Von Jakob Brewery
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Active Beers: 9
Beer Ratings: 12
Beer Avg: 2.81
Taps: 8 / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 2 | Reviews: 2 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by champ103:
3.24/5 rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | $$
I love the wine trail in Southern Illinois. Most of the wineries are very underrated, and I was very excited to see that Von Jakob is also a brewpub. The inside is very nice and clean. A bar makes a long L around the edges. No seats at the bar, but plenty of room to stand and taste with tables scattered about. A great back patio/deck that is very relaxing. You can't beat the scenery to Alto Pass in Illinois. Truly Gods Country.
The service is very nice. I have been here several times, but well before they started to brew. They are always wanting critics of their products, and are very receptive to any criticism. Most of the bartenders are knowledgeable of the wines, not so much the beers, though they will grab the brewer whenever you ask. They have lunch everyday, and special dinners on Friday. I did not try the food, but everything looks great on that front.
Unfortunately I was not a big fan of the beers. Most everything had the same kind of fruity estery thing going on. Pretty much everything tasted the same, or was just plain off. I told the waitress/bartender, and she was very receptive. She told me they are not satisfied yet with the final product, and are working on it. Which is nice to here, but it would be nice if they could sell a good product like their wine.
The selection goes from Pils to Stout. Nothing to crazy, and pretty standard fair for a brewpub. Overall I love the spot, it has some nice food options, and the wine is very good. I wish the beer was better though.
12-22-2011 02:23:01 | More by champ103
More User Reviews:
3.05/5 rDev -2.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I was looking for lunch in southern Illinois this weekend and I was super excited to see that Von Jakob was hosting a beer festival (listed as a "wine and beef festival" on one website, which I certainly wouldn't have said no to) to celebrate their recent venture into brewing. When we got there, I went straight for the sampler.
The first beer was their American Pilsner, and I knew something was wrong from my first smell. It was acetic, and I love sour beers but this was not the good kind of sour. That off-taste made it hard to taste anything else, but I powered through it. The hefeweizen, which I think came off of the same tap, was almost as bad. The Red Ale and Nut Brown were more drinkable and both had a nice dryness to them, but once I locked on to the acetic acid it was hard not to find it in those beers too. By the time I made it into the darker beers, I thought I was past the acetic taste only to get a nice whiff of soap when I got to the Dark Wheat. This wasn't just faintly soapy. It smelled like highway rest area hand soap. The Dark Bock was similarly soapy, which makes me think it was an issue with the glassware or the tap instead of the beer itself. I have heard of "soapy" as an off-taste in beers, but I've never experienced it, and it's hard to believe that this particular smell could be a brewing by-product. I maintained my optimism through the whole 8-beer sampler hoping to find at least one that would send me back for a whole pint. I was kind of bummed out by the time I got to the IPA, which was lined up as the last beer, so I might not have been paying attention, but I don't think there was anything specifically off about that beer. It was just unremarkable except in that it didn't really taste like an IPA.
From what I hear Von Jakob makes decent wine, and my lunch (a big grapevine-smoked beef sandwich with roasted potatoes and a salad) was fantastic for $5. It seems ambitious to start a new brewery out with eight different beers, so maybe they just got carried away. I am happy to see a Shawnee Hills winery expanding into and I'll probably give these guys another chance someday on the strength (and cost) of the food, but they have some work to do on their beer.
03-01-2011 00:40:21 | More by argounova3
Von Jakob Brewery in Alto Pass, IL
- out of 100 based on 2 ratings.