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User Tagline: Somewhere in the world it's beer o'clock; who's buying?
Favorite Beer: Right now...Stegmaier Summer Stock
Located In: Mid-Atlantic
My Website: www.lewbryson.com
467
Beer Reviews from
   

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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 Good Awesome! Good Great

Establishment: Pearly Baker's Alehouse, Easton, PA

Just had dinner at Pearly's tonight. The beer selection is quite diminished from what it was four years ago. No cask ale anymore, though the pump's still there (this is not necessarily a bad thing; Pearly's often kept casks on too long), lot of crap on tap, but they did have HopDevil, Spaten Ofest, Young's RamRod, and a few others. No Weyerbacher? What's up widdat? In any case, the knockout was the appetizers. The entrees were good, and the kids' meals (chicken fingers and angel hair with marinara) were obviously made in house with some care and were a cut above the usual crap kids get served. But the apps! Lord, smoked trout wontons with a delicious horseradish cream sauce: sounds freaky but it was not only delicious but beautifully presented. The other app was a grilled North Atlantic lobster tail, stuffed with crabmeat, on a bed of potato straws in brown butter and balsamic vinegar. Imaginative, beautiful, and delicious fare. We may have made bad picks on the entrees (crab cakes -- good but not stellar -- and chicken napoleon -- overspiced and skimpish on the andouille, though the shrimp was delicious), there were other interesting things on the menu. A very good meal, and the beer was at least fresh, if not exotic: easily the best glass of RamRod I've had in four or five years.

(11/02/2002)

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

Establishment: Monticello Brewing Company, Charlottesville, VA

Monticello did, unfortunately, close in late 2000. A shame, as they made some pretty good Abbey-style ales.

(11/02/2002)

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

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

Tell you what, "Peter," or "Tubby," or whatever the voices told you your name was today, your plight has touched me, and I'm willing to help. You come up with $500 for a private lesson at the non-Victory brewpub of my choice, and I'll not only teach you more about beer than you ever wanted to know, I'll show you how to write a PubCrawler post that doesn't make you sound like a retard. Izzat a deal, or what? If you can't raise the cash, try to stop talking trash.

(10/29/2002)

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

Establishment: DuClaw Brewing Company, Bel Air, MD

Had Jim's Twisted Kilt Scottish Ale at the beerfest at Appalachian: best of the fest. What a great, raunchy, malt-monster beer. This man knows what he's doing.

(10/26/2002)

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

Establishment: Standard Tap, Philadelphia, PA

Paul, I'm sorry you had bad experiences at the Standard, but I have to disagree with your evaluation of the beers. I was just there last night, and had an outstanding glass of Troegs ESB off the handpump and a knockout glass of Incubus (triple) from Sly Fox. They also had Sly Fox's Pilsner, the Strong Ale from Fancy Pants, and Lancaster Milk Stout. I got a visit to the new coldroom with part-owner William Reed, and there are kegs of Sly Fox's medal-winning Helles ready to go on. The only pale ale I saw was Stoudt's APA. True, they had Victory HopDevil, not Prima, but...even here, people seem to prefer ales. Stoudt's makes a fantastic Pilsner, one of my favorites, but it just doesn't sell. What to do? I dunno. You said they had the worst local brewers: last night it was Stoudt's, Victory, Flying Fish, Sly Fox, Dogfish Head, Yards, Troegs, Lancaster, and Fancy Pants, as well as the de riguer Yuengling. Who is it you want to see instead?

(10/25/2002)

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

Establishment: Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant, West Chester, PA

Went over for the Brewer's Reserve last Friday: WHOA! Barleywine, Old Ale, and Wee Heavy (aged in a Jack Daniel barrel) were all thunderously awesome, the Pig Iron Porter was great (took a growler home for a party the next night and all agreed), but the best was the cask Anvil Ale, sharply spiced with a dry-hop addition of Tettnang (!), beautifully conditioned, and smooth as glass. The joint was packed on a Friday night, but the geeks were hanging in the brewery with all the Iron Hill brewers, Brian O'Reilly (Sly Fox), Scott Morrison (McKenzie), and Tony Forder and Jack Babbin of Ale Street News. A good time, and fantastic beer. Congratulations to Iron Hill for winning two MORE GABF medals, by the way: this is their sixth year in a row. Guess the beer's pretty good, despite some peoples' "opinions."

(10/22/2002)

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

Establishment: Rock Bottom Brewery, Bethesda, MD

As I've mentioned elsewhere here, I do this for a living: I write about beer. So when I go in a brewpub, generally the first thing I get is a sampler so I can taste as many of a brewery's beers as possible. Not this time. I saw some people drinking pints of cask ale at the bar, and asked the bartender what was on. I got a pint of pale ale...and it was tremendous. It was all I drank, I mean, why mess with perfection? Kudos to Geoff Lively; great job!

(10/22/2002)

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

Establishment: Nodding Head Brewery and Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA

Recognition at last: congratulations to Brandon Greenwood and Nodding Head for winning GABF Gold for Grog, and Bronze for Boho Pilsner. Much deserved.

(10/07/2002)

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

Establishment: Sly Fox Brewhouse and Eatery, Phoenixville, PA

Just a tip of the hat to Brian the Brewer: congrats on the Bronze medal at the GABF. That would be for the HELLES, people! Great beer, great guy, way to go, dude!

(10/07/2002)

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

Establishment: Bube's Brewery, Mount Joy, PA

NICK! How are ya, buddy? I must agree, the new brewers (head brewer Christine Bump and Dan Binkley) are doing good work: had the oatmeal stout at Appalachian's fest and it was great. This place is one of a kind, really a must-stop, and now with house-made beer... Yow.

(10/07/2002)

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

Establishment: Nick's 1014 Cafe, Harrisburg, PA

I have to agree with the last reviewer. What the hell happened to Nick's? I was in two weeks ago and the taps were dry (they were out of half the beers showing), the booze shelves were half-empty, and there was no action in the place at all. We made do with a so-so pint of Troegs, but man; this used to be the best place in town. Suck!

(09/26/2002)

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

Establishment: Sly Fox Brewhouse and Eatery, Phoenixville, PA

Just wanted to note that though I've met Bill Bryson, and like his beers, as near as we can determine we are NOT related!

(09/23/2002)

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

Establishment: Sly Fox Brewhouse and Eatery, Phoenixville, PA

Had an excellent beer dinner at Sly Fox last night, their first ever. Brewer Brian O'Reilly came up with NINE great beers -- well, actually, there were only five "great" beers. The other four were amazing. The Incubus Tripel returned, we were treated to a delicious saison and Belgian golden ("Renard d'Or"), we had a big goblet of rich dubbel, there was an abbey single, a pils, the Wit, and dessert was served with dry stout and black-raz wheat. Impressive selection, fantastic execution. The meal was very good, marred somewhat by slow service on two of the courses (though the service was accurate and friendly...and to be honest, this was probably more the fault of the kitchen than the waitstaff, who were quite efficient). Good time, great beer and food, and a steal at $55 inclusive. Can't wait for the next one!

(09/06/2002)

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

Establishment: Gaslight Brewery and Restaurant, South Orange, NJ

Yada yada yada (I've enjoyed Gaslight's beers the two times I've had them, with the exception of one at a festival that was obviously off), but don't knock Erie's beer: Erie Brewing's Railbender is a great malty Scotch Ale-kinda beer that I really like, and there are more than a few places in town that are worth a visit. Slag Matt all you want, he can defend himself, but back off Erie! (The pollution's pretty much gone, by the way: you can even eat the lake fish again.)

(09/02/2002)

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

Establishment: Valley Forge Brewing Company, Wayne, PA

So, uh, Wayne...Why did you rate the beer quality and selection "so-so" if you were going to have a glass of wine? Did you have any beer on this trip? I only ask because in your whole long story you never mentioned the beer.

(09/02/2002)

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

Establishment: Woodstock Brewing Company, Kingston, NY

I'm afraid that's old info: Woodstock closed in late 2001. Brewer Nat Collins will soon be making beer on the Woodstock brewhouse at Brotherhood Winery in Washingtonville.

(09/02/2002)

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

Establishment: The Church Brew Works, Pittsburgh , PA

Well, fair enough, Dave, and I see we both like Brian O'Reilly's beers, so... I just have to stick with what I said: never had a bad one at Church, and I've had good cask ale there, too.

(08/26/2002)

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

Establishment: Franklin's, Hyattsville, MD

Oh, I forgot to mention: Franklin's IS very kid-friendly. My kids loved it, as did my niece and nephew, and they've all seen plenty of brewpubs that bored and annoyed them. This seems to peeve some adults (most of the print reviews I've seen of Franklin's griped about not being able to let their hair down with kids around); isn't that too bad? There are a TON of places that are NOT kid-friendly: this one place is and you're bummed? Get over it, or just come back after 9:00!

(08/25/2002)

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

Establishment: Franklin's, Hyattsville, MD

I can't believe this place is only six months old as a brewpub! Excellent porter would have gained the "Awesome" award, this stuff is excellent, but it was served way too cold. We had that, the Anarchy, and IPA, and all were great beers. I've heard negative comments about Charles Noll's beer when he brewed elsewhere, but I truly cannot understand that: this stuff is outstanding. Food was a bit disappointing: my eggplant parm sandwich was stringy (and a big letdown from the excellent EP sandwich I'd had just a week before at Troy Brewing), my wife's portabella sandwich was very plain. But the place LOOKS fantastic, has a great vibe, and has a great future with their brewpub/general store combo. The general store...is a hoot, with all its gimcracks and doodads and whacky kid and adult toys, but don't overlook the very serious assortment of beer, wine, and odd foodstuffs. In short, fix the food, ease back on the beer freezing, and this place will live up to the buzz.

(08/25/2002)

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

Establishment: Bacchus, New Paltz, NY

Don't let the name fool you: Bacchus may be the wine deity, but this place has 13 taps and over 250 bottles of beers. This is the place for beer variety in New Paltz; hit it before or after the Gilded Otter. Very comfy place, lots of dark wood and plants, but not a fern-bar.

(08/25/2002)

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

Establishment: Gilded Otter, New Paltz, NY

First visited Gilded Otter about two months after they opened, and have seen it steadily improve since then (with the exception of the hostesses/greeters/seaters: clueless then, clueless now, clueless evermore: what does it take?). The beer is excellent, not a clinker in the bunch. The Stone House Imperial Stout is a killer that will leave you tangle-footed and smiling, but the Rail Trail Pale Ale is great too, crisp, clean, fruity, and brisk with American hop flavor bulging out at the seams. A happy stop. Make it great by improving the service (bartenders are just fine, food-side people need drilling).

(08/25/2002)

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

Establishment: Rudy's, New York, NY

A great and famous dive. Rudy's looks like it's been kicked in the teeth a couple times, but it's doing just fine, thanks. You might run into a literary club, a bunch of old drunks, hell, you might run into the big pig outside, but that's Rudy's. Last time I was there they had Pilsner Urquell on tap, and that's not bad, especially at $10 a pitcher ($8 for Yuengling Lager). Free hot dogs during happy hour, too! An excellent dive bar.

(08/25/2002)

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

Establishment: Saint Andrew's, New York, NY

If St. Andrew's had NO whisky, they'd be an excellent beer bar. With their selection of malts approaching 140, they are astounding for the beer and whisky lover. I love this stand-up place, well-lit and friendly to conversation. Bartenders are quick, cooperative, and unobtrusive.

(08/25/2002)

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

Establishment: Manchester Pub, New York, NY

Manchester's small, but the beer selection was quite good, and the quality of the beer was impressive. Bartender knew about beer, and, even more importantly, was willing to learn more. Friendly place, if a bit cramped.

(08/25/2002)

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

Establishment: Maggies Place, New York, NY

One of the very best pints of Guinness I've had, in the U.S. or Ireland. And I have to disagree, I thought the bartenders were quite attentive, even at rush time. The waitresses were pleasant, even though I was just trying to stay out of their way. Nice place, authentic-looking.

(08/25/2002)


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