Ratings: 12 | Reviews: 10 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BryanCarey:
3.53/5 rDev +3.2%
Calhouns is a restaurant/brewpub combination that is known for its food as much as for its craft beer selection. There is a nice, varied menu at Calhouns that features typical American style cuisine like sandwiches, pizza, main entrees, desserts, etc. Calhouns is best known for its ribs and it has won a few awards for this menu item. They are quite good for the local area, even if they are not the greatest ribs on the planet, like some have claimed.
Calhouns brews its own beer and there are usually about seven products to choose from. At any given time, one can expect to find six regular brews and one seasonal on tap- a typical number for a brewpub. The beer brewed at Calhouns covers several styles, like porter (my favorite among the choices), brown ale, red ale, and so forth. The beers are clean and generally good, although they tend to play it safe at Calhouns when it comes to brewing. There isnt a bad beer in the bunch, but the corporate management seems to be content with offering only safe, agreeable beer products. This means you wont find an 80 IBU India Pale Ale or a beer brewed with licorice. Calhouns seems more concerned with sales than anything, so they brew the beers in a conservative, acceptable way.
I like most all of the food at Calhouns and the service is good, too. One nice thing about Calhouns is that they always seem to have room for guests. No matter how crowded the parking lot may be, there always seems to be an open table for seating. In the three years I have been visiting, I have never had to wait for a table.
Calhouns has a few locations but the one featured here is the one where the beer is brewed, so this is the location to visit if youre a true beer geek and want the full brewpub experience. This location also offers t- shirts for sale, bottled Calhouns beer to go, and growlers of beer to go. It all adds up to a pretty good brewpub with a cozy, comfortable atmosphere, reasonable prices, and quick service.
08-16-2006 21:34:55 | More by BryanCarey
More User Reviews:
3.15/5 rDev -7.9%
I've been to Calhoun's several time and my experience is about the same. Their staff is exceptionally friendly but their food and beer have always left me disappointed.
Food - Had the pulled pork dish with a side of baked beans and spinich maria. The only item that was really tasty was the spinich maria. The pork and baked beans were both very dry.
Beer - Tuckaleechee porter is by far their best offering. In fact, it is an excellent example of the style. But they have taken their best seller off tap and you can only purchase bottles. Didn't like that one bit. I had their "seasonale" IPA and it was terrible. The waiter was obviously told to stress that it was unfiltered beer. Ok great! No, was cloudy as hell. It tasted grainy and flat with no aroma to speak of. Where's my IPA hops aroma?
I don't think I'll be going back simply because the only thing worth going for is their porter which is not even on tap anymore.
02-06-2011 19:20:02 | More by HelperMonkey
3.48/5 rDev +1.8%
I have been recently going here every Thursday to have a Smokey Mountains Brew and lunch. This place has a laid-back atmosphere around lunch time. I love the way this place is set up as well, the light from the skylight is very natural and it feels more natural than just your every day restauraunt. The fact that it brews and serves SMB speaks for itself. The bartender is very knowledgable and loves to talk about brews. Great place to go if you are meeting a friend or coworker for lunch. Wish I could say it was fairly cheap. But the food can get a little pricey.
10-09-2010 15:53:57 | More by austinhensley
3.18/5 rDev -7%
Stopped in for an early lunch on a weekday in October, and had to wait too long to get served. We were ahead of the rush, so there should have been more attention. The time lag between ordering and food arrival was also too long. Anyway, the beer sampler was a good choice for me. I did not take notes, but I was not hugely impressed with the selection. All were typical of their styles, with no standouts. My luch of wings were big, well cooked, well sauced (hot) and nicely presented. I was able to buy a mixed 6 pack of Smoky Mountain products, which was a plus. The atmosphere is a little too chrome-and-polish for me. I like a more laid back atmosphere.
I would not be a regular, but I am glad we dropped in. It is worth you while to give it a try.
10-30-2008 20:03:24 | More by Conrad
3.58/5 rDev +4.7%
Stopped in with some friends one night just to have a couple of beers.
As far as atmosphere goes, it's ok. Seem like a cross between a large chain (i.e. T.G.I. Fridays, Applebees) and a barbeque joint. It has a very Southern feel with lots of farm implements and whatnot decorating the walls.
We just ordered a couple of appetizers, which were good, but I can't comment on the rest of the food. Supposedly they won a "Best Ribs" award like 20 years ago. This seems to be their claim to fame.
The beer was actually better than I was expecting. I had a good APA in the Appalachian Pale Ale, and the Tuckaleechee Porter was a pretty decent offering. However, my wife had the Windy Gap Wheat and the Velas Helles, which both turned out to be sub-par. At only 3.50 a pint though, I was pleased for the most part.
Overall, it's a pretty average chain microbrew spot. The beer choices are standard offerings that are good but not great, and there aren't any exciting or outstanding brews. I'd go back, but more to try the ribs than anything.
07-21-2008 15:28:16 | More by daythree16
3.35/5 rDev -2%
This was another in a long line of Hops like restaurants that claim to be microbrews, but unfortunately they all just taste the same and have very little to offer in terms of originality. There foods were excellent, and for a rib place it actually is pretty darn good, however for a place that brews its own it is horribly forgettable. Everything just tasted mass produced and slightly watered down. If they had put the same kind of effort they put into their food in the beer it might have been half way decent, Unfortunately it was just average at best. I would skip this place and move on if you could.
11-13-2007 01:33:50 | More by mikesgroove
3.13/5 rDev -8.5%
Made this a quick stop while waiting for a friend to get off work. Of course, I pick a BBQ rib joint to hang out--vegetarian. No veggie choices, SURPRISE, but what pieced together from side menus was good.
As for the beer, Calhoun's is a part of a chain of associated restaurants, and the beer tastes chain-ish. The Summer Wheat was light and thin, but the Cherokee Red Ale was a malty Irish Amber with a mild hop bite that was more than drinkable in spite of the racist name. Otherwise, not much except the Tuckaleechee Porter was an adequate beer as well.
Not a place I'd ever return to unless I had a group of carnivore friends like for a fix that happen to have slightly better than mainstream beer.
08-19-2007 19:11:48 | More by FightingEntropy
3.8/5 rDev +11.1%
Clahoun's is located on a frontage road off the highway. It would appear to be a steak house or mexican place as the building doesn't fit the normal brew pub look. I was greeted and proceeded to the bar. The bar was off to the corner and not the main focus of this facility. However, I found the service to be exceptional. "Barry" the bartender introduced himself and ask for my name. He must have used my, and everybody elses name at the bar 2-3 times. He was almost too good to be working at this place. However, talking with a few locals it would appear that "Barry's service" was the norm for Calhoun's.
Calhoun's had won an award at the GABF for their light Vienna. However, I don't think it was their best beer. I ended up having 5 good / great beers while there and meeting a TON of nice folks. They were more then happy to talk to a Yankee and they all spoke foundly of Cahoun's. Overall, I feel this place was above average and would go there again. I hope Barry and his band of regulars are there again when I return. ...oh yeah, and they have some really great BBQ too!
07-12-2007 21:18:05 | More by ndolover
Calhoun's Microbrewery in Knoxville, TN
84 out of 100 based on 12 ratings.