Cock & Bull
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Taps: 38 / Bottles: 600
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 40 | Reviews: 40
3.54/5 rDev -19.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3 | $$
Every one seems to love this place, but I have been maybe half a dozen times and decided there are much better places to go in Sarasota, albeit not with the same selection.
It isn't totally my style, but I commend the owners for creating such a unique atmosphere. I wish more business people would be willing to take that risk. It has kind of an old Florida, woodsy, artsy flair to it, inside and the patio. It could use some brighter lighting though.
Service is not the best, as others have also pointed out. It isn't terrible, but they clearly are not on top of their game. They are too laid back to pay the correct amount of attention to each and every customer. Keeping regulars happy is important, yes, but you won't convert others if you don't show them the same care you do to the current regulars.
Prices are average. We bought a Raison D'Extra once for around $40, which is crazy, but I don't think it was outrageous for what it was. At least they had it to offer.
We (bf and I) have only ordered food on two or three occasions...typical bar food/munchie menu, with not much more creativity that what comes out of the freezer. Pizzas are ok. Everything takes forever to come out of the kitchen. The pizza we ordered once wasn't fully cooked and was missing one of our requested toppings.
In terms of quality of beers, stick to the bottles. Personally, I go out to drink beer on tap; I can buy and drink bottles at home. But the beers CnB have on tap are never as good as you expect unless you know for sure they were hooked up within the past couple days. I have heard from multiple people in the beer scene, beer drinkers, beertenders and beer bar owners alike, that they do not regularly clean their tap lines. funk = nasty beer.
An example of 'quality': Around the time that DFH first came out with Palo Santo Marron we went to CnB to try it because they had it on tap. They really dislike offering samples of high gravity beers (I get it, it's costly, but it makes you look cheap, do a half of a regular sample if you want), including most of DFH's beers. I wanted to sample it first but I decided that since I liked 90% of everything DFH I had tried up to that point I might as well just go for it. What I got was a flat, slightly warm, unpleasant beverage that BAers probably would have rated in the Bud Light range. I wasn't sure if it was a DFH screw up or if the keg was so old the beer tasted bad. I got the impression that they would have blamed it on DFH, and if they did agree to pour me another, they would have trouble concealing their displeasure. I decided to man up and finish the pint. About 9 months later I got the opportunity to visit DFH's brewery, went on a tour, and lo and behold, found Palo Santo on the free tasting list. Out of curiousity I accepted the sample...and that beer cannot be compared in the least to what I had at CnB.
That was the worst experience I had at CnB. Other visits we shared bottles (which were kept at the correct temp) and tried some other pints, but the IPAs we bought just didn't taste...fresh. Think Heady Topper taste one week old, versus two months old (I have had both).
I have chatted very briefly with the owners...they are not bad people. They are friendly and welcoming. But they do not act as if they fully understand how much better their bar can be, if they just adjusted their service and cleanliness standards. If your customer volume does not go through kegs before they become old, you should consider cutting a couple taps until the volume increases. No one wants old beer. Unless they like Bud Light. In which case, they wouldn't be able to tell if the beer is good or bad, old or young, stale or dry hopped on premise.
I would recommend Mr. Beery's, North Bridge, Shakespeare's, and the Shamrock before I suggest Cock and Bull.
03-03-2013 16:44:45 | More by SHolland
4.38/5 rDev -0.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 2 | $$
I counted 450 bottled beers and about 30 on tap, all great selections. Best beer selection I've found in Southern Florida. The bartender was friendly and knowledgeable. The place was dark and not really decorated in any way. The parking was slim. Its out of the way and I'll probably come back occasionally when in the area due to location. I'll visit other beer places downtown and in more busy areas (Blue Owl Tavern and Mr. Beery's) because although the selection is less, the location and/or deals/price are better.
07-27-2012 22:47:30 | More by dmincer
3.13/5 rDev -29%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 1.5 | $$$
I am happy to had found a great pub like Cock n Bull... I had learned allot about beer style from the many visits. It was like a home away from home, with tons of beers to choose from and knowledge to gain. In which, I completed the alchemist program! The staff was not always the best at service, especially if the did not know you. They use to help me to find the perfect "beer" / fit for the evening. I use to suggest CnB every where I go when I lived in Sarasota. Overall, I still visit the place but certainly not as much and defiantly don't appreciate or enjoy it as much as I use to. Have yet to find someplace like CnB up in Raleigh.
12-31-2011 02:59:49 | More by baby4rose
4.53/5 rDev +2.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
The original Sarasota beer bar! They were doing it ten years before it was cool. Great atmosphere and great peeps, which is not always easy to find in SRQ. The bar is set in a farmhouse from maybe the turn of the century, which makes it really friggin old and unique by Florida standards. They have an outside deck and courtyard that features an awesome fire pit in the winter and a large stage for bands. Avid supporters of local music. Fantastic beer selection, especially when it comes to microbrews. Great ownership and warm staff...as long as you don't act like a douchebag. Great draft beer selection, including several beers that are off the wall and not seen at the more corporate beer bars.
08-04-2011 07:09:25 | More by mayastack
4.88/5 rDev +10.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
To be perfectly honest, this place looked like a total dump when I pulled up. ( I later found out it was an old feed barn that had been turned into a bar.) It was about 6pm on a Wednesday and there was one car parked out front with no open sign or anything but the front door was propped open. A friend of mine told me I HAD to check this place out so I decided to give it a chance, despite my scepticism.
I walked through the front door into a beer fans heaven. The first thing you see as you walk in is the awe inspiring sight of an 8 door cooler filled with roughly 900? bottles and a wall of 40 taps. The atmosphere is a very cool old world style pub. Lots of wood, knick knacks on the wall, and some amazing paintings that I found out were actually painted on the premises by local artists at an event the pub hosted. The back yard was a very cool beer garden with a fire pit and lots of seating, plus a covered back porch. I was also very pleased to hear smoking was only allowed outside.
Their selection was great. Lots of American craft and micro-brews blended well with an obviously hand selected import list. I was extremely pleased to see that there was no bud, miller, or coors products on any of their 40 taps. In fact, I didn't even notice them on the shelves until about two hours later when I noticed them tucked away in the far door. I couldn't help but laugh when a woman ordered a coors light and the bartender all but begged her to try something else. He explained that he would feel like he hadn't done his job properly if he served that to her. He talked her in to trying something different and she loved it.
The bartender greeted me with a very warm welcome. This "kid" was probably late 20's which made me very sceptical about how much he could possibly know about beer. Boy was I wrong. I believe his name was Collin so that's what I will call him(sorry if I'm mistaken). This guy was great. He was very welcoming, friendly, and helpful. This kid knew his stuff. He picked out 6 beers for me throughout my stay and every single one was exactly what I was looking for. He even knew lots of the histories and stories about the breweries and beers. It was a slow evening so I got the pleasure of extra attention. It was very obvious that he actually had a passion for what he was doing and was not there just to make a buck. The service alone would keep me coming back to this place. Thank you Collin.
My understanding is that they have live music every Saturday and liter specials on their drafts every wednesday. Unfortunately, I have yet to experience either of these but can only imagine them being great events.
I did not get to try their food but did see one pizza come out that looked amazing. Their menu basically consisted of pizzas and sandwiches but they're apparently all made from scratch. They had some very interesting specialty pizzas as well, such as an oyster pizza?
I left and felt guilty for my first impression. The atmosphere was very interesting, relaxed, and welcoming. The selection, amazing. The service, top notch. The service and selection will keep me coming back for more. BEST BAR I'VE EVER BEEN TO.
02-23-2011 12:02:51 | More by AintNoWino
4.9/5 rDev +11.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Welcome to Sarasota, Florida....what the hell is there to do here? Well lucky for us all this is a true beer community. At the heart of Sarasota's Beer Community is The Cock and Bull Pub.
OK, well pull up to this location and the first thing that comes to mind is maybe I have the wrong place....or maybe we all just forget where we came from. Beer Bars are not suppose to be glitzy and glamorous. The Cock and Bull is what a true beer bar should be.
Based out of what appears to be an old house, The Cock and Bull shines as a beer lovers paradise. Once inside we were all welcomed by owner and beer lover Howie. After a quick tour of the bottles, taps, and the outside area, I was able to sneak a behind the scenes tour of the bar.
The Cock and Bull is an extremely comfortable beer bar, you almost feel like you are at your friends house drinking a beer and shooting the shit.
Outside is just like a backyard, with a huge fire pit and two small stages for live music. Pull up an empty keg, chill by the fire and listen to some live music all while drinking a fine selection of beer.
BEER! That's right, if 40 draft lines and 500+ bottles of beer don't strike your fancy then there is the Sake and Wine selection.
The knowledgeable and hospitable staff will help you find something that you like to drink.
So lets review; comfortable atmosphere, fantastic outside area, amazing draft and bottle selection, great staff, sake and wine (for the non-beer drinker), pizza's, and a bad ass name....yep that's the Cock and Bull!
I give this bar a 5.0/5.0, there is nothing I would change about it. If I was to own a place of my own, I would model it after the Cock and Bull. This is a must visit!
02-16-2011 16:20:50 | More by DosBeerigos
4.29/5 rDev -2.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$$$
Atmosphere: the inside is very large with a large outside yard with a lot of seating. It is not however particularly nice. It is basically a dive bar based on atmosphere alone.
One problem I've noticed with this place is that they have concerts on the weekends. I find this quite undesirable as the concerts bring in rather large crowds full of some sketchy types of people (of the BMC type if you know what I mean). On these nights, there is a cover charge to enter, tho not too expensive. Two positive things are that the concerts are not too loud and even though they bring in a lot of people, it is rarely too crowded to fill up all the tables.
**However, the most undesirable thing about these concerts is that the concerts force the staff to pour all beers into....PLASTIC cups...I find this absolutely inappropriate..I had to drink a Bell's Hop Slam and a Dogfish Head Chicory Stout out of plastic cups.
The service is great. The people there will get to know you and help you out with selections and other deals.
The selection is just about perfect. The large tap list is impressive and the cooler is filled with amazing and rare brews.
It is however way overpriced in my opinion. Dogfish Head Bitches Brew is $37.50. Any of their rare beers are just way overpriced. They're taking advantage of the rich Sarasota people, which makes it hard for someone like me to enjoy the beers that would other be expensive...but not completely overpriced by threefold.
12-23-2010 00:15:50 | More by AdamBear
5/5 rDev +13.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $
I am an occasional visitor to the Sarasota area, but this trip I went out of my way to try this place. If you are from the area, you should get acquainted with C&B Pub if you aren't already. We went on a Thursday so it was pretty dead, good for us, bad for tips. I was looking to get some Cigar City beers without driving up to Tampa and Dawn at the bar hooked me up. I like to try the standards from a brewery so the Maduro Brown and Jai Alai IPA were on my list and had a little bit of the Cubano Espresso on tap.
Taps were great, standards and 'whales', and bottles almost unparalleled. Great prices for the quality ($4.50 Snifter of Cubano) and good pours, maybe even too much in the snifter of some big beers. It was a pleasure to talk with Dawn about beer. They even had a beer brewed for them on tap with Florida mandarins and local honey. I will definitely make it out to C&B every time I am in town.
10-19-2010 16:44:46 | More by svraines
4.9/5 rDev +11.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
The Cock & Bull is what a tru pub should feel like. Everything about this place screams beer. As soon as you walkin the heavy entrance door you see the coolers lining the back of the hand crafted bar. Look up and to the right and you will see the draft beer menu. With roughly 38 on draft and about 300 bottles on hand you will find something you like. The staff is very knowledgeable and willing to make suggestions if you are unsure.
The bull is a Non smoking establishment so for those who do and those who do not there is a huge back lot with a fire pit and 2 stages for local bands. I would highly recommend that if you are even close check this place out you will not be dissapointed.
08-05-2010 15:51:47 | More by dainbramage
5/5 rDev +13.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
This is my favorite beer bar as there are a few in our town, this is the top dog. The owners have been in the business for decades and know their beer. The staff knows it as well and anything they don't know they will be the first to say it and ask the owners.
Some of the beer is a bit costly to some but you have to think of it as quality to quantity. The beer that is more priced then others is higher in abv. % so it evens out and they are defiantly comparable to other places around town if not cheaper.
The pizza is some of the BEST in Florida and a very under estimated part of the Cock & Bull experience. They supply on their menu different pizza's pairings of what type of beer should be had with each. They also have subs, newly added wings, spring rolls and soft pretzels with either marinara or warm beer cheese which is so good.
When it comes to the taps they have over 45 taps and bottles are over 400 and the beers are ever changing.
It is a rather large place with a pool table, and a large back outside area with a newly installed stage where they have live music shows often. and during the winter they have a fire pit to keep warm.
They have specials all the time, whether it is Karaoke Rock Band on Mons., free topping Tues. or $5 liter night on Weds.
I recommend this place to anyone, there is no creepy guys trying to pick up girls as this is a real chill place. Is a very great place to just hang out and have a beer alone, try something new or meet friends.
Such a great place.
07-27-2010 22:20:01 | More by Brysky
Cock & Bull in Sarasota, FL
96 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.