Bottlescrew Bill's Old English Pub
Taps: 26 / Bottles: 300
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 14 | Reviews: 13 | Display Reviews Only:
3.53/5 rDev -10.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5 | $$$
Visited Bottlescrew's on a Saturday night while visiting friends in Calgary.
The pub is attached to a restaurant (I believe it's called Buzzard's) and tucked behind a bit. There are 4 main seating areas: dark wooden booths by the bar itself; another room filled with plain tables and chairs but with a nice set of 4 leather wingback chairs by a gas fireplace; family restaurant style booths and plain table and chairs in a room with pool tables; and the deck. This give a bit of a dis-jointed feel to the bar as everything is broken up into small rooms and there really isn't a definite style. No real flow. Also, it seemed a bit run down to me.
While there may be alot of places with better atmosphere, there certainly isn't a better place to experience the selection or quality of beer. You do have to pay a bit to get some of their offerings, but when you can't get it anywhere else, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. A vast selection of bottles from around the world of varying styles and countries. This is highlighted by their "Around the world in 80 beers" club. Drink one of each of 80 different beers (from around the world obviously) within the time span of one year and you get a special prize (fleece vest this year) and your name on a plaque.
Now, if all you want is a great variety of good beers... this ends the review.
However, if you want good service... well... you're getting a mixed bag at Bottlescrew's. Our server was friendly, but lacked basic bar knowledge (let alone fine beer knowledge) and was forgetful and inattentive. I asked for a glass with my first beer when I recieved the bottle (I had assumed a place like this would automatically offer a glass with a bottle) and had to wait for 15 minutes before the waitress appeared again (without a glass) to ask for a glass again. They were offering a new beer on tap and when I went to ask her about it she had no idea what kind of beer it was (or even what it was called!) She went to the bar and returned saying that it was called Erdinger Weiss, but still couldn't describe the style. Well... enough about her. We did talk to another waitress that indeed did know her stuff and gave good insight to some of the beers. Why couldn't we have gotten her as a server instead? Be prepared for either end of the serving spectrum.
The food is little more than basic pub grub. I was the only one out of the five of us that felt the menu item I ordered was well prepared, tasty and/or large enough. You would think that being attached to a restaurant that they could offer a better menu.
Bottlescrew Bill's is definitely worth visiting while in Calgary, but I would advise that you should have supper somewhere else first, then hit the pub. Then be prepared for your server to be anywhere from excellent to "atleast she tried hard".
08-24-2005 03:54:48 | More by Noxious26
3.53/5 rDev -10.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
Went to this place about a year after I started rating beer. They have a round the world with beer promotion that I was excited about. Naively I thought that I would find something different. They don't update the beer list often enough. I thought that would have new beers but they only had what I could buy at a good Calgary liquor store. Other than that a good destination for beer novices a good host to CAMRA and a good member of the Calgary beer community. You can not go wrong going to Bill's.
09-16-2007 02:24:13 | More by presario
3.8/5 rDev -3.8%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.5 | $$
Overall.... A great place to have a few pints and some food. If you like to enjoy a nice craft beer and perhaps a pint of something new then I would recommend Bottlescrew. The barkeeps will offer you down-to-earth beer recommendations and point out some of the better beers based on your personal tastes.
09-27-2013 04:09:02 | More by deNevers
3.83/5 rDev -3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
There is two parts to Bottlescrew Bill's, one side is the restaurant and the other side is the bar. One night we tried the restaurant and it had some wonderful food. I had the buffalo and my wife had the steak, and both were very well prepared and plated. The food is "cowboy cuisine" but I was expecting enameled tin cups and plates. They were plated like 5 star meals but at 1/4 of the cost. They have a large selection of beer from around the world, mostly lagers from the popular importers, and the local selection is nice. This is the only place you can get the Buzzard's breath ale now brewed by Ally Kat brewery. We had a good meal and nice drinks that night.
Another night I stopped in the bar and had a local barleywine. I was shocked to get a brandy snifter with my beer and I didn't even have to ask. They have the typical sports on the TV and Big Rock drinking crowd but it was very nice to see good interest in trying new beers. They even had beers around the world sampling that weekend, but my plane left a day to early. If every in Calgary this is a good place to stop by for a few rounds.
03-14-2005 03:22:45 | More by rhoadsrage
New Brunswick (Canada)
3.93/5 rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Went here twice last week while visiting the city, once on a Tuesday night and again on Friday afternoon, so it wasn't too busy either time.
I liked the atmosphere... we sat in the smaller room out front where the bar was... nice wooden tables, a few booths, and a fairly large bar with a pretty good selection of taps. They shine on their bottle selection, as the name would indicate... lots of locals beers, and a really good selection of beers from BC, Unibroue, and Dieu du Ciel! They have a 'Beers of the World' menu, but aside from some good Belgians, most of these beers are easily ignored.
Service was spotty... first time we were there out server was very friendly; next time, however, the server we had was a little rude and stand-offish.
Worth stopping by for a few beers, for sure, especially if you enjoy a really good Canadian selection of craft beers.
09-29-2010 03:12:56 | More by berley31
3.98/5 rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
When i first discovered this place, i thought it was amazing. It is true, it's a decent place to get a beer, however, I'm now finding their beer selection, as big as it is, lacking in overall quality. I found it pretty fun to go in and try a new beer every time. It's a good starting block for people who wish to experience new beer. You can join their "around the world in 80 beers" which awards you with stuff as you go, like a free appetizer after you've completed so many of the beer on the passport. Once a year they hold their own beerfest which is cramped but great. It's a far better value than the beerfest held at the roundup center. You can have a good time and try a lot of beer with just the initial beer tickets you get with your admission of $25 at the door. Obviously it's a lot smaller, but also a lot more fun. The food is also very tasty.
04-12-2009 04:26:28 | More by BiologySean
3.98/5 rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Upcoming place with 20 something taps, nearly half with craft. They claim 350 bottles, and at least a dozen I haven't tried though only a handful I would. Very nice, clean, with two patios, a small-medium bar, great staff and I am told above average food. Music was not too too loud so that the four of us could talk comfortably, wifi, and everyone happy. In busy area, though we lucked out with parking space a few yards away (warning: parking tickets are the highest in Canada). One of the hot spots designated to get Big Rock one-offs on tap. No cask, but that's typical for Alberta.
05-13-2011 13:20:02 | More by Sammy
3.98/5 rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
I visited here about a year ago, and have not had the opportunity to return, yet. I will, though. I was pleasantly surprised with the atmosphere of Bottlescrew Bill's. Some old English-style booths, darkened lighting, and an older clientele base there simply to enjoy the beer, not to become intoxicated. Cosy, conversation-inducing, though there was a large tv near the bar. What this place could use is some knowledgable beer servers. I ordered an Alba Pine Ale from Scotland, and they brought it to me freezing cold, when, clearly stated on the bottle itself, it should be room temperature. I am not normally one to complain at a restaurant. Indeed, I usually hate picky restaurant goers, but when it comes to a beer, at a pub that specialises IN beer, I had to ask for a warmer version. The waitress who served us was somewhat of a typical bar-girl, Molson drinking girl; but I cannot complain, she was friendly and helpful, though a little lacking in the finer aspects of beer appreciation("I've heard it's gross," she said as she set down the Pine Ale.) Oh well.
The selection, obviously is exceptional. There are other pubs in Calgary with a bigger draught selection, but when it comes to sheer variety in bottles, Bottlescrew's has all them beat. Yes, occasionally they may be out of one beer or another, but how many other pubs in Calgary can you go to that even know what Artvelde Trippel or Chimay Blue IS, let alone have it available on their menu? Yes, selection is the reason to take your beer-loving friends here. Most of the beers are generally available throughout many Calgary liquor stores, but if you are planning on going out to eat anyway, why not attend an establishment with over 150 beers? They also have their own beer brewed exclusively for them and their neighbouring restaurant, called Buzzard Breath Ale. A very decent ale by all rights. The food was quite good as well. I will be returning soon.
12-11-2004 09:04:35 | More by Cwrw
3.98/5 rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | $$$
Had a visit to this establishment while I was in Calgary for the beerfest.
I quite like the atmosphere of this bar. The crowd wasn't too young, yet not too old either. There is a nice looking area with couches and then the rest was wooden tables and chairs. It was quiet enough to talk, and the music was all decent. Overall the place had a good feel to it.
The decor was nothing special in this bar. Around where I was sitting they had all the plaques for their around the world in 80 beers clubs. Mostly wooden furniture that I saw as well. Nothing overly eye catching.
Service was alright. I can't say I was impressed nor unimpressed. It was Saturday night and the place was relatively busy as well so service wasn't expected to be amazing.
This bar had the best selection or beer I've seen at a bar in a while. Comparable to the globe in Edmonton. I was happy to see a lot of Canadian stuff coast to coast as well as a few of my favorite Belgian, German, and English Imports. Very impressive.
Although the beer I drank wasn't expensive, I did see some high prices on some imports and premiums. Some of the prices could be lowered.
All in all I had a good experience at Bottlescrew Bill's. I will probably visit it again when I go back to Calgary.
05-15-2006 06:13:17 | More by Orrshow
Bottlescrew Bill's Old English Pub in Calgary, AB, Canada
89 out of 100 based on 14 ratings.