from around the US and the world. My wife said her reuben was top notch, and I enjoyed a good grilled tuna salad. Green Leafe is a must stop in Williamsburg.

(06/14/2008)

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

Establishment: Berret's Seafood Restaurant and Taphouse Grill, Williamsburg, VA

We had dinner in the Taphouse Grill portion of this dual restaurant establishment. There was not a huge beer selection, but there are some solid choices on draft and in the bottle, including a number of Virginia beers. Starr Hill Jomo Lager was specially priced at $2.00 a pint and that worked for me. The other folks in our group of four were generally pleased with their food choices, however I felt my jerk chicken entrée, a special of the day, fell a bit short of the mark. There is plenty of nice outdoor seating, but they had difficulty keeping some of the tables shielded from the late afternoon sun.

(06/14/2008)

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

Establishment: Brouwerij 't Ij, Amsterdam,

Occupying a former public bath house, this brewery produced its first beers in 1985. The tap room was opened in 1987 at this distinctive canal-side location which also includes a large windmill that dominates the scene. The beers, seven-full year beers plus several seasonals, are available in draft and in bottles and possess a strong Belgian influence. I visited on a sunny Sunday afternoon (Mother's Day), and found the tap room, the outside seating area, and even the banks of the neighboring canal packed with beer drinkers. I enjoyed a dark abbey dubbel called "Natte". Located east of the central train station, this brewery is a recommended stop while in Amsterdam.

(05/26/2008)

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

Establishment: In de Wildeman, Amsterdam,

Tucked away on a narrow pedestrian-only street in central Amsterdam, this beer connoisseurs’ haven has several different interior spaces to enjoy a brew, plus a few seats outside along the street. The beer selection, on draft and in bottles, is the reason this pub was recently listed as one of "125 places to have a beer before you die" in the May 2008 issue of 'All About Beer' magazine. The bartender recommended that I start with a beer called Johnny, a crisp and cloudy golden ale from a small Amsterdam brewery called Brouwerij de Prael. The bottle choices come from many different countries and even include some well-chosen beers from a few US craft breweries. I opted for one of the featured bottles, a tasty dark alt from Boltens of Germany. In de Wildeman is just a short walk from the Amsterdam Centraal railway station. This one is not to be missed.

(05/24/2008)

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

Establishment: Craft Microbrewery, Athens,

The Craft Microbrewery serves up food and house-brewed beers at its brewpub near the Greek national soccer stadium, and distributes its beers through other places. The selection of beers includes the golden Athens Lager, a mildly crisp pilsner, a hefeweizen, a smoked lager inspired by those of Bamberg, a red ale that is assertively hopped (with Cascades) and served in a stemmed glass, and a black lager fashioned after those of Bohemia. The brewpub is not within very easy walking distance of major tourist areas of Athens, but it is accessable by bus from various directions, and the blue subway line that runs east from the area of the Acropolis. A small group of us visited the brewpub for lunch (nice salads and such). We had some confusion/surprise about a seemingly high extra price for bread, so if you visit you might want to ask about the bread charge up front when you order. We also found the Craft lager and pilsner (the red ale tap was dry) at the Kavos Café in the harbor area on the Island of Mykonos.

(05/10/2008)

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

Establishment: Whiskey Creek, Bishop, CA

This is a moderately upscale restaurant right in the middle of town, with a separate attached bar. The menu includes steaks, fish, pasta, and a variety of other items. I was here with a group and we all seemed reasonably pleased with our entrees. Five draft beers are available in the restaurant and the bar, either by the glass or by the pitcher. All the draft choices are from the Mammoth Brewing Company in nearby Mammoth Lakes. The bartender indicated that Real McCoy Amber Ale, Double Nut Brown, a pale ale, and a golden ale are on all the time, with the fifth tap rotating between the hefeweizen and the IPA. During the week this place is closed by 10:00 PM.

(03/30/2008)

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

Establishment: Corkscrew Saloon, Death Valley, CA

The beers at this bar at the Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National Park are available either at the bar itself or in either of the two adjoining restaurants. While not an extraordinary selection, it is not bad for being in this somewhat isolated location. Draft beer offerings included Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Newcastle Brown Ale, and Mohave Gold from Indian Wells Brewing Company. Bottle choices included Mohave Red (a malty red lager) and the incredible Lobotomy Bock (a 10% double bock), both also from Indian Wells, along with more commonly found craft beers like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and New Belgium Fat Tire. There is a pool table and a great jukebox.

(03/25/2008)

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

Establishment: Monte Carlo Pub and Brewery, Las Vegas, NV

This is now just a better than average beer bar. I had a Sin City Stout.

(03/13/2008)

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

Establishment: Sin City Brewing Company, Las Vegas, NV

Sin City Brewing Company occupies a small bar in the Miracle Mile Shops associated with the Planet Hollywood Casino. Four beers are offered: Light, Hefeweizen, Amber (a marzen lager), and a dry stout. There is also plenty of Sin City merchandise to purchase. These beers are also available elsewhere in Vegas. I tasted Sin City Amber at the Pour 24 bar at New York New York, and I had the Sin City Stout at the Monte Carlo brewpub as well as at the Sin City Bar. I thought the stout was pretty solid, but the marzen did not compare with the better examples of that style that I have found.

(03/11/2008)

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

Establishment: Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, Las Vegas, NV

I made several visits to the Gordon Biersch in Las Vegas while staying at a hotel just down the street. On a Sunday evening, I had a seasonal roggenbier, with a spicy, dry finish that went well with our mixed appetizer plate. Our service in the bar area was attentive. I later returned on a very busy Wednesday night and sat at the bar. Initially, service was indifferent and slow, but once I finally got my schwarzbier and ordered my food it was adequate for the remainder of the visit.

(03/10/2008)

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

Establishment: Pour 24, Las Vegas, NV

This is a somewhat strange new bar found near the top of the escalator, looking out over the casino floor at New York New York. 24 tap handles offer nothing but US craft beers from breweries like Sierra Nevada, Firestone Walker, Stone, Rogue, Anchor, Alaskan, Breckenridge, New Belgium, Kona, Big Sky, Abita, Sin City, and others. The styles offered were broadly inclusive, ranging from pale ales, IPAs and ESBs, to brown ales, porters, stouts, and seasonals. Many of the patrons were quaffing domestic longnecks and brightly colored icy drinks, so the appreciation of the beer offerings was clearly lost on a large number of the customers. The mall-like location and the look and feel of it (no doubt inherited from what was here before) make this place anything but a typical pubcrawler stop. Still, in what is largely a beer wasteland along the Vegas strip, this is a place to get a very good beer or two.

(03/09/2008)

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

Establishment: Boulder Dam Brewing Company, Boulder City, NV

After reading several negative reviews of the beers, we stopped here with limited expectations. I ordered the beer sampler and tried all six varieties on hand. Yes, as others have noted, and as the brewery itself explains, all the beers are unfiltered and quite cloudy in appearance. This in itself does not bother me. In fact, I found all the beers to be quite drinkable, with the Black Canyon Stout being fairly good and the High Scaler IPA appropriately citrusy and hoppy. Other choices, a hefeweizen, amber ale, and an interesting but thin blueberry bock were decent but unremarkable. My biggest problem was with the Powder Monkey Pilsner. A pilsner should be clear and bright, with a pale gold color and a crisp, clean taste. Boulder Dam's version of a pilsner, while drinkable, seems nothing like a real pilsner. The German's have a name for an unfiltered pale gold lager  kellerbier  and this is what Boulder Dam's pale lager appears to best resemble. If this brewpub chooses to produce nothing but unfiltered beers, that is fine. However, they should be honest with themselves and their customers and call a beer what it really is. We just had an appetizer so comments on the food would be inappropriate. One plus: they do start you off with a bowl of freshly popped popcorn. The outdoor beer garden would have been nice on a pleasant day, but we were there on a rainy afternoon.

(03/09/2008)

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

Establishment: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Katy, TX

The Alamo Drafthouse almost certainly has the best beer selection in Katy. 30 taps dominated by American craft beers and quality imports, with a number of rotating selections. Other quality beer choices, as well as mass-produced yellow lagers, are available by the bottle. In addition to enjoying a beer with some food in the movie theatres, one can also enjoy a pint in the Alamo Drafthouse beer garden, essentially an outdoor patio area in front of the theatre entrance.

(12/23/2007)

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

Establishment: Fox and Hound Pub and Grille, Shenandoah, TX

Although I cannot give this version of the Fox and Hound chain an especially strong beer endorsement, a true beer lover can find a quality beer at this location near The Woodlands. There are 36 taps and even more bottle choices offering a decent but far from stellar selection. The Red Fox Amber, a relatively new house beer brewed for the Fox and Hound pubs by Anheuser-Busch, has a nicely complex malt character thanks to the use of caramel and black malts and also offers a bit of a spicy hop finish. During my time at the bar, megabrewer light lagers were the most often pulled tap handles, with some of the more interesting beers seeing little or no action. This pub is fairly noisy and it had a moderately high smoke factor during my visit time.

(10/28/2007)

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

Establishment: Kassik's Kenai Brew Stop, Kenai , AK

I found Kassik's Roughneck Stout at Humpy's in Anchorage. This is a big, smooth oatmeal stout, with nice complexity.

(09/25/2007)

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

Establishment: Glacier Brewhouse, Anchorage, AK

In addition to our visit to the Glacier Brewhouse in Anchorage, we found this brewery’s beers on tap elsewhere in Alaska. Glacier Brewhouse IPA was seen in several places throughout the greater Denali area and they also produce a house beer for the Princess Lodges (we visited the Denali Princess Lodge and the McKinley Princess Lodge) called Denali Red Ale (it may be their normal amber ale).

(09/25/2007)

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

Establishment: West Rib Cafe and Pub, Talkeetna, AK

We had a very enjoyable lunch on the outdoor patio of this pub on a pleasant sunny afternoon in early September. The crowd seemed a mix of locals and tourists. Our server was a bit curt, perhaps fitting for this town in the Alaskan interior, but she was otherwise quite efficient in taking and delivering our beer and food orders. The beer selection is filled with worthy choices, featuring a nice variety of Alaskan and other West Coast craft beers, including their own house beer (a strong golden ale brewed by the Glacier Brewhouse in Anchorage). I opted for the Moose's Tooth Pale Ale. Our burgers and other lunch choices were top notch. We left the McKinley Princess Lodge early to spend some extra time exploring Talkeetna before boarding the train to Anchorage, and we were glad we did.

(09/23/2007)

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

Establishment: Midnight Sun Brewing Company, Anchorage, AK

While in the Denali area I had the chance to try several different beers from Midnight Sun. The Kodiak Brown Ale is dark and malty with a nice hop balance. We found this tap handle at the Lynx Pub and other restaurants at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. The draft-only Oosik Amber Ale is a tasty German-style altbier, one of several Midnight Sun choices we found at the Salmon Bake Restaurant near the entrance to Denali National Park. We also enjoyed the bottled version of Sockeye Red IPA, one of several Midnight Sun beers available in the Denali area in 22 oz bombers.

(09/23/2007)

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

Establishment: Red Dog Saloon, Juneau, AK

We stopped here for lunch and found one empty table. This place was not as bad as many have reported, but I would not call it a great experience either. At least we can say we we’ve been to this seemingly legendary place.

(09/17/2007)

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

Establishment: Alaskan Brewing and Bottling Company, Juneau, AK

Don't let talk of a high-priced cab ride keep you from visiting this fine brewery. The Juneau public bus system (routes 3 and 4) will take you to within a block or two of the brewery for $1.50 each way. We had a nice little tour (admittedly much of it looking through glass), and we were encouraged to try ALL seven available Alaskan beers on tap in the tasting room. There was not a bad one in the bunch, with the ESB, IPA, Stout and Smoked Porter all standouts in my view. The well known Alaskan Amber Ale and Alaskan Summer Ale were readily available throughout our cruise ship, the Sapphire Princess.

(09/17/2007)

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

Establishment: Skagway Brewing Company, Skagway, AK

The Skagway Brewing Company has been resurrected at a new downtown location. The brew system must be fairly small, as we were told it was located on the second floor above the brewpub. Two Skagway brews were available during our visit in late August  Chilkoot Trail IPA, and Boomtown Brown Ale, both solid versions of their respective styles. A beer sampler consisted of four tasters  the house IPA and three guest beers from Washington  Pike Kilt Lifter, Fish Tail Organic Pale Ale, and Leavenworth Whistling Pig Wheat. Other craft beers and imports were also available. The only food we sampled was a plate of tasty fries.

(09/17/2007)

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

Establishment: Granville Island Brewing Company, Limited, Vancouver, BC

On a Friday afternoon in late August, we found four Granville Island beers available on draft at the tap room. Other styles were available in bottles for take out in the adjacent retail store, along with apparel, glassware, and other brewery-related stuff.

(09/17/2007)

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

Establishment: Dockside Restaurant and Brewing Company, Vancouver, BC

I cannot help but echo parts of the previous reviews. Dockside's outside patio overlooking downtown Vancouver on a sunny afternoon in late August made for a great lunch spot. The beers we tried were decent but not outstanding. My favorite was Pelican Bay Brown Ale, followed by Old Bridge Dark Lager and Johnston Pilsener. A beer sampler comes in a wooden holder with sampler glasses of six different brews.

(09/17/2007)

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

Establishment: Wild Wing Cafe, Katy, TX

Even though this is Katy, Texas, and even though this place promotes itself as a wing place, a true pubcrawler will find the beer selection at this Wild Wing Cafe somewhat disappointing. On our visit at the end of July we found 20 draft selections, and many more bottle choices, but the vast majority of the selections are pale lagers that are generally low on flavor and character. Local Texas breweries were not well represented - I saw only Saint Arnold Summer Pils among the tap handles, and Saint Arnold Amber Ale and Shiner Bock and Shiner Light on the bottle list. Dark beer drinkers are limited to the likes of Guinness and Newcastle on draft, and ZiegenBock, Michelob Amber Bock (why do you need both of these A-B clones?), Negra Modelo, and the aforementioned Shiner Bock. Looking for hops? Good luck - Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is available on draft, but there was not an IPA anywhere in sight. Wheat beer lovers would have found Widmer Hefeweizen, Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat, Blue Moon, and New Belgium Sunshine Wheat either bottled or on draft. I'll be curious to see what they do as the seasonal offerings such as Oktoberfest beers and winter ales begin to become available from distributors. The Wild Wing Cafe food menu is actually quite broad, which makes the stylistically limited beer choices that much more disappointing. This place is generally a welcome addition to the Katy scene, but in terms of beer they could have done much better.

(08/13/2007)

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

Establishment: Wild Wing Cafe, Katy, TX

Even though this is Katy, Texas, and expectations might be lower because it calls itself a wing place, a true pubcrawler will still find the beer selection at this Wild Wing Café somewhat disappointing. There are 20 draft selections, and many more bottle choices, but the vast majority of the selections are pale lagers with minimal flavor and character. Local Texas breweries are not well represented - I found only Saint Arnold Summer Pils among the tap handles, and Saint Arnold Amber Ale and Shiner Bock and Shiner Light on the bottle list. Dark beer drinkers are limited to the likes of Guinness and Newcastle on draft, along with ZiegenBock, Michelob Amber Bock (why do you need both?), Negra Modelo, and the aforementioned Shiner Bock. Looking for hops? Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is available on draft, but there was not an IPA anywhere in sight. At the time of our recent visit, wheat beer lovers would have found Widmer Hefeweizen, Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat, Blue Moon, and New Belgium Sunshine Wheat in one form or another. I'll be curious to see what they do when seasonal offerings such as Oktoberfest beers and winter ales begin to become available from distributors. The Wild Wing Cafe food menu is actually quite broad, which makes the stylistically limited beer choices that much more disappointing. This place is generally a welcome addition to the Katy scene, but in terms of beer they could have done much better.

(08/05/2007)

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

Establishment: Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, New Orleans, LA

This Gordon Biersch brewpub is one of several that features a schwarzbier instead of the Munich style dark lager or dunkels seen at many GB locations. It pours a dark nearly black color with the characteristic bittersweet flavors you would expect from this style. The schwarzbier was done well, which was no surprise as I knew that the brewer here is now James Hudec, who did a very nice black lager several years ago at the short-lived Brenham Brewery in Texas. The seasonal kolsch, which was raved about by our bartender, was bright and citrusy. This brewpub is right across from the Harrods Casino and not far from the New Orleans Convention Center.

(08/05/2007)

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

Establishment: Columbus Brewing Company, Columbus, OH

This is a somewhat overdue review of a lunchtime visit to Columbus Brewing back on a Thursday in mid-May. Their lunch business was very strong that day, resulting in about a 10-15 minute wait for a table. We were seated in one of the booths in the back of the restaurant that looks out over the working brewery where we could see that bottling was going on that day. Our server was exceptionally enthusiastic and attentive (I'm sorry I have forgotten her name). Upon explaining that our visit there was part of the "Great American Beer Tour" associated with American Craft Beer Week, she sought out the manager so he could come by and visit with us. He had some honest comments about the beers in the sample tray in front of us, including one style where he noted that another brewery in town did a version that he actually preferred. I thought the beers were generally well done, with my favorites probably being the porter and the IPA. Our food, a BBQ chicken chopped salad and a roasted turkey wrap, was excellent as well. Many of the items on the menu have a suggested beer pairing. This is a recommended stop. Note - there are currently two different Columbus Brewing websites: www.columbusbrewing.com, which shows the bottled products, and www.columbusbrewingco.com, which is the brewpub website with menus and such.

(07/21/2007)

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

Establishment: Ellicottville Brewing Company, Fredonia, NY

My wife and I were here for a late lunch on a Wednesday afternoon in mid-May. We each enjoyed a large open-face Reuben sandwich. I started off with the nut brown ale, which was dark and roasty, and then went with a pint of the dark Vienna lager to accompany the rest of my sandwich. The bartender was kind of enough to offer me a taste of the seasonal maibock and the Vienna to help me decide on my second beer. Most of the beers are brewed at the original Ellicottville Brewing Company location in nearby Ellicottville, but the bartender mentioned that the small brewing facility in the front window of this Fredonia location was recently used to brew a special Canadiana Pale Ale with whole hops in the boil.

(06/11/2007)

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

Establishment: Taps Brewing Company, Virgil, ON

In the midst of a mid-May tour of several wineries in the Niagara region of Ontario, we stopped at this fairly new microbrewery on a Tuesday afternoon. Although they are not scheduled to be open on Monday or Tuesday, we found the taproom open as brewing was going on that day. Taps currently produces two full year beers - Premium Lager, brewed in the Dortmunder Export style with Cascade hops, and a malty Red Cream Ale. We also got to sample a still fermenting vanilla wheat ale, a soon to be released summer seasonal. We also heard about a once-a-year wine barrel lager, fermented in wine barrels from one of the local Niagara wineries. We had a great visit with Rob, who offered us samples and gave us a nice little tour of the brewery. Check out their website for exact directions.

(06/10/2007)

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

Establishment: Pearl Street Grill and Brewery, Buffalo, NY

As other reviewers have mentioned, the historic building that houses this brewpub is cool, and I enjoyed looking at the historic art and photos all around the pub. We had beef-on-weck sandwiches early in the evening on Mother's Day with the pub was not very crowded. I enjoyed a pint of the Trainwreck Alt and also the featured guest draft from Flying Bison.

(06/10/2007)

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

Establishment: Belmont Brewing Company, Long Beach, CA

My wife and I had a really wonderful dinner here on an early April evening, sitting on the deck overlooking the Pacific, with a nearby firepit to keep the chill away. Our meals were superb and the two beers that I had were quite good - the toasty and malty Top Sail Amber Ale, and Long Beach Crude, a rich and rather potent stout. My wife enjoyed the Strawberry Blonde Ale. For a brewpub, the beer choices are a bit limited, even with a seasonal (I think it was wit) and a guest tap or two available. All in all, it is highly recommended.

(06/05/2007)

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

Establishment: San Pedro Brewing Company, San Pedro, CA

This is a pretty nice little brewpub in an old historic building in downtown San Pedro. We went with the daily specials of fish and shrimp tacos, which were quite good. The beers that I tried were solid. I opted for the Shanghai Red, an aromatic malty ale, and a special IPA that was on the chalkboard.

(06/05/2007)

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

Establishment: Yard House, Long Beach, CA

I made several stops here while in town for a convention. Plenty of good beer choices... I focused on several West Coast IPA's and other style ales that I had never tried before. Great deck seating looking out over the harbor. Lots of folks were drinking different colored martinis. Happy hour with half price appetizers is a good time to visit.

(05/29/2007)

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

Establishment: Auld Dubliner Irish Pub and Restaurant, Long Beach, CA

Located in a touristy area right across from the convention center, this is one of those made in Ireland and assembled in America pubs. Typical atmosphere and such, beer selection is good at best. A short walk to Rock Bottom in one direction and the Yard House in the other direction.

(05/29/2007)

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

Establishment: Crown City Brewery, Pasadena, CA

Our visit here in April was my second, some nine years after my first stop. As other reviewers have noted, the emphasis here is definitely on others' beers rather than their own. Only the Crown City Amber was available the evening we visited. I had a pint of the house amber& satisfactory but not exceptional. I was much more pleased with my pint of Craftsman Smoked Black Lager. My "great" beer ratings are because of the availability of a few exceptional beers like this. Service was solid on a busy Friday evening.

(05/25/2007)

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

Establishment: Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, Pasadena, CA

We had a pretty good dinner here on a Thursday evening. Ive been to several Gordon Biersch locations over the years (second time at this Pasadena location), and this one has a similar feel to the others Ive seen. The outdoor patio seating was popular that evening.

(05/25/2007)

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

Establishment: Craftsman Brewing Company, Pasadena, CA

I had a chance to try a couple beers from this brewery during a visit to Pasadena in April. I found the tasty Smoked Black Lager on tap at Crown City Brewery and I found the wonderfully rich and smoky Roggen Rauch Bock at Lucky Baldwins, served in a stemmed glass. Lucky Baldwins had as many as five Craftsman beers on draft. I also saw a Craftsman tap or two at the Pasadena location of Barneys Beanery. I did not see any of these beers at the Pasadena Yard House.

(05/23/2007)

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

Establishment: Fredericksburg Brewing Company, Fredericksburg, TX

I finally got the opportunity to visit this place. My wife and I had dinner in the restaurant and we spent the night in the Admiral Room, one of 11 upstairs guest rooms. Overnight guests receive a free pint of beer, thus the “bed & brew” label. There were five house beers to choose from during our visit in late January. I had a pint each of three of them (it helps when you don’t have to drive afterward), and a taste of a fourth. All were flavorful and true to style: Peacepipe Pale Ale, Harper Valley IPA, Pioneer Porter, and Enchanted Rock Red Ale – I did not get to the hefe. First thing to note: not a German-style lager to be had on this visit, which seemed a bit odd in this German-themed tourist town. This brewpub does make them – pilsner, bock, a GABF medal-winning helles – maybe next time. Second thing to note: none of the beers on that evening would serve as an easy transition beer from the light mega-lagers so popular in Texas. A beer drinker would have to jump with both feet into whatever style he or she selected. Many pubcrawlers would say that was a good thing. Our food was good – I would definitely recommend the Schweineschnitzel. Our service on a fairly busy Friday evening was more than adequate. This place closes somewhat early by brewpub standards, so upstairs overnight guests can have some quiet.

(02/08/2007)

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

Establishment: Aiken Brewing Company, Aiken, SC

I and several others stopped here on the Thursday between Christmas and New Years. The pub was fairly busy on an early afternoon. The beers we tried were excellent. Two of us enjoyed a deliciously dark German-style bock, and also a pint of their GABF gold-medal winning Irish-style red ale called Thoroughbred Red. Our companions opted for the smooth and golden Jenny’s Cream Ale, recently released as the 500th batch of beer at Aiken, and named for one of the brewpub’s co-owners. We had to wait too long for our appetizer baskets of calamari, shrimp, clam strips, and chicken with onion rings. The delayed arrival of our food was seemingly not the fault of our server, but rather stemmed from issues or confusion in and around the kitchen. I liked the overall feel of this pub, with its brick interior walls and visible brewing equipment flanking the front door. The beers we tried were superb, although one might wish for more than five house brews to choose from. I would definitely visit again.

(12/31/2006)

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

Establishment: Athens Steam Company Pub, Athens, GA

A small group of us had dinner here on a very quiet Sunday evening. The adjoining Melting Point concert room, new since I last visited this pub, was silent. The variety of soups, salads, and sandwiches that our group of five had were all very good. A few of their taps were off line, but they did have several Terrapin brews including the wonderful Big Hoppy Monster and the Golden Ale and Rye Pale Ale. The medium-bodied red ale labeled especially for the Athen Steam Company Pub, brewed by Thomas Creek Brewing Company of Greenville, was available in a bottle this time around.

(11/26/2006)

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

Establishment: Wild Wing Cafe, Athens, GA

A group of us stopped here for lunch on a Sunday afternoon after confirming that Copper Creek Brewing was closed until later in the day. Upon our arrival, our server explained that this place had been having CO2 problems all weekend long, and that there was no draught beer or carbonated soft drinks available. We were forced to dip into their bottle selection, which fortunately included several from Sweetwater, notably the superb 2006 edition of Sweetwater Festive Ale. Later the taps were fixed allowing us to order a draft. Confusion ensued when we received Sweetwater Hummer pints instead of the Sweetwater 420 that we had ordered. Not sure where the mistake was made, but neither bartender nor server should mistake a pale ale for an unfiltered wheat beer. Our beers were corrected, but not as speedily as we might have liked. Our food, mainly sandwiches and some wings, were good. Our server was pleasant but not as beer knowledgeable as she should have been given the number of choices that Wild Wings offers. The beer selection rates a strong good - local Georgia beers from Terrapin and Sweetwater are available, and the bottled Festive Ale was a a plus, but much of the rest of the 20 plus tap handles seemed a bit uninspired. I believe I have seen a better beer selection here in the past.

(11/26/2006)

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

Establishment: Copper Creek Brewing Company, Athens, GA

We just had some beers on this visit on a Friday evening. Only four house drafts available: kolsch, pale ale, oatmeal stout, and a seasonal pumpkin ale. All were well done and true to style. The pumpkin ale was actually quite nice, with a deep amber color and spiced to be strongly reminiscent of pumpkin pie. Other commercial beers are available in bottles but it would be nice to have a bit of a larger selection of house beers.

(11/26/2006)

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

Establishment: Mellow Mushroom, Athens, GA

This was return visit to this MM location. Three of us shared an excellent large pizza. I washed it down with a pint of Sweetwater Sweet Georgia Brown Ale. I'm not sure the overall draft selection was as great as I have seen at this location in the past. Lunch time service was adequate.

(11/26/2006)

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

Establishment: Five Seasons Brewing Company, Atlanta, GA

Our first visit to this brewpub was earlier this month - a fairly busy Thursday around lunchtime. The house drafts were limited to four (disappointing when you scan the long list of beers shown on their website). The Munich Helles did not interest me and they had run out of the listed IPA. I opted for a seasonal weizenbock, which turned out to be a good choice, a dark yet refreshing companion to my smoked brisket reuben. I finished up with a pint of porter which was also well done. The others with me did not have beer but they seemed to enjoy their turkey reuben sandwiches as well.

(11/25/2006)

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

Establishment: Onion Creek, Houston, TX

I made my first visit to Onion Creek last week. I can echo previous reviewer comments regarding the enjoyable atmosphere of the place, with a few comfortable couches and other seating on the inside and plenty of outdoor deck seating ideal for when the weather is good. I counted 24 taps, including a very good but not outstanding selection of craft beer and imports. There are plenty of bottle choices as well. The keg of Saint Arnold Oktoberfest was new that week, and it really hit the spot. I look forward to returning here again.

(09/14/2006)

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

Establishment: Hobbit Cafe, Houston, TX

Nestled under a large tree off of Richmond Avenue, the Hobbit Café serves patrons in small rooms and outdoor patio areas, with maps of Middle Earth and Lord of the Rings pictures adorning the walls. This casual restaurant features a selection of burgers, sandwiches named after characters from Tolkien’s books, and a range of vegetarian, grilled, and southwestern menu items. My fish tacos and my wife’s chicken enchiladas were both excellent. The beer offerings are not overly extensive but are well chosen, including quality beers representing a range of styles. At the time of our late August visit, the six tap selections included Saint Arnold Elissa IPA, two ales from Real Ale Brewery of Blanco, Full Sail Amber, Pyramid Hefeweizen, and one of the fine ales from Quebec’s Unibroue. The bottle choices include other craft beers, such as offerings from Left Hand and Great Divide, and a good variety of imports including some interesting Belgian choices. Although this was just my first visit, I highly recommend the Hobbit for good food, great beer, a comfortable atmosphere, and friendly service.

(09/04/2006)

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

Establishment: Rams Head Tavern, Savage, MD

On July 1, I was part of a group that spent a little time at the Rams Head prior to a wedding reception in an adjacent facility at the Savage Mill complex. We all just had a beer or two each, so my comments will focus on the beer and the overall feel of the place. Draft beers include the Fordham Brewing Company beers and a variety of other choices. Several of us liked the Fordham Tavern Ale, an American-style pale ale with nice hops. Both the Fordham Copperhead Ale (light in body for an alt) and the Fordham Oyster Stout were considered to be underachievers for their styles. The Fordham Lager and the seasonal maibock were also sampled, but I did not hear significant comments on either of those. The tap selection includes a range of imports and other craft brews. This is a large place with a restaurant on the top floor, a middle floor with more of a pub atmosphere and a bar area, and a lower rathskeller area with its own separate bar. There is also a large outdoor deck. Note that the all the draft selections are not the same at both bars. For example, the rathskeller had Resurrection ale from Brewer’s Art, which was not available at the bar on the main floor.

(07/22/2006)

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

Establishment: Revere Tavern, Paradise, PA

This historic tavern is not your typical pubcrawler place. Built in 1740, this was a renowned stage coach stop between Philadelphia and Lancaster. Its storied history includes chapters related to President James Buchanan, and fabled song writer Stephen Foster. Diners gather in rooms with names like the “King George Room” and the “William Penn Room”, each with a working fireplace. The bar has its own room. The menu is upscale but not overly pretentious. We enjoyed our dinners (scallops for her, veal for me), and I was especially pleased to be able to quaff a couple of pints of Troegs Nut Brown (my favorite beer style, but first time for this brew), and even keep a souvenir Revere Tavern pint glass. They show their respect for good beer in that four of the five available drafts were quality choices - Troegs Nut Brown, Lancaster Strawberry Wheat, Hoegaarden, and Spaten Lager. Something with more hops would have been nice to see as well - perhaps there was something of that nature available in the bottle. Once I saw the Troegs Nut Brown, I was not motivated to inquire about bottle choices. This is a great place for dinner if staying in Lancaster County.

(07/12/2006)

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

Establishment: Appalachian Brewing Company, Harrisburg, PA

I had been here once before in the fall of 2000. My wife and I stopped here for dinner near the end of our rainy week in Pennsylvania, on the day the Susquehanna River crested and began to recede. There was a pretty good selection of beers to choose from. I started with a pint of the Celtic Irish Red, then enjoyed the Rockville Rye, and finished up with the Jolly Scott Scotch Ale. My wife opted for the more traditional Mountain Lager. No complaints on the food – my pasta dish was generous indeed, as our server had warned me. Several bottled selections are available for carry out.

(07/12/2006)

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

Establishment: Bube's Brewery, Mount Joy, PA

This is a rather amazing place. We took the tour through the hisoric brewery building - catacombs, upstairs, etc. We ate in the Bottling Works section of the place. A lot of folks that evening were in the adjacent Biergarten. I was disappointed that there were only two house beers available at the time of our visit – kolsch and hefeweizen. Both were fairly good – the hefe was the cloudiest of this style that I have ever seen. The server says they go through a batch of the hefe about twice as fast as their other beer styles. I finished up with a Troegs Troegenator, one of several decent guest taps. We had a couple of pretty good sandwiches – mine was the Reuben. Stepping back into a fascinating example of American brewing history is the primary reason to visit Bube’s, but the beer and food should not leave you overly disappointed.

(07/12/2006)

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

Establishment: Lancaster Brewing Company, Lancaster, PA

My nephew has raved about this place for years, so I was happy that it fell along our Pennsylvania vacation route during the last week in June. Our dinners were quite good and service was attentive. I’d had the Amish Four Grain Pale Ale before in bottles, so I went with a pint of Franklinfest Vienna-style lager, then the Hop Hog IPA, and finally Milk Stout. All were solid beers, although the Hop Hog was not the best IPA I had on this trip. The Milk Stout, my nephew’s favorite, was a great finish to the meal. My wife and also a fellow at the next table enjoyed the Strawberry Wheat. Diners sit in full view of the fermenters, and our table was right next to the elevator used to bring kegs up from the lower level of the brewery.

(07/11/2006)

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

Establishment: Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, PA

My wife and I had a couple of tasty pizzas and some beers at Victory on a rainy Sunday evening in late June. We get some of the bottled Victory beers in Texas, so I opted for ones I could not get at home. I started with Uncle Teddy’s Bitter on cask, then had a pint of the big and malty St. Boisterous Hellerbock, and finished up with the robust Storm King Stout. The cask ale was good, but did not quite compare with the Saint Arnold Amber on cask (same style of ale) that we get in Texas. The pale bock was quite nice, and the stout was a great choice at the end of the visit. My wife had the Victor Lager and the Throwback Lager, and preferred the former. It was a busy place with a lot of families there for dinner. We were too late in the day to check out the company store.

(07/10/2006)

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

Establishment: General Lafayette Inn and Brewery, Lafayette Hill, PA

We stopped here for the Sunday brunch during that rainy week late in June. We were seated upstairs due to a private party on the first level. I had the beer sampler with our meal – blonde ale, raspberry mead, sunset red, pale ale, framboise and another that I don’t remember - six of the eight or so beers available. The brunch buffet was pretty good, set up in a first floor room next to the bar.

(07/10/2006)

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

Establishment: Moriarty's, Philadelphia, PA

This was the only place we visited twice during our two evenings in Philadelphia. My wife and I really liked the feel of this pub, although we never ate here. Our first visit was walking back to our hotel from Independence Park on a Friday afternoon. I had the Philadelphia Pale Ale from Yards and my wife enjoyed the summer seasonal from Flying Fish. On our second visit on Saturday evening, we found a couple of spots at the end of the bar. I had a Yards IPA and then finished with a properly served Leffe Brune (both were superb on draught!) Overall, there were about 25 taps with a very fine selection of regional craft beers (plus Dale’s Pale Ale from Oskar Blues) and imports. The inside is nicely appointed with dark wood, lots of beer signs, and Play Bills from the stage productions of the nearby theater. We enjoyed talking beer with some of the staff as they came by the end of the bar to pick up drink orders. Moriarty’s is definitely worth a visit.

(07/08/2006)

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

Establishment: McGillin's Olde Ale House, Philadelphia, PA

Cool place - we just had a beer here on a rainy Saturday evening after enjoying dinner at Monk’s. We saw the transition toward a younger crowd while we were there. I had the Stoudt’s Abbey Triple and my wife had a Troegs Sunshine Pils. The draft beer choices included beers from several regional craft brewers (but no Yards at this time) and a handful of imports, but seemed to underachieve on overall style variety – a few too many golden lagers and summer wheat beers for me. I’m sure I would have liked the draft choices better if I had visited when fall and winter seasonal beers were on tap.

(07/08/2006)

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

Establishment: Monk's Cafe, Philadelphia, PA

I started off with the Monk’s Café Flemish Sour Red Ale on draught, and then enjoyed a bottle of Abbaye du Val-Dieu Brown Ale. For dinner I had a wonderful Belgian-inspired rabbit dish, with the meat braised in Cantillon gueze. My wife had the steak frites salad, and like several previous reviewers, she loved the frites. We got to Monk’s early on a Saturday evening and watched the place get really crowded by the time we left. Our service was attentive and more than satisfactory. A great experience overall.

(07/08/2006)

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

Establishment: Independence Brew Pub, Philadelphia, PA

I did the sampler - kolsch, summer ale, amber or red ale, IPA, & oatmeal stout, and then settled on a pint of the IPA. The beers were respectable and true to style but not outstanding, our dinners were pretty good, and the service was adequate. Compared to the ambiance of other Philadelphia pubs in old historic buildings, the big rather contemporary feel of this place comes up a bit lacking. Independence Brewpub has a great logo featuring an image of Ben Franklin, but misses the mark on its logo merchandise – T-shirts and pint glasses have only a one-color version of the logo, caps and other items don’t even feature the logo. I took a pass on any such items.

(07/08/2006)

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

Establishment: Nodding Head Brewery and Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA

We stopped here for a beer and an appetizer on a busy Friday evening. I enjoyed a pint of Grog, their award-winning brown ale. My wife was less impressed with the light lager flavored with lemongrass and ginger called Monkey Knife Fight. My ‘great’ rating for beer selection, is not because of the shear number of choices, but acknowledges the interesting variety within the number they offer. In hindsight, I wish we had also sampled their medal-winning Berliner Weisse, to compare to the real thing that we had in Berlin last year. Our chicken wings were pretty good – big full wings. Nice collection of bobbleheads in a display case near the bar.

(07/08/2006)

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

Establishment: John Harvard's Brew House, Springfield, PA

I did the sampler – summer, pils, amber, IPA, brown ale, and stout. I thought the IPA was really quite excellent. We had a nice dinner with attentive service from our server Stacy (not very busy on a Thursday evening). The "Backwoods Louisiana Smothered Fried Chicken" was very good, although nothing like I ever saw during my years living in Louisiana.

(07/08/2006)

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

Establishment: McKenzie Brew House, Glen Mills, PA

This was our first beer stop on a week-long visit to southeastern Pennsylvania. My wife and I each had a pint (mine was a reasonably good brown ale) and a quesadilla appetizer, after visiting the Wyeth museum and sampling wines at the nearby Chadds Ford winery. This was a busy, noisy place on a late Thursday afternoon.

(07/08/2006)

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

Establishment: McKenzie River Partners, San Francisco, CA

This was a contract company only, which has sold its brands to Miller.

(07/04/2006)

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

Establishment: Onopa Brewing Company, Milwaukee, WI

This place has been remodeled and reopened under a new name - Stonefly Brewing Company. There is a separate listing under the new name.

(05/07/2006)

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

Establishment: Lengthwise Brewing Company, Bakersfield, CA

While in Bakersfield last week, several colleagues and I stopped for some beers at Lengthwise. Two of us got the sampler that consisted of seven beers. We agreed the first three beers, the golden ale, the wheat ale, and the raspberry wheat, were descent but did not overly impress (just too light in taste for us). The Triple Hop Red Ale was more complex with a nice malt-hop balance. The Centennial Ale was a superbly done IPA that we both thought was the best of the bunch. On the darker side, we enjoyed a fairly solid porter and the current seasonal offering, a malty Scottish ale. We just had a couple of ordinary appetizers, so I’ll leave the food assessment to other reviewers. After returning home I saw that the Centennial Ale was just awarded a silver medal in the English-style India Pale Ale category at the 2006 World Beer Cup in April (see the list of winners at www.beertown.org). No wonder we liked that beer the best!

(05/05/2006)

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

Establishment: Blackstone Restaurant and Brewery, Nashville, TN

I had popped into this brewpub once or twice before, but this was my first visit to sit down for a meal and really consider the beers. I ordered the six beer sampler, and I found all the beers to be quite drinkable. They were all generally true to style except for the nut brown ale, which was very dark with some porter-like coffee notes (unlike the contract-brewed Blackstone Nut Brown Ale that I tasted recently). The other beers: Chaser Pale – a typical kolsch, Red Springs Ale – an amber, Maris Otter – a British-style pale ale, St. Charles Porter – a dark brown ale with the body and flavor notes expected for this style, and a “Brewmaster’s Special” American Pale Ale. The Red Springs, Maris Otter, and American Pale Ale, although different, were similar enough to lessen the overall impact of a six beer sampler. Kudos for the sampler guide however, which contained some of the best info that I can recall for a sampler mat, including info on the beer style, the ingredients used, the gravity and the IBUs. Our lunch entrees, a Rueben sandwich and a salad topped with grilled tuna, were good, and our server Kyle was friendly and efficient. I noticed a cask conditioned ale mentioned on the chalk board as we were leaving – I might look for that next time.

(04/23/2006)

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

Establishment: Pub 261, Pelham, AL

My visit to this pub was a relatively brief one late on a Thursday night. I will avoid any commentary and just report what I observed. There are approximately 30 taps, dominated by American megalagers (mostly pale but also including a few amber lagers such as Shiner Bock, Yuengling, Sam Adams, and Killian’s). There were also a number of unsurprising imported pale lagers. True American craft beers that I noticed on draft seemed to be limited to Bridgeport IPA, Sweetwater 420, and Abita Purple Haze. There were also a few typical imported ales – Guinness, Bass, Newcastle, Hoegaarden, along with perhaps one or two German hefeweizens. There is a stage for live music and karaoke that is so close to the bar that I had to shout my beer request to the bartender. There is also a separate room with pool tables and a few arcade games. For a more thorough look at the beer list, including the bottle choices, take a look at the pub’s website.

(04/23/2006)

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

Establishment: Hofbrauhaus Newport, Newport, KY

Last Sunday I stopped for a quick lunch at this place, several years after my initial visit. For what it tries to be, I think the Hofbrauhaus does a pretty good job in terms of beer, food, and environment. The lady tending bar said that all the draft beer they serve is produced onsite (not the case when they opened as I recall, when some beer was being shipped from Germany). The menu shows four full-time beers (lager, weizen, light, and dunkel) and a different seasonal each month, all presumably traditional German recipes. Their March seasonal, a marzen, only lasted about half the month, so they were offering as a substitute an unfiltered zwickelbier based on the Hofbrau Premium Lager recipe. I started with the slightly sweet-tasting zwickelbier and then switched to the Hofbrau Dunkel, a tasty dark lager. I had a wurst platter with three kinds of sausage along with potatoes and kraut, and listened to the oompah band with a moderate-sized early afternoon crowd. I'd stop here again.

(03/30/2006)

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

Establishment: The Chimes Restaurant and Tap Room, Baton Rouge, LA

Several of the previous reviews have pegged the tap selection fairly well – five Abita taps, a few other nationally available craft beers, and a decent variety of imports with few surprises. There are some pretty good choices among the bottle selection as well. The beer variety is shown on the website. I had a large bottle of a seasonal Christmas ale from England on our recent visit, which was our first trip back to the Chimes in a number of years. And as others have said, the food is quite good. We only had a light lunch on this visit, and found the gumbo and the corn & shrimp chowder to be excellent. We were fortunate with our timing, arriving early in the afternoon on a Saturday not long before the crowd from the 11:00 AM LSU women’s basketball game invaded the place. We were done and on the road in reasonable time. The Chimes is worth a stop.

(01/12/2006)

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

Establishment: Mellow Mushroom, Nashville, TN

I’m finally getting around to posting a review for a visit my wife and I made to the Nashville Mellow Mushroom back on August 31, just after Hurricane Katrina had hit the Gulf Coast and moved north, and at a time when Pubcrawler was down . This location is one of the larger Mellow Mushrooms that I have seen, with several areas of indoor seating, a good size bar, and an outdoor seating area where we found a table. Among the beer highlights here were two or three taps pouring beers from Nashville’s Yazoo Brewing Company. I enjoyed a pint of Yazoo’s Dos Perros, a dark, malty brew similar to a German-style altbier, along with a pretty good hoagie. This place is near Vanderbilt University and parking can be tough in this area.

(11/20/2005)

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

Establishment: Ceili's Irish Pub and Restaurant, Calgary, AB

Last month when I was in Calgary for a convention I attended a private, service company sponsored party on one of this pub’s rooftop patios. I can’t give this pub a full review, since we had a limited range of finger food appetizers (which were decent but not outstanding, and because my sense was that the beers on draft at both of the rooftop patio bars may not have been as extensive as what can be found on the main floors of the pub. But I saw enough of this large downtown Irish pub to believe that it seemingly deserves a listing in Pubcrawler. I will let other reviewers take it from here…

(07/14/2005)

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

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)

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

Establishment: Twisted Pine Brewing Company, Boulder, CO

Last week I very much enjoyed an all-too-brief visit to Twisted Pine Brewing Company. The tap room fronts the brewery, which can be seen through the glass behind the set of taps. Each tap is made of a unique piece of (what else?) pine wood. As inferred in a previous review, the coasters at the bar are interesting, made of thin slices of pine, each displaying the names of a Twisted Pine brew on each side. I thoroughly enjoyed the two beers I selected: the rich and malty Red Mountain Ale and the “brewer’s whim” offering, a very tasty Razz-Brown Ale. I also brought a six-pack of the GABF medal-winning Honey Brown Ale back to Texas with me. The folks at the tap room were friendly and welcoming to a pubcrawling stranger. Cheers to owner Bob Baile, and Pete who was busy behind the bar and in the brewery, for some good conversation about beer and related topics with me and several other patrons. Guys, I shall return.

(10/11/2004)

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

Establishment: Only The Best Brewing Company, Divide, CO

I tried to stop in here a couple of weeks ago to perhaps pick up a couple of their products. I was a bit too late - they close at 5:00 PM. The sign indicated that this brewery will cease operations at the end of October.

(10/02/2004)

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

Establishment: Bitter End Bistro and Brewery, Austin, TX

I returned for another visit to the Bitter End after about a two year hiatus. There are always some interesting and flavorful beers to be had here and this time was not exception. I sampled three on this visit: the Farmhouse Belgian Brown Ale, a smoked porter, and a very interesting ale called Richter Scale Rye at 7.5%. All were superb. Kudos to Mark behind the bar as well. I really need to get to this place more often!

(08/09/2004)

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

Establishment: Sherlock's Baker Street Pub, Houston, TX

Last week I was part of a group that met at Sherlock's Pub after work one evening. Sherlock's is an enjoyable place to drink and socialize and it seems to draw a good crowd. There are some good happy hour drink prices and a decent free buffet. There are several different gathering areas, including some outside seating. I was gone before the music started so I cannot comment there. Still, let's be clear - Sherlock's is NOT a great beer bar. The taps are dominated by the US megalagers and a few common imports (yes, you can get a black and tan). American craft beer on draft was limited to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Fat Tire, and Shiner Bock. Other than Guinness and Bass, Pilsner Urquell was the only other notable import I remember seeing on tap. From what I could see of the bottle selection, choice was even more limited (I believe I did see Shiner Hefeweizen). I saw no evidence of beers from Houston's own Saint Arnold Brewing, but perhaps I just missed it. You are likely to enjoy Sherlock's more if you go there with less than high beer expectations.

(07/13/2004)

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

Establishment: Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee, WI

Others have mentioned how enjoyable the tours are at Lakefront Brewery. I just want to add this observation, from our visit on a Saturday in early June. Unlike most tours that have you wait till after the tour to enjoy the beer, at Lakefront, you are encouraged to begin your sampling right after you register for the tour ($5) and get your logo pint glass and tokens. In fact our tour guide insisted that we be drinking while we followed him throughout the brewery, and encouraged us to go back to the tap area to refill during the tour if we ran out. This was indeed a really fun tour. I think there were about six beers available the day we visited, with the Eastside Dark being my favorite.

(06/29/2004)

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

Establishment: BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse, Houston, TX

We stopped for a late Sunday afternoon meal at BJ’s this weekend. Our service was good and each of our group of four seemed pleased with our food, which ranged from calzones, to a large dinner salad, to chicken fried steak. On this visit, BJ’s loses a few points for beer selection because they were out of three of their standard house brews – the hefeweizen, the brown ale and the porter. This left the blonde, red and pale ales, the stout and a brewmaster’s special pilsner available. I understand that this in not a brewing location and that availability is subject to the production and distribution schedule of those that supply the beer, but three empty taps deserves some criticism. However, a couple of extra points are awarded for the quality guest taps, which included Saint Arnold Amber, Celis White, Stone Arrogant Bastard, Sierra Nevada IPA, Paulaner, and a cider. Unless you are near the bar or ask your server though, you may not know what comprises the guest taps. There is also a menu page listing a good range of available Belgian brews by the bottle. I had BJ’s strong red ale and the pale ale and found both to be well done.

(06/29/2004)

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

Establishment: Legends Brewhouse and Eatery, Green Bay, WI

This is one of three Legends locations in the Green Bay area. Each appears to have its own small brewing facility, I believe all used by the same brewer. This location had the four standard brews that are available across all three locations (described on the website). I was not made aware of any seasonals currently offered at this location. I had no interest in the Longtail Light or the Founder's Honey Weiss, so the bartender allowed me to sample the other two - Acme Amber and Duck Creek Dunkel. The amber was a bit disappointing, while the dunkel was closer to being on the mark. I happened to be there on a Friday night when 22 oz house beers are $2.50 so I was reasonably happy with 22 oz of dunkel. It was not very busy, and some patrons were drinking bottled domestic corn and rice lagers. This stop was later in the evening, after dinner and beers at Titletown Brewing, so I have no report on the food. Beerwise, Legends would seem to rank well below the other two Green Bay brewpubs in terms of quality or selection, but you may find a beer to your liking nonetheless.

(06/15/2004)

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

Establishment: Titletown Brewing Company, Green Bay, WI

I don’t have much to add to the other endorsements of Titletown – cool place, good food, and flavorful beer. They offer an impressive beer sampler which came with three different seasonal Belgian style brews. I think there were ten brews in all to sample including the house root beer.

(06/15/2004)

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

Establishment: Hinterland Brewery, Green Bay, WI

Hinterland is indeed an upscale restaurant we opted to enjoy a couple of beers in the lounge here and then cross the street for a more casual dinner at Titletown. I enjoyed both beers I ordered, a tasty, slightly roasty amber ale and a rich and complex bock. My wife ordered their special version of a raspberry wheat – their framboise poured atop the honey wheat, creating a reddish and gold version of a black and tan. I would have liked to have sampled a couple more beers here, but it was time to move on.

(06/15/2004)

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

Establishment: Shipwrecked, Egg Harbor, WI

This brewpub occupies an old historic inn, overlooking the harbor. We had a perfect day to enjoy the outdoor seating (which admittedly sits right next to the road through town). The beer sampler (yes, plastic cups) offered seven selections which included a light lager, an equally light blonde ale, a cherry wheat, a moderately hoppy copper ale, a tasty seasonal bock, and a porter. These may not have been outstanding beers, but all were drinkable and the bock was quite good. Unlike the previous reviewer, our server seemed reasonably beer knowledgeable. Try the seafood chowder or the Portobello sandwich. Overall, this brewpub visit was a pleasant lunch-time experience. Also, check out the Door Peninsula Winery just a few miles south of Egg Harbor with a nice little tour and wine tasting available.

(06/09/2004)

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

Establishment: Minocqua Brewing Company, Minocqua, WI

With the many critical reviews of this place, I did not have very high expectations of Minocqua Brewing Co. But our experience on a recent weekday was OK. We did lunch and both beers that I had were solid – the respectable red ale and the amber-colored wild rice lager (a former GABF winner), which had a sweet, nutty taste like I might expect in a brown ale. My companions chose somewhat lighter beers. We returned later in the afternoon and did the entire beer sampler so that we could try them all. Other choices included a light honey ale, and amber light, an appropriately hopped pale ale, and a decent rye porter that was not quite as complex in flavor as the menu promised. I even saw a couple of Minocqua’s Island City beers in six packs in a liquor store in Rhinelander. This is not an outstanding brewpub, but ours was not a terrible experience as others have described. And it does have a great setting overlooking the lake.

(06/09/2004)

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

Establishment: LogJam Microbrewery, Tomahawk, WI

This is a seven barrel microbrewery with a small tap room located at a historic Wisconsin River dam site, just east of Tomahawk. In the tap room, the four LogJam brews can be found in half pints, pints, pitchers, and growlers to go, along with peanuts. Bottled versions of the beers are available regionally but may not always be easy to find. The four beers are as follows: > Axe Handle Ale – a light ale made with Wisconsin honey > Dam Lager – a flavorful yet understated lager with only a slight hop bitterness > Swede Saw Red Ale – a medium-bodied amber ale brewed with caramel malts > Nut Brown Ale – made with a generous dose of chocolate malt Overall these are good beers for what they are, but there is nothing here that would satisfy a hophead. The brewery is easily found of off US 51. Take the Highway D exit, go east a half a mile or so, and turn left on Kings Road. Follow it to the river and the brewery is on your right. LogJam is worth a stop, but note the limited hours.

(06/08/2004)

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

Establishment: Bugsy's Sports Bar and Brown Street Brewery, Rhinelander, WI

Bugsy’s is basically a sports bar with sports on TV, seven pool tables, shuffleboard, and even an indoor basketball court. The small extract brewing system is highly visible in the front to the right of the front door. Four house beers were available when we visited: a “lite” beer of some sort, a raspberry wheat beer, a pale ale and a “spring ale”. The bartender gave me a sample of the latter two so as to help me select one. The pale ale was not true to form in terms of hops or overall flavor profile, with a lighter color and more of a sweet aftertaste. The spring ale had a surprisingly nice amber color and was drinkable but largely undistinguished. I’m told their brown ale is pretty good when available. The bottle selection offered few interesting choices, although I did find New Glarus Spotted Cow and LogJam Nut Brown. Bugsy’s is probably the best beer choice in Rhinelander but expectations should not be very high. Pizza is served till midnight, with other pub grub available earlier.

(06/08/2004)

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

Establishment: Stevens Point Brewery, Stevens Point, WI

This is one of America’s oldest continuously operating breweries, and one that still does a very good brewery tour that literally takes you through the entire operation. There is a small museum area and a nice tasting room with walls covered with old Wisconsin beer bottle labels. My only complaint was that our group was given too little time to enjoy our three beer samples because our guide had to get ready for the next scheduled tour. Beers available for tasting included the flagship Point Special, Point Amber, Honey Light, Point White, a new recipe Point Pale Ale (nicely hopped), and Augsburger and Augsberger Dark, We missed the seasonal Point Spring Bock on draught, although the bottled version was available in the company store and gift shop. This is a revival of the seasonal bock for this brewery and is a tasty true-to-style rendition. This is a recommended stop.

(06/07/2004)

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

Establishment: Moosejaw Pizza and Brewing Company, Wisconsin Dells, WI

There has been lot said about this place recently, some praising and some critical of Moose Jaw. This is indeed a large restaurant that primarily caters to tourist families visiting the Wisconsin Dells area. There was a waiting list on the Sunday evening of Memorial Day weekend. There is a bar on each of three levels, with displays of beer cans and trays in the lower level among the arcade games, darts and other diversions.

The several Moose Jaw beers that I tried were pretty good – a well-done altbier, a dark and complex brown ale that seemed more porter-like in terms of color and flavor profile, and the Kilbourn Hop Ale, a nicely hopped amber ale. Our food choices included a pizza, a calzone and a Portobello sandwich. We had no complaints. A couple of Moose Jaw beers were also found at the Showboat Saloon on Broadway in downtown Wisconsin Dells.

(06/07/2004)

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

Establishment: Angelic Brewing Company, Madison, WI

This place was fairly quiet when we visited on a mid-Saturday afternoon. We liked the feel of the place, with the large rectangular bar and reproductions of classic art illustrating the angel theme adorning the walls. The number of available beers was a bit limited, however I enjoyed both of the brews I tried – a Scottish ale and their award-winning (and hoppy amber). We just had a couple of appetizers, so I won’t comment on the food. Service was adequate, given the light crowd at that time of day.

(06/07/2004)

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

Establishment: Essen Haus, Wisconsin Dells, WI

This is apparently a fairly new German restaurant patterned after the Essen Haus in Madison. This place is located in a little German village area in downtown Wisconsin Dells, with its beer garden open to a plaza with a glockenspiel that tells the story of the Pied Piper on the hour. We found about a dozen German beers on draught (a good list with few suprises) and even Okocim Pilsner from Poland. The menu mentions a large selection of unnamed bottled imports and micros but I did not investigate further. I was satisfied with my draughts of Franziskaner Dunkel Weiss and Kostritzer Schwarzbier. The menu offers a nice selection of German dishes, plus pizza, burgers and such. Our entrees were good but not outstanding. There is also live music in the evenings. The Essen Haus offers an alternative to many of the other bars and restaurants in Wisconsin Dells where Leinenkugel’s beers may otherwise be the best draught choices available.

(06/07/2004)

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

Establishment: English Ales Brewery, Marina, CA

English Ales is both a production brewery and a pub. Their ales are seemingly becoming available throughout the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas. I saw several of them at the Englander Pub in Dublin, and the brewery website lists many more places where their brews can be found.

The pub is small and fairly light and airy. The beer line-up is not small. I found ten selections available when I stopped for lunch last Friday, mostly UK-inspired ales as the brewery name implies. Choices included their flagship EA Pale Ale (formerly “1066”), Dragon Slayer IPA, Monk’s Brown Ale, Borthwick’s Best Bitter, Ramsey’s Fat Lip Ale (a Scottish), Black Prince Porter, Black Hound Stout, plus a lighter golden or cream ale, and a filtered Monterey Bay Wheat. The porter was also available on cask and there was an ESB in the fermenter. I enjoyed the very tasty brown ale and the Scottish ale with my fish and chips, which was a popular menu choice with the lunch patrons that day. Karen was a delightful presence behind the bar. This is a recommended stop just off of Highway 1 north of Monterey.

(05/26/2004)

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

Establishment: Los Gatos Brewing Company, Los Gatos, CA

This is a rather upscale restaurant in a vintage 1920’s building that also brews its own beer. There seem to be three full time beers: Pilsner, Hefeweizen, and the Oktoberfest Marzen (their most popular according to the bartender). On the night I visited, there were three seasonals or brewer’s specials as well: a golden ale, Morgan’s Maibock, and Sherman’s Stout on cask. None of the six seemed likely to stimulate the senses of a hophead. I opted for the maibock, which delivered a sweet taste and full mouth feel that had it nearing some of the qualities of a dopplebock. I had a somewhat unusual smoked salmon pizza, which was good but probably not the best pairing for the sweetness of the maibock. The brewpub is pretty easy to find in downtown Los Gatos not far off of Route 17.

(05/25/2004)

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

Establishment: Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, Princeton-by-the-Sea, CA

Other reviewers have mentioned the oceanfront setting of Half Moon Brewing Company. The pub is truly a comfortable place, with its restaurant seating overlooking the bay, the bar area with its big fireplace, and the outdoor seating complete with comfortable chairs surrounding a couple of large firepits. My sampler came with eight beers: Harbor Light Ale – malty and clean with slight hop presence – seemed like a kolsch. Sandy Beach Blonde – a Bavarian-style unfiltered hefeweizen. Mavericks Amber Ale – very tasty, with Cascade hops. Pillar Point Pale Ale – a bit light on the hops for the style. Princeton-by-the-Sea IPA – a deep gold color with both British and American hops. Bootlegger’s Brown Ale – a true-to-style, malty but not overly complex British brown. ESB – Deep amber color with a good malt, hop balance. Paddle Out Stout – a mildly sweet stout served on nitrogen. If you are there for lunch, try the swordfish taco. Half Moon Bay Brewing is definitely worth a stop.

(05/25/2004)

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

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

I find it somewhat remarkable that the only reviews of the San Ramon Hop Yard over the past several years are from my rather infrequent business trips to San Ramon. Well after a year and a half, I again returned to the Hop Yard on parts of two evenings last week. Each of two dinner companions and I were pleased with our food selections – there is a good variety of sandwiches, salads and pub grub. The beer selection is always great (although I felt there were a bit too many craft brewery lagers on at one time at the expense of other styles). What especially seems noteworthy is the fact that the Hop Yard offers a number of beers from brewpubs perhaps not often seen outside of their own establishments. On this visit, these included a stout and another offering from Black Diamond, a kolsch from Ross Valley, a hoppy concoction called Beerinator from Russian River, Snowshoe’s superb ESB, and others from Hoptown and EJ Phair.

(05/24/2004)

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

Establishment: Englander Sports Pub and Restaurant, Dublin, CA

I made several visits to the Englander in Dublin while in the East Bay area on business last week, including Tuesday night pint night. The more than 50 taps include several North American macro-lagers and roughly 15 quality but largely unsurprising imports. The rest of the Englander taps pour a wide range of beers from a variety of predominantly West Coast craft brewers – Sierra Nevada, Pyramid, Gordon Biersch, Mendocino, Red Hook, Deschutes, Lost Coast, Anderson Valley, North Coast, Bear Republic, Lagunitas, Speakeasy, El Toro, Alaskan, Rogue, Kona, and Abita. And then there are the hand pumps serving a variety of ales from the English Ales Brewery in Marina, plus offerings from the UK as well. The food menu looked good, but I only tried the garlic fries. If Tony is behind the bar, he will take good care of you. This pub, with lots of sports on its many TV’s and outdoor seating when the weather is good, is about halfway between the two Hop Yard Ale Houses in Pleasanton and San Ramon, making for a very good three-stop pubcrawl if you have a designated driver.

(05/24/2004)

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

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

Well, after more than a year, I finally made it to the BJ's brewpub last weekend. The inside has been totally redone since the days when this was Bradley's Restaurant & Brewery. The interior is spacious and nicely done with booth and table seating and the bar area in the back. Available beers included their seven full year offerings - Brewhouse Blonde (kolsch), Harvest Hefeweizen, Piranha Pale Ale, Jeremiah Red (strong ale), Nutty Brewnette (brown ale) PM Porter, and Tatonka Stout....plus three special pours - a pilsner, a Belgian wit, and a cask-condition version of the PM Porter. I went with the brown ale (good), the award winning Jeremiah Red (excellent), and the caskporter which was OK, but perhaps not a preferred style to be served on cask in my opinion. Several guest taps are also available (at the time of our visit: Saint Arnold Spring Bock, Sierra Nevada Celebration, Anchor Steam, and Guinness), plus a fair selection of bottled Belgian offerings. My ribs and chicken entree was well done and my wife enjoyed her shrimp pasta dish with her pint of BJ's Blonde. Our server was friendly and attentive and a manager came by to check on us at least twice.

A conversation with the bartender before we left indicated that this location does not provide beer for the other non-brewing BJ's locations in Texas, due to state restrictions and the fact that they are selling about all the beer they can produce at this location anyway. Happy hour prices on drinks and appetizers are only available in the bar area.

(04/28/2004)

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

Establishment: Hops Restaurant and Brewery, Jackson, MS

We stopped here for dinner early on a Saturday evening. I’ve never had a bad meal at a Hops restaurant and this one was reasonably good as well. I opted for a grilled chicken dish while my wife really enjoyed a somewhat different chicken scaloppini club sandwich. Although most of the standard Hops brews have never been held in high regard, some of their seasonal offerings rate a bit better. I was too late for the Winter Amber Ale, but I enjoyed the seasonal Flying Squirrel Nut Brown Ale and the year-round porter-like Alligator Ale – each seemed relatively true to style. This brewpub is right along I-55 near exit 102.

(04/06/2004)

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

Establishment: Hal and Mal's Restaurant and Brewery, Jackson, MS

This long established restaurant and music venue added a brewery a few years ago. The music theme is emphasized throughout the décor. The men’s room is a tribute to Elvis Presley, and the woman’s room is dedicated to “sweet potato queens” (www.sweetpotatoqueens.com).

When we stopped for lunch as we passed through Jackson, I could not sample any of the six listed house brews due to some problem with the dispensing system. The bottle selection is decent but generally unremarkable. My wife and I ate light, sampling soup, some good salads, and very tasty beer battered mushrooms. We made a return trip through Jackson about a week later and found the house beers available. I sampled four of the six beers offered: a light lager (somewhat sweet and designed for mass appeal), an amber ale (good but not overly complex), a pale ale (nice hops), and the seasonal sweet potato ale (see reference above – actually very tasty). The other two available were an unfiltered version of the pale ale and a stout. Not available but on the printed menu were a pilsner and a Scottish ale that was the favorite of one of the servers we spoke with.

I’m a bit puzzled by the previous review saying that this place was difficult to locate – Hal and Mal’s is easy to find right off of the Pearl Street exit of I-55 – just follow the directions on their website.

(04/06/2004)

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)

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

Establishment: Barley's, Jackson, TN

I stopped in at Barley’s nearly four years after my first visit. It was relatively late on a Saturday evening and there was a good crowd and a band playing classic rock songs from Tom Petty, Cream, and others. Most people in the crowd were holding long neck bottles of megabrewers’ light beers. The server mentioned three house beers and I opted for the nut brown, one of my favorite styles when done well. This beer was a terrible attempt at the style, thin in body and sour in taste. I saw a few other people drinking one or another of two lighter beer styles (I forget what exactly), but I did not want to risk it. If all the house beers are now as bad as the brown ale, it is no wonder the majority of the patrons were sucking on long neck bottles.

(07/26/2003)

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

Establishment: Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant, Newark, DE

Iron Hill is located just a couple of blocks from the University of Delaware and is easily found via Exit 1 of I-95. Our server greeted us by immediately describing the two special beers not on the beer menu at our table – a West Coast Golden Ale and a Hefeweizen. When she brought the beer sampler, she described each of the eight offerings and even suggested a sequence for tasting them (which I varied a bit). The beers all seemed well done, although some of them seemed too close in style and taste, limiting the sense of variety that you might expect with eight beers. Standouts included the Raspberry Wheat – a subtle interpretation of the style, the Ironbound APA – a good balance of malt and hops, and the Pig Iron Porter. Our sandwiched were quite tasty. The Monday lunchtime crowd was a bit sparse, but then again it was a summer weekday in a college town. I would return to this or another Iron Hill location.

(07/12/2003)

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

Establishment: Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant, Newark, DE

Iron Hill is located just a couple blocks from the University of Delaware and is easily found via Exit 1 of I-95. Our server greeted us by describing the two special beers (a West Coast Golden Ale and a Hefeweizen) that were not featured on the regular beer menu at the table. When she brought the beer sampler, she described each of the eight beers in detail and even suggested a sequence for tasting them (which I varied to some degree). The beers were generally all well done, although some of them seemed a bit too similar to one another. Standouts were the Raspberry Wheat - a subtle interpretation of the style, the Ironbound APA, with a good balance of malt and hops, and the Pig Iron Porter. Our sandwiches were tasty. The Monday lunchtime crowd was not large, but it was summer in a college town. I'd return to this or other Iron Hill locations.

(07/11/2003)

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

Establishment: Capitol City Brewing Company, Baltimore, MD

Capitol City has a great view of the inner harbor – well located to capture some of the tourist crowd. My nephew and I both really enjoyed the seasonal Nut Brown Ale. I found the Amber Waves Ale to be good but not exceptional, while he liked the Prohibition Porter. We just had a few appetizers – decent but not exceptional.

(07/11/2003)

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

Establishment: Brewer's Art, Baltimore, MD

Like no other brewpub experience I have ever had, and that numbers well over 200! Our meals were exceptional and service was solid on a Monday evening. My nephew and I each had a 20 oz pint of the Proletary Ale, followed by their highly regarded Resurrection ale served in a stemmed 14 oz glass. Much has been said about Resurrection in previous reviews, but little has been offered about Proletary, a Belgian-style black ale that was very smooth and drinkable – an excellent beer. From what I read in the most recent Mid-Atlantic Brewing News, the Brewer’s Art ales have been showing up in pubs throughout Baltimore and now entering into Philadelphia and Washington DC as well.

(07/11/2003)

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

Establishment: DuClaw Brewing Company, Hanover, MD

This brewpub has a contemporary industrial feel with a separate bar area and restaurant. I ordered the sampler of eight beers. I thought it a bit odd that there were two different seasonal wheat beers. Another beer billed as an Australian style lager was fairly true to style and rather flavorless. Their most popular beer is called Bare Ass Blonde Ale, probably because of the name. Another offering was a kolsch. There were several more interesting ales: the Bad Moon Porter with prominent coffee notes, an American style pale ale called Venom that represented the only significantly hopped beer, and my favorite, Misfit Red, which had a somewhat complex malty taste. We just had an appetizer so I won't comment on the food. This place is just a few miles south of BWI airport.

(07/10/2003)

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

Establishment: Mighty Casey's Eatery and Brewhouse, Lebanon, OH

This location is now a non-brewing establishment called Wild Bill's New American Grille.

(07/10/2003)

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

Establishment: Squatter's Pub Brewery was Salt Lake Brewing Company, Salt Lake City, UT

Last month I returned to Squatters for the first time since two visits in the same week bsck in 1998. This remains one of my favorite brewpub destinations. Lots of brick and wood in a historic downtown building, a long bar and the option of patio seating give Squatters a great pub feel. There is a wide range of beers to choose from. My wife really enjoyed the Provo Girl Pils. I went first for the cask conditioned English Mild, and then to the very tasty nitro pale ale. We saw several tables with something called a "tapper" (I think), which was a tall clear cylinder filled with one of the house brews, allowing the drinkers at the table to each pour and refill their own. Of course the problem there is getting three or four people to agree on one variety! For an appetizer, try the stout onion soup.

(06/22/2003)

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

Establishment: Moab Brewery, Moab, UT

I have long wanted to visit this brewpub and I finally did so for lunch on a not-so-busy Friday in early May. I ordered the sampler which came with nine beers, ranging from the Lizard Light Ale, the Elephant Hill Hefeweizen, and the Park City Pilsener through the Dead Horse Amber, the Scorpion Pale Ale and a seasonal amber, all the way to the Park City Steamer and the Black Raven Stout. My favorites were the Scorpion Pale Ale, the Park City Steamer - a California common style brew, and especially the Derailleur Ale - a complex red ale that I had to go back for later that night (after a visit to Eddie McStiff's for dinner). The menu offers plenty of food choices - I enjoyed a good burger with beer battered onion rings and my wife had the Jack Daniels chicken sandwich - both good. You can buy a logo pint glass filled with your choice of beers for $5. Three of Moab's beers are bottled and available in six packs. If you are passing through Moab, allow enough time to stop at both Moab Brewery and Eddie McStiff's, and I'd also allow a day to explore the fascinating Arches National Park as well.

(06/18/2003)

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

Establishment: Eddie McStiff's Micro-Brewery and Restaurant, Moab, UT

Eddie McStiff's is a large restaurant right in the center of Moab, with several different indoor and outside dining areas, a long bar, and a game area with pool tables, etc. The menu is very diverse, with pizzas being one of the specialities. As the restaurant has expanded, brewing is no longer done on site, having been moved to another facility in Moab. The beer menu features 13 selections, including a number of wheat beer variations. Other choices included a cream ale, an amber ale, a brown ale, an ESB, a porter, a Scottish ale, and a stout. My wife opted for the Moab Blueberry Wheat, with a nice but subtle fruity aroma and taste. I started with the Chestnut Brown Ale and followed it up with the Black & Blue Blueberry Stout - a rather pleasing mixture of blueberry wheat and Cisco Bend Stout that combined the nose and flavor of the fruit with the roastiness of the stout. Service was good on a very busy Friday evening in early May. Most of the Eddie McStiff beers are available bottled in either six packs or 22 oz bombers. With both Eddie McStiff's and the Moab Brewery, and two outstanding national parks nearby, Moab is a very good stop for a pubcrawler on a western states excursion.

(06/16/2003)

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

Establishment: Port O' Call, Salt Lake City, UT

Port O' Call occupies portions of four levels of a historic building in downtown Salt Lake City, originally built as an apartment hotel in 1912. The main restaurant and bar are at street level with a game area and another bar in the basement. Two more bars accompany the music venue on the second floor and the overlooking partial third floor, while a fifth bar serves an area of second floor outside seating. As is commonly found in Utah, Port O' Call is a private club, but temporary memberships are available at nominal cost - see the website for details. A large selection of bottled beer is available and there are a good many tap choices as well, including a variety of beers from Utah micros such as Wasatch, Uinta, Park City, and Moab. Its close proximity to Squatters and Red Rock would allow Port O' Call to be included in a downtown pubcrawl, but if you just have one or two nights in the city, you may just wish to stay with the many beer choices at those two brewpubs without buying a membership. When there is live music or a DJ (check the website's calendar), this place seems to really draw a crowd.

(06/16/2003)

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

Establishment: Groggs was Pinnacle Brewing Company, Helper, UT

We stopped here for a late Saturday lunch while traveling from Moab to Salt Lake City in early May. There were five house beers plus a selection of A-B products that I won't dwell on. The house amber ale was drinkable but unremarkable. The pale ale was a nice example of the style. I did not try the porter, the raspberry wheat or the apricot wheat. We had very tasty sandwiches, served with a choice of some interesting sides - fresh German potato salad and broccoli slaw among them. Take the Carbonville Road turn-off from the US 6 bypass between Helper and Price.

(06/15/2003)

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

Establishment: Park City Brewing Company, Moab, UT

Within the past couple of years, Park City Brewing was bought by Moab Brewery and beer production was moved from Heber City to the Moab Brewery. Several of the Park City beers are available at the Moab pub and at other establishments in Utah. The Park City Pilsner is a clean but unremarkable beer, while the Park City Steamer is a fine, well balanced amber, brewed in the California common style.

(06/09/2003)

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

Establishment: Uinta Brewing Company, Salt Lake City, UT

My wife and I stopped at the Uinta pub for lunch on our way to Moab. The new brewery is not far from the Salt Lake City airport. The lunch menu features deli-style sandwiches where you select the meats, cheeses, style of bread, and other goodies from a checklist. They also serve a soup of the day. I enjoyed two of the Uinta beers - a very tasty Bristlecone Brown Ale and the award-winning Cutthroat Pale Ale. The pub also has a pool table and a good view of the brewery - they were bottling while we were there. Highly recommended!

(06/09/2003)

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

Establishment: JP Hops House, Houston, TX

Check out the new JP Hops House website. It includes a good example of the ever-changing beer list and the music calendar.

(06/08/2003)

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

Establishment: Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar, Slidell, LA

This is not a great beer destination. But for Slidell, Louisiana (I lived here for ten years), it is probably the best choice in town. In late May I found about 20 different tap handles, ranging from too many megabrewer light lagers to some unsurprising imports (Guinness, Bass, Newcastle, Heineken, Warsteiner, Beck's Dark, XX Amber) to a couple of craft brewer choices (Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Abita Amber) to a few beers that fall in between (Sam Adams, Shiner Bock, Killian's). There was a draft cider and even a hard lemonade on tap as well. Other beers are available by bottle. Of course there is the standard BW3 menu. The restaurant has a large dining area in the front and a bar area behind it, with lots of TV's for sports and trivia games. This is not the easiest place for the traveler to find…….take the Highway 11 exit from I-12; take a left turn under the bridge if you are eastbound and then a right turn on Brownswitch Road, or go straight from the westbound off-ramp, and go east about a mile or two parallel to the interstate to a small retail center at the intersection of Robert Road. When passing through this area, I'd still prefer the Abita Brew Pub, some 15 miles or so further west along I-12, but this may appeal to some folks. It does seem to be popular place with the locals.

(06/06/2003)

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

Establishment: Black Labrador, Houston, TX

My first visit to this pub. Other reviewers have praised the food and described the atmosphere, but nobody has offered specific info on the beer - so here goes. Ten taps, all European imports (i.e., Guinness, Bass, Newcastle, Old Speckled Hen, Fuller's ESB, Boddington's) except for New Belgium Fat Tire. Bottle choices are not extensive: more imports, a few US craft brews such as Saint Arnold Amber, Shiner Bock, Breckenridge Avalanche, and several cider choices. A variety of scotches are also available. It has a nice U-shaped bar area (where our group congregated, but this place is first and foremost a restaurant. Parking is extremely difficult in this area, so be prepared to walk some distance from your car to the pub.

(02/08/2003)

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

Establishment: C. B. and Potts Restaurants / Big Horn Breweries, Highlands Ranch, CO

This CB & Potts is similar to others I have been in, with a large bar area to the right with an adjacent pool table area, and an equally large dining room to the left. It was very busy with a 30 minute wait on a Monday evening, a result of a January “kids eat free” promotion to entice families, and some bar specials during Denver Avalanche games to entice hockey fans. Both seemed to be working. There are a number of house beers but a couple of them seem to trend toward the mass-produced styles – a blonde and a light. On top of that they also sell mega-lagers from A-B and Coors, so you can tell what kind of crowd they draw. More interesting house beers include a wheat beer, the Butthead Amber Ale, and their Total Disorder Porter. I only had one style on this visit – their seasonal Winter Solstice, which actually was described as a Belgian-style saison. It was interesting but not my favorite winter ale of the weekend. Our burgers and other food were quite good – there is a different food special each night of the week. Our service got off to a slow start but later improved once our server was able to focus on our table and was really pretty good considering the crowd. It is just south of C-470 at the Broadway exit.

(01/27/2003)

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

Establishment: Avery Brewing Company, Boulder, CO

Avery’s slogan is “Small Brewery, Big Beers” and after seeing this place I now understand why. It really is a pretty small brewing operation in terms of size. We were greeted by a brewer named Steve who showed us around the facility. They only produced about 4000 barrels in 2002, yet their styles are wide-ranging and their distribution is fairly broad. Steve said that they are at capacity and that distant distributors contact them wanting to represent their beers. Of the Avery brews that I have tried, my favorite is Ellie’s Brown Ale, which has a rich dark color and a malty, nutty flavor profile that I really enjoy. I have not tried most of Avery’s “big beers” that other reviews have raved about.

(01/25/2003)

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

Establishment: Rockies Brewing Company, Boulder, CO

My companion and I had lunch at The Pub and then did the 2:00 PM brewery tour. The pub menu featured many typical items and there is a daily special. Our chicken sandwich, veggie burrito, and onion rings were quite good. On Monday and Tuesday your first mug of beer is a nickel with a lunch entrée. This was one of the better brewery tours I have experienced – very thorough as we were taken throughout the brewery to see everything from the mash tun to the cooling and brightening tanks to the bottling and kegging operations (which unfortunately was not active on that day). Following the tour, we sampled as many of the beers available as we wanted. Now to the beers: In addition to the usual Boulder ales (Pale, Amber, Porter, etc.), Buffalo Gold, and Singletrack Ale, there are some other relatively new brews. One is called Sulley’s Light Lager, and it is essentially an attempt to capture some of the Bud Light and Coors Light drinkers. Enough said. We sampled three ales that are part of Rockies’ new Looking Glass Series. Hazed and Infused Dry-Hopped Ale is indeed a hoppy delight and has apparently become quite popular on tap in the Denver/Boulder area. The other two were winter seasonals: Never Summer Ale is a flavorful dark and slightly spicy ale and was our favorite, while Killer Penguin Ale is a high gravity winter ale with an alcohol content approaching the barleywine level. There is also an unfiltered brew usually available at the pub – this time is was the Boulder Pale. All the people here, from our server to the tour guide to the charming lady at the bar were very personable. Highly recommended!

(01/25/2003)

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

Establishment: Tommyknocker Brewery and Pub, Idaho Springs, CO

A winter update – someone headed to or from the ski areas will find a fire in the pub side and as many as nine beers on tap, and most likely one on cask as well. I had a pint of the Maple Nut Brown Ale and the cask conditioned Pick Axe Pale Ale – yummy. Try the Jackleg Philly sandwich.

(01/25/2003)

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

Establishment: Oasis Brewery Annex, Boulder, CO

Bottled Oasis brews that were previously produced by this brewery are now produced by Rockies Brewing Co. under contract.

(01/21/2003)

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

Establishment: Terrapin Beer Company, Athens, GA

Just a quick update: Terrapin Rye P.A. won a gold medal in its first try at the 2002 Great American Beer Festival in Denver - pretty impressive. The new website indicates that there is an effort being made to raise money to build a brewery in Athens.

(12/20/2002)

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

Establishment: The Stag's Head, Houston, TX

T'is the season for holiday ales, and this pub has some great ones. On an early December visit, we enjoyed pints of Sam Adams Winter Lager (at a special promotional price), Sierra Nevada Celebration, Anchor Our Special Ale (excellent this year), and cask conditioned Saint Arnold Christmas Ale (absolutely superb on cask!). We never got to the Young's Winter Warmer.

(12/06/2002)

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

Establishment: Spoetzl Brewery, Shiner, TX

The Spoetzl Brewery (rhymes with "pretzel") tours are available Monday through Friday (check the website for hours) and start at the gift shop in a small house in front of the brewery. The tour focuses on the history of the brewery, which was established in 1909, and offers a good visit to the brewhouse and a view of the bottling line. A newly enlarged hospitality room offers samples (yes, they are a bit small) of the four available Shiner beers - Shiner Bock, Shiner Blonde, the fairly new unfiltered Hefeweizen, and either Shiner Summer Stock (a kolsch) in March through September or Shiner Winter Ale (a dunkelweizen) from October through February. Shiner Bock and Shiner Winter Ale have earned medals at the Great American Beer Fest in both 2001 and 2002, and the Hefeweizen and Summer Stock were medal winners at the 2002 World Beer Cup. By far, my favorite is the Winter Ale, a rich tasting dark ale that even had a bit of a smoky taste on tap at the hospitality room. The brewery is about 20 miles south of the Flatonia exit on I-10 between Houston and San Antonio.

(11/24/2002)

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)

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

Establishment: Snowshoe Brewing Company, Arnold, CA

I have not been to either of the Snowshow brewpubs, but I have had the opportunity to enjoy Snowshoe beers on two separate visits to the Hop Yard in Pleasanton. On the first visit earlier this year it was the Grizzly Brown Ale, at the suggestion of the bartender. What I fine tasting brown ale! On this recent second visit, the brown was not on tap but a very enjoyable IPA and their exceptionally tasty ESB were available during Snowshoe Brewing night at the pub. I could tell that the ESB was very popular that evening with the Hop Yard crowd.

(09/01/2002)

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

Establishment: Terrapin Beer Company, Athens, GA

This is a new contract brewery, so don't go looking for a brewing facility. The brewer is currently using Dogwood Brewing to produce his first beer. There is apparently talk of building a brewery, but you know how that often goes with these contract companies. The first offering is Terrapin Rye P. A., an assertively hopped version with an American Pale Ale with the rye grain adding to the distinctiveness of the flavor. It is available on draft at a number of locations in the Athens area, including the Mellow Mushroom. Reportedly, other brews are planned. Definitely worth a try if in Athens.

(08/25/2002)

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

Establishment: Mellow Mushroom, Destin, FL

This is one of the newer Mellow Mushroom locations. The "great" rating for beer quality and selection is based on the fact that, other than the McGuire's brewpub just down the highway, Destin is a destination where most places seem to offer little besides taps and longnecks of the megabrewer lagers and bottles of Corona and the like. At the Mellow Mushroom, the 20 or so taps are prominant behind a portion of the extensive bar. The draft selections on 8/16 included four taps from Abita Brewing (including their root beer), four taps from Atlanta's Sweetwater Brewing (including one of my regional favorites - Sweet Georgia Brown Ale), Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and Yuengling Lager. There were varied imports as well, although nothing highly unusual that I recall.

(08/19/2002)

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

Establishment: McGuire's Irish Pub and Brewery #2, Destin, FL

Happiness is sipping a Dewey Destin Dark Porter on a summer evening, on the second floor, open-air Sunset Deck, seated at the bar next to the one you love, while listening to a fellow with a guitar sing classic songs from the 70's.

(08/19/2002)

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

Establishment: Santa Rosa Bay Brewery, Fort Walton Beach, FL

My third visit to this brewpub, but first in about four years. Four beers on tap - A light lager that tasted like a typical European offering, an amber ale that I did not try (32 IBU's according to the sign at the bar), a brown ale that was good but not spectacular, and a strong Belgian style ale that I did not try but I heard others at the bar say was good. We did not order food on this visit. One especially nice feature is the outdoor deck seating that overlooks Santa Rosa Bay and the some of the boat docks on the western end of Okaloosa Island.

(08/19/2002)

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

Establishment: Little Woodrow's on West Alabama, Houston, TX

One of the first things I noticed about Little Woodrow's was the fact that many of the customers were gathered around happy hour buckets of icy Bud Light, Miller Lite, and Shiner Bock longnecks (hey, this is Texas). But they do have about 25 draft selections and 100 or so bottle choices. The draft choices included many of the expected imports like Newcastle and Boddington's, and the US craft beers included choices from Saint Arnold, Brenham, New Belgium and a couple of others. There is a large deck area with plenty of picnic tables and there are a couple of pool tables inside. While not an outstanding beer destination compared to nearby places like the Ginger Man, the Timber Wolf or the Mucky Duck, it was still a pleasant evening with a group of friends.

(08/02/2002)

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

Establishment: Copper Creek Brewing Company, Athens, GA

The chalk board only listed three house brews and I tried two of them. The pale ale was flavorful and hopped just right, and was true in color as well. The nitrogen dispensed porter was quite smooth with just a hint of a smoky or burnt flavor – quite tasty. I did not try the Belgian Wit. The menu listed a number of “guest” beers (mostly imports) but I did not see other taps…..perhaps they were bottles only. The menu is not extensive but it did offer a variety of choices in terms of both ingredients and price. I was pleased with my steak special of the day (which included the first pint in the price), but my wife was less impressed with the baby back ribs that she ordered. The brew tanks are prominent in the front of this otherwise modest-sized pub. It is located a couple of blocks north of Broad Street where the University of Georgia campus meets downtown Athens.

(07/12/2002)

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

Establishment: Taco Mac was Summits Wayside Tavern, Snellville, GA

I had read about this place during its years as a Taco Mac, in particular the huge tap and bottle selection. Indeed the beer selection is impressive, especially visually so, as one scans one entire restaurant wall lined with taps (plus others at the bar itself). Still, it seemed like there were too many mainstream lagers, both domestic and imported among the choices. The imports included several quality Belgians, a good variety from Germany and the UK, and others from different countries. In terms of American craft brewers, Rogue, Harpoon, and Flying Dog each had a number of taps, while others including Abita, Carolina Beer Co., Three Floyds, North Coast, and Georgia breweries Atlanta, Dogwood, and Sweetwater each had a couple of choices on draft. Being limited to two pints, I opted for a Dogwood Pale Ale and the superb Robert the Bruce Scottish Ale from Three Floyds. Our table ordered from the burrito and quesadilla portions of the extensive and varied menu, and the food was excellent. Our server was attentive, but the kitchen was slow and reportedly understaffed on a Sunday evening. The pub is heavy on sports memorabilia, including a large display showcasing major league players' bats with corresponding baseball cards, and plenty of beer signs. I do believe I will return when I have the opportunity.

(07/11/2002)

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

Establishment: Old Chicago, Denver, CO

This Old Chicago location is in the very popular LoDo section of downtown Denver. I have seen it packed on a weekend evening, especially when there is a major sporting event in the area. I have also enjoyed a lunch there on a rather quiet Sunday afternoon. On that day the pizza was good and I enjoyed pints of a couple of different Colorado micros.

(06/19/2002)

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

Establishment: Fox and Hound English Pub and Grille, Houston, TX

I cannot speak to more than the beer at Fox and Hound, as I have not yet ordered food here. There are a good number of taps (20 or so) but too many of them are devoted to the major brewers and more common imports. I only recall seeing several US craft beers on draught: Saint Arnold Amber, Fat Tire, and Anchor Steam. There is a good bottle selection with many other choices. The place has pool tables, big TV's for sports, an outdoor deck, and generally seems to attract a younger crowd. Despite the name, you will not believe you are in an English pub. It is on the west side of Houston, a mile or so west of Beltway 8 on Westheimer.

(05/11/2002)

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

Establishment: Left Hand Tap House, Longmont, CO

I stopped in here once years ago during the Overland Stage Stop Brewery days, but I have not been back since it evolved into the Left Hand Tap House. As you would guess, they feature brews from the Left Hand Brewing Co. There is a good review of this place from Oct. '99 on the Left Hand Brewing review page. It is just down the street from the Pumphouse brewpub.

(04/08/2002)

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

Establishment: Broken Drum Brewery and Wood Grill, San Rafael, CA

This was only a quick visit. I had a brown ale that was good but not outstanding. The brewing equipment, which seemed small, is located toward the back and above the main restaurant level. It is just a few blocks west of Willow Street Brewery on San Rafael's Fourth Street.

(04/06/2002)

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

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

This is a correction to my previous review. The Hop yard can be found by taking the Bollinger Canyon exit off of I-680, and then heading eastbound. Directions and a map to both Hop Yard locations can be found at the website, along with a calendar indicating breweries featured during future Tuesday "Brewery Nights".

(04/03/2002)

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

Establishment: Moylan's Brewery and Restaurant, Novato, CA

I really enjoyed my visit to Moylan's. It just has a good brewpub feel about it. My visit was on a busy Saturday evening and service (at the bar) was great. The corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and carrots, accompanied by Moylan's Irish Red Ale, really hit the spot. I'll be back when I travel that way again.

(04/02/2002)

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

Establishment: Hop Yard Alehouse and Grill, Pleasanton, CA

After two evenings at the Hop Yard in San Ramon, I wanted to visit the original location in Pleasanton. A good bar atmosphere with about 30 taps, including a number that were different than those seen at the sister pub. The bar manager asked about the beer styles that I prefer and he suggested the Grizzly Brown Ale from Snowshoe Brewing....a superb choice. Both Hop Yards are highly recommended.

(04/02/2002)

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

Establishment: Pleasanton Main Street Brewery, Pleasanton, CA

I was disappointed to only find three house brewed beers (light lager, pale ale and porter), but somewhat impressed with the quality of some of the dozen or so guest beers. The guest taps included Sierra Nevada Big Foot, Alaskan Smoked Porter, Hoptown DUIPA (on nitrogen), Lagunitas Czech Pils, Hook and Ladder Grass Fire Wheat and several others. I had a house porter and a Alaskan Smoked Porter. I did not eat here and the crowd was so light on a Wednesday night that a comment on the service is not appropriate either. This brewpub is on the north end of historic Main Street just across from the Pleasanton Hotel. If I was only making one stop in Pleasanton, it would be at the Hop Yard, but this place would be OK as well.

(04/01/2002)

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

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

This place is worth finding. Like the original Hop Yard in nearby Pleasanton, there are about 30 taps, mostly devoted to well-chosen California and other West Coast craft beers. I made two visits during a recent business trip to San Ramon, the second visit during Tuesday "Brewery Night" when several beers from a particular brewery are featured with a pint glass to keep and a refill special after the initial purchase. Take the Bollinger Canyon exit off of I-510 and head east to either Market Place or Alcosta Avenue. Turn right and you will find the Hop Yard next to the drug store.

(04/01/2002)

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

Establishment: Brenham Brewery, Brenham, TX

After some delays, Brenham Brewery has begun distributing two beers in kegs to accounts in Houston, and they may be available in Austin and/or San Antonio as well. The first two beers are light in color, a pilsner and a helles lager. I found them both on tap at the Flying Saucer in Houston. Brewer James Hudec has some additional recipes for darker lagers which may be available in the future. I had an opportunity to taste his four test brews, including a tasty dark lager and another recipe (perhaps an Oktoberfest style - I can't recall for sure), when I visited the brewery nearly a year ago after renovation had begun on the building that houses the brewery. The location is not far from the center of the historic town of Brenham. A beergarten adjacent to the brewery was in the plans as well. I hope to visit Brenham soon and see if the beergarten is open.

(03/16/2002)

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

Establishment: Strand Brewery, Galveston, TX

The continuing demise of brewpubs in southeastern Texas...The Strand closed in 2001. This location now houses a Fuddrucker's restaurant.

(03/08/2002)

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

Establishment: Oaken Barrel Brewing Company, Greenwood, IN

I stopped here recently with some old college buddys - first time for all of us. I started with the beer sampler, which was comprised of five choices: Meridian Street Lager, Indiana Amber, Razz-Wheat, Gnaw Bone Pale Ale, and Snake Pit Porter. All were descent for their style, although the pale ale did not seem as hopped as I would have expected from the description. I followed with a pint of the amber, which was excellent. The food menu was typical yet interesting, with items like Idaho nachos (waffle fries instead of chips), and a cheezy variation of shepherd's pie. Service was better than good on a late Saturday afernoon. Recommended.

(02/22/2002)

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

Establishment: Hops Restaurant and Brewery, Lone Pine, CO

This Hops location is just south of C-470 where it connects with I-25 south of the Park Meadows Mall in south suburban Denver. A serious pubcrawler might not normally make a point of stopping at one of the Hops locations, when there are so many outstanding brewpubs in metro Denver. However I was in the area around lunch time and I was interested in tasting their new seasonal Oatmeal Stout (Available in Hops locations in northern states - a nut brown is the winter seasonal at southern locations). While this Hops version of a stout may not win any big time awards, it was drinkable and satisfying, and at least marks an attempt on the part of this chain to add a more flavorful beer style to its line-up, even if only as a seasonal.

(02/08/2002)

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

Establishment: Golden City Brewery, Golden, CO

As previously noted, this is a very small place, but they make some big beers. The brewery is right behind the taproom. During the tour inside the brewery facility, we could see all that there was to see by just standing in one spot in the middle of the building. There is now an outdoor patio area set up for when the weather allows. Worth finding.

(02/03/2002)

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

Establishment: Hops Grill and Brewery, Golden, CO

I have not eaten at this Hops location, which is just east of I-70 in west suburban Denver. The usual four Hops brews, plus a seasonal beer. The bar area seems smaller than some of the other Hops brewpubs that I have been in.

(02/03/2002)

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

Establishment: New Belgium Brewing Company, Fort Collins, CO

We arrived at New Belgium following earlier visits to ODell and H.C. Berger. This is a much larger brewery by comparison, contrasting significantly with the other Fort Collins breweries. We took the scheduled 2:00 PM tour, which included a good look at the brewhouse, celler area, and the kegging/bottling area. There were eight ales to sample following the tour, but we had to take it easy after our previous samplings at the other two breweries. The 1554 Black Ale is still my favorite New Belgium Brew.

(02/02/2002)

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

Establishment: H.C. Berger Brewing Company, Fort Collins, CO

Stop two of our Fort Collins brewery tour...H.C. Berger is not as fancy as ODell or New Belgium, but they brew some great beer. We got a complete tour of the brewery from one of the brewery employees, and then sampled a full line of the beers, including cracking open a bottle of the doppelbock (yum). Berger's line includes a pilsner and a dunkelweiss, and a variety of ales - golden, red, amber, pale and a chocolate stout. An interesting note: we were told that H.C. Berger's biggest seller is their variety six-pack. It was our favorite stop of the day. Thanks, Dan, for your superb hospitality!

(02/02/2002)

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

Establishment: Odell Brewing Company, Fort Collins, CO

This was the first stop on our Fort Collins brewery tour. We got a private tour of the brewery and an opportunity to sample as many beers as we liked. In addition to 90 Shilling and Cutthroat Porter, I also enjoyed several of the beers available only at the brewery's taproom, produced in the small onsite experiental system, which included a tasty Scottish ale and a brown ale.

(02/02/2002)

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

Establishment: Old Chicago, Wheat Ridge, CO

This Old Chicago location is right near the Youngfield Street/32nd Street exit of I-70 in west surburban Denver. It is really best accessed from 32nd street. There is a restaurant to one side and a bar section with a nice patio area on the other side. There are about 30 taps, with an excellent representation of craft beer from Colorado and the Pacific Northwest. In mid-January, the drafts included Buffalo Gold, Boulder Igloo and Singletrack from Rockies Brewing, 90 Shilling, Easy Street Wheat and Isolation Ale from Odell, Fat Tire and 1554 from New Belgium, Lefthand Blackjack Porter, Railyard Ale, one from the Denver Chop House, Oasis Tut Brown, Blue Moon, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Pyramid Apricot Ale, Red Hook IPA,and Widmer Brothers Winternacht. Additiona taps represent a variety of typical imports and a couple of the standard Coors and A-B choices. Then there are the bottle choices. I stuck with a couple of the winter seasonals, had a great calzone, and watched some playoff football.

(01/28/2002)

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

Establishment: Bradley's Steakhouse and Brewery, Webster, TX

I've never had a full meal at Bradley's so I can't truly rate the restaurant. I visited again recently, a couple of years since my last visit. The beer selection was a bit limited, with a freshly tapped hefeweizen, a European style lager, a pale ale, and a porter available. I went with the porter and a generous chicken tenders and fries appetizer that was half price during happy hour. The porter was tasty enough and the chicken was quite good. Sometime I hope to actually go there and have a complete meal.

(01/28/2002)

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

Establishment: Jarre Creek Ranch Brewery, Castle Rock, CO

I stopped by Jarre Creek Ranch and had the sampler...five regular beers and a seasonal wheat beer (which seemed like an odd choice for winter in Colorado). The beers were decent but not overly outstanding. The pale ale and the porter, two brews that were not part of the original brewery in Sedalia were solid offerings. I did not order food, as I was off to meet some friends for dinner elsewhere. The restaurant is a newly constructed two-story building with lots of warm wood in the interior and stone both inside and out. The somewhat contemporary bar area is upstairs with the main restaurant and the brewing facility on the first floor. It is right off I-25 near the Castle Rock Factory Outlet Stores (same exit as Rockyard Brewing). I suggest visiting both brewpubs if you have the time and drawing your own conclusions.

(01/27/2002)

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

Establishment: Hops Restaurant and Brewery, Lone Tree, CO

This Hops is located just south of C-470 where it intersects I-25 in south suburban Denver. It is south of the Park Meadows Mall (Alcatraz Brewing Co.) and Rock Bottom Brewery location across from the mall. Wih all the great brewpub choices around Denver, I might not normally choose to stop at one of the several Hops locations in this area. However, I was curious to see how the seasonal stout was, that is being offered at Hops locations in northern states (the website says a nut brown ale is being offered at Hops locations in southern states). While not likely to be an award winner, the Lumberjack Oatmeal Stout was appropriately dark and drinkable. I had a pint and a tasty chicken salad for lunch and I was on my way.

(01/26/2002)

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

Establishment: Parker Station Grill and Brewery, Parker, CO

I stopped at this place only briefly on a late weekday afternoon, and I came away with mixed impressions as to what Parker Station is or wants to be. It is a nicely appointed restaurant in a new building complex in downtown Parker. I did not order food, but the menu looked solid with items ranging from sandwiches and pizzas to steaks and seafood. In effect Parker Station is an outpost of the Breckenridge Brewery. The taps represented a number of the Breckenridge brews, produced in their Denver location I presume. The small brewing facility in one corner of the restaurant produces one Parker Station brew called "Twenty Mile Red" and other special brews on occasion. Several of the patrons at the bar were drinking bottles of various mega-lagers, and I think there may have also been mega-brewer taps as well (can't remember for sure). There is a pool table or two on the far side of the restaurant, and I think they feature live entertainment at times as well. A serious pubcrawler man not want to go far out of his way to visit this place, but it seems to be a good recent addition to the town of Parker.

(01/26/2002)

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

Establishment: Red River, Woodbridge, VA

This location is now part of the Famous Dave's BBQ chain (www.famousdaves.com).

(01/15/2002)

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

Establishment: Dostal Alley Brew Pub and Casino, Central City, CO

I have been to this place twice over the years, mainly just to sample the beer. Central City is a historic mining town, now a mountain town gambling destination, no more than a half hour's drive up Clear Creek Canyon from Golden. Dostal Alley occupies a old brick building on a corner in Central City's historic district. The brewpub occupies two levels with the main bar/restaurant on the main floor with a small bar and a slot machine area on a lower floor that opens to the back of the building. The brewing facilities are small and the selection somewhat limited, as I recall. My favorite of those I tried was a brown ale. The only food I had there was a pizza from a pizza kitchen on the lower floor by the slots. Dostal Alley is certainly not a "don't miss" stop on a Colorado pubcrawl, but Central City and its sister gambling town of Black Hawk make for an intriguing destination not far from Denver.

(01/09/2002)

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

Establishment: Woody's Wood Fired Pizza and Watering Hole, Golden, CO

Woody's is a popular spot with the students at Colorado School of Mines. Although this place sits in the shadow of the giant Coors brewery, Woody's has a nice variety of taps featuring a number of Colorado micros and imports. The pizza is quite good, and there is a separate room with pool tables and other diversions.

(12/14/2001)

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

Establishment: Houston Street Ale House, San Antonio, TX

This place is now called "Atlantis". I'll defer to the previous reviewer for comments regarding the change.

(11/26/2001)

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

Establishment: Saint Arnold Brewing Company, Houston, TX

The Saturday afternoon tour is still a great time. In addition to an entertaining "tour" and some wonderful free beer, there is often live music (you never know what kind) during the afternoon or other special things going on. During a recent tour, Brock mentioned that sales are up about 25% this year. The Fancy Lawnmower beer seems to be a big hit, and their seasonals never seem to last long on the shelves. The Christmas Ale is out now and is as tasty as ever. Check out Saint Arnold's newly redesigned website.

(11/19/2001)

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

Establishment: The Ginger Man, Houston, TX

One of the interesting things about enjoying a pint at the bar at a place like the Ginger Man is seeing what other people order when they come up to the bar. On my most recent visit to the Ginger Man, I was totally dismayed at three fellows who approached the bar and ordered two Bud Lights and a Miller Light. If that is their choice, why come to this place?! My faith was restored, however, when the next fellow who came up to the bar ordered two pints of Saint Arnold's Cask Conditioned Amber Ale for he and his friend.

(11/09/2001)

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

Establishment: Timber Wolf, Houston, TX

Huge tap selection, a nice deck out in front, and peanuts in the shell.

(11/09/2001)

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

Establishment: Oldenberg Brewery, Fort Mitchell, KY

This place is closed. The Oldenberg beers are reportedly being produced at Miami Trail Brewing in Xenia OH.

(11/04/2001)

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

Establishment: Trout Creek Brewing Company, Fairplay, CO

The Trout Creek brews are now being produced at the Oasis Brewery Anex in Boulder. They are available at the tasting room there and in bottles.

(11/02/2001)

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

Establishment: Red Oak Brew Pub, Greensboro, NC

This place is now called Red Oak Brewpub, instead of the former Spring Garden Brewing Co. Brewer and beers are the same.

(11/02/2001)

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

Establishment: Huey's Restaurant and Brewery, Houston, TX

This location now is home to a place called "Dixie's House of Creole".

(10/29/2001)

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

Establishment: Bitter End Bistro and Brewery, Austin, TX

I have had a beer or two at the Bitter End on several occasions while visiting Austin over the years, but I only had my first full dinner there last week. The menu is more on the upscale side of things for a brewpub, and even a bit inventive - this is not pub grub. Our meals were well prepared and presented, and our server was attentive without being obtrusive. I'm not going to get into a debate with the previous reviewer about the Bitter End's brews. I have always found them solid while not spectacular. Over the years I have sampled Scottish and Belgian style ales and other beers tending toward the darker side. On this most recent visit I had the seasonal Oktoberfest and the porter. Both were enjoyable, although I agree with the previous comment that the porter was a bit thin in body. With the Waterloo now closed (and I think the Copper Tank defunct as well), the Bitter End remains a decent place to get a beer and a bite in downtown Austin.

(10/29/2001)

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

Establishment: Jack Quinn's, Colorado Springs, CO

This is an Irish Pub in downtown Colorado Springs. It has a good selection of beer on tap and the appropriate pub atmosphere. I have not eaten here so I will leave the reviews of the food and service to others. Jack Quinn's proximity to Il Vicino (in the same block) and Phantom Canyon and Judge Baldwin's (a block or so away) makes it part of a nice downtown Colorado Springs pubcrawl.

(10/26/2001)

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

Establishment: Victoria Tavern, Salida , CO

"The Vic", as it is known among the locals, is an example of the classic saloon found in an old western mountain town. It occupies a street corner in downtown Salida in the historic Victoria Hotel, overlooking the Arkansas River. Here you will find a beautiful old wood bar and the original tin ceiling designed to deflect the sounds of the saloon from the guests staying in the hotel rooms above. The beer selection includes imports and a number of Colorado micros. My recomendation is to enjoy a pizza and a pint or two at Il Vincino, and then walk the few blocks to the Victoria.

(10/21/2001)

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

Establishment: Mellow Mushroom, Chapel Hill, NC

One of a chain found in many college towns in the southeast. This location is east of the downtown area in a shopping complex. Taps include several from regional craft brewers like Highland and Carolina.

(10/21/2001)

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

Establishment: Victoria Tavern, Salida, CO

It has been a couple of years since I was at the Victoria Tavern, so I hope that others can offer a more current review in the near future. "The Vic", as it is known locally, resides in a historic hotel building on a corner in downtown Salida right near the river. It is one of those classic old western saloons with the wood bar and a tin covered ceiling (to deflect the sound away from the hotel rooms above). On my visit I found a fair variety of taps featuring Colorado microbrews as well as some imports and a few pouring beers from the big three. The tavern has many of the typical bar games and diversions and also features live music several nights a week. I'd recommend this as the place to go in Salida after you have had a pizza and a couple of pints at Il Vicino, which is just a few blocks away.

(10/08/2001)

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

Establishment: Old River Brewhouse, Madisonville, LA

This brewpub, a sister establishment of the Crescent City Brew House in New Orleans, has been closed for several years. It was a great location right on the Tchefuncte River. I don't know anything about the restaurant that occupies the building now.

(09/25/2001)

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

Establishment: McGonigal's Mucky Duck, Houston, TX

McGonigel's Mucky Duck is well regarded for its good pub food and fine beer selection, and is recognized as an excellent venue for live acoustic music. The McGonigel's website contains a copy of the food menu, including their highly recommended scotch eggs, and it showcases the many musicians scheduled to perform on their stage in upcoming weeks and months. I could not find any discussion of the Mucky Duck's beer selection on the website, so I thought I would say a little more about that here. There are close to 30 taps, dominated by UK and other imports. On this September visit, these included Fuller's ESB & Porter, MacEwans, Belhaven Scottish Ale, Whitbread, Young's Double Chocolate Stout, and more commonly found brands such as Harp, Guinness, Murphy's Stout, Newcastle, and Boddington's. German beers included oktoberfests from Spaten and Paulaner, and a Paulaner Hefe. American craft beers were also represented, including Fat Tire, Red Seal, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Abita Amber, Anchor Steam, Full Sail Pale Ale, and Sam Adams Octoberfest. The few remaining taps featured several ciders, a major brewer's light beer, and Texas' favorite Shiner Bock. A good place to enjoy a pint is on the patio. If you are just interested in beer and some pub fare, come early before the music crowd arrives later in the evening, when there is usually a cover charge.

(09/21/2001)

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

Establishment: Yellow Rose Brewing, San Antonio, TX

The Yellow Rose line of beers is now being produced in 12 oz bottle six packs by Great Grains Brewery in Dallas.

(09/17/2001)

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

Establishment: Mercantile Brewery and Pub, Houston, TX

This place was an offshoot of the Bank Draft Brewing Co near Rice U. (which is also closed. The Mercantile was open for only a short period of time during 2000. For a good beer selection in downtown Houston, try the Flying Saucer on Main Street.

(09/17/2001)

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

Establishment: Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company, Lexington, KY

Now owned by Alltech (ww.alltech-bio.com), this brewery is producing one product called Kentucky Ale. It is described as a marriage between two beer styles, Irish Red Ale and English Pale Ale. It appears to be widely distributed across Kentucky. The website does not indicate that the brewery is generally open to the public.

(09/10/2001)

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

Establishment: Wisconsin Brewing Company, Wauwatosa, WI

The Wisonsin Brewing beers are now being produced by Pioneer Brewing of Black River Falls. These include Rainbow Red Ale, Whitetail Cream Ale, and Badger Porter, as well as a wheat and a stout.

(09/07/2001)

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

Establishment: Jarre Creek Ranch Brewery, Castle Rock, CO

The Jarre Creek Ranch brewpub in Castle Rock is now open. I have not been there, so I will leave it to others to review the beer, food and service. According to an article in the online Denver Post, they offer four beers plus seasonals. The folks who are running the restaurant formerly owned the Old Stone Church Restaurant, a Castle Rock landmark. The article also says that the brewery at the ranch is now closed and that bottled versions of the Jarre Creek Ranch beers are now being produced through Breckenridge Brewery.

(09/04/2001)

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

Establishment: Richmond Arms, Houston, TX

Other reviewers have described the atmosphere of the Richmond Arms, and nothing has changed in that regard. I thought I would say a little more about the beer. They claim to have over 80 taps (I did not count them). The beer menu does not identify 80 different beers, but there are likely new arrivals and others that are not listed. Imports seem to represent at least half of the taps, with many from the UK, Ireland, and Germany, a few from Belgium, and other European choices like Carlsberg, Moretti and Pilsner Urquell available. Taps featuring US micros are numerous as well. Houston's St. Arnold Brewing, Blanco's Real Ale Brewery, and Shiner each have multiple selections on draught. Other widely distributed craft breweries, including Sierra Nevada, Full Sail, Pyramid, Anchor, New Belgium, Redhook, North Coast, and Sam Adams, are also well represented.

(08/29/2001)

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

Establishment: Hops Restaurant and Brewery, Lafayette, LA

It is located in a major retail area in the western part of the city and is not very close to I-10. For those traveling I-10 and looking for a good meal along with a great beer selection, I'd suggest the Chimes in Baton Rouge near the LSU campus.

(08/27/2001)

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

Establishment: JP Hops House, Houston, TX

Since my review a year ago, the Hops House has remodeled and spruced up a bit. There is now a small stage where musicians can play, and a darts area. An impressive tap handle collection (in excess of 200) is on display in the bar area, all representing beers once poured at the Hops House. I counted 26 active taps on my last visit, all served in imperial pints. Microbrew draught selections included Red Seal Ale from California, Flying Dog, Singletrack Ale, and New Belgium's Fat Tire and Sunshine Wheat from Colorado, and two taps each devoted to beers from St. Arnold Brewing and Real Ale Brewery in Texas. There is also a pair of draft ciders avaialble, and a draft rootbeer (sometimes Thomas Kemper, but most recently Abita). The Hops House is an unpretentious and comfortable place for good beer on the west side of Houston.

(08/27/2001)

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

Establishment: Flying Saucer, Houston, TX

This is the newest of the Flying Saucer Draught Emporiums, which began in the Dallas-Ft. WOrth area and have spread to a few other southern cities. Like the others that I have visited, this location in downtown Houston features a long wall of taps pouring a great variety of beers, and plates decorating the entire place. Since the Flying Saucer is within walking distance of Enron Field, we stopped in before an Astros game. Our server told us that we could exchange our Astros ticket stubs for a free pint after the game, so we did just that.

(08/23/2001)

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

Establishment: Draught House Pub and Brewery, Austin, TX

Somewhere along the way this brewpub/ale house in Austin underwent a name change from "Draught Horse" to "Draught House". The beer selection is outstanding, including quality imports and micros on tap plus a number of the beers brewed on site. The website does a good job of describing the great variety of beers they create at the pub. I have not been there for awhile, but I do indeed recall how much I enjoyed the vanilla porter.

(08/22/2001)

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

Establishment: The Nomad World Pub, Milwaukee, WI

I have not been to this place, but a fellow I know, who used to live near Milwaukee and who travels there still, says the Nomad "is very cool with a really nice beer selection". Nomad Red Lager (www.redlager.com) is produced by Lakefront Brewery.

(08/21/2001)

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

Establishment: Castaway Island Grill and Brewery, Little Rock, AR

The former River Rock, former Chit's is now the Castawawy Island Grille & Brewery. I have not been there since its most recent reincarnation, so I cannot comment on food or service. The brewer remains the same as before. The atmosphere is supposedly Carribean of sorts. The menu is available online at http://www.rivermarketdistrict.com/castawaymenu.html.

(08/16/2001)

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

Establishment: Fado Irish Pub, Austin, TX

This is one of about ten Fado pubs scattered across the country. I have had a beer at the Austin location on several occasions, and tried some appetizers once I believe. The outdoor patio is a nice place to enjoy a pint when the weather is good. In addition to the emphasis on beers from the UK and Ireland, I have also seen taps from Austin's Live Oak Brewing in the past.

(08/10/2001)

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

Establishment: Olde Auburn Ale House, Auburn, AL

From the name of the place, I was expecting Olde Auburn to be a bit different than what I found. It is a comfortable, unpretentious college town kind of place, with typical pub fare. We took advantage of the Monday two for one pizza special. I had a pint of the amber, which had more the look and taste of a malty brown ale, and a pint of the IPA, which was reasonably well hopped. There were four house beers available, plus a few additional taps for imports and perhaps another micro brew.

(08/04/2001)

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

Establishment: Jarre Creek Ranch Brewery, Castle Rock, CO

Jarre Creek Ranch Brewery began as a small brewing operation on a working ranch near Sedalia in Douglas County. At first there were two products: Heffer Wizzen Golden Ale, which is not a wheat beer as the name would suggest, and an excellent amber ale. They have since begun producing a brown ale, which I have not sampled. A Jarre Creek Ranch brewpub is being constructed in Castle Rock, not far from the Rockyard Brewing Co.

(08/02/2001)

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

Establishment: Hops Restaurant and Brewery, Columbia, SC

I've never had a complaint about the food or service at any of the Hops establishments that I have visited in several different states. My recent visit here was no exception. Our food was good and the service attentive. The character - or lack of it - of the Hops line-up of beers has been discussed often enough. I opted for the darker Alligator Ale as I usually do, which has some flavor to it. I am pleased to see the Hops brewpubs offering a seasonal brew now, although I did not try the summer wheat available this time around.

(07/31/2001)

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

Establishment: Bloomington Brewing Company, Bloomington, IN

The strombolis and sandwiches were big and tasty. Our server said they were out of the summer seasonal beer as well as the blonde ale. That did not bother me, as I opted for the Ruby Bloom Amber, which looked and tasted more like a malty brown ale, and the Quarrymen Pale Ale, which was appropriately well hopped. My wife had the Vision Weiss and said the clove taste was dominant. There is a pub which is adjacent yet separate from the main restaurant.

(07/29/2001)

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

Establishment: Mellow Mushroom, Baton Rouge, LA

This is the newest of the Mellow Mushroom chain, which inhabit college towns in the southeastern US. They make good pizzas, calzones, and hoagies, and generally have a good beer selection. They have been open only three weeks, perhaps explaining why some confusion in the kitchen resulted in a longer wait than expected for our calzones. Our server tried to compensate by offering us some complimentary garlic cheese bread while we waited. This location near LSU has a retro '60's feel about it. There are 40 + bottled beers available and 24 taps. Although there are more taps for beers from the big three than one might hope, this location does have three taps for beers from Abita Brewing (just a little more than an hour down the road) plus Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Redhook ESB and Anchor Steam, along with some good import choices and a cider.

(07/28/2001)

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

Establishment: Abita Brewing Company, Abita Springs, LA

The best place to enjoy a pint or two of Abita Turbodog. The light tan head stayed on my beers all the way to the end of the glass. They told me at the pub that Abita is now being distributed to 41 states, with California being the latest.

(07/28/2001)

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

Establishment: Keith Street Pub and Grille, Clemson, SC

This place has a restaurant menu with plenty of appetizers, salads, burgers and other pub items, and some interesting entrees and other choices. The separate pub section has long bar, a couple of pool tables, sports on TV, and an abundance of beer signs and other breweriana. The bartender said they had the most extensive beer selection in Clemson and I believe it. In bottles were selected brews from Palmetto Brewing, Thomas Creek Brewing, Highland Brewing and the Carolina Beer Co., plus other craft brewers and plenty of imports. The dozen or so draught choices included two from Highland Brewing. The daily beer special was $1.99 pints of Highland's Kashmere IPA, so my choice was easy.

(07/28/2001)

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

Establishment: Highland Brewing Company, Asheville, NC

I had a couple of pints of Highland Kashmere IPA at the Keith Street Pub & Grill in Clemson SC. It is an excellent brew. Now in hindsight, I wish I had also tried Highland's Oatmeal Porter, which was also on tap at Keith Street and at the Mellow Mushroom locations in Clemson and Chapel Hill.

(07/26/2001)

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

Establishment: Mellow Mushroom, Athens, GA

As part of a recent college town tour, I ran into Mellow Mushrooms in Auburn AL, Athens GA, Clemson SC, and Chapel Hill NC. I especially liked the feel of the place in Athens, with a nice bar and plenty of booth tables and a small dart area. There was an extensive bottle selection of imports and US craft beers. The 14 or so taps included imports and several choices from Georgia micros Sweetwater Brewing and Dogwood Brewing. The hoagie sandwiches were quite good.

(07/26/2001)

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

Establishment: Rosie's Brewpub, Leadville, CO

Boomtown Brewpub, opened in 2000 in the mountain town of Leadville and at over 10,000 feet in elevation, claims to be the highest brewery in the US. The brewpub occupies both floors of a building that has served as a church and several businesses in this historic mining town. I have visited Boomtown twice while passing through Leadville, in September 2000 and in June 2001. My visits have been brief and I cannot comment on the food other than a nice large salad that I had the first time. As I recall, the menu is not extensive and features many typical pub type items. The beers selection is decent. I can especially endorse a tasty Scottish ale from the first visit and their amber ale from the more recent stop. The brewer (at least when the first opened) had previously brewed at Wynkoop in Denver. If you are checking out brewpubs in the mountains of Colorado, this is one to keep in mind.

(06/22/2001)

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

Establishment: Zea Rotisserie and Brewery, Metairie, LA

This was my second visit to Zea, having first stopped in shortly after it opened in early 2000. This is a 250 seat high energy restaurant with an eclectic, somewhat international sort of menu. On my visits my companions and I have focused on several different appetizers, all of which were quite enjoyable. Many of the entrees on the menu, including rotisserie meats, seafood and pasta also look intriguing. On this recent second visit I had the beer sampler that included a light beer (for those in Louisiana who believe that beer should taste like Bud Light), a deep gold lager, a pale ale that I wish had been a bit hoppier, a porter that was tasty but seemed a little thin to me, and the brewer's special which was a black lager (our favorite). The beers at Zea are the work of Jim Patton, the original brewer at the Abita Brewing Co. After about 18 months of operation, this brewpub seems to be successful. There was a waiting list on a Thursday night.

(06/22/2001)

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

Establishment: Pint's Pub, Denver, CO

I'm not an English ale expert, but I enjoyed my pint of Dark Star Ale and my companion enjoyed his Phone Box Ale. There is a webpage: www.pintspub.com, but I also recommend this website to view the food menu at Pints Pub: www.westword.com/priducts/248/index.html The "New World Fish & Chips" is a grilled salmon filet with fries and a small salad and was as good as we had heard.

(06/12/2001)

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

Establishment: Bank Draft Brewing Company, Houston, TX

This location now houses a Scottish Pub called the Kelvin Arms. I have yet to visit so I cannot offer any first-hand comments. A review in the Houston Chronicle indicated that there were more than 20 taps still available, including US micros and European beers. Apparently, some remodeling was done, notably where the brewing equipment used to be.

(01/11/2001)

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

Establishment: Real Ale Brewing Company, Blanco, TX

The Real Ale brewery makes two beers that are really quite tasty. Their Brew House Brown Ale is an excellent smooth tasting brown, and the Full Moon Pale Rye Ale is a pale ale with a distinctive taste.all its own. I don't know how widely distributed these beers are in Texas. In Houston, one or both of these fine ales can often be found on tap at the Hops House on Route 6 south of I-10.

(11/30/2000)

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

Establishment: Calhoun's Restaurant and Brewery, Harrisonburg, VA

Calhoun's is not your average college town brewpub. It is a nice restaurant with an interesting and varied menu of sandwiches, entrees, etc. The beer selection was good, although I was disappointed that the Scottish Ale was crossed out on the chalkboard. I had a Dunkelweizen, which was tasty, and the Nut Brown Ale, which I preferred, having almost some porter-like qualities. It's a place that is worth a visit for both the food and the beer.

(10/13/2000)

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

Establishment: Wharf Rat At Fells Point, Fells Point/Baltimore, MD

The main reason to stop at this place is the atmosphere. It has that special waterfront pub feel about it, as if you were in another time and place. The Oliver beers are solid - I had the fest beer and the Scottish Ale and had no complaints. This place, and a visit to the nearby Max's on Broadway would make a good 1-2 combination.

(10/05/2000)

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

Establishment: Zeno's, State College, PA

Zeno's may be a college bar, but it is a better than average college bar in terms of beer. As others have said, the selection is excellent, featuring brews from many of the PA craft breweries plus a variety of imports. On my recent visit to State College I was with a recent graduate of Penn State, and in her mind there was no other place to consider but Zeno's. I enjoyed a pint of Victory HopDevil and a Stoudt's ESB during my visit. My only complaint was that it was a bit smoky.

(10/05/2000)


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