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Beer Reviews
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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 Great Good

Establishment: Common Share, Washington, DC

Beer's definitely cheap, and the SNPA I had was good, but the selection's not much. Atmo's determinedly basic, but friendly. I'd go back again, but I wouldn't necessarily bring my wife...

(05/21/2004)

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

Establishment: Matchbox, Washington, DC

Tap selection is (as another writer once said) small but firm. Not a LOT of taps, but a high percentage of good ones, and what I had was clean and fresh. Staff is right on top of things, evidently well-trained, and polite. Very hip place; Matchbox was a very pleasant surprise.

(05/21/2004)

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

Establishment: Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, Washington, DC

Smooth, well-made lagers are the key here, with a few top-fermenting German styles thrown in for fun. If you're too butt-ignorant to dig that, steer clear; but if you've got the beer sophistication to dig some cold-aged excellence, this is the place to be in DC.

(05/21/2004)

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

Establishment: District ChopHouse and Brewery, Washington, DC

Too bad Jason D. is leaving: hope they get someone REAL GOOD in to replace him. Chophouse beers were excellent under his hands: if only for the outstanding Bourbon Stout. This is a great place to go to, proof that "brewpub" doesn't have to mean "beer with burgers and pizza."

(05/21/2004)

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

Establishment: Capitol City Brewing Company - Shirlington, Arlington, VA

Very high-end street of shops and restaurants, but Cap City's still a good place to hoist yourself up on a stool and sample some great beers. Please don't turn your noses up at the K├Âlsch: this is very nice beer indeed. I think you'll find the beers at this CC tend to be more nuanced than some of the others: Bill Madden (and his new assistant, John Bryce, formerly at Blacksburg Brewing) is generally a fan of balanced beers, though when he decides to go big it's usually over the top. Witness his recent Imperial IPA, which was damned near lethally hopped.

(05/21/2004)

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

Establishment: Birchmere / Native Brewing Company, Alexandria, VA

Birchmere as a brewery has been closed for some months. The concert space is still open. I just heard today that a Virginia brewpub is looking at purchasing/leasing the brewery space, so I wouldn't delete it. But nothing's been brewed here in 2004.

(05/13/2004)

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

Establishment: Flying Barrel (BOP), Frederick, MD

Stopped in to see Bob this week; awesome homebrew shop, and the guy is obviously very wired in to both the local homebrew community AND the local brewing community. Flying Barrel is the glue that holds beer together in Frederick.

(05/13/2004)

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

Establishment: Hops Grill and Brewery, Richmond, VA

Sorry to have overlooked this: I visited both Hops on my recent trip to Richmond. Beer here was up to the standards of the other one; no surprise, the same brewer does both pubs. I was very impressed with the quality of the beers: very clean, all-malt, quite flavorful, if a bit on the light side. No real complaints except for the generic look of the place, and even that was broken up by some very attractive golden-era beer posters.

(05/13/2004)

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

Establishment: Clay Pipe Brewing Company, Westminster, MD

Blue Tractor's good, the Racer's Tiretread Porter is real flavor-packed, and the Pursuit of Happiness is a noggin-knocker, but Backfin Pale Ale is a delicious pint-after-pinter, a beer that drinks so smooth you hardly notice how great it tastes. Nicely done.

(05/12/2004)

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

Establishment: Brewer's Alley, Frederick, MD

Excellent Maibock; other beers were all good. Service from Tom the bartender was exceptional, as it was for everyone else at the bar; Tom's a talented guy. The feel of Brewer's Alley is upscale without being intimidating, and when the sidewalk area's open, it's one of the best places to be in Frederick.

(05/12/2004)

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

Establishment: Barley and Hops Grill and Microbrewery, Frederick, MD

New brewer indeed: Greg Curran is doing a great job here. Made my first visit yesterday, sampled the taps and truly enjoyed everything I tasted, from the Dirty Little Blonde Ale to the Lust for Lupulin double IPA. My burger was deliciously rare, just as I ordered it, although the spicy peanut cole slaw wasn't that spicy and had no discernible peanut flavor. The place itself is clean, attractive, and has some very interesting brewery touches: note the painted hopsacks on the walls. Barley & Hops suffers a little from a real generic look in the dining room, but overall, definitely a place I would return to.

(05/12/2004)

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

Establishment: Blacksburg Brewing Company, Christiansburg, VA

Just got an e-mail from John Bryce that Blacksburg Brewing is closing as of May 15. He plans to re-open as a brewpub, no time-line given. Hope he does it soon, because this beer was excellent.

(05/06/2004)

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

Establishment: Jeremiah's Tavern, Rochester, NY

Jeremiah's is an excellent neighborhood tavern, with lots of local beer (and that DOES include Genesee, and it OUGHT to), local color, good food, and excellent service. Very comfortable, you'll feel welcome as soon as you walk in. The bar's definitely a bar, the dining room's definitely for dining (it peeves me when there's no separation), and the outdoor seating is great in warm weather. I've been back a number of times, and just keep loving it.

(05/03/2004)

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

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

Ah, Herr Heffe, guten morgen! Good to see you here, mein freund, and of course, you're right: NY is smoke-free these days. My mistake. But yes, the locals are good folks, and I like them here and over at Handlebars as well. It ain't always about the beer in the glass, sometimes it's about the bar. Zum wohl!

(05/03/2004)

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

Establishment: Latrobe Brewing Company, Latrobe, PA

Dude, go back: Latrobe is now giving tours. And don't stoop to the snide remarks about the river and the tires; as if. Just because you weren't smart enough to call ahead, doesn't mean they're not smart enough to use pure water for making beer (and just how much smarts would THAT take?).

(05/03/2004)

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

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

Some people ream Pubcrawler for "only allowing Awesome," some ream it for all the negative reviews...sheesh, make up your minds. I'd say that if you don't want a smoky, divey bar serving BMCLite with the craft brews...go upstairs. Why shouldn't the guys who like downstairs have the option to stay downstairs? And heck, you're certainly welcome to stick around and do more reviews, but if you don't like Pubcrawler, why not beerfly back to BA, eh?

(04/29/2004)

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

Establishment: Edelweiss, Staunton, VA

First, Edelweiss is a restaurant. There is not even a small bar. But it's very relaxed, the food is excellent (and fairly varied for a German place), and they have about 45 different German and Austrian bottled beers, and 6 taps of Germans. The place is quite authentic and homey, and when it's comfortable outside you can play beer garden. It's like Germany on the beautiful Blue Ridge.

(04/27/2004)

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

Establishment: Mekong Restaurant, Richmond, VA

Mekong is not much at all to look at from the outside; just another tinted storefront in a roadside plaza on Broad St. But inside, this is a practically palatial Vietnamese restaurant, with a startling selection of Belgian and American specialty beers. There are the usual suspects in Asian restaurants, Tsingtao and Singha (I actually had a nice crisp bottle of Singha -- I'd been drinking already, and...well, read on), but the lure at Mekong is big bottles. Almost every good beer they offer is in bottles, and BIG bottles, 750s and 22s. There is a wide range of Belgian specialties and American craft brews, and the rare combination of top-rate Viet cuisine and non-mundane beers is too good to pass up. A definite stop.

(04/27/2004)

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

Establishment: Queen City Brewing Limited, Staunton, VA

Queen City is a Brew On Premise (BOP) that opened around October of 2003.

Travis Smithdeal and his partner opened Queen City Brewing to let other people brew beer. Queen City is a BOP; a lot of people in the Shenandoah Valley used to brew at Monticello, in Charlottesville. Kevin Yeadon, who owned Monticello and had to get out for health reasons, helped these guys with recipes and advice, and they've hit the ground running. They're aiming for a commercial license in a few months and hope to be selling beer in the area. Look for them!

(04/27/2004)

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

Establishment: New Belmont, Norfolk, VA

Upscale, toney, well-designed restaurant with a high-end bar on the second floor. Emphasis is on wines by the glass, but drinkers were friendly, and there was a good selection of taps as well; I had a good pint of Smuttynose Porter. Might want to dress up a bit for this one to fit in better. Came highly recommended from our waitress at the Taphouse.

(04/27/2004)

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

Establishment: Jean Bonnet Tavern, Bedford, PA

Finally got to Jean Bonnet's yesterday for the first time, and I'm already plotting a return visit. Great tap selection, amazing for the area...although things are coming up in central PA. Had an Appalachian Barley Wine that was a bit oxidized, but it tasted better and better as it warmed up. Beautiful establishment, food smelled great, wish I'd had more time! I will definitely be back.

(04/27/2004)

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

Establishment: Jimbo's Eatery, Pittsburgh , PA

Had breakfast here yesterday: two chili cheese dogs (excellent) and a Coke. Fascinated by the beer selection, a lot better than I remember from the old days. Lots of big bottles, Dogfish Head, Troegs, but...hey guys, where's the Victory?! Great place to stop for a bite and a beer. I love Pittsburgh for these kinds of places.

(04/27/2004)

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

Establishment: Fat Head's South Shore Saloon, Pittsburgh , PA

Great place, and not afraid to spend some money on themselves: some other Pittsburgh bars could learn some things about making yourself look good from Fat Head's. I'm not going to get into a slanging match about whose selection is better (only...Kelly's? Hah? Things get radically better there in the past 10 months?), Fat Head's is great, and the only objection I'd make is that I'd really rather see more local beers, more PA beers here instead of all the Rogue and Stone and Bell's and imports. But I'm nitpicking. The service I got was happy and attentive, the food was delicious and humongous (house-made chips are excellent), and the vibe is great. Lots of pretty women, lots of beer-savvy guys, although there were a disturbing number of Lite bottles in evidence...c'est la vie. Went twice in two days, and enjoyed myself immensely.

(04/27/2004)

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

Establishment: Chiodo's Tavern, Pittsburgh , PA

I just cannot believe I've never reviewed Chiodo's, One of my favorite bars anywhere. Stopped in here the first time back in 1982, and I've rarely missed an opportunity to stop in when I've been in Pittsburgh. Stopped in this past Saturday, and the only thing that had changed was the number of bras hanging over the bar, and maybe a little dusting. Beer's still good and cheap, taps are small, bottles are big. I had a Beamish and a Burning River Pale Ale, and hung out. This is the quintessential Pittsburgh bar: Joe Bagadonuts got it just right. If you go to Pittsburgh for bars and you miss Chiodo's, you almost might as well have stayed home.

(04/27/2004)

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

Establishment: Deep Creek Brewing Company, McHenry, MD

Beautiful building, very lodge-like and comfortable inside, with a great small deck with fire-pit outside. This is not a great time of year to visit, though: lots of mud, and the ski-slopes opposite were looking worn. Must look great in the summer, winter, and fall, though! I had a bread-bowl chili lunch that was quite good. I'm going "great" on the beer quality mostly on the excellence of the Holy Cow IPA, a really refreshing light-bodied (but NOT thin-bodied) IPA that was downright rejuvenating; I felt like I had just woken from a deep sleep when I drank the stuff, invigorating. Most of the other beers were okay, though the Deep Creek Gold had a distinct mineral note that wasn't really pleasant, and the Angry Clown Brown was not to my linking at all; astringent and somewhat vegetal; might have been old. The Red Head Rye was a very nice example of how to use this grain: it was quite herbal, with a minty note to it that is familiar from rye whiskey. Beers overall could be better; would be great if everything were up to the level of the IPA.

(04/27/2004)


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