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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 N/A Awesome! Great

Establishment: Jimmy Armstrong's Saloon, New York, NY

Excellent joint, very comfortable and somewhat eccentric, good beer and well-kept.

(08/25/2002)

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

Establishment: The Brazen Head, Brooklyn, NY

Nice, clean, one of the few beer bars in Brooklyn where I would take my wife if she was wearing her pearls, if you catch my drift. This is a somewhat precious crowd, but not overly so, and the ambiance is pleasantly upscale. NOT just another Guinness-bar, despite being named for Dublin's oldest pub.

(08/25/2002)

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

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

Went to the mead event at the General Lafayette last night. I have to say: mead sux. Chris Leonard got in a number of commercial meads and served a few of his own. I tried a number of them, and the only one I liked was Chris's aged braggot, served on cask, and even it was only good. But then I went to beer, and WOW, the big fat 7.1% porter he had pouring knocked me out: Baltic in its hugeness, very ale-like in its character. Great beer. Best of all, service was notably better this time round, with two bartenders taking good care of our three-man drinking team. If you're not going to the General, you're missing a great part of Philly's beer scene.

(08/24/2002)

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

Establishment: Sly Fox Brewhouse and Eatery, Phoenixville, PA

Stopped in at Sly Fox twice tonight (had to take a friend back after a quick trip to the Meadfest at General Lafayette). Had the Keller Helles (outstanding, fantastic beer, clean as a whistle), black raspberry wheat (what a relief after all the buggy-tasting red razz wheats: pretty in purple and cleanly delicious), dry stout (perfect except for being just a bit too dry on the finish for my tastes), and the Pils (again, clean and brisk, with a beautiful north German pils bitterness to it). Excellent service, but I was with a regular and the brewer, so that's an unknown. Great beer!

(08/23/2002)

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

Establishment: Lake Placid Pub and Brewery, Lake Placid, NY

I got an e-mail from LPP&B owner Chris Ericson today explaining that there is indeed a New York law that growlers must be labeled with the brewery information for the beer they're filled with. I'm still not happy about that, but I'm pissed at the NY ABC, not LPP&B. In fact, I'm pretty impressed that an owner would check Pubcrawler that regularly to see what people were saying about his place. Come to think of it, 4 bucks isn't much for a jug, either, considering I just saw one today at a brewpub in Maryland for $6. $4 may be the lowest price I've seen. So I owe Chris and LPP&B an apology: sorry, guys! Next time I'll buy a jug.

I'll have to start a campaign to stamp out these asinine laws, which are, after all, designed to make sure you know what beer you're getting. If you don't know what beer you're getting when you're going to the brewery yourself and getting it...you're as dumb as a politician.

(08/20/2002)

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

Establishment: Brown's Brewing Company was Troy Pub and Brewery, Troy, NY

Stopped in with the family last week, and we had a great time. I had the eggplant parm sandwich: fantastic on grilled bread with lots of fluffy ricotta, went very well with the porter. Helped my wife with her delicious portabella wrap, and her fresh and spicy hefeweizen. Finished up the meal out on the deck with a great fresh pint of Trojan Pale Ale, very snappy and hoppy. Beautiful view of the river at sunset. The kids loved the place, plenty of room to roam around (no, I don't let my kids run around a place unattended! I walked with them) and the fun murals to look at. I like the beer at a LOT of places in the Capital district, but Troy Brewing is my favorite place to hang out.

(08/19/2002)

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

Establishment: McGeary's Pub, Albany, NY

McGeary's is a lot of fun, with a big set of taps that include a few nice surprises. They also have what is possibly the best selection of whisk(e)y in Albany: Irish, Scotch, bourbon and rye, a deep array of the best. I'm not even from the area and I saw people I knew here; gotta love that. Great setting in downtown, easy walk to Big House and Pump Station brewpubs. This one's a winner.

(08/19/2002)

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

Establishment: Middle Ages Brewing Company, Syracuse, NY

Drank through a case of ImPaled Ale this week with the help of some family: outstanding beer. Rock-solid malt and ester base provide an anchor for some ravingly good hopping. The most popular beer of the week, and rightly so.

(08/17/2002)

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

Establishment: Cooperstown Brewing Company, Milford, NY

Helped the bro-in-law polish off a case of Pride of Milford while camping in the Adirondacks this past week. What a great beer: big, sweet, but not cloying, estery, nutty, delicious. Hats off.

(08/17/2002)

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

Establishment: Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY

I just visited Ommegang for the 7th time last Sunday, toured it with my family and friends. Our tourguide (dunno her name, young woman with red hair) gave us one of the very best brewery tours it has ever been my pleasure to receive in 17 years of touring breweries: informative, complete, and without a speck of BS. Well, not much. But the people on the tour heard more about brewing than they would hear at most tours in larger or longer-established breweries. This is a fantastic place, set aside the exquisitely good beers (the Hennepin just keeps getting better and better). You really owe it to yourself to come and visit.

(08/17/2002)

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

Establishment: Great Adirondack Brewing Company, Lake Placid, NY

Had dinner here with the family last night. Promised an hour-long wait, it was only 25 minutes, and we were served fast. Beer was great, but the smoked porter was not quite as good as I've had it in the past. John Brown was excellent. The food was tremendous, even my son's kid's menu burger was awesome, and my own seafood casserole...if I could cook scallops that well every time I tried, I'd be one happy SOB. A fantastic stop for food and beer in the North Country.

(08/17/2002)

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

Establishment: Lake Placid Pub and Brewery, Lake Placid, NY

Visited yesterday. Beer was great, particularly the hefeweizen, and the Ubu did not disappoint. Nachos were good, though a little short on chips: come on, they're the cheap part! I was bummed that when I presented my plain brown growler I was told that they only filled their own growlers. This is an annoyance; don't know if it's state law or an urge to sell $4 glass jugs. I get to Placid once a year, tops: I am not going to buy a growler. I'd be happy to pay to fill one or more of my own.

(08/17/2002)

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

Establishment: Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub and Restaurant, Syracuse, NY

Ditto on all that: Kitty Hoyne's is one of the most beer-aware "Irish" pubs I've been to, in the U.S. or the Republic. They also have an outstanding selection of whisk(e)ys, and a beautifully designed two-sided bar. Great place, and an easy walk from the rest of the amazing beer spots on and near Armory Square.

(08/17/2002)

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

Establishment: Adirondack Pub and Brewery, Lake George, NY

Forgot to review this one! I was up at Lake George in mid-June and stopped in Adirondack Pub. For a brewpub in a resort town that's not open all year-round (mostly closed in January and March), I was very pleasantly surprised. Owner John Carr does the brewing, and he's picky. The Bearnaked Ale was a quaffable ale with nice cherry jam estery notes. The IPA was a hop-blast, surprisingly bitter for a brewpub beer, and just hung in there with a bitter finish that lasted forever. I'm hoping to stop in again next week when we're up in the Adirondacks camping.

(08/05/2002)

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

Establishment: Barker Brew Company, Fredonia, NY

Well, Kurt, thanks for buying the books; your taste in reading material isn't in the least bit suspect! As for liking every beer, if you'll recall in the books, "The Pick" was my favorite beer from each brewery, and the only beer I actually reviewed from each place: of course there were a lot of positive reviews. It's also hard to find a publisher that will print both positive and negative reviews; I'm still trying.

As for Top 6 in New York... Brooklyn? Ommegang? Empire? Those are three pretty damned good breweries that most people are familiar with, then you have less well-known but equally good places like Middle Ages, Blue Point, Wagner, Southampton Publick House... There ARE excellent breweries in New York; there are also some that are pretty mediocre. Maybe we'll meet at Barker sometime and compare notes, eh?

(08/05/2002)

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

Establishment: Legacy Brewing (was Neversink and was Fancy Pants), Reading, PA

Another viewpoint: I just had the Fancy Pants blueberry beer at the Grey Lodge Pub in Philly last week, and I thought it was at least good. It was pale but with a tinge of reddish purple to it, a good aroma of blueberries, and a light blueberry flavor. I'd actually suggest backing off on the hops; the only hoppy fruit beer I've ever had that I liked is Dogfish Head's Aprihop. But this stuff is definitely drinkable. It sure sounds like Canal Street isn't doing Fancy Pants any favors by serving their beer in crappy condition.

(08/05/2002)

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

Establishment: Ireland's Four Courts, Arlington, VA

"Yhe Guinness was ice-cold"? You say that like it's supposed to be a GOOD thing. At least this kind of lunacy is not limited to the U.S.; I understand they're serving Guinness colder and colder in Ireland now, too. This beer was meant to be drunk at about 50 degrees. Jeez...

(08/05/2002)

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

Establishment: MacGregor's Grill and Tap Room, Henrietta, NY

The two beers I had were in excellent condition; the Ithaca Flower Power IPA I had was actually better than the sample I had at the brewery. But with that many taps, damn, man, I'd like to see a little more adventurous beers. There were only five I hadn't had before (and two of those were nondescript lagers). They did have a Chimay White tap, which was cool to see, but otherwise there were a lot of the usual suspects. Or maybe I'm just whining because I like the atmosphere at the original Gregory Street location better. Way better.

(07/31/2002)

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

Establishment: Distillery, Rochester, NY

I won't rate The Distillery's beer as Lousy, because the beer I've had there wasn't sour, or infected, or horribly stale (as I have had in some places); it was just boring and bland and woefully undifferentiated. Luckily they have taps of Saranac Pale Ale and Black Forest to go with the great food. Service pretty much sucked, though: our bartender wasn't busy, but couldn't be bothered to pay much attention to empty glasses and requests for more napkins and a glass of icewater. I've had to go here twice for research, but I won't be going back except at gunpoint.

(07/31/2002)

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

Establishment: The Brew Pub was Ramapo Valley Brewery, Suffern, NY

I like Neill's beers (and I took the time to learn how to spell his name), and I think it would be a sin if he stopped brewing, so shut up. The Stud Copper has a malty/biscuit/toffee mix that rewards the thoughtful drinker, and the Suffern Station Porter is a great smooth brew that is a pint-after-pinter. The IPA kicks butt, and the Skullcrusher Scotch Ale is a big, raunchy, smoky glass of gutsy beer. I still don't like the decor here, but the beers are excellent.

(07/30/2002)

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

Establishment: Barker Brew Company, Fredonia, NY

Sorry you were disappointed, Kurt, and amused that you felt you had to take a slap at me. If you would take the time to check my reviews, you'd see that I don't like everything. I also stand by what I said about Barker's beer, in fact, I'll step it up a notch: Barker Brewing is one of the top six breweries in New York. I hope you'll give them another shot. I did.

(07/30/2002)

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

Establishment: Gettysburg Brewing Company, Gettysburg, PA

Hey, if you were properly prepared with my "Pennsylvania Breweries" tourguide book, you'd KNOW the hours of PA's brewpubs before you went there, even places like Gettysburg and Selin's Grove! Just click on the folder by my name to see the Amazon link. (New York Breweries coming next year!)

(07/22/2002)

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

Establishment: Legacy Brewing (was Neversink and was Fancy Pants), Reading, PA

Guys, guys, guys: There is no longer any business linkage between the Canal Street Pub and the brewery downstairs (once Neversink, now Fancy Pants Brewing Co.) Canal Street is NOT a brewpub, it's just a bar, an increasingly lackadaisical one, from what I've seen, but it has nothing to do with Fancy Pants. The beers I've had from Fancy Pants have been good ones; if you've had bad FP beers upstairs at Canal Street, I would strongly suggest that the fault is with the bar's handling of the beers, not with the brewing.

(07/22/2002)

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

Establishment: Isaac Newton's, Newtown, PA

Sorry Scotch Plains (that is your name, right?) had a bad time in my local. I've never had any problems with beer-ignorant servers, but then, I always sit at the bar. The bartenders know what they're talking about. Anyway, ISAAC'S HAD A FIRE in early June. They will probably be closed most of the summer of 2002, but are rebuilding and will re-open. Bummer. Now I gotta go to Philly to get good draft beer.

(07/02/2002)

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

Establishment: Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant, Manayunk, PA

To clue you in on what's going on: Jim Brennan finally quit Manayunk Brewing, and no one seems to want to take the brewing position. Things are kind of up in the air right now. Not sure if they are going to continue brewing or not.

(06/23/2002)


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