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

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

Establishment: William D. Alandale Brewing Company, Kirkwood, MO

I was very impressed with this place! Of course I had just had a horrible experience at Square One. Everyone was pleasant and every beer was great! I visted on 18 December 2006. On tap that day: Plaliner blond lager, amber ale, american IPA, Alandale pilsner, vienna lager, American wheat, oatmeal stout, Alandale light pumpkin ale.

I had the pumking first. It was like pumpkin pie in a glass--but not sweet. Some pumpkin ales are a bit cloying--not this one. Delicious and a nice clean finsh.

Second was the oatmeal stout. It had a thin foamy head and a chocolate/caramel nose. The taste is a complex one--malt, coffee, chocolate--a delicious flavor.

Third was the American Pale ale. A thick lacy head, dark amber color, and nice hoppy nose. It was wonderful.

While I sat drinking I was able to listen to the interchanges between the wait staff and other clients. They were pleasant, friendly--this place has it down. Service and beer were both exclent! This will be a regular stop for me each time I make it back to Missouri!

(12/30/2006)

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

Establishment: Square One Brewery, Saint Louis, MO

This small brewpub is located in one of the most historically interesting sections of St. Louis. It seems to be right on the edge of the nice part--a bit farther east looked a bit creepy--I didn't investigate so I could be wrong.

I visited on Monday, 18 December 2006. I arrived at about 12:30 PM. The front room (bar) was very busy. There was only one bartender, and that is poor planning by the managment. However, that doesn't make an excuse for her poor service and obnoxious behavior. I found a seat at the bar and waited about 10 minutes before Jessica (the bartender) even acknowledged my presence (she had been within inches of me several times prior and didn't say a word to me). She said she would be right with me. I thanked her and committed my first mistake--I said, "not a problem, I'm in no hurry." Little did I know how she would take that to heart.

On tap that day were: pumpkin, dunkel, winter ale, robust porter, cask Belgian, another but I can't read my writing, light squared, pilsner, bavarian weitz, park avenue pale, IPA, and stout. I started with the winter ale and drank that after I finally got a menue--but I got a beer menue and she never did take it away--I do appreciate that. The winter was a cloudy amber ale with no head and vertually no nose. The flavor was malty but not sweet. The beer menue said it was a "strong Belgian Amber." It was really nice, but like many seasonals, one is enough.

At 1:00 the place cleared out. The service didn't improve. I never could quite figure out if the bartender had responsibilites in the back room that kept her from keeping up with the 6 of us at the bar or if she just didn't care. At best estimate it took about 25-30 minutes to get my food. While I waited I ordered the IPA--at least that's what they called it. It was a cloudy golden color. It had a foamy head with a very malty nose--but no hop. The taste was watery and not hoppy at all. The menue said it had a malty taste with a clean bitter finsh. Well, it did finish clean but not bitter. It really wasn't very good at all.

About 1/2 way through the beer, my 'burger of the week' with fries arrived. She sat it down with no napkin, silverware, apology for taking so long (but I did tell her I wasn't in a hurry--apparently she told the cook that) or anything. Jessica turned and walked away--I thought to get at least napkins but she disapeared....and was gone and gone and gone. Finally she reappeared and asked the couple next to me if they needed anything. They asked for napkins and hot sauce--the whole time Jessica is ignoring me. When she returned to deliver the couple's napkins and hot sauce--at least 10 minutes have passed since she sat my plate down--I asked if I could have some of that too. She looked at me and in a cranky voice said, 'hot sauce?' I said no, napkins and silverware? That was mistake number two. Now she was very unhappy with me. By the time she returned with silverware, one napkin and NO apology, at elast 15 minutes had passed since she sat my plate down. It was then I committed mistake number three. I asked her to take my plate back to the kithen and warm it up since it took so long. Oh My God. Now she was really angry and she made a point of letting every one know. She returned with the plate. The fries were still cold and the burger was far too juicy for a well done burger (if you get my drift) so I didn't finsh it--nor did I finish the nasty beer they called an IPA. While I contempleted the food, the bartender Jessica made quite a show of her anger toward me. At one point she was telling a couple some story, and at one point her voice got very loud and she looked at me and said, "Why would you piss off your bartender? That's just stupid." And there in that sentence you get the attitude of Ms. Jessica. I guess I think of it the other way, 'why would you piss off a patron?' THAT, Jessica is just stupid.

Once she realized that I had stopped eating, she figured my bill. She placed it on one of those little plastic trays and litterally threw it on the table. It knocked over the salt shaker. Had she offered any sort of pleasantry, apology, anything I could chalk all this up to being the lone bartender during a busy lunch. No apology, poor service even after the lunch crowd cleared, and nasty treatment complelled me to stiff ole' Jessica and leave no tip at all.

I grew up around St. Louis and get back once or twice a year. I only tried 2 of their many beers--one was very good, one was very bad. The food was only mediocre, and the service absoltely horrid. I won't make any effort to revisit this place again.

(12/30/2006)

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

Establishment: The Church Brew Works, Pittsburgh , PA

I've been to, and reviewed on this site, the Church before. It is still true--the real draw here is the building. The beer is not bad but nothing exceptional. The food is reasonably priced--till you see the small portions. The day I was there I ordered the special. I got a piece of grilled chicken about the size of a Bic Lighter on top of 2 tablespoons of corn salza with about 2 tablespoons of mashed potatos for about $9. The service this day was really disapointing. I was the only person at the bar there was one party setting in the "congregation." The bartender was not pleased at my post-lunch rush arrival and certainly let me know. Everything she said to me was said with a condescending tone of voice and a fake smile. I finally stopped trying to be pleasant and just left. If I lived in Pittsburg I'd probabaly visit a lot, but it's a long way from Hornell, NY and now that I've been there a few times, its not worth going out of my way to get there.

(08/08/2006)

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

Establishment: Saranac / F.X. Matt Brewing Company, Utica, NY

I drove to Utica yesterday (6-17-06) for a tour of FX Matt. I have to admit--I was a bit disapointed. Part of this is probably my fault as I went on a Saturday (no brewing activity) and did the 1:00 tour (none of the neighborhood bars were open yet--the one that was open doesn't serve food on weekends). The tour guide (Shawn or Sean) must have been fresh out of training--at least he admited that he didn't know the answer to most of the questions rather than making something up. When asked which barley was used for the hefe--he didn't know that it is a wheat beer. He had no idea why the line was called Saranac--I don't either but I would think that would be a pretty important thing to know. A lot of the tour focused on history of the brewing industry rather than just FX Matt--which is ok--the family with 5 kids seemed to enjoy it. They charged you $5 for the tour and that got you 2, roughly 8-10 oz samples. I'm not sure what they would do if you wanted to try more. The gift shop is pretty much a beer store and Shultz and Dooley store--except the beer, very little to do with Saranac. We heard several times on the tour that Utica Club was the past and Saranac is their ticket to the future--the shop is till in the past; at least as far as merchandise goes. If you are in the area, I'd say that it is worth a stop. I drove 200 miles and that may be why I was so disapointed--the distance and the rave reviews may have heightened my espectations. I keep thinking about that family that forked over $40 bucks for the tour and wonder if they thought it was worth it. Regardless--Saranac makes great beer and it's a nice mid-point between mass produced swill and more pricey microbrews.

(06/18/2006)

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

Establishment: O'Fallon Brewery, O'Fallon , MO

I have a new favorite Missouri Brewery. Their motto is "We Love Beer," and you can tell that they really mean it. I was back in Missouri in March. I made contact with Fran--one of the owners for a tour. Brian, one of the brewers took me on the tour and let me sample everything they had in the brewery. The Chocolate Cherry Stout is amazing. I typically don't like fruit and beer or fruit and chocolate--but this stuff in incredible! I have been rationing it since I've been back to NY. I want to share it with my fellow NY beer lovers--but selfishness takes over and I have saved it all for myself. The Smoked Porter is great as well--all I tried were really good--even the styles that may not have been my favorites were tasty and well done. You must stop by here--Fran and Brian will show you a good time. There is an obvious difference between talking to people at a brewery for whom it is a job--versus those for whom brewing good beer is a passion. I believe it is a passion at O'Fallon Brewing.

(05/10/2006)

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

Establishment: Barley Creek Brewing Company, Tannersville, PA

I have stopped at Barely Creek many times--usually on my way to and from NYC. When I stopped at Thanksgiving 2004, I noticed a significant drop in service. I sat at the bar and had to send up flares to get service. I hadn't been through the area again till a few days before Christmas. This time I sat at a table and had the same issues. Horrible service: we sat at the table for at least 10 minutes before anyone appeared to take an order. It took forever to get the beer from the bar to the table. The place was over 3/4 empty so it wasn't busy. The stout I ordered--once the foam settled was only 1/2 full. I asked to have a full glass and was told that was the way they served it. When I got the bill I had been over charged for the growler and the pint glass. What a shame, the beer is so good but I won't put up with crappy service and travel that far off of the road to get to the beer.

(01/03/2006)

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

Establishment: Crooked Rooster / Roosterfish Brewing, Watkins Glen, NY

I think that this place will get better with age. Only two of their own on tap now: Butternut pale ale and Black Walnut Ale. The pale had a skunky flavor to it--it reminded me of some of my homebrew that didn't turn out. The Black Walnut was interesting. I couldn't quite figure out it it was a nut ale or a dark amber...it wasn't bad. I'll give them another try.

(07/05/2005)

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

Establishment: Gilded Otter, New Paltz, NY

What a great place--fun web page too. On tap 6-26-05 were: Pilsner, lager, wit, pale ale, hefe, IPA, oatmeal stout, summer lager, barley wine. The pale ale was more bitter than the IPA. The IPA was almost sweet. The stout was very delicious and complex. It was dry with a smoky flavor but finished with a nice coffee chocolate flavor. The meatloaf sandwich was great!

(07/05/2005)

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

Establishment: Narrow Gauge Brewing / Granary Brewpub, Farmington, ME

Apparently they are stikcing with the Oak Pond Brewery. Service is really good. The beer was good. The IPA was quite good and awfully smooth for 9%. On tap were" Pilsner, plae ale, IPA, doplebock, nut brown, and oktoberfest lager--all Oak pond. Guest taps were: Bar Harbor Blueberry, PBR, Guiness, Sam Adams, Dogfishhead Chicory stout.

(07/05/2005)

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

Establishment: Sea Dog Brewery, Bangor, ME

If you are going to be near Topsham and Bangor but can only visit one Seadog...skip this one and go to Topsham. The beer is the same (lots of that yummy hazelnut porter) but the atmosphere is not as nice as Topsham and the service certainly isn't--pretty inconvenient parking too--ok, I was there on a Friday so I'll cut some slack there.

(07/05/2005)

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

Establishment: Bar Harbor Brewing Company, Bar Harbor, ME

If you enjoy great beer and want to learn about the beer you enjoy, you must stop here for a tasting. You get to try all of their beers and learn about their makeup as well as how they fared in competition. I bought a mixed case to take home. Take a break from hiking and stop by this place. The beer is just incredible--even the peach!!

(07/05/2005)

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

Establishment: Atlantic Brewing Company, Bar Harbor, ME

I got there too late for a tour but the BBQ place was still open out back. THe food was good but only had the Coal Porter. It was a good porter--and as expected, so much better on tap than in bottles.

(07/05/2005)

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

Establishment: Maine Coast Brewing was Jack Russell Brewpub, Bar Harbor, ME

I had a great time the day I was there (6-23-05). The bartender--who's name I now can't remember was great and the others at the bar were fun too. I got the nickle tour of the brewery and a 6 pack to go. On tap were: gold ale, pale ale, brown, blueberry, porter, extra special bitter, and oatmeal stout. All of them were very good--the extra special bitter was extra sweet and I'm not fond of sweet beer but it was well built. The porter had a hint of a smoky flavor that was nice. Although not a fan of fruit beers I thought that their blueberry was very good. In my notes I wrote that the oatmeal stout was "fabulously yummy."

(07/05/2005)

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

Establishment: Bear Brewpub, Orono, ME

On tap the day I was there were: brown, peach, pale, chocolate stout, hefe, and porter. I got the sampler. The glasses the bartender "told" me were the peach, pale, and hefe all looked a like, smelled alike, and tasted alike. So either I got three glasses of the same beer or those three taste exactly alike. Given those three styles, you'd think that the tastes would be different enough to tell which was which, but there was no peach, hop, or wheat beer taste in any of them. The three darker ones did taste different but were pretty nondescript.

(07/05/2005)

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

Establishment: Rocky Bay Brewing Company, Rockland, ME

I went to the brewery and the pub. While their web page says they'll do a tour anytime within the hours they post, when I got there they tell me that I have to have an appointment. They did let me try the scotch ale and told me about the pub in town--of which I was unaware. On tap were lager, summer ale, scotish, IPA, and red with guest taps of guiness and stella. All of them were fine but none stood out. The red was dark and almost had a chocolate flavor--that was unique. The IPA was the best. Nice and hoppy.

(07/05/2005)

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

Establishment: The Liberal Cup, Hallowell, ME

I actually went to this place twice while in Maine...the second time the service was only a bit better. The first time I went was a Tuesday--which I found out later was Trivia night. The bar was full--2 or 3 deep and a line for a table. I fought my way through the crowd to get my name on the list. I was by myself and they refused to even take my name for a table for one. They said to go to the bar. I asked her where she thought I would be able to eat there. She told me that they serve the same menue at the bar. I guess she thought I would like to eat and drink standing up. Thinking that someone might eventually leave I went to the bar. I stood there while I drank to of their "liberal" pints and no one moved so I moved on. A few days later I was back in Augusta so I thought I would give them another try. I was hotter than hell outside and I feared the air conditioned bar would be full again. It wasn't. I actually got a seat. But the bartender would just disapear. People came in and would set at the bar waiting for service and then leave. Over the course of the two visits I had the Summer bitter Summer not, Tar Box Cream stout, Dummer's Lane Brown Ale and the Dog Days Summer wheat. All three were nice but nothing exceptional--certainly not worth waiting three deep at the bar.

(07/05/2005)

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

Establishment: Sea Dog Brewery, Topsham, ME

Either things have improved or I got them on a good day. I had an exceptional experience. The space and view are really great. The hazelnut porter--I couldn't get enough of it. It tastes like it is made from hazelnut coffee. Shipyard now owns Seadog, but Seadog retained all their recipes. Seadog IPA is much better than Shipyard. Much more IBUs. The philly cheesestake was succulent! I had a great experience here and would go back.

(07/05/2005)

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

Establishment: Gritty McDuff's Freeport Original Brewpub, Freeport, ME

First--why such a low score for service? The bartender was far more interested in flirting with two guys at the other end of the bar to pay any attention to the rest of us at the bar. But the REAL reason I scored them so low for service has to do with payin my bill. My total came to 23 dollars and change. I sat down 2, $20s. The bartender picked up the bill, looked at the two 20s, looked at me and said, "do you want any change?" Yeah, I always tip $17 dollars for crappy service on a $23 bill. Any bartender or waitstaff that has the nerve to ask if we want change deserves to be stiffed anyway--and had she not looked to see how much money I had laid down, I could have been more forgiving.

Same beer on tap here as was in Portland--although for some reason the stout seemed to taste better here...no wait, a beer called Clusterscrump was on tap here and not in Portland. It was pretty nice. Had a nice dry finish.

(07/05/2005)

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

Establishment: Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME

I had a better tour experience. The tour wasn't long but then the real point was the tasting. We tasted the Double Ale and the Four (I can't read my notes). Both were very good. Available beginning the day I was there was the 10th Anniversary so I bought a bottle of that but haven't had a chance to try it yet.

(07/05/2005)

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

Establishment: Geary D L Brewing Company, Incorported, Portland, ME

They did a tour just for me--that gets them lots of extra bonus points in my book. Larry took me around the plant and showed me all the ins and outs. Let me go up on the catwalks and look into the vats--cool. I had a bottle of the summer while I toured--had just been bottled that morning. I bought a six pack of the porter--unavailable in NY--and I've not tried it yet.

(07/05/2005)

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

Establishment: Sunday River Brewing Company, Bethel, ME

I agree with the earlier review--this place deserves a Good + or a Great -. The drive from Portland the the view from the deck of this place are worth the trip. The beer was very nice. Not exceptional but very solid. The 420 IPA was their best. It had a very sharp hoppy finish. The rest of their beers on tap (sunsplash goldn ale, lager, alt, barely wine and bock) were all true to style but a bit sweet for me. The service was quite good. One of the coolest things is that the sell a shirt with their logo on the front and on the back is the logo of several of the other more well-known breweries/pubs in ME.

(07/05/2005)

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

Establishment: Bray's Brewpub and Eatery, Naples, ME

I had much better luck with service the day I was there (6-19-05) but in all honesty I was the only person at the bar most of the time. On tap that day were: blond, oatmeal pale, brown, porter. The oatmeal pale certainly peaked my interest. I can't say that I liked it but there were some unique things going on in it.. The pale had a bit of an oaky flavor and that was nice. Pleasant Mt. Porter was by far the best. The Pulled pork sandwich was excellent. It is made with the pale ale and it was incredible. It was worth the trip alone.

(07/05/2005)

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

Establishment: Gritty McDuff's, Portland, ME

Maybe I was expecting to much. I had heard so much about this place before I got to ME that my expectations were too high. The beer wasn't bad by any stretch, just not as great as I had heard. The stout had a nice flavor but wasn't a real stout...it was like a summer stout...watery isn't the right word but just very light in all respects except color. The brown tasted far to malty to be a brown--but it finished with a bit of nutmeg so it was nice. All I had to eat here were the gritty chips and they were really good.

(07/05/2005)

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

Establishment: Shipyard Brewing Company, Portland, ME

Shipyard seems to have their finger in a lot of breweries/brewpubs in Maine, but they do put on a good show at the brewery and only have the original Shipyard brands here. The IPA was really good, far better on tap than in bottled (which is the only way I've been able to get it in NY). If you can get the Brewer's Choice in your area--do so NOW before it's all gone. It's different each year and this one is quite nice. It's sort of a mix between a brown and a scotch ale. I was great. The place is easy to find. Fun tour, nice shop, friendly people, and easy parking.

(07/05/2005)

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

Establishment: Sebago Brewing Company, Portland, ME

While in Maine, I hit 21 brewpubs and breweries and Segabo might be the best one overall. On tap the day I was there (6-18-05) were: Hefe, Brown ale, IPA, Light, stout, red, along with guest taps Harpoon summer and Majic Hat# 9. The IPA was almost perfect! The color was quite light and I wasn't expecting the bitter nose and taste but it was really good. The hefe is not mys style of choice but theirs was quite good. Red is a style that typically doesn't set me on fire either but theirs was very nice. Color was darker than the IPA with a robust flavor. You'll want to try all of them so get the sampler first. It was $6 for 6-3oz. samples. The smokestack sandwich is excellent. Set at the bar and you can drink good beer and watch the foot traffic...also walking distance to the tour at Shipyard.

(07/05/2005)


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