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Average Rating
Beer Quality
Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good
Good Good Good Good

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

Establishment: Pub Dog Pizza and Drafthouse, Columbia, MD

NOT associated with the Thirsty Dog Brewery but rather with the (formerly Thirsty) Dog Pub in Baltimore. The name was changed following a Cease & Desist letter from the brewery. Dog Pub in Baltimore and Pub Dog in Columbia have their own off-site brewery, using the equipment formerly used by Clay Pipe Brewing Company.

(08/22/2008)

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

Establishment: Rocky Run Tap and Grill, Columbia, MD

Closed at the beginning of this month. Good riddance to bad beer!

(08/22/2008)

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

Establishment: Pub Dog Pizza and Drafthouse, Columbia, MD

For clarification, they are associated with the Dog Pub bar in Baltimore (formerly Thirsty Dog Pub), not the Thirsty Dog Brewing Company in Ohio. Beer for both locations is brewed off-site.

(04/10/2008)

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

Establishment: Deep Creek Brewing Company, McHenry, MD

This became the Santa Fe Grille & Cantina, a southwestern place whose web site and menu don't even mention beer. http://www.dclsantafe.com/

(01/03/2008)

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

Establishment: Capitol City Brewing Company, Baltimore, MD

This location is closing Sunday, September 30th with a day long Farewell Party. The word is that, after ten years, the rent was going up too much. Other Capitol City Brewing Company locations in Washington, DC and Northern Virginia will go on.

(09/25/2007)

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

Establishment: Brewmaster BP and Brick Oven Restaurant, Ocean City , MD

CLOSED. Another bar, The Broken Oar (http://www.broken-oar.com), relocated to this address in early 2004, maybe late 2003.

(04/09/2007)

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

Establishment: Virginia Brewing Company, Winchester, VA

The people who tried to start the Middleburg Brewery (brewpub) are preparing to open the Virginia Brewing Company. Thier web site reads in part, "Our production system is not yet online.....but coming soon. We have some great recipes and names in mind."

(01/18/2007)

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

Establishment: Shenandoah Brewing Company, Alexandria, VA

A frequently changing selection of wonderful beers. As a brepub, it's like a very limited lunch counter, but good as far as that goes (menu is on the web site). I found the people on both sides of the counter to be friendly.

(09/23/2006)

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

Establishment: Crackpot Restaurant, Towson, MD

Actually, I'm not sure why the Crackpot is listed here. I thought it was a decent seafood place when I ate there, but I don't remember the beer selection being anything that qualified it for Pubcrawler (thus my "So So" overall rating).

(09/10/2006)

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

Establishment: Crackpot Restaurant, Towson, MD

This page is for the Crackpot in Towson. If you want to review the Crackpot in Bel Air, please use the "Add A Place" feature.

(09/10/2006)

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

Establishment: Growlers was Summit Station Restaurant and Brewery, Gaithersburg, MD

Stopped in on Sunday. What I liked about Summit Station I still like about Growlers -- good food and beer in a pleasant setting. I enjoyed a sampler of six beers (Kolsch, Hefeweizen, IPA, Nut Brown Ale, Stout, Porter) in 4-ounce glasses (6-ounce glasses also available), followed by a pint of the IPA. I thought the Hefe and Brown were good, and the Kolsch and IPA were great. The IPA is well-hopped without being overdone. At that sample size, I found it hard to distinguish between the Stout and Porter, but full pints next time might fix that.

(08/22/2006)

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

Establishment: Firestation 8 Bar and Cue was OldeTowne Firehouse, Gaithersburg, MD

PubCrawler is a web site for people looking for quality beer. Can anyone comment in that regard? Should this venue be listed here?

(08/17/2006)

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

Establishment: Virginia Brewing Company, Winchester, VA

Their latest web site update:

The Good Old Days Are Coming Back... (but not to Middleburg unfortunately. Sorry to announce that this deal fell through. We will redirect this website to the Virginia Brewing Company.....coming soon!) Virginia Brewing Company headquarters is now located in Winchester, Virgina. Brewing and commercial distribution operations are forecasted to commence in January 2007. See our website at www.virginiabrewingcompany.com for details. Thank you for your interest!

(08/16/2006)

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

Establishment: Hops Restaurant and Brewery, Richmond, VA

Closed sometime around November, 2004. This address is now part of the Ham's Restaurant chain -- http://www.hamsrestaurants.com/Rich.htm

(08/07/2006)

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

Establishment: Hops Restaurant and Brewery, Richmond, VA

Closed sometime around November, 2004. Now part of the Ham's Restaurant chain.

(08/07/2006)

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

Establishment: Firestation 8 Bar and Cue was OldeTowne Firehouse, Gaithersburg, MD

Name changed, again. Web site reads, "Firestation 8 Bar & Cue, formerly Olde Towne Firehouse Cue (No change in ownership or management! Still the same fun place.)"

(08/03/2006)

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

Establishment: Growlers was Summit Station Restaurant and Brewery, Gaithersburg, MD

Opening Friday, August 4.

(08/03/2006)

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

Establishment: Firestation 8 Bar and Cue was OldeTowne Firehouse, Gaithersburg, MD

Web site reads, "Firestation 8 Bar & Cue, formerly Olde Towne Firehouse Cue (No change in ownership or management! Still the same fun place.)"

(08/03/2006)

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

Establishment: Virginia Brewing Company, Winchester, VA

Web site now reads, "Opening August 2006"

(06/28/2006)

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

Establishment: Charleston Brewing Company, Charleston, SC

Three beers: Half Moon Hefe Weizen, East Bay IPA, and Lagerhead Lager. The bottle labels indicate that they're contract-brewed at Wild Goose in Frederick, Maryland.

(06/25/2006)

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

Establishment: Buckhead Brewery and Grill, Cumming , GA

Closed in May 2005.

"All four Georgia locations of the Buckhead Brewery & Grill closed their doors in early May due to sharp traffic declines at the stores."

http://atlanta.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2005/05/23/newscolumn3.html

(06/07/2006)

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

Establishment: Buckhead Brewery and Grill, Alpharetta, GA

Closed in May 2005.

"All four Georgia locations of the Buckhead Brewery & Grill closed their doors in early May due to sharp traffic declines at the stores."

http://atlanta.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2005/05/23/newscolumn3.html

(06/07/2006)

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

Establishment: Buckhead Brewery and Grill, Stockbridge , GA

Closed in May 2005.

"All four Georgia locations of the Buckhead Brewery & Grill closed their doors in early May due to sharp traffic declines at the stores."

http://atlanta.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2005/05/23/newscolumn3.html

(06/07/2006)

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

Establishment: Hard Times Cafe, Columbia, MD

CLOSED on or about 1 June 2006. The sign on the door reads, "Closed for renovations", but the company web site no longer lists this location.

(06/07/2006)

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

Establishment: Virginia Brewing Company, Winchester, VA

Opening late June 2006

(05/29/2006)

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

Establishment: Wild Goose Brewery, LLC, Frederick, MD

Flying Dog Ownership Group of Denver, CO has reorganized Frederick Brewing Company as Wild Goose Brewery, LLC. See the announcement at http://www.wildgoosebrewery.com/

(05/17/2006)

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

Establishment: Wild Goose Brewery, LLC, Frederick, MD

Flying Dog Ownership Group of Denver, CO has reorganized Frederick Brewing Company as Wild Goose Brewery, LLC.

(05/17/2006)

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

Establishment: Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, Washington, DC

In five years at this location Gordon Biersch has justified their reputation for excellent German-style lagers and wonderful food in a good atmosphere with good service. Their seasonal brews -- not always German-styles -- are a particular highlight (and you can sample before ordering).

In response to the prior review, I've never had problems with "tainted" tastes or suspected they weren't cleaning their lines. In my experience, their service has been friendly, polite, and comparable in speed to the many other beer stops nearby.

(First-name only and no prior reviews? I suspect someone has an axe to grind.)

(05/14/2006)

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

Establishment: John Harvard's Brew House, Washington, DC

Got an email saying that they're closing as of Sunday, January 15, 2006.

(01/14/2006)

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

Establishment: Frisco Grille and Cantina (was Frisco Burritos), Columbia, MD

Great selection of microbrews on 19 taps and many more bottles, and good Mexican food.

(01/08/2006)

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

Establishment: Founders' Restaurant and Brewing Company, Alexandria, VA

From an email to their Beer club members (not me): "Founders' is closing operations at 607 King Street on December 31, 2005 due to losing our lease."

(12/22/2005)

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

Establishment: My Brother's Place, Washington, DC

PubCrawler is a web site "for people looking for quality beer" as it says at the top of every web page. Are there quality beers at My Brother's Place? This isn't a web site about "75cent miller drafts", "all the beer you can drink", "hotties", cold jager and coors light.

(12/19/2005)

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

Establishment: Kaltenberg Castle Royal Bavarian Brewhouse, Vail, CO

According to http://pdsdata.net/REVIEWS/review3.htm "Closed in fall of 2004 due to pending reconstruction of the Lionshead Gondola Building." Also listed as closed at http://www.beerme.com/breweries/us/co/index.shtml

(09/21/2005)

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

Establishment: Buckhead Brewery and Grill, Myrtle Beach, SC

Closed July, 2005 according to http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/mld/myrtlebeachonline/business/12421866.htm

(09/18/2005)

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

Establishment: Buckhead Brewery and Grill, Myrtle Beach, SC

***CLOSED*** It was a brewpub when it opened in 2004. As I heard it, in 2005 they stopped brewing the beer there; then they stopped carrying their own beer; then they stopped serving steak at lunch, which was pretty odd for a place that called itself a steakhouse. According to the local paper, they closed in July, 2005 and a local restaurant wants to rent the location. It was empty as of Labor Day.

(09/18/2005)

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

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

The Times Leader newspaper writes, "Hours are 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday; closed Monday and Tuesday during the summer. The bar is open seven days a week beginning in the fall. Happy hour is 5-7 p.m. weekdays and 9-11 p.m. Sundays."

(06/28/2005)

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

Establishment: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE

Please keep reviews for the brewery (Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE) and the restaurant (Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, Rehoboth Beach, DE) separate. Pubcrawler has entries for each place.

(06/28/2005)

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

Establishment: Liberty Tap Room and Grill, Columbia, SC

Web site lists 48 beers on tap and 27 bottled beers, but I can't confirm that.

(06/12/2005)

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

Establishment: Liberty Tap Room and Grill, Myrtle Beach, SC

Web site lists 48 beers on tap and 27 bottled beers. Haven't been there to confirm it yet.

(06/12/2005)

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

Establishment: Midnight Sun Brewing Company, Anchorage, AK

At the start of March in Anchorage, I picked up some 22 oz. bottles of Midnight Sun's "La Maitresse du Moine" (Dark Strong Ale) and "Epluche-Culotte" (Trippel) -- excellent Belgian-style ales!

(06/09/2005)

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

Establishment: Sleeping Lady Brewing Company was Snow Goose, Anchorage, AK

Good brewpub with a wide selection of their own beers, and an excellent selection of Belgian beers. I especially liked their Wit. On their web site they advertise "Firkin Fridays [...] the unveiling of a new Firkin Brew [...] on the first Friday of every month." As one of the employees put it, "That was the original idea." Now, "Firkin Friday" is when they bring a new beer into the tap rotation. (As far as I could tell, they don't serve cask ale.)

(06/09/2005)

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

Establishment: Glacier Brewhouse, Anchorage, AK

A nice brewpub with a good selection of their own beers, one of them on cask at any time. I know I tried the cask, but I can't remember which one it was when I was there at the start of March. Good atmosphere and great food, but it seemed a bit understaffed. The staff really hustled, but there was only so much they could do when it got crowded (and it did get crowded).

(06/09/2005)

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

Establishment: Humpy's Great Alaskan Ale House, Anchorage, AK

Multi-tap (40+) beer bar with a reputation for good food. Stopped in once at the start of March, too briefly to eat, or to notice what (or if) beer was on cask. Very popular, crowded, and smoky.

(06/09/2005)

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

Establishment: Humpy's Great Alaskan Ale House, Anchorage, AK

Multi-tap (40+) beer bar with a reputation for good food. Stopped in once at the start of March, too briefly to eat, or to notice what (or if) beer was on cask. Very popular, crowded, and smoky.

(06/09/2005)

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

Establishment: Hops Grill and Brewery, Richmond, VA

Their best beers aren't memorable, but their worst beers are still drinkable. Clearwater Light, Lightning Bold Gold, and Thoroughbred Red hardly made any impression; Alligator Ale was a bit better; the seasonal Pale Ale was alright, but less than I want from the style. (Apparently, five beers is all they have at one time.) As a restaurant, they compare well with Fridays, Bennigans, or Ruby Tuesdays.

(06/09/2005)

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

Establishment: ws Avenue Tavern, Baltimore, MD

It's a good restaurant, but it doesn't belong in Pub Crawler. The limited beer selection just doesn't rate this place as a beer bar.

(06/09/2005)

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

Establishment: Shenanigan's Irish Pub, Ocean City, MD

I walked through the bar to survey the taps. I remember seeing the usual domestic big sellers, plus Bass, Guinness, Smithwicks, Yuengling, and Magic Hat No. 9. I also recall Sierra Nevada being among the bottles. It's not a vast list, but it's better than I've seen elsewhere in Ocean City.

(05/03/2005)

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

Establishment: Anthony's Beer, Wine and Deli, Ocean City, MD

This isn't a bar. It's a liquor store that also sells subs. It's strictly carry-out. There's nowhere to eat or drink on premises.

(05/03/2005)

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

Establishment: Anthony's Beer, Wine and Deli, Ocean City, MD

This isn't a bar. It's a liquor store that also sells subs. It's strictly carry-out. There's no where to eat or drink on premises.

(05/03/2005)

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

Establishment: Brewmaster BP and Brick Oven Restaurant, Ocean City, MD

CLOSED. Another bar, The Broken Oar, relocated to this address in early 2004, maybe late 2003.

(05/03/2005)

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

Establishment: Hard Times Cafe, Rockville, MD

To review another location, take a moment and create an entry for that location. It's easy to do, especially when you have the web site address right here.

(01/09/2005)

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

Establishment: San Francisco Brewing Company, San Francisco, CA

Good beers; nothing outstanding or out-of-place about them. Decent food, but nothing great. The service was ordinary, though the staff and the regulars seemed to be having a good time together. Like an earlier reviewer, I wondered why I couldn't get unseasoned fries.

(12/05/2004)

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

Establishment: ThirstyBear Brewing Company, San Francisco, CA

Good beers, but to my tastes none of them stood out. (The Golden Vanilla has a very pronounced vanilla taste.) At 50 cents, the taster glasses were a better value than the 12 oz. or 22 oz. glasses. Had two different bartenders on three visits in late May. One bartender was very friendly; the other seemed completely indifferent. The menu is entirely committed to Spanish cuisine, so your experience will likely vary with your tastes, but what I ate seemed good. The location is very convenient to Moscone Convention Center.

(12/05/2004)

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

Establishment: Beach Chalet Brewery and Restaurant, San Francisco, CA

Had a good dinner and a sampler on a Tuesday night in May. I thought the beers were fair to good, though the stout was very good. This is a good restaurant in a nice setting offering good beers. There was a slight wait for a table that Tuesday, just before sunset. It would have been a great place to watch the sunset, but it was cloudy that evening.

(12/05/2004)

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

Establishment: Anchor Brewing Company, San Francisco, CA

I agree with the others -- they give a very good brewery tour. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED. See their web site for information, http://www.anchorbrewing.com/about_us/tourinfo.htm They also make great beer.

(12/05/2004)

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

Establishment: Magnolia Pub and Brewery, San Francisco, CA

Visited in late May. I'm usually happy when a brewpub offers one beer on cask; finding four of their own beers on cask (at that time, Pale Ale, IPA, Mild, and Bitter), plus a guest cask, was outstanding. I tried each of those, a good Belgian Double, and an excellent Stout. The staff seemed friendly, and I liked the free-range chicken sandwich. Aside from the interesting artwork, the place physically reminded me of a corner diner or coffee shop. It was a bit noisy inside, but that's a minor flaw.

(12/05/2004)

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

Establishment: Appalachian Brewing Company, Gettysburg, PA

I sampled nine of the eleven beers on tap -- five-of-six year-round selections and four specialty beers. All were at least good. Jolly Scot Scottish Ale and Volks Weizenbock (December Specialty) stood out as best; Susquehanna Stout wasn't too my taste. The beer is still brewed in Harrisburg, but they have a license and plan to begin brewing in January. The beers I sampled were Water Gap Wheat, Mountain Lager, Purist Pale Ale, Jolly Scot Scottish Ale, Susquehanna Stout, Hinterland Hefe Weizen (June Specialty), Kipona Fest (August Specialty), Pennypacker Porter (October Specialty), Volks Weizenbock (December Specialty). I din't try the Cask Conditioned Pennypacker Porter.

(12/05/2004)

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

Establishment: Rocky Run Tap and Grill, Columbia, MD

There are separate Pubcrawler entries for all three Rocky Run locations. Please use the Baltimore entry to review the Baltimore location.

(12/01/2004)

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

Establishment: Bill Bateman's Bistro, Clarksville, MD

Closed in 2002 or earlier. "Luna C Grille" ( http://www.lunacgrille.com/ ) opened in same location with same phone number, reviewed by the Baltimore Sun on December 8, 2002:

http://entertainment.sunspot.net/top/1%2C1419%2Cp-artslife-restaurantsfood-!PlaceDetail-7533.html

(12/01/2004)

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

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

Tried the Annapolis Rocks Pale Ale and OktoberFest seasonal at the http://www.mdoktoberfest.com Maryland Brewer's OktoberFest. They're brewing some good beers now.

(10/17/2004)

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

Establishment: Buckhead Brewery and Grill, Myrtle Beach, SC

Some good beers in an odd setting with good lunch menu and what I thought was an over-priced dinner menu.
Of the five beers available, the Pale Ale and the Black Diamond Stout we're both great; the Hefeweizen and Aspen Amber were well made, but not to my personal taste; and the Buck Light was probably the lightest and thinest barely-yellow beer that I've ever seen. My brother liked their root beer.
For lunch, we liked the Buffalo (bison) Burger and the Aspen Tuna Salad. Gator Tail made for a good appetizer. On a second visit, I found the selection of steaks on the lunch and dinner menus a bit bewildering -- it was hard to find just plain steak. In all cases, the food was good.
For atmosphere, the "Colorado Steakhouse" (from Georgia) did remind me of places I've eaten out west on ski trips, but it seems strangely out-of-place outside of a mall in a beach town.

(09/08/2004)

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

Establishment: New South Brewing Company, Myrtle Beach, SC

I've tried the White and Brown ales at restaurants around Myrtle Beach. There both good.

(09/07/2004)

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

Establishment: Bungalow Billiards and Brew, Chantilly, VA

Stopped in on a Sunday afternoon for a burger and a couple of beers. They have a good selection of the larger imports and craft brews (I had a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and a New Castle Brown Ale), and the burgers are great. The staff and customers were friendly. I'd stop in again if I were nearby. A sign on the door requires "appropriate dress," but plenty of people were in T-shirts, so it didn't seem like a big restriction.

(04/05/2004)

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

Establishment: Ellicott Mills Brewing Company, Ellicott City, MD

I stopped in at Ellicott Mills on Saturday and had a couple of their rotating selections, Ambush Ale (Scotch ale, 5.8% abv) and Belgian Tripel (9% abv). I thought the scotch ale was good, but with my tastes that may mean it should have been maltier. About all I can say for the tripel is that it was very sweet. The written description describing "a distinctive fruit finish" was an understatement. I'm not saying it was bad, but I thought the sweetness overpowered anything else.

(03/24/2004)

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

Establishment: Red Brick Station / White Marsh Brewing Company, Baltimore, MD

I had dinner with friends on a Wednesday last month. We came in at 5 PM, before the crowd arrived. The service was good overall, but the server did disappear for a while, and the food, which was also good, took longer to come than expected.

I tried a beer sampler of the 5 regular selections, a seasonal (Octopus' Pajamas), and a cask conditioned ale (which I've forgotten). I didn't care for Something Red, and Honeygo Lite is indeed a light beer. I liked the rest (Avenue Ale, Daily Crisis IPA, Spooners' Stout, Octopus' Pajamas), though I prefer a stout to have more body. None of the beers are bad, and several of them are quite good.

(03/24/2004)

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

Establishment: Growlers was Summit Station Restaurant and Brewery, Gaithersburg, MD

On a slow Labor Day afternoon, enjoyed a late lunch/happy hour out on the balcony/deck. The burgers are good. First time I tried the IPA, and I liked it. I also still like the Irvington Pale Ale and the Diamond Stout.

(09/07/2003)

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

Establishment: Bohager's, Fells Point/Baltimore, MD

They moved from 515 S. Eden St. to 701 S. Eden St. four or five years ago. And, as others have written, it's not worthy of being listed as a beer bar.

(08/30/2003)

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

Establishment: Avery Brewing Company, Boulder, CO

I recently tried Avery IPA on tap at KClinger's Publik House in Etters, PA. It was delicious!

(06/18/2003)

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

Establishment: R.F.D. (Regional Food and Drink), Washington, DC

[Reposting my review from Sun, 23 Feb 2003] Came in after a Saturday night hockey game with a couple of friends. The service was good considering the place was soon packed, with people standing in the bar area and waiting out on the sidewalk. Wide selection of beers, with a separate beer menu listing what was on tap. The main beer menu reads oddly as it is organized by style. We each liked the food we ordered: hamburger, Buffalo wings, baked oysters. [Actually, organized by style isn't a bad idea with so many beers.]

(06/04/2003)

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

Establishment: Cafe Tatoo (and Mojo Room and Lounge), Baltimore, MD

I enjoyed attending a concert at The Tattoo four days ago. Looks like a neighborhood bar on the outside; looks like a dive on the inside, but that's not necessarily bad. Guinness was on tap, and Yards IPA was supposed to be, but snow prevented delivery. I noticed Sierra Nevada and Newcastle Brown Ale in bottles. Sitting at the bar, service was fine. My friends thought the nachos and fries were OK. It's better than the average a place I'd go to see a band I like.

(03/01/2003)

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

Establishment: R.F.D. (Regional Food and Drink), Washington, DC

Came in after a Saturday night hockey game with a couple of friends. The service was good considering the place was soon packed, with people standing in the bar area and waiting out on the sidewalk. Wide selection of beers, with a separate beer menu listing what was on tap. The main beer menu reads oddly as it is organized by style. We each liked the food we ordered: hamburger, Buffalo wings, baked oysters.

(02/22/2003)

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

Establishment: DuClaw Brewing Company, Bel Air, MD

There is a separate entry for the Arundel Mills/Hanover, MD location.

(11/18/2002)

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

Establishment: Boston Beer Works, Boston, MA

Stopped in after a Sunday baseball game in August. Fenway Ale and Back Bay IPA were both good, appropriate to style. We had good food and good service, despite the huge crowd. It was, however, very noisy. No samplers served after the game, which I can understand.

(11/17/2002)

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

Establishment: Clay Pipe Brewing Company, Westminster, MD

I haven't been impressed with Backfin Pale Ale or Blue Tractor Ale, both of which I've had on tap at the Last Chance Saloon. However, at the Maryland Brewers' Oktoberfest I had the chance to sample their Porter and "Nice Weiss." I thought both were very good, raising my rating from "So So" to "Good."

(10/21/2002)

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

Establishment: Rocky Run Tap and Grill, Columbia, MD

There are separate Pubcrawler entries for the other two Rocky Run locations.

(07/22/2002)

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

Establishment: Odell Brewing Company, Fort Collins, CO

I tried Easy Street Wheat (not "EZ Street") at Keystone ski resort in March. It was OK; nothing about it stood out as good or bad. Perhaps I didn't try it under the best of circumstances.

(04/07/2002)

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

Establishment: Dillon Dam Brewery, Dillon, CO

I tried Sweet George's Brown Ale at Copper Mt. in March. It was nice, malty, and delicious.

(04/07/2002)

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

Establishment: Pug Ryan's Steakhouse Brewery, Dillon, CO

I tried Over the Rail Pale Ale at Copper Mt. in March. I thought it was a good American pale ale.

(04/07/2002)

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

Establishment: Great Divide Brewing Company, Denver, CO

I had Denver Pale Ale at Copper Mt. in March. It's a nice, delicious American pale ale.

(04/07/2002)

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

Establishment: Kaltenberg Castle Royal Bavarian Brewhouse, Vail, CO

The situation: Slightly crowded after skiing on a late-March weekday; hopelessly understaffed, probably due to the late season, resulting in poor service--our waitress did her best, but the situation was impossible; good food, but in a terrible atmosphere--imagine a German beer hall playing German techno music, VERY LOUD.

The beer: the Pilsner was fine, just what a good Pilsner should be, with a nice crisp flavor, not American yellow lager; the Weizen was tart and cloudy, though not as yeasty-tasting as I'm used to with American versions; I didn't stick around to try the Dunkel, but others liked it.

(04/07/2002)

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

Establishment: Breckenridge Brewery, Breckenridge, CO

The beers: Avalanche (amber ale) -- nice, easily drinkable, probably their best seller; Oatmeal Stout -- wonderful roasted flavors, my favorite here; India Pale Ale -- OK, but for a beer described as in the English style rather than American, not as strong as I would then expect (see Brooklyn's East India Pale Ale), nor as flavorful; Dan's Bitter Ale (seasonal) -- good, much more what I was looking for in a hoppy pale ale; Pandora's Bock (seasonal; tasted elsewhere) -- wonderfully malty, full bodied, and strong.

The rest: Slightly crowded after skiing on a late-March weekday; bar tender could have used some assistance, but the table service was great; dinner ordered off the lunch menu met with everyone's satisfaction (the Fish & Chips were praised).

(04/07/2002)

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

Establishment: DuClaw Brewing Company, Hanover, MD

Stopped in recently for the re-introduction of the Naked Fish chocolate-raspberry-coffee-stout. Raspberry is the most notable flavor, but not so much as to overpower the others. The stout qualities still come through. It's not as sweet as many fruit beers are, which should please many people, but I personally prefer raspberry stout when it's sweeter than this.

They had free T-shirts for people on their e-mail list. I was surprised to find out 45 minutes into the event that the largest size left was L. Come on, we're talking about beer drinkers here! ;-)

(01/31/2002)

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

Establishment: Legend Brewing Company, Richmond, VA

Some of the beers were outstanding, more than making up for some that weren't. The seasonal when I visited in August was a white (wit) beer, which was excellent! (I came in a second time that weekend just for it.) The weekly cask rotation was the brown ale, which was great on cask, good otherwise (and I'm not fond of brown ale). The "Golden Ale"--really an "introductory" IPA--was good. The pilsner was OK; the lager was undistinguished. Something about the porter didn't taste right, but I couldn't put my finger on it. They had an interesting range of serving sizes: pitcher, liter, pint, 9 oz., and 4 oz. sample.

(12/02/2001)

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

Establishment: Richbrau Brewing Company and Restaurant, Richmond, VA

A nice restaurant, but the beers were not quite what I desired (nor what was described). Griffin Gold Ale is good for its style. Rye Ale and Old Nick Pale Ale had less hop flavor than expected. Big Nasty Porter was also understated. The Hefe Weizen had a mild bite, but was less yeasty than I thought it should be.

(12/02/2001)

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

Establishment: Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant, Newark, DE

The beers and food are good. Worth a detour to visit (but not a pilgrimage). They do distinguish between a British (Anvil) and American (Ironbound) pale ale. I've forgotten which one was also on cask when I visited in October, but it was very good. Granite Gold ale, Lodestone Lager, and Octoberfest all seemed appropriate to their styles. Pig Iron Porter was OK; Raspberry Wheat was good.

(12/02/2001)

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

Establishment: Brewer's Alley, Frederick, MD

Anniversary Ale, on cask, is a smooth cream ale with what seemed like citrusy notes. IPA is well balanced, not excessively hopped (which would actually be my preference). Dunkel Weizen is yeasty, flavorful, and full-bodied! Besides liking the three I tried, one of my friends thought highly of the Kolsch.

The food is good, but I was a little disappointed that the shrimp in my Shrimp Scampi Ceasar Salad seemed to be from the same frozen bag I'd buy at the grocery store. The waiter was friendly, informed and attentive, but tended to pass things in front of people instead of moving around. I wasn't surprised to have an hour's wait at 8 PM on a Saturday night without reservations. It's a popular place, and rightly so.

(08/12/2001)

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

Establishment: DuClaw Brewing Company, Hanover, MD

I happened to stop in on a night when they were serving the winter seasonals, Black Jack Stout and Devil's Milk Barley Wine. I only tried the stout, which was good, though I could taste that it has a high alcohol content for a stout (a review for the other location said 7.5%).

One thing to be aware of before coming is the parking. Unfortunately, the mall put several restaurants and the 24-screen movie theater together with the smallest part of the parking lot. I was surprised to get a nearby spot on a weeknight. Expect a long walk on the weekends.

(07/31/2001)

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

Establishment: Growlers was Summit Station Restaurant and Brewery, Gaithersburg, MD

I tried the six-glass sampler recently. The Cream Ale, Kolsch, Nut Brown, and Diamond Stout were all good, but my favorite was the Irvington Pale Ale. The India Pale Ale had just run out, so I had a second sample of the Irvington.

(07/04/2001)

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

Establishment: DuClaw Brewing Company, Hanover, MD

Five of their own beers on tap. Bad Moon Porter is delicious, delivering a wonderful roasted-malt flavor. Venom Pale Ale is great, with what I'd call a floral hop flavor. Misfit Red is OK, mildly hopped; it's not a style I like. Ravenwood, a Kolsch, is good. Bare Ass Blonde Ale is rightly described as "introductory" with "a mild hop character"--a necessary evil.

The food--dinner entree and dessert--was great. The menu seemed broad enough, including a variety of sandwichs and burgers. The service was a little slower than I would like, even for dinner on Saturday, but the staff was pleasant and professional.

(06/23/2001)

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

Establishment: Rocky Run Tap and Grill, Glen Burnie, MD

This is the original location, in Marley Station Mall. It pre-dates their brewing operation. I understand that they serve the beer that is brewed at the Rocky Run in Columbia.

(06/20/2001)

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

Establishment: Rocky Run Tap and Grill, Baltimore, MD, MD

I understand that they serve the beer that is brewed at the Rocky Run in Columbia.

(06/20/2001)

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

Establishment: Bare Bones Grill and Brewery, Ellicott City, MD

On June 12, the Patapsco Valley Gold, Tiber River Red, and Old Ellicott Ale were on tap; a guest beer was offered in place of the Savage Mill Porter. I was told that brewing would be done at both locations, though that disagrees with my understanding of state licensing.

(06/20/2001)

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

Establishment: Deep Creek Brewing Company, McHenry, MD

PAWS ("Pale-Ale-With-Substance") is accurately described on their web site as a dark, malty ale. It's very tasty.

(06/11/2001)

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

Establishment: North Coast Brewing Company, Fort Bragg, CA

Scrimshaw shows that a very good pilsner is not a contradiction in terms.

(06/11/2001)

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

Establishment: Three Floyds Brewing Company, Munster, IN

Alpha King is wonderful.

(06/11/2001)

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

Establishment: Rocky Run Tap and Grill, Columbia, MD

I heard they had a new brewer, so I went back when my ski club had a happy hour there. The Pale Ale was good--much better than before--but the Red was thin and and had a faintly medicinal taste (a possible synonym for Mr. Brown's "phenolic").

The Service and Overall rankings have sunk because I've noticed that every time we've gone there for happy hour, our bill has been screwed up. We have consistently been charged full price for items that were discounted for happy hour. We've been able to straighten it out each time, but we shouldn't have had to.

(06/07/2001)

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

Establishment: Schirf Brewing Company was Wasatch Brew Pub, Park City, UT

Not 2002 Amber Ale - Aptly described on their web site as a well-balanced amber ale. It's not a style I care for, but it seems that they got it right.

(05/27/2001)

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

Establishment: Uinta Brewing Company, Salt Lake City, UT

Kings Peak Porter is very good, with a nice roasted flavor. I would recommend it to lovers of porters and stouts.

Cutthroat Pale Ale is good. It seemed in all ways appropriate to its style, and reminded me somewhat of Bass Ale.

I wish I could have found some of their other beers to try.

(05/27/2001)

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

Establishment: Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, Washington, DC

Somewhat up-scale, good quality food and beer. All beers are lagers. On my first visit, in April, I think they only had three on tap: Golden Export, Marzen, and Dunkles. Returning in May, they had a seasonal Maibock that was quite good. I've always found the Marzen to be good, here and at other locations.

(05/27/2001)

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

Establishment: Moab Brewery, Moab, UT

Good beers, tasted on tap in Snowbird, near Salt Lake City, over 230 miles from Moab.

Scorpion Tale Ale - hoppy, hoppy, hoppy! (And very good!)

Black Raven Oatmeal Stout - good, but just a little short of the mark for my tastes.

Deraileur Red Ale - OK, slightly malty, well balanced; just not what I go for.

Deadhorse Ale - copper-colored, smooth, good, very much on-style for an English-style pale ale.

(05/27/2001)

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

Establishment: Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, PA

Whirlwind Witbier was the discovery of the day among domestic beers yesterday at the Last Chance Saloon's Spring Beer Tasting in Columbia, Maryland. This one really stood out among the 25 beers sampled. See the web site for a good description.

(04/29/2001)

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

Establishment: Commonwealth Fish and Beer Company, Boston, MA

The service was fine, but there were hardly any customers on the night before Easter. I asked for a sampler, not realizing I'd get nine samples, four of which were cask conditioned. All were appropriate to their styles. If I read my notes correctly, the non-cask ales were Blonde Light, Golden Ale, Boston Burton Ale, Famous Porter, and Burton Bitter (seasonal); the cask ales were Boston's Best Burton Bitter, India Pale Ale, Stout and Kilduff's Red. My favorite was the Stout.

(04/23/2001)

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

Establishment: Ryleigh's Oyster, Baltimore, MD

The new web site and a sign in the window confirm a March re-opening with a "Baltimore Steak House concept." They've created a good web site, giving accurate directions, parking information, and a map link.

(02/24/2001)

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

Establishment: Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, PA

I tried the St. Victorious Doppelbock on tap at The Last Chance Saloon in Columbia, Maryland. It is smooth, malty, medium bodied (not at all heavy), and strong. It's not a style I favor, so I may be underrating it. It's well made.

(02/14/2001)

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

Establishment: Red Brick Station / White Marsh Brewing Company, Baltimore, MD

I tried the Spooner Stout on a nitro tap at The Last Chance Saloon in Columbia, Maryland. It's smooth, but the body is lighter and the roasted flavors less pronounced than I prefer.

(02/14/2001)

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

Establishment: Wolf Pack Brewing Company, West Yellowstone, MT

I tried the Lone Mountain Alt on the slopes of Lone Mountain in Big Sky, Montana. I would call it good, with a copper-to-amber color, thin body, and mild malt flavor.

(02/04/2001)

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

Establishment: Weyerbacher Brewing Company, Easton, PA

I found the Raspberry Imperial Stout and the Winter Ale on tap at The Last Chance Saloon here in Columbia, Maryland. The Raspberry Imperial Stout strikes a balance of roasted and fruity flavors (though personally I like this style more toward one extreme or the other). The Winter Ale is strong, roasted, and malty, without overdoing any of those elements. Their web site is actually http://www.weyerbacher.com/

(02/03/2001)

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

Establishment: District ChopHouse and Brewery, Washington, DC

I'll second the comment that most of the beers were good but not outstanding. I haven't disliked any of them, but I haven't been bowled over by any of them either. The four that I remember from several visits: Light is a decent, undistinguished Pilsener, "fashioned after great American light lagers" -- appropriate (even necessary) for the general audience. Amber is a nice Pale Ale. Oatmeal Stout (on nitro) was the best, to my tastes; "smooth and creamy" with "a touch of roasted flavor." The recently tapped California Common, described as being in the Steam Beer style, was nice. (Quotes are from their page on the Washington Post web site.)
The food is generally excellent, especially in presentation, but also in taste. The portions are indeed large, and the price follows suit. Crowding is a problem, as this is downtown, just a block south of the MCI Center (hockey, basketball, concerts) and the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro station (Red, Yellow and Green lines). They just recently added a weekend brunch starting at 10:30 AM, with a jazz trio on Sunday; it was fantastic!

(01/31/2001)

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

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

I've seen rave reviews of "Season's Best Nut Brown Lager" on the Real Beer Page, but I thought it was just a good beer. Oddly, it's not even mentioned in the brewery's web site, Saranac.com.

(01/27/2001)

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

Establishment: Great Northern Brewing Company, Whitefish, MT

I had a Black Star Golden Lager at the airport bar in Bozeman, Montana. It's a good, crisp beer -- pretty much what a golden lager should be. Their web site is giving away a T-shirt every week through the end of March.

(01/27/2001)

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

Establishment: Spanish Peaks Brewing Company, Bozeman, MT

Yellowstone Pale Ale (bottled): very well hopped, flavorful, amber colored. Their web site is spanishpeaks.com

(01/24/2001)

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

Establishment: Big Sky Brewing Company, Missoula, MT

Scape Goat Pale Ale (bottled): good, well-balanced, amber colored. Their web site is bigskybrew.com

(01/24/2001)

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

Establishment: Big Hole Brewing Company, Belgrade, MT

Headstrong Pale Ale has strong hop and malt flavors, well balanced; less malty on tap than from the bottle it seemed. Wisdom Cream Ale (on tap) was smooth and flavorful. "The Corral" in Big Sky, MT served a Corral Dark Ale they said was from Big Hole. It had a big malty flavor; I wondered if it was actually a dark lager.

(01/24/2001)

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

Establishment: Bayern Brewing Company, Missoula, MT

I had a Bayern Pilsner on tap n Big Sky, Montana. Subtly malty, flavorful, and good. The web site is bayernbrewery.com

(01/24/2001)

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

Establishment: Wharf Rat At Camden Yards / Oliver Breweries, Baltimore, MD

Recently at The Last Chance Saloon in Columbia, MD I tried the cask conditioned Oliver's Best Bitter and the Oliver's Black Friar Stout. The bitter was smooth and good; the stout was great, with a medium body, creamy head, and good roasted notes.

(01/23/2001)

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

Establishment: Capitol City Brewing Company - Downtown, Washington, DC

I tried a sampler of Kolsch, Bitter, Pale Ale and Alt. I suppose all were appropriate to their styles. They neither excited me nor offended me. A pint of the stout was nice. I prefer a sampler that covers all the beers, and I was disappointed not to see an Octoberfest beer on October 1st.
There wasn't much of a crowd (or much noise) on a Sunday afternoon.
Entrance is on H St., at the corner of 11th St. The Convention Center is also at that intersection, and the 11st exit of the Metro Center subway stop is a block south. See their web site for amap.

(10/02/2000)

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

Establishment: Liberty Steak House and Brewery, Myrtle Beach, SC

The IPA was good, which is better than I remembered from the previous year (and they corrected the spelling ;-). I enjoyed the Raspberry Wheat more than before, also. The Red was nice, but not exciting. What got me to come back three more times in a week was the Porter. It had a very good stout-like flavor but was properly thinner than a stout. The steaks were good, and the service, too, except outside late in happy hour, when it was bad. I'd still like to see some space for non-smokers.

(09/18/2000)

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

Establishment: Mad Boar Brewhouse, North Myrtle Beach, SC

On a second visit, a year later, I was still underwhelmed. The seasonal, a mild, was interesting, but only just. The rest were not at all interesting.

(09/18/2000)

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

Establishment: Clipper City Brewing Company, Baltimore, MD

Enjoyed another tour for the introduction of the Octoberfest beer. It's good, but supplies are limited. I'm told that Hugh Sisson was featured in one of the local brewspapers explaining the upcoming changes to the product line. Part of this will be the end of the Porter and Irish Stout, so find the Porter while you can.

Some new contract brewing: Gold Ale bottled for Brew Thru and OBX stores in the Outer Banks of North Carolina; dry-hopped Oxford Class available under a house label at John Stevens in Baltimore's Fells Point; Blue Point, a soon-to-come Long Island based brewer; and, DuClaw, for a new venue that I think will be closer to Baltimore than their Bel Air location.

(08/28/2000)

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

Establishment: Sweetwater Tavern, Centreville, VA

The place was busy but with no wait around 4:30 PM on a Saturday. The service and food were good, but the items were a little pricey, I thought (but likely in-line with the area). No beer stood out, but none offended. Snake River Pale Ale (bottled as Sweet Water Ale) and Boot Hill Brown Ale were OK. It's hard to remember the difference between Pale Face Summer Wheat Beer and Jackalope Canyon Ale, both unfiltered wheats. Sweetwater Light was just that; it could make a good introductory beer for someone who's not up to a pale ale.

(08/28/2000)

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

Establishment: Rocky Run Tap and Grill, Columbia, MD

A couple of recent visits raised my opinion of the beer quality just slightly. I hadn't tried the Elvis Eizmarzen before. It was interesting, a marzen with a slightly yeasty flavor. A sip of the stout wasn't as awful as the last time I tried it, but the pale ale is still uninteresting. Still not my choice as a brewpub, but friends sometimes like to go there.

(06/17/2000)

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

Establishment: Brewer's Alley, Frederick, MD

Sampled from some fresh growlers at a tasting last week in Annapolis. I liked the Nut Brown a bit more than I noted below. The IPA was balanced & hoppy. The Hefeweizen was flavorful and had a good aroma. The Smoked Porter was particularly interesting, with the smokiness not being as strong as some of the smoked beers and rauchbocks I've tried; I tend to find them overpowering.

(06/01/2000)

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

Establishment: Lancaster Brewing Company, Lancaster, PA

The bottled Milk Stout is quite good; the draught was even better. The Strawberry Wheat, on tap at The Last Chance Saloon here, has too much strawberry flavor for me. It isn't overly sweet, but I didn't get much beer taste. It reminded me of putting too much Strawberry Quik in my milk as a kid.

(06/01/2000)

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

Establishment: Chesapeake U Brew (BOP), Annapolis, MD

They're closing, hoping to relocate in Delaware or Virginia by December. Last "Brew w/a Pro" is May 25; last day to brew is May 26.

(05/17/2000)

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

Establishment: Wild Goose Brewery, LLC, Frederick, MD

Second correction: Published sources state the capacity is 170 thousand bbl.

(05/10/2000)

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

Establishment: Hudepohl-Schoenling, Cincinnati, OH

Snyder International Brewing Group (SIBG) acquired the brands of Hudepohl-Schoenling, apparently in 1999. I don't know if they've brewed them at Cleveland's Crooked River Brewing Co., which they apparently rescued from bankruptcy in 1998. SIBG bought Maryland's Frederick Brewing Co. in 1999, and they are working on adding Little Kings and Crooked River beers to those already brewed in Frederick.

(05/10/2000)

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

Establishment: Wild Goose Brewery, LLC, Frederick, MD

Correction: The owner is Snyder International Brewing Group, LLC, of Cleveland, Ohio.

(05/10/2000)

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

Establishment: Wild Goose Brewery, LLC, Frederick, MD

I took a dozen people from my ski club to the tour Saturday (1:30 PM Saturdays & Sundays). It was well done--not the best I've been on, but no complaints. There were 13 beers on tap from the Blue Ridge, Wild Goose, and Brimstone labels. It was a good opportunity to compare the stouts of each label side-by-side. Brimstone's seasonal Irish Wake is still one of my favorite beers, preferable even to Guinness.
Neither Hempen brew was availble, the first time our guide had seen that. He speculated that they may be dropped in the future. He said that they probably had been brought to market before they were prefected, and, while he likes them, he thought that too many people had been turned off in their initial exposure.
There has been no consolidation (officially, so far) among Frederick's many products after last fall's take-over by SMG (Snyder Management Group?) of Ohio. In fact, they're working on brewing Snyder's Ohio brands, Crooked River from Cleveland and Little Kings from Cincinnati. Frederick's annual capacity is 100 thousand barrels, of which only about 17% is currently in use.
Also in the future are two more bottle sizes. Besides the current 12 oz. sizes, they may be bringing out 7 oz. and 40 oz. bottles.

(05/09/2000)

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

Establishment: High Mountain BrewHouse, Whistler, BC

A nice place with nice beers, but only the lager stands out. Frank's Nut Brown Ale--flavorful, but not as malty sweet as I expected. Big Wolf Bitter & Twin Peaks Ale--o.k., but not notable. Northern Light Lager--very light, indeed. Lifty Lager--very flavorful and good.

(05/01/2000)

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

Establishment: Dubh Linn Gate Old Irish Pub, Whistler, BC

28 beers on tap, macros from Europe and Canada, plus Canadian micros (no US beers). Good food and service, but seating is on bar stools or at small tables -- difficult for a big group. Live music daily at 3 PM and 9 PM. In the Pan Pacific Lodge at Whistler Village, near the base of the Blackcomb Gondola.

(05/01/2000)

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

Establishment: The Keg Steakhouse, Whistler, BC

AKA The Keg at the Mountain. Surprising for a place with "keg" in the name, there were only 3 beers on draught. In addition, they had about 20 brands in bottles, for a fairly good selection (though mostly macros) US and Canadian beers. The service and food made for a wonderful casual dining experience.

(05/01/2000)

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

Establishment: Ellicott Mills Brewing Company, Ellicott City, MD

The Australian head-brewer has added a couple of non-German style beers (but still lagers). At the brewfest at Baltimore Brewing Co., Justin compared Boomerang Lager to Fosters. I found it to be a smooth yellow beer with a good body. On a visit to the pub, it was being suggested as an introductory beer. I've forgotten to what Justin compared Big Red Bock. It's a flavorful amber lager with spice notes. I also tried the Jack Frost Bock, which was malty and strong. This year's Maibock will be introduced Friday ("Cinco de Maibock" ;-).

(05/01/2000)

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

Establishment: Ryleigh's Oyster, Baltimore, MD

Tried a couple of beers last weekend at the annual brewfest at Baltimore Brewing Co. Stockade Amber seems awfully thin, and not especially flavorful. It's just another face in the amber ale crowd. The IPA is o.k., but that's all.

(04/29/2000)

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

Establishment: Capitol City Brewing Company, Baltimore, MD

Tried two beers last weekend at the annual brewfest at Baltimore Brewing Co. The Porter was too carbonated, but the Hefeweizen was good and yeasty.

(04/29/2000)

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

Establishment: Baltimore Brewing Company, Baltimore, MD

Impressed, as always, with the Weizen I had at the annual brewfest last weekend.

(04/29/2000)

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

Establishment: Wharf Rat At Camden Yards / Oliver Breweries, Baltimore, MD

Sample two beers last weekend at the annual brewfest at Baltimore Brewing Co. Old English (brown) Ale was flavorful and I liked it -- but I've never cared for properly done brown ales, so what does that say? Ironman Pale Ale continues to be a disappointment (and not much of a tribute). I generally like bitter ales, and it certainly is bitter, but there's not much flavor to it.

(04/29/2000)

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

Establishment: Brewer's Alley, Frederick, MD

Tried some last weekend at the annual brewfest at Baltimore Brewing Co. Brown was o.k.; cask-conditioned Porter was good; Dubbel Weizen was appropriately flavorful and good.

(04/29/2000)

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

Establishment: Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, PA

I tried a couple of beers last weekend at the annual brewfest at Baltimore Brewing Co. The Pils seemed o.k. but didn't impress me (maybe BBC's house Pils overshadowed it). Hop Devil was simply excellent.

(04/29/2000)

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

Establishment: Deep Creek Brewing Company, McHenry, MD

Was told May 23 in person, but web site says May 24.

(04/29/2000)

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

Establishment: Deep Creek Brewing Company, McHenry, MD

Tasted two beers last weekend at the annual brewfest at Baltimore Brewing Co. Stout tasted too fresh to judge. Wheat Bock had a good yeasty taste and seemed appropriate to the style.
Present location in Oakland closes May 6 so they can move to the permanent location in McHenry, reopening May 23.

(04/29/2000)

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

Establishment: Lancaster Brewing Company, Lancaster, PA

Lancaster's Milk Stout was the best beer I had last weekend at the annual brewfest at Baltimore Brewing Co. It was simply excellent. I thought the Pils was o.k.

(04/29/2000)

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

Establishment: Columbia Brewery, Creston, BC

Columbia brews Kootenay and Kokanee beers. I tried a Kootenay Mountain (brown) Ale while vacationing in Whistler, BC. A nice beer, though not as malty-sweet as I expected a brown ale to be.

(04/27/2000)

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

Establishment: Black's Pub, Whistler, BC

Pub upstairs (pub food) and restaurant downstairs (continental) have separate entrances. Pub advertises "over 90 beers," but that's counting different sized containers for some beers; restaurant selection is smaller, but would still rate "good." Beers from all over the world; majors and micros from Canada and USA; nine beers are on tap. Located in Whistler Village at the base of the Whistler and Blackcomb gondolas. Big windows, nice views, great people-watching.

(04/27/2000)

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

Establishment: Whistler Brewing Company, Limited, Whistler, BC

Tried a Whistler Avalanche Pilsner while on vacation there. It was a very flavorful Pils, nothing like the usual yellow beer.

(04/26/2000)

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

Establishment: RandB Brewing Company, Vancouver, BC

Tried three R&B beers on draught while vacationing in Whistler, BC. Red Devil Ale was good but didn't stand out from the amber crowd. Raven Ale was listed as a cream ale on the menu; whatever it is, it's a nice dark beer. Sun God Wheat Ale (listed on the menu as a lager) was also good, being crisp and clean, much as I expected a wheat ale to be.

(04/26/2000)

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

Establishment: Okanagan Spring Brewery, LTD, Vernon, BC

I tried an Okanagan Spring Pale Ale while vacationing in Whistler, BC. It had a good, slightly hoppy flavor. I didn't notice much aroma or aftertaste.

(04/26/2000)

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

Establishment: Granville Island Brewing Company, Limited, Vancouver, BC

Tried bottles of Pale Ale and Amber Ale while vacationing in Whistler, BC. Nice beers, largely similar to each other, except that the slightly-hoppy Pale was a bit hoppier than the Amber.

(04/26/2000)

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

Establishment: Brimstone Brewing Company, Frederick, MD

This year's Brimstone Irish Wake (stout) was excellent, as it has been in the past.

(03/25/2000)

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

Establishment: Clipper City Brewing Company, Baltimore, MD

I stopped in for a tour and tasting a week ago. The last of the Winter Ale was still outstanding, as was the Irish Style Stout. Hugh Sisson mentioned that the IPA is changing to a hoppier beer, more in the California style than the actual English style.

(03/18/2000)

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

Establishment: Bare Bones Grill and Brewery, Ellicott City, MD

These ales are nice, but not exceptional. There are no false notes, but there are some missing ones. The golden ale, English-style ale, red, and seasonal scotch ale are all in the right vein, but just shy of the mark. The porter reminded me more of a stout, but also a bit shy. I thought the seasonal abbey dubbel came closest to a great rating. This is all faint praise, but praise none the less. I like Bare Bones as a family-priced restaurant with a good happy hour and nice beers.

(02/23/2000)

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

Establishment: Baltimore Brewing Company, Baltimore, MD

Change of management (not ownership) took place January 1, reports Mid-Atlantic Brewing News, as Theo DeGroen became director of the family-controlled Parkbrauerei (Park Brewery) in Pirmasens, Germany. "Change of management" was also the explanation given for the new menu I saw last night. Featuring appetizers, salads, and sandwiches, it was not the distinctly German menu I remember. The lack of entrees suggested an off-hours menu (though it was just past 9 PM on Friday night), but the waitress seemed to be saying otherwise. The Brewery burger, Marzen Pork Sandwich, and Turkey Burger were favorably (though not enthusiastically) received, but the Crabcake sandwich was a complete disappointment. Seeming to be about 50% filler, it was not up to local standards.

The Marzen and the Doppelbock (December's seasonal) were fine. The Pils, Dunkle, and Weizen were all very well received. The Rauchbock got mixed reviews, but that may be due to the style itself being so different.

(02/19/2000)

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

Establishment: Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats, Rehoboth Beach, DE

Pardon my typo in the URL: Last Chance Saloon.

(02/05/2000)

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

Establishment: Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats, Rehoboth Beach, DE

Indian Brown Ale is fantastic! I'm not a brown ale fan, but the hops won me over. On tap at The Last Chance Saloon, Columbia, MD.

(02/05/2000)

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

Establishment: Hard Times Cafe, Columbia, MD

A good selection of microbrews (between six and ten, if memory serves) and four types of chili served about ten different ways. They also offer six variations on the hamburger, five types of grilled chicken sandwich, and three different chili dogs. If you don't go for the chili, it's slim pickings. Pretty much the same beers, and more, are available nearby at The Last Chance Saloon, at comparable prices and with a broader menu. But if you like chili, this seems like the place to go. (BTW, their web site map for this location is off by at least a quarter of a mile.)

(02/05/2000)

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

Establishment: Big Sky Brewing Company, Missoula, MT

I tried Moose Drool brown ale on-tap at the Mangy Moose in Teton Village, WY (Jackson Hole ski resort), where one waitress thought it was a stout. I thought it was a good beer. I might rate it higher if I were a brown ale fan.

(01/31/2000)

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

Establishment: Kessler Brewing Company, Helena, MT

I had a bottle (draught was tapped-out) of "Moose Brew" IPA at the Mangy Moose in Teton Village, WY (Jackson Hole ski resort). The label attributed it to Kessler. It was strong, bitter, and full-bodied, without the highly-hopped flavor of many American-made IPAs. I thought it was just what an IPA should be.

(01/31/2000)

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

Establishment: Mangy Moose Saloon, Teton Village, WY

Bar service was great even when extremely crowded, but the dinner service in the dining room was slow. The barstaff and waitstaff tried hard. The dinner menu was broad but uninteresting; I was hard-pressed to find something of interest on my second visit. French fries are not an option with anything, and, "they [the kitchen] don't like substitutions," one waitress said. (Who's the customer here?)
The selection of beers is great, including draughts of Full Sail Amber, Snake River Lager, Moose Brew (IPA from Kessler Brewing, Helena, MT), and Moose Drool (Brown Ale from Big Sky Brewing, Missoula, MT, though one waitress called it Stout). The last two weren't always on tap, but they had bottles, too. There were dozens of bottled beer brands.
Located at the base of the ski slopes at the Jackson Hole resort. Go for the beer, but go elsewhere for food.

(01/31/2000)

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

Establishment: Jackson Hole Pub and Brewery was Snake River Brewing, Jackson, WY

Zonker Stout (GABF 1999 Gold medal, Foreign-style Stout) is good, maybe great if I didn't prefer Irish-style dry stouts. Snake River Lager (GABF 1999 Silver medal, Vienna-style Lager) is good, with a nice malty sweetness. Snake River Pale Ale is also good, crisp with a hoppiness that I noticed more from the bottled beer than the draught. New Dehli Freight Train cask-conditioned IPA was great -- strong, smooth, full-bodied, with a great head resulting from a great pour.

On my first visit, 8-ish on a weeknight in ski season, I turned around at the door because the bar was packed and there was an hour wait for dinner; but, there was plenty of room the following Saturday afternoon. My spinach salad (saving my appetite for dinner) was good, and I'll second the earlier comment about the good display of the brewhouse. Overall, a great brewpub. (I just wish I had bought a ski hat.)

(01/31/2000)

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

Establishment: Otto Brothers' Brewing Company, Jackson Hole, WY

Picked up four six-packs on a ski trip. (Unfortunately, Wilson is not on the local bus routes between Jackson and Teton Village/Jackson Hole ski resort.) Moose Juice Stout is an excellent dry stout with good roasted notes, well appreciated by this Guinness lover. Old Faithful Ale is a great hoppy pale ale, while Teton Ale is a good, not over-hopped, English-style ale. Huckleberry Wheat was a disappointment, being not noticeably fruity at all.

(01/30/2000)

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

Establishment: New Belgium Brewing Company, Fort Collins, CO

Fat Tire, on tap at the airport in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is a good ale, not strongly hopped. With it's Belgian roots, it reminds me of Celis Pale Ale (labelled "Pale Bock" in Texas). I hope to try New Belgium's other beers someday.

(01/30/2000)

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

Establishment: Minhas Craft Brewery was Joseph Huber Brewing, Monroe, WI

A friend brought back from Iowa a six-pack of Berghoff Genuine Dark Beer. Though I took it for a brown ale, other web sites describe it as a German or European-style dark lager. While not a style I like, it is a high quality beer. (And, obviously, my friend thought very highly of it.)

(01/30/2000)

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

Establishment: Chesapeake U Brew (BOP), Annapolis, MD

I've been back for three recent "Brew with a Pro" sessions -- Baltimore Brewing Co./DeGroens in October, The Brewer's Art in November, and Dogfish Head in December -- yielding three cases of seven different beer styles, with lables and design assistance included in the price. I also enjoyed selecting a Wild Goose IPA recipe from the one-hundred-plus recipes available (or bring your own), and brewing up my "Millennial" ale to have as my first beer of the new year/decade/century/millennium. I just can't say enough about this place and these people!

(01/03/2000)

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

Establishment: Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats, Rehoboth Beach, DE

Brewer Kent Templeton conducted a tasting from bottles last month during a "Brew with a Pro" session at Chesapeake U-Brew in Annapolis, Maryland.
Shelter Pale Ale (5% ABV) is a nice American-style pale ale: yellow, medium-bodied, bitter but not hoppy, with a clean finish.
Chicory Stout (5.2% ABV) is good, with roasted notes and other interesting flavors I couldn't quite pin down, presumably from its blend of seven grains, chicory root, licorice root, Mexican coffee, and St. John's Wort.
Immort Ale (11% ABV!) is like no beer I've ever had. It is visibly thick and has a syrupy mouth feel, no doubt due to the use of maple syrup in the brewing, as well as juniper berries and vanilla. It is sweet, though not as much as those ingredients might suggest. I liked it.

(01/03/2000)

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

Establishment: Carling National Brewing, Baltimore, MD

I'm told some of my details are wrong. I look forward to learning more. If you know better than I do, please add something.

(12/06/1999)

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

Establishment: Clipper City Brewing Company, Baltimore, MD

Twenty of us from the Columbia Ski Club had a great time touring the Clipper City brewery on Saturday, November 20. In the absence of proprietor Hugh Sisson, brewer Matt Menke, who joined Clipper City with its acquisition of Oxford Brewing, took good care of us.

The highlight of the tour, naturally, was sampling the beers on tap:

  • Clipper City Reserve Winter Ale lives up to Hugh Sisson's promise of "a huge beer, deep amber, bronze in color, with alcohol by volume in excess of 6%, and more hops than any other beer we make." (I haven't had a chance to try the bottle conditioned version, or the just-returned Clipper City Porter.)
  • Ipswich IPA, contract-brewed for Ipswich Brewing of Massachusetts, is a nice, mildly-hopped ale (Clipper City Reserve IPA is more hoppy).
  • Clipper City Chesapeake Gold Ale and Clipper City Chesapeake Lager are good versions of more mass-market styles.
Matt related that adjusting the Oxford brews to the larger Clipper City plant wasn't too difficult, though subtle differences in the beers might be discernable (I haven't noticed). Looking forward (if I caught this part of the conversation right), larger volume purchasing may allow for more raspberry puree to be used in making the Oxford Raspberry Wheat, while the use of Ipswich's yeast may make for an improved Oxford Class Ale.

Clipper City Chesapeake Amber Ale is the same as Oxford Class Ale. Clipper City Chesapeake Gold Ale has also been available this year as "KML Ale" as part of a local radio station promotion. Matt may have said (or I may have misunderstood) that Clipper City Chesapeake Lager is the same beer that is contract-brewed for The Weeping Radish in North Carolina to be their Corolla Gold.

"The Raven" lager, contract-brewed for Baltimore-Washington Beer Works and available locally, may not be brewed again. Though Matt (and Hugh, previously) spoke well of its quality, the one-man operation has had distributor and marketing problems.

I guess Lew "Pennsylvania Breweries" Bryson heard the same thing from Hugh that I did on an earlier visit: Clipper City's seasonal Maibock won't be brewed anymore because of low sales. "People didn't know what it was," Hugh said.

(12/06/1999)

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

Establishment: Brewer's Art, Baltimore, MD

I tried the House Pale Ale and Resurrection (abbey dubbel) over dinner at The Brewer's Art last night. They were the only house brews on tap, but the selection of other brews looks impressive. The House Pale Ale is very good for that style, which is not specifically Belgian. Resurrection is well described on the menu as "quite strong and flavorful, without being too sweet." I'm not a big Belgian beer fan, but I really liked it. I also liked my dinner. The menu shows good variety in both tastes and prices.
I met brewer Chris Cashell and owner Volker Stewart on a recent "Brew with a Pro" night at Annapolis' Chesapeake U-Brew. They provided samples of three Belgian ales (Duvel, Chimay, and Steenbrugge); two Belgian-style ales from Brewery Ommegang of Cooperstown, NY (Ommegong and Hennepin); and, their own golden strong ale, Ozzy (7% ABV, real fizzy), and their abbey triple, Cerebus Triple (9.5% ABV, malty with a banana aroma). I prefer hoppier stuff, but it was interesting.
We brewed an Abbey Dubbel and Belgian Holiday Special. Both used less hops and more grain than what I've brewed, none of it dark. The Special had honey added with the malt extract. Since the magic happens to Belgian ale after the yeast is added, I have no idea what the special will be like. I asked Chris, but he smiled and said, "I don't know. We'll see."

(11/28/1999)

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

Establishment: Baltimore Brewing Company, Baltimore, MD

I heard a different version of this rumor while bottling today at Chesapeake U-Brew: Theo bought a small brewery or large brewpub in Germany, but he will retain ownership of BBC.

(11/28/1999)

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

Establishment: Rocky Run Tap and Grill, Columbia, MD

The stout has been mildly acceptable in the past, but a recent mug was terrible. It had none of the roasted notes I expect in a stout, and there was something in the taste--maybe a malty sweetness, I don't know--that just wasn't right. I had a good crab cake, though.
This is a decent place (and apparently good for bringing the kids) if you judge it against chain family restaurants like Denny's or Stuckey's, or if you compare the bar to other sports bars, I guess, but it just doesn't cut it as a brewpub.

(11/24/1999)

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

Establishment: Carling National Brewing, Baltimore, MD

This macro-brewery was built in the 1950s when the old National Brewery (brewer of National Bohemian and National Premium) moved out of Baltimore City's Highlandtown neighborhood for this Baltimore County site on the Beltway, hard by the Patapsco River. It came to its end two or three years ago as a G. Heilman facility. Some attempts were made to revive industrial brewing on the site, the last one I heard of being a proposal to brew saki.
Late in the summer of 1998, all the brewing vessels were ripped out and laid on their sides in the parking lot. It was quite a sight, since their heights (now lengths) looked to vary between two and four stories tall, and they were numbered from one up into the eighties. There are still a few of them left, but the buildings are now being used as a storage facility for a moving company. I remember there was a "for sale" sign with them last year, so if you want to make a *really* big batch of home brew, maybe you can get deal. ;-)
By coincidence, Clipper City Brewing Co. is within a quarter mile of this site. I'm told they have some guys from the old brewery working part-time.

(11/24/1999)

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

Establishment: Baltimore Brewing Company, Baltimore, MD

Rumor: I heard on a tour of the Clipper City brewery Saturday that the Baltimore Brewing Company is being sold to its head sales guy and that Theo DeGroen is taking a job with a brewery in Germany.

(11/24/1999)

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

Establishment: Rams Head Tavern, Savage, MD

Black-eyed Susan Wheat is a yeasty, dark, and unfiltered wheat beer. Not to my personal tastes, but appropriate to the style.
Had dinner with a large group. Service was a bit slower than the group size should account for. We were surprised to be charged for second baskets of bread while we waited for our entrees. (I would have been surprised even if the waitress had told us.) The food is good, and the dinner specials are priced well, but other items are bit high-priced. $4.95 seemed a bit much for a cup of the soup du jour.
If you don't know the area, check SavageMill.com for directions. They aren't the greatest directions, but they're better than nothing.

(11/24/1999)

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

Establishment: Ellicott Mills Brewing Company, Ellicott City, MD

I forgot to mention:
Holiday Bock is coming on November 26 (day after Thanksgiving Day).

(11/17/1999)

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

Establishment: Ellicott Mills Brewing Company, Ellicott City, MD

Dismissed early from jury duty, Ellicott Mills was a convenient and pleasant stop for lunch. The lunch special, a crab cake sandwich, was delicious, and up to local standards. The Marzen was well balanced--malty sweet, but not too much so.

If you've heard about last week's Main St. fire, don't worry--it was two blocks down and across the street. I was happy to note that this building, despite its age, has sprinklers. However, I also noted that the front doors can still cause a draft through-out the main floor. BTW, the bar downstairs is the smoking area.

For directions to Ellicott City and for parking information, see VisitEllicottCity.com. The pub is not at Ellicott Mills Dr., but rather a block and a half down Main, beside the pay parking Court Ave. lot. I usually use the Post Office lot across Main St., the back of which is free. (The free Court House lot is at least 100 feet higher in elevation!)

(11/17/1999)

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

Establishment: Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, NY

I recently enjoyed brewmaster Garrett Oliver's visit to Baltimore's "Max's on Broadway," though due to the crowd, I couldn't sample all of the beers. Brooklyn Pilsner struck me as a malty, flavorful Pils with little bitterness and a clean finish. Brooklyn Lager, a Vienna/Marzen, had a nicely balanced malty sweetness and a malty finish. Brooklyn Pennant Pale Ale '55 (celebrating the world championship of the Brooklyn Dodger, but ironically brewed with MARIS Otter Malt), described by Mr. Oliver as an ESB, is a fine pale ale with a nice hop finish. Mr. Oliver described Brooklyn East India Pale Ale (EIPA) as being close to the historic IPA style with its high alcohol content (7% abv). I can't dispute that, but for my own tastes, I found the alcohol flavor competed too much with the hop flavor; still, I liked it. Mr. Oliver described Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout as his "resume beer," brewed at his previous job in order to get his current job; it's a Russian Imperial Stout.

Garrett Oliver is one of the most interesting and charasmatic brewers I've met. Having been told that the EIPA was previously a seasonal, I asked if any of the seasonals hadn't caught on. He told me that the Brooklyn Dry Stout, available in the spring, has had difficulty breaking into the crowded market, but they'll try again as it is one of his favorite styles. He also mentioned, to the entire room, that this winter's Brooklyn Monster Ale (barleywine), due anyday, will be extra strong: 12.3% abv.

(11/13/1999)

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

Establishment: Max's on Broadway, Fells Point/Baltimore, MD

I recently enjoyed a Tuesday Beer Social upstairs in The Mobtown Lounge with Brooklyn Brewery's brewmaster, Garrett Oliver. I counted about 60 people in the room, which was crowded; someone said they usually get about a third of that. As a result, some of the free samples didn't make it to everyone in the room. I thought the free buffet was good, particularly at that price. The room itself, besides being crowded on this night, was smoky, but I liked the rest of the atmosphere: wood paneling, hardwood floor, metal work on the ceiling, over-stuffed leather chairs at some tables. The social began at 6 PM, but the presentation didn't begin for another hour. It was fun and interesting.

(11/13/1999)

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

Establishment: Rams Head Tavern / Fordham Brewing Company, Annapolis, MD

Recently enjoyed a "dinner and show combo"--10% off dinner; free Fordham brew after the show; and, validated parking. The service was good despite having a goup of almost 20, and the food was also good.

The selection of five beers that night contained only two of their usuals. The Helles and Golden seemed appropriately to style, and the Victor E. Light was accurately described as a Pilsner with less-than-usual bitterness. The unexpected Schwarz is a style I don't care for and feel I can't rate. My favorite was the Tavern Ale, a nice bitter pale ale.

(11/13/1999)

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

Establishment: Rams Head Tavern, Savage, MD

Five of their own Fordham beers from Annapolis on tap, plus five or six other taps (including Guinness) and a long list of bottles. The Fordham Copperhead Ale and Oktoberfest were good, and I really like the Tavern Ale. I enjoyed my meal, a crab cake sandwich, and others in my group were pleased with their selections. Our waiter did a fantastic job handling our large happy hour group.

(11/06/1999)

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

Establishment: Chesapeake U Brew (BOP), Annapolis, MD

I brewed an Irish Stout earlier this year that I loved almost as much as Guinness! I'm going back this week to brew another beer, but I'm having trouble choosing among the many styles offered. "Brew with a Pro" night is a wonderful opportunity to meet area brewers, the friendly and helpful staff and owners, and other good-beer fans; and to make a good case of beer. But the best thing of all is not having to clean up after myself. ;-)

(11/01/1999)

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

Establishment: Baltimore Brewing Company, Baltimore, MD

Sampled Pils, Marzen, Dopplebock, and Hefeweizen from growlers on "Brew with a Pro" night at Chesapeake U-Brew. (Sadly, Theo couldn't get back from Germany to be there, but we still had his yeast!) I'm not as much a fan of German styles as I am of other nationalities, but DeGroen's beers are fine. I would single out the Pils in particular, since there are so many poor examples of this style being produced by others.

(11/01/1999)

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

Establishment: Last Chance Saloon, Columbia, MD

The selection of beers on tap at the Last Chance is outstanding. It's what keeps me coming back, at least monthly. Yet, it seems like there has been a decrease in either the selection or the rotation of the beers in the past year. What I've really noticed is that the beer menus aren't printed out nearly as frequently as they used to be (look for the date at the bottom on the back). It could be that the renovation of the shopping center (now complete, and a great improvement) had a financial affect behind the scenes.

The food is OK, and I can usually find a good special, and there are usually great desserts, but the meals do not rise above what I can find elsewhere in Columbia. The food alone wouldn't keep me coming back. (There was a time earlier in the year when they weren't having specials every day.)

The bartenders and wait staff are almost always knowledgable, pleasant, and hard-working, but there seem to be too few of them. When it's crowded, the kitchen can seem slow.

There are directions available on the web site, but I just sent in a correction for one of the routes. If you aren't familiar with Columbia, call for directions. This town can be a maze , even to the residents. (We apologize for the inconvenience ;-)

(11/01/1999)

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

Establishment: Bill Bateman's Bistro, Clarksville, MD

A fine selection of quality beers and a good dinner salad were more than offset by absent-minded bartenders and a bar layout that works poorly for a large group at happy hour.

(10/26/1999)

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

Establishment: Deep Creek Brewing Company, McHenry, MD

IPA is "great"--very hoppy--but 4 Beary Wheat is "so so"--neither fruit nor wheat was particularly evident. Tasted at the Maryland Craft Brewers Festival in Baltimore yesterday. Owner was very friendly and eager to talk. He mentioned that they've broken ground in McHenry by Ski Wisp, which is the site where they originally planned to open; opening is about a year away.

(10/18/1999)

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

Establishment: Growlers was Summit Station Restaurant and Brewery, Gaithersburg, MD

Diamond Stout was the best beer I tasted at the Maryland Craft Brewers Festival in Baltimore yesterday. It was a fine example of the style.

(10/18/1999)

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

Establishment: Humperdink's Restaurant, Arlington, TX

A good chain restaurant with beers that are acceptable but not outstanding. Very convenient to The Ballpark in Arlington if you use Six Flags Drive. Texas Blonde: inoffensive yellow lager. Big Horn Light: low-cal version of the Blonde, but with less flavor and a cloying after-taste; why microbrew a light? Big Horn Hefeweizen: all the features of a hefe, but all of them too mild. Buttface Amber: smooth, drinkable, acceptable. Big Red Ale: more pale ale than IPA as they claim, and not hoppy enough to satisfy as either one. Oktoberfest: o.k., but thin, and a touch sweeter than I expected. Total Disorder Porter: on style, except more carbonated than I expected.

(10/09/1999)

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

Establishment: Routh St. Brewery and Grille, Dallas, TX

Beers were less than I expected. Bar service was good, but I didn't have time to eat (I can't believe the kitchen closes at 11 PM on Saturday). Bavarian Wheat: unfiltered but not spicy or yeasty. Pale Ale: o.k.; English-style, lightly hopped. Brown Ale: generally mild and undistinguished. Big Black Stout: disappointing; some roasted malt flavor, but thin bodied and overly carbonated, with a head that quickly fizzed away. 90 Shilling Scotch Ale: less strong and less flavorful than I expected.

(10/09/1999)

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

Establishment: Spoetzl Brewery, Shiner, TX

A nice tour, but more for the novice than the knowledgable. A too-scripted presentation. Located on US 95 on the north edge of town. Only three samples (it used to be two), and only four taps (and one was out). Shiner Honey Wheat Hefeweizen: pleasant light-yellow ale, but "hefe" my butt! Shiner Bock: a nice marzen, but not exciting; Dos Equis is similar but better. Shiner Winter Ale: a fine full-bodied, strong-flavored ale, first available that day (October 1). Why no picture-taking on the tour? "Might distract the employees" ('Can I take a picture with you?'); might pose on the copper kettles, or climb on for that perfect angle (I can see that); and, they want to control what images are sold to magazines (completey bogus).

(10/09/1999)

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

Establishment: Bitter End Bistro and Brewery, Austin, TX

Best food I had in Austin, best beer I had in Texas (except maybe on the Celis tour). EZ Wheat: American-style, filtered, crisp & clean, on style. Poindexter Pils: on style. Son of Bullet Head, "Barley Wine's Little Brother": good; seemed like a flavorful, low-hopped English-style pale ale. Aberdeen Amber: good; seemed more like a medium-hopped pale ale than an 80 Shilling Scottish Ale. Austin Pale Ale: great; west-coast style highly-hopped pale ale. Hill Country Honeymead: I don't know--I hate mead. Sledgehammer Stout: excellent; smooth, creamy, subtly roasted, medium bodied.

(10/09/1999)

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

Establishment: Lovejoy's Tap Room and Brewery, Austin, TX

Dark, run-down, smokey, but I had a decent bartender. Wit: hits the right notes, but plays them too softly. IPA: good, but under-hopped for the style. Stout: medium-bodied, not much roasted flavor. Pale Ale: medium-hopped; wished for more.

(10/09/1999)

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

Establishment: Copper Tank Brewing Company, Austin, TX

Live web cam at buzzcam.com.

(10/09/1999)

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

Establishment: Copper Tank Brewing Company, Austin, TX

It's quiet at lunchtime on a weekday. Decent pub grub. Copper Light: decent, but why microbrew a light beer? Big Dog Brown: on style. Grimsditch's ESB: seemed like an ordinary yellow beer, not an ESB. Honey Wheat: on style. White Tail Pale Ale: medium-hopped; good, but not great. Bitchin' Black Cherry: bitterness overwhelmed the cherry flavor. Mocha Madness Stout: too strong coffee-flavor overwhelmed the roasted malt taste of stout.

(10/09/1999)

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

Establishment: Waterloo Brewing Company, Austin, TX

A loud, dumpy kind of place serving a mix of good and ordinary beers (and good apple pie). I had to pay in advance before being served. Hefe-Roggen: a hefe-weizen with rye; good. Prarie Dog Pilsner: on style. Slaphead Red: very ordinary. Ed's Best Bitter: bitter, but poorly-hopped (not highly-hopped as menu claims). Clara's Clara: watery blonde ale. Guy Town IPA: good, but under-hopped for the style. O. Henry's Porter: a very good porter.

(10/09/1999)

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

Establishment: Celis Brewery, Austin, TX

A great tour, with a tour guide who was passionate and knowledgable about beer (they're hiring, btw). One sample from each of eight taps, all but one of which were good or excellent. Celis Pale Bock (Ale outside of TX): low-hopped, dark amber color; TX law says "ale" must be more than 5% ABW. Celis Grand Cru & Dubel Ale: both excellent, though much too strong for my tastes. Celis White: defines the style for America; I never had it on tap before, and I liked it better than out of the bottle. Celis Raspberry: sweeter and fuller-bodied than most fruit beers, because it's based on the White. Pale Rider Ale: medium-hopped pale ale contract-brewed for Clint Eastwood. Lagniappe: well-hopped amber-colored west-coast style pale ale contract-brewed for Lagniappe (Louisiana). Pierre's Reserve: a corn-based golden lager from a Miller recipe, contract-brewed for the Paris Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas; the guide got it out of the way first.

(10/09/1999)

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

Establishment: Saint Arnold Brewing Company, Houston, TX

Tried Amber Ale at the Astrodome, on tap and bottled. It struck me as a good, well-hopped amber-colored pale ale with good flavor and a clean finish. Missed the tour because the Astros played a day game.

(10/09/1999)

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

Establishment: Traffic Jam and Snug, Detroit, MI

Visited in July. Good food (great ice cream), acceptable service, disappointing beer (and only three of them). Cherry Wheat had barely a hint of cherry flavor, none in the nose. IPA tasted quite bitter but not at all hoppy. Java Porter had a nice coffee finish but a very slight body. Overall, I was distinctly underwhelmed.

(09/18/1999)

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

Establishment: Atwater Block Brewery, Detroit, MI

Visited in July. Good pub food served by a good staff, but with average beers. Hell (helles?) was OK. Pilsner, if you like them, was distinguished from the usual yellow beer by more bitterness. Rost was OK, but it didn't seem like an Oktoberfest beer as it was described. Big League Brew seemed pretty average for an amber, but with extra bitterness. La Nina seemed like what I expected of the Rost -- like an Oktoberfest/Marzen. Weizen Bock was too sweet and too strong for my personal tastes, but I don't know how it's supposed to be. Hefe Weizen was probably exactly on style, though I'm no judge of that style. RPA (rye?) reminded me of the Pilsner with a more bitter aftertaste.

(09/18/1999)

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

Establishment: Mad Boar Brewhouse, North Myrtle Beach, SC

I'll add that we thought that the growlers were very well priced, but my brother, living nearby, didn't think any of the beers were worth it. The sampler was also well priced and had all their beers then on tap.

(09/18/1999)

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

Establishment: Mad Boar Brewhouse, North Myrtle Beach, SC

Visited just before Labor Day. Great waiter, OK brews, disappointing meal (though my brother did better with his). Raspberry Wheat had a good flavor but no nose. Golden Pilsner was aptly described by my brother as "water." India Pale was a decent American PA, not up to being an IPA. Scottish Ale fell short of that style, particularly in the alcohol content, it seemed. Oatmeal Stout was smooth with good roasted notes but seemed pretty thin. Belgian Red may have been to style, but I'm no judge of them. Brew of the Month, Independence Lager, made with 30lbs of cinamon jaw breakers, was quite interesting, particularly the nose.

(09/18/1999)

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

Establishment: Liberty Steak House and Brewery, Myrtle Beach, SC

Visited twice in the week before Labor Day. Good food, good waitstaff, friendly bartenders. Good selection of beers, which are OK to good. Raspberry Wheat had good flavor but no nose. Miss Liberty Lager and Golden Ale were inoffensive yellow beers. Unfiltered Wheat was not to style, but accurately listed as "an American interpretation of a German classic." Nut Brown Ale was OK but not up to the style, which I don't care for anyway. Indian [sic] Pale Ale was a decent American PA, not IPA. Oatmeal Stout was good, but with less of the bitter and roasted features they claimed; still, I liked it.

Draw backs: Only 5 of 9 beers per sampler (so we each ordered two!), and no non-smoking section in the dining room.

(09/18/1999)

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

Establishment: Otter Creek Brewing Company, Middlebury, VT

Tried their Oktoberfest brew at the Last Chance Saloon, Columbia, MD. I'd swear it had a hoppiness I didn't expect for this style, but I liked it.

(09/18/1999)

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

Establishment: Weeping Radish, Kitty Hawk, NC

Location is *immediately* south of the junction of US 158 and NC 12 in Kitty Hawk, on the east side of US 158. Due to the intersection, I drove past several times without noticing it . Never had the chance to go in.

(09/15/1999)

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

Establishment: Weeping Radish, Manteo, NC

Visited during Oktoberfest, Sept. 11. The Fest/Marzen was good, and I liked the Black Radish. Otherwise, it's difficult, and perhaps unfair, to rate them on this one night. It reminded me of how some Irish bars do St. Patrick's Day: a big crowd, a loud ethnic band, and a limited menu. But people were having fun.

(09/15/1999)

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

Establishment: Clipper City Brewing Company, Baltimore, MD

Hugh Sisson gives a good tour. It was a pleasure to discuss beer and the microbrewery business with him. Clipper City's e-mail address is clipper1@ix.netcom.net

(08/21/1999)

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

Establishment: Rams Head Tavern, Savage, MD

Open about one month with no publicity that I know of, but Thursday happy hour was still busy. $2 happy hour pints. I didn't get a look at the menu. It's an attracive setting overall. There is live entertainment, some nights at least, but no stage as in Annapolis (at least not yet). Bartendress Mary handled the happy hour crowd better than most I've seen.

(08/19/1999)


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