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The Rose and Crown

Not Rated.
The Rose and CrownThe Rose and Crown
BA SCORE
88
very good

30 Ratings
Ratings: 30
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 12.79%
Taps: 30
Bottles: 100
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

547 Emerson St
Palo Alto, California, 94301-1608
United States
phone: (650) 327-7673

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-19-2005)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 | Reviews: 25 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of leschkie
3.83/5  rDev -2%

Since I live in Silicon Valley, the Rose & Crown is probably the best option for those in the South Bay. Located in the heart of Palo Alto, parking can often be a bitch especially at the end of a workday. I'm particularly fond of the atmosphere since I'm a soccer fanatic...always a match on the tube. Similar to City Beer Store, the place usually doesn't start to fill up until around 6pm or later. Mostly IPAs on tap from local Cali breweries gives me a chance to support the beer-makers of my home state. Their taps rotate so fast that the only way to keep up with what they have is to follow the R&C on Twitter. End of every month they feature a specific brewery and bring in 3-4 quality selections from that brewery. I've been there during Firestone, La Trappe, and 21st amendment night. Plan to attend Ballast Point night next week. The food is decent. Traditional English pub food that I'd have to go out of my way to find somewhere else. Staff and locals are very friendly.

leschkie, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of Gambac
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%

Try keeping up with Rose & Crown on Twitter - damn near impossible. Seems like their kegs rotate so fast, but all of them are high quality.

Historically, this was just that "English pub" in downtown Palo Alto, but definitely should be on any beer-lovers list. The rotating taps always lend a wild card aspect to things, but the standards (including Pliny) are all incredibly solid - even had The Abyss on tap at one point.

The food is decent; nothing outstanding, but complements the beer very well. The bartenders know their stuff, but I'd stay away from bottle recommendations - a bit too pricey for me

Gambac, Jun 21, 2011
Photo of DoubleJ
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%

On a recent trip to the Bay Area, this was my main event. I was meeting my collegue Ricardo from Brazil at this bar, as it was near the hotel he was staying at. It was a Thursday night, and the crowds would slowly build up through the night. We walked in right before 8:30, and we were lucky to find two bar seats next to each other. A good crowd was on hand. The interior is somewhat intimate, well lit. A collection of English football scarfs hung from the ceiling. All in all, I enjoyed the vibe.

A good tap selection overall, bettered by a more geeky bottle selection. Offerings like Drake's were available on-tap, bottles like J.W. Lee's, Westmalle Dubbel, Eclipse - Evan Williams, Red Poppy Ale, and Cascade Kriek offered. Standard shaker pint glassware for most of the beers, though we did receive some Allagash footed glassware and saw another group receive Westmalle chalices for their Westmalle beer. Our first round was splitting a bottle of Red Poppy Ale. Round 2 involved splitting Eclipse - Evan Willams. They we ordered a Hophead Red (bottle) and Drake's Amber (tap) together and split those.

Even sitting at the bar, it took some time to get the bartender's attention. The food came out at an okay pace. I ordered bangers and mash; bangers get a big thumbs up, the mash seemed more like it made of instant mashed potato mix. I was hungry, so I cleaned my plate.

Given the scarcity of good beer places in the south Bay Area, the Rose and Crown is an easy recommendation. The mix of beers available will make any beer drinker happy. It did for us. After me and Ricardo left, we exchanged beers, and that ended the night for both of us.

DoubleJ, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of Bang34
4.58/5  rDev +17.1%

I checked this place out a couple of weeks ago after seeing it here on BeerFly. I have to say I have been back a couple of times since and I really like the place.

They definitely have one of the best craft beer selections on the Southern Peninsula. 21 beers on tap and a rotating cask. When I first walked in and saw they had Pliny on tap I knew it was an above average place.

They have a nice selection from Belgian lagers to California IPA's. Once I was in there and a patron asked, "how can an English pub not have Guinness on tap?" The owner was bartending at the time and said, "Because everyone else does, and we have better stuff anyhow."

The service has always been good, and ready for conversation. It seems they have a nice regular crowd, including a mix of Stanford Grad Students, local professional and folks who just like good beer.

I haven't tried the food yet, though I hear the Fish and Chips is good but that is what everyone says about any British pub worth its salt. I have also seen many come in for the burgers, availble with a choice of English cheeses, Stilton, Mild and Sharp Cheddars.

I have also noticed that Darts seem to be a favorite among many of the patrons. So if you can throw, you could probably find a good game.

For the time being, family obligations have me residing in Palo Alto, and I think I will be spending a good part of my time off at the Rose.

Bang34, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of John_M
4.44/5  rDev +13.6%

Review of beerfly didn't show a lot of options in the San Jose area, and although reviews of this place have been up and down, it still sounded as if it might be worth a try. After stopping by today, I confess I'm scratching my head a bit about some of the negative reviews.

The R&C is a very small pub, located just off of Emerson street, immediately adjacent to a parking lot. The address says Emerson street, but it's actually a bit off the street, and initially I was concerned I had the wrong address.

Upon walking in, the R&C consists of a smallish L shaped bar area, and then three or four more tables and chairs in the back area. The place is really pretty small, with an additional 4 wooden picnic tables outside. The vibe is very laid back and informal, with old wood, beer plaques, and soccer decorations throughout. There is also a TV over the bar area and I thought this a great place to hang out, watch some baseball on the tube, and enjoy a beer or three. Draft selections here consist of 21 different beers and one cider. It also appeared as if they had a hand pump for cask beer, although it was not in use this partciular day. The selection here was flat out outstanding, consisting of the likes of Union Jack IPA, Racer X, Blind Pig, the current full sail brewmaster reserve scottish ale, and 5 or 6 interesting Belgians (depending upon whether or not Stella qualifies). They also had three different beers from Spaten (including the pils, which I see all too infrequently). There were also around 45 or 50 bottled beer selections, and I was impressed by the fact that the only BMC swill in the place was bud lite in bottles.

The bar tender appeared to be the owner/manager of the place, and he was quick, courteous and pleasant. Interestingly, there was a group of homebrewers in attendance this Sunday, and I gather the ownership here is completely cool about allowing them to hold their meettings here, sample their latest experiments, and just hang out.

I guess prices were a bit on the high side ($4 for a ten ounce glass of Union Jack and Blind Pig), but considering this place is located right in downtown Palo Alto (just a block down the street from the original Gordon Birsch), I really felt there was little to complain about.

Didn't try any food (though I was tempted to try the house deviled eggs), which seemed to consist of typical Irish/English fare (fish and chips, bangers, shepherds pie, etc.).

I don't get it. This place is way cool with great beer and an easy going laid back vibe. Without doubt this would be my local pub if I lived in the area, and it struck me as a welcome oasis from the pretentious affluence of downtown Palo Alto. I'll certainly be back.

John_M, Jun 01, 2009
Photo of largadeer
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%

One of the few decent watering holes on the peninsula, Rose & Crown has really stepped it up in the past year. 20ish rotating taps include local, Belgian, German and English craft beers. The local beers tend to steal the show, and the recent inclusion of Russian River draft offerings and a rotating cask bump the selection up from good to great. Atmospherically, it's cozy and quaint; an easy place to get comfortable in for a few pints. The food is good from what I've tried, which is admittedly not much. Service has been great 9 times out of 10, and Kasim, the owner, is a rather nice dude. On the whole, R&C is well worth a visit, and has the potential to be a genuinely great beer bar.

largadeer, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of Bubba83
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%

I guess after a visit and 2 South Bay BeerAdvocate meetups it's time to give this place a review.

The atmosphere is warm and relaxed unless you go on a tuesday trivia night, don't go on a tuesday unless you're into the super loud and crowded trivia thing with Stanford students.

Overall quality of what they are trying to achieve is good, but like others have said the execution is where the place could improve tenfold.

I've only had service from the same guy all three times, and I have been unimpressed all three times. Seems like he doesn't want to be there, and he is certainly slow.

The selection is pretty good, with a nice selection of rotating taps. Most of those are hard to find local craft beer. Keep your eyes peeled for: Racer X, Pliny the Elder, Double Rocket Ale, Drake's Hopocalypse, Full Sail Old Boardhead, and other stuff. They also have a nitro for stuff like Old Rasputin once in a while. The selection is pretty great for the area, but on the broad scale of things it's just good.

The food is just okay. But I wouldn't expect much better from a little british pub either. I have yet to try the fish and chips but will make sure to do that next time.

Value is reasonable for draught craft beer, not sure about the other stuff as I am not interested in buying bottled beer at a pub.

Special props do go to Kasim for allowing the local BeerAdvocates to meet up here once a month.

2/20/2010 - Editing the selection to 4.5 since they have been routinely pulling in some really great stuff in the last few months. Keep it up guys, selection and quality are what matters most to me! I am also upgrading the food to a 3.5 after trying their fish and chips, pretty good.

Bubba83, Jan 28, 2009
Photo of rdespain
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

rdespain, Oct 04, 2014
Photo of brywhite
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

brywhite, Sep 03, 2014
Photo of arcman001
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

arcman001, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of Jonstopable
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Jonstopable, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of rflips86
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

rflips86, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of bradybeer
4.55/5  rDev +16.4%

Went here a few weeks ago on a cold rain filled day. I was the only one there and was able to speak with Rachel the bar keep who was great. I had a pint of Pliny and some 1/2 pints of Bare Knuckles Barley Wine from Triple Rock and Congrats Orange beer from Moylon's.

The atmosphere is olde England (not that I been there) but it is what I think I would find if I did. They had about 12-15 taps with many local crafts and better imports. They have alarge bottle collection with the last three years of Firestone Aniv. beers, etc. Great selection at good prices.

Rachel was the bomb-very smart in the beer realm and a pleasure to speak to and to have as a beer guide.

Food not so good-but I would try again. If in PA this is a must visit-period.

bradybeer, Jun 13, 2011
Photo of djmichaelk
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%

Rose & Crown in Palo Alto, one of the places I always visit when I pass through San Jose.

Atmosphere is okay; it's a pub-ish looking place but in the middle of a college town (near Stanford), so lots of geeks and their friends. I happen to be a geek, and like their company, so that's a plus in my book. Definitely not a meat-market.

Beer quality and selection are definitely good for the area, although if they were in the city it'd be another story. Bartenders are friendly and personable, at least they were to me. Surprised to hear that they won't serve cask over the weekend since it's too much trouble. Disappointed on that one.

Haven't tried much food from there, although what I did try was overpriced and of average quality.

I've had some great beers here -- Angel's Share, Parabola, Supplication, and of course Pliny are highlights. Usually plenty of quality to choose from, although last time there they were out of Pliny and several others (on a Saturday afternoon!). And you never know what you're paying until you get the check, though, which can be painful.

Overall, it's a can't miss -- but ask how much each beer is first.

djmichaelk, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of corby112
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%

Stopped in here for a light meal and some drinks with friends during a recent visit to CA.

This place is an English pub that doesn't really sell English beers. As soon as you walk in there is an L shaped bar with several chalkboards listing the draft and bottle selection. To the right and around the corner of the bar there are several tables for dining. It has a traditional pub atmosphere with a few televisions with soccer playing as well as a dart board or two. Very laid back with a semi-hipster younger crowd.

The bartender was the only person working in the front of the house. All food and drink was ordered through him and he brought the food to the table. He was friendly but overall the service was average.

The food was traditional English pub food but was good and not expensive. As far as beer is concerned, the selection was very good with a lot of Belgian, german and local craft offerings. The lists seem to rotate and they had quite a few rarities including FW13 and Anchor Our Barrel Ale magnums(for $150!).

Overall this was a fun place for a casual dinner with a great selection of beers. I would definitely go back if I was in the area.

corby112, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of alfrantzell
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%

I emerge from my cocoon. Hair damp and matted, eyes crusted shut with the residue of sleep, I slither to the local drinking establishment to suckle its taps. They don't mind me, b/c of their hospitality and b/c of my many hook-like appendages. This is the Rose & Crown.

TIP: hold your breath in the pedestrian tunnels from Caltrain to downtown. They reek of urine and defecant. Sorry about that.

For those uncomfortable in Palo Alto's upscale environment, R&C has an alleyway fenced off to which you can bring your drink. Six or so rotating taps and the occasional cask keep things interesting - Ommegang Rouge, Sculpin, and Abacus have all made appearances. As a bonus, the menu discloses neither the volumes of the drinks nor the prices so that every time you order you get a nice little surprise.

TIP: avoid Tuesday night unless you like the involuntary frottage caused by the massive pub trivia crowd.

Those unable to subsist on hops and malt alone can order from the wide variety of solid food available - everything from breaded dishes to battered dishes to fried dishes. When the kitchen is closed you may import your own food. The Pizza My Heart adjacent will satisfy even the most discerning grease fetishist.

TIP: often and generously.

Secreting alcohol from my pores, I skulk back to my nest by the light of a waning moon.

alfrantzell, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of Nick3
4.3/5  rDev +10%

I've vistited this bar several times over the past year. Most recently I came in on a Wednesday night and ordered a Leffe Bruin. I was shocked to see this beer on tap on the west coast! I have only seen it in London and Belgium. Anyway, I noticed several other specialty ales, especially bottled belgians such as St. Bernardus Abt 12 and the Gulden Draak. My beer was served in the standard Leffe beer glass. The beer was excellent and was poured professionally. The bartender was a friendly blonde named Jette and she was easy on the eyes (always a plus).

This place has a great belgian beer selection and the glassware to go with it. It also has a good selection of English ales like Old Speckled hen and Tetley's as well as California Microbrews. The pub itself was friendly and cozy. You can easily strike up a conversation with many of the patrons. It has two dartboards, dice, and a few flatscreen TVs usually tuned into international soccer. It also has a juke box and a patio which is great if you're hanging with smokers or want some fresh air.

If you are looking for a relaxed place to hang and drink some quality beers, the Rose n Crown is perfect.

Nick3, Jan 11, 2009
Photo of nickd717
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%

Living in Palo Alto, this is probably the only decent beer bar within a 30 minute drive. I'm definitely lucky to have R&C nearby though. They do a good job offering seasonal beers and have a solid list of Belgians as well as some good local stuff. Occasionally you'll see some rare bottle on the menu (Firestone XII, Rasputin XI, etc) albeit typically for a very high price.

Service is hit-or-miss depending on who you get, and it can be hard to order a beer on weekend nights. Some of the staff is not very knowledgeable, but the owner Kasim is a good guy and big-time BA. On several occasions, he has allowed other BAs and I to bring in our own bottles to taste and even participated in the tasting himself a few times. This is awesome. Most bar owners would throw you out for merely suggesting bringing your own beers in, but at R&C they have no problem with it and even provide the glassware.

If you haven't been in a few years, check out R&C again as the selection has really improved recently and the rotating taps have become more interesting with lots of limited releases from Russian River, Firestone, Drake's, Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, Full Sail, etc. The odd thing is though that it seems that 90% of the patrons still don't care about beer and will still sit there and order Bud Light, Stella, etc in spite of the better options available for the same or only slightly higher price. Oh well, it's a college town I guess.

Prices are average for the area overall, and the scene is a good time with a couple of dart boards and nice pub decor. In the beer wasteland that is the peninsula/south bay, Rose & Crown is by far the best you're going to get.

July 2009 update: Have to edit my review once again. Went to R&C recently on a Friday night and was informed they weren't serving ANYTHING on tap. Asked about a few other bottled beers and they didn't have them, so I just walked out without even ordering anything and downed some better beers at home.

Also, a place that charges an insane $22 for Lost Abbey Witches Wit and upwards of $50 for some beers when you wouldn't expect it REALLY, REALLY needs to start putting prices on their menu! It's such a hassle to have to ask what every beer costs (when you know some will be outrageous).

nickd717, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of N1CKOLAS
2.34/5  rDev -40.2%

Meh. That one simple sentence pretty much sums up my opinion of this establishment. They do actually have one of the better selections of beer on tap in the south bay, but the prices are a bit high. I just cannot justify spending 6 bucks for a pint of Guinness. Other prices for beer are within the same price range. The bartender was a bit spacey and flustered considering the place wasn't even that busy. I don't think I'll be returning. I will give them credit for what they are trying to accomplish with a beer bar, the execution was just not there.

N1CKOLAS, Apr 16, 2008
Photo of easong
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%

I frequent this establishment weekly in search of a good pint. On the SF Peninsula you are challenged to find an interesting beer selection on tap, period. This is surprising given the obvious popularity of the emerging styles nationally, and that so many fine craft ales find their way into our local supermarkets and beer stores. There seems to be some sort of conspiracy led by the local Marzen Mafia to prevent hoppy ale from reaching folks inside the pubs and restaurants of an otherwise very adventurous and affluent region. The Rose and Crown faces this challenge admirably, with one or two steady IPA taps and several additional taps given over to interesting West Coast styles, from Belgian-styles to stouts, triple IPAs, and barleywines. Among the ~16 taps are the usual soccer-pub selections and California ambers and pales. There is an always-changing selection of Trappists in the bottle and usually something there on tap as well. Food wise, best fish-n-chips anywhere on the Peninsula. Other British pub fare as should be expected. Nice dark little drinking hole, with a small patio. A worthy destination to take in a soccer match or just a pint. They have some popular American light beer in the bottle for your clueless friend, but I cannot imagine how you would let a friend order that.

easong, Apr 13, 2008
Photo of Talisker
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Updated January 2009

Rose & Crown saw a huge upswing during the second half of 2009. Maybe a new beer buyer?

The food's no better, but the energy around beer has really picked up. Special one-off beers almost always on tap (usually local California stuff), beer release parties, an active Twitter feed.

Anyway, it's now almost worth a special visit to see what special beers they've got going. And still the best beer bar on the peninsula.

--

Original Review: April 2008

The best beer bar on the peninsula. Not remotely worth a special trip, but pretty much the only place in Silicon Valley where you'll get a decently well-chosen selection of craft beer on tap and in bottles.

Charmingly dark and dingy in the old English style - unusual for downtown Palo Alto. 10+ taps, all craft beers, most local, some imported. Bear Republic, Anderson Valley, El Toro, North Coast, Full Sail were represented when I last visited. Very nice bottle selection, mostly from Northern California region.

I've never ordered a Belgian or wheat beer here, so haven't had cause to see whether they vary the glassware. Unfortunately the regular pint glasses are stored in a refrigerator, making for a slightly frosted glass effect.

The menus is interesting - some charmingly English items - but the food is nearly inedible, so don't order any.

Anyway, Rose & Crown is something of an oasis in Silicon Valley, which otherwise is a beer wasteland. Perfectly good place to stop for a Racer 5, Young's Double Chocolate Stout, or other reasonably available craft beers. Won't blow your socks off, so don't make a special visit if you're a tourist, but for locals, worth knowing about for the occasional drop-in.

Talisker, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of bbothen
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%

** Updated 1/2009 **

Wanted to update this review since my initial visit about a year ago.

Have had the opportuinity to come here to meet some other South Bay Area BAs for tastings. The owner, Kasim, is very hospitable to allow us to do this. He also goes out of his way to offer great seasonals & hard to find brews on tap & cask. This is the best brew selection in the lower peninsula/south bay.

Where else can you get a Racer 5 on cask, Double Red Rocket, or a Drake's Hopocalypse on tap around here?

My initial visit "is what it is", but I'm glad I saw past that and went back.

If you're looking for an interesting craft brew, Belgian, or English Ale in the south bay, this is the place.

** end update **

Stopped in on a random Wednesday evening. Took a look at the board & ordered a Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye.

Al, the guy behind the bar, pulled out a Bear Republic Red Rocket, opened it up set it in front of me & then stared at my wife for her order. Never said a word to us during this.

Me: "Do you have the Hop Rod Rye? It's on the board?".

Al: "No, we don't have it."

I guess it was close enough for him to give me something from the same brewery. Never offered anything else or gave me the opportunity to request something different. Didn' feel like dealing with it, so I drank it. I like that beer.

Ordered something deep fried from the menu. When big Al brought them to us he just put them on the bar. Didn't offer napkins or utensils. Granted it was finger food, but what is Al's problem?

Against our better judgement we ordered another round. I had a Speakeasy Double Daddy, which was delivered about 3/4 full and glass soaking wet after he bumped it after pouring it.

My wife ordered a Scotch Ale from a brewery I can't remember. She asked him where the beer is from and Ahole Al responded with "It's local". Gee thanks.

Wasn't expecting 5 star service by any means, I was in a pub. But Al was rude & classless.

Needless to say we wont be back.

They do have a nice selection of brews you won't find elsewhere in the South Bay. WHen I was there they had Speakeasy Double Daddy, Full Sail Slipknot, Blue Frog Big Dipa, and many others to go along with a nice belgian bottle selection including Piirat, Golden Draak, Rare VOS, and others.

bbothen, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of bring
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

The Rose and Crown definitely is worth checking out. Their beer selection has vastly improved and is probably now the best in the Peninsula and South Bay area. The draft selection is diverse (US, UK, Belgian and German) and is rotating regularly with something new generally available. Seasonal beers are also part of the mix. Several German Octoberfest beers were featured in September/October and fall/winter beers are now available. The bottle selection also is pretty good, although the Belgian selections can be a bit pricy. Haven't eaten there, so cannot comment on food, but standard pub fare is available in the evening.

bring, Nov 04, 2007
Photo of dougnboston
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%

Not a place to dine ... grab a burger okay, but it's all burgers and fried foods. I had a steak sandwich and onion rings. Not a lot of steak on that sandwich and the rings tasted of old oil.

The beer is well worth your while. The taps change frequently with stuff from Belgium, Germany and the states. I had a Maredsous on tap (proper glasses too!) and then a bottle of Triple Karmeliet.

Both the tap selection and bottle selection seemed above average to me. I'm a Belgian fan and noted three on tap as well as about 10 bottles, all with their glass for service.

The bar tender got the job done, not fast, but he got to everyone. I got a few laughs out of him.

Several tv's with ball games playing. Two dart boards open for play. Outdoor seating. Free wireless.

This place is a little hidden at the back of a public parking lot.

I give it a beery thumbs up.

dougnboston, Sep 30, 2007
Photo of mitchfor3
3.59/5  rDev -8.2%

Nice place in downtown Palo Alto. Bar tender was rather surly, didn't seem particularly interested in helping, but did a decent enough job pouring pints. Roughly 20 taps including some good ones like Rare Vos, Drake's IPA, Fuller's ESB, Chimay Triple. Nice bottle list as well including some good Belgians - Rochefort 6, Gulden Draak, Karmeliet Triple, among others. Pints on the pricier side - Rare Vos+Chimay Triple = $14.50.

Relaxed atmosphere with a couple dart boards and some patio seating. I'll be back, if for no other reason due to the lack of good beer options in Palo Alto.

mitchfor3, Jun 11, 2007
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The Rose and Crown in Palo Alto, CA
88 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.