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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! Great Great

Establishment: Pietro's Coal Oven Pizzeria, Philadelphia, PA

I hit this place while working on a story on upscale pizza and upscale beer, and Pietro's scored on both counts. 18 taps of usual suspects at the big, impressive bar, including Guinness, Bass, Pilsner Urquell, Sam Adams Lager and a seasonal, and the ubiquitous Stella Artois, but also Yards Philly Pale, Lancaster Hop Hog, and Anchor Steam. Bottles included Lindemans Peche and Framboise, Chimay Blue, La Fin du Monde, and Orval. The pizza I got, goat cheese and proscuitto, was outstanding, with plenty of each of the luscious ingredients. I'll be back next time I'm near Rittenhouse Square.

(03/26/2006)

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

Establishment: Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Update: opening put back to spring 2007. Got that from the general manager of Hofbräuhaus in Munich. Projected 450 seats inside, and an 800-seat beergarden.

(03/26/2006)

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

Establishment: Oakmont National Pub, Havertown, PA

Just visited the Oakmont National (so-named because it's in an old (1920s-era) bank building, complete with a vault in the back) for the first time this week. Nice little place! They've got some good taps going (Young's Double Chocolate and Legacy Alt, among others, and the Alt was quite nice), the buzz is good, the place was very pleasant and well-kept, and the staff attentive (and attractive; I try not to be sexist, but the waitresses were, frankly, quite pretty). I'd go back here in a heartbeat.

(03/19/2006)

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

Establishment: Ten Stone, Philadelphia, PA

Stopped in with a beer-hip bachelor party last week. I got a glass of draft La Chouffe, and it was just right. Lines are obviously well-kept, and the Chouffe tasted crisp and spicy. Nice work, nice place.

(02/26/2006)

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

Establishment: Ortino's Northside, Zieglerville, PA

Stopped in last night on my way home from a wedding, and I was glad I did: they had a keg of Troegs Nugget Nectar on the handpump, and it was just pitch-on perfect. Great beers on push tap as well. One of a few very impressive bars showing up out here in the far marches in the past couple of years.

(02/26/2006)

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

Establishment: Union Jack's on the Manatawny, Oley, PA

Wow. Stopped in here with three fairly critical friends, and we were all simply blown away. I cannot remember the last time I walked into a place with this wide a beer selection where the staff knew the beers so well. Extremely impressive. UJ's is comfortable, perfectly capable of satisfying the most discerning of geeks while not turning off the basic beer drinker. Well-done. The only complain I'd have is the dining room, which was a bit claustrophobic...but I'm quibbling. You will not believe that such a beer destination could exist down this narrow country road across from a roller rink. Outstanding, and worth a trip from as far away as Baltimore.

(12/30/2005)

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

Establishment: Troegs Brewing Company, Harrisburg, PA

Stopped in recently, and as always, was very impressed by the quality of the beers here: well-differentiated, flawless, and delicious. Not sure what else you could ask for.

(12/30/2005)

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

Establishment: Appalachian Brewing Company, Harrisburg, PA

Stopped in after a Troegs visit for a quick lunch. A nice pint of Hoppy Trails IPA: not insanely hoppy, but good and brisk, well-supported with malt. Also split a glass of barleywine with my friend; quite nice stuff indeed. I had the Hog Wild pulled pork, good eating. Service was right on the mark (though they did jab me for my new Troegs vest!). ABC keeps impressing me with their continually rising quality; an excellent stop.

(12/30/2005)

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

Establishment: Pittsburgh Bottleshop Cafe, Bridgeville , PA

Did a book signing at the Bottleshop three weeks ago, and finally got to try the food. Wow. One of the very best pieces of filet mignon I've had in a long time, with a delicious mushroom-filled sauce. Beers were excellent and fresh, selection was very broad. Overall suffers a bit because of the fairly sterile decor; better bring your own atmosphere -- and most people do! Great place to get some beers and check out the populace.

(11/15/2005)

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

Establishment: Gooski's, Polish Hill, PA

Stopped by Gooski's in the daylight for the first time...ever, and was not disappointed. They had East End's Big Hop Harvest on (fresh hop ale, wow), it was beautiful. The place was actually kinda clean, it scared me. Gooski's rules; if you ain't been there, you ain't been drinking in Pittsburgh.

(11/15/2005)

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

Establishment: Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem, PA

I just tasted BBW's new Peche Lambic at the Lehigh Valley Fest in Easton: wow. Tart, funky, a whining buzz of peach flavor, a pseudo-lambic with some real guts to it. They were nice enough to pur me small samples of some older bottled efforts, a framboise and a kriek: the framboise was thin on fruit flavor but had that excellent Boon-ish character, the kriek came through with sharp cherries to boot. Great work at BBW, and a lot of effort and passion in these beers.

(10/23/2005)

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

Establishment: Quips Pub, Lancaster, PA

Stopped in for dinner between the two sessions of the recent Lancaster Brews & Blues Fest. Dinner (bangers and mash) was great, very nice meaty sausage, and the bartender handled our diverse, fired-up group with speed and aplomb. But the beer was quite disappointing. I got a pint of Fuller's ESB (there was a good selection of English/British ales and some seasonal Oktoberfests) and it was sour; had a taste of a friend's Oktoberfest and it tasted tired, like an unclean line or a long-tapped keg. Not a great experience at a bar that used to be one of my favorites.

(10/16/2005)

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

Establishment: Piece, Chicago, IL

Took the family here for lunch, and although it was deserted (late lunch), we still had a good time. The pizza was excellent, and the hefeweizen was quite good: clovey, plum-edged, and cloudy as a November sky. IPA wasn't bad either. I'd come back here in a heartbeat.

(09/27/2005)

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

Establishment: Sean Bolan's Irish Pub, Baltimore, MD

How can you go wrong? Sean Bolan's has an excellent tap selection, cask ale, and a deep bottle selection (plus one-of-a-kinds that their great connections get them); they've got savvy and quick bartenders serving them, and the place is comfy as an old EZ-Boy. Food's good, if not haute cuisine, and the prices are right for the area. A classic.

(09/27/2005)

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

Establishment: Za's Pizza Pub, Louisville, KY

Stopped in Cumberland Brews with a friend, and soon ran across the street with our tongues dragging. Za's did us up right with a great tap selection (you don't need 50 taps to have a great selection!) and an impressive set of bottles. Food was quite good, for what it was: pizza and sammiches. We had a great afternoon, drinking, eating, and talking. A great place for a beer in Louisville, but I sure do miss Fat Cat's.

(09/27/2005)

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

Establishment: Cumberland Brews, Louisville, KY

Hate to buck the trend, but I was here last month and found the beers to be iffy, and on the verge of being nasty. The Pale Ale and Porter were drinkable, at least, but the others just didn't cut it: stale, mineraly, on the edge of sour. That's a shame, because the place itself was very cool, and service was right on the money. The brewhouse was kind of grungy, though, which should have been a tip-off. Sorry, folks, not a good impression.

(09/27/2005)

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

Establishment: The Half King, New York, NY

Stopped in yesterday on my way to Chelsea Piers with my dad; hadn't heard of Half King before, but it looked inviting. The Basic Set was on tap: Guinness, SNPA, Brooklyn Lager, Hoegaarden, Newcastle, and Boddington's, plus a Kronenbourg and a Strongbow. The spirits selection was quite nice, there was a small beer garden out back, and the food was excellent: we both got fish stew, which was a heaping cioppino-like mess of salmon, shrimp, mussels, squid and cod, in a tomato-garlic broth. I understand that the Half King was opened by Sebastian Junger, the man who wrote "The Perfect Storm"; not sure if he still owns it or not, but it put a nice literary spin on things. I'd definitely return; great jar of Guinness, good feel, good time.

(09/27/2005)

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

Establishment: Destiny Brewing Company, Phoenixville, PA

I stopped in to talk to the brewer/owner at Destiny, Emerson Haines. The place is very cool, a basement brewpub, I liked it immediately. The beers are good, different from the local standards, but were maybe a bit too sweet. They were ALL clean and fresh, which is a big plus. Destiny would be a definite stop on any pubcrawl in the area, and when the new Iron Hill opens a few blocks away, it should only help.

(09/22/2005)

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

Establishment: Monk's Cafe, Philadelphia, PA

Just experienced the St. Feuillien dinner at Monk's, and wow. Monk's is still right on top of things. The owner of the brewery was there, she was solicitous of everyone's opinion, the food was tremendous, the beers were superb. Monk's rules.

(09/22/2005)

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

Establishment: Arena Bar and Grill, Wilkes-Barre, PA

First things first: yes, the parking flat out sucks. The spots are too narrow, and you're just asking to get your doors dinged. But I didn't experience any of the service problems other folks talked about. I sat at the bar with two local friends and we never were dry. The bartenders were quick, had good suggestions and knew their taps, and were even responsive to polite calls of "When you get a moment...", a sterling quality in a bartender. The beers I had were uniformly excellent and well-kept. The only thing that kept the beer selection from being awesome was the total lack of anything local: disappointing. Otherwise...Wilkes-Barre, you got a winner here.

(09/22/2005)

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

Establishment: Black Rock Brewing Company, Wilkes-Barre, PA

Black Rock's building has become the new Arena Bar & Grill, and it rocks. Review under that name.

(09/22/2005)

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

Establishment: Uncle Tucker's Woodfired Pizza and Brew Haus, Cumberland, MD

Just talked to the folks at Uncle Tucker's: they've been bought, the new owners take over on November 1, and they do not intend to continue brewing on premises. Bummer.

(09/20/2005)

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

Establishment: McGrath's Pub, Harrisburg, PA

Like Beav, I heard about this place from the Tröegs guys: not surprising when they're running four Tröegs taps! Great place, quick and friendly service (could've been a bit more beer-savvy to make it Awesome), food was quite good (Cashel Blue Burger, nice and rare like I asked) and the house chips were thick and crunchy. Good for lunch, and looked like a cool place to come back and drink, too. Definitely everything the guys at Tröegs said it would be.

(07/20/2005)

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

Establishment: Flanigan's Boathouse, Conshohocken, PA

Recently ate and drank twice at the Boathouse. First: Victory Throwback Lager and Reading Pils alongside one of the very best burgers I've had in months, simply outstanding. Beer was in great shape. Second: a Sly Fox beer dinner at the Boathouse that impressed me tremendously with the kitchen, almost up to the level of a Monk's Cafe beer dinner. Needless to say, the beer was pretty much flawless. I need to stop in here more often.

(07/10/2005)

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

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

Doug Thayer calls his brewing arm "Roosterfish Brewing," the bar is the Crooked Rooster. The bar itself is pretty neat, with a new-make backbar that is a wow. The beer's pretty good, and I expect it will get even better when he starts brewing on the 10 bbl. system he's currently putting in.

(06/01/2005)


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